Ep 147

Episode 147: HBP 29 – Human Moments

The loss is great, but the love that blossoms from it is even greater. Join hosts Alison, Kat and Michael, along with guest host Siena (ChocolateFrogRavenclaw on the main site) as they take comfort in “The Phoenix Lament,” Chapter 29 of Half-Blood Prince.

On Episode 147 we discuss…

→ Episode 146 Recap: Friendly Snape; Childish obsessions vs Important tasks; Love and loathing in Severus; Those green eyes…
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Draco “Antman” Malfoy
→ Did Lupin ever really trust Snape?
→ Redefining Fleur
→ Minerva Business Institute
→ Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! store

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

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  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Who needs a phoenix when you have Alohomora! ?

  • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

    I wanted to clarify what I meant re: control, given that the comment I posted from last week went up on the podcast. To me, there are two types of control — Snape’s control of others, and Snape’s control of himself. Control of others is one thing — I don’t think Snape struggles with that. He’s good at it, and he obviously enjoys it at some level.

    What I believe wearies Snape is needing to control himself and his own emotions, and that he can’t just BE, he has to always be strategizing and planning and filling roles for other people. And the frustration stems from the fact that Harry should, in his mind, be doing the same thing! That Harry should be thinking a few steps ahead and planning and reacting to situations accordingly, and Harry doesn’t! He’s so honest and straightforward and just reacts to things however he feels about them, and for someone who feels that they will never have that freedom, it’s infuriating! (I speak from experience on this particular point.)

  • Now Michael, don’t forget that Zacharias Smith was the only Hufflepuff that was of age that didn’t stay. (I know you know that I’m just teasing.) Honestly tho I’m not sure why he was put into Hufflepuff to begin with. I just don’t see it. Maybe he chose to be a Hufflepuff?

    • elizabeth melas

      He is in Hufflepuff because of Hepzibah.

      • There’s no confirmation he’s related to her but I can see how the realationship would do it. At the same time not all family members are sorted into the same house. Sirius is a prime example.

        • Hufflepug

          I think the only way he got in was because he chose it. Even if he isn’t related to Hepzibah, his family may have history in Hufflepuff and he probably wanted to uphold that. Also we learned from JKR recently that Wormtail was sorted into Gryffindor because he could have become a good Gryffindor but he ended up taking a different path. Maybe the same thing happened to Zacharias. He could have become a hardworking and loyal person, but instead he turned into a cocky and cowardly one somewhere down the line.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    What a great episode! Especially because it takes us through so many different emotions. Right at the beginning I was – and still am – impressed by Siena’s reading speed and considered picking up Philosopher’s Stone to check out how long it would take me. Laughing with you about hilarious ideas like McGonagall threatening Dumbledore’s portrait with paint… someone draw a fan art! Shouting my disagreement at the idea that Fawkes could die — waiting for Kat’s Cat stamp of Approval after the audioboom — Cheering for book Ginny being awesome and strong — Imagining Remus&Tonks’s wedding in the DH movie, looking up if there’s a fan video about it and ending up at “Lullaby” by the Remus Lupins… unsure if I want to sing along or rather cry to it.

  • daveybjones999 .

    This was a great episode and on the speed-reading the entire series I’ve never timed them all consecutively but I do have time periods for at some of the them. I read Philosopher’s Stone in 3 hours, Chamber of Secrets in 3 hours, Prisoner of Azkaban in 5 hours, and Half Blood Prince in 6 and a half hours. The day Deathly Hallows came out I got home at around 12 and finished after taking an hour break for lunch finished the book at 1:30 in the morning so that’s 12 and a half hours for that one. I’ve never tried to read Goblet or Order in one sitting before but that’s for five of the books 30 hours.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    I really liked the discussion of fawkes’ fate in this episode…i had always wondered what happened to him when he left Hogwarts and i liked hearing the different theories.

    I’d also just like to say that one of my fave moments in the whole book series is the scene in this chapter between mrs weasley and fleur. It makes my heart smile 😀

    Great episode, and thanks for the shout out!

    • Hufflepug

      I love that moment too! Fleur’s whole arc is great because she’s one of those characters who gets judged based on her looks and then turns around and proves everyone wrong :)

  • MartinMiggs

    Yes it’s true Voldemort doesn’t care about his Death Eaters, they’re not his friends, and he’s certainly not going to be planning any surprise parties for them anytime soon but if they prove useful to him it would be to his advantage to thank them in some way. “Lord Voldemort rewards his helpers.” He said this just before he gave Pettigrew the silver hand. When he learns about Little Crouch and his story he frees Little Crouch from his father. Same deal with Belatrix and the rest of the escaped prisoners. Voldemort doesnt’ help/reward these people because he feels sorry for them but because they can be useful for him. Perhaps he should consider an Employee of the Month Award stariting with Draco for helping kill Dumbledore.

