Birthday Surprises

chapter eighteen of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry tries to talk to Slughorn about Horcruxes but fails to get anywhere, and Slughorn begins avoiding him as a result. The sixth-years then have their first Apparition lesson, where Harry learns that Malfoy is using his friends as lookouts. Finally comes Ron’s birthday, which turns sour quickly as he ingests Romilda Vane’s love potion and then, after Harry convinces Slughorn to mix an antidote, drinks poisoned mead and falls still on the floor.
 

Taken, by Florence Minowa

Saturday morning… Harry and Hermione arrived in the Hall (Ron had come down with Lavender)….


 

The Boy Who Was Pointy, by VikingCarrot

Crabbe opened his mouth, but Malfoy appeared to second-guess what he was going to say. “Look, it’s none of your business what I’m doing, Crabbe, you and Goyle just do as you’re told and keep a lookout!”


 

Harry Faces his Apparition Practice Hoop with Some Trepidation, by Drew Graham

Harry gazed at the circular patch of dusty floor enclosed by his hoop and tried hard to think of nothing else.


 

The Dangling Ron, by reallycorking

“Romilda?” [Ron] repeated. “Did you say Romilda? Harry – do you know her? Can you introduce me?”


 

Where is she? Is he hiding her? by gerre

Helpfully, Ron chose this moment to moan, “I can’t see her, Harry – is he hiding her?”

(by gerre)


 

about the chapter

 

It’s hard to blame Slughorn for being scared when Harry asks him about Horcruxes – and then admits that he’s seen the memory that Slughorn gave to Dumbledore. But despite his fear, the encounter must have given him quite a bit to think about – for he is now one of very few wizards who knows that Dumbledore is having private lessons with Harry, and one of even fewer who knows that they have together watched at least one memory pertaining to Lord Voldemort. Beneath his bubbly exterior and even the fear that he shows Harry, he has to be wondering when he takes the time to stop and think – does this mean Harry really is the Chosen One?
 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

As Harry searches his Marauder’s Map over and over again for Draco Malfoy, he notices at several different points that Crabbe or Goyle is wandering about alone, and Malfoy nowhere to be found at all. Harry doesn’t think about it, but something like this has actually happened once before – during his third year, when Peter Pettigrew, disguised as Scabbers, hid inside Hagrid’s hut for the better part of the year. Surely Harry, who checked the map frequently that year, would have noticed if someone besides Hagrid were in his hut? Rather, it seems that parts of the school, like Hagrid’s hut, don’t show up on the map. Why would that be? I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that the hut doesn’t show because the Marauders simply never went inside it to map it out. So if Malfoy isn’t showing up on the map, then the question becomes: Where else did the Marauders never go?
 

Life at Hogwarts

I absolutely love the fact that when Wilkie Twycross begins the sixth-years’ Apparition lessons, a skirmish breaks out among the Ravenclaws because “all of [them] wanted to be near the front.” Harry doesn’t have any lessons with Ravenclaws, as far as we know, so we don’t really see much of the type of people they are. But Ravenclaws (which, I must confess in the name of full disclosure, I would probably be placed among the moment the Sorting Hat touched my head) have something of a reputation among fans as being a bunch of dorks, and I suspect passages like this are part of the reason why. Can you imagine what their classes must be like? It’s bad enough to have one Hermione, showing off her knowledge of all the answers at every opportunity. But a whole class? Can’t you just see Snape looking over his class schedule in August and *dreading* his Thursday afternoons with the Ravenclaw first-years?
 


74 Responses to “Birthday Surprises”

  1. Wow. I found this site yesterday, and it is brilliant! About five seconds ago, I finished Chapter 17, and was upset that it was the last one. And then I refreshed. *wide grin* Thanks for creating this site and having perfect updating timing!

  2. Hermione keeps going to the Restricted Section of the library. Is she still using Gilderoy Lockhart’s signature or did she managed to obtain a signature from another teacher?

  3. Actually, Harry does have Charms with the Ravenclaws, we just never hear about them because Harry’s always busy discussing the fate of the world with Ron and Hermione as they torture pineapples in that class.

  4. Also, Jose Lopes, since Hermione’s in 6th year she’s allowed to use the Restricted Section – it’s meant for NEWT-level students to use.

  5. You’re right hpboy13, I’d totally forgotten. Why are the Gryffindors so special? They get Transfiguration with their head of house all by themselves (and Defense Against the Dark Arts), but the Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws all have to share their head’s classes with the Gryffindors. At least in Harry’s year.

