For those that don’t know, I am one of the rare YA/MG aficionados who has never read the Harry Potter series. We do exist, but like unicorns, we are elusive and almost extinct. Last year, I started reading the series and chronicling my thoughts here on the blog. You can catch the entire post series thus far here:
I read PoA in April, and ever since then, certain people have been pushing me to continue my reading. Being the slightly diabolical person that I am, I did, but kept it a secret! Bwahahaha. I don’t dare review such a widely beloved series, but I can provide a sort of stream-of-consciousness monologue of what I thought as I read. This book is HUGE, which means this post is going to be rather lengthy. Brace yourselves.
You are about to enter my stream of consciousness in three… two… one…
Before School Starts
Oh great stars above, this thing is a rock. It’s an actual brick that I must carry around in my purse. No, it’s bigger than a brick. More like two bricks. I could literally kill someone with this book if I hit them just right. 734 pages?! What the heck, Rowling? I do like the faint argyle pattern imprinted on the front cover, though. Very pleasing.
Oh gosh. My coworker is a HP fan. She saw my book, did a double-take, and then asked me if it was mine. When I said yes, she gave me this big, maternal grin. (She’s my age.) “I’m SO proud of you.” Pressure! Pressure from all sides!
Oooh, the Riddle house and a murder fifty years ago. We’re jumping straight to a history lesson without a sold chunk of recap from the last book. Me like. Yes, let us hear about the Noseless One’s dastardly deeds.
Wait. Back up. This was fifty years ago and Tom Riddle was grown? Are you telling me that Voldemort is OLD?!?!
Continue backing up. All THREE were buried? Did Tom crawl from the grave, zombie-style? Did someone grip him tight and raise him from perdition? Did he do a body swap?
Who the heck is Wormtail? I keep picturing Grima Wormtongue, and it’s confusing. He certainly cowers like Grima. This is the downside to waiting until a free spot opens up in my reading to continue a series.
OH! Peter Pettigrew! Peter is Wormtail. God bless JK and her alliterative names. Gotcha.
Marking Bertha Jorkins’ name down for later. I’ve never heard of her in all my internet searching, but her name has been mentioned often enough that I know she’ll be important.
I giggle every time I imagine Voldemort speaking. JK says he has a “high-pitched voice” and I kind of picture Ziggerastica from the How To Train Your Dragon series.
Frank Byce makes me sad, guys. You know he’s probably still struggling with PTSD from the war, and he’s just an old guy who wants to be left alone and not accused of murder. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. But instead he gets toasted in a living room.
Nagini! I’ve heard of you, snake. I know what you are. I don’t really know what it means to be what you are yet, but I know. But ew, Voldemort, milk the snake? Please tell me you mean her venom, because snakes are reptiles and if you get (and drink) any actual milk from her, I’m going to be thoroughly grossed out.
HAHA! Harry just described himself by looking in a mirror. Nice to see that even the revered J.K. Rowling takes some shoddy shortcuts sometimes.
What he really wanted was someone like—someone like a parent…
AND HE THOUGHT OF SIRIUS. Oh my heart.
Quidditch World Cup
The Dursleys are now defending Dudley against reports of bullying. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly!” I’m caught between laughter and wanting to claw my own face off. It’s so ridiculous and yet I know parents like them.
It’s always fun to see the Dursleys scared spitless by magic, so having the Weasley clan pop into their living room was epic. But I got strong Mr. Weasley feels when he made them say goodbye to Harry. WAY TO BE AN UPRIGHT FATHER FIGURE, MR. W!
Ooh, so now we get to meet Bill and Charlie. I forgot they existed, honestly. Have we met them before? Can they stick around? They both sound awfully cute.
I WANT A PIGWIDGEON. I WANT I WANT I WANT. Hedwig is too stately. I have no feels for her. But Pig is adorable. (I just need to google his name and figure out what it means.) (Per the internet: It means something small or is another word for an imp, fairy, or pixie. Eep!)
This is the part where foreknowledge makes me want to curl into a ball and cry. Mrs. Weasley is chewing out Fred and George for their inventions and I’m so sad. Don’t grouch at them, Mrs. W! They have ambition. Let them be and don’t say word you’ll regret. 🙁
YAAAAAAY QUIDDITCH! Ever since the hilarious Quidditch Cup match in PoA, I perk up for sporting events in these books. The raving mania from the fans is so realistic, it’s like watching the World Cup combined with the UF vs. LSU game from my freshman year. (You guys, the energy in the air during that game. Wow.)
