Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’: Chapter 38

In the thirty-eighth (and final) chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Ministry of Magic publicly states that Lord Voldemort is back as the wizarding world prepares for the next great battle against the Death Eaters. Harry, still filled with grief, begins to approach his pain in healthy ways. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


Dear diary,

I miss Sirius. I miss seeing his goofy smile whenever he had a mischievous thought, even if he didn’t act on it and even if he knew that it wouldn’t end well. It’s like when a puppy tears up the carpet and stares at you with that silly grin, knowing you can’t resist smiling in return.

I miss knowing that there’s someone my parents knew and trusted that was still around to take care of me. I know that they trusted people like Lupin and Moody and Tonks and Dumbledore, but it just doesn’t feel the same. In a way, I guess it feels like the last part of my family died with Sirius in that room.

I miss feeling like Ron and Hermione and I are all on the same page. I think I’ve been a bit unfair about how I’ve approached them the past year, because they’ve been with me through this journey for so long now. I know it’s been hard for them as well. But I can’t help but feel like sometimes I’m the sore thumb sticking out in the room, that they’re both thinking things about me, never saying them, but they understand that I’ve changed. That I’ll never be the same.

I hate the feeling I get when people ask me if I’m ok. It’s such a loaded, bogus question. No one really wants to know the answer and I’m tired of yelling at people or, alternatively, telling people I’m ok, when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and find someway to make the world go away, far away, as if I could push Hogwarts and Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix away, as if I could somehow will Voldemort out of existence, his followers disappearing with them, and I could just create an entire universe in my mind where Sirius and I live together in his his house in London, ordering Kreacher around and then making silly jokes behind his back, watching Sirius as he tells me more stories about his youth and what it was like that year on the run, while I drink a butterbeer and stay up past any reasonable hour and I laugh too much and too hard at all his jokes, but not because I’m being insincere, but because I feel whole and I feel happy.

I don’t feel whole and I don’t feel happy.

I miss the days when I thought Malfoy was just a bully who wanted to pick on people he thought were less of a person than he was. I hate knowing what his father is and knowing that I’ll have to see him and Crabbe and Goyle again next year, knowing they’ve got even more motivation to attack me and my friends, to harm us and make us feel like less of a person, and knowing that it actually works. I hate knowing that there’s a strong possibility that people will support and cheer on the Malfoys, and that I’ll become yet another thing to hate, to despite, and to deride.

I miss Hagrid and being able to escape to his hut to run away from a world of stress. I miss Lupin’s teaching. I miss having someone like Mad-Eye Moody looking out for me, even if in the end it didn’t turn out as it should have. I miss the Weasley house. I miss Fred and George showing everyone that it’s ok to be different and to find a way to be happy outside of school.

I miss Sirius. Oh, I miss him so much. I hate that I can’t summon him in the mirror he gave me. I hate that he won’t come back as a ghost. I hate that I can’t just have one more conversation with him, so I can at least hug him and say goodbye and maybe crack a joke or two so we can bid farewell with a smile on our faces, instead of exchanging looks of terror as we both disappear from our own respective sight.

I’ve said goodbye to my friends for the summer. Well, at least part of it. I guess there’s some hope, knowing that Lupin, Tonks, and Moody are looking out for me, to make sure the Dursleys don’t treat me terribly, but I know it won’t be bearable. I’m sure I’ll want to leave Privet Drive within a few days, but I guess it’s comforting to know that some people care about.

Yeah, I guess it’s not that bad, at least not now. At least I have friends and at least I can have something to look forward to.

I guess that’s the best I can do. Just hope for the best and take whatever life throws my way. I suppose.

I know you can’t see this, but…’bye, Sirius. I’ll miss you. A lot.



Our next liveblog will take place on Saturday, September 11th, at 10AM PST. (Consult a world clock to find what time this will be in your time zone.) I’ve got a few things planned to post until then; the first review of Half-Blood Prince will go up on Sunday morning.

And now, a bit of tradition:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a novel wrought with frustration, angst, terror, and tragedy, and I greatly love it, so much so that it’s probably going to be my favorite book in the series, so haters, please familiarize yourself with the left-hand evacuation procedure as we continue into Book Six.

Goodbye, Sirius. I’ll miss you. A lot.