[14:58] goneril: uh-oh
[14:58] goneril: did you use suncream?
[14:58] furiosity: of course not. sunscreen is for white people.
[14:58] goneril: *scolds*
[14:59] furiosity: dun scold omg :( u'll hurt my feelings
[14:59] goneril: suncream is for people who don't want skin cancer *stern*
[14:59] furiosity: bah, I'll have lung cancer first
[14:59] goneril: haha well ok
With friends like these, who needs enemies? XD <3 Velly. ♥
While at the beach, I read HBP and made more notes, and so! The Slug Club. BOM BOM BOM BOM BA DUM BOM BA DOOOOOOM! (CAPS LOCK: IT'S LIKE THE CRUISE CONTROL FOR AWESOME). HBP Commentary: previous parts.
Chapter 7 -- The Slug Club
So we start with Harry having spent most of the remainder of the holidays obsessing over Draco. Aww. Apropos, this sets the tone for this batch of commentary; there will be many attempts to subvert the text. I'm just sayin'.
"Nothing that made Malfoy look that happy could be good news." Ahahah. This slays me on so many levels. I'm particularly gleeful that Ron and Hermione don't care about Draco's detours.
There seems to be an inconsistency here -- Ron suggests that maybe Draco's broken his Hand of Glory and talks about it as though he's seen it before. But the only time we saw the Hand of Glory was when Lucius Malfoy coldly told Borgin that he hoped his son would amount to more than a thief, and they left without buying the Hand of Glory -- in CoS. So... buh? I mean, yeah, yeah, it could have been that Draco got the Hand of Glory after all because his parents dote on him despite all appearances, but this was never mentioned or shown or anything. It's true that Lucius never said Draco couldn't have the Hand of Glory, but still. As one of the Draco fen who pay obsessive attention to him in canon, this immediately jarred me.
Ron is sceptical that Volderbrain would let Draco join the Death Eaters, at sixteen. This comes up time and time again -- the jury is still out on whether Draco is actually a Death Eater or not (from what JKR says, he is, but there's no direct canon evidence). I actually agree with Ron and the rest. Though Harry does make a very good point later on in the chapter -- "Does anyone really know what You-Know-Who would or wouldn't do?." Well, I hope you figure it out, Harry.
Harry smiles his dialogue to Ginny. Why, Jo? WHY? You cannot "smile" a line. You can say it with a smile, but you can't smile dialogue. *headdesk*
Harry is so cute when he's got a wild theory. Especially when it involves rampant Draco-related speculation.
Molly's self-peeling sprouts are funny because we find Ron and Harry peeling sprouts without magic at Christmas.
And dude. Fleur is like the sister-in-law from heaven. She refuses to put Ginny in pink because pink would clash with her hair. She doesn't want Ginny to look ridiculous -- most other women would be thrilled to thus humiliate their future husbands' bratty little sister. I mean, why the hate? Why? So, she's pretty, who gives a fuck.
And oh, look. Ginny trips her brother and humiliates him in front of Fleur. Good show, Ginny. I mean, I know that this is typical little-sister behaviour, but this was totally pastede on. She was never like that with Ron. And Ginny is just in general horrid to Ron in this whole book, for which she gets a little more hate from me. No one is allowed to be so awful to Ron.
The Aurors sent to watch over Harry at King's Cross are grim-faced, bearded, and wearing black Muggle suits.
The good guys dress in black -- remember that
Just in case we ever at King's Cross and make contact
The title held by me -- MIB
Means what you think you saw you did not see.
Arthur is amused at Harry's Draco-stalking. Clearly, he's seen the signs. Here, have a missing sentence from HBP: "Ah, young love," thought Arthur amusedly as he waved at the departing Hogwarts Express. "I always knew there was something not-quite-straight about that Potter boy. I just wonder why my Ron's not good enough for him."
f: He is, Arthur. Oh, he is. Harry would much rather be gay with Ron. It's just that Ron so not gay. :-P
Arthur says that Malfoy Manor was raided when Lucius was arrested -- so it must have happened before Draco got back to the Manor, because Lucius was arrested while Draco was still at school. pen_and_umbra take note; you know why.
