Harry, Ron, and Hermione grab Harry’s Invisibility Cloak and scurry off to Hagrid’s cabin. Hagrid’s face is badly bruised and bleeding. Hagrid explains that he had gone into the mountains to talk to Giants and rally support for Dumbledore but ultimately failed to enlist their help. Umbridge knocks at the door, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione duck under the Invisibility Cloak and hide in the corner. Umbridge forces her way into Hagrid’s cabin, but Hagrid refuses to tell her about the Giants. After she leaves, Hermione warns Hagrid about Umbridge and her class inspections, cautioning him against teaching anything too dangerous or unconventional. Hagrid appears unconcerned.
The next day, Hagrid leads his class into the forest. The horrible horse-like creatures Harry saw pulling carriages appear again, and Hagrid asks who can see the creatures. Harry, Neville, and a Slytherin boy raise their hands. Hagrid explains that the creatures are called thestrals and are visible only by those who have witnessed death.
Angelina, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain, chooses Ginny Weasley to replace Harry as Gryffindor Seeker. At the last D.A. meeting before Christmas break, Harry is left alone with Cho Chang. Cho starts to cry and admits that she is thinking about Cedric, her boyfriend. Cedric was killed by Voldemort at the close of Book IV. Standing under the mistletoe, Harry and Cho kiss.
Harry returns to the Common Room and tells Ron and Hermione what happened. Harry falls asleep with his head full of thoughts. He dreams that his body feels smooth and powerful. He is a snake, slithering toward a man sitting on the floor, guarding a door. Harry rears from the floor and strikes the man, plunging his fangs into the man’s flesh. Harry wakes up with Ron standing over him. Harry is sweating and in extreme pain. His scar is burning hotter than ever. Neville arrives with McGonagall. Harry tells her that Ron’s dad has been attacked by a snake. McGonagall nods and takes Harry to Dumbledore’s office.
Harry tells Dumbledore about his vision, and how he inhabited the snake’s body during the attack. Dumbledore calls to the portraits of former headmasters and headmistresses hanging on the walls of his office and asks them to raise the alarm. When the portraits return, they explain that members of the Order have found Mr. Weasley at the Ministry and taken him to St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. McGonagall wakes the other Weasley children, and they prepare to travel to Twelve Grimmauld Place by Portkey. As they are leaving, Harry’s scar starts to burn. He looks up at Dumbledore with a powerful hatred, fighting the urge to attack him. He is thrust back to number twelve. Harry tells Fred, Ginny, George, and Sirius about his vision but does not mention that he actually inhabited the snake. A letter from Mrs. Weasley arrives, announcing that Mr. Weasley is still alive.
Mrs. Weasley returns from St. Mungo’s and thanks Harry for his vision, which she believes saved Mr. Weasley’s life. The Weasleys and Harry agree to stay with Sirius for the holidays. Harry tells Sirius the whole truth about his vision, including the rage he felt at Dumbledore right before they left Hogwarts. Sirius tells him not to worry.