Rereading Harry Potter – Week 15

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 15

Week 15! A little late because of Easter, but still, I guess this is kind of a milestone. That’s about 10 times as long as my longest diet and 5 times as long as my longest relationship (just kidding, going on 2 years next June). We read the finale to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this week, which I’ve been waiting for, for wat feels like forever!

We left off last week with Sirius revealing that it was in fact Peter Pettigrew who was James’s Secret Keeper and who betrayed them. I guess Rowling liked the fact that he was literally and figuratively a rat. Sirius and Lupin decide to go up to the castle with Pettigrew to clear Sirius’s name. Personally I would’ve tied Pettigrew up or something, make sure that he can’t escape or turn himself into a rat again, but no. They just point a wand at them and tell him to behave. For one beautiful, short moment, Harry and Sirius make plans for Harry to move in with him, but then of course they let Pettigrew escape and they can’t prove Sirius’s innocence, which kind of ruins their plans. Lupin forgets it’s a full moon and he didn’t take his potion, which kind of feels like a woman who’s been on birth control for 15 years “forgetting” to take it for a few days and “oh my, look at that. I got knocked up.” It’s just not very likely.

Sirius turns into a dog to save the rest from werewolf Lupin, which is how he eventually ends up at the lake with Harry and Hermione (they changed a lot about these last few scenes in the movie. Hermione doesn’t lure Lupin away by howling, instead she just third-wheels Harry and Sirius everywhere). At the lake, they get attacked by Dementors and “Harry’s father” saves their asses by casting a patronus (Harry’s really not very bright, is he?).

For the next few pages, Snape does his best to get Harry expelled, Lupin fired and Sirius killed. I am really starting to hate this man. He is such a pathetic little man and such a sore loser. It is really so hard to imagine him “doing everything to protect Harry, because he’s Lily’s son!”. Anyway, Dumbledore encourages Harry and Hermione to go back in time using the Time-Turner and save Sirius and Buckbeak, so they do. Harry doesn’t really get the concept of there being two Harry’s and I can’t blame him, it is rather confusing. Apparently they’re breaking one of the most important wizarding laws too, by changing time. I’m guessing the Aurors at the Ministry are not very good at their jobs, if they can’t figure out that Harry’s godfather and his favourite teacher’s pet mysteriously disappear and his best friend just happens to have a Time-Turner.

Harry and Hermione figure out that they should go to Hagrid’s hut first to save Buckbeak, so they watch themselves enter Hagrid’s hut and then leave again. Then they watch Dumbledore, Fudge and the executioner, Macnair, enter. I’m pretty sure I remember the name Macnair from somewhere and it’s not this scene. Is he a Deatheater or something? I guess we’ll find out as we go.

After rescuing Buckbeak from his execution, they hide out in the woods and wait for themselves to come out of the Whomping Willow. They see Lupin change into a werewolf and Sirius turn into a dog. They wait a while, until they realise that someone has to save Harry, Hermione and Sirius from the Dementors! Oh my, turns out Harry didn’t see his father after all (gee, really?), he saw himself cast a patronus in the form of a stag. I was wondering what determines the form of your patronus. I mean, James Potter could turn himself into a stag and Lily’s patronus was a stag, which is why Snape’s patronus was ALSO a stag, but do you (sub)consciously choose it yourself or does the spell choose it for you somehow?

After they saved themselves and Sirius, Harry and Hermione jump on Buckbeak to rescue Sirius from the castle. Remember in the movie when Hermione casts Bombarda at the gate and it explodes and they have an epic escape? Yeah, in the book she just casts Alohomora at the window of an office and pulls Sirius onto Buckbeaks back. I am kind of impressed by Buckbeak being able to carry three people, though. They fly up to the highest tower and say their goodbyes to Sirius, after which Sirius and Buckbeak fly towards the horizon together.

Hermione and Harry hurry back to the hospital wing so they’ll be inside before Dumbledore locks it. They make it in time and Dumbledore is all excited (I always hated how in the movies Dumbledore pretends like he has no idea what they’re talking about when they complete a task he has set for them). A while later, it is discovered that Sirius has escaped and of course, Snape blames it on Harry (although he has a point).

