Harry Potter Read-A-Long: Chapter Nine ~ The Midnight Duel

The Chapter

Come, we fly!

The chapter begins with Harry upset after finding out that the first year Gryffindor students will have to partake in flying lessons with the first year Slytherins, including Harry’s new archenemies, Draco. Fearful about looking stupid, Harry confides in Ron who say’s that these lessons will truly reveal whether or not Malfoy is good at Quidditch.

Quidditch is a hot topic amongst the first years, particularly Malfoy, Seamus Finnigan, and Ron who all boast about their previous flying lessons and the skills they bring to the table.

When the first years are in the Great Hall for a break, Hermione chooses to ease Harry, and a nervous Neville’s, mind by giving him tips about flying that she acquired by reading. As she prattles on the mail arrives and Nevile is gifted a Remembrall, a sphere that turns red when a witch or wizard forgets something, by his grandmother.

Finally it is time for the first flying lesson. The first years are introduced to their professor, Madam Hooch, who tells them to hold their hands over their brooms and call, ‘up!’. Only a few students succeed in this task, including Harry, but many, including Neville, are unsuccessful.

Madam Hooch then chooses to show the first year Gryffindor and Slytherins the proper way to mount their brooms. Neville kicks off too early and looses control of his broom, causing him to crash. With a broken wrist, Neville is escorted to the hospital wing by Madam Hooch, who upon leaving tells the students to remain on the ground.

img_3090Once Neville and Madam Hooch are gone Malfoy beings to make fun of Neville, going so far as to taunt Harry and the other Gryffindor students with Neville’s Remembrall. As Malfoy flies off with the Remembrall, eager to get rid of it, Harry follows him via his own broom. Malfoy, scared of just how apt Harry is at flying, throws the Remembrall to get Harry out of his way. Harry makes a daring catch to everyones surprise.

As Harry touches back down on the ground, Professor McGonagall shows up and seems really disappointed with Harry. She tells Harry he is to follow her into the castle, which makes Harry suspect that he is going to be expelled. As the doubt becomes to much, Harry is confused when McGonagall calls Oliver Wood out of his class to introduce the two.

It is revealed that Wood is the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and that McGonagall was making introductions because she thinks that Harry would make an excellent Seeker.

Following the meeting, Harry goes off to dinner where all the other Gryffindors seem rather proud that a first year will make the team this year. Fred and George think that Harry is just what the team needs. As the Quidditch talk continues Malfoy drops by the Gryffindor table to challenge Harry to a midnight wizard’s duel.

Later that night, eager to take on Malfoy, Harry and Ron stay awake until everyone else is asleep. They then sneak down into the common room and are intercepted by Hermione who’s continuous lecturing ends up getting them locked out of the Gryffindor tower.

With seemingly nowhere else to go, the trio head to the trophy room, the site of the duel, all the while Hermione says that it is nothing but a trap. After a run in with Neville, the four students get to the trophy room and wait for the Slytherins. All of a sudden they hear Filch’s voice, which surprises them and causes them to flee. Heading up the charms corridor, the four students find themselves up against a locked door. Hermione performs a spell to unlock the door, and they are able to evade Filch in the knick of time.

However, the students find themselves in hot water as they realize that they are now in the room that Dumbledore forbade them from going to, and all because the wing housed a three-headed dog.

Running from danger yet again, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville finally find themselves back at the Gryffindor tower where the boys wonder why a school would keep a three-headed dog locked up in its walls.

Hermione points out that the dog was standing on a trap door, and with a huff, she leaves for bed. As the boys follow Hermione’s suit, Harry puts two and two together to realize that the dog must have been put in Hogwarts to protect the package Hagrid picked up from Gringotts.

The Illustrations

In chapter nine, The Midnight Duel, three illustrations really stuck with me during the reread.

First, the page depicting Malfoy with the Remembrall was beautifully illustrated. The colours are a stunning representation of the autumnal season, while also allowing Malfoy the spotlight he so clearly craves.

The other two illustrations that caught my eye were the page depicting the Gryffindor students flee from the clutches of Filch, and the other is the character page showing Kay’s rendering of Peeves.

The Character

IMG_1147Peeves. Peeves is one of those underrated characters, like Tom Bombadil in The Lord of the Rings, that also got unceremoniously cut from the film adaptation. All that aside it is rather nice to revisit the poltergeist, even if his appearances are too infrequent for my liking.

The Quote

I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed – or worse, expelled. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed. – Hermione Granger

This quote needs no introduction, nor review. It is a classic Philosopher’s Stone quote, both for the book and the movie adaptation, and it perfectly sums up what the boys are in for by befriending Hermione.

_ _ _

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Eight: The Potions Master

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Seven: The Sorting Hat

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Six: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Five: Diagon Alley

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Four: The Keeper of the Keys

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Three: The Letters from No One 

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter Two: The Vanishing Glass

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived

Harry Potter Read-A-Long Introduction

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