Chapter 14 Summary
Percy and Padfoot
Harry decides to write Sirius Black about the Umbridge detention and about his scar hurting as a result of touching her hand. Harry writes a very cryptic message to “Snuffles” about “that thing I wrote to you about last summer happen[ing] again” when he was with Umbridge.
Hoping that Sirius will understand, Harry goes to find Hedwig at the Owlery, where he meets Cho Chang. Cho admits how much she hates Umbridge and tells Harry that she thinks Harry is brave for what he has done. Suddenly Filch arrives and accuses Harry of ordering Dungbombs.
The Daily Prophet also contains some interesting news that morning. First, the paper reports that Sirius Black has been seen in London. Harry is convinced that the Malfoys are the ones who revealed that information. Second, the paper reports that a member of the Order named Sturgis Podmore was arrested for trespassing in the Ministry of Magic and sentenced to Azkaban.
When Harry attends Quidditch practice for the first time with Ron on the team, the practice is a complete disaster. As the Slytherins laugh at him, Ron is unable to perform. Further, Ron gets an upsetting letter from Percy that congratulates Ron on becoming a prefect and warns him of several things, including not to associate with Potter anymore, to trust Umbridge, and to realize that Dumbledore may not stay at Hogwarts for long. Ron is disgusted and gets rid of the letter.
As Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue with their homework by the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room, they suddenly see Sirius Black’s face appear in the fire. Sirius is using the Floo Network to check in on Harry after receiving his recent letter, sent by Hedwig.
Sirius tells Harry that the newest hurt in his scar is most likely nothing to worry about but that Umbridge is truly horrible. (She was at least partially responsible for making werewolves like Lupin unable to find work.) Sirius also reveals the real reason why students are only copying defensive spells out of books instead of learning to use them: Umbridge is worried about Dumbledore building up an army.
Sirius also admits that Hagrid should have returned by now. Harry, Ron, and Hermione nix Sirius’ idea to change into his Animagus form to accompany Harry to Hogsmeade. Before Sirius Black leaves, he is visibly disappointed in Harry, accusing him of not taking risks like his father.