“So what part of it isn't living up to your expectations?" asked Harry. Anger was coming to his defence now. "Did you think we'd be staying in five star hotels? Finding a Horcrux every other day? Did you think you'd be back to Mummy be Christmas?"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I understand the phrase "come to one's defence" as in His friends quickly came to his defense. The subject should be a person. But in this case, it's 'anger'. How should we understand it correctly?

1 Answer 1


What this means is that Harry was getting defensive and slightly angry (at that particular moment). When we have built up emotions inside and someone attacks us (complains, blames, criticisms, etc.), we tend to get defensive. And it is quite natural to get angry when we are defensive.

Ron was sort of complaining and blaming Harry ("We thought you knew what you were doing!” shouted Ron, ... we thought you had a real plan!").

I am guessing this is used as figurative language - doing so brings emphasis on "anger" as if it were a being.

From the context, it seems that Harry was not fully angry until after he was taken out of the tent.

  • Is it just "slightly angry" when the author tried to bring emphasis on 'anger'?
    – dan
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 5:26
  • I think so because in the next few lines, it says "Well, sorry to let let you down, said Harry, his voice quite calm ...". If he was furious, I would imagine his voice wouldn't be calm. He was at least not as angry as Ron. I also came to this conclusion (slightly angry) because it says "Anger was coming...". It wasn't there yet.
    – AIQ
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 5:36
  • Maybe, Harry was getting angery in the course of his defence.
    – dan
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 5:53
  • That is what I meant, Harry wasn't fully angry (during that particular conversation/exchange) until the moment he saw Malfoy and Lestrange outside the tent.
    – AIQ
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 6:01
  • I'm not sure this is correct. This makes it seem like "anger" and "defensiveness" are just two related emotions that coexist. However, the phrasing of the sentence seems to imply more than that. It sounds like he was using anger in pursuit of the goal of defense.
    – Alex
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 1:00

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