The Order of the Phoenix

chapter five of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry and his friends join the Order for dinner after their meeting – and the atmosphere stiffens when Sirius offers to tell Harry about Voldemort. Harry does then learn a bit of what Voldemort is up to before Mrs. Weasley orders the kids to bed.

Mom Weasley, by Ani Bester

“And if you want dinner before midnight I’ll need a hand,” Mrs. Weasley said to the room at large.


Tonks Entertains Ginny and Hermione by Changing her Nose Shape, by Drew Graham

Tonks was entertaining Hermione and Ginny by transforming her nose between mouthfuls…. Apparently this was a regular mealtime entertainment, because after a while Hermione and Ginny started requesting their favorite noses.


The Twins, Mundungus, and Molly, by Heather Campbell

“I don’t know where you learned about right and wrong, Mundungus, but you seem to have missed a few crucial lessons,” said Mrs. Weasley coldly.


by Laura Freeman

Ginny, who had lured Crookshanks out from under the dresser, was sitting… on the floor, rolling butterbeer corks for him to chase.


Order of the Phoenix, by Leela Starsky

“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!”


Sirius Black, by sharpfish

“Meaning I’m an irresponsible godfather?” demanded Sirius, his voice rising.


about the chapter


Molly says that “Dumbledore must have had his reasons for not wanting Harry to know too much,” but it’s clear from the rest of the Order’s conversation that Dumbledore never shared those reasons with anybody else. It’s an early clue as to how untrusting and manipulative Dumbledore can be, but it can also come back to bite him – after all, since the Order members can only guess his reasons for wanting to keep Harry in the dark, they decide on their own to give him some information about Voldemort. It’s a tough game for Dumbledore; after all, he’s been betrayed by Order members in the past, who passed information to Voldemort. And he certainly wants the Order to know “more than [Voldemort] thinks we do,” as Lupin asserts. But it’s hard to know which mistake might be a crucial one in this all-important war.

Something You May Not Have Noticed

Molly’s attitude toward Sirius is fairly astonishing. We’ve seen her acting petty before, like when she treated Hermione so coldly after Rita Skeeter wrote lies about the poor girl. And I’ll be the first to admit that Sirius can be a bit reckless at times. But despite that, this is someone who cares so deeply about Harry, and Molly insults him so viciously. To say that Harry has no parent other than her, and then blast Sirius for being unavailable to his godson because he was in Azkaban (when she knows full well he didn’t commit the crime he was imprisoned for)…. I see where she’s coming from, and she certainly has plenty of reasons to care for Harry, but my opinion of her character dropped a couple of notches with this chapter.

Something to Remember

It’s interesting that for all the times Dumbledore has been offered the post of Minister of Magic – including, it seems, over Cornelius Fudge the last time around – he’s never applied for the job. It could certainly be that he’s just not interested and would rather teach, but it’s curious that someone who cares so much about right and wrong would consistently refuse a post that would allow him to enact such great and necessary change in the wizarding world….

The Final Word

“Sirius, to me, he’s kind of on the edge, do you not get that feeling from Sirius? He’s a little bit of a loose cannon. I really like him as a character…. But Sirius had his flaws – some quite glaring flaws. I see Sirius as someone who was a case of arrested development. I think you see that from his relationship with Harry in “Phoenix.” He kind of wants a mate from Harry, and what Harry craves is a father…. Sirius wasn’t equipped to give him that.”–J.K. Rowling, July 2005

35 Responses to “The Order of the Phoenix”

  1. The reason why Molly attacks Sirius so viciously is because she is essentially an overprotective mother. Molly wants to shield Harry from all the darkness and evil in the World as much as possible seeing as he’s suffered so much already. Sirius sees Harry as James and knows that James would have fought and encourages and believes (quite rightly) that Harry will risk his life to fight evil! This is why Molly is so opposed to Sirius and her main character flaw is that she is a petty woman at times!

    The reason for Dumbledore staying in Hogwarts, I think, is that he believs in helping develop people to do good things at Hogwarts. It is during our school years as teenagers where our personalities fully develop and form us into the adults we will be!

