Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 4 Summary
How It All Goes Down
Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place
- Moody takes the parchment from Harry and burns it.
- Harry looks around the street: "They were standing outside number eleven; he looked to the left and saw number ten; to the right, however, was number thirteen" (4.3).
- Lupin tells Harry to think about what he has just memorized.
- As Harry thinks about Number Twelve, suddenly "a battered door emerged out of nowhere between numbers eleven and thirteen" (4.6).
- Moody and Lupin usher Harry into the house.
- It's a dark, gloomy place with "peeling wallpaper" and "threadbare carpet" (4.15).
- Mrs. Weasley is there to welcome Harry, but she can't talk long: the meeting of the Order of the Phoenix is about to start.
- Harry isn't allowed to attend the meeting since he's not a member of the Order.
- Harry goes upstairs to see Hermione and Ron. He finds his owl, Hedwig, waiting for him, too.
- But their reunion goes sour pretty quick as Harry vents some of his anger at his friends for leaving him out of the loop: "SO YOU HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE [ORDER] MEETINGS, BIG DEAL! YOU'VE STILL BEEN HERE, HAVEN'T YOU? YOU'VE STILL BEEN TOGETHER! ME, I'VE BEEN STUCK AT THE DURSLEYS' FOR A MONTH! AND I'VE HANDLED MORE THAN YOU TWO'VE EVER MANAGED AND DUMBLEDORE KNOWS IT — WHO SAVED THE SORCERER'S STONE? WHO GOT RID OF RIDDLE? WHO SAVED BOTH YOUR SKINS FROM THE DEMENTORS?" (4.67).
- Harry keeps ranting at Hermione and Ron because they are a safe target: they listen to what he has to say and they care about him.
- Hermione finally gets in a word: "You're absolutely right, Harry — I'd be furious if it was me!" (4.79).
- Harry starts to wind down, and Ron and Hermione explain what's been happening this summer.
- They have both been at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.
- Fred and George (Ron's trickster older brothers) have invented these things called Extendable Ears.
- They allow users to eavesdrop more effectively.
- Using these Ears, Ron and Hermione have been able to overhear some of the Order's activities.
- The Order is following known Death Eaters (supporters of Voldemort), recruiting more people for the Order, and "standing guard over something" (4.97).
- Harry points out that that "something" under guard is probably Harry himself.
- Hermione and Ron have been busy "decontaminating [the] house, it's been empty for ages and stuff's been breeding in here" (4.101).
- Fred, George, and Ginny (Ron's younger sister) all come in to catch up with Harry.
- The oldest Weasley boy, Bill, is also a member of the Order — and it turns out that he has started dating Fleur Delacour (the French exchange student from Book Four).
- Charlie Weasley (the second oldest Weasley) is still in Romania working with dragons, but he's also trying to make contacts with foreign wizards in the fight against Voldemort "on his days off" (4.130).
- And then there's Percy Weasley.
- Percy and his father have had a fight.
- Percy is a really ambitious young employee at the Ministry of Magic.
- Ron explains, "[Percy] came home [one day] really pleased with himself [...] and told Dad he'd been offered a position in [Cornelius] Fudge's own office. A really good one for someone only a year out of Hogwarts: Junior Assistant to the Minister. He expected Dad to be all impressed, I think" (4.145).
- But then Fred adds: "Only Dad wasn't" (4.146).
- The reason Mr. Weasley isn't happy about Percy's promotion is that the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is working hard to discredit Dumbledore and anyone else who believes that Voldemort is back.
- Mr. Weasley "reckons Fudge only wants Percy in his office because he wants to use him to spy on the [Weasley] family — and Dumbledore" (4.153).
- Percy is furious that Mr. Weasley doesn't believe he got his promotion on his own merit.
- Percy tells Mr. Weasley some really horrible things: that Mr. Weasley "was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore was heading for big trouble and [Mr. Weasley] was going to go down with him, and that he — Percy — knew where his loyalty lay and it was with the Ministry. And if [Mr. and Mrs. Weasley[ were going to become traitors to the Ministry he was going to make sure everyone knew he didn't belong to [the Weasley] family anymore" (4.159).
- So, Percy is the only member of the Weasley family not involved somehow with the Order of the Phoenix.
- But there's more bad news: the Daily Prophet (the wizarding newspaper working closely with the Ministry of Magic) is conducting a subtle publicity campaign against Dumbledore — and against Harry himself.
- Hermione breaks it to Harry: "They want to turn you into someone nobody will believe. Fudge is behind it, I'll bet anything. They want wizards on the street to think you're just some stupid boy who's a bit of a joke, who tells ridiculous tall stories because he loves being famous and wants to keep it going" (4.182).
- Mrs. Weasley comes upstairs to call them to dinner.
- Harry is still simmering with anger because Dumbledore has kept all of this news — some of which is about Harry himself — away from Harry.
- So, Harry tries to change the subject. He asks who "Kreacher" is, since Mrs. Weasley mentions the name.
- Kreacher is the house-elf who lives at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. He seems a bit eccentric.
- As they walk downstairs, they hear a crash.
- Tonks has tripped over a piece of draping in the main hallway.
- A painting of an old woman is exposed: "The old woman was drooling, her eyes were rolling, the yellowing skin of her face stretched taut as she screamed" (4.221).
- The portrait shouts, "Filth! Scum! By-products of dirt and vileness! Half-breeds, mutants, freaks, begone from this place!" (4.223).
- A man comes running into the hallway to cover up the painting.
- It's Sirius Black, Harry's godfather.
- He greets Harry grimly, "Hello, Harry [...] I see you've met my mother" (4.231).
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