Saturday, October 20, 2007

I confess myself disappointed

I've just read the news that JKR has announced that Dumbledore is (or, I suppose the correct tense would be "was") gay.

I have to say I'm really disappointed. How am I going to explain this to my children? That was my first thought, along with the hope that it was just meant as a joke. But after reading some more stories about this on the internet, if all the quotes are correct, I don't see how it can be a joke. Jo said Dumbledore's great tragedy was his disappointment that this clever wizard turned out to be such a fan of the Dark Arts.

That's funny, I thought his great tragedy was the regret that he neglected his family and possibly/probably caused the death of his sister, either by actually firing off the AK that killed her or by bringing someone (Grindelwald) into close proximity to her who would fire off such a curse, even if the intended target was never Ariana in the first place.

I have to go on the record saying that I believe the Bible states pretty clearly that homosexual relationships are sinful. In the same verses, sometimes, where it states that witchcraft and sorcery are sinful. I was willing to believe and understand that the magic in the Harry Potter series was pretend, and not the same as the type practiced by real witches. However, I can't find a way to make the same equasion with this information about Dumbledore. Romance, in the Harry Potter world, seems to be the same as romance in our world. In all instances, this seems to be true. So this statement means that -- what? the white wizard is gay? Harry's mentor, the one he trusts above all others -- I did have a bit of a problem with learning how he manipulated Harry, but since it all turned out okay in the end, I didn't worry about it too much.

But, honestly, this is just plain wrong. Dumbledore is a role model, he shouldn't turn out to be gay.

And if I can believe all that I have read, the rumours about Dumbledore's brother are apparently true, as well. Some young girl asked about this at one of the events, and Jo made some comment about how, because she was so young, for her the answer would be that goats are smelly and have curly horns. Clearly implying that the answer is different for those of us who are more mature. I'm sure glad I'm not the mother of this little girl, to have to explain what Jo meant by that comment.

I'm disappointed. I've stuck up for these books and this author, saying there is nothing in them that's wrong for conservative Christians to partake in. Now I'm re-thinking all of that. I wish she had not said this. It's very upsetting.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More thoughts, now that it's been almost a month

I just read a post, a comment on a post at John Granger's site by Travis Prinzi of Sword of Gryffindor. I don't know that I can link to the comment itself, but it's the first comment on this post. The whole post is well worth reading, as are the other posts at Granger's site and the posts at Travis' site also.

I think I'm one of the overly-analytical ones. I really did like the book, but I also had a list of things I wanted to know. And I didn't get all of those answers. And I didn't get the earth-shattering surprise that I was hoping for. Again, because I'm so overly-analytical, I thought and thought and read fan sites, so I expected to learn something about Snape that would explain how he could have been on Dumbledore's side. I actually thought this explained it perfectly, how Snape could feel the way he did about Harry but also remain on Dumbledore's side and doing what Dumbledore wanted him to do.

As I've thought about the book and read more comments, I've found lots of posts at the two sites I mentioned above that clarified many of the plot points that seemed at first to be arbitrary or that I just didn't fully understand. And I'm starting to realize this was an even better book than I first thought.

Friday, August 17, 2007

favorite quotes

Since OoP, I've kept a piece of notebook paper with me when reading each of the HP books for the first time. As I read, I jot down quotes that make me laugh. By the time I was done with DH, I ha 3 college-ruled pieces of paper, though some of it had other notes, it wasn't all funny quotes. But much of it was. I want to list them here for my own enjoyment as well as anyone else who might want to pause from the serious analysis for a bit of the light-hearted.

Page numbers are from the Scholastic hardcover edition.

