Harry’s been attempting to keep an eye and ear out of word regarding odd deaths in relation to Voldemort all summer, he not having any luck. An interaction with Dudley gets him in enough trouble with the Dursleys and the Ministry of Magic where he’s first automatically expelled for using the patronum spell against a couple of dementors. Soon after, he gets word from Sirius, and 2 of the Weasleys, as well as Hermione as to how he should proceed. After which, he gets another official letter condemning him a bit more lightly in only being suspended until a hearing was held as to his reasons for applying magic outside the wizarding community. Throughout all this mess, his uncle officially kicks him out only to be swayed by a letter which Petunia was the only one to understand, so Harry is again “lucky” in having his back up “home” still being an option.
When Harry does finally get the chance to ditch the Dursleys, it’s with the newly introduced Nymphadora Tonks, as well as Lupin, Moody, and a few other wizards who would escort Harry by broom to their new headquarter for the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius’ family home. Hermione and Ron soon get a huge bitch fit from Harry, since he’d felt so alone and left out of being told anything and having been tailed all summer and everyone seeming to know. He receives updates on Percy and his new position having him fall out with the family because they feel he’s being used solely for information about his family and Dumbledore, whom was now a bad word in the Ministry of Magic. Kreacher is the elf of the house and was touched in the head, he attempting to periodically lift family heirlooms which Sirius was in the process of dumping, one of the portraits in the main hall of Sirius’ mother, whom continually shouted expletives against him and held similar views to the Malfoys.
Sirius decides to answer some of Harry’s questions despite Molly Weasley vehemently against it due to Harry still being a child, regardless of how the men in the house felt, which was he was old enough to hear what they thought was necessary for him to be safe. Later, Harry learns from a portrait of Sirius’ family tree, he was related to Tonks, a cousin, and also the Malfoys and Weasleys. After this, Kreacher is still on a rampage after more family items whilst talking shit about everyone under his breath, but not enough for it to be discreet. The night before his hearing he is updated of Arthur accompanying him and Sirius would sit this one out by Dumbledore’s order, Harry a little miffed he hadn’t wanted to speak with him personally after learning he’d been over the night before. He and Arthur walk to his office today, they entering by broken phone box. After a little runaround, Harry is only late by a few minutes, Arthur not able to join Harry inside, but the room shocking him, since he’d viewed it from the pensieve.
Harry sits in the chair with chains in front of the panel of about 50, Fudge in the center and Percy at the far end taking notes, Dumbledore arriving as introductions of the panel were made, to Harry’s surprise and Fudge’s displeasure. The change of venue and time seemed to have changed so abruptly being to keep Dumbledore out, but he’d prepared by arriving early. Fudge begins his damning questions when another wizard asks for Harry to elaborate after mentioning the dementors, Fudge cutting him off again making it seem he was lying, since Dudley couldn’t see them, but Dumbledore jumps in to state of another witness being available which puts Fudge off, so Dumbledore makes certain it’s within Harry’s rights to be allowed outside witnesses to testify on his behalf.
Figg is called in, Fudge attempting to make her sound un-credible. Bones seemed to take the story more seriously and Dumbledore admits the dementors wouldn’t have been there by chance and if Fudge wouldn’t admit to what Dumbledore had previously stated to him, then the Ministry would have to be responsible for releasing the dementors and ordering them to a Muggle city. Fortunately, even though Fudge kept attempting to throw Harry under the bus, Dumbledore had the answers and after stating the forum should make their decision, Fudge isn’t happy in having to announce Harry being cleared, Dumbledore not acknowledging Harry and leaving swiftly.
Harry tentatively exits and shares the verdict with Arthur, they seeing Malfoy speaking with Fudge, being a dick and then the two finally deciding to hold hands and skip to Fudge’s office to finish their important, gold-filled sharing conversation (not quite the way as describe, ofc). Arthur gets Harry back before returning to work, he sharing his good news again and they getting lunch. Sirius, apparently was happy, but also a bit aggravated, since Harry wouldn’t be staying with him now, in the trio’s opinion, anyways. After a few days, they receive their book list letter, Ron getting an extra surprise of also being prefect, Harry struggling with feeling truly happy for a bit, getting through it after reminding himself Ron is a friend (ffs). After, everyone meets for dinner and they also celebrate Ron and Hermione’s prefectdom, Harry feeling warm toward the group after reminding himself his papa wasn’t ever a prefect, either.
Harry helps Fred and George complete a deal with Mundungus for their shop, mentioning Moody possibly watching. Harry feels a bit guilty when imagining what Molly would think of him if she found out he’d helped the twins with their low quality dream. Harry’s good vibes at the party swiftly souring and feeling antisocial. When Molly bows out, Harry planned on following, but is side-tracked by Moody, whom shares a pic of himself and many people Harry knew, including the Longbottoms and his parents, he finally getting a reason to leave when Sirius interrupts them, Harry off after Molly. He also thinks about how unsettling Moody’s thoughtful photo share had been, when he heard crying, and seeing the dead bodies of some of the Weasley sibs and himself, Molly having trouble with the boggart, Lupin then assisting. Molly asks they keep her fears from Arthur, Lupin quelling her anxiety a bit, Harry awaying to his room and realizing how dumb he’d been feeling like shit over helping fund the twins and not making prefect.
