Rereading Harry Potter – Week 8

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 8

The Chamber of Secrets finale is here! First of all, forgive me for being a little late with this post. It has been a terribly busy (work)week for me and I just didn’t have the time to finish this post earlier. I promise I’ll be on time next week.

We left off last week with finding out Hagrid wasn’t the heir of Slytherin (surprise, surprise). At breakfast, Ginny tries to talk to Ron and Harry (Hermione is still petrified) about something, but Percy interrupts them and she flees. Percy says it’s because she walked in on him doing “something”. For anyone wondering “wasn’t this a children’s book?”, yes it is. Apparently he was kissing Penelope Clearwater, the Ravenclaw prefect who was attacked along with Hermione in the library. Remember how upset he was when she was attacked, because “now not even prefects are safe”? Turns out that wasn’t the whole reason. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

After breakfast, Ron and Harry are on their way to ask Moaning Myrtle how she died, because Aragog told them that a girl died in a bathroom the last time the Chamber was opened. They run into professor McGonagall, though and they have to make up an excuse about wanting to go see Hermione. She lets them and they go up to the hospital wing. I’ve been waiting for them to find the crumbled piece of paper in Hermiones hand that says “pipes” and I was afraid that was just added for the movie, but this if finally the moment they find that piece of paper. It didn’t just say “pipes”, though. It was an entire description of the Basilisk, including the spiders and the roosters that Ginny, uhh I mean someone, strangled. Turns out even mighty Basilisks are afraid of loud male chickens.

Harry and Ron decide to go to the staff room (Hogwarts has a staff room??) to tell McGonagall about the Basilisk, but on their way to the staff room, they find out a student has been taken by the monster. They hide in the coat room and find out Ginny has been taken into the Chamber and is presumed dead. It never really dawned on me that everyone actually thinks Ginny is dead for like a whole day. In the movie everything goes so fast that it feels like “Oh no, where is Ginny? Let’s go rescue her. Oh there she is!”. Not for a moment did it feel like she could actually be dead. Poor Mr and Mrs Weasley.

Since Lockhart is supposed to be going into the Chamber to look for Ginny, Ron and Harry go to his office to share what they know. Instead, they find him packing his things to get out of there. Turns out, all of the heroics he wrote about in his books were a lie! Who knew! Ron and Harry take Lockhart with them to look for the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. I’m not sure why they took him, because he didn’t know where the entrance was, he didn’t know how to enter and he was of no use when they were inside. Also they took his wand and they must’ve known he would try to escape the first chance he got, right? What was the plan?

Harry goes on alone after Lockhart steals Ron’s wand and accidentally blows up half of Hogwarts and gives himself amnesia. He finds Tom Riddle standing next to Ginny and the Diary. Tom explains to Harry how Ginny confided in him through writing in his diary and how he charmed her into killing the roosters, writing the messages on the wall and setting the Basilisk on the students. That morning at breakfast, Ginny had tried to tell them that she thought she was attacking the students. Tom also confesses to framing Hagrid for the attacks 50 years ago. Only a certain transfiguration teacher by the name of Albus Dumbledore (grey hair, long beard, considered to be the greatest wizard of all time, you might have heard of him), thought Hagrid was innocent, which is how he got the job as Keeper of the Grounds. Strange choice, though.. giving someone who is thought to be a murderer a job at school after he has been expelled.

Tom does the neat little trick with writing his name in the air with Harry’s wand and then mixing all the letters to spell: I am Lord Voldemort. Admit it, that blew all of our minds when we first saw him do that. Then he sets the Basilisk onto Harry. Lucky for him, Fawkes has appeared and has taken the Sorting Hat with him. He is scratching the Basilisks eyes out while Harry pulls the Sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat. Apparently being a true Gryffindor means hiding in a corner with your eyes closed while a bird fights your battles. Harry thrusts the sword into the roof of the Basilisks mouth. His arm gets punctured by one of the poisonous fangs in the Basilisks mouth., but luckily phoenix tears have healing powers. Harry uses the fang to thrust into the Diary and destroy Tom Riddle, which makes Ginny wake up.

