Chapter Eighteen: Dumbledore’s Army Better Title: The Hogwarts Secret Emergency Bathroom
Harry, Hermione, and Ron are busy in Charms class trying to silence various animals with magic. I guess this would be like you and me taking algebra. And just like algebra students, these kids probably whine, “Ugh. This sucks. We’re never going to use this in real life anyway.”
Which brings up another point: Do these students take real classes? Do they even know about math? If you ever suspect someone is a wizard, have her find the area of triangle. If she can’t, she’s a wizard. This is why I assume my 4-year-old cousin is a wizard. He can’t do math. Plus, he speaks to snakes.
Hermione and Harry are talking about mean Professor Umbridge, and how the evil teacher nearly caught Sirius Black visiting Harry. They also discuss holding a secret meeting to teach other kids how to protect themselves from the Dark Arts (since Umbridge is being a total b-word about Defense Against the Dark Arts class). Meanwhile, Ron has difficulties quieting his raven. Hermione says his problem is with his wand movements, and shows him how to do it correctly.
Can someone without hands be a wizard? I guess not. You need to move your hand in a very specific way to perform magic. So limbless folks, or those simply suffering from arthritis (sorry, Grandma), need not apply. That seems unfair.
Though it does mean defeating Voldemort should be easy. They can just break his hands. Then he’d be stuck. I’m sure there’s a spell for doing that. If there’s a spell for making a raven shut up, there must be a spell to break bones. It’s probably “Breakus Handus Bone-icus!” (giggle)
Between classes, Angelina informs Harry and Ron that the Quidditch team is re-forming. Umbridge’s ban on the sport has been lifted. Unfortunately, the weather has been nasty, and the team will need to practice during a horrible rain storm. Huh?
Hogwarts has bazillions of dollars. The school has its own freaking train! Not to mention a chamber of freaking secrets! You’d think they would spend a bit of that sweet tuition money to make an indoor Quidditch field. Hell, Detroit has an indoor football stadium and they’re not even magical…or good at football. (Burn!)
After Angelina leaves to spread the news about Quidditch, Hermione casts a worried look toward the window. The guys ask her what’s wrong, and she confesses that the idea of meeting in secret to practice Defense Against the Dark Arts may be a mistake. Hermione is right. (My sarcasm wand is raised.)
Ron is dumbstruck, since it was Hermione’s idea to break the rules and practice Defense Against the Dark Arts in the first place. Hermione explains that she loved the idea until Sirius told them he loved it too. If he likes it, that means it’s probably reckless and dangerous.
That’s why I love Sirius. He is reckless. I know I keep going on and on about how great he is. I even wrote that 3,298 word poem about him way back in Blogging Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Part 21. I just think he’s amazing. I wish this entire book were about Sirius. He is the scoundrel with the heart of gold. He is the unpredictable rebel that plays by his own rules. He is the madman without a plan. He is…Sirius Black [CUE THUNDERCLAP].
I sure hope nothing bad happens to him.
After Quidditch practice, Harry’s scar begins to throb with pain. Ron asks what happened, and Harry explains that his scar hurts because Voldemort is angry about something. Harry can feel Voldemort’s emotions. When He Who Must Not Be Named is upset, Harry feels it. When Voldey is happy, Harry feels that too. Why? Well, it makes perfect sense: there’s, um…a prophecy?…and…um…Hey look, Dobby’s here! Hi Dobby!
Dobby shows up in the middle of the night after Harry falls asleep doing homework. The house elf is collecting the hats Hermione has left out for all the house elves. Harry wakes up and chats with the Dobb-ster for a bit. Anyone else would look silly wearing a bunch of different hats on his head. But not Dobby. He makes it work. He looks chill. That’s because Dobby keeps it real. He’s such a player.
I want a house elf. I would name him Doodles and he would make macaroni and cheese—the good kind with the crunchy breadcrumbs on top. Doodles would also spy on my enemies and steal their money. And we’d have a secret handshake.
Dobby is about to leave, but asks if there is anything he can do for Harry. Harry says there is something he needs: a room. If he is going to be secretly teaching 25 kids how to defend against the Dark Arts, he’s going to need a room where they won’t be discovered by the evil Umbridge.
Harry doesn’t really expect Dobby to have an answer for him; he was merely thinking out loud. But, of course, the Dob-Dude knows just the right place for Potter to hold his training session: The Room of Requirement.
According to Dobbers, there’s a secret room in one of the hallways of the school that only reveals itself to someone who desperately needs it. So, for instance, if you need a hammock in the worst way, you simply walk past this seemingly empty hallway, thinking about how you need a hammock, and then POOF, the door will appear and inside will be a room filled with hammocks.
Harry remembers that Dumbledore mentioned such a room a while back. Dumbledore said he once needed a restroom, and then suddenly came upon a room filled with just what he needed.