NAMES THAT I KNOW! I know the name Viktor Krum, but I don’t know why. Amos and Cedric Diggory just appeared as well, so now Robert Pattinson is sulking in my head. (Unappreciated.) They just mentioned the Lovegoods, but I STILL HAVEN’T MET LUNA. (Also unappreciated.) This is where I truly marvel at what it must have been like for you all to read the series unsullied. What was it like to read all these names and not know who’s important and who isn’t? I may not know why they’re important, but I know they are.
Although Ludo Bagman seems important but I don’t think I’ve heard of him. He’s annoying. As is Mr. Crouch, but I’m, like, 99% sure that’s the character played by David Tennant, so he can stick around. (But is he a bad guy? He might be. Or maybe he’s a guy we’re supposed to think is good and then we think is bad but is really good? Or really bad. I don’t know.)
All the peripheral Hogwarts students are getting mixed up in my head. Who was the announcer in PoA? Was is Dean Thomas or Lee Jordan? I don’t want to fix my affections to the wrong character.
Do Muggle governments know that the wizarding world exists? Surely they have to get a permit or something to put up the stadium. Won’t they get in trouble with planes and satellites and stuff? You might be able to turn away a wandering person, but not a drone.
Ireland has a player named Aidan Lynch. I shall spend the next couple pages amusing myself by imagining that he’s related to Ronan from The Raven Boys. Maybe he’s a wizard pretending to be a Muggle. That would explain the dreams. And he’d definitely be Slytherin.
I kind of hate magical people right now. Poor Muggles. Poor house elves! Freaking elitist wizards and their classism and racism and snobbery. Even the nice ones are snotty. POWER TO THE MUGGLES! POWER TO THE HOUSE ELVES!
“I shouted at you before you left!” *fans eyes* Yes, Mrs. W. Hug them. Hug them while you caaaaaaaan…
I like that JK has kept the thread of the Weasleys money woes in all the stories. They’re happy poor people, but they’re still poor people. Poverty is not fun, and I feel awful for them, especially Ron. You can tell even the adults feel it.
MY BRAIN IS REJOICING RIGHT NOW. You guys, for years I’ve seen people talk about Death Eaters and the Dark Mark and aurors, and I had no clue what was going on. Honestly, I thought auror was a type of academic, like a professor or a dean. And I thought Death Eater was a creature like a dementor. BUT IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. (But a skull for the Dark Mark? Isn’t that kind of cliched?)
Back at Hogwarts
Ayyyyyy, Harry’s got the hots for Cho Chang, ayyyyyy! *wiggles eyebrows*
Oh, so THAT’S why Harry looks so freaked out in GIFs of his name being read from the Goblet. The light, it dawns. Also, I like that we get to see other wizarding schools, especially since Tumblr primed me to notice that some of the Beauxbaton girls wear head scarves. So are we thinking Durmstrang is German or Russian? (I’m thinking the latter.) I do wish JK had bothered to expand outside of Europe, though.
Gosh, knowing the house elves work at Hogwarts truly does change things. A crackling fire? Turned down beds? Appearing food? It’s like magic. IT’S SLAVE LABOR. YOU TELL ‘EM, HERMOINE! This is a crazy paradigm shift for a kids book.
It goes against all logic, I know, but I feel myself being sucked into a Malfoy-Granger-Weasley love triangle. THOU DOEST PROTEST TOO MUCH, DRACO.
Bless my heart, I think Mad-Eye Moody may be my new favorite character. 1) He’s rightly paranoid. 2) He’s ugly. 3) Everyone’s scared of him. 4) HE STOOD UP FOR HARRY POTTER, SCARES SNAPE, AND FREAKING TURNED DRACO MALFOY INTO A WEASEL! 5) He reminds me of one of my favorite college professors, Professor Barfield, who was the only professor during our rah-rah orientation to tell us that most of us will probably fail. I loved that man.
Oooh, Unforgivable Curses, cool. I don’t think I’ve heard of imperio and crucio, but I’ve definitely heard of avada kedavra. I didn’t know that that killed people, though. Really? “Abra cadabra, you’re dead?” (This scene in class also killed my Neville-lovin’ heart. How lonely must he be? And I’m only guessing, but his parents must’ve been killed by that crucio thing, so no wonder he’s acting the way he is. Poor bebe.)