Harry has odd dreams, waking to Ron in mid-sentence about his mother freaking out at the twins for almost killing Ginny with a trunk transporting method and being late for the train. Sirius joins them in dog-form despite Dumbledore’s opinion, everyone arriving as usual and no weirdness occurring. They get on the train, but Harry soon learns Ron and Hermione had to report to Head Girl and Boy in the Prefect carriage, he and Ginny finding a compartment. Neville joins them, Ginny suggesting they sit with Luna Lovegood, an odd owl-eyed girl, she responding to Ginny, then identifying Harry, and admitting she didn’t know Neville. The boys were unnerved by Luna’s flighty socializing skills, Ginny entertained.
Neville doused the group with stinksap when Cho decides to greet Harry to his and her severe embarrassment, an hour after the food trolley passing before Ron and Hermione are able to accompany them and share who were the other Houses prefects, one of Slytherin being easy to identify. Ron makes a joke at one point which completely overtakes Luna, everyone soon laughing at Ron’s reaction to Luna’s overreaction Harry then distracting himself with a politi-comic about Fudge wanting to buy Gringotts and an article on Sirius being an alias for a lead singer of a band. The lady whom identifies him believed Sirius would soon be pardoned from his crimes, since he couldn’t have been there at the time. Hermione makes an assertion about the magazine which Luna takes offense to, since her father was editor, Malfoy then dropping in, briefly to provide some paranoia about whether he knew about Sirius’ dog form. When they get to the station, Harry doesn’t hear Hagrid’s usual greeting, a female rounding up the first years. Another odd thing was how the horseless carriages now had creatures pulling them. Ron didn’t have a clue what Harry was talking about, but Luna confirms Harry’s vision, this not quite comforting.
Luna gives her opinion on how Ravenclaw students saw Hagrid’s teaching skills, Hermione’s response being the only one without loyal heat. When they’d gotten to the banquet hall and still didn’t see Hagrid, Harry suggests it could be due to the mission Dumbledore had given him, the Sorting Hat next doing its First Year division, but including a warning for the Houses to stay strong, together. When Dumbledore makes his introduction speech after supper, he’s interrupted for the first time, by Umbridge, the new Defense teacher, she having been a judge at Harry’s trial. She gives one helluva boring speech about being open to change where needed and keeping only the good rules in place. Hermione deduces the meaning simply for them: the Ministry had plans to mess with Hogwarts rules. As Harry and dorm boys readied for bed, there’s a bit of an upset between himself and Seamus, whom decided to believe his mother, whom thought the news written about Harry, the 2 quickly falling out and Harry wondering how many more people he’d lose before Voldemort made his presence known.
Next morning, Hermione sees Fred and George’s notice on the Gryffindor bulletin board for part-time workers, Hermione taking charge by stating they’d have to speak to the twins about their ad. When they enter the banquet hall, they are again greeted by a Hagrid-less room. Later on, Harry is made a fool of by Snape in class again. He was still so butt hurt, he takes it out on Ron and Hermione again, since they were still tiffing with each other. Then, in Divination Ron shares Hermione’s thoughts of Harry treating them unfairly, but the 2 also having stopped their little arguments. When they get to their first class with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, she declares they’d be filling in their gaps of knowledge due to their teachers never staying past a year.
Umbridge decides to have them begin with a reading assignment, Hermione soon making a scene with her silent hand raise. The class is soon paying more attention to her as Umbridge ignores her for a few minutes until finally regarding her question about application of defense, Umbridge soon receiving more raised hands and Harry costing 10 points after suggesting Voldemort could be a danger to anyone outside, she maintaining this was untrue and they wouldn’t have to practice for their O.W.L.s, since reading should be enough. By the end of Harry’s insubordinance, he’d gotten detention for the rest of the week and sent to McGonagall’s office, she making certain Harry understood what was required of him and to watch his step around Umbridge.
At dinner, the trio leave early with all the loud retellings of Harry’s confrontation, Hermione incensed on how Dumbledore could’ve allowed Umbridge be their professor. The day of his first detention, Harry’s Quidditch team leader angrily demands he get Friday off for their tryout. Harry does ask, but it’s clear Umbridge planned on having him suffer, especially with his standards which cut and healed on his hand after each being written. He decides not to share this part of the punishment with his buddies. It does come out to Ron by the 3rd night, though, he having been practicing for Quidditch tryouts, Harry still attending detention, but viewing part of the tryouts from a bit of a distance, by the end of his session, he getting a shock from his scar and a weird feeling from Umbridge and how she responded to his pulling away from her, Harry leaving and busting in on Ron celebrating becoming Keeper.
