furiosity: I'm going for a smoke. And when I come back, I'm going to write H/D porn. Because that fic depressed me.
evilsource: I dance for porn.
... and that's really what it's all about, right? Porn. And dancing. Ahem.
On with the commentary I go. HBP Commentary: previous parts.
Chapter 5 -- An Excess of Phlegm
I am not a Molly fan. Fair warning. In fact, I wish that Molly were less like herself and more like Debbie from QaF. Sue me.
It's interesting to note, here, that Molly knew about Slughorn and Dumbledore's Mission of Persuasion. It's also interesting to note that Dumbledore called Slughorn "Horace" to his face, but he calls him "Slughorn" to Molly. *quirk* Is this because he knows Molly dislikes Slughorn? Or does Dumbledore himself dislike Slughorn?
Dumbledore calls Tonks "Nymphadora". Doesn't he know she hates that name? And Tonks calls him "Professor" -- old habits die hard?
More adverb abuse in Dumbledore's dialogue but I really should note that she's loads better this time around, about the adverbs.
New magic! Stretching Jinx. Harry (and presumably Ron) look like they've had Stretching Jinxes put on them. Oh, dude, I can't wait to see until these show up in porn. Just because.
I'm very interested in the logistics of wizarding cooking, just because I'm a geek, and so. Molly gets a pot and levitates it onto the stove, where it immediately begins to bubble. Immediately, it's warm and ready and she tips the onion soup into Harry's bowl. So, I am a little confused. Why is the stove even there? Symbolic? Because clearly she could have just poured the soup into the bowl, waved her wand, and whammo. Like a microwave. I'm not quibbling, I'm just curious about how wizards cook. I expect it's too much to ask for fic? Thought so. >.>
P.S. Hungry now. :(
And we come to why Molly isn't a particular fan of Slughorn -- and also at the same time to why I am not a fan of Molly. She's a bit bitter that Slughorn didn't think Arthur was enough of a high-flier.
Well, he wasn't, and he isn't, is he? It took him how many years to get his promotion? Arthur, the way he'd been written up to this point, is just not ambitious in the way that Slughorn would expect his charges to be ambitious. Arthur wants to do the best he can and he doesn't seem to put much stock into rushing up the Ministry ladder. That's ambition, obviously, but it's not the kind that leads to power and influence. Even his promotion is obviously pastede on -- had it not been for Voldysnapple, this new Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects (ODCCDSPO) wouldn't exist, and Arthur would be sitting in his same old job, I bet you anything.
On a tangent, it seems that old Scrimgeour is clearly a former Slytherin -- and not even because of the more obvious evidence in later chapters. By the sounds of it, he's taking people like Arthur -- small-timers -- and putting them in charge of these new, very compartmentalised Offices. It creates the illusion that he's recognising these "loyal ministry workers" and thus ensures they'll pour their all into fervently carrying out his orders. Sure, Molly says that these new offices are being set up in response to the new situation but honestly? I'm not buying it. The Ministry was around during the first war, too, and they somehow got through up until the time Harry iced Volderfuzz, without the need for an ODCCDSPO or similar. I'd say that JKR is making fun of bureaucracy here but I'd be surprised if she genuinely were, because that would imply darling Gryffindor Arthur panders to bureaucrats.
And then we come to why I dislike Molly. She's clearly got it into her head that Arthur is an important person now (and Slughorn was WRONG about him!!!11) because he's been shifted to another office and he's got ten people reporting to him, but -- he really is still on the same level, isn't he? He's still in charge of a Ministry Office (only now his work is much more dangerous), and he's still essentially a lackey. And this kind of deluded pride always gets me in people -- there's really nothing to be proud of, really, but Molly is obviously very proud. People who tend to do that have always rubbed me the wrong way, and it's not a personal fault of Molly herself, because there is nothing wrong with being that sort of person. I just don't like such people, and therefore I don't like Molly. The fact that she dislikes people who, like Slughorn, threaten her illusions, only adds to my dislike.
Apropos, it was very telling that the famous Weasley clock is no longer on a wall but is now ostensibly being constantly carried around by Molly. I do feel bad for her because she obviously loves her family very much, and sitting there watching a clock where all of the people you love are in "mortal peril" can't be very cheery.
But, she still manages to be catty about Slughorn and Fleur, and it's astonishing to me, in Fleur's case -- if you love your son so much, why don't you give his chosen girl a chance? *headdesk* Don't get me wrong, I understand about mothers and their sons, but this woman isn't just jealous that her son has found a girl to marry: she's not averse to the idea of his marrying, but it's Fleur she takes issue with, and clearly, as we saw at the end, for ridiculous reasons. She thinks Fleur's an airhead (and probably a slut, too) just because she's so pretty. I hate prejudice like that, probably because I myself have been a target of it.
And here, again -- Arthur's dearest ambition is to find out how aeroplanes stay up. Clearly not Slug Club material, but that is not in itself a bad thing. Molly's indignation at Arthur's being passed over for the Slug Club is so very pointless, because some people don't want power and influence and glory, and that doesn't make them any less worthy. Her being bitter about Slughorn only reveals what a starfucker she'd be if she had had the chance. I like Arthur, I think he's a decent man, and I don't think the fact that he doesn't strive to be Top Dog of Everything Ever makes him weak or pathetic.
