The Order of the…?

by Melody Grace

Wow, HBP was packed with an impossibly large amount of confusing and exciting information! Knowing that hundreds of editorials would be flying in concerning Snivellus, I’’ve decided to write about a more over-looked topic: the Order of the Phoenix–…or the Order of the Mascot-who-has-now-disappeared-and-whose-owner-has-snuffed-it. I’’ll try to work on a few specific points …(and throughout this editorial I assume that Snape has indeed defected, though some of these complications could be of importance whether he has or not).

  1. New leader of the Order
  2. Fidelius Charm difficulties
  3. Voldemort’’s knowledge of the Order
  4. What will they do next?
[All references are to the U.S. editions]

Obviously, the Order of the Phoenix was founded and led by DD [OotP 67], and he gave its members their motivation. With his death, there has to be a new leader, someone to step up into the monstrous role DD vacated. I’’ve thought of a few likely possibilities:

  1. Remus Lupin–—He was one of the “‘Old Crowd”’ [OotP 174], so he’’s got a bit of an advantage over such people as Tonks, Kingsley, etc. He appears to be relatively level-headed, and everyone seems to trust him. He can communicate with people and is an excellent mediator. Lastly, he’’s got an extremely strong cause and can motivate others with his own enthusiasm. However, he doesn’’t have much self-confidence and is possibly too trusting of people (apparently one of DD’s big mistakes), and, of course, there’’s the slight complication of his lycanthropy …(Editor’s Note: his furry little problem).
  2. Mad-Eye Moody—–Another one of the ‘Old Crowd’ [OotP 173]. He’’s got useful experience as an Auror and a lot of authority. People will listen to him and have respect for him, whether they like him or not (most likely because they’’re afraid of that spinning eye…). He’’ll be sharp and make sure the members are constantly vigilant =). He might, however, become over-enthusiastic, trying to do, and expecting, too much. Also, he trusts no one, which would prove a detriment to recruiting.
  3. Minerva McGonagall—–Headmistress of Hogwarts [HBP 625], Transfiguration professor, and close to DD. Now that she’’s taken over his position, she’’s got authority and can work to protect the students as DD did. People respect her (she can strike a commanding figure), and she’’s a fighter (a true Gryffindor!) [OotP 721]. Her fear doesn’’t get in the way of her cause, and she’’s got good motivation (at least now, anyways…).

To me, McGonagall seems to be the most likely, especially considering the way she stepped up after DD’’s death, but nothing is a given with JKR. Now on to the next point……

Aaahh, the Fidelius Charm–…DD’s death brings up a few questions concerning this charm that I will speculate on….

The Fidelius Charm was first explained in PoA by Professor Flitwick:

“An immensely complex spell–…involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find—unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it. As long as the Secret-Keeper refused to speak, You-Know-Who could search the village where Lily and James are staying for years and never find them, not even if he had his nose pressed against their sitting room window!” [205]

As we know, DD was the Secret-Keeper for the Order [OotP 115], which, according to the slip of paper shown to Harry, seems to mean location only. If this is so, did the secret of the Order’s location die with DD, or is the secret open for sharing by those who know (eg. Snape)? If it is the first, no new members may learn the location (unless Mad-Eye conveniently carries those slips with him, which I highly doubt). On the other hand, Snape couldn’’t tell Voldy the location if the secret died with DD. In the second possibility (which I think is more likely because magic seems to die when the caster dies (eg. the freezing spell put on Harry [HBP 597]), Snape, or any other future defector, could easily reveal the location of the HQ, therefore putting the Order in a bit of a tight spot. Now, assuming this possibility is true, they could either move the HQ, or they could hastily find a new Secret-Keeper (or feasibly both). Did DD make sure there was a back-up in case of his demise? If not, Snape could have already related the info to Voldy…–not good. The Order needs a new SK, and fast. This time, however, I think the SK will be someone other than the new leader, simply because Voldy will immediately suspect him/her and set out for the kill so that the secret will be open once more. I repeat, the Order needs to act swiftly to ensure Voldy does not gain too much information.

So, exactly how much does Voldy know about the Order and its members? Surely by now he knows at least some of the members, if not a majority (his DEs have fought them several times and lived to tell the tale, unfortunately [OotP ch 35-36; HBP ch 28]). Those loyal to DD are pretty easy to pick out, especially those involved in VWI (eg. Lupin, Mad-Eye, Dung, Hagrid, McGonagall, Doge, Figgy…[GoF 713; OotP 173-174]). Now that Snape is supposedly defecting, he could give Voldy a whole boatload of information, including the whereabouts of the members. SO if Voldy knows this much, why doesn’’t he make them his first target? Wiping out the main enemy force and those helping The Chosen One would seem a logical first step. Lupin is also spying among the werewolves loyal to Voldy [HBP 334], but if Voldy knows he’s an Order member, how is he still alive? This either means that 1) Voldy does not know as much about the Order as we think or 2) he has some great grand scheme concerning the Order that will be put into effect at a later date. Personally, I’’m banking on the second possibility, based on Voldy’’s cleverness and resources.

First off, he made sure DD died, hoping it would throw the Order and the rest of the good side into confusion (very similar to chess–—DD would be the Queen). Now he’’s got control of the board (or so he thinks). It would be logical to plan a large second step that would cripple the remaining members in one swift stroke, leaving him free to check Harry, the King. His first targets will probably be those closest to The-Boy-Who-Lived, like Lupin, the Weasleys, and Hermione, knocking out a few others on the way. Harry would become more vulnerable, and (unfortunately for Voldy) way more motivated. HA!

Now that we’’ve explored some complications, what should the Order do, objective-wise? First off, their main objective: train Harry and get him ready (physically and emotionally) to face Voldy, as well as get Voldy ready to be killed by destroying the remaining Horcruxes. On the side, they should attempt to get rid of as many of Voldy’’s pieces as possible while protecting their own. If the Order can hold out long enough for the Horcruxes to be destroyed, Harry can step up, and it will be checkmate for Voldy (let’’s ignore the fact that Kings can’’t capture each other…).