On Saturday, the boys put off their other homework to practice for Quidditch before actual practice, it not going well in the proper practice, especially after Fred and George give a teammate a wrong pill and her nosebleed gets worse. As the boys get to their homework, Ron receives a message from Percy which has him promoting Ron to ditch Harry and to see what role Dumbledore would soon have listed in tomorrow’s paper. Sirius visits by flame, they learning what Fudge thought Dumbledore could be teaching and why they’d only be studying from text. Sirius also notes how Dumbledore wasn’t worrying about Hagrid’s absence, so they should do the same, but when the idea of he perhaps meeting up with them again at a Hogsmeade outing goes against him, he pulls a Harry and reacts petulantly and declares Harry was being unlike his father after he and Hermione noted the risk what with Malfoy and the news.
The news certainly showed how Umbridge’s position had doubled in title and power, since she also held the newly stated position of “High Inquisitor”, as well as professor, she now taking notes on the professors and sitting in on classes. Harry also gets himself a second week of detention after talking back in Defense again and getting an extra night in Care, etc., since Umbridge was rating the temporary professor and Harry butted in on Malfoy’s injury story. At night, Harry’s given the suggestion of he teaching his buds Defense, since he was the best at practical use, but it slowly descending into Harry getting upset, he frustratedly agreeing to think about it, at least.
Hermione waits a couple weeks before asking again, Harry a bit more flexible to the idea, Hermione even suggesting they hold an open meeting the weekend to Hogsmeade in case other students were interested. Harry’s only other concern was the possibility of Sirius turning up. Upon the day, they go to the Hog’s Head, so as to stay from under Umbridge radar, the group which Hermione expected to being more than a couple, a baker’s dozen, at least. Hermione warms the crowd up, since she’d set all this up and master-minded it, making sure those students understood it was for only those who actually wanted to know how to practice what they read. One kid seemed to want to make trouble, but the twins with Ron defending Harry and what he’d been explaining to them about half of what he’d done being good luck, the group wanting Harry to teach them, anyways. Setting time and place was a bit difficult, so Hermione had a parchment ready for people to sign and be given the details later, this also being an agreement to keep their lessons to themselves. After, Ron learns Ginny had a boyfriend and Hermione had seen the constant looks Cho was giving Harry, which left him in the clouds again, whilst Ron blustered.
The trio spend Sunday finishing homework and sitting outside whilst doing so, Hermione knitting magically. Harry stayed in happy spirits all the way to Monday morning, when on the “notice” board, Umbridge had posted all types of clubs canceled and those wanting to apply could only be approved by her, and any outlaws would be expelled. Ron shows Hermione, she believing no one from their meeting had done it, since she’d jinxed the parchment and they’d see. Harry didn’t realize until Angelina, the Quidditch leader reminded him, they’d have to behave themselves if they wanted Umbridge to allow Gryffindors team to re-form. Hedwig next interrupts Harry’s history class due to an injury, he leaving her with Grubbly-Plank, reading Sirius’ reply on meeting time and place. Hermione and Ron note how hopefully no one’s been reading his messages, a possibility for how Hedwig became injured.
In the meanwhile, at Potions, Malfoy is loudly sharing how Slytherins team had been reinstated quickly and bashing Harry indirectly until mentioning he should be sent to St. Mungo’s, Hermione attempting to warn the boys of keeping a cool head, but Neville being the first to react, Harry and Ron holding him back, Snape then coming out to see the 3 struggling and wresting 10 points from them. Today also happened to be Umbridge’s sit-in, Harry quite nosy about how Umbridge would display her stepping upon Snape’s toes. It not being worth the 0 credit he receives for his botched potion in class plus essay on how he fucked it up. In Divination it’s obvious Trelawney was sent her sit-in results, she quite aggressive and only a little bit passive toward the class in response. The trio learn later of how Gryffindors team would be on hiatus until Umbridge made up her flabby-assed mind, Hermione noting how Harry had time for Snape’s extra essay now, at least…huzzah. When Sirius shows up, he mentions how he’d heard about their rebel training and whom had spotted them, since Harry was still being tailed.
The trio also got a message from Molly about not continuing the group. but Sirius’ opinion opposing hers, he giving suggestions for meeting spots, but they being interrupted by Umbridge’s hand in the flames attempting to catch Sirius, the conversation quickly ending and the trio retreating. Hermione is now almost certain Umbridge has been the reason Hedwig was injured through her attempts at reading Harry’s mail. During free time, Angelina updates Ron and Harry of getting their team approved, so practice would resume in the evening. Hermione is considering how good an idea it was to keep their secret group active, what with not quite finalizing everything, yet, she noting how Sirius was preoccupied with his isolation (Boosh) and perhaps wanting the trio to do as he and James would’ve done, rebel; the boys don’t take reality well.
During Quidditch practice, weather was still at downpour level, they trying to play for an hour before the session ended, Harry’s scar hurting again due to Voldemort’s mood. Harry tries to do more of his essay late into the night, his mind wandering on Voldemort, before sleeping for a short while, Dobby visiting him in the common room when he wakes up again, he sharing how Hermione’s knitting endeavors was affronting most of the elves, so Dobby had been collecting them for himself and Winky, he even having a decent spot for the Defense group to practice. During the day, Harry tells Angelina of their practice area and time, she passing it on and Hermione agreeing once learning Dumbledore had spoken about it, as well, since Dobby’s word alone was similar to Sirius’ in quality. They have their first official group meeting by voting Harry leader and naming themselves Dumbledore’s Army, Harry then having them start with the disarming charm. The first practice goes so well, there is agreement to meeting more often, but it’d wait until next week for confirmations.
