Having Children Fight Your War Act 2

The feelings of reading the books change between the first three books and the last four. Not to mention that the children in the book are coming into their own more. While they are still very young. I mean Harry is 14 in Goblet of Fire, with Hermione being 15 and Ron being 15 for half of it. This story is also heartbreaking in the fact that Harry has never had friends until he was eleven. In Goblet of Fire he is let down by exactly everyone, Ron is jealous to the degree that if Harry had any other friends or a support system he would never have taken him back. Hermione to me is in some ways worse. She doesn’t seem to grasp how much Ron’s behaviour and the loss of friendship hurt Harry. She keeps trying to push Harry to ‘forgive’ Ron for his jealousy. Making it seem as if Harry is just too stubborn to admit he needs to forgive Ron. Harry in this did nothing wrong. But if you are told every day you are the wrong one you eventually believe it. We have already seen that adults are not there for Harry and the consequences of these behaviours. These types of friends reinforce the belief that Harry is alone. I am not saying they are horrible friends full stop. They show wonderful behaviour sometimes but just because you are not a terrible friend does not mean you are the best friend someone could have. I mention this to show why Harry is perceptible to Dumbledore’s instructions in later books. With that being said, let’s get back to Dumbledore.

Blame game
Harry blames Voldemort for living with the Dursley’s and while that can be argued. I disagree. Yes, Tom killed James and Lily. But Tom didn’t kidnap Harry and deposit him on the doorstep of the Dursley’s. Tom did not give evidence against apparently the only person who wanted to fight for Harry. Nor did he force Harry to go back to his abusers year after year. Alright, Tom was the reason all of that started but the person who did it was Dumbledore. Harry is only fourteen and hasn’t thought this all the way through. Which is that he needs an adult who is allowed to be around to teach him how to think critically (GOF: 2,17). Harry feels he has no one that takes him seriously or someone that he can confide in (GOF: 2, 18/19). Which will be true for the rest of the time we know him. If you ever doubt if Harry was abused just remember that he knows what it is like to be continuously hungry (GOF: 28, 462). Which is something no child should know.

Knowledge gained and shared 
Have we already talked about the fact that everyone knows what Harry looks like and that his scar is internationally famous (GOF: 8, 84)? This means it was either McGonagall, Hagrid, or Dumbledore showing photos or sketches of baby Harry with it most likely being Hagrid. But if Hagrid cannot even keep his mouth shut for important things like a child’s safety Dumbledore should have put a vow or tong-tying curse in place. Everyone knows everything about Harry but Harry knows nothing about anything. An example is that he does not know what the dark mark looks like (GOF: 9, 110). Again, he doesn’t know anything, and truly for a child his age not to mention the fact that he doesn’t have a parental figure not an emotional support system I would think that someone, anyone would explain things to him, he is the frontrunner of this war. Why doesn’t he know anything? He is fourteen, yes but when he was thrust into this world he was eleven and needed help that wasn’t given. Not to mention that I wouldn’t want to do research in between saving the school and doing my homework either. Especially if you consider he can stumble upon gruesome and fake details about his family. I blame Dumbledore because he is the reason Harry doesn’t know anything.

A true friend?
Alastor Moody and Dumbledore are great friends (GOF: 11, 137). Yet Dumbledore doesn’t realize that the Moody in the school isn’t his friend (GOF: 17, 235). If I was Moody that would have been the end of that friendship but alright. It is a problem that Dumbledore isn’t aware of because he talks freely about Harry and his friends to Moody (GOF: 29, 481). We know he is very prone to discussing Harry’s family heirloom (OOTF: 3,51) so who knows what else he has been directly telling the enemy camp. No one needs spies when the leader is this obtuse. Not only that but Dumbledore feels free to explain to Harry what Neville’s circumstances are which are none of Harry’s business (GOF: 30, 508). This person is a headmaster, he is an educator even in the 90s such things weren’t alright.

Horrible teachers, once again
It’s small things that annoy me about the teachers such as not drying the drenched first years (GOF: 12, 148). I keep wondering: What is this school doing? Especially when you consider that they have pervy ghosts (GOF: 25, 389). It’s peak 2000’s really, when it’s supposed to be ‘funny’ when it’s a pervy girl and a boy who is a victim of clear sexual harassment. If someone had to be written out of the movies it should have been this character. Then there is Trelawny who is the worst and once again why is there no one who tells Harry he can and should get out of that class (GOF: 13, 169). This character is there, just to make Harry feel bad as she keeps talking about him dying. Which is a clear abuse of power, the only good thing Umbridge ever did was get rid of Trelawny.

