Chapter Sixteen: In the Hog's Head
Better Title: Bars Are Good Places for Teenagers
After thinking it over, Harry finally agrees that teaching his own Defense Against the Dark Arts class is a good idea. Now it's up to Hermione to spread the word and get students interested in this top secret class. That weekend, Hermione plans to meet with everyone at The Hog's Head in Hogsmeade.
The Hog's Head is a dive bar, the type of place Flitwick would visit. In fact, Flitwick even tells Hermione that it's OK for students to go there. I'm not kidding. This is not one of my Flitwick jokes. He actually tells Hermione that this sketchy bar is on-limits.
Flitwick! I always knew you were a fantastically creepy weirdo!
Anyway, the bar is dank, scary, and sad.
Harry's a bit nervous about this, but Ron doesn't seem to mind and even thinks about ordering a Fire Whiskey from the aloof bartender until Hermione scolds him. I'm a little foggy on the alcohol rules of Hogwarts, but if the kids are allowed to consume Butterbeer, I'm not sure Fire Whiskey is much worse.
Soon the students arrive. Harry was expecting to teach only Ron and Hermione, but now he sees more and more students coming to this secret meeting, including Dean "Don't Forget Me" Thomas, Neville "Soon I Shall Be Awesome" Longbottom, and Luna "Thunder Panda" Lovegood. And, sadly, Cho and Ginny.
I pick on Ginny a lot, but I must admit that she does have a good line in this chapter. While the students are all jabbering and gossiping, she pipes up with a spot-on impression of Umbridge's little "hem-hem" laugh to get everyone's attention. I laughed.
Maybe Book Ginny isn't a total lamp after all. Or she's slightly more interesting than a normal lamp. She can be a lava lamp…maybe. Still find her a tad boring.
After much discussion about Harry and Voldemort and rules and gossip, it's agreed that these twenty or so students will train in secret. Now they just need a place to practice.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Hermione and Luna have a mild quarrel over the existence of fire creatures called heliopaths. I side with Luna.
HARRY: I think this new secret club will be great. But before we begin there must be…initiations.
HARRY: Well, since I'm the boss, and this is a secret club, I think everyone should go through an initiation process. You know? To weed out the dumb and lame kids.
HERMIONE: Um…I'm not so sure that—
HARRY: Shut up, you ant. I will call you ant until you are officially inducted into my Super Squad! Now, go make me a grilled cheese, ant.
RON: Haha. Good one, Harry.
HARRY: You're an ant, too. To join my club, you must throw a snowball at McGonagall's face and then French kiss the Sorting Hat!
HARRY: If you don't do it, you can't join my awesome new club. It's your call, ant.
RON: Fair enough. I'll be right back…
HERMIONE: Harry, this sounds an awful lot like hazing. And I don't think—
HARRY: Silence, ant! Now take this magic marker and circle all the areas of fat on your body.
HERMIONE: Eww. No.
HARRY: And then I'm gonna make Cho run laps! And Neville has to steal the Durmstrang mascot! And Dean must shave his head and dress up like lady! And I'll make Fred do 1,000 pushups above a plate filled with dog poop! And George must eat an entire carton of eggs in a day while wearing a diaper! And of course there will be paddling. And—
[Hermione punches Harry in the face]
HERMIONE: This ant can sting, Potter.
HARRY: Hmm…maybe instead of all that, everyone can just sign a paper to get into the club.
RON: [Comes running back wiping his mouth] OK. First part's done. Now I just need to throw a snowball at the Sorting Hat…
Chapter Seventeen: Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four
Better Title: Rules, Fools, and Injured Owls
Just when things are looking up, Dumbridge drops another law on Hogwarts forbidding any and all clubs, teams, and unauthorized student gatherings.
She's such an awful woman! She's like a splinter in your esophagus! I HATE HER!
During class, Harry spots a wounded Hedwig outside the window. Something, or someone, has broken the poor owl's wing. Harry takes the owl to Professor Grubbly-Plank to mend. The letter Hedwig was trying to deliver is from Sirius. Mr. Black wants to meet with Harry via the fire place later today.
Who could have hurt Hedwig? Is someone intercepting Harry's letters? Why is Adele's album still number one on the charts? Doesn’t everyone already own it? How can it keep selling? Is she now selling it to trees and pets? Can my rap name be B-dele?
Anyway, there's an intense, yet sad, battle between Neville and Malfoy after Malfoy makes a crack about the hospital where Neville's parents live. But the rest of the chapter deals with Harry messing up in Potions class and Sirius finally meeting the kids in the fire of the Gryffindor Common Room.
Sirius delivers a message from Mrs. Weasley, who warns the kids to stop forming secret, illegal clubs. Sirius, however, sees no problem with Harry teaching the other students how to defend themselves.
The conversation is cut short when Umbridge's evil arm reaches out of the fire, trying to nab Sirius's face. Was anyone else confused by this? If she grabbed his face, what would have happened? Can you pull someone through the fire? What about the rest of Sirius? Would she only steal his face? Is her one arm as strong as Sirius's whole body? And are people buying more than one copy of Adele's album? It's an OK album, don't get me wrong, but why does it keep selling and selling? It's probably because moms like it. Eh, whatever.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Neville vs. Malfoy.
In the boy's dormitory.
NEVILLE: Hello, and welcome to the first secret meeting for Dark Herbology Defense. Here I will teach you the forbidden Herbology secrets that Hogwarts is too fearful to share. Now, we must keep this class a secret. As many of you know, I am a master botanist and have used my "green thumb" to thwart evil several times. What I'm about to teach you is scary, and difficult, but fear has no place in my classroom. Understood? Good, now—
HARRY: Hey Neville. Who were you talking to?
NEVILLE: Oh, no one. Just…um…messing around. You know.
HARRY: Why did you paint a lightning bolt scar on your forehead in mascara?
NEVILLE: Ho-ho! Just having a laugh. Um…
HARRY: Were you having another "secret meeting" again?
NEVILLE: No. That's silly.
HARRY: So you just arranged your stuffed animals like this for no reason?
HARRY: Whatever. Who cares. Listen, can you grow me some flowers that I can give to Cho? Something that says, "I think you're cute and want your naked body." Thanks.
NEVILLE: Oh. Sure. Yeah.
HARRY: Cool. Ron, Hermione, and I are going to the amusement park. We have four tickets, but we're just gonna throw out the extra one. Can you tear it up for us and toss it in the trash? We're kind of in a rush. Thanks, bud.
HARRY: Remember those sex flower. Make 'em pretty.
Ha! I already blogged this chapter waaaaaay back in 2010 as an April Fool's joke.
House Bergstein School Announcements
Warning: There is an Every Flavor Bean that tastes like a highly addictive narcotic. Please don't eat any beans until the Department of No-No Chemicals locates this harmful treat.
The Wizard of Oz never graduated from an accredited wizarding school. His Wizard Degree from Taylor Community College is worthless. Don't let him tell you otherwise.
It's time to take down the Christmas tree, because it has gone rogue. It has taken eight hostages. If we don't take it down now, it'll be too late. Get your hatchets ready and remember your training. On my command. Ready? 1...2...3.…ATTACK!
Make a mountain out of mole hill, literally.
Find the area of a volume.
Learn how to read sheet music and sheep music.
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