Canon note: the compartments on the Hogwarts Express have windows that you can draw blinds over. I don't think I've ever noticed that before.
Harry's strange twinge of annoyance at the thought of Ginny/Dean is the single most believable bit of the awful Harry/Ginny in this book. I'm just saying. Far more effective than chestmonsters and much more poignant.
And aww Neville. I love Neville and I'm glad his gran didn't ream him out for participating in the DoM kerfuffle. I mean, I knew she's be proud that he's more like his father but still, I worried about the poor woobie.
Luna: "It was like having friends." :( *hugs Luna*
When Romilda Vane shows up, she points out Neville's bottom (which is sticking out from under the seat as he's on a Trevor-retrieval mission) to Harry. After this, Harry decides to stay in the compartment. HE SO GAY.
"They didn't fight with me." Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! <3 <3 Harry.
I do believe in Wrackspurts. I do, I do. They're a great explanation for those temporary zone-out moments.
Neville and Harry talk Quidditch! This made me happy.
I think starving!Ron is the cutest thing ever.
Draco is shirking prefect duty! Hee! See, this is the thing about Draco. It was awesome for him to be a prefect and be able to exercise power over first-years, but now that he's got his sights set on bigger and better things (according to him), it doesn't interest him anymore. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why Draco Malfoy is a Slytherin. Ambition, yo.
H.E.F. Slughorn. H is for Horace -- what are the E and the F for?
As I alluded to in the last part, Marietta still has her pimples. I wanted to strangle Harry for smirking here. Also, Cho? Cho who?
Blaise yay! Blaise's mum yay! She's the female Blue Beard.
"Gryffindor and Slytherin students loathed each other on principle." Hee. You know, it's funny, but at hogwarts_elite, the Gryffindors and the Slytherins get along the best. It's more like the Hufflepuffs loathe the Slytherins on principle while Slytherins go "Huh?"
Marcus Belby is a seventh-year Ravenclaw whose uncle Damocles is not on good terms with his father. Did you know that Flavius Belby is the only known survivor of a Lethifold attack? It's true. An ancestor, perhaps? I want fic about Marcus Belby.
Anapneo - it's the wizarding version of the Heimlich manoeuvre. Good to know.
Cormac McLaggen -- I'll have more to say about him later on, but I found the little insight into wizarding political dynamics positively fascinating. Cormac's uncle Tiberius is good friends with Rufus Scrimgeour and some guy named Bertie Higgs (remember Terence Higgs? Well, anyway, I do. >.> He was Slytherin Seeker before Draco, and left school after Harry's first year. I wonder if there's a relation.).
Anyway, there's just this thing about the whole "hunting with the Minister (even though he wasn't the Minister then)". Country clubs (or whatever their Brit equivalent), posh luncheons and so forth come to mind. And they hunted Nogtails (which are pig-like Dark creatures that curse farms).
"He contemplated Harry for a moment as though he were a particularly large and succulent piece of pheasant..." I am thinking Harry's got a pretty well-functioning gaydar. SO GAY.
Blaise doesn't think much of Harry, and can I just say that Harry/Blaise is now my H/D lite? Because it so is. Dude. It so is.
Right. Ginny hexed Zacharias for asking too many annoying questions. It's right there in the text. And this is supposed to make her cool? I thought it was the kind of thing Malfoy and his gang did for laughs. But of course Ginny is a Gryffindor and therefore it's okay to hex people because you're annoyed with them. Clearly.
And an interesting thing here is that while the rumours surrounding the Department of Mysteries showdown are many and varied, Blaise now knows that Neville and Ginny were there at the Department of Mysteries. This is good for fics of the "killing Ginny" kind. Theodore Nott, having lost his mother at an early age, looks up to his father and loves him dearly. When his father is captured no thanks to a bunch of interfering Gryffindors (and one Ravenclaw), fair Theodore swears revenge.
