"If you went out and got a bit of snogging done yourself you wouldn't mind so much that everyone else does it."
-- Ginny Weasley
Hermione and Ron discuss the Slug Club in Herbology class and Harry notices an attraction between them. Dean Thomas takes Katie Bell’s place on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and Harry and Ron run into Ginny Weasley and Dean kissing. Ron gets upset and Ginny tells him off, but Harry starts thinking of kissing Ginny himself. Ron becomes angry and plays terribly during the next practice, but for the actual match Harry pretends to slip him Felix Felicis, giving him confidence, and Gryffindor wins. After the game, Ron is spotted kissing Lavender Brown, leaving Hermione heart-broken.
Calendar and Dates
The chapter begins the morning after the end of the previous chapter, a Tuesday in mid-October. Then "one day" that we know nothing else about except that it's a weekday, Harry invites Dean Thomas to play on the Quidditch team; a "few days" later is the eve of the Quidditch match (a Friday) and the Quidditch match, on a Saturday, ends the chapter. Unfortunately, the references to passing time are all so vague it's impossible to put even relative dates on the events of this chapter.
Interesting facts and notes
A chapter full of Quidditch and relationships.
"I mean, he drones on about famous ex-pupils a bit, and he absolutely fawns on McLaggen because he's so well-connected, but he gave us some really nice food and he introduced us to Gwenog Jones."
Ron is jealous of Hermione going to Horace Slughorn's rooms for the Slug Club party and, being jealous, pokes fun at her and Cormac McLaggen. The subsequent disagreement does sound like a lover's tiff - making Harry realise that his two best friends are attracted to each other.
When Harry pushed open the tapestry to take their usual short cut up to Gryffindor Tower, however, they found themselves looking at Dean and Ginny, who were locked in a close embrace and kissing fiercely as if glued together.
Now it is Harry's turn to experience jealousy - and "a savage urge to jinx Dean into a jelly".
"D'you think I want people saying my sister's a –"
"A what? .... A what, exactly? .... Just because he's never snogged anyone in his life, just because the best kiss he's ever had is from our Auntie Muriel –"
Ginny Weasley's reaction to her brother Ron's interference in her love life is understandable. The word he almost calls her is probably "slag" - and she in no way deserves that label. Ron needs to grow up.
It seemed as though Gryffindor could do no wrong. Again and again they scored, and again and again, at the other end of the pitch, Ron saved goals with apparent ease. He was actually smiling now, and when the crowd greeted a particularly good save with a rousing chorus of the old favourite Weasley is our King, he pretended to conduct them from on high.
It is a relief to have a Quidditch match to counterpoint all that love angst in the air. Ron thinks he has been given some Felix Felicis potion, and this gives him so much confidence he saves the Slytherin team's attempted goals.
"Looking for Ron?" she asked, smirking. "He's over there, the filthy hypocrite."
"It looks like he’s eating her face, doesn’t it? .... But I suppose he’s got to refine his technique somehow."
Harry spun round to see Hermione pointing her wand at Ron, her expression wild: the little flock of birds was speeding like a hail of fat golden bullets towards Ron, who yelped and covered his face with his hands, but the birds attacked, pecking and clawing at every bit of flesh they could reach.
Hermione has tried with Ron - short of declaring her love outright, but he is possibly too afraid of her sharp mind and truthfulness. That is the essence of Hermione. Ron thinks he wants uncomplicated admiration. But beware of what you wish for....
Exceptional character moments
Ron's jealousy and confusion tripping him up about love, and his insecurities and lack of confidence tripping him up on the Quidditch pitch.
Harry's realisation that he loves Ginny and the vortex of his thoughts about why he shouldn't (or should) love her.
Hermione's frustrations with Ron finally breaking out into a bird attack.
"Ron... you're my best mate, but carry on treating the rest of them like this and I'm going to kick you off the team."
"Hark who's talking. Confunded anyone lately?"
With one last look of vindictive fury, Hermione wrenched open the door and disappeared through it. Harry thought he heard a sob before it slammed.
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore): Potions
- Felix Felicis – Part 1: Felix’s Helping Hand
- MuggleCast Episode #402: Snogging (HBP Chapter 14, Felix Felicis)
- He’s a Keeper: How Ron’s Insecurities About Quidditch Keep Him from Dating Hermione
Harry Potter Wiki:
The-Leaky-Cauldron essay: Quidditch in Harry Potter
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features: