My thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, pages 271-341.
- Reading the scenes with the giant spiders still creeps me out and my new illustrated edition is not helping at all. Spiders everywhere. Also, I am very glad that Harry and Ron made a point to get Fang out of Aragog’s clutches. I never would have been able to forgive them if they’d left the dog.
- I love how Percy covers up that Ginny caught him kissing a girl by making it sound like he was doing something even more indecent. “Well, er, if you must know, Ginny, er, walked in on me the other day when I was – well, never mind- the point is, she spotted me doing something and I, um, I asked her not to mention it to anybody.” Yep, Percy that doesn’t sound shady at all.
- Okay, I get that Harry and Ron really want to save Ginny but why did they think it was a good idea to take a wandless Lockhart down into the Chamber with them? Especially right after he admits to them that he’s a fraud?
- Voldemort. So many wizards fear the name and it was created by a teenage boy who apparently really liked anagrams.
- Dumbledore, aka J.K. Rowling has some of the best quotable quotes. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
- Also, Lucius Malfoy really is an asshat and Dobby is awesome.
- So ends another year in the life of Harry Potter and what a wonderful journey it was.
My thoughts on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, pages 130-270.
- “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.” So eerie and creepy, even now that I know everything about the Chamber. (P.S.- Draco Malfoy really is the biggest asshat in this book though it does give proof that a lot of his attitude his clearly due to his father’s influence. He’s just always trying to please Papa Malfoy.)
- I love that the trio end up back at the library so often. I just wish the librarian Madame Pince wasn’t such a “shush now” stereotype.
- Who ever thought that letting kids play Quidditch was a good idea? I wouldn’t be able to. I can’t even throw/catch a ball without losing my balance and that’s with both feet on the ground. I couldn’t imagine doing it while flying.
- Why exactly did Dumbledore let Lockhart start a Dueling Club? He has to know the man is incompetent. In fact, why did he give Lockhart the job in the first place? Dumbledore is known to “know everything that goes on around the school” and surely he’d use Legilimency to see what’s going on with a potential teacher? Surely there was someone better than Lockhart who had applied…
- (It also made me wonder how Dumbledore ended up allowing Quirrell to teach in book one if he’s such a good Legilmens. I’m going to say it’s because Voldemort was using his Occulmency powers and shielded Quirrell in just the right way.)
- So many things are mentioned here and then brought back in later books. Polyjuice Potion, Fawkes and his powers and loyalties. Not just important in this book.
- The flashback where Tom Riddle shows Harry his capture of Hagrid. Ever since I saw the movie I think of the movie scene when I read this. Which is awkward because the main thing I remember thinking back when I was a young girl and first saw it was “damn, young Tom Riddle is HOT!” And now that I’m nearly thirty it’s even more awkward. Moving on…
- Did anyone else have trouble not accidentally reading Lucius Malfoy as luscious Malfoy? Just me?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the first Harry Potter book I ever read and it’s been my favorite ever since. And so I’m super happy that, just as I started rereading it, I got a chance to purchase the illustrated version and it’s gorgeous!
So here’s the recap for Chamber of Secrets, pages 1-130.
- Honestly, why was no one watching the Dursley house to make sure that Harry wouldn’t be mistreated during the summer? And did none of the neighbors notice or question it when Vernon suddenly had bars installed on windows?
- Dobby, Dobby, Dobby. Just like Hermione, he started out like a little annoyance and became so beloved.
- Fred and George Weasley are awesome. And Arthur is one of the best literary fathers ever. That is all.
- I know Harry and Ron are only twelve but honestly how stupid are they not to think of any solution other than flying a car when they get locked out of Platform 9 3/4? Yet another example of why the Sorting Hat didn’t consider putting Harry into Ravenclaw.
- Gilderoy Lockhart. Narcissist. Liar. Not very good at teaching. Still one of the better Defense Against the Dark Arts professors Harry had. (And by the way, how did he ever get decent at DADA? I know Remus Lupin was awesome but that was only one years’ worth of actual good learning. I guess this is one of those cases that’s proof that “on the job training” can be more useful than a traditional education.)
- And speaking of Lockhart, Ron is being super perceptive in regards to his shadiness. Barely one meeting in and Ron’s saying he doesn’t believe Lockhart did everything he says he did.
- I really wish Peeves would have made it into the movies.
My thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone pages 179-331.
- I freely admit that I know more about Quidditch than I do any other sport in the world. Though after a discussion with a new friend we decided that the point system makes no sense at all. Oh well. Personally I think most sports make no sense.
- As a librarian and a huge bookworm I just love that Harry gets an Invisibility Cloak and immediately decides to sneak into the library after hours. A character after my own heart.
- It seems as though the size of the Invisibility Cloak changes each time it’s used. When Ron goes with Harry the first night they struggle to walk without being seen but then later on there seems to be no problem covering Harry, Hermione, and a crated dragon.