Back to Moody who is allowed to use unforgivable in front of a group of children who were all born during a war. Children who (children born to magical people) have lost someone in their family to this war. The side of the war doesn’t matter in this, all these children lost people in this awful war (GOF: 14, 178). There are at least two deeply traumatized children whose trauma is directly related to these unforgivable and then he uses this magic on these children. Barty Crouch is pretending to be Moody which means this is something Moody would do and Dumbledore condones. I find this, deeply troubling. Because even Harry who is sometimes described as oblivious (even though I do not agree with this assessment) wonders if Moody and Dumbledore won’t get into trouble (GOF: 14, 185). Then Harry is right about Snape and the reason Dumbledore doesn’t explain why he thinks Snape has truly repented is because it would fuel Harry even more. Because Snape is the reason that Voldemort even came knocking at their door. Otherwise, he would have paid Baby Harry no mind at all (GOF: 30, 509). Giving this information a moment before Harry dies softens the blow I think but I would love to have seen this Harry’s reaction. I understand why Harry wasn’t told but I feel he had the right to know.

The problem with all of the above however disjoined as it may appear these people are in Dumbledore’s employ. He is the one that decides if they can stay on another year. Meaning he agrees with these people being around children.

Fifth year isn’t much better there is still bullying (OOTF: 14,269) as well as bad teachers (OOTF: 15, 295: OOTF: 19,381) and this is getting so tiresome. I mean even teachers are bullying (OOTF: 19,373). Not to mention that Umbridge and her blood quill are around. A school isn’t the place to play out a political game but Dumbledore does anyway.

Come to think of that no matter how annoying Draco was in their third year, he is right in saying that Hagrid is not a good teacher (OOTF: 21,410; (OOTF: 31,653). Not to even start as to why there can be a troll near the school when the last time it came into the school (OOTF: 30,637). This is the possession of the first two books all over again.

Bullying and Draco
In this schoolyear we see bullying but not as a lot of people seem to think of Slytherin towards everyone else. No, we see two Gryffindors hissing at an 11-year-old because they are sorted into Slytherin (GOF: 12, 151). This is bullying and shouldn’t be allowed, it is no wonder that Slytherin’s house seems to be more separate from the other houses, if I was treated this way at eleven I also wouldn’t want to have anything to do with you. On that note as much as I like Draco as a character his quirky badges should have been forbidden and his ass should have been in detention (GOF: 18, 255). But the school teachers do not care which is also why there are no consequences for calling other children slurs (as seen in the second book). I mean how can one learn when people around you say it and it’s not frowned upon by teachers? I mean it creates an environment of hate. One can only learn if they are taught. I find the teachers in the Harry Potter universe to be ruled too much by their prejudice against Slytherin House which they developed when they were still in school. Instead of helping these children and teaching them better, they do nothing and then they judge these children. Homeschooled eleven-year-olds do not know that their parents are wrong, this is why you are there as a teacher. But then again maybe they do not care about any of the children I mean we cannot say they ever truly cared about Harry.

The Tournament 
Throughout the whole series, Harry has no one to protect him or advocate for him (GOF: 18, 256). From bad journalist to his inclusion into a deadly tournament. It’s really sad and I just want so much better for this fictional character, especially in Goblet of Fire where he needed someone on his side (who was able to). The whole goblet business makes no sense because Dumbledore draws an age line so poorly it is undermined by a guy who was in prison and then under the imperius curse for a decade (GOF: 16, 215). I mean that must have done something to his magic, right? Then we have the whole magical contract which makes even less sense if it is true that one can enter someone else into it, it opens a whole load of problems. Everyone would have been looking for old essays written by Tom Riddle. I mean this war could have been over before Lily Evans ever knew about Magic before she and James met, let alone before Harry was even a thought in anyone’s head (GOF: 16, 216).

