sarnath: Fai from Tsubasa reservoir chronicle (Default)
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Well, well, well, Harry is not a happy camper in this chapter! But a little shouting may be good for the soul, I suppose. Letting off steam and all that. There's nothing but disappointments followed by bad news for him. Well, nearly nothing, at any rate. I'm still highly amused by many absurd things, and Rowling has suddenly remembered that Ginny exists.



No matter how hard the Dursleys tried to hammer into him not to ask questions, it's always Harry's first impulse.

What’s the Order of the –?’ Harry began.

‘Not here, boy!’ snarled Moody. ‘Wait till we’re inside!’


In this book, it will be an even more constant source of frustration for him than it ever was with the Dursleys, though! Ah, Harry, even though in this book you do, for a change, say it yourself, your life really is so hard.

Anyway, Moody tells him to think about what he's memorised.

It was as though an extra house had inflated, pushing those on either side out of its way. Harry gaped at it.

I just love the description of it, both inside and out:

[The door's] black paint was shabby and scratched. The silver doorknocker was in the form of a twisted serpent. [...] He could smell damp, dust and a sweetish, rotting smell; the place had the feeling of a derelict building. [...] it was as though they had just entered the house of a dying person. He heard a soft hissing noise and then old-fashioned gas lamps sputtered into life all along the walls, casting a flickering insubstantial light over the peeling wallpaper and threadbare carpet of a long, gloomy hallway, where a cobwebby chandelier glimmered overhead and age-blackened portraits hung crooked on the walls. Harry heard something scuttling behind the skirting board. Both the chandelier and the candelabra on a rickety table nearby were shaped like serpents. [...] long, moth-eaten curtains [...] a large umbrella stand that looked as though it had been made from a severed troll’s leg [...] a row of shrunken heads mounted on plaques on the wall. A closer look showed Harry that the heads belonged to house-elves.

Because yeah, of course I'd like to take a closer look at mounted heads on the wall!

It's such a perfect image of the dark wizard version of an old British colonial officer's home (if it had been abandoned for years and years and possibly haunted). The kind that's convinced of his own superiority and who likes elephant foot umbrella stands. Which is, of course, completely intentional, I suppose!

Mrs Weasley takes him to meet Ron and Hermione, who will explain everything, she says, while the Order has a meeting. Harry is still bewildered and goes along to a "a gloomy high-ceilinged, twin-bedded room".

there was a loud twittering noise, followed by an even louder shriek, and his vision was completely obscured by a large quantity of very bushy hair.

Hey, does this mean he's about Hermione's height? Not that we know how tall she is, of course. Ron is "taller and more gangly looking than ever", so I'm going with "shorter than Ron" at any rate. Though that may include the whole school for all I know! Ah, I can't seem to let this go, can I?

Ron and Hermione (and Pigwidgeon) greet him exuberantly, but is completely aware of how angry he must be and really, obviously, hilariously apprehensive. And rightly so, as we will soon be made aware. XD

The warm glow that had flared inside him at the sight of his two best friends was extinguished as something icy flooded the pit of his stomach.

They tell him that Dumbledore has ordered them to tell him nothing, that they knew he was being watched over by the Order, and he just gets more and more grumpy and resentful. And unfair to Ron and Hermione because of it.

'So why’s Dumbledore been so keen to keep me in the dark?' Harry asked, still trying hard to keep his voice casual. 'Did you – er – bother to ask him at all?'

He glanced up just in time to see them exchanging a look that told him he was behaving just as they had feared he would. It did nothing to improve his temper.


Haha, oh god, I understand Harry so well here - there's nothing worse than having your anger met with reasonable behaviour - but poor Ron and Hermione! They're such great fiends though, and they really are prepared to take a lot of abuse for the unfortunate situation. Becaus eeven though they're not responsible, they really get how frustrating it must have been for Harry.

‘Maybe he thinks I can’t be trusted,’ said Harry, watching their expressions.

‘Don’t be thick,’ said Ron, looking highly disconcerted.

‘Or that I can’t take care of myself.’

‘Of course he doesn’t think that!’ said Hermione anxiously.


Harry still needs to let it all out, though.

SO YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE MEETINGS, BIG DEAL! YOU’VE STILL BEEN HERE, HAVEN’T YOU? YOU’VE STILL BEEN TOGETHER! ME, I’VE BEEN STUCK AT THE DURSLEYS’ FOR A MONTH! AND I’VE HANDLED MORE THAN YOU TWO’VE EVER MANAGED AND DUMBLEDORE KNOWS IT – WHO SAVED THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE? WHO GOT RID OF RIDDLE? WHO SAVED BOTH YOUR SKINS FROM THE DEMENTORS?’

Every bitter and resentful thought Harry had had in the past month was pouring out of him: his frustration at the lack of news, the hurt that they had all been together without him, his fury at being followed and not told about it – all the feelings he was half-ashamed of finally burst their boundaries.