This turns out to be difficult with opposing schedules, but worked for their needs to deceive obvious patterns to be caught. Hermione did come up with a convenient way for everyone to be updated on when their next sessions were by using a coin to present date and time when Harry set his, this soon being put on hold with the game soon to be had. Snape and McGonagall also decide to refrain from homework, so their teams could practice, the day of. Ron is extremely nervous, and Slytherin kids are wearing a crown badge, saying “Weasley is our King”, because of how shit he is, sometimes, when nerves get him; They even have a flipping song!
By the finish with Gryffindor winning, Harry and George both get sent to McGonagall’s office for fighting with Malfoy. Umbridge steps in and bans the 2 from playing Quidditch for life. Harry and Ron have shitty feelings later on, respectively when Hermione sees Hagrid was home.When they see him, his ass had got beat! By giants, which Hermione guesses and it being the obvious choice, after all. Hagrid is then baited with deets from Harry’s summer so they could hear about his secret mission with Madame Maxime. They’re interrupted by Umbridge, Hermione not seeming to stress enough how serious Umbridge’s sit-ins were to Hagrid, he too tired for this shit.
They go to Hagrid’s first class back and Umbridge wasn’t there, Hagrid having his class in the Forbidden Forest to “see” Thestrals, Umbridge locating them, giving her usual spiel on having sent a message, etc, Hagrid continuing admirably, even whilst Slytherin kids shared insulting opinions of their time in class, how he spoke and whatnot, Umbridge relating similarly and talking to him like he wasn’t an English-speaker and slow. Hermione rages a bit after, Malfoy taking another hit at Ron and Harry, nothing of note happening up to the talk of holidays, Harry spending it with the Weasleys, Hermione skiing with her folks, and poor Sirius all alone. Upon their final D.A. meeting, Harry gets selfish when Cho breaks down after class and Harry having wanted it to be a sweet moment rather than being about Cedric, but then she gives him a happy Christmas, for a 15 year old, but his thought on whether to share or take it to his grave, is puzzling.
Hermione completely guesses, though, so she doesn’t care much after, but Ron getting a decent Q&A, Hermione rejoining the chat when the boys need some insight on why Cho may be conflicted about liking Harry. Afterward, Harry yearns for advice from the one fella whom probably had almost the same capacity of knowledge as Harry, emotionally. He does have one fairly forward-thinking thought, which was to have the school teach teen girl psyche (not a bad idea, if one wishes to be empathetic). He then wakes from a violent physically-ill-causing dream, he trying to have Ron believe his father had been in danger. When McGonagall hears his story, she decides to take him to Dumbledore, whom has orders given out to available wizards. He then has the other Weasley kids sent for so they and Harry could wait at Sirius’, Harry feeling some exorcism-hateful kind of thoughts toward Dumbledore, and when getting to Sirius’ before Umbridge had come, Harry retells his vision slightly differently to offset possible accusation for having let it happen.
Sirius soon has to convince the Weasley twins to stay put until they could get Molly there, he settling by giving all butterbeer, Harry shaken and guilty about his first-person-snake vision and his murderous feelings toward Dumbledore earlier. Molly sends a message with instructions to stay put, the kids not liking her choice of words, implying Arthur was only hanging in there. Everyone stays awake and wonders what was happening, until Molly arrives before dawn, confirming he’d be fine. Harry and Sirius both getting her grateful thanks, especially when he invites them to stay through the holidays. Harry has a not-so-fruitful heart-to-heart with Sirius when he admits his dream and feelings toward Dumbledore after reaching Sirius’ home. Harry doesn’t sleep, unlike the rest, caught up with his snaky feeling, they being escorted by Tonks and Moody to hospital later, it being through a closed shop front. The Weasley kids learn about Harry’s possession by snake whilst eavesdropping on Molly, Arthur, Tonks, and Moody’s chat after they’d had seen Arthur themselves.
Harry begins believing he was the weapon Voldemort was using which was why he was being guarded. In the end, he believes he’d be saving those around him if he stayed at the Dursleys, but Dumbledore sends word by one of the paintings to remain where he was, pissing Harry off again. Feeling teen loner angst, he falls asleep, doesn’t go down for supper, and when awaking again, comes back to his thought of going to the Dursleys due to thinking everyone was afraid of him again. He wastes the day sequestering himself away from everyone, Hermione showing up due to making an excuse and not being a great skier, as it was. When she leads Harry back to his and Ron’s room, Ginny also there, Harry acts stuck up and angry until Ginny reminds him she’d been possessed by Voldemort and would know better than most, he finally calming down, apologizing to her, and eating a sammie.