  • ISeeThestrals

    For me, I find it difficult to get behind the Lupin Tonks romance. Their personalities appear really opposing to me. And while I’ve forgotten how old Tonks actually is, I have followed Lupin’s line when he tells her he’s too old for her. She’s always appeared as really young in my mind. I suppose I simply see Tonks as containing the kind of energy and enthusiasm that would not attract Lupin who’s more reserved.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      they have a 13 year age difference. That seems a lot compared to the other couples who are born in the same year or just one or two years apart. Bill and Fleur have a seven year age difference, and it works out fine. Bellatrix is 25 years younger than Tom Riddle jr., and her attraction to him is never judged based on their age, just on her being married and him being unable to love.

      Why should Tonks’s energy not attract Remus? After hanging out with James and Sirius for years at school, he’s used to being the quieter person in a relationship. Tonks is an auror, she can be serious and es experienced beyond her age. As a metamorphmagus she can take the appearance of a person of any age, if that should be a factor in their relationship.

      Do we know single ladies in Remus’s age group?

      Tonks and Remus bond through their missions for the Order of the Phoenix and through other occasions that Harry doesn’t get to see, so we don’t know of them. But Jo gave us Remus’ backstory so we can learn about it and I don’t know another character who deserves more to be happy and surrounded by positive energy than Remus.

      • ISeeThestrals

        Interesting points, especially about Remus hanging with people like Sirius and James. And it was good of Jo to give that backstory, but I still have trouble seeing this couple. I just find it a bizarre match.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Many readers liked Tonks instantly, so it’s easy for me to believe that Remus liked her, too. They may not be as made for each other as for example Arthur and Molly, and possibly they would have had their rough times in the long run. But for those few years they know each other and spend time together I totally get the feeling that their personalities complement one another.

          • ISeeThestrals

            I think that might be one thing, considering Tonk’s character. I wasn’t one of the readers who gravitated toward her. I accepted her character, but didn’t give her a whole lot of attention. But when two characters get together, that’s when you really do pay attention to both characters. Still, I’m not sold on this relationship.
            Funny thing is, I feel I can accept the movie coupling of Lupin and Tonks much more than the book, which might be due to having those particular actors portraying those two. I’m not saying the movies portray relationships strongly, and they certainly didn’t have many scenes to sell it to the audience, but I think the actors look good and interesting together. Just can’t see it in the book however, lol.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Let’s just pile up our ideas, no need to convince anyone of anything. The more Lupin talk, the better.

            During my first few reads of the series I had no idea that Lupin could be read as queer. By now I think that it is an interesting perspective that offers a lot of opportunities for readers and therefore should be valued and examined.

            For me the movie portrayal of Remus & Tonks is too subtle to sell anything, and for people who don’t know the books they can miss it if they don’t know what to look for. So I’m down with the idea of including their wedding in the DH movie, that would be awesome.

            But not instead Fleur & Bill’s wedding. Dragon tending Charlie Weasley is left out of the movies entirely and Percy’s estrangement from his family and his return are nearly wordless, so I’m glad that we at least get a few more seconds screentime for Bill.
            Someone make a fanfilm!!!

          • ISeeThestrals

            When it comes to Lupin, or perhaps any werewolf character, it’s easy to see them as the lone wolf, so to speak, and that they must live a certain lifestyle outside the norm. But the positive message that comes out of their relationship is that Lupin doesn’t have to keep holding back on the things he wants because he has lycanthropy. It’s also been a good excuse for him not to pursue a long lasting commitment. On the whole it’s a good excuse for him not to try anything, but luckily he was encouraged to truly enter the wizarding world.
            I think Rowling had Lupin read more as a character with a disease rather than gay, but Lupin still comes across as the person who will face many difficulties and prejudices. I don’t know if Fleur and Bill’s situation sparked Lupin to listen to Tonks or not, but it seems pretty clear Fleur and Bill are sending that message to readers that it doesn’t matter what someone looks like. And in Lupin’s case, it doesn’t matter what they are.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            yes, he is in that picture, but he does not appear in person and he has no lines at all, even though he could have had some in GoF, or appear in DH in the Battle of Hogwarts, because he’s there in both books.

