Occlumency Still Has A Part To Play
An original editorial by Cheri Mathieu
At the end of reading OotP, my mind was turning into Harrys next summer vacation. Two big thoughts I had by the end of the book were A) Harry knows what the weapon is, and B) Harry never learned Occlumency and Voldemort could still access Harrys mind. The prophesy is going to be easily obtainable now that Harry has it stored in his easily broken mind.
After what happened in the Department of Mysteries and Siriuss death, I assume Voldemort would not be stupid enough to think Dumbledore would still withhold important information from Harry. Voldemort did, after all, use Harrys ignorance to his advantage, luring Harry to a place he never would have gone if Dumbledore had laid all the cards on the table in the beginning. Dumbledore is NOT about to make that mistake again! Harry will be getting all information concerning his part in the war against Voldemort and it will be valuable.
This leads me to think that Voldemort will want to access Harrys mind as soon as possible after the incident at the department of mysteries. Harry has gone back to the Dursleys at the end of OotP and Voldemort has his opportunity to look into Harrys mind. JK said Harry wont be staying at the Dursleys long at all this time around and I have a pretty good feeling why- he needs to continue his lessons in Occlumency. Although Harry could simply practice shutting his mind every night at the Dursleys, that isnt going to be enough for this kid! After months of blowing off the lessons- even inviting the break-ins in his mind, he will NOT be able to guard his mind against Voldemort. Add his unpracticed Occlumency skills with the things he has to try not to think about at night (Sirius, Cedric, his responsibility and destiny) then Voldie is sure to know the prophecy the first night Harrys back on Privet Drive! Dumbledore is going to want to get Harry out of the Muggle world as soon as possible, yet allowing Harry to still be protected by his aunts home. It is important to remember that whether Voldemort acquires from Harrys mind the prophesy or not, Harry will still need to learn Occlumency. Because Dumbledore is going to need to be more frank with Harry for Harrys own protection, Harrys mind will be full of juicy information Voldemort will crave, and if Harry is successful in Occlumency, Voldemort will not be able to obtain it through Harry.
Perhaps Dumbledore will teach Harry Occlumency himself. Not only would Harry be able to practice and learn the art with a more powerful wizard than Snape, Dumbledore would be able to counsel Harry through the responsibility Harry faces and help him to deal with Siriuss death. If Dumbledore instructs Harry we will get to learn more about Dumbledore and see the needed relationship develop between Harry and Dumbledore.
But how can Harry practice and learn Occlumency properly when he cant use his wand or magic during the summer holidays? The Ministry of Magic will obviously need to make allowances for Harry. Luckily we know JK is going to give us a new Minister of Magic and perhaps the process of allowing Harry to be an exception to the rule wont be a conflict what with the new authority. I actually wouldnt be surprised if Dumbledore conceded to be Minister of Magic himself- but that is a different editorial! So Harry gets to use magic during the summer holiday and this gives a lot of other subplots. Along with opposition from various ministry officials that dont know how important it is for Harry to use magic- as the prophesy is a complete secret, I would assume we might see some jealousy from Hermione because she might feel a bit threatened from Harry getting a head start! (It would equal it out between her and Ron anyway)
I am so excited to find out what is in store for Harry during the summer before his sixth year at Hogwarts. It is sure to be a hard time for Harry anyway. He is going to have pressure from every angle! He has got to master Occlumency as quickly as possible, try not to Avada Kedavra Dudely, mourn for Sirius, try not to Avada Kedavra Dudely, wait for his friends to come save him from the muggles, try not to Avada Kedavra Dudely, and deal with his responsibility of saving the world from Voldemort. Harry is out for a rough summer and I hope it will be a wonderful learning experience preparing him for later events to come.