Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ( Harry Potter #5)
In The Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter heads back to Hogwarts for another year of school, but this time he is no longer known as “the boy who lived.” Since the murder of Cedric Diggory at the hands of Lord Voldemort, the Ministry of Magic has been doing everything it can to dispel rumours of Voldermort’s return and Harry Potter is now known as the boy who lies—both at school and within the pages of The Daily Prophet.
The Ministry is also under the impression that along with Harry, Dumbledore is working against them, (Cornelius Fudge is paranoid Dumbledore wants to steal his job) so they send a member of the ministry, Dolores Umbridge to Hogwarts, to evaluate and make changes (spy and torture) to the school staff and students.
As I’ve said before, one of the many things I enjoy about finally reading the series is the fact that you get more information and background then was shown in the films. The conversation Harry has with the Dursley’s was interesting. Obviously they know a bit about the wizarding world, but I hadn’t realized that Harry’s aunt had known about Lord Voldemort at all.
Throughout the book Harry finds out that he’s becoming aware of Lord Voldemort thoughts and actions, and in fear that Voldemort may in turn gain access to his thoughts. To make sure that doesn’t happen he is taught to control his mind from penetration with lessons by his BFF Professor Snape.
In book #5 we get to see the extent of how much Percy Weasley turns his back on his family in order to move up the professional ladder and learn from Sirius that there were many Wizards that believed in Voldemort’s views on purification, even though they may not have been as extreme as him in expressing their beliefs. That’s some pretty deep subject matter for a YA! Harry also comes to terms with the fact that his father wasn’t as perfect as he imagined him to be, one might even say James was quite a bully during his time at Hogwarts. More like Malfoy and his gang then Harry and his.
We see more of Hermione’s campaign to free house-eleves who don’t want to be free and another weighty topic comes to the forefront when Dumbledore speaks to Harry about Sirus apathy to his family house-elf Kreacher :
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike…”
Something I always wondered about when watching the films, was why Harry didn’t just moved in with the Weasleys after his first year at Hogwarts? Or even move out on his own (he’s wizard rich after all). In the book, Dumbeldore reveals to Harry why his living with the Dursleys is so important for his safety:
He [Voldemort] shed her [Lily Potter’s] blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, there he cannot hurt you…She knows that allowing you houseroom may well have kept you alive for the past fifteen years.”
Another observation I found in the book was that Sirius seemed way more whiny and gloomy in comparison to the film. I know he was locked up in Azkaban and then at Order headquarters, but he just seemed so…depressing. I do have to say when Harry found Sirus’ mirror at the end of the book, I did tear up. 😦 It was definitely one of the many sad moments of the series.
I really enjoyed reading about St. Mungo’s hospital. All the different patients with their crazy maladies and Harry and friends ran into former professor Lockhart, was so entertaining. The part where Ron was getting unsolicited medical advice from the healers in the picture frames was hilarious. It would have been great to see that in the film. The hospital scenes also allows Ron and Hermione to find out what happened to Neville’s parents, who sadly were permanent residents there.
At the end of OOP Harry is vindicated and the return of Voldemort is headline news when along with death eaters they enter the ministry of magic. However Harry can’t even enjoy the fact that he had been right all along, or the congratulations from his peers, now that his godfather is dead and he learns the life altering fact : Harry has to die, or Voldemort has to die.
And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.