"Moody! How cool is he?"
-- Fred Weasley
The fourth-year students gather bubotuber pus in Herbology, study Blast-Ended Skrewts with Hagrid in Care of Magical Creatures class, study Astrology in Divination, and Draco Malfoy delights in pointing out that Mr. Weasley is in the paper again. In the argument that follows, Malfoy attacks Harry, but Professor Moody turns Malfoy into a ferret, bouncing him around the Entrance Hall until Professor McGonagall stops him.
Calendar and Dates
The chapter begins the morning after the students' arrival at Hogwarts and ends the same day, and since the Hogwarts Express runs on 1 September, we therefore know that the date is 2 September. From Ron's final line and the first paragraph of the next chapter, we know that the day of the week is Monday.
The fourth-year Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs have Herbology together as their first class on Monday morning. As their second class on Monday mornings, the Hufflepuffs have Transfiguration, while Gryffindors and Slytherins who take Care of Magical Creatures have that class. The fourth-year Gryffindors who take Divination have it on Monday afternoons, while Hermione is in Arithmancy and the sixth-year Gryffindors have Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Interesting facts and notes
Despite the chapter title, this chapter does not feature the first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson of the year (at least, not for the fourth-years, although it does for the sixth-years). (Of course, looked at a different way, Moody doesn't even appear in this chapter.)
The storm had blown itself out by the following morning...
Which tells us that this scene is set the day after the preceding chapter's last scene - on 2 September, in other words.
"Today's not bad - outside all morning," said Ron, who was running his finger down the Monday column of his timetable...
And this gives us the day of the week. As we are about to see, Mondays feature two class periods between breakfast and lunch.
"Herbology with the Hufflepuffs..."
"...and Care of Magical Creatures...damn it, we're still with the Slytherins..."
"Double Divination this afternoon," Harry groaned, looking down.
Divination is the only class the fourth-year Gryffindors who take it have on Monday afternoons, beginning just after lunch break and ending just before supper, so "double" appears to mean that it lasts for what would ordinarily be two class periods.
A large tawny owl soared down to Neville Longbottom and deposited a parcel in his lap - Neville almost always forgot to pack something.
As well as reminding us of Neville Longbottom's poor memory, this shows us that the Longbottoms' family owl is a tawny. (This owl wouldn't be Neville's personal pet, since the owl must be staying with Neville's gran to have delivered a package from her so quickly.)
On the other side of the Hall Draco Malfoy's eagle owl had landed on his shoulder, carrying what looked like his usual supply of sweets and cakes from home.
...until they arrived at greenhouse three...
"Wear your dragon-hide gloves..."
These were a required purchase before Harry's first year at Hogwarts, and are now being shown to be intended for use as safety gear rather than ordinary winter clothing. They definitely need something this strong to protect them against bubotuber pus....
The Slytherins had arrived. The speaker was Draco Malfoy. Crabbe and Goyle were chuckling appreciatively at his words.
Care of Magical Creatures is an elective for the fourth-year Slytherins, so it's possible that some of them do not take the class; we have never seen a complete roll of the Slytherins in the class, so we don't know. However, we have been shown enough Care of Magical Creatures lessons to make a partial list.
"I mean, what do they do?" asked Malfoy. "What is the point of them?"
This is actually a fair question; Malfoy just happens to have an unfortunate manner in asking it. It also serves to illustrate the difference between Malfoy's attitude toward magical creatures - what can they be used for - and Hagrid's, which is that they're interesting in and of themselves. However, I don't think anyone but Hagrid is happy learning about blast-ended skrewts however.
"We haven't got him 'til Thursday!" he said in a disappointed voice.
Since the next chapter indicates that two days pass between this remark and the fourth-year Gryffindors' first DADA lesson, we know that the action of this chapter is taking place on a Monday. The Gryffindors have seen Professor Moody administer a rather cruel and unusual punishment to Draco Malfoy and they know from Fred, George and Lee Jordan's remarks that Moody's classes are something special.
Exceptional character moments
Rita Skeeter, who doesn't get Arthur's name right in her article "FURTHER MISTAKES AT THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC". So much for truthful and accurate reporting, when she can't even get an easy fact like that right....
Ron wanting to savour the memory of Draco's punishment by Professor Moody.
Professor Trelawney getting an astrology prediction about Harry completely wrong and then showing a bit of temper when the class doesn't take her subject seriously.
"First pus and now this," muttered Seamus.
"I was saying that Saturn was surely in a position of power in the heavens at the moment of your birth … your dark hair … your mean stature … tragic losses so young in life … I think I am right in saying, my dear, that you were born in mid-winter?"
"No," said Harry, "I was born in July."
"Imagine them not even getting his name right, Weasley, it's almost as though he's a complete nonentity, isn't it?"
"What - what are you doing?" said Professor McGonagall, her eyes following the bouncing ferret's progress through the air.
"Teaching," said Moody.
"Teach– Moody, is that a student?"
"Because I want to fix that in my memory forever," said Ron, his eyes closed and an uplifted expression on his face. "Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret..."
Words and phrases
From the Web
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