Summary: After the events of the previous chapters, Harry is feeling dirty and depressed. He contemplates running away from 12GP, but Phineas gives him a good tongue-lashing, and he is dissuaded. Harry avoids his friends the next day, but Hermione arrives just in time to bring him out of his seclusion and get him to come to a little conference in which Ginny (with a bit of help from R/Hr) reassures him that he is not being possessed by Voldemort. Christmas arrives, and the inhabitants of 12GP manage to make it a festive one. They go for another visit with Arthur, and while they are there, the quartet wanders onto the closed ward, where they run into a few familiar faces: amnesiac former Professor Lockhart, Unspeakable (whom they first saw at the World Cup) Broderick Bode, and Neville and his grandmother, visiting Frank and Alice Longbottom. Thus, Harry’s friends find out what Harry had known since the previous year—that Neville’s ex-Auror parents were driven mad by a group of Death Eaters, including Bellatrix Lestrange.
1. I <333 Phineas! What do you think of the things he said to Harry in this chapter? Wise? Too mean? Just what Harry needed to hear?
2. What do you think would have happened if Harry had run away?
3. What do you think of the interaction between Harry and Ginny in this chapter?
4. The perfume! What do you think Ron meant by it? How do you think Hermione felt about it?
5. Were you pleased to see Lockhart again? Do you think he’ll ever recover?
6. Do you think the Longbottoms have any hope of recovery? Why do you think Neville’s mom gives him gum wrappers?
87: The number of hundreds of gum wrappers Neville has stashed in his room.