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This has always stuck me as odd. If you recall in The Goblet of Fire, the Weasleys pick up Harry for the Quidditch world cup. This is a huge deal for the Weasleys, who were not only were able to get tickets to the event, but only tickets for guests and also they're the best tickets in the entire stadium in the top box! For me, this is one big red flag. Okay, so we know that the tickets come from a gift from Ludo Bagman who is returning a favor to Mr. Weasley because he got his brother out of a weird situation with a lawnmower. I'm sorry, but I just don't think so. I mean, 10 tickets, to the top box! The idea that Ludo, is giving away 10 of the best tickets, in the entire stadium is kind of laughable! Especially when you consider that Ludo is in huge debt when he does this. When peacock man and Draco arrive at the top box they even joke:

"Good lord, Arthur," he said softly. "What did you have to sell to get seats in the Top Box? Surely your house wouldn't have fetched this much?"

Even though he is being kind of antagonistic here, he is also quite correct. I'm sorry but I need to know because this is important, what was that lawnmower even doing!? Why is it that when Ludo is desperate for money, he gives away a small fortune? It just doesn't feel right!

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    I've purged all the comments, as it had gone off track. If you have a serious issue, please take it to Science Fiction & Fantasy Meta. If you wish to continue chatting, please take it to Science Fiction & Fantasy Chat.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 15:00
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    Do we know how much the seats cost? Malfoy may be taking a dig at how poor the Weasleys are, suggesting not that the tickets are exorbitantly expensive, but that the Weasley's house isn't even worth a moderate sum. A "small fortune" for the Weasleys might be a pittance for Ludo or the Malfoys. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 18:50
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    The lawn mower, however, is muggle tech, something of the 'dark arts' to the average magic user.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 14:56
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    He's in a position of power and influence, he wouldn't have paid for the tickets.
    – AJFaraday
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 13:50
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    @TheBoyWhoLived In the "Prisoner of Azkaban" Ron mentions that his father usually "gets some tickets from work", so it's not the tickets per se that are remarkable, just the upgrade to the top box. Commented May 1, 2022 at 8:47

1 Answer 1

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Out of universe, the answer is that there needed to be a way for Harry and the Weasleys to be in the top box (with Barty Crouch Jr. and Winky), and obviously the Weasleys wouldn't have actually been able to afford those tickets.

In universe, there are three possible reasons that I can think of:

  1. It's not his "small fortune" that he's giving away.

    The Quidditch World Cup was organised (in part) by the Ministry of Magic. Ludo likely has some discretion to give away tickets as part of his role. He'd also have the ability to sell tickets, but only on behalf of the Ministry; any gold raised from such a sale would go to the Ministry, not to him personally.

    He could try to sell the tickets and keep the money himself, but it's likely that all tickets would need to be accounted for, and marking tickets as sold without depositing the gold for their sale would probably get caught eventually. To avoid that he could possibly sell the tickets, and instead mark them as being given away for free so there's no expected gold for them, but he's not shown to be particularly clever so doing so may not have occurred to him.

  2. He potentially owed Mr Weasley a significant debt.

    We don't know what exactly the deal with the lawnmower and Ludo's brother was, but it's possible that possible consequences would have been serious time in Azkaban. If he owes a significant debt, and has a way to repay that which doesn't actually cost him anything, then it would make sense to do so, even if he has other monetary debts as well.

  3. He wanted to get close to Harry.

    Harry's connection to the Weasleys was pretty common knowledge among the Wizarding world by his fourth year. He may have simply viewed the opportunity to establish a relationship with one of the most famous living wizards as worth the "cost" (which to him was technically zero).

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    Ludo might also have a discretion to give tickets to employees of the Ministry, not to outsiders.
    – svavil
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 14:20
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    Yes - we have to remember that muggle tech is frowned upon by most wizards and witches, thus commanding a potentially high sum for Weasley's knowledge.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 14:59
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    Consider also that the only purpose of a lawnmower is to spin a sharp blade very fast. Even in our world lots of people get seriously hurt or killed by them, so Arthur may well have saved Ludo's brother/nephews/nieces from amputation or death.
    – Korosia
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 9:15
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    Point 3 might not just be Ludo's doing: Fudge might have signed off on it as a way to get in Harry's favour, as well as potentially to show him off to the Bulgarian Minister. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 17:53
  • As an expansion to your point 1, if a government entity participates in organizing an event, it can be quite customary for them to get a number of tickets to give away for their employees, as a non-monetary reward for doing the extra work related to the event.
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 13:13

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