Gwenog Jones comes up a lot in this book, doesn't she? I wonder if she's not going to be important in book 7.
"... Zabini shot him a filthy look that Harry returned with interest." Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case. Can Harry get any gayer? I didn't think so.
I quirked at this: there's a Slytherin sixth-year compartment. They have a compartment all to themselves? It's interesting, because it might be just a turn of phrase or it might indicate something about Slytherin house that we heretofore didn't know. From what we've seen of the Gryffindors (particularly Harry), they just grab whatever compartment they can find. Could it be that the Slytherins occupy the same compartment every time? It would be very fitting with the whole "tradition" aspect of the house.
Blaise in Goyle's lap! OTP! OTP! I think Goyle is mostly so upset because everyone knows how gay Blaise is.
Crabbe reads comic books! :D
"[Harry] watched Pansy stroke the sleek blond hair off Malfoy's forehead, smirking as she did so, as though anyone would have loved to have been in her place." Christ. I just. The DETAIL! Sleek! So gay.
I am more and more fascinated by the Slytherin dynamics. Draco calls Blaise by his last name, ditto for Crabbe and Goyle. However, Pansy calls Draco by his first name, and she calls Blaise by his first name, too. Could it be that girls are allowed to call people whatever, but the boys stick to last names?
Pansy thinks Marcus Belby is a prat. I want fic about the story behind this.
Draco knocks Pansy's hand aside when he sits up. Clearly this is not a healthy relationship (well, no surprise, considering that Draco so gay).
Pansy says that a lot of boys like Ginny -- notice the Slytherin pragmatism at work. She's not immaturely (like Hermione and Ginny with Fleur) trying to deny that Ginny is good-looking and popular with the boys. There's no point! So instead she uses the information she has to her advantage. That's my girl. I like how she watches Draco for a reaction, but I really wanted to reach in and tap her on the shoulder and tell her that she'd have better luck if she said that a lot of girls liked that Potter prat. Draco would immediately begin to splutter and curse. Because he so gay.
Blaise is hard to please and this is a well-known fact. God, I can just foresee the fic that's going to come out of this. He calls Ginny a blood-traitor and says he'd never touch her (which makes Pansy very happy -- and this is such a thing, for me, because I've always pictured Pansy as the type to want to control the boys around her whether she feels something for them or not). Back to Blaise, though -- the fact that he calls Ginny a blood-traitor does not necessarily make him a pure-blood. We know nothing of Blaise's father, after all, and even Snape, who, as we know, is a half-blood, had called Lily a Mudblood.
A bit of Draco's characterisation here is something that's been a huge fanon cliché for a while and I'm sort of happy that it's been made canon. He "allowed" Pansy to resume the stroking of his hair. Because Draco is like that, damn it. He just is. <3 Draco.
Interesting bit of backstory, with Lucius Malfoy a former Slug Club member. Clearly Lucius's arrest has done nothing to mar Draco's hero-worship, he still clearly defers to his father on questions of who's worthy of associating with and who isn't -- but. But. There is also independence; while Draco acknowledges that his father had said flattering things about Slughorn, he also has enough self-worth (some would call it vanity, but I don't believe it to be so) to say that "I'm well-connected, and he must be going senile if he can't see it."
And Draco is clearly the leader here and there is no infighting going on for Draco's leadership. For all Blaise's haughtiness and disdain, he answers Draco's questions just as you please. No, girls and boys, Draco Malfoy is no longer the lackey that he was in his earlier years at Hogwarts. He is clearly the leader of the group and they all clearly defer to him. Thank you, have a nice day.
And then Draco drops the bomb. "I might not even be at Hogwarts next year." Pansy is extremely indignant at this -- and I really feel for her here. Gay jokes aside, she does seem to be smitten with Draco and he obviously doesn't return her feelings. As in, he tolerates her, and they're probably even going out, but he treats her like shit in this scene and that made me sad.
