|In honor of yesterday|
Chapter Twelve The Patronus ends with a bang, and I'm pleased that it provides me with my favorite gif ever.
Chapter Thirteen: Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw. More quidditch. Yawn. I like watching quidditch in the films, but reading about it doesn't do much for me. Except I think the word "quidditch" is an excellent word, and except for the time when Luna is commentator, but that's not for two more books yet.
p. 264: the twins sneak off to Hogsmeade and return with piles of sweets for the party. Do you reckon it's bought or stolen from basement of Honeyduke's? As much as I'd like to think they bought it, I think it's unlikely. Exhibit A: no money for treating an entire house. Exhibit B: Wouldn't the proprietors of Honeyduke's be likely to report back to the school if a student were in the shop outside of a Hogsmeade weekend? You know, with Sirius Black on the loose and all?
Chapter Fourteen: Snape's Grudge. p. 270. Wait, they have trolls hired to guard the Fat Lady? What the what? Beyond the matter of their "comparing the size of their clubs," which makes me smirk, what makes these trolls different from the "OMG, troll in the dungeon, everybody head to your common room" panic from book one?
p. 274. See, here's some language play I like: "'Because her cat acted like all cats do,' Hagrid continued doggedly." and then later on the same page, Hagrid whomps those two schoolboys with some Hard Truth: "But I gotta tell yeh. I thought you two'd value yer friend more'n broomsticks or rats. That's all."
That's right. Hermione's been running attending more classes than either Harry or Ron, and she still made time to help Hagrid with his court case.
p. 283. I love this bit from Snape, too: "'What would your head have been doing in Hogsmeade, Potter?' Snape said softly. 'Your head is not allowed in Hogsmeade. No part of your body has permission to be in Hogsmeade.'"
Chapter Nineteen: The Servant of Lord Voldemort. Oh, I get plenty emotional reading this chapter. If I had been born a man in any century but this one, I would have been among the first to enlist for any war if the cause were just. I'm embarrassingly
Chapter Twenty-One: Hermione's Secret. Now, I'm clearly the biggest Snape apologist in this readalong, but even I have to say that it stretches the limits of my credulity that 15 (or so) years later, he remembers precisely which knot on the Whomping Willow to prod in order to crawl in safely. The tree itself would have grown and changed in that time, too. I know Snape is brilliant, but that might be going too far.
Later in the same chapter, I think it's important to note that Snape, despite his hatred and belief that Sirius is a cold-blood killer, still treats Black more kindly than Black treated him. He conjures up a stretcher for Harry, Hermione and Sirius after they've fainted from the Dementors, whereas Sirius just used mobilicorpus on Snape and allowed his head to be bumped all along the passageway between the Shrieking Shack and the Whomping Willow.
Snape is awesome and basically the best character ever. He's brilliant and complicated and deeply unpleasant and wounded and lonely and loyal and brave. Therefore he deserves as many gifs as I can gif him.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Owl Post Again. When Dumbledore explains to Harry that Pettigrew now owes him a life debt--I had so much fun imagining how that would play out at the end of the series. Frankly, I think my version would have tied multiple plot lines together and come full circle better than the one JKR chose: that Pettigrew, using his new silver arm courtesy of GoF, would protect Harry against Fenrir in some version of the final battle.
All in all, a very satisfying conclusion to the series and a wonderful lead in to the next book. Almost perfect. Assuming, of course, that you are able to swallow the whole time travel issue with all of its paradoxes, which I confess is sometimes a bit of a challenge.