Chapter 27 Summary
The Centaur and the Sneak
The students at Hogwarts enter a room enchanted to look like the Forbidden Forest, complete with large trees and soft moss, and are now about to meet their new Divination teacher: Firenze, the centaur. The ladies in the class think Firenze is quite handsome.
Firenze, of course, knows Harry Potter because of their experience in the Forbidden Forest with Voldemort during Harry’s first year. Harry notices a large bruise on Firenze’s chest and wonders why it is there.
Firenze soon explains that he has been shunned for listening to and working for Dumbledore. The other centaurs consider this type of loyalty to Dumbledore, a wizard, to be a betrayal of their own kind.
Firenze offers to share the wisdom of the centaurs but is about as clear on all points as Professor Trelawney. Firenze promises no facts and no certainties. At the end of class, Firenze wants Harry to pass something on to Hagrid: that what Hagrid is trying in the forest has not worked and that therefore Hagrid should stop trying.
Amid worries about their approaching O.W.L. tests, the students of the DA continue practicing with Harry as their teacher in the Room of Requirement. During one particular lesson, Dobby appears and shouts a warning that Umbridge is coming.
Harry is captured by Umbridge and brought directly to Dumbledore. He denies all charges to the different professors and Aurors present. It turns out that a friend of Cho Chang, Marietta, turned Harry in and as a result has a set of boils on her forehead that spell out the word “sneak.”
Professor Umbridge mentions Harry’s meeting in Hogsmeade in the fall, but Dumbledore reminds her that there was no decree at the time banning student meetings. Umbridge is absolutely livid that this interrogation isn’t going well. She is especially enraged that Marietta won’t tell her account of the story in front of all of these other people. Marietta simply keeps shaking her head “no.”
Umbridge finally loses her temper and begins to shake Marietta quite violently. Finally, she brings out her trump card: an actual list of students under the heading of “Dumbledore’s Army.” Suddenly Dumbledore begins talking about making that list of students himself: the list of Hogwarts students he is recruiting for his “Army.” Harry is completely confused. The Minister of Magic threatens to arrest and imprison Dumbledore, but Dumbledore disappears (but not before he asks Harry to concentrate hard on learning Occlumency with Professor Snape).