Chapter 18 Summary
Harry Potter is forced to admit that Professor Umbridge now has resorted to rifling through the owl post to find information about him. This is why Filch appeared so quickly at the Owlery and accused Harry of ordering Dungbombs.
Luckily, and probably against Umbridge’s better judgment, Angelina Johnson finally has permission to reassemble the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Unfortunately, their first practice is in a dreadful rainstorm. In fact, even with the use of the “Impervius” spell to repel the rain off of their faces, they don’t play very well.
Angelina finally calls off the practice, when suddenly Harry’s scar starts hurting. Harry admits to Ron that this probably means that Voldemort is angry. This connection with Voldemort worries Ron. Like Hermione, now Ron believes that this information is too much to be kept a secret: Dumbledore must be told. Harry remains obstinate.
One evening when Harry falls asleep studying Charms, he dreams of a black corridor with a door at the other end. Harry wants nothing more than to go through that door. It is Dobby who appears and wakes Harry. Harry is surprised that Dobby is wearing all of the little knitted hats that Hermione has been making for the Hogwarts House Elves. (Winky, another house elf, is also wearing Hermione’s items, but Winky isn’t as thrilled about her freedom as Dobby is.) In fact, Dobby admits that what was supposed to be a kind gesture by Hermione is actually considered an insult by the Hogwarts House Elves. They do not want to be freed.
The reason Dobby has appeared now is to return Hedwig, all healed, to Harry. Harry uses Dobby’s knowledge of Hogwarts to ask the pressing question about a place where a bunch of Hogwarts students could gather privately to learn Defense Against the Dark Arts from Harry. Dobby knows the perfect place: The Room of Requirement. This particular room will only appear if a person truly needs it. In fact, Dobby has hidden Winky there at times when she was indisposed and of no use to anyone.
With a meeting place finally set up, Harry tells the group how to find it and then goes to find it himself. The room is magically and perfectly set up to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Hermione first insists on electing a leader of the group: Harry. Then she insists on naming the group: Dumbledore’s Army (DA for short). Harry begins teaching the important charm that disarms an opponent. Harry’s students begin learning slowly, but they gradually improve. Harry is particularly interested that Cho Chang is nervous about Harry’s observation of her abilities.