In Chapter 10, we return home from the disastrous World Cup, hear about the aftermath at the Ministry, and get ready to go back to Hogwarts. Let’s go!
They finally get back to the Burrow. Everyone safe and sound, which is a relief, especially to Molly Weasley.
And to everybody’s surprise, she seized Fred and George and pulled them both into such a tight hug that their heads banged together.
“Ouch! Mum — you’re strangling us –”
“I shouted at you before you left!” Mrs. Weasley said, starting to sob. “It’s all I’ve been thinking about! What if You-Know-Who had got you, and the last thing I ever said to you was that you didn’t get enough O.W.L.s? Oh Fred . . . George . . .”
Poor Mrs. Weasley. I want to hug her too!
This chapter also introduces us, albeit very briefly, to one of the most annoying characters in the series — Rita Skeeter, a gossipy reporter who likes to stir up trouble. She uses her article to start a rumor that several bodies were found in the woods which isn’t true at all. Ugh. We’ll see more of her later.
Harry is still worried about this whole scar hurting business, which is understandable. I would be too! Hedwig hasn’t returned with any word or advice from Sirius, so Harry confides in Ron and Hermione about the dream he had about Voldemort and how his scar hurt afterward. The dream, the scar, and now Death Eaters and the Dark Mark? It seems like too much to be a coincidence. Harry had hoped to hear from Sirius by now, but they also don’t know how far away he might be. It could just be taking Hedwig a long time to get there.
Over the next few days, we hear that life at the Ministry has been very hectic because everyone is upset about the events at the World Cup. They blame the Ministry for their lack of security, and Percy has gotten lots of complaints.
“It’s been an absolute uproar,” Percy told them imporantly the Sunday evening before they were due to return to Hogwarts. “I’ve been putting out fires all week. People keep sending Howlers, and of course, if you don’t open a Howler straight away, it explodes. Scorch marks all over my desk and my best quill reduced to cinders.”
And of course, Rita Skeeter is in the thick of it, trying to find more stories to exploit. She’s now found out about Bertha Jorkins, who is still missing, but she hasn’t found out about Winky yet, so that’s something. It would be quite the scandal for someone like Mr. Crouch to be connected to the Dark Mark, even if it was agreed that Winky really didn’t do anything wrong. Hermione is still very angry about that whole situation.
As they pack up for Hogwarts, Ron gets a bit of a new surprise. And not a good one.
He was holding up something that looked to Harry like a long, maroon velvet dress. It had a moldy-looking lace frill at the collar and matching lace cuffs.
. . .
“Mum, you’ve given me Ginny’s new dress,” said Ron, handing it out to her.
“Of course I haven’t,” said Mrs. Weasley. “That’s for you. Dress robes.”
Oh Ron. Poor Ron. The school supply list asks them to bring “robes for formal occasions” this year, but because they had to buy them secondhand, they look a bit . . . odd. Old fashioned, maybe? I do actually really enjoy the scene in the movie where Ron finds out about the dress robes. They are hideous, but I actually think Rupert Grint pulled them off. Anyway, book-Ron laments the robes, wishing he could have new ones like Harry got, and swears he will go naked before he will ever wear them. Mrs. Weasley is fed up.
“Fine,” snapped Mrs. Weasley. “Go naked. And, Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.”
Hahahahahaha!!! Mrs. Weasley for the win!
See you next time for Chapter 11!