Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
How we cite our quotes:
Umbridge did not answer; she finished writing her last note, then looked up at Hagrid and aid again very loudly and slowly, "Please continue teaching as usual. I am going to walk," she mimed walking (Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson were having silent fits of laughter) "among the students" (she pointed around at individual members of the class) "and ask them questions." She pointed at her mouth to indicate talking. (21.62)
Professor Umbridge's resentment of half-humans is outrageous and appalling. But in this scene, when she's observing Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class, she's also in a (relatively) safe environment, surrounded by her hangers-on (Draco and Pansy) and taunting an instructor who clearly won't fight back. But we're still surprised at how provocative she is with the centaurs, who really can do her damage. Professor Umbridge is clearly a power-hungry monster. But would you call her brave?
"Dumbledore will be back before long," said Ernie Macmillan confidently on the way back from Herbology, after listening intently to Harry's story. "They couldn't keep him away in our second year and they won't be able to this time. The Fat Friar told me —" he dropped his voice conspiratorially, so that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to lean closer to him to hear "— that Umbridge tried to get back into his office last night after they'd searched the castle and grounds for him. Couldn't get past the gargoyle. The Head's office has sealed itself against her." Ernie smirked. "Apparently, she had a right little tantrum." (28.2)
We find Ernie Macmillan's story about Professor Umbridge being unable to get into Dumbledore's office really interesting. It seems to show that the castle itself has some kind of consciousness. With all of the moving staircases and secret rooms, it's obviously a wonderful place, but in this book, Hogwarts appears to have some kind of intelligence. How do you think it accepts or rejects Headmasters? What qualities do you expect a Hogwarts Head has to have to succeed?
"You ought not to have meddled, Hagrid," said Magorian. "Our ways are not yours, nor are our laws. Firenze has betrayed and dishonored us."
"I dunno how yeh work that out," said Hagrid impatiently. "He's done nothin' except help Albus Dumbledore —"
"Firenze has entered into servitude to humans," said a grey centaur with a hard, deeply lined face.
"Servitude!" said Hagrid scathingly. "He's doin' Dumbledore a favor is all —"
"He is peddling our knowledge and secrets among humans," said Magorian quietly. "There can be no return from such disgrace." (30.208-212)
The bigotry of powerful people like Professor Umbridge seems to bring out the worst in the groups that they are persecuting. Both the centaurs (led by Magorian) and the giants whom Hagrid travels to see are becoming more extreme in their hatred of humans. As human bigotry rises, anti-human bigotry among magical creatures gets worse as well. So, extremists like Professor Umbridge encourage non-human extremists like giant Golgomath and, here, Magorian to become more influential. Hatred causes more hatred, seems to be the lesson here.