The Order of The Phoenix and The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (OotP5&6)

It’s so strange to see that the number of blog posts left (66 after this one) is lower than the number of blog posts written (which if I recall correctly will be 73 after this one). That means school and our journey through HP is slowly coming to an end. It’s sad but also super exciting! And exciting stuff is coming our way in Harry Potter too!

Chapter 5- The Order of the Phoenix

Even though Harry is angry with everyone in his life he is still getting the opportunity to spend time with Sirius. Sirius tells Harry a little more about the old house they are all living in, it’s the Black family’s home, Sirius’s childhood home. Harry slowly falls back into his old routines with the Weasley family. Mrs. Weasley is yelling at Fred and George like normal. Everyone gets together for dinner like normal, except the conversations around the dinner table are anything but normal. Every conversation has to deal with the Order of The Phoenix, a group of wizards (including everyone here) who fights against the Dark Lord and his followers. The group changed over time as original members, including Harry’s Parents and Neville’s parents, were killed or severely injured. Mrs. Weasley, in true Mrs. Weasley fashion, is adamant about the underage wizards in the house (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny) knowing nothing about the Order or where Voldemort is at this time, but after a row with Sirius about who knows best for Harry, Harry gets some answers to the questions he’s had all summer long.

Chapter 6- The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

Doxy_concept_artThe next day everyone is off to do chores. The Black house is like a little house of horrors. Doxies, fairy like reptile creature things, live in a set of curtains in one of the rooms. The gang works to tackle these little creatures. While doing so Fred and George tell Harry about the joke shop and the products they are currently testing out. (Remember it’s all thanks to Harry’s Triwizard Money that they can do this.) The house is chaotic, but that’s pretty normal for a summer with the Weasley family and more. Sirius pulls harry aside one day and tells Harry about his past, showing him a tapestry of the pure blood wizards family trees (because of course they are all interconnected). Sirius shares stories about his brother becoming a Death Eater and about how Sirius used to stay with the Potter family and James (Harry’s dad) after Sirius’s mother kicked him out. Mrs. Weasley interrupts their bonding moment calling for lunch. Over the next few day’s Harry and the gang simply work to tackle the house’s unwanted guests and filth, taking Harry’s mind off the upcoming Hearing at the Ministry of Magic.

What I love about these chapters is art of storytelling. Both chapters hinge on stories and updates told to Harry by members of the Order or Sirius himself. J.K. Rowling begins to weave a tapestry of information that will be useful in the subsequent books, but also that sheds light on each character individually. The main character she is building up here is Sirius, of course. Sirius tells Harry a lot about his past and his family in these two chapters. He paints pictures of struggles and sorrow. He knits together stories of good and bad times. He reveals to Harry so much about himself in short conversations. He reveals to everyone who pays attention his desires to have not only his best friend James back, but to also have a companion, someone to bond with, to connect with, to hangout with. Sirius tells us just how much is lacking in his life, just how much he is still a prisoner in this world.

sirius family treeI think it’s interesting that Rowling uses these conversations this way.  It’s quite brilliant actually, and it’s something we do in the legal profession all the time. We are storytellers, we paint our clients the way we want the world to see them. We weave together stories about how our clients aren’t bad people, sometimes they are just people that make mistakes. We reveal to juries or judges that our clients are people who deserve second chances, or who deserve justice for the harms done to them. We weave together stories and put together puzzles in hopes we can change lives.

We are creative storytellers even in the transactional world. We have clients that we work together with to build up their businesses. We help take in the stories of their neighborhoods and piece them together to get funders to give our clients money. We piece stories of people’s passions together to create business entities. We take mission statements and help ensure contracts that uphold those mission statements. We are still storytellers even if that story just ends up becoming a contract.

open bookLast night I spoke with someone about telling stories in your career. As law school goes on, as careers begin, we will be telling the world a story with every decision we make. Whether we choose to take risks, make plans to get to our end goal, or choose to be comfortable and stay in one place, every decision we make tells a story to others. Think about that during your day. Think about what story you want to tell others, what story you are telling others and how all of that is working out for you in the long run. It’s your legacy, it’s your life, it’s you on the line. Is your story one you want to share? Is your story working for you? Think about it this week.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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The Advance Guard and Number Twelve Grimmauld Place (OotP 3&4)

I have nothing witty to say, so let’s just dive into chapters 3 and 4.

