the hearing

Oct 30, 2004 19:14

* Fudge was a portly man who often sported a lime-green bowler hat, though today he had dispensed with it; he had dispensed, too, with the indulgent smile he had once worn when he spoke to Harry.

(Gosh, I must be impressing everyone here with my critical analysis and compassionate spirit...)

* Harry looked at Percy, expecting some sign of recognition from him, but none came.

And they were BFF, too!
Repetition of how hurt Harry is by Percy's attitude - despite Harry having always viewed him as a pompous joke; he seems to expect that Percy's view of him should remain spotless and admiring of his TBWL status.

* 'Interrogators'

Again, the 'Bad' side don't do themselves any favours with the names they choose. Instead of Questioner or Quierer they pick the harsher 'Interrogator'. Great PR.
Just like the Inquisitor Squad (which coincidentally never performed any Inquisitions!)
If I didn't know better, I'd say JKR was trying to manipulate me into disliking characters based on something as petty as a name, or unattractive physical characteristics. ;)

* 'Percy Ignatius Weasley'

From the Roman family name Egnatius, which was possibly derived from Latin ignis "fire". This was the name of several early saints, including the third bishop of Antioch who was thrown to wild beasts by emperor Trajan, and by Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

It sounds as if it should mean ignorant, but apparently not. Fire is very suitable for a Weasley.
Also, Percy's full name is Percy, not Percival or Perseus or whatever fanon has devised.
However, the meaning is similiar and apparently along the lines of either 'pierce the veil' or 'pierce the valley'.
Percival was also a 'chivalrous knight' (associations with both Gryffindor and Ron there) in Arthurian legend.

* 'Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,' said a quiet voice from behind Harry, who turned his head so fast he cricked his neck.

What's that rule, Harry? Play it cool!
Also, I guess we're supposed to see Dumbledore's many names as fitting with his humour. Multiple grand ones followed by the fairly staid 'Brian'.
Oh, all right. Hee!
Interesting Percival association once more...

* Dumbledore was striding serenely across the room wearing long midnight blue robes and a perfectly calm expression. His long silver beard and hair gleamed in the torchlight as he drew level with Harry and looked up at Fudge through the half-moon spectacles that rested halfway down his very crooked nose.

I'm imagining his nose to resemble Owen Wilson's by now, and I don't like it!

* All eyes were now on Dumbledore.

Hahaha, that's just the way he likes it, I'm sure.

* A powerful emotion had risen in Harry's chest at the sight of Dumbledore, a fortified, hopeful feeling rather like that which phoenix song gave him. He wanted to catch Dumbledore's eye, but Dumbledore was not looking his way...

More Dumbledore/Harry are thisclose anvils, seemingly out on nowhere in order to make their estrangement a plot point, rather than the status quo.

* ...a squashy chintz armchair appeared out of nowhere next to Harry.

Isn't chintz one of the fabrics that's viewed as tacky and tasteless when Umbridge has it?
Perhaps Super!Smart!Psychic!Humorous!Dumbledore is making a sly jab at this, or lightening the atmosphere of the spooky dungeons with his witty choice of furnishings?
Oh, Albus, you kill me. Literally.

* 'Yes,' said Fudge again, shuffling his notes. 'Well, then. So. The charges. Yes.'

Fudge is such an inept wimp. Which is a shame, because I want to agree with his side through sheer contrariness.

* 'Impressive,' said Madam Bones, staring down at him, 'a true Patronus at his age...very impressive indeed.'
Some of the wizards and witches around her were muttering again; a few nodded, but others were frowning and shaking their heads.
'It's not a question of how impressive the magic was,' said Fudge in a testy voice, 'in fact, the more impressive the worse it is, I would have thought, given that the boy did it in plain view of a Muggle!'

Actually, I do agree with Fudge, here.
Also, Bones is about one compliment away from the Bagman trial witnesses and their fangirling.
I like that the jurors don't agree unanimously one way or another. If they gave Harry/Dumbledore/Bones (one in the same, really) some kind of movie-style standing ovation or group cheer, I'd probably vomit.

...said Fudge, still smirking. 'Let me explain. He's been thinking it through and decided Dementors would make a very nice little cover story, very nice indeed...Highly it's just your word and no witnesses...'

Fudge didn't order the Dementor attack personally, and so actually does believe this, yes?
Gosh, he's cynical. I like him!
Although anyone smirking is obviously a sign of evil. (Except when they're Gryffindors, of course. Then it's teh kewly!11)

* Dumbledore stood up and gave Mrs Figg his chair, conjuring a second one for himself.

You like Dumbledore yet? Huh, huh?
He's chivalrous, he's serene, he's witty, his hair gleams and he has an excellent knowledge of whatever the plot wants him to! (Hermione/Albus OTP?)

* 'You'll leave details of your parentage with my assistant Weasley.'

I think this is the first confirmation we've had that Percy is officially the assistant to the Minister of Magic. Impressive. (Although he'll undoubtedly lose the job soon enough.)

* '...a picture could never convey the truth of what these beings (Dementors) were like.'

Slightly OT, but neither could the POA movie, obviously.
Those things were laaaame.