I love Fawkes as a character. I love the fact that he has healing tears and he rises from his own ashes and that he comes to Harry’s rescue. I just really dislike the fact that apparently he can just magically lift 4 people by his tail feathers and fly them out of a dungeon. I know you can’t really call a fantasy novel farfetched, because well, it’s fantasy, but still.. Rowling might have thought a little harder on a solution to get them out of that Chamber.

I love how the book is quite elaborate on wrapping up the story. I kind of always missed that in the movie. It was just Harry flying out of the Chamber, knocking on Dumbledore’s door and giving Lucius Malfoy a sock, the end! I never noticed how much more attention the book pays to the side characters involved. It’s much less of a Harry Potter-show than the movies are. When Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart come out of the Chamber, they go to McGonagalls office, where Mr and Mrs Weasley are grieving their daughter’s death. I loved the emotion from two parents who went through the hell of thinking their daughter is dead, only for her to walk into the room a few hours later.

Harry explains everything that happened and Dumbledore awards both him and Ron a Special Award for Services to the School and two hundred points apiece for Gryffindor. I guess they kind of deserve it this year, having saved Ginny’s life and all. Dumbledore explains to Harry how the sword of Godric Gryffindor shows that Harry is a true Gryffindor with another one of my favourite Dumbledore quotes (I admit it, the main reason I wanted to do this series, is to share all of my favourite quotes with you):

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Mr Malfoy enters the office with Dobby at his heels. Dumbledore makes it clear that he knows full well that Lucius was behind this, even if he can’t prove it. Also, Mr Malfoy threatened the other Governors of Hogwarts so they would vote to have Dumbledore removed as headmaster. It does kind of bother me that a lot of people seem to know what side he is on and that nobody seems to be doing anything about it, even now that a bunch of kids got hurt and almost got killed. We’re ending the book with Harry giving Lucius Malfoy the Diary back and him passing it onto Dobby with Harry’s sock still in it. Dobby is free!

That’s it for this week and this book! Next week, we’re starting on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m so excited to meet Buckbeak, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Some of my favourite characters are introduced in the Prisoner of Azkaban. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!

A few last words of advice from Mr Weasley:

“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

,

My Guide to Annotating Books

My Guide to Annotating Books

If you’re anything like me, there’s a fat chance you’re not annotating your books, because you’re afraid it’s not going to look as pretty as it does in the pictures or you ARE annotating, but you’re not sure you’re doing it right. Most of the annotating guides I’ve ever read, were written by the kind of girls who write their homework in pink glittery gel pens with beautiful elaborate headers for every chapter and a handwriting that looks like it’s a font straight out of Word. That’s all great and very satisfying to look at, but for most people (including me) it’s a fantasy. If you recognise this, this guide is for you. I laid out a couple of simple steps to get you annotating in no time.

Step 1: What is your goal?

Obvious right? Maybe, but definitely important. The first time I started annotating I had no idea what I was doing or what my goal was. I just saw people annotate on Bookstagram and decided that I wanted to do that too. Now I realise that I spent a lot of time annotating the first halves of YA books that I am never going to read again and had no notable quotes whatsoever.

Before you start annotating, it is important to determine WHY you’re annotating. Do you want to understand the book better? Do you want to remember important information you’ve read? Do you plan on writing a review and want to mark the things you want write about? Annotating can be done in so many different ways and it’s important to determine your goal before you get started, so you can pick the right method that goes with that goal.

I annotate in different ways for various reasons. For instance:

  • When I do a buddy read, I use tabs to mark the pages I have to read per day;
  • When I read nonfiction, I highlight important information and then tab the page I highlighted, so I can find it easily;
  • I annotate classics like Jane Austen to understand what I’m reading a little better. I highlight beautiful quotes, write definitions to words I didn’t know in the margins and take notes on the story;
  • While reading Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, I wrote down as much information as possible about the characters, because I wanted to find out who the killer was before Poirot did. It worked, though it took a lot of time and effort to compile files on all those suspects.
  • When I read the Harry Potter books for my rereading Harry Potter series, I tab anything I want to write about. Usually it’s not the most important parts of the story, but characters I forgot about or things that were left out of the movies.