  6. I always figured the Room of Requirement was Unplottable and, therefore, unable to put on the Marauder’s MAP.

    And I have to admit, I’d be one of those horribly annoying Ravenclaws, vying for the teacher’s attention and the front row seat in class. :D

    Also, concerning birthdays, we do get mild references to the general time of birthdays (Hermione gets money at the end of August so she can buy herself a birthday present (so we can conclude it’s at the end of August or in September), Neville was the alternate for the prophecy so we know his is at the end of July as well) but I do remember thinking it was weird that we never saw anyone’s party until it was a coming-of-age one.

  7. I think that in later chapters Hermione mentions that one of the Requirement Room’s properties is that it cannot be drawn in a map, but that does not mean the Marauders never went there.

  8. Actually hpboy13 all references so far to the Restricted Section say that you need a note of permission from a teacher (Hermione got one from Lockhart on book 2, and Harry tried to obtain one from McGonagall on book 4), there’s nothing about exceptions to NEWT students.

  9. Jose, it’s mentioned in HP1 that the Restricted Section is for those studying “advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts” which would likely mean NEWT level.

    Ernie leaping into his hoop makes me laugh every time! Ha, ha! I’ve wondered exactly what the wand work is to Apparate. It’s said in HP7 how you need a wand to Apparate. Do you have to point it at yourself?

    By the way, doesn’t “pants” in British mean “underwear”. So Neville had to set his underwear on fire? Poor Neville. :-(

  10. To add to what Paula said, in a later chapter Hermione mentions that part of the magic of the Room of Requirement is that it can be made Unplottable if the user wants it to be. As to the question in the article about where else did the Marauders not visit, they may not have found the Room of Requirement. Though it does make me wonder if James and Sirius ever found it while trying to hide from Mr. Filch, just like Fred and George did.

  11. Looks like you’re right: I was under the impression that it was mentioned for the first time on book 2 and forgot to search the Restricted Section on the first book, and it is mentioned several times because Harry wanted to read the books to find out who Flamel was :)

  12. Josie, you would never ask JKR to organise a real timetable. It seems that Transfiguration is such a complex subject that each house is taught alone (for the first five years). So McGonagall teaches about 92 classes a week – although there are only 35 periods in the whole week! Must be magic…

    OotP mentions “over thirty” students in Umbitch’s DADA class, suggesting that all four houses study this subject together. Given the way Umbitch “teaches”, this would be quite viable; but there are only ten students in Lupin’s third-year Boggart class, so it clearly isn’t done that way every year. Binns’s classes may also include everyone, since there is no limit on the number of people who can doze off to one lecture.

    Natalia, JKR has stated in an interview that Hermione’s birthday is 19 September. That’s the way we do it in Britain: everyone who is eleven by 31 August starts secondary school in the first week of September, and we all have our twelfth birthdays in the course that first year.

  13. I’ve often felt sorry for Ron in this chapter; he gets hit by a love potion and poisoned mead in the same day – and to make matters even worse, and more embarrassing, both were meant for someone else! And to top it off, on his birthday! Talk about being a target for misfortune!

  14. Like Fred (or was it George) said “All in all, not one of Ron’s better birthdays.”

  15. While I love the Marauders, I think it is very likely that they don’t know about the Room for several reasons. First, Dumbledore claims not to know about it (found a room of chamberpots, but couldn’t find it again after he had relieved himself, as mentioned in book 4, the elusive reference to a room we will see in the future JKR mentioned). Secondly, the twins didn’t know about it–thought it was just a closet. And most importantly Sirius did not know about it. When Harry was looking for a place for the DA to meet, Sirius suggested the tunnel behind the mirror, the one that had collapsed, rather than the Room. If he had known about the Room, he’d have no reason to hide it from Harry. And if Sirius didn’t know about the room, chances are very good that the rest of the Marauders also didn’t know.

    Unless James was using it as his Lily Evans date spot. ;)

  16. Natalia, Neville’s birthday is the day before Harry’s, at least according to the HP Lexicon

  17. I was horrified when I first read about apparition. The idea of “splinching” oneself just trying to get from one point to another is a pretty scary thought.

    It’s also interesting that Harry saves another member of the Weasley family. I wondered with all Slughorn’s knowledge that he didn’t think of the Bezoar. I know he went into temporary shock, but you would think, with his experience, he would recognize the symptoms of someone who had been poisoned.

