(no subject)

Jan 10, 2005 12:35

Dumbledore’s Army

Happily this chapter is shorter, and the next one is The Lion Versus the Serpent and Teh H/D!111, maybe to make up for the approaching ‘Hagrid’s Tale.’

In which there is a bad 80s training montage and Harry gets a whistle. And the ability to read Voldie’s mind. But not to shut up.

Also, I don’t usually rec fic here, but this seems almost inspired by our recent discussions of Hermione and her dormmates.

* 'Umbridge has been reading your mail, Harry. There's no other explanation.'
'You think Umbridge attacked Hedwig?' he said, outraged.
'I'm almost certain of it,' said Hermione grimly… 'I've been suspecting this ever since Filch accused you of ordering Dungbombs, because it seemed such a stupid lie,'

I love how Hermione is "almost" certain, considering she has no actual evidence. So what will seal her suspicions? That there's "no other explanation"?

And why is Harry outraged? I mean, I get that he's upset over Hedwig, but he already knew someone or some creature harmed her, it's just a question of who.
I would think he'd be relieved it was Umbridge, since it doesn't mean re-examining any of his prejudices, since he already hates her and knows she's capable of harm.

Also the ever-so-slightly unrealistic dialogue from Hermione is reminding me of the Simpsons: I made sure to note it down, as it seeeemed unusual!

* 'I don't think Filch would object, when's he ever stuck up for a student's rights?…'

Damn Filch. How dare he be unconcerned with the welfare of Harry, when everyone else is?
Of course, no-one, not even Hermione the Humanitarian, seems that concerned with Squib rights, so I can imagine that what Filch sees is a bunch of privileged little brats strutting about, thinking they own the world and that it’s the job of lower-class people and non-magic folk to clean up after them; with Harry, the famous kid who reads his personal correspondence, as their king.

* Harry looked down; he was indeed squeezing his bullfrog so tightly its eyes were popping; he replaced it hastily upon the desk.

Poor frog!

* 'Fine, let's swap,' said Hermione, seizing Ron's raven and replacing it with her own fat bullfrog. 'Silencio!'

Hee. "Seizing". She's keen to assert how much more intelligent she is than Ron (why does she never criticise Harry's wand movements, anyway?), in case he or we missed any of the ninety-dozen previous references.

* 'Very good, Miss Granger!' said Professor Flitwick's squeaky little voice, making Harry, Ron and Hermione all jump.

Heh, my opinion of Hermione has sunk so low since doing this reread that I was surprised that she jumped, assuming that she already knew the teacher was watching.

* 'I've got permission!' she said. To re-form the Quidditch team! I went to McGonagall and I think she might have appealed to Dumbledore. Anyway, Umbridge had to give in. Ha!’

Oh, thank God Dumbledore didn’t exert his increasingly rare interventions into school policy (he saves his energy all year for the effort of awarding Gryffindor all possible Cups, clearly) for anything trivial.

* 'Let's get this straight,' said Harry angrily, as they put their bags back on the floor, 'Sirius agrees with us, so you don't think we should do it any more?'

Between his friends and Sirius, Harry always picks his godfather, it appears.

* Hermione looked tense and rather miserable. Now staring at her own hands, she said, 'Do you honestly trust his judgement?'
'Yes, I do!' said Harry at once. 'He's always given us great advice!'

Ha. Can anyone name one piece of useful knowledge Sirius has imparted? On anyone? Ever?
And actually, I'd probably be taking Hermione's advice, which is right more often than realism would dictate; over Sirius', no matter how much more I loved him, but then no-one ever claimed Harry had a brain.

* 'You don't think he has become... sort of...reckless...since he's been cooped up in Grimmauld Place? You don't think he's...kind of...living through us?'

Yes, but if it means agreeing with Hermione, I may have to reconsider my opinion.
And he was never exactly Joe Restraint.

* 'What d'you mean, "living through us"?' Harry retorted.

Um…good comeback?

* 'Sirius is right,' he said, 'you do sound just like my mother.'

