Thursday, 24 January 2013

HP Friday: Of Squibs and House Elves


Friday, a-Friday, a-Friday is very very nice.

It's time for another installment in the Harry Potter Readalong hosted by the Hufflepufferific Reading Rambo. This week we're reading the first ten chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Seeeekrits. It's a readalong, so it can get spoilery. Especially in the comments. BE FOREWARNED.

I think chapter 3, "The Burrow," might well be my favourite chapter of all chapters ever. I love meeting the Weasleys and seeing their home, and Mr. and Mrs. W are hilarious together. And I love how Ginny acts all

But feels all

She's so awkward. I love her face.

The last chapters of this section serve to make me feel really bad for the people whose guts I previously hated. 

Filch, for one. If he's a squib, and he's the caretaker at Hogwarts, do they make him clean the whole castle by himself, muggle-style? Because that is awful. That can't be right.

At least he has Mrs. Norris to comfort him.

His reaction to finding Mrs. Norris petrified is almost too sad.

Then, the idea of Malfoy getting told off by Flint for missing the snitch when it was right beside him, that'll make you feel bad for the kid.


And things are just going to get worse. Poor Draco. I don't think he likes being himself most of the time.

In the same chapter that we glimpse the fact that Malfoy may, in fact, just be a sad little kid, Dobby visits Harry in the infirmary. And hey, ho, wait a second, when Dobby apparates out of Hogwarts Harry is holding onto his arm. Qu'est-ce que le what? Shouldn't Harry have apparated, too?

Now, I didn't get to commenting on all your awesome posts last week, what with Personal Things getting in the way of what's really important (Harry Potter), but I am determined to travel 'round this week, agreeing with your exclamations of horror at how the twins treat that salamander, and disagreeing with you, vehemently, about Dobby being the Jar Jar Binks of the Harry Potter series ("The house-elf's goggling tennis-ball eyes were peering at Harry through the darkness. A single tear was running down his long, pointed nose." What, are you made of stone?

The fact that I've looked for a half hour without finding a Dobby gif I want to use is BESIDE THE POINT).

(Seriously, though, Jar Jar was the worst.)

Final point: the casting of Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart is the greatest thing of all the hyperbolically great things.

Oh, you.

37 comments:

  1. Kenneth Brannagh is not at all how I pictured Lockhart pre-movies but HOLY JEBUS HE'S SO PERFECT.

    I definitely don't hate Dobby (the Jar Jar comment is cruel) but I also don't love him either- at least not in this book. I think I loved him a lot more as a kid, but now I'm kinda apathetic with his rescue attempts.

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    1. I have no idea how I pictured Lockhart before the movie. I loved the movies as soon as they came out, but I was (am) sad that they took over my brain space for what the characters look like.

      I'm glad you don't hate Dobby! I'm not saying he's great, or even one of the best characters in the book, but he's majorly sympathetic, for me.

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    2. I find I still imagine some character as I did pre-movies, some are a composite and some, like Lockhart, are all movies.

      I've had it happen with other book adaptations though, and it's always sad- even when the casting is amazing.

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  2. DOBBY IS THE WORST FOREVER AND EVER THE END.

    Forget Harry apparating out of Hogwarts with Dobby, aren't you supposed to not be able to apparate within Hogwarts?! Or into Hogwarts, or... Something. Maybe the rules are different for fucking annoying House Elves?

    Hooray for mild Malfoy sympathy though! I kind of went there. A bit.

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    1. I think there's a sneaky little line in the final book about how House Elves have their own special brand of magic and are actually quite powerful, but because people think of them as subservient their magic isn't often guarded against. Or something like that. *shrugs*

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    2. you are TOTES right. It's mentioned many times in the series that most purebloods disregard the magic of other species because they're wizard-supremecists. they disgreard the magic of others species TO THEIR OWN DETRIMENT. [insert evil laugh here]

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    3. Yes to what you guys said. I just thought that their magic was more powerful or something, but still operated under the same rules. I will readily accept that they have their own house elf rules, though.

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  3. "His reaction to finding Mrs. Norris petrified is almost too sad." Aw.

    "Poor Draco. I don't think he likes being himself most of the time." Aww!

    Don't make me feel bad for these people! (but no, I am sekritly super-pro Malfoy family. but STILL)

    I seriously stared at that first GIF for a WHILE expecting something to happen. Then I got it and ahaha.

    And yeah, they totally say House Elves have their own magic. So...different Apparating rules?

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    1. Right? Conflicted feelings! In a series that I always thought was super black and white, I'm finding more uncomfortable middle ground, reading it as a fully formed human. Which is good.

      Socially awkward zoo penguin is awkward.

      Yeah, I guess you're right about house elf magic. It's just, I'd like to know more about it, I guess. How can it be so different?

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  4. OMG your Ginny gifs. I heart them. Perfect.

    Poor Draco. Now I'm feeling bad for him and stop that. Cos really, he deserved to get told off for missing the Snitch cos he wasn't paying any attention. I think he has a big HP crush.

    Oh Gilderoy/Branagh. wonderful.

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    1. He definitely messed up, but agh! And his dad is such a jerk and agh! It was so much easier reading this when I was 12.

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  5. Wait, what salamander?

    So glad to see some Malfoy-sympathy in the readalong this week THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    I *loved* watching Branagh as Lockhart in the movie, but OMG, Lockhart-the-book-character is so god-awful that even imagining Branaugh on the page couldn't save the book for me.

