As I said in the last posts, these Harry Potter posts will be formatted differently from the May discussion posts. I won't be writing non-spoiler sections for any of the Harry Potter books, simply because it's Harry Potter. If you haven't read the books already, go read them. At this point, there's almost no excuse for not having read the books except a lack of interest... in which case you probably wouldn't be here reading my discussion! I also will not be writing a summary of each book because, again, it's Harry Potter. If you don't know what Harry Potter is about, I'd really like to know what rock you've been hiding under because it sounds like an amazing place to get away and completely shut out all knowledge of the outside world.
Anyway, on to the discussion!
So, a little background. Of all the books, I think this was the one I read the fastest the first time through. I pre-ordered the book at a bookstore in town months before its release. However, my parents decided that we would take a vacation to Washington DC in July and that the Saturday that Deathly Hallows was released would be the day we would travel back home. I was desperate to get my hands on the book anyway- we were going to be travelling and flying all day and I felt it would be a day wasted if it wasn't spent reading this book I'd been impatiently waiting for. So, first thing in the morning, when we reached the airport, I found the closest store that sold books and bought it full price and spent the whole day reading it. I wasn't done by the end of the day and ended up finishing it the following day. My parents dragged me to the mall with them and I continued reading the whole time. I got to the scene where Fred is killed and actually started bawling in the middle of the mall. That's still my exact reaction every single time I read that scene and watch the movie.
The battle at Hogwarts through the end of the book is probably the best section of the entire Harry Potter series. I found myself constantly tearing up because of everything going on. The Prince's Tale is probably my favorite chapter in the book, and every time I read it, it's through blurry tear-filled eyes because Snape's story is just so heartbreaking. I also distinctly remember that when I finally got to the bits where Dumbledore's master plan was explained, my mouth dropped open. I was shocked but at the same time, it made perfect sense.
I like that Deathly Hallows was a departure from the typical Harry Potter book formula. Typically, something exciting happens in the summer, Harry goes to Hogwarts, secrets begin to unravel/odd things begin to happen, and at the end of the year, Harry has to face Voldemort or some other villain. Formulaic? Yes. But it's still great. And it makes it even more exciting when the seventh book is very different. Yes, the big battle is still at the end, but that is how books work. The rest of the book is action-packed and unpredictable.
A lot of people complain that the camping was boring and dragged, but I disagree completely. Yes, they camped for quite a while, but SO much more went on. Ron left, they got attacked by Nagini, Xenophilius Lovegood betrays them, they get taken by the snatchers, they get the sword... the list goes on and on. How is that boring? How is that dragging? I remember that after reading the series for the first time, I had no idea how they were going to pack all of the book into one movie. I tried to figure out what could be eliminated to cut down on time, but I simply couldn't think of anything specific. That's why I was so glad they made it into two movies. That way, they could flesh everything out and make it incredible.
I don't even know what else to specifically say about this book because it's all just so individually perfect and all of the elements come together to create a truly amazing book.
Harry did not smile.
"You can't do it if I don't cooperate, you need me to give you some hair."
"Well, that's that plan scuppered," said George. "Obviously there's no chance at all of us getting a bit of your hair unless you cooperate."
"Yeah, thirteen of us against one bloke who's not allowed to use magic; we're got no chance," said Fred.
Page 51: Fred and George turned to each other and said together,"Wow-we're identical!"
"I dunno though, I think I', still better-looking," said Fred, examining his reflection in the kettle.
"Arthur and Fred-"
"I'm George," said the twin at whom Moody was pointing. "Can't you even tell us apart when we're Harry?"
"I'm only yanking your wand, I'm Fred really-"
Page 74: "How do you feel, Georgie?" whispered Mrs. Weasley.
George's fingers groped for the side of his head.
"Saintlike," he murmured.
"What's wrong with him?" croaked Fred, looking terrified. "Is his mind affected?"
"Saintlike," repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. "You see... I'm holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?"
Mrs. Weasley sobbed harder than ever. Color flooded Fred's pale face.
"Pathetic," he told George. "Pathetic! With a whole wide world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?"
"Ah well," said George, grinning at his tear-soaked mother. "You'll be able to tell us apart now, anyway, Mum."
He looked around.
"Hi, Harry- you are Harry, right?"
"Yeah, I am," said Harry, moving closer to the sofa.