Hermione correctly psychoanalyses Sirius twice over - but because she reveals male weakness, Ron and Harry dismiss her, the second time with that most cutting of insults: “Sirius was right, you do sound just like my mother.”
To them this is an insult. Because Molly frequently attempts to restrict their activities; she would prefer them to play things safe and let the responsible (male) adults take care of the looming war - throughout the book, she never actually takes an active role in terms of the Order of the Phoenix. She prevents Harry and Ron then from fulfilling their male roles as active participants, as heroes, and for that she must be dismissed. It is interesting then to note that Molly is merely fulfilling her own role; the standard one for women throughout the book, that of caregiver in its most literal sense.

Also if R/Hr is indeed planned for future books, then I guess Ron, like Harry, is doomed to live out JKR's twisted Oedipus fantasies.

* 'If only I hadn't offered to sell her some Puking Pastilles yesterday.'
'We could try the Fever Fudge,' George muttered, 'no one's seen that yet -'

Aw. What nice, funny names for hilarious practical jokes.

* 'I think we all ought to try that,' said Angelina. 'If we could just keep the rain off our faces it would really help visibility - all together, come on - Impervius! OK. Let's go.'

Huh? Are they doing that on their EYES? Ew. Or maybe Movie!Canon applies, and they all wear goggles when it rains?
I was actually just wondering whether the use of Impervius on Harry’s glasses could be considered entirely fair if everyone else on both times weren’t.

* Harry kicked off from the ground, spraying mud in all directions, and shot upwards, the wind pulling him slightly off course.


* Angelina kept them at it for nearly an hour before conceding defeat.

No, Angelina! That’s not the Gryffindor way! She should have continued until someone died.

* Fred and George were looking particularly annoyed; both were bandy-legged and winced with every movement.

Ew, ew, ew.

* …the changing room was blurred because he was not wearing his glasses, but he could still tell that everyone's face was turned towards him.

One day I'll start counting how many references there are to entire rooms silently staring at Harry.
It reminds me of how in bad soap operas, all background characters just silently mouth conversations, lest they distract from the main characters, and the extra's eyes always follow the star cast.
I'm not really getting a sense that anyone exists outside their relationship with Harry. In fact, it's like a (even more) warped version of the Truman show.

* Harry was thinking himself back. He had been looking into Umbridge's face...his scar had hurt...and he had had that odd feeling in his stomach...a strange,leaping feeling...a happy feeling...but of course, he had not recognised it for what it was, as he had been feeling so miserable himself...

Buh? How can you not recognise happiness? And that doesn't even come across in a poor-Harry way, just a retroactive canon way.
And this bit reminds me of bad movies, when someone instantly recalls a suspicious meeting, and their mind's eye suddenly highlights an object, enlarges it; and they read like, someone's business card.

* ...he thought back to the moment when his scar had hurt so badly in his and Ron's bedroom in Grimmauld Place... 'he was furious.’

Someone remind me of this? And please, don't tell me it coincided with Harry feeling angry himself for an unrelated reason, so that Harry's temper is somehow excused by *points wildly* It wuz the Dark Lord's fault!

* 'You could take over from Trelawney, mate,' he said in an awed voice.
'I'm not making prophecies,' said Harry.
'No, you know what you're doing?' Ron said, sounding both scared and impressed. 'Harry, you're reading You-Know-Who's mind!'

Oh good. Another amazing talent and power of Harry’s. We certainly haven’t had enough of those recently.

* Harry had not thought about those words in weeks; he had been too absorbed in what was going on at Hogwarts, too busy dwelling on the ongoing battles with Umbridge, the injustice of all the Ministry interference ... but now they came back to him and made him wonder ... Voldemort's anger would make sense if he was no nearer to laying hands on the weapon, whatever it was. Had the Order thwarted him, stopped him from seizing it? Where was it kept? Who had it now?

Aw. Another mention of Teh Injustice! The Establishment, always persecuting the true...*mutters crazily*

So many questions, such a lame resolution. Why is JKR taunting us with an interesting plot, only to reveal a boring one?

* Harry was rather grateful that she was not around…

Aren’t we all?

