Chapter 10 Summary
Grimmauld Place is bustling with Hogwarts students ready to go back to school. The Weasley family tries to get itself together for the Hogwarts Express, while Mad-Eye Moody continues to worry about the number of guards that the Order of the Phoenix has posted for Harry’s transfer. Sirius Black is especially happy because he has decided to come with Harry to the train station disguised in his Animagus form as a large, dark dog.
Harry’s excitement builds about going back to Hogwarts until he realizes that he can’t sit with Ron and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express. Both Ron and Hermione have to sit in the prefect car. Harry sits with a few more of his Gryffindor friends in a car with one other strange occupant: Luna Lovegood. With her blonde hair, dreamy expression, “protuberant eyes,” and affinity for reading magazines upside down, Luna Lovegood definitely is one of the most eccentric students in Ravenclaw house.
Neville Longbottom, who also is sitting with Harry, is excited to show everyone his new plant. Unfortunately, Neville also wants to show everyone how his plant shoots stinksap as a defense mechanism. Harry gets the full brunt of the plant’s anger via a facefull of stinksap. Of course, this is the moment when another Ravenclaw, Cho Chang, decides to come and say hello to Harry. Harry is mortified but is still able to mumble a greeting.
Having been freed from the prefect car, Ron and Hermione appear and reveal the prefects for the other houses. Draco Malfoy is the Slytherin prefect (which surprises no one). As Ron tells a joke and Luna Lovegood drops her magazine as a result, everyone switches their conversation back to The Quibbler. Hermione insults The Quibbler (the magazine that Luna was reading upside down) until Luna reveals that her own father is its editor.
A visit from Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle bothers Harry quite a bit. Not only are the Slytherin prefects already threatening to abuse their power, but Draco also gingerly drops the phrase “I’ll be dogging your footsteps,” which shows that Draco most likely knows Sirius Black’s Animagus form.
More surprises await Harry as the train pulls into the station. First, Hagrid doesn’t come to greet them for the first time in years. Second, Harry finds some strange, skeletal, horse-like creatures pulling the carriages. These are animals Harry has never seen before and that no one else seems to see except for one other person: Luna Lovegood.