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PoA - Chapter 6 - Talons and Tealeaves
PoA - Chapter 6 - Talons and Tealeaves
Published by Tinkerbell
PoA - Chapter 6 - Talons and Tealeaves


The Chapter starts with our intrepid trio entering the Great Hall for their breakfast on their first full day back at Hogwarts. Draco is being the usual pain in the posterior by impersonating Harry having a fainting fit following his tangle with the Dementor on the train.

The students have their timetables for their third year, and Ron questions Hermione about how many subjects she is taking. She says it is all under control, even though Ron points out she has about three subjects listed for the same time on the same day. Hermione brushes this aside, saying that she has it all under control and that Professor McGonagall and her have “fixed it”.

Hagrid is beside himself with joy and enthusiasm as he tells the trio that he has been up since 5 am arranging their first Care of Magical Creatures lesson. Following their conversation, the trio make their way to their first Divination lesson. Following a brush with Sir Cadogan, who appears to be completely barmy, they arrive at the top of the North Tower, which houses the Divination classroom, and the very flaky Professor Trelawney.

After telling the class about Divination being the most difficult of all magical arts, she proceeds with the lesson, asking them to read tea-leaves. Using the book Unfogging the Future , both Harry and Ron attempt to ‘read’ each other’s tea-leaves, although Hermione sees this is all complete rubbish. Trelawney gets very theatrical and tells Harry he has the Grim in his tea-leaves – an omen of death!!

Their next lesson is Transfiguration, and Professor McGonagall has trouble hiding her contempt when she finds out Trelawney has once again foretold the death of a student – Harry!

That afternoon, the students make their way down to their first Care of Magical Creatures class. Hagrid is dismayed to find that thus far, none of the students have opened their Monster Book of Monsters – mainly because they value their limbs! Hagrid informs them that all they need to do is stroke the spine of the book. Malfoy, as usual, is a complete git, and appears to the trio to be plotting with his henchmen, Crabbe and Goyle, to sabotage the class.

Hagrid introduces the Hippogriffs to the class – which includes the beast we now know and love to be Buckbeak. The class are reluctant to approach the animals, but Harry volunteers to step forward. With Hagrid’s encouragement, he manages to gain the trust of Buckbeak, and Hagrid proceeds to tell Harry that he feels that he is ready to have a ride on Buckbeak. After a quick flight around the paddock in which the lesson is taking place, Buckbeak and Harry come back down to earth. The rest of the class then join in the lesson. It is then that Malfoy, in his own very personal, conceited way, approaches Buckbeak with disdain, and is rewarded with a slash of Buckbeak’s steely talons, and Malfoy shows what a big sissy he really is – “”I’m dying!” he yells. Hagrid steps in and takes Malfoy to the hospital wing.

Later that day, Malfoy is seen milking the situation for all its worth, when Harry, Ron and Hermione know that Madam Pomfrey probably dealt with Malfoy’s injuries in the blink of an eye.

During the evening, the trio decide to go down and see how Hagrid is. Hagrid seems to have been drowning his sorrows, thinking that he is going to get the sack, but is quickly brought down to earth by the trio, and then exclaims that Harry should not be out after dark, and the other two are admonished for allowing Harry out anyway.


Characters within the Chapter

Harry Potter

Ron Weasley

Hermione Granger

Draco Malfou

Pansy Parkinson

George Weasley

Fred Weasley

Professor McGonagall

Rubeus Hagrid

Sir Cadogan

Sybil Trelawney

Neville Longbottom

Parvati Patil

Lavender Brown

You-Know-Who (mentioned)

Dean Thomas

Seamus Finnigan

The Grim (mentioned… a lot!)

Ron’s Uncle Bilius (mentioned)

Crabbe and Goyle

Buckbeak (and of course the other, unnamed, Hippogriffs)

Madam Pomfrey (mentioned)

Sirius Black (mentioned)

Professor Dumbledore (mentioned)



As the trio go to their first Divination class, they pass some of the paintings, one of which contained “… a fat, dapple-grey pony…”

As they reach the North Tower, they see a “…brass plaque…” and a “… silvery ladder…”

Once in Divination Class, this is described as “…lit with a dim, crimson light… and the many lamps were draped with dark red scarves”. Also in the classroom was a fire heating a copper kettle, and shelves containing, amongst other things, silvery crystal balls.

Professor Trelawney is wearing emerald earrings.

Trelawney warns Parvati Patil to “… beware a red-haired man”

Trelawney asks Lavender to pass the large silver teapot as she teaches the art of reading tea leaves, and tells Neville …”after you’ve broken your first cup, would you be so kind as to select one of the blue patterned ones? I’m rather attached to the pink.”

When asked what he can see in his tea cup, Harry says “A load of soggy brown stuff.”

Ron predicts that Harry will have … “A windfall, unexpected gold.”

When Professor McGonagall is told of Professor Trelawney’s ‘predictions’ her nostrils go white.

The Grim is referred to as a great black dog

The sky is described as a clear, pale grey

In describing the Hippogriffs, they all have steel-coloured beaks and orange eyes. There is a stormy grey (Buckbeak), a pinkish roan, a gleaming chestnut and an inky black Hippogriff.

After Malfoy is attacked, Hagrid goes very white

As the trio go down to see if Hagrid is OK that evening, the grass looks almost black in the twilight.

Hagrid’s eyes are described as beetle-black.


Major Events

We meet Professor Trelawney, Divination teacher, whom Harry will find is someone who, unwittingly, knows more about Harry at this stage, than he does!

Harry, Hermione and Ron meet Buckbeak and the other Hippogriffs. Buckbeak plays a major role in the whole time theme, in that his ‘death’ is avoided through use by Harry and Hermione of the time-turner, and his subsequent avoidance of the law – together with Sirius, into GoF and OotP.

The trio get their timetables for their third year at Hogwarts, and Ron comments on the hefty number of subjects that Hermione is taking, noting that many of them are listed for the same time on the same day! This, we find out later in the book, is because she is using the time-turner to get to all these classes, and that Professor McGonagall has indeed assisted her in this!


Points of Note & Interest/Leading to future events

During their first Divination class, Ron attempts to read Harry’s tea-leaves and sees what he thinks is an acorn, which meant “A windfall, unexpected gold” – is this Ron seeing into the future – when Harry won the Triwizard Tournament?!

Professor Trelawney sees, in the same mucky old tea-leaves, the Grim – now did she actually see this, and it represented Sirius as Padfoot, or is she really an old fraud?

The Hippogriff’s wingspan is 12 feet – another interesting reference to the number twelve!


For me, this chapter gives some big clues to the future for the first time reader - it lays the foundations for the time turner, with Hermione having a heavy load of lessons to attend, and Ron questioning this - how was she going to do this, even Hermione, the greatest student ever (it seems!) couldn't possibly manage 3 lessons all at the same time!

We also meet Professor Trelawney, who is described almost as "flaky", and somewhat larger than life, and one almost gets the impression that yes, she is a bit of an old fraud, bit like the fairground fortune teller, and it is only later in the book when she does give Harry a bit of a turn with a real insight into the future, and then it is only later in the Septology we hear of her role in the Prophecy.

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