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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 12 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Professor Umbridge

  • In the Gryffindor Common Room, Hermione spots a sign advertising "a little extra gold" (12.7) for anyone who is willing to act as a test subject for Fred and George's practical joke experiments.
  • They warn, "We regret that all work is undertaken at applicant's own risk" (12.7).
  • Hermione takes the sign down, looking angry.
  • We also find out more about who believes Harry. Hermione breaks the news that Lavender Brown, another Gryffindor fifth year, thinks he's lying about Voldemort.
  • Hermione points out that this is exactly what Voldemort is best at: dividing good people against one another.
  • At breakfast, the new captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Angelina Johnson, reminds Harry that there's room on the team for a new Keeper.
  • Tryouts will be that Friday and Harry (who is the Gryffindor Seeker) has to come.
  • Ron sounds interested at the news that there's an opening on the Gryffindor team.
  • Hermione scolds Fred and George for advertising for testers on the Gryffindor notice board.
  • Fred and George reply that she'll be begging for Skiving Snackboxes at the end of this year.
  • Fifth year is when Hogwarts students take their OWLs – Ordinary Wizarding Levels.
  • OWLs are major exams in every subject offered at Hogwarts, and the stress of preparation makes people crazy.
  • Fred and George kept their spirits up. They didn't do great on their own OWLs, but it doesn't matter: they "feel [their] futures lie outside the world of academic achievement" (12.74).
  • In fact, Fred and George are planning to complete their sixth year and then drop out of Hogwarts.
  • They'll both be seventeen and of age, so they can go ahead and start their business more seriously.
  • The first lesson of the day is History of Magic with (extremely boring) Professor Binns.
  • Cho approaches Harry after class and starts trying to strike up a conversation.
  • Ron (annoyingly) jumps in: "Is that a Tornados badge? [...] You don't support them, do you? [...] Have you always supported them, or just since they started winning the league?" (12.112-4).
  • Cho walks off, offended, and Hermione shouts at Ron for being tactless.
  • Then comes Potions class with Professor Snape.
  • He warns them that they have to pass their OWL in Potions if they expect to continue on in the sixth year.
  • Professor Snape singles out Harry's potion for mockery, which is to be expected because Snape hates Harry's guts.
  • Hermione and Ron start squabbling about Snape – whether he's truly on the side of good or not – until Harry tells them to shut up.
  • In Divination Class, Ron tells Harry, "Hermione thinks it would be nice if you stopped taking out your temper on us" (12.172).
  • Harry gets immediately defensive.
  • Professor Trelawney assigns them dream interpretation, but since Harry knows "perfectly well what his regular nightmare about a graveyard meant" (12.183), he's not too eager to do the assignment.
  • Then comes their lesson with Professor Umbridge: Defense Against the Dark Arts.
  • She tells them to put their wands away and take out their books.
  • Professor Umbridge wants to follow "a carefully structured, theory-centered, Ministry-approved course of defensive magic" (12.195).
  • Did you see that bit about "theory-centered"?
  • What she means is that she does not intend for them to practice the spells they're learning; she just wants them to read about them.
  • All the students are outraged – Hermione, Ron, Harry, Dean Thomas, and Parvati Patil all speak up (even though Professor Umbridge keeps trying to shut them down).
  • Finally, Harry breaks. When Professor Umbridge tells Harry "there is nothing waiting" (12.252) to attack the students of Hogwarts, he answers, "Hmm, let's think [...] Maybe ... Lord Voldemort?" (12.255).
  • Professor Umbridge takes points from Gryffindor and tells Harry he is lying.
  • Harry can't stop, though: "So, according to you, Cedric Diggory dropped dead of his own accord, did he?" (12.268).
  • Professor Umbridge hands Harry a note to take to his Head of House, Professor McGonagall, and kicks him out of class.
  • As Harry goes to Professor McGonagall, Peeves the Poltergeist starts singing to Harry, "Oh, most think he's barking, the potty wee lad" (12.280).
  • This does not improve Harry's temper.
  • Professor McGonagall reads the note and then tells Harry that he has to be more careful.
  • She warns, "Potter, use your common sense. [...] You know where she comes from, you must know to whom she is reporting" (12.305).
  • Apparently, Professor Umbridge has given Harry detention for every night that week.

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