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Quotes

Quote #4

"She says that on no account whatsoever are you to take part in an illegal secret Defense Against the Dark Arts group. She says you'll be expelled for sure and your future will be ruined. She says there will be plenty of time to learn how to defend yourself later and that you are too young to be worrying about that right now. She also" (Sirius's eyes turned to the other two) "advises Harry and Hermione not to proceed with the group, though she accepts that she has no authority over either of them and simply begs them to remember that she has their best interests at heart." (17.219)

Mrs. Weasley is so concerned about the D.A. that she passes on this message to Ron, Harry, and Hermione through Sirius's Firecall. Now, we've gotten some background on why Mrs. Weasley is being so overprotective in Chapter 9, "The Woes of Mrs. Weasley." At the same time, her efforts to prevent the D.A. seem to us to be along the lines of Dumbledore shutting Sirius Black into Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Yes, on the face of it, she is protecting them. But the psychological stress of trying to go along with Professor Umbridge would be so great that they would all crack before too long. The D.A. is dangerous, but it's also necessary activity that gives them hope and energy.

Quote #5

Without preamble, Harry told his godfather every detail of the vision he had had, including the fact that he himself had been the snake who had attacked Mr. Weasley.

When he paused for breath, Sirius said, "Did you tell Dumbledore this?"

"Yes," said Harry impatiently, "but he didn't tell me what it meant. Well, he doesn't tell me anything any more."

"I'm sure he would have told you if it was anything to worry about," said Sirius steadily. (22.136-139)

We've spent most of this module talking about how reckless Sirius is – and we stand by that; he's kind of a loose cannon. At the same time, when Harry levels with Sirius about the vision he has had from the snake's perspective, Sirius doesn't say a word to Harry about what the Order suspects about Harry's link to Voldemort. He does treat Harry as someone who must be protected from the truth. Does this seem out of character to you? Why does Sirius not share information with Harry at this point? How would it change the novel if Sirius did spill the beans about Harry's relationship to Voldemort?

Quote #6

"Well, for a first attempt that was not as poor as it might have been," said Snape, raising his wand once more. "You managed to stop me eventually, though you wasted time and energy shouting. You must remain focused. Repel me with your brain and you will not need to resort to your wand."

"I'm trying," said Harry angrily, "but you're not telling me how!"

“Manners, Potter," said Snape dangerously. (24.198-200)

What do you think of Professor Snape's teaching style as he tries to instruct Harry in Occlumency? Could you have figured out Occlumency from Snape's teaching? Why does Harry find Occlumency so difficult? Is it Professor Snape in particular, or is it Harry's own approach to Occlumency? Does Harry's struggles with Occlumency tell you anything about his character?

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