A re-hashed tribute to the final Harry Potter installment

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In honour of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opening tonight, I’m re-posting a recap of the final HP book, which I wrote on my old LJ when it came out in 2007. Enjoy! [Please note: as this is basically a summary for the entire final book, it has spoilers for both parts 1 AND 2 of the Deathly Hallows movies. You’ve been warned.]

First of all, it’s remarkable how much, and how clearly, I can remember things from this book. I usually read the books so fast that I hardly retain anything. Although, it has only been two days…

The first chapter reminded me of the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone, what with people meeting very matter-of-factly in a street outside a house. I know, it’s pretty tenuous, but I felt it. Of course, it was strengthened by all the shout-outs J.K. gave to things from the previous books peppered throughout the rest of the book. (Eg. “What do you see when you look in the mirror?” “I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, wooly socks.”)

Also, I was starting to feel like the Malfoys had to be a redeemable family – mostly due to Draco’s hesitance to kill Dumbledore previously and because they’ve become such main characters that I couldn’t see them as completely evil, definitely not Bellatrix evil – particularly during this first chapter. And then later, when Draco wasn’t very helpful in identifying Harry etc. when they were captured. I’m glad they were in the Great Hall with everyone else at the end – not necessarily a part of the other Hogwartians (did you notice that too? “Hogwartians”…), but not part of the conquered Death Eaters. That’s why I like HP more than LotR. It’s that blurring of the lines between good and evil.

And then at the Dursley’s. First, finally cleaning out his trunk was a good way to get a little nostalgic and really underscore that Harry wouldn’t be returning to Hogwarts. I admit, it was a bit hard to accept that we wouldn’t be spending the book in the comfort of our favourite school of witchcraft and wizardry. And it certainly did get dark and kind of aimless while they were running around in that tent, so much so that I missed Peeves and the Great Hall and Draco making snide comments and all those feasts and exams.

Then, reading about Dumbledore’s life, and realizing that much of the book was going to be about learning about Albus, the human, was good. What’s that they say about the final installment of trilogies? The past always gets brought up? I know we’ve been reading about what’s happened in the past in every book, but I feel like Dumbledore is just as much of a significant character as Harry (almost), so going into his past was really important to end the series. Although I was getting a little tired of old, angsty Harry doubting every parental figure in his life and not being loyal to Dumbledore. But I suppose that’s human. Oh, and when that blue eye appeared in the mirror, it partially reminded me ofJeepers Creepers, and also made me think that when I thought Dumbledore had turned into a phoenix (hey, Harry thought he saw a phoenix fly out of the flames at Dumbledore’s funeral), that I was right and that Dumbledore would be playing some part in guiding Harry from beyond the grave…

But I digress, I loved that Dudley left that tea out for him. And though it might have been a bit much for Dudley to shake his hand, I still thought it was really cute when he kept asking “Why isn’t he coming?” and “Where is he going to go?” It made me feel that they were kind of like brothers. Harry, however, did not feel similarly, but it was nice. And I wish Petunia had said something else, but I suppose she got a little attention a la Snape’s memories, so that was enough. And oh! Showing Hedwig where he used to sleep under the stairs? So cute. I felt like I was saying goodbye, too. Definitely – firmly – establishing that this was the goodbye book.

And then the seven Potters. That was a fun bit. It made me really nervous to know that they’d be decoys, and how could they have trusted Dung? Pssh. Anyway, it was a nice, light part. (Eg. Harry being annoyed that they weren’t being very discreet with his body, Ron saying he knew the tattoo was a lie, George and Fred *tear* saying “We’re identical!”) And it was another one of those throwbacks when Harry had to ride on the motorcycle. I’m glad Hagrid mentioned it.

And then, sigh, I think I was only slightly sadder about Hedwig dying than about him losing the Firebolt. It was certainly the end of Quidditch and owl post, wasn’t it? At least he got to be captain. It made sense not to burden him with an owl and a broomstick, and an appropriate segue into the many deaths we’d have to mourn. So yeah, but I was both terrified for the others during the chase scene, and wondering if they’d make the motorcycle shoot “a wall, a solid brick wall” out of the motorcycle in the movie. They’ll probably cut it. And I was unpleasantly confused by what his wand did and had a bit of a “he eluded Voldemort AGAIN?” moment before they crashed. I was certainly worried Hagrid would die, but he’s awfully tough, so it makes sense that he would make it.

