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So here we are some 20 or so hours since I finished Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows and I’m still struggling to come up with exactly how I feel about it or exactly what I want to say.  There’s so much and yet at the same time I can’t narrow it down to anything remotely resembling decent commentary or analysis.  Certain things of course went the way I expected them to so I’m not exactly shocked by the happenings, but at the same time I’m not sure how I feel about all of it.  I guess I’ll just hit what’s flowing through my head as best as I can and see if it ends up making any semblance of sense.

The big thing, for me of course, was the whole Snape issue.  I know that many of you liked him and I figured that part of the reason why had to have been that Dumbledore was right about him all along, so no shocker when he turned out to have been following orders the whole time, albeit rather grudgingly.  I do not deny that when you know all of this about him, he becomes a far more interesting character than just a bullying asshole.  I do think that his love for Lily and his hatred for James warred within him when it came to Harry and while Lily love won out for the really big stuff, like keeping him alive, James hate won out in the everyday, like treating him like shit on his shoe.  Harry clearly forgave him, what with giving his poor second child the name Albus Severus, so I guess that’s all that matters.  I still don’t think his treatment of him was justified though.  My friend Dee tried to tell me that he was trying to make Harry a better man but I just don’t think bullying someone is the way to go about it.  I think the James hate was flowing whenever Harry was around and that’s why he acted like such a jerk to him.  But, bygones I suppose.  In the end he died, although I had expected him to die pushing Harry out of the way of one of Voldemort’s killing spells instead of without Harry around (at least as far as either of them knew).  But he gave Harry the knowledge he needed to know what he had to do in the end, so that’s really all that matters.

The same cannot be said for the Malfoy’s though.  Tripp, I don’t know where you think they paid for anything…that short amount of time they were terrorized by the leader they chose?  Nope, not enough in my book, for little Draco was still busy trying to kill Harry in the end wasn’t he?  Or at least to make it possible for Voldemort to do so.  Meanwhile Harry and Ron save that bastard twice in the end.  Not fair.  Not cool.  Not happy about it.  The only one of them getting a pass in my book is Narcissa for pretending that Harry was dead when she checked him out for Voldemort.  That was a worthy move, the rest of them should have died in battle.

Speaking of deaths, boy were there a lot of them.  As you may have surmised from a previous blog, I was not remotely happy about Fred Weasley dying.  There was Percy, finally on the right side, he should have been the one to die in sacrifice for being a douche, but no, awesome Fred dies.  At least he died as he lived, laughing.  It still sucked.  Nor was I happy that she killed both Tonks and Lupin.  What, one of them couldn’t make it?    It’s not like Teddy Lupin wouldn’t have grown up with all the Weasley offspring anyway if one parent had lived.  Sucky.  I was of course sad about Hedwig, poor owl and Moody, though I fully expected him to go at some point.  I had read somewhere that Hagrid died so I was pleasantly surprised when he made it…at the time I had never read any of the books so perhaps I saw Hedwig and made it Hagrid in my mind.  And of course I’m happy about the rest of them making it.

I think the thing I had the most trouble dealing with was the doubting of Dumbledore that Harry had going on through most of the book.  Perhaps this was because they finally formed the bond I was hoping for in the previous book (only to have him killed, sigh) and I was unhappy that Harry was already questioning it.  I’m not saying it didn’t make sense within the story, it did, and it made Harry seeing Snape’s memories and realizing that Dumbledore expected him to die all along have more meaning and pain attached to it.  Of course, there was more to it than that, thankfully, but I can see what it seemed necessary to her to go that route.  It just kinda hurt and disturbed me through the first 700 pages or thereabouts, you know?

I did like, though, that we found out Dumbledore was a real man who made real mistakes in his youth and his old age.  The fact that he caused his burned arm and his own impending death due to wanting so badly to see the ghosts of his past made him more real than anything else he did.  He did make a giant mistake in not telling Harry all about the hallows and giving him more help, but I think Hermoine said something about it being the journey Harry had to take, so there you go.

Plus it set up the tension that grew between the three friends as they bumbled around with no set plan.  I did feel this part of the book went on for a bit too long for my taste, but I felt that in just about every book.  Rowling can and did take a long time to get to certain points, not that I blame her and it all does seem to work and it’s enjoyable, so I’m not complaining really.  Just observing!  I hated it when Ron left but I understood his frustration.  I was glad to hear he regretted it immediately and tried to return but was unable.  Ron really became a man in this book…I stopped seeing him as Harry’s best friend and started seeing him as Ron Weasley.

