Chapter 6 – The Ghoul in Pajamas
- Mrs Weasley’s intentions are certainly good, but her attempts to stop Harry, Ron and Hermione from leaving by keeping them apart from each other are still frustrating.
- I like how when Harry’s getting ready to let Ron and Hermione out of their agreement to come with him, Ron just cuts him off with, “Here he goes.” Ron makes quite a few jokes in this chapter – in fact, I noticed him doing it a lot throughout much of the book.
- I’m surprised Hermione can talk about what she did to protect her parents with any degree of calm.
- You certainly wouldn’t expect Fleur’s half-Veela mother to be married to a short, plump, bouncy man. It feels reminiscent of Roger and Jessica Rabbit: maybe he makes her laugh.
Chapter 7 – The Will of Albus Dumbledore
- Ron’s comment that charming witches is “not all about wandwork” – hmmm.
- It’s lovely that Mrs Weasley gives Harry her brother’s watch – that says a lot more than if it were a brand new one.
- Ginny giving Harry a big kiss in her bedroom would certainly indicate that despite the depressing break-up at the end of the last book, she just considers it to be temporary, which is certainly reassuring to us H/G shippers.
- Who’d have thought we’d be hearing about Norbert again?
- Oh, will this Ministry ever get its priorities straight? I can hardly blame Harry for calling Scrimgeour out.
- Wizarding fairy tales are certainly an interesting addition to this universe, and make it feel even more three-dimensional.
Chapter 8 – The Wedding
- “When I get married, I won’t be bothering with any of this nonsense. You can all wear what you like, and I’ll put a full Body-Bind Curse on Mum until it’s all over.” Fred mirrors my own feelings on weddings – but this sentence breaks my heart a little, given that it’s Fred talking.
- I like how Ron said “Always the tone of surprise” when Hermione comments on his magical defensive ability earlier on – and then in this chapter, Hermione says the same thing when Ron comments on how she looks.
- Bill and Fleur’s civil ceremony makes me wonder – do wizards ever have religious wedding ceremonies?
- “The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.” Most terrifying chapter ending ever.
Chapter 9 – A Place to Hide
- And without any warning, Harry, Ron and Hermione are plunged into the adult world, with nobody to support them – this is going to be very different, and much more difficult, than the Hogwarts-based adventures of the past. Good thing Hermione “just had a feeling” and was fully prepared.
Chapter 10 – Kreacher’s Tale
- There’s a few sad little moments in this chapter. First there’s Harry feeling lonely at the sight of Ron and Hermione almost holding hands. Just seeing Sirius’s old bedroom is sobering. Then there’s the letter from Lily, which fills in details of the life Harry might have had; it even gives him a connection to Bathilda Bagshot, who used to visit the Potters’ home. Even Harry pointing out that Regulus Black was a Seeker, based on where he sits in the team photo, makes me feel a little sad: it harkens back to a simpler time when Quidditch was one of Harry’s main priorities.
- “Elf magic isn’t like wizard’s magic, is it?” So presumably elves channel magic in a different way from wizards, which allows them to bypass wizard limitations? Okay, I’ll buy it.
- We’ve seen house-elves being forced to punish themselves for disobedience since Chamber of Secrets, but it’s only now that Hermione openly calls it “sick” – which does feel more evident now.
- So why was Regulus thought to have been killed by Voldemort when he disappeared? Was that just an assumption, given that the Order and the Ministry would know he wasn’t killed by Aurors?
- Harry improving his manners towards Kreacher certainly pays off quickly. Kreacher really does have simple needs.
Chapter 11 – The Bribe
- Now it’s confirmed that after a long time of just fighting to seize power like so many villains, Voldemort has actually succeeded – and unlike some villains, he’s actually doing things and pushing an agenda with his power. The Ministry is almost completely corrupt, the Death Eaters don’t have to worry about being arrested – things are pretty bad. Then there’s the fact that Voldemort is sticking to the shadows to maintain fear and mystery, presumably because this is still a work in progress.
- Unfortunately, Lupin hasn’t simply gotten over the insecurity that he displayed at the end of Half-Blood Prince. Really, he should have anticipated how strongly Harry would feel about the idea of a parent abandoning their child.
- And look at that – our old friend Umbridge is back.