Harry hasn't heard anything about what is going on in the wizarding world as he spends another dull summer with the Dursleys. His friends' letters are vague and hint at something much more exciting than what is going on in Harry's life and he is becoming pretty upset about that. While Harry is out trying to entertain himself in menial ways, Dudley begins to harass Harry, but before Dudley can strike, Dementors attack them - in Little Whinging! Harry uses a patronus to rid them of the Dementors and old Mrs. Figg comes to "help" Harry... as much as a Squib can help anyway.
Harry soon gets a letter from the Ministry declaring that he has been expelled from Hogwarts for using magic in front of muggles, but before he has a moment to be distraught, he gets another letter telling him that he has not been expelled, but will have a hearing on the matter. A guard comes to collect Harry to bring him away from #4 Privet Drive, including Mad-Eye Moody and Remus Lupin, and they fly their brooms in protective formation around Harry to a beaten up old house that is the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.
|Some really freakin awesome illustrations by someone named|
Leela Starsky. Her illustration of Bill makes me want him desperately.
Harry has a bit of a meltdown after he arrives about how he was the one who took on Voldemort to begin with and should never have been left out of the loop. Eventually Sirius rallies for him and they fill him in about Voldemort laying low, Dumbledore being kicked off the Wizengamot and other organizations and that the Daily Prophet has been making Harry seem like a nut case.
Mr. Weasley escorts Harry to his hearing a few days later (several hours early, and thankfully so), and they arrive to find out that it's been rescheduled to a much earlier time and has been moved to a hearing room down in a dungeon - before the entire Wizengamot. Dumbledore arrives and proceeds to defend Harry (almost like a lawyer) and has Mrs. Figg testify to the fact that Dementors did indeed attack in Little Whinging. Reluctantly, the Wizengamot cleared Harry and he gets to go back to Hogwarts! Harry is thrilled... until he finds out that Ron and Hermione have been made Gryffindor Prefects and he has not. He tries not to be jealous and tries to be happy for Ron but it is hard to forget that he was the one who did all of those things each year... saving their hides from Voldemort almost every time...
Talk about teenage hormones at their worst, ugh. Even though I feel like I am flying through this book way faster than I did every time I've read it before, it does not mean I haven't had enough of Harry's teen angst. He like CAPITAL-LETTER-FREAKS-OUT, often. I do kind of find it hard to believe that Harry can yell and insult his friends multiple times and they would not yell back. They kind of timidly apologize, and its kind of annoying. Where is the person who is going to smack that s*** out of him, because I'm sorry, even my best friend, like a sister to me, if she acted like that, I'd probably hit her. Or at least tell her to snap out of it, don't you think? Yeesh. Maybe I'm just an insensitive ass.
And boy that Cornelius Fudge surely has is out for Harry and Dumbledore. I mean, come on, talk about power hungry. That and fear are the only reasons this is happening and its super frustrating. I've found myself with my jaw dropping open (as if I haven't freakin read this before) at some of the absolute appalling nonsense they come up with, especially later in the book. I mean, I guess with all of this "persecution" going around, Harry has every right to be angsty, doesn't he? Maybe I forgive him.
The Order. I just love getting to re-live the trip through Sirius's house, the secrecy and meetings, Harry and his friends cleaning up all the icky creatures lurking around the house, the crazy Mrs. Black portrait. I was, however, severely freaked out and saddened by the final scene in chapter 9 that has Mrs. Weasley incapacitated by a boggart that was hiding in one of the rooms continually showing her the dead bodies of her husband, children and Harry. Well... I'm sure you can guess why that would be upsetting.
I remember disliking this book a lot the first time around, I actually didn't finish it the first time. The second time was rough and I struggled through it. This time I'm actually enjoying it. It may be annoying and frustrating but those are the emotions Rowling is trying to evoke in her readers isn't it? Well, let me tell you, she surely does a great job of making me want to throw this book across the room, often.
How do you feel about Harry's angst, Fudge's fear and retaliation, and the fun little excursions we get to see in between? I love hearing from you guys!