Then at the Burrow, I was equally terrified when people were taking a long time to return. Then when Ron and Tonks appeared, I was convinced that Ron was either an imposter (so much Polyjuice potion, eh?) or under the Imperius curse because 1) he said very little (although he was perhaps in shock) and 2) a lack of explanation for how they eluded the Death Eaters and why exactly they were late. Anyway, I guess I was wrong – although I did go back to my theory when Ron walked out on them, but it kept getting squashed by other evidence to the contrary.

I wasn’t really sad when Mad-Eye died. He didn’t really feel like a character to me. Even though we felt like we knew him from Goblet of Fire and he was certainly an admirable “warrior,” I just didn’t feel it. I was just relieved about the other characters. Come to think of it, I wasn’t upset about George losing his ear, either. I just thought it was funny when he said he felt “saint-like” because he was “holey, hole-y, get it?” lol And I thought it would come in handy to tell the twins apart (for the characters, of course, not for me; I’m not crazy).

Planning. Poor Mrs. Weasley. But poor Hermione more so! It was so sad when she said her parents were in Australia and didn’t know that they had a daugther.

I’ll skip ahead to his birthday. First, fyi, I want a snitch cake for my next birthday. Mrs. Weasley really knows how to stick to a theme (eg. those Christmas sweaters). And yay! Ginny snogged him for his birthday gift! Of course they’re going to end up together…

Then I was so happy to hear that all three of them got stuff from Dumbledore. I totally didn’t remember about him catching that first snitch (another throwback!) in his mouth until they mentioned it, though. Tsk, tsk. But yeah, I thought the clue “I open at the close” was a pretty clear hint that it wasn’t going to open until the end of the book (or Harry’s life). But the other two I was pretty perplexed. I wish they had let us read Hermione’s book so we could have tried guessing ourselves, but I probably wouldn’t have figured it out anyway. I love the idea of basing something on a wizard/witch kids fairytale.

Anyway, I keep getting ahead of myself. The wedding. First, Barry is a wonderful amendment to Harry. I would have figured out it was him! (Yes, yes, it was Barny, pssh.) Oh, and Krum coming to the wedding? A lovely throwback (especially Ron hating his little beard). And it sounded like J.K. described Hermione’s dress as the dress she wore in the movie version of Goblet of Fire. But, here’s a weird moment. When the Delacours arrived, Ginny seemed jealous of the 11-year-old part-Veela… Because of Harry? Eww, he’s almost 17 at this point? I hope I was mistaken. Anway, I totally pictured Xenophilius as a weird, cross-eyed, blonde version of Pee-wee Herman. Anyway, the ceremony was very pretty. And I have a perfect image of Ginny looking over her should and winking at Harry after the “her dress is too short (or low-cut)” comment from Muriel. And now that I think about Fred (I hope it wasn’t George and I’m remembering this wrong) saying he was determined to have a simple wedding when he got married…

It was a good idea to have them abruptly set off on their journey like that. It would have been really drawn out to have them leave formally the next day. That patronus’ message, “The Ministry has fallen. The minister is dead. They are coming,” very creepy and nice effect. (Btw, I don’t have the book with me, so if I’m remembering details wrong, it’s not my fault.) And it was a nice problem solver to have Hermione pack everything in that little beaded purse of hers (that’ll be some careful prop work for the movie). Kind of like having Sunnydale being on a Hellmouth – it just solves a lot of little issues that might pop up. Oh, and I loved that Ron hated the cappuchino. He’s such a wizard. And it proves that Harry does – at least to a degree – deserve that hero title when he instinctively pulled out his wand when those Death Eaters came into the cafe. I totally knew they were bad guys when they came in, btw, uh huh. And how about them apparating all the time now? It’s a strange departure, for me. But, like the beaded purse, very handy.

