Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 2

Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 2

Why hello there, fellow bookworms! Welcome to week 2 of my journey of rereading the Harry Potter series as an adult. Last week, we read about Harry growing up with the Dursleys, having no idea that he was a wizard, until Hagrid showed up with his Hogwarts acceptance letter. Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies and put him on a train back home, which is where we left off. This week, Harry finally goes to Hogwarts and befriends Ron Weasley. He has his first few weeks of classes, breaks his first few rules and (thanks to breaking those rules) becomes the youngest seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team in the last 100 years. Also, I got my brand new Harry Potter Hardcover Box set in the mail a few days ago, so I’m really excited about that. I’ll include a picture of my new babies in the post. Ready? Let’s get started.

Chapter 6: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters

Okay, let’s start with an obvious one. What I remember from this chapter is: Hagrid hands Harry his letter on his birthday, takes him to Diagon Alley and then drops him on King’s Cross with his Hogwarts ticket and vanishes. I have always assumed that he goes looking for the Hogwarts Express right away (and to be fair, it is made to look that way in the movie). I now realise that Harry’s birthday is on the 31st of July and the Hogwarts Express doesn’t leave until September 1st. I completely forgot about all of August.

Anyway, now that we’ve established how dumb I am, we can move on to September 1st, when Harry arrives at King’s Cross and realises he has no idea where Platform 9 3/4 is. Then he hears a mother ask her children what the platform number is and one of the children answers that it’s 9 3/4. I didn’t notice this before, because I hadn’t read the rest of the series yet, but it is the same platform every school year. It is also Molly’s 6th child going to Hogwarts, so how does she not know what platform it is?

I love the scene when Molly can’t tell Fred and George apart and they say “Honestly woman, you call yourself our mother?”. I always say that to my mother when she mixes up me and my sister (we have very similar voices).

Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat

It’s time. We’re finally at Hogwarts. The sorting ceremony is about to start. It surprised me that none of the first years have any idea how they’re getting sorted into their houses. I always assumed it was just Harry who didn’t know, since he was raised by muggles. Peeves is introduced here for the first time. It’s so sad that people who’ve only watched the movies do not know Peeves! He deserves more love. The same goes for plenty of other characters, but we’ll get to that.

Then the sorting ceremony starts and Hermione gets sorted into Gryffindor. Now that I think about it, it’s kind of surprising that she didn’t get sorted in to Ravenclaw, which values wisdom. Hermiones whole personality at this point consists of being smart and wanting to be the smartest one in the room. Since the sorting hat takes your own preference into account, Ravenclaw might have made more sense for her, right?

” Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!”

Albus Dumbledore

After everyone has been sorted into their houses and they have feasted until they can feast no more, it’s time for the school song. Now, I did not know there was a school song. This was new information to me. I think Dumbledore has officially gone insane. The best part is: there is not a fixed tune. You can pick any tune you want and sing the lyrics to it. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Chapter 8: The Potions Master

Harry has his first classes in this chapter. We meet Professor Sprout, Professor Flitwick (swish and flick), Professor Binns, Professor McGonagall and Professor Quirell. Then the first potions class with Professor Snape arrives. Snape starts asking Harry a number of difficult questions about potions. Call me Hermione, but I got so excited when I knew the answers to the questions (We have a Harry Potter Trivia game at home. To this day, I remain undefeated).

I’ve always hated Snape in the first few books/movies, but I only just realised how unfair he is to Harry in the beginning. Also, how can Snape be allowed to allot house points? I mean, Dumbledore must be aware that he’s a total douche, right? Maybe that’s why he just makes up some reasons to reward a bunch of points to Gryffindor at the end of the school year, to make up for all the points that Snape took from them unfairly. It’s finally starting to make sense.

Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel

Dean Thomas tries to explain football to Ron, who doesn’t understand what’s exciting about a game with only one ball where nobody’s allowed to fly. Frankly, I’m with Ron on this one.

Another one of my favourite HP quotes is from this chapter: “I hope you’re pleased with yourself. We could all have been killed – or worse – expelled!” But first, it’s time for flying lessons. I don’t think anybody was surprised that Neville fell off his broom within the first 5 minutes of his first flying lesson. I think we all know a Neville. If you don’t, it’s probably you. Madam Hooch takes Neville to the hospital wing, Malfoy steals Neville’s Remembrall (I’ve never understood what the point of that thing is, by the way. Like Neville puts it: “I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten.” He only says that in the movie, though) and Harry gets a spot on the Quidditch team as the youngest seeker in over a century. There’s a lovely piece of dialogue here where McGonagall asks to borrow Wood for a minute and Harry thinks he is going to get hit with a magic stick of some sort. Thank God he’s only 11 at this point and he doesn’t confuse it with some other kind of wood.. (I’m sorry I went there)

When Malfoy finds out Harry didn’t get get expelled, he challenges him to a wizard duel. Of course the coward doesn’t show up. Instead he tips off Filch, who drives them into the arms of Peeves, who drives them directly towards the forbidden corridor on the third floor with the.. Drumroll.. Three-headed dog in it! Honestly, I have no recollection of Neville being in this scene whatsoever. I’m so sorry, Neville.

