14 June 2013

Harry Potter and the I Can't Believe It's Over Readalong

More fun than a poke of Pygmy Puffs.  More tears than Fawkes can fathom. That about sums up this splendid ride that Alice has taken us all on.  Thank you, madam, for hosting this misfit band of international readers. This series contains just about everything one can want in a book, and this last section for today's discussion is the most intense of all. There really is too much but we must try...

Let's start on a happy note, shall we?  Let's celebrate Neville's return:

  • But seriously: how many of you were also thinking in this first chapter, "Go on, Harry.  Tell at least Neville and Luna and Ginny what y'all are up to." Seriously, he's spent half the book being frustrated that Dumbledore never gave him the full picture, so why not rely on these most trustworthy of characters now that he knows the end is nigh?
  • I *love* the Ravenclaw password system.  But it's not very practical, is it? How would ickle firsties know how to answer the questions? Or do we suppose that the eagle door knocker adjusts its questions according to the person knocking?
  • Does anybody else find it strange that Harry abandons his trademark Expelliarmus for Crucio when he leaps to McGonagall's defense?  Not only is it going from a defensive to a completely offensive spell (pun intended), but going from a passive one to a very, very aggressive, not to mention illegal, one.
  • "The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties." I have always thought that this line was completely unfair.  Yes, you'll find me to be a Slytherin apologist, so clearly I will take sides here, but when in the course of the series have we ever seen the Slytherins get a truly fair shake when it comes to Harry and his merry band of Gryffindors?  No matter whether the Slytherin students support Voldemort or not, many of them are being asked to take up arms against their family members or to leave. They are the House that the remaining three houses loathe and make no secret of doing so. They are the House whose end of year House Cup was taken away from then at the last minute by the headmaster, the very person who should be maintaining more neutrality than even the teachers. If Hogwarts itself has shown no loyalty to the Slytherins, why should they choose otherwise? We as readers know all about Harry and what he stands for and his chance to save the world, but the Slytherins themselves are not privy to such information.
  • Percy's reconciliation with his family: brings me to tears every time, and oh, how I ache for them to have more time together before the Weasleys are rent asunder.

  • I love Harry's flash of insight about the no wizard in living memory to figure out about the diadem.  That was very clever of him, indeed, and a major leap in intuition. However, since he saw Voldemort in his vision thinking about where his horcrux was in the Room of Hidden Things a, why didn't they just go straight there to find the diadem?
  • These professors have some seriously whack ideas.  Bopping the Death Eaters on their heads with crystal balls?  That's just silly, but okay, I'll buy it.  But fighting Death Eaters with mandrakes?  Um, how is that going to work?  The Order and the students are all going into battle with earmuffs on, which is ridiculously dangerous? Otherwise wouldn't the mandrakes disable both sides with their screams?
  • I call shenanigans on Ron's ability to mimic Parseltongue well enough to break into the Chamber.   It was quite brilliant of him to think of the idea, but I'm just not buying it. 
  • Ooh, Fiendfyre. Very interesting.  Did anybody notice that in the film, the Fiendfyre takes the forms of the four House mascots? I did not notice that until I started looking for gifs.  
  • And in other news, we finally see Drarry on a broomstick together.
  • Okay, wow. Snape gets the most ignominious death EVER. I assumed for a long time that he would have to die to satisfy the story arc, but I really, really, really was hoping for something more badass than that. Just sayin'. 
  • Frankly, Dumbledore, YOU disgust me. I have a whole essay about it here that I wrote back in 2011. But here are the most relevant parts: Like many people, including Harry himself, I was surprised to learn of Dumbledore's past, but rather than being disappointed in him, it made him far more interesting in my eyes.  Hard-won wisdom, experience, and self-knowledge make for a better character any day in my book (and make me curious what we would learn if given a glimpse of, say, Gandalf's youthful indiscretions).  It's no wonder, then, that in books 1-6 and the backstory we get there that Dumbledore comes across as powerful, wise, and good--it's because he has spent decades reflecting on his past and honing those worthy qualities in atonement.
    So why on earth does he not treat Snape with the compassion we would expect to see in those pensive memories?  After all, we've just learned that 18-year-old Dumbledore was best friends (we find out later from Rowling after the series has been published that they were probably lovers) with Hitler Grindelwald, that he subscribed to his plan for the master human wizarding race ("Muggles forced into subservience" is a direct quotation), and he was quite ready to throw over his own siblings and follow Grindelwald's hallows hunt--not to mention he possibly killed his own sister.  So it felt like a punch to the solar plexus for older-and-wiser Dumbledore to say to Snape, who in 1981 could not have been older than 21, "You disgust me."  Really, Dumbledore?  Snape disgusts you?  For wanting the only person he ever loved to be kept guarded from Voldemort?  Because he didn't automatically beg to save James Potter, the boy who nearly got him killed a few years earlier but was only given detention for it because *you* didn't want to let the wizarding world know you had allowed a werewolf into Hogwarts?  Frankly, Dumbledore, you disgust me for saying that when at almost the same age you were fucking Grindelwald, subscribing to his anti-muggle policies, and wanting to bring back your dead mother so she could watch over your younger siblings and relieve you of your adult responsibilities. To exaggerate slightly and put it more bluntly, Dumbledore was well on his way to becoming one half of a two-man Death Eater Squad team, all in the name of The Greater Good, and yet in his older & wiser years isn't able to empathize with Snape's youthful mistakes?!

    [sidebar: why couldn't Dumbledore have just been gay in the books instead of being outed after the last book had been published? I do not think lowly enough of Ms. I'm-Wealthier-Than-God Rowling that she was worried that she wouldn't sell as many books if a main character were gay, so what was the reason?]

    And as if that weren't enough, Dumbledore makes a second knife-thrust to the heart when he says "Perhaps we sort too soon." Why, Albus?  Because Slytherins are second-class citizens?  Incapable of doing good in the world?  Because only Gryffindors can be brave?  Because Slytherins, unlike Gryffindors, don't deserve a second chance when they recover from their adolescent foolery?

    It's not that I don't respect Albus for his teenage failings.  We all do things in our younger lives that as adults we are not particularly proud of, and we commit acts in pairs or groups that we wouldn't dream of doing on our own.  In fact, Albus's dabbling with anti-muggle policy in his youth makes him a far more interesting character in my eyes, and I admire his fortitude and redemption in later life all the more.  Which is why I cannot forgive his lack of empathy towards Snape in these pensieve memories.  If it's because Snape reminds Albus of his own teenage self, then it's all the more reason for me to want to bitchslap  ol' Dumby.

  • Ahem.  I digress.  "I open at the close." Very poetic. I love the scene of Harry with his color guard on the way to his death.  I mean, it kills me, but I love it. I love it for its own merits as well as because it reminds of the scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where Aslan is walking toward his own death, accompanied in the cold of the night by Lucy and Susan.  And then when Harry asks, "You'll stay with me?" and James responds, "Until the very end," I totally lose it.  It's a lot like this:

  • And because it just wouldn't be a Harry Potter readalong without it, I must draw attention to one of my favorite "wand" references: "He picked up the holly and phoenix wand and felt a sudden warmth in his fingers, as though wand and hand were rejoicing at their reunion." Yeah, I just bet they were. 
  • Neville has his moments of awesomeness. Narcissa Malfoy has her moment, too, and though it's less awesome, I want more than ever her back story.
  • That epilogue. I. Can't. Even. I know y'all are rolling your eyes at me by now, but I have a really good fanfic downloaded called Coda to an Epilogue: 20 Year Later, or the Kids Are All Right.  It's about 90 pages long, so I cannot post it, but I can email it. Let me know if you'd like me to send it to you. It's completely canon-compliant as far as I recall, and it puts closure on the wizarding world in a way that JKR's epilogue does not: Young James Potter acts a lot like his eponym, young Albus Severus gets sorted into Slytherin and becomes best friends with Scorpius, and Draco marries a tough freedom fighter from Portugal.  Plus sewers and alligators.  And lots of humor.
  • I am so sad that the end is here for this readalong.  I think, above all, that is the main reason I read fan fiction--it allows me to linger in this world a little longer.  Thank you, JKR. Thank you, Alice.
  • This YouTube video is a little long, but it's a good way to bid Snape adieu. 


