Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapters 1-12

by Dan H

Dan reviews the final Harry Potter book chapter by painful chapter.
I really liked the first three Harry Potter books. They were brilliant, engaging, cleverly written, masterfully paced and - as AS Byatt put it - just scary enough. They were genuinely good children's fiction, of the kind that a grown up wouldn't feel too bad about reading in public.

Then JKR got famous, and her editors stopped doing their job. And she got sucked into a nightmare whirlwind of publicity. And it went downhill from there.

I hate Potter now. Genuinely, vehemently hate it. I hate it precisely because I used to love it, and it angers me no end that the books I enjoyed, about a boy wizard and his boarding-school adventures, have been swallowed by this "phenomenon."

The Harry Potter books aren't "books" any more. They're events. That's why people queue outside a bookshop at midnight to buy a copy, as if somehow starting to read a book an hour later than somebody else makes the reading experience different.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have a burning desire to exorcise the spirit of Potter from my soul, and I intend to do it by writing a chapter-by-chapter review of the final instalment. There may be some delays while I fling the book across the room.

So, without further ado...

Chapter One: The Dark Lord Ascending

In which Voldemort borrows Lucius Malfoy's wand.

I should first take a quick moment to say that his book managed to piss me off before chapter one even started by having a quote from Aeschylus at the start. I mean for fuck's sake, what is this, a 1993 Vampire sourcebook?

Anyway, chapter one is called The Dark Lord Ascending although it should more properly be called "The Dark Lord Sitting In A Dining Room And Being A Bit Mean To The Malfoys But Basically Doing Nothing."

Fans of the series will of course be intimately familiar with scenes of Voldemort Doing Nothing. He's been at it for three books now. This chapter is particularly full of fine examples of the Dark Lord's sinister aptitude for inactivity.

The action - or rather inaction - takes place in the pleasingly alliterative grounds of Malfoy Manor. Voldemort and his wacky minions discuss the progress of their sinister plan to take over the Wizarding World. They bicker about when Harry is going to be moved from his present location, and then they do a lot of exposition about how they are going to take over the Ministry of Magic.

This is particularly heavy handed.
"It's a start," said Voldemort. "But Thicknesse is only one man. Scrimgeour must be surrounded by our people before I act. One failed attempt on the Minister's life will set me back a long way."
"Yes, my Lord - that is true - but you know, as the head of the department of magical law enforcement, Thicknesse has regular contact not only with the Minister himself, but also with the heads of all the other Ministry departments. It will, I think, be easy now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then we can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down."

Just in case you didn't catch that, they've got control of a man named Thicknesse, got that, Thicknesse, who is head of the department of magical law enforcement, and they are going to use him to get control over all the other ministers, and use that to take down Scrimgeour, and then take control of the ministry of magic.

Remember in the first book, where the Philosopher's Stone was barely seen, seldom discussed, and it wasn't until the very end of the book that you actually found out why Lord Voldemort wanted it so badly? Remember how cool and exciting that was. Damn I miss that.

While the Death Eaters bicker about whether their dastardly plan which they could have enacted at any time over the past three years is actually going to work or not, we are painfully aware that there is a figure, horribly suspended above the table in the centre of the room. Helpless and silent, we are forced to watch the black-hearted villains discuss their tedious-but-horrific plans, while this figure suffers above us.

Imagine, then, how our horror is compounded when we discover that this innocent creature who the Dark Lord torments so casually is none other than ...

... Charity Burbage!

You know. Charity Burbage. She taught Muggle Studies at Hogwarts. Remember Muggle Studies? I think Hermione takes it in her third year. Or something.

So anyway, she dies. And this makes a Meaningful Statement About The Nature Of Death. Students of literary history will of course recall that up until 2000's Goblet of Fire, there had never been a death in any children's book ever written.

The Death Eaters talk some more. They make Nazi salutes (seriously: "in silence, both raised their left arms in a kind of salute") and are racist about Muggles and Mudbloods.

Chapter Two: In Memoriam

In which Harry gets angry at a Daily Prophet article and shouts "Lies!"

