"He's at perfect liberty to kiss whomever he likes." -- Hermione Granger
Hermione remains angry with Ron, but Harry tries to stay friends with both of them. He finds that girls are trying to seduce him and Romilda Vane tries to slip him a Love Potion. Harry asks Luna to Slughorn’s Christmas party, and Hermione invites McLaggen to upset Ron. After some general mingling at the party, Malfoy is caught prowling the corridors and Snape takes him away to an empty classroom, where Harry overhears Snape’s offers to help Malfoy and Draco’s refusals.
Calendar and Dates
An unspecified amount of time passes at the start of the chapter, but finally we are put back on track: it takes place the final two days of classes prior to Christmas break. According to the calendar as we have thus far (based on the date and day of Ron's birthday in HBP18), these two days should fall on Thursday and Friday, 19-20 December.
Interesting facts and notes
I thought Filch had banned anything bought at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes?
As part of their Owl Order Service, Fred and George send love potions disguised as perfumes and cough potions, and make sure to put this information on the back of the bottles.
Exceptional character moments
Draco shows a complete lack of respect for Professor Snape. Harry is surprised to hear Draco speak so rudely to a Professor whom he had always esteemed.
Harry had to put up with the frequent presence of Lavender Brown, who seemed to regard any moment that she was not kissing Ron as a moment wasted.
It seemed extraordinary that Hermione's mania for upholding rules could have abandoned her at this crucial juncture.
"What have you been doing to that book, you depraved boy?"
There was a noise like a plunger being withdrawn from a blocked sink and Ron surfaced.
"Wow, you like your Quidditch players, don't you? First Krum, then McLaggen..."
"I like really good Quidditch players," Hermione corrected her, still smiling.
Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge.
"The Aurors are part of the Rotfang Conspiracy, I thought everyone knew that. They're working to bring down the Ministry of Magic from within using a combination of Dark Magic and gum disease."