So Crabbe and Goyle had no clue of Draco's plans or his involvement with the Dark Lord. I love how Blaise reacts to the news, lmao -- "allowed a look of curiosity to mar his haughty features". <3 <3 Blaise.
Pansy refers to Voldemort as Him. So either her parents are in with Voldybanana or she's sympathetic to his cause. It's interesting to note that when Draco sort of hints that he might be working for Volderpuss, Pansy's expression is that of awe -- at least to Harry. Mayhap it isn't awe but rather fear? Because since when is Harry a good judge of character when it comes to Slytherins?
Draco seems very sure that Voldemort will take over -- it may be just bravado, don't get me wrong, all the talk about not needing OWLs and NEWTs because the Dark Lord values devotion and service. Or it may be some other thing that's making Draco sure that Volderhead's side will win. Or perhaps he's still such a child that he had been sincere in his "you picked the losing side, Potter". Or perhaps he's being pragmatic.
And, well. DRACO. I would like to point out that even when surrounded by his presumably nearest and dearest, he does not speak plainly. He says enough to let you think whatever you want to think, but he never comes right out and says anything. This is the infamous Slytherin subtlety (over which the fandom is divided and then some) at work, here. Canon, bitches. Recognise.
"Harry was so busy staring at Malfoy [...]" Eee. So gay. No, I'll never get sick of gloating over the H/D subtext in this book. Get used to it.
Draco has a thick new travelling cloak (and Harry's got to be pretty damn obsessed to know it's new XD) -- but it's September! It's not that cold outside. First Hagrid with his beaverskin coat, now Draco with the Arctic haute couture. Honestly.
*hugs Pansy* I can just see her standing there, hoping Draco will hold her hand. I think if I had to point out a single moment in the series so far when I hated Draco, this would be it. Insensitive berk -- but it's also telling of his knack for taking people for granted.
And, of course, the footstomp. Fandom's pretty divided on this but -- we knew this was coming. I mean, reams and reams of fic has been written based on the pathetic little "I'll have you" from book 5. And here it is -- short, brutal, and not at all as obsessive as some would have you believe.
Because Draco is not obsessed with Harry Potter. He never was obsessed with Harry -- he has always been jealous of Harry, yes. He's always tried to make things as difficult as possible for Harry -- whenever the opportunity presented itself. But clearly he hasn't been making elaborate plans against Harry (and I know this shoots down the whole premise for my novel-length, A Gryffindor and a Slytherin, but them's the breaks.)
Harry is nothing to him anymore -- nothing, because Draco's got his sights set far above petty schoolboy rivalry, or at least he'd like to think so. And so his revenge -- "that's from my father" -- is brutal and short. And we should have seen it coming, but didn't because we were so in love with the idea of Draco spending all of his days obsessing over that damn Potter. It was easy to make Draco the obsessed one because we knew so little of him, and now that we see him -- well, frankly, my dear, he doesn't give a shit. He hates Harry, but he doesn’t give a shit about Harry, he doesn't want to have anything else to do with him. To Draco, breaking Harry's nose was revenge enough for Lucius. Ouch. Harry has become an obstacle, a thing not even worthy of an elaborate revenge.
And as much as I might make jokes about Harry's obsession with Malfoy in this book -- of course Harry is not really obsessed with him. Throughout the book, Harry is obsessed with the idea of Malfoy doing something bad enough to hurt someone Harry loves. It's an indication of respect, in a way -- he considers Draco competent enough to actually be able to do some serious damage (even though so far, Draco's demonstrated nothing but ineptitude).
Bizarrely, this -- the fact that Draco really couldn't give two shits about Harry as long as Harry stays out of his way and out of sight -- has totally reinvigorated my interest in H/D. Not the insane slash subtext of this book, not the crying scene -- nothing compares to this new dimension to Draco, and he is still an arrogant, bullying prat. An arrogant, bullying prat who sets goals and wants to be known for more than just "prefect" or "Seeker", who loves his parents and who is prepared to fight for them, but at the same time isn't a cold, heartless killer.