Christ Day was pleasantly begun, minus Percy returning his jumper and not speaking with his parents, still. Molly being cheered up by Lupin before breakies and they all going to visit Arthur again, she noticing new bandages and Arthur making light over his trainee healer giving him Muggle stitches. Molly’s reaction is so palpable, half the Weasley kids bow out for a cuppa, Harry and the rest soon following once she realizes what it meant. The bunch see Lockhart looking through a window from a floor below the tea room, he still memory-damaged, and wanting to provide them with autographs, until being collected by a healer, whom unfortunately ropes them into visiting him, since he hadn’t gotten visitors before, and he was in a locked ward for permanent residents.
Harry hears the healer speak to Mrs. Longbottom when they reach the ward, Ron noticing as well, and calling out to Neville, his grandmother asking about them in return, and recognizing them, also revealing who they were visiting, Ron being a bit of a ditz about it, until Neville’s grandma explains why his parents were there, giving Neville a bit of a hard time upon learning he hadn’t shared with his friends, yet. Before the 2 leave, Neville’s mother gives him a bubble gum wrapper, which apparently she did frequently, his grandmother stating how he had so many he should dump this one, but he keeping it. Lockhart impatiently waits for the kids to return so he could take advantage of his “joined-up writing” skills.
As vacay ends, Sirius’ mood becomes darker, Harry not wanting to leave him, ofc. Kreacher finally is discovered and acts oddly more content. Harry also wasn’t as keen on returning to Hogwarts with Umbridge awaiting them and no Quidditch, Mrs. Weasley begins the process of Harry receiving worse news from Snape, firsthand, he soon learning between jabs from Snape and Sirius, Dumbledore wanted Harry to study Occlumency (the study of defending one’s mind from outside violence) in secret, Snape being his teacher, as well, Harry’s early evening on Monday now scheduled. Before Snape leaves, he and Sirius continue getting deeply bent over insulting each other, until being interrupted by all the Weasleys and Hermione welcoming Arthur back. He’d been cured with a magic antidote, Molly making sure he wouldn’t mess with Muggle cures in future. In January, the kids were set to return to Hogwarts, Sirius giving Harry a package which he could use if he needed Sirius, Harry set on not giving him a reason to frolic off from Grimmauld Place.
The bunch go by Knight bus, the conductor, Stan remembering him and the other bus riders staring as he joined and departed. Lupin gives him the piece of advice to learn well, regardless of it being Snape, Harry still not looking forward to it, ofc., esp., since now he’d have to plan the next D.A. meeting accordingly. When Cho turns up, Harry is obv. too immature to be handling a girl like her, since she’d brought up the Valentine’s Hogsmeade day and he talking and thinking about D.A., but with a few missed beats he’s not dumb enough to not invite her, they sealing the date, fortunately for him. In the evening, Snape describes the power Voldemort has of essentially reading minds, so with Occlumency, one could lie “without detection”, if skilled. Snape impressively shares some deets on why Harry was learning this form and directly after decides a defense match was in order. Harry had hexed Snape as a knee-jerk reaction, he continuing to strengthen Harry by pointing out his weakness, which in turn made it difficult to resist Snape’s assault. He did have a Eureka moment about the door he’d been dreaming of periodically, and upon sharing with his buddies what he’d learned, he decides to got to bed for scar pain and tiredness, he getting a sense of Voldemort’s pure happiness which puts him through he ringer of pain.
Hermione gets her paper next morning, an article startling her about a group of Death Eaters in Azkaban escaping and Sirius being their leader according to Fudge, she also catching another terrible article about a resident at St. Mungo’s being strangled by a gifted plant, Harry recognizing the fellow being an employee in the Dept. of Mysteries. Hagrid was put on probation, and Harry had other students relating to his celebrity due to the Azkaban escapees relatives being noticed, now. Umbridge had also made more rules regarding what was said to students regarding anything other than their class subjects from teachers, another student being punished the same way Harry had been for stating a loophole in Umbridge’s new rule. Since all of Harry’s positive reinforcement at Hogwarts was being taken from him, he and his students focused more on D.A., Neville making great headway with the news of the Death Eaters.
Harry’s new practice course was making his scar hurt worse and gave him bipolar mood-swings from Voldemort. Hermione considering he’d feel better the more time he spent mastering it, but Harry becoming stubborn in his idea of all this being worse because of the practicing, Ron suggesting the idea Snape might be attempting to make it easier for Voldemort to enter Harry’s mind, but Hermione maintaining if Dumbledore trusted him, they ought to, as well. Harry’s day with Cho begins awkwardly and only gets worse as they go, some in-between moments going temporarily well. In the end, Cho, becomes tearily upset, and making a scene, the both not communicating to each other well or the feelings they were having being way off balance from the other, so Harry stops thinking about her and goes to the Three Broomsticks to await for Hermione to show up, he chatting to Hagrid.
Their conversation is mysterious and his cuts being explained away with his job being a difficult one, leaving quickly and Hermione soon after calling him to her table to join she with Luna and Rita Skeeter, oddly. Skeeter still attempts, but is turned down with her idea of writing down Harry having been chilling with another girl by Hermione’s comment. Rita is allowed to speak to Harry, though, but she only asks Harry whether he stuck to Dumbledore’s story about Voldemort being back. Harry confirms and Rita gets down to business with Hermione’s blessing to take down Harry’s list of Death Eaters, but properly and without making Harry sound nuts, Hermione confirming The Quibbler would publish it properly, regardless of the magazine’s reputation. Rita begrudgingly takes the interview, since she couldn’t argue what with the position she was in.
