The Hogwarts High Inquisitor

chapter fifteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Dolores Umbridge is appointed the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, and begins inspecting classes. She doesn’t turn up in Potions, but Harry encounters her in Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, and (memorably) Transfiguration – as well as in her own class, in which Harry earns another week of detentions. But later, Hermione asks Harry if he’ll be willing to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts himself.
 

Not Amused, by Vizen

“I expect to see a great deal more effort for this week’s essay on the various varieties of venom antidotes, or I shall have to start handing out detentions to those dunces who get D’s.”

(by Vizen)


 

Potions Class, by reallycorking

Determined not to give Snape an excuse to fail him this lesson, Harry read and reread every line of the instructions… at least three times before acting on them.


 

Professor Umbridge, by Laurence Peguy

“Good afternoon, Professor Trelawney,” said Professor Umbridge with her wide smile. “You received my note, I trust? Giving the time and date of your inspection?”


 

Professor Trelawney, by Tealin Raintree

“The Inner Eye does not See upon command!” [Trelawney] said in scandalized tones.


 

Hem Hem, by Laura Freeman

“Yes?” said Professor McGonagall, turning round….
“I was just wondering, Professor, whether you received my note telling you of the date and time of your inspec-“
“Obviously I received it, or I would have asked you what you are doing in my classroom,” said Professor McGonagall, turning her back firmly on Professor Umbridge.


 

McGoangall vs Umbridge, by glockgal

Professor Umbridge made a note. “Very well,” she said, “you will receive the results of your inspection in ten days’ time.”
“I can hardly wait,” said Professor McGonagall in a coldly indifferent voice.


 

Sketchy Hermione, by robin edwards

“Well,” said Hermione tentatively. “You know, I was thinking today….” She shot a slightly nervous look at Harry and then plunged on, “I was thinking that – maybe the time’s come when we should just – just do it ourselves…. learn Defense Against the Dark Arts.”


 

about the chapter

 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

The Daily Prophet article about Umbridge’s appointment to the High Inquisitor position mentioned that the legislation had been enacted the previous evening. Which makes sense, except that Hermione is reading the article on a Monday morning. Surely it wouldn’t be standard protocol to enact legislation on a Sunday evening, no matter how busy the Ministry is? Rather, it sounds suspiciously like yet another example of Fudge finding loopholes in the law to serve his own purposes. How much do you want to bet several members of the Wizengamot were “accidentally” not told about the special voting session?
 

The Power of Magic

Most of Trelawney’s dramatic revelations are clearly fabrications, but I love reading them (not to mention the predictions made by students in her class) all the same, to see whether they will come true. Because actually, aside from Trelawney’s routine predictions of Harry’s demise, enough of them do come true in some form that I suspect Rowling is quite enjoying writing in the little clues. Just for the record, her only prediction in this chapter is that Umbridge is in “grave danger.” We’ll see what happens.
 

Life at Hogwarts

Given that each of Harry’s teachers has a minimum of seven classes – and many of them have well into the double-digits – the odds are pretty low that any given student would see Umbridge inspect very many. In fact, if things were truly random, the majority of students would never see any inspections at all. Yet on the very first day, Harry’s present for three (and he’s got even more to come). Something tells me it’s not random chance that’s determining which classes Umbridge happens to be inspecting….
 

The Boy Who Lived

I find it quite interesting that Viktor Krum said Harry knew magic he didn’t, despite Krum’s being three years older. Rowling has written Harry’s growth as a wizard so beautifully, that we’ve barely noticed what was going on even as it’s happened under our eyes. One by one, he learned the Patronus, one heck of a Summoning Charm, and all kinds of other defensive spells. And even though Hermione helped him learn many of them as he prepared for the Triwizard Tournament, just a few months later she feels that she can’t learn them effectively without his help. He’s a good way on towards being quite a powerful wizard. Now if only he realized it himself.
 

