The Order of the Phoenix
By Ian Striz
Another main activity the Order of the Phoenix has engaged in is the recruitment of other members, most significantly members of other species to aid them in their battle against Voldemort. Hagrid failed in his first attempt to enlist the giants and convince them to see Dumbledore’s vision. That does not mean all is lost; he has made progress with his brother Grawp. It may be possible for them to make another pilgrimage to the giants and convince some to come to the aid of the Order and the magical community, or at least to convince them not to side with Voldemort and stay neutral.
It is not clear what effect Bill’s injuries will have on his ability to continue gauging the goblins. We can assume that he will be able to go back to his job, but it will be difficult for him to keep the nature of his injuries secret, especially if they have a long-term effect. His appearance will likely make those he comes across more wary. If it is known that those are scars from werewolf bites, he will likely face the same stigma as Lupin, at least to some degree. Do the goblins have prejudices against werewolves? There is nothing that says they do or don’t, though it is possible they’ll be more cautious around him. The one good thing is that the goblins have so far seemed loath to get involved in the conflict anyway; and it will probably take a compelling reason for them to side one way or another. This would be an attack by Voldemort, or restrictive Ministry legislation.
Lupin will probably still be allowed in the werewolf community. His participation in the Battle of the Prophecy did not stop him from going about and trying to convince people of Dumbledore’s point of view. Of course, Fenrir Greyback wasn’t at that battle; he was at Hogwarts. Fenrir’s presence alone increases Lupin’s peril among the werewolves. In addition, now that Dumbledore is gone, Lupin has lost one of his main bargaining chips. It may have been possible for some werewolves to believe that Dumbledore had the power and influence to change people’s views; now that he is gone those who hoped may despair. Lupin will continue to try, though it is not likely he will have any more success than he apparently has to this point.
We have not seen a whole lot of the other witches and wizards’ attempts to recruit others of their kind. Charlie is surely plugging along in Central Europe. Arthur and the rest of the Ministry gang will continue to work on their peers. The recruitment of new wizards and witches for the Order is also likely to be influenced by the loss of Dumbledore. Dumbledore was a charismatic and influential leader. As explained before, each of his potential successors will have their own problems to overcome. With Dumbledore gone, people who were on the fence before may now shy away from action. The people who are likely to join would be those who have been directly affected by Voldemort or the Death Eaters (possibly through the loss of a loved one), recent graduates of Hogwarts, especially members of Dumbledore’s Army, or people who strongly believe in the ideas the group is founded on.
Of the Hogwarts students who have recently graduated, and are assumed to be eligible to join the Order, some will or may join; and we can list those with varying degrees of certainty. The first are obviously Fred and George. They have already expressed interest in joining. Even though they dropped out of school, they are now of age and past the point where they would have graduated. Many members of Dumbledore’s Army were in Harry’s year or younger, so the majority of them aren’t eligible. It is unclear whether any of the others would join up if approached. An argument could be made for Cho Chang to join the Order. She has perhaps the greatest personal motivation to do something in the fight against Voldemort: the death of Cedric Diggory. Katie Bell is also a possibility. She was severely injured by Death Eater activity, which may motivate her to become active.
Beyond recruitment and spying, we have seen the Order do more guarding than anything else. They guard the Department of Mysteries throughout the book bearing their name, and Hogwarts throughout Half-Blood Prince. They have spent the most time guarding Harry Potter, even during the years of their hibernation. Will these activities continue?
Their presence at Hogwarts will probably be similar to the previous year. After the attack on the school, if it stays open the Ministry will be pressured to increase their own protection around and in the school. They do this with dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and with spells and Aurors in Half-Blood Prince, and can be assumed to have to heighten it even more throughout the seventh book. The way the Order will be involved with this is by having members who are assigned by the Ministry because of their jobs to guard the school. This is not including the teachers who are there and are members of the Order.