  2. It’s interesting that you mention Dumbledore’s secretiveness. It’s never really dealt with in a meaningful way in the series and all the characters seem strangely okay with it. The issue is only really brought up in Book 7, and even then Harry mostly shrugs it off.
    I wonder if Dumbledore’s manipulative and untrusting nature was simply a byproduct of Jo not wanting to give too much information away too soon and that we’re meant to ignore the more unsavory aspects of his character. She really stresses his more grandfatherly characteristics and his darker side only becomes an issue at the end of the series when it should have been an issue all along.
    And it is curious that Dumbledore never wanted to be Minister. It was always implied that he feels he could do more good at Hogwarts, but we never see him do much of anything there. He’s not giving lectures or teaching classes extolling tolerance and respect for other cultures or species. He’s doesn’t really seem to interact much at all with students, certainly not enough to enact great and necessary change.

  3. Remember that Josie is writing this site in a way to not overtly give away spoiler information about the plot. She poses the question of why Dumbledore was never Minister in the “Something to Remember” section, but this question gets answered by Dumbledore himself in DH. He says that he sees the terrible things that his having power can result in, and doesn’t trust himself with the post of Minister. Dumbledore says that he feels he can do more good at Hogwarts, and in part this is true… he just doesn’t mention the bit about how having power would tempt him down the Grindelwald path.

    And regarding Dumbledore’s secretiveness: remember that these books are almost entirely form Harry’s point of view, so we see the character of Dumbledore changes as Harry’s attitude toward him changes. It is not strange at all that an 11 or 12 year old boy would see only the grandfatherly part of his headmaster, and that his view of him would change gradually over time.

    And martintenbones, I would hardly say that in Book 7 Harry “mostly shrugs off” the issue of Dumbledore’s secretiveness. It is a central component of the book, and something that torments and frustrates Harry throughout.

  4. This is a response to Ben…

    I think you’re right about being non-spoilery, some of these issues might be better tackled in the Book 7 discussion, especially Dumbledore’s “dark side” and Harry’s response to it which is a major component of the final book. Now that all 7 books are out its difficult not to discuss these issues without dealing with the entire series.

    Having said that…

    Dumbledore is in a position of power, several actually. He’s the Headmaster of the premiere magical school in the UK, and maybe even in all of Europe, he’s the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. What’s odd is that he rejects this one very specific position of power not that he rejects power altogether. If he really doesn’t trust himself with power then why does he hold all of those highly influential positions?

    And I would argue that Dumbledore’s awareness of what power can lead to makes him better suited to hold power. With that awareness he can actively strive to avoid the pitfalls and the terrible things that power can sometimes bring.

  5. It’s true that Dumbledore holds several important positions of power, but there is a significant difference between them and the post of Minister. Though he is the Chief Warlock, there is still the rest of the Wizengamot, and though he is the Supreme Mugwump, there is still the rest of the International Confederation of Wizards. Being Minister would give him much more unchecked power. (Is there a wizard parliament? An opposition party?)

    I think you are right that his awareness of what power can lead to would make him a better leader, but the tragedy of Dumbledore, is that he still doesn’t trust himself. It’s interesting to think about how the Wizarding world would have been different with a Minister Dumbledore – would he have lived up to the expectation of his admirers, or those that he had of himself?

  6. To continue the Dumbledore / power topic, I think it’s equally interesting to see the position of power he *does* accept. Overseeing the education of virtually every young wizard and witch in Britain gives Dumbledore an extreme amount of influence. However unfounded Fudge’s fears of Dumbledore creating an army are, the reality is that his position as headmaster would allow him to do that more effectively than anyone else. Voldemort realizes this as well, and is possibly even more desirous of controlling Hogwarts than the Ministry.
    Is it possible that Dumbledore thinks the protection of the school (and all that that entails) is more important in the long run than the protection of the Ministry?

  7. Inky Squirrel, I fully agree with your last point – Hogwarts is, throughout the series, the ultimate stronghold.
    Regarding Dumbledore’s secrecy, I think it does come back to bite him in the butt. Surely there were some Order members who could be trusted without shadow of a doubtby a certain point. The only danger then woudl be Polyjuice or Imperius – in response to which, why isn’t the magical waterfall thingy from Gringotts in more widespread use?