The Final Word

(When asked, “If Harry had a magic duel with Hermione, who would win?”)
“Very good question! Because until about halfway through Azkaban, Hermione would have won. But Harry – without anyone really noticing it – is becoming exceptionally good at Defence Against the Dark Arts. So that’s the one area in which, almost instinctively, he is particularly talented. Apart from Quidditch.”
–J.K. Rowling, July 2000
 


42 Responses to “The Hogwarts High Inquisitor”

  1. You know what’s sad? It always bothered me that Umbridge would be at so many of Harry’s classes for her inspections (due to the numerous classes out there) but, for some reason, I never actually thought, “oh, it’s because she’s following him!” Lol.

    And excellent point in the SYMNHN, Fudge is definitely going a *little* power-hungry if he’s holding government meetings on a Sunday night. Ugh. He makes me so mad sometimes! I mean, shouldn’t the wizards or other members of the Ministry noticed that something was seriously off? (And, if they don’t, no wonder everyone can get Imperiused without others noticing. Yeesh.)

  2. I love the scene between Prof. McGonagall and Umbridge in this chapter. Imagining the look on Minverva’s face when she has a showdown with Umbridge makes me laugh every time. The dynamic between the two of them — the sickly sweet maliciousness of Umbridge and the frosty strength in McGonagall — provides some of the best comedic moments of the series. I remember reading a review of this book by Stephen King, in which he said that Umbridge was one of the greatest villians he had ever read (quite a compliment from the Master of Horror) and I completely agree. Umbridge is sometimes a much more compelling villian than Voldemort. We encounter people like Umbridge in real life, people who are bigoted, power-hungry and unscrupulous, and I love how Harry deals with her and how she changes him. The scene in Half-Blood Prince when he shows off his “I must not tell lies” scar to the Minister of Magic is so telling. He did learn not to tell lies, after all.

  3. I never loved McGonagall more than in this chapter.

  4. And . . . I have to completely agree with Meri and jay. McGonaagall became one of my favorite characters, thanks to this book. :D

  5. ditto Natalia, it always bugged me about Umbridge being in Harry’s lessons but i never made that link, cheers for that Josie :D

    and i love McGonagall in this chapter

  6. Nice insights about Harry’s gradual growth and maturation. And I like Rowling’s comment.

    Something I (and others) have written about elsewhere, is the fact that almost, if not all of Trelawney’s predictions have come true. When she keeps predicting Harry’s demise, it is actually the bit of Voldemort inside of him that she is seeing. Evidence for this: She asks Harry if he is born in mid-winter, which obviously he is not. But Voldemort was (New Year’s Eve). Again, she is seeing the bit of Voldemort’s soul inside of Harry. And the great danger that she sees Umbrage in? Centaurs…?

    I realize this chapter is not really about Trelawney, but if anyone wants to name any of her predictions, it’d be fun to examine how they actually all do come true.

  7. Hmm. I never thought that Voldemort was born in mid-winter. Good thinking.
    Wouldn’t the teachers have at least fourteen classes? Because they don’t teach the enitre grade at once. They could have doubles like Snape having potions class with Slytherins and Gryffindors in Harry’s year. So that’s at least two classes for every year. Which teacher would ever only have seven classes?
    I don’t know how those teachers manage it. All the teaching, the marking AND the prowling the corridors at night in Snape’s case.

  8. @ Ben, do you really consider New Year’s Eve mid-winter? Winter starts on December 21st, ten days into a three-month period isn’t anywhere near the middle of it. I actually think that Trelawney studied astrology, but wizard astrology (as opposed to centaur astrology) is not really refined, so she fails when she tries to apply those theories.

    There’s a small mistake in the first picture’s caption. It reads “arieties” instead of “varieties”. Just thought I’d let you know.

  9. Go Minerva McGonagall! :) She is awesome, especially in this scene and in the final battle of Deathly Hallows!

  10. McGonagall is so absolutely awesome!! I totally love this, because we have an almost eerily similar situation at my school right now (none of us is writing lines in blood yet…), and I keep thinking how awesome it would be if the students were actually able to band together instead of a few vigilantes fighting for all of us.

