Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
[Aunt Petunia] was looking at Harry as she had never looked at him before. And all of a sudden, for the very first time in his life, Harry fully appreciated that Aunt Petunia was his mother's sister. He could not have said why this hit him so powerfully at this moment. All he knew was that he was not the only person in the room who had an inkling of what Lord Voldemort being back might mean. Aunt Petunia had never in her life looked at him like that before. Her large, pale eyes (so unlike her sister's) were not narrowed in dislike or anger, they were wide and fearful. The furious pretense that Aunt Petunia had maintained all Harry's life – that there was no magic and no world other than the world she inhabited with Uncle Vernon – seemed to have fallen away. (2.194)
In our character analyses of Professors Snape and Dumbledore, we've mentioned that one of the projects of Book 5 is to make the characters seem more human and fleshed out. Well, Aunt Petunia gets this treatment, too: she's still a bigot, and she still treats Harry like dirt, but here, for the first time, J.K. Rowling reminds us that she grew up with Lily Potter. She had a witch sister who taught her something about the wizarding world. No matter how much Aunt Petunia tries to deny the effect that this experience has had on her, she still has been influenced by her sister's life – and her tragic, premature death.
[Harry] did not now why it had been such a shock; he had seen pictures of his parents before, after all, and he had met Wormtail ... but to have them sprung on him like that, when he was least expecting it ... no one would like that, he thought angrily ...
And then, to see them surrounded by all those other happy faces ... Benjy Fenwick, who had been found in bits, and Gideon Prewett, who had died like a hero, and the Longbottoms, who had been tortured into madness ... all waving happily out of the photograph forever more, not knowing that they were doomed. (9.267-268)
As Harry gets older, the cost of war with Voldemort becomes more and more apparent. As he looks at these photographs of the first generation of the Order of the Phoenix, he starts to realize what an enormous human cost the war has had, beyond the deaths of his own parents. And of course, Harry starts to wonder who among the new generation of the Order of the Phoenix will be next. Not only does this picture album increase our sense of sorrow over the deaths Voldemort has caused, but it also ratchets up the suspense for future books. We know that J.K. Rowling is willing and able to kill off her characters, and she has warned us with this picture album that Voldemort brings death. So – which characters whom we know and love will she take away from us?
"You survived when you were just a baby," [Cho] said quietly.
"Yeah, well," said Harry wearily, moving towards the door, "I dunno why nor, does anyone else, so it's nothing to be proud of."
"Oh, don't go!" said Cho, sounding tearful again. "I'm really sorry to get all upset like this ... I didn't mean to ..."
She hiccuped again. She was very pretty even when her eyes were red and puffy. Harry felt thoroughly miserable. He'd have been so pleased with just a "Merry Christmas."
"I know it must be horrible for you," she said, mopping her eyes on her sleeve again. "Me mentioning Cedric, when you saw him die ... I suppose you just want to forget about it?"
Harry did not say anything to this; it was quite true, but he felt heartless saying it. (21.135-140)
This dialogue is just one (among many) that demonstrates exactly how doomed a relationship between Harry and Cho would be: Harry was there when Cho's ex-boyfriend died less than a year ago! That's way too much baggage for teenage dating to handle. Why does J.K. Rowling decide to continue on with the Cho/Harry romance at all? What does their romance add to the plot of Book 5? How would Book 5 be different without Harry's relationship problems?