* These plantes are moste efficacious in the inflaming of the braine, and are therefore much used in Confusing and Befuddlement Draughts, where the wizard is desirous of producing hot-headedness and recklessness...
Hermione said Sirius was becoming reckless cooped up in Grimmauld Place...
...the Daily Prophet would think his brain was inflamed if they found out that he knew what Voldemort was feeling...

I don't really get this excerpt. It seems to be pointing at Sirius or Harry (or perhaps some other third party) being dosed with potions, but so unsubtly that it can't be - it's too obvious. And there's no resolution to it.
I know some people theorised that Sirius or Harry or even Neville was being poisoned, possibly by Snape, since he's the potions expert; but I was relieved to see nothing more of this plot thread in OotP.
It would be such a massive cop-out. 'It wuzn't Harry/Sirius' fault they were hotheaded (even though that's their personality and they have clear motives if not excuses for being that way especially now), it was someone else's! A dastardly Slytherin, preferably!'
If that became canon, I would have no choice but to fight back with a 72 chapter WIP about how Draco was only mean because he was under Imperius. His whole life. Or something.
And Crabbe and Goyle? They were Confounded the whole time!
And Pansy was cursed by a fairy godmother with a pug-like nose, but actually, she's a beautiful enchantress, revealed only to her true love.
And Dudley has a glandular problem.
And Vernon was abused as a child!
No. Just no.

* 'Dobby volunteered to return Harry Potter's owl,' said the elf squeakily, with a look of positive adoration on his face, 'Professor Grubbly-Plank says she is all well now, sir.' He sank into a deep bow so that his pencil-like nose brushed the…hearthrug.

To paraphrase the comments to Magpie's post, Dobby is not so much free as just subservient to different people. He still bows and worships, he just likes his master better.

* 'But Harry Potter does not seem happy,' Dobby went on, straightening up again and looking timidly at Harry. 'Dobby heard him muttering in his sleep. Was Harry Potter having bad dreams?'
'Not really bad,' said Harry, yawning and rubbing his eyes. 'I've had worse.'

Ha! I love that. Great way of reassuring someone while simultaneously asserting how tragic and manly you are. It actually reminds me again of Draco's ever so heroic grimace in PoA.

* He closed the book and as he did so the firelight illuminated the thin white scars on the back of his hand - the result of his detentions with Umbridge…
…'I need to find a place where twenty-eight people can practise Defence Against the Dark Arts without being discovered by any of the teachers. Especially,' Harry clenched his hand on the book, so that the scars shone pearly white, 'Professor Umbridge.'

In case you missed the first reference to Poor Harry and His Horrible Scars.

* 'Because it is a room that a person can only enter,' said Dobby seriously, 'when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker's needs…Mr Filch has found extra cleaning materials there when he has run short, sir, and -'

I can't remember - doesn't Umbridge find it because she needs to?
Heh, the room has a loophole and catch!
This is making me wonder: what qualifies as need? Because actually it sounds more like an Erised kind of thing - brings forth what you want.
(Poor Filch - cleaning supplies!)
And what if you have a need for someone to be in the room - do they just magically pop forth, or does the room 'make' them organically (ew!)? Or are people not included?
I get the idea that objects teleport or whatever from other places - isn't Fake!Moody's Foeglass moved there?

* For a moment Harry was tempted to go with Dobby. He was halfway out of his seat, intending to hurry upstairs for his Invisibility Cloak when, not for the first time, a voice very much like Hermione's whispered in his ear: reckless.

Hee. Hermione's voice in your head, or Voldemort's? Tough choice.
And I hope for the Big V's sake, that he can't also hear Hermione. Combined with having to hear Harry's angst and WOE, it may drive him to suicide, and we still have two books left.
Also, I like that one of Harry's positive, clever decisions was prompted by another "voice", since often his nastier choices are backed up by "voices" which seems like a bit of a cop-out excise for him: 'It wuzn't me being an ass, it was, um, Voldemort!' So it's only fair that he doesn't get credit for a smart choice, either.