  11. Hmm… the class load has always interested me too. Sixth and seventh year subjects are taught one class for all four houses, I believe (NEWT-levels), so a major class, such as Potions, would have 1 7th, 1 6th, 2-4 5th-1st. So that’s… 12-22 classes? And it doesn’t seem like classes meet every day, so… maybe twice a week? 24-44 classes a week? 5-9 classes a day? I suppose it’s possible. And then minor classes, such as Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, Divination… classes not every student chooses to take, those would be at least smaller in student numbers, so probably fewer classes taught. Divination starts third year, after all, so there’s two years Trelawney never has to worry about.

    I’m just rather impressed that McGonagall has time to teach a major class (does she have double classes?), be the Head of Gryffindor House, AND Deputy Headmistress. And, starting fifth year, participate in the Order of the Phoenix, too. And she does it all with such power and composure. Well done, Minnie. The stress would kill me.

  12. I would be interested to know how often classes take place. Sometimes it seems like only once a week.

    Also: Fred and George explain the grades to Harry, Ron and Hermione. Do they only start getting grades for OWLs and before it was more about passing a class?

  13. Yeah, the classes… are complicated. I tried working them out once before and gave up halfway through, though I may try again and make an essay out of it. The information we get each year is spotty and seems to lend itself to the idea that each class meets however frequently is necessary for the plot, no more and no less. We know Rowling didn’t use calendars (as dates don’t work out, she once wrote two consecutive Mondays, September 1 seems to fall on a Sunday seven years in a row….) so it wouldn’t surprise me if she also didn’t map out class schedules in much detail. She works out tons of detail for things like the rules of magic, but the more mathematical aspects of the world are often forgotten.

    Eliza, Spider hit on where I got the number seven from – Arithmancy, for instance, could have 2 classes each for 3rd, 4th, and 5th year, plus a N.E.W.T. class (although I guess usually they’d have two N.E.W.T. classes, one per year, so the total really should be eight).

    Martin, thanks for catching the error – I’ll fix it now. :)

  14. Minerva rocks in this chapter, I always feel like cheering when I read this scene. Wish I had made the connection with Umbridge’s inspections and her spying on Harry but I completely missed it. And the classes are just mad at Hogwarts, why doesn’t Dumbledore just hire more staff, surely teachers can be in so short supply? I mean its not as if anything weird has happened to the Charms, Potions or Transfigurations teachers, its just the DADA position you gotta watch.

  15. Irene, I agree completely – if Dumbledore can afford to hire TWO Divination teachers (both of questionable competency), I’m sure he could hire another teacher each for Transfiguration/Charms/Herbology/Potions/DADA

  16. hpboy13, I’m not sure I agree. Hiring one extra person is really different from hiring five. And I also don’t think Dumbledore felt he had a choice when it came to Firenze/Trelawney… after all, Firenze would have had nowhere to go, and while Trelawney might have been willing to leave, Dumbledore had his reasons for needing to keep her at Hogwarts. That’s the sort of situation where you make it work, whether you technically can or not.

  17. How much would the teachers get paid anyway? They live at the castle for most of the year. I’m also guessing wizards don’t have health or life insurance.

  18. I think it’s safe to say that the timetable problem falls into the category of, “Oh, dear, maths…” The numbers on JKR’s timetables never add up. There are 35 periods in a week, yet some teachers are scheduled for as many as 120 periods of teaching.

    Perhaps they have time-turners. Or perhaps we are simply not meant to take the numbers literally.

    Regarding the “grading”, Mim, British schools are not big on grades. External exams (O and A levels) are graded, and there are indeed six possible grades. A, B and C are passes; D, E and U (for “unclassified”) are fails. But internal assessments set by the school do not follow any particular universally-recognised grading system. Hogwarts teachers apparently give a mark out of 10 for each piece of homework. Some Muggle schools also do it this way, but there is no “must”.

    You can’t really “pass a class” in Britain. A student might fail the school’s internal exam at the end of the year, and this would be noted on the report to the parents, but there would be no other consequence. The student would still be promoted to the next year-level the following year. Only if a student had showed consistent signs of not learning anything throughout the year AND failed the internal exam in NEARLY EVERY SUBJECT would the school consider making the student repeat the year.

    Marcus Flint must have been exceptionally stupid.

