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!