I love this part of how Harry is characterised; he really is unfair sometimes, and has thoughts and feelings he's ashamed of. But it's also part of him being at his most immature in this book, I think; he does do a little bit of shouting in the earlier books when he is really angry (not often though), but in those books he's still more of a child, I'd say, and here he's more on the verge of adulthood. Fifteen used to be the age when you entered into adulthood (at least during Christian times, here, marked by confirmation; I suppose it was similar in the UK, also a protestant country for a long time?). In the wizarding world it's seventeen, but I remember being fifteen and you really don't feel part of childhood any more. Sure, you're still inexperienced and immature in many ways, but it's not an age where I think that large truths about your life should be kept from you for your "protection".

Harry obviously feels the same way!

‘FOUR WEEKS I’VE BEEN STUCK IN PRIVET DRIVE, NICKING PAPERS OUT OF BINS TO TRY AND FIND OUT WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON –’

‘We wanted to –’

‘I SUPPOSE YOU’VE BEEN HAVING A REAL LAUGH, HAVEN’T YOU, ALL HOLED UP HERE TOGETHER –’

‘No, honest –’

‘Harry, we’re really sorry!’ said Hermione desperately, her eyes now sparkling with tears.‘You’re absolutely right, Harry – I’d be furious if it was me!’


Dear, dear Hermione. Harry actually only does about a page worth of yelling, and then moves on to what he really wants.

‘What is this place, anyway?’ he shot at Ron and Hermione.

He needs his questions answered! Which Ron and Hermione hurriedly does, though they don't know much themselves at this point. Pretty much just that the Order of the Phoenix was founded by Dumbledore to fight Voldemort last time he was out and about. Fred and George's Extendable Ears has helped them find out some things, though.

We know some of the Order are following known Death Eaters, keeping tabs on them, you know –’

‘Some of them are working on recruiting more people to the Order –’ said Hermione.

‘And some of them are standing guard over something,’ said Ron. ‘They’re always talking about guard duty.’

‘Couldn’t have been me, could it?’ said Harry sarcastically.

‘Oh, yeah,’ said Ron, with a look of dawning comprehension.


Suddenly Fred and George apparate in, scaring Hermione (— AARGH!), which amused me, considering how they'd mocked Percy for apparating everywhere when he'd passed the Apparation test.

Hello, Harry,’ said George, beaming at him. ‘We thought we heard your dulcet tones.’

‘You don’t want to bottle up your anger like that, Harry, let it all out,’ said Fred, also beaming.


They're probably a pain as brothers, but I love them. And here is another Weasley!

The door opened and a long mane of red hair appeared.

Not one of her best descriptions, I feel. XD

Ginny is suddenly an active and natural part of events and completely unaffected by Harry, which was a bit jarring after the first four books of shy awkwardness and what I suspect is Rowling often forgetting she existed, but hey, she's only a year younger than Ron so she's bound to want to be part of events so why not.

Harry was not sure his anger had abated yet; but his thirst for information was now overcoming his urge to keep shouting. He sank on to the bed opposite the others.

He quickly finds out that Snape is part of the order, as is Bill (who is also courting Fleur) and Charlie (who is still in Romania recruiting foreign members). Percy, though...

Dad reckons Fudge only wants Percy in his office because he wants to use him to spy on the family – and Dumbledore.’

Harry let out a low whistle.

‘Bet Percy loved that.’


So Percy blamed his father's bad reputation and lack of ambition for keeping them poor, moved to London and slammed the door in Molly's face when she tried to visit. Nice.

Not that he's especially wrong about his father, really; he doesn't have much ambition, at least not for purely gaining power and influence, and his reputation is.. well, he's considered a bit of an original, isn't he? Obsessed with muggles and all that. But those things aren't in themselves bad, and it's a clear sign what sort of place the ministry is for keeping him back because of it. I think that the muggle and muggle-born prejudice is probably pretty strong in powerful circles in the wizarding world at this point. The Malfoy family is one of its most influential families, after all.

But Percy must know Voldemort’s back,’ said Harry slowly. ‘He’s not stupid, he must know your mum and dad wouldn’t risk everything without proof.’

‘Yeah, well, your name got dragged into the row,’ said Ron, shooting Harry a furtive look.


Here is the downside of not reading the Daily Prohet thoroughly; it's been subtly but insistently discrediting Harry. And Percy believes it.

‘They keep slipping in snide comments about you. If some far-fetched story appears, they say something like, “A tale worthy of Harry Potter”, and if anyone has a funny accident or anything it’s, “Let’s hope he hasn’t got a scar on his forehead or we’ll be asked to worship him next”

Dumbledore's name is worth nothing with the ministry either, and things are looking generally awful, but hey, we all know it's going to be much worse, don't we?

The Order meeting finishes, but as Snape is leaving Tonks accidentally stumbles over the troll leg umbrella stand and horrible tortured screams echoes through the hall as the portrait behind the curtain is revealed.

The old woman was drooling, her eyes were rolling, the yellowing skin of her face stretched taut as she screamed; and all along the hall behind them, the other portraits awoke and began to yell, too [...]

Filth! Scum! By-products of dirt and vileness! Half-breeds, mutants, freaks, begone from this place! How dare you befoul the house of my fathers –


Yes, a lovely woman, isn't she. But her screams brings out yet another surprise; Sirius is here!

'Hello, Harry,' he said grimly, ‘I see you’ve met my mother'.

Onwards to chapter five.


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