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Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix

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About the Book:

Author: JK Rowling
Released :June 21, 2003
Illustrators: Mary GrandPre (US),
UK Edition Statistics: 38 chapters, 766 pages, 257,045 words
US Edition Statistics: 38 chapters, 896 pages, 257,045 words

Once again in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust."
So spoke Albus Dumbledore at the end of Harry Potter's fourth year at Hogwarts. But as Harry enters his fifth year at wizard school, it seems those bonds have never been more sorely tested. Lord Voldemort's rise has opened a rift in the wizarding world between those who believe the truth about his return, and those who prefer to believe it's all madness and lies just more trouble from Harry Potter.

Add to this a host of other worries for Harry:

  • A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey

  • A venomous, disgruntled house-elf

  • Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team

  • And of course, what every student dreads: end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams and you'd know what Harry faces during the day. But at night it's even worse, because then he dreams of a single door in a silent corridor. And this door is somehow more terrifying than every other nightmare combined.

This is the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling's seven-part story, Harry Potter confronts the unreliability of the government of the magical world, and the complete lack of power held by the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it) Harry finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty and unbearable sacrifice. The plot is the thickest yet (and so is the spine with 870 pages), but it keeps you reading unlike any other Harry Potter book yet

Book In Short:

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

After a fight with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, Harry wanders about Little Whinging. He runs into his loathsome cousin Dudley when they are attacked by Dementors. Harry fends them off with a Patronus Charm, but Dudley is badly affected. A neighbour, Arabella Figg, arrives to help. She reveals she is a Squib (born to a magical family but unmagical herself) and was asked by Albus Dumbledore to secretly watch over Harry when he came to live with the Dursleys. Back home, Harry receives an owl letter stating he has been expelled from Hogwarts for performing underaged magic outside of the school. A second letter arrives ordering him to appear at a Ministry of Magic hearing.

Several Order of the Phoenix members arrive to escort Harry to their secret headquarters at the Black Family home, 12 Grimmauld Place in London. The Weasleys, Hermione, and Harry’s godfather Sirius Black are there. Harry is upset when he is denied detailed information regarding the Order's plans to fight Lord Voldemort, but he learns that Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge continues to deny Lord Voldemort's return and has used articles in The Daily Prophet to discredit Harry, while Dumbledore has been removed from several wizarding societies.

Arthur Weasley accompanies Harry to the hearing, but, deliberately misinformed about the time and location, they arrive late. Dumbledore arrives with Mrs. Figg, whose testimony that Harry acted in self-defense helps clear him. As he leaves the Ministry, Harry sees Lucius Malfoy, who he knows is a Death Eater, visiting Fudge.

Harry and friends return to Hogwarts aboard the Hogwarts Express, sharing a compartment with the rather unusual Luna Lovegood. Back at Hogwarts, Hagrid is absent, and Dolores Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, has been appointed by the Ministry as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. She refuses to teach students any practical defense methods, only using textbooks to teach Ministry-approved theory. It is soon clear she is only there to spy on and take control of the school. She is soon appointed High Inquisitor, intimidating staff and students. She also harbours an intense dislike for Half-breeds, Centaurs, and similar creatures.

Ron becomes the new Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. The season starts well, but Umbridge bans Harry and Fred and George Weasley from the team after Harry and Fred get into a fight with Draco Malfoy. Ginny Weasley replaces Harry as Seeker. Meanwhile, Hagrid returns, revealing that he and Madame Maxime were on a failed secret mission for Dumbledore to recruit the Giants against Voldemort. Hagrid's battered appearance alarms Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who soon discover Hagrid is hiding his Giant (and still wild) half-brother, Grawp in the forest.

Further complicating matters, both Hagrid and Professor Sybill Trelawney are heavily scrutinized by Umbridge, who views both incompetent. Umbridge's dislike for Hagrid is intensified by her prejudice towards "Half-breeds" (Hagrid is half-giant). Umbridge fires Trelawney, but Dumbledore allows her to remain in residence and replaces her with his own appointment, the Centaur, Firenze.

