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Jun. 29th, 2003

finishing reading TOotP, totally fucked up my schedule in the process, but well. i wanted to pass it on to my sister before leaving for vacation, too...

some first thoughts... in a rush, because i've still an apartment to clean, a bag to finish packing and a flight to catch at 7 am tomorrow...

Plot wise? Hmm... I liked the way she described the ministry of magic resorting more and more to fascist methods in order to suppress rumours of Voldemorts resurrection and how easily large parts of the wizarding community are prepared to accept the official propaganda. Quite claustrophobic and not childishly fairy tale like at all. And i'm not buying for a moment that with Fudge finally admitting the reality of Voldemort's activities the situation will change much for the better. People who've once resorted to such methods will go on doing so, they'll just change the end, not the means. I wonder if JKR will at one point address the apparent lack of democracy in the wizarding world...

The Big Revelation? :: shrugs ::. Not so much. That Dumbledore was keeping away from Harry because he feared Voldemort would attack or at least spy on him through his mental connection with Harry was pretty clear at least half way through the book, and the other thing? After ending each book with Harry fighting Voldemort, one might have guessed as much. (now there's this one fan fiction i've read where it turns out that Harry and Voldemort share a soul, or some such thing, and Harry can't kill Voldemort without dying himself. This would be some seriously dark prophesy which one can understand they'd keep from the boy as long as possible, but that? Again, no big surprise there. But then again, is Dumbledore telling the whole truth now?)

So she killed Sirius. Not *nice*, especially as she's just given him a bit of a character, but it sort of makes sense, in a way. What ultimately kills Sirius is his and James's treatment of Snape during their school days and their inability to apologise and forgive and move on. Rather both Sirius and Snape take out their grudges on Harry, who after five years of being disliked by Snape and hating him in return, simply forgets about him being a member of the Order of the Phoenix. It strikes him, once, in Umbridge's office, but even than he's so blinded by his hatred that he's unable to see that Snape is indeed very skilled at his job, and neither realises the ploy with the fake Veritaserum nor that Snape obviously must understand what he's hinting at, but cannot admit to it before Umbridge.

Predictably he falls in Voldemorts trap and Sirius gets killed. Even in the end in Dumbledore's office, blaming himself he's not able to consider the possibility that if he'd just talked to Snape before rushing off to his rescue mission, this wouldn't have happened. And neither does he realise that Snape could have very easily let both him and Sirius die, but didn't.

Though really it's not so much Harry who's to blame, but rather Sirius and Remus, who, probably partly from their continued dislike of Snape and friendship for James, partly from misguided pity, chose not to inform Harry what really happened back at school, and even when he finds out the unpleasant truth from Snape's pensieve try to smooth it over and not disillusion him too much. It should have been obvious even to Harry that an apology was in order for looking into the pensieve uninvited, but at least Remus should have told him as much.

Imo Dumbledore is wrong. Snape might have eventually been able to look past his hatred for James and see Harry for himself, what with the glimpses of Harry's childhood he got during their training sessions. He might have found out that he and Harry got more than a few things in common, as Harry discovered looking at Snape's memories. There are hints of him changing his attitude. If Harry would have come back after, would have apologised for invading Snape's privacy like that and given any indication that he doesn't approve of what he's seen his father doing... Then again, you can't expect a teenager to act like a grown up person, when even the adults can't get over their teenage grudges.

(In fact the Snape - Harry dynamics (to use a very general term, though i guess that book must have made a lot of H/S slashers very happy... ) are one of the more interesting parts of this book, and i've a feeling that even though both Harry and Snape revert to their former hatred after a brief moment of tentative understanding, will be explored further in the next two volumes...)

But Siruis paid the price for this inability to overcome enmities. I keep wondering if there's a message for Harry (and Draco?) in there somewhere...
(JKR doesn't spell this out, but i think she at least hints at it by saying that if Sirius had treated his house-elf with more consideration, this might not have happened, either.


Hermione: loved her. Clever, brilliant, a long way from the unwilling HP sidekick from the first book. Absolutely ruthless, too, if she hates someone like she does Umbridge, leading her into the forbidden forest with the full knowledge that the centaurs would probably kill her and gambling on making an escape herself...

Ginny: gets a personality, has a mind of her own, can now talk in front of Harry. Quite a relief.

Percy: pity about him. I'd always thought there's something in the Weasly family history that makes him act like he does and i really would like to see him redeemed.

Draco: no character development whatsoever. Canon Draco is still an annoying brat i really dislike, though i guess JKR might have some plans for him yet. The Slytherins can't all be that unpleasant and evil, because, why even keep the house then.

Cho: very glad Harry/Cho wasn't meant to be and didn't just sound incredibly wrong.

Luna: adorable. I even could see Harry/Luna, she's unimpressed enough by the fuss about him to make her interesting to him. (though i'd love to see JKR make Harry gay. After all, she's got all the money she can ever want in her life, and can write everything she wants...)

Speaking of which. Sirius/Remus: yes, no maybe? They live together, they give Harry a christmas present together. er.


solitary summer

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