  1. I don't think that's fair on Dumbledore. Given what we know about him, and given what we learn in this book particularly, it's more than likely that Dumbledore was seeing himself in young Snape and was disgusted in the traits that they shared. Traits that at that point in time he'd had a long time to recognise as completely revolting.

    As for the slytherin thing. At this stage in the series all we've seen is slytherin = death eater, which isn't fair since there's nothing inherent in the slytherin descriptors which is synonymous with evil. Anyway, I wish we'd seen some slytherins stay, and if we have to keep the mean and nasty Slytherin paradigm then I'd love a scene where someone had to decide to leave or to stay, if it meant facing off against their family. Can you imagine how powerful a scene that could have been? The only reason the Malfoys turned away was because it threatened their family and that's the line they drew. What would have happened if a teenaged Sirius had faced Regulus at the battle (for lack of a current example)? Or hell, Percy was heading along an Umbridge shaped path, what if he'd ended up on the other side come battle time? So basically, if Slytherin had to be "evil" I wish something interesting had been done with it.

    1. Kayleigh, I DO suspect it's because Albus sees some of himself in Snape and that's the very reason why it cuts to the quick and angers me so much. If he's said "You disgust me. You remind me of myself at that age" or "You disgust me, but I think I understand where you're coming from" it would have been totally different. But Dumbledore at that age in this series has had DECADES of reflecting on his life and his mistakes and that's why he's the epitome of empathy. His total lack of empathy for Snape? Terrible.

      re: the Slytherins. Oh, wow. What I would give to see it played out with just a small handful of SLytherins staying to defend Hogwarts, to stand against their families.

      While I'm SUPER glad that Percy returned to his family, I agree with you: it would have much more powerful dramatically had he shown up to fight on the ministry's/death eaters side. And of course I always want more on Regulus.

    2. I somehow completely missed that line in your post, whoops! But yeah, I know what you mean although it doesn't really bother me. Or at least not in the same way it angers you.

      I'm definitely glad that Percy returned to the Weasleys, that whole example would work a lot better if JK had developed a Slytherin, probably one with siblings, and allowed that stand off to happen.

      Oh oh and I would like that epilogue fan fic please!!

    3. I'm fairly certain that some Slytherins DID stay and fight. At the very least, Slughorn returned to fight in his green pajamas. And then the portrait of Phineas Nigellus says to Harry at the end, "Remember that us Slytherins did our part."

    4. Megs, you're right about ol' Sluggie. He did return, and I'm glad he did. BUt when Phineas Nigellus says that, I assumed he meant Snape. Maybe other Slytherins came back, too. I'd sure like to think so, but we'll never know.

  2. I LOVE the Ranvenclaw passwords too! And even more than that, I love the idea that the door adjusts its questions for the knocker. Genius.

    "No matter whether the Slytherin students support Voldemort or not, many of them are being asked to take up arms against their family members or to leave." To be fair, their family members are taking up arms against their peers. Hated or not, that's not an easy thing to accept either (see Draco). The situation is a little effed up all around.

    "I call shenanigans on Ron's ability to mimic Parseltongue well enough to break into the Chamber" - AGREED. It's not like Harry JUST taught him, that was months ago that Ron heard him, when he was freezing and terrified! BULL.

