Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 3

Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 3

Hi again fellow bookworms and welcome to week 3 of my journey of rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week! I think I finished this weeks pages on Tuesday, so I spent the rest of the week trying to keep myself from starting on the Chamber of Secrets.

We have left off last week with Harry finding out about the existence of the alchemist Nicholas Flamel. Now it’s time for Christmas at Hogwarts. Chapter twelve: The Mirror of Erised starts off with Fred and George bouncing snowballs off of Quirrells turban. I remember this from the first time I read Harry Potter and I’ve always loved that they were literally bouncing snowballs off of Voldemort’s face.. Now if that isn’t the greatest flex I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is. Harry spends his first Christmas at Hogwarts and receives tons of gifts from his friends. He receives a knitted sweater from Molly Weasley (I’ve always loved that gesture, she is such a wonderful woman) and the Invisibility Cloak from Dumbledore, though he doesn’t know who sent it to him yet. Obviously my first adult thought (or maybe it’s an anxiety thought) is, did Harry get anyone any presents? Also where do they get these presents if they’re not allowed into Hogsmeade yet?

After Christmas dinner, Harry decides to test out his invisibility cloak and goes to the Restricted Section of the library to find information about Nicholas Flamel. He accidentally opens up the screaming book and has to hide from Filch and Snape in an abandoned classroom. It is there that he encounters the Mirror of Erised. The inscription carved around the top reads: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. When you mirror that, it says: I show not your face but your hearts desire. I absolutely love J.K. Rowling’s creativity.

Harry goes back to see his family in the mirror a couple of times during the Christmas vacation, until one night Dumbledore is waiting for him. It occurred to me that this is actually the first time Harry and Dumbledore have a conversation. They’ve never spoken before until this point, which feels weird, because they’re so close in the rest of the books. I suppose that has to start somewhere. Dumbledore tells Harry that the mirror is going to be moved somewhere (of course we already know whereto) and tells him not to go looking for it, with the legendary words:

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Albus Dumbledore

Now that I’m writing this post, I notice that I have highlighted absolutely nothing in the next two chapters. That usually means that I lost myself in these chapters so much, I forgot to highlight and take notes. One of my most annoying habits, if I dare say so myself. Anyway, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue their search for Nicholas Flamel and finally find him in a book Hermione got from the library for a bit of “light reading” (I was like this when I was eleven. Very annoying. People always used to compare me to Hermione. I don’t think it was meant as a compliment, but I’m just going to take it as one anyway). Harry has another Quidditch match that Snape is refereeing. I didn’t remember that part and when I was reading it, I kind of wondered why on earth Snape would want to referee. During the showdown with Quirrell, it becomes clear that he was actually the one jinxing Harry’s broom during the last Quidditch match and that Snape was trying to stop him. Snape wanted to referee the game, so that Quirrell wouldn’t try again. The first stepping stone for Snape becoming a loveable character has been placed (I’m not crying, you’re crying).

At the start of chapter fourteen: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback, Harry, Ron and Hermione run into Hagrid checking out some books on dragons in the library. They go to see him at his hut and he does, indeed, have a dragon egg in his fireplace that he won from a stranger at a bar. I’m actually still not sure if that stranger was indeed Quirrell/Voldemort. I suppose it has to have been, since he accidentally told the stranger how to get past Fluffy and Quirrell did indeed get past Fluffy. Harry, Ron and Hermione urge Hagrid to get rid of the dragon and arrange for him to be sent to Ron’s brother Charlie in Romania. After a while, Hagrid gives in. Problem is, Charlie’s letter was in a book Malfoy “borrowed” from him, so he was aware of the fact that Harry and Hermione would be transporting an illegal dragon to the highest tower at midnight. Lucky for them, they had the Invisibility Cloak. Malfoy got caught waiting for them to rat them out. After having dropped of Norbert, Harry and Hermione go back to their dorms, but forget the Invisibility Cloak at the top of the stairs (everybody, I present to you: the brightest witch of their age). Of course that is the moment they run into Filch.

A hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone standing on a wooden platform with a plant behind it.

I don’t remember ANY of this. I remember Norbert‘s egg hatching, of course and I remember them getting detention and having to go into the forest, but I don’t really remember why they got detention in the movie. I don’t remember Charlie offering to take the dragon, I don’t remember Ron getting bitten by Norbert and having to go to Madam Pomfrey. I don’t remember them transporting a dragon in the middle of the night. I also do not remember Neville getting detention. Apparently I watched the movie a few too many times.

In chapter fifteen, Harry, Hermione, Neville and Malfoy go into the Forbidden Forest for their detention. This seems a little extreme for a school that keeps telling everyone that Hogwarts is the safest place in the whoooole world. Also, they already lost 50 house points each, so.. And then there’s the fact that the whole staff knows someone dangerous is trying to steal the Philosopher’s Stone. But sure, let’s send a couple of 11-year-olds into a dangerous forest, I’ll bite. Harry has his first encounter with Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. A hooded creature is drinking the blood of the unicorn they were looking for. He is saved by the centaur Firenze, who tells him about the use of unicorn blood. The moment unicorn blood touches your lips, you’ll be cursed forever. I haven’t really found out what that curse entails yet, though.

In chapter sixteen: Through the Trapdoor, Harry, Ron and Hermione have to get through their exams without getting killed by Voldemort in the meantime. To be honest, I didn’t even know they had to take exams before the O.W.L.s in their fifth year. You learn something new everyday. Harry, Ron and Hermione find out that Hagrid has blabbed to Voldemort that you can get past Fluffy if you just play him a tune to make him fall asleep. They figure Snape/Voldemort now knows everything they need to know to get to the Philosopher’s Stone and decide to go to Dumbledore. Only, he just left on urgent business with the Ministry of Magic. Naturally, that means the only option left is to face Voldemort on your own without any adult supervision.

I LOVE the various rounds of protection thought up by the different professors. What puzzled me is that they determined that Flitwick must have put a charm on the flying keys, even though it was a task they had to complete on broomsticks, so I figured it must have been Madam Hooch’s round of protection. Did they work together then? Snape’s potions puzzle was probably my favourite. I don’t mean to sound like Hermione, but I am proud to say that I solved it without any help from her. Harry steps into the last chamber and sees Quirrell standing in front of the mirror of Erised.

I didn’t really remember how Quirrell came to have Voldemort’s face attached to the back of his head. For those who were also wondering the same thing, the two met while Quirrell was a young man traveling the world and Voldemort showed him that there was no such thing as good and evil, there was only power and those and those too weak to see it (a quote that would’ve been famous around the globe if it had been said by Trump or some (other) rich idiot). We all know how this ends. Harry finds the Philosopher’s Stone in his pocket, because only someone who wanted to find the Stone, not use it, would be able to retrieve it from the mirror. Quirrell tries to take it from him and is reduced to ashes because Harry is still protected by his mother’s love (wonderful sentiment).

Dumbledore visits Harry in the hospital wing and catches him up on the events of the past few days. He fills him in on Nicholas and Pernelle agreeing to destroy the Stone and finally dying after 650 years. Dumbledore describes it as “going to sleep after a very long day”, which I thought was a lovely description. Dumbledore also tells Harry about the relationship between Snape and Harry’s father. I never knew he saved Snape’s life. He doesn’t really elaborate on the circumstances of what happened, but I really hope we find out more in the next few books. Hagrid visits and gives Harry the album full of pictures he collected from his parents old school friends. Hagrid, you big softie.

Of course the book ends with Dumbledore awarding the House Cup, but not before awarding about a trazillion house points to Gryffindor. The beginning of a wonderful tradition. The End.

Next week, we will talk about the first part of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I have to admit, The Chamber of Secrets has always been my least favourite Harry Potter movie, though I’m not sure about the book. I guess we’ll see next week..

Have a great weekend, my bookworms and hopefully I’ll see you next week for week 4!


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!


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!