Tuesday, August 20, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 28-31

Last week I read Chapter 28 ("Snape's Worst Memory"),  Chapter 29 ("Careers Advice"), Chapter 30 ("Grawp"), and Chapter 31 (" O.W.L.s").

The highlights for me this week mostly involved Snape and McGonagall.

Presumably in preparation for the rest of the series, where Snape's role begins to appear really ambiguous, Rowling has finally let us in on the reason Snape dislikes Harry so strongly. Not only does this help us make sense of why Snape is so over-the-top nasty to Harry, but it also builds up a little bit of sympathy for him that makes it possible to see a bit more to him than just blatant cruelty. I still think he should have been mature enough to continue with the occlumency lessons, because Harry's safety should take priority over any feuds he may have had with the deceased Potters, but Harry probably also shouldn't have gone poking around in his memories either, so neither of them is blameless.

McGonagall continues to be so protective of Harry that she can't help but show her contempt for Dolores Umbridge and the involvement of the Ministry at Hogwarts. I especially love the moment in Harry's career consultation where she becomes to irritated with Umbridge, she announces that she will do whatever it takes to make sure Harry becomes an Auror. I also appreciated her coming to the defense of Hagrid when he is forcibly removed from the Hogwarts grounds. I think she might be my favorite of the female characters in this series.

It was also fun to see Ron finally have some success on the Quidditch pitch, even if most of it happens "off-screen" while Harry and Hermione are being instructed on how to care for Grawp. Again, Hagrid is ridiculous to place the responsibility of caring for a giant in the hands of three kids who already have way too much going on, and I really wanted Harry and Hermione to say no to him this time. For teachers who want to keep their students safe, some of these professors have interesting ways of showing it.

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