The next morning, Harry is disappointed to find that no letter has arrived from Sirius. He's starting to worry.
The first class of the day for the Gryffindor fourth-years is Herbology with Professor Sprout.
They're learning to collect pus from Bubotubers, which sounds completely revolting.
The pus is used in acne medicine (handy, but still – pus).
Next up, there's Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid.
Hagrid is also the Hogwarts caretaker and a good friend of Harry's since his first year at Hogwarts.
The Gryffindors share this class with the Slytherins, which means more Malfoy.
Hagrid's assignment is to raise a bunch of Blast-Ended Skrewts.
These are lobstery-looking things with "stings" and "sorta sucker things on their bellies [...] ter suck blood" (13.36). They also blow up periodically.
Malfoy asks the snide but still fair question, "Who wouldn't want pets that can burn, sting, and bite all at once?" (13.37).
Hagrid basically tells everyone to calm down and figure out what the skrewts eat.
Finally, lunch: Hermione stuffs herself so she can get to the library ASAP.
Yes, Hermione is keen on her studies, but this is just the first day of school. So this is weird even for her.
Harry and Ron go up to their Divination (a.k.a. reading the future) class taught by Professor Trelawney.
Harry hates this class in particular because Professor Trelawney is always predicting that Harry is about to die.
Even though she seems like an old fraud, there was "that time at the end of last term, when she had made the prediction about Voldemort rising again" (13.88).
Even "Dumbledore himself had said that he thought that trance had been genuine" (13.88).
Still, that one true prediction doesn't improve Harry's opinion of Divination as a class.
At dinner, Malfoy makes fun of Ron again, this time because of a newspaper article.
Mr. Weasley has made into the Daily Prophet a second time.
That reporter, Rita Skeeter, criticizes Mr. Weasley for his handling of the Mad-Eye Moody incident: "Unsurprisingly, Mr. Weasley found, upon arrival at Mr. Moody's heavily guarded house, that Mr. Moody had once again raised a false alarm. Mr. Weasley [...] refused to answer Daily Prophet questions about why he had involved the Ministry in such an undignified and potentially embarrassing scene" (13.84).
After an exchange of criticism of one another's mothers, Harry turns his back to Malfoy.
Malfoy fires a curse at Harry's back.
Professor Moody comes limping in, pointing his wand at Malfoy.
He turns Malfoy into a white ferret and then starts bouncing the ferret up and down against the floor. Excellent!
Professor McGonagall appears and asks what Professor Moody is doing.
She's horrified to discover that this is Moody's idea of discipline.
Professor Moody drags the restored Draco Malfoy off to talk to his Head of House, Professor Snape.
Ron calls seeing "Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret" (13.128) "the best moment of [his] life" (13.131).
Mysteriously, Hermione runs off to the library again.
Harry and Ron are really excited about Defense Against the Dark Arts with Moody tomorrow.