  19. Samantha, an interesting question – do we ever see a moment that would indicate whether Hogwarts pays well? I can’t think of one. Teachers certainly get room and board, so their salaries would appear small on paper, but would be all disposable income.

    As far as health insurance – St. Mungo’s sure looks like government health care to me (as the check-in process doesn’t require any paperwork at all). Wizarding government is HUGE.

    And for life insurance, I’d have to think it exists somehow, no? What would Molly have done if the snake killed Arthur? (Maybe the government picks up that check too, like social security?)

  20. wow grace, thanks for the info: I never knew that about the Britisch school system! It makes promoting Crabbe and Goyle to the next level understandable.
    Great chapter! one of my favorites from book 5 :)

  21. “Marcus Flint must have been exceptionally stupid.” LOL! Seriously, thanks for the insight in this and the last chapter, Grace. I’m glad you’re on board to explain this British stuff to us.

  22. Just wanted to ditto kim’s comment: Thanks, Grace, for catching the rest of us up on British life!

    And how did so many “dumb” students end up in Slytherin? It makes me want to make comments about the consequences pureblood breeding . . .

  23. Slytherins are supposed to be cunning and ambitious, so why are they always the stupid brutes? It makes no sense. Maybe they tried to figure out ways to cheat and couldn’t?

  24. well, you don’t have to be exceptionally bright to still be ambitious (think about Fudge, not the brightest one,) or cunning (Harry is certainly cunning, but I wouldn’t call him smart in most of those cases)

  25. All right, another British comment coming up…

    While Muggles can get private health insurance, it isn’t an essential the way it is in the USA. The National Health scheme covers nearly everything, i.e. visits to the doctor and to hospital are covered; children also get free dental and optic check-ups. E.g., Harry did not pay for his glasses, and his need for them was probably discovered by a school optic check-up rather than the Dursleys’ efforts. I’m pretty sure JKR would envision St Mungo’s & etc. as being entirely Ministry-owned; it wouldn’t occur to her that wizards should pay for their basic health care. So, Samantha, I think you’re right that Hogwarts wouldn’t pay health insurance.

    Life insurance? Well, that’s more common. Muggle social security prevents starvation but that’s ALL it does, as JKR herself knows only too well. Among wizards, we don’t know whether most people have life insurance or whether JKR perceives wizards as being more generous in their pay-outs to the destitute. (Lupin doesn’t seem to receive benefits, but perhaps werewolves are not eligible anyway.) I think it’s safe to say that Hogwarts would not provide life insurance to its staff. It WOULD, however, provide a superannuation scheme to finance retirement. British employers are obliged to do this.

    Natalia, I suspect the “stupid Slytherin” phenomenon is explained by the trend for unintelligent wizards to follow their protectors. Peter Pettigrew followed his new friends into Gryffindor and the Crabbes and Goyles follow the Malfoys. However, I think Millicent Bulstrode and Draco Malfoy are actually of average ability. We tend to miss this because Harry and Ron are of superior ability, but we identify with them as the “everymen” of the story.

  26. I should also say – thank you all for ytour warm welcome. I have been lurking for a while becasue I’m trying to curb my bad habit of dominating discussions. But I really like this site. With several of the traditional HP fan sites now fading away, the niche for intelligent analysis and stunning artwork is wide open.

  27. Grace: thanks for the additional British information. Starting around HBP, I started to respect Draco a lot more for his magical ability because he was able to *show* it more. Up until this point we just see him bullying and hanging out with classmates who can’t seem to be able to form full sentences, etc.

    I’m away from my books right now, but were Crabbe and Goyle in ANY of Harry’s N.E.W.T. level classes? And what were they doing all year if they weren’t?

  28. Finally, here is a cultural comment that requires you to be not only British, but a teacher in a British school, to understand the joke.

    The government is trying to maintain quality by inspecting what goes on in schools. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) sends its inspectors around a school for three days of intense observation. The school knows they are coming, but individual teachers don’t know when they will be inspected. An Ofsted inspector walks in with a clipboard and sits at the back of the class, ticking boxes that check whether the teacher presented a starter activity, a body of content and a plenary (summary activity); whether different learning styles were accommodated and multiple intelligences were addresed (a tick for each one you covered in that lesson); whether you used modern IT (regardless of whether it was appropriate); whether you met certain criteria for classroom management (again, regardless of whether these criteria were needed for this lesson). Then each teacher, as well as the school as a whole, is rated as “Unsatisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Good” or “Outstanding”.

