Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’: Chapter 7

In the seventh chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry goes to the Ministry of Magic with Mr. Weasley, in preparation for his expulsion hearing. There, Rowling excels at submersing us in a fully imagined world as she introduces the Ministry of Magic to us; it’s like the first time we visit Diagon Alley all over again. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


I tried thinking of an interesting way to review this chapter and even possibly extending the original draft, but I can’t figure out a way to do it beyond just quoting nearly every goddamn sentence here.

Guys. This shit rules so much. Remember that sense of wonder when Rowling first introduced us to Diagon Alley? And we saw how intricately detailed it was, so much so that it made it very easy for us to imagine this nonexistent place in our heads?

That’s what this chapter is for me.

She captures the insanity and the banal minutia of bureaucratic, Office Space-like working environments down to a T. From the way the hustle and bustle moves through the office, to the inherent frustration in all elevator rides, to the way certain departments decorate differently, to inside jokes, to the acceptance of shitty workspaces (Mr. Weasley’s in this case), to even the way memos are passed around: this is, hands down, some of Rowling’s best writing.

I’m not going to spend time elaborating on each of these points because it would honestly involve a whole lot of repeating on my part: OMG THIS IS SO ACCURATE, to OMG I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, to OMG I HAVE BEEN THERE, which really doesn’t provide much insight on my part.

Let’s have some fun with this, especially since it’ll allow me to participate fully in the comments without fear of spoilers:

What is your SINGLE favorite detail about the Ministry of Magic that is revealed in this chapter? YOU CAN ONLY PICK ONE NO CHEATING.

My submission for now: That they once used owls for transporting memos, but then there was too much shit on all the desks. AMAZING.

Your turn!