I've been arguing back and forth with someone about what we think is going to happen in the 6th book. (July 16th baby!!) She's convinced herself that Dumbledore is really evil. But I do not think this is possible. Much of this may be a stretch, but here we go...
The real contest in the novels is between Harry and Voldemort. Dumbledore, universally acknowledged as the most powerful wizard of the time, can take care of Voldemort any time. Voldemort knows he can't "win" against him, just as Satan knows he cannot "win" against God. The Death Eaters have no choice but to come when they're called, and to do V's bidding, because otherwise they will suffer grave consequences. Those enslaved by sin know this as well. They must keep up these habits, because otherwise they think they won't know who they are. And the further they are in the service of sin (and V) the more they are stuck in it and the more twisted they are because they enjoy it. Bellatrix Lestrange is one of the most frightening characters in the novel because she is the most faithful of V's followers. She is completely gone into his service. But even she feels fear of her "master". Oh, and of course, Voldemort is a serpent. 'Nuff said.
Dumbledore on the other hand seems to know all, is all-powerful, and all-good and protecting. He also doesn't always tell everyone what he's up to, he's rather mysterious if you will. ha. There is freedom in Dumbledore's service. There is protection from harm (Only loyalty to Dumbledore could call Fawkes to Harry when he faced the serpent) and patience (He does not force Harry to tell him what's on his mind even when he knows there's something: "Is there anything you wish to tell me?"). Before Dumbledore, there is awe and trembling, but not fear in the same way as Bellatrix would fear Vold.
In the 5th book, Dumbledore reminds Vold. that there is something worse than death, and that his not understanding that is his greatest weakness. Voldemort scoffs at this of course, but when
he enters Harry and tries to get Dum. to kill him, he is forced out of Harry by Harry's love for Sirius. Harry thinks he'd rather die than go through this pain that Voldemort's possession is causing, and he has a feeling of joy in dying if he'll see his godfather again. V couldn't stand this love and had to leave him.
I'm sure in the end it will be Harry's willingness to die for his friends that will destroy Voldemort. Now who does THAT remind us of??? ;)
Other little details
It is quite clear which family we like the most: the Weasleys! And they may be a bit poor, but they are happy, and they are a large family. No birth control here! 6 boys and 1 girl, all with flaming red hair. Mrs. Weasley is often pictured cooking and bustling around taking care of everyone. She is very motherly. Mr. Weasley obviously loves his family and is not concerned with "moving up" in his career as long as he can provide for what they need.
Family is so important in the books. Blood relations especially. There's the twisted version of this in the pureblood crazy families, but that does not lead to a devaluing of blood ties in the rest of the book. We learn that the reason Harry has to stay at Privet Drive is because his mother's blood, in his aunt, resides there. Who the person's parents are determines much of a kid's identity. In school, there is talk of whose parents- one or both- are Muggles. There are terrible insults for those who are Muggle-born. Even though he/she is away at school, these kids are not separate from their parents... they carry them with them.
Mundungus, who is part of the Order, is a crook, plain and simple. He even left guarding Harry to conduct a "business deal"- but he's included in the Order. He's a theif, yet has a good heart and is forgiven...even multiple times.
It is pointed out that how you treat those "inferior" to you determines your fate. Umbridge hates any part-humans, and is carried away by centaurs. Harry treated Dobby with respect, and Dobby has not ceased trying to help him, and at key moments he plays a part. Sirius hated and finally yelled "GET OUT!" at Kreacher, and that basically led to his death along the line. Dumbledore agreed with Hermione that they should treat Kreacher well. What you did for the least of these....
The most dangerous characteristic anyone can have in the book is pride- the first sin. We see it in Harry and want to yell at him. We see it in Fudge, in Umbridge, in Sirius and Snape. And we see it personified in Voldemort.
The power of the word is all over the place. The spells require words, said in a precise way. There's even a little warning about society and language. As my professor says, "Verbal engineering always precedes social engineering." We can abort a fetus because it's not a baby. If you lost the fight over the language, you lose period. Hermione points out that in their new textbook, the author argues that the counterjinx is improperly named, and is really just a way of making an excuse for a jinx. She disagrees. The Ministry is trying to control what the kids learn and what they call things. These subtle things are how bigger things start.
Ok this is getting ridiculous! Yes, I've thought too much about it and could even write more if I thought some more. I'm at work and bored as usual.