You know, upon the first reading, when I didn't know that Xenophilius had sent for Death Eaters, I totally breezed through this scene, but once I knew what he was doing outside, the set-up seemed to be quite unbelievable, because they have time to read the Tale of the Three Brothers and discuss it before the Death Eaters arrive. Why are these people supposed to be scary, again?
As an aside, I was mildly disappointed that Death, in the fairy-tale, didn't speak in all-caps. It would have been a great nod. >.>
Don't go looking for trouble, don't go pick fights, don't go messing around with stuff that's best left alone! Just keep your head down, mind your own business, and you'll be okay.
Ironically, that sounds rather like the entire series' moral landscape. Aim any higher than you can easily reach, and you're a Slytherin. Or Harry Potter, who is Special.
The wizarding superstitions are really neat. May-born witches will marry Muggles? Is that a hint as to Merope's birthday, then? :D
Wands are only as powerful as the wizards who use them. Some wizards just like to boast that theirs are bigger and better than other people's.
The smell from the Lovegoods' kitchen is like burning underpants. A more pressing issue is: how does Harry know what burning underpants smell like?
Luna's painted ceiling still remains one of my favourite parts of the whole series, though in a way it's a little pathetic, how much she cares about Harry, Ron, and Hermione, when they normally barely give her the time of day. :\
The printing press hiccoughing at the best possible moment for it to reveal the Quibbler's new contents was really lame.
AND THEN THERE IS A DRAMATIC EXPLOSION! In which nobody but the scene's designated bad guy actually gets seriously hurt. Whut.
Hermione's quick thinking to arrange the getaway is LOVE.
Hermione asks the question: what would happen to Ron's family if the Death Eaters knew Harry was with him. And this is something that's bothered me since the Ghoul in Pyjamas plan was originally revealed -- why does Ron need to be with Harry for his family to be hurt? It's common knowledge that the Weasleys are Harry's second family. All Voldemort and the Death Eaters had to do was round 'em up, spattergroit or no spattergroit, and wait for Harry to come and rescue them.
I'm sure JKR's got some kind of hackneyed explanation for this, something like "Voldemort doesn't understand about family! He's never felt love!!1" but, well, the fact that the Weasley family wasn't rounded up and thrown in prison (to make Harry come out of hiding) is, I think, a glaring omission on JKR's part. If she wanted the Death Eaters to actually be scarily effective, that is.
So if Marvolo was descended from the Peverells and Harry was descended from the Peverells... heh heh heh heh. XD And Harry's ability to remember things from years ago but being magically unable to remember the face of Grindelwald after like... a day? Amazing.
trust me, he wasn't the type to read fairy tales to his kids
Except he was. He totally was. >.>
Harry says he had never seen anything to equal his Invisibility Cloak in his nearly seven years in the Wizarding world. Except, uh, Barty Crouch Jr. managed to be smuggled out of Azkaban and then attend the Quidditch World Cup years later underneath the same invisibility cloak. Oops?
And once again, Hermione and Ron are unwilling to listen to Harry. Even though whenever he's had epiphanies in the past, he's been right. Sigh. And that they're still groping about in the dark, despite Ron's newly minted take-charge attitude, is a direct result of discounting Hogwarts from the list of "places likely for Horcrux-hiding". But then, it just wouldn't do for them to go to Hogwarts right now; that would ruin the plot.
Whee, Potterwatch! One of my favourite bits in this book.
Since we witnessed the Celestina Warbeck Christmas Special in HBP, I've been more and more amazed at why Hogwarts students don't appear to care for listening to the wizarding wireless at all. That just rings so false to me.
Aha, so Ron manages to dial into Potterwatch in March (specifically, around Easter, as we find out in the next chapter). So... timeline... uh... time! They escaped Godric's Hollow at Christmas, and the Xenophilius visit was sometime before the Hogwarts Christmas holiday ended (as they had expected Luna to be there). So they sat around on their arses for OVER TWO MONTHS? Wow. That's... pretty lame of them.
the unnamed, but no less regretted, Muggles
Couldn't have been THAT hard to find out their names, could it? It's called a newspaper, Lee...