  18. Grace and Irene: I was just making a comment about how, even though we don’t see a celebration of someone else’s birthday until this chapter, using only information from the book, we know that people do know about each others’ birthdays and some are recognized (Hermione gets money from her parents). :)

  19. I wonder how Romilda would’ve reacted to having Harry Potter’s freckly, hand-me-downed friend falling in love with her while the famous and rich Harry was as untouched by her as ever.
    I also wonder what kind of reaction the original potion (if it had been ingested immediately rather than months later) would’ve caused in the drinker. Apparently something less extreme…?

  20. GinGin4, I was also alarmed at the thought of splinches in the course of apparating … and then I thought of all the things that an inexperienced driver can do in, and to, a car and felt somewhat better. Come to think of it, Ron seems to take longer to get his driving licence than Harry (and probably Ginny and Hermione), and has to bend the rules a bit too, so perhaps travel is a skill he finds challenging.

  21. How does a love potion know who it’s from? Technically speaking Ron got the Cauldrons from Harry, so why didn’t he fall in love with him?

    And if there are different love potions with different ingredients, how did Slughorn know how to fix the antidote without knowing what potion it was?

  22. Maybe in some love potions the maker has to add a bit of his/or her own hair or something (like in polyjuice potion) so that who ever drinks it will fall in love with the maker.

  23. Good point, Neil. How about adding something liquid, such as blood, sweat or tears?

  24. Ew… not sweat, i hope! maybe they have to touch it with their wand to activate it…?

  25. This has absolutely nothing to do with this particular comment stream, but I had a question: Remember when Uncle Vernon mailed Harry a clothes hanger for his birthday? Well, what method of mail did he use? He couldn’t have used owl mail, but does muggle post reach Hogwarts?

  26. Actually the clothes hanger was given to Harry by his uncle before Harry find out he was a wizard, but they managed to sent other “presents” to Hogwarts.

  27. Thanks, Jose, I mixed those up. I’m wondering how the other “gifts” were sent to Harry?

  28. Just a note; apparition lessons were not the first time we see the ravenclaws in a class settting with the trio. There are actually four in slughorns NEWT potions class, and in that first lesson, hermione is STILL the only one to answer/know everything. atta girl.

  29. Early in book 3, Hedwig goes to Hermione while she’s vacationing in France with her family, just to see if Hermione has a birthday present that Hedwig can deliver to Harry. There was speculation in an earlier thread that Hedwig probably shows up at the Dursleys’ every year before Christmas to get the Dursleys’ gift for Harry. I can just imagine the Dursleys seeing Hedwig, grabbing some small item they don’t want, and scribbling a note – their only thought would be to get Hedwig to leave as soon as possible!

  30. Billie, I think you’re spot-on regarding the Dursleys, but what about other Muggle parents?

    I’m guessing the Muggle-originating mail is delivered to the Aberdeen Mail Centre. A Hogsmeade postwizard turns up every day to collect it, posing as an ordinary village postmaster and using a Confundus Charm on the Muggle staff if he has to. Hogsmeade’s own Post Office owls are then used to deliver mail to Hogwarts and the Hogsmeade villagers.

    Given that most wizarding families own an owl, there wouldn’t be much for the magical Post Office to do if it weren’t solving dilemmas of this kind. It’s very much a Muggle-liaison body.

  31. Regarding the original point about birthdays — yeah, that’s interesting. I mean, if you really want to stretch it, they do recognize Christmas in every book, which is ostensibly a “birthday”, although its famous birthday boy is, of course, never mentioned.

    There’s also Sir Nick’s “deathday” — which, although it never occurred to Harry, is also the deathday of his parents.

    Though we never find out the exact date of Dumbledore’s birthday, in Book 1 with the Mirror of Erised, he does mention a present he would like to recieve (although Jo has since told us that, true to Harry’s suspicions, this present, socks, wasn’t really Dumbledore’s deepest desire).

  32. Good points Billie and Grace.

  33. Just a note; apparition lessons were not the first time we see the ravenclaws in a class settting with the trio. There are actually four in slughorns NEWT potions class, and in that first lesson, hermione is STILL the only one to answer/know everything

  34. That’s a really interesting idea, Grace. It hadn’t occurred to me that there wouldn’t actually be much demand for the services of the Hogsmeade post office.

    I suppose they also do some business in international mail. In PoA, Ron checks the price of an owl to Egypt to give Harry a chance to look around the post office under the invisibility cloak. Harry thinks nothing of sending Hedwig anywhere in the world with a letter, but many families wouldn’t want to tie up the family owl with a long trip, or wouldn’t think their owl was up to it.