For chapter two, we are back following Harry Potter. I confidently predict that we shall never leave his side again.

In chapter two, Harry cuts his finger on the mirror that Sirius gave him. Then he reads two articles about Albus Dumbledore. These give us more information than we could possibly want about the plot-dumping old coot. Tragically, it seems fated to be but the tip of a very large Dumbledore-shaped iceberg.

And these articles are long. Like really, really long. It's basically like JK Rowling took her fifteen-year old notes about the character of Dumbledore, copy-pasted them into the text, and attributed them to a guy with a silly name.

The purpose of this chapter, it seems, is to make us believe that there was more to Dumbledore than we ever expected.

He had thought he knew Dumbledore quite well, but ever since reading this obituary he had been forced to recognise that he had barely known him at all. Never once had he imagined Dumbledore's childhood or youth; it was as though he had sprung into being as Harry had known him, venerable and silver-haired and old.

Now I'm sorry, but that's just cheating.

Dumbledore spends six books being a moderately entertaining but utterly generic White Haired Old Mentor Figure. Harry's belief that Dumbledore had "sprung into being ... venerable and silver-haired and old" is of course literally true. JK Rowling invented him to be a mentor to her protagonist, and at no point does he act like anything else. Dumbledore spends six books as a plot device. Asking us to suddenly see him as a real person is pathetic. She might as well have gone the whole hog and written "Suddenly, Harry realised that JK Rowling was a really brilliant writer, and all her characters were really complex and interesting."

Harry packs his bags, and prepares to leave on his Epic Quest To Defeat Voldemort Using The Spells He Learned In His Second Year Duelling Class.

Chapter Three: The Dursleys Departing

In which the Dursleys Depart, and it's actually quite touching.

This chapter, unlike the previous two chapters, is not a waste of good wood pulp. We see Harry being taken away from the Dursleys for the last time, and the Dursleys themselves being taken into hiding so that Voldemort cannot target them.

This chapter actually contains something approaching a significant event, and even more rarely, some actual semblance of character development on behalf of the otherwise zero-dimensional Dursley family.
"I don't think you're a waste of space."

It's a touch of the old style. The Dursleys remain, to the end, a rather pathetic caricature of a middle class family (and really, is there any easier target in the world than the middle class suburbanite?) but Dudley's admission that he doesn't entirely hate Harry, and that Harry did in fact save his life, carries a genuine emotional weight.

So the Dursleys depart in the company of two utterly forgettable Order of the Phoenix members, and we never hear from them again. From here on in we live forever in the magical world of Hogwarts, where fourteen year olds fight dragons, and Dark Lords are desperate to get teaching gigs.

Chapter Four: The Seven Potters

In which Harry's mail client goes down.

After the Dursleys leave, the Order of the Phoenix show up, and explain that Potter can't escape by magic, because he's still underage, and the "Trace" which detects magic being performed around underage wizards would allow the Ministry to locate him instantly.

So instead they decide to go by broomstick / Thestral / flying motorbike, with six "decoy" Potters, created using Polyjuice potion.

It all goes a bit tits up. They run into a pack of thirty Death Eaters, who start flinging killing curses at them.

Harry responds with the spells he learned in his second year duelling class, and manages to take out about half a dozen of the pursuing Death Eaters with Stupefy and Impedimentia charms, which they are clearly incapable of blocking. Note that since Harry is "still under the Trace," his use of underaged magic should have immediately notified the Ministry to his presence, allowing them to track him trivially. After all, that's why they couldn't just Apparate out of there in the first place. Right?

So Harry and the rest of the Order fight the Death Eaters. During this battle, however, the Order of the Phoenix suffers a Terrible Loss.
"Hedwig - Hedwig -"
But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage. He could not take it in, and his terror for the others was paramount.

Leaving aside the fact that I've seen better writing on fanfiction.net (I mean really "He could not take it in and his terror for the others was paramount," what the fuck?), I think it's telling that so far the casualties of this most dark and terrible war are a teacher who we never actually saw in a previous book, and Harry's pet owl. But the whole thing is presented in this massively portentous way that says This Is A Significant Event. I'm sorry, but it's an owl. Not only is it an owl, but it's an owl whose sole function is to deliver Harry's post.