  8. hmm.. I think Sean said it all in his first comment about why Molly is so vicious to Sirius. Also, Molly has seen the face of Sirius for 13 years as the most evil one next to Voldemort’s. Those prejudices don’t go away over one night (or summer) especially when people get older and remember what the First War was like (Hermione, Ron and Harry almost accepted Sirius in the blink of an eye, but when you are sure of something for almost 13 years, I imagine it’s hard to admit that you and the world were wrong. Especially when that person has some very diffrent points of view than yourself..)

  9. 1. Agree 100% with Sean and kim about Molly and Sirius. Nothing left to say, but excellent insight.
    2. JK Rowling and dictators since the beginning of time know that controlling the youth is controlling the future. But I don’t see him creating a giant youth army. I’m not sure I have much of anything intellegent to contribute.
    3. Like martintenbones, I always thought Dumbledore being secretive was just JK not giving away too much information. And really, what DOES a headmaster do? The Heads of Houses seem to be in charge of almost everything involving the students. It seems without Harry, Ron, and Hermione his job would be pretty uneventful. We do know that Dumbledore knows an awful lot about his students, but when do they ever see him except at meals?

  10. Mundungus seems very interested in the silver goblet, doesn’t he? Again it’s brilliant of JKR to put this into this book.

    As it has been said before, Voldemort also sees the importance of Hogwarts. Maybe Dumbledore is afraid noone else will, which is why it’s important he stay there.

  11. Yeah, what DO Headmasters do? All mine does is write boring speeches and watch us at lunch while eating his complicated sandwich.
    Dumbledore can’t stay in his office planning against Voldemort ALL the time can he?

  12. At the risk of stating the obvious, Josie… Molly and Sirius have a personal history that goes back to their childhood. Remember, he mentioned she was a “cousin by marriage”. Just how are they related?

    According to the Black Family Tree, Sirius’s paternal aunt, Lucretia Black, was married to an Ignatius Prewett. Since “Ignatius” is Percy Weasley’s middle name, I’d be fairly sure that Ignatius Prewett was Molly’s father. However, Lucretia is not her mother (since this would make Molly a blood-cousin of Sirius and the Tree records Lucretia as childless). It would appear that Sirius’s aunt is Molly’s stepmother.

    I think we are supposed to infer that Lucretia Prewett was the quintessential Wicked Stepmother. The young Molly must have resented that, especially if she was forced to stand by and watch her brothers suffer. She might well have transferred her resentment to the whole Black clan. We can guess that Sirius was probably none too fond of his aunt, but did Molly know that?

    I suspect the atmosphere of 12 Grimmauld Place also had an effect on her as her previous experiences in that building had been unpleasant. What a pity she couldn’t perceive Sirius as a companion in misery, and one who had suffered far more than she had.

  13. Grace has Victory, I’m not sure I agree that Sirius and Molly would have known each other growing up. They’re very different generations (remember that Lily and James were quite young when Harry was born, at which point Bill was already in school), and remember that Sirius said not to look for the Weasleys on the family tree because they were blood traitors – plus the Prewetts (Molly’s family) were leaders in the fight against Voldemort. I doubt Sirius’s parents would have interacted with either family, even if they were related.


    In response to the whole Dumbledore/power issue, and without wanting to reveal too much spoiler-wise, I think that maybe Dumbledore felt that after the happenings with his sister and Grindewald, he maybe decided he didn’t want to trust himself with the power.

    Also the events with his sister may have encouraged him to make up for the time he lost with her, and help the wizards of the future on their journey through school.
    Sorry if I went too overboard with the spoilers, otherwise it would be incredibly difficult to explain what i’m talking about!

  15. Perhaps the Ministry of Magic has the kind of tainted power that he does not consider to be an asset. Communication with its officers is always difficult, and this may have led Dumbledore to regard it as the kind of quickly corrupting false power of those who do not share his detective sort of agenda: more trouble than it is worth.