            Good thought on the lasting commitment, Remus is so used to think in moon cycles that anything that lasts longer seems unreachable.

            in the scene in the hospital wing I believe that it’s not just Bill & Fleur’s commitment, but the fact that everyone is telling him to stop putting himself down and start accepting that he is loved. He ist loved as the person he is, furry little problem and annoyingly ever present martyr complex included. The adults talk about it in front of the teens, so his hesitation is finally public, and so Remus forced to react, because they won’t let him get away with excuses anymore.
            McGonagall with her own romantic backstory is pleased to see that another couple gets over their obstacles. Arthur backs up Molly because he knows how important family love is and how much Remus and Tonks both would gain from being together. And I believe Ginny and Hermione are watching closely and learning that fighting for their loved ones is important, especially when the boys are being ridiculous about their missions and feelings of inferiority and sacrifice-somethings.

        • SpinnersEnd

          I agree with you, I had a hard time with the Tonks/Lupin relationship. I think the main reason they get together is because of the War. I have serious doubts that they would have formed such a bond without the pressure and trauma.

          I don’t think it’s an age thing, I just don’t think they’d have much in common besides the fight against Voldemort. I think they quickly would have run out of things to talk about.

          Their relationship actually reminds me of a scene from The Godfather (the novel) by Mario Puzo. There’s a sequence where Michael Corleone goes to Sicily. The whole scene is described with vivid colors and a very dream-like quality. Tonks/Lupin feels a lot like that, it’s a small bright spot in a very dark time.

      • elizabeth melas

        Voldemort is an romantic asexual.

        • Lisa

          How do you know he’s asexual?

    • The Half Blood Princess

      I think it’s an opposites attract thing. He’s quiet, she’s energetic, they complete eachother.

      • ISeeThestrals

        You know what’s funny. Thinking on it now, I feel like I accept the movie coupling more than the book whereas it’s usual for the movie relationship to be bad. Maybe it has to do with the look of actors portraying Lupin and Tonks. But for the book version it doesn’t sell to me, lol.

  • thequeerweasleycousin

    About Voldemort not being impressed by Draco, and not appreciating his sucess: I dooubt Voldemot was ever impressed by anyone execpt himself. He sees it as his sucsess, not Draco’s, because it was him who gave the orders. And he probably doesn’t think it’s a difficult task to begin with, because he compares everyone to himself, in thi case his very smart, clever and popular 16-years old self. He didn’t think Draco would succeed, because he’s stupid, but when he kind of managed to get Dumbledore killed, it’s nothing special, because Tom Riddle would have managed, and probably better.

  • thequeerweasleycousin

    Another thing I wondered about when the hosts were talking about the last episode and how the HBP reveal is adding to everyone’s feelings towards Snape: Is there a connection between the way one feels about the Half Blood Prince’s book before the reveal and one trusting/not trusting Snape? I was never a huge Snape fan, and I immediatly bought that he was Voldemort’s man after HBP. And, too, right from the beginning I didn’t like the Prince’s book. So for me, the reveal that Snape, whom I despised by this time, was behind the Half blood prince, whom I strongly disliked all the time, fitted perfectly and confirmed all my feelings twoards both of them. Has anyone else experienced that, or the opposite (liking the Prince and liking Snape)?

    As a conclusion, I have to admit that since I’m listening to this podcast, I begin to see Snape in a very different, a lot more favourable light. I’m totally on Kat’s side here! So thanks for all those who explain Snape so well, without gloryfiying him. And a big thanks to the hosts for this amazing podcast, this was a really great episode!

    • The Half Blood Princess

      I thought that both Snape and the half blood prince were evil the first time I read it as well, although I thought the half blood prince was Voldy.

    • Hufflepug

      I was kind of the same as you. I couldn’t see how Snape could be on the good side after killing Dumbledore and I didn’t trust the book either. My logic in not trusting the book before the Sectumsempra incident was just “Hermione doesn’t trust the book and I trust Hermione, so I don’t trust the book.”

  • RoseLumos

    I loved the discussions about Remus! I have to say, it’s through the Alohomora re-reads (and the new Pottermore information) I have learned to appreciate him much more and now he had risen to my list of top 10 favorite HP characters!

    As the hosts mentioned, Remus had no problem believing that Snape killed Dumbledore and has no problem automatically hating him again. I think the reason behind this is because this is the second time this has happened to Remus. Remember, there was one morning 15 years ago where he must have woken up to the news that his best friend (Sirius) was responsible for the deaths of his other best friends (Peter, James, and Lily). Ironically, in both cases there was more to the story than it initially appeared. Unfortunately for Remus, he dies before he finds out the whole story about Snape. Remus, like Harry, appears to value friendship highly. To them, the idea of trusting someone with your life and having that person betray that trust is just as horrendous as murder. Living through both situations of having a trusted one kill another trusted friend is a lot to deal with, which is why I think Remus had the breakdown. To him, it must have been too much to see history repeat itself.