Interesting students
Dumbledore never shares anything about his family except very inappropriate comments about his brother to 14/15 years old (GOF: 24, 383). No wonder the brother in question has gone low contact. I find it interesting that in every generation there is one ‘golden’ child if you will who gets invited to Hogwarts. You have Hagrid the half Giant who attends somewhat during Tom Riddle’s time at school, then you have Remus Lupin the Werewolf in the Marauder’s years (GOF: 24, 384). There is probably someone like that when Harry is at school but he doesn’t notice. It cannot be Harry as he would have gone no matter what, there’s no rule bending by allowing Harry to come. Where are the other special children though? Surely, Hagrid cannot be the only half-giant? Even if he was, Remus isn’t the only werewolf. Where are the other special children Dumbledore? I would love to know.

Lost mail 
Another big issue with the whole series is that someone is taking Harry’s mail because Hermione gets hate mail but Harry never gets any hate or fan mail (until his fifth year) (GOF: 28, 456). This probably isn’t part of a larger conspiracy between people stealing from Harry or making money off his name but an oversight by the author. The thing is who is keeping Harry’s mail away? We know he doesn’t get it so where is it going? Is Dumbledore keeping it from him for absolutely no reason or someone else is, a new villain who will not come stage left in this story. But would be an interesting premise for a story. How interesting that when Harry gives an interview in his fifth year he suddenly gets tons of mail (OOTF: 26,536). Where is his mail the rest of the time? It bothers me.

Help that would have helped
Do you know what would be helpful to give a child prone to meeting their parent’s killer, who wasn’t entered into a tournament of his own free will? An emergency portkey would have saved a lot of lives if Harry could have port keyed away. But that would have been the smart thing to do and does thus not fit in the universe (GOF: 32, 535). But we cannot put that fully on Dumbledore and we shall not we’ll just leave it here. It’s worth noticing that when Harry gets attention from Dumbledore he immediately feels better and calmer. There is some strange co-dependency/Stockholm syndrome going on (GOF: 30, 491). It makes it even worse when we know Dumbledore is going to ignore Harry his next school year. It’s also just wrong, he is a headmaster but he keeps butting into Harry’s life while not helping him in any way.

The aftermath
After Harry has once again not been killed he does not get immediate medical attention because Dumbledore finds it more important to talk to a boy who has been under the cruciatus curse (GOF: 33, 553). There is also no form of auror inquiry which leads to the accusations of him lying that practically start the next day. Again, Harry should have someone advocating for him but there is no one. Especially when the ministry could know where all of it has taken place, as Harry did magic in a place where officially no magical people live (GOF: 33, 57). Nor are proper protocols followed when Barty Crouch is concerned. I mean Dumbledore questions him, he is a headmaster, not an Auror (GOF: 33, 577). I know he is kissed later and it’s convenient for us to know what he has to say but where does Dumbledore get his audacity from to do this I would like to know. Then, when Harry is at his lowest, Dumbledore wants to send his parental figure away because Harry does not deserve the comfort of a father figure.

Alone and abused again
Which leads us to that summer. Imagine you see someone die, and you sort of meet your dead parents. You are confronted with the murderer of your parents again, the person who made the whole thing happen, and then… You are sent away to your abusive family while you are unknowingly stalked by grown adults (OOTF: 1,4). Adults who see how you are treated, who hear you scream yourself hoarse every night. And they do nothing. For the next three years, they will cower behind Harry while telling everyone who wants to hear it that they are the resistance. I sometimes think about James and Lily and what they would have done. What they would have said to Harry given the chance. I think I can confidently say that they would not be amused. Truly the taunting letters and the stalking do nothing for his confidence, it exasperates paranoia, especially at the eve of an all-out war. The letters give Harry the feeling that he is 1. Not trusted 2. Not good enough especially because his friends are together with his Godfather for no reason. He is already abused and they pile onto that (OOTF: 1,8). Can we blame Harry’s friends for this? Some might say, no which is fine but then the fault is Dumbledore who told them to do that. So take your pick I suppose.

The real villain of the series
Arabella Figg is very near the top of my list of Harry Potter villains (OOTF: 1,18). That is I suppose everything I want to say about her. She could have been a true hero but decided against it and that is a true tragedy.

Who swoops in at the last moment to save Harry in his trial? I do not even have to say anything, it’s Dumbledore of course.

