Chapter Eleven

Nov 23, 2004 20:03

The Sorting Hat’s New Song

In which Harry's journey of Assitude continues, a Gryffindor shows a spine, and the Hat becomes Roxanne's new favourite object.

My chapter formatting's a bit problematic as I have the books on a word file, so if I mention pieces from the next or last chapter, please don't hesitate to thwap me.

Magpie beat me to it this week (*shakes fist good naturedly* ;) so I'm just going to comment on any aspects not covered in her chapter and the comments within.

* There was a pause, then Harry said very quietly, so that Neville, Parvati and Lavender could not hear, 'Maybe he's not back yet. You know - from his mission - the thing he was doing over the summer for Dumbledore.'

Oh, yes. Better hide that incredibly revealing piece of information. Notice Neville's still not on the downlow? He has to show how much he wuvs Harry, become rilly sekritly good at cool Harry-style activities like hexing and maybe show his own inner Asshat and attack people, first.

* For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?

Fanon predicts canon once more - who hasn't seen Godric/Salazar?
The two 'male' houses and two 'female' houses seem twinned, which interests me - was there tension between Rowena and Helga? Did they automatically align behind Godric ala today's generation, or did they tire of the mens constant arguing?
At present it appears every other house hates Slytherin and adores Gryffindor, which continues in this book. I'm intrigued as to whether JKR realises this and if so, plans to address it (and you thought Sparkly Poo was the Mary Sue home! Is there any reason that Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students seem so deferential towards Gryffindor, considering that the Lions seem to consider them unworthy of their time? Could it be because of their reputations as the feminine houses?

* Said Slytherin, 'We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.'
Said Hufflepuff, 'I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.'

Wow, Hufflepuff and Slytherin have been downgraded, haven't they? From the houses of loyalty and ambition, we now have the house of one particular racial group and 'the lot'.
Rather makes me respect Helga a bit more, no matter what I think of the current generation of Duffers; the other three Founders sound like whiny children: 'I want Teh Bezt students, which of course are the ones who are most similiar to me!11' (Unless that's not the criteria at all, with Airhead!Rowena, Cowardly!Godric and Salazar's a Riddle style half-blood. Doubt it somehow, it would be complex, which isn't really in this series' style.
And where does Riddle fit into to this 'All the Slytherins Evar Have Been Purebloods OMG', anyway?)

* While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor.

I love how the other three houses/founders get one positive description each: 'sharp', 'great ambition' and 'good', whereas Gryffindor gets as many as can fit in one line.
Although 'good' is an interesting choice of words - I'd call it the most positive of all. Hufflepuff fans take heart!

* When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the houses been united
As they once were meant to be.

Never? Gosh, the Slytherins sound even more oppressed than the Poor Little Muggleborns, if such a thing is possible.
Glad to see Salazar appeared to be missed, at least.
If the fighting died out, it appears I'm correct, and there were no bones of contention between Gryffindor/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff. Convenient, that!

* Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong

I love this part. I don't know why any school would persist in such an archaic, counterproductive tradition like 'houses' when it's obviously resulted in massive strife (we've seen booksfull in the space of only five years, imagine how many people died in a thousand.) Go hat!

* Neville winced; it was very uncomfortable to have a ghost lean through you.

Fanfic of Ghost!Sex? Denied.

* The terrified-looking boy Harry had noticed earlier stumbled forwards and put the Hat on his head; it was only prevented from falling right down to his shoulders by his very prominent ears. The Hat considered for a moment, then the rip near the brim opened again and shouted:
Harry clapped loudly with the rest of Gryffindor house as Euan Abercrombie staggered to their table and sat down, looking as though he would like very much to sink through the floor and never be looked at again.

I don't know why this part interests me. Perhaps it's because it's short, but extremely predictable: the child who looks most scared is actually a Gryffindor. Because appearances aren't everything, and courage is often found within. Just like Neville. *yawns*
Although there's another mention of this kid later, which is unusual.
No Slytherins sorted this year, which is a shame - I was curious whether Fred and George still hiss the newest members.

* 'And it wants all the houses to be friends?' said Harry, looking over at the Slytherin table, where Draco Malfoy was holding court. 'Fat chance.'

Rather blows a hole in all the 'Slytherin will be brought into the fold by a student other than Draco' theories.
Harry is our most prominent representative of Gryffindor, Draco of Slytherin. It's them that have to resolve their problems, not Harry and Nott or Draco and Ron.
As pointed out previously, Harry's fallen into the classic lit trap of swearing never to do something:
'I would never ever marry/befriend/reconcile/with you, horrid evil enemy!'
*character proceeds to do exactly that*
It's the book equivalent of that line they always use in movies: 'Things can't get any worse!' *things get worse*

* 'We ghosts, though we belong to separate houses, maintain links of friendship. In spite of the competitiveness between Gryffindor and Slytherin, I would never dream of seeking an argument with the Bloody Baron.'
'Only because you're terrified of him,' said Ron.
Nearly Headless Nick looked highly affronted. 'Terrified? I hope I, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, have never been guilty of cowardice in my life! The noble blood that runs in my veins -'

Wonder if Nick's a pureblood?
He seems fairly atypically Gryffindor - somewhat cowardly.
Perhaps there is something to the theory that one is sorted according to their desires and aspirations rather than character?

* Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged smirks.


* 'Mr Filch, the caretaker, has asked me, for what he tells me is the four-hundred-and-sixty-second time, to remind you all that magic is not permitted in corridors between classes, nor are a number of other things, all of which can be checked on the extensive list now fastened to Mr Filch's office door.

Atdelphi noted that Dumbledore has a rather patronising 'amused' attitude regarding Filch, as showcased here; which isn't reciprocated - it appears Filch has none of the loyalty to Dumbledore that the other staff possess.

* Professor Sprout's eyebrows had disappeared into her flyaway hair and Professor McGonagall's mouth was as thin as Harry had ever seen it. No new teacher had ever interrupted Dumbledore before. Many of the students were smirking; this woman obviously did not know how things were done at Hogwarts.

Heh, the students and teachers are incredibly subservient towards Dumbledore, aren't they? To the point of anger and amusement at the idea of someone speaking while he is.

* Her voice was high-pitched, breathy and little-girlish and, again, Harry felt a powerful rush of dislike that he could not explain to himself; all he knew was that he loathed everything about her, from her stupid voice to her fluffy pink cardigan.

There is a rather contemptous description of females who are in any way sexual or feminine in these books it appears. And at the same time, any who fail to achieve these qualities. Which encompasses Umbridge, twice.
Not that there aren't excellent reasons to dislike Umbridge, but it's repeated multiple times that just ones are: her cardigan, her appearance and her voice; all of which are a tad...superficial?

* 'Well, it is lovely to be back at Hogwarts, I must say!'

Back? Presumably Dolores is alumni. Bets on as to which house. (Actually, I could buy explanations as to all four: she's ambitious, she's not cowed by anyone, she's loyal to Fudge and she's focused on knowledge - the restriction of it, but the point remains the same.)

* Harry glanced around. None of the faces he could see looked happy. On the contrary, they all looked rather taken-aback at being addressed as though they were five years old.

Yeah, and after they've all demonstrated their maturity by smirking, sulking and ignoring (sharp contrast to the hysterical hurrahs in the movies over a groundskeeper's promotion!)

* 'How about: "progress for progress's sake must be discouraged"? How about: "pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited"?'
'Well, what does that mean?' said Ron impatiently.
'I’ll tell you what it means,' said Hermione through gritted teeth. 'It means the Ministry's interfering at Hogwarts.'

Damn those interfering busybodies and their insistence on crazy talk like teaching standards and disposing the megalomaniacal head who openly admits he'd risk any amount of lives (including students, presumably) in order to assure his favourite's peace of mind!
I love that these fairly innocous phrases, which could be applied to the current system at Hogwarts (doesn't seem to be much progress in their healthy and safety regulations, and there's certainly much pruning of the behaviour of anyone who opposes Dumbledore and/or Harry in any way) are instantly divined by Empath!Hermione as dangerous because Umbridge said them. As if Dumbledore announcing them wouldn't be greeted with cheers.

* He grinned at them. A blond boy next to Euan Abercrombie looked petrified; he nudged Euan and whispered something in his ear. Euan Abercrombie looked equally frightened and stole a horrified look at Harry, who felt the grin slide off his face like Stinksap.

As ever, one of my chapters isn't complete without a quotation from someone elses. As Magpie put it:

"Why is Harry giving an encouraging grin to a strange boy? Harry never notices anyone but himself, and if he does he certain doesn't grin in a reassure...oh, I see he's grinning so he can be wounded when the he sees the other kid whispering about him."

Poor tragic Harry. All he ever does is to reach out to others with compassion and love. Or something.

* 'Harry, I know it!'

Who sets the passwords anyway? Teachers, students, prefects?

* Harry wondered whether they had been talking about him, then whether he was being paranoid.

Harry wondered if he was being self-centred too, but dismissed it as impossible.

* He knew that Seamus's mother was a witch and could not understand, therefore, why she should have come over so Dursleyish.

Huh? Is there something Dursley-ish (Muggle-ish, even?) about caring for your children?
It's been noted before, but there does tend to be an attitude in these books that any sign of concern for one's offspring equals Evil, and the best parents are uninvolved.
I don't think it's any coincidence that the only parents to question their child's school regarding anything whatsoever are 'stupid' Mrs. Finnegan, DeathEater Lucius Malfoy, and JKR's least favourite characters the Dursleys; whereas the Weasleys who's son was: threatened with a knife by a presumed mass murderer, having his leg broken once, nearly getting eaten by spiders, crashing a car into the forbidden forest, etc without any parental visits or even acknowledgement; are the closest we have to good parents.

* Seamus said, 'Look...what did happen that night when ... you know, when...with Cedric Diggory and all?'
Seamus sounded nervous and eager at the same time. Dean, who had been bending over his trunk trying to retrieve a slipper, went oddly still and Harry knew he was listening hard.

Hahahaha. I love that Harry notices how two potential detractors' beliefs hang on what he's about to say, and still completely blows it.