  16. I think in response to someone’s comment last chapter about Rowling not having strong female roles and about Molly’s reaction to Sirius’ treatment, that it is unfair to say that Molly is being petty or that she is not strong. I think you cannot just dismiss her for being a housewife. Who says that is not a strong role? For me, my mother is one of the strongest people I know because she chose to stay at home and take care of us kids and keep the family glued together when there are always (in the magical world or in ours) so many internal and external forces that can tear it apart.
    As for the pettiness everyone seems to describe, my first impression was that she has been with Harry for four years now, and has seen how difficult it has been for him, and at the slightest indication that he is being put in harm’s way jumps to protect him, because she knows no one else is thinking like her, like a mother. What trouble would he get into without someone like her to fight for him in this way, whether its right or wrong?
    Anyways, when it comes to her rather vicious attack on Sirius, I always thought that she maybe had never quite liked him, maybe from the previous version of the Order she had written him off as brash and this prejudice is cropping up again, here.

  17. I feel for Harry in this chapter. I see Molly’s motives for her words and actions. she has seen him suffer so much already and wants to wrap him in bubblewrap to spare him even more. I think the Order must know about the contents of the prophecy, given that they devote so much time to guarding it, and Molly wants to delay Harry’s having to deal with it the same way Dumbledore does. However, both Dumbledore and Molly’s behaviour here frustrates me.

  18. Re-reading this book really makes me sympathize with Dumbledore more. Without getting too religious on anyone, Dumbledore strikes me as a kind of Jesus-like figure at times. He has so much power… more than anyone else in the wizarding world, and yet he seems so alone. The burden of knowledge, of trying to save the world, must weigh so heavily on him at times, but who does he have to confide in?

  19. About Dumbledore not taking the position as a minister, maybe he just liked his job as a headmaster and didn’t want to give it up or get a second job, being what, 150 years old.

  20. i dont know what DD would do in hogwarts…i mean my principal just gives speeches for like 40 mins telling us about corruption, bringing phones and ipods to school, cyber-bullying, importance of reading books, facebook, telling us to behave…the list goes on and on.
    not being in a boarding school, i dont know. but what i have read about them is that he must be influencing the students in some sort of a way…but i cannot imagine him giving speeches due to the absence of assemblies and any speech during regular times are not mentioned. fudge mentioned that he gave him a free-rein and allowed him to teach students according to his wishes in GoF.
    like in harry’s starting years before PoA, he thought DD was all-power, many students would be in awe of DD for years to come so (i may be wrong) they might take the right power, be against voldy; making the school the next gen. DD would ,that means, have the power of controlling the next gen. so we know another reason for *spoiler* voldy applying for post of a teacher. (sry for nt framing it correctly…outta time)

  21. I know I’m coming into this pretty late, but another thing that I haven’t seen mentioned here yet. I assume Dumbledore was offered the position of Minister after the last war, from what I remember of the books. It has been a while since I read them though, so I could be wrong. In that case though, I think Dumbledore might have chosen to stay as Headmaster, knowing that Voldemort would be coming back, and knowing that Harry would be coming to Hogwarts, and that he would be better able to help him from his position at the school, rather than at the Ministry. As well as what was mentioned above, about protecting the students, he would be able to do exactly what he did, guide Harry throughout the years, helping to prepare him for what he knew was coming.

  22. Rowena, I’m pretty sure Arthur and Molly weren’t in the original Order. They don’t show up in the photo, and it’s never discussed whether they were there the first time, and Dumbledore has to ask them directly if he can rely on them. I think the first time around, they were too busy making a family to be active Order members, though they supported Dumbledore, as the Prewetts fought in the first war.

    For some reason I get a feeling that Molly was never told exactly why Sirius was innocent. I think she was made to believe it, but never told the full story, and that’s why she might be so unwilling to trust him with Harry, not to mention that back-handed comment about Azkaban. Josie, in one of the earlier discussions you brought up this possibility, because Molly says to Ron “what about a new rat? You always like Scabbers…” and it’s a mystery as to why she would bring that up if she knew about Pettigrew. However, it is a possibility she was merely just commenting on the fact that he liked a rat as a pet, but I still think it’s an interesting idea that could be somewhat backed up by this. I also agree with the others that she’s very overprotective and doting, as that’s kind of her default personality with the kids, especially Harry. Sirius sees that she thinks of her kids as children (as most mothers seem to do), but she’s also right that he sees him as James. There’s no middle ground with the two of them until Arthur and Lupin come into the mix. Also, didn’t Molly offer to take Harry in after James and Lily died? I swear I read that in the one of the books. Possibly later on in this one. This could be another false memory though, as I do seem to have sometimes.

  23. Casey, I’m pretty sure it’s not in the books that Molly offered to take in Harry after James and Lily died. It’s the sort of thing she’d offer to do, of course, but I can’t imagine she’d have been in a position to do so, given that she wasn’t in the Order the first time around.

  24. DD doesnt trust himself with power-DH
    and also another reason as riddle rose DD’s main objective was to stop him. when DD heard *spoiler* prophecy, he wanted to take care of harry- he says that he had over protected harry.
    if DD had been MoM, then harry wouldnt have been told about the horcuxes. as the MoM, he wudnt be able to call harry, wud he?

    On What does dumbledore do- i have a bit of a not-good explanation-
    in PS, DD watches harry look at mirror of erised while being invisible..what if he sometimes attend classes, visits common rooms etc. imagine DD being in gryffindor common room watching harry and ron make predictions for their month while hermione commenting that ron was drowning twice-hed get a laugh out of that. DD for that reason must have seen the trio figure out about nicholas and the stone in the lib. he must have thought harry capable of stopping voldy (very obvious) but must have known that harry knew about flamel and so harry could figure out- ‘just in case’ more than seamus finnigan.

    i maybe wrong but i think DD says that he has memories for al of the students of hogwarts. as a principal, he could not meet all. so he’d go invisible, go observe some of them*spoiler*-remember bertha jorkins complaining to DD? that time he was a teacher, yet he kept the memory safe though i dont know why he did unless he knew that she’d disappear one day…

  25. sharpfish’s drawing of sirius looks a lot like Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters lol

  26. i know i should probably know this, but what is the weapon Sirius is talking about?

  27. Jake: it’s the prophecy.

  28. Josie: thank you. i dont know why i couldnt think of that.

  29. A thought I had about Voldemort’s search for the prophecy, which I chose to place here (because of the last few comments).

    I’ve often thought that Voldemort’s decision to lie low after his restoration at the end of “Goblet of Fire”, rather than to immediately declare his return to the wizarding world, was one of his best strategic moves. The result is that Fudge doesn’t believe that Voldemort has returned, thinks that it’s all a wild story of Harry and Dumbledore, and moves against Dumbledore and his supporters to hush them up – including putting Umbridge in charge of Hogwarts. It’s clear that Fudge, Umbridge, and their cohorts are doing a fine job of hampering Dumbledore and Co. – by the climax, Dumbledore has been deposed as Headmaster (though he’s still out there with Fawkes), McGonagall hospitalized, Hagrid on the run, etc. The Hogwarts front of Fudge’s crackdown is the part we see the most, since the story is seen through Harry’s eyes, but presumably he was meeting similar success (or at least, seeming success) on other fronts. It’s possible that if Voldemort had continued to lie low, carrying out what he needed to do (like breaking out the Death Eaters from Azkaban) in such a way that it could be blamed on, say, Sirius rather than himself – and with Lucius continuing to influence Fudge with generous gifts to the Ministry – he couild have gotten Fudge to wipe out most of the opposition for him, which would have made taking over Wizarding Britain a lot easier. Except the battle in the Department of Mysteries ruined that; now Fudge and everyone else knows that Voldemort’s back, undoing nearly all the gains. (Not that it could have been that much a setback, if Voldemort could take over the Ministry less than two years later, but a setback, all the same.)

    Yet Voldemort was apparently doing this, not because he saw the advantage of tricking Fudge into doing his work for him, but because he wanted that prophecy before he started up the next war, and it was taking longer to steal than he’d expected. For once, Voldemort’s obsession with the prophecy helped him – for a while.

