Monday, August 12, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 24-27

Last week's chapters were: Chapter 24 ("Occlumency,"), Chapter 25 ("The Beetle at Bay"), Chapter 26 ("Seen and Unforeseen"), and Chapter 27 ("The Centaur and the Sneak"). Spoilers ahead.

In this section of the book, I find myself empathizing with the adults who want to keep Harry safe by seeing that he is taught Occlumency. It drove me nuts every time he didn't clear his mind before going to sleep and continued to willingly indulge in visions similar to the one he had about Arthur Weasley. It probably would have helped Harry realize the importance of practicing occlumency if the instructions had come from someone more appealing to him than Snape, but at the same time he's old enough to understand the danger and it annoyed me that he was so reckless.

I had totally forgotten Rita Skeeter was even in this book, and did not at all remember that she was the author of the article about Harry that was published in The Quibbler. I also forgot about Harry and Cho's awkward first date, which occurs just before Harry meets with Hermione and Skeeter, but I did remember, and very much enjoyed revisiting, the scene in which Hermione tells Ron he has the emotional depth of a teaspoon. It's funny because, at this stage at least, it's true.

My hate for Umbridge is at an all-time high at this point in the book. What she does to Trelawney is horrible, as is her use of Marietta to find out about Dumbledore's Army. It is such a moment of triumph, though, when Dumbledore takes credit for the group. I feel a little bit icky about Marietta's memory being modified, but overall, this scene redeems of a lot of Dumbledore's behavior in this book for me. I also love Phineas Nigellus's line: "You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts … but you cannot deny he’s got style …" No, you cannot.

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