So they fight the Death Eaters, and one of them gets his cowl knocked off to reveal that he is none other than ...

... ready for this? There's a lot of these big revelations coming up...

... he is none other than Stanley Shunpike!

Stanley Shunpike ... the guy off Knight Bus? Yeah, I don't care either.

Harry tries to disarm Stan with his trademark Expelliarmus curse, at which point Stan can identify him immediately. This is apparently significant, although since the Ministry is supposed to be able to tell the moment he performs underage magic of any sort anyway, I'm not sure why he's so shocked.

Some thing go wrong, and Hagrid flying tackles a Death Eater and gets all badly hurt and stuff. The next chapter is called "Fallen Warrior." But don't worry, Hagrid doesn't die. Because people only die if it won't get in the way of the plot. I wish I'd had JK Rowling to explain death to me when I was a child.

Chapter Five: Fallen Warrior

In which JK Rowling talks to us about the nature of death.

Hagrid doesn't die. He and Harry are taken in by Mr and Mrs Tonks, Harry's tooth (which got knocked out in the previous chapter) is regrown by magic.

Harry and Hagrid travel by Portkey to the Burrow. Everybody else shows up one at a time, taking much longer than they needed to.

Lupin gives Harry a stern talking to about not trying to disarm his enemies. You see, the Death Eaters don't understand the idea of disarming your opponent. They're far too evil to consider the advantages of being armed when your opponent isn't. Or something.
"Of course not," said Lupin, "but the Death Eaters - frankly most people! - would have expected you to attack back! Expelliarmus is a useful spell, Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move, and I urge you not to let it become so!"

Essentially this little speech, like the bit about Dumbledore in chapter two, reads a lot like JK Rowling trying to pretend that her weaknesses as a writer are really deliberate character traits. The fact that Harry always uses Expelliarmus in a fight is a limitation of miss Rowling's imagination, her idea of non-evil things to do in a fight is strictly limited. Trying to claim that this is somehow saying something profound about Harry's naivete or his merciful nature is hogwash.

Most everybody makes it back in one piece. George (of Fred and George) loses an ear, which apparently can't be cured because it's "Dark Magic". And Mad-Eye-Moody dies. Now, I kinda liked Mad-Eye, but the character I actually liked was Mad-Eye as played by Barty Crouch under the influence of Polyjuice potion. Now admittedly, that character is pretty much identical to the "real" Mad-Eye, but that's rather strong testimony to how poorly developed he actually was.

This would all be fair enough, but JK then insists on making it very clear to us that there is Death happening and that Death is a very important part of the book, because it's important that children be told about Death.

So we get glorious lines like:
Harry could not quite believe it. Mad-Eye dead; it could not be ... Mad-Eye, so tough, so brave, the consummate survivor ...

Nobody seemed to know what to do. Tonks was crying silently into a hand-kerchief: she had been close to Mad-Eye, Harry knew, his favourite and his protegee at the Ministry of Magic.

And of course the execrable:
The suddenness and completeness of death was with them like a presence.

The first two are just the old show-don't tell problem, which JK never really got over. She's never really worked out how to convey something to her audience without just telling it to them directly. The last line, though, is just completely fucking amateurish. It's up there with "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil."

Leaving aside the fact that, yet again, she's attempting to convey the information that the people in the room have been struck by the suddenness and completeness of death by saying "the suddenness and completeness of death was with them" she also seems to think that "was with them like a presence" is anything other than nonsense. I mean, how can something be with you without being like a presence? It's a completely empty simile. It's functionally equivalent to saying "the suddenness and completeness of death was with them like a thing" or "the suddenness and completeness of death was with them like a thing that was with them."

I really hate this book.

Chapter Six: The Ghoul In Pyjamas

In which we get a plot dump about Horcruxes.

In chapter six we have a refreshing change of pace. And by "refreshing" I mean "frustrating" and by "change of pace" I mean "slow to a painful crawl as we watch Harry and co sit around doing nothing for several days."

