I don’t know what other people’s feelings are like. Does anyone else find this part as horrifying as I do? Or is it supposed to be sweet? Admittedly I am not a Marauders fan. OOOH UNPOPULAR OPINION OOH ugh whatever.
Oh, it’s definitely supposed to be horrifying. There’s no way to read this as sweet. I really, really don’t like Book 5, but in the context of the series, Book 5 is when shit begins to get Real. Cedric died in what the Powers That Be deem an isolated incident and shy from acknowledging that another war is coming, and otherwise that’s the unequivocal warning shot of the second war. Book 5, though? It’s Order of the Phoenix for a reason—yes, it’s about the new Order of the Phoenix gathering to fight Voldemort, but so much of the book is about looking back at the first Order and the real cost of going to war, the one beyond the body count, and why they have to defeat Voldemort, for real this time so he’ll never come back again.
Book 5 introduces That Photograph of the original Order, and has Mad-eye Moody introduce Harry to everyone according to the manner of their grisly demise, which is such a fucking Moody thing to do, but it’s such soldier thing to do. You can’t look at this photo of those people you fought with and whose bodies you found, whose kids you had to whisk out of the house before they were murdered, too (and sometimes you didn’t get there in time) without thinking of why you’re telling this kid anyway—Moody has to be one to tell him all this because everyone in the photo is too dead or too gone to speak for themselves.
And that’s the other thing we get in Book 5: the survivors of the first war. By Book 5, we’ve met Remus, Sirius, and Peter, but Book 5 has the Longbottoms at St. Mungo’s. Shit, dude. Harry’s parents are dead and never to return; Neville’s parents are still very, very much alive, yet not at all the famous Aurors they were when they were taken out, and not even capable of recognizing, let alone caring for, their son.
Then there’s Sirius. It’s impossible to see until the above moment in the movie and this point in the story that Sirius is as much a casualty of that first war as the Longbottoms. By the time of the fight in the Department of Mysteries, Sirius has been hiding in 12 Grimmauld for more than a year, only allowed out when he transforms into his extremely distinctive animagus form (a bear-sized black dog and Moody reprimands him for coming along to see Harry off because SIRIUS-IS-THE-DOG-STAR BLACK, YOU ARE FOOLING LITERALLY NO ONE), so he can’t even leave the house anymore. He can’t run missions like the rest of the Order, either; it’s him locked up in the house he thought he had escaped forever when he ran away as a teenager, with the portraits of his ancestors shrieking abuse at him all day long while everyone else has a life. Sirius’s life is back somewhere in 1979, when he and his bff James were handsome, popular 19-year-olds living off family money by day and cackling through their spying adventures at night, while their friends were plucked off one-by-one in murders that disgust even a grizzled one-eyed Auror 20 years later.
So, it’s subtle. I don’t have the book in front of me so I can’t remind myself of Harry’s reaction in the narrative, but this little glance of “uhhhh what just happened”—that’s the brief realization that even though your godfather really means well and you would love nothing more than to live with him in some nice house and you two will be the only family you’ll ever need—Harry, he doesn’t even know who you are right now.
ALSO: SIRIUS BLACK IS STILL AN ASSHOLE. THEN AGAIN, SURPRISE: BEING SENT TO AZKABAN FOR TWELVE YEARS AND LIVING AS A DOG FOR MOST OF IT TO KEEP YOUR SANITY IS NOT THE BEST CURE FOR BEING A DICK!!!!
Gotta reblog for the awesome absurdical action. That penultimate paragraph! Swooninggg.