They wouldn’t know if it’d make the issue most recent to come out or the one after, but one of Harry’s roomies did point out the interesting reaction Umbridge would have. Later at dinner, Hermione explains the drama Harry had with Cho, Ron coming in after practice and stating how Hermione could write the manual for boys to understand easier. Gryffindor lost Quidditch by 10 points and Harry dreamt of the door again, Ron’s snoring this time preventing him from glimpsing inside. Harry receives post, surprisingly the next morning from a few different birds. His Quibbler story had been published and he was already receiving fan mail, some believers and some not, but people mostly accepting his version. Umbridge takes it horribly, ofc making a new rule of Quibbler possession = expulsion and Harry receiving more detention and 50 points from Gryffindor, Hermione over the moon about Umbridge’s ban, since it’d only have every student read it asap.
They see this to be true, since they keep overhearing students talk about it, Harry even getting points back for Gryffindor, teachers showing their support in varying fashion, Seamus and Cho even coming around, Luna learning her father had to make a reprint for selling out so fast. Later in the evening, Harry dreams of being Voldemort speaking of info Rookwood had acquired. Harry shares this nightmare with Ron and Hermione, she deciding they should ignore it and Harry should focus more on Occlumency. Harry does make headway with Snape after this, he seeing some of his memories for once. They soon interrupted by Trelawney’s screams for having been fired by Umbridge, McGonagall showing empathy and Umbridge challenges on whether Trelawney was allowed to stay by Dumbledore, he having authority on whether a teacher had to leave the grounds, he also already having replaced her with a centaur, Firenze.
Hermione expects Umbridge would be zeroing on Dumbledore for revenge by appointing a half-human professor, their first class being held on the first floor now and the room mirroring the forest. Firenze shares how he’d been kicked out of his herd upon agreeing to teach at Hogwarts. He certainly teaching them how leaving most predictions with a grain of salt was best, since it was difficult practice even for centaurs to be accurate. After class Firenze asks Harry send a cryptic message to Hagrid, which was not explained further other than Hagrid needing sound advice and Firenze receiving help by Hagrid and he wished to keep Hagrid on the right path. Hagrid doesn’t receive the advice open-heartedly though, and Harry bustles along, D.A. meetings keeping his brain occupied, the students starting practice for their patronuses.
Dobby interrupts with the almost too late warning of Umbridge having found out about D.A. and was coming for them, most everyone escaping except Harry, whom gets caught by a jinx from Malfoy, Umbridge taking him to Dumbledore’s office. They find Fudge, Percy, some other fella along with Dumbledore already waiting, Harry denying knowing what was wrong, Umbridge getting their witness, she being Cho’s buddy and showing the signs of the jinx, which prevented her from wanting to speak further. Umbridge soon crosses the line when she attempts to physically force the girl into responding, Dumbledore stopping this hastily. When Umbridge then provides the list of names with the D.A. title, Dumbledore confuses Fudge by offering to confess, and then states Fudge’s plan for him to await trial in Azkaban didn’t suit him, a hex being set on the 4 Ministry employees, and Dumbledore vowing Fudge would regret ousting him.
Notice of Umbridge taking over for Dumbledore was quite immediate, the students learning more than Harry expected, and Malfoy being promoted to a side project of Umbridge’s so he could take points from students. The twins turn up to confide of giving Umbridge a reason to expel them, not worrying anymore and wanting to give Umbridge a run, for Dumbledore’s sake. Harry is escorted by Filch directly after this, to Umbridge, whom required his presence and attempt to secretly have him drink a truth magic drink, she asking about Dumbledore and Sirius’ whereabouts, not getting any answers and then being interrupted by an explosion the twins had been warning Harry about. When Harry sees the sparkly mess the twins had created, it was impressive as it gained energy, not dying out past night. As he retreats, he discovers the twins hiding spot, the 2 quietly in hysterics as they shared what would occur if Umbridge attempted certain spells to make them stop.
Tonight Harry got even closer to Voldemort’s goal of seeing inside the Dept. of Mysteries for a glimpse of the weapon, but this time some late fireworks wake him. His upcoming training with Snape would be extra dreaded, but they end up postponing with Umbridge requesting his help elsewhere by Malfoy, whom was sure to spread the word of Harry’s remedial course. Before biffing off himself, however he sees Snape had left his Pensieved memories just hanging out, so thought he’d have a little perusal. What he sees is 15-ish Snape and his pops along with Sirius, Lupin, and Wormtail taking their Defense O.W.L.s. Harry witnesses his father’s bullying arrogance and the early reactions of his mother toward him. Eventually, he is caught in the memory and thrown out forcefully by Snape, not wanting to see him return again, he understanding the bullied Snape’s feelings.