    EXCELLENT POINT about Dumbledore's inconsistencies and inability to forgive another's man's mistakes. I think that this is yet another unfortunate example of JKR writing what she thinks her readers want rather than a consistent, believable story.

    And I love that Snape video - Alan Rickman's probably one of the best parts of the movie.

    1. As always, you raise an excellent counter point: why are the Slytherins NOT upset that their families are attacking Hogwarts and their peers? I hadn't dwelled on that thought at all. I might suggest that they slytherins have been so disenfranchised by this point in the series that they don't think of other houses as their peers any longer? It's so sad no matter how you look at it.

    2. If we take the assumption that Slytherins were raised by Death Eaters (which is kind of a stretch, but is the general assumption in the books), and then we lump them all together where they don't really get exposed to other points of view in any meaningful way, and then send them home over the summer to the aforementioned Death Eater parents, it doesn't surprise me that they wouldn't think of the other houses as their peers - probably at all, given what Draco says about going home in book 1. They've been raised as either the "aristocracy" (Draco) or as just plain haters (Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy), so they see what they expect to see.

      It's a self-fulfilling prophecy on BOTH sides. I don't disagree that the real losers here are the Slytherin kids and I wish the teachers were less biased, but I don't think disenfranchised is the right word. They've been raised by the equivalent of Nazis (or Nazi apologists), and it's no surprise that they turn out to be the wizard equivalent of skinheads.

    3. If we take the assumption that Slytherins were raised by Death Eaters (which is kind of a stretch, but is the general assumption in the books), and then we lump them all together where they don't really get exposed to other points of view in any meaningful way, and then send them home over the summer to the aforementioned Death Eater parents, it doesn't surprise me that they wouldn't think of the other houses as their peers - probably at all, given what Draco says about going home in book 1. They've been raised as either the "aristocracy" (Draco) or as just plain haters (Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy), so they see what they expect to see.

      It's a self-fulfilling prophecy on BOTH sides. I don't disagree that the real losers here are the Slytherin kids and I wish the teachers were less biased, but I don't think disenfranchised is the right word. They've been raised by the equivalent of Nazis (or Nazi apologists), and it's no surprise that they turn out to be the wizard equivalent of skinheads.

    4. DAMMIT stupid Google, I wrote this great post and then I had to sign in and now it's GONE. Technology: making our lives better.

      OK SO:

      Here's the thing about the Slytherins. They're raised by Death Eaters (by-and-large), and then sorted into a house where they spend most of their time supporting one another's conditioning, and then go home for the summer to reinforce said opinions with their Death Eater parents. I seriously doubt that the bulk of them EVER felt like they were a part of the larger peer group, especially based on what Draco says about being sorted into Hufflepuff in book 1.

      They're the losers here, for sure, and it would be great if Hogwarts teachers were less biased. But the prejudice happens on BOTH sides - these aren't just your average kids coming in and then getting ignored.

    5. Tika, it didn't disappear--I just have my comments set for moderation. Do you want me to delete any of them? Just let me know.

      Maybe I'm using the word disenfranchised incorrectly? They certainly wouldn't have been under Snape's/Voldie's regime at Hogwarts, but I think they were under Dumbledore's. Unless this word doesn't mean what I think it means, in which case it's inconthievable and I bow to you. :)

      You think the Slytherins as a group have turned out to be wizarding skinheads? Perhaps so. I wish there were more evidence otherwise, but I think JKR gives them a bad rap somewhat unfairly. All of the good we know of any Slytherins comes out after they die, like in the case of Regulus and Snape. So while I agree that there's not much textual evidence of their innate goodness, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that 25% of the wizarding population (assuming that the Houses are roughly equal in number) are destined to be the wizarding equivalent of skinheads from the age of 11 onward.

  3. Your observations about Dumbledore are spot-on. It is kind of odd that he would initially have so little sympathy for Snape, but I guess he's spent so long convincing himself that he isn't his younger self that it's hard for him not to condemn Snape's mistakes. And yes, WTF at Dumbledore not expelling Sirius over the Shrieking Shack prank. I never really thought too much about that.

