21 June 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Part the ENDENING

Alice pointed out that since we've been doing this for six months, we've nearly all found one another on gchat, Facebook, Instagram, and other corners of the internet that are not our book bloggy homes, so the end of the readalong isn't as sad as it could be.

[Side bar: seriously, Chrome? after six months you still don't believe "readalong" is a word? Don't make me come over there. (this is funny because my office is within walking distance of Google so I could. And I just might.)]

I'm saving all most of the GIFs I didn't use for the FUTURE when they will come in handy especially when I read a YA book that's not as good as HP (so any of them) and my reaction is largely

And then we can all be like, "remember when we did that readalong and it proved how clever we all are? That was a fun half-year."

I feel like bullet points are especially appropriate in this, our final group post (for now). In the last six months, I have:

  • discovered that JK Rowling is crap at math, but super-duper excellent at characterization and the Long Game. 
  • discussed and calculated at length the number of students at Hogwarts and whether Hogwarts is the only or just the best wizarding school in England (signs point to only, according to a line in HP7). 
  • perused the Ravenclaw gear at Pottermore and wished for more subtle stuff, only to decide later that what my life is truly missing is a Ravenclaw couch throw - which is decidedly UNSUBTLE
  • Spent an INORDINATE amount of time looking at Daniel Radcliffe's quite pretty self: 

I can't tell if I'm uncomfortable or just impressed.
Artists wear black and take monochromatic portraits. And do Equus.
So, this whole thing has been HUGELY entertaining, I'm so glad we took this trip together, and I'd like to suggest another Mini Readathon in July - maybe Saturday the 20th or 27th? 

I came across this image about halfway through the readalong (seriously, Chrome, keep up!) and it chokes me up every. single. time. Thanks for reminding me how it feels to be a part of a fandom, you guys. 

13 June 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Part the Battle then Battle Some More

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: that epilogue is pretty awful, what with the side-eyes between Harry and Draco and the everyone-having-a-zillion-kids. I read it once (and once will dooooo), so I’m ignoring it this time around.

That's right, JK, I said NO.
When Amycus spits at McGonagall and Harry is like, ::whips off cloak:: “you shouldn’t have done that!” and McGonagall is all, “Harry! Don’t be so gallant!” and then he’s like, “He SPIT at you!” NICE JOB, HARRY. Because like hell you spit at McGonagall and get away with it. Like. hell.

There are so many gorgeous parallels in this part of the book. Like when, Ron freaks out about needing to get past the Whomping Willow and Hermione is all, “Are you a wizard or what?" Turnabout: it's fair play, Weasley. And in Snape's memories where he's on the train with Lily, and James says, "I think if I were in Slytherin, I'd go home, wouldn't you?" Which, we've heard someone say something like that before... ::glares at Draco:: So basically Snape is Harry's foil, not Voldemort, who is just a regular ol' fashioned enemy, and James is Draco's foil. Ouch my brain.

At some point JK gives in to herself and actually lets someone talk about what a long game someone has been playing (I ran out of paper flags before this point so no quote for you!), and to that I say, well played indeed, Lady Jo. 

I don't really have a transition here, so now we come to all the SADS that hit me right in my solar plexus:


Snape telling Harry to look at him while he dies... because of Lily's eyes... those eyes that never saw him, never knew he longed to hold her close, to live at last, in Lilllllyyyyyy's eeeeeyes...

There are fresh tearstains next to the 2007 ones at the part where Percy comes back and Fred is the one to forgive him - but MORE this time because I knew what was coming and that made it WORSE (tbh I cried every time Fred showed up in this book), and then they’re joking – Percy! Joking! – and then… the world blows apart. Don’t try to tell me JK didn’t mean that figuratively as well as literally; she definitely did because she will kill what we love.

The line about the three homeless boys who made Hogwarts their home hurts a bit, doesn't it?

And Bellatrix’s laugh is like Sirius’s because they are cousins and sometimes families have weird little things in common including the way they die. 

Let’s talk about mothers in these books, SHALL WE?

That’s pretty much it, really. The mothers are all BAMFs.

AND SO WE COME TO THE END.  I am clinging to next week as the Last Week because I'm not ready yet.

11 out of 11 Blibbering Humdingers*

*I really hope someone else is going to cover Luna and the Malfoy's family structure, because they DESERVE IT.

06 June 2013

Harry Potter HFriday -Part the Penultimate

And we’re back after the excitement that SOME of us enjoyed at BEA, and the excitement that the REST of us shared in the privacy of our own homes, far away from the City that Smells Like the Subway. And despite two whole weeks between posts, I still couldn’t bring myself to read this week’s chapters until last night because every time I cracked this book open and saw Xenophilius's name, it made me want to 
I KNOW he just loves his daughter. SIGH.
And then I cried - before I even started reading whoamIevenanymore - because despite all of our declarations about how fun this readalong would be and how much we were looking forward to the nostalgia of yesteryear and getting our veritable Hogwarts letters in January, it turns out this readalong is really all about crying ahead of time now that we are older and wiser and know what’s going to happen.

But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to make fun of Megs, who chastised us last week for moaning about how the camping, it is so long, and yet it only lasted a little while! Well, it DID, in last week’s chapters. But then they camp some more, for LO!, these MANY MONTHS, because Ron comes back around New Years and then suddenly it is MARCH. There is a point at which “camping” becomes “just living in the woods,” and you have crossed that point, Miss Jo. These kids have been out in the elements since school started in September!

That is a long-ass time to be sleeping in a tent, you guys.

Then Dobby shows up in the cellar and I started sniffling a little even though he kind of makes me crazy in the entire rest of the series. And then stupid BELLATRIX and her desire for Lord Voldemort’s wand, if you know what I’m saying – which I know you do because we’re all dirty birds over here – with her stupid knife and at this point I’ve forgotten whose actual wand is whose, but apparently Harry has a pocketful of them (and his homies do too).

Laid back.
Harry digs the grave himself and it's very contemplative and at one moment he thinks, "am I meant to know but not to seek?" and that is some mythic hero shit right there. And then he carves the letters into Dobby's headstone (it goes over where his head goes, get it??) and I think, oh, that's where those little wrinkly stains on this page came from. They are the ghosts of tears from 2007.

They bungle the stealing-from-Gringott's thing beautifully, don't they? And the apparate to Hogsmeade like idiots. It's almost like they're teenagers. Then there's Aberforth, at whom we have been sniggering this whole time and he turns out to have a secret pain and UGH that is just the worst way to make me feel guilty, JK.

The whose-wand-is-whose thing is always a little weird to me – I mean, if your wand is made of birch and mine is black walnut, then obviously I’m not going to mistake yours for mine. But would I mistake yours for someone else’s light-colored wand? Probably, because who pays that much attention to someone else's wand? And speaking of wands, I’m pretty sure I’d study wandlore if I were a witch. It’s so hazy and mysterious and somehow scholarly but also it would appeal to my inner Goth, who EXISTS, dammit! I was cool in the 90’s!

I was not cool in the 90's.