Broomsticks Gryffindor Hogwarts Notable Witches and Wizards Quidditch

Elf Tails

- Chapter 19

"So, all in all, not one of Ron's better birthdays?"
-- Fred Weasley

HBP19: Elf Tails

Harry discusses Ron’s poisoning with the Weasleys, Hagrid tells Harry that he overheard Professors Dumbledore and Snape arguing. Cormac McLaggen accosts Harry to ensure he can play in Ron’s place in the upcoming Quidditch match, and Harry finds that Ron has been avoiding Lavender Brown. At the Quidditch match (with Luna Lovegood commentating!), McLaggen grabs a beaters’ bat and cracks Harry’s skull. Finally, in the hospital wing, Harry summons the house-elves Kreacher and Dobby and orders them to tail Draco Malfoy and figure out what he’s up to.

Calendar and Dates

This picture shows a quidditch match.The chapter continues on 1 March, Ron's birthday. McLaggen says the Quidditch match is "next week," presumably meaning Saturday, 8 March, and this is the day on which the chapter ends.

Interesting facts and notes

A chapter which has the aftermath of Harry rescuing yet another member of the Weasley family, Luna Lovegood bringing a new style to Quidditch match commentary, Cormac McLaggen going a step too far to prove he is an idiot and Harry still trying to follow Draco Malfoy.

Hagrid came striding towards them, a crossbow in his hand, bearskin coat flapping behind him

Odd. In previous books Hagrid has always been mentioned as wearing a moleskin overcoat, not bearskin. Possibly this is a glitch, or possibly it's just a different coat.

"I can't see anyone trying to bump off a Quidditch team," said George.
"Wood might've done the Slytherins if he could've got away with it," said Fred fairly.

:) Oliver Wood, of course, was the crazed captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team for Harry's first three years at Hogwarts.

"I dunno, Harry, I shouldn't'a heard it at all! I - well, I was comin' outta the Forest the other evenin' an' I overheard 'em talkin' - well, arguin'."

I hope that somebody sometime gives Hagrid a memory potion or something so that we can find out what exactly was said, but that's only a wistful hope.

Potion master's room (UK edition only)

(in the UK edition only) Sigh. I spend a lot of time bawling people out (not Lexicon staffers, but elsewhere) for typos like this. It should be Potions master, and in fact is corrected that way in the US edition.

Loser's Lurgy


"I don't want to stay here overnight," said Harry angrily, sitting up and throwing back his covers. "I want to find McLaggen and kill him."
"I'm afraid that would come under the heading of 'over-exertion'," said Madam Pomfrey, pushing him firmly back on to the bed and raising her wand in a threatening manner.

I've always hesitated to annotate Madam Pomfrey's surname, and at this point I'm not sure whether I ever did. "Comfrey" (note the C, hence the hesitation in tying it to Pomfrey-with-a-P) is a healing herb, also occasionally called knitbone, and we've heard a lot about how good Madam Pomfrey is at mending bones. (Her given name, Poppy, is also of course the name of a flower that can be used to make powerful pain-killers, such as morphine.)

"Master wants me to follow the youngest of the Malfoys?" croaked Kreacher. "Master wants me to spy upon the pureblood great-nephew of my old mistress?"
"That's the one," said Harry, foreseeing a great danger and determining to prevent it immediately. "And you're forbidden to tip him off, Kreacher, or to show him what you're up to, or to talk to him at all, or to write him messages, or … or to contact him in any way. Got it?"

Harry is obsessed with what finding out what Draco Malfoy is up to. It will end in tears.... Also, Hermione would probably object to employing the house-elves in this way. Kreacher has to do what his master Harry says. Dobby does it for the love of Harry.

Exceptional character moments

Fred and George Weasley, who do have heads for business, knowing that they can't buy Zonko's Joke Shop in Hogsmeade to make it a branch of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes if Hogwarts students aren't allowed out for Hogsmeade weekends.

Cormac McLaggen breaks Harry's skull with a beater's bat during the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch match.

Dobby punches Kreacher in the mouth after he insults Harry Potter.

Peeves enjoying the fight between the two house-elves way too much.

Memorable lines

"No more than six visitors at a time!" said Madam Pomfrey, hurrying out of her office.
"Hagrid makes six," George pointed out.
"Oh... yes..." said Madam Pomfrey, who seemed to have been counting Hagrid as several people due to his vastness.

"I can't see anyone trying to bump off a Quidditch team," said George.
"Wood might've done the Slytherins if he could've got away with it," said Fred fairly.

Surely nobody in their right mind would have let Luna Lovegood commentate?

...but Luna did not seem to have noticed; she appeared singularly uninterested in such mundane things as the score, and kept attempting to draw the crowd's attention to such things as interestingly shaped clouds and the possibility that Zacharias Smith, who had so far failed to maintain possession of the Quaffle for longer than a minute, was suffering from something called "Loser's Lurgy."

Words and phrases

Characters Introduced

HBP 19 — Elf Tails
Abbreviation HBP19: Elf Tails
Canonicity Primary Canon


Related images:

This picture shows a quidditch match.

Lexicon timeline of Quidditch

Lexicon list of School Quidditch teams

Lexicon essay: An Almanac of Quidditch at Hogwarts by Philip Legge

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: anger arguments attacks discussion fights flying hospital illnesses and injury injuries match news poisons prejudice red resentment skull tail teams

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The Harry Potter Canon