Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Chapter 5: The Order of the Phoenix
- “Bill took out his wand, muttered, ‘Evanesco!’ and the scrolls vanished.” – But where do they end up? They have to go somewhere, they can’t simply vanish, because the Order needs those parchments again. But the more I think about magic and physics (where one body is can’t be another) I believe magic uses pocket-dimensions, because how else do you explain a house that can vanish between two other houses or the Room of Requirements or Hermione’s handbag in book 7?
- I love that Molly is in the Order as well, which makes sense as two of her oldest sons and her husband are in it, but I wonder what her job is. We know Arthur works as a spy in the Ministry and uses his connections to recruit new members, the same as Charlie does in Romania. I suppose Bill’s job is to recruit the Goblins, as he works together with them at Gringrotts. But what about Molly? We see her preparing dinner and making Grimmauld Place habitable again, but nothing more. Once again she is stuck in the domestic space, and it is obvious that part of Sirius’s frustration comes from being trapped there as well, as if it is beneath him. And I’m torn apart between wanting to see Molly leaving this space, being more than a mother and housewife, but on the other side I think that the work she does, including raising 7 children, should be appreciated more. Because society still doesn’t see being a mother, taking care of a household, as a full-time job. It is taken for granted.
- “She stopped dead, catching her breath with a frightened look at her husband, whose expression was suddenly wooden.” – This is after Molly accidently mentions Percy. In her argument later with Sirius we also see her demanding her husband to back her up. And it is interesting to see the Weasley family dynamic compared with the dynamic between Molly and Arthur. Their children seem to be more afraid of their mother; she is usually the one who is very strict when it comes to the rules, whereas her husband seems much more softer. But between them Arthur is the more dominant. She is frightened after she mentioned Percy, a topic that is clearly taboo. She needs him backing her up in her argument with Sirius, and after her husband expresses a different opinion than her she gives in. Molly represent a very conservative image of a woman; someone who only exists in a domestic space, someone who subordinates her opinion after her husband’s. And in contrast to her we see more modern woman like Tonks and later Ginny and Hermione.
- “I think it depends what they’re [the Goblins] offered,’ said Lupin. ‘And I’m not talking about gold. If they’re offered the freedoms we’ve been denying them for centuries they’re going to be tempted.” – I wish we would have learned a bit more about Goblins, the way we did about House-Elves. What are the freedoms they want? And why do the Wizards deny them these freedoms? We see a bit of the complicated history between Goblins and Wizards in book 7, but it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
- So, let’s talk about the argument between Sirius and Molly, which I really loved. If we look at it from Harry’s perspective Sirius would be right. However, Harry’s view is limited, and as Molly reminds us he is still a child. I don’t think that either Molly or Sirius is entirely right. I agree with Molly that Harry is after all still a child and in her observation that Sirius treats him rather as a friend, as an equal, than as a son. We see this in Sirius’s reaction regarding the Dementor attack. Sirius makes it look like an adventure, like he would have preferred a little bit of action over being trapped at Grimmauld Place. Molly openly shows her dislike for Mundugus, which is based on him leaving Harry when he had guard duty, but we see no such behaviour from Sirius. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love or care about Harry. But he doesn’t treat him as a son, as a child, as someone who needs protection. Of course Molly is overly protective, and it is a low blow to accuse Sirius wasn’t there for Harry because he was in Azkaban. And it is impossible to keep Harry out of this war because he is already part of it. Harry witnessed Voldemort’s return and he is the one Voldemort wants to see dead. Harry needs access to information in order to survive, in order to be prepared. Does he need to know everything? No, not now anyway. But as much as Molly still sees Harry as a child, Voldemort doesn’t. Voldemort doesn’t care, and that is why they can’t afford to leave Harry out of it.
- But it is also interesting to see all those different kind of characters inhabiting the space where Harry’s parents would be. We have the Dursleys, family by blood, but nothing else, with Petunia giving Harry the bare minimum of protection when she allows him to stay at Privet Drive. We have Dumbledore, who as we are told acts in Harry’s best interest, but appears as a cold and distant God-like figure. We have Molly who says Harry is as good as her son (which Harry finds touching), who tries to protect him in every possible way. And we have Sirius, Harry’s chosen parental figure, who treats Harry as an equal instead of a child.
- Sirius says that Voldemort’s plan has failed because Harry wasn’t supposed to survive, wasn’t supposed to tell everyone that Voldemort is back. But, if Harry had died, it would have drawn an awful lot of attention, wouldn’t it? Did they plan to make it look like an accident? Would Voldemort really have resisted to tell everyone he had finally killed Harry Potter?
- “‘You see the problem,’ said Lupin. ‘While the Ministry insists there is nothing to fear from Voldemort it’s hard to convince people he’s back, especially as they really don’t want to believe it in the first place. What’s more, the Ministry’s leaning heavily on the Daily Prophet not to report any of what they’re calling Dumbledore’s rumour-mongering, so most of the wizarding community are completely unaware anything’s happened, and that makes them easy targets for the Death Eaters if they’re using the Imperius Curse.’” – People believe what they want to believe, which is rather a comfortable lie than an ugly truth. And it shows the power a government and media has by completely ignoring someone, refusing to give them a platform, or by damaging their reputation. It is the creditability of one person (Dumbledore) vs the entire Ministry and the news.
- Do they assume Voldemort is after a weapon in the Department of Mysteries or do they already know he is after the prophecy? The irony of course is that Voldemort wants the prophecy because he thinks it can tell him to kill Harry but it doesn’t really. The second part he never heard only says one has to kill the other, but not how. And for all the trouble it caused in the end only his biggest enemies, Harry and Dumbledore, know the full extent of it.