"Ooh, you look much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle, Harry," said Hermione. p. 50

"Oh, of course," said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. "I forgot we'll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library." p. 95

"You know, I think I will take Hogwarts, A History. Even if we're not going back there, I don't think I'd feel right if I didn't have it with--" p. 96

how in the name of Merlin's pants . . . p. 101

Mr. Weasley gave a maniacal laugh; Mrs. Weasley threw him a look, upon which he became immediately silent and assumed an expression appropriate to the sickbed of a close friend. p. 108

"This isn't your average book," said Ron . . . "If only I'd had this last year, I'd have known exactly how to get rid of Lavender and I would've known how to get going with . . . well, Fred and George gave me a copy, and I've learned a lot. You'd be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either." p. 113

"I'll pack those for you," Hermione said brightly, taking Harry's presents out of his arms as the three of them headed back upstairs. "I'm nearly done, I'm just waiting for the rest of your underpants to come out of the wash, Ron -- "

"Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?" asked Scrimgeour.
"No, I'm not," retorted Hermione. "I'm hoping to do some good in the world!" p. 123

"Oh, it can't be a reference to the fact Harry's a great Seeker, that's way too obvious," she said. "There must be a secret message from Dumbledore hiding in the icing!" p. 127

"No," said Harry, still wondering how he could appear to touch the Snitch without really doing so. If only he knew Legilimency, really knew it, and could read Hermione's mind; he could practically hear her brain whirring beside him. p. 128

"All the old kids' stories are supposed to be the Beedle's, aren't they? 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune' . . . 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot' . . . 'Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump' . . ." p. 135

"When I get married," said Fred, tugging at the collar of his own robes, "I won't be bothering with any of this nonsense. You can all wear what you like, and I'll put a full Body-Bind curse on Mum until it's all over." p. 138

"Daddy, look -- one of the gnomes actually bit me."
"How wonderful! Gnome saliva is enormously beneficial," said Mr. Lovegood.

George: "I wish old Uncle Bilius was still with us, though; he was a right laugh at weddings."
"Wasn't he the one who saw a Grim and died twenty-four hours later?" asked Hermione.
"Well, yeah, he went a bit odd toward the end," conceded George.
"But before he went loopy he was the life and soul of the party," said Fred. "He used to down an entire bottle of firewhiskey, then run onto the dance floor, hoist up his robes, and start pulling bunches of flowers out of his --"
"Yes, he sounds a real charmer," said Hermione, while Harry roared with laughter.
"Never married, for some reason," said Ron.
"You amaze me," said Hermione. p. 142-3

"How do you know Gregorovitch made my vand?"
"I . . . I read it somewhere, I think," said Harry. "In a -- a fan magazine," he improvised wildly and Krum looked mollified. P. 149

"This girl is very nice-looking," Krum said, recalling Harry to his surroundings. Krum was pointing at Ginny, who had just joined Luna. "She is also a relative of yours?"
"Yeah," said Harry, suddenly irritated, "and she's seeing someone. Jealous type. Big bloke. You wouldn't want to cross him."
Krum grunted.
"Vot," he said, draining his goblet and getting to his feet again, "is the point of being an international Quidditch player if all the good-looking girls are taken?" p. 150

"Maybe it's something you need to find out for yourself," said Hermione with a faint air of clutching at straws.
"Yeah," said Ron sycophantically, "that makes sense."
"No, it doesn't," snapped Hermione, "but I still think we ought to talk to Mr. Lovegood. p. 395

". . . the Dirigible Plum, so as to enhance the ability to accept the extraordinary." (X. Lovegood) p. 404

"You haven't heard of them? I'm not surprised. Very, very few wizards believe . . ." (X. Lovegood) p. 405

The smell from the kitchen was getting stronger; it was something like burning underpants. p. 416

"the fact remains that he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo . . ." (Fred, over the Potterwatch broadcast) p. 444

Hermione looked across the lake to the far bank, where the dragon was still drinking.
"What'll happen to it, do you think?" she asked. "Will it be all right?"
"You sound like Hagrid," said Ron. "It's a dragon, Hermione, it can look after itself. It's us we need to worry about."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't know how to break this to you," said Ron, "but I think they might have noticed we broke into Gringotts." p. 548

