Chapter Thirteen: Mad-Eye Moody
- Here’s an unusual start to a blog post: this chapter features Professor Sprout talking about salvaging Bobotuber puss for Madam Pomfrey to use as skin care, and that is the stuff I’m here for. All the minute details for me.
- Of course, it’s also a little detail to queue up for Order of the Phoenix, when Hermione prescribes it for Harry’s wounds after detentions with Dolores. Good old consistency.
- This chapter also introduces us to the Blast-Ended Skrewts, which I’ll take a huge pass on, thanks. Care of Magical Creatures is the class I’d be most excited for, but I would not want to participate in that project.
- Another class I’d want to avoid: Divination. Though I do deeply enjoy Professor Trelawney predicting that Harry was born midwinter, when of course he was born in July… But there’s a piece of Voldemort’s soul attached to his, and Voldemort was born midwinter. *mind blown*
- This is it, guys, this is the chapter: someone finally holds Draco Malfoy accountable for being a vile little snit! I mean, it’s Barty Crouch Jnr, awful excuse of a human being, Polyjuiced as Mad-Eye Moody, and he turns Draco into a ferret—but isn’t that what Draco’s deserved all along?
Chapter Fourteen: The Unforgivable Curses
- I don’t like him—I want to make that very clear—but it’s undeniable that Barty Crouch Jnr makes a lot of useful moves in this book. Draco ‘Ferret’ Malfoy, intimidating Snape into moody (pun not intended, but left in because it amused me) silence, praising Lupin’s teaching style, teaching Harry how to throw off Unforgivable Curses, and boosting Neville’s self-esteem by giving him the Herbology book after the haunting class on the Unforgiveable Curses…
- I know he does them for bad reasons. The worst. To punish Draco for his father’s escape from justice; to blend in as Mad-Eye, who he’s holding hostage in his own trunk; to plant clues for Harry to race through the Triwizard Tournament to the graveyard where he intends for Harry to die. But… It’s still useful!
- Though having said that, it’s hard reading Harry and Neville learning about the Curses. It aches my heart.
- So much so that it’s a relief to read about S.P.E.W. Partly for the slight humour, yes, but more for the fact that Hermione trying to do good in the world is exactly what I needed.
- Also the appearance of Sirius, via letter, telling Harry he’s flying closer at grave personal danger because he’s worried about Harry, but taking the time to check in and give his best to Ron and Hermione. Just being the best as usual.
Chapter Fifteen: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang
- I know I just said it’s ultimately a good thing that Harry learns how to shake off the Unforgivable Curses, but… I might be changing my mind, reading the actual thing. This is just another thing that’s ultimately not on for a Hogwarts teacher to do.
- Like, I know ‘Moody’ says Dumbledore wants the students to learn it, but surely that’s low, even for Dumbledore?
- Actually, I might not put it past him to arrange it, because he knew it would be useful for Harry alone.
- How did no one else find out and do something, though? McGonagall? The Ministry? Parents?
- This is an old argument and I never win it and I’m going to stop bothering.
- Unexpected bonus of Draco being turned into a ferret: it gives Hagrid some much-deserved ammo against him when he’s being insufferable and disrespectful, which is basically all the time.
- And something else unexpected, at least the first time you read: the arrival of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, in the skies and the lake. Because why not? Hogwarts blocks Apparition, not flying carriages or underwater ships.