Detention With Dolores

chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry has another rough day after word of his encounter with Umbridge gets around (especially when Angelina finds out), and after his classes pile on more homework, Harry heads for the first of his detentions – where Umbridge has him do lines in his own blood. Finally the week moves on, though Harry gets another scare at his final detention when Umbridge seems to make his scar hurt.

Silly Draco, by Heather Campbell

Hermione’s hand shot into the air. Behind her back, Malfoy did a bucktoothed imitation of her jumping up and down in eagerness to answer a question.


Still Loony, by deeterhi

Luna took a great breath and then said, without so much as a preliminary hello: “I believe He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and I believe you fought him and escaped from him.”
“Er – right,” said Harry awkwardly.


Ernie, by Ani Bester

Ernie Macmillan… stepped up to him. “I want you to know, Potter,” he said in a loud, carrying voice, “that it’s not only weirdos who support you. I personally believe you one hundred percent. My family have always stood firm behind Dumbledore, and so do I.”
…Harry [was] taken aback but pleased. Ernie might be pompous on occasions like these, but Harry was in a mood to deeply appreciate a vote of confidence from somebody who was not wearing radishes in their ears.


Detention With Dolores, by MartinTenbones

“Ah,” [Umbridge] said softly, moving around her desk to examine his hand herself. “Good. That ought to serve as a reminder to you, oughtn’t it?”


Cuddly in Front of the Fire, by Chantelle

His homework situation, however, was now desperate, and when he returned to the Gryffindor common room he did not, though exhausted, go to bed, but opened his books and began Snape’s moonstone essay. It was half-past two by the time he had finished it.


Umbridge and Harry, by glockgal

She moved toward him, stretching out her short be-ringed fingers for his arm. And then, as she took hold of him to examine the words now cut into his skin, pain seared, not across the back of his hand, but across the scar on his forehead.


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

Harry’s detentions with Umbridge are something close to torture for him, but he fails to notice that his stubborn refusal to let her know that she’s getting to him is at least frustrating her, too. After all, the first night she keeps him past midnight, but by Friday, she doesn’t even keep him a half hour past sundown. Perhaps even an evil toad likes a bit of a weekend.
Come to think of it, how do you suppose an evil toad spends her weekend?

The Wizarding World

We’ve heard from J.K. Rowling that wizards can live considerably longer than Muggles – Dumbledore, for instance, is 150. But to me, that makes it all the more remarkable that the kids’ career prospects are so heavily influenced by the O.W.L. exams they have to sit when they’re fifteen years old. Without passing scores, students aren’t allowed to sit the N.E.W.T.s, and without certain scores there they aren’t eligible for a good number of careers. I don’t know whether Hogwarts allows students to retake classes, but even if they do, it’s hard for me to imagine being forced to decide on a career at such a young age. It’s kind of a scary prospect.

Life at Hogwarts

It’s sort of funny that Angelina demands that Harry attend Keeper tryouts for the Quidditch team – and is then irate when he has to miss them for detention. I can see why she’d want the Chasers there, and maybe even the Beaters. But what the heck would Harry do, as the Seeker, to see how the new people “fit in?” Fly around a lot and see if the Keeper got distracted?

46 Responses to “Detention With Dolores”

  1. Great illustrations this chapter! The ones of Umbridge just make my blood boil…I love deeterhi’s Luna, just fits the character perfectly!

  2. I love that pic by Heather Campbell it’s hilarious! I remember being really shocked the first time I read about Harry’s detention with Umbridge and him writing lines with his own blood, I mean Snape’s dealt out some pretty horrible detentions in his time but nothing as bad as this! Evil, pshychotic toad!

  3. I’ll throw my hat in for the trivis contest (what’s the prize? :)
    1) Hermione, Dumbledore, Moody
    2) Snape
    3) This is easy! Peter Pettigrew, at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban.

  4. I bet Umbridge spends her weekends organising her office, stalking students to tell them off, gazing adoringly at a picture of Fudge and sipping tea. That sounds like her. Evil toad.

  5. I agree with choosing a career at 15 as a scary prospect. I’m in my first year of college and I’m still not entirely sure what career I’ll persue. The O. W. L.s always reminded me of ACT/SAT tests, but at least you could take those ones as often as you’d like. No wonder some, like Hannah Abbott, had breakdowns. Snape does mention in HP6 that Crabbe and Goyle had to take their O. W. L.s again, so it must only be available to “Troll” students. ;-)

  6. Was it ever made clear if Harry’s scar hurting was coincidence because of what Voldy was doing at the time, or if it was linked to D.U. wearing the locket?