"and it even sprouted a pretty good bathroom once girls started turning up --" p. 578

"Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!"
Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
"I know, mate," said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, "so it's now or never, isn't it?" p. 625

"Hello, Minister," bellowed Percy . . . "Did I mention I'm resigning?" p. 636

"We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter's the one,
And Voldy's gone moldy, so now let's have fun!" (Peeves) p. 746

great article

John Granger has written a great article about the Christian content in the Deathly Hallows. Check it out here. I don't think I could ever have come up with such an amazing analysis of this book.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

thinking back to my pre-DH questions

I just went back and re-read my questions that I listed before DH came out.

I guess most of them were answered. Some of the ones from story lines earlier than HBP were not addressed, and I still wish we'd learned a bit more about Harry's parents. I thought we would.

My biggest disappointment, in terms of questions that were not answered is really one I didn't even list because I was so sure we'd been promised an answer to it already -- what happened at Godric's Hollow immediately following the death of Harry's parents up to the point we see Hagrid bringing Harry to Privet Drive? I thought we'd learn more about that.

And Pettigrew. If he had Voldemort's wand, where did he keep it while he was a rat pet of the Weasleys? And, back to my question about the prophecy, how exactly was he "chained these twelve years" and unable to help his master until the events in PoA transpired. I guess we'll never know -- I thought those words had some mysterious significance that we hadn't yet learned, but I guess not.

So, Dumbledore was a manipulative old so-and-so, and we're left with the fact that Harry is okay with that. Am I okay with it? I guess, seeing how it turned out -- it could have been a lot worse. He does seem sort of a puppetmaster, pulling strings to get just the right performance out of both Harry and Snape without telling either more than they need to know to play their own part. I wonder if Snape would have done the same if he'd known more -- or would he have let on something of the plan to Voldemort, even by accident?

I just re-read a bit of the scene in Chamber when Harry asks Dumbledore about being able to speak Parseltongue, and how he says that Voldemort left a bit of himself in Harry. Dumbledore confirms this quite honestly at this point, but later he neglects to mention this part of his theory to Harry. What would Harry have done differently if he'd have known all along?

Snape and Lily -- and Petunia. I didn't expect this, despite the fact that I did think "that awful boy" was probably Snape. And while reading DH, I thought maybe "the source we discussed" that told Snape the date they were moving Harry out of Privet Drive was Petunia, because (1) she knew the date but not the full plan (2) she seemed unable to meet Harry's eye but seemed to have something she was leaving unsaid, and I wondered if it was guilt at having given him away.

"Remember my last" takes on a bit of new meaning, as does Dumbledore's greeting to Petunia, "we have corresponded" in HBP. I always wondered if Petunia's problem was jealousy. She wanted to go along with Lily to Hogwarts. But I'm unclear -- is she trying to stamp out Harry's magical abilities again because of jealousy or has she now convinced herself that wizards are indeed freaks? Doe she secretly wish Dudley could go to Hogwarts or was she worried he would develop magical abilities and glad that he didn't?

Much more to come.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My reaction to Deathly Hallows, now that I'm done

I'm still trying to define my feelings. I don't know if it's because I'm sad it's over, or because I didn't find the book contained the HUGE surprise I was hoping for, but I'm feeling just a bit disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I loved the book. I thought most of the plot was great, and several parts were brilliant. But I expected that, after all was said and done, this would be my favorite out of the series. And I'm left feeling that PoA is still number 1 in my heart. Maybe that will change, I don't know. I expected a surprise on the order of what we learned about Peter Pettigrew and Sirius at the end of PoA, or at least the true identity of the person we thought was Mad-Eye Moody all through GoF. Now I'm wondering, did it have to be a true-identity surprise to satisfy me? She'd done that twice already, maybe it's wrong to think it would happen again. And I guess the switching-loyalties surprise is the best I could hope for, but I spent so much time theorizing that I expected it when it came so I wasn't surprised.

