Fred, George, and Lee trying out their sweets on the first years is not cool. Especially, if Harry is correct, that they didn't tell the kids that they were guinea pigs for essentially a medical experiment.
Hermione tricking the house elves into freedom is creepy too. It's one thing to want to set the house elves free (which I'm still sorta think is Hermione projecting her own wants and cultural understanding on others, even if freedom seems like it should be the way to go), but now she's tricking them. This also brings up lots of confusion how the whole "house elf freedom via clothes" things work.
First, the house elves aren't her responsibility. They work for/belong to Hogwarts, so shouldn't the clothes have to come from Dumbledore or at least one of the other professors? How can Hermione free elves that aren't under her command? In CoS, Lucius is the one that (unknowingly) gave Dobby the clothes. If it didn't have to be him, you'd have thought Harry would have just given him something earlier.
Second, these elves aren't being given clothes. They're just randomly finding them. Don't they have to be presented with clothes? I mean, we have tales of Kreacher snogging Sirius's dad's trousers in the last section, so it's not just picking up clothes that frees them. So even if Hermione could free elves by just giving them her hats, they would have to actually be given them, not just find them around, right? I am confused.
Hermione, quit being a bitch to Luna. She's amazing even if she is a bit spacey. And considering you're a witch you could believe in a little more whimsy. That said, Luna, I heart you but you're crazy. Perhaps don't believe in ALL THE THINGS
Umbridge is so awful, which I know, understatement. Her detention for Harry is so so terrible. I really wish Harry had gone all Bartleby the Scrivner on her and just "preferred not to" to his detention.Or you know, had gone to Dumbles or McGonagall about it cos WTF?
It was a dick thing for Sirius to make the "James woulda done it" comment to Harry. Is it worse than the stuff Harry's been snapping at people? Slightly, because Sirius is an adult but it's close*. It's childish sure, and something said when you're frustrated. And figure Sirius's frustration is probably at an all time high after the Daily Prophet story about how he's in London. And he's probably been hearing from others in the Order that he needs to stay inside EVEN HARDER than he has been. He probably figured Harry would think he should come out to visit, even if he wasn't actually going to do it. So yeah, he deserves to be smacked for the comment, but I still feel bad for the guy.
Why is Hermione having such a hard time saying Voldemort? I know this is supposed to be something to show how brave she's being by saying it, but it's not like she grew up knowing you're supposed to fear the guy. It makes sense for Ron and other students from magical families, or those that dealt with Voldie's rein the first time around to fear his name. Muggle-born students, though?
Good planning going to the Hog's Head instead of the Three Broomsticks for your secret meeting. Bad planning to think that just because there are no students around, you can speak freely. Even when you see suspicious characters all around the bar. I'm glad Mundungus was hanging around and hopefully would stop them if they were going to say anything someone around the bar REALLY shouldn't overhear. And glad Sirius told them to not do that again cos COME ON, Hermione. You should know better.
Harry's crush on Cho almost makes up for his angst. It's so cute.
"It would look suspicious if people from different Houses were seen crossing the Great Hall to talk to each other too often" - and this line makes me unreasonably sad. But really? It's THAT unusual for people in different houses to be friends? I'm thinking the hat is even more right in saying it's not such a great thing the students are split up.
I am coming to terms with the fact that I really don't care about the Quidditch stuff. I glaze over whenever these games come up. Just let's get through it so we can get back to the interesting stuff. Because when the rest of the story is all life and death, I don't care so much about a sporting match.
I also sorta glazed over during Hagrid's giant story, but I'm going to blame that on residual Quidditch glaze. But when Umbridge shows up and starts questioning Hagrid and is all suspicious about someone being there. She's very smart which makes her so much worse than the other villains Harry's tangled with.
I apologize because this post is a mess. And I don't know how to end it so
*Also Sirius is an adult who has spent most of his adult life in prison being psychologically tortured. Can we congratulate both Harry & Sirius for not turning into sociopaths? Because really, good job you guys. Color me impressed.
Title quote from page 266
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Scholastic, 2003.