Random collection of thoughts: Angelina Johnson, a black Hogwarts student, finally makes an appearance. The continued depictions of veelas make me really uncomfortable. Rita pairing Harry and Hermoine in her articles is freaking hysterical. Moody can see into invisibility cloaks THAT IS THE COOLEST THING. Hagrid saying “Bong-sewer” is the cutest I can’t even oh my gosh.
I HATE SEVERUS SNAPE. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE.
The first test is coming up, and I’m dragging my feet on coming back. I don’t know why. Maybe because the book is so long? Maybe because there’s strife ahead that I want to avoid? I don’t know. But I’m avoiding picking the book back up.
The Triwizard Tournament Begins
OH SWEET GANSEY THERE ARE DRAGONS.
Some of this may have to do with the GIFs I’ve seen on Tumblr and the fact that she’s played by Maggie Smith, but I think McGonagall is one of my favorites. Her hand was shaking when Harry finished the first test! How precious. (THAT’S HOW YOU CARE FOR YOUR STUDENTS, DUMBLEDORE.)
“It’s okay,” he said before Ron could get the words out. “Forget it.”
“No,” said Ron. “I shouldn’t’ve—”
“Forget it,” said Harry.
Ron grinned nervously at him, and Harry grinned back.
Hermoine burst into tears.
“There’s nothing to cry about!” Harry told her, bewildered.
“You two are so stupid!” she shouted, stamping her foot on the ground, tears splashing down her front. Then, before either of them could stop her, she had given them both a hug and dashed away, now positively howling.
So say we all, Granger.
Yule Ball Drama
Oooh, Yule Ball drama. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match… Hmm, I feel like I’ve heard Fred and Angelina’s names paired before. And the way he asks and she responds is SO SHIPPY. But I’m really grumpy that Harry is going with Parvati, and BOYS LAUGH AT NEVILLE ONE MORE TIME DON’T MAKE ME COME IN THERE.
I want Dobby’s socks and Mrs. Weasley’s dragon sweater. Someone get these things for me.
Yeeeeeeah, Hermoine! Way to rock the dramatic makeover entrance! Even Malfoy can’t come up with something bad to say WHICH MEANS HE IS TOTALLY IN LOVE POOR SOUL. And you’ve totally moved your position on Ron’s radar yes yes yes.
Krum, the international Quidditch superstar and Triwizard competitor, spent WEEKS trying to work up the courage to ask frizzy-haired, buck-toothed, bookish Hermoine out and brb my heart is about to explode.
I’m getting really fed up with the way Fleur is being treated. Pick your tongues off the ground, boys! Maybe she just wants to hang out and eat cake with someone, eh? SHE HAS A MIND, TOO, YOU KNOW.
Oh jealous Ron, you need to just shut your mouth right this second. Stop. Staaaaahp. You’re only making it worse.
Poor Hagrid. I don’t like to see him hurt. 🙁 But did we not already know he was half-giant? Was that outside knowledge I brought in without knowing it? (Also, MORE RACISM/SPECIESM! STUPID WIZARDS!)
“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermoine.
“Oh yeah?” Ron yelled back. “What’s that?”
“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”
Ron mouthed soundlessly like a goldfish out of water as Hermoine turned on heel and stormed up the girls’ staircase to bed. Ron turned to look at Harry.
“Well,” he sputtered, looking thunderstruck, “well—that just proves—completely missed the point—”
Harry didn’t say anything. He liked being back on speaking terms with Ron too much to speak his mind right now—but he somehow thought that Hermoine had gotten the point much better than Ron had.
HARRY IS A RONMOINE SHIPPER YOU SLY DOG.
Back To The Tournament
Harry is such a moron. Harry, Cedric is Hufflepuff, not Slytherin. If a Hufflepuff does you a favor, you can trust the favor. Even I know that.
🙁 Sorry, just picturing 13-year-old, lonely Hagrid learning that his beloved father has died. It’s just a 2×4 in my eye, nobody panic.
YAAAAAAAY MYRTLE’S BACK… Why am I excited to see Myrtle? (Also, Harry sticking around to save ALL the captives is too precious for words. And I LOVE that Fleur’s captive was her baby sister. I want their story now please.)
