Friday, March 22, 2013


Happy Harry Potter Day! (Or normal Friday for those of you not playing along with this readalong even though you TOTALLY SHOULD). Let's get the basics out of the way:

1. Thank you Alice for hosting this readalong, and all of it's awesomeness
2. There will be spoilers. And also some shouting. And gifs.
3. Enjoy

OK, so this is it. This is the Harry Potter book I've never made it past when re-reading. I've read the whole series through once and then I've re-read the first 4 books a few times. But I get to this book and I stop. I can't go on. Except this is also my favorite book of the series. So go figure. This time I'm going to have to just accept that bad things are coming.
This is Harry at his teenage angsty-est. He has very good reasons for being so moody, considering the whole "seeing Voldemort come back" thing, and the "no one will tell me what's going on and I'm stuck at the Dursley's" thing, and finally the "I'm 15 and teenagers are terrible" thing. He has good reasons for snapping at everyone, and yet I still want someone to smack him upside the head and tell him to shut up. They can hug him after. But Mr. Shoutypants is sounding like a douche. (Especially in Umbridge's class when he's all "Hmm let's think...maybe Lord Voldemort!" and you just want to be like "Really Harry? That the scathing line you went with? Maybe...ugh just sit down.")

Why do I like this book the mostest? Cos we get MOAR SIRIUS.
Not just Sirius, but also Lupin and Tonks and actual Mad Eye, and all the best characters. How much do you want to be friends with Tonks? So much? So much. The order is now hanging out at the Black family home, using it for all important Order business. Poor Sirius can't leave, now that the Death Eaters know his Animagus form (dammit Wormtail, you asshole), and he (quite understandably) HATES his family home. Remember when I said I wanted to smack Harry for his moodiness? I'm more forgiving of Sirius's. Probably because I love him, but also because his moodiness doesn't manifest itself in snapping at his friends. And also cos he has gone through way more. Not to downplay Harry's anguish but Sirius spent 12* years being mentally tortured in Azkaban, so the fact that he's not a raving lunatic is pretty incredible.

How great was the Mrs. Weasley/Sirius parenting styles duel? "Harry must be protected from all nasty things around him!" vs "Harry needs to know what he's up against!" Boom! Pow! And Harry gets to be in the middle of all these people fighting over who's going to be his parent the hardest and HOW GREAT IS THAT?
"He's not your son," said Sirius quietly
"He's as good as," said Mrs. Weasley fiercely. "Who else has he got?"
"He's got me!"
AWWWW. Harry deserves people fighting about who loves him the most. Especially after last week and we were all weeping over the fact that he'd never been hugged "like by a mother" and was so sad Sirius had to leave.

That said, Mrs. Weasley's comment about how Sirius hasn't been a parent to him cos he's been locked up for 12 years is a low blow.
Not cool, Mrs. W
"Sirius, how dare you be unfairly locked up for a crime you didn't commit! Didn't you think of who would watch after Harry while you were being framed and then locked up without trial?"

Speaking of the whole Molly/Sirius battle, Mrs. Weasley may have a (slight) point when she tells Sirius to remember Harry isn't James. Of course she's also overlooking how much Sirius did to watch out for Harry in the fourth book. Unless her comment was building on an on-going argument they had been having that we didn't get to see, because we were hanging out with Harry at the Dursley's.

Kreacher is terrible. I forget how awful he is. I know, I know, Sirius is mean to him. Probably because Kreacher spends the whole time talking about how awful everyone is and calling them names that have been established are REALLY BAD. "Mudblood" is sort of "the m-word" of the wizarding world, yes? 

So the O.W.L.s are super important. What happened to the students who were supposed to take their exams but didn't because if the Triwizard tournament? Do they have to make them up? Those kids are just screwed and can never get jobs now.

Also how you do on your O.W.L.s determines what jobs you can apply to? That...that is so scary. You have to make these decisions when you're 15? What do I think of that, you ask?
We get to meet Luna. Luna, Luna, you're so great. Sure, you can be a little tactless sometimes, but I prefer that to you being worried about people thinking you're weird. 

UMBRIDGE IS THE WORST. Remember how bad Rita Skeeter was? Umbridge is about a billion times worse. And the best villain of the series. Sorry, Voldie. And her Hem Hems? I'd like to set he on fire each time she does that. Plus how scary is it when McGonagall is afraid for Harry and his detention? I do not like it when the adults I trust in the series are afraid. It's not quite as bad as when Dumbles is afraid, but it's close.

I'm afraid of/can't wait for next week's chapters. The feels. THE FEELS.

*Was Sirius in Azkaban for 12 or 13 years? Cos he escapes in the third book, which suggests 13 years cos that's how old Harry is in this one. But wasn't Harry a year old when Voldie killed his folks?  What's that? I could just ask the internet? I did, and the one thing says 13 years and doesn't explain.

Title quote from page 40

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. Scholastic, 2003