I would have liked it better if wasn't an undying love for Lily that was Snape's motivation, I think. And I would have liked to have a bit more Petunia.

I wanted to get to read the letter Dumbledore left with Harry. And instead we learn of more correspondence we'll never get to read. Suddenly Dumbledore's "We have corresponded" comment to Petunia at the beginning of HBP takes on a whole new meaning. Did she not give us the text of these letters just to supply the fan fiction authors with something to do?

I wanted to know more ab0ut Lily and James' past, both their families and situations before Hogwarts and also their life together before they died. Not nearly enough of that in there.

I guess those are my big disappointments. Aside from the deaths of Hedwig, Fred, and Lupin. :::::sob:::::

So what did I like?

I liked the wedding (though I still want to know more about the tufty-haired man who officiated). I liked seeing the Patronus-messengers. I liked them living at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, I wish we would have had a bit more of that.

I liked the Deathly Hallows. I liked Xenophilius Lovegood, except I wish he would have realized trusting Harry to rescue Luna would be better than turing Harry over to the Death Eaters. I liked getting to see Luna's house.

I liked the whole Dumbledore backstory and the Snape memories and the death and resurrection of Harry. I liked the inclusion of Aberforth, though I wish it would have been a regular tunnel rather than this magical portrait thing that I still don't understand. Don't they realize that there's a tunnel that leads to the Hogsmeade Public Library from the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library, and that the tunnel behind the 4th Floor Mirror leads to the Hog's Head. Oh, that's right, that tunnel's blocked. I forgot. I was hoping we'd really learn where all of them were, so I'd know if my fan fiction predictions were even close.

I liked the Ravenclaw Common Room and the backstory about the Bloody Baron. And the romance with Ron and Hermione was perfect. And I'm so glad Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny all lived!

I have lots of other thoughts, I'll probably be digesting this for quite a while. I've got lots of other things to do so I can't write about Harry full time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Some initial thoughts on Deathly Hallows SPOILERS

I'm up to chapter 22. That's the chapter that has the same name as the title.

I thought I would wait to post till I was done with the book, but I have some thoughts I thought I'd post now. These details will be SPOILERS to anyone who has not read at least thru the end of chapter 22. So you have been warned.






Okay, there's enough spoiler scrolling buffer whatever you call it.

My theory is that Petunia is "the source we discussed" who told Snape the date Harry would be removed from Number 4 Privet Drive, but didn't know the plan. I don't buy the Hagrid getting drunk story, don't think any of the others who were in on the plan are untrustworthy either.

I'm still trying to decide what the blue eye in the mirror is all about. I wondered if it might be Mad Eye, but that doesn't seem to make sense. I can't think who has blue eyes besides Dumbledore and Mad-eye.

I hope that we see the Dursleys again. I was kind of disappointed the bit with them wasn't longer. And I'm still kind of disappointed that they didn't go to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, but since we don't know where they are, we don't know if they're getting their just deserts or not.

The Polyjuice Potion containing Harry's hair turns a clear, bright gold color. When Harry's wand does that mysterious thing where it fires at Voldemort of its own accord, it shoots out gold flames. Coincidence?

I don't think the real reason the DE's knew who was the real Harry was because he used the Expelliarmus charm. But I could be wrong. I think it has something to do with his wand or his connection to Voldemort.

Remorse can kill. Page 103. Ron asks if there isn't a way to put your soul back together and Hermione says there is, but it's excruciatingly painful. Harry asks how you do it, and Hermione replies, "Remorse. You've got to really feel what you've done. There's a footnote. Apparently the pain of it can destroy you." Very interesting. Though Hermione "can't see Voldemort attempting it somehow."

"I open at the close" -- at the close of the year? of the school year? of the school? I can't think what else would close.

Was anyone else struck by the similarity between the scene where they all get bequests from Dumbledore and the scene where the Pevensie children get gifts from Santa in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? I thought that was a brilliant scene.