Step 2: Determine how much time and effort you want to put into annotating

I’ve seen a lot of people on Booksta write entire summaries of every chapter they read on a post-it and sticking it in their books. People using glittery gel pens in all the colours of the rainbow, writing “wow!” and “huh?” and “I love this” in the margins or describing themes. If this is your thing, that’s wonderful, I admire your patience and discipline, but it really isn’t for me. If it’s not your thing either, that’s completely fine. If it is, great! There is no wrong way to annotate YOUR books. No wait, there is. If you’re not enjoying it, you’re doing it wrong. Which is why it is important to determine how much time you want to put into annotating. This can differ from day to day and from book to book, of course. I don’t spend any time annotating romance novels or Young Adult, for instance. I might highlight a quote or two or tab a really romantic scene, but I spend way more time annotating Sense and Sensibility. I look up the words I don’t know, write down important events, underline quotes I loved.

Most of the time, I start out annotating the crap out of a book and then after a few pages, I’m not feeling it anymore. I used to put the book down and return to it when I felt like annotating again, but that could usually take a couple of weeks.. I still have to finish The Twelve Dates of Christmas, because I annotated a lot in the first half of the book and then when I noticed how long it had taken me to get through the first half, I wasn’t feeling the second half anymore. Don’t be like me. Don’t get discouraged when you’re not feeling it anymore. Just dial down the annotating and carry on reading. Maybe it’s just not the kind of book that is worth annotating to you. If you’re annotating the wrong book (or the book wrong), it can really take all of the fun out of the book.

Step 3: Get your gear

Okay, so I’m a bit of an impulse buyer, so when I first decided that I wanted to start annotating my books, I bought every pretty pen I could find: pink, glittery, feathers on the back, erasable, scented, EVERYTHING! I did the same with post-its and tabs. I had every colour, shape, print. This may not come as a surprise, but the only stuff I use for annotating are: a pen (preferably black), a pencil, the simplest tabs available, a ruler, some blue post-its and an occasional highlighter. That’s a lot of money wasted on stuff I’m never going to use. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Unless you’re going for the flawless instagram aesthetic kind of annotating (which looks really pretty, but is really hard to maintain and takes a lot of time), I wouldn’t get too much stuff. Just start with the basics, see if that works for you and if you’re missing something, buy it.

Your gear may vary, depending on where you like to read. Some people like reading at a table or a desk, which means you can write relatively neatly and make neat lines. I personally like reading on the couch in a little cocoon, which is not the ideal position to write in. That’s why I write very little while annotating and when I do write, I do it in pencil, so that I can always erase it if it looks like it was written by a toddler. Highlighting quotes is also a little tricky, which is why I usually use a pencil and a ruler, so that I can still draw straight lines.

If you usually read library books, you can still annotate. I probably wouldn’t write in them, but you can still use post-its or a limited amount of tabs. If you’re afraid that you’re going to forget to take out your post-its, another option is to use loose pieces of paper. Just give the book a little shake and they will fall right out. That way you can still take notes for a review or buddy read.

If you’re more of a Kindle reader, you’ve got it especially easy. No gear necessary and you can just highlight sentences with your finger (on most e-readers anyway).

Step 4: Determine your key

If you’re going to use tabs or different coloured highlighters, you’re going to need a key. Otherwise you’re going to be looking for a romantic moment you loved, for instance, and looking through 100 tabs. If you determine before you start annotating that romantic moments=pink, you only have to comb through the pink tabs.

Your annotating key can differ from book to book or per goal. Naturally if you’re reading nonfiction, you’re not going to need a colour for romantic moments. Maybe you just need one colour for nonfiction books. Just find whatever works for you and try not to stick to a system that doesn’t work.