The next day, Hagrid tells the trio that Snape has “accidentally” told the entire Slytherin house that Lupin is a werewolf, so Lupin is in his study packing his stuff. It is the end of the school year, though, so I guess he should be packing anyway? Harry pays him a visit and begs him not to leave, but he won’t budge. Lupin gives Harry back his Invisibility Cloak and the Marauders’ Map. Harry tells him that he regrets saving Pettigrew’s life in stead of just letting them kill him, but Lupin tells Harry that the time will come when he will be very happy that he saved Pettigrew’s life. I’m not really sure what he’s getting at, though. This time next year, Pettigrew will have killed Cedric Diggory and have made Voldemort come back.

Since Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup and the golden trio didn’t lose hundreds of points doing dumb stuff, Gryffindor also won the House Cup. I think this might be the first time they didn’t win it because Dumbledore awarded them a trazillion points at the very last minute. I’m so proud.

Sirius writes to Harry as they are leaving Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express. He leaves this very adorable note that he gives Harry permission to go to Hogsmeade on weekends and lets Ron keep the owl that delivered the letter, since it’s Sirius’s fault that he doesn’t have a pet anymore. As they get closer to King’s Cross station, Ron invites Harry to stay with them during the summer and go to the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys.

That was the last part of the Prisoner of Azkaban! Next week, we’ll be starting on Harry Potter the Goblet of Fire. I’m so excited about the Quidditch World Cup and Cedric Diggory and Hermione and Krum dating! I already grabbed the book, so that I can start reading as soon as I press “publish” on this post. If you’re looking forward to it as much as I am, subscribe below to be kept up to date! See you next week (or technically the end of this week) with week 16.

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Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 4

Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 4

Hello again! Buckle up, it’s time for week 4 of Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult and we’re starting on The Chamber of Secrets this week! Don’t you just love the promise in that title? It just screams, “Oh boy, are we in for a treat”. I’m looking forward to all things Dobby and Gilderoy Lockhart and of course Ginny is starting Hogwarts this year and we’re meeting Lucius Malfoy for the first time. We’re going to have some fun!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Just like last year, the story starts on Harry’s birthday, July 31st, which is also (fun fact) J.K. Rowling’s birthday, by the way. This year on his birthday, Mr and Mrs Mason come over to make a business deal with Uncle Vernon. I remember playing the Lego Harry Potter games a few years ago and unlocking the Mr and Mrs Mason characters and having NO idea who these muggles were. So apparently they’re the drill people.

I laughed out loud when Harry was trying to scare Dudley by pretending to do magic by yelling ‘Jiggery pokery! Hocus pocus.. squiggly wiggly..’. We muggles will believe anything.

Enter: Dobby the House Elf

Harry is sent upstairs during Mr and Mrs Mason’s visit and there, on the bed, is one of our (or my) absolute favourite characters of the entire series and one of the saddest deaths, Dobby! With his iconic “Bad Dobby, Bad Dobby!”. Dobby tries to get Harry to not go back to Hogwarts this year, for there is a plot “to make the most terrible things happen”. It only just now occurred to me that Dobby knows of this plot because he is Lucius Malfoy’s house elf and Lucius is of course plotting the whole opening the Chamber of Secrets by giving Ginny Tom Riddle’s diary thing. Yes, I know I’m dumb, but it only just clicked.

After Dobby drops Petunia’s cake on the floor (I’ve watched the movies too many times, because I was convinced he dropped it on Mrs Mason), Harry receives a letter from the Ministry to remind him that he’s not allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts, signed by Mafalda Hopkirk. I thought I recognised the name and she is indeed mentioned in the Order of the Phoenix and she makes an appearance in the Deathly Hallows. I was a little confused, since I distinctly remember Harry practicing Lumos under the covers in one of the movies (I think the Prisoner of Azkaban), so that obviously doesn’t make sense. But I don’t think the whole not-being-allowed-to-do-magic-outside-of-school-thing is mentioned in the movies until Harry uses the Patronus charm to protect Dudley in the tunnel. Of course Uncle Vernon is having a field day finding out he’s not allowed to do magic.

