CHAPTER 10 – Halloween
Malfoy was amazed that his plan had not worked when he saw Harry and Ron
still at school next day.
About a week later at breakfast, the owls flooded in as normal with their
letters and packages for the boys.
What was unusual this morning was that 6 large screech owls carried a long thin package that was dropped right in front of Harry, knocking his breakfast on the floor. A further owl dropped a letter on top of the parcel. Harry opened the letter that advised him not to open the parcel in public as it contained his new broomstick, a Nimbus 2000. Harry and Ron left the hall to open the package, and Harry was amazed that he had one of the best broomsticks you could hope to own, and Professor McGonagall had sent it to him.
Hermione was not pleased when she learned the news, as she didn’t think he
should be rewarded for breaking school rules.
The Nimbus 2000 was made of the finest mahogany and its name was written in
gold near the top. Its tail was comprised of neat straight twigs.
Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain had arranged to meet Harry for
a training session. It was approaching dusk. The purpose was to advise Harry about the rules of the game.
There are 7 players on each team. 3 are called chasers. Their job is to look out for a bright red ball called a quaffle and throw it to one another and try and get it through one of the 3 opposing hoops. Doing so scores 10 points. There is another player on each side who is called a keeper. His job is to prevent the other team scoring. There are another 2 players called beaters who carry a small club and their job is to try and prevent the black balls called bludgers knocking their players off their brooms. The bludgers, which are slightly smaller than the quaffle, rocket around the playing area. Oliver showed Harry the bludgers that were being restrained inside the equipment box. They have a mind of their own. The 7th player is called a seeker and that was to be Harry’s position. The seeker looks for the last ball of the game, which is called the Golden Snitch. It is only the size of a golf ball and is bright gold with little fluttering silver wings. It is hard to see. However, if the seeker can catch it before the opposing team’s seeker, he scores an extra 150 points, which usually means his team has won.
Harry was to attend three training sessions a week with the rest of his
team, and together with all his homework, time soon passed and Halloween had arrived.
Harry was now enjoying his schoolwork apart from his lessons with Snape, and
he was beginning to master the basics of his trade. However, he was not in the same league as Hermione regarding the casting of spells and making objects fly.
She was still very bossy, and Ron did not like her much, and as he was telling Harry about her bad behavior she overheard, and ran crying to the girls’ toilets.
When the Halloween Banquet started in the great hall, she was still missing,
but the banquet was interrupted by an alarm concerning the entrance of a mountain troll into the school. The prefects were told to quickly take the first year’s back to their dormitories, but Harry and Ron
slipped away in order to look for Hermione in the girls’ toilet.
On their way there, they noticed Snape heading for the forbidden corridor and wondered why he was not with the other teachers dealing with the troll. As they arrived at the girls’ toilets, they met “a horrible sight. Twelve feet tall, its skin was dull, granite grey, its great lumpy body like a boulder with its small bald head perched on the top like a coconut. It had short legs, thick as tree trunks with flat, horny feet. The smell coming from it was incredible. It was holding a huge wooden club, which dragged along the floor because its arms were so long.” The troll passed through a doorway and Harry closed the door behind it and locked it in. To their horror on hearing Hermione scream, they realized they had locked it in the girls’ toilets. They entered the toilets to see Hermione transfixed against the far wall with the troll advancing towards her. Between them, Harry and Ron confused the dim-witted troll and Ron used a spell in order to lift the club that the troll was carrying above its head and then released it so that it fell on the troll’s small head and knocked him out.
All this time, the troll had been roaring and Professor McGonagall,
responding to the noise, burst into the toilets closely followed by Snape.
Hermione had now regained her senses and she took the blame for the incident by saying she had decided to try and capture the troll herself. Ron and Harry were amazed that she had lied to a teacher, and 5 points were taken from Gryffindor house for this escapade, but Ron and Harry were awarded 5 points each for their bravery.
They returned to their dormitory to take part in the Halloween celebrations.
Again the first year’s are involved in an exciting episode expertly
described by Rowling.
At the start of the Chapter Hermione is at odds with Ron and Harry, but
towards the end she covers for them and has decided where her loyalties lie, because she is impressed at the way the two boys saved her. Together, the three make a formidable team because they all have their
own strengths and weaknesses, and they complement one another. Neville will also have a part to play in their later adventures.
The relationship between Harry and Ron is interesting.
Certainly at the start, Ron was able to use his knowledge in support of Harry, and their relationship is similar to that between Ralph and Piggy in Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. Ralph was the authoritative figure supported by Piggy’s intelligence and knowledge. Harry has come a long way from the nervous, shy first year pupil that came to Hogwarts. He is now more assertive and confident; this being based on his growing knowledge of what is required of him.