In Chapter 6, we see Harry’s first day of class at Hogwarts and meet some new faces. Let’s go!
There is a lot to unpack in this chapter, but one of the funniest things in the chapter (possibly the whole book) are howlers. Mrs. Weasley sends Ron a howler, which is basically an exploding letter that loudly yells at him. It’s the best. Honestly, it is a good thing that howlers aren’t real, because my daughter would be in trouble. I’d use them all the time.
Another thing that is nice about this chapter is that we get to see more class time and get to know the Herbology professor, Professor Sprout. We didn’t see her much in Sorcerer’s Stone, so it’s nice to see what her classes are like. They are repotting mandrake plants, which is messy and potentially dangerous, but nothing that pink, fluffy earmuffs can’t handle. What’s funny is that we also see Sprout before class coming back from the Whomping Willow carrying bandages. It has a boo boo!
We also see Gilderoy Lockhart. So let’s talk about him. He is, truly, one of the most annoying people. First, he pulls Harry aside before Herbology and gives Harry some very unasked for advice about being famous, since Lockhart believes Harry took the flying car to Hogwarts in order to generate publicity. Which of course he didn’t, but that’s beside the point. Later, when Harry meets a new first year, Colin Creevy, who is star struck by Harry and wants to take his picture, Lockhart jumps in again to advise Harry that posing for pictures might make him seem a bit pompous, and maybe he shouldn’t do that in this stage of his fame.
Ugh. Harry is much more famous than Lockhart, but he also doesn’t necessarily want to be famous at all. It’s not as if he is famous for a good thing, or anything he had any control over. Lockhart’s assumptions are ridiculous at best, but by the end of this chapter, we start to wonder whether or not Lockhart might just be a fraud. His class, which starts off with a ridiculous quiz, asking questions like “What is Gilderoy Lockhart’s favorite color?” but ends with Lockhart releasing a bunch of pixies out of a cage and being unable to get them back in. Instead, he runs away and let’s a bunch of twelve year olds clean up the mess for him. Hermione is still infatuated with Lockhart, but Ron is the first one to say out loud that maybe Lockhart has made up his adventures.
Quote for the day comes from another class they had that day, Transfiguration:
Ron was having far worse problems. He had patched up his wand with some borrowed Spellotape, but it seemed to be damaged beyond repair. It kept crackling and sparking at odd moments, and every time Ron tried to transfigure his beetle it engulfed him in thick gray smoke that smelled of rotten eggs. Unable to see what he was doing, Ron accidentally squashed his beetle with his elbow and had to ask for a new one. Professor McGonagall wasn’t pleased.