    Schools with a poor Ofsted report will lose enrolments, which becomes a self-perpetuating problem. However, those with a very poor report will receive extra government funding and “guidance”.

    Needless to say, teachers regard Ofsted inspectors as evil. The inspection process causes huge stress, to the point of major illnesses, among the staff; many of the inspectors do not seem to understand much about the process of education; and did I mention that the tick-box system is highly inappropriate to many kinds of lesson?

    Most British teachers find Umbridge a hilarious, though loathsome, character. When the Ofsted inspectors came to my previous school, I sent a friendly good-luck e-mail to my former colleagues. What I wrote in the subject line was: “Throw them to the centaurs!”

  29. Speaking of heealth care reminded me of something I read about Hogwarts employees’ health insurance or, lack of. It was so funny I saved it:

    Quirrell: possessed by Dark Lord – nobody notices anything more than suspicious behavior for 10 months.
    Moody: replaced by imposter, locked in trunk for 9 months, nobody notices.
    Lupin: Sorry, lycanthropy is a pre-existing condition.
    Kettleburn: suffers loss of limbs.
    Bimms: dies in the staffroom, nobody notices.
    Minerva: assaulted by Ministry officials, has to carry her own luggage when she comes back from the hospital.
    Barty Crouch (the Moody imposter): taken into custody, a lone dementor promptly steamrollers school security (Minerva) and sucks out his soul.
    Snape: clearly suffers from some sort of condition that means he can only occasionally tolerate sunlight. St. Mungo’s HMO must not cover the condition.
    Flitwick: Clearly, Hogwarts does not follow current codes for universal access and workstation environment. I mean, the man has to sit on a pile of phone books, for Pete’s sake!
    Umbridge: Actually, she brought it all on herself.
    Hagrid, Slughorn, Trelawney, Winky: St. Mungo’s HMO does not offer substance abuse counseling.
    Trelawney: No prescription eyecare benefit, either.
    Dumbledore: In their last inspection, OSHA told him he needed to install safety railings at the top of all towers, which should be used in conjunction with fall-protection harnesses. But did he listen? No!

  30. katandcon: That’s hilarious! Thank you for sharing. :D

  31. Holding the vote for laws that are unpopular on the weekends is a pretty common practice (seen as recently as when the vote was held for Obamacare), more because the media won’t get wind of it until after the change has already been enacted than from the fact that some of the voting members might not show up.

  32. This past weekend when the Health Care legislation was scheduled for a vote on a Sunday night, all I could think of was Fudge and his High Inquisitor legislation.

  33. Here is a sample of McGonagall Schedule. I didn’t include and double periods.

    Transfiguration

    Monday 1st year
    9-10 Hufflepuff 1st Year
    10-11 Ravenclaw 1st year
    11-12 Gryffindor 1st year
    12-1 Lunch
    1-2 Slytherin 1st year

    Tuesday 2nd year
    9-10 Hufflepuff 2nd year
    10-11 Ravenclaw 2nd year 
    11-12 Gryffindor 2nd year
    12-1 Lunch
    1-2 Slytherin 2nd year
    2-3 Newt 6

    Wednesday 3rd year
    9-10 Hufflepuff 3rd year
    10-11 Ravenclaw 3rd year
    11-12 Gryffindor 3rd year
    12-1 Lunch
    1-2 Slytherin 3rd year

    Thursday 4th year
    9-10 Hufflepuff 4th year
    10-11 Ravenclaw 4th year
    11-12 Gryffindor 4th year
    12-1 Lunch
    1-2 Slytherin 4th year
    2-3 Newt 7
     
    Friday 5th year
    9-10 Hufflepuff 5th year
    10-11 Ravenclaw 5th year
    11-12 Gryffindor 5th year
    12-1 Lunch
    1-2 Slytherin 5th year

  34. I found this online and it’s pretty interesting.

    Okay, this is a geeky, former teacher thing to think about but, how exactly to class schedules at Hogwarts work? I’m actually thinking of this more from the staff perspective, but this is how I understand it.

