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The Weighing of the Wands

- Chapter 18

"The Weighing of the Wands is about to start, and it cannot take place if one of our champions is hidden in a broom cupboard."
- - Albus Dumbledore

GF18: The Weighing of the Wands

Hermione tries to help Harry, persuading him to write to Sirius Black. The other Houses (Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw) are no longer friendly to Harry, but he finds an ally in Hagrid. As the situation in the school grows worse, Draco Malfoy taunts Harry into throwing a curse; Malfoy responds, the curses clash, and hit Goyle and Hermione. Harry is called out of Potions for the Weighing of the Wands and meets Rita Skeeter, who is covering the ceremony for the Daily Prophet. Later in the day, an owl arrives from Sirius Black asking Harry to meet him.

Calendar and Dates

The chapter begins on Sunday morning, the morning after the Hallow'een feast, which dates it as Sunday, 1 November 1994. The Weighing of the Wands takes place on the second Friday after that, which dates the end of the chapter as Friday, 13 November.

Interesting facts and notes

The chapter title is using "weighing" in the figurative sense of "evaluating".

"I'm not telling him anything," Hermione said shortly. "Tell him yourself, it's the only way to sort this out."

Very wise of Hermione to refuse to be the "go-between".

"School champion … everythin' seems ter happen ter you, doesn' it?"

More and more Harry becomes the "Chosen One" and growing towards his eventual fate.

He had already struggled through one Friday's worth

That would have been Friday, 6 November, so today's Potions lesson and the Weighing of the Wands are taking place on Friday, 13 November. This conflicts with the amount of time that is to elapse before some of the events in the next chapter, however (GF19).

Harry et al with Snape and Slytherins.

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Hermione is right. The badges really aren't very witty. But it is surprising that none of the teachers seem to notice them or the message they carry.

crocodile-skin handbag

This reference may not survive translation from English to other languages. In the same sense as the expression "crocodile tears" (false tears), one figurative sense of the word "crocodile" is to refer to a person who hypocritically or maliciously pretends to express sadness (NSOED). Rita Skeeter certainly has the malice and the hypocrisy, as we will see for ourselves later.

"Testing … my name is Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet reporter."
Harry looked down quickly at the quill. The moment Rita Skeeter had spoken, the green quill had started to scribble, skidding across the parchment:
Attractive blonde Rita Skeeter, forty-three, whose savage quill has punctured many inflated reputations –

The use of the Quick-Quotes Quill contributes to the way the articles that Rita writes go astray from the truth. Is it specially attuned to her personal style or would all these quills write in the same way?

"Dumbledore!.... How are you?.... I hope you saw my piece over the summer about the International Confederation of Wizards’ Conference?"
"Enchantingly nasty.... I particularly enjoyed your description of me as an obsolete dingbat."

Rita and Dumbledore are obviously used to verbally sparring with each other. Earlier, Arthur Weasley had not been surprised that the article in the Daily Prophet about the Quidditch World Cup disaster had been written by her, and she continued through the summer to write articles about the Ministry that contained half-truths and insinuations (GF10).

He was very fond of his wand, and as far as he was concerned its relationship to Voldemort's wand was something it couldn't help - rather as he couldn't help being related to Aunt Petunia.

Nice one. Harry's blood relationship with Aunt Petunia has been a protection to him all these years, though he doesn't yet know it, and his wand's relationship to Voldemort's will save his life a few months from now.

Exceptional character moments

Ron's jealousy of Harry going to extreme lengths

How upset the Hufflepuffs are to have to share their chance of glory with Harry and Gryffindor

Harry's suppressed hurt and anger boiling over when Draco calls Hermione a Mudblood

Professor Snape callously saying that Hermione looks no different when her teeth have been hugely enlarged by Draco's jinx

Dumbledore and Rita's exchange of "pleasantries".

Memorable lines

"Look," said Hermione patiently, "it's always you who gets all the attention, you know it is. I know it’s not your fault...."

"I will be delighted to hear the reasoning behind the rudeness, Rita," said Dumbledore, with a courteous bow and a smile, "but I'm afraid we will have to discuss the matter later. The Weighing of the Wands is about to start, and it cannot take place if one of our champions is hidden in a broom cupboard."

"An 'air from ze 'ead of a Veela," said Fleur. "One of my grandmuzzer's."
So Fleur was part Veela, thought Harry, making a mental note to tell Ron … then he remembered that Ron wasn’t speaking to him.

He was very fond of his wand, and as far as he was concerned its relationship to Voldemort's wand was something it couldn't help - rather as he couldn't help being related to Aunt Petunia.

Words and phrases

Characters Introduced

GF 18 — The Weighing of the Wands
Author
Publication
Abbreviation GF18: The Weighing of the Wands
Canonicity Primary Canon

Commentary

Related images:

Harry et al with Snape and Slytherins.     Triwizard Tournament champions with trophy.     

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):

MuggleNet:

Harry Potter Wiki:

WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features: What's in a wand? Tree symbolism and wandlore in Harry Potter

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