In Chapter 5, Harry gets some questions answered, which really only leads to more questions. Isn’t that always the way? Let’s go!
At the end of the last chapter, we finally met back up with Sirius! Yay! What’s not so great is that the screaming portrait lady? His mother. Grimmauld Place? His childhood home, now belonging to him as the last Black left. Sirius has offered the place to the Order to use as a headquarters, since it’s super secretive, but he hasn’t been able to do much else.
As they enter the kitchen, Harry tries to see some papers that had been left on the table, but doesn’t get to see much. He also meets back up with Mr. Weasley, Bill, and Mundungus Fletcher, who gives Harry a sort of half-hearted apology for leaving during the dementor incident.
“See, I wouldn’t ‘ave left,” said Mundungus, leaning forward, a pleading note in his voice, “but I ‘ad a business opportunity –“
Sure you did, Mundungus.
There is still the situation with Sirius. Harry can tell that something is off. Sirius seems bitter and resentful now that he’s cooped back up in the house. He is still a wanted criminal after all, and he knows that Wormtail would have told all the Death Eaters about him being an Animagus, so he can’t even go out as a dog without his cover being blown. It makes Harry feel like Sirius can relate to how he had felt being stuck at Privett Drive, although at least Harry was able to go outside. Sirius can’t even do that right now.
It’s also not helping that whenever Snape comes around to give his reports, he makes snide comments about how Sirius is just sitting around doing nothing.
Fred and George are enjoying the fact that they are officially of age in the wizarding world and are using magic for ever little thing. It’s about to drive their mother right up the wall, until her rant brings up a sobering reality.
” — none of your brothers caused this sort of trouble!” Mrs. Weasley raged at the twins, slamming a fresh flagon of butterbeer onto the table and spilling almost as much again. “Bill didn’t feel the need to Apparate every few feet! Charlie didn’t Charm everything he met! Percy –”
She stopped dead, catching her breath with a frightened look at her husband, whose expression was suddenly wooden.
Yeah, we can’t talk about Percy right now.
Dinner goes along, with Mrs. Weasley talking to Sirius about what they should clean next (and it’s clear that Sirius really doesn’t care). Tonks is entertaining everyone by changing her nose into different shapes. Bill, Mr. Weasley and Lupin are talking about Bill’s attempts to bring the goblins to their side. Mundungus is busy telling Fred, George and Ron about one of his exploits, much to the consternation of Mrs. Weasley. Sirius gets the entire table’s attention when he asks Harry a certain question.
“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.”
That’s true, and I would have thought the same thing. Harry did ask Ron and Hermione, but they didn’t know anything. This line of questioning brings out the protective side of Mrs. Weasley. When Sirius asks if Harry has any questions, Mrs. Weasley tries to cut him off. Fred and George particularly take offense to this, as they had been trying to get information this whole time. Sirius knows that they should protect Harry, but he also acknowledges that Harry saw Voldemort return, and as such, has a right to at least know some of what’s been happening.
“He’s not a member of the Order of the Phoenix!” said Mrs. Weasley. “He’s only fifteen and –”
“– and he’s dealt with as much as most in the Order,” said Sirius, “and more than some –”
“No one’s denying what he’s done!” said Mrs. Weasley, her voice rising, her fists trembling on the arms of her chair. “But he’s still –”
“He’s not a child!” said Sirius impatiently.
“He’s not an adult either!” said Mrs. Weasley, the color rising in her cheeks. “He’s not James, Sirius!”
Mrs. Weasley still thinks of Harry as a child. Sirius thinks that Harry is old enough to make some of his own decisions. This devolves into an argument of which one of them has Harry’s best interests at heart. Sirius is Harry’s godfather and, as such, would technically be considered Harry’s legal guardian after James and Lily were killed, but no one can discount how much Mrs. Weasley has stepped in to be a mother figure in Harry’s life either. It’s . . . not a pretty sight really. They both care about Harry so much, and frankly, I can see where they’re both coming from.
“He’s not your son,” said Sirius quietly.
“He’s as good as,” said Mrs. Weasley fiercely. “Who else has he got?”
“He’s got me!”
Lupin finally steps in, thank goodness. I don’t like it when characters I love are fighting!
“Molly, you’re not the only person at this table who cares about Harry,” said Lupin sharply. “Sirius, sit down.”
Remember, Lupin was quite the mentor to Harry during Harry’s third year at Hogwarts. He cares quite a bit about Harry too and also has an opinion about things. Mrs. Weasley realizes she is overruled and reluctantly gives up on keeping things from Harry, but there is an outpouring of outrage when she tries to send everyone else out of the room. Fred and George both claim they should stay because they are of age. Ron points out that Harry will just tell him and Hermione everything anyway. Finally, Mrs. Weasley sends Ginny out, because Ginny is the only one she can control at this point. Ginny is none too happy about it and storms out, causing the portrait in the hall to start shrieking again.
So, now that all that has been settled, what has Voldemort been up to? Well, he hasn’t killed anyone else yet. No suspicious deaths. Voldemort appears to be laying low so as not to draw attention to himself. Yeah, Harry escaping the graveyard was not part of the plan. No one, other than the Death Eaters, was supposed to know Voldemort had returned. In theory, I’m guessing that Snape would have known and would have told Dumbledore even if Harry had been killed in the graveyard, but still. Dumbledore being alerted to Voldemort’s return immediately has complicated things for our favorite Dark Lord.
Voldy’s main strategy right now is recruiting. He needs more followers if he’s going to bring down the Ministry. The Order has been trying to stop this, but also trying to convince as many people as possible that Voldemort is back in the first place. Cornelius Fudge is still in denial and refuses to budge. Harry doesn’t understand why, especially when Dumbledore was on Harry’s side.
“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. “You see, Fudge thinks Dumbledore’s plotting to overthrow him. He thinks Dumbledore wants to be Minister of Magic.”
Ugh. Where to begin with Fudge? He’s an idiot, for starters. He knows, most likely, deep down, that Dumbledore doesn’t even want to be Minister of Magic. Dumbledore is perfectly happy being Headmaster of Hogwarts. There had been talk back when the previous minister had retired of Dumbledore becoming Minister, but Dumbledore never even applied for the position, even though he had a lot of popular support.
Fudge, on the other hand, used to rely on Dumbledore’s advice and wisdom. He knows that Dumbledore is smarter, more powerful, and just all-around more awesome than he is. But Fudge also absolutely loves being Minister of Magic and will do just about anything to hang on to his power. Including making Dumbledore seem like a fear mongering troublemaker and Harry his attention seeking acolyte. Plus Fudge is weak. Really weak. It’s easier for him to cover his ears and pretend like Voldemort can’t possibly be back than it is to face what having Voldemort back would mean. Upheaval. Disruption. Chaos.
The Order is doing their best to get the word out and gain support, but it’s an uphill battle. Voldemort is good at operating in darkness and secrecy, but there’s also something else that Voldemort is after.
“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 said, “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?”
Mrs. Weasley stops them, saying that if they tell Harry any more, they might as well induct him into the Order then and there. Harry’s all for it. He wants to join. He wants to fight. He wants to be a part of things. Lupin turns him down though, saying that the Order is only made up of overage wizards who are finished with school. It’s more dangerous than they can even imagine.
See you next time for Chapter 6!