  7. LOVE Heather Campbell’s drawing – Malfoy’s hilarious in it!

    My guesses at trivia:
    1) Voldemort, Sirius (“Padfoot” in PoA and OP), and Rita Skeeter
    2) Dumbledore
    3) Pettigrew

    And I totally sympathize with career anxiety – I’m going through college apps right now at almost 18, and I’m TERRIFIED.

  8. Anna, I think it mentions later in the book that the feeling Harry got when Umbridge took his hand was actually a “happy” feeling. Harry thought (or said, I am not sure) that he was so miserable at the time that he didn’t recognize it, but that Voldemort was happy at that moment.

    And I have no idea as to the trivia questions. Without looking back, I’d say that Question #2 is definitely Snape. The two first names are harder. I’ll say “Dumbledore, Hermione, and DOBBY. (Is that a first name? A last name? Just a name?)
    I have no idea about #3, unless it is Pettigrew. But does it mention him by name? Ah well…those are my guesses.

    Great questions, all!

  9. Nice job on the trivia! I thought it would be harder than it seems it was, especially the third question. :) Valeria got all the answers but one, which Jimma nailed. The first question was Dumbledore (Will of Albus Dumbledore and Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, both in DH), Hermione (Hermione’s Secret in PA and Hermione’s Helping Hand in HBP), and Dobby (Dobby’s Request and Dobby’s Reward, both in CS). #2 was Snape as most of you guessed, and #3 was Pettigrew – the chapter titles were Cat, Rat, and Dog; Moody, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs; and The Servant of Lord Voldemort, chapters 17-19 in PA. That’s why I thought it would be harder, since he’s never mentioned by name.

    No prizes, I’m afraid, but I appreciate the participation. :)

    Also, Anna – Jimma answered your question but I also wanted to add that Umbridge doesn’t have the locket yet; Mundungus didn’t ransack the house until Sirius had gone (remember Kreacher says Dung stole the locket from him).

  10. It was discussed in the comments of GoF if the spectators saw anything that was taking place in the maze. Here it is stated by Hermione that they did not.

    Could Hermione really set the houseelves free? Doesn’t it have to be done by their master? Are all students their masters then?

    I was totally thinking the same about it being very early to be deciding about careers. Considering how much older than Muggles Wizards can get I’ve always been thinking that 17 is quite early for them to become of age, too.

    Bowtruckles are tree guardians. That description reminded me of Treebeard, though of course he’s much bigger.

    Does anyone have a German edition of this book? Umbridge is called an old hag by Ron when he notices what Harry doing lines really meant. Since the German word for hag is the same as the one for witch I would be interested in how this was translated.

  11. @ Kim, in the latinoamerican spanish version, they translated “hag” as “arpía”, which literally translates as “harpy”. The German translation probably also uses another mythological bad witch-like creature. I hope that helps.

  12. Isn’t Angelina just mad at harry because she is insecure herself? I mean, the person she’s replacing got a Quidditch-contract (right, we heard that in book 4, didn’t we?) And maybe she is the captain, but she would like to make the decision with her whole team. It’s not as if she’s replacing the whole team, like Harry has to do in book 6…
    I can seem to relate to her anger. It’s just stress.

  13. Thanks…I’d forgotten Mundungus hadn’t stolen the locket yet.

  14. Wow, I epicly failed at trivia – I never can remember chapter titles.
    kim, I see what you’re saying about Angelina, but I still think the response is unwarranted. Especially considering she’s only been playing a year longer than Harry, she has little right to yell at him like that. He’s not some n00b who can’t fly.

  15. And here I was getting my speech ready for the awards ceremony… I know I haven’t said this before, but this is my new favorite site. I’m re-reading all the books (currently Goblet of Fire) and checking out your comments, which give me a whole new outlook on what’s going on. Thank you for a wonderful work.

  16. The trivia was fun and interesting. Snape is also one of only two characters referenced in a title of the books. Well besides Harry himself of course.

  17. @Kim, I have the German editions of the books and it was really translated with “Die alte Hexe!”, which can mean both “The old hag” or “The old witch”. But as this phrase is quite commonly used to insult someone, it doesn’t sound strange in this context.
    I’ve also just realized that the chapter title has a double meaning. As Umbridge’s first name “Dolores” comes from the latin word “dolor” meaning “pain”, the title also reads as “Detention with pain”, which is quite true to Harry’s painful experience during detention.

  18. Huh? Where are these trivia question?
    I agree about the children coming of age and choosing careers so early. Why? Other than to make the plot move better? Maybe that’s close to how school works in Britain. I really have no idea.
    Lorena – I have a feeling JKR did that on purpose. On mugglenet there is a giant (GIANT!) list of name origins and I believe that is mentioned.