And then they were back at Grimmauld Place. Kind of like retracing the steps of the previous books. Gotta’ hit all the major locations in the final installment. I thought the curses set up for Snape were kind of lame, though. A tongue-twister jinx and a fake, haunted-house-version of Dumbledore? Come on. Anyway, it was sweet that Harry thought Ron and Hermione were holding hands (although frustrating because I couldn’t tell if they were dating in secret, behind Harry’s back, or still being aloof with each other, especially when they danced at the wedding) and that Harry felt kind of lonely because of it. And then in Sirius’s bedroom, it was cute that he had Muggle bikini-clad women on his walls. You can tell they were a stubborn family because everything in that house seems to have that permanent sticking thing. And then that letter and the picture. The letter wasn’t really sad or anything, but I thought the picture was cute. That better be in the movie. And yeah, I’m glad they realized who R.A.B. was early on, because if they had spent too long trying to figure it out, the readers would have been really annoyed since most people figured it out. And props to Ren for knowing it was the un-openable locket that was mentioned before.

Snape becoming headmaster was pretty predictable. I kept wishing I could know what was going on at Hogwarts, although, later on, it warmed my heart to hear of Ginny, Luna and Neville’s escapades against “the man.” Oh, and Lupin trying to ditch his kid? That made sense for his character, but I’m glad Harry told him off. Tough love.

Speaking of tough love, Kreacher. I read that J.K. told the filmmakers of Order of the Phoenix that they’d be in trouble in later movies if they didn’t include him in this one. I understand why now. I always thought Hermione was crazy for trying to find redeeming qualities in Kreacher, but I suppose they really do just adopt the beliefs of whatever wizard/witch is nice to them. I’m glad he became a nice (and yet still serviant) elf for them. Then Mundugus. What are the odds that Umbridge, of all people, woud have ended up with the locket? More tactics to bring back characters, I think. But anyway, the trip into the Ministry was more “fun with Polyjuice” espionage, though I’m not complaining. I guess it makes sense to use whatever spells/potions etc. they’ve learned to help them, no matter how many times they use the same tactics… It’s kind of like one big exam putting everything they’ve learned into practice, eh? And using Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes products is awesome (ie. puking pastilles, the destraction thing outside Umbridge’s office). Side note: it took me a few books to realize that pudding is the British term for dessert. I thought they were eating pudding after every meal…

The whole escapade into the Ministry was kind of so-so. I definitely got worried when, while turning into their alter-egos in the alley, Ron said, very off-handedly, that it was weird the guy wasn’t wearing his usual blue cloak. Warning signal, people! I thought Hermione was smart. Anyway, so yeah, in and out and this is a long book, so straight to splinching. I think Hermione should have risked it and tried to repair it completely, but hey, whatever. Also, I felt bad that Kreacher was making them dinner and wouldn’t see them again (or so we thought).

So then they were on the run. This was probably the hardest part of the book to get through (and yet such a large part). I was getting pretty desperate with them running around with no plans, and not really getting anywhere. Even in the Blacks’ house. I kept thinking about how many horcruxes they had to find and it didn’t seem like they were getting anywhere fast enough. Plus, it even annoyed me that Ron and Hermione were constantly whispering behind Harry’s backs. First, I went back to my Imperius theory (this time with Hermione included), and second, they should have known that if they weren’t in on the plans from the beginning, that there were no plans! Hmph. And Harry watching Ginny in the Maurader’s map? *tear*

And awww, I felt so bad for Dean Thomas. On the run, with people he didn’t know, it was so sad. The world really was falling apart. At least they got a hint about the sword. But then the book hit it’s lowest point for me. Ron storming out was probably the worst thing that could happen. And Hermione was so heart-broken. Stupid horcrux. Then it was just Hermione and Harry again, which reminded me of how much J.K. splits them up in the books and how much the movies try to keep them as siamese triplets. Well, they can’t do that in the last movie… I hope…

Anyway, didn’t anyone else think that, when we came to the description of Godric’s Hollow in that textbook, when it mentioned that the maker of the first snitch lived there, that they were supposed to go there? Dumbledore gave him a snitch! It makes sense, it does.