  35. Actually Josie, we see the Ravenclaws in a classroom setting before apparition. There are four (i believe) in the NEWT potions class, and in the very first class, still Hermione is the only one to answer everything correctly

  36. Billie, what’s even more remarkable is that Harry can send Hedwig to wherever Sirius is! And he never knows where she went. That is impressive. Of course, money’s no object for Harry … perhaps that’s why we seldom see him spending it. And we hear of the presents he gets but not the ones he presumably gives … or am I amnesiac?

  37. In a quick search he gives Ron a Chudley Cannons hat in GoF and a Broom Compass in OotP.

  38. And he gives a gift to Mr. Weasley at the hospital in “Order of the Phoenix”.

  39. Actually Josie, we see the Ravenclaws in a classroom setting before apparition. There are four (i believe) in the N.E.W.T. potions class, and in the very first class, still Hermione is the only one to answer everything correctly

  40. Nah, Harry gives as many girts as he recieves. Various birthday and Christmas presents.
    I hope Josie isn’t getting overwhelmed, thinking she has too much to post or something. I’d love to see another post soon!

  41. Gah! *gifts.

  42. Actually the apparition tests are not the first time we see Ravenclaws in a classroom type environment.The very first NEWT potions class in this book has 4 of them, and Hermione is still the only one to be answering questions and such

  43. good poimt, roonil wazlib

  44. josie please don’t get overwhelmed! i love your site and check it all the time. just a book and a half to go! please keep posting!

  45. Don’t be pathetic he’ll come back when he’s ready.

  46. Hi Josie, Plz do keep posting..! In fact I think you should publish a book called the Harry Potter companion..!

  47. I know it’s been a while, but I was puzzled by Grace has Victory’s math on McG’s classes… How do you get to 22??

    My counting goes: there’s 4 classes per year (one for each House) for the first 5 years, which makes 20, plus one sixth year inter-house class and one seventh year class, which makes 22… Maybe 24 if you factor in the fact that NEWTs classes may always be double periods, since it’s more hard work. Totally doable.
    Classes which are taught to two houses together are probably those requiring double periods, which still comes as a total of 24 hours of class per teacher.
    Teachers of minor subjects will have less work as they’ll either teach a whole year together, or not teach the first two years or not have NEWTs students every few years… Although I guess Hagrid’s the only one that that’s happened to or it might happen to Trelawney sometimes.

  48. Just a note, the apparition lesson is not the first time we see Ravenclaws in a classroom setting.
    The very first NEWT potions class has four Ravenclaws, and Hermione is STILL the one to answer questions first, and correctly.

  49. Ya, Josie, you should write a book! well, actually, you are probably so busy that you could not find time. Oh, well. You have this website!

  50. aaah sorry for posting that twice guys!
    i didnt see my first five go through lmao
    that must have got annoying

  51. Can you imagine how this chapter would have played out if Harry had accepted Ron’s offer of a chocolate cauldron? :-)

  52. Irene, I was referring to the total number of lesson-periods in a week, not the total number of student-cohorts. The latter number is indeed likely to be 22. However, the first five years seem to have four periods a week (20 x 4 = 80). This is fairly well documented in the narrative. I have allowed six periods a week for each N.E.W.T. class because students are studying fewer subjects by then.

    This ratio reflects real life in Muggle England/Wales. An A-level (= N.E.W.T.) student with a 35-period timetable would devote about six periods in each subject.

    But I’m not dogmatic about the 92. I’m just saying that’s what it seems like to me. Imagine that Flitwick probably runs TWO Charms classes in Years 6 and 7, so he would be teaching something like 104 periods a week!

  53. One thing that really bugged me about Apparition was the whole splinching thing. Look at this way: in Book 7, when Ron gets splinched on his arm, he bleeds profusely and it takes him a few days to recover from the incident.

    In HBP, Susan Bones splinches her left leg completely, and all that does to her is affect her walking, as she hops around the spot on one leg, while crying. It’s also worth noticing that in Book 7, JKR writes that Harry always thought splinching would be comical, but he already would gave seen Susan from the previous year, and would have known that, even though it’s not comical, it would still not be as disturbing as he finds Rom’e bleeding to be.

    That always confused me, can someone shed some light on that maybe?

  54. And by Rom’e I meant Ron’s. That what happens when you use a touch-keyboard with auto-spell-check.

  55. Yeah, Sarah, I don’t know that there is light to be shed on this – you’ve pointed out a definite inconsistency that I don’t know how to address other than to say that Rowling seemed to change her mind about how it worked because she needed something different for the plot of book 7. Though I’d welcome anyone else willing to give it a shot….

  56. This is the very first time I’m replying in anything, I’ve regrettably just stumbled on this site and really sifted through it and I wish I had found it sooner when the books were still being written because – wow! what a fantastic place to have released my inner fangirl! But anyways,

    Sarah: the only possibility that comes to mind for me is that in Hogwarts setting, there was probably some sort of waiver or else assurance that should anyone splinch, they would be taken care off immediately? I mean, in a room full of students just learning Apparition, I highly doubt the instructor (my memory fails me, at the moment, who was the professor again?) would expect many to be able to achieve much of anything, and if they happened to, I’m almost certain majority would splinch themselves. in the case of Ron splinching as he escaped from the Snatchers, Hermione was the only one who could tend to his wound, there were no professionals around to treat him.

    …or else Susan Bones simply has an exceptionally high tolerance for pain…?

  57. I’m with you, Di – at Hogwarts when Susan Bones splinches herself “The Heads of House converged on her…” – this included McGonagall, Flitwick and, of course, Snape who would certainly know a lot more about remedies for splinching than Hermione did in DH – and it was done in a very quick split second. Hermione says in DH that she knows there is more can be done, but she is scared of doing it in case it went wrong – so used the Dittany. So I think Susan Bones was very fortunate with her timing and the people around her.

  58. @The Love Potion: This stuff is STRONG!! I can see this being one of the most deadly potions.

    @Something-You-May-Not-Have-Noticed: impossible. Because all the Mauraders were Gryffindor. They should have never been to Slytherin’s, Ravenclaw’s, or Hufflepuff’s dorm rooms. Or the girls dorm rooms. And the map sees those places. Of course the RoR doesn’t show up because if you need it to be Unplottable it will be. And we don’t know Hagrid’s Hut isn’t on there. Maybe he just didn’t pay attention.

    @Life At Hogwarts: I must confess, I am sure I would have been placed in Ravenclaw.

    @The Sarah: I always believed, as the two people above me, that they were in a very protected environment so there were probally spells placed on the room. In the same way that drivers drive around cones, not people when they are learning.

  59. Something seems odd to me as I read this chapter- As the Potions class works to come up with an antidote for their poisons, Ron and Harry are performing horribly. Of course, that’s not the odd part – but I got to thinking, how did they both manage to mark “Exceeds Expectations” on their O.W.L.s without Hermione’s help during the exam? At first, it was somewhat believable, but no one else in their house scored as well… Really? Ron is that much better than Seamus or Dean or the girls at Potions? Not to mention, there are only 4 Ravenclaws who made it! Oh well…

  60. Well, I think the boys both perform a lot better when Snape isn’t around, and he wasn’t there for the exam. Also, maybe Seamus, Dean, and the girls DID get an E on their exams but don’t need Potions for the career they chose.

  61. To add on to Ragmar Dorkins’s point: Remember that on the first day of class, Harry and Ron are the only two students who don’t already have textbooks. Everyone else in the class arrived at school expecting to take Potions – -which means everyone else in the class got an *O*, since Snape has always made clear that that was what was required for N.E.W.T.-level Potions. Harry and Ron should be the two worst students in the class, by the measure of their O.W.L. scores, anyway.

    I also get the impression that this level of study, similar to silent incantations, wouldn’t have been taught until N.E.W.T.-level anyway. It’s new this year, so it wasn’t on the O.W.L. exam. But I don’t really have specific text to back that up; it’s just my impression.

  62. just a quick, late side-note: Maybe the MArauders couldn’t plot Hagrid’s Hut because he wasn’t a gamekeeper at that time and that Hut wasn’t there yet? Or maybe, since I bet the Map is a foldable map, Harry just isn’t looking that much at the page where the Hut is mapped out on.,..

  63. @ kim I’m pretty sure, Hagrid was gamekeeper at the time, though. Because Hagrid was at Hogwarts as a student when the Chamber of Secrets was opened the first time, so he’s a few years younger than Voldemort; after that, it seems like he went straight from student to mini-groundskeeper…and I’m pretty sure that Lucius Malfoy, Snape, Sirius, James, etc. are all younger than Voldemort.
    I suppose the question is whether Hagrid stayed at Hogwarts after his expulsion or was there some in between time?
    Also, doesn’t Lupin say in PoA that he watched their dots on the map in Hagrid’s hut? Or did he just watch their comings and going on the grounds?