A little tip from me: write your key down somewhere. Numerous times have I come up with a key, only to get confused 5 minutes later and completely messing up. Most of my books are just tabs in random colours with no logic to them, because I didn’t write down my key.

Step 5: Read!

It’s go time! You’ve been reading about annotating long enough now, go pick up a book and go have fun. Your annotations don’t have to be perfect, they’re your books. Even if you’re a Bookstagrammer, I much prefer the messy, chaotic annotation pictures to the obsessively neat ones.

If you liked this guide, leave a comment or enter your email address to subscribe! Let me know if this guide helped you. I would love to hear from you. Happy reading!

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 7

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 7

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to week 7 of rereading Harry Potter as an adult! Time has flown by this week with my positive COVID-test and quarantine and then having to work a lot to catch up after quarantine, then there was Valentine’s Day, which we didn’t really celebrate, because you know: quarantine, then my boyfriend got tested positive, so now HE’s in quarantine and apparently that means he is entitled to my attention. Then of course there was storm Dudley (very good name) and storm Eunice that wreaked havoc around the North Sea. So this week was a little much and suddenly it was the weekend, which means: Rereading Harry Potter time! This week’s post is the penultimate post about the Chamber of Secrets, after which we will of course be moving on to The Prisoner of Azkaban.

We left off last week with Hermione looking like Millicent Bulstrode’s cat, so we’re starting off this week with Hermione in the Hospital Wing. She’s still quite hairy (if Harry had been the one looking like a cat, he would have been Hairy Potter, but I guess Rowling doesn’t have as great a sense of humour as I do), but looking less like a cat every day. Harry and Ron make their way back to the common room from the Hospital Wing and come across a flooded hallway near the Girl’s bathroom. They enter the bathroom where Myrtle is crying because somebody threw a book at her head. Needless to say, this book is Tom Riddle’s Diary. Ron recognises T.M. Riddle from one of the award trophies Filch made him polish.

“Maybe he got thirty O.W.L.s or saved a teacher from the giant squid. Maybe he murdered Myrtle, that would’ve done everyone a favour…”

Ron Weasley, The Chamber of Secrets

There hasn’t been an attack on any mudbloods for a while now and, here’s another one for the reasons-why-Lockhart-is-annoying-list, Lockhart seems to think he himself has made the attacks stop. He also decides the school could use a little pick-me-up, so he arranges for Valentine’s Day decorations and dwarfs delivering Valentines. Coincidentally, I read this on Valentine’s Day and it wasn’t until hours later that I realised it was indeed, Valentine’s Day.. And they say romance is dead.

Harry also gets a little Valentine from.. someone. I’m not sure who, but I’m guessing it was Malfoy’s idea to have a dwarf deliver a musical Valentine to Harry in front of a bunch of first-years. Harry tries to escape, though and this causes his bag to rip open and ink to spill all over his books. When he returns to the common room, Harry realises that Tom Riddle’s Diary doesn’t have any ink on it at all. He tries to write in it and the words disappear, but are answered by the Diary. Harry agrees to being sucked into Tom Riddle’s memories, where he sees Tom meeting with the headmaster, Professor Dippet (never heard of him) and asking to stay at Hogwarts during the summer. He declines because of the heir of Slytherin still walking around freely at Hogwarts, which makes Tom decide to “turn Hagrid in” (we know of course that Hagrid would never do such a thing and I will suckerpunch anyone who claims otherwise).

The mandragoras have always been one of my favourite things from the second Harry Potter book. The way they suck their thumbs as baby’s (or other peoples thumbs if you get too close), they get acne when they hit puberty and then try to move into each others pots when they’re mature. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Rowling’s creativity so much.