“She’s got the measure of Crouch better than you have, Ron. If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
<3 Sirius. A nice break from ALL THE FREAKING EXOPHOBIA AND RACISM IN THIS BOOK.
LESTRANGE!!!!!!! Oh my gosh. Moody mentioned them like a billion chapters ago, and I knew the name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why. BELLATRIX. Bonham-Carter’s character! But I didn’t know she was married. How confusing. Very interested to see how JK gets a known Death Eater on campus.
I still confuse Remus and Sirius. Like, if I think for a bit, I can separate them in my head, but it takes time. I need to look up pictures, I think, because my mind gives me the same face for both.
I do appreciate the Snape backstory. Since I know a lot of what really happened, hearing about past stuff from Dumbledore does give him some depth. So as a character he’s a cool character. As a person, I still hate every atom in his body. Also, this is the first book in which I really sense JK weaving some solid series threads. I know why Snape turned on the Death Eaters, but it’s nice to see the hinting way back here.
MRS. WEASLEY AND BILL COMING TO BE HARRY’S FAMILY. *keens* And even Charlie wanted to come, despite the two older boys not knowing Harry at all. This is too precious.
Side Weasley thoughts: I love this family. I really do. But there’s a disappointing lack of Ginny in this book, and Percy needs to hurry up and start acting like a Weasley instead of a stick-in-the-butt.
Aw, Cedric Diggory and his sense of debt and fairness. What a Hufflepuff. <3
He’s DEAD?!?! ALREADY?!?! I mean, I knew he was going to die, but that was FAST. I FEEL UNFAIRLY LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY HERE!
… Voldemort’s a… demon baby?
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Oh. Ohhhh. Tom Riddle SENIOR is the dead son in the graveyard. Ohhhhhh. So Voldemort isn’t a senior citizen? I feel better.
Oh my gosh. He’s monologuing. That sly dog is monologuing. He’s recapping, like, his entire life, and all in ellipses. Oh my gosh, make it staaaaaahp.
I have no idea what’s going on right now, but ghostly Cedric and Potters is making me sad. 🙁
NOT MOODY NOOOOOOOOOO NO NO NO NO NO NO MOODY CAN’T BE THE BAD GUY HE’S TOO FANTASTIC TO BE BAD OH MY GOSH I HATE THIS STUPID BOOK WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Wait. So he’s NOT the bad guy? But… the Moody I adore also isn’t the real Moody? 🙁 I don’t know how to feel about this.
AH-HA! CROUCH! I KNEW IT!… Wait, it’s THE OTHER CROUCH!??! I did not know that. I’m… Oh my head. So wait, which Crouch does Tennant play? (Poor Winky.)
OH!!! BILL AND FLEUR!!!! I know this has nothing to do with the scene at hand, but my mind just put together the wink from when Bill visits Harry to the fact that I’ve seen their names linked before. I am suddenly very interested.
I feel so bad for Sirius right now. Of course, I feel awful for Harry, too, but I can’t imagine what Sirius must be feeling. His godson, the beloved son of his dead friends, DISAPPEARS and then reappears holding a dead friend of his own. And now he hears that Voldemort is back and his friends’ ghosts were there and Harry almost died and there’s nothing he can do… *cries for days*
FUDGE YOU SDFGHJKLKJHGFDSASDFGHJKLKJHGFDSASDFGHJK WHAT A JERKFACEJERKWAD I HAVE NO APPROPRIATE WORDS RIGHT NOW. Someone tell me he dies in a later book. Hopefully painfully and with full knowledge that he screwed up.
Ooh. Way to man up and lay it on the line, Dumbledore. You’re liking going to be fired, but that was a cool move.
HAHAHA! Gotcha, Rita, you turd.
Fred and George helping jinx Malfoy & Co. just made my heart grow three sizes.
1. Snape is still a jerk.
2. But he’s a well-crafted jerk.
3. Wizards are a bunch of snobby scumbags a lot of the time.
4. My Sirius feels are too big for my heart to handle.
5. I ship ALL THE CHARACTERS. Even ones that don’t make sense.
6. My list of HP things I must buy keeps growing. I NEED to go to Universal soon.
7. My Fred and George feels are going to kill me.
8. Rowling does twists like ayyyyyy.
9. It’s so fun recognizing characters and words and getting to put them in context.
10. This series is going to kill me.