Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
(Scholastic, 2004, 870 pages)
I only have two audiobooks left! Rereading this series has been awesome. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is book 5 in the Harry Potter series. Harry has spent the summer on Privet Drive receiving very little information from anyone despite Voldemort having returned. He’s thrown off course when Dementors suddenly show up when he’s walking down an alley with his cousin Dudley. Luckily Harry is able to produce a patronus and scare them off. From here things get out of hand. Harry is called to the Ministry of Magic for performing magic outside of school. They threaten to expel him from Hogwarts, but fortunately Dumbledore provides enough evidence to keep Harry safe and enrolled in school. This doesn’t keep him from being the victim of slanderous articles in The Daily Prophet calling him an attention-seeking liar and questioning Dumbledore’s credibility. The Ministry of Magic refuses to acknowledge that Voldemort has returned and as such they are doing nothing to protect anyone against him. Fortunately the Order of the Phoenix has been brought back together (individuals Dumbledore knows he can trust who have stood against the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters before). They are protecting Harry and doing what they can to keep Voldemort from growing any stronger…
Delores Umbridge is one of the members from the Ministry of Magic who sat in on Harry’s hearing. She’s a short, toad-like, woman who tries to use feminine accessories and a soft-spoken nature to hide her darker side which calls for submission and a rigid adherence to rules. She comes to Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and her influence in the school slowly grows until she is acting as the school’s headmaster. Harry and the rest of the students suffer accordingly, but they find their own ways to get back at her.
This being their fifth year, Harry, Ron and Hermione are preparing to take their O.W.L’s. Given that Umbridge doesn’t believe in actually teaching them Defense Against the Dark Arts, Hermione came up with the idea that Harry teach a few interested Hogwarts students since he’s the one who has the most experience of anyone else at school. They call themselves Dumbledore’s Army and they practice different spells in the Room of Requirement. They must keep this quiet since Umbridge specifically banned any student groups not approved by her.
Voldemort’s return can’t be kept hidden for long. Harry, Ron, Hermione and the Order of the Phoenix are all aware that he’s searching for a weapon, something he didn’t have before. They just need to keep him from obtaining it. Unfortunately, Harry can’t distance himself since Voldemort is literally in his head. Their connection can’t be denied since Harry feels whenever Voldemort experiences extreme emotions – this turns out to be both a help and a danger…
Things were dark in book 5 and I know they’re going to get worse. I get so engrossed when I’m listening in my car that sometimes it’s hard to get out of it. Love HP! Ready for book 6!