Seen and Unforeseen

chapter twenty-six of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Amidst Harry’s worries of Cho and a lousy Quidditch team, his interview is published – much to the displeasure of Umbridge, who bans it. He then has another disastrous Occlumency lesson (and sees a few of Snape’s memories), but is interrupted by screams that turn out to be Trelawney getting sacked. Dumbledore, though, quickly hires Firenze in her place.

Ron and Ginny, by glockgal

Feeling rather depressed, [Harry] looked at Ron and Ginny. “So, how was Quidditch practice?”
“It was a nightmare,” said Ron in a surly voice.


Nargle Defender, by Julie Graham

Luna told him over dinner that no copy of The Quibbler had ever sold out faster. “Dad’s reprinting!” she told Harry, her eyes popping excitedly. “He can’t believe it, he says people seem even more interested in this than the Crumple-Horned Snorkacks!”


Harry raised his own wand. “Protego!” Snape staggered; his wand flew upward, away from Harry – and suddenly Harry’s mind was teeming with memories that were not his –

Snape's Memory, by anguinea

– a hook-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman, while a small dark-haired boy cried in a corner….


Shooting Down Flies, by somelatevisitor

….A greasy-haired teenager sat alone in a dark bedroom, pointing his wand at the ceiling, shooting down flies….


Snape Teaches Harry, by glockgal

Harry felt as though he had been pushed hard in the chest; he took several staggering steps backward… and heard something crack. Snape was shaking slightly, very white in the face.


Professor Trelawney in Hysterics as Umbridge Tries to Dismiss Her, by Drew Graham

Professor Trelawney was standing in the middle of the entrance hall with her wand in one hand and an empty sherry bottle in the other, looking utterly mad…. “No!” she shrieked. “NO! This cannot be happening…. It cannot… I refuse to accept it!”


Dumbly, by Amanda Grazini

To Harry’s very great surprise, Dumbledore continued to smile…. “The Ministry has the right to appoint a suitable candidate if – and only if – the headmaster is unable to find one,” said Dumbledore. “And I am happy to say that on this occasion I have succeeded. May I introduce you?”


Firenze, by White Elzora

“This is Firenze,” said Dumbledore happily to a thunderstruck Umbridge. “I think you’ll find him suitable.”


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

Fred and George confessed to Harry earlier in the year that they were having problems developing their Fever Fudge, because it gave them huge boils in… well, a place that made riding a broom very uncomfortable. However, here it seems they’ve solved the problem – and they say the solution was none other than essence of murtlap, recommended by Lee Jordan. Of course, Lee Jordan knew about murtlap because Harry mentioned it to him after Lee’s detention with Umbridge; and Harry himself only used it because Hermione had given it to him following his detention with Umbridge in the first place. So despite her best efforts to prevent the twins’ testing their products this year, Hermione has unwittingly given them one very helpful piece of advice. That murtlap stuff must be good.

Life at Hogwarts

Poor Ron must have had quite the Quidditch match for the ages – and I mean that in the worst possible way. Somehow, despite the match only being twenty-two minutes long, he managed to give up twenty-four goals. That’s more than one per minute! Meanwhile, when thinking about the worst moment of the match, Harry’s first thought was Ron’s “fourteenth failed save.” Then, a few minutes later, Fred wanders over and also specifically mentions the fourteenth time Ron tried to save a goal. He had twenty-three other failed saves that must have been pretty awful; so think how dreadful this one must have been for them to mention it specifically! Ouch.

The Boy Who Lived

It makes sense that once his story breaks in The Quibbler, the best thing that happens to Harry is Cho’s apologizing to him and calling him “brave” – after all, a compliment from a girl beats compliments from his teachers any day. But there’s a very interesting line immediately following his encounter with Cho:

And unbelievably, no sooner had he arrived outside Transfiguration than something just as good happened: Seamus stepped out of the queue to face him.

Really? Seamus’s apology is “just as good” to Harry as Cho’s? We don’t really see much of Seamus over the years, but it’s clear from Harry’s reaction to him – at the start of the school year, as well as now – that Seamus is someone he respects a lot, and who he definitely considers a friend. Of course, he also symbolizes the disbelief that most of Hogwarts has had towards Harry this year, and Seamus’s getting over it is a big step in Harry’s fight against the wizarding world as a whole. Still, it’s cool that it’s so important to Harry; perhaps those teenage hormones aren’t quite ruling every one of his thoughts, after all.

