dudley demented

Sep 18, 2004 17:02

I wasn't sure as to the posting guidelines, really. Is it okay to post our own interpretations, or should we stick to comments? I put this up by itself, since it looked too long to fit elsewhere.

'Vernon, shh!' said Aunt Petunia. The window's open!'
'Oh - yes - sorry, dear.'

Vernon seems more reliant on Petunia in this book:

'Yes - yes, good point, Petunia! What were you doing under our window, boy?'
'Aha!' said Uncle Vernon in a triumphant whisper. 'Get out of that one, boy!' (in response to Petunia's questioning Harry)
'I don't believe it,' said Aunt Petunia at once.
'No more do I,' said Uncle Vernon forcefully.

Somebody had an interesting theory that:
"Vernon is actually terrified of his wife and son, and what they have the potential to become. He covers it in bluff and bluster, but you notice how hard he works to make sure neither Dudley (the present incident in SS) or Petunia (OotP) ever gets very angry. Whether this is based on actual knowledge that they have magical powers, or just fear that they might, he really goes out of his way to coddle and spoil them."


Harry merely glanced at the front page before throwing it aside these days; when the idiots who ran the paper finally realised that Voldemort was back it would be headline news, and that was the only kind Harry cared about.

And of course, Harry Potter must be mentioned on the front page. If he isn't, why he can't be in the paper at all!
Later, the alternative to the Prophet's tabloid embellishment is the Quibbler, who faithfully print exactly what Harry tells them to.
JKR has obviously been annoyed by journalists in the past (witness the new 'rubbish' section on her site!) but this seems to suggest the right thing for papers to do is to print exactly what celebrities want.


And what were Ron and Hermione busy with? Why wasn't he, Harry, busy? Hadn't he proved himself capable of handling much more than them? Had they all forgotten what he had done? Hadn't it been he who had entered that graveyard and watched Cedric being murdered, and been tied to that tombstone and nearly killed?

I think the problem I have with this is it so completely contrasts with how he's later presented at the DA's formation. Now he's angry at Ron and Hermione because he's the hero and they're just sidekicks, that he's the one risking his neck and being ignored as his 'reward' (and that's another thing that irritates -

If it hadn't been for him, nobody would even have known Voldemort was back! And his reward was to be stuck in Little Whinging for four solid weeks

Good to know Cedric's death was just a minor part of Harry's heroics. Sure, he died, but the important thing is that everyone be grateful for Harry for letting them know Voldemort's status! Why can't he get a reward for succeeding where Cedric failed?
Sure, he didn't get rid of Voldemort, and in fact was indirectly responsible for his 'revival', but that's small potatoes in the face of the Ego that Lived.)
Then later, we're supposed to ooh and ahh at how very modest Harry is:

"I didn't get through any of that because I was brilliant at Defence Against the Dark Arts, I got through it all because - because help came at the right time, or because I guessed right - but I just blundered through it all, I didn't have a clue what I was doing-"

Perhaps I'm being too black and white, but to my mind, you can either believe you're the hero and your friends useless, or you can believe that you've succeeded through help at that right time (and either is a valid interpretation) but you can't believe both at the same time.


Nevertheless, it was quite galling to be told not to be rash by a man who had served twelve years in the wizard prison, Azkaban, escaped, attempted to commit the murder he had been convicted for in the first place, then gone on the run with a stolen Hippogriff.

Much as Angry!Harry irritates me, I do appreciate that instead of his previous blind loyalty to people who are nice to him, he's annoyed at Sirius' hypocrisy.
Because Sirius does strike me as a character, like many of the Gryffindors, who is hugely inconsistent as to what is appropriate behaviour from others and what is appropriate behaviour for him
(His line in GoF about being able to tell a man's character by how he treats his house elf, for example!)
And I believe this is the first time Harry or the text has acknowledged Sirius' attempt to commit the very crime he was appalled at being excused of.


Often the old scar on his forehead prickled uncomfortably, but he did not fool himself that Ron or Hermione or Sirius would find that very interesting any more. In the past, his scar hurting had warned that Voldemort was getting stronger again, but now that Voldemort was back they would probably remind him that its regular irritation was only to be expected… nothing to worry about… old news...

Very much a difference from GoF, when he's reluctant to tell Ron and Hermione of his scar hurting, and when he furiously berates himself for telling Sirius:

He suddenly remembered the reason he had written to Sirius, and for a moment was on the verge of telling Ron and Hermione about his scar hurting again, and about the dream that had awoken him ... but he really didn't want to worry them just now.
"I shouldn't've told him!" Harry said furiously.
"What are you on about?" said Ron in surprise.
"It's made him think he's got to come back!" said Harry... "Coming back, because he thinks I'm in trouble! And there's nothing wrong with me!"
If Sirius came back and got caught, it would be his, Harry's, fault. Why hadn't he kept his mouth shut? A few seconds' pain and he'd had to blab...If he'd just had the sense to keep it to himself.

Granted, circumstances are different since Sirius is in the Order and Voldemort has returned, but Harry's priorities have very obviously changed inwardly, and far from wanting people to see past his scar, now he wants his friends to pay attention to it, and find it 'interesting'.


How much longer was he supposed to endure Sirius telling him to sit tight and be a good boy; or resist the temptation to write to the stupid Daily Prophet and point out that Voldemort had returned -

It fascinates me how Sirius and Harry have little sympathy for each other, despite being in the same situation and suffering from similiar flaws (poor temper control, for example.)
Let's hope Harry learns from the mistakes they make.


What wouldn't he give to strike now, to jinx Dudley so thoroughly he'd have to crawl home like an insect, struck dumb, sprouting feelers...

Bit of animal imagery that has previously been associated with Harry and friends smiting of their enemies:

"Interesting effect," said George, looking down at Crabbe. "Who used the Furnunculus Curse?"
"Me," said Harry.
"Odd," said George lightly. "I used Jelly-Legs. Looks as though those two shouldn't be mixed. He seems to have sprouted little tentacles all over his face."

and of course, that foreshadows a later chapter:

...Malfoy Crabbe and Goyle resembled nothing so much as three gigantic slugs squeezed into Hogwarts uniform as Harry, Ernie and Justin hoisted them into the luggage rack and left them there to ooze.

Is a slug an insect? (She said, showing off her knowledge of nature. ;)


For a split second Harry thought he had done magic without meaning to, despite the fact that he'd been resisting as hard as he could - then his reason caught up with his senses - he didn't have the power to turn off the stars.

Not yet, anyway; but I wouldn't rule it out, since this is the book in which Super!Harry comes into play!


Dudley lay curled up on the ground, whimpering and shaking.

Discussion and exploration here as to Dudley's reaction to the Dementors, which is fairly intense (is this because he's a Muggle, I wonder?)
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