I was struck that the Deathly Hallows turned out to be very similar to some of the predictions I'd heard. A wand was definitely mentioned. And though many people thought maybe the Invisibility Cloak was a Horcrux, this means it can be a Hallow and not a Horcrux. But I'm sort of confused, doesn't Harry still have to destroy all of the Horcruxes even if he gets all of the Deathly Hallows? And I'm kind of bothered by the fact that these items come from Death. That's a bit dark, for objects that could help Harry defeat Voldemort.

Anyone else think Grindelvald is still alive? We've only ever read that Dumbledore "defeated" him, though I wish we knew whether Hermione read chapter 22 of Skeeter's book.

Xenophilius Lovegood wasn't at all what I pictured, but when they got to the 2nd floor of the Lovegood's odd-shaped house, I found it almost identical to the way I'd imagined Mr. Lovegood's office. The printing press, the books stacked all over. I imagined it very cluttered. Only I didn't think of a building that was round. I hope Luna's okay.

I thought we were getting to the point when Ron and Hermione were finally going to kiss, when Ron came back, and instead she goes and punches him. :::::sigh:::::

I'm wondering what's up with this sign of the Deathly Hallows. Krum seemed so sure it was -- well, he seemed to be describing the Wizarding equivalent of a swastika. Seems strange that Mr. Lovegood's explanation is so completely different.

I was struck by the irony that each of the trio thinks a different one of the Deathly Hallows is the most desirable.

A plot hole: Hermione says she modified her parents' memories, but then when they are in the cafe and they modify the memories of the two Death Eaters and the waitress, she says she's never done it before.

My 8-year-old read at least part of the ending on Wikipedia yesterday. So far he's managed not to tell me what he knows. though I better get finished soon because it's getting hard for him to keep quiet about it.

I have a whole 2 pages of funny quotes from the book written down already, and I'm only on chapter 22. Though I've found I'm writing down less of them as I get deeper into the book.

One more note. I want to get confirmation on this but I'm about 94% sure I'm right. I believe that, during all of the first 6th books, the word "God" is never mentioned. It's not used to talk about God, it's not taken in vain, no one says "Oh my God." I've really paid pretty close attention to this and I don't think I'm wrong. "Merlin's beard" gets substituted a few times. And the first six books make virtually no mention of any Christian symbols. They celebrate Christmas and Easter, but there's no mention of going to church, pastors or priests, the Bible, etc. So, on page 74 of DH, when Harry finds out that George is going to be okay, he says "Thank God." Later, on pages 165 and 274, people say "God" or "My God" in a way that, as I tell my children, doesn't mean they're talking to Him. This kind of talk is not allowed in my house. I'm pretty sure there's at least one other reference I've already read, but I can't find it now. Hopefully I will when I re-read. Then, when Harry buries Moody's eye, he carves a cross on the tree as a marker. Of all things, a cross. I just wonder why we're seeing these kind of references when they were markedly absent from the first 6th book.

I'll be back with more when I've read further.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Next to last post before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I have one more post after this, full of questions. I've been working on that for a while.

But I've got two whole pages full of small scribbling observations I've made as I've re-read the first half of HBP (that's as far as I've gotten) so I'll put them down here in a rather disorganized post.

I made a list of magic they learn in class in HBP, just to see if any of it is important in the final confrontation. Here it is (like all of this, it won't be complete since I haven't re-read the whole book): Draught of the Living Dead (which contains valerian roots and sopophorous beans); non-verbal spells; Episkey (healing spell which Harry learns by watching Tonks perform it on him), ;alf-Blood Prince spells: Levicorpus and it's counter-jinx, Liberacorpus, Sectumsempra; they learn to conjure small animals out of thin air, or at least, Hermione does; human Transfiguration (starting by changing the color of their eyebrows); also, in Charms they read a book called Quintessence: A Quest.