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    1. OH MAN, it's in chapter 8, "The Deathday Party," pg 100 in my edition. Fred and George are "trying to find out what would happen if you fed a Filibuster Firework to a Salamander." Friggin jerks. At least it's a magical salamander.

      Book Lockhart is inFURiating, hey?

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  6. "Qu'est-ce que le what?"

    This is the best, and I will be working this into my vocabulary tout de suite. And yes, I feel bad for Malfoy, which is frustrating but I also like how so few of the characters are drawn in black or white.

    Poor Ginny. that GIF is perfect.

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    1. Man, I really did think it was black and white though. I thought that's why it was so successful as a children's book - because characters are drawn so simply. He's bad and he's good. No worrying about not knowing the full story. Not so, little Kayleigh.

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  7. UGH THE SALAMANDER. That pissed me off too but I forgot to write about it in my post. Fred and George can be awful when they put their minds to it.

    And I think Malfoy basically hates everything about his life, but I don't feel much sympathy for him until the 6th book. Then he gives me conflicting feelings.

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    1. The poor salamander!

      Oh Malfoy. He's a confused guy.

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    2. I thought the salamander Fred and George messed with was the mythical version, the one that comes from fire, so it's less animal torture-y. Maybe?

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    3. It is less animal torture-y in that it's not hurting the salamander, very true. But still, that can't be a comfortable experience. And it was pretty scared. But you're right, not as bad as it could be!

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  8. I feel constantly real sad for/annoyed by Dobby. Why can't you just shut up Dobby? Why? I want to like you...

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    1. Right? Exactly. It'd be so much better if he could just explain himself or stop interfering.

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  9. YESSS on Dobby! Why does everyone else dislike him so much??

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  10. Did you know that the 'squib kick' is an actual Thing in football? It is my third favorite Thing, behind the rouge (which is only in Canadian football) and sacking the quarterback, like he was Rome or something.

    ANYway, I agree w you re Malfoy, in a big way. I always forget this, and then I get around to Book 7-ish and I am like, Oh yes, your life is kind of sad and it's mostly your dad who sucks, actually.

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    1. Knowledgeable, this one. I know nothing of sports. Except that that guy with the hair plays football.

      Malfoy's dad is the worst. It'd be hard to not be a douche at 12 with a dad like that.

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  11. I ALSO had a sad for Draco this week, but then I quickly squelched it because of that one time he was mean to Neville. CANNOT BE FORGIVEN. But this was the moment:

    "At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in," said Hermione sharply. "They got in on pure talent."
    The smug look on Malfoy's face flickered.

    He's sad because he knows it's trueeeeeee.

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    1. I hate when people are awful but you get why they're awful. Where it's enough to understand it but not enough to excuse it. Too many feelings.

      Neville brings out the mama bear in all of us.

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  12. The Weasleys are so awesome - I can only hope to be as awesome, sweet/feisty (she alternates quite a bit) and generous as Molly Weasley, minus the 1000 children she has.

    I agree - Filch has the worst job ever. With a castle that size, no wonder he's gotten cranky!

    Now I'm really rusty on my Hogwarts knowledge, but I thought that humans couldn't apparate in/out of Hogwarts and only house elves could, which might explain why Dobby apparated without Harry. (and that is how I shall convince myself...)

    And yes, casting Kenneth Branagh was a GENIUS idea.

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    1. (spoiler) A certain powerful wizard with a rocking beard is able to apparate in and out of Hogwarts later (end of spoiler)

      I love Molly. Esp. the comparison to a saber-toothed tiger.

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    2. Does he? I thought he had to go to Hogsmeade to do it? And that's how people know things so other terrible things can happen?

      Or is this another time?

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    3. Ha that was such a confusing and cryptic comment!

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  13. Hooray for Dobby love! I found like 10 gif's of him that I liked. I will use as many as I can - readalongers beware.

    I didn't even really think about how Filch must have to clean the old-fashioned way, NO WONDER why he's so pissed all the time. Why the hell don't they hire more cleaners? Or at least one magical cleaner? Geez, Hogwarts.

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    1. Geez, Hogwarts! Looking forward to GoF, like Jennifer says below, because this is upsetting me.

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  14. Wait for Goblet of Fire and you will learn all about the cleaning! But yes, it does seem like an excessively large job for one man who can't even do magic to make it easier. And good catch on the apparating inconsistency! Maybe wizards can't apparate out of Hogwarts even on the arm of a creature that can? But they can apparate out of another protected place on Dobby's arm later on so.... methinks Rowling hadn't decided everything yet. And speaking of Dobby, he is fantastic! I don't know what's the matter with all these haters!!

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    1. I'm completely shocked at how much I don't remember from the books. I think I need to wait 5 years between all my future reread sessions because it is EXCELLENT.

      That's *right*! They do apparate with Dobby later. Maybe he's in control of who he takes, though. Which is nice - makes escaping from things easier. But still, strange. And hurrah! Another reader on the Dobby Team! We have tshirts.

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  15. I theorize that yes, Dobby has to be like, I elect to apparate while taking this person along with me! Although if that were the case, I don't know why he wouldn't just apparate Harry somewhere else and be like, Harry Potter will stay in this comfortable prison until the end of the Hogwarts school year! I mean if he REALLY wants Harry to be safe....right?

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  16. No, no no no, I do not feel sorry for Malfoy. Not right now anyway. And I really wanted to *like* Dobby, but COME ON, he's screwing up EVERYTHING!

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