Dark Magic Gryffindor Healing Slytherin Spells Wizarding Culture


- Chapter 24

"Then why [...] does it have the name 'Roonil Wazlib' written inside the front cover?"
-- Severus Snape

HBP24: Sectumsempra

Ron and Ginny Weasley are both single again. Katie Bell returns to Hogwarts, but can’t remember what happened to her. Harry sees Draco Malfoy with Moaning Myrtle on the Marauder’s Map and runs to eavesdrop, but is shocked when he sees Malfoy crying. When Malfoy tries to hex Harry, Harry uses Sectumsempra on him without knowing what it does and slashes him apart. Professor Snape heals Malfoy, but gives Harry detention during the final Quidditch match and every Saturday for the rest of the year. Despite being without their captain, Gryffindor wins the match and the Quidditch Cup. When Harry arrives at the party, he finally kisses Ginny.

Calendar and Dates

The chapter begins the morning after the end of the previous chapter, or April 22. But here we encounter our first real problem - Katie Bell says that she was released from St. Mungo's Hospital on Monday, then returned to Hogwarts "a couple of days" later... meaning probably not Tuesday after all, unless it was actually a week she spent at home. Nevertheless, a fortnight (or about two weeks) later is "a few days before the match against Ravenclaw," and this would make more sense with the original day being a Tuesday, rather than a Thursday or Friday as Katie implied. So... sticking with the calendar anyway, this should be around May 6. The Quidditch match, therefore, would be Saturday the 10th.

Interesting facts and notes

A chapter with more love angst, a duel and an important Quidditch match leading to a kiss.

the next morning's Charms lesson

So Harry, Ron and Hermione all three take Charms, and sixth-year Charms has at least one morning class. (We at the Lexicon will attempt to draw up a timetable of classes and a calendar for sixth year if the thing can be done.)

Lavender Brown

So Lavender takes N.E.W.T. level Charms in sixth year as well.

turn vinegar into wine

A sixth-year Charms exercise. Why is this a Charms lesson and not Transfiguration? One possible explanation is that, given enough time and exposure to heat, wine will turn itself into vinegar; the substances are not very different chemically.

They let me out of St. Mungo's

Why didn't Professor McGonagall tell Gryffindor House that Katie Bell had been released from St. Mungo's?

on Monday, I had a couple of days at home with Mum and Dad and then came back here this morning.

From the sound of this, the current day in the story isn't a Monday, and seems most likely to be a Thursday.

The balmy days slid gently through May

More timeline information.

Who would have thought you knew such Dark Magic?

If Professor Snape isn't saying this just for the sake of playing with Harry's mind - and I don't get the impression that he is - it's interesting that he himself categorizes the spell that way.

He knew what Snape was going to do and he had never been able to prevent it...

But in fact, Snape doesn't need Legilimency to know that Sectumsempra was developed by the Half-Blood Prince and was written down in one of the old textbooks left lying around Hogwarts' Potions dungeon, as we shall see later (HBP28).

castle-proud house-elves

The usual Muggle expression for this is "house-proud", but as Hogwarts Castle obviously isn't a house...

detention with me every Saturday until the end of term

A little more information to help us figure out timelines.

I've got about a dozen detentions

A little more information to help us figure out timelines, and a reference for The Number Twelve. (In fact, since it's already at least May, "a dozen" is an exaggeration; term never lasts until the end of July at Hogwarts.)

boxes one thousand and twelve to one thousand and fifty-six

44 boxes worth of detention records? Are all of them the Marauders' records? One wonders how many boxes are taken up with the George and Fred Weasley's records...

the clock showed half-past twelve

So Harry's been at this for two and a half hours.

Harry looked around; there was Ginny running towards him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.

Love, finally.

Exceptional character moments

Draco Malfoy speaks to Moaning Myrtle about his fears and cries because he is afraid he will fail in the mission he was given.

Harry not being happy about having used Sectumsempra, but also unwilling to blame the Half-Blood Prince for writing it into his Potions book.

Memorable lines

"Oh, don't start acting as though you understand Quidditch," snapped Ginny, "you'll only embarrass yourself."

After several long moments - or it might have been half an hour - or possibly several sunlit days - they broke apart.

A long walk in the grounds seemed indicated, during which - if they had time - they might discuss the match.

Words and phrases

Characters Introduced

HBP 24 — Sectumsempra
Abbreviation HBP24: Sectumsempra
Canonicity Primary Canon


Related images:


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 attacks blood dark detentions duelling fear flying guilt half-blood healing homework illnesses and injury kissing match mirrors prejudice professors regret sadness scar scary shock snogging tears/tearful textbooks

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The Harry Potter Canon