Clearly not photoshopped at all... (((cough)))
Don’t get me wrong, I think I have a pretty awesome group of friends. They show up to all my plays and pretend to like them (even the really boring ones), help me move and assemble my Ikea furniture (and my bed hasn’t fallen apart yet), and even read long rambling blogs like this one. But five books into the Harry Potter series, and I have to say if anyone has a ridiculously (unrealistically) amazing group of friends, it’s Harry. It’s one thing to ask your buddies to squeeze your queen size mattress up a winding Philadelphia row home staircase (thanks guys, by the way); it’s another thing entirely to ask them to fly off to the Ministry of Magic to battle the Dark Lord. How do you pay your friends back for something like that? Beer and pizza just doesn’t seem to cut it.
Why do Harry’s friends sign-on for all these crazy adventures? You know what? No – I’m not going to call them “crazy adventures”, because that’s like saying they all agreed to go skydiving or something. Why do Harry’s friends sign-on for all these suicide missions? It was one thing when they were too young to really understand they could die, but they are fully aware in Order of the Phoenix that they could zap out of existence with the flick of a wand. Why go through with it?
One explanation seems to be that Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Neville are part of Gryffindor, so it’s in their nature. Luna, on the other hand, is just Luna. I don’t think that’s enough of a reason, though. Hermione and Ron clearly care about Sirius, but not in the same way as Harry. And while all of them support Harry, they didn’t have the “vision” of Sirius and Voldemort and they don’t even seem to fully believe it was true when they head off to the Ministry.
Maybe the explanation is simply that Harry has a group of brave friends who will have his back no matter what. I guess that’s a good enough reason, but part of me still wants a little something more. At least with Neville we can see a grudge toward Voldemort and a need to prove himself to everyone. Ginny doesn’t seem to want to be left behind and wants to assert herself as one of the group. Luna seems brightly up for anything anyone tosses her way. And Ron and Hermione are probably used to this sort of thing by now. Perhaps that’s all there is to it. Perhaps that’s the reason why this select few battle the Death Eaters at the end, as oppose to the entirety of Dumbledore’s Army. I’d expect a much better explanation for why all those students, many who have not particular allegiance to Harry, would blindly follow him into battle.
Throughout the series, Harry keeps finding himself alone. He is ousted and villianized, isolated and beaten. Almost every parental figure in his life is taken away (more on that in another entry). Maybe he has incredibly supportive friends because he needs incredibly supportive friends. Eventually, he will have to go it alone, but there’s no need to go it alone at this point. That would just be sad.
I love Ralph Fiennes, even when he looks like this handsome fella with no nose
While we’re on the topic of Harry’s absurdly fantastic friends, how about that final battle? It was nice to see the Order of the Phoenix come back and kick ass, but the real part worth focusing on his how well the kids did against the Death Eaters. Fictionalized battles between adults and children sometimes take on a Tom & Jerry air, with the sneaky children tripping up the bumbling adults, followed by an obligatory laugh track and a wailing “Wha, wha, whaaa…aw, shucks!”
That was not the case with the battle in the Department of Mysteries. Quite the contrary, in fact. I mean, I knew none of the kids died during this scene (since they’re all back for Half-Blood Prince), but I still found myself getting nervous. Yes, I was nervous at a fiction book…when I knew everything would turn out okay…don’t judge me.
Still, I found it impressive how skillfully (and somewhat haphazardly) the kids were able to fend off the Death Eaters. In the end, they were mostly down for the count and there was absolutely no way they would have been able to win on their own, but they had a good showing, which makes me hope we’ll have some more incredible battles later in the series.
The hero of the battle, of course, was Dumbledore. The hero is always Dumbledore – which means it’s going to be that much more interesting when Dumbledore is no longer in the game.
But we’re not quite there yet.
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Why is everyone so fond of Ron? (Don’t answer that… I’m sure it will come up later in the series).