- Once we go through the trapdoor things get so crazy and it becomes such a fast read. And I can only assume Dumbledore orchestrated it all so Harry, Ron, and Hermione could make it through. If not, the Hogwarts professors aren’t as clever with magic as they thought they were if a group of First Years got past it all.
- Gotta say, the whole House Cup thing got really unfair once Harry got to Hogwarts.
- And then the novel ends with something that really got me thinking this time around. Each student is issued with a reminder for them not to do magic during the school holidays. I have two issues with what happens here.
- The twins say they wish the professor’s would forget about the reminder slip. But even if it was forgotten wouldn’t underage magic still be illegal?
- Harry says something about how the Dursley’s don’t know he’s not allowed to do magic on holidays but shouldn’t Petunia have known that what with Lily being a witch? Or did the laws change that much in just a couple decades?
So it begins yet again.
Camp National Novel Writing Month. That glorious time where, pretty much like every other month, I give myself an arbitrary word count goal for the month and attempt to reach it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t and either way nothing really changes. But I do it anyways. I like goals and word counts. I like to keep track of things.
Now the thing about NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo is that, during those months, I at least try to go out of my way to write more than normal. It’s just that during camp the rules are a little less strict and I feel cool counting my novels and fanfiction and blog posts to reach that goal. And I’ve been doing that for the last couple years though it always seems that my word count goals get too lofty for my own good. (Which honestly makes sense. Summer is the worst time for a children’s librarian to try and do an excessive amount of anything.)
But this year may be different and that’s because a silly little TV that I deem one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures finally ended and it ended ridiculously. Like a “why in the freaking world didn’t you cancel it three years ago instead of turning it into this shit show?” kind of way. But it did give me an idea for a new novel. A new novel that, within just a few hours of my thinking of it, ended up with over four pages of outline. A novel that I am very excited about right now. This means that, between all of my other writing projects that I’m also excited about, I may just make that lofty word count.
Now let’s just hope I can eventually get the same kind of enthusiasm about editing.
My thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone pages 66-178.
- This chapter about Diagon Alley contains so many little snippets of information about Gringotts that will become important later on and I never would have guessed how important. Dragons guard some vaults. Hey, meet Griphook! Good planning Ms. Rowling!
- Ba ha ha! Draco Malfoy’s second line starts with “my father(‘s)…” The very line that will later be turned into a popular internet meme.
- Hedwig! (And now I’m crying again. Damn it.)
- Wait, why is Petunia surprised about the concept of Platform 9 3/4? Did that not exist when Lily went to Hogwarts? I mean, I know Petunia likes to say she hated her sister and her freaky magic but if you’ve read them all you know that wasn’t the case back in the day. When Petunia was little she wanted to go to Hogwarts! Wouldn’t she have paid attention to everything in regards to it?
- Memories of Cursed Child are ruining the Hogwarts Express scene where Harry excitedly buys sweets from the trolley witch.
- No wonder there are so many Harry/Draco shippers out there. 155 pages and barely a month into the school year and these boys are obsessed with each other. Harry’s worrying about looking like a fool in front of Malfoy during flying lessons and Malfoy is noticing how often Harry gets mail.
- Whoa, I’d forgotten that, up until Halloween, Hermione Granger was just not likable at all.
And that’s it for my thoughts this go around!
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone I’ve decided to do a reread of the entire series. I also figured this was a good time to write down some of my thoughts as I go along. So here goes.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone pages 1-65.
- “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” “There will be books written about Harry. Every child in the world will know his name.”
- Eek! When I first read these lines nearly two decades ago I had no idea that they would become so important to me. The first line gives me chills and makes me smile because I know I’ve just begun this epic journey. I also can’t believe how true the other line has become throughout the years.
- With some of these lines and quotes I can’t help but picture the movie and the actors/actresses speaking them. In some cases this might be annoying but when it comes to picturing Dame Maggie Smith as Professor McGonnagall it’s no problem at all.
- The first appearance of Hagrid! And he mentions Sirius Black! If we’d only known then what we know now. (Also, I’m not crying. You’re crying. Shut up. Leave me alone.)
- Wait a minute! That’s not the quote that ended up in the movie! They literally changed one word. Why?
- Once Harry ends up at the Dursley home the plot moves fast which is probably a good thing. Also, I understand that Harry is at the Dursleys for protection and the Squib Arabella Figg is nearby but couldn’t Dumbledore have done more to make sure Harry wasn’t mistreated? Like with magic or something? Instead Harry grows up with no friends and is mistreated. You know, kind of like a certain Tom Riddle was. And we all know how well that turned out.
- Whoa information drop, Hagrid. I get it, he’s right that Harry should know his own background before he meets other witches and wizards but he’s told about magic and Voldemort over the course of what feels like a ten minute conversation. I feel as though my mind would have just shut down if I’d been faced with so many earth shattering revelations in such a short time.
That’s it for the reread so far! I’ll be back in a day or two with more thoughts on my rereading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.