* 'What are you asking me for?' Harry retorted. 'Just read the Daily Prophet like your mother, why don't you? That'll tell you all you need to know.'
'Don't you have a go at my mother,' Seamus snapped.
'I'll have a go at anyone who calls me a liar,' said Harry.
'Don't talk to me like that!'
'I'll talk to you how I want,' said Harry, his temper rising so fast he snatched his wand back from his bedside table. 'If you've got a problem sharing a dormitory with me, go and ask McGonagall if you can be moved... stop your mummy worrying -'
'Leave my mother out of this, Potter!'

Second time ("Don't you dare insult my mother, Potter") Harry's had problems controlling his tongue on the subject of people's mothers. And yet his reaction to insults centred around his own is far more hysterical.
He's very scornful of anyone's blind faith, especially in their families, obviously because he's never known his and so has much more independence; but it's ironic considering his hero worship of James and Lily and complete reliance on Dumbledore.
Ron's fairly cowed by his mother, I wonder if that or any other Harry/Weasley issues will be dealt with?

Also, Harry's first to get physical. Again.

* 'Out of order, am I?' shouted Seamus, who in contrast with Ron was going pale.

SIGN OF EVIL!1111 ;)

* 'You believe all the rubbish he's come out with about You-Know-Who, do you, you reckon he's telling the truth?'
'Yeah, I do!' said Ron angrily.
'Then you're mad, too,' said Seamus in disgust.
'Yeah? Well, unfortunately for you, pal, I'm also a prefect!' said Ron, jabbing himself in the chest with a finger. 'So unless you want detention, watch your mouth!'
Seamus looked for a few seconds as though detention would be a reasonable price to pay to say what was going through his mind; but with a noise of contempt he turned on his heel, vaulted into bed and pulled the hangings shut with such violence that they were ripped from the bed and fell in a dusty pile to the floor. Ron glared at Seamus, then looked at Dean and Neville.
'Anyone else's parents got a problem with Harry?' he said aggressively.

Good prefectorial tactic, Ron! I'm beginning to see why everyone thought he'd be such an inept failure at the job. Because he is.

* 'My parents are Muggles, mate,' said Dean, shrugging. They don't know nothing about no deaths at Hogwarts, because I'm not stupid enough to tell them.'

Yes, that would be stupid. You know what silly old parents (especially Muggles and mothers) are like - they'd totally worry and crimp your fun if they knew about the constant injuries and deaths that occur at your school.
Creepy indication of Hogwarts relationship with its students parents - apparently none were informed by the staff of the circumstances surrounding Cedric's death at a school-sponsored tournament.
And then Dumbledore and Harry wonder why people find this dodgy?

* 'My gran says that's rubbish,' piped up Neville. 'She says it's the Daily Prophet that's going downhill, not Dumbledore. She's cancelled our subscription. We believe Harry' said Neville simply. He climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to his chin, looking owlishly over them at Seamus. 'My gran's always said You-Know-Who would come back one day. She says if Dumbledore says he's back, he's back.'

Yes, only an idiot would adopt their families beliefs blindly and spout 'X says' every two seconds instead of thinking for themselves. Which isn't exactly the same as Neville's doing now at all. Oh no.

* He felt shaken by the argument with Seamus, whom he had always liked very much.

Of course, Harry likes everyone very much (Ron, Hermione, Molly, Sirius, Dumbledore) until they oppose him on any matter, small or large.

* They'll know we're right in the end, thought Harry miserably.

And the most irritating thing is that you know they will, and probably have to crawl and beg Harry and Dumbledore's forgiveness on bended knee.
Certainly, iirc, Harry's never been in an argument with someone in which he apologised first. Or at all, come to think of it.
Likewise, if there are any Dumbledore apologies to anyone besides Harry that predate this book, please correct me.

* But he wondered how many more attacks like Seamus's he would have to endure before that time came.

AHAHAHA. Love that definition. Harry's delusional memory makes another appearance.
Basically everyone's 'attacking' Him by breathing funny/having opinions that don't correspond perfectly with His/not putting His interests above their own lives; and so everything He or anyone on His side does is 'defense', even if it's giving people brain trauma, disfiguring and assaulting people, or attempted murder.
I'm glad we cleared that up!

* 'Does he think he'll turn into a nutter if he stays in a room with me too long?' asked Harry loudly, as the hem of Seamus's robes whipped out of sight.

Perhaps he's worried he'll deck you if he stays?
Also, what's with this childish Loud Talking About Him In Front of Him? This is why there's little Draco in this book - Harry has become him.

* 'Don't worry about it, Harry,' Dean muttered, hoisting his schoolbag on to his shoulder, 'he's just...'
But apparently he was unable to say exactly what Seamus was, and after a slightly awkward pause followed him out of the room.

Hee, marysiak had some ideas for what Dean may have been planning to say.
Also, presumably Dean, like the other Gryffindor males, believes Harry?

* Neville and Ron both gave Harry an it's-his-problem-not-yours look, but Harry was not much consoled. How much more of this would he have to take?

As much as he gives out apparently, so my guess is going to be: a lot.
Way to enable there, Neville and Ron. I guess that’s how we can tell they’re such loyal friends.
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