Chapter 3- The Advance Guard

advance guardSo Harry stays put. He is locked in his room and not allowed to leave. He doesn’t get a letter from any of his friends or Sirius. The Durselys leave to go and receive an award for the look of their lawn. The Durselys leave and shortly after Harry hears a thud downstairs. Lo and behold a pack of wizards are infiltrating the house. They chit-chat with Harry and tell him they are there to save him from the horrors of this place. Their destination is secret, the REAL Mad-eyed Moody is taking everything super seriously and then they are off, flying high above London.

Chapter 4- Number Twelve Grimmauld Place

They end up on this weird street where there is a magically hidden townhouse waiting for them to arrive. They go inside and to Harry’s surprise EVERYONE HE KNOWS AND LOVES IS THERE… don’t forget readers, this is the ultimate betrayal because none of these suckers have been talking to Harry and yet they’ve all been together. Harry feels betrayed and rightfully so if you ask me. When they all start talking to Harry there are hints of a weapon and what Voldey’s been up to, but Mrs. Weasley keeps pulling the mom card and saying everyone’s too young to know these things and sends them to bed.

12 grimmyYou know these past few weeks have been interesting in the law world. The clinic I am in is ramping up and student orgs are starting to shift their views to next year and man oh man, I’m tired. But you  know what really has just got me really upset lately? Well, it’s a phrase that I keep hearing from people… “It’s all in your head.”

I’d like to just take a moment and tell you something… NEVER SAY THAT TO A PERSON. It invalidates their feelings and makes them appear to be a crazy person. I recently told a professor that I recently left an event feeling like I didn’t do well. That I didn’t get to shine and really interact with people and that I left feeling deflated, like I didn’t perform my best. And while yes I’m sure she said this with good intentions she said to me that it was all in my head. This isn’t the first time she’s said this to me and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

all in the headYou know if people said to Harry: “Your loneliness this summer, that’s all in your head,” I’m sure he would have wanted to Avada Kedavara everyone in the room. Now that strong of an emotion mainly comes from the hormones rushing through his teenager body, but the thing is I understand it. It sucks to be told that you thinking something isn’t quite reality and then to not be offered any other evidence as to how you are perceiving it wrong. Sure, there are a million quotes out there about things being “mind over matter” but when someone expresses a feeling, don’t tell them that it is all in their head. Maybe explore it for a moment if you think how they are feeling is wrong. Validate the feeling, but then give proof as to why you think that feeling may be a little off. Don’t just offer up the “it’s all in your head” statement and then move on because it might be too damn messy to take the time to offer someone advice or assurance. Damn. And that’s just my first little rant about things lately.

What I really want to explore from these chapters is the relationship between Harry and the “authority” figures in his life. He walks into this unknown house after being picked up by a wizard guard who was completely unannounced and he sees everyone he loves and trusts together. When he finds out that Dumbledore is the one calling the shots about Harry’s life he feels super betrayed. When Molly won’t tell Harry what’s going on, he feels super betrayed. I get those feelings too.

My mentor this past week said that I had an interesting belief that professors are leaders, or at least authority figures who should at least act like leaders. At first I tried to explain to him why I have such a belief, but after a few days of dwelling on it I’m starting to think that maybe that’s part of the problem in my life. Growing up in a military family you learn that everyone older than you or in a higher position than you is to be respected and seen as an authority figure. Now, I’ve carried that with me throughout my life, but now I am starting to think that maybe it’s become a liability in my life. I am so hell-bent on trying to impress these people who are “authority figures” but actually are some of the most inefficient and unprofessional and sometimes just downright poor leaders, professors, and lawyers.authority

I drive myself crazy putting these people up on a pedestal just to be constantly disappointed by their lack of leadership. I also blindly trust these people to lead me in the right direction, to help me when I’m struggling, to really use their “power” for good and then I am so disappointed when I find out that they’ve been withholding information. This past week something happened where I honestly felt like Harry felt walking into this house where everyone he trusted and loved stood there after not speaking to him almost all summer. And it sucks.