  19. Mickey, the trivia questions were in my post on the updates page:


  20. This is definitely how school worked in England & Wales in the 1980s (the system on which Hogwarts is modelled).

    Students started secondary school at age 11.

    At the end of their fifth year (age 15 or 16) they took their Ordinary Level exams. This was broad: they studied five to twelve subjects, depending on ability, with maths and English being compulsory. They had to make some kind of career decision this year, and 70% left school to join the workplace.

    At the end of their seventh year (age 17 or 18) the remaining students took their Advanced Level exams. This was much narrower, as they only sat in three to five subjects, so certain career options were already closed to them. Results in the A Levels determined who would go to which university.

    The only difference in the wizarding world is that students don’t often leave Hogwarts after fifth year. The majority make an attempt at at least a couple of N.E.W.T. subjects.

    Nowadays, O Levels are renamed G.C.S.E.s, but they are essentially the same thing. A Levels are still called A Levels, but there are also exams in Year 6 IN ADDITION to the life-controlling exams that end Year 7. Muggles can at any time make a second attempt at G.C.S.E. or A Level exams (or a first attempt at a new subject), but the school is not obliged to pay the exam fee. While a school might allow a teenager to repeat Year 5, 6 or 7, just as Hogwarts does, this courtesy would be at the school’s discretion. Adults who return to study usually have to pay their own way.

  21. Thanks for the explanation, Grace!

  22. Thanks to hpboy13 and Lorena for checking.

  23. Concerning Angelina wanting Harry at the tryouts, I always thought she wanted him there to see how the team fit together personality wise, which we see can be very important in the sixth book with Cormac McLegger.

  24. What really gets me in this chapter, that awful woman Umbridge keeps Harry over 7 hours for each of his first two night’s detention. Harry is only 15 – where is Dumbledore and his all seeing eye while this is happening. I know his ideas on character-building but I have always thought this is a bit overboard. It almost borders on abuse. Horrible woman!

  25. i agree with the above about Angelina wanting Harry there for tryouts to see how the team gets along, but I also think that maybe she was thinking ahead? She knows that she’s only got a year left and so she’s preparing Harry to be the next captain, making sure he’s at tryouts and understands how people are chosen. Maybe she does the same for the other players who will be returning next year (is it just alicia and katie?) or maybe just harry because she feels he has the best chance of becoming captain (though who chooses, I don’t know. could be mcgonagall? or madam hooch? or the previous captain?) but thats my take on it. She’s making sure her team is prepared for next year as well as the current one.

  26. Yeah Grace has Victory pretty much got it right. I go to an English school, and have just finished Year 11 (5th Year) and took my GCSE’s. The career defining decision I know face is what subjects to take at College. Then at the end of 2nd Year at College (7th Year) I can choose to go to University and study my chosen subject, helping me get a career. :)

  27. I’m in complete agreement with Connie with regard to Angelina’s desire to have Harry at tryouts. In fact, it seems so obvious that I’m surprised no one mentioned it before. I don’t know if it’s the final decision of the outgoing captain, or the head of house that chooses the new captain, but it would be very difficult for me to imagine that some discussion between Angelina and McGonagal would not have taken place, and that Angelina’s opinion would not have been given substantial weight.

    Incidentally, I find it hard to believe that I’m the only male reader with a big literary crush on Angelina. She’s into sports, gets Fred and George’s humor, and dances like a freak. What an amazing chick!

  28. I think that it would be McGonagall who chooses Quidditch captain for Gryffindor, based on how Harry becomes it in HBP, but I also agree that Angelina’s opinion might well have been taken into account. (Angelina is pretty hot literarily, indeed, whether or not also physically). I love the “detention with pain” linguistic idea – really switched a light on in my head. Never thought of that before. I bet that’s why JKR chose the name Dolores. So many of her other characters have personality/physiology-reflecting names, after all. Two things, though. I’m aware that you know, Josie, and have discussed it elsewhere on site, that Dumbledore is actually 114 at time of death, but you’ve left up the 150 thing on this page. And, not to be pedantic, but Book 2 Ch.2 is called “Dobby’s Warning” not “Dobby’s Request”.

  29. Also, Josie, other than “Snape’s Grudge”, “Snape’s Worst Memory”, “Snape Victorious” and “The Sacking of Severus Snape”, I don’t think there’s another one, so it’d be 4 not 5, right?. And it turns out I’m not the first person to spot that Ch12 is “Professor Umbridge” – Geoffrey spotted it on the updates page last November. Credit where credit’s due.

