Friday 26 April 2013

"'Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you Potter?'"

Ooooh, things are really heating up in the Half Blood Prince, huh? And by heating up, I obviously mean that nothing has REALLY happened, but so much has been set up, not just for the rest of this book, but for the last one too. This isn't something I've really noticed before, but this book is really ALL about the final book, isn't it? Piecing together Voldemort's story to lead up to the BIG VOLDY REVELATION, waiting for Malfoy to do... Something, and still trying to figure out if Snape is evil or not. It's all... totally intriguing and mysterious (I mean, less so now that I know what's going to happen, but still) and that's almost better than the BIG things happening all the time.

And. Is it just me, or does this book kind of strip everything down and kind of go back to the basics- awesome and hilarious things happening in lessons, Harry being suspicious of people he doesn't like (reaaally quick note in brackets about the shipping Harry and Draco thing- If Harry secretly loves Malfoy, then he also secretly loves Voldemort.
i.e. I believe that neither of these things are true.) and Snape being ridiculously suspicious again. I feel like all of this is like a reward for getting through the complexness of OotP, and a treat to keep in mind when bad things happen. Which, as we know, they do. Almost constantly. But at least we'll always remember Harry being cheeky in potions, and everyone conjuring birds and failing to apparate and things!  Ahhh, good times.

For me, I feel like the most interesting part of this section (possibly of this whole book) is the piecing together of Voldemort's history. It's interesting, not only because of the things it leads to, but just in itself- born out of a mixture of love and witchcraft, raised by people who were paid to care for him, but not ABOUT him, and given hugely powerful powers that mean he can overcome his beginnings and be something more. It would be SO easy to feel sorry for him (I definitely feel sorry for Merope, but that's another story) but I think that what JK does so cleverly, and actually really subtly, is contrasting Harry with Voldy.

Because just by alluding to the fact that they both have dead mothers, only one chose to die FOR her son, and the other chose to die IN SPITE OF her son, you start to think of the other similarities between them. Both were raised by people who didn't care much for them. Both were told they were wizards at a similar age. Both were (eventually) orphans. And there's so little difference to their origins, that it really comes down to the fact that Harry chooses to be good, and Voldy chose to be bad. But then, it's really not as simple as that, because what Voldy did necessarily affected what Harry chose to do (how could he choose the dark side when that killed his parents?), and actually, both of their personalities seemed to be set before they even found out about their magic-ness.

I... have kind of lost the thread of what I was saying here.
Ok, yes, ANYWAY- the point is that you COULD feel sorry for Voldy, but then you have to take into account that everything he did, he chose to do, when he so easily could have chosen the opposite path, like we've always seen Harry do. Murderous assholes do not deserve our (or Harry's!) sympathy. Or at least not very much of it, anyway.

I think it's time for me to stop rambling and just bullet point a few things. Then I'll leave you all alone with your thoughts.

  • You know when Snape comments on Tonks's changed Patronus? If he KNOWS what I know, then he actually IS an asshole, especially considering what I ALSO know about him. That has actually quite upset me, Snape-wise!
  • "'It's high time your grandmother learned to be proud of the grandson she's got, rather than the one she thinks she ought to have- particularly after what happened at the ministry.'"
I feel like this about Neville AND McGonagall right now.
  • "'Yes' said Harry stiffly. 'Yes Sir.' 'There's no need to call me 'Sir', Professor'" Yes. I approve of this kind of smart-assedness. ALL THE TIME.
  • I am EXHAUSTED by the Ron and Hermione tension. Someone please just get those two together already.
  • "'My mother can't have been magic, or she wouldn't have died.'" This is both heartbreaking, and maybe the most important thing we can know about Voldy. Maybe.
  • Is it wrong to be worried about Malfoy? Because he is acting the way a depressed person would be acting, withdrawing from his favourite activities and not talking to his friends, and... Yeah. If I didn't know what he was up to, I'd feel sadder for him. Stupid Malfoy.
  • Harry asks Luna to Slughorn's party! I love this. LOVE. He genuinely could have taken anyone, but this boy is loyal to his friends. (LUNA!!)
  • Percy is such a DOUCHE making his mother think he was coming home for Christmas when really he was using Harry to get ahead at work. Scrimgeour is also a douche for trying to make Harry do things for the Ministry when the Ministry has never done anything non-damaging for Harry. That was really a very douchey chapter (Fleur didn't even get a Christmas jumper!)
  • I can't understand Harry AT ALL when he says he isn't bothered about apparating. UM... that's teleporting, Harry. That's going places in NO TIME and without any effort. But you 'prefer flying'? WHAT THE HELL?!
  • The love potion bit is very amusing, and possibly even more so in the movie. DAMN, potions are hilarious, why did we never know this before? I blame Snape, frankly!
So. Stuff. I'm discovering more and more that I remember nothing important about this book, cause I don't know what the deal with the cursed necklace is, and I don't really know why Ron is like DYING at this precise moment in the book. But hey, I remember the end. Which is why I'm going to have... Troubles reading the rest of the book. Oh man.


