“You c-can’t!” howled Professor Trelawney, tears streaming down her face from behind her enormous lenses, “you c-can’t sack me! I’ve b-been here sixteen years! H-Hogwarts is m-my h-home!”
-- Sybill Trelawney (OP26)
Hermione gives Harry advice on his love life, Gryffindor continues its losing streak at Quidditch, and Harry’s article is published in The Quibbler – which is quickly outlawed at Hogwarts by Professor Umbridge. Harry has another disturbing dream from Lord Voldemort’s point of view, Harry continues his Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape, Professor Trelawney is sacked, and Firenze the centaur is hired to teach Divination.
Calendar and Dates
The chapter begins at "dinner Monday night" following Harry's date; since Valentine's Day was Saturday, this must be Monday 16 February. The Quibbler is published the next Monday the 23rd. The chapter ends "a couple of weeks" later, on an evening with an Occlumency lesson, so that's most likely Monday 8 March.
Interesting facts and notes
The chapter contains a lot of incidents: the aftermath of Harry's Hogsmeade date, a disappointing Quidditch match, the publication of Harry's interview with Rita Skeeter, the aftermath from the article, another difficult Occlumency session and a Divination crisis.
"Come on, Ginny's not bad," said George fairly, sitting down next to Fred. "Actually, I dunno how she got so good, seeing how we never let her play with us."
"She's been breaking into your broom shed in the garden since the age of six and taking each of your brooms out in turn when you weren't looking," said Hermione....
Ginny goes on to become a professional player after leaving school - as Chaser for the all-witch Holyhead Harpies.
"I haven't even got the heart to take the mickey out of him," said Fred, looking over at Ron’s crumpled figure. "Mind you … when he missed the fourteenth –"
Ron's confidence as Keeper hasn't improved enough for the Gryffindor team to win their match against Hufflepuff, although Ginny's catch of the Snitch keeps the final score close - which will prove to be very important later in the season.
"Oh, Harry, don't you see?" Hermione breathed. "If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!"
While at breakfast in the Great Hall, Harry receives a large number of both supportive and non-supportive letters by owl post along with his complementary copy of The Quibbler sent by Luna's father. This makes Dolores Umbridge so angry that she docks 50 points from Gryffindor and assigns Harry another week of detentions.
Meanwhile, Professor Umbridge was stalking the school, stopping students at random and demanding that they turn out their books and pockets: Harry knew she was looking for copies of The Quibbler, but the students were several steps ahead of her. The pages carrying Harry’s interview had been bewitched to resemble extracts from textbooks if anyone but themselves read it, or else wiped magically blank until they wanted to peruse it again.
Harry himself does something similar in his sixth year, when he needs to disguise his copy of Advanced Potion-Making. Students can be very resourceful when they want to be.
Snape staggered – his wand flew upwards, away from Harry – and suddenly Harry’s mind was teeming with memories that were not his: a hook-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman, while a small dark-haired boy cried in a corner … a greasy-haired teenager sat alone in a dark bedroom, pointing his wand at the ceiling, shooting down flies … a girl was laughing as a scrawny boy tried to mount a bucking broomstick –
Harry has his first success at Occlumency and sees some of Severus Snape's childhood memories. It is possible to start feeling sorry for Snape - this is the first time we've seen what his home life was like.
"....I have already found us a new Divination teacher, and he will prefer lodgings on the ground floor."
"You’ve found –? ....You’ve found? Might I remind you, Dumbledore, that under Educational Decree Number Twenty-two –"
"The Ministry has the right to appoint a suitable candidate if – and only if – the Headmaster is unable to find one.... And I am happy to say that on this occasion I have succeeded."
Dolores Umbridge's attempt to remove Professor Trelawney from the school is countered by Albus Dumbledore's forestalling her by already having appointed the next Divination teacher - the centaur Firenze.
Exceptional character moments
Luna Lovegood and her father's surprise that the March edition of The Quibbler had sold out and needed to be re-printed.
How Professor Umbridge banning The Quibbler meant that every student had read the article about Harry and many of them were carrying magically disguised copies.
The children of named Death Eaters - Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, Theodore Nott and Gregory Goyle - together in the Library planning their revenge.
The other teachers, especially Professor McGonagall who doesn't "rate" Divination, supporting Professor Trelawney when she is sacked by Dolores Umbridge.
"Well, he can do it if he doesn't think anyone's watching him," said Fred, rolling his eyes. "So all we have to do is ask the crowd to turn their backs and talk among themselves every time the Quaffle goes up his end on Saturday."
The teachers were, of course, forbidden from mentioning the interview by Educational Decree Number Twenty-six, but they found ways to express their feelings about it all the same. Professor Sprout awarded Gryffindor twenty points when Harry passed her a watering can; a beaming Proefessor Flitwick pressed a box of squeaking sugar mice on him at the end of Charms, said "Shh!" and hurried away; and Professor Trelawney broke into hysterical sobs during Divination and announced to the startled class, and a very disapproving Umbridge, that Harry was not going to suffer an early death after all, but would live to a ripe old age, become Minister of Magic, and have twelve children
"Dad's reprinting!" [Luna] told Harry, her eyes popping excitedly. "He can't believe it, he says people seem even more interested in this than the Crumple-Horned Snorkacks!"
Harry was a hero in the Gryffindor common room that night; daringly, Fred and George had put an Enlargement Charm on the front cover of The Quibbler and hung it on the wall, so that Harry's giant head gazed down upon the proceedings, occasionally saying things like "The Ministry are morons" and "Eat dung, Umbridge" in a booming voice.
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):
Mugglenet: Is Harry Potter Bad for Journalism?
Harry Potter Wiki:
Dwelling on Dreams blog: Missed Opportunities in the Wizarding World: Journalistic Reform
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Lexicon timeline of Quidditch
Lists on the Lexicon: Quidditch