    Also, I completely agree with you about the Dumbledore being gay thing. Even though we don't see much of the teachers' private lives at all throughout the books, I do wonder why she waited until the last book was out to answer that question. I'm SURE people asked her before then about Dumbledore's past and (more likely) whether he and McGonagall were an item.

    I agree on the shenanigans re: mandrakes and Ron speaking Parseltongue. Silly Ron.

  4. Does html work here? If so, here.

    I greatly enjoy your Slytherin defense, if only because it needs to be defended by SOMEone. It kind of sucks she made them the Evil House; she's so good at otherwise making people/things shades of grey. It's almost like she has a Petunia/Hogwarts relationship with them. "REJECT *ME*, SLYTHERIN? We'll see how you fare in my book." *scribbles furiously*

    1. The html did work, and that was an interesting essay. And yes, it's hard to imagine a conversation that Dumbledore would have had with Harry where he would have told him he was gay.

      BUT we find out most of the Grindelwald stuff from an article written by Rita Skeeter and you cannot tell me that she wouldn't reveal that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were lovers if Dumbledore weren't closeted. And if Dumbledore WERE closeted all of his life, then that's another issue altogether, no?

    2. Good point about Rita Skeeter. But I really doubt JKR would have Dumbledore's sexuality described by Rita, since everything Rita says about Dumbledore (and everyone else) is in a negative light. If it were to be mentioned, I think JKR would want it show in a completely positive light, or else just mentioned as a casual aside.

    3. True about Rita. We don't really know which way the wind blows in the wizarding world re: sexual preferences. It's addressed in lots of fanfics (of course), but we don't really have anything textual that supports pro-gay or anti-gay, do we? If there is, i cannot think of it. Rita implies that Dumbledore might have had an inappropriate relationship with Harry, but that could just as easily be attributed to the mentor/student relationship and not because they were both male.

      Though I hadn't thought about it before Alice posted that link, I see the point that you, Jenny, and Alice make. There was no graceful way to work into the story what Dumbledore's leanings were, and if Rowling had done so, it could have been taken as some kind of agenda. But since Rowling was so great about showing great female characters AND great characters of color, it seems natural to me that she could have shown us great characters who were gay, as in my mind those are three "-isms" (or alternately, phobias) that to my astonishment are still at large in society: sexism, racism, homophobia).

      Even if JKR had just shown two students of the same gender who were given detention for making out in the corridors, etc--any kind of casual inclusion like that I would have appreciated. Or if, I dunno, Harry had seen Hannah Abbott and Susan Bones holding hands at that date place in Hogsmeade. Madame Puddifoot's.

    4. The human/animal relationship is pretty well represented with Aberforth and his goats. So she could have definitely put in a little same-sex hand-holding.

    5. Hot damn! I forgot about Aberforth and his illicit goat interactions. You're right, Megs. Hannah + Susan would totally should have been canon.

  5. I think the reason JKR doesn't bring up Dumbledore being gay in the books is that it's never relevant. There are a bunch of characters whose love lives don't come up, including basically all the teachers but Snape. And Rowling didn't bring it up herself after the books were all published -- someone asked her and she said what was in her notes; which is basically how we found out everything about everyone's love lives that weren't relevant in the books.

    (Derp. I now realize Alice just posted a link that basically says exactly that.)

  6. I can already tell this comment is going to be long so apologies in advance.

    I was SO annoyed that Harry wouldn't just tell Ginny, Neville, and Luna the plan. I mean wtf? Why would you bother keeping it from them? What good will that do?

    The Ravenclaw password/riddle thing is the only secure one. I mean really, all you need for Griff & Slyth is to know the password and how hard is that to get? Just stand near the door until you hear someone say it. Huffs are slightly better, but once you know the song, you're set. It doesn't change. <--Things I've spent way too long thinking about.