Something to Remember

She’s been fairly quiet throughout most of the series, but Ginny has been slowly making more appearances in this book – and all the while revealing herself (without anyone really noticing much) to have quite a bit of spunk. In this chapter, for example, we learn she got good at Quidditch by sneaking her brothers’ brooms out over the years – and can you imagine how hard it would be to do that without any of your six brothers noticing? And then, when Harry is feeling miserable about Umbridge and mentions to Ginny that he’s got a lifelong ban from Quidditch, she responds without missing a beat: “You’re banned as long as Umbridge is in the school. There’s a difference.” Meanwhile, the twins come away from watching a Quidditch practice embarrassed by Ron, but thoroughly impressed by their younger sister. She’s one to watch out for, all right.

26 Responses to “Seen and Unforeseen”

  1. Great artwork by Anguinea.

    This is my favorite Occlumency lesson. Snape is particularly cruel to Harry in this chapter (which is saying something), but no sooner am I ready to slam the book on him than Harry sees some of Snape’s memories, and I’m instantly engaged again.

    Seriously, could he (or Rowling) make his ‘safeguarded’ memories any more tempting?

  2. I never put together the fact that there would be 24 goals in 22 minutes. Poor Ron.
    anguinea’s picture is well done. I remember being twelve and reading this book and feeling shocked that Snape was once a little child crying as his parents yelled.

  3. I, too, love the pictures of Snape’s memories.

    I love how much Fred and George are learning this year at school–even though most of it doesn’t really come from textbooks. They’re gathering information for their business, they’re learning more about their family, they’re actually doing quite a bit of growing up.

    And, yeah, that Quidditch match must have been insane–I mean, not only did Ron give up 24 goals in 22 minutes (which, as Josie pointed out, is more than one a minute), but the Hufflepuffs also gave up 10. I mean, WOW. That would be an insane match to watch. Or maybe it’s another JKR-doesn’t-think-about-the-math moment. :D

  4. Serious question: How do you restart a Quidditch match after a goal has been scored? We’re all familiar with football/soccer. In cricket, if a batsman is given out, the next batsman has to walk out to replace him, orient himself on the field and then signal that he’s ready. In rugby the match starts again after a score as if it was the very beginning again. And all this slows things down.

    I can understand 34 goals in 22 minutes, just; but I can’t for the life of me understand how they restart after each one and still get back in time for showers, supper and homework. Ideas, please, and don’t hit me with a Time-Turner!

  5. We know about Umbridge’s reaction to The Quibbler interview, but what about Fudge’s reaction? Did he also ordered disciplinary sanctions against any Ministry of Magic employee found reading The Quibbler?

  6. You are so right in the introduction of this chapter, saying that it felt as though coming up for air! It is exactly the way I always felt about this chapter! Also love the way you mention Ginny. Ginny is one of the people who, while reading between the lines, you’ll see growing up. I mean, it’s not that difficult for a writer to develop Harry or Hermione or Ron, since she writes the story around them. It’s really hard to develop those other characters in 7 years too. Ginny is the best example, I think :):)

  7. You’ve already mentioned most of what I was going to comment on. :-)

    About the essence of murtlap: those are the little things I love about JKR’s writing. Those things usually don’t make it into the movies which I understand, but I miss them there.

    It’s nice to have another example of a seeker catching the snitch even though their team is too far behind in points. It seemed a rather rare thing in book 4.

  8. Deborah Hubbard, I imagine that quidditch is like basketball: after one team scores a basket the other teams takes the ball out of bounds, throws it in and and play begins again. Since there’s no game clock or timer in quidditch the other team must just catch the falling ball and start for their end of the field; play begins again when they touch the ball. That would keep things moving pretty fast. Just guessing.

  9. I always pictured that the Keeper retrieves the Quaffle and throws it to a Chaser. That’s how it’s shown in the movie and Quidditch World Cup computer game.

  10. I think when Harry is explaining Quidditch to someone, I forget who, and he compares it to basketball. Whoever he explained it to was pureblood because they didn’t know what basketball was.

    I also imagine that play resumes fairly quickly after a goal in Quidditch. In the movies it all goes so fast, so I’m thinking it comes back into play as fast.

