| Quote #1
"Harry's not a member of the Order of the Phoenix!" said Mrs. Weasley. "He's only fifteen and —"
"And he's dealt with as much as most in the Order," said Sirius, "and more than some."
"No one's denying what he's done!" said Mrs. Weasley, her voice rising, her fists trembling on the arms of her chair. "But he's still —"
"He's not a child!" said Sirius impatiently.
"He's not an adult either!" said Mrs. Weasley, the color rising in her cheeks. "He's not James, Sirius!" (5.105-10
Harry loves that Sirius treats him like an equal. And Mrs. Weasley is disastrously overprotective in the first couple of chapters of this novel, probably because she is so worried about what is going to happen to her family now that Voldemort is rising again. But the thing is, we do think that Mrs. Weasley is partly right: Sirius is getting confused about who Harry truly is. He encourages Harry to be as reckless and impulsive as possible. But Harry's recklessness drives him to the Department of Mysteries when he has no reason to be there. If Sirius had treated Harry more like a son and less like a partner in crime, a lot of things could have been avoided. J.K. Rowling comments, "I see Sirius as someone who was a case of arrested development. I think you see that from his relationship with Harry in Phoenix. He kind of wants a mate from Harry, and what Harry craves is a father. Harry's kind of outgrowing that now. Sirius wasn't equipped to give him that" (source).
| Quote #2
Harry did not read any further. Fudge might have had many faults, but Harry found it extremely hard to imagine him ordering goblins to be cooked in pies. He flicked through the rest of [The Quibbler]. Pausing every few pages, he read: an accusation that the Tutshill Tornados were winning the Quidditch League by a combination of blackmail, illegal broom-tampering and torture; an interview with a wizard who claimed to have flown to the moon on a Cleansweep Six and brought back a bag of moon frogs to prove it; and an article on ancient runes which at least explained why Luna had been reading The Quibbler upside-down. According to the magazine, if you turned the runes on their heads they revealed a spell to make your enemy's ears into kumquats. In fact, compared to the rest of the articles in The Quibbler, the suggestion that Sirius might really be the lead singer of The Hobgoblins was quite sensible. (10.144)
The Quibbler is basically the wizarding equivalent of The Globe or The National Enquirer: a tabloid that no one really believes. Yet, it keeps publishing. What do people get out of reading tabloids? Are there people out there who truly believe those wild tabloid stories? Or do they just get a kick out of reading farfetched headlines?
| Quote #3
"They're hats for house-elves," she said briskly, now stuffing her books back into her bag. "I did them over the summer. I'm a really slow knitter without magic but now I'm back at school I should be able to make lots more."
"You're leaving out hats for the house-elves?" said Ron slowly. "And you're covering them up with rubbish first?"
"Yes," said Hermione defiantly, swinging her bag on to her back.
"That's not on," said Ron angrily. "You're trying to trick them into picking up the hats. You're setting them free when they might not want to be free." (13.62-65)
Two things about this quote: first, Harry's fights with Ron and Hermione are so dire that we sometimes overlook how much Ron and Hermione squabble in Book 5. They fight over house-elf rights, over Fred and George, and over Professor Snape. So, clearly that teenage angst that's weighing Harry down is getting to Ron and Hermione too, just in smaller portions. Second, Hermione is continuing her house-elf advocacy that she starts in Book 4. How do you feel about her house-elf work? Why does this particular cause seem so important to her? What does her house-elf work tell you about Hermione's character?