Tuesday, November 26, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Deathly Hallows, Chapters 13-16

Last week, I read Chapter 13 ("The Muggle-Born Registration Committee"), Chapter 14 ("The Thief"), Chapter 15 ("The Goblin’s Revenge"), and Chapter 16 ("Godric’s Hollow"). Things really start getting exciting in these chapters, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione venture out into the Ministry of Magic in disguise and then find they can't return to Grimmauld Place and begin camping out instead.

What struck me the most is how each of these three characters' upbringings and personalities contribute to their ability to cope with conditions on the run. It's interesting to see the neglect Harry suffered from the Dursleys become a strength when there isn't much to eat. It's also perfectly in keeping with Hermione's nature as a planner that she would be prepared with so many supplies in her bottomless bag, including things Harry and Ron have forgotten. It also seems completely logical that Ron, arguably the least mature of the three friends, has the hardest time dealing with the sudden change in lifestyle. This inability to adapt, coupled with the way the locket horcrux affects him when it's his turn to wear it, leads to one of the best plot twists of the story: Ron abandoning Harry. This was completely shocking and upsetting to me the first time I read it, but this time, I was struck by how perfect this turn of events is for creating conflict. (I also know how the situation resolves, and it's my favorite part of the book, so that probably contributes to my feeling that this is a great twist.)

I'm also pleased with how I divided this book on my reading schedule. I left off just after Ron leaves, and just before Harry and Hermione follow Bathilda Bagshot home. Knowing what's to come with Bathilda made it a very anxiety-inducing place to take a break, but the anticipation will surely make the reading of the next section that much more enjoyable.

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