"Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me."
-- Lucius Malfoy (OP34)
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood fly to London on thestrals. They are allowed access to the Ministry of Magic through the telephone booth, and they enter the Department of Mysteries – specifically the room containing small glass spheres, one of which is marked with Harry’s name and which is later discovered to be a prophecy.
Calendar and Dates
The entire chapter takes place on a Thursday, the final day of O.W.L.s. (OP31). The date is probably 20 June 1996. The events of this chapter start just before sunset on that day, which was at 10:16pm.
Interesting facts and notes
Harry did not think he had ever moved so fast: the Thestral streaked over the castle, its wide wings hardly beating; the cooling air was slapping Harry’s face; eyes screwed up against the rushing wind....
....he looked round and saw his five fellows soaring along behind him, each of them bent as low as possible into the neck of their Thestral to protect themselves from his slipstream.
"You'd better hope it stays invisible," said Harry darkly.
Ron and Ginny marched in obediently; Hermione, Neville and Luna squashed themselves in after them; Harry took one glance back at the Thestrals, now foraging for scraps of rotten food inside the skip, then forced himself into the box after Luna.
"Whoever’s nearest the receiver, dial six two four four two!" he said.
To use the Visitors' Entrance to the Ministry of Magic, you have to dial the numbers that spell "MAGIC" from the telephone box. Harry entered the Ministry this way with Arthur Weasley before his disciplinary hearing in the summer (OP7).
"Visitors, please take the badges and attach them to the front of your robes."
Half a dozen badges slid out of the metal chute where returned coins normally appeared. Hermione scooped them up and handed them mutely to Harry over Ginny's head; he glanced at the topmost one, Harry Potter, Rescue Mission.
This is a rescue mission mounted by fourteen and fifteen year old children. They have trained together as Dumbledore's Army and are certainly brave, but they are still very young.
"In the dreams I went through the door at the end of the corridor from the lifts into a dark room – that's this one – and then I went through another door into a room that kind of … glitters. We should try a few doors," he said hastily, "I'll know the right way when I see it."
Instead of matching what Harry's dreams had shown him, finding the Hall of Prophecy was not as straightforward as he thought it would be. The Department of Mysteries is very complicated set of places.
....he had to crane his neck to read the yellowish label affixed to the shelf right beneath the dusty glass ball. In spidery writing was written a date of some sixteen years previously, and below that:
S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.
and (?)Harry Potter
Finally, they arrive at row 97 of the crystal orbs but, instead of finding an injured or dying Sirius, there is only this writing on a shelf underneath one of the glowing spheres. We later learn that S.P.T. is Sybill Trelawney and A.P.W.B.D. is Albus Dumbledore (what a lot of middle names he has!), but it is the (?) next to Harry's name that is really the interesting point (OP37).
Exceptional character moments
Hermione, as always, realising they need to mark the doors in the Revolving Circular Room and then doing something about it.
The three who can see the thestrals (Harry, Luna, Neville) can also hear the voices behind the Veil in the Death Chamber. The others who have not experienced death closely (Hermione, Ron and Ginny) cannot hear them.
"We're here to save someone, unless your Ministry can do it first!"
And then, from right behind them, a drawling voice said, "Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me."
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore): Time-Turner
- MuggleCast Episode #471: PUNK’d (OOTP 33 and 34, ‘Fight or Flight’ and ‘The Department of Mysteries’)
- The Twelve Doors of the Department of Mysteries
- Within the Department of Mysteries
- MuggleCast Episode #374: The Department of Mysteries
Harry Potter Wiki: Department of Mysteries
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) feature: The most mysterious things in the Department of Mysteries
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