It is raining. My window frames trembling leaves of every shade of green. The weather is perfect. Perfect to lose myself in a Harry Potter book. I imagine my home to be the school of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts itself, with the Forbidden forest right across the window!
The weather needn’t be this perfect for me to read a Harry Potter book. I can pick it up anytime and perfect conditions just happen. But reading “Order of Phoenix” (Book 5) hasn’t been easy-peasy, relaxing-with-a-cup-of-chai type of book so far. The book is dark and slightly depressing. Harry, the central character, is miffed most of the time. Most wizards and witches don’t trust his account of the Dark Lord’s return. They think he’s just a big show-off, cooking up stories to gain attention. He is spurred to shout or fight at the smallest push of his button. The lightning-shaped scar on his forehead (caused by Lord Voldemort when he tried to kill him years ago and which hurts whenever he is around or is enraged) now throbs with pain most of the time. Harry is seeing things no one is able to see except (loony) Luna Lovegood, a junior.
Dumbledore, the headmaster, believes his story and forms the secret “Order of Phoenix”, a group of wizards and witches against Lord Voldemort. The minister of magic, Cornelius Fudge, who actively disbelieves the story wants to overthrow Dumbledore from the position he holds at Hogwarts and the ministry. He sends the toad-like Prof. Umbridge as the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher to control the goings-on at school from outside. And she causes such misery to students and teachers alike, I began loathing her right from the moment she entered the picture. This book has a gloomy beginning as well, where Harry is attacked by the happiness-sucking Dementors and is almost expelled from Hogwarts for using magic against them. Everything, well, almost everything about this book has been gloomy so far. It’s not just my opinion. My sister feels the same too. And she blames me for her not wanting to sleep or cook lately because I suggested we do the series together. Hard as it has been to read, she is determined to see it through.
I always feel the itch to pick my tablet to read the e-book. But I’m unable to stick to it for long. Invisible hands pull me down and prevent me from forging ahead with the reading. I let books, their characters control me, transform me. I think of the characters as real and their stories move me, disturb me, haunt me. I’m still shaken by Cedric Diggory’s death in Book 4 and wonder how the rest of the school can move past the tragedy. And Harry was almost killed by Voldemort…..
Anyway, I’m determined to read the book. I’ll finish the series, no matter what. The going will be tough but I have my sister with me for the ride.