    Totally agree about all of Hogwarts being against the Slyths so why would they fight with them? It made me that much happier when Phinny was cheering saying "Don't forget what Slytherin did!" Also I think the whole sorting thing is DUMB and it's so nice to see all the houses sit jumbled up together in the end. as it should always be

    Your twins gif is making me cry. STOP THAT

    I would like to see this fan fic epilogue you speak of.

    1. Fanfic epilogue on its way.

      YES! I mean, Harry finally got that he didn't want to be too much like Dumbledore and told Neville to kill the snake, but imagine how much easier they might have had it if Luna, Neville, and Ginny were in on the plot.

      I totally forgot about singing to enter the Hufflepuff common room. When did we learn that?

      I don't like Phineas much at all, but it kinda made me sad for him that he's so desperate for his House to be remembered--like he knows that any good that Slytherin had done would likely fade into the background of history.

      BOO to sorting! Students should be grouped by year for their dormitories, sit where they want for eating, and not have a House Cup. It breeds too much contempt.

    2. Thank you for the fanfic! :)

      I think I read about the way into the Hufflepuff common room on the HP Wiki.
      "[The Hufflepuff common room & dorms] are accessed through a pile of large barrels, found stacked in a shadowy stone recess on a right-hand side corridor near the kitchens. The barrel two from the bottom, middle of the second row, will open if tapped in the rhythm of 'Helga Hufflepuff'."
      Because clearly at some point I wanted to see how easy it would be to break into the various rooms.

      Is sorting kids into various houses a thing they do a British boarding schools? Or just boarding schools in general? It seems so odd for a school to want to set up an "us vs them" scenario for kids right from day one.

    3. Oh, right. HP Wiki. I forget about that sometimes that it's out there with lots of cool extra information.

      "It seems so odd for a school to want to set up an "us vs them" scenario for kids right from day one." Couldn't agree with you more on that.

  7. Oh my god, oh my god, is there loads of George crying over Fred in the movie? I WILL CLEARLY NEVER BE ABLE TO WATCH IT :'(

    Ron HAS heard Harry saying 'open' in Parseltongue a few times though- and, how complex is it really as a language? I'll believe it, is what I'm saying.

    Ok, WEIRDLY I am kind of with you on this Dumbles thing? I feel like JK sees Dumbles' youth and Snape's as COMPLETELY separate, so Dumbledore can judge Snape for his not-greatness (but why WOULD he want to save James? *I* wouldn't even want to save James) but yeah, actually, not cool, D-Dore. (Obviously I am agreeing with you here because SNAAAAAPE. Oh, Snape.) And why didn't she make Dumbles, like, outwardly gay? DAMMIT JK.

    *sigh* why is this over? Why aren't there more books? I don't know- All I know is that I'm going to watch that Snape video now and probably cry some more.

    1. I mean, as long as we're cool with stereotyping, maybe JKR *did* make Dumbles outwardly gay with his stylin', fashion-forward magenta suit he wore in calling on RIddle's orphanage. (j/k, obvs)

      Maybe I'm judging Ron based on my own faulty ear when it comes to other languages? :)

  8. I have some thoughts about this Dumbledore debacle. I've been thinking for a long time about the Pensieve and how it may not be 100% accurate because memories ARE shaped so much by the perception of the rememberer.

    In Snape's memories, I was struck by how COLD Dumbledore seemed. He was very matter-of-fact and, yeah, judgmental...and that just isn't really his character.

    So I'm quite willing to believe that Snape projected a lot of his OWN guilt and self-judgment on Dumbledore, and that colored his memory of those conversations...which is what Harry ended up observing.

    Maybe all the content is real, but the tone is not.

    1. Oh, that's a provocative take. I'll have to think on that one a little. Because you're right: perception does shape memories and in other Pensieve scenes (largely from Book 4 in the Wizengamot) I wondered the same thing.