I started out making a list of who brings Harry the notes from Dumbledore stating the next time of one of their lessons. I still think this must be significant somehow, because my memory tells me that none of the note-bringers ever says to him, "Harry, Dumbledore asked me to give this to you." Not once do they say who asked them, just that they were asked to give it to Harry. And a coincidence happens on board the Hogwarts Express, when a breathless third-year girl gives Harry and Neville invitations from Slughorn. We don't see the other invitations from Slughorn being delivered, however, so we don't know what pattern might be developing there, if any. All I discovered in my research was that the first three notes from Dumbledore were from Jack Sloper, Ginny Weasley and Hermione. It struck me funny that even Hermione says "I've got something for you" and not who it's from, though she must know, she probably would recognize Dumbledore's handwriting by now like Harry does, and she's the most likely to be curious about the method he's using to communicate with Harry. So this is definitely one of my questions, is anything going on here or not? But right now, I can't see what it might be.

I also tried taking notes on the number of times Dumbledore promises Harry he will tell him how his hand became injured. "A thrilling tale . . . I want to do it justice." I noted in this that Dumbledore also hints that he will tell Harry where he goes when he leaves Hogwarts. Now, I guess we're to understand that he's Horcrux hunting, but Harry never does get much of a hint as to how to go about doing that, does he? I'm still of the opinion that Harry will come into possession of one or more little vials of Dumbledore's memories that will tell him how the hand became injured. I know he mentioned this to Harry and told him that Snape helped him afterward, but he really didn't tell us a thrilling tale, so I'm hoping that's still coming.

I found an interesting quote from, of all people, Mr. Burke of Borgin and Burke's. In the memory from Dumbledore, speaking of how he recognized Slytherin's locket when Merope brought it in to sell it, he says that he was able to recognize Slytherin's mark, and that "a few simple spells" told him what he needed to know. Wonder what spells those are?

Somewhere, I read an interesting point. In the memory of Bob Ogden, Ogden can't speak Parseltongue, so he can't understand the Gaunts' quite involved conversation among themselves. Harry, of course, can understand it. What about Dumbledore? He certainly seems to have understood it, but is he a Parselmouth? This seemed interesting to me, but I don't know what it means.

I'd also like to know what happened to the Peverell Ring. Harry notices it's gone on the next lesson after he sees the memory about it, but I don't remember if it comes back later on in the book, or not.

I made notes on the card Trelawney is shuffling while walking through the hallways (2 of spades - conflict; 7 of spades -- an ill omen; 10 of spades -- violence; knave of spades -- a dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner -- then she says that can't be right and staggers off. . .) But I didn't get far enough to compare with her later card readings. Wikipedia tells me that the Knave is what we know as the Jack, and that there were actual identities for them in Paris court. The Knave of Spades was Ogier the Dane/Holger Danske (a knight of Charlemagne). Apparently he may or may not be a historical figure, but the picture reminded me quite a lot of Godric Gryffindor.

Bloomsbury is going to have some sort of online chat where we can send in email questions starting on Monday. I've been trying to find a link to this, but either it isn't up yet or the HP sites are just too overwhelmed with traffic to produce it. I know Leaky's been acting funny for me ever since the rumors of spoilers started going round. So, I have written some questions I'd like to pose to Jo, questions that I don't think will get addressed at all in Book 7. After I've read it, I may add to this or tweak it, but here they are:

  • Does Jo really think history is as boring a subject as she portrays it to be at Hogwarts? Why does she persist in portraying it so, when she seems to be interested in history (at least, the fact that she included the Founders and the Marauders story threads implies she has an interest in history, to say nothing of her references to Alchemy). I'd also like to know if she is trying to make a point about education in general, how Harry doesn't seem to take it very seriously.
  • I hope she'll tell us, at some point, which character in DH got the "reprieve" from her original plan of killing them off, and which two characters were originally not supposed to die. And I'd like to know the other two titles she was considering for the last book, too.
  • I wonder if she had the idea of a Horcrux in mind when she wrote Chamber of Secrets, or if that came later.
  • I'd also like to know how much of the Alchemical theories that have been discussed in fandom are conscious intentional elements on her part and how much is just accidental or us fans reading too much into her words.