So Bill and Fleur are getting married. We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about this. Mrs Weasley is entirely preoccupied with it. Presumably because she's a woman and therefore doesn't understand important things like war, death, and her son losing an ear.

In chapter six, Harry Ron and Hermione explain to each other in great detail the plans they have made for their upcoming battle against Voldemort. So we learn how Hermione mind-raped her parents in order to keep them safe (she cries about this for four seconds, Harry and Ron do not comment). We learn how Ron has dressed up the Weasleys' pet Ghoul in an unconvincing red wig, so that nobody will suspect that he's really out to kill Voldemort.

The thing that bugs me about this chapter is that it tries to provide answers to questions which I wouldn't have thought were important until JK drew attention to them. If the book had just been about Messers Potter, Weasley and Granger hunting some Dark Lord ass, I'd be totally onside. Putting this chapter in to "explain" why Voldemort doesn't just capture the Weasleys and torture the hell out of them just highlights how ludicrous it is that he doesn't. Hell, once he's taken over the Ministry of Magic, he could very easily haul in everybody Potter has ever cared about, and start hacking bits off of them until Harry gives himself up.

But he doesn't. Because Ron has cunningly disguised a Ghoul as "Ron With a horrible disease and a completely different face". So they'll leave the Weasleys alone. They're considerate, those Death Eaters.

The other thing we find out is that Hermione has a copy of Secrets of the Darkest Art, otherwise known as the Big Book of Horcruxes. She proceeds to explain in excruciating detail exactly how Horcruxes work. Because lord knows we wouldn't want anybody reading the book to draw their own conclusions about that sort of thing. That would imply that reading a work of fiction was something other than the process of learning facts about the author's world. We can't have that now can we.

Similarly, we get things like:
"I wonder when Dumbledore removed it from the library ... if he didn't do it until he was headmaster, I bet Voldemort got all the instruction he needed from here."
"Why did he have to ask Slughorn how to make a Horcrux then, if he'd already read that?" asked Ron.
"He only approached Slughorn to find out what would happen if you split your soul into seven," said Harry.

Which, let's face it, reads like the Q&A section from JKR's official website. This isn't Harry talking to Ron, this is Rowling talking to her readers. At least, to the sorts of readers who ask that sort of question.

The chapter ends with no progress having been made towards finding any of the Horcruxes.

Chapter Seven: The Will of Albus Dumbledore

In which Ginny kisses Harry Like She Has Never Kissed Him Before

Chapter seven is a mystery dump. Harry wakes up shouting "Grigorovitch!" and we are left to wonder what this mysterious name means.

It's Harry's birthday. Ron gets him a book about pulling chicks. Ginny kisses him as she has never kissed him before. The Minister for Magic shows up and tells Harry, Ron and Hermione that they have all been left stuff in Dumbledore's will. Then he makes an inept attempt to grill them for information.

In Dumbledore's Will, Ron is left the Deluminator (the thing Dumbledore uses at the start of the first book to put out the lights in Privet Drive), Hermione is left a book of fairy tales, and Harry is left the Snitch from his first ever game of Quidditch. And the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, but he's not given that. We are then told that all of these gifts are Very Very Mysterious but that Dumbledore Must Have Had A Plan and therefore it is Important To Work Out What Each Of The Gifts Means.

Once again, nothing happens. Ron tells Harry to keep his filthy vacillating hands out of his sister's long, sweet-smelling hair. Team Potter wonders why Dumbledore left them the bunch of crap he left them. And of course they wonder why the irritating old coot didn't tell them what was going on while he was still alive, or give Harry the Sword of Godric Gryffindor when he still had the chance.
"And why couldn't he have just told me?" Harry said quietly. "It was there, it was right there on the wall of his office during all our talks last year! If he wanted me to have it, why didn't he give it to me then?"

Going by previous form, the answer to this all important question about Dumbledore's already spurious motivation probably has something to do with love.

Everybody gets ready for the wedding. Because a wedding is exactly what you should be thinking about when a Nazi wizard with no nose is taking over the world.