* …to their intense relief, Angelina had sought out her team at lunch to tell them that Quidditch practice was cancelled.
'Good,' said Harry quietly, when she told him, 'because we've found somewhere to have our first Defence meeting.’

Harry appears to prefer DADA to Quidditch, as his dream career bears out.

* 'Well ... it's just that Dobby's plans aren't always that safe. Don't you remember when he lost you all the bones in your arm?'

But Dobby is an oppressed minority, which makes it okay! What’s happened to you, Hermione?!
Or is it that Dobby is an oppressed minority who we should patronize and force to agree with what we believe is his best interests; unless he hurts Harry, in which case he’s no longer a tragic figure who needs our pity, and ironically gets some respect as a creature with flaws and a personality, rather than a little martyr figure that Hermione can project all her issues onto?

Also, Dobby didn’t lose Harry’s bones all by himself.

* ‘This room isn't just some mad idea of Dobby's; Dumbledore knows about it, too, he mentioned it to me at the Yule Ball.'
Hermione's expression cleared. 'Dumbledore told you about it?…Oh, well, that's all right then,' said Hermione briskly and raised no more objections.

Heh. No commentary needed, really.

* Somewhat to Harry's disappointment, it was Ginny who managed to find Cho Chang and her friend first…

Ginny’s popular like that. And swift.
Every mention of Ginny, even incredibly minor ones, rapidly enflames me. And not in a good way.

* …turning sharply at the window just beyond the blank stretch of wall, then at the man-sized vase on its other side.

I remember that! (OMG, Rox remembers actual, canonical background detail.) The “ugly, dragon-shaped” vase! That Draco hides behind for the trip jinx (less shock: Rox remembers Slytherin-related background detail!)

* We need somewhere to learn to fight…he thought.

Oh crap, I mean, defend ourselves!

* 'And just look at these books!' said Hermione excitedly, running a finger along the spines of the large leather-bound tomes.
'A Compendium of Common Curses and their Counter-Actions…The Dark Arts Outsmarted…Self-Defensive Spellwork…wow…"
She looked around at Harry, her face glowing, and he saw that the presence of hundreds of books had finally convinced Hermione that what they were doing was right. 'Harry, this is wonderful, there's everything we need here!'
And without further ado she slid Jinxes for the Jinxed from its shelf, sank on to the nearest cushion and began to read.

That could be an incredibly subtle point about how Hermione’s dream books all reinforce her own beliefs about herself and her motivations, and that she truly thinks that the groups’ reason and purpose is self-defense.
Or an incredibly unsubtle point about how it’s okay to hex people if they hex you first, or if they mouth off or sneak about you; and how you get to then DISGFIGURE their FACE (capslock!Rox ;) or damage their BRAINS (by outnumbering and pushing them from behind! Classy!) or outnumbering them again and making them physically unrecognizable as HUMANS beings and incapable of independent movement.

* Harry…turned the key protruding from the lock; it clicked in a satisfyingly loud way and everybody fell silent, looking at him.

Heh. That’s about the tenth reference to something like that, in less than three chapters.

* 'We once hid from Filch in here, remember, George? But it was just a broom cupboard then.'


* 'Hey, Harry, what's this stuff?' asked Dean from the rear of the room, indicating the Sneakoscopes and the Foe-Glass.
'Dark detectors,' said Harry… 'Basically they all show when Dark wizards or enemies are around, but you don't want to rely on them too much, they can be fooled...'

Huh. How does Harry know this? Book reading (OH NOES, useless theory!) or experience?
I remember Dumbledore showed up in Fake!Moody’s. Is that why they’re so untrustworthy? (Anyone remember who was nearby when Harry’s Sneakoscope went off last? I do remember Bill’s going off around Fred and George ;)
So does a Foe-glass literally show Dark wizards, or enemies? (Don’t you just love the way those are juxtaposed, as if it never occurs to anyone that to someone else, they might qualify as Dark wizards (except of course not, because they learn Defense Against the Dark Arts and counter-hexing!)

* He gazed for a moment into the cracked Foe-Glass; shadowy figures were moving around inside it, though none was recognisable.

