Friday, March 29, 2013

Harry Potter and the Order of the Readalong 2: "Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"

We're halfway through Order of the Phoenix, and I'm dying to tell you all these things that are in no way relevant to the plot:

Harry uses sarcasm correctly at last ("Wow, I wonder what it'd be like to have a difficult life?" GOOD ONE, HARRY); Snape assigns an essay on moonstones, making him an honorary (if fictional) member of the Wilkie Collins Fan Club; Snape says the word abysmal, causing me to fan myself dramatically; Dean Thomas misuses a mouse ("Dean Thomas, if you do that to the mouse again I shall put you in detention." WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THAT MOUSE, DEAN THOMAS?); Harry should unhand small magical creatures before talking business ("Harry had gripped the bowtruckle so hard that it had almost snapped." "Harry looked down; he was indeed squeezing his bullfrog so tightly its eyes were popping."); Umbridge succeeds where others have failed in making me sympathize with Trelawney; and I decide that, no, there is nothing WORSE than a self-satisfied smile.


So you know how we all kind of resent Cho Chang for breathing, because we know that Harry is supposed to be with Ginny? WELL, I have an idea for viewing this situation in a way that may spare poor Cho the weight of our collective and misplaced wrath. Let's think of these three as Superman characters, can we? So if Harry is Clark Kent/Superman, that would make Ginny his Lois Lane and Cho his Lana Lang. Lana is just his high school sweetheart, a perfectly lovely girl who cannot in any way compare to Lois Lane . . . because Lois is a proper pain in the ass and just what Clark needs. So what I'm saying is, we should all let Cho have her moment before Ginny sweeps in and captures Harry with her no-nonsense attitude and skillful Bat-Bogey Hex.

"If I say no, can I still kiss you on the mouth?"

TELL me this isn't the most convoluted sentence structure.
When the bell echoed distantly over the grounds Harry rolled up his bloodstained bowtruckle picture and marched off to Herbology with his hand wrapped in a handkerchief of Hermione's and Malfoy's derisive laughter still ringing in his ears. (pp. 260-261)
You can't. Because it is, in fact, the worst sentence ever constructed. It took me three reads to realize that we weren't dealing with a handkerchief literally composed of Hermione's and Malfoy's derisive laughter, and I don't appreciate that, Rowling's Editor.

Harry's angst has been manageable so far, in my opinion. And one rant I found particularly helpful was his enthusiastic effort to convince Ron and Hermione that he's really NOT all that and a bag of chips. He emphasized that his many triumphs over evil thus far were accomplished only with the help of others and a great deal of luck. And I quite appreciate this effort to share the credit, because he HAS had a boatload of help every step of the way. Which I realize is the point. So I'm glad he ALSO realizes that. So yeah.

But Harry really needs to watch his mouth with Umbridge, for serious . . . and also for Sirius. He's starting to remind me more and more of a certain plaid-wearing bad boy in a certain '80s movie.

Never you mind my lifelong attraction to John Bender.


  1. We've gone from Cary Grant to '80s-movie characters. Seems appropriate.

  2. It couldn't have been TOO bad, what Dean was doing to that mouse, because McGonagall wasn't scandalized or anything. I suppose he probably conjured it into a tutu and was making it pirouette across the desk. And mice like ballet, so I'm sure it's fine.

  3. "Snape assigns an essay on moonstones, making him an honorary (if fictional) member of the Wilkie Collins Fan Club"

    I love you.


    FOR. REALS. I don't remember if I've wondered that before this reading. Maybe I was skimming. I used to read like an idiot.

    "It took me three reads to realize that we weren't dealing with a
    handkerchief literally composed of Hermione's and Malfoy's derisive
    laughter, and I don't appreciate that, Rowling's Editor."

    I will hug you so hard when we meet, woman.