Naturally I thought it was cute when the Ron/Hermoine very long slow burn relationship finally boiled over at the most inappropriate of times, although as Ron pointed out to Harry, what better time than as death is approaching?  I’m glad that they all got their happy endings, although I was a bit put out not to know how they were living their lives.  Dee told me that Harry and Ron both became aurors and Hermoine was big in the ministry, so that’s cool, would just have liked to have known it.

I also would have liked to have known how things went for George after his twin died.  Again, the internet yielded him marrying Angelica and having a son that he named Fred, so that was something.  But I was annoyed it wasn’t there in the time jump to go with everyone else.  I mean if they can put stupid Malfoy there, they could have mentioned George.  That’s all I’m saying.

Finally, the hallows themselves…I don’t know how I feel about that, honestly.  That there were the 3 things that would make someone master of death and whatnot…since Voldemort didn’t know about it, it kind of loses some of the power of the telling, doesn’t it?  I mean, if we had to worry about him knowing and trying to unite the cloak, stone and wand, that adds a whole level of worry on top of everything else.  I get that only Harry knowing and yet making the choice not to focus on that and instead to focus on the Horcruxes showed just how little interest he showed in matters like power but we already knew that.  And Dumbledore did too, which is why he should have told him.  Neither here nor there, I suppose.  It worked out well enough in the end and I enjoyed that Harry used the wand to put his back together and then wanted the Elder Wand reburied with Dumbledore.

Harry’s death/nondeath was well done I thought.  I loved his determination to go out and face Voldemort and make the ultimate sacrifice to try to save his friends and family and I was glad that he got that dream/vision with Dumbledore that explained everything.  I assumed he’d speak to the painting but this worked and of course might have surprised a person or two who thought he might really be dead. Harry’s pretending death and coming forth at the end to take on Voldemort inside the school with everyone watching I felt was poetic.  For once he was facing the man in front of the few who believed him all along and the many who didn’t and he got to show them just what he was made of all that time.  I thought the chatting was quite a bit but I don’t mind a little taunting before death delivery so it worked alright for me.

I loved that Neville finally got a chance to shine and do something right when they all thought Harry was dead.  He was going to keep fighting and he took out that snake as Harry had asked him to.  And it’s cute that he became a professor at the school teaching his favorite subject.  Perfect for him.  And I loved that Luna, Ginny and the DA all kept on fighting the fight at the school while Harry and Ron and Hermoine were off searching for Horcruxes.   Like Harry, I really missed Hogwarts for the majority of the book, it just didn’t feel right for them not to be there.  I’m glad that’s where it ended though.

So, I think I’ve rambled enough for now.  I can say that this book really felt completely different from the rest of them.  I don’t know if that’s because they were away from school or the lack of teachers and aurors and family around Harry, Hermoine or Ron or what.  I didn’t dislike it, it just felt weird.  I think the book had to be darker and more tense than the others though, knowing where it was leading and all.  I’m interested to see what you all have to say.  I took all your comments to heart as I read through the book and often thought of what you had said on other blogs or through the phone and IM.  It helped me open my mind up a bit more to Snape, although I still don’t call myself a fan!  haha   I guess that’s all I have for now, maybe your comments will jar a little more deep thinking from me than I expressed here!  Thanks for the recommendation, it was an enjoyable ride that I no doubt will take again in a more leisurely fashion somewhere down the line.  My need to read a book in one sitting does cause me to miss stuff, I know, but I’m insatiable when I like something and I have to know how it’s going to end.  That’s the truly nice thing about coming into a series after it’s been written, at least I don’t have to wait a year or two for the next book.  Those of you that did, you’re strong!  I’m off to feed yet another obsession, back soon with that!

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One of my chief complaints about the previous Harry Potter books was that no matter what the kid did, he couldn’t catch a break at that school.  He saved the school several times, won the Triwizard cup, was a Quiddich star…none of it mattered to his fellow students.  Oh, they celebrated him temporarily but every summer he would go home and suffer through life with the dreadful Dursley’s and be excited to return to school only to find that the people at school were not so thrilled to see him.  He was either egotistical or plain old crazy, thanks to stories run in the Daily Prophet newspaper.  This irritated me to no end and I complained about it to Tripp just two days ago.