Why? Aren’t Harry’s enemies fairly obvious? Ooh, maybe not.
(Heh, that’s got me excited that Harry may have Sekritly Evil people on his side now, which would be both a) exciting and unpredictable, which is unlikely to occur in this series and b) improbable, since it just said he didn’t recognise any figures.)

* He noticed a raised hand. 'What, Hermione?'

Um. Why do they have to raise hands?

* 'I think we ought to elect a leader,' said Hermione.
'Harry's leader,' said Cho at once, looking at Hermione as though she were mad.

Stupid Hermione! You inadvertently gave off a vibe of equality, democracy and considered thought! That has no place in the DA!

* 'Yes, but I think we ought to vote on it properly,' said Hermione, unperturbed. 'It makes it formal and it gives him authority. So -everyone who thinks Harry ought to be our leader?'

BWHAHA. I love that they vote on who should be leader, with ONE option. It’s like a national election where everyone has a choice for who to vote for, except there’s only one name on the ballot list, and then call it a ‘victory for democracy’.
Also, I want to know what Harry needs authority for, and what this grants him the power to do.
And why a homework group needs a formal, authoritatian leader for.

* Everybody put up their hand, even Zacharias Smith, though he did it very half-heartedly.
'Er - right, thanks,' said Harry, who could feel his face burning.

Oh, please. Anyone who had the slightest doubt in the world that there would be no other candidates, or indeed, that the DA would even have been allowed by members or author to continue under any other leader, please come forth. For much mocking.
And I get that that’s all on an audience, meta-level, but really. Did Harry in all seriousness doubt that he would be All Star King?

* 'I also think we ought to have a name,' she said brightly, her hand still in the air. 'It would promote a feeling of team spirit and unity, don't you think?'
'Can we be the Anti-Umbridge League?' said Angelina hopefully.
'Or the Ministry of Magic are Morons Group?' suggested Fred.
'I was thinking,' said Hermione, frowning at Fred, 'more of a name that didn't tell everyone what we were up to, so we can refer to it safely outside meetings.'

Hermione’s not keen on the Twins at all, apparently, as mentioned previously.
Also, there’s already lots of team spirit and unity - everyone agrees on their adoration and admiration of Harry and loathing and contempt for theory thinking not being allowed to hex others Umbridge.
And of course, a normal study crowd who are just there to learn counter-hexes because of shoddy educational standards, and not at all because they’re a wannabee army or just a bunch of aggressive little shits; would have no need of team spirit and unity.

* ‘The Defence Association?' said Cho. ‘The DA for short, so nobody knows what we're talking about?'
'Yeah, the DA's good,' said Ginny. 'Only let's make it stand for Dumbledore’s Army, because that's the Ministry's worst fear, isn't it?'

Heh. Love that clever shift from the pseudo-motive (or, I suppose, some people’s actual motive, like perhaps the Ravenclaws): Learning Defence; to the actual motive: Fighting for Harry/Dumbledore. And so cunningly disguised as a joke!
I’d say kudos, JKR, if I were actually convinced she’d done that subtly and on purpose, but judging from her interviews and her last book as a whole, I’m beginning to think of her entire series and it’s massive popularity as a bit of an unintentional fluke.
Also, I’d like it if there was actually a similiarly humorous reason for the Inquisitorial Squad’s equally horrible name, like they thought it was Dumbledore’s worst fear and then unwittingly lived it up to also; but I doubt it somehow.

* There was a good deal of appreciative murmuring and laughter at this.

Because Ginny is so cool.

* 'All in favour of the DA?' said Hermione bossily, kneeling up on her cushion to count. ‘That's a majority - motion passed!'

Interestingly negative choice of adverbs for Hermione, there.
Although I do like how Harry and his caps lock and whistle are never associated with bossiness, oh no.

And I imagine counting the DA’s votes was incredibly simple - everyone always agrees and is in favour of whatever Harry/Hermione/Ginny suggests. Was there even dissention over names?

* She pinned the piece of parchment with all of their signatures on it on to the wall and wrote across the top in large letters: DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY.

