Friday, 29 March 2013

HP Friday: Unstoppable hate machine

First order of business, I just realized it's my blog's first birthday! Sort of. My first post was just a red panda gif. Which, I guess, means things have stayed pretty status quo here at the Enthusiast. I'm so happy that this lands on a Harry Potter Friday, but I will, of course, still need cake. (Send cake.)

Looking back over this post, it comes off a little red zone. So let me preface the whole thing by saying I'm having so much fun reading this book again, and thanks to Reading Rambo for organizing such a great group of people to yell on the internet with. Because it's cathartic to hate a character with this kind of primal enthusiasm. To wit:

Gaaah, Umbridge!

I must not tell lies: I hate her and her stupid cats.

My rage is less explosive than in previous reads, but really. REALLY. The first detention scene in Umbridge's office has to be the creepiest thing we come across in the series. Certainly creepier than the graveyard showdown at the end of book four. It's her cloying decor and barely suppressed glee at causing pain. It's her horrifying, imaginative punishment. Dudes. She creepy.

Oh, is that a little, decorative cat brooch you got there? That's nice.

What is her deal, I want to know. How did she get like this? 

Let's move on. Let's talk about how I'm disappointed in Hermione in this section. I love her, obviously, but dammit, Hermione! The way she treats and talks about Luna is just, such a bummer. And then, and then, the whole "Dumbledore's Army" debacle. I did like that Ginny came up with the name; I'd forgotten that. And yes, very clever, but then Hermione's just like "Yep! Sounds great!" and writes "Dumbledore's Army" on their roster? Really, you don't see any problems that might arise as a result? REALLY? 

Right. Good choice.

I cannot even. But OK, my weekly wizarding question: Where do things go when they're vanished? McGonagall has the kids vanishing snails and kittens, and I want to know where they go. Maybe the same place Dumbledore keeps all those chairs he conjures. And then, Lee vanishes Fred's puke on page 327, and now I'm worried that there are a bunch of helpless kittens sitting all cute and unsuspecting on these quirky chairs and then, bam, ruined potions and vomit all over everything. That's horrible.

No wonder Grumpy Cat is so grumpy.

It's not good, guys. And I'm nervous about reading the next section because we're starting to get down to it, and I can't remember exactly when the Thing happens, and agh, somebody hold me.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

To 'thon or not to 'thon

In January, the wonderful Tika at Reading the Bricks hosted a mini-readathon. My enjoyment of this event was not mini, however, and now we're a month away from Dewey's 24-hour Readathon and I am sorely tempted, dudes. Sorely.

Plus, lookit the pretty picture. I'd totally read in a field right now.

The thing, though, that's stopping me from linking up right this second is that I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing on April 27th. The Neil and I are right in a transition phase between his finishing up school in this city and us moving to another. So, what if we're in the midst of moving at the end of April (please, God)? A readathon requires planning and snacks and putting books on hold. What am I going to do if I suddenly can't participate, cancel said holds?

Oh, wait. I guess I could cancel said holds. Well, alright then! READATHON! I'll wait to sign up until it really seems like I'll be able to do it, but it is booked in my mental calendar. Ah, man, I am going to read ALL the books.

So, what about you guys? Will you be participating in this years 'thon? Have you 'thoned in the past? Any advice for a first timer? I'd love to hear about your tried-and-true snacks and books.

Friday, 22 March 2013

HP Friday: "Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest."

It's been so LONG, you guys! Thankfully, it is once again Harry Potter Friday, that most magical of days. Thanks to Reading Rambo for being such an excellent host.

Thumbs up for you.

And thus, the fun times are over. We're reading chapters 1-12 of Order of the Phoenix. First of all, how important is Fawkes? The most important.


I love how dedicated he and Dumbledore are to each other. 

On page 108 Harry has made it to the Order's headquarters and is helping clean up the place, when JK demonstrates her awesomeness once again in listing the dark and suspicious objects in a cabinet: a many-legged pair of tweezers, a coma-inducing music box, a heavy locket that none of them could open oh man guys maybe we should remember this for later, a number of ancient seals, and on, as you know. The locket has to be the least interesting thing in that cabinet. Go, Rowling. (But, shouldn't it have made Harry's spidey senses go berserk? Maybe he didn't notice because he was already on edge.)

Kreacher is such a sad, sad character. Sirius treats him horribly, but you can see where that behaviour's coming from. Kreacher doesn't realize he's saying terrible things to Sirius, but Sirius still has to hear those terrible things. Also, "I [...] caught him snogging a pair of my father's old trousers last week." ...


I'd forgotten, as I do, that Bellatrix and Narcissa are sisters. Some vastly different colouring, there. Could it be a "the seed is strong" situation? IfyouknowwhatImean?

And then finally, finally, we meet Luna.

I love her. I know it's not a revolutionary statement, but seriously.

She is just the best. I kept putting her in Hufflepuff in my head because she's so profoundly decent, but no, Ravenclaw, because of smartness.

"Wit beyond measure
is man's greatest treasure."

Harry and Ron's new Divination textbook is written by Inigo Imago. I can imagine what he'd say of Trelawney's dream interpretations.

