Term begins at school. The Slytherins keep taunting Harry over how he fainted in the presence of a Dementor. At breakfast, Ron notices a problem with Hermione's timetable: some of her classes seem to be sharing the same time slot. Hermione won't explain why.

They are guided by the mad knight Sir Cadogan to the first lesson for one of their new subjects: Divination (telling the future). The class is taught by Professor Trelawney, an eccentric mystic. She seems to be a divisive teacher. Some students like Lavender and Parvati are soon entranced by the subject. Hermione, by contrast, is very sceptical about it. They have a go at reading tea leaves. Trelawney looks at Harry's tea leaves announces that she has seen 'the Grim', an image of a dog that predicts death. Harry remembers the dog he saw the moment before nearly getting run over by the Knight Bus, and the picture on the cover of the book about death omens.

The next lesson is Transfiguration with [=McGonagall=], in which they learn about Animagi wizards who can turn into animals at will. As it turns out, [=McGonagall=] tells them in a lesson that Trelawney has been predicting the death of one student per class in every year she has been at Hogwarts. None have died yet. She barely hides her disdain for the subject. Though Ron is stil worried, Hermione is dismissive that Harry's in trouble. She mentions attending an Arithmancy class, which none of them remember her going to.

They head out to a Care of Magical Creatures lesson, taught by the newly-appointed Professor Hagrid. He introduces them to hippogriffs, which resemble horses but with wings and birds' heads. Hagrid teaches Harry how to meet and pet Buckbeak, one of the Hippogriffs. He warns them not to ever insult a Hippogriff. He then gets Harry to ride on him, as the Hippogriff . After he lands, Malfoy insults Buckbeak and the Hippogriff attacks him. It appears to be a ploy to get Hagrid into trouble. Malfoy is taken off to the hospital wing with a few broken bones. The trio sneak out that night to visit Hagrid, who seems to have been [[DrowningMySorrows drowning his sorrows]].