BWHAHAHA. Final nail in the coffin of Intelligent!Hermione.

* 'I was thinking, the first thing we should do is Expelliarmus, you know, the Disarming Charm. I know it's pretty basic but I've found it really useful -'
'Oh, please,' said Zacharias Smith, rolling his eyes and folding his arms. 'I don't think Expelliarmus is exactly going to help us against You-Know-Who, do you?'
'I've used it against him,' said Harry quietly. 'It saved my life in June.'
Smith opened his mouth stupidly.

God forbid a character be allowed to make a half-way intelligent retort against Harry, rather than falling back into cardboard cut-out stereotypes who are flabbergasted and outclassed by his Horrific Suffering and Incredible Wit.
Seriously. Go back and count how many times people look blank and embarrassed while Harry/Hermione/the Twins deftly outmaneouvre them. I can recall about three in this book alone.
I was actually dying for Zacharias to say ‘Oh, sorry’, not sounding sorry at all, here.

* The rest of the room was very quiet.

Not that Harry was going to bring up his previous experiences with tragedy and danger to semi-strangers as a cheap way of shutting someone up. Except he does it ALL THE DAMN TIME, FROM BOOK ONE ONWARDS.

* 'OK,' said Harry, his mouth slightly drier than usual with all these eyes upon him.

Because that’s so out of the ordinary and un“usual” for Harry. Nervousness at sudden burst of adrenaline and aggression (which probably isn’t that sudden for Harry anyway) - sure. Nervousness at people staring at him? Yet another reassertion of how humble and modest Harry is.

* It felt very odd to be issuing instructions, but not nearly as odd as seeing them followed.

So’s that.

* Predictably, Neville was left partnerless.

Hahahahaha. Every mention of Neville just reminds me of Maya’s essays on him.

* Glancing around, he thought he had been right to suggest they practise the basics first; there was a lot of shoddy spellwork going on; many people were not succeeding in Disarming their opponents at all, but merely causing them to jump backwards a few paces or wince as their feeble spell whooshed over them.

'I DID IT!' said Neville gleefully. 'I've never done it before - I DID IT!'

Didn’t they cover all this in second year? Is Harry really amazingly gifted or is everyone else just retarded?
Considering Hermione, the pinner of a signed confession of an expellable offense (point I just considered: did she, Harry and Ron even sign that sheet, anyway?) is the brightest witch of her generation, I’m beginning to doubt anyone in the Wizarding World can count to twenty without taking their socks off.

* 'Good one!' said Harry encouragingly, deciding not to point out that in a real duel Neville’s opponent was unlikely to be staring in the opposite direction with his wand held loosely at his side.

Heh. I like that it’s asserted at least twice that Harry’s quicker than Neville, and wouldn’t have lost his wand if Neville had been following ‘the rules’ properly. Like, god forbid we think someone beat Harry fairly, even Neville.
Besides, Neville’s already shown himself to have a tendency to attack without warning, so I see no reason why his opponent wouldn’t have his back to him, or even be completely unarmed.

* Something very odd was happening to Zacharias Smith. Every time he opened his mouth to disarm Anthony Goldstein, his own wand would fly out of his hand, yet Anthony did not seem to be making a sound. Harry did not have to look far to solve the mystery: Fred and George were several feet from Smith and taking it in turns to point their wands at his back.

I thought aiming at people’s backs was a “stinky, cowardly, scummy” thing to do? I want to see Fred and George hitting stone walls or something! Oh well, I guess it fits in with the entire moral of the books: It’s Only Okay When We Do It.
Also, there’s a real grudge against Zacharias Smith - Hermione, Ron, Harry and the Twins all appear to seriously dislike him; for what is essentially a fairly minor ‘crime’; questioning Harry.
As Magpie said, the fanon idea of Slytherins attending the DA, at least at it’s formation, would never work - there’s already mistrust between the other three houses, besides resentment for almost no reason whatsoever. (Likewise the pre-OotP expectations of a ‘good’ Slytherin - the gang have only just made their first semi-friend outside their own house. They’re a lot slower to mature than their fic counterparts.) People who actually have motives why they dislike Harry/the Gryffindors and vice versa would have been dogpiled in the first lesson, and never mind taking it turns to covertly point wands at their backs.

