Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

The Sorting Hat's New Song

  • Ginny points out that Hagrid is missing. She wonders if Hagrid has left the school.
  • Luna adds, "I'll be quite glad if he has [...] he isn't a very good teacher, is he?" (11.3).
  • Ginny, Harry, and Ron leap to Hagrid's defense.
  • They make it in to the Great Hall and Luna goes to join the Ravenclaws.
  • There is someone new at the staff table, someone who looks "like somebody's maiden aunt: squat, with short, curtly, mouse-bown hair [... and] a pallid, toadlike face" (11.27).
  • It's the witch from Harry's hearing, the one who laughed at Dumbledore for implying that the Dementors came to Privet Drive by order of someone in the Ministry.
  • Harry tells the table that her name is Umbridge.
  • The Hall quiets down as the Sorting begins.
  • The Sorting Hat bursts into song.
  • Usually, the Sorting Hat just tells the school about the characteristics of the four Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor (bravery), Slytherin (cunning), Ravenclaw (intelligence), and Hufflepuff (loyalty).
  • But this year, it offers something slightly different.
  • The Hat warns the students that they have to stick together, "For our Hogwarts is in danger/From external, deadly foes/And we must unite inside her/Or we'll crumble from within" (11.39).
  • Even though it's the Hat's job to split the first year students into four separate houses, the divisions between houses (Slytherin-Gryffindor) anyone might weaken Hogwarts against outside enemies.
  • After the first years are Sorted, the Gryffindor ghost, Nearly Headless Nick, tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione, "Yes, I have heart the Hat give several warnings before, always at times when it detects periods of great danger for the school. And always, of course, its advice is the same: stand together, be strong from within" (11.56).
  • After the feast, Dumbledore starts making school announcements:
  • (1) Professor Grubby Plank is going to teach Care of Magical Creatures.
  • (2) Professor Umbridge is going to be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
  • Here, Professor Umbridge interrupts Dumbledore.
  • She launches into one of the most boring speeches anyone has ever heard.
  • Nearly everyone tunes out.
  • But Hermione is wise enough to keep listening.
  • After the speech, Hermione tells Ron and Harry: "How about: ‛progress for progress's sake must be discouraged'? How about: ‛pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited'? [...] I'll tell you what it means [...] It means the Ministry's interfering at Hogwarts" (11.104-6).
  • As Harry walks out of the Great Hall, he realizes that people are staring at him and whispering.
  • It makes sense that everyone is curious: "he had emerged from the Triwizard maze two months previously clutching the dead body of a fellow student and claiming to have seen Lord Voldemort return to power. There had not been time last term to explain himself before they'd all had to go home" (11.115).
  • Back in the Gryffindor dormitories, Harry sees the other Gryffindor fifth years, Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas.
  • Seamus tells his dorm mates that his mother didn't want him to come back to Hogwarts that year.
  • Mrs. Finnegan reads the Daily Prophet, so she's suspicious of both Dumbledore and Harry.
  • Harry is furious (of course).
  • Just as he's getting into bed, Seamus asks, "Look ... what did happen that night when ... you know, when ... with Cedric Diggory and all?" (11.141).
  • Harry retorts, "What are you asking me for? [...] Just read the Daily Prophet like your mother, why don't you? That'll tell you all you need to know" (11.143).
  • Things rapidly dissolve from there.
  • Seamus finally shouts, "I don't want to share a dormitory with him anymore, he's mad" (11.155).
  • Ron warns Seamus that he'll give him detention if Seamus doesn't shut up.
  • Neville pipes up, "My gran's always said You-Know-Who would come back one day. She says if Dumbledore says he's back, he's back" (11.164).
  • Harry is relieved to hear that someone in the wizarding world still believes in him.
  • Harry lies in bed worrying over this argument with Seamus, "whom he had always liked very much" (11.167).
  • How many more people out there think that he's crazy?

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