Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 28

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Chapter 28

Snape's Worst Memory

  • Fudge signs a new Educational Decree making Professor Umbridge Head of Hogwarts.
  • Everyone in school knows that Dumbledore took on a whole office-full of important people and still escaped.
  • Ernie Macmillan insists that Dumbledore will be back soon.
  • Apparently, the office of the Headmaster itself has sealed itself against Professor Umbridge.
  • Hermione sputters, "Oh, I expect she really fancied herself sitting up there in the Head's office [...] Lording it over all the other teachers, the stupid puffed-up, power-crazy old —" (28.3).
  • Draco Malfoy warns Hermione not to finish that sentence.
  • He takes points from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff.
  • Ernie Macmillan protests that prefects can't take points from other prefects.
  • But Draco is no longer just a prefect; now he is a member of the newly formed Inquisitorial Squad.
  • The Inquisitorial Squad can do whatever it likes.
  • With Dumbledore having left the school, Fred and George have now decided that it's time for a bit of real mayhem. They won't say what, though.
  • Filch calls Harry into Professor Umbridge's office.
  • He is all for the new Head of Hogwarts – he thinks she'll be harsher with the students than Dumbledore was.
  • Completely unexpectedly, Professor Umbridge offers Harry something to drink.
  • He finally accepts some tea.
  • But Harry only pretends to sip it.
  • Professor Umbridge begins to ask him questions: where is Dumbledore? Where is Sirius Black?
  • Harry keeps saying he doesn't know.
  • There is a sudden, loud boom.
  • One floor down, there is a huge fireworks display going off.
  • Both Professor Umbridge and Filch look utterly shocked.
  • When Professor Umbridge tries to stun one of the fireworks, it explodes.
  • Harry finds Fred and George laughing so hard they're wiping tears away.
  • Professor McGonagall and the other teachers all take up a form of passive resistance.
  • They call on Professor Umbridge to clear their classrooms every time a firework appears.
  • As Professor Flitwick says, "I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority" (28.100).
  • Fred and George get tons of orders for their enchanted fireworks.
  • That night, Harry manages to get through the door in his dream.
  • There are rows and rows of glass spheres.
  • Before he gets to his destination, the BANG! of a firework wakes him up.
  • The next day, Cho tries to tell Harry that Marietta is a lovely person really.
  • Harry isn't buying it, the two of them fight yet again, and it looks like things are over between Harry and Cho.
  • Harry goes to his Occlumency lesson with Professor Snape, where Harry finds him pulling memories out of his head and putting them in a Pensieve.
  • Draco interrupts them with a message that Professor Umbridge needs Professor Snape.
  • Professor Snape tells Harry to come back tomorrow.
  • Harry lingers in Professor Snape's office, though.
  • He wants to get a glimpse at the memories in Professor Snape's Pensieve, the ones that he didn't want Harry to see.
  • Harry sees his father, Sirius, Lupin, and Wormtail (a.k.a. Peter Pettigrew, the traitor who will eventually sell out James and Lily Potter to Voldemort) taking their Charms OWL with Professor Flitwick.
  • James Potter is playing with a golden Snitch and boasting about his marks on his OWLs.
  • The group sits down under a tree.
  • There's nothing to do.
  • That is, until Sirius and James see "Snivellus" (28.216). It's Professor Snape at age 15.
  • Sirius and James stand up and stalk towards him.
  • Lupin stays under the tree reading while Wormtail looks on at the scene eagerly.
  • Sirius and James ambush Snape and cast Impedimenta: he struggles, but it's like he’s tied by invisible ropes.
  • They laugh at him and bully him.
  • Just then, someone shouts, "Leave him ALONE!" (28.234).
  • It's Lily Evans, Harry's mother.
  • She tells James that he's "an arrogant, bullying toerag" (28.242) who should let Snape go.
  • While James's back is turned, Snape throws a spell at James.
  • James retaliates by hanging Snape upside down in the air, "his robes falling over his head to reveal skinny, pallid legs and a pair of greying underpants" (28.247).
  • The crowd that has gathered cheers and laughs.
  • Lily draws her wand and threatens to curse Sirius and James if they don't knock it off.
  • As soon as Snape is free, he shouts, "I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!" (28.256).
  • James tries to make Snape apologize to Lily, but Lily turns on James: "You're as bad as he is [...] Messing up your hair because you think it looks cool to look like you've just got off your broomstick, showing off with that stupid Snitch, walking down corridors and hexing anyone who annoys you just because you can [...] You make me SICK" (28.260-2). Lily stalks off.
  • James doesn't get what's wrong with Lily.
  • James is frustrated with Lily, so he goes back to torturing Snape.
  • This time, he plans to take Snape's underwear off.
  • But Harry doesn't get to see what happens next because someone is pulling him out of the Pensieve.
  • It's Professor Snape.
  • He is so angry that he shakes Harry before sending Harry out of his office for good.
  • Professor Snape throws a jar of cockroaches behind him.
  • Harry feels appalled not because of Snape's violence, but because he knows what it's like to be bullied, and it looks like his father was an arrogant jerk.

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