  64. PoA-C17. Lupin: “I watched you cross the grounds and enter Hagrid’s hut. Twenty minutes later, you left Hagrid, and set off back toward the castle.”
    Interpret that as you may.

  65. Ragmar Dorkins, you ended your quote before the key line. Here’s what it says:

    “I watched you cross the grounds and enter Hagrid’s hut. Twenty minutes later, you left Hagrid, and set off back toward the castle. But you were now accompanied by somebody else.”

    If Lupin didn’t notice Pettigrew until they left the hut, that to me seals it that people inside the hut don’t appear on the map. It also explains why Pettigrew was there – he was hiding in the hut because that way he *knew* he wouldn’t show up on the map.

  66. My copy of this contains a typo… Slughorn refers to Ron as Rupert! (I have the hardcover U.S. edition, probably the first run as I got it when it first came out) do all of them have this or did it get fixed? I know JKR has said that she always was thinking of her characters, not the actors when she wrote the later books, but in this case, she or somebody else must have been thinking of the actors.

  67. Paul Menkens, it’s not a typo. This was brought up a lot right after the book was released, as there was a lot of competition to be the first to catch errors at the time. But it’s meant to be a joke that Slughorn pays so little attention to Ron (remember he ignores him completely during all their interactions) that he can’t even remember his name. I think using Rupert’s name instead was an error in judgement on the part of Rowling and her publishers, as it’s distracting to fans who know the actor’s name. And who knows, perhaps she intended it partially to pay homage to Rupert Grint. But other errors have been corrected for subsequent printings, and that line is still in there, so it’s pretty definite that it was intentional.

  68. @Ragmar Dorkins Actually, we know that Hagrid wasn’t groundskeeper when Mr. and Mrs. Weasley went through Hogwarts because of this quote in GoF:

    “Mrs. Weasley was intrigued by the Whomping Willow, which had been planted
    after she had left school, and reminisced at length about the gamekeeper before
    Hagrid, a man called Ogg.”

    According to the Lexicon, the Marauders were about 10 years younger than Molly and Arthur, so they would have started school only 3 years after Molly graduated. It’s possible that Hagrid started working there sometime in those 3 years, or during the 7 that that the Marauders attended Hogwarts, but not necessarily true. And even if he did start working there, he might not have lived in his hut yet, or invited them inside like he does Harry.

  69. Toshella, there are two possiblities:
    1) Hagrid was Ogg’s assistant
    2) Hagrid was employed after Ogg left.
    Given that Hagrid credits Dumbledore with hiring him, it’s possible that Hagrid wasn’t employed until Dumbledore became headmaster c.1968 (when Lupin was between 5 and 11 – “I was bitten…then Dumbledore became headmaster and he said I could come to Hogwarts”). It’s also possible, however, that given Dumbledore’s position as a respected member of the magical community e.g. Dark defeater and lawmaker, he could have persuaded Dippet to take Hagrid on as Ogg’s assistant immediately following Hagrid’s expulsion.

  70. I think, without going back to check, that Dumbledor convinced Dippet to keep Hagrid on as soon as his wand was broken.

  71. I think JKR made an actual error here. “Meanwhile, the Hogwarts library had failed Hermione for the first time in living memory.” This is actually the second time Hermione failed to find something in the library since she could not find the Bubble-Head Charm when she and Ron were helping Harry before the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament.

  72. I just realized…if Slytherin and Gryffindor have Potions together, then it stands to reason that the other first year Potions class is Ravenclaw AND Hufflepuff. Imagine that class!

  73. Couple of thoughts -Isn’t Wilkie Twycross a fabulous name for the nondescript bureaucrat teaching apparition. My driving teaching was this dull, saying in a monotone voice “Look in the rearview mirror every 5 seconds.”
    Second, Ron’s splinching was related to a side along apparition with Hermione switching. Could Ron not have his thoughts so deliberate, determined and he sure did not know the destination. Would that make the splinching worse? I agree that Ron needed someone w healer training for splinching repair. Since I am a PA (physician assistant), I would likely be a healer too ;)
    We always see from Harry’s perspectives and frankly, Harry does not see what Harry is not interested in. So maybe they did have more classes with Ravenclaws. I likely am a Hufflepuff, too helpful by far….
    Regarding the marauder’s map. Well the guys knew where generally the common rooms and dorms were. So, likely they magicked the map to reflect that. Ditto the prof’s rooms. And why would they care who or what was in Hagrid’s hut? I agree they did not know where the RoR was.

  74. In my copy Slughorn refers to Ron as Ralph, somewhat dismissive

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