      But I'm not sure how many ways there are to take "You disgust me," whether it's said coldly or not.

      Stop saying interesting things that might make me back off my Snape defense, okay? :)

    2. Yes this about cold Dumbledore. I very much believe that because the Pensieve shows memories, and memories aren't objective.

    3. Emily, I am STILL all about Snape defense. I will stand next to you with my stick and help you poke people who are mean about Snape. Don't you worry.

  9. Those Fred gifs! *weeps*

    I also found it jarring when Harry used Crucio. And it's super weird that McGonagall is totally cool with it.

    Your posts always generate the best comment threads! Such interesting stuff here. And oo! Oo! I would like to read that epilogue!

    1. I've always liked the twins against my better judgment, but I was desperately sad about Fred. Or rather, for George in the aftermath of Fred. So I wanted to find effective gifs for them.

      Happy to send epilogue to you! If your email address isn't listed on your blog somewhere, please leave it in a comment for me here.

    2. My email address is kayleighvonw at gmail.com. Thank you!

    3. Kayleigh, I just sent it. Let me know if you don't get it.

  10. "•I call shenanigans on Ron's ability to mimic Parseltongue well enough to break into the Chamber."

    Yeaaah I kind of felt that way too. Come on, really, Ron was able to just remember the hissing sounds and imitate it? Doubtful.

    As for Dumbledore... I understood his saying that to Snape. Didn't Snape try to convince Voldy to kill JUST the baby and not Lily? That's pretty shitty. And this was when he was begging Dumbledore to let him defect to the good side, so it makes sense that Dumbledore wouldn't have been kind to him at the time. I think he does become a more sympathetic to Snape as time goes on, once it's obvious that Snape truly switched sides and he does so much good work. But when they first started making contact and Snape was still a Death Eater, he totally deserved that kind of attitude.

    Also, Snape was an asshole no matter how you look at it. I mean I love him because it story is just crazy and heartbreaking and he's a much better man than you could've really seen coming from the start of the series, but he was a real dick like 90% of the time.

    I wonder sometimes why she didn't come out and show Dumbledore as gay in the series, and I'm thinking that it just didn't fit in neatly anywhere. Most of Dumbledore's life story is really private, and we just don't get exposed to that much of any of the staff's personal lives. In fact if she had thrown in his being gay in there somewhere, it might have been seen as a blatant attempt to stir up some drama and controversy to better her book sales.

    I'm so going to miss these readalong posts :)

    1. You drive a hard bargain for spies, Sarah. :)

      Snape couldn't possibly have begged Voldemort for Harry's life without being killed himself. And if he was killed, then he couldn't spy for Dumbledore. Dumbledore told Snape that he disgusted him when he begged Dumbledore to save Lily.

      I'm not saying that Snape didn't deserve that kind of attitude, per se (although I do think it's a little too harsh). I'm saying that since Dumbledore himself had done terrible, despicable things when he was just 2-3 years younger than Snape was when he came to him, that he ought to have been more understanding and forgiving.

      But that line later in the penseive memories, where Dumbledore has to promise never to reveal the best of Severus? Kills me every time.

  11. Em!

    I love your HP posts.... I miss our long talks about all of it. Maybe we should schedule a movie-watching marathon weekend sometime soon? :-)

    I would love to see the epilogue if you could send it to me please?

    As for the whole "Dumbledore being gay after the fact" thing.... I agree it would have been great for a young pair to hold hands, as y'all suggest. But I'm sure she was avoiding backlash by not having any (openly) gay themes.... as a YA series I'm sure she just didn't think it would be considered safe. I mean, please, plenty of backwards areas banned HP from school libraries b/c of the witchcraft themes... can you imagine what they would have done with GAY witches???? Ha!


    1. On its way to you, Mel. We can have a whole 'nother conversation about Gay But Closeted Dumbledore then!


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