  30. I think both Mrs Weasley and Sirius are very interesting characters and both of them have flaws when it comes to Harry, just like you and JKR’s quote states… Mrs Weasley is very caring, a mother more than anything else. She wants Harry to be safe and she cares for him like her own son, and she’s ready to do everything in her power to keep him safe. Trouble is, Harry cannot be safe forever, and I think she knows that deep down, yet she refuses to see it and becomes more fierce in her protection of Harry with that realisation.

    Sirius is the other way around, which is why the two of them can’t get along when it comes to the subject of Harry. As you already pointed out – Sirius is pretty handicapped, never being allowed ro actually grow up. He’s basically still a teenager who looks for his lost friend in Harry, and thinks the best is to tell him everything straight away as if Harry is James.

    I think these two represents Harry’s adolescence in a way – Mrs Weasley still sees him as a child, as a mother probably always will do, while Sirius regards him as an adult. Harry is fifteen years old, he’s neither a child or an adult, and as always it’s really hard to find a middle way. I think you could see Mrs Weasley and Sirius as representing these two parts of Harry in a way. He wants to be an adult, which is why he sides with Sirius in this argument, but I think at the same time there is a side of him that wants to be protected by Mrs Weasley, in the way he never has been.

  31. One thing Rowling us good at is making her characters very believably human even-maybe especially-when they are upset. I think what we see from Mrs. Weasly in this argument is that she starts off with her actual complaint (Sirius isn’t as protective of Harry as she’d like), but as anger gets the best of her she spouts off some hurtful words, not souch because she means them but because she’s lost her temper.

    And it only makes sense that she’d crack a bit at some point. She’s had to move her family into hiding, she’s been fretting over Harry’s welfare, their most recent plan has just been carried out, but there isn’t a moment to breathe, VOLDEMORT is back, who knows what will happen next, it’s late at night, she probably hasn’t had a good nights sleep in weeks, and she’s stuck in a house with shrieking, angry portraits and a surly house elf who most likely gives her grief the whole time she’s preparing meals for the ever-changing crowd of people (who may or may not appreciate that she’s making sure they’re fed and all). At some point the patience runs out, the emotions run high, and you maybe say things you wish you hadn’t.

  32. I love sirius black SO MUCH! i cried so bad when he died )’:

  33. ****SPOILERS*****

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed but at this dinner there are 13 people sitting down to eat (Ron, Harry, Hermione, Molly, Arthur, Sirius, Bill, Lupin, Tonks, Fred, George, Mundungus, Ginny) and remember Trelawney’s prediction that was something along the lines of “when 13 people sit down to eat the first to rise will die” I think it’s brilliant when a certain character who dies in this book rises during the heated discussion…

  34. Nice comments guys. Gotta agree with you Loonytick.
    But I think that Sirius..well…
    Yes, he was stuck at age twenty-one or so when he went to Azkaban.
    Yes, there are times he saw Harry as James. But not all the time. He loves Harry for Harry, he’s just a wishful thinker stuck with his guilt in his least favourite house in the world. But hey, his godson’s there too and he can do right by him to make it up to his dead best mate.
    Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way…

  35. Hi! I know I’m getting into this discussion quite a bit late, but I read people here talking about how their headmasters do nothing… Well, obviously, just from the get-go I know these are teenagers, so of course I don’t take offense or anything, but I do find it quite funny that you have NO clue as to what a Headmaster does and how it may influence what you become.
    My dad and my eldest sister were headmasters at a school. For starters, they decided who would teach there and who wouldn’t. So all these years of Snape wanting the DADA position and having to stick to Potions, that was Dumbledore, and the fact that Hagrid could stay as groundskeeper and later become Care of Magical Creatures teacher, was also all him. ***SPOILER-ish *** He had the liberty to hire professor Slughorn, and did so to gain insight that would help him -and ultimately Harry- in his battle against Voldemort ***END SPOILER-ish***
    Also, headmasters oversee what will be taught in each subject and how, this may translate into practical DADA lessons, and the inclusion of the First War in History of Magic, for example. The permission for the creation of a Dueling Club, if you remember, was directly granted by him.
    Also, having a say in the way a subject will be approached, may have a certain degree of influence on what a teenager will think of this subject. As you can see, even if he never had any contact with the students -which he did, I agree that he has a memory for each and every one of them- he would still be have great influence on their education.

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