Out of all of the books in the Harry Potter series, Order of the Phoenix is by far my favorite. Book 5 addresses many painfully realistic issues such as corrupt authority figures (Umbridge and Fudge), mental health issues (Harry’s low points throughout the novel, especially when he snaps in Dumbledore’s office) and the trauma of losing somebody close to you. My favorite moment in this book is the scene where Harry’s familial love for Sirius shines through, so much so that he unwittingly drives Voldemort out of his body despite the villain’s attempt to perfectly possess him.
Death is Nothing
During the climatic battle between the Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort’s Death Eaters, the much anticipated battle between the two strongest wizards of the world finally happens when Dumbledore confronts Voldemort in the heart of the Ministry of Magic. As expected. Dumbledore ends up driving Voldemort into a corner, and seemingly wins when Voldemort vanishes. However, any sense of victory vanishes when Dumbledore panics, albeit too late, as Voldemort somehow possesses Harry out of nowhere.
Using Harry’s mouth to speak, Voldemort mocks and taunts Dumbledore, attacking the wise wizard’s belief that “death is nothing”. From within the possession, Harry silently pleads for Dumbledore to kill him, agreeing with his protector that death is nothing, at least compared to the horrific agony Voldemort’s possession is putting him through.
And then, amidst his agony, Harry realizes that if he dies, his death really will mean nothing, because it ultimately means that he’ll be reunited permanently with Sirius.
The resulting surge of love for Sirius within him forcibly purges Voldemort from within him, exposing the villain to the Minister of Magic, thereby proving to the entire wizarding world that Voldemort has, indeed, returned.
In this instant, any fear of death that Harry might have had was immediately swept away by his undying familial love for his godfather Sirius Black, a powerful emotion that somebody as hate-filled as Voldemort could never comprehend.
I have personal reasons for cherishing this moment so much. As I wrote in this post, my heart was broken when somebody I was once close with in middle school, a high school classmate of mine named Will, ended his life the August after our class graduated. For years, I kept thinking that I could’ve done something to stop him from making that choice, that I could’ve said something to change his mind. I ended up suffering from survivor’s guilt because I wouldn’t stop unfairly blaming myself for his death.
My refusal to let my self-imposed guilt go led to God giving me rapid series of overwhelming experiences in my dreams and through subtle signs in the waking world that Will was at peace, and that I needed to forgive myself. At the end, I finally allowed myself to admit to God that I desperately wanted to see Will again, to tell him the things that I never got to say, to hold him close and be with him. With this confession, my fear of death was permanently erased by my desire to be reunited with Will.
Just as Harry eventually accepted that he would one day be permanently reunited with Sirius and all the others he cherished, I’ve accepted that I’ll definitely one day join Will on the other side, in a place where grief will never haunt us ever again. I look forward to that reunion eagerly, and I know that I must be patient for that day.
God delivered this passage to me through my daily Bible app this morning to reiterate that promise:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)