So imagine my joy when this year started out with Harry returning to school and being known as “The Chosen One.”  And not in a sarcastic, obnoxious way, but in an appreciative one.  He had been proven correct about Voldemort, suddenly everyone remembered all the times he’d saved the school and he was afforded some actual appreciation and admiration.  Girls were suddenly quite attracted to him, he made Quiddich captaincy, he had the grades to get into the auror program, all was well.

And it wasn’t just the school thing that was pleasing me.  Harry was finally recognizing interest in Ginny!  He was getting jealous of her time spent with Dean and longing to be with her and then finally they won the game without him and Ginny and he were kissing and together.  Ron did not hate this development, as Harry feared he would and that was nice as well.

Ron and Hermoine, meanwhile, continued their endless dance around one another, playing off their jealousies.  Ron finally had girls interested in him as well and while he took it overboard, I was glad that he got some attention from Lavender Brown.  I can’t say I liked her, but at least he wasn’t the only one who had never “snogged” before. hehe That word cracked me up for some reason.  We kinda left with them knowing they were into one another but again not doing anything about it, so I’m sure book 7 will have much of that, unless, you know, Rowling decides that killing one of them off will be a lot of fun.  Yes, I am still bitter.

The thing I enjoyed transpiring most though was something I mentioned in my last blog.  I was glad to see Dumbledore reach out to Harry and finally start taking him further into his confidence and bringing him further along in his development so he could take on Voldemort.  They had that bond really strengthen, the one I imagined to be more like King Arthur/Merlin but was disappointed in up until this book.  I enjoyed Dumbledore taking Harry into Voldemort’s past and teaching him the things that will be used to vanquish him.  I enjoyed his clear and obvious appreciation for who Harry was and getting to see them bond further.

I would like it to be known that I am not that much of a moron.  I have always known that Dumbledore would die.  He’d have to, to clear the way for Harry to take on Voldemort alone.  I kinda pictured it as happening midway through book 7 though, and happening a lot like Star Wars when OB Wan lets Darth Vader kill him in front of Luke.  I was prepared for something along those lines and could have lived quite comfortably with that occuring in the final book.  I was in no way prepared for it to happen in this book, particularly after Harry managed to get him back from going after the Horcrux.  I was especially not ready for how it happened.

I refrained from saying much of anything about both Snape and Malfoy in my first blog because I didn’t have much to say other than that I loathed them both.  Well, I also would say that I wanted Malfoy to die, preferably at Harry’s hand, but that was about it.  And since I have been assured that Malfoy does not die, I’m not too happy.  As for Snape, I find him foul and heartless.  I don’t care what side he is truly on, he didn’t have to treat Harry the way he did for 6 years.  I found it disgusting and despite what I suspect might happen in the final book, I don’t know if he’ll win my approval.  I assure you that Malfoy will not though.

In fact, I might have been able to respect Malfoy a little if he didn’t show, again, what a coward he was.  I’m not saying I would have approved of him killing Dumbledore but at least he would actually be doing something and not hiding behind his family name and his creepy friends.  I am aware that his family has been threatened, but you know what?  They made their damn choices years ago.  They knew what they were getting into so I don’t remotely feel sorry for them.  Maybe I’m a cold hearted bitch, but I don’t give a damn about any of the Malfoys.  I really and truly want them all to die and knowing that I won’t get that wish angers me greatly.  Not enough to stop reading, mind you, but it’s going to stick in my craw.

Having Harry there, watching that whole confrontation between Malfoy and Dumbledore, immobilized, was agonizing and heartbreaking and wonderfully done.  Having him watch as Snape came out and killed Dumbledore was crushing and again, a powerful and great writing choice.   I know I’m partially spoiled on these books but I wasn’t spoiled on this scene at all.  I realized that Snape was following some silent instructions from Dumbledore when he killed him.  I know he must have been very conflicted about it, not that he let it show.  I’m not willing to forgive his past behaviors, but I get why it had to happen that way.  And with Harry watching, poor kid.  He needed that push and drive to get him through and I’m very interested to see how/when he figures out that Snape was doing what Dumbledore wanted and how he reacts.  I’m sure he’ll flash back to that scene and remember that Snape could have killed him as he escaped and in fact he stopped Harry from being killed.  Will he eventually be grateful?  It’s interesting to wonder about and think about and it would be quite a turnaround from their previous relationship for sure.  I will be able to forgive Snape for killing Dumbledore if it’s as I imagine, but I still will dislike him for his treatment of Harry prior.  Some things you don’t forgive or forget.  I also realized early on that Snape was the “Prince” in the potions book, it just made too much sense for it not to be.

