Fallen Warrior

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Chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Fallen Warrior← Chapter 4 | Chapter 6 →

Synopsis[edit]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Pathetic, pathetic! With the whole wide world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey? {Fred, to George Weasley}

After Harry and Hagrid land heavily at Ted Tonks's residence, Harry is treated for his injuries. Ted Tonks tells Harry that Voldemort was unable to kill Harry because the Order placed protective charms around the Tonks' house, causing Voldemort and the Death Eaters to "disappear" as Harry neared it. Hagrid, who was last seen sprawled on the ground unconscious, appears at the door, reassuring Harry. Ted Tonks' wife, Andromeda, who follows him to the door, looks so much like her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange, that Harry briefly hunts for his wand in self-defence.

The hairbrush Portkey in Tonks' bedroom transports Harry and Hagrid to The Burrow where Order members are to meet. Only Mrs. Weasley and Ginny are there when Harry arrives. Hearing what happened, Mrs. Weasley is distraught—two other groups, Tonks with Ron, and Arthur Weasley with Fred, were scheduled to arrive earlier than Harry.

Remus Lupin arrives next with George, whose ear has been severed by Snape's Dark curse that has left an irreparable wound. Believing an Order member betrayed them, Lupin tests Harry's identity, asking, "What creature sat in the corner the first time that Harry Potter visited my office at Hogwarts?" Harry correctly answers that it was a Grindylow, assuring Lupin he is the genuine Harry Potter. Lupin believes that Harry casting Expelliarmus probably identified him to the Death Eaters; it has become recognized as Harry's predictable signature spell, as he had used it successfully against Voldemort two years before. Lupin firmly insists that Harry use stronger defensive spells.

When Kingsley Shacklebolt and Hermione arrive, Lupin also verifies Shacklebolt's identity. Mr. Weasley and Fred arrive next, followed by Tonks and Ron on their broomsticks. They were delayed after encountering Bellatrix Lestrange and her husband, Rodolphus, who they seriously injured.

Shacklebolt departs, saying he is overdue at Downing Street. Bill Weasley and his fiancée, Fleur Delacour, arrive, but they are the last pair. Missing are "Mad Eye" Moody, who was killed by Voldemort as Moody's companion, Mundungus Fletcher, fled the scene. Mundungus is the suspected traitor, but that is quickly discounted, as Voldemort knew nothing about the Harry Potter decoys, which was Mundungus' suggestion.

Harry suddenly announces that he is endangering the others and must leave. Everyone immediately objects, insisting Voldemort cannot possibly know his location. Beleaguered, Harry wanders into the garden. Pain suddenly erupts in his scar, and he sees Voldemort torturing Mr. Ollivander, the wand-maker. Voldemort demands to know why Lucius Malfoy's wand failed against Harry and how Harry's wand could have destroyed it. Ron and Hermione arrive and also entreat Harry to stay. Harry shares his vision, though Hermione urges him to close his mind from Voldemort.

Analysis[edit]

While this chapter stresses action and plot more than character, Mad Eye's death is not only a great loss to the Order of the Phoenix, but it has a profound effect on Harry, who resists having others risk their lives to protect him. Harry, however, is still unable to fully comprehend that Voldemort threatens the entire Wizarding community, not only him, or that the Dark Lord cannot be defeated by one person alone. Voldemort now appears to have the greater advantage, and his power is growing. The Death Eaters knew exactly when and where Harry would be moved; the Order barely survived the attack, and at a great cost. It seems the Order's tight security has been breached: despite meticulous preparation, the secret plan to move Harry to a safe house was leaked, indicating a spy may be within the Order of the Phoenix. If that is true, it would seem to be someone with close ties to Snape, as he provided Voldemort with the information about the Order's plan. Order member Mundungus Fletcher, a rather disreputable character, was initially suspected, though his loyalty has never been doubted until now. However, this idea is quickly discounted because Voldemort and the Death Eaters knew nothing about the Harry decoys, which Mundungus suggested. Who, then, tipped off Snape, and through him, Voldemort?