Mr and Mrs Dursley lock Harry up in his room now that they know he can’t “magic” his way out and decide that he’s not going back to Hogwarts. Him being locked up finally makes sense now, I never really got that part. Locking him up because he dropped a cake on someone’s head didn’t really make sense to me. Lucky for Harry, Mr Weasley had overheard at the Ministry that Harry had used magic in front of muggles and Ron decides to rescue him by having his brothers fly the Ford Anglia to Harry’s house and break him free.

The Burrow

They gather Harry’s stuff and fly to the Burrow, where Mrs Weasley is waiting for them, furious. This is the first time Harry visits the Burrow and meets Arthur Weasley. Mr. Weasley is more interested in how flying the car went than in being angry with them. I love Mr. Weasley’s fascination with muggle stuff.

They travel by Floo Powder to Diagon Alley as soon as they receive their Hogwarts letters. This years’ book list consists for 90% of Gilderoy Lockhart’s books, which makes me wonder how they’re going to use those in all their other school subjects, but okay. Harry, of course, messes up the words and ends up at Borgin and Burkes, the first of many times this store plays a role in the story. Draco and Lucius Malfoy enter the shop and Harry hides in a closet that resembles the Vanishing Cabinet from the Room of Requirement a little too much (coincidence? I think not.). Draco is making all sorts of petty comments on Harry, Ron and Hermione and Lucius is telling him off, much to Harry’s (and my) delight.

When Draco and Lucius leave, Harry leaves his hiding place and exits the shop, ending up in Knockturn Alley. I’m guessing the name is probably derived from the word nocturnally, which fits the dodgy alley perfectly. Harry runs into Hagrid, who escorts him back to Diagon Alley, where Hermione and her parents and all of the Weasleys are waiting for him. Mr Weasley repairs Harry’s glasses (again). His glasses have been repaired two times now and I don’t remember anyone saying Oculus Reparo yet. Was the name of the spell made up just for the movie? Curious, very curious. They all continue to Flourish and Blotts to buy their school books and of course, there is Gilderoy Lockhart. Signing books and being all full of himself. Harry is forced to take pictures with him and receives all of his books for free. Because he has the kindest heart in the whole world, he gifts these books to Ginny and buys a himself a new set. It absolutely breaks my heart that the Weasleys are so poor. It never really occurred to me exactly how poor they were until I read about the nearly empty vault in Gringotts. And still they did so much for the Order, Dumbledore and Harry.

I never realised that Mr Weasley and Mr Malfoy ACTUALLY get into a fight at Flourish and Blotts. I always thought it was just an argument and some snarky comments on the Malfoys side and that was it, there Tom Riddles diary was in Ginny’s cauldron. But there was an actual, exciting fight. Blood was drawn. I love it.

The flight to Hogwarts

It’s time to go to King’s Cross to catch the Hogwarts Express. They have to drive back to the Burrow 3 times because one of the Weasleys has forgotten something, including Ginny’s diary. I can’t help but wonder if we could’ve avoided the whole Chamber of Secrets fiasco if Arthur had just said “I guess you’ll just have to do without”. I guess we’ll never know. I love the foreshadowing, though.

Of course, Ron and Harry can’t get onto the platform and they make the very wise and mature decision to just take Arthur Weasley’s car (which saves them the trouble of driving it home, I guess) and FLY to Hogwarts in it. Oh, the decision making skills of a 12-year-old. I guess Harry and Ron are now among the few people who know where Hogwarts is located exactly.

Harry and Ron crash into the Whomping Willow and Ron breaks his wand. I’ve always hated that he beaks his wand. It’s kind of hard to learn magic with a broken wand. The two of them sneak into Hogwarts and are caught by professor Snape, who is more than happy to expel them. Sadly that decision isn’t up to him and Dumbledore lets them off the hook. They do get detention, though. We’ll find out next week what that detention entails…

As always, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to subscribe if you want more bookish content. I’ll see you next week for week 5 of rereading Harry Potter.