But then with the aid of more Polyjuice potion, they went off to see his parent’s graves (Harry’s part of a statue!) to continue with the theme of tying up the loose ends of the past, but with terrible consequences in this case. But first, I went mad trying to see some significane in his parents’ birthdates. No such luck. It also drove me crazy when they mentioned the name Peverell and I couldn’t remember in what context I’d heard that before. That’s what I hate about the books. They mention so many names in passing, and then they come up later in a significant way, but it’s almost impossible to remember where they said it first. You have to wait for the characters to remember, or at least I do. Anyway, I knew it was too good to be true to just have Bathilda show up and hand over the sword. Did anyone else yell “No, Harry! It’s a trap!” when she led him upstairs? That whole scene in the bedroom was crazy. Even reading it slowly, it felt like chaos. Then they were out of there in another “he eluded Voldemort AGAIN?” moment. There are a lot of dead-ends in this book. It really felt like Bathilda was supposed to play some part. This time, the characters really have to earn their triumph over evil, I guess. And Harry losing his wand? I guess you have to really beat the hero down, strip him of everything, for him to really pull off a heroic feat at the end. Just like the Firebolt, just like Hedwig, Harry must lose everything that supposedly is part of him, to prove that he, and he alone, is worthy of being the story’s hero.

So they seek refuge in their tent once again and it’s starting to seem really bleak until the doe. That was such a surreal chapter to have him follow some doe patronus to a frozen lake and find the sword. But why, WHY, would he take off his clothes? Is this something I don’t get about swimming in freezing water? Anyway, I was absolutely gleeful when his as yet unidentified rescuer said, “Are-you-mental?” Thank God, or rather, Merlin’s beard? I wish Harry had hugged him the second he saw Ron, but it was good enough that they did eventually. And then finally destroying the horcrux – FINALLY. Even I didn’t like hearing the fake Hermione and Harry taunting Ron, and then their mouths touched, ewwwww. Poor Ron. And I liked that he said it wasn’t as cool (him saving Harry and destroying the locket) as Harry was making it sound, and Harry saying he keeps saying that’s how it always is. So true.

Then when they returned to the tent, I’m sure everyone was supposed to think that Hermione was going to kiss Ron (I did a little, I admit), but it made sense for her to, instead, beat him up. Very Mrs. Weasley of her. It was especially cute when they mentioned when Hermione sent those birds on him, and she said she hadn’t ruled it out yet. Awww. I liked that 1) Dumbledore knew, knew, Ron enough to give him the Deluminator and 2) how convenient it was that Ron managed to pick up an extra wand.

So they’re more or less back on track. I’m unclear about what happens now, though. I think this is where they listen to the radio. And I did like Potterwatch. Just like Harry, I liked to hear about the outside world and everyone rallying around Harry but doing their part in the resistance. There’s some strong political analogies going on, for sure. But yay! Go Lee Jordan! Nice career move. And thankfully Lupin hinted that he had gone back to his wife and kid. Damn straight.

Then do they go see Xenophilius? I’m not sure, but let’s go there now anyway. First, I love that the Lovegood’s house looks like a rook – not the bird, the chess piece – and that there were flowers painted on everything. So there’s the cross-eyed, blonde version of Pee-wee Herman again and, of course, there’s something up. But can you blame him for trying to hand over Harry Potter to try to save Luna? I question anyone that says they wouldn’t. And awwww, Luna painted (slightly creepy) pictures of them on her bedroom ceiling with the word ‘friends’ all around it…. Side-stepping the creepy part, it was very sweet. I wonder if Neville has the same in his room… Anyway, so we finally get to hear about the Deathly Hallows. It reminded me of another story. I think it was about three brothers who all were really smart, or could perceive things, and some kind of king brought a chest into a room and said if they could tell him what was in it they’d get something… Anyway, I obviously can’t remember very well. So that’s the story and, of course, we think Harry’s invisibility cloak is the one from the story. In any case, they get the hell out of there and Hermione earns my love by making sure the bad guys get a glimpse of Harry so that they don’t kill Luna or Xenophilius before they go. Oh, but first we get a lovely coincedence that there’s a model of Ravenclaw’s diadem before we go. Isn’t that how they always figure things out? At some point, they see something or hear something and then it turns out to be important later? Well, I’ll turn a blind eye.

Then what? Harry becomes convinced that they has to look for the Deathly Hallows and that the ring is in his snitch (smart boy) and, again, Ron and Hermione totally Scully him. Oh, and when he said he thought the Gaunt’s ring was the stone, I totally dropped my book and ran to look at the picture of the ring on the spine of Half-Blood Prince to see if I could see the symbol on the ring. Unfortunately, it just looked like a vague drawing of a coat of arms, but it could have been! At some point, Harry has another vision of Voldemort (I haven’t mentioned any of his visions yet, have I? I find them terribly intrusive, however, helpful, mostly because Hermione gets on my nerves when she repeatedly berates him for not closing off his mind because “that why Dumbledore wanted him to learn Occlumency!”). Anyway, so we’re following along with Voldemort’s quest for the Elderwand (haha, Deathstick) and it starts to come together now, doesn’t it? I’m also skimming over how they’re picking up details of Dumbledore’s past, but we’ll get there eventually.