Chapter 10: Hallowe’en

Ah, another chapter full of important events. I forgot how much happens in this book. Though none of it feels rushed, unlike the movies where everything feels rushed.

Harry receives his Nimbus 2000 from McGonagall in the beginning of this chapter. Apparently the broomstick is accompanied by a note that tells Harry not to open the package, because McGonagall doesn’t want everyone to know she’s given Harry a broomstick. For someone who’s named after the Roman Goddess of wisdom, she’s not very bright, is she? (Oh, I wonder what that package shaped like a broomstick contains!)

When Harry’s been at Hogwarts for two months, it’s time for the Halloween festivities. I thought that Harry had Nearly Headless Nick’s death day party this year, but I suppose that is in year 2. I kind of forgot about the whole troll thing (Trooooolll in the duungeooonn!). I suppose it was kind of the turning point for Harry’s and Ron’s friendship with Hermione, though. Plus, Hermione tells a lie, so I guess it was a big moment for everyone.

Chapter 11: Quidditch

It’s time for Harry’s first Quidditch match, Gryffindor against Slytherin. I love how there are no separate women’s and men’s teams in Quidditch. They just put them all in one team. Kudos to J.K. Rowling for that!

They play the Quidditch match, Harry almost swallows the snitch and Gryffindor wins, despite Snape’s (though we all know who was the real culprit) efforts to jinx his broom. Of course Hagrid tells them that it couldn’t be Snape, and how did they know about Fluffy? (I had a bunny called Fluffy, can you guess what he was named after?) Besides, they’re meddling in things that don’t concern them. That’s between Dumbledore and Nicholas Flamel…

We’ll pick up next week with The Mirror of Erised (spoiler alert: Erised is Desire backwards). See you then!

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Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Week 1

Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Week 1

Hi fellow bookworms!

I hope you’ve been having a great weekend so far! I personally usually work on weekends, but since we’re still in lockdown and there’s literally no other reason to go out of the house these days, I really don’t mind working. The lockdown is a great excuse to lie on the couch and read in your pyjamas all day, though. I had to pace myself not to read the first Harry Potter book in one go. I read 93 pages of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone, for those in the US who are apparently so dumb, they needed a simpler word for Philosopher. Honestly, I will never understand the need to change the name of the book for the US.) this week, which is the first 5 chapters of the book. I stopped just before Harry goes to King’s Cross Station and meets the Weasleys.

Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived

This is probably THE most famous chapter in the entire Harry Potter series, with the iconic first line:

“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

J.K. Rowling

In the first few paragraphs, Mr and Mrs Dursley are described for us. I know we’ve all noticed how Harry does NOT have his father’s eyes, but apparently Mrs Dursley is supposed to be blonde and so is Dudley. I guess we’ll just call it artistic license.

Then Dumbledore and McGonagall enter the story, waiting for Hagrid to drop off Harry on the Dursleys doorstep. I love the dialogue between the two professors in this scene. It had a wit to it that I had completely forgotten about. I cracked up when Dumbledore tells his two companions about the scar above his knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. I don’t remember Dumbledore being this funny, but I guess we’ll see if he keeps it up.

Chapter Two: The Vanishing Glass

I never really liked this scene in the movie. I can’t really put my finger on it, maybe I’ve just seen it too many times (impossible!). Obviously it’s the chapter where it’s Dudleys birthday and he complains about there only being 37 presents, when he had 38 last year and Mrs Dursley shows some great parenting skills by promising him 2 more presents when they get to the zoo.

“Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby Angel – Harry Often said that Dursley looked like a pig in a wig.”

J.K. Rowling

So Harry is supposed to go to Mrs Figg’s and look at pictures of every cat she’s ever owned, but she calls Petunia to tell her she has broken her leg and she can’t take Harry, which means he has to come with them to the zoo. This is where the iconic scene happens where the glass of the boa constrictor’s tank disappears. It happens much, much faster than I remember, though.

Chapter Three: The Letters from No One

Another chapter with some really iconic scenes. Obviously there’s the scene where Harry gets a letter addressed to him and is stupid enough to open it in front of the Dursleys, so it gets taken from him. Then there’s the scene where hundreds of letters come “pelting out of the fireplace like bullets” and Harry tries to catch one instead of just picking one up from the floor.. Honestly, I’m glad he’s a fast learner, because based on these first three chapters, we would be doomed with him as “The Chosen One”.

