In Chapter 8, we see how classes are going, watch everyone besides Harry get to go to Hogsmeade, see a weird interaction between Lupin and Snape, and get a bit of a shock at the end. Let’s go!
I love that everyone loves Lupin’s class. It is always the absolute best when you have a teacher who genuinely loves teaching and loves their subject. I had a math teacher like that in middle school. He taught math, which most kids don’t typically enjoy, but he made class so much fun, he was nearly everyone’s favorite teacher. Shout out to Mr. Hayes, wherever you are!
Not all classes at Hogwarts are going smoothly, however. Turns out Snape heard about Neville’s boggart and is none too happy to have been shoved into old granny clothes. So he’s being nastier than normal, the git. Another class that’s not going well? Divination. Trelawney just can’t help but get all weepy at the thought of poor Harry and his death omen. Also not going well? Care of Magical Creatures. Hagrid is so worried about getting in trouble that he is only giving the students lessons about flobberworms, the “most boring creatures in existence.”
But hey, at least we have Quidditch to look forward to! Oliver Wood is determined that this will be Gryffindor’s year! They will win!
But Harry has other things to worry about. The first trip to Hogsmeade is scheduled for Halloween and he still doesn’t have a signed permission slip. After an unsuccessful attempt by Crookshanks to catch Scabbers, which leads to quite the spat between Ron and Hermione (“There’s something funny about that animal!” “All cats chase rats, Ron!”). This fight is furthered by Hermione’s attempts to use logic when Lavender Brown explains how one of Trelawney’s predictions (something she was dreading would happen on October 16th) came true (her pet rabbit died). The rabbit was just a baby, so logically Lavender couldn’t have been dreading its death, since it was such a horrible surprise.
This does not go over well. With anyone.
As the students leave for Hogsmeade, Harry tries to get McGonagall to let him go, but she doesn’t give in. No surprise there. Even before there was an escaped murderer on the loose with a vendetta against Harry, McGonagall is not the type to just bend the rules. Poor Harry has to miss out. Percy Weasley tries to make him feel better.
“They make a fuss about Hogsmeade, but I assure you, Harry, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” he said seriously. “All right, the sweetshop’s rather good, and Zonko’s Joke Shop’s frankly dangerous, and yes, the Shrieking Shack’s always worth a visit, but really, Harry, apart from that, you’re not missing anything.”
Um, thanks Percy. That helps a lot.
Harry wanders around the castle while his friends are gone and runs into Lupin, who invites him in to chat. He also shows Harry a peek at their next lesson, a water demon called a grindylow. Harry asks something that had been bothering him: why hadn’t Lupin let him fight the boggart. He expects Lupin to deny it, but not only does Lupin admit to doing it, he explains exactly why he did it.
“I assumed that if the boggart faced you, it would assume the shape of Lord Voldemort.”
. . .
“Clearly, I was wrong,” said Lupin, still frowning at Harry. “But I didn’t think it a good idea for Lord Voldemort to materialize in the staffroom. I imagined that people would panic.”
That’s a logical assumption on Lupin’s part. But Harry wasn’t thinking of Voldemort at all. He was thinking about those dementors. Lupin is actually impressed by this, which makes Harry feel a bit better. A knock at the door brings Snape in with a smoking goblet full of some sort of potion for Lupin. Lupin explains that he had been feeling “a bit off-color” and that this potion helps with that. Harry doesn’t like the way Snape looked at Lupin when he delivered this suspicious looking brew.
“Some people reckon -” Harry hesitated, then plunged recklessly on, “some people reckon he’d do anything to get the Defense Against the Dark Arts job.”
I don’t really think that Snape would try to murder another professor just to get the teaching position he’s always wanted. That seems a bit extreme, doesn’t it? After Ron and Hermione return from Hogsmeade (which was amazing), Hermione agrees. If Snape was going to poison Lupin, he wouldn’t have done it in front of a student. As they head back to their common room after the Halloween feast, there is a hold up in the hallway. The Fat Lady has vanished from her painting leading to the Gryffindor common room. Not only that, but her painting has been slashed to pieces.
Dumbledore arrives, followed by McGonagall, Lupin and Snape. Peeves the Poltergeist is laughing above them. He knows exactly what happened after seeing the Fat Lady running away through another painting.
“Did she say who did it?” said Dumbledore quietly.
“Oh yes, Professorhead,” said Peeves, with the air of one cradling a large bombshell in his arms. “He got very angry when she wouldn’t let him in, you see.” Peeves flipped over and grinned at Dumbledore from between his own legs. “Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.”
Dun dun DUUNNNNNN!!!!
See you next time for Chapter 9!