About four months after the attack on Justin and Nearly-Headless Nick, the next attack happens. This time Hermione and a Ravenclaw girl named Penelope Clearwater are attacked. I have no memory of a Ravenclaw girl being a victim, though I do remember the name, so I guess she’ll be making a comeback somewhere in the story. On the bright side, nobody thinks Harry is the Heir of Slytherin anymore now that Hermione got attacked. Ron and Harry decide to finally go and talk to Hagrid, but then Cornelius Fudge appears to take Hagrid to Azkaban. 10 seconds later Lucius Malfoy appears with an Order of Suspension for Dumbledore. I hate that man so much. How can he possibly still be working for the Ministry. It surprised me, though, that Fudge came to Dumbledore’s defence on the suspension. Everybody knows that Fudge is intimidated by Dumbledore and thinks he’s after Fudge’s job. Or maybe Fudge assumes that as long as Dumbledore is headmaster of Hogwarts, he won’t go for his job.

Okay, it’s time for my least favourite part of the book and perhaps the whole series: the visit to Aragog. Why does it have to be “follow the spiders”? Why can’t it be “follow the butterflies”? But seriously, this chapter is every arachnofobic person’s worst nightmare. The chapter is way shorter than I remember, though. The movie really drags this whole part out into one long scene of agony. I hate spiders. Imagine being picked up by a giant hairy spider and transported through a dark forest with spiders everywhere. Nope. Just nope. Let’s skip this, shall we? The Weasley’s car saves them just as they’re about to get eaten and they live happily ever after.

Important detail, though: Aragog mentions that a girl died in the bathroom when the Chamber was opened 50 years ago. 50 bucks says it’s moaning Myrtle.

That’s it for this week. Thank you again for reading this week’s Rereading Harry Potter update. If you want to be kept up to date, leave your e-mail address in the box below! See you next week for week 8, the grand finale to the Chamber of Secrets.

,

The Midnight Library Book Review

The Midnight Library Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Fiction / contemporary / magical realism
  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.07
  • TW: depression, suicide, anxiety

Nora Seed has decided that she has absolutely no reason left to live. She has nothing but regrets for all of the choices she has made. She has nothing and nobody will miss her. She ends her life at the stroke of midnight. When she wakes up, she sees a library. This is not the afterlife, but a Midnight Library, where every book is a life she could have led if she had made different choices. She gets to live those lives to see what could have been. If she can find a life that leaves her with no regrets, she gets to stay there.

“A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.”

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

Matt Haig has a way with words, that’s for sure. His writing is soft and gentle, but still gets its point across. I didn’t know that Haig had struggled with his own mental health when I read the book, but I had a hunch. He describes depression and anxiety from the main character’s point of view in a way that I’ve never seen any writer describe it before, which made me wonder about his own experiences with mental illness. Turns out I was right (though for his sake, I would rather have been wrong). Haig approaches such delicate subjects with so much care, but he also makes it clear that it is okay to talk about mental health. There is no taboo around mental illness in this book. Though the book is a work of fiction, there are plenty of ideas on regrets and mental health to take away from it.

“Sometimes just to say your own truth out loud is enough to find others like you.”

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

I read this book as a part of a buddy read back in December, which had its pros and cons. Pro: the book was a little slow, especially around the 50% mark. Spreading the book out over multiple days definitely helped keeping me interested (I loved the book, but I have a hard time getting through slow-paced books). Con: If someone who hasn’t read the book is in charge of dividing the pages, you end up with pauses in places where it was just getting interesting.

“You’re overthinking it.’ ‘I have anxiety. I have no other type of thinking available.”

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

It was the concept of the book that really made me want to read it. I didn’t really know Matt Haig or anything he has written, but the summary really spoke to me. It wasn’t at all what I had expected the book would be about and I was intrigued. It is wonderfully executed as well, I was definitely not disappointed. At no point was I bored with the story or did I find it predictable. Haig kept surprising me with turns on events and was always one step ahead. Every time I thought I knew what was happening, it turned out.. I didn’t.