Chapter Eight: The Wedding

In which Voldemort takes over the world while Harry is at a wedding.

One of the Weasleys marries one of the characters with a stupid accent. Harry is Polyjuiced into a red-headed stepchild so that he can hide amongst the guests. Harry then has to babysit an offensive aunt of the Weasley clan, who says horrible things about everybody.

Harry, being a man who has his priorities sorted out, decides that the best use of his time, seeing as how he's destined to destroy the Dark Lord and everything, is to get really obsessive about Dumbledore's family history. To be fair to the kid, it's not like he was going to be able to get anything done at the wedding anyway.

So we learn more tedious crap about how Dumbledore's mother was like evil or something, and he had a sister who was a squib. We also learn ...

... get ready for another big revelation ...

... this one's really big ...

... no seriously ...

we also learn that the Dumbledores used to live in Godric's Hollow! Doesn't that shed a whole new light on the other books? Can't you just see it all now, how Dumbledore's every glance, every gesture was just screaming "Harry! My family once lived in the same general location as your family!" Truly, we are in the presence of a master storyteller.

We also find out that Grigorovitch was a wandmaker, that Voldemort is still evil, and that Voldemort has killed the Minister of Magic and taken control of the Wizarding government.
The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.

Okay, I get it. It's punchy. But for the love of all that is holy, we're a hundred and thirty-three pages in, the Death Eaters have finally done something interesting, and we miss it because we're stuck following Harry, who is stuck at a wedding and angsting about his old headmaster.

Chapter Nine: A Place To Hide

In which Team Potter sits around doing nothing.

Potter and his pals flee the wedding and hide out in a greasy spoon cafe, where they are set upon by Dolohov and Thorfin Rowle. Presumably these names mean something to somebody - perhaps to people who have religiously followed JK Rowling's "Wizard of the Month" updates on her website. These two Death Eaters fail to capture the Potterites, which should come as no surprise to anybody.

They decide to modify the memories of these two men, in order to cover their escape. Because lord knows a couple of mindless zombies won't attract attention.
"But I've never done a memory charm."
"Nor have I," said Hermione, "but I know the theory."

By "but I know the theory" she of course means "I mind-raped my parents into thinking they were completely different people who wanted to move to Australia, and by the way I told you fuckers that - like - two chapters ago and you didn't offer me any support or sympathy."

They decide they need somewhere safe, and they decide to go to Grimmauld Place, which is apparently safe because the late, lamented Mad-Eye had set up "protections" there, so that Snape couldn't get in and kill them all (remember that, although JK Rowling told us categorically that Snape was a good guy, we're supposed to ignore this information and keep acting like we think he's a villain). These "protections" turn out to be a tongue-tying curse that lasts for eight seconds (and can't Snape cast spells silently anyway?) and a Spooky Dumbledore Ghost, which goes away once you tell it you aren't Snape.

This chapter is mercifully short.

Chapter Ten: Kreacher's Tale

In which we are told firmly that Sirius black was NOT GAY.

Harry pokes around Grimmauld place, finding Sirius' old collection of bikini model posters, photograph of himself at the age of one, and a letter from Lily Potter which basically reads:

"Dear Sirius, I'm really glad we aren't going get horribly killed in the next six months. Baby Harry is wonderful and I love him very much. So much that I'll make him immune to dark magic by the sheer loving power of my loving loving love. Love Lily."

And of course, the letter ends on this note:
Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore...

The rest of the letter is missing.

You fucking hack, JK Rowling. Look, I get it. You've got a bunch of Dumbledore backplot you want to give us. You've told us that. Just give us the plot dump, or don't give us the plot dump. I don't care at this stage. Nothing's going to be as cool as "he was Ron from the future" anyway.

Next to Sirius' room is the bedroom of ...

... wait for it ...

... Sirius's brother: Regulus Arcturus Black.

It's a good thing that he put his middle name on his door really. And a good thing that no two people in the entire Wizarding world have the same initials.

