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Harry Potter Lexicon Minute

OP19: And So It Begins

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OP19: And So It Begins

Chapter nineteen starts on a high note:

Harry felt as though he were carrying some kind of talisman inside his chest over the following two weeks, a glowing secret that supported him through Umbridge’s classes and even made it possible for him to smile blandly as he looked into her horrible bulging eyes. He and the DA were resisting her under her very nose, doing the very thing she and the Ministry most feared …

But from there this chapter will get progressively worse until its crushing finale, when Umbridge bans Harry and the Weasley twins from playing Quidditch ever again. A lifetime ban. Is it possible that Umbridge’s latest proclamation from Fudge — the one giving her to power to be able to override the punishments of other teachers — could stay in effect past the years at school? You never know. After all, Quidditch is regulated by the Ministry’s Department of Magical Games and Sports. So there it is … a lifetime ban from Quidditch, and Harry’s Firebolt broomstick is to be confiscated and secured in Umbridge’s office.

Book five has a very specific role to play in the development of Harry as the Chosen One. Harry can’t hope to prevail on skill and strength. As we’ll see at the end of the book in the massive magical duel between Dumbledore and the Dark Lord, Voldemort’s magical power towers over anything Harry can hope to manage. Nothing Harry could do would stand a chance. In book five, those kinds of things, the things that Harry thinks of as making him strong, will be taken away one by one. It isn’t until all those are gone that Harry can become transformed into the new Harry — the one who can truthfully proclaim to be “Dumbledore’s man, through and through.”

We’ve already seen some of those things disappear for Harry. His relationship with Dumbledore appears to be broken, and the affirmation of the school which he earned last year by his prowess in the Triwizard Tournament is also gone. But now it’s starting in earnest. One of those very special skills, the very thing which allowed him to win the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament, is his skill with a broom — and owning the world’s best racing broom on top of that. Both of these things are now stripped away.

This is only the beginning. It’s going to be a rough middle third of the book for poor Harry.

Commentary

Notes

In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, just a couple of minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.

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Music: "Winter Chimes" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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