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St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

- Chapter 22

"This is how it is - this is why you're not in the Order - you don't understand - there are things worth dying for!"
-- Sirius Black (OP22)

OP22: St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

Arthur Weasley is rushed to St. Mungo’s Hospital, Albus Dumbledore sends Harry and the Weasley children back to Sirius Black’s house, and they visit Arthur in hospital as he makes his recovery.

Calendar and Dates

We know that the Harry's vision of Arthur Weasley and the snake happens on a Wednesday night, since they visit Arthur in the hospital the next day (Thursday) and Hermione shows up the following day (Friday) saying it was the last day of term.  We also know that this takes place the final week before Christmas, so using September 2 as a Monday - the first day of term - we can deduce that this chapter takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, December 18 and 19.


Interesting facts and notes

The floor guide of St. Mungo's Hospital gives us quite a lot of information about the place in addition to the parts actually visited by Harry and his friends. The patients and their problems are an interesting source of medical magic information.

In passing, we also encounter the first werewolf we've met up to this point other than Remus Lupin (though not the last we're going to meet).

raising an unusually thick wand that looked not unlike a birch rod

This is consistent with J K Rowling's remarks elsewhere that birch is a wand wood (JKR, Wnds).

"Sirius knows not to destroy your portrait," said Dumbledore, and Harry realised immediately where he had heard Phineas’s voice before: issuing from the apparently empty frame in his bedroom in Grimmauld Place.

This is a portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black - an ancestor of Sirius Black's and also a previous Headmaster of Hogwarts School.

If Harry had ever sat through a longer night than this one he could not remember it.

This is a universal feeling - whenever you are waiting inside or outside of a hospital - in both the Muggle and wizarding world.

a station in the very heart of London

So wherever St. Mungo's is, it's far enough from Grimmauld Place that it's faster to take the Underground than to walk.

Harry thought how absurd it was for Tonks to expect the dummy to hear her talking so quietly through a sheet of glass, with buses rumbling along behind her and all the racket of a street full of shoppers. Then he reminded himself that dummies couldn’t hear anyway. Next second, his mouth opened in shock as the dummy gave a tiny nod and beckoned with its jointed finger, and Tonks had seized Ginny and Mrs Weasley by the elbows, stepped right through the glass and vanished.

The entrance to St. Mungo's Hospital is described as being on a "broad store-lined street packed with Christmas shoppers" behind a closed department store. At the time this book was being written (2000-2002) there was a large empty department store - the C&A on Oxford Street - which may have inspired J K Rowling's description of Purge & Dowse.

One of his jinxes backfired, the toilet exploded and they found him lying unconscious in the wreckage covered from head to foot in -

In other words, the regurgitating toilet that Arthur Weasley had to deal with on the day of Harry's disciplinary hearing (OP7, OP8) counts as a jinx, not a magical item / device.

Exceptional character moments

The world-weary "welcome witch" at St. Mungo's Hospital's Enquiries Desk, who has seen it all before and doesn't really seem to be enjoying her job much.

Molly Weasley including Harry as part of the family - and they all go in together to see Arthur first.

Arthur Weasley who, even in hospital on a course of Blood-Replenishing Potion, still manages to work up enthusiasm for the idea of possibly meeting a few Muggle patients.

Fred and George Weasley bringing along the correct number of Extendable Ears so they can hear what the grown-ups are talking about.

Memorable lines

"Your father knew what he was getting into, and he won't thank you for messing things up for the Order!" said Sirius angrily in his turn. "This is how it is - this is why you're not in the Order - you don't understand - there are things worth dying for!"

They greeted Tonks and Mad-Eye, who had turned up to escort them across London, gleefully laughing at the bowler hat Mad-Eye was wearing at an angle to conceal his magical eye and assuring him, truthfully, that Tonks, whose hair was short and bright pink again, would attract far less attention on the underground.

"The shoes don't prevent you reading, do they?"

A very old, stooped wizard with a hearing trumpet had shuffled to the front of the queue now. "I'm here to see Broderick Bode!" he wheezed. "Ward forty-nine, but I'm afraid you're wasting your time," said the witch dismissively. "He's completely addled, you know, still thinks he's a teapot.... Next!"

"Yeah, well," said Moody, "there's something funny about the Potter kid, we all know that."

Words and phrases

Characters Introduced

OP 22 — St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
Abbreviation OP22: St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
Canonicity Primary Canon


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