slytherin by __hibiscus, Slytherin

Wednesday reading — Harry Potter and the final three

What I've been reading

I finished rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, after having temporarily stalled out about a seventh of the way into the book a week ago as previously mentioned. The first time I read it I was dying to find out what was going to happen next, obviously, after lining up at Barnes and Noble at midnight, and on subsequent rereads I had an eye to future speculation and fanfic fodder, so in a way the book couldn't be too long or include too much, even though it could be a bit repetitive. Attempting to read the series straight through, purely for pleasure, and of course already knowing the ending, the suddenly slackened pace really tells.

I reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was…divisive, back in the day, but which I have always adored if for no other reason than that it gave us Draco Malfoy crying in the bathroom. I get the impression that J.K. Rowling will have thought, when she came to pen this storyline, that at last Draco's misaimed fandom would realize how unworthy he was of their affections, and if so this could not have been less effective with me. I do still hate the romance plots in this book though; not any of the ships themselves, but the way everyone is constantly hounding everyone else to stop dating someone and/or start dating someone else. I'd ask if other people's social circles were like that at sixteen or something, but the adults are just as bad so that's no explanation.

I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I still find pretty satisfying on the whole, even if it meanders a bit into some deadish ends. I got choked up all over again from chapter thirty-four onwards; I think that part where Harry finally realizes what he has to do and does it is the best bit of writing in the whole series.

What I'm reading next

I'm thinking about rereading the Narnia books next. Actually what I really want is to read the Fillory books, but as they don't exist I'll have to make do with our universe's equivalent. Note that while I have reread all the other books scads of times—Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Horse and His Boy most often, The Silver Chair least often—I have literally never once been able to make myself pick up The Last Battle again because it made me so mad, so that should be interesting.

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I need to read Narnia, and I need to read Little House to Caroline.

I really never get putting Harry with Ginny or Hermione with Ron. Actually, that one makes the least sense. It's a purely abusive relationship. With the other I can almost buy her desire to make Harry an honorary Weasley, but otherwise, no.
Yes! And dress her up in a little sunbonnet and apron! And do things like churn your own butter!

Oh man, you really missed out on the heyday of the Harry Potter shipping wars, but they were epic. I pretty much have to agree that Ron and Hermione ended up being a deeply troubling relationship, at least based on what ended up on the page. Bickering because you secretly care is one thing, but it seems like they are actually incapable of communicating about important things without screaming and/or dangerous spells. You have to hope there's such a thing as magical marital counseling. On the other hand, Ron did a superb job of marrying his mother, so they've got Freud going for them.

Harry and Ginny are just dull together. Hundreds of pages of chest monster allusions, then finally they kiss, then they spend a whole lot of time in isolated places doing things that can only be alluded to and never shown by the narration, which I can only assume means that they were having sex, or at least engaging in some reasonably heavy petting. Also I will never not be amused at how he breaks up with her at the end to try to protect her from Voldemort, who is totally going to check their relationship status on magical Facebook and be all, oh, it says Harry Potter is no longer in a relationship with Ginny Weasley, instead of torturing her I should give her something nice to piss him off because she's her ex. Like, come on.

Edited at 2014-08-15 02:09 pm (UTC)
I could read Little House on the Prairie in anticipation of our next move, which will hopefully be to the Heartland anyway. Indians and wildfires and building our own house!

Yeah, Harry seems to forget that Voldemort pretty much kills indiscriminately anyway. That should have been clear with Cedric.

I forget which book was full of the love triangles (five? Whenever it doesn't work with Cho) but yeah, for the sake of brevity, that stuff could have been sliced out.
Yes! The great thing is that no matter how bad your move is, it can never equal the clusterfucks that Charles Ingalls got into! Yeah, we'll just go settle illegally in Indian Territory, it'll be awesome!

Harry's hilariously terrible relationship with Cho is in book five, but book six is where they really get out of control. Although I do love Ron's one-day, one-sided, love-potion-induced relationship with Romilda Vane. That was actually funny, unlike his cringeworthy thing with Lavender Brown.
I just reread HPB too. I suspected it would be my favorite even from the beginning, and it was: here Harry finally has a semi-normal year at Hogwarts again. He gets to play Quidditch and do detention and learn how to Apparate and scheme against Draco. And I loved Draco in this book, because we get to see how he works, what his goals are, and what he wants, more than ever before. And I did like that Harry was obsessed with Draco here too-- I've been out of fandom long enough that I can't quite call myself a shipper anymore, but the shred of H/D shipper that still lives in me was very happy.
Nice! Yeah, I loved that it was a (mostly) normal school year, and that Harry got to take on nice normal responsibilities like captaining the Quidditch team.

Draco has such a great character mini-arc over the last two books. I love that moment in DH where we realize that oh yeah, Draco didn't just disarm Dumbledore, he disarmed Dumbledore of the Elder Wand. And that the transfers of the allegiance of the Elder Wand from Dumbledore to Draco and then Draco to Harry were both disarming charms without the intent (or, uh, in Draco's case, ultimate willingness to carry out his intent) to kill, which makes another interesting parallel between them.