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The Hogwarts High Inquisitor

- Chapter 15

"Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher," said Harry loudly, "there was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head."
-- Harry Potter (OP15)

OP15: The Hogwarts High Inquisitor

Umbridge is made Hogwarts High Inquisitor, and Harry loses his temper again in Defense Against the Dark Arts, serving another week’s detention. Umbridge observes the professors in class, and Ron and Hermione try to convince Harry to give Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons.

Calendar and Dates

The chapter begins at breakfast on Monday morning, the second week of classes. It then covers Harry's classes for Monday and Tuesday, and ends with Hermione asking Harry to teach Defense in the Gryffindor Common Room, Tuesday night. Since the first week of classes began on 2 September, these two days must be the 9th and 10th.

Interesting facts and notes

"I feel much easier in my mind now that I know Dumbledore is being subjected to fair and objective evaluation," said Mr. Lucius Malfoy, 41, speaking from his Wiltshire mansion last night.

Since this is September of 1995, we know that Lucius Malfoy was born in 1954. Wiltshire is a county in England located west of London.

'Wizengamot elders Griselda Marchbanks and Tiberius Ogden have resigned in protest at the introduction of the post of Inquisitor to Hogwarts.

While not capitalized, the two members are given the honorific "elders." Both Marchbanks and Ogden come to Hogwarts the following spring to administer O.W.L. tests.

But Professor Umbridge was not inspecting their History of Magic lesson, which was just as dull as the previous Monday ... nor was she in Snape's dungeon when they arrived for double Potions

So we know that the Fifth Years have History of Magic and Potions on Monday morning.

'Who've you got this afternoon?' Fred asked Harry.
Trelawney -'

So Monday afternoon is Divination.

'Lets say I dreamed I was… drowning Snape in my cauldron. Yeah, that'll do…'
Ron chortled as he opened his Dream Oracle.
'OK, we've got to add your age to the date you had the dream, the number of letters in the subject… would that be "drowning" or "cauldron" or "Snape"?'
'It doesn't matter, pick any of them,' said Harry, chancing a glance behind him.

This method of "divination" appears to be little more than a fortune telling parlor game.

'Now,' said Umbridge, looking up at Trelawney, 'you've been in this post how long, exactly?'
...  'Nearly sixteen years.'

So we can work out that the infamous first prophecy which Trelawney made in the Hog's Head, the one which Voldemort was so interested in hearing, happened in 1979. It would seem that she was offered the post of Divination teacher after the start of the school year, since she says "nearly sixteen years."

'I am afraid… I am afraid that you are in grave danger!' Professor Trelawney finished dramatically.

As a matter of fact, Umbridge will be in grave danger the following June. Maybe Trelawney's abilities as a Seer are a bit more genuine than we think.

when the bell rang she descended the silver ladder first and was waiting for them all when they reached their Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson ten minutes later.

And the last class of Monday is Defense Against the Dark Arts. Hermione, as we shall see in a moment, was in Arithmancy while the boys had Divination.

on Tuesday ... all through Charms, but when they entered Transfiguration he forgot about being cross with her...

And now we have the Tuesday morning schedule. After Transfiguration, they have Care of Magical Creatures, as we'll see a bit farther on in the chapter.

'How long have you been teaching at Hogwarts?' Professor Umbridge asked.
Thirty-nine years this December,' said Professor McGonagall brusquely, snapping her bag shut.

Either McGonagall is lying here, which seems unlikely, or she can't have been a teacher at Hogwarts in "Crimes of Grindelwald."

'Oh, I'll take them through the creatures that most often come up in OWL,' said Professor Grubbly-Plank. 'Not much left to do - they've studied unicorns and Nifflers, I thought we'd cover Porlocks and Kneazles, make sure they can recognise Crups and Knarls, you know…'

Each of these creatures is found in the Muggle version of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was published a year and a half before this book.

Exceptional character moments

'I - but - but… wait!' said Professor Trelawney suddenly, in an attempt at her usual ethereal voice, though the mystical effect was ruined somewhat by the way it was shaking with anger. 'I… I think I do see something… something that concerns you… why, I sense something… something dark… some grave peril…'
Professor Trelawney pointed a shaking finger at Professor Umbridge who continued to smile blandly at her, eyebrows raised.
'I am afraid… I am afraid that you are in grave danger!' Professor Trelawney finished dramatically.

Professor Umbridge made a note.
'Very well,' she said, 'you will receive the results of your inspection in ten days' time.'
'I can hardly wait,' said Professor McGonagall, in a coldly indifferent voice, and she strode off towards the door.

'Listen to me!' said Harry, almost angrily, because Ron and Hermione were both smirking now. 'Just listen to me, all right? It sounds great when you say it like that, but all that stuff was luck - I didn't know what I was doing half the time, I didn't plan any of it, I just did whatever I could think of, and I nearly always had help -'

'You don't know what it's like! You - neither of you - you've never had to face him, have you? You think it's just memorising a bunch of spells and throwing them at him, like you're in class or something? The whole time you're sure you know there's nothing between you and dying except your own - your own brain or guts or whatever -like you can think straight when you know you're about a nanosecond from being murdered, or tortured, or watching your friends die -they've never taught us that in their classes, what it's like to deal with things like that - and you two sit there acting like I'm a clever little boy to be standing here, alive, like Diggory was stupid, like he messed up — you just don't get it, that could just as easily have been me, it would have been if Voldemort hadn't needed me -'

Memorable lines

"T?" asked Hermione, looking appalled. "Even lower than a D? What on earth does that stand for?" "Troll," said George promptly. Harry laughed again, though he was not sure whether or not George was joking. He imagined trying to conceal from Hermione that he had received T's in all his O.W.L.s and immediately resolved to work harder from now on.

"Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher," said Harry loudly, "there was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head."

'But this is much more important than homework!' said Hermione.
Harry and Ron goggled at her.'I didn't think there was anything in the universe more important than homework!' said Ron.


Related images:

  Harry writing standards for Professor Umbridge.

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