Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’: Chapter 32

In the thirty-second chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry panics when he realizes that Sirius is being tortured by Lord Voldemort. In his quest to do something, he’s convinced by Hermione to actually make sure Sirius is gone and his friends create a distraction so he can use Umbridge’s office. And then everything goes to hell. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


Everything has changed. Order of the Phoenix is now rapidly barreling towards its endgame and it’s now in hyperspeed because of this chapter and the events in it that change virtually everything I’d thought about this whole book.

Shit isn’t just real; it’s severely fucked up.

Harry’s urgent need to do something about the dream/vision/whatever we want to call these things at this point inspires him, when telling Hermione and Ron what just happened, to ask how on earth they’re supposed to get inside the Department of Mysteries.

Unexpectedly, however, Hermione takes the opportunity to call out Harry on something that, despite being uncomfortable, sort of needed to happen.

  • “Okay,” she said, looking frightened yet determined, “I’ve just got to say this….”


    “You..This isn’t a criticism, Harry! But you do…sort of…I mean–don’t you think you’ve got a bit of a–a–saving-people-thing?” she said.

    He glared at her. “And what’s that supposed to men, a ‘saving-people-thing’?”

    “Well…you…” She looked more apprehensive than ever. “I mean…last year, for instance…in the lake…during the Tournament…you shouldn’t have…I mean, you didn’t need to save that little Delacour girl….Yout got a bit…carried away…”

Oh, Hermione, you had a point, but your execution is terrible. Until she actually gets to her point:

  • “I’m trying to say–Voldemort knows you, Harry! He took Ginny down into the Chamber of Secrets to lure you there, it’s the kind of thing he does, he knows you’re the–the sort of person who’d go to Sirius’s aid! What if he’s just trying to get you into the Department of Myst–?”

What did we learn early in this book? Always listen to Hermione. Harry, despite that I do believe your visions are real, you need to stop discounting everything she says to you. She has a point.

She does, however, manage to convince Harry that he should at least attempt to contact Sirius, via Umbridge’s fire, while she, Ginny, Ron, and Luna act as lookouts and as distraction.

I’m going to skip ahead to when Harry manages to use the Floo powder to reach the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix because I’m ansty and I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN BETWEEN YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.

He reaches the HQ, but only Kreacher, the house-elf, seems to be around.

  • “Nobody here but Kreacher!” said the elf gleefully, and turning away from Harry he began to walk slowly toward the door at the end of the kitchen. “Kreacher thinks he will have a little chat with his Mistress now, yes, he hasn’t had a chance in a long time, Kreacher’s Master has been keeping him away from her–“

what the FUCK is going on? What does Kreacher know? Where’s Sirius or Moody or Lupin?

  • “But you know!” shouted Harry. “Don’t you? You know where he is!”

    There was a moment’s silence, then the elf let out his loudest cackle yet. “Master will not come back from the Department of Mysteries!” he said gleefully. “Kreacher and his Mistress are alone again!”

what the flying fuck is going on and WHAT DID KREACHER DO???


  • But before he could utter a single curse or insult, Harry felt a great pain at the top of his head. He inhaled a lot of ash and, choking, found himself being dragged backward through the flames until, with a horrible abruptness, he was staring up into the wide, pallid face of Professor Umbridge, who had dragged him backward out of the fire by the hair and was now bending his neck as far as it would go as though she was going to slit his throat.

Jesus fucking christ.

She confiscates Harry’s wand and learns that Hermione has been captured as well. Malfoy is also present, having taken Harry’s wand himself. Following this, we learn just how far into this shit Umbridge is, as a group of Slytherins bring Ron, Ginny, Luna, and Neville into the room. All of them are GAGGED.

The idea that Umbridge is openly using the Slytherins and the bullies to torment everyone else suggest just how evil she is. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong: something else would prove to me that there was not a single good fiber in her entire being.

After trying to interrogate Harry into confessing who he was trying to communicate with, she asks Malfoy to fetch Professor Snape. And Harry realizes his error:

  • He had just realized something; he could not believe he had been so stupid as to forget it. He had thought that all the members of the Order, all those who could help him save Sirius, were gone–but he had been wrong. There was still a member of the Order of the Phoenix at Hogwarts–Snape.


Snape arrives and Umbridge reveals her master plan: she wants to give Harry Veritaserum and interrogate him.

No. No. No. This is terrible.

  • “You took my last bottle to interrogate Potter,” he said, observing her coolly through his greasy curtains of black hair. “Surely you did not use it all? I told you that three drops would be sufficient.”

    Umbridge flushed.

    “You can make some more, can’t you?” she said, her voice becoming more sweetly girlish as it always did when she was furious.

    “Certainly,” said Snape, his lip curling. “It takes a full moon cycle to mature, so I should have it ready for you in around a month.”

    “A month?” squawked Umbridge, swelling toadishly. “A month? But I need it this evening, Snape! I have just found Potter using my fire to communicate with a person or persons unknown!”

    “Really?” said Snape, showing his first, faint sign of interest as he looked around at Harry. “Well, it doesn’t surprise me. Potter has never shown much inclination to follow school rules.”