    First and Second Year: Students have a set specific schedule of classes and do not seem to have an electives. They all seem to take, Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Defense against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic and Astronomy. And the schedule is somewhat rotating. They don’t have every class every day, but class sessions appear be to about three hours per week sometimes with two-hour “double sessions.” I’m just estimating on that last part, because I don’t really know. Also, class sessions seem to be shared with another House (for example, the Trio has Herbology with the Hufflepuffs and Potions with the Slytherins.)

    Third Through Fifth Year:  Here electives seem to be added and students can take Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and Divination as well as Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Defense against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, and Astronomy. However, they still seem to have shared class sessions with other Houses. Is that true?

    Sixth and Seventh Year: After they’ve sat their N.E.W.T.S. it appears that students take only the classes for which they are going to sit for O.W.L.s and that the staff has some say in who their students will be. Also, classes appear to be mixed with all four houses.
    Am I mostly correct in this? BTW, this is based on Harry’s generation because Divination was not taught before then.
    So here is the thing from the staff perspective. That’s a hell of a lot of preps! Prep being educators jargon for individual classes for which you need to prepare. For example, I taught three sections of Freshman English and that’s one prep, plus Drama (another Prep), plus IB Sophomore English (Third Prep) for Three preps and five classes.

    Granted, some teachers would have less preps because they only teach subjects Third Year and above, but others (like Snape, Flitwick, McGonagall, and the ever-changing DADA teacher would have insane schedules!) So, let’s look at McGonagall. She would have:
    First Year Transfiguration: Two sections for all four Houses.
    Second Year Transfiguration: Two sections for all four Houses.
    Year Transfiguration: Two sections for all four Houses.
    Fourth Year Transfiguration: Two sections for all four Houses.
    Fifth Year Transfiguration: Two sections for all four Houses.
    Sixth Year Advanced Transfiguration.: Let’s assume one class for her own sanity.
    Seventh Year Advanced Transfiguration: Ditto

    That is seven preps and twelve class sections. Is that even possible? And if I’m correct about the three hours of each class a week, that’s thirty-six hours of teaching! In America secondary teachers are actually instructing students for about twenty-five to thirty hours per week and the rest is planning, meetings, supervision, and extra-curricular.  Granted, I worked about fifty-hour (plus) weeks, but there was not that much classroom time or different preps.
    Granted, some subjects (like Astronomy) are taught only at night, but that still makes for a crowded week.
    Or am I just figuring this wrong?

  35. Monday and Tuesday:
    Breakfast until 0845
    0900 – 0945 – First Year Gryffindors
    1000 – 1045 – First Year Ravenclaws
    1045 – 1130 – Second Year Gryffindors
    1145 – 1245 – Lunch and a Break
    1300 – 1345 – Second Year Ravenclaws
    1400 – 1445 – Third Year Gryffindors
    1500 – 1545 –  Third Year Ravenclaws
    1600 – 1645 – Fourth Year Gryffindors & Ravenclaws
    1700 – Dinner

    Wednesday and Thursday: 
    0900 – 0945 – First Year Slytherins
    1000 – 1045 – First Year Hufflepuffs
    1045 – 1130 – Second Year Slytherins
    1145 – 1245 – Lunch and Break
    1300 – 1345 – Third Year Hufflepuffs
    1400 – 1445 – Third Year Slytherins
    1545 – 1630 – Second Year Hufflepuffs
    1630 – 1715 – Fourth Year Slytherins and Hufflepuffs
    1700 – ? – Dinner

    Friday:
    Breakfast until 0845
    0900 – 1000 –Slytherins – Years 1 through 4 rotating weekly
    1015 – 1115 – Gryffindors – Years 1 through 4 rotating weekly
    1130 – 1200 – Lunch
    1200 – 1300 – Seventh Years All Houses (NEWTs)
    1300 – 1400 –Ravenclaws – Years 1 through 4 rotating weekly
    1415 – 1515 –Hufflepuffs – Years 1 through 4 rotating weekly
    1530 – 1630 – Fifth Years all Houses (OWLs)
    1630 –  1730 – Sixth Years all Houses

    This schedule looks pretty solid as well.