Mollywobbles. I would probably find this cute, if it were Arthur's nickname for her. But this is what Molly likes to make Arthur call her, which is just more telling of how much control she exercises over her husband. So this made me cringe a little; I know I'm probably the only one.
And notice how Arthur's all businesslike? I don't think he likes having to call Molly that, but does just so she'd put out. :-P Yeah, I know I'm reaching.
I really disliked it that Molly immediately suspects that Fred and George are behind the Metamorph Medals. OTOH, I love that Arthur is firm about shutting down her suspicions. As many issues as I might have with Fred and George, I agree with Arthur that they wouldn't do something as nasty as selling fake protection.
I wonder what a Backfiring Jinx is.
And an instance of "fandom ate f's brain": "Oh, they're in Diagon Alley, sleeping in the little flat over their joke shop". What do I immediately think? Twincest. *headdesk*
And gah, Molly. Fred and George's shop hasn't been open a year and they're already so busy that they don't have time to sleep at home, and according to her, they have "a bit" of a flair for business. Gah. Just... gah.
I didn't understand why Ron hit Harry on his head. I mean, I could understand clapping him on the shoulder or punching him in the chest or something along those lines, but on his head? Buh.
Harry's impressions of Slughorn: Looks a bit like a walrus and used to be Head of Slytherin. No, Harry doesn't care about which house people are in, not at all. *snerk*
The interactions between Ron and Hermione really make the scene, here, I thought -- she's clearly in charge, and she's clearly been lecturing him on how to talk to Harry, it's all so ... oedipal, in a way. Yay for Molly-Hermione parallels. :-P
And lo, first appearance of Ginny. Now, I know that later on, Harry suddenly discovers the presence of strange chest monster that snarls and is generally scary, but am I the only one who is seeing zero chemistry? She's described as "Ron's younger sister" rather than by her name when she first appears, and there is just no indication that Harry's ever thought about Ginny in any way other than just "Ron's younger sister" -- so where the fuck is that famed "slow realisation that she's the ideal girl"? Me no compute.
Ginny and Hermione are viciously catty about Fleur. So warm, so compassionate, so funny. Not. I mean yeah, the fact that Fleur talks down to them is annoying, but they really are nothing but teenage twits, what the hell do they expect? And Fleur is a bit condescending to Harry, but not so much, I found -- if that's how she talks to Ginny and Hermione, I don't see what their beef is. Throughout this scene, Ginny is bitchy and catty, and she even snarks at Harry for taking Ron's side. o.O;
The only thing in this scene that even remotely suggests that Harry's a teenage boy with hormones and who's interested in girls is Fleur's appearance and spirited welcome to him, and his reaction to it.
Also, Harry's got another underaged creepy stalker (besides Ginny) -- Fleur's sister Gabrielle, who can't stop talking about Harry Potter even though it's been almost two years. Poor Harry, he'll be beating the pair of them off with sticks. It's a good job he's gay.
I love Ron. That is all. He's the sole voice of reason, and "sounds like the kind of mental thing Dumbledore would say" is one of my favourite quotes by him ever. <3!
Much Trio love in this chapter, generally. It's funny, but I love Ron and I love Harry, but I'm not a big fan of Hermione -- when she's by herself. As part of the trio, I quite like her. And I love the effect that the two of them have on Harry, and this? This little scene where Harry thinks about how much he appreciates his friends? It's so much vindication for those of us who refused to hate OotP!Harry just because he had an emo kid phase. Because it's always been like this, yo. Harry's always felt this way about his friends, he just had too much shit on his plate in fifth year -- far more than either of these two will ever have to deal with. <3 Harry.
Hermione's resemblance to half a panda is fucking priceless.
Hermione's panicking over the O.W.L.s. I mean, she was squealing and shrieking and freaking out -- she's never been this OMGWTFIFAILEDEVERYTHING!!1 over exams before. I think this is where people began to get the whole OOC rubbish -- but hi, Hermione's Boggart is that she's failed everything. It's her greatest fear, ffs. Yeah, at the end of the book, she pretty much says she'll drop out of school for Harry's sake, but that's not the same as failing -- she can always come back to school, after all. She fears failing her exams and while JKR may have overdone it a little bit with the hand-flapping and squealing and "oh no"s, but this isn't OOC. Just slightly overdone.
And dudes, Harry got an Exceeds Expectations in Potions. That's the one right below Outstanding, so hi, he did not suck at Potions. He just wasn't good enough for Snape, thanks. And in general, Harry is clearly not a bad student -- he's failed History of Magic, sure, and he did poorly in Divination (but everyone saw that coming). Everything else is Exceeds Expectations and DADA is Outstanding. Even his Astronomy is Acceptable, despite the Hagrid-kerfluffle while they were doing that exam.
In the end, Harry can't think of anything else he'd like to be other than an Auror. Well, I personally think he would make a great Knight Bus driver. *winks at xylodemon*