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Flight of the Fat Lady

- Chapter 8

"...Nasty temper he's got, that Sirius Black."
-- Peeves the Poltergeist

PA8: Flight of the Fat Lady

Defence Against the Dark Arts remains a favorite, Quidditch practice begins, Crookshanks goes after Scabbers, tension builds between Ron and Hermione, Harry is denied permission to visit Hogsmeade, Professor Lupin talks to him about fear, Professor Snape brews a potion for Lupin, Hallowe’en feast, and Sirius Black slashes the Fat Lady’s portrait.

Calendar and Dates

The action of this chapter begins immediately after the preceding chapter, and ends late on Hallowe'en night.

Interesting facts and notes

This chapter gives us our first glimpse of the Wolfsbane Potion.

"Gryffindor haven't won for seven years now."

This remark is very important in working out timelines for Charlie Weasley.

"Staying here Potter? Scared of passing the Dementors?"

Malfoy, indulging in petty spite as usual.

"Professor Snape has very kindly concocted a potion for me. I've been feeling a bit off-color, this potion is the only thing that helps. I am very lucky to be working alongside Professor Snape; there aren't many wizards who are up to making it."

This tells us that Wolfsbane Potion is quite difficult to make. The fact that Lupin can trust Snape to make it also tells us a lot about Snape's professional honour: he's perfectly capable of speaking against Lupin behind Lupin's back, and dropping hints to the students about the true nature of Lupin's condition, but he never once sabotaged the Wolfsbane Potion in nearly a year of making it for Lupin.

Professor Lupin took another sip and Harry had a crazy urge to knock the goblet out of his hands.

Harry doesn't trust Professor Snape. Ron and Hermione don't trust Snape. Of course he has never given them a reason to feel any trust.

A shower of brilliantly coloured sweets fell into Harry’s lap. It was dusk, and Ron and Hermione had just turned up in the common room, pink-faced from the cold wind and looking as though they’d had the time of their lives.

Harry misses the first Hogsmeade visit because Mr Dursley wouldn't sign his permission form until after Aunt Marge's visit had passed without any incidents (PA2). Ron and Hermione return from Hogsmeade with glowing reports of its attractions.

....they reached the Entrance Hall and crossed into the Great Hall. It had been decorated with hundreds and hundreds of candle-filled pumpkins, a cloud of fluttering live bats and many flaming orange streamers, which were swimming lazily across the stormy ceiling like brilliant watersnakes.

The decorations for the Hallowe'en feasts sound fantastic - not to mention the food.

The Fat Lady had vanished from her portrait, which had been slashed so viciously that strips of canvas littered the floor; great chunks of it had been torn away completely.

So far, Hallowe'en also seems to be a time of frightening incidents happening at the school - the troll in a girls' bathroom during their first year (PS10), the opening of the Chamber of Secrets their second year (CS8) and now an attack on the portrait guarding Gryffindor Tower.

Exceptional character moments

Oliver Wood's pep talk regarding his last year to win the Quidditch Cup.

Gryffindors discussing first Hogsmeade weekend visit.

Crookshanks attacking Scabbers in Ron's bag.

Lavender Brown telling students in Transfiguration class about her rabbit, Binky, dying on 16 October.

Harry asking Professor McGonagall to sign his permission slip for visiting Hogsmeade, and her refusal to sign it.

Halloween morning and all the students with partent/guardian permission leaving for Hogsmeade visit.

Harry running into Professor Lupin outside his office.

Professor Lupin inviting Harry into his office to see a grindylow and have a cup of tea.

Harry asking Professor Lupin why he was not allowed to fight the boggart in the wardrobe.

Harry telling Professor Lupin that his boggart would have taken the shape of a Dementor, not Lord Voldemort.

Harry telling Ron and Hermione about Professor Snape giving Professor Lupin a potion and Lupin drinking it.

All attending the Halloween feast in the Great Hall.

Gryffindors discovering that the portrait of the fat lady has been slashed and she is missing.

Peeves the Poltergeist telling Dumbledore and all others around the slashed portrait that the portrait was slashed by an angry Sirius Black.

Memorable lines

"But we also know we've go the best -- ruddy -- team -- in -- the -- school." [Oliver Wood]

"I need to visit Zonko's, I'm nearly out of Stink Pellets." [Fred Weasley]

"They're bound to catch Black soon. He's been sighted once already." [Hermione]

"There's something funny about that animal!" [Ron referring to Crookshanks after he attacked Scabbers in Ron's bag]

"That cat's got it in for Scabbers!" [Ron]

"The form clearly states that the parent or guardian must give permission. I'm sorry, Potter, but that's my final word." [Professor McGonagall]

"You know that day we fought the boggart? Why didn't you let me fight it?" [Harry] to [Professor Lupin]

"I assumed that if the boggart faced you, it would assume the shape of Lord Voldemort." [Professor Lupin]

"I didn't think of Voldemort, I -- I remembered those Dementors." [Harry]

"Well, well . . .I'm impressed. That suggests that what you fear most of all is -- fear. Very wise, Harry." [Professor Lupin]

"Lupin drank it? Is he mad?" [Ron]

". . .if he was trying to -- to poison Lupin -- he wouldn't have done it in front of Harry." [ Hermione]

"Oh yes, Professorhead, he got very angry when she wouldn't let him, you see. Nasty temper he's got, that Sirius Black." [Peeves the Poltergeist to Professor Dumbledore regarding the Fat Lady]

Words and phrases

Characters Introduced

PA 8 — Flight of the Fat Lady
Abbreviation PA8: Flight of the Fat Lady
Canonicity Primary Canon


Related images:

  Honeydukes Sweet Shop in Hogsmeade. The Fat Lady

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):

Harry Potter Wiki: Hogsmeade

WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features:

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: desperation determination feast furious portrait practice sweets tea tension wardrobe win

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The Harry Potter Canon