I literally breathed a sigh of relief reading this, but I felt there was another subtext here. Does Snape know what’s going on?

  • “I have already told you,” said Snape smoothly, “that I have no further stocks of Veritaserum. Unless you wish to poison Potter–and I assure you I would have the greatest sympathy with you if you did–I cannot help you. The only trouble is that most venoms act too fast to give the victim much time for truth-telling….”


  • “You are on probation!” shrieked Professor Umbridge, and Snape looked back at her, his eyebrows slightly raised. “You are being deliberately unhelpful! I expected better, Lucius Malfoy always speaks most highly of you! Now get out of my office!”

UMBRIDGE, SNAPE DOESN’T CONTROL TIME. She’s slipping, guys, and this is terrifying me.

  • Snape gave her an ironic bow and turned to leave. Harry knew his last chance of letting the Order know what was going on was walking out the door.

    “He’s got Padfoot!” he shouted. “He’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden!”


  • Snape looked around at Harry. His face was inscrutable. Harry could not tell whether he understood or not, but he did not dare speak more plainly in front of Umbridge.


But Snape gives Harry no indication that he understood anything he just said. And I’m hoping he’s doing this so that Umbridge won’t suspect he knows anything. Or…this is all going to get worse.

Oh wait. It does.

  • “You are forcing me, Potter….I do not want to,” said Umbridge, still moving restlessly on the spot, “but sometimes circumstances justify the use…I am sure the Minister will understand that I had no choice….”

    Malfoy was watching her with a hungry expression on his face.

    “The Cruciatus Curse ought to loosen your tongue,” said Umbridge quietly.



  • “The Minister wouldn’t want you to break the law, Professor Umbridge!” cried Hermione.

    “What Cornelius doesn’t know wwon’t hurt him,” said Umbridge, who was now panting slightly as she pointed her wand at different parts of Harry’s body in turn, apparently trying to decide what would hurt the most. “He never knew I ordered dementors after Potter last summer, but he was delighted to be given the chance to expel him, all the same….”


my head. my head. my head.

  • Somebody had to act,” breathed Umbridge, as her wand came to rest pointing directly at Harry’s forehead. “They were all bleating about silencing you somehow–discrediting you–but I was the one who actually did something about it….Only you wriggled out of that one, didn’t you, Potter? Not today, though, not now…”

I can’t handle this. This is the worst thing ever.

  • And taking a deep breath, she cried, “Cruc–”

    “NO!” shouted Hermione in a cracked voice from behind Millicent Bulstrode. “No–Harry–Harry, we’ll have to tell her!”

    “No way!” yelled Harry, staring at the little of Hermione he could see.

    “We’ll have to, Harry, she’ll force it out of you anyway, what’s…what’s the point….?”

    And Hermione began to cry weakly into the back of Millicent Bulstrode’s robes.

Fuck this. Fuck everything. My god, Hermione, please, please, please do not let her win. This is it. This would be the end of everything and the only chance the Order of the Phoenix has to do anything about the oncoming war.

Umbridge jumps on the opportunity to exploit Hermione’s fear to get her to tell the truth. And it’s terrible and I honestly could not breathe during this entire section. And then:

  • “Well,” gulped Hermione into her hands, “well, he was trying to speak to Professor Dumbledore….”


  • “We…we wanted to tell him it’s r-ready!” choked Hermione.

    “What’s ready?” demanded Umbridge, and now she grabbed Hermione’s shoulders again and shook her slightly. “What’s ready, girl?”

    “The…the weapon,” said Hermione.

    “Weapon? Weapon?” said Umbridge, and her eyes seemed to pop with excitement. “You have been developing some method of resistance? A weapon you could use against the Ministry? On Professor Dumbledore’s orders, of course?”

I AM IN SHOCK. What is Hermione doing? This is brilliant, but WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?

As Umbridge continues to question Hermione more about this “weapon,” the High Inquisitor demands she take her to the weapon itself. And Hermione, who is my favorite of all characters to be a character, doesn’t miss a beat when Umbridge refuses to go see the weapon alone.

  • “Fine,” said Hermione, now sobbing into her hands again, “fine…let them see it, I hope they use it on you! In fact, I wish you’d invite loads and loads of people to come and see! Th-that would serve you right–oh, I’d love it if the wh-whole school knew where it was, and how to u-use it, and then if you annoy ny of them they’ll be able to s-sort you out!”


I am so lost. WHAT IS THIS.

  • “I am a fully qualified Ministry official, Malfoy, do you really think I cannot manage two wandless teenagers alone?” asked Umbridge sharply. “In any case, it does not sound as though this weapon is something that schoolchildren should see. You will remain here until I return and make sure none of these”–she gestured around at Ron, Ginny, Nevillie, and Luna–“escape.”

    “All right,” said Malfoy, looking sulky and disappointed.

    “And you two can go ahead of me and show me the way,” said Umbridge, pointing at Harry and Hermione with her wand. “Lead on….”

I know I’m not prepared and I know shit is going to get real. My head is spinning and I can’t believe what this book has come to.

This is so fucked up.