16 March 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Part the Turning Point

When I first read this book in the year 2000 (holy crap), I blissfully charged through up until this moment:

Then a very strange thing happened. My forehead got all prickly, my jaw dropped open, and this strange salty liquid started leaking from the corners of my eyes. And it didn’t stop until the giant Hex Fest 2k happened on the Hogwarts Express.

So the last quarter of book 4 is the big turning point in the series, right? And it’s going to be hard for me to keep things light because I have ALL THE FEELINGS about this bit. First, how genius is JK? (We already know the answer to this, her difficulties with math and dragon heartstring farming firmly aside.) Cedric’s character arc is utterly perfect; he’s set up as this generic do-gooder, and it’s not till he and Harry end up together in the center of the maze that he gains some depth. Along with Harry, we start to genuinely like Cedric for himself, and then JUST KIDDING!

And then the echoes come out of Voldemort’s wand and Harry’s dad shows up – is it weird to anyone else that James died after Lily? Hmm cultural doxaaaaaa! – and then his MUM and for some reason, that’s more heart-wrenching.

Sooooo veritaserum – JK is super-good at planting definitions of magical stuff earlier in the books so when it’s dramatically relevant, she doesn’t have to spend time explaining – and I really hope someone covered what a freaking GREAT teacher Barty Crouch Jr. was, dark motives aside, because dang. Fudge is a jerk, but it’s kind of understandable (though unacceptable) from his point of view; how many people do we all know who will stick their fingers in their ears and shriek that they can’t hear sense?  But seriously, dementors as protection, Fudge?

But then this:

“He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as if by a mother.”

That’s where I lose it, every time. I have to go make a fresh cup of tea and blow my nose and ugly cry for a minute because how tragic is it to get to fourteen years old and never have been hugged by a mom? Just TYPING that sentence makes my throat swell and my eyes burn.  Couple that with the speech Dumbledore gives at the feast later when he says, “Remember Cedric Diggory” and I want to stand up and say, YES! I will remember! My emotions, JK, you manipulate them so hard.

And then I cried.

Quick query: why can't Harry see the thestrels at the end of book 4? Someone has surely explained this anomaly...