Lupin scolds Harry for reacting too mildly and predictably during the attack, character traits his enemies previously exploited and that tragically contributed to Sirius Black's death at the Ministry of Magic. Because Harry cast Expelliarmus, a simple disarming spell, rather than a stronger defensive one, during the graveyard duel, Death Eaters have identified it as his signature move. Thus, when Harry used it against Stan Shunpike during the pursuit, the pursuing Death Eaters immediately recognized him and summoned Voldemort. Harry's argument that he was protecting Shunpike, who he believed was only acting under the Imperius Curse, does little to sway Lupin's opinion, and it may indicate that Harry is still too young and inexperienced to be a full-fledged Order of the Phoenix member. It is also uncertain if Harry is willing or able to change, having always found comfort and strength in familiarity. However, if Voldemort is to be defeated, it would seem that Harry must find new strategies.

Harry also shows how alone and apart he feels by wanting to leave the safe house in a misguided effort to protect others, though his departure would do little to save anyone or alter the war's overall course. While it is not stressed in this chapter, it is perhaps a key point: Harry still seems convinced that Dumbledore's mission is his alone, despite Dumbledore earlier encouraging him to confer with Ron and Hermione, and also others, throughout the previous six years. This is a natural reaction to Moody's death and George's injury; Harry felt initially, and still feels, that he never earned his fame, and likewise believes he hardly merits the efforts made in his protection, especially as those efforts are now clearly endangering his friends and allies. Harry has yet to realize that his presence does not significantly increase the danger to those he cares about; Voldemort will kill all opposing him, and the Order would be battling Voldemort even without Harry's presence. Harry, however, is the "chosen one", and he has become a guiding light that helps unite and sustain hope to those fighting the Dark Lord.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Review[edit]

  1. Snape was able to heal Draco Malfoy's cuts from the Sectumsempra spell in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Why are Mr. and Mrs. Weasley unable to regrow George's ear that was severed by the same spell?
  2. Why does Harry want to leave The Burrow? Is that a wise decision? What stops him?
  3. Why does Harry always act so predictably? What does Lupin tell him?

Further Study[edit]

  1. Did a traitor within the Order of the Phoenix tip off Snape and Voldemort about Harry leaving the Dursleys? If so, who might that be?
  2. If there is not a traitor within the Order, how could Voldemort have uncovered the secret plan?
  3. Why would Voldemort be holding Mr. Ollivander prisoner?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Harry's choosing to see Voldemort's thoughts dismays Hermione, as well she should be; it was through that channel that Voldemort implanted the false vision leading to Sirius' death in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. However, Voldemort found Harry's mind an extremely uncomfortable place to occupy; Harry's love for Sirius and others drove him out. Dumbledore believed Voldemort closed that avenue in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because he was unable to cope with Harry's memories and emotions. Harry believes if he remains aware that false images can be implanted, Voldemort will be unable to deceive him again, though Hermione and Ron are skeptical. Unknown to Voldemort, Harry will occasionally glimpse the Dark Lord's thoughts, eventually at will, throughout the book, and these images will prove invaluable.

Mad Eye Moody is presumably killed in the attack by Death Eaters, though Order of the Phoenix members never locate his body. Harry will later recover Moody's magical eye from Dolores Umbridge's office in the Ministry of Magic, but it is unknown if the Death Eaters actually found his corpse. This leaves open the faint possibility that Mad Eye may have survived the attack, leaving the eye where it could be found, and is now in hiding. Even Ron believes he may still be alive and has hidden himself somewhere, though Harry and Hermione are doubtful. Considering how paranoid Moody had become, it would hardly be surprising that he would conceal himself, even from friends and allies, and probably for long after the war ended. Moody could, therefore, reappear in a future Harry Potter sequel (if Rowling should write one). Mad Eye makes one final appearance in this novel, however; when Harry, Hermione, and Ron take refuge at Grimmauld Place, Moody's voice "greets" them as they enter—it is one of the jinxes that guards the former Order of the Phoenix headquarters from intruders. Dumbledore's moldering image, another jinx, will also appear at Grimmauld Place. Rowling may be dropping subtle clues that the last has not been heard or seen from Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody or Albus Dumbledore.

George's severed ear may actually foreshadow a more tragic event involving the Weasley family later in the book