Chapter 26

Harry’s Quibbler story appears. By mid-morning, Umbridge has posted a decree banning any students from reading or possessing the Quibbler. When Harry goes to bed that night, his scar aches. He has another vision of himself as Voldemort, this time discussing Bode’s death with Rockwood, a Death Eater who escaped from Azkaban. Harry wakes up screaming. Ron again suggests he go to Dumbledore, but Harry refuses. The next morning, Hermione figures out that Bode must have been under an Imperius Curse. When Bode tried to get the mysterious weapon Voldemort is searching for, he went mad and ended up in St. Mungo’s.

Harry continues studying Occlumency with Snape. He has made little progress but does manage to get inside Snape’s mind for a brief moment. Professor Trelawney interrupts their lesson by screaming from the entrance hall. Umbridge has fired her, and she must leave campus. Dumbledore appears and permits Trelawney to stay and live at Hogwarts, although he cannot reinstate her teaching position. Dumbledore then introduces the new Divination teacher, a Centaur named Firenze.

Chapter 27

Firenze assumes Trelawney’s duties, explaining to the students that nothing, even centaurs’ knowledge, is foolproof. After class, Firenze asks Harry to tell Hagrid that his attempt is not working and he must abandon it. Harry relays the message, but Hagrid ignores it.

The D.A. begins working on conjuring Patronuses. Dobby interrupts to warn the group that Umbridge is on her way, and the students scatter. Malfoy trips Harry and hands him over to Umbridge. Umbridge drags Harry to Dumbledore’s office, where Cornelius Fudge is waiting, and fetches her informant, a Ravenclaw named Marietta. Because Hermione jinxed the scroll with the D.A.’s names against snitches, Marietta’s face is covered in giant purple pimples spelling the word “Sneak.” Marietta refuses to uncover her face to speak. Dumbledore takes full responsibility for the D.A. He points to the title on the parchment, identifying the group as Dumbledore’s Army. When the Minister attempts to arrest him, Dumbledore sends a streak of silver light through his office and disappears.

Chapter 28

Umbridge replaces Dumbledore as Headmistress and appoints an Inquisitional Squad of students, which is comprised mostly of Slytherins, including Draco Malfoy, to do her bidding. The Squad has the power to dock points from Houses, which Malfoy does happily. Fred and George swear to make Umbridge’s life at Hogwarts difficult, and they set off a crate of fireworks in the Great Hall. Umbridge’s magic does not work on the fireworks, and the faculty refuses to help her. Firecrackers explode for the rest of the afternoon.

Harry dreams of the Department of Mysteries again. This time he gets through the doors and into a room lined with dusty glass spheres. He heads toward one but wakes up before he reaches it. The next day, Harry resumes lessons with Snape. Malfoy interrupts to say that Umbridge needs Snape’s help. While Snape is gone, Harry climbs into the Pensieve, hoping to gain insight into the Department of Mysteries. Harry sees Snape taking his O.W.L.s and then sees his father, James Potter, with Sirius, Lupin, and Moody. Sirius and James catch sight of Snape. They torment and humiliate him in front of the other students. Lily, Harry’s mother, attempts to intervene, but Snape calls her a Mudblood, and she backs off. Snape returns to his classroom and yanks Harry out of the Pensieve, enraged. Harry is devastated by James and Sirius’s behavior.