I would definitely recommend this book to any- and everyone. If depression, suicide or anxiety are a trigger for you, don’t do it, though. These are not just a scene or two, they’re a main theme throughout the book. Everyone else: if you haven’t read this yet, I urge you to pick it up. You’ll read a wonderful work of fiction that might actually teach you a thing or two. This will definitely not be the last Matt Haig book I read. Feel free to send me recommendations for my next one.

,

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 6

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 6

Hello my lovely fellow bookworms! It’s time for week 6 of rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful week. I got tested positive for COVID this week, so I’ve been a little under the weather, which is also why this week’s blog posts have been a little late. But I’m just going to make the most of it!

We left off last week at Professor Binns telling the class the “myth” of the Chamber of Secrets. Salazar Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders, but he had already built a secret chamber somewhere in Hogwarts that his heir could open and use to purge Hogwarts of Mudbloods. Of course Harry, Ron and Hermione are convinced that Draco is the heir, so this week they’re going to try to find out if they’re right.

Harry vs Draco

We’re starting off this week’s pages in another one of Lockhart’s classes, where Lockhart has Harry roleplaying a Werewolf in a reenactment of Lockhart’s heroics (add that one to the list we made last week of annoying things Lockhart has done so far). Naturally the homework is to write a poem about Lockhart’s heroics. This might be because I just read the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan, but Lockhart really reminds me of Apollo in the first 2 books. If you’ve read it, you probably know what I mean.

Harry, Ron and Hermione wait for the rest of the class to leave before they ask Lockhart to sign the permission slip to get a book from the Restricted Section. This is the book that the instructions for making the Polyjuice Potion are in. Lockhart signs it and, of course, tells Harry that if he ever needs any private Quidditch practice with him, he is always happy to pass on his expertise to less able players (he was asked to try out for the National Squad, but he preferred to dedicate his life to the eradication of the Dark Forces. Well, you shouldn’t have.). The golden trio goes to the library to retrieve the book and Hermione asks Madam Pince (I keep forgetting that she is the librarian. I remembered the name, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember who she was) if she can keep the note with Lockhart’s autograph.

The next Quidditch match is Gryffindor against Slytherin, with Harry and Draco competing against each other as seekers. Harry spends the whole match being attacked by a rogue Bludger. They ask for a time-out but don’t say anything to Madam Hooch about the Bludger. I thought it was kind of strange that they didn’t. I mean, when someone has tampered with the ball in a football game, the referee is notified and deals with it accordingly. Even if your opponent is wearing the wrong socks or something, they may get a yellow card, but apparently in Quidditch, when someone has jinxed a Bludger to try and kill a student, that’s perfectly alright. I think Quidditch could do with the introduction of a VAR..

The Bludger breaks Harry’s arm, but he manages to catch the Snitch (which was flying right next to Draco’s head. Some seeker.) with his other arm and win the game, before collapsing onto the Quidditch pitch. Of course within a split second, Lockhart is there to save the day! And by save the day, I mean turn Harry’s arm to jelly. Harry is taken to Madam Pomfrey, who gives him a bunch of Skele-Grow and makes him stay the night. This is when Dobby decides to pay Harry a visit. I have to say, when I was younger I never really thought twice about all Dobby’s actions. I just thought, “yeah, okay that makes sense”. Though now that I’m older and (slightly) wiser, I can’t help but think WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Dobby almost killing Harry time after time kind of gets on my nerves, so how did Dobby get from this to being one of my favourite characters in the Harry Potter series? Is it because he dies? Does that make him more likeable? That certainly seemed to help quite a lot of artists. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

So this is probably a sign that I need to get out of the house, but I can’t help but wonder who does the laundry in Malfoy’s house. Or any household that has a house-elf, for that matter. Since house-elfs will be free when they are given a piece of clothing by their owners, so letting the house-elf do the laundry seems like kind of a risk (“oh, hey Dobby, can you throw this in with the white laundry?” “A pair of tighty-whities? Dobby is free!”). After Dobby explains the whole Chamber of Secrets thing to Harry without actually saying anything useful, he vanishes and Dumbledore and McGonagall carry in a petrified (in the literal sense) Colin Creevey.

