Things get much darker now as we come to the fifth book of Harry Potter; that even from the beginning Harry must deal with dementors who were coming his way within the Muggle’s territory! It is in this book that I begin to remember why the Dursleys keep taking care of Harry—although begrudgingly—all this time. You know, I begin to have a little sympathy for them, which I didn’t feel at my first reading. I came to think, how my family and I would react if we must take a relative who comes from another world and brings a lot of weird troubles. I can understand how the Dursleys yearn for a quiet and normal life, when they don’t have to think suspiciously whenever they see an owl or when there is something unusual happen in the neighborhood. And I have a respect for Petunia Dursley for keeping her promise to Dumbeldore these five years; anyway she had suffered greatly by the wizarding world, that I wish Harry and his friends could be more sympathetic to her.
The fifth book talks about how Ministry of Magic stubbornly refused the idea of Voldemort’s rising, and instead banning Dumbledore. Stripped from his power, Dumbledore formed The Order of the Phoenix whose main job is to consolidate the wizarding world and to build power against Voldemort. Meanwhile, Hogwarts suffered under Dolores Umbridge who was placed as Head of Inquisitor, or Ministry’s spy as a matter of fact. Here, again, Hermione came with a brilliant idea that students also need to practically learn how to defense against dark arts. So they formed ‘Dumbledore Army’, a group of students who learn to practice charms and jinxes from Harry, as the leader. Here is also where Harry tasted the bittersweet of love for the first time. I’m not disappointed of Harry and Cho’s breaking up in the end, because they were too far different. Cho would never understand the heavy burden Harry must take on his shoulders, while Harry could never understand how someone could take things so simple. Well, there’s nobody to blame, and their relationship was impossible from the first anyway.
The mysterious connection between Harry and Voldemort is slowly revealed in this book; how Harry’s and Voldemort’s mind or emotion could relate each other; how harry should learn Occlumency to shut down the connection—which he took it for granted because Harry was too determined to carry things by himself (typical teenager, of course); and how Voldemort finally trapped him to the Ministry of Magic. And what a deadly fight Harry and his friends had there with those Death Eaters! Hogwarts should be proud of having fifth grade students fought the enemies so bravely! And at the end, someone very dear to Harry must die. I remember years ago, when the fifth book was first published, J.K. Rowling warned us that one of Harry’s dear ‘friends’ was going to die. My friends and I kept guessing, who that would be, is it going to be Ron or Hermione? Dumbledore? Hagrid? Oh…the anticipation was really torturing us back then.
Harry’s real genuine character was revealed in this book, the good and also the bad. Just like his father—and Sirius—Harry is arrogant. He always thought himself on top of others, he was more proud rather than deploring his faith to be the biggest opponent of Voldemort. He liked to think about his own feeling, and was often indifferent of how his friends must have suffered from his raising temper just because he was kept in dark by others for his own good. I think in this book Harry Potter begins to annoy me. However, Harry also showed much bravery here. It’s no wonder that the sorting hat was confused when Harry first arrived at Hogwarts, to which House it should put him to. Harry possessed both qualities to be in Slytherin and Griffindor: he’s arrogant but he’s also brave. Now I begin to think that Snape was right from the beginning, Harry resembled his father a lot, especially James’ negative qualities.
Any act of bullying is always disgusted me, so I must say that I can never forgive James Potter for his rude bullying against Snape. Dumbledore, Lupin or Sirius might have said that it was only a fifteen years teenage foolishness, but I disagree. Harry, Ron and Neville were also fifteen years but their biggest flaws were perhaps breaking school rules and tempted to have quarrels with Malfoy; they never bullied others just for fun and because they didn’t like the victim. That.Is.Cruel! And I don’t think it’s right for others too to tell Harry that it was just foolishness. I think Snape was right (again); they (Lupin and Sirius) just worshiped James too much, that they failed to see that besides James’ brave and loyal qualities, he also had this bad side.
There are so many things in this fifth book that I can’t describe them all here, one of them is Ron’s being a prefect—with Hermione it’s natural, but for Ron..it’s..wow! I’m glad that Rowling spared chance for Ron to develop a bit here, instead of always being a shadow to Harry. In several occasions, I even think Ron was now more grown up and got wiser than Harry.
Four and a half stars for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
And as always, my favorite Dumbledore’s wise quote as a final treat….
“Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human— The fact that you can feel pain like this is your greater strength.”
*I read ebook version for:*
5th book for Hotter Potter
12th book for What’s in A Name Challenge 2013