Then Uncle Vernon loses his marbles and travels around England trying to find a place where the letters won’t follow them. At the end of the chapter they end up in a shack on a tiny island. In a few minutes, Harry will turn 11. And then just when the clock strikes 12, with a big BOOM enters:

Chapter Four: The Keeper of the Keys

Hagrid nocks down the door to the shack. The first thing I noticed in this chapter is that Hagrid doesn’t mistake Dudley for Harry when he first enters. I guess they just added that to the movie for… I don’t know why they added it, to be honest. It always felt a little odd.

Then Hagrid tells Harry some things about his parents and Hogwarts and he finally gives Harry his Hogwarts acceptance letter. This was the absolute SHORTEST letter I have ever seen. The list of all of Dumbledores titles at the top of the letter was actually longer than the letter itself.

After Harry receives the letter, Mr and Mrs Dursley reveal that they knew that Harry was a wizard and then Petunias speech about her sister starts in the exact words they used in the movie. While I was reading, I could just hear her voice and see her disgusted face in my head (I was the only one who saw her for who she really was – a freak!). I love how they copied her lines in the book almost to the letter. It’s pretty much the first time Petunia says more than 3 words in a row, so I love that they put those few minutes of fame in the movie as well.

Then the part where Harry asks about Voldemort and asks Hagrid to spell it out, if you won’t say his name. Hagrid tells Harry that he can’t spell it. This had me wondering, if Hagrid didn’t get kicked out of school until his third year, he must have gone to school until he was 14 years old. How is it that he can’t spell Voldemort? It just didn’t really add up. If anyone can explain this to me, leave a comment please.

Chapter Five: Diagon Alley

Harry and Hagrid spend the night in the shack and leave for Diagon Alley in the morning (in the movie, they leave in the middle of the night, which doesn’t make any sense, now that I think about it). I will not tell you how old I was when I figured out that Diagon Alley was a play on words on diagonally. Please, before you laugh at me, remember that English is not my first language.

When they arrive at Diagon Alley, Hagrid tells Harry to take out his list of everything he will need for school. Call me a nerd, but I got very excited when I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander on that list. I got excited again when Hagrid explained wizard money to Harry (29 knuts to a sickle, 17 sickles to a Galleon).

Then Hagrid and Harry arrive at the Leaky Cauldron (again, very excited) and they run into Professor Quirrel, who shakes Harry’s hand. I remember that in the movie, he refuses to shake his hand and we later learn that You-Know-Who has been on the back of his head all year long. I guess they added that for some dramatic effect.

While Hagrid recovers from their trip to Gringotts, Harry runs into the boy we later learn is Draco Malfoy at Madam Malkin’s. They have a nice chat about Mudbloods, who of course shouldn’t be allowed into Hogwarts and my blood already started boiling. Then Hagrid and Harry go and buy Hedwig at Eeylops Own Emporium (I admit, I cried a little) and they go to Ollivanders to buy a wand, which was a lot less eventful than I remember it being from the movie (way less explosions).

In the last few paragraphs, Hagrid hands Harry his ticket for the Hogwarts Express and tells him to take the train from King’s Cross on the first of September, which is where we will pick up again next week..

Thank you for reading and see you next week for the next few chapters! Love you guys.

Also, remind me to add “Galloping Gorgons” to my list of swearwords.

Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Introduction

Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Introduction

Hello fellow bookworms!

Did you read the Harry Potter books as a kid or were you already grown up when the books came out? How much do you remember from it?

I’m not sure how old I was when I started reading the Harry Potter books, but I remember being around 10 or 11 when the final book came out. At the time, my school was holding a competition to come up with a name for their new reading corner and the winner could name three books and they would receive one of them. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a very good story if I didn’t win the competition, so surprise, surprise: I won! (I would tell you the name, but it doesn’t really translate into English, sorry). The three books I put on my list, were:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows;
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and;
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Yes, I was a very annoying kid. But, I knew what I wanted and I made sure they gave it to me. So I was no older than 11 or 12 when I finished reading the series. I’m pretty sure I reread the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets a couple of times, but after the movies started coming out, I’ve been more focused on those than on the books. I recently noticed that I’ve started to forget a lot of details from the books, especially those things that aren’t featured in the movies (such as Peeves) and all the things that they changed in the movies (“HARRYDIDYOUPUTYOURNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIRE”, Dumbledore asked calmly.).

A little while ago, I decided that I wanted to reread the whole Harry Potter series. I’ve tried doing this before, but I usually stopped reading halfway through the first book to start a book I hadn’t read yet. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take you guys along with me! This way I’ll have a very good reason to keep going (cause I don’t want to let you guys down) and you’ll hopefully enjoy reading about what it’s like to reread Harry Potter as an “Adult”. Harry Potter has truly been a lifelong obsession for me, so feel free to leave comments or e-mail me, because I will take any excuse to talk about Harry Potter in a heartbeat.

I’ll be starting the Harry Potter reread in the first week of January and do a weekly short update about it on my blog, so my first post will be out around the 9th of January. I’m looking forward to it!

Thank you for reading and I’ll check in soon with the first part of my rereading Harry Potter journey!

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