Tuesday, July 23, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 13-16

This week's chapters were another fun set: Chapter 13 ("Detention with Dolores"), Chapter 14 ("Percy and Padfoot"), Chapter 15 ("The Hogwarts High Inquisitor"), and Chapter 16 ("In the Hog's Head"). Spoilers beyond this point.

I've read a few reviews that criticize the high level of teen angst Harry experiences in this book. I was thinking about that as I read this section, and I noticed it, but I have to say he comes by it honestly enough.  Umbridge is physically injuring him during detention and he can't tell anyone for fear she will make the punishment worse. His best friends are fulfilling prefect duties and trying out for the Quidditch team and otherwise being normal teenagers, while he has to listen to people who used to be his friends spouting the lies about him that they read in the newspaper. On top of that, Percy writes to Ron to warn him away from Harry, and Dumbledore hasn't said a word to him all year so far. He is in touch with Sirius, but of course even that is frustrating because Sirius can't seem to see Harry as a separate person from his dad. Wizard or not, that's a lot for any fifteen-year-old to handle!

I'm really looking forward to reading about Dumbledore's Army getting organized. There was something gratifying about seeing all of Harry's and Dumbledore's supporters come together to make plans to work around Umbridge's ridiculous rules. I also felt so angry on behalf of all the professors when she made her evaluations of their classes. Professor McGonagall's unwillingness to play her game was great, but I feel terrible for Trelawney, especially knowing what is to come for her. (Then again, I'm also looking forward to Umbridge's ride on a centaur...)

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