Next, I think Harry then shows that he truly is dim-witted sometimes by saying Voldemort’s name even after Ron’s told him about the Trace. It’s his fault about Dobby! Ugh, I’ll get there in a second. Oh, ha, and when Hermione pointed her wand at Harry’s face when the Snatchers were outside their tent, I totally went back to my Imperius theory again. I guess I was waiting for a major betrayal. Anyway, the Snatchers reminded me of those guys in A.I. who rounded up discarded robots for that horrible carnival. Same deal. And, again, poor Dean Thomas. I really do feel for him.

At the Malfoy’s house, I was quite taken aback to see Harry describe his reflection in the mirror above the fireplace. Long hair and a shadow across his jaw? I’d love to see them follow that in the movie. In any case, I had to change the way I was picturing Harry after that. It’s so hard to picture the characters differently than how they look in the movies, unfortunately. Anyway, Draco proves he’s not that evil (or just really cowardly) but being very unhelpful in identifying the gang. Oh, but first Harry mentions that white peacock on the way in to the house, as was mentioned in the first chapter. I think J.K.’s purposely trying to lead us down wrong paths, now. Anyway, I became very unnerved by Greyback constantly saying he wanted a go with Hermione. Ugh, after what happened to Neville’s parents, I get so worried whenever the Crucio curse is used. But then, in the basement, I’m happy to see Ron going mad from Hermione’s screams, to see Harry ask the mirror for help, to see Luna as wacky as ever (get every character in there before the end!) and even to see Ollivander. I’m glad he wasn’t an evil traitor and I knew he’d be a help with the Elderwand and such. And then! Happiest of all when Dobby showed up! I hate how he gets cut out of the movies (Neville gives Harry the Gillyweed. Neville finds the Room of Requirement for the DA…). So I was so happy when he came and rescued them and I was just thinking how much I loved him when… that, to quote Mrs. Weasley, “BITCH” Bellatrix takes another of Harry’s protectors’ lives by killing Dobby. That was my first real blow in terms of deaths in the book. I loved how Dobby had evolved as a character, especially wearing clothes and fighting with Kreacher and using the Room of Requirement to let Winky sleep off the Butterbear – btw, I never realized Butterbear had any alcohol in it, what’s up with them drinking so much, and then Firewhisky when they’re only 16/17?.

So yeah, that was my first, but not last, time crying in the book. Poor Dobby. At least he died a hero’s death. “Here lies Dobby. A free elf.” Nice touch. And I’m glad Harry was really upset. And that they pitched in to dig his grave by hand.

Oh, then at Shell Cottage, I loved it when Fleur spoke because I like using a french accent in my head. It’s just fun to read. And I liked that Bill and Fleur are happily married. It’s a nice bit of stability isn’t it? But I did not like how easily Harry managed to procure more wands – although that did turn out to be a very good thing at the end. In any case, at least they have wands, cause, frankly, they’re doomed without them. And Lupin makes Harry godfather for (I love this name for a possible half-werewolf) Teddy. And at that moment I know, more so than before, that Harry must survive to be this kid’s godfather.

And now we establish the Hallows vs. Horcruxes dichotomy with Ollivander and Griphook. I think it gave it nice structure. And, of course, at this point Voldemort is now looking for his Horcruxes. Time is ticking. In any case, they begin plans for another crazy plan to break into Gringotts (hit all the major locations!). I still felt like we were going kind of slowly in procuring the Horcruxes, but I guess that’s realistic… Anyway, it did worry me when Bill warned Harry about goblins. But we push on. I liked picturing Hermione as Bellatrix. I must say, I do like Helena Bonham Carter as an actress – who is, of course, who I was picturing. And then it was funny when Hermione said, “Okay, let me do you now” to Ron. Hee hee. I’m sometimes immature… And it was funny to picture him with a shorter nose and more hair and stuff. And, again, funny to imagine Griphook on Harry’s shoulders.

