Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 14

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Chapter 14

Percy and Padfoot

  • Harry wakes up early the next morning to write to Sirius.
  • He realizes that it's harder than he expected: how do you tell someone top secret information in a letter while still being secure?
  • He manages to get across that Professor Umbridge is a horrible person and that his scar ached while he was in detention with her.
  • He goes to the Owlery to find Hedwig.
  • Nearly Headless Nick warns him not to go up a certain flight of staircases because Peeves is acting up.
  • So, Harry goes up a different flight of stairs, where Mrs. Norris, caretaker Argus Filch's cat, sees him and trots off to "report to her boss" (14.11).
  • Harry gives Hedwig the letter for "Snuffles"/Sirius.
  • Cho Chang happens to walk into the Owlery just as Harry is looking out the window.
  • They start chatting.
  • Cho whispers to Harry, "That Umbridge woman's foul [...] Putting you in detention just because you told the truth about how – how – how he died. Everyone heard about it, it was all over the school. You were really brave standing up to her like that" (13.33).
  • Harry feels like a million bucks.
  • Suddenly, Filch comes running in to say, "Aha! [...] I've had a tip-off that you are intending to place a massive order for Dungbombs!" (14.36).
  • Harry flatly denies this, but Filch wants to search Harry's pockets.
  • Cho claims that she saw Harry send his letter away already – she's lying for Harry! She really likes him!
  • Harry has no clue who gave Filch the idea that he was ordering Dungbombs, since (obviously), he wasn't.
  • In that morning's Daily Prophet, there's an article that Sirius has been spotted in London.
  • Harry thinks it's Lucius Malfoy who tipped off the paper after recognizing Sirius's dog form on the train platform.
  • There is also an article about Sturgis Podmore, who has been charged with "trespass and attempted robbery at the Ministry of Magic" (14.85).
  • He's been sentenced to six months in Azkaban.
  • Ron is shocked because Sturgis is a member of the order.
  • Harry points out that Sturgis was supposed to be part of their guard to King's Cross train station, but he never showed up.
  • Then comes Quidditch practice.
  • And it's a complete, total, utter disaster.
  • The Slytherins are watching, and they all roar with laughter every time Ron makes a mistake, which is often.
  • Among many fumbles, he manages to throw the Quaffle so hard at Katie Brown that she gets a bloody nose.
  • Fred hands Katie something to take to make it clear up in no time.
  • But it doesn't clear up – she just keeps bleeding and bleeding.
  • Fred and George look at each other with shock.
  • (It looks like Fred handed Katie the wrong end of a Skiving Snackbox.)
  • The twins volunteer to take her to the hospital wing.
  • Ron and Harry spend all of Sunday trying to catch up on their stacks of homework.
  • Hermes, Percy's owl, arrives completely out of the blue with a letter for Ron.
  • The letter congratulates Ron for becoming a prefect.
  • He thinks Ron has "stopped flouting authority and [has] decided to shoulder some real responsibility" (14.189).
  • Percy believes that Ron's new job as prefect is a promising sign that Ron is thinking seriously about his future.
  • To protect that future, Percy continues, Ron should start separating himself from Harry.
  • He encourages Ron: "It may be that you are afraid to sever ties with Potter – I know that he can be unbalanced and, for all I know, violent – but if you have any worries about this, or have spotted anything else in Potter's behavior that is troubling you, I urge you to speak to Dolores Umbridge, a truly delightful woman" (14.193).
  • Percy tells Ron that, "Dumbledore's regime at Hogwarts may soon be over" (14.194), and that Ron should be loyal to the Ministry.
  • Ron tears the letter into little pieces and throws it on the fire.
  • Hermione is so moved by this that she agrees to correct both Ron and Harry's essays.
  • As they sit in front of the fire, Harry suddenly sees a flash of Sirius's face.
  • It is, in fact, Sirius! He has been "popping into the fire every hour" (14.221) to check if the coast is clear.
  • Sirius reassures Harry that the scar pain is probably nothing to worry about. Now that Voldemort's back, "it's bound to hurt more often" (14.235).
  • Sirius also tells Harry that, two years ago, Professor Umbridge was responsible for a piece of anti-werewolf legislation that makes it almost impossible for Lupin to get a job.
  • Apparently, Professor Umbridge "loathes part-humans; she campaigned to have merpeople rounded up and tagged last year" (14.244).
  • Sirius informs them that the reason Professor Umbridge isn't training them in real spells is because Fudge is afraid Hogwarts students are being trained in combat to form a private army for Dumbledore.
  • Sirius confirms that Hagrid was supposed to be back from his mission by now, but Sirius is sure that Hagrid is fine.
  • Sirius wants to meet Harry in Hogsmeade in his dog form during their next Hogsmeade weekend off campus.
  • Harry and Hermione both say it's too dangerous – didn't he see the Daily Prophet article about his whereabouts in London?
  • Sirius is clearly offended by Harry's refusal.
  • He tells Harry, "You're less like your father than I thought [...] The risk would've been what made it fun for James" (14.273).
  • Sirius leaves.

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