Harry is stuck at the Dursley’s and there is no news of Voldemort’s return. Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by Dementors and Harry casts his stag Patronus to repel them. The Ministry sends Harry a disciplinary letter notifying him of his court date for using magic outside of school.
Harry is escorted from Privett Drive by several members of the Order of the Phoenix, the secret group that fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters the first time. The Order includes Kingsley Shacklebolt, Remus Lupin, Tonks and Mad-Eye Moody, among others. They take him to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, the Order’s headquarters and the home of Sirius Black’s family who were purebloods and sympathetic to the Voldemort movement.. Kreacher is the old house elf that lives there. Sirius had a brother, named Regulus, who was a Death Eater, but was killed when he tried to back out. The Order has frequent, secret meetings that the Trio and the other Weasley children, Fred, George and Ginny, are not allowed to be a part of. Harry has a repeating dream where he is walking down a corridor to a door that he cannot open.
Arthur Weasley takes Harry to his hearing. On the way, they walk down the very corridor that Harry dreams about. The Ministry refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned and think that Harry is lying about the Dementor attack. Dumbledore vouches for Harry at the hearing, where he is acquitted. Dumbledore does not make eye contact with or directly talk to Harry.
Harry goes to Hogwarts where he finds that the Ministry has sent a representative to be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge. She is horrible, unfair and only teaches theory so the students get no practice. Many people do not believe Harry or Dumbledore, but side with the Ministry so Harry and Dumbledore are the victims of ridicule. Harry has no problem proclaiming Voldemort’s return and in doing so gets several detentions with Umbridge.
The Trio form a secret organization, called Dumbledore’s Army, where Harry teaches a group of students Defensive magic that Umbridge will not teach. They meet in the Room of Requirement, a secret room that provides whatever the seeker needs.
In one of Harry’s corridor dreams, he sees Arthur Weasley attacked by a snake. Harry sees this from the snake’s point of view. He quickly alerts Dumbledore, who verifies that this has actually happened and sends the Trio and the other Weasley’s to Grimmauld place. However, just as Harry touches the portkey, Harry and Dumbledore make eye contact for the first time all year and Harry gets the urge to attack Dumbledore. Arthur Weasley is found and taken to St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. When they go to visit Arthur, they see Neville Longbottom and his grandmother visiting Neville’s parents, Frank and Alice Longbottom, who were tortured to madness by Barty Crouch Jr. and Bellatrix Lestrange, who is still in Azkaban.
They all go back to Hogwarts and learn that there has been a mass breakout from Azkaban, including 12 Death Eaters. The Ministry still will not admit that Voldemort is back and they have also instituted many decrees at Hogwarts which gives Umbridge more and more power at the school. Dumbledore’s Army is caught by Umbridge during one of their secret meetings and are taken to Dumbledore’s office where they find Cornelius Fudge and the Aurors: Dawlish and Kingsley Shacklebolt. Cornelius thinks that Dumbledore is building an army against the ministry. Dumbledore takes the blame and then proceeds to make an awesome escape.
Harry dreams that Sirius has been captured by Voldemort who is torturing him in a room with lots of glass orbs beyond the very door Harry has been dreaming about. The Trio, Neville, Ginny and Luna Lovegood all to the Ministry of Magic. They go down to the Department of Mysteries and take the pathway that Harry knows from his dreams. Sirius is not there. Harry finds an orb with his name on it and picks it up. Death Eaters appear, including Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange and demand that Harry hand the prophecy over. A great battle ensues where the prophecy breaks. No one can heart the prophecy speak among the tumult. They go into a room with a big veiled archway. The Order shows up to fight. Bellatrix Lestrange casts a spell that hits Sirius and causes him to fly through the veiled archway, killing him. Dumbledore appears and single-handedly captures all of the Death Eaters. Harry chases Bellatrix to the atrium of the Ministry where Voldemort appears.
Dumbledore and Voldemort partake in an epic duel in the atrium of the Ministry of Magic. It has been said throughout the series that Dumbledore is the only one that Lord Voldemort has ever feared and one can see why as he has mad dueling skills. Voldemort possesses Harry, but only for a little while because he cannot dwell in such a pure place as Harry’s mind. Cornelius Fudge shows up and witnesses Voldemort’s presence first hand before he escapes. The Ministry now admits that Voldemort is back.
Harry and Dumbledore have another of their enlightening conversations where Dumbledore explains to Harry that Voldemort knew of the connection between himself and Harry and used it to plant a false image of Sirius’ torture in Harry’s head, knowing Harry would come rescue him.
Dumbledore tells Harry of the prophecy that was made to him by Professor Trelawney many years before. Here’s what the prophecy says:
Dumbledore tells Harry that someone overheard half of the prophecy and told Voldemort, which prompted Voldemort to go after Harry and kill his parents. However, Voldemort does not know anything after “the seventh month dies”.
What You Need To Know
Harry and Voldemort are connected by their minds. However, Voldemort learned how painful it was to possess Harry, so he won’t be doing that again. Harry and Voldemort also have the same blood and the same wand core. This is now a 3-fold connection.
It was this connection that Dumbledore feared Voldemort would try to use to get to him, hence the hatred Harry felt when making eye contact with Dumbledore and the reason Dumbledore avoided Harry for much of the year.
Based on the part of the prophecy that Voldemort heard, he had an idea of when and to whom the baby would be born. However, Voldemort does not know about the part that says Harry will have powers that Voldemort doesn’t know about.
Neville Longbottom was born as the seventh month dies and to parents who thrice defied Voldemort. However, Voldemort, for some reason, chose to go after the Potters, marking Harry as his equal and giving the child powers to destroy him.
Neither can live while the other survives.
What the Movie Doesn’t Tell You
This was David Yates’ first feature film and it’s great to see a director perfect his craft as the films proceed. Each film gets better and better and much of that has to do with Yates’ improvement as a director and familiarity with the material, cast and crew.
This is the longest book and the shortest movie.
Sirius did not die by the Avada Kedavra curse. When that curse hits you, you die immediately. The movie shows Sirius hit with the AK and then moves into the veil. In the book, Sirius was stunned into the veil.
The film barely glazes over Harry and Dumbledore’s very important, enlightening, yet equally mysterious conversation.