Excellently put, Royal, and you've got my vote for Minister of Magic if we ever get out of this mess
Way to confirm Kingsley's identity to any Death Eaters listening, Lee... -_-
Pals of Potter
HAHAH -- SHE DIDN'T! SHE TOTALLY DID! XD
I'd tell him to follow his instincts, which are good and nearly always right
Harry doesn't need to be told to follow his instincts! His FRIENDS need to be told to follow his instincts. Also, lol JKR, ur authorial intent is showing.
I'm not being ‘Rodent,' no way, I told you I wanted to be ‘Rapier'!
Ahahah, oh Gred and Forge. <33333333333333333333
he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo
I REPEAT: <33333333333333333333333333333333
The name's Taboo!
I've already gone into detail on why I don't believe for a second that neither Harry nor Hermione used the name even once during Ron's absence, so this whole sequence was rather "yeah, right" rather than "oh no!" for me. Couldn't Hermione have spent some of the previous TWO MONTHS working out a protective enchantment that could let them communicate with the outside world and would NOT be undone if they accidentally broke Taboo? Jeez.
My favourite chapter! >:D
It's pretty amazing that when confronted with enemies, the Trio's reaction is to submit, not to fight. Like mother, like son, eh Harry? -_- They didn't even TRY to put up a fight, aside from Ron's attempt at physically assaulting somebody who was touching Hermione inappropriately.
a face covered in matted gray hair and whiskers
A face covered in whiskers? o.o
With a huge effort of will Harry closed his mind to Voldemort's thoughts
Oh, so that's all it takes, then? A huge effort of will? There goes Occlumency, I guess. :P
The scary Malfoy Manor gate with the face was pretty awesome. I wonder if that's their usual gate or something they're using now that the manor is Voldemort's base.
"My son, Draco, is home for his Easter holidays. If that is Harry Potter, he will know."
That's right. Draco would know Harry anywhere. XDDDDD CANON PROOF.
Harry did not dare look directly at Draco, but saw him obliquely; a figure slightly taller than he was, rising from an armchair, his face a pale and pointed blur beneath white-blond hair.
Even when a blur, Draco is pointy.
The Malfoys have a massive gilded mirror over their fireplace? *cough*new money*cough*
"Draco, if we are the ones who hand Potter over to the Dark Lord, everything will be forgiv --"
Aha, so Draco is aware of the situation his family is in and not, in fact, sheltered from the truth. And he remains, in spite of this, on his family's side, rather than running over to Voldemort (who has greater power). No personal integrity, did you say?
Harry saw Draco's face up close now
Heh heh heh heh.
"I... maybe... yeah."
Note that this is after Narcissa identifies Hermione. So Draco's reluctant to say it's Hermione even though his mother is clearly excited at the prospect of having caught her.
Bellatrix is scary.
"Draco, move this scum outside [...] If you haven't got the guts to finish them [...]"
So it's well-known, at least to Bellatrix, that Draco doesn't do well at killing people.
Greyback is supposed to be scary and sinister but I find him more... bad-comic-book-villain-ish than anything else. It'd be much scarier if he kept leering suggestively at Hermione instead of constantly talking about having a bite or two, ffs.
Harry could feel Ron shaking.
Oh? Because Hermione is That Much More Special to Ron? Lame. They BOTH ought to be shaking at the prospect of Hermione being in Bellatrix's clutches, jeez. It makes Ron's forthcoming theatrics rather cringeworthy and not in a good way, because wow, talk about the WRONG way to hit your readers over the head with romance: Ron's more distressed about Hermione simply because he wants in her pants and Harry doesn't? Epic fail.
Luna! <33333 Luna makes everything better.
"Stand back. Line up against the back wall. Don't try anything, or I'll kill you!"
Of course you will, Draco. Of course you will. *petpet*
"Dobby has come to rescue you."
Ron uses a passable imitation of Wormtail's voice here. Clearly this is foreshadowing for him being able to imitate Parseltongue later. *snerk*
"After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!"
This was the point in the book where I could only stare at that line. Did Harry Potter just call in a life-debt? Did he seriously remember, through all these years, that Wormtail owed him? Enough to cool-headedly remember it when his best friend is being tortured upstairs? My, my, he would have done well in Slytherin.
So... the silver hand took revenge on Wormtail for showing mercy... but... didn't the hand's creator want to kill Harry himself? If so, shouldn't the hand have rewarded Wormtail for hesitating? Does not compute.