"Well, at least we got you back okay," said George. "Why aren't Ron and Bill huddled round my sickbed?"
"They're not back yet, George," said Mrs. Weasley. George's grin faded.
Page 81: "Well said, Harry," said Fred unexpectedly.
"Yeah, 'ear, 'ear," said George, with half a glance at Fred, the corner of whose mouth twitched.
Lupin was wearing an odd expression as he looked at Harry. It was close to pitying.
"You think I'm a fool?" demanded Harry.
"No, I think you're like James," said Lupin, "who would have regarded it as the height of dishonor to mistrust his friends."
Page 138: "When I get married," said Fred, tugging at the collar of his own robes, "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."
Page 209: Ron glanced at Hermione, then said, "What if purebloods and half-bloods swear a Muggle-born's part of their family? I'll tell everyone Hermione's my cousin-"
Hermione covered Ron's hand with hers and squeezed it.
"Thank you, Ron, but I couldn't let you-"
"You won't have a choice," said Ron fiercely, gripping her hand back. "I'll teach you my family tree so you can answer questions on it."
Page 378: Harry crammed the broken locket into his pocket, knelt down beside Ron, and placed a hand cautiously on his shoulder. He took it as a good sign that Ron did not throw it off.
"After you left," he said in a low voice, grateful for the fact that Ron's face was hidden, "she cried for a week. Probably longer, only she didn't want me to see. There were loads of nights when we never even spoke to each other. With you gone..."
He could not finish; it was only now that Ron was here again that Harry fully realized how much his absence had cost them.
"She's like my sister," he went on. "I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It's always been like that. I thought you knew."
Page 474: "Dobby has no mater!" squealed the elf. "Dobby is a free elf, and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!"
Page 514: "Yes- yes- a boy," said Lupin again, who seemed dazed by his own happiness. He strode around the table and hugged Harry; the scene in the basement of Grimmauld Place might never have happened.
"You'll be godfather?" he said as he released Harry.
"M-me?" stammered Harry.
"You, yes, of course- Dora quite agrees, no one better-"
"I- yeah- blimey-"
Page 602: "Piertotum- oh, for heaven's sake, Filch, not now-"
The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, "Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!"
"They're supposed to be, you blithering idiot!" shouted McGonagall. "Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!"
"P-Peeves?" stammered Filch as though he had never heard the name before.
"Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven't you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!"
Page 605: "I was a fool!" Percy roared, so loudly that Lupin nearly dropped his photograph. "I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a- a-"
"Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron," said Fred.
"Yes, I was!"
"Well, you can't say fairer than that," said Fred, holding out his hand to Percy.
Mrs. Weasley burst into tears. She ran forward, pushed Fred aside, and pulled Percy into a strangling hug, while he patted her on the back, his eyes on his father."
Page 625: "The house-elves, they'll all be down in the kitchen, won't they?"
"You mean we ought to get them fighting?" asked Harry.
"No," said Ron seriously, "I mean we should tell them to get out. We don't want any more Dobbies, do we? We can't order them to die for us-"
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
Page 678: "Hide them all, then," he croaked. "Keep her- them- safe. Please?
"And what will you give me in return, Severus?"
"In- in return?" Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment, he said, "Anything."
Page 682: Snape raised his eyebrows and his tone was sardonic as he asked, "Are you intending to let him kill you?"
"Certainly not. You must kill me."
"There was a long silence, broken only by an odd clicking noise. Fawkes the phoenix was gnawing a bit of cuttlebone.
"Would you like me to do it now?" asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. "Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?"
Page 688: Now Harry was flying alongside Snape on a broomstick through a clear dark night: He was accompanied by other hooded Death Eaters, and ahead were Lupin and a Harry who was really George... A Death Eater moved ahead of Snape and raised his wand, pointing it directly at Lupin's back-
"Sectumsempra!" shouted Snape.
But the spell, intended for the Death Eater's wand hand, missed and hit George instead-
Page 722: "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love."
Page 743: "So it all comes down to this, doesn't it?" whispered Harry. "Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does... I am the true master of the Elder Wand."
Page 747: But Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster's chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song.
So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope you enjoyed it, because I definitely enjoyed making it. I could talk about Harry Potter ceaselessly for the rest of my life and never get bored. If you have questions, ask in the comments! Now that I've finally finished my June reading challenge, I'll be moving along to my July challenge: re-reading the Pendragon series!
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