The Order will certainly try to continue to guard and protect Harry Potter, but this will be much more difficult than it has been in the past. He has stated privately his intent to drop out of school and devote himself full-time to defeating Lord Voldemort. What makes this problematic for the Order of the Phoenix is that he has not told them what his mission is, and may not be inclined to check in with them and let him know where he is going. Dumbledore didn’t tell anyone but Harry about the Horcruxes, and ordered Harry not to say anything to anyone. Harry flatly refused to tell McGonagall about them after Dumbledore was killed. Not only will he be hard to follow, he will resist their efforts to follow and protect him. They may actually harm his efforts or alienate him by trying.
That is assuming he does what he says and drops out of school. If he were to change his mind and go back to school, guarding him would be much easier for the Order. He will certainly leave the school from time to time to go after a Horcrux, and these times will make it hard for the Order to guard him constantly. However, it is likely they will continue to try to guard him whenever possible, whether he wants them to or not.
Dumbledore’s death may spur the Order to take some new and different actions. There will most definitely be an urge to go after Snape, and other Death Eaters, for revenge. If we knew more about how they reacted to the deaths of their comrades during the 1970s, we could speculate more certainly on whether or not they will go on the offensive. One difference between 1970 and 1996 in the books is Dumbledore’s death. With his absence, their sense of urgency will rise. They may advocate and choose a more aggressive course of action, no matter who the leader is, simply because they will feel the need to do something before Voldemort can take full advantage of the loss of Dumbledore. What this could mean for the Order is a more visible, public role. Their status as a secret society will be hurt if they seek out Death Eaters, capture or kill them, and turn them in. The Ministry would become more aware of them, their members, and their activities. The public would become aware of their existence. By taking a hard vigilante stance, the Order would be opening itself up to more vocal and stronger Ministry opposition.
That may be a risk they are willing to take, or one that they feel is necessary. However, this course of action is not a foregone conclusion. As far as we know, Dumbledore did not advocate it while he was alive; the members will remember this and it may continue to influence their decisions. They know the names of many Death Eaters from past experience and Harry’s report from the graveyard. They could have gone after them at any time. They didn’t, so we can assume that Dumbledore prevented it. Will they continue to take that approach now that he is gone? We can’t know until we have the book in our hands.
Another potential realm of new activity is to directly help Harry in his quest. The Order was passive in regards to him in the past; they simply watched over him. Now that Dumbledore is dead and Harry has inherited some of his work, they Order may feel the need to take an active approach to helping him. As with guarding him, though, they will find this a difficult thing to do well if he doesn’t tell them what he’s up to. If he does take that step, and reveals his task to one or more members, that opens up this realm of possibility. There is virtually no way that, given the opportunity, they would refuse him help if he asked or they thought he needed it. The problem for the Order in this is that it all hinges on what Harry chooses to do; and that is something completely out of their control.
In the aftermath of Dumbledore’s death, the Order of the Phoenix finds itself faced with a multitude of problems to address. Among these are leadership, information gathering, recruitment, and their main activities. How they respond to these issues and questions will be pivotal in their efforts to continue as an effective force in the resistance of Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. They will be hurt in many ways by the loss of Dumbledore, but are built on a solid foundation of principles and ideals; and are supported by a strong core of zealots, dedicated to the cause. In order to endure and to remain effective they must choose a leader wisely, quickly rebound from the loss of their most important spy, redouble their efforts to recruit new members and woo other species, and decide what their next course of action or actions should be, and carry them out. The speculation in this chapter is just that: speculation. Though it is based on what we have seen the Order and its members do in the past, it does not presuppose that we have seen everything they’ve been up to, nor does it imply that Rowling hasn’t already decided these issues. Quite to the contrary, she likely has. Still, it is fun to think and guess about what may happen to the characters we have come to love, or loathe, while we wait anxiously for the end of this tale that has us all captivated.
1. Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN interview Part One.”
2. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 834.
3. Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN interview Part Three.”
4. Rowling, “ ‘Cub reporter’ press conference.”
Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part One," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. http://www.leakynews.com/#static:tlcinterviews/jkrhbp1.
———. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. http://www.leakynews.com/#static:tlcinterviews/jkrhbp3.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005.
———. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.
———. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. “Edinburgh ‘cub reporter’press conference.” ITV, 16 July 2005. Transcript, Quick Quotes Quill. http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2005/0705-edinburgh-ITVcubreporters.htm.