sarnath: Fai from Tsubasa reservoir chronicle (Default)
[personal profile] sarnath
Easter over and done with (though I spent most of the time working, heh), time for more Harry Potter! Harry finally gets some information, but it's nearly useless and no one thinks what's revealed is the proper amount.



It's time for dinner, so he and the others follows Sirius down to the basement kitchen.

It was scarcely less gloomy than the hall above, a cavernous room with rough stone walls. Most of the light was coming from a large fire at the far end of the room. A haze of pipe smoke hung in the air like battle fumes, through which loomed the menacing shapes of heavy iron pots and pans hanging from the dark ceiling.

There they find Mr and Mrs Weasley, Bill, and a pile of rags (a.k.a. Mundungus Fletcher). What then follows is a struggle between those who wants to keep Harry unknowing (which is pretty much just Molly), the ones who want to tell him some of it (Lupin and Mr Weasley), and the one who wants to tell him everything and maybe have him join the Order while they're at it (yeah, that's Sirius all right).

Sirius is supposed to come off as irresponsible, I think, and he is, but in this case I think he's right about telling Harry. Though maybe not joining the Order? I'm not sure; I read a lot of manga, and so I'm used to fifteen-year-olds having the responsibilities of adults. Just look at Shingeki no Kyojin; they're the most inexperienced and of the lowest rank, of course, but they're fully fledged soldiers. And the situation Harry is in right now is roughly on the same level: a threat to their whole society that involves him personally. Even more so in this book than earlier ones.

I understand Molly too, she wants to keep him safe, but I also think that this is the completely wrong way of doing it.

Sirius, however, is pretty much on the same level as Harry when it comes to state of mind and temper, which is a sad thing to say about a man who's nearly forty and who does have all available information. Of course, being unable to leave the house is probably not much fun.

There was something about the slightly flattened tone of voice in which Sirius uttered Dumbledore’s name that told Harry that Sirius, too, was not very happy with the Headmaster. Harry felt a sudden upsurge of affection for his godfather.

Nothing better than validation, is there? And companionship, of course.

Then there's dinner conversation. Bill, interestingly, talks about allying with Goblins, and Lupin makes this illuminating comment:

If they’re offered the freedoms we’ve been denying them for centuries they’re going to be tempted.

That is, they may be tempted to join Voldemort. IIRC, this plotline never had much development, but the freedoms of magical beings are apparently a controversial topic in the wizarding world.

It's nearing bedtime, but Sirius has other things on his mind.

‘You know, I’m surprised at you. I thought the first thing you’d do when you got here would be to start asking questions about Voldemort.

He did, of course; not to mention sneaking peeks at the scrolls Bill was collecting when they entered the kitchen. But Sirius is obviously itching for something to happen.

'"You’re too young, you’re not in the Order,"' said Fred, in a high-pitched voice that sounded uncannily like his mother’s. 'Harry’s not even of age!'

Yeah, more people want to know what's going on here! Sirius feels that he has something to say about what Harry knows, though. Molly is more doubtful, to say the least.

He’s not a child!’ said Sirius impatiently.

‘He’s not an adult either!’ said Mrs Weasley, the colour rising in her cheeks. ‘He’s not James, Sirius!’

‘I’m perfectly clear who he is, thanks, Molly,’ said Sirius coldly.

‘I’m not sure you are!’ said Mrs Weasley. ‘Sometimes, the way you talk about him, it’s as though you think you’ve got your best friend back!’

‘What’s wrong with that?’ said Harry


Oh, Harry. You don't know yet, but your father was so very different from you, and it's unbearably sad to see how Sirius make the very same mistake Snape does. They don't see Harry, they see what they want to see. Mrs Weasley has a real point here.

Although she's still a little unfair to Sirius; she says Harry is as good as her own son (which Harry is touched by), and says Harry has no one else. Her flaw is a severe tendency towards over-protectiveness and while touching, it's rather annoying, both for Harry and (intentionally) the reader, I think.

They row a bit, but Lupin and Mr Weasley persuade them to calm down and give Harry a "reasonable" amount of information.

Molly, you’re not the only person at this table who cares about Harry,’ said Lupin sharply. ‘Sirius, sit down.’

Mrs Weasley’s lower lip was trembling. Sirius sank slowly back into his chair, his face white.


And in the end the only one Molly can prevent from hearing anything is Ginny; the twins are of age, and as for Ron and Hermione...

Harry’ll tell me and Hermione everything you say anyway!’ said Ron hotly. ‘Won’t – won’t you?’ he added uncertainly, meeting Harry’s eyes.

For a split second, Harry considered telling Ron that he wouldn’t tell him a single word, that he could try a taste of being kept in the dark and see how he liked it. But the nasty impulse vanished as they looked at each other.


If I didn't OTP H/D... really, coupled with Ron being what he'll "sorely miss", his "wheezy" (according to Dobby) that he must get back in the Triwizard Tournament, there's quite a bit of subtext there!

Harry has All The Questions, but unfortunately it turns out that there's not much to report. Voldemort is hiding, working in secret, recruiting in secret, and the ministry is playing right into his hands, of course, making Harry and Dumbledore out to be liars (they've even demoted Dumbledore from Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and he's been voted out of the Chairmanship of the International Confederation of Wizards).

‘But why?’ said Harry desperately. ‘Why’s he being so stupid? If Dumbledore –’

‘Ah, well, you’ve put your finger on the problem,’ said Mr Weasley with a wry smile. ‘Dumbledore.’

‘Fudge is frightened of him, you see,’ said Tonks sadly.

‘Frightened of Dumbledore?’ said Harry incredulously.

‘Frightened of what he’s up to,’ said Mr Weasley.

‘Fudge thinks Dumbledore’s plotting to overthrow him. He thinks Dumbledore wants to be Minister for Magic.’

‘But Dumbledore doesn’t want –’

‘Of course he doesn’t,’ said Mr Weasley.


And then they have to explain the workings of small-minded people wanting to hang on to the power they've gained by sticking their heads in the sand. Live and learn, Harry, live and learn.

They're just getting to the interesting part:

He’s got other plans too, plans he can put into operation very quietly indeed, and he’s concentrating on those for the moment.’

‘What’s he after apart from followers?’ Harry asked swiftly. He thought he saw Sirius and Lupin exchange the most fleeting of looks before Sirius answered.

‘Stuff he can only get by stealth.’

When Harry continued to look puzzled, Sirius said, ‘Like a weapon. Something he didn’t have last time.’

‘When he was powerful before?’

‘Yes.’

‘Like what kind of weapon?’ said Harry. ‘Something worse than the Avada Kedavra –?’


When Mrs Weasley comes back and sends them all to bed.

But I'm not sure they would have said more anyway; Lupin didn't think it was right to include Harry (or any underage person) in the Order either, and Sirius doesn't argue.



I'm really enjoying this, slowly and leisurely revisiting a beloved canon.

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