1. Thank you Alice for hosting this readalong
2. Thar be spoilers, so be prepared
Remember last week's post that was incoherent and an overall mess? Get ready for another one! But there are a BILLION things going on in this section so it can't be helped.
Hagrid's lesson on thestrals is very cool, except for the fact that the majority of the class can't actually see them. Perhaps more of the lesson should have been something the other students could have enjoyed. Or maybe he could have provided pictures or something
Uh oh, Sirius has been drinking alone. This can't be good. Is Lupin staying with him? He needs a roommate that is not Kreacher. I mean look how insanely happy he is when everyone gets to hang out for Christmas. Also was there any reason that even if Arthur hadn't been attacked that Harry couldn't have hung out there for the holidays?
Also his argument with the twins about why they can't go to St. Mungos was accurate if insensitive. The twins retort that he's not doing anything but staying safe at home was cruel but understandable. Thank you Rowling for giving us lots of grey area in good people being mean. It's a nice comparison to the constant awfulness of the Slytherins.
"'Doctors?' said Ron, looking startled. 'Those Muggle nutters that cut people up? Nah, they're healers.'"
Hey wizarding folks, maybe lay off of how awful you think Muggle doctors are, with their primitive healing methods. I guess you guys have all the normal diseases sorted out, so you just have to worry about magical maladies. Oh and way to share your secrets with the Muggle community. But I know, you guys don't want to be bothered by having the Muggles ask you for help all the time. Way better they just deal with shit like cancer on their own. This readalong is really making me think that, as a whole, wizards are jerks.
Ginny and Phineas yelling at Harry for getting all angsty again:
"I didn't want anyone to talk to me," said Harry, who was feeling more and more nettled.Scene with Neville at St. Mungos I HATE YOU. Quit making me tear up on the subway.
"Well, that was a bit stupid of you," said Ginny, "seeing as you don't know anyone but me who's been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels."
Harry remained quite still as the impact of these words hit him. Then he turned on the spot to face her.
"I forgot," he said.
"Lucky you," said Ginny coolly.
Remember last week when we're all like "Hey wait, why does Hermione have a hard time saying 'Voldemort' given she's Muggle-born and all?" Well she apparently heard us and is completely over her sudden problem saying Voldie's name. Not only that, but she's getting all angry at other people who don't like saying it.
Harry's date with Cho is adorable, even if he ruins it by being a dumb boy. I remembered Cho being all lame and moody and weepy for no reason, but this time around I'm totally on her side. Sorry Harry, you are clueless and you clearly need Hermione there to lead you through basic human interactions. Except for her comment that Harry should have told Cho he thought Hermione was ugly. That was a stupid comment that plays into the "All girls are catty and hate each other" thing. Reassuring Cho that he actually wants to be on his date with her and NOT escape immediately to his friends is good. Insulting his friend to play into Hermione's assumed insecurities of Cho is bad.
So Lee Jordan got the same punishment that Harry did. Why isn't he telling anyone about this? I (sorta) get why Harry won't tell anyone, but Lee doesn't have any reason not to share. And if she's using her crazy quill on Lee and Harry, there's no reason to believe she's not doing this to other students as well. How are no teachers noticing this?
Ron, listen, you're going to need to stop suspecting Snape. I understand, he makes that as difficult as possible but you have been proven wrong over and over again. Maybe you just back off this theory.
That clever name for the DA club doesn't seem so clever now, does it? Except Dumbles seemed fine with it. Even when he's hexing people and fleeing from the law, he still Twinkles.
I really wish the students would get over the whole "points for our house" thing. You'd think at some point, like when Malfoy & co became part of the Inquisitorial Squad, that these things would stop mattering. Or maybe keep pretending you care around Malfoy so he just uses that to punish you. But given house points ultimately determine the decor for the final feast, maybe don't get so bent out of shape about them.
Harry seeing Snape's memory in the Pensieve: This is a pretty depressing scene. You see James and Sirius being assholes to Snape, who sucks but wasn't being a dick to them at the time and didn't deserve what James did to him. However, given that these are Snape's memories, I don't entirely trust them. Not saying that what happened to him didn't happen.Were the Marauders assholes as teenagers? Probably. Most teens are. Were they the super assholes Snape remembers them as? Maybe but since we're seeing this through a Snape filter, watching Snape's memory, probably not. This is probably why I can still heart Sirius despite this scene. Even Sirius admits they were "arrogant little berks"** and "a lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen."
Related! That scene where Harry is talking to the remaining Marauders about their teenage behavior, I kept thinking about Megs comment on Sarah's post about Lupin and Sirius being the cutest couple. I may love Sirius but this is the couple I'm shipping. Even though I know how things turn out.
More Related! Jenny (once again) wrote an excellent defense of Sirius which you should read but she also points out that Lupin can't afford gifts and odds are the books from him and Sirius were probably bought by Sirius who just added Lupin's name to the tag. And this is just more evidence that these two are the cutest couple.
Also, there is a GREAT article about Snape's Anger over at MuggleNet that I found when someone* that everyone should read but BE WARNED it includes spoilers from the whole series.
*If this was you let me know and I'll update this post to give you credit.
**I assume this should be "arrogant little jerks" but you know what, let's embrace this typo and just write it out exactly as it's in my book. UPDATED cos my 3 seconds of internet searching yesterday didn't tell me this is a word. But you guys telling me it is plus 6 additional seconds of searching say "oh yeah it's a word and it kinda means 'cunt but in a friendly sort of way'" so now I find it twice as hilarious.
Title quote from page 655
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. Scholastic, 2005.