Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out with something everybody has been waiting for, an answer. J.K. Rowling finally provides us with the most significant explanation of what becomes the core idea of the whole story. Still mainly set at Hogwarts, the book invites us to see and understand why the story of Harry Potter ever exists.
Still shocked, psychologically wounded and anxious after the death of Cedric Diggory at the return of the Dark Lord, Harry Potter is stuck at the number four, Privet Drive, a place he can barely call home, without any news about the whereabouts of the now coming-back Voldemort. The fact that no one of his wizarding friends nor any one of the wizarding community tells him about the aftermath of the Triwizard Tournament makes him feel even worse. In the midst of frustration and anger, something he least expects happens: a couple of Dementors attacking him and Dudley in the Muggle environment. In defense of himself and his cousin, Harry uses magic to repel the Dementors, resulting in him facing a hearing in the Ministry of Magic. As though that’s not enough, Dumbledore secretly rebuilds the Order of the Phoenix, an army to fight against the Dark Lord, without letting him join the group and doesn’t seem to want to see him.
Harry feels like everyone is ignoring him just the way Dumbledore is and worst of all, he starts to feel that Lord Voldemort can possess him. And he doesn’t have a clue that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher placed by the Ministry can possibly discredit him and Dumbledore and soon succeeds Dumbledore as the Headmaster. His unrelenting dreams about the dark corridor somewhere outside school and his relentless feeling that he can feel what Voldemort feels and vise versa also almost drive him nuts. At last, entrapped by those dreams, Harry and his friends are forced to come to the Ministry of Magic where that corridor belongs to and fight against the Death Eaters for a prophecy about him.
Harry’s grumpy mood and restlessness give every reason for his slight change in character. Coming of age and being put through harsh moments, Harry is described having bad mood all the time, testy, easily offended, gloomy. And his connection to Voldemort only worsens his mental condition. He feels cheated and kidded. He seems to drown into angst and anger. To be honest, I did not expect to see him change that way, or that Rowling would do that to him. But, looking at his age and what happens before, also the aftermath, it is understandable to have his character adjusted to how he should be. But what so stunned me when reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the description of the character of James Potter, Harry’s father. This is the point where Rowling, once again, shows her skill in not only creating, but livening up a character as naturally and humanly as she can make it. Human beings are not purely perfect, they can never be, they will never be. Even James Potter has flaws and faults, which is the very reason why Snape hates him.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is definitely the installment in which you get most of the answers to many questions around Harry Potter and mysteries surrounding him. It reveals almost everything, making me decide that this must be the center of the whole series. Thick though it may seem, the book doesn’t give any nonsense nor illogical plot. Instead, its unbearably numerous pages present to us every detail we need to know and every description of scenes we never want to miss. The good thing is, the impressive narrative can accommodate all those things without any defect to crack the storyline in the middle, a blunder we usually find an author does. And, to top it off, Rowling inserts some idea about the difficult relationship between old and young men, showing the disagreement and generation gap stretched between them. The way Dumbledore tries to explain everything to Harry even got me disbelieved and forced me to shed a tear. I don’t know but somehow, I think that this book more or less teaches us how to tackle a parents-children relationship, especially when the children are coming of age and have so many questions and anger in their mind.
So, in conclusion, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is not only a story about magic and the dark power, or even about a prophecy, it’s about how we should handle a tense relationship between two different generations, especially with a coming-of-age teenager who does not know what to do with his boiling emotions and thoughts. It’s a great read not only for children, but also for adults with children. I highly recommend it to both elders and the youth.