Then in Gringotts, I was very concerned about Harry using the Imperius curse like that. A few times he used it! An unforgiveable curse! Well, I was shocked. And their plan seemed to be going wrong very quickly with no exit strategy. Kids. So then they go down there and once they’re in the vault, I cringed whenever it described them touching and getting buried by that burning treasure. That was horrible. But at least he got it, even though it enraged me to see Griphook run off with the sword. Escaping on the dragon was cool. Freedooooom! And I love that Hermione had pumpkin juice in her trusty bag. Just hanging around on the lake, drinkin’ pumpkin juice…

I think at this point I made a list of all the Horcruxes, where they were hidden, and their statuses. It was very confusing.

Then they’re off to Hogwarts, right? I think so. So they end up in Hogsmeade, and that weird alarm charm (hehe, alarm charm) goes off with a scream and Harry has to use his patronus. But then! The Hog’s Head guy comes out and the second he said his patronus was a goat I knew it was Aberforth! Yay! I love that his brother was the Hog’s Head owner. Anyway, we cleared up the mystery of the blue eye, but I still want to know how he managed to tell Dobby to rescue them so quickly from Malfoy’s house. He’d have to run all the way into the Hogwarts kitchens, wouldn’t he? Although, I guess he used the tunnel behind the painting. And by the way, the story about Ariana was pretty sad. I’m not sure what he meant by what those boys did to his little sister, but it was upsetting nonetheless. Poor Dumbledore. I ran back to Half-Blood Prince to re-read what he was saying when he drank that potion in the lake. *tear*

In any case, at this point in the book, pretty much since we heard Luna was kidnapped, I’ve been pretty worried about Neville. Creating a raucous at Hogwarts? His parents were in the Order? I’m pretty damn worried. But! As we are now at Hogwarts, all those other characters, all of whom must be revealed to be alive and well, surface along with my beloved Neville. I loved hearing that his grandma was proud of him and that he was writing “Dumbledore’s Army still recruiting” on the walls. I love Neville. So he leads them to the bunker and yay! Everyone else is there and now I’m reminded of the seed of the peach in James and the Giant Peach. But anyway, typically, Harry doesn’t want help but everyone wants to fight. After all, they think they’re going to be liberated by Moses- I mean, Harry.

But then Luna (instead of Cho, I love Ginny) takes Harry to Ravenclaw tower. So now he’s been to three common rooms, excluding Hufflepuff – no one cares about them anyway. And it’s wonderful that you have to answer a riddle to get in. And the inside sounded very grand, almost cathedral-like. Although why they have a statue of the founder of their house and no one else does, I don’t know. But anyway, Luna once again proved to be a very endearing source of comic relief when she said she’d never stunned someone outside of DA lessons. And when Harry hears a hint of pride in McGonagall’s voice when she says Harry is in her house (I have loved this woman since she made Harry Gryffindor seeker) and then when Carrow spits in her face and Harry performs the Cruciatus curse on him (although I was, again, very shocked), I totally cheered. And I loved when McGonagall said, “well, that was – that was very gallant of you, but-” Hahaha. That was wonderful.

So then we more or less enter the third act where all hell breaks loose and – I can feel us getting to the end and I feel a little sad, even now – the battle of Hogwarts is about to begin.

I love how the professors rose to arms. Flitwick doing something through the window that sounded like “wind was being released from his wand,” and Sprout running off to find dangerous plants, and McGonagall being very witch-like by standing in the middle of the hallwy, raising her arms and really anthropomorphizing (sp?) all the statues/armoured knights in the castle. It was all very exciting. I could feel the battle building up and – although more so later on – I was reminded by the season three finale of Buffy, “Graduation Day: Part 2” when the whole school rose to arms and battled together. *tear*

So yeah, after Snape escapes like a bat (I’m convinced he’s evil, despite my earlier outspoken predications), and after McGonagall gets the troops moving, Harry runs back to the RoR and (!!!!) there are more people there. All the good guys, ready to fight. I’m a sucker for these kinds of scenes. And then (!!!!!!!!!) Percy shows up and even now, I tear up a little. Thank God, J.K.! I- I can’t even put into words…

So everyone’s together, but what’s this? Ron and Hermione aren’t around? Could they, no… could they be… snogging somewhere? Even though it’d be terrible timing, it’d also be awesome. And it’s good that Harry has to perform on his own. Use your head Harry!