Hermione can’t believe Harry had somehow finished his lessons with Snape for good, but focuses on scheduling their studying for the O.W.L.s. Harry can’t help, but be absorbed with the thought of his parents personalities and how this memory was affecting his non-memories of his most prized family members. Ginny helps him out by getting the twins on the case for diversion, so Harry would be able to use Umbridge’s office fire to speak to Sirius about his troubled thoughts regarding his father. His first Potions back with Snape was unusually and pleasantly quiet, until Snape breaks his classwork so as to continue his zeroes. When he has his occupational and coursework discussion later with McGonagall and Umbridge sitting in, the two argue about Harry’s chances on becoming an Auror and then McGonagall straight up offering to tutor him through if it was truly his dream, despite Umbridge’s every attempt at shutting this path down.
Before having him sit through more of Umbridge’s nonsense, she allows Harry to conclude and leave as the 2 yell at each other. Harry truly struggles whether he still wanted to continue the plan, deciding he couldn’t pass up a good diversion and proceeding to Umbridge’s office, invisible cloak and pick-locking knife ready. As he has this conversation via floo with Sirius and Lupin, he isn’t calmed by the information they give him, one being to continue Occlumency at any cost. He scurries to get to his invisible cloak again before Filch walks in. Harry leaves after him and witnesses the best school quitting to get out of punishment performance, ever by the twins. They had students tumultuously cheering at the end, the students from then on making the moment the stuff of legend, and becoming troublemakers, themselves and exacting revenge on Umbridge daily. Ron is currently concerned about his mother being outraged he hadn’t stopped them, but Hermione considers how long they must’ve been planning it if they already had a physical address for their shop.
Harry confesses he’d given the twins the money, Hermione soon reminded to ask if Harry had inquired about his training to Snape, he not glad of having shared this information from Sirius’ chat. (These periodic grammatical nonsensical sentences are hard to ignore, esp. when not much is driving this humungo story, other than narrative statements and updates of what’s happened.) Meanwhile, Ron has Quidditch to ‘look forward to’ and during the game, Hagrid steals Harry and Hermione to accompany him into the forest, they learning a bit more about what happened to Firenze and Hagrid’s falling out with the centaurs. This long trip into the forest though, had to do with Hagrid sensing his dismissal coming and he having to take care of Grawp, his half bro, whom wasn’t quite friendly. What he’d want from Hermione, Harry, and if Ron agreed, was to only chat with him, get him used to English society. As they’re about to leave, a bunch of centaurs interrupt. This interaction proves intimidating further to the 2 kids, whilst Hagrid makes note of the centaurs not hurting children. This isn’t a comfort to them, and they decide to save telling Ron, since Gryffindor finally won a Quidditch since he’d joined.
When Ron is told of Grawp, he only hopes (NOT against bloody hope, the dumbest Bible reference, ever) Hagrid sticks it out til summer vacay. When O.W.L.s weeks arrive, everyone becomes frenetic, focused, and quieter, Harry seeing the exam set up to be the same as the one witnessed in Snape’s memory. All 3 take their first week of exams well enough, esp. Harry in Defense, getting a bonus point for his patronus. Harry’s astronomy exam is punctuated by his noticing Hagrid being visited and eventually fighting against Umbridge and a few Ministry workers, they stunning Fang and McGonagall, before Hagrid concusses all but one and Umbridge. During the final exam for history, Harry struggles to remember what he’d studied, he soon dreaming of the door and upon seeing a conversation between Voldemort and Sirius, wakes by falling out of his chair.
Harry is soon absorbing whom he’d be able to share his vision with, since McGonagall had been sent to hospital, he settling on relaying his vision to his buddies, they not as ready as he is to jump after Voldemort to save Sirius. Hermione however, receives the brunt of his fuming anger, since she was attempting to make sense of what Harry saw, he becoming louder and more frustrated as they continued until Ginny and Luna come in to offer to help. This gives Hermione the momentum to have Harry at least chill the fuck out until they confirmed Sirius wasn’t at home, Kreacher giving away the information after some slight withholding, then Harry’s caught by Umbridge. When Snape’s called in to help have Harry reveal why he’d been there, Harry takes a chance by yelling a veiled message to him. To save time before Umbridge hit Harry with a curse and after she’d confessed to sending the dementors, Hermione fake breaks down, in preparation to share what Harry’d been doing, Umbridge eating it up. By the end, Hermione had convinced her they had been wanting to contact Dumbledore to confirm the finishing of a weapon, she having Hermione and Harry lead her as Malfoy and some Slytherins held Ron, Ginny, Luna, and Neville in her office.
Hermione leads them outside, Umbridge nervous when she shares it was in the Forbidden Forest, she leading them down a different path than the one to Grawp, they eventually stopped by centaurs, Umbridge making an arrogant dumb ass out of herself, she retaliating by binding one of the centaurs after a warning arrow flies past her head. She’s soon restrained and taken away further into the forest, Harry and Hermione still in trouble with the 50 strong centaurs, being interrupted by Grawp before they’d decided what to do with them. He apparently was out looking for big brah and in his attempt to pick up someone or other, the centaurs attack him for having knocked one of them down, he chasing them further in, and the 2 soon joined by the other captured kids, everyone arguing on who would accompany Harry, the thestrals soon making it easy for all of them to ditch, Harry annoyed, but wanting to biff off already.