* 'Sorry, Harry' said George hastily, when Harry caught his eye.

That’s actually incredibly subservient for one of the Twins, imho - I don’t remember them ever apologising for anything, let alone unprompted, and this is one of their less dangerous tricks. I guess it kind of fits in with Mira’s thoughts on how they’ve become much more deferential to Harry and the cause.
And I’m surprised that Harry wasn’t amused by this. He appears to be taking the whole teaching gig very seriously.

* Ginny was teamed with Michael Corner; she was doing very well, whereas Michael was either very bad or unwilling to jinx her.

Of course she was. Ginny’s good at hexing other people because that is a trademark of all cool people.
Also Michael appears somewhat gallant. Which is a bad tactic. Ginny likes boys who ignore her and can’t remember who she is.
Some discussion of girls-hexing-boys and vice versa here.

* Ernie Macmillan was flourishing his wand unnecessarily, giving his partner time to get in under his guard.

I love how Ernie can’t do anything in a way that isn’t pompous - talk, walk, wave a wand, breathe.

* Luna Lovegood was similarly patchy, occasionally sending Justin Finch-Fletchley's wand spinning out of his hand, at other times merely causing his hair to stand on end.

She’s not “brilliant” at hexing people? Are we sure she’s a suitable friend for our heroes?

* Her friend Marietta looked at them rather sourly and turned away.
'Don't mind her,' Cho muttered. 'She doesn't really want to be here but I made her come with me. Her parents have forbidden her to do anything that might upset Umbridge. You see - her mum works for the Ministry.'

Wow. And you “made” her come anyway? Nice.
(Also, I just reread that sentence and it looks kind of wrong! ;)

* 'What about your parents?' asked Harry.
'Well, they've forbidden me to get on the wrong side of Umbridge, too,' said Cho, drawing herself up proudly.

Heh. Ya see? Cool people always disobey their stupid parents, or even better, don’t have any!
It’s only lame hexable people who have any kind of relationship or closeness with their families at all.

Also like Harry’s neat side-stepping of Marietta’s divided loyalties, both from her perspective and his own (is this not something you would consider when realising there’s a ‘sneak’ amongst the group?)

* 'But if they think I'm not going to fight You-Know-Who after what happened to Cedric -'

Do the DA literally plan on fighting Voldemort? I mean, is there an official Wizarding Army? Do they think it’s going to be outright war and battlefields soon, or are they planning on accompanying Harry on his little solo missions? Or are they just fighting Voldie by hexing random people who are probably involved, and if not, they’re like totally rude and stuff!11
Also, am I in a parallel universe where Cedric was murdered by the big V and not Pettigrew?
Although, to be fair to Cho, iirc, Dumbledore announced it as being Voldie.

* 'Well, my dad is very supportive of any anti-Ministry action!' said Luna Lovegood proudly from just behind Harry; evidently she had been eavesdropping on his conversation while Justin Finch-Fletchley attempted to disentangle himself from the robes that had flown up over his head.

Is this a juxtaposition of Cho and Luna as potential girlfriends for Harry? *hopes not*

Also, is it me, or would someone saying their father supports any anti-government action ring a few alarm bells?
I’m not pro-government or politicians particularly myself; but to me, Luna’s father comes off as creepily extremist, like he goes out and throws acid at abortion doctors or something (or I suppose, as the liberal counterpart ((heh. It’s my theory that JKR is an extremely in-the-closet conservative, who desperately wants to support Labour and the caring, sharing ideals of the left-wing and capitalise on her liberal cred, but secretly can see the point of the Daily Mail sometimes, and occasionally sneaks off, under cover of darkness, to watch old Thatcher videos.)) at huntsmen or something.)