And now I'll leave you with my question for the week: our golden trio is in their fifth year, in which they must complete their OWL examinations. Fred and George say on page 205 that they were considering not coming back for their seventh year, because what do they need with NEWTs. And then in Potions, Snape says to his fifth year class that next year he'll be accepting some of their ranks into his NEWT Potion class. So, sixth year = NEWT level classes. So. What now? Is year six NEWT preparation and then year seven NEWT exams? I've said "newt" too much. It's lost all meaning. Newtnewtnewt.

Friday, 15 March 2013

HP Friday: Priori Incansobem

It's Harry Potter Friday, my dumbly-darlings. This week we're looking at the end of Goblet of Fire, from chapters 29 through 37, otherwise known as the portion of the book where my face explodes in tears while we have company over.


Thank you, Reading Rambo, for hosting this group cry. (Expect spoilers, all ye who enter here.)

Good CRAP this is a sad read as an adult. Harry is still so freaking little! He is not emotionally equipped to handle this shit! OK, let's start a little earlier, though.

Sirius' letter on page 496 is another example of him rocking the parenting, and Harry's reaction makes complete adolescent sense. And, because of Sirius' advice (from earlier), Harry finally goes to Dumbledore with a problem. Thank you, Sirius.

Hermione's sudden realization of Rita Skeeter's secret on page 533 reminds me of every episode of House ever. And also this dog:

More tricky timeline stuff when Mrs. Weasley says the Whomping Willow was planted after she was at school. Her time at the school and Lupin's time couldn't have overlapped at all. And then I get all befuddled thinking about whether Bill and Charlie were at school at the same time Harry's parents were, and yes, I guess they were, and I'mma just let Australian Kayleigh deal with this stuff. Also, Hagrid was at school before Mrs. Weasley, right? So what did he do in the years between being expelled and becoming Hogwarts' game keeper? Do we find that out? (Has he already told us?) (I have a sneaking suspicion I would be very happy as a goldfish. "Oh hey, a scuba diver! Holy crap, is that a castle? Oh hey, a scuba diver!")

On page 562 Voldemort says that the Death Eaters "knew the steps [he] took, long ago, to guard [himself] against mortal death." So then, Lucius knew that the diary was a horcrux. Did he know that he was putting it in danger by sending it out of his sight? Did he think Voldie was out of the picture, so why not get a bit of remnant scariness on a work rival of yours? Or had we decided that the Death Eaters knew that the horcruxes were out there, but didn't know which objects they were exactly?

Also in the horrifying graveyard scene, Voldemort lists the Death Eaters who aren't present and whether they suck or not. How surprised am I that Harry doesn't assume Snape is Voldemort's faithful servant at Hogwarts? So surprised. But I guess, since Karkaroff's the one who has likely left forever, who will be killed, and Crouch Jr is the faithful one, Snape was "too cowardly to return" and will pay. Does he pay? I'm going to start OotP the very second I post this.

I love love ferocious Dumbledore, who makes his first appearance after breaking into "Moody's" office. But tell me, hive mind, what we think this means, on page 604: Harry tells Dumble that using Harry's blood made Voldemort stronger than any other blood would have, that Voldemort has some of the protection that Harry's mother left to him, that Voldemort touched his face. "For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore's eyes." Hmmmm? Was it because a theory of D's was proven correct? Which, do you think? 

Philosophizing sloth is as interested in your thoughts as I am.

There is so much to talk about, but this post is way too long. But just let me say that the graveyard scene is the best thing of ever. It was so scary and so sad and just SO MUCH compared to anything we've encountered. 

So far! (She said ominously.)

*side eyes OotP*

Friday, 8 March 2013

HP Friday: The Flobberworms Return

Happy Harry Potter Friday, lady blogger friends.

This section sees our favourite Care of Magical Creatures test subjects return with a toothy vengeance. If only it were true. As it stands,

Curse you, Malfoy!

Also, I am majorly disappointed in myself.

More disappointed than when I spill my bowl

Movie events had overruled book events in my mind yet again, and I was asTONished when Dobby, not Neville, presented Harry with Gillyweed. Clearly I need to read these books more often. This readalong may have to be a yearly thing. (THINK OF ALL THE GIFS!)

Anyway, I love how Dobby gives Harry the Gillyweed, and I love that he calls Ron Harry's Wheezy. I'm glad he bought Dobby so many socks to thank him, because Harry seemed entirely ungrateful in that scene (he was a bit distracted, I suppose). Also, O my readalongers with memories that extend further than last night's dinner, what's with this, on pg 426:
He couldn't quite forget that the last time Dobby had tried to 'help' him, he had ended up with no bones in his right arm.
Was that not due to a certain other fellow?

Or does he mean that it sort of all started with Dobby? Which, no, I don't think it did. Our sock enthusiast has nothing to do with Lockhart's ineptitude (his lovable, hilarious ineptitude). 

'Igor,' Dumbledore began, but Karkaroff had drawn himself up, clutching his furs around him, looking livid.

Ah, yes. So good. The man needs some pearls to clutch with those furs.

See you next week, when things get really real. For real.