So I went from feeling happy and smug to being shocked and traumatized over the course of the book.  It was definitely a great read and I’m itching to get my hands on the last book so I can know.  I don’t think that Harry was necessarily ready to strike out on his own against Voldemort yet so I’m glad Ron and Hermoine are going to be along for the ride.  I’m sad that he broke it off with Ginny but I’m glad she knows why and I have hopes that she’ll get to live (why do I have these hopes when everybody Harry loves gets killed but Ron and Hermoine?).  I will say if Ginny does die you might not want to read my next blog!  Fair warning!

So I’m off to bury myself in the final book and I’ll be back sometime tomorrow to discuss it.  I have been told by several of you just how different this final book is, so I’m anxious to check that out.   Oh, and all the Weasley’s better make it (minus Percy).  Harry has to have someone live dammit.  That’s all, back for more later!

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I’ve spent the last week immersed in the world of Harry Potter and 5 books in I’m finally ready to talk a little about it.  I am happy, again, to reveal that I’m not Twilight obsessed over these books but I’m quite into them and reading at a fast clip, clearly.  The books are quite well written and the imagination that went into them is almost astounding.  And intimidating.  I’ve always longed to write but never had the story, so when someone comes up with one that’s creative and captivating I’m filled with envy.  Kudos, of course, to JK Rowling for creating a wonderful world.

The first three books were good but I have to admit that once book four hit, that’s when I got more into it.  Once Voldemort assumes a real form and becomes his biggest threat, well, that’s when I get captured.  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the first three, I just find the elevated level of danger to be more intriguing.  The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,  is my favorite so far, I just love the Triwizard competition and since I saw the movie last weekend and was able to picture my Rob as Cedric, well I was probably even more involved.  Yes, the fangirl obsession continues!

The fifth book, Harry Potter &  the Order of the Phoenix, however, is the one that has made me the most emotional.  Now that primary emotion is anger, but I was emotional all the same.  I think, before I discuss the why of that, I should admit that I came in with a preconceived notion about Harry and Dumbledore’s relationship.  Having only seen a couple of the movies, I assumed them to be more along the lines of Merlin/King Arthur.  I thought Dumbledore would be spending all sorts of time with him and guiding him through school, but that really hasn’t happened.  They’ve spent far less time together than I imagined and in this last book their lack of communication drove me batty.  I was pissed at Harry for not going to Dumbledore with more details on his visions.  He’s a kid and I could understand the mistake but it still annoyed me.  I was even angrier at Dumbledore for avoiding Harry, not filling him on anything and sticking him with Snape for his training without explanation of that move either.  Yeah, we got all the explanation toward the end of the book but that lack of communication can be blamed for the death of Sirius and it’s on both of them as far as I’m concerned.  I was constantly mentally yelling at both characters throughout the book and quite annoyed most of the time.

Thankfully, the Weasley twins were there to diminish my anger now and then, thanks to their attacks on that evil Umbridge bitch.  I was quite thrilled when they pulled their fireworks out and made their swamp and told the woman off and flew out of school.  I adore George and Fred…well all of the Weasley’s with the exception of Percy.  Of course, Umbrage did not get enough of a comeuppance for my taste though.  I would have liked her to have disappeared into the forest forever, leaving what happened to her to my much vengeful and twisted imagination.  But no, Dumbledore got her out and she only got chased from school.  Humiliation is nice, pain and blood and possible death are much better.  Or do only the good die?

Not that I thought Sirius was all that good.  I was not overly fond of him honestly and only wanted him around for Harry’s sake.  It seemed nice for the boy to have someone else who loved him.  I know he’s a surrogate Weasley and that’s truly awesome but he had a special love for Sirius so I was sorry to see that taken away from him.  I’m also sorry that he got a glimpse of his dad’s past behavior in Snape’s office and that he, and we, found out that James Potter was a dick.  I suppose he changed with time but it does make Snape’s hatred make a little more sense.