  36. I’m also always thinking of how Trelawney’s predictions (even though most are fake) end up being right somehow at some point during the year. I think Dumbledore is right, he should give her a raise! And I also thought it was ridiculous that Harry sits through many of Umbridge’s “inquisitions” as I like to call them. She must have done Fred and George’s class first so she could say, “see? I’m not following Potter!” and then proceeded to follow him around the rest of the time.

    One thing I disliked about DH was how anti-climactic everything seemed toward the end. I was waiting with bated breath on some miraculous display of magic from Harry, and it just ended so lame, in my opinion. I guess I was just reaching, because I know he’s supposed to be seen as no more special than anyone else, really, just ended up having this life thrust upon him, but in these kinds of stories, I always like to see the main characters show up so powerful in the end. He does a few things throughout the books that show power, but as he says in the next chapter, most of it was being helped and flukes from Time-Turners and stuff. This is why I’d love to see Harry in action as the Chief of Kingsley’s new Auror Division, just to see how much farther he’s come as a powerful wizard. I guess it would be reaching to say I wish he could be the next Dumbledore, but a boy can have his hopes x]

    The quote from JKR makes me laugh, just because she completely avoids answering the question, and just comments on how good of a question it is. She seems to do that a lot in her interviews. Probably to keep imagination alive, but sometimes it *is* infuriating.

  37. Casey, to your point about Harry being powerful: I think the whole point is that he *does* show an awesome display of power. It’s just not the definition of power that Voldemort uses – it’s love. His ability to sacrifice himself, to become the true master of the Hallows, and to return and defeat Voldemort, all selflessly and with the help of the centaurs, house-elves, and all the others who have been suppressed by wizarding society, is incredible. It’s why Dumbledore has been arguing all along that love is the greatest power there is.

  38. One thing I just noticed is that isn’t Flitwick part Goblin? So wouldn’t Umbridge want to sack him too? But she seems to think he’s great and in no need of revision.

    Casey, I disagree, I think Harry certainly does show power and strength. I mean, how many people could do those things he did at the end? He walked right into the forest and gave himself up, and when he faces Tom at the end, he does so without any kind of fear or hesitation. He may not be able to do the kind of wizardry that Tom or DD can do, but when would he have learned to do all that between classes and trying not to get killed? He certainly, however, does show the potential to become as powerful as those two eventually though. He has time for this after he saves the world, I’m sure.

  39. Ari, that’s exactly what I mean by wishing I could see him as Chief Auror under Kingsley’s new regime. I really hope he becomes as powerful as the likes of Dumbledore. I guess what I resent is the fact that Jo doesn’t write in any certain training or anything. You have no idea how excited I got when I read HBP and he was given “special lessons” with Dumbledore, but then I was so disappointed to find out what they actually were. I can understand his strength of character, as Harry is one of my fictional role models in life. And he certainly is powerful because of his incredible ability to love. But I still would have loved to have seen an epic duel or something in the end, and it just didn’t happen. Ah well, I guess I’ll always have my fanfictions to sate that desire to see his power =P

  40. Oh I get that, wanting the kind of duel that DD and Tom have in the Ministry in this book. I don’t think Harry is knowledgable enough by DH to be up for that. He knows a significant amount of spells now for someone his age but mostly his power now is with his instinct and courage. Not really that he knows enough to be able to match Tom. I’m sure though he does when he’s an auror though, like you said.

    And ya when I heard about the lessons at first thats what I thought. They were still, of course, very interesting, but it would have been very cool to see DD teaching Harry more!

  41. after reading about the british health care and education, man the US really is lame sauce. we are as corrupted now as the wizards were in harry’s time. makes me want to move to anywhere else but the US

  42. I wonder what Educational Decrees One through Twenty-One are? I do agree with Educational Decree Twenty-Two that says the Ministry should step in if the current Headmaster in unable to find anyone to fill a teaching post. Also, I did Umbridge ever inspect Binns, I don;t remember.

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