This is why, whenever I walk down hallways that seem empty and door-less, I always think to myself, “I need a million dollars, a robot, cool shoes, some cake, another robot, a robot instruction book, and a house elf named Doodles.” Hey, you never know…
I wonder what would happen if you walked past this room thinking, “I really need a room that is visible to everyone and has no magical powers whatsoever”? The world would implode, probably.
The following day in Herbology class, Harry tells Ron and Hermione about the secret room. By the way, isn’t it convenient that Herbology is taught by someone named Professor Sprout? Why isn’t Potions taught by Professor Cauldron or Professor Bubbling-Liquid? And what if Professor Sprout hated plants and wanted to go into another line of work? Maybe she was forced into her occupation based on her name. Maybe she wanted to be a pilot or an architect.
SPROUT: Mr. Skyscraper, I want to be an architect, just like you. MR. SKYSCRAPER: What’s your name? SPROUT: My name is Sprout, sir. Pomona Sprout. MR. SKYSCRAPER: Yours is the name of a farmer! Get the hell out of my office and go back to your dirty filthy garden, you lousy farmer!
The three musketeers spread the word to those students who signed up for Harry’s secret class, telling them where to meet and how to access the room. Later, Harry finds the Room of Requirement just as Dobby said he would.
Once everyone is settled inside, Harry begins to teach some magic tips they can use to fight Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry has everyone practice the stunning spell. There are a few groans from the students who think such a spell will be useless against the Dark Lord. But Harry tells them that he’s personally used the spell against Voldemort, and it saved his life. That shuts everyone up, and they all pair off to practice on one another.
Question: Why don’t they just learn Avada Kedavra, a.k.a The Killing Curse? It’s the only spell they really need. I know it’s illegal. But come on! If Voldemort or one of his goons is coming at me, I’m not going to be too worried about breaking the magic law. I’m going to kill that slit-nosed freak.
It’s as if someone told you, “Simply saying the word ‘blueberry’ while standing on one foot will kill whomever you’re looking at. But please never try it, even if someone is attacking you. If you’re being assaulted, simply shove the evil person. Or, if you must, shove him with both hands.”
Would you listen to such odd advice? I don’t get it.
The training session continues. Harry gives some pointers, and everyone, even Neville, is having a good time. Harry eventually builds up enough courage to walk over to Cho Chang and see how she’s handling the spell. He is crushing on Chang so hard that it’s sick. I don’t mind Harry falling in love. I just wish he would fall for someone with a bit more personality. Cho is boring. Really boring. Why would Harry fall for her, when standing right next to her is Luna Lovegood?
Luna is the best! She’s crazy, but sweet. She’s funny, and wildly creative. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She’s got more bravery than she knows what to do with. She is the wild flower growing amongst the weeds. She is the bird whose song no one can sing. She is…Luna Lovegood [CUE THE OPENING SONG FROM THE LION KING].
She also happens to be the best character in this book, besides Sirius, Snape, George, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Fred. Harry, kiss Luna! Kiss her now, you fool!
But instead, the chapter ends with Harry thinking about tired, yawn-inducing Miss Chang. Well, Harry, I hope you enjoy living the rest of your life with the world’s most boring witch.
Wotchers: 0 (Book total 7) Murmurs: 2 (Book total 4)
Harry ends up marrying Cho. The two have a wonderful life together…
[PHONE RINGS] CHO: Answer the phone, Harry. HARRY: [Answers the phone] Hello? CHO: Harry, can you keep it down? I’m trying to finish this sudoku puzzle. HARRY: Sorry, honey. LUNA: [On the other end of the phone] ‘Sup H-Dog? Long time no see. I just fought a bunch of troll-zards. They were part troll, part wizard. Then I discovered a new island made of magic and wonder. And then Neville and I had a picnic on the back of a giant flying ferret. And now I’m just chilling out at home with my pet cyclops. HARRY: That sound fun, Luna. I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately, and— CHO [From the other room]: Harry! Shh! You’re so loud! You made me mess up my sudoku. And I’m doing it in pen. Idiot! LUNA: So what have you been up to, Harry? HARRY: Well, today I took Cho to see that Jennifer Aniston movie. And then we went shopping for a new purse for Cho. We thought about buying a new water filter for our water jug, but we were both kind of tired. Then I suggested having pancakes for dinner, but Cho said that was ridiculous because pancakes are a breakfast food. So we had salad instead. Now we’re watching Brothers and Sisters, and she’s doing her puzzles. She’ll be doing that until bedtime. LUNA: Oh. Gee. Um…that sounds…really…neat. HARRY: Tomorrow we’re going into town to buy that new water filter. LUNA: Cool. Tomorrow I’m going into town to buy a magical, wish-granting walrus. Maybe I’ll run into you. HARRY: I’d like that. CHO: [From the other room] Harry! Get off the phone! Brothers and Sisters is back on! And bring me some tea. And don’t screw it up like you always do! LUNA: I’ll see you around, Harry. Bye. HARRY: Sometimes Cho calls me Cedric when we’re intimate. LUNA: What? I didn’t hear you? HARRY: Never mind. [cries softly] Goodbye, Luna.
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