  11. I love Drew’s picture of Trelawney – she just looks so forlorn and helpless! What I love most about this chapter is that we finally see the school uniting against Umbridge. An dit’s about time! Till now, it’s only been some of the students and McGonagall, now just about everyone is against her, and it makes me so happy!

  12. Giny is so cool, I wish she had a bigger part further on.
    With the Quiddith thing, what if the Keeper was knocked out or something? I’m sure it’s happened before (it happened in the first movie). Who’s going to throw it back in? And wouldn’t the other team just score score score? Maybe they have back-up people but we never see them…

  13. Jennifer, Harry mentions basketball when Oliver Wood was explaining Quidditch to Harry in Book 1.

  14. Thank you, Jeremy! I remember now, he says oh, it’s like basketball, and Oliver is the one who doesn’t know the game.

  15. Poor Snape. Though I still don’t think he has enough of an excuse to be such a jerk later in life.
    I assume the keeper just throws the ball back to a Chaser to keep the game going faster.

  16. So maybe it’s like hockey?

  17. One sentence that is cut off is Snape saying why he calls Voldermort The Dark Lord and not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I would like to hear the end of that sentence.

  18. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned, but in addition to Hufflepuff scoring 24 times in 22 minutes, Gryffindor scored 8 times in the same 22 minutes…

  19. 24 Hufflepuff goals in 22 minutes doesn’t exactly reflect well on the Gryffindor Chasers’ ability to keep hold of the Quaffle either, and what with the two new Beaters being rubbish too it seems that the whole Gryffindor team just went completely to pot that day (except Ginny). Either that or Hufflepuff have really good Chasers this year.

  20. How did Ginny that Harry was only banned from Quidditch while Umbridge is in the school.?

  21. @Jeremy. Because it was Umbridge who administered the ban, and it’s a safe bet that the other teachers would revoke it as soon as they had the authority to do so. McGonagall obviously disagreed with it for a start judging by the expression on her face when Umbridge did it.

  22. I feel like I’m the only person that isn’t a fan of Ginny. I suppose it’s because I’m not “reading between the lines” enough, but we really don’t see much of her at all, we get inklings of the woman she’s becoming from extremely small snippets of conversation, and then all of a sudden Harry can’t stop thinking about her in HBP. It all happened way too suddenly for me, and that’s why I really don’t like their pairing very much. It was like Jo decided, “oh, I’m going way too slow in these relationships. Better speed up” and then just shoved it in everyone’s face. I just didn’t care for the development and feel there was a lot lacking in it. Just my two cents, I guess. Unpopular opinion is unpopular.

  23. Casey, I don’t think it was sprang on us, but, you do have to pay attention. Over the years, especially 4, 5, and 6, Harry begins to realize that Ginny isn’t just Ron’s Sister, but actually a rather cool girl. Good at Quidditch, handy in a duel, strong enough to put up with 6 brothers, etc., etc. It’s not too much different from Ron and Hermione in that respect. It takes him that long to basically realize, “oy, (Ginny), you’re a girl…”

  24. When Harry is being bucked off his broom in book 1 it is mentioned that Slytherin score multiple times in a row, which makes no sense as to how Quiddich restarts after a goal.

  25. My favorite character is definately Minerva, and this chapter furthered that. She swoops in and saves Trelawny who she obviously had no deep affection for as it was hinted in book 3, when the staff and the few students remaining at Hogwarts over the holidays have Christmas dinner together and McGonagall practically teases Trelawny about how ridiculous her field is. After a few smart remarks on either side Dumbledore has to “put an end to Professor McGonagall and Professor Trelawny’s conversation” in the name of the holiday. The scene made me look at her in a whole new light. Even though she doesn’t like or even really respect Trelawny, she still comes to her aid, since she is still one of her own. It was also a good time to throw something in Umbrige’s face even though it was a risky move. What stood in her way when it came to firing McGonagall too? She has guts. She also shows this in Career Advice when she stands up to Umbridge and in O.W.L.S. not only when she has her battle w/ Umbridge, but when she announces that cheating on the exams will be severely punished and has to address Umbridge as headmistress with a look of disgust to rival Aunt Petunia’s face during deep-cleaning. She is a marvel of writing.

  26. I totally remember this chapter Gin’s got a point.

    Also when my sister and I read thr part about Snape’s memories – we know he can be an absolute jerk to everyone else especially Harry and Neville- but the fact remains that he’s human. But then maybe because in a few characters we try to look for the good in them except the snobby types.

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