I've lost count of how many times I've read them (though conservative estimates place the number at 25).
So how is that I missed this?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the chapter entitled "Veritaserum". Page 594 of the Canadian first edition, published in 2000. Eighth line from the bottom.
Barty Crouch Jr. has already transformed back into himself after being stunned by Dumbledore and deprived of his next dose of Polyjuice Potion. The real Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody has been discovered in the bottom of his own magical chest and Barty Crouch Jr., under the influence of three drops of Veritaserum, is explaining everything to Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Harry and Winky, the house elf.
Crouch's transformation back into himself is complete and Rowling has been referring to him as "Crouch" for almost an entire page. Then Dumbledore asks him:
'How did your father subdue you?'And, in the eighth last line of page 594, Rowling writes the response:
'The Imperius curse,' Moody said. 'I was under my father's control....'"Moody said" is the tag. Not "Crouch said". "Moody said". Even though Crouch has fully transformed back into himself and Rowling has been referring to him as "Crouch" for more than a page, somehow "Moody" sneaks back in when it is clearly Crouch who is speaking.
How did I miss that error in all my 24 previous readings of the book? How did Rowling miss it in her original writing of the scene, in her numerous reviews and revisions? How did her editors miss it?
To be frank, I missed it because I am always, even after more than 20 readings, so caught up in the action at this point that I speed read the entire chapter. This is the first time I've been able to slow myself down enough to notice things... including continuity errors.
Wow. I'm sure a million other Harry Potter fans have spotted this error in the past but it's the first time I've seen it. It's like Harry Potter is new to me again... after 24 readings.