Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
If you've ever heard the expression "fair weather friend," you know that it's often easy to be friends with someone when things are going well (when the weather is fair, so to speak). Real friends will also stand by you when storms blow up in your life. Even at times when being your friend isn't much fun, the people who really love you will stick around anyway; that's what friendship is all about.
This may seem like a trite observation, but it does appear to be the theme of Harry's friendships in Order of the Phoenix. Harry is a giant walking ball of resentment in this book, but his best friends all endure his bad moods. Hermione and Ron both scold him for his temper tantrums, and even Ginny gets quite sharp with him when he's afraid he's being possessed by Voldemort. But they all put up with his foul temper, his defensiveness, and his sudden aggression because they love him and they trust that he'll snap out of it at some point. Luckily for him, he does – but not until after Sirius has died, which appears both tragic and terribly unfair.
Questions About Friendship
- Harry isn't the only person who becomes a bit of a bad friend during Book 5. Who else seems difficult to be around in this novel? When and why? How has this period affected your sympathy for the character?
- What new friends does Harry make during his fifth school year? What attracts him to them? How do they relate to his old friends? What do they add to the novel?
- What is the difference between a friend and an ally? Are there characters in Book 5 who are Harry's allies but not his friends? Or vice versa – Harry's friends but not his allies? How does the war against Voldemort complicate Harry's friendships?