“Sirius seems a million miles away already, even if a part of Harry still believed that if he had only pulled back that veil, he would have found Sirius looking back at him, greeting him, perhaps, with his laugh like a bark…”
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, Page 844
And so the magic continues.
I have to admit this was not my favorite book out of the ones I’ve read so far. It honestly felt like I was just trudging through the pages, trying to finish it. I didn’t feel enthralled by the story until I reached the end when our main characters reached the Department of Mysteries.
*BEWARE: Spoilers Lie Ahead*
Oddly enough, I have to say I enjoyed the movie far more than the book in this case. I felt the movie just evoked more emotion out of me than the book, with the way they portray Sirius’ death, the way Umbridge’s character fueled anger in me with her annoying little laugh, the way Harry triumphs over Voldemort when Voldemort tries to control his mind once again.
I just felt as though the move made me more interested in the story than the book did, which is a shame because the book was good, just not as good as the others I’ve read.
Nevertheless, there were some gems in here that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Getting to see more of Neville’s life was quite satisfying. He’s a character that seems to be growing more into his own skin as a character worthy of the name protagonist, and it makes me happy to learn more about him, his family, and his connection to the story like the possibility of him being the boy who lived.
I’m also very happy to get a full picture of what really went down between Harry and Cho. I did not like Cho at all in the book. Although I get she had a lot on her plate, she just seemed like such a crybaby who found every excuse to shed a tear. That date in the tea shop was a disaster, and I’m so glad Harry is over her.
I’m also very happy we got to see more of St. Mungo’s. It’s another aspect of the wizarding world we got to dive into that really expanded the world they live in.
The same can be said about the giants which Hagrid gives us insight about, the centaurs which Firenze gives us insight about, and the House Elf Contract which Kreacher unfortunately gives us insight about.
We even saw this expansion within Hogwarts itself with the career consultation Harry had with McGonagall. It was so interesting to hear about the multiple career paths a young witch or wizard could take and the requirements Harry needed in order to become an Auror.
Even though the grading system of the O.W.Ls and the N.E.W.Ts was a bit confusing, it felt real. As if it were an actual grading system that a school would follow. I’m just glad that this far into the series, J.K. Rowling still takes time to broaden the map for us readers.
Luna Lovegood was always one of my absolute favorite characters from the movies, and this book did nothing but reaffirm that love.
Luna is everything I want to be. She’s so unapologetically herself, so sweet and curious without a care in the world. It infuriated me to see so many people being mean to her, including Harry, but that just made the ending far more enjoyable to read.
When Harry feels sorry for Luna, he starts to realize that she may be “Loony”, but she’s a caring and love-able person who happened to be the only person at the time who could alleviate some of his grief. He realized she was a friend worth having.
Dolores Jane Umbridge: What a seemingly normal name for a terrible, terrible witch.
Like I said earlier, I felt more hatred toward Umbridge through the film, but I found it hilarious to read Umbridge’s banter and dispute with McGonagall. All those moments where McGonagall subtly shot back at Umbridge made my heart soar with glee.
Dumbledore, though infuriating as he was in this book with his self-inflicted ban from Harry’s life (more or less), redeemed himself with a deserved explanation and a thorough apology. I could read the sincerity between his words and it made me understand why he did what he did.
Although if I were Harry, I would not forgive him so easily, I could understand where he was coming from, and that at least is a start.
I also loved the little tidbit added in the end about Sybill Trelawney and her role as a Seer. She was no longer just a faceless teacher who was not a very gifted Seer; she had some character added to her with this story.
My heart breaks every time when I see Harry on screen screaming at the top of his lungs with no sound coming out. My chest burns with fury every time I hear that damned witch Bellatrix sing her deranged song of killing Sirius Black. I can feel Harry’s pain with the movie every time.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with the book. Of course, it’s most likely, if not definitely, because I knew Sirius would die. The impact of his death was not as great on me as it would’ve been had I not known.
Nevertheless, I thought the writing of that very emotional part was a bit lacking.
Where I did end up crying was afterward. When Harry started to really reflect on what actually happened in Dumbledore’s office, when he starts screaming and throwing things, when he starts begging for everything but the pain he was enduring and the life he was living, that was when my heart broke.
His reaction in the book was far more stretched out than in the movie, understandably so considering the movie doesn’t have much time, but I felt it was extremely well done.
To read through his grief and wrath was a way to really understand Harry as a developing character. It was clear that after this, he would be a completely different person. This was a turning point, and I hope this incredibly heartbreaking experience will shape him into a better man.
Sirius Black was a good man, and he gave Harry something not many people could; a hope for a family that truly cared for him. Though that hope has just been ripped from his heart, he had time to live with it, and that alone is more than an orphan could ask for.
I’m excited to start the next one. It’s possibly my second favorite movie in the entire series, so I’m excited to read this part of Harry’s adventure.
I have only two books left. The end is approaching. Soon, I’ll have to pack my bags and leave on the Hogwarts Express. Until then, I’ll hang on tight to the pages of these books and the magic in my wand.