So they've found RAB, but no magic locket of Horcruxness. They ransack the house, then realise that Mundungus probably nicked off with it. Bastard.

So they go to Kreacher, and he gives them a bit of backstory which, unusually is genuinely touching. It turns out that crotchety old Kreacher was given to Lord Voldemort by Regulus, and Voldemort used him to "test" the defences around his locket Horcrux, making Kreacher drink the poison so that he could hide the artefact underneath it. Curiously, this led the Dark Lord to believe that his defences were completely secure, instead of the more sensible opinion that his defences could be breached by anybody with access to a tractable house-elf.

Anyway, Kreacher was all wrecked by this, and when Regulus found out he turned against Voldemort (possibly the genocide was giving him the willies as well). He got Kreacher to take him back to the cave, drank the poison himself, and gave Kreacher the Horcrux with instructions that he should destroy it.

Which is actually kind of sweet, and I'm damned certain Harry and co would never dream of sacrificing themselves for a house-elf.

So they decide to be nice to Kreacher, and this gets him onside. They then send Kreacher looking for Mundugus, so they can get the Horcrux back off him.

Chapter Eleven: The Bribe

In which Harry Potter bravely lets a house-elf do his job for him.

Harry Potter, realising that in order to defeat Voldemort he must use the Dark Lord's own methods, however despicable they might be, spends this chapter sitting on his arse doing nothing. Not that Voldemort has anything to fear: he's had decades to practice his sitting-on-his-arse-doing-nothing, and Harry's arse-sitting seems amateurish by comparison.

So anyway. Harry sends Kreacher to get Mundungus back, so he can ask for the Horcrux. While he is sitting around waiting, Remus Lupin shows up and acts like an asshole. He informs Harry that Tonks is now pregnant, and therefore he has decided to join Harry on his quest, because werewolves shouldn't be allowed near small children or something.

We also find out that Voldemort and his minions have continued their cunning plan to imitate the Nazis and have started making Muggle-Borns "register", and presumably wear little yellow stars as well, because in case you hadn't noticed the Death Eaters are a little bit like the Nazis and Voldemort's desire to wipe out the Muggle-Borns is a little bit like the Holocaust. Clever that, isn't it. Kudos to you JK Rowling. It's about time somebody took a stand against genocide.

Anyway, I digress. Remus shows up and acts like an asshole. Harry acts like an asshole back, and they get into this huge "who can be the biggest asshole" competition. This shows us that Harry has "grown up" over the course of the books. We know this because he is now acting like a forty year old novelist thinks a teenager would act, rather than actually displaying any form of personality or motivation.

Remus leaves to go back to his "wife and child", but not before giving us another one of the by now familiar "this is why this book totally makes sense and doesn't suck" speeches. When asked (very sensibly) why Voldemort doesn't just come into the open now that he's - y'know - taken over the goddamned world already, Lupin insists that:
"Voldemort is playing a very clever game. Declaring himself might have provoked open rebellion: remaining masked has crafted confusion, uncertainty and fear."

Once again, JK drops the "show, don't tell" ball, by having somebody inform us that Voldemort is being clever, when in fact all he's doing is letting Harry slip through his fingers by pulling his punches when he should be rounding people up by the truckload. I mean what, precisely, does Voldemort have to fear from open rebellion? And if he wants to create confusion uncertainty and fear, then I'm sure a couple of senseless massacres could do the same job with fewer administrative overheads.

Eventually Kreacher, who is the only person around here still doing his job right, brings Mundungus back, and he reveals that he gave the amulet to Dolores "Wasn't I Killed by Centaurs Already?" Umbridge as a bribe.

So Harry is off to the Ministry of magic.

Chapter Twelve: Magic is Might

In which we get yet another Polyjuice sequence.

One thing I'll say for JK Rowling: you've got to respect her plot devices. While nothing will ever top the Room of Requirement for sheer brass-bollocked "yeah, this thing does whatever the hell I need it to" style, Polyjuice potion pulls its weight and then some.

