a peck of owls

Sep 18, 2004 18:42

Is there any kind of schedule to this read through, by the way? I mean, are we doing like, a chapter of week?


'Yes, yes, yes, but luckily I'd stationed Mr Tibbies under a car just in case, and Mr Tibbies came and warned me.'

Another example of a Squib being able to communicate with a (presumably magic?) animal, following in Filch and Mrs. Norris' footsteps.


'Of course I know Dumbledore, who doesn't know Dumbledore?'

I wonder where Squibs attend school. Do Hogwarts take them?
And what they do in the magical world - Mrs. Figg seems happy enough to be living incognito as a Muggle for the last fourteen years (if not more!) at 'Dumbledore's orders'. Why?

Anyway, I'm not a wild fan of her - her primary purpose seems to be providing wizarding phrases:
'might as well be hanged for a dragon as an egg', 'fell off the back of a broom', 'well, it's no good crying over spilt potion, I suppose...but the cat's among the pixies now.'
Suppose anything's better than the fic staples 'Merlin!' or 'Gods!', though.


'Yes - they - have!' yelled Mrs Figg, swinging the bag of cat food at every bit of Mundungus she could reach.

Bit of similiarity in phrasing to:

Not until somebody in the vicinity yelled 'Impedimenta!' and he was knocked over backwards by the force of the spell, did he abandon the attempt to punch every inch of Malfoy he could reach.

Clearly Mundungus/Arabella is the New H/D. You heard it here first ;)


"Good Lord, boy, they told me you were intelligent"

I presume 'they' refers to Dumbledore, who seems to see Harry in much the same way Harry saw him until now: flawless.
I can't imagine the most fervent Harry fan describing him in all honesty as especially intelligent.


Harry gave his cousin an impatient dig in the ribs, but Dudley seemed to have lost all desire for independent movement.

Again, interesting parallel with the Slytherin's inability to move post-hexing, and Harry's earlier wish to make Dudley 'crawl home' like an insect.


Harry...watched Aunt Petunia's outline grow larger and larger, oddly distorted by the rippling glass in the front door.

Foreshadowing for Petunia's role increasing? Let's hope so.


In all the kerfuffle nobody seemed to have noticed Harry, which suited him perfectly. He managed to slip inside just before Uncle Vernon slammed the door and, while the Dursleys made their noisy progress down the hall towards the kitchen, Harry moved carefully and quietly towards the stairs.

Wow. He wasn't going to tell them what made Dudley ill? Harsh.
Here's another parallel with a Slytherin (that one track in my mind gets pretty lonely sometimes!)

'Should we say something?' said Hermione in a worried voice, pressing her cheek against the Charms window so that she could see Mr and Mrs Montague marching inside. 'About what happened to him? In case it helps Madam Pomfrey cure him?'
'Course not, he'll recover,' said Ron indifferently.
'Anyway, more trouble for Umbridge, isn't it?' said Harry in a satisfied voice.


But Harry was already ripping open the envelope and pulling out the letter inside, his heart pounding somewhere in the region of his Adam's apple.

Great metaphor, there!


'How come you fell over, son?' said Uncle Vernon, in an unnaturally quiet voice, the kind of voice he might adopt at the bedside of a very ill person.

Appears Hagrid had the right perception of Vernon all those years back - the way to affect him is through his son. Likewise Petunia. Is this the motive behind her obeying Dumbledore? Protection of Dudley?


'I heard - that awful boy - telling her about them - years ago,' she said jerkily.
...He was astounded that she had remembered this scrap of information about the magical world for so long, when she usually put all her energies into pretending it didn't exist.

It is interesting. It appears she wasn't told about Azkaban herself, but overheard.
Like her following the story of the celebrity divorce but loudly commenting on how little she cares about such 'sordid' things, it appears Petunia was at least, at one time, more interested in the Wizarding World than she lets on. Fits in with the apparent jealousy in PS over Lily's magical talent, too.


'Dudley thought he'd be smart with me, I pulled out my wand but didn't use it. Then two Dementors turned up'

Once again, Harry's uh, "unique" perspective while recalling events comes to the fore, as Magpie commented.


'FOR GOD'S SAKE!' roared Uncle Vernon, pulling great clumps of hair out of his moustache, something he hadn't been driven to do in a long time.

What with the capslock, pulsing vein and apparent mental instability (which he's apparently 'driven' to?), plus JKR declaring him her least favourite character, I'd say there's at least even chances that Vernon isn't long for this world.


And now his temper was rising again. Wasn't anybody going to say 'well done' for fighting off two Dementors single-handed?

Poor Harry. He has received some fairly mixed messages as regards his behaviour over the last few years, so it's understandable that he's come to expect praise, but his sense of entitlement is rather grating.


'It's you,' said Uncle Vernon forcefully. 'It's got something to do with you, boy, I know it. Why else would they turn up here? Why else would they be down that alleyway? You've got to be the only - the only -' Evidently, he couldn't bring himself to say the word 'wizard'. The only you-know-what for miles.'

Heh, and for once, Uncle Vernon's entirely correct. *notes down* Don't think we'll see that again for a while!


'Lord - hang on,' said Uncle Vernon, his face screwed up, a look of dawning comprehension coming into his piggy eyes. 'I've heard that name ... that was the one who'
'Murdered my parents, yes,' Harry said dully.
'But he's gone,' said Uncle Vernon impatiently, without the slightest sign that the murder of Harry's parents might be a painful topic. That giant bloke said so. He's gone.'

Vernon seems to remember wizarding information as well as Petunia, considering that the event was four years ago, that they were both presumably concerned with Dudley's tail, and that Hagrid isn't the easiest person to understand.

Also, again, what Magpie said, as regarding TEH INSENSITIVITY of not having a moment's silence and candles lit for James and Lily.


'I should've done this years ago! Owls treating the place like a rest home, puddings exploding, half the lounge destroyed, Dudley's tail, Marge bobbing around on the ceiling and that flying Ford Anglia - OUT! OUT! You've had it! You're history! You're not staying here if some loony's after you, you're not endangering my wife and son, you're not bringing trouble down on us...'

Lot of references to past events in this book (later Hermione's at it, also, referring to her sorting and third year marks!) I'm not sure if I like it or not.
It's kind of like Angry!Harry - it makes sense for the character(s), but it's a little late in the day for fanfic-style 'Remember whens?'

Again, the Dursleys seem to be an exceedingly close family - Petunia cossets her child more than Mrs. Weasley the Archetypal mother, Dudley is unusually close to his parents for a sixteen year old (although ajhalluk made an interesting point that:

"by picking on someone named for one's maternal clan, it's a further extension of Dudley's own rebellion against his mother's cloying protectiveness"), and the final straw for Vernon is endangering his wife and son.


"We were too damn soft for our own good, thought we could squash it out of you, thought we could turn you normal"

Bit of a continuation of PS. Silvia wrote an interesting essay on the Dursleys' motives here.


'It's addressed to me,' said Aunt Petunia in a shaking voice. 'It's addressed to me, Vernon, look! Mrs Petunia Dursley, The Kitchen, Number Four, Privet Drive-"

The Kitchen? The feminist in me is crying.


An awful voice filled the kitchen, echoing in the confined space, issuing from the burning letter on the table. 'Remember my last, Petunia.'

Is this a red herring to mask the identity of the sender until the shocking revelation at the end that it was Dumbledore?
Or is his voice awful because he's Sekritly Evil!111?


'If we throw him out, the neighbours will talk,' she said.

Heh. Petunia knows exactly how to persuade Vernon, doesn't she?
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