Then everyone’s in the Great Hall, reading to evacuate or fight, and I’m more aware than ever that Harry must look a mess, all unshaven (hee!) and long-haired. I think I may fancy him a bit now… Anyway, I love that though a few Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws (no Slytherins of course) stay back, half of Gryffindor stands up to fight. I think I used to want to be in Ravenclaw, but Gryffindor all the way!!

And yeah, Voldemort possibly using the Sonorus charm, tells everyone to send out Harry or he’ll blow their house down. Thankfully, no one (other than stupid Pansy Parkinson) seems interested in making Harry their human sacrifice.

So Harry gets a brainwave and after more deadends with the diadem, he finds out that (very conveniently) the Ravenclaw ghost is Helena Ravenclaw (she must be really old) and that she and the Bloody Baron have a tragic history. (And again, we don’t get any interesting information about Hufflepuff’s ghost, but who cares about them?) So yeah, good thing that Harry saw that supposed tiara when he was hiding his potions book (what an obscure clue). And then! Hermione and Ron show up and I’m uber pleased with Ron for managing to say “open” in Parseltongue, also with Hermione for being so proud of him and for destroying another Horcrux. And history is certainly coming to their aid when they show up with Basilisk fangs (good thinking).

And then! Ron says they can’t order the house elves to die and Hermione kisses him. Hell yeah.

On we go. I’m frustrated that they’re taking a while to find the diadem when the world is falling apart outside, but I do like the return to bullies Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle vs. Harry, Ron and Hermione like old times. Very cute. But Crabbe was not so cute when he finally talked back to Malfoy and tried using some unforgiveable curses himself. And then! The stupid idiot uses fiendfyre (although it was kind of cool) and Ron and Harry finally get to do some flying on broomsticks! Yay! Almost like Quidditch. But yes, they do the predictable and save the buffoons, but props for making Crabbe die. And then yeah, the diadem… dies, and I’m starting to think they may destroy all of them before the book’s done (I’m still keeping track on my list and checking them off as we go, and still thinking Harry must be the 7th one).

So yeah, and then more sadness happens. McGonagall proves she’s superbad by running down the hall with her hair (finally) down with some mobilized tables yelling “CHARGE!” but then the Earth breaks open and tries to swallow my heart when Fred – FRED! – dies. I knew before reading the book that I would be saddest if one of the twins died. What will George do now??? I don’t want to think about it.

And then, yeah, it just keeps getting more and more upsetting. Harry gets another vision and decides he has to go to the Shrieking Shack and on the way he has to save Malfoy (again!), Trelawney kicks some ass with crystal balls and poor Hagrid gets taken away by those stupid spiders.

Then they get to the tree (after a close call with some dementors and had to be SAVED by other DA members, tsk tsk Harry) and I have a wonderful, gleeful laugh when Ron says if they only had Crookshanks to press the knot on the tree on the Whomping Willow and Hermione yells “Are you a wizard, or what?” Very much like in the first book when they’re in the Devil’s Snare and Hermione is trying to save them but she says she needs matches to light a fire and Ron yells “Are you a witch, or aren’t you?” Lovely. Exactly like in the last episode of Buffy when Giles says “The earth is definitely doomed,” which is what he said at the end of part two of the first episode because Willow, Xander and Buffy are being silly children in the face of ultimate doom. *sigh*

And then in the shrieking shack and I must be sad again. After Snape gets bitten, and Harry runs to him, I still wasn’t sure if he was good or not. But looking back after the look in the pensieve, it’s so sad when Snape said “look at me” to Harry. I assume because he had Lily’s eyes. And it was pretty heartbreaking to look back and realize why Snape kept begging Voldemort to let him find Harry.

Actually, does this happen after Fred dies? Hard to say. Anyway, after Snape kicks the bucket, it gets a little fuzzy. I think they go back to the Great Hall and all the dead is lying there. I’m crying, of course, and then we see Lupin and Tonks and suddenly Harry’s really Teddy’s godfather.