  4. I'll be sure to wear my most padded bra when we meet.


  6. *does awkward Hufflepuff victory dance*

  7. Well, that is how it's done.

  8. Seriously, what the hell can Dean be doing to that mouse when everything that they do in classes to animals seems kind of cruel (turning them into inanimate objects or making them disappear entirely). Eek.

    AND my fourteen-year-old self thanks you for that Tom Welling GIF. I'm so glad tumblr didn't exist back then because mine would have been horribly embarrassing -- all pictures of dudes from the CW and Harry Potter personality quizzes (although I do still take those sometimes... I just don't post them to social media sites...)

    Lastly, I have nothing against Cho -- I think she's pretty cool and only wish Harry wasn't such an idiot and could treat her nicer when she turns to him for comfort about Cedric.

  9. The more people hate Cho, the more I kind of like her. Except for when she's being a total girl and helping perpetuate the stereotype of 'being a total girl.' BUT those moments give Hermione a chance to be patiently explainy, which is my favorite Hermione Manifestation. Also, Cho has a rum go of things. Boyfriends dying, boyfriends picking sassy gingers over them, etc.

  10. Dude, I had to listen to that sentence on audiobook and I could almost hear Stephen Fry thinking "Wtf did I just say?".

    I'm glad we got the Cho stuff (even though I find it terribly dull) because I think i'd lose my head if Harry and Ginny just fell in love immediately and never dated anyone else. Even if you can't really consider Harry and Cho a couple since they go kaput before they even really begin. It is mind boggling that JKR just made virtually everyone a happy couple from 15 (even the older generations), life doesn't (usually) happen that way, god I'd be so depressed if I married the boys I liked at 15. yeachhh.

  11. I don't really mind Cho. I mean, Harry needs somebody to practice snogging with, right? Also, the mouse. LOL.

  12. "Snape assigns an essay on moonstones, making him an honorary (if fictional) member of the Wilkie Collins Fan Club" Yessssssssssss!

    Hermione's handkerchief was too difficult to say, huh? I mean, that's the kind of shit that WORD flags up as wrong. (NOT that I noticed it. I read these books too fast...)

  13. Oh man...I was a minion of the WB (not even the CW, because that's how long it's been since I was the target audience for that network). My tumblr would have been Seth Cohen GIFs and "Which Gilmore Girls character are you?" quizzes. So nothing to be embarrassed about really.

  14. I like that she has a Scottish accent in the movies. She can talk more, and that will be fine with me. But overall, I find her kind of meh. She doesn't seem to have many dimensions, but maybe that's just because I'm still at the midpoint of the book. PERHAPS I should read on.

  15. That Stephen Fry could even be bothered to READ that sentence out loud amazes me. I wonder how many takes he needed to sort it out.

    You're TOO right about the Cho dalliance's definitely needed and natural, compared with those other perfect-from-the-get-go couples. On a real-life note, I never did stop being attracted to the kinds of boys I liked when I was they just have beards. But I'm really glad I'm not married to any of them.

  16. Kreacher could teach Harry a thing or two about snogging...trousers at least. *throws up in mouth a little*

  17. Right...and if WORD thinks it's wrong, it's either SUPER wrong or not wrong at all, because Word doesn't know WTF it's doing.

  18. I have grown up A LOT in my preference of boys to smoosh my face against, I went through an unfortunate "I like him, even though he's an asshole who doesn't treat me particularly well" phase. :-/

  19. So I'm not actually participating in this HP readalong, I'm just lazily stalking it, but dang I love this readalong. this may be one of my favorite roundups yet.

    --Bethany []

  20. And now I'm going to spend the weekend coming up with the HP characters' 80s equivalents.

    Also, I think the point of this readalong is to discuss things that are not relevant to the plot ESPECIALLY if they reference anything Wilkie. Welcome, Snape.

  21. I love your posts tags.

    So many questions about the test subjects in these Hogwarts classes! I worry about them being horribly mistreated by horrible teenagers (what are you up to, Dean?), even when they don't mean to (cool thyself, Harry).

    Oof, dat sentence.