“It means,’ said Dumbledore, ‘that the Chamber of Secrets is indeed open again.”

Harry the Parselmouth

It’s time for the duelling club, with its organiser Gilderoy Lockhart and his.. assistant.. Severus Snape (“He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about duelling himself”). This is probably the first time I’ve ever rooted for professor Snape, him disarming Lockhart and knocking him to the ground. Of course that faded quickly when he paired Harry with Malfoy and Hermione with Millicent Bullstrode. Malfoy conjures a snake and Harry tries to talk it out of attacking Justin Finch-Fletchley. This is when they discover that Harry is a Parselmouth, the very thing Salazar Slytherin was famous for. This is also when I discovered (again) that the golden trio isn’t very bright, otherwise their first thought should probably have been that maybe the voice that Harry (and only Harry) has been hearing could be a snake too!

Harry the heir of Slytherin

Harry tries to find Justin Finch-Fletchley the next day to explain to him that he wasn’t trying to set the snake on him, he was trying to save him. What he didn’t realise (and neither did I) is that Justin is a Mudblood, so now everyone thinks that Harry is the heir of Slytherin and is getting rid of Mudbloods one by one. Of course it didn’t help that Colin Creevey was also a Mudblood and everyone saw how annoyed Harry was by his stalking him. Also, Harry was found with a petrified Mrs. Norris. The cat that just happens to belong to Mr. Filch, a squib. After (literally) running into Hagrid, Harry finally finds Justin, lying on the floor, frozen. Nearly Headless Nick is hovering next to him, also petrified.

McGonagall takes Harry to Dumbledore’s office, on top of the spiral staircase behind the gargoyle. This is the first time Harry sees Dumbledore’s office. It is also the first time he (and we) meet(s) Fawkes the Phoenix. I distinctly remember him being called Felix, but I guess that’s the Dutch version (I looked it up, it is indeed the Fawkes’ Dutch name). I was wondering if Fawkes was named after Guy Fawkes, so I looked it up. Rowling did indeed name him after Guy Fawkes, because he periodically explodes. Rowling’s creativity keeps amazing me.

After Fawkes bursts into flames and is reborn from the ashes, Hagrid barges in to defend Harry. He is so absolutely adorable, I don’t think there is anyone with a kinder heart in the entire Harry Potter-series. Dumbledore lets Harry off the hook and Harry walks straight towards the girl’s bathroom to see how his illegal Polyjuice Potion is doing. They had gotten the ingredients during class by throwing some fireworks into Crabbe’s cauldron for a diversion. I don’t know why, but this seems very out of character for them. Maybe that’s why they left it out of the movie. They got Crabbe’s and Goyle’s hair by feeding them a sleep draught inside a cupcake.

It’s time to take the Polyjuice Potion. What I did not understand about this, is that they know that they only have an hour before the potion wears off. Hermione tells them so before they take the potion. Also, they know that their clothes are going to be too small for them when they turn into Crabbe and Goyle. And STILL they wait to change into their Slytherin robes until they have already taken the potion. So they deliberately waste much-needed minutes on changing their clothes AND they unnecessarily rip their own clothes. And it gets worse: they haven’t figured out where the Slytherin common room is yet. That kind of seems like quite an important part of the plan.. Are these boys dumb, or what?

They find the common room and run into Malfoy, who knows the password. Malfoy shows them a newspaper clipping about Arthur Weasley receiving a fine for bewitching a Muggle car. He tells them where to find all of the illegal stuff the Malfoys have at home, which may come in handy. He also tells them that he has no idea who Slytherin’s heir is, so there goes their entire theory. When they get back to the girl’s bathroom, Hermione has partly turned into a cat.

And that concludes this week’s update. As always, thank you so much for reading! Subscribe if you want to be kept up to date on this series and/or other book-related content. I’ll see you next week for week 7 of rereading Harry Potter.

,