Ron tried to use Relashio on Wormtail's hand -- so it's not a spell that'll specifically make chains on a prisoner's chair withdraw back into the chair. It's some kind of a spell designed to manipulate metal, I am thinking.
Draco doubled over, his hands covering his bloody face.
Ahah, poor lamb. If it's not Sectumsempra, it's a chandelier. *snicker*
So a house-elf can disarm a witch or wizard quite easily if only it isn't bound by its oath to the family (or whatever it is that binds the house-elves to their masters). No wonder the pure-bloods try to keep them down.
A dramatic escape happened! That was a really well-done sequence. Too bad it ended with Dobby's over-dramatic, clichéd death, glassy orbs and all.
he saw Voldemort punishing those they had left behind at the Malfoy Manor.
Uh-oh. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, Voldypants.
"I want to do it properly. Not by magic. Have you got a spade?"
I doubt JKR intended it as such, but this is an interesting character point. So doing things by magic is not proper? Ha!
Grief, it seemed, drove Voldemort out
But that's plainly ridiculous. Voldemort couldn't have been consciously showing Harry all these tidbits of what he was doing; why would he give his enemy any leads? Then again, we're talking about Voldemort-the-token-villain, not the scary person everyone's supposed to be afraid of. My bad.
They jumped down into the hole he had made with spades of their own
Even wizards think magic isn't good enough for grave-digging because it's too easy! Good job on the moralising, JKR. Too bad it's so transparent.
He selected the shorter of the two, which felt friendlier in his hand
*insert Draco's penis joke*
but he wanted to mark the spot as he had wanted to dig the grave
So when it comes to the really hard work, like engraving upon a stone, magic's totally A-OK!
There seems to be a lot of Harry ignoring or turning his back on spectacular views in this chapter. Is that supposed to make us feel something special? Like -- oh no, he's sacrificing staring at the scenery in favour of getting shit done, the poor man! >.>
Harry rather thought he was being sneered at for acting like a Muggle
And why wouldn't using your bare hands when you could accomplish the same job in a fraction of the time, with magic, not be sneerworthy? That's what I want to know. It's like using an abacus when he can use Excel, ffs. Is this one of the morals we're supposed to take home from Harry Potter? Work hard, not smart?
Sure, there's a deeply human element in digging a grave and sweating and all that crap, but it doesn't make a damn sight of difference to Dobby whether Harry digs his grave with a spade or with a bulldozer. All it does is make Harry feel good about himself. That's not honourable.
I also find it hard to believe that a goblin, a magical creature, would be impressed that a wizard used Muggle means to bury a house-elf. I can totally see a goblin being surprised at a wizard giving a house-elf a proper burial, period, but I don't see why Muggle means vs magical means need to enter into it at all.
Wow, Harry even remembers the little Gringotts ditty about thieves. But he couldn't remember Grindelwald's face? Hee.
they deny us the possibility of extending our powers!
Aha! So a wand can be used to extend latent magical power. And it makes human wizards pretty pathetic in comparison to the sentient magical creatures we've seen -- goblins and house-elves can both do amazing magic without wands, whereas wizards are useless without wands. Really makes you wonder, doesn't it?
I never pegged Hermione for the type to show off her war injuries.
"Bellatrix was terrified when she thought we'd been in there, she was beside herself. Why?"
I love love LOVE that it's Harry who figures this out
[Voldemort] trusted Bellatrix and her husband. They were his most devoted servants before he fell
...and I ask again: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS RODOLPHUS LESTRANGE? >.>
Hawthorn and unicorn hair. Ten inches precisely. Reasonably springy. This was the wand of Draco Malfoy.
:D :D :D
Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument.
Now this is interesting; "instrument" is clearly deliberate -- so you do not need a *wand* but you do need some form of *channelling* the magic in JKR's world. Interesting. I am suddenly seized by a desire to write a fic where Harry channels magic through a tire iron.
"wand" is used umpteen billion times in this chapter. *changes them all to wang* Eeheheheheheheh XD We were talking about the other wang, the wang that changes hands by murder. When You-Know-Who realised my wang had done something strange, he came back and asked about that other wang, didn't he?"
Whew! Now that things are finally falling into place, the book begins to read much smoother and quicker.