Dumbledore’s law and order
Harry is treated as a child repeatedly but then these people want Harry to save them all which does not go together (OOTF: 2,33). It’s Dumbledore’s opinion that Harry doesn’t need any information when we the reader can see that this fuels his anxiety. Someone who has worked with children for more than 60 years at this point would know this. Dumbledore’s people pick up Harry by partaking in a muggle-baiting scheme (OOTF: 3,42). Not to mention that lover of all Muggels Dumbledore sends a howler to a muggle but alright (OOTF: 2,37). That Dumbledore’s order is incompetent is not a surprise because they actually made a group photo in the first war.  If you are part of a secret order in a war why on earth are you taking photos that is the stupidest thing you could do (OOTF: 9,160). They are also very inept, they have a sort of fan club meeting (OOTF: 3,46), and choose the stupidest way to move someone (OOTF: 3,48) which they plan outside in a muggle neighborhood (OOTF: 3,52). Then they let this boy who probably hasn’t been eating normally for weeks fly to London without giving him a warming charm (OOTF: 3,53). To top all of their incompetence off their super-secret headquarters is even accessible by floo (OOTF: 29,618).

Then Harry is finally reunited with his Godfather. Is he allowed to spend time with him to bond? Or maybe he can finally relax after being abused for weeks? Nah, he has to clean (OOTF: 6,92). Dumbledore starts a bad relationship with the ministry and thus the newspaper on Harry’s behalf when he hasn’t asked for that at all (OOTF: 8, 134). Harry is then judged by Dumbledore’s actions when Harry hasn’t done or said anything because he was locked up or locked down or whatever to be ‘safe’ (OOTF: 11,203). Harry is quite clever asking if the order is sure Fudge is not under the imperius curse but he is told Dumbledore thinks he is not and that is the end of it (OOTF: 9,143). Imagine if he had been.

The bottom line is Dumbledore doesn’t help Harry with his poor mental help, he exasperates it with his actions (OOTF: 11, 204; OOTF: 13,230). Then later on he claims to care and I have doubts about that. Harry lost his last line of help (OOTF: 13,257). He is all alone and it all leads up to him going to the ministry (OOTF: 13,257). Even in the last moments Harry sees him he still doesn’t look at him (OOTF: 28,564). I find that you cannot be both. You cannot be a child ‘saviour’ and then treat them like this. It would be one thing if Harry was at the Dursley’s but other than that was treated fairly and well but even that is too much.

A lack of information
Dumbledore decides that Harry shouldn’t get information (OOTF: 4,59) and everyone listens to him. And this keeps happening (OOTF: 5,80). Dumbledore doesn’t tell Harry anything about what he can use for his defense but Dumbledore does have an idea because he shows up. Doesn’t look at Harry and leaves giving Harry the impression that he is some sort of savior (OOTF: 7,113). While all he does is swoop in at the last moment like we have seen countless times before. Poor Harry wants to be reassured and Dumbledore cannot even do that (OOTF: 8, 138). As a headmaster, he shouldn’t have to reassure Harry but Dumbledore systematically made sure Harry didn’t have anyone else. At that point it is your responsibility, the boy is 15 and is shown no kindness. Dumbledore has a clear idea of what is happening to Harry but Harry doesn’t know. He feels absolutely awful but Dumbledore doesn’t care to tell him anything (OOTF: 22,436). This moment is one of those where you ought to sit someone down and tell them your ideas and theories but that is not Dumbledore’s style. So, Harry is spiraling and thinking he is a danger to others around him (OOTF: 23,456). Instead of you know bonding with his Godfather or something else like having fun with his friends (OOTF: 23,456). Because Harry feels as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders therefore he doesn’t feel comfortable enough to let Sirius be the Godfather he needs him to be (OOTF: 24,483). Without telling him anything he has to take Occlumency lessons which obviously do not work if you do not know what you need to do and frankly your tormenter is ‘teaching you’ I personally do not believe the lessons are 1. Good 2. Helping 3. Productive 4. Informative but that’s just me (OOTF: 25,511). Quit simply nothing is ever explained to Harry and it’s not good (OOTF: 6,110). Harry doesn’t know why he is ignored. Harry doesn’t know there is a prophecy and that Voldemort might want it. Harry doesn’t know he can get visions that aren’t real. Harry doesn’t know how to communicate with Sirius. Harry doesn’t know why he has to learn Occlumency. They never tell him anything and this whole book wouldn’t have happened if he had known

