Chapter 28 Summary
Snape’s Worst Memory
The newest Educational Decree declares Professor Umbridge to be Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most of the students at Hogwarts are on Dumbledore’s side and are happy and proud that he escaped into hiding. Even Dumbledore’s office seems to have obtained a mind of its own and prevents Umbridge from entering.
When Hermione insults Umbridge, Draco Malfoy begins taking points away from the various Hogwarts’ houses. When the Gryffindor students protest, Draco Malfoy informs them that in addition to being a prefect, he is also now a member of the Inquisitorial Squad, a special group formed by Umbridge to spy on fellow students.
Fed up with the way the school is being run and with only average grades, Fred and George decide to make their way in the world in a method that doesn’t need higher education or even the degree from their Hogwarts schooling. They warn Harry and many others that exciting pandemonium is coming and to stay clear of the aftermath.
Fairly suddenly, Umbridge calls Harry to her office and offers him some very suspicious tea. Harry only pretends to drink as Umbridge shouts questions at him about the locations of Black and Dumbledore.
Right in the middle of the interrogation, there is a large explosion and Umbridge rushes off to see the result. Fred and George have supplied the first dose of pandemonium: huge fireworks. Umbridge struggles to get rid of the fireworks as the other teachers only pretend to help disperse them.
Harry continues to have his dream about the long corridor and the door that won’t open. The only difference is that now he is able to open the door. The room beyond contains rows and rows of shelves with glass balls upon them.
The next day, Harry tries Occlumency again with Professor Snape. Snape must have more confidence in Harry at this point because Harry finds Snape depositing memories into Dumbledore’s pensieve. As Umbridge unexpectedly calls for Snape, Harry steals a look at Snape's memories in the pensieve.
What Harry sees in the pensieve is his own dad, James Potter, and Sirius Black making fun of and even bullying Snape when he was a teenager. It is Harry’s mother, Lily, who defends Snape (at the time, her best friend). However when Snape in frustration screams that he doesn’t need Lily’s help because she’s a “Mudblood,” Lily ends their friendship forever.
At this point, Snape returns to his office and pulls Harry out of the pensieve. Snape is so angry that he throws Harry out of the office with no promise to continue Occlumency lessons. Harry is more upset to see evidence that his father was a complete bully who was full of himself.