Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Order of the Phoenix --- 26-30

Chapter 26: Seen And Unforseen
The weeks slip by: Harry keeps dreaming of the tantalizing corridor, Gryffindor loses spectacularly against Hufflepuff, and Harry finally figures out what he did to upset Cho, thanks to a long explanation from Hermione.
The day-to-day routine is broken one morning when he begins to get a flood of mail, which can only mean one thing: his story finally went to print in The Quibbler. Quite a few people write to say they've been convinced Harry is telling the truth. His elation doesn't last long, however. As soon as Umbridge discovers what Harry's done she sentences him to another week's worth of detentions, and bans anyone from owning a copy of The Quibbler.
In spite of the ban put in place by Umbridge every student in school reads the article. Harry is relieved that so many students believe his story, and even the professors find ways to show their appreciation.
Harry's Occlumency lessons continue, but are growing more disastrous by the day. Harry still can't close his mind against Snape, and Snape's continual taunting of Harry's lack of willpower is starting to get to him.
Things escalate even further that night when Harry and Snape rush upstairs to locate the source of a screaming woman. They find that Umbridge has finally sacked Professor Trelawney, the Divination teacher. Dumbledore intervenes when Umbridge tries to kick her out of the school. He further infuriates her by hiring a new Divination teacher, Firenze, a centaur from the Forbidden Forest.

Chapter 27: The Centaur And The Sneak
Harry's first class with Firenze is an interesting one. The centaur urges Harry to carry an urgent warning to Hagrid. He agrees, but when he passes on the warning Hagrid chooses to ignore it, which unsettles Harry and keeps him wondering what Hagrid is up to.
Harry has finally moved the D.A. up to learning Patronus's. They're practicing these one night when they are suddenly interrupted by Dobby, the house elf, who has come to warn them that Umbridge has found out about their meetings and that she is on her way. They all scatter, hoping for escape, but Malfoy, who is now working for Umbridge, manages to catch Harry.
They make their way to Dumbledore's office. Harry is incensed to find that one of his own members of the D.A. ratted them out, and on an urging from Dumbledore insists that tonight was their first meeting of "Dumbledore's Army". In order to keep Harry from being expelled, Dumbledore takes the blame for the group, telling Fudge he was planning to use the students to overthrow the Ministry. Dumbledore flees the school in order keep from being arrested, and Harry's guilt weighs on him like a wet blanket.

Chapter 28: Snape's Worst Memory
Harry is unsurprised when the very next morning finds Umbridge in charge of Hogwarts. He is surprised, however, when he discovers that she's formed an Inquisitorial Squad, made up mostly of Malfoy and his gang, and that they have the power to overrule the prefects and dock points.
Fred and George decide to take their mischief making to the next level now that Dumbledore is gone. They set off an entire crate of their enchanted fireworks inside the school, much to the delight of the other students, and Umbridge spends her first full day as Headmistress running around trying to extinguish them.
The next night finds him in Occlumency lessons again. Harry's curiosity gets the best of him when Snape is called away for a few minutes and Harry peeks inside the Pensieve to see what memories Snape keeps hidden in there. Harry is disturbed when he witnesses his father tormenting Snape for no good reason, and realizes with a heavy heart that Snape was telling the truth all along; his father was arrogant and conceited. When Snape catches Harry witnessing the memory he explodes in anger, and forbids Harry from ever entering his office again.

Chapter 29: Career Advice
Harry doesn't tell anyone, not even Ron and Hermione, what he saw in the Pensieve. It weighs heavily on his mind, and with a sinking feeling he begins to question everything he thought he ever knew about his parents. He yearns to talk to Sirius about it, but with Umbridge keeping her eye on every form of communication he doesn't see how he'd manage it. Hope begins to flicker, however, when Ginny talks to Fred and George about it, and they decide to cause a diversion so Harry can use Umbridge's fire to contact Sirius.
Harry has a meeting with McGonagall about his career ambition to become an Auror, which Umbridge states flatly will never happen. An argument erupts between her and McGonagall over Harry, and he quickly leaves the office.
That afternoon Harry's stomach is in knots over whether he should risk expulsion to talk to Sirius. Every time he imagines not doing it, however, Snape's memory flashes back to him. When he hears the bangs of Fred and George's diversion he makes up his mind and sets off quickly for Umbridge's office.
Once he tells Sirius and Lupin about the memory, they both stick up for James's behavior, saying he was young and grew out of his arrogance. Harry feels better about it but has to go when he hears footsteps coming into Umbridge's office. He sneaks out and makes his way to the entrance hall, where he sees Fred and George surrounded by Umbridge and the rest of the school. She tries to apprehend them and they make a spectacular escape that Harry is sure will soon be a Hogwart's legend.

Chapter 30: Grawp
In the days following Fred and George's departure it becomes evident how many joke products they managed to sell before they left. When Ron starts to suspect the two of foul play Harry finally comes clean about giving them his Triwizard winnings to start a joke shop.
During the final match of the Quidditch season Hagrid grabs Harry and Hermione and urgently asks them to follow him into the forest. They are shocked to find out that he brought his half-brother Grawp, who also happens to be a giant, back from his mission and is now trying to teach him English. Hagrid asks them to watch out for Grawp if Umbridge fires him. The three barely make it out of the forest alive, and when they make it back up to the school the match has finished. They're further shocked to find out that Ron played magnificently and they won the Quidditch Cup.

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