Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 38
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The Second War Begins
The Daily Prophet reports that Voldemort has returned.
The article quotes directly from Fudge, who admits that Lord "Thingy" (38.2) is back.
Fudge also acknowledges that the Dementors have left Azkaban to join Voldemort.
The Daily Prophet also calls Harry "A lone voice of truth ... perceived as unbalanced, yet never wavered in his story ... forced to bear ridicule and slander" (38.10).
Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Ginny, and Neville are all sitting in the hospital wing at Hogwarts catching up.
Hermione is still stuck in bed recovering from Dolohov's curse, but she's improving quickly.
Ginny tells them that Professor Flitwick has gotten rid of Fred and George's swamp at last, though he has left a bit of it roped off as a monument to such a good piece of magic.
Everything seems to have settled back down to normal.
Professor Umbridge is also lying in a bed in the hospital wing.
She seems to be in shock from her run-in with the centaurs.
Professor Trelawney is coming back to Hogwarts to teach Divination; she's going to be sharing duties with Firenze, the centaur (who still can't go back to his herd).
Harry hasn't told his friends the exact content of the prophecy yet, so they don't know that he's destined to either kill or be killed by Voldemort.
As Harry goes down to the Entrance Hall, he bumps into Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle.
Draco warns Harry that he's going to pay for what has happened to Lucius Malfoy (who is now in Azkaban).
After all, with the Dementors gone, Azkaban is going to be a lot easier to get out of.
Professor Snape comes over to interrupt the developing fight between the four.
Professor Snape tries to take points from Gryffindor, but there are actually no points left to take.
Professor McGonagall comes in just at this moment, returning from St. Mungo's mostly back to normal.
She awards fifty points apiece to Harry and his friends "for alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who" (38.73).
Professor Snape agrees gracelessly to this points addition, but he still takes ten points from Harry for fighting.
Professor McGonagall sends Harry outside to enjoy the sunshine.
He troops down to Hagrid's cabin, where Hagrid greets him happily.
Hagrid has been hiding in a cave in the mountains, but he's back now.
He also claims that Grawp has settled down lots, and Hagrid is considering finding him "a lady friend" (38.89).
Hagrid assures Harry that Sirius would have wanted to die like he did, in battle.
But Harry can't take this reassurance right now and leaves quickly.
He sits for a long time looking at the lake and thinking about Sirius.
Hermione and Ron are released from the hospital wing three days before the end of term.
Hermione keeps wanting to talk about Sirius, but Ron shushes her every time she brings him up.
Professor Umbridge leaves Hogwarts during dinnertime the night before the end of term, apparently in the hopes of going unnoticed.
But Peeves chases her from the premises "whacking her alternately with a walking stick and a sock full of chalk" (38.109).
Harry starts to pack up his stuff before the Leaving Feast.
As he packs, he finds the package Sirius gave him over Easter, which he never opened.
It's a two-way mirror that Harry could have used to talk to Sirius whenever he wanted.
Harry tries the mirror to see if he can get in touch with Sirius now, but of course he can't.
Then, Harry has an even better idea: he sprints out of the dormitory to find the ghost, Nearly Headless Nick.
Harry wants to ask Nearly Headless Nick, "it's just – you're dead. But you're still here, aren't you? [...] You died, but I'm talking to you ... you can walk around Hogwarts and everything, can't you?" (38.146-8).
Nearly Headless Nick agrees that he can walk around, but that's because he's a ghost. When the time came for him to move on, he was too afraid to see what comes next after death. So, he chose to stay around.
But, Nearly Headless Nick tells Harry, Sirius Black would never have made the same choice. Sirius Black has gone on, and no one knows what's waiting for us there.
Harry feels utterly miserable as he walks back to the dorms.
He bumps into Luna, who is putting up signs asking for the return of a lot of her books and clothes.
People take things from her to tease her because they think she's crazy.
Harry feels sorry for Luna.
He remembers that she can also see the Thestrals and asks Luna who she lost.
It was her mother. But, Luna continues, "I've still got Dad. And anyway, it's not as though I'll never see Mum again, is it?" (38.189).
Luna knows that Harry heard the voices on the other side of the veil, too.
They're just out of sight – not gone.
Harry feels a little bit better.
On the Hogwarts Express back to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle try to ambush Harry in the hallway.
Unfortunately for them, they plan their ambush right outside a compartment full of D.A. members.
The combined powers of Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Anthony Goldstein, and Terry Boot are way too much for Malfoy and his cronies.
Harry thanks them and heads back to his compartment.
Harry and Ron sit playing wizard chess while Hermione reads out bits of the Daily Prophet, which is "now full of articles about how to repel Dementors, attempts by the Ministry to track down Death Eaters, and hysterical letters claiming that the writer had seen Lord Voldemort walking past their house that very morning" (38.203).
War is on its way, comments Hermione. It's all starting.
Ron sees Cho walking past with her friend, Marietta.
Harry tells them that his relationship with Cho is over.
Hermione confirms that Cho is dating someone new: Michael Corner.
Ginny apparently dumped Michael when he got huffy after Gryffindow beat Ravenclaw in Quidditch.
Ron looks happy at this news. He wants Ginny to find someone better (and he looks at Harry as he says this).
Ginny asks if Ron thinks Dean Thomas is better?
Ron goes into protective-older-brother outrage.
At the station, Harry finds, Moody, Tonks, Lupin, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and Fred and George all waiting for them.
They want to have "a little chat" (38.230) with the Dursleys before Harry goes away for the summer.
Mr. Weasley tells Uncle Vernon, "We thought we'd just have a few words with you about Harry" (38.239).
Moody follows up, "Yeah [...] About how he's treated when he's at your place" (38.240).
They warn the Dursleys that if they hear any hint that Harry's being treated badly in their home, they'll have to answer to Harry's wizard friends.
Moody tells Harry, "give us a shout if you need us. if we don't hear from you for three days in a row, we'll send someone along" (38.255).
Aunt Petunia whimpers pathetically.
Lupin tells Harry to keep in touch, and Mrs. Weasley promises that they'll have Harry to visit at their house as soon as they can.
Harry is so choked up with feeling at this show of caring that all he can do is smile and wave goodbye to his friends.