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Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four

- Chapter 17

"Does this mean they're going to shut down the Gobstones Club?"
-- a worried second-year Gryffindor student (OP17)

OP17: Educational Decree Number Twenty-four

The High Inquisitor orders all “Student Organisations, Societies, Teams, Groups and Clubs” disbanded, Harry and Ron learn that boys are not allowed in the girls’ dormitory, Hedwig is hurt coming back from London, and Sirius Black is almost caught by Dolores Umbridge in the Gryffindor common room fireplace.

Calendar and Dates

The entire chapter takes place over the course of one day, the Monday following the first Hogsmeade weekend (the first weekend in October).  Since 2 September was a Monday, this date has to be 7 October.

Interesting facts and notes

All student organisations, societies, teams, groups and clubs are henceforth disbanded.
An organisation, society, team, group or club is hereby defined as a regular meeting of three or more students.
Permission to re-form may be sought from the High Inquisitor (Professor Umbridge).
No student organisation, society, team, group or club may exist without the knowledge and approval of the High Inquisitor.
Any student found to have formed, or to belong to, an organisation, society, team, group or club that has not been approved by the High Inquisitor will be expelled.
The above is in accordance with Educational Decree Number Twenty-four.
Signed: Dolores Jane Umbridge, High Inquisitor

How much does Dolores Umbridge know? And, how did she find out? The decree itself it quite pointedly aimed at the formation of the D.A. So who is the spy?

Dolores Umbridge, with quill and clipboard.

"No, they can't have done, because I put a jinx on that piece of parchment we all signed," said Hermione grimly. "Believe me, if anyone's run off and told Umbridge, we'll know exactly who they are and they will really regret it."

Hermione really has thought about what a secret society needs to have in place to protect itself. Being a model student and a Hogwarts prefect she certainly doesn't want to get caught.

Neville's face was scarlet; the pressure Harry was exerting on his throat rendered him quite incomprehensible, but odd words spluttered from his mouth.
"Not...funny...don't... Mungo's... show...him..."

Other than Harry (who found out from viewing the Pensieve in GF30 what happened to Neville Longbottom's parents), his fellow students don't know why Neville is so upset. Possibly one of the children of a Death Eater (Draco Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle) or a previous war history buff may know, but it seems unlikely.

A hand had appeared amongst the flames, groping as though to catch hold of something; a stubby, short-fingered hand covered in ugly old-fashioned rings.

It is also later confirmed that the Ministry of Magic is ensuring that

"All channels of communication in and out of this school are being monitored. A Floo Network Regulator is keeping watch over every fire in Hogwarts...." (OP28).

Exceptional character moments

Hermione having thought far ahead enough to have put a jinx on the Dumbledore's Army list.

Ginny's exasperation at Michael Corner and Hermione's with other members of the D.A. making it obvious they need to talk to Harry about the new Educational Decree.

Harry restraining Neville from trying to fight with Draco Malfoy, but also keeping Neville's secret from Ron and Hermione

Memorable lines

He was on the sixth stair when there was a loud, wailing, klaxon-like sound and the steps melted together to make a long, smooth stone slide like a helter-skelter. There was a brief moment when Ron tried to keep running, arms working madly like windmills, then he toppled over backwards and shot down the newly created slide, coming to rest on his back at Harry's feet.
"Er - I don't think we’re allowed in the girls' dormitories," said Harry, pulling Ron to his feet and trying not to laugh.

"Well, put it this way," said Hermione, "it'll make Eloise Midgeon's acne look like a couple of cute freckles."

"You know, I don't get why Fred and George only got three O.W.L.s each," said Harry, watching as Fred, George and Lee collected gold from the eager crowd. "They really know their stuff."

"First of all, Ron - I've sworn to pass on a message from your mother. She says on no account whatsoever are you to take part in an illegal secret Defence Against the Dark Arts group. She says you'll be expelled for sure and your future will be ruined. She says there will be plenty of time to learn how to defend yourself later and that you are too young to be worrying about that right now. She also" - Sirius's eyes turned to the other two - "advises Harry and Hermione not to proceed with the group, though she accepts that she has no authority over either of them and simply begs them to remember that she has their best interests at heart."

Words and phrases

OP 17 — Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four
Abbreviation OP17: Educational Decree Number Twenty-four
Canonicity Primary Canon


Related images:

Dolores Umbridge, with quill and clipboard.   Umbridge's hand reaching out of fireplace.

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: anger anxiety black club cold dark disbelief dormitory fights fire fireplaces fraud freckles furious groups happy hate homework knitting laughing letters luck old orange permission portrait pub purple rules short stone students team temper tired trees trust ugly vanish/vanishing

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