So my thoughts on having finished Order of the Phoenix:

A lot of people dislike all the man rage that Harry doles out during this book, but quite frankly, I think it’s natural that when you’ve got a steady stream of Voldemort coursing through you, you’re liable to be irritated.  And while he felt a sharp pain when the Dark Lord’s emotions changed sharply, he has a direct link with the most powerful dark wizard alive at the time.  Liable to make one tetchy.

Umbridge is a vicious callow irresponsible cow who should have been sacked years ago.  However she retains her job with the Ministry of Magic, which tells you all you need to know about the ministry.

We also start to look at the line they’re drawing between being an adult, fully functioning wizard and being a school child.  Fred and George attend this year of school mostly, in my opinion, to keep their mother off their back while they gather the resources to have a brick and mortar store.  But they are of age in their society.  They are Adults.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione- while brave and clever- are still children.  Ginny, who is only a year younger than them (which I must keep reminding myself of) is also still a child.

A lot of this story is about growing up, the difference between the upper cusp of childhood and the lowest edge of adulthood.  Losing Sirius is part of that, and we see that when Dumbledore comes to retrieve Harry from the Dursleys’, Harry has grown up.  Maturing through grief is a common literary theme, of course, but it’s also true to life. Voldemort utilizing Occlumency to keep Harry out of the two way connection probably doesn’t hurt, however.

Harry’s rage at the end of the book is, quite possibly, years of pent up anger.  Trapped at the Dursleys’ over the summer, yes.  But also trapped at the Dursleys’ since he was a year old, when any Wizard family would have been proud to have him.  At this point Harry knows that Dumbledore knew several wizarding families who would have taken him in.  And we know that there are plenty to choose from who would not raise him to have an inflated idea of himself- I think if the Weasleys had been given charge of him he’d have grown up just fine, as well as well loved.  He feels trapped because he’s facing the Dursleys again this holiday, even after all he’s been through he gets no reprieve from them, and he doesn’t think he can handle his grief for Sirius and another summer with his Aunt and Uncle.  So while his capslock rage seems a little over the top, we have to remember it’s not just Sirius he’s grieving for.  He’s grieving for himself, his whole life that could have been.  It’s a bit emo to say, but I think it’s true.

Dumbledore, when he puts his face in his hands during this, breaks my heart.  Dumbledore is so composed during this that clearly Harry hit home.

I love that, in the end, members of the order show up and threaten Vernon.  I thought it was very sensitive of someone to suggest, actually- one, if they hear about Sirius’s death they may try to make things harder for Harry.  So they made a show of force, and I think it is one not to be discounted.

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