Harry has been having strange dreams, mostly about running down a hallway and attempting to open a door in the Ministry of Magic's Department of Mysteries. In one nightmare, he dreams he is a snake attacking Ron's father, Arthur Weasley, who works at the Ministry. Waking up, Harry raises the alarm, believing he had a true vision. Arthur is indeed discovered with venomous snake bites and taken to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Harry wonders if he is being possessed and transported by Voldemort to do his bidding, but Dumbledore reassures him he is not. Dumbledore has Severus Snape give Harry lessons in the art of Occlumency to block his mind from intrusion.

Threatening to expose her as an illegal Animagus, Hermione blackmails hack journalist Rita Skeeter into writing a favourable article about Harry witnessing Voldemort's return. Luna Lovegood's father publishes the article in his newspaper The Quibbler. Furious, Umbridge bans the tabloid at the school, but the story spreads rapidly, garnering support for Harry.

Hermione convinces Harry to secretly teach students Defense Against the Dark Arts. As retaliation against Umbridge, they name their group the Defense Association, or D.A. for short, although they begin calling themselves "Dumbledore's Army" to mock the paranoid Ministry of Magic. Umbridge uncovers the secret meetings, and to protect the students, Dumbledore claims he organized the group. When confronted by two Ministry Aurors (Dawlish and Shacklebolt), Fudge, Percy Weasley, and Umbridge, Dumbledore is spectacularly whisked away by his phoenix, Fawkes. Umbridge is appointed Headmistress, although Dumbledore's office is now impenetrable. Meanwhile, the Weasley twins instigate a student revolt, causing mayhem throughout the school. The teachers pointedly do nothing to help the new Headmistress regain control. The twins are caught, but deciding they have outgrown their full-time education, summon their confiscated brooms from Umbridge's office, and zoom off to start their own Joke Shop called Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. As a parting gesture, they leave a magical swamp inside the school.

Harry receives a vision that Sirius is being tortured at the Department of Mysteries, unaware it is a ruse. He desperately attempts to contact Sirius via the fireplace in Umbridge's office but is caught. Umbridge reveals it was she who sent the Dementors to attack Harry during the summer. As she is about to use the Cruciatus Curse on him, Hermione tells her that Dumbledore has hidden a powerful weapon in the Forbidden Forest. She leads Umbridge and Harry into the woods where they come upon the Centaurs, whom Umbridge foolishly insults. Enraged, one carries her off screaming. The other Centaurs are about to attack Harry and Hermione after they attempt to recruit them, but Hagrid's Giant brother, Grawp, crashes onto the scene, scattering the herd as they begin shooting arrows at him.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione, along with Luna, Ginny, and Neville use the school's Thestrals to fly to the Ministry of Magic in London to save Sirius, unaware they are being lured into a trap. When Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville Longbottom arrive at the Department of Mysteries, they are ambushed by Death Eaters. Voldemort seeks a Prophecy contained in a glass sphere and needs Harry to retrieve it for him. Only those who a prophecy concerns can touch the sphere without going insane, and Voldemort cannot risk exposure.

The students heroically fight the Death Eaters, but they are outmatched. Just as they are nearly defeated, Order members arrive. During the ensuing battle, the glass sphere is shattered. Sirius is attacked by his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater. Her spell blasts him in the chest and he falls backwards through a mysterious veiled archway, dead. Soon Dumbledore arrives and most of the Death Eaters are captured.

Harry chases Bellatrix into the atrium as Lord Voldemort appears and duels with Dumbledore. Alerted Ministry of Magic employees arrive on the scene in time to see Voldemort before he disapparates, taking Bellatrix with him. Cornelius Fudge finally admits Voldemort has returned, and Harry's interview with Rita Skeeter is reprinted in the Daily Prophet.

Later in his office, Dumbledore apologizes to the furious Harry for neglecting him over the past year. He explains his actions and reveals the lost prophecy's meaning, which states Harry must kill Voldemort or be murdered by him. Sybill Trelawney predicted, "Either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives." At the end of the year, Harry returns to the Dursleys for another cheerless summer, deeply grieving his lost Godfather.

Awards won by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are:


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