  1. Yeaaa... I never felt bad for Voldy. Mainly because the orphanage lady said he was a weirdo baby, so he was probably a sociopath from birth. It's like the inbred-ness of the Slytherin family made evilness more concentrated, and then when Merope mated with a normal human it led to a full-blown evil-but-not-inbred crazy kid. Fun times.

    Also, orphans (at least kids growing up in orphanages from baby-hood) don't particularly tug at my heartstrings like that, because they never had parents and don't know exactly what they're missing, so they can still grow up pretty well-balanced. I mean it sucks, but losing a parent when you're old enough to remember them seems WAY more pity-worthy. So yeah, that's probably why I never felt TOO bad for Harry and don't feel bad for Voldy at all.

    I love smart-ass Harry, even if it was so, so rude. Awwwww and McGonagall being all praise-y to Neville! I forgot to mention that, but it was indeed awesome.

    1. I'm with you on the sociopath baby thing, actually- I meant to add that there was definitely something we-need-to-talk-about-Kevin-esque about him when he was a creepy child in the orphanage. Probably shouldn't let a kid like that be magic.

      I can't agree with you on orphans though! OMG SARAH.

      It was TOTALLY rude, but it's just the kind of, I don't know, quick reaction time thing that I LOVE. And, I mean, he totally go punished for it so it's FINE.

  2. Okay, I have been defending everyone's behavior to Fleur, but the Christmas jumper thing is not okay. Whoever's fault this is is a huge jerk. If Mrs. Weasley didn't make Fleur a Christmas jumper, she is terrible. If Fleur refused to wear her Christmas jumper, she is terrible.

    1. Do you know what, I didn't even consider that Fleur had refused to wear her jumper, I just assumed that Mrs W didn't make her one. I just looked it up and I'm faaairly sure that's true though- "Everyone was wearing new sweaters... Everyone except Fleur (on whom, it appeared, Mrs Weasley had not wanted to waste one.)" SOMETIMES I DON'T LIKE YOU AT ALL, MOLLY.

  3. I was very upset at Snape for his comment about Tonks's Patronus. WTF Snape??

    "'My mother can't have been magic, or she wouldn't have died.'" This is both heartbreaking, and maybe the most important thing we can know about Voldy." - I think you are right about this. VERY TELLING

    1. I KNOW RIGHT?! I mean... I can defend him A LOT, but he has basically no reason to hate Tonks, and OMG SERIOUSLY DUDE HOW COULD YOU?! Just... No.

      Isn't it though?! It's like the key to everything. Damn that dude was just so scared of death... (OMG, I've only just made the connection between being scared of death and calling your followers Death EATERS. Damn, I'm so slow...)

    2. I read somewhere, at some time, Voldemort is some rough French for "flight of death". The guy had some issues with death...

    3. Oooooh. Oooooh. I'm going to be pondering this one forever...

  4. Aw! I do feel sorry for Malfoy. He's trapped between a rock and a HorribleDarkBad place.

    It is entirely balogna that Harry doesn't care about apparating.

    Next week is going to be rough.

    1. It's tricky because Malfoy DID bring it on himself, but like him mum said when she went to see Snape, of COURSE he thought being a Death Eater was a cool thing to do, because he's 16 years old and doesn't understand that he's all, like, mortal and stuff. And I think he does understand the badness of things now and yeah. Poor Malfoy? (But not too much...)

      Apparating is pretty much the one magical skill I desire the most. Keep all the rest of it, I'll just have the ability to go anywhere I want as soon as I want and be home in time for tea. Thanks.

      I know right? I'm totally going to be reading the end tomorrow. I might not be able to go on with the readathon after it!

  5. I remember the necklace thing (it is related to why Ron is DYING right now [I think?]) but I FORGET the Tonks thing, but I ALSO remember the end of the book thing, so I am like...

    Basically you and I are in the same boat, with slightly differently-shaped oars.

    1. Apparently so! It would make sense that the necklace thing is related to the poisoning of Ron, but I JUST DON'T KNOW HOW! And I THINK I remember the Tonks thing, only the thing I might be thinking of might be the thing in Book 7, so I really just don't know what I know. *shrugs, reads on*

  6. YES! This book is very much about the basics, which is part of why I love it so. The day-to-day Hogwarts life is what I really love about this series, and we gets lots of it here. But I DO feel really bad for Draco (though that's probably more because of the movie than the book). Yeah, he acts cocky about doing this terrible thing but he's also under SO MUCH pressure to protect himself and his mother, not just from what will happen if he fails, but from what's probably already happening since his Dad dies. So yeah, he feels like he has all these parental expectations to live up to AND he's got all this pressure SO he acts like it's what he wants because that's the only way to not have a total breakdown. Draco has never had a chance to figure out what's important to HIM, which makes him both very pitiable and very dangerous.

    1. HIS DAD DIES? (I don't remember everything. Or, realistically, hardly anything. Hmmm.) But also, YES your description of Malfoy. All of it. I feel like I also feel sorry for him because of the movie, and probably mostly only because I fancied him when he was a tiny child and I was also a tiny child, so a teeny bit of turmoil=me going 'Malfoy, NO!'

      But yaaaaay day-to-day Hogwarts life. I feel like we've been getting less and less of it in bks 4+5, so this really is just like a treat book, right?