"I offered it to Dumbledore for Headquarters — about the only useful thing I've been able to do."
-- Sirius Black (OP5)
Harry learns of Sirius Black’s family background, and Molly Weasley and Sirius have a row regarding what is best for Harry.
Calendar and Dates
The entire chapter takes place the evening of August 6 and picks up on the same night where the previous one left off. The action happens in real time through to the end of the after-dinner conversation.
Interesting facts and notes
The argument at the end of the chapter between Molly Weasley and Sirius Black is quite upsetting to all concerned, and you feel that Remus Lupin's intervention is the only thing keeping it from becoming physical (or magical!).
There was something about the slightly flattened tone of voice in which Sirius uttered Dumbledore’s name that told Harry that Sirius, too, was not very happy with the Headmaster. Harry felt a sudden upsurge of affection for his godfather.
Sirius is frustrated by not being able to do any real work for the Order or to even leave the house. He has swapped Azkaban (and being on the run) for confinement in his own house at Grimmauld Place. He is being sneered at by Severus Snape and Molly. Dumbledore feels that he acts rashly. It is no wonder he wants to cling to Harry.
"Molly doesn’t approve of Mundungus," said Sirius in an undertone.
"How come he’s in the Order?" Harry said, very quietly."
"He’s useful," Sirius muttered. "Knows all the crooks – well, he would, seeing as he's one himself."
As far as Molly is concerned Mundungus Fletcher is a bad influence, particularly on her children: "I don't know where you learned about right and wrong, Mundungus, but you seem to have missed a few crucial lessons". His interest in the Black family's goblin-made silver is certainly suspicious.
...."He’s not James, Sirius!"
"I'm perfectly clear who he is, thanks, Molly...."
"I’m not sure you are! ....Sometimes, the way you talk about him, it's as though you think you've got your best friend back!"
"What's wrong with that?" said Harry.
"What's wrong, Harry, is that you are not your father, however much you might look like him!"
This is a serious point and, although it feels like Molly is over-reacting here, James and Sirius were best friends - and Sirius has not had a lot else to think about while being cooped up.
Exceptional character moments
Sirius Black's frustration - bordering on depression.
Molly Weasley's blindness about how much Harry needs to know at this moment. Her accusation that Sirius is acting like Harry is his father James. But she also says that she is a mother to Harry.
Harry thinking for a few seconds that he might not tell Ron and Hermione everything he hears, but then deciding that they should have his support to stay.
"Don't know what you're complaining about, myself. Personally, I'd have welcomed a dementor attack. A deadly struggle for my soul would have broken the monotony nicely."
"Do that one like a pig snout, Tonks..."
Tonks obliged, and Harry, looking up, had the fleeting impression that a female Dudley was grinning at him from across the table.
"Beg pardon, Molly," said Mundungus at once, wiping his eyes and winking at Harry. "But, you know, Will nicked 'em orf Warty Harris in the first place so I wasn't really doing nothing wrong."
"They're trying to discredit him," said Lupin. "Didn't you see the Daily Prophet last week? They reported that he'd been voted out of the Chairmanship of the International Confederation of Wizards because he's getting old and losing his grip, but it's not true; he was voted out by Ministry wizards after he made a speech announcing Voldemort's return. They've demoted him from Chief Warlock on the Wizengamot – that's the Wizard High Court – and they're talking about taking away his Order of Merlin, First Class, too."
"But Dumbledore says he doesn’t care what they do as long as they don't take him off the Chocolate Frog Cards"....
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):
MuggleNet: The Order of the Phoenix: Who Will Survive?
Harry Potter Wiki:
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features:
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