I finally did it: I got through this massive 700+ page book. I've always ranked it as my least favourite in the series (largely because of its size), but now I'm not so sure. I absolutely loved the depth that Rowling goes into in this one. There's a lot more action than I remembered, and I honestly think it's a shame that it's so goddamn long - a lot more people would read it if it wasn't!
The Order of the Phoenix is where things really start to get dark. Just a prewarn here: there are going to be a whole load of spoilers coming up, so if you haven't read it (why?!), then stop here.
First, politics really enters the stage. The ministry really want to pretend that everything's okay, and my GOD it made me angry. They bring Umbridge into the castle, discredit Dumbledore, and make everything a whole lot easier for Voldemort to return. Nice one guys.
Umbridge is one of my favourite villains I've ever come across. She's just so hate-worthy. With her sweet voice and innocent demeanour, she's so unvillainous in her outward appearance that I'm somehow even more angry that she turns out to be harbouring some kind of demon inside her.
Just pipping the post in things I love in this was the DA. Finally Neville starts to come out of his shell and we see him really step up his game. The outright bullying of Luna's mental state is something I definitely wasn't here for in these scenes, but I loved the fact that Harry and the gang played on Fudge's biggest fear by calling themselves Dumbledore's Army.
Now let's get on to the heartbreak. Sirius. I'm just not okay with it. I'm still pretty much raging that Harry was fooled into thinking his dream was a reality, and let's not even talk about how much of a bellend Kreacher was, but losing Sirius was downright upsetting. It was so avoidable and Harry's pain was genuinely touching. Life would be great if authors didn't kill off the good ones, ya know?