'Oh, I don't know,' said Madam Bones, in her booming voice. 'She certainly described the effects of a Dementor attack very accurately. And I can't imagine why she would say they were there if they weren't.'

Gosh. Let me think.
Bones is rather naive for the head of Magical Law Enforcement, isn't she?
Actually, for all the anvils about how fair and honest and unbiased she is, and ooh, look, a woman is head, how liberal and feminist JKR is!!!11; I didn't actually warm to Ms. Bones much.
I think it's an unfair hangover from Susan Bones, one of the DA members who I disliked; plus her OMG UR PATRONUS IS TEH BEZT; the whole 'booming' voice; and her 'This witness (Figg) isn't lying! Despite the fact they obviously just lied!'

* He thought she looked just like a large, pale toad. She was rather squat with a broad, flabby face, as little neck as Uncle Vernon and a very wide, slack mouth. Her eyes were large, round and slightly bulging. Even the little black velvet bow perched on top of her short curly hair put him in mind of a large fly she was about to catch on a long sticky tongue.

As Magpie noted, both Fudge and Umbridge have been associated with Vernon, JKR's least favourite character.
And as I've mentioned before, I do want to do some kind of post on food/weight issues in the HP verse, and the constant descriptions of multiple negative characters as being fat (or 'portly', or 'flabby') in this book and the others strengthens my resolve.
Plus the often lamented and reinforced idea that you can tell people's character by looking at them; or that a good reason to dislike for example, Umbridge is that she's ugly as opposed to her multiple personality flaws.

* The witch spoke in a fluttery, girlish, high-pitched voice that took Harry aback; he had been expecting a croak.
'I'm sure I must have misunderstood you, Professor Dumbledore,' she said, with a simper...

And feminity in HP is another interesting topic.
(Essay rec on this topic.)

It's constantly presented as superficial/useless for a girl/woman to be in any way feminine in these books, it seems.
Pansy, Parvati, Lavendar, Fleur, Cho and Umbridge are described contemptously by the narrative as being stupid, ugly, hysterical or superficial in their 'girlishness', whereas Ginny and Hermione, who in OotP seem to be verging on Mary Sue ground when it comes to authorial bias (they're never wrong, everyone loves them, even Harry, the Hero is 'forced' to agree with them) shun fellow females for predominantly male company and are 'tomboyish' - Ginny in OotP, for example, may as well be Fred or George with breasts.
Anyway, this could shape into a post of it's own, but my original point was that I'm a little uncomfortable with Umbridge's description.

*'If you still doubt her truthfulness, call her back, question her again.'

To quote Magpie once again: 'nobody actually wants a system based on truth and fairness, they just want one that goes the way they like.'
Because Dumbledore's occupation of the moral highground here is hypocritical, since we know that Figg is lying.

* 'Anyway, that's not the only - he blew up his aunt, for God's sake!' Fudge shouted, banging his fist on the judge's bench and upsetting a bottle of ink.
'And you very kindly did not press charges on that occasion, accepting, I presume, that even the best wizards cannot always control their emotions,' said Dumbledore calmly, as Fudge attempted to scrub the ink off his notes.

Is JKR/Dumbledore actually comparing Harry's assault of his aunt with Fudge's fist banging? Yes, that's exactly the same! We all have temper control issues!
Poor Harry, it must be tough for him, 'always' having to control himself. All he wants to do is crucio Bellatrix and beat up Malfoy etc etc. and here comes The Man to stop him!

* 'But, as the Ministry has no authority to punish Hogwarts students for misdemeanours at school, Harry's behaviour there is not relevant to this hearing,' said Dumbledore.
...'The Ministry does not have the power to expel Hogwarts students, Cornelius, as I reminded you on the night of the second of August,' said Dumbledore. 'Nor does it have the right to confiscate wands until charges have been successfully proven; again, as I reminded you on the night of the second of August.'

Actually, I don't see why the government shouldn't be able to expel a student from their school if their behaviour is persistently disruptive and unpunished/resolved by the relevant school authorities. Does this make me a fascist or something?
Iirc, Hagrid's wand wasn't 'confiscated', but presumably snapped in his presence, since he still has it, so it appears that Hogwarts taking care of it's own extends to favoured students not being prosecuted for apparent reckless endangerment and manslaughter.
Of course, if Dumbledore knows so much about law and is such a fine humanitarian, why he hasn't been campaigning ((since he was until recently highly placed on the Wizengamot)) for some kind of fair trial standards?
I didn't notice him stepping in for Sirius.
I guess he had nothing to offer Dumbledore in return.)

Or, to quote Teh Magpie once more (last time, I promise!):

'Dumbledore's telling Fudge the laws just rings so hollow to me. He sounds exactly like everybody else, pulling out laws in order to smugly checkmate somebody and stop them from whatever thing they're planning to do, rather than honestly living under a sensible legal system.'

It reminded me of Hermione in POA, researching laws to prove herself right, and blithely disregarding any that didn't.

* Fudge turned a slightly deeper shade of puce. The toadlike witch on his right, however, merely gazed at Dumbledore, her face quite expressionless.

Heh. I quite like Umbridge here.

* (Harry) was not at all sure that he had made a good impression. He had not really said very much.

I think he said more than enough, actually.
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