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The Egg and the Eye

- Chapter 25
GF25: The Egg and the Eye

Harry works on solving the secret of the golden egg in the Prefects’ bathroom and is helped by Moaning Myrtle. He sees Crouch on the Marauder’s Map and, attempting to investigate, gets stuck in the stairs. With Moody‘s help he manages to avoid discovery by Snape, and agrees to let the former borrow the map.

Calendar and Dates

The action of this chapter takes place on the Thursday after the Hogsmeade visit of the previous chapter.

Interesting facts and notes

"The Egg" refers to the golden egg, while "The Eye" refers to Moody's magical eye.

The entire phrase is reminiscent of the title of the book The Egg and I; although, far from lacking running water and other amenities as that story did, the setting of most of this chapter is the opulent Prefects' bathroom.

Mermaid window in Prefects' Bathroom

he decided to do it at night

But not on the night of the same day as the events of the previous chapter, which was a Saturday.

Harry planned his excursion carefully,

He actually took several days to do so, from Saturday afternoon until Thursday night.

because he had been caught out of bed and out of bounds by Filch the caretaker in the middle of the night once before

That was the night that Harry and Hermione smuggled Norbert up to the top of the Astronomy Tower during their first year (PS14).

Harry had the heavy egg under one arm

The details of the egg's awkward size and weight were glossed over in the film, in which it was easily picked up in one hand.

On Thursday night

The rest of the action of this chapter takes place upon this particular Thursday night.

he reached the statue of Boris the Bewildered, a lost-looking wizard with his gloves on the wrong hands,

We have little information about this character. What was he known for? Surely he must have been memorable enough for someone to create a statue of him.

His immediate reaction was that it would be worth becoming a prefect just to be able to use this bathroom....Highly enjoyable though it was to swim in hot and foamy water with clouds of different-colored steam wafting all around him,

That indeed sounds like a great perk for the extra responsibility!

"I'm not supposed to come into your bathroom, am I? It's a girls' one."
"You didn't used to care," said Myrtle miserably. "You used to be in there all the time."

Has it been two years already since the Polyjuice Potion? How time flies, it seems. (And, so it also seems, Myrtle has not forgotten her visitors.)

Harry in prefects' bathtub with mermaid picture.

He wasn't a very good swimmer; he'd never had much practice. Dudley had had lessons in his youth, but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, no doubt hoping that Harry would drown one day, hadn't bothered to give him any.

Yet another example of the Dursleys' cruelty.

"Nobody missed me even when I was alive. Took them hours and hours to find my body - I know, I was sitting there waiting for them. Olive Hornby came into the bathroom....And then she saw my body . . . ooooh, she didn't forget it until her dying day, I made sure of that..."

Here we see a deeper side of Myrtle. How painful it must have been not to have anyone looking for her. Perhaps she can be forgiven for lashing out against Olive, whose teasing had fatefully driven her into the bathroom.

“--and then, of course, she went to the Ministry of Magic to stop me stalking her, so I had to come back here and live in my toilet."

This comment gives us some insight into the ghosts of the Potter universe--specifically, that they seem to have the ability to travel without being tied to their place of death.

Mr. Crouch was supposed to be too ill to go to work or to come to the Yule Ball - so what was he doing, sneaking into Hogwarts at one o'clock in the morning? 

What was he doing in Snape's office, indeed?

Harry hesitated, thinking . . . and then his curiosity got the bet­ter of him.

For neither the first time, as we've discovered, nor the last.

It just did­n't seem in character, somehow, for correct, law-abiding Mr. Crouch to be sneaking around somebody else's office this late at night....

If only Harry knew how correct he was.

Mrs. Morris's lamp-like eyes, so very like her masters, were fixed directly upon Harry. He had had occasion before now to wonder whether the Invisibility Cloak worked on cats.

A good question indeed. Perhaps their heightened senses can still pick up the scent of the person under the cloak?

"Not hiding anything else in your office, are you?"
"You know I'm hiding nothing, Moody," [Snape] said in a soft and dangerous voice, "as you've searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself."
Moodys face twisted into a smile. "Auror's privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -"
"Dumbledore happens to trust me,” said Snape through clenched teeth. "I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!"
"Course Dumbledore trusts you," growled Moody. "Hes a trusting man, isn't he? Believes in second chances. But me - I say there are spots that don't come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"
Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

This is a very poignant exchange. What was the rest of Moody's statement? Who or what did Dumbledore entrust him to "keep an eye on"? Did Dumbledore allow him to search the castle as he saw fit? What else is he allowing Moody to do in the name of safety?

It is interesting that, if we are to believe Moody, Snape trusts Dumbledore more than the reverse. What is Moody gaining by planting this thought in Snape's head?

What happened to Snape's arm to cause him pain? Is there a history we are not aware of between the two, secrets that Moody knows about Snape and vice versa? We will of course learn more in due time.

"Prowl away," said Moody, but his voice was full of menace. "I look forward to meeting you in a dark corridor some time...."

A duel between the two professors would be most inappropriate, but, considering their respective skills, surely would also be a good show.

Harry could tell he was putting two and two together, as only Snape could. . . .

In his own way, Harry at least respects the strength of his foe's intellect.

"There's nothing there, Snape!" barked Moody, "but I'll be happy to tell the headmaster how quickly your mind jumped to Harry Potter!...Dumbledore's very interested to know who's got it in for that boy! And so am I, Snape . . . very interested...."
"I merely thought," said Snape, in a voice of forced calm, "that if Potter was wandering around after hours again ... it's an unfortu­nate habit of his ... he should be stopped. For - for his own safety."
"Ah, I see," said Moody softly. "Got Potter's best interests at heart, have you?"

Snape's suspicions were correct--Harry does have a habit of wandering around, including tonight-- but Moody knows just the right buttons to press to make him back down. It certainly doesn't help that Snape's made no secret of his loathing for our protagonist.

"Put it this way. Potter," Moody muttered finally, "they say old Mad-Eye's obsessed with catching Dark wizards . . . but I'm noth­ing – nothing - compared to Barty Crouch."

We will find out just what stakes Mr. Crouch has in this hunt in coming chapters.

"Oh if there's one thing I hate," he muttered, more to himself than to Harry, and his magical eye was fixed on the left-hand corner of the map, "its a Death Eater who walked free. ..."
Harry stared at him. Could Moody possibly mean what Harry thought he meant?

Why Harry didn't pursue this new line of thought with Moody further is curious. This was a prime opportunity to get information!

And Moody thought he, Harry, ought to be an Auror! Interest­ing idea.. . but somehow...he thought he'd like to check how scarred the rest of them were before he chose it as a career.

Rather an odd thing for Harry to worry about, considering how often--as recently as an hour ago--he takes on the risky job of investigating into mysterious goings-on.

Exceptional character moments

Myrtle's apparent resentment of the flirtatious mermaid painting, although she herself admits to sometimes spying on Prefects as they bathe.

Myrtle's enjoyment at bossing Harry around a bit.

Snape and Filch arguing about what to investigate first, Peeves or Snape's cupboard.

Snape and Moody arguing over whether the former is trustworthy and is looking out for Harry's safety, with lots of subtext and hints of past history.

Memorable lines

At the foot of the stairs stood the only person who could make Harry's situation worse: Snape.

"the headmaster will have to listen to me this time," said Filch, "Peeves has been stealing from a student, it might be my chance to get him thrown out of the castle once and for all-"

"Pajama party, is it?" growled Moody.

Words and phrases

Commentary

Related Images:

Harry in prefects' bathtub with mermaid picture.   Mermaid window in Prefects' Bathroom 

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The Harry Potter Canon