Well, I guess I've done as much speculating as I have time to do. I'm going to go out and take a dip in the pool with my kids, eat dinner, and go to Barnes and Noble. I already have my wristband and I am in the 2nd group of 50, so I don't know what that means about how long I'll have to wait to get my book. They are doing a raffle for a signed poster, but I don't know who signed it. They'll have lots of other activities, too, though I'm bringing my mp3 player and my sudoku book just in case, and making my kids bring their Gameboys. Last time I remember quite a long wait with nothing much to do from about 10 p.m. on. I took a brief nap this afternoon (awaking in time to see Emerson on Fox News Live -- he said he'd made enough money from the website to finance his college education, and I'm not sure if I believe that. I thought they'd maintained all along they didn't make money on it. Well, if anyone should have done, he should, he's a very talented kid). So I'm going to come home and see how long I'll be able to read, but I bet it won't be long. I'm too old to read all night. Maybe I can get one of my kids to read aloud in the car on the way home. We tried that last time but Dan was put off by the fact that Harry doesn't appear till chapter 3 in HBP. The kids are threatening to open to the book to a random page and shout out "So-and-so dies!" I've told them they won't be easily forgiven if they spoil me.

I can't wait, and I can't believe it's already here. It's the strangest feeling.

Here are some last minute quotes:

The Lost Prophecy: "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies. And the Dark Lord will makr him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not. . . and either must die as the hands of the other, for neither can live while the other survives. The one with the power to vanguish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies."

Someone on Pottercast hypothesized that the one approaching was Snape, approaching outside the door to eavesdrop, but he was born in early January, I looked it up. The only other thing I want to note is that it says the person will have the "power" to vanguish the Dark Lord, not that he actually will do so. But I think he will.

One more note, the emphasis on blood. Because Lily died to save Harry, "a protection flows in [Harry's] veins." His mother's sacrifice made the "bond of blood" the "strongest [Dumbledore] could give [Harry]." While Harry can still call home the place "where his mother's blood dwells" there he cannot be touched by Voldemort. Petunia "sealed a pact" by taking Harry, however unwillingly. This is my sort of chopped up summation of how Dumbledore explained it to Harry, though the words in quotes are definitely the same as in the book. As for how Voldemort found he could touch Harry after he regained his body in GoF, I think this blood protection still holds, at least till Harry comes of age, because Dumbledore said so in HBP. I've gone round and round as to whether the Death Eaters will attack Number 4 Privet Drive before Harry even returns, and blow it up, necessitating that the whole family take up at least temporary residence at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, or whether they will attack right at the stroke of midnight on Harry's birthday. I wrote a fan fic where Hermione sent away to Viktor for extra wands (made by Gregorovitch) and gives one of them to Petunia and Petunia saves them all from death when the Death Eaters arrive, since they don't think to disarm a Muggle, but I'm sure that's not how it'll happen.

Chris has been in here three times asking if we can go swimming yet, so I guess I'm done. I've got my list of questions in draft form, so I'll post that after this one, and then I don't know if I'll post again till I've read the book. I may post in mid-read, and if I do it'll contain spoilers. I'll mark it, but watch out. I'm not moderating the comments either, though there are not many here so it shouldn't much matter.

Happy Harry Potter day, everyone!

The Dragon

I was re-reading the first time Harry recognized the monster in his chest that was Rowling's metaphor for Harry's attraction to Ginny, and I realized something. It's described as a "scaly" monster. I bet it's a dragon! I bet it's the Dragon on the Scholastic Deluxe Edition cover.

I'm very excited about today, can you tell?

I'm going to post some more serious stuff later. But first, I'm off to pick up my wristband.