* 'He's always saying he'd believe anything of Fudge; I mean, the number of goblins Fudge has had assassinated! And of course he uses the Department of Mysteries to develop terrible poisons, which he secretly feeds to anybody who disagrees with him. And then there's his Umgubular Slashkilter -'

*wakes up* Slash? Huh, wha? Draco got slashed by Buckbeak, now Fudge is at it? JKR KNOOOOWS. She could be watching us right now. *eyes dart nervously*
Also, is it any coincidence that Harry’s side are rabidly suspicious about what their enemies are up to (and indeed, would apparently “believe anything” of Fudge in particular, which sounds rather foolhardy, aside from demonizing and dramatizing what is essentially a wimpy middle-aged bureaucrat who appears not to want to get involved in any of this at all) and Fudge is insanely paranoid about what his are up to, except only Fudge’s ideas appear to be right?
Also, feeding poisons to people who disagree with you; and disfiguring, threatening and beating up the people who disagree with you aren’t a million miles apart. Especially when Fudge isn’t presumably doing that, and Harry’s group are. Just a thought.

* 'Don't ask,' Harry muttered to Cho as she opened her mouth, looking puzzled.
She giggled.

Aw. Harry and Cho are just as amused by Luna as Ginny. Although at least they aren’t pretending to like her at the same time.

* 'Sooner!' said Dean Thomas eagerly and many people nodded in agreement.

They really enjoyed all that reiteration of first-year lessons, huh?
I love that the DA’s main form of communication is: several/many people cheered Harry/agreed with Hermione/laughed with Ginny.
You could divide them into Gryffindor Heroes, Red Herrings and Mindless Sycophants.

* He pulled out the Marauder's Map again and checked it carefully for signs of teachers on the seventh floor.

More Harry using caution and cunning. I’m not sure if this disturbs me more or less than ‘Harry rushes blindly and stupidly into danger’ for the nth time.
Certainly checking for teachers before breaking rules is something everyone else gets criticised by the authorial voice for, presumably because it indicates cowardice.

* He let them all leave in threes and fours, watching their tiny dots anxiously to see that they returned safely to their dormitories: the Hufflepuffs to the basement corridor that also led to the kitchens; the Ravenclaws to a tower on the west side of the castle, and the Gryffindors along the corridor to the Fat Lady's portrait.

So Gryffindor aren’t the only house with a tower. I’m glad to hear it. That would be a creepy millioneth assertion of how much more important they are than the rest of the school.
But Slytherin and Hufflepuff appear to have it rough - Slytherin in the slimy cold dungeons like toads, Hufflepuff near/over the kitchens like the hired help.

I also like that Harry “let them…leave”.
Although he sounds like a mother hen with chicks in the next sentence, watching over them “anxiously”.

* 'That was really, really good, Harry' said Hermione, when finally it was just her, Harry and Ron who were left.
'Yeah, it was!' said Ron enthusiastically…'Did you see me disarm Hermione, Harry?'

I love that both Ron and Hermione focus on gaining Harry’s attention. ‘You’re so great!’ ‘Look at me!’ Yes, the Trio is an example of real, equal friendship. And I am a fervent OBHWF shipper.

* 'Only once,' said Hermione, stung. ‘I got you loads more than you got me -'
‘I did not only get you once, I got you at least three times -'
'Well, if you're counting the one where you tripped over your own feet and knocked the wand out of my hand -'

So Ron’s as useless and inferior at dueling as he is at everything else? Burn.

* They argued all the way back to the common room, but Harry was not listening to them.

Neither was anyone else in the audience paying attention.
Mind you, it’s interesting how when Harry bickers with people, Ron and Hermione pay complete attention, defending him, obsessing over it to an almost equal extent. Even crowds fall silent.

* He was…thinking of Cho saying he made her nervous.

Erk. I get how that’s encouraging for ya (although sooner or later, maybe when they date, I plan on discussing how interested I would have/would be with Harry experiencing unrequited love, since it’s such a teenage staple. It might even endear him to me (*entire of the_snarkery faints in dead shock.*) but maybe in the future, what you might try for is not ‘Yay, chicks are intimidated by me!’
(Yes, I get that wasn’t Cho’s actual intent or meaning.)
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