Prefects and career advice
Dumbledore chooses the prefect for Gryffindor and Ron gets the badge not because he deserves it or because he is the best choice. But because Harry had ‘enough going on’ in Dumbledore’s opinion (OOTF: 37,776). Truly the things it did to his mental health, not to mention that Harry is clearly academically better than Ron as everyone expected Harry to get the badge. Ron is also not emotionally mature enough to be Prefect as we see throughout the school year (OOTF: 9,148). I could go on and on but I won’t. It simply shouldn’t be Dumbledore’s decision if Harry could be prefect, it should be Harry’s choice. Harry is 15, he can make his own decisions. It would also help boost his confidence and make him seen as a leader while protecting him at least slightly from Umbridge. She might be less inclined to go at him at first if he had the badge. So Dumbledore should have asked or he should have explained his reasoning beforehand. It would have been wonderful and something he had in common with his mother. It would have given him the confidence boost he needed at that time.

The career advice comes way too late in this school (OOTF: 29,610). Harry should have sat down with his head of house in his second year when he needed to pick classes. Dumbledore does nothing while students’ hands are carved in but goodness knows he can come to battle for Sybil Trelawney (OOTF: 26,550). I mean you almost think she is important with the way he keeps carrying on. Dumbledore takes the blame for Harry’s club, making Harry feel indebted to him. When the whole reason it is needed is Dumbledore’s fault. I mean the DADA curse could have been handled years ago (OOTF: 28,570). This is once again Dumbledore swooping in at the last moment while not doing anything.

We know a few things when Kingsley meets Harry at work he is working on the Sirius Black case (OOTF: 7,121). Dumbledore is a big factor that Sirius didn’t get a trial, as he spoke against him. Being ‘sure’ he was the secret keeper. Now Kingsley can bring that up to ‘undermine’ Dumbledore, as that is what Fudge wanted to do. But he doesn’t, he doesn’t do anything. Kingsley keeps people off Sirius’s trail but Sirius is stuck in his own house. He doesn’t go outside so it’s no use at all. It isn’t as if Sirius’ muggle neighbors can see him. Truly Kingsley is quite bad as his job or Sirius would have at least gotten a trial but no one has done anything for Sirius but it’s common knowledge within their group that Sirius is innocent (OOTF: 16,308). It truly deprives the two people who lost most of their years of safety of a healthy father-son type of relationship. Within three years both are dead (although Harry’s death is temporary. There are no lessons there, Kingsley is ultimately rewarded for his utter lack of common sense but that is something we see all the time in this universe. I believe that if Harry hadn’t lost Sirius and had had time to bond with him, he would never have walked to his death willingly.

The beginning of the end
Why did it take Snape so long to alert the order (OOTF: 32,681)? They take Umbridge to the forest and lose her. Fetch thestrals and then go to the ministry. They fight death eaters and then the order shows up, it’s a bit fishy but they are inadequate which we knew already so it might not all be Snape. The question remains why is this person so high up in Dumbledore’s ranks?

Dumbledore has excuse after excuse about his medelling in Harry’s life but it falls short (OOTF: 37, 772). Harry had the absolute right to know about his family and who was a danger to him. This was denied time and time again and is still denied even when Dumbledore claims to put the cards on the table. That is not caring about someone. To give someone a life-changing prophecy when their last family member has just died is just a new level of cruelty if I am honest. If Harry was a real boy he would need so much mental help when he reached 18. The amount of gaslighting is unbelievable. I came to the point where I wanted to close my book. I was never really keen on the prophecy chapter but it was worse this time around. Harry didn’t really triumph when he lost so much and he came out of each encounter worse for wear. It’s clear that Dumbledore doesn’t see Harry as he is, he is mind 15 in this book. Harry shouldn’t feel the desire to save everyone’s behind, he is a teen he should be a bit selfish, he should think about girls or boys or both not wonder if he has enough ability to kill a man (OOTF: 32,672). Which is something else, Dumbledore didn’t have the guts to kill his past lover Grindelwald but a teenage boy has to kill a man because he deems it so? Just because Tom cannot die by anyone else’s hand doesn’t mean you cannot put his ass in prison and then when Harry is older and more mature he can do a mercy killing.

I think this is the moment I become so truly disenchanted with Dumbledore, where I wonder why anyone would describe him as kind to push a child who with your knowledge and consent (as you didn’t do anything) was abused into killing a person when you could not do that. It says all we need to know I think about Dumbledore as a person.

Read the rest of the series:
Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3 // Part 4 // Part 5 // Part 6 // Part 7

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