Not that said hatred is remotely justified for a child.  Not at all.  I cannot believe the stuff Snape does to Harry and again I am mad at Dumbledore for not stepping in.  He seems to know about everything, so he should surely know what Snape does to Harry in class and how he treats him.  There is no justification for it, and I try my damndest to write it off as part of a play to make Malfoy and co think that he’s on their side, but it gets harder with each little malicious act.  I feel for Snape’s sucky past but I don’t think he has the right to torment children.  I’m hoping that the next two books feature a little more of a redemption for him, as I think he is an interesting character, but I hold out little hope.

As for the rest of the professors, I do enjoy the majority of them, particularly McGonagall and former professors Lupin and Moody (well the real one, not the imposter).  I am enjoying the rotating Defense of the Dark Arts teacher thing, especially now that the students took it into their own hands and decided to have Harry teach them the spells he’s used on Voldemort.  It was nice to see Harry get some recognition for what he’s done from some of his classmates.

For that is the other thing that’s driven me batty.  I said to Tripp, does he ever get to go to school and start of the school year in a good place?  I mean, every summer he goes home and deals with the terrible Dursley’s and then he comes back to school excited but there are students judging him and thinking he’s nuts and a liar and whatever else.  That, despite all the times he’s faced Voldemort and walked away and helped save the school and such.  It irritates me.  Just once I’d like him to return to school and have a little fun before the shit hits the fan.  Not bloody likely now that he knows the prophecy either.

I realize, of course, that our hero needs to be tested but does everything have to be a test?  His whole life sucked up to Hogwarts, then he gets to find a place where he COULD fit in but he doesn’t.  He becomes a great Quiddich player, which should win him some love.  That’s temporary.  He wins the Triwizard thing but Voldemort’s return, Cedric’s death and the lack of belief in what he says taints that.  So that aspect annoys me a little.  I understand it, I really do, but those little moments of enjoyment Harry gets are precious to me and probably most other readers and I wish there was more time to savor them.

As you might have noticed, I’m quite fond of Harry.  I just want to hug him and see the weight taken off his shoulders for a day or two.  I guess maybe that’ll happen in another thousand or so pages, at the end of book 7.  It better!  I can deal with nonhappy endings but if ever someone deserved one, it’s Harry.

I guess I should talk a little about the relationship angles, huh?  I have to say, from the first time we met her, I have wanted Ginny to get with Harry.  I just found her crush on him adorable and it’s so sweet to think of a romance playing out years later.  I like that she got over that crush this past year and was able to talk to Harry and he found out from her that was because she had a boyfriend.  It was just adorable.  I also enjoy that Ron really seems to want them together.  Ron, clearly, is meant for Hermoine and vice versa.  It seems that she’s known for ages now but he’s clueless as to her feelings for him.  He has only gotten to the “jealous” stage with her, seeing her with Krum and talking about him is when he shows it more than anything.  I expect both or one of the relationships to advance in book six and I’m looking forward to seeing how they go.

I love the majority of Harry’s circle of friends, with the possible exception of Neville.  I feel for him, especially knowing what his parents have gone through, but he’s just so clumsy.  And not in an endearing way, in an exasperating way to me.  I find it fascinating that it could have been him or Harry that was Voldemort’s potential foe…talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.  If Voldy (hee) had gone after Neville instead, he wouldn’t have found it much of a challenge.  Unless the mark makes all the difference?  I dunno.  I feel sorry for him but I still find him annoying.

Initially I found Hermoine to be rather annoying but she had grown on me by the end of the first book, rather like she did Harry and Ron for that matter.  Her Little Miss Know It All schtick can get old from time to time but it’s obviously useful and I’d rather have her be the know it all than Harry himself.  It’s one thing to be the chosen one, we don’t need to have him be the perfect student on top of it all.  I like how Hermoine is the one to try to reign Harry in much of the time balanced out by Ron and Harry taking the other viewpoint toward adventure and potential trouble.  I think the 3 make a great group.

Oh I guess I could go on for hours more, seeing as I’ve barely skimmed on main characters and ignored some altogether, but then I’d have to put off going to the store to buy the last book and coming home and starting the sixth.  Can’t have that, can we?  I just really wanted to come in and share some of my thoughts and thank Tripp, Dee & Rameau and everyone else who told me to get reading these books.  They are a definite treat, a nice escape from real life and I’m having a fine time reading them all.  Someday I will reread slowly and take more than just the surface looks at the books but I’m too into the story to take my time and savor for now.  But that just makes the rereads all that much more enjoyable, right?  I’ll see new stuff every time and glean more from each book.  So, thanks guys, I’ll come back and discuss the final two and let you know my reactions soon!

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