So Harry, Ron and Hermione polyjuice themselves into Ministry employees and walk right in through the front door. This reminds us, as if we didn't know already, that the Ministry is run by morons who, despite Polyjuice potion being common enough that an above-average twelve year old can whip up a batch, haven't thought to take any precautions against their members being waylaid and replaced by rebellious seventeen year olds. Perhaps Voldemort couldn't increase security too much on account of his not wanting to "provoke open rebellion." He's just too damned clever for his own good, that Lord Voldemort.

This chapter is almost Tolkeinesque in its irrelevance. It essentially chronicles, in painstaking detail, the way in which Team Potter knock out some Ministry officials, polyjuice into them, and walk into the ministry. On their way in they hear terrible things about Mudbloods and Blood-Traitors being put on trial. For a Dark Lord, Voldemort is clearly very concerned about due process.

The chapter takes its name from an irrelevant but kinda cool piece of window-dressing. The phrase "Magic is Might" is engraved onto the base of the new (black) statue which has replaced the old frolicking magical creatures motif.
Harry looked more closely and realised that what he had thought were decoratively carved thrones were actually mounds of carved humans: hundreds and hundreds of naked bodies, men, women and children, all with rather stupid, ugly faces, twisted and pressed together to support the weight of the handsomely robed wizards.

Now that's some serious Dark Lord style. But you'd think with his overall agenda of world conquest and crushing the Muggles and the Muggle-born beneath his pallid iron-shod heel, he'd be less concerned about hiding in the shadows.

Oh, also in this chapter we find out some more shit about Dumbledore or something. And Snape has been made headmaster of Hogwarts. And Voldemort is still looking for this wand-maker guy.

Next: The return of Dolores Umbridge, and more pointless backplot.

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Comments (go to latest)
http://pozorvlak.livejournal.com/ at 20:39 on 2009-02-08
That, my friend, was awesome. You had at least twice as many quotable lines in that piece as JKR managed throughout the entire book.
Rami at 06:53 on 2009-02-09
Welcome to Dan's Fans -- meetings are every Saturday at 11... ;-)
Arthur B at 09:16 on 2009-02-09
You realise, of course, that there's only one way this can end: sooner or later someone, somewhere, is going to write Harry Potter fanfic where Dan is a character. (He could teach all the kids physics and he could be in a big snark feud with Snape and Snape will challenge him to a duel and Harry will be all GO DAN SHOW THAT MEANY WHO'S BOSS and Hermione will be all OH WOW PHYSICS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN MAGIC I AM TOTALLY A SCIENCE NERD NOW and Ron is all MAN IF I WERE GROWN UP I WOULD TOTALLY SMOOCH DAN RIGHT NOW and Dumbledore is all MAN IF EVERYONE I KISSED DIDN'T TURN INTO HITLER I WOULD TOTALLY SMOOCH DAN RIGHT NOW and Dan beats Snape in duel with science and Snape is all I WAS WRONG TO SAY SCIENCE IS LAME YOU SHOULD STAY HERE AT HOGWARTS AND TEACH US ALL THE WAY OF THE MUGGLES and Dan is all like NO WAY THE KIDS OF ALL NATIONS NEED ME and he turns around and punches Voldemort in the jaw so hard his head comes off and then he takes off and flies away to the Moooooooooooooon....)
Wardog at 10:54 on 2009-02-09
But Dan doesn't have long dark hair, skin like freshly poured cream and violet eyes....
Arthur B at 11:03 on 2009-02-09
Aaaand there's my cue to post a link to the Sparklypoo comic.
Brilliant, absolutely hilarious, I want to show the rest of the Harry Potter fanbase your review. I wonder if my inertia could ever be on a par with Voldemort's. "My inertia is with me like something that is with me."
http://lunabell14.myopenid.com/ at 22:50 on 2010-07-27
I wonder if cutting out all of that unnecessary Dumbledore backstory would've helped the pacing, or at least cut down some of the reading. Seriously, even when it was first introduced, I couldn't help but think "Why are you telling us about this? How will this help with Harry's quest, at all?" And every time it was brought up, it just continued to irritate me. I honestly don't understand why her editors didn't insist she cut it out.
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