After finishing it, all I can say is that Rowling is a mothereffing genius. Like, for real.
***Spoilers for the entire series included in this post***
I say she’s a genius because I’ve read the whole series more than once. And still. Still, when I finished this book, all I could think is that Snape is the worst.
Guys, I know how the series ends. I know what Snape’s motivations are. And I still was all, “He needs to get over this school thing with Sirius. How dare he want him to get a Dementor’s Kiss just because he thinks Sirius almost killed him that one time when they were kids? HOW DARE HE,” I thought.
And then three days later I remembered that Snape wants Sirius to die because he thinks Sirius told Voldemort how to find Lily which resulted in Lily’s death.
However, it’s a testament to Rowling’s skill that even though I was reading and paying attention to clues for the rest of the series, I was so wholly absorbed in the story that I completely forgot about that part when Snape was being a total ass.
Oh, and Snape is definitely still an ass. The way he treats Neville is unconscionable. I mean, Neville’s bogart (the thing he fears most) is his TEACHER. That’s crazy. And I don’t care how deep undercover Snape is: he could treat Neville with cold indifference rather than cruelty. Not to mention the way he tried to out Lupin. Ugh. Jerk.
(Of course, he tried to out Lupin only after he thought Lupin was helping Sirius into the castle, but still.)
I am super into how much of this book is about friendship. Ron and Hermione’s fight, Harry and Hermione’s fight, the Marauders: all of that is quality. I love that the best way to fight a boggart is with somebody else (aka you don’t have to face your fears alone) and that Lupin really only maintained his sanity when he turned into a werewolf because his friends were with him.
I found it interesting that Lupin says to Harry that what he (Harry) fears most is fear since his boggart takes the shape of a dementor. I would actually say that what Harry fears most is helplessness since he can’t fight the dementors on his own and has such a (to him) humiliating reaction to them. I think it’s pretty well documented that the dementors represent depression, right? And how does Harry learn to fight depression and the fear and helplessness that it brings? By asking for help and by focusing on the good in his life. I also love that that’s not easy for him and it’s mentally and physically draining and he can’t do it very well at first but over time he gets better at it. Sounds like my road to recovery a lot. Oh, J.K. Rowling.
Also, let us never forget that even when Hermione is wrong, she’s right. Bless.
Oh, but possibly my favorite thing about this book is the excellent bit of foreshadowing re: Neville. I should also point out that I totally knew it was foreshadowing the first time I read it.
[Harry] dreamed that he had overslept, and that Wood was yelling, “Where were you? We had to use Neville instead!”
That is probably also my favorite quote in the whole series. Because of course Neville totally saves the day in the end. NEVILLE. <3
Lupin is an awesome counterpoint to Snape in every way, and Harry’s absolute frustration with not being able to go to Hogsmeade SPEAKS TO ME. Like, I totally got that. And I got that to a 13-year-old, it would be more upsetting to not be able to go into town with your friends than to think someone was out to kill you.
I know I’m in the minority on this one, too, but I do enjoy Percy. I get him. He and Ron aren’t that different, really. There’s this great moment before the Quidditch match where he tells Harry that he and Penelope have a bet going about who will win, and then Percy pulls Harry aside and tells him that Gryffindor has to win because Percy doesn’t have the money to lose. PERCY. All he wants is to be noticed and respected, and his brothers always make fun of him because he’s kind of pompous, but he just tries SO HARD. Poor thing. I mean, I know we’re not to his betrayal of the family yet, but I’m just saying I get it is all.
Oh, and I don’t get why people don’t understand how using the Time-Turner to stop Voldemort totally wouldn’t work. It’s fine to use it for something small like taking double classes (except not really because the reader sees how that turned out for Hermione), but for something like stopping a megalomaniac, it would be more complicated. But that’s okay because Rowling addresses it!
“Hasn’t your experience with the Time-Turner taught you anything, Harry? The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
Stopping Voldemort through time travel would be the equivalent of trying to cut the head off a hydra is what I’m saying.
So, basically, rereading Harry Potter is super fun. Let’s see how long it takes before I reread the next one…