Then Snape’s memories, of course, with only one hour to meet Voldemort. I liked hearing about Petunia. I always thought she needed more in the story. And poor, poor, Snape. And Dumbledore sounded so manipulative when he told Snape to make sure he hid the sword so that they had to use cunning etc. to get it. I was not loyal…

Snape makes a doe patronus. Dumbledore says, “still, Severus?” And Snape replies, “Always.” Ugh, that’s tragic. And! Can’t you picture him crying over Lily’s picture? Breaks my heart.

But then we get the big news. And I admit that I doubted Dumbledore after that scarring news. And now Harry knows what he must do. He – well written by J.K., since it’s a hard thing to write, I think, someone coming to grips with dying – goes into the forest, after seeing poor little dead Creevey (“Hullo Colin”) and meets his destiny. It was even kind of epic to hear him say “I am about to die” into the snitch. Nice effect. And yes! It is the stone. And, once again, the dead come back to help him (but only with support, really, this time). They are coming to fetch him… that’s profound.

And then we see Hagrid tied up and it reminds me of Fried Green Tomatoes. I won’t go into why.

Then Voldemort does it and I’m thinking he’s dead for a second, but instead we get plenty of exposition from Dumbledore in King’s Cross (which for some reason reminds me of the Matrix when Neo is in that subway station). Poor Dumbledore, he put on the ring hoping to bring back his family. I feel for you, big guy, I do.

And yes, after a bit of a complicated explanation, we find out that Voldemort only killed the part of Harry that had his soul. Good guess, big D. More or less like how at the end of every book someone has to explain to Harry what the hell was going on the whole time. It was strange picturing Harry lying on his face naked, though…

Back to the world! This is the big moment. Harry’s back, but no one knows. I feel for Narcissa when she asks about Malfoy and I wish Hagrid would stop sobbing (not really, though). Then they come out and stand in front of the school and I’m really reminded of Buffy’s graduation now.

And I’m absolutely in love with Neville when he stands up to Voldemort. And I’m about ready to marry him when he pulls the sword out of the hat (as only a true Gryffindor could) and kills that snake! Hurrah! Oh, Neville. And then the battle ensues. And I’m enjoying Harry working his way up to the final match as everyone battles (“NOT MY DAUGHTER, BITCH!” Go Mrs. Weasley! Although I can’t believe J.K. put actual swearing in there). And finally – FINALLY – it comes down to them.

I didn’t like how much explanation Harry had to give, but I thought the final moment, with the sun coming in and everything, was pretty awesome and very epic. Especially when she said “Tom Riddle” fell to the floor. What a life.

And then it felt like the end of a triumphant Quidditch match and everyone was hugging him. It was weird to have it over. But not cause it was written weird. I could just feel the end coming…

And in what I thought was a little forced, he, Ron and Hermione slip away and go up to Dumbledore’s office. I thought it was a little strange, after everything that had happened (I was still trying to read through my tears over Fred) and he gives up the Deathly Hallows and, oddly enough, thinks he still has a bed in Gryffindor Tower and hopes Kreacher will bring him a sandwich (I love that he led the house elves to war!)

That’s it? I don’t want to let go!

Nineteen years later.

Okay, first, it’s too much of a jump. J.K. has spent seven books giving us every detail of their lives. It’s suddenly 19 years later? I don’t buy it. Plus, there just isn’t enough information. What does Harry do know? WHAT HAPPENED TO GEORGE? And what’s up with the names Rose and Hugo? Why not FRED? Although I did shed a tear when Harry said “Albus Severus.” Oh, but! I cannot picture Ginny old. I’m sorry, but I can’t. And Teddy and Victoire? (Who I assume is Fleur and Bill’s daughter.) Very fitting. And very ‘cycle of life.’ Especially with Draco and Scorpius. Somethings don’t change? Professor Longbottom was a nice touch, but there’s still so much more I want to know…

In any case, it’s definitely a definite ending. I cried harder when it was over than when Fred died, which is saying something. Completely over. I’ll never love again…

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2 thoughts on “A re-hashed tribute to the final Harry Potter installment

  1. I don’t know how I didn’t read this when you first posted (except maybe I hadn’t finished the book yet?) but it was so awesome. And so thorough. I have to reread that book again.

    Best line though: “And their plan seemed to be going wrong very quickly with no exit strategy. Kids.” Hahahah.

    1. But you did! You said, “Oh man! Dude! Best review ever! I’m sending it to Mary. AHHH! So good. I’ll write somethign more coherant later.” But you never did…

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