The fifth book in the Harry Potter series begins with Harry being attacked by Dementors as Dudley and he return home one late summer evening. Forced to use magic in order to ward off the attack, Harry receives a letter from the Ministry of Magic and is accused of underage magic and expulsion from Hogwarts. He is even subjected to a hearing at the Ministry of Magic and only after a witness testifies in his favour he is free to attend to Hogwarts and continue his schooling. At the Hearing, Harry meets the under-secretary, Dolores Umbridge, which will play an important negative role in the new school year.
As a consequence of the dark activity and the Dementor attack, Harry goes to a safe hiding place, the house of his godfather - Sirius Black. There, he meets his friends and is introduced to members of the Order of the Phoenix, a group of witches and wizards led by Dumbledore in attempt to fight Voldermort. At the headquarter, Harry finds out about the extensive campaign to discredit his name and claim that Voldermort is back. His emotions intensify as he experiences more dreams and scar pains related to Dark Lord’s activity. He demands more information from Dumbledore, but is denied in an uncharacteristically cold fashion by the Headmaster. Feeling more and more misunderstood and left out from the Order, Harry’s emotions grow and he finds himself experiencing more and more scar pains, dreams and also Voldermort’s emotions. Sirius becomes his confident and friend and helps Harry to understand the importance of training his mind and restraining from acting impulsively. Sirius is also bound to remain into hiding after Malfoy recognizes him, when disguised as a black dog. On this note of secrecy, Hermione, Ron and Harry begin their fifth year at Hogwarts.
The magical world seems oblivious to Voldermort’s return, and the Ministry of Magic interferes with Hogwarts educational politics, by instating Umbridge as Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. Umbridge is an avid power seeker and doesn’t miss any opportunity to gain power in Hogwarts, by forcing stupid decrees and laws. She even bans the use of courses in her class and uses barbaric methods on students that receive detention. Needless to say, she hates Harry and tries to force him to remain silent by having him in a long detention period and ultimately banning him from Quidditch and locking away his broom. As a reaction to all the restrictions set by Umbridge, Hermione, Ron and Harry create a secret group, Dumbledore’s Army, in order to practice Defence against Dark Arts. The group has members from different houses, and they meet in secrecy.
After Harry experiences a dream in which he sees Voldermort attacking Mr. Weasley, Dumbledore urges him to start training Oclumency with Professor Snape in order to close his mind from Voldermort’s influence. Harry ignores the practice of closing his mind and is constantly haunted by nightmares in which he goes in the Department of Mysteries and searches for a weapon. In one of the meetings with Snape he breaks into one of Snape’s early memories, and sees the young professor being tormented by James Potter (Harry’s father) and his group of friends. Feeling the urge to better understand his father’s behaviour he contacts Sirius in order to hear the story from him. Slowly he realises that everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect, and he too must try to contain his anger, frustration and negative emotions.
Without the practice of controlling his mind and emotions, Harry believes one nightmare in which he sees Sirius being held captive in the Department of Mysteries. Unable to contact Sirius he decides to go and save him. He is accompanied by Hermione, Ron, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom in their attempt to break into the Ministry of Magic and rescue Sirius. Only after the group succeeds in retrieving a prophecy concerning Voldermort and Harry, did they realize that they have been lured into a trap. Death Eaters appear and try to steal the prophecy and in the fight Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville and Luna are injured, and the prophecy is destroyed. Coming to Harry’s help Sirius, Lupin and Mad Eye Moody alongside a group of Aurors appear. Unfortunately, by the time Dumbledore appears Sirius is killed, but he is successful in withholding Voldermort and catching the group of Death Eaters. Following this battle in the Ministry of Magic, the officials, led by the Minister – Cornelius Fudge, are forced to recognize the return of the Dark Lord and take action.
In this book, we see the maturation process of emotions and also the need to contain impulses whilst listening to the advice of other. We are forced to trust our loved ones even when they don’t share the full information. Without this trust we are bound to make mistakes, possibly costing us more than just our pride. In Harry’s case his mistake of failing to listen to the advice of his mentor and friends led to Sirius’s death. This left him with a feeling of emptiness and the realisation that he contributed to his godfather’s demise.
A moral idea of the book is that we need to contain our impulses and also listen to the advice of others even if we think we are misunderstood or nobody feels the way we feel about a particular experience. We are not alone and the greatest power that we have in overcoming any challenge is to love, trust and listen wholeheartedly to our friends and mentors. I believe everyone (myself included) needs to remind her/himself that s/he is not alone and that we can ask for help or receive advice even if we think we don’t need it. Extra knowledge and advice from others are signs that people care about us and our well-being.