  30. @Electa, almost abuse? I don’t know what the laws and definitions are in the wizarding world but in the Muggle world it would be very definitely defined as serious abuse. On an adult it would be punishable too, though I don’t know what word they would use. Assult maybe? I wonder whether Umbridge would do this if Harry had parents to write home to.

    I love the scene with the quill in the movie. The way Harry looks at her after he realises what the quill does is absolutely perfect, like he’s seeing the full extent of what she is.

  31. I always thought it was lame that Draco does a bucktooth impression of Hermione when she no longer HAS buckteeth. Come on, now. Really ?

  32. Regarding Dumbledore, he’s actually only 116 years old if he was born in 1881 and died in 1997. That’s still pretty darn old, though.

  33. About Dumbledore being 150, JK Rowling was the one that said that. However, 116 is apparently closer to the truth. After all, JK Rowling and numbers, you know…

  34. Electa, I think at this point in this book, Dumbledore is treading carefully when it comes to the affairs of the Ministry within Hogwarts. It probably pained him very much to know of what Umbridge was doing to Harry, but he felt he couldn’t step in without getting a whole lot of flack from the Ministry and make matters worse. And on the other hand, perhaps this is another one of Dumbledore’s “tests” for Harry. The same as putting him through eleven years worth of physical and mental abuse from the Dursleys. This is actually one of the reasons why my sister hates Dumbledore now. After reading DH, she loathes what he did to Harry, raising him like a lamb to the slaughter.

    And Rtozier, don’t forget in PS about the chapter “The Potions Master”. It doesn’t directly have the name Snape in it, but neither do the chapters for Pettigrew that point to him ;]

  35. @ Rtozier there are 5 chapters to snapes name- the chapter”the potons master” in PS.

  36. As to the all seeing eye of Albus Dumbledore, I’d like to offer up the suggestion that he may not actually be at the school at the times in question. After all, he has memories to hunt.

  37. And, I realize I’m really late in responding to Kim, but about the hats and the house elves, I’m wondering if it would actually work at all myself. I mean, I always figured that the person had to physically hand the article of clothing to the elf, or toss it to them as Mr. Malfoy does with the sock. Otherwise, wizards and witches would have to do their own laundry, and I somehow can’t picture Narcissa with a washboard.

  38. i definetly think dumbledore was right in letting harry live with the Dursleys, after all he wouldn’t have been as tough as he would be if he wasn’t. I was always bullied during my middle school years, but by high school i had grown tough and stopped crying and such so they left me alone. then again i moved to a new school district right before my freshman year. people tried to bully me but quickly gave up. that’s how i feel anyway.

  39. What I want to know is after what happened to Riddle & Snape, how Dumbledore didn’t worry Harry wouldn’t end up the same?

  40. Cat-lovers everywhere must be feeling pretty upset at Umbridge for those kitten-adorned plates in her office, and hoping that she’s not really that fond of cats. (Thank goodness for Minerva’s Animagus form and Crookshanks, to balance that!)

  41. Sorry to say it, but having to decide what career you want when you’re fifteen isn’t that alien to me. Where I live (Sweden), you choose high school programmes at the age of fifteen, and you need good grades if you want a good education, otherwise you won’t be able to study what you like and need to study for college. They’re changing the systems now, but it’s still pretty harsh.

  42. Ron “You’re setting them free when they might not want to be free.”
    Hermione “Of course they want to be free!”

    I agree with Ron’s statement here.

  43. Todd, re Umbridge (I hate that woman) & cats, her patronus was a cat also.
    To Electo, her actions were not abuse, they were torture and she enjoyed every moment of it.

  44. 115 or 150? I still get confused by that. Which fits better?

  45. @Todd, there is also Mrs. Figg and her gzillion cats to balance the account… That one always made me laugh as a cat-fan myself. AND Mrs. Norris! Filch’s cat. ;)

  46. Todd, I’m a cat lover, as is my wife. Umbridge is a hilarious send-up of a cute-loving cat lover. Not all cat lovers love this cuteness. That Dolores (sadness and pain) Umbridge likes cute cat things, pink, and bows in her hair says a lot to me about what Ms Rowling thinks about all of that. Precious kitties on collector plates, that go and report to her when she is not in her office? That is a vcious parody of that sort of thing. If she weren’t so monstrous in her behavior, it would be funny. But it’s hard to laugh a lot at a woman who sits on the Wizengamot to try Harry for using under-age magic, when the under age magic he practiced was to cast a Patronus to protect himself an his cousin from dementors. We will learn later who it was who set them on the two boys. And there she was on the jury bench! That is as evil as anyone wearing the Death Mark. Kittens, indeed!

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