They all arrive quickly and wearily, they getting their visitor badges no problem and without seeing anyone, including security, they proceed to the Dept. of Mysteries. After some time looking for the right door, they don’t discover Sirius, but do detect a jar with Harry’s name labeling it, Lucius soon having him pass it to him. More Death Eaters surround them, Lestrange taunting him as Malfoy continues to demand for the prophecy Harry held. He hoped the others were coming up with a solid plan, since all he had was killing time. Soon, though he helped relay to Hermione to have them all smash shelves as he continued talking with Malfoy, he learned his prophecy had the answer to why he’d been scarred. They take their chance, losing half their party on the way to the 2nd room, Harry, Hermione, and Neville fighting some Death Eaters. They soon do worse and it’s down to Neville being tortured and Harry wasting more time until Sirius and the group of 4 from the Order show up to help. By the end of it, Dumbledore had appeared, but not in time to save Sirius from falling through the veiled archway after being hit with a spell.
Harry is at first in denial, then upon seeing Lestrange attempt escape, follows her and has a one on one until Voldemort turns up, he ready to kill Harry, but Dumbledore protecting him and fighting the 2. Which upon Harry collapsing with scar pain, Voldemort and Lestrange escape which Fudge sees and can no longer deny. Dumbledore then begins giving instructions as to how Fudge shall proceed, he regaining his headmaster-ship. Harry is then sent back to Hogwarts to await everyone’s return by Portkey.
It lands him in Dumbledore’s office which he couldn’t leave, he overcome with having gotten Sirius killed. When Dumbledore arrives, he updates Harry on his buddies temporary condition, as well as Tonks. Harry soon loses his shit though, chucking Dumbledore’s breakables around, he verging on threatening Dumbledore, whom refused to let him leave, he wanting to confess why it was actually mostly his own fault Sirius was dead. This revelation stops Harry, Dumbledore starting again with Harry’s scar, but regarding why he’d been ignoring him was to calm the beast, so to speak, Voldemort possibly possessing Harry to get to him, or like in the Ministry of Magic, see if he’d kill Harry to get to Voldemort.
He goes on to confide how Kreacher had been able to lie to Harry about Sirius, and had revealed everything to Dumbledore, since it was a direct order, but also by truth jinx or whatever. He also regards Snape’s choices and how he’d actually helped, Harry not caring much, Dumbledore taking responsibility for not doing more with Harry’s training. After, he reveals a piece which he’d kept from Harry for 5 years, this stemming from the ancient protection charm his mother gave him through their shared blood, which was locked when her sister had taken him in. Dumbledore recaps his feeling to reveal the truth through each year Harry’d been at Hogwarts and eventually comes upon the weapon being the knowledge of how to kill Harry (which isn’t revealed), this within the prophecy (not) and the prophecy given by Trelawney. Harry soon also absorbs how someday, one or the other would have to die before the other could live, Dumbledore confessing his reason for not choosing him as prefect being due to the loads of responsibility Harry already bore.
Fudge gives the press update on the Ministry’s opinion of Voldemort being the correct one, now. Umbridge is rescued by Dumbledore, somehow unscathed, but she was quite shell-shock, clopping noises putting her on edge. Harry refrains from sharing the prophecy with Hermione and Ron, currently still on bed-rest and is waylaid from seeing Hagrid by the Malfoy trio, they interrupted by Snape, whom he loathed worse now. McGonagall interrupts by giving all the students at the Ministry of Magic points, so Snape could withdraw his measly 10 for almost cursing Malfoy, Harry then continuing to Hagrid’s, but soon leaves when he brings up Sirius.
Umbridge leaves the day before school ends and Harry opens the package Sirius gave him in case he wanted to talk. It didn’t work of course, it being like a telephone, Harry then getting no good answers from Nearly Headless Nick in regards to coming back after death, either. Also, even though he now knows why he must spend time at the Dursleys, it didn’t make the going there any easier. Cho had moved on with Ginny’s ex, she now dating Dean Thomas, this news not treating Ron any better than the first. The D.A. curse the shit out of Malfoy and his goons when they were readying to attack Harry on his way back to his carriage, the 3 remaining oozy messes. When the kids go through the station barrier, they’re greeted by some of the Order, who had the idea of speaking to the Dursleys before Harry began summer vacay with them to make sure they understood, they wouldn’t tolerate any misconduct against Harry, he not knowing how to thank them, so simply allows for all to bid him farewell til mid-end of summer.
The most uneventful, but easy read of a thick-ass book. I know I won’t be a re-reader, like so many others, but I’m glad to be finishing this series, since I’ve gotten through the movies a couple times and I still enjoy seeing the, hopefully fleshed out version in book form. This doesn’t particularly include this story, only because it meandered, which is great for beach reading, but only one spot near-ish to the end of the book being exciting; I referring to the Dept. of Mysteries fight against the Death Eaters. I am most definitely looking forward to the next, more slim book in the series.