So my lesson this week is this: Just because someone is an “authority figure” by title, it doesn’t mean that they are a leader, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that they always know best or that what they say is law.

Professors, mentors, lawyers with years of practice, friends, parents, managers of stores, older students, the person who sounds like they know everything… they are all just humans who suck just as much as you do. So let them suck, don’t give a fuck, and try your luck… you’ll be happy you did. You do you boo… because from here on out, I’m going to be doing that exact thing…world watch out.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

Dudley Demented and a Peck of Owls (OotP 1&2)

Hey cool kids, did ya think I forget this week’s Wizarding World of Law School post? Nah, I’ve just been busy adulting this week, which means things are running a tad bit behind. Here we are though, starting the fifth HP book. To be honest the first chapters of every book are always a tad difficult to make a great blog post out of, but this book starts with a BANG! Check it out!

Chapter 1- Dudley Demented

We are back at Privet Drive. Harry hasn’t heard a word from anyone about what’s going on, so he tends to hide in the bushes listening to the muggle news outside the Dursely’s home. When he hears what he thinks is someone apparating onto the street he rolls out of the bushes with his wand at the ready. Caught by Uncle Vernon, Harry heads to the park where he has a run in with the new and improved Dudley. Okay, maybe improved isn’t the word, but Dudley has lost some weight and joined boxing. In Dudley’s spare time he practices his boxing skills on 10 year olds. Harry and Dudley have a slight altercation, things start to get stormy and they start to run home where they have an encounter with Dementors. Yes, Dementors. Harry of course whips out an “EXPECTO PATRONUMMMMMM.” Suddenly Mrs. Figg, the batty old neighbor from across the street appears explaining she’s a squib and well, that Harry needs protecting.Figg

Chapter 2- A Peck of Owls

Well as the night goes on, Dudley is like truly messed up. Mrs. Figg and Harry get Dudley home. The Dursley’s freak out. Hella owls come saying Harry is expelled, Harry isn’t expelled but has a hearing, and that HE SHOULD NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. But like the Durselys want Harry out… until a howler comes for Petunia with a message “Remember my last, Petunia!”…. Interesting…VERY INTERESTING.

See? I told you it was a BANG! Anyways, isn’t it odd when a) things aren’t always as they seem AND b) everyone is suddenly telling you what to do in your time of need? That’s an interesting part of the law school. They (the weird collective they; the all-knowing, omnipotent they) tell us going into law school that you don’t always end up doing things just the way you plan on doing them once you get out. And they just might be right. That’s not to say that I am having a change of heart or anything, nor does it mean that I don’t want to have food law.

What it means is that things, paths, life goals, life circumstances, etc., aren’t always what they seem. I came to law school thinking that I had one path… well that path was my own carved out sort of mucking it through the mud path. But the thing is, it’s pigeonholed me, and I’ve actually found joy in doing transactional work. Contracts, accounting, real estate, employment, and all other business related law things. But as I start to find joy in these things and look towards doing business/transactional work after law school, people start to try and persuade you to go back to your roots. When you say you want to do corporate work or business work people all of a sudden want you to remember the little man, to remember the public interest work you wanted to do.

The thing is… I haven’t lost my interest in the little man or public interest work. I have always committed my life to serving others, to taking care of other people, to going above and beyond. Only some of that has changed. I have instead started to want to do what’s right for me as well. It’s not about wanting money, it’s not about wanting to help the “big guys,” it’s not about not wanting to do “what’s right.” No, this is about needing to pay my dues, to obtain the skills that will help me help so many more people one day, and to do something I like doing.

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Law school is hard. We all come in thinking that we know exactly what we want to do and how we are going to do it. For some that path works out, for others things change, and it doesn’t help when people suddenly want to speak up about your choices. The best thing one can do is listen to their intuition. You can take people’s advice or follow their directions: Harry decides to follow Aunt Petunia and Arthur Weasley’s words and stay put in the Durselys’ home.  You can also decide to go your own way: yes, like the Fleetwood Mac song.

Either way like they said every day in middle school and high school after the announcements “the choice is yours.” Stay true to you… you’ll be glad you did.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed