Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 27

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Chapter 27

The Centaur and the Sneak

  • Lavender and Parvati both think their new centaur Divination professor is hot.
  • Their Divination class has been moved to the ground floor to accommodate their hoofed instructor.
  • Firenze greets Harry by name.
  • (He rescued Harry from Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest in Book One, so they go way back).
  • Harry notices that Firenze has a hoof-shaped bruise on his chest.
  • The classroom has been spelled to look like the Forbidden Forest to make him feel more comfortable living in Hogwarts.
  • Firenze tells them that his herd expelled him on Monday "because [he has] agreed to work for Professor Dumbledore [...] They see this as a betrayal of [their] kind" (27.36).
  • Firenze explains, "I [...] am here to explain the wisdom of centaurs, which is impersonal and impartial. We watch the skies for the great tides of evil or change that are sometimes marked there. It may take ten years to be sure of what we are seeing" (27.49).
  • Firenze doesn't seem interested in whether or not they understand what he's saying, nor does he seem too definite about his own predictions.
  • At the end of class, Firenze calls Harry over to give Hagrid a message: "His attempt is not working, and he would do better to abandon it" (27.61).
  • Hagrid listens to the message, but disregards it.
  • OWL preparation is heating up, and all of the fifth years are looking more and more stressed out.
  • At least DA continues to go well: they have started on Patronus charms.

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  • One night, Dobby comes racing in to the Room of Requirement.
  • He warns Harry and the others that Professor Umbridge is coming.
  • Harry shouts to everyone to run.
  • But Harry gets tangled up in a Trip Jinx.
  • The jinx was cast by Draco Malfoy, who is helping Professor Umbridge break up the meeting.
  • Professor Umbridge grabs Harry by the arm and drags him to Dumbledore's office.
  • Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Cornelius Fudge, Percy Weasley, Kingsley Shacklebot, and another Auror named Dawlish are all assembled.
  • Cornelius Fudge is "glaring at [Harry] with a kind of vicious satisfaction on his face" (27.120).
  • Harry firmly denies that he knows anything about why he has been brought in. He claims to know nothing about a student defense group.
  • Professor Umbridge brings in her witness: it's Marietta, Cho's friend.
  • Across her forehead is "a series of close-set purple pustules" (27.146) that read "SNEAK."
  • Marietta can't speak in response to Professor Umbridge's questions.
  • But Professor Umbridge already knows about Harry's meeting at the Hog's Head back in October.
  • Willy Widdershins, a wizard who had been caught spelling Muggle toilets to "regurgitate" (27.157), apparently plea-bargained his way out of punishment by ratting out Harry to the Ministry.
  • Dumbledore points out gently that there was no rule in place preventing student groups during Harry's Hog's Head gathering.
  • So, Marietta will have to testify to six months' worth of meetings for any charges against Harry to stick.
  • But Marietta won't testify – she looks blank as she keeps shaking her head in response to every question.
  • Professor Umbridge gets so frustrated that she physically shakes Marietta hard.
  • The other people in the room warn her to get ahold of herself.
  • Professor Umbridge recovers. Even if there is no evidence of six months of meetings, Professor Umbridge did recover a sign-up list of names.
  • The list of names comes under the heading "Dumbledore's Army."
  • Dumbledore offers Cornelius a confession.
  • Harry is utterly confused, and Professor McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebot look fearful.
  • Dumbledore takes all of the blame on himself: "Tonight was supposed to be the first meeting [...] Merely to see whether they would be interested in joining me" (27.211).
  • He claims to have been plotting against Fudge.
  • Fudge is delighted. He tells Dumbledore that he will be escorted to the Ministry to be charged, then sent to Azkaban until his trial.
  • Dumbledore refuses to come quietly.
  • He casts a sudden spell, knocking out Professor Umbridge, Fudge, Dawlish, and Kingsley all at once.
  • Professor McGonagall and Harry are both still conscious.
  • Dumbledore comments, "Unfortunately, I had to hex Kingsley too, or it would have looked very suspicious [...] He was remarkably quick on the uptake, modifying Miss Edgecombe's memory like that while everyone was looking the other way" (27.244).
  • Dumbledore turns to Harry and makes him promise that he will practice Occlumency as hard as he can. It's important – he'll understand why soon!
  • Dumbledore disappears with his phoenix, Fawkes.
  • Fudge demands to know where Dumbledore has gone.
  • Dawlish rushes out to the stairs, followed closely by Kingsley and Professor Umbridge.
  • Professor McGonagall leads Harry and Marietta out.
  • As they leave, Harry hears Phineas Nigellus's voice: "You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts ... but you cannot deny he's got style" (27.265).

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