    On another note, if I could ask JKR to write one scene that wasn’t in the books, I think I would like to see the moment Remus learns about what happened the night James and Lily dies. Where was he during that time? Was it a full moon? Who broke the news to him? Or did he, like most of the Wizarding public, only learn about it through the Daily Prophet? Did he ever make any attempt to contact Harry in his childhood? I re-read the amazing Pottermore biography and it said he was “in the north of the country on Order of the Phoenix business when he heard the horrible news” and that that night “was one of the most traumatic events of Remus’s already troubled life” but I want to know more!

    • DoraNympha

      Oh, I think you’re spot on, Lupin’s lived through this before, though Snape he had never considered a friend but an ally nonetheless. :( Though I bet a big part of his willingness to believe Snape was a murderer and with Voldemort all this time is because of a gut feeling that goes back to their own Hogwarts years… He was quick to believe Snape was an enemy because he only stuck to the opposite for the sake of reason and Dumbledore’s words but he never really felt that trust inside. How he got the news: well, Sirius probably sent him a Patronus or told him in person that Lily and James died, since he and Hagrid were the first ones at the scene. But about Sirius being captured, I think he was with other Order members on account of Lily and James’ death and Voldemort’s disappearance causing a change of events so he would have heard about it at the same time as Dumbledore and everyone. I don’t like to think he woke up and read about it in the Prophet, imagine that… D:

  • RoseLumos

    On the topic of Voldemort’s reaction to Draco – I don’t think he would be high-fiving Draco, but I think he would be pleasantly surprised that Dumbledore is actually dead. Remember, no one actually expected Draco to succeed. Voldemort’s orders for Draco was supposed to be a long-term punishment because he was angry at Lucius and expected Draco to be killed completing the mission. We as the readers know about Narcissa’s and Snape’s plan, but I don’t think Voldemort knew anything about it. So while Voldemort wouldn’t praise Draco (especially since he didn’t personally kill Dumbledore) I don’t think he was expected Dumbledore to die. In fact, as much as Voldemort wants Harry dead, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a little upset he didn’t get to off Dumbledore himself.

    • ISeeThestrals

      I can see Voldemort being annoyed that he wasn’t the one to kill off Dumbledore, but what happened to that notion that Dumbledore was the one he always feared? Or perhaps that was more of a public notion. Though he did attempt to off him in Order. I don’t think Voldemort would high-five him either especially when he didn’t exactly kill Dumbledore himself. Had Draco done so, perhaps his family would be pulled back into the fold a little more.

      • RoseLumos

        For some reason, that gave me another idea – how would Draco’s parents react if he did kill Dumbledore? I know they would probably be surprised that he did it, but would they be proud or disappointed that their son was now a murderer? I don’t think they would ever be proud. It’s interesting to compare Lucius in CoS to him in DH. I think in CoS he would be not happy, but at least wouldn’t feel sympathetic to Dumbledore’s death. But now that war is around them, I think the reality hit them that this is no longer a game – real people are dying and they seem from their reactions in DH that they may have picked the wrong side. I think they were happier standing behind Voldemort from a distance. I don’t think they enjoy being by his side now.

        • Dumbledore’s through & through

          But they were around the first time Voldemort was on the rise, and it was not a game back then,it was as bad, if not worse, people were dying all the time. I think Naricssa first of all would be really really relieved that her son is out of immediate danger for the moment, and maybe hopeful that him murdering Dumbledore can improve the position of her family in Voldemort’s ranks. Lucius might hope for the same effect, I don’t know if he was ever worried for Draco or just for himself, and I have no clue how his relationship to his wife is. But I imagine him being proud, because a member of his family archieved something impressive and awe-inspiring. It casts a “good” light on his family and his name and commands respect, he always likes that.

    • Dumbledore’s through & through

      I think Voldemort planned to have Snape kill Dumbledore as soon as Draco obviously failed, so I don’t think he is that suprised when he’s finally dead. Snape tells Narcissa that he thinks it’s Voldemorts plan to have him finish the task, maybe he already told Snape so. But I think it’s interesting how you pointed out Voldemort must have been really pissed that he wasn’t able to kill Dumbledore. Because he surely was, but he also knew he couldn’t overpower him, or would risk being defeated at least. When they fight in the ministry we see how evenly matched they are. The only way to kill Dumbledore was to set up a trap and go for a suprise attack from someone he trusted. Since it was Voldemort’s idea to order Malfoy or Snape to do so, he might nevertheless feel like he defeated Dumbledore, he’s self-centered enough for that.

  • elizabeth melas

    You forgot to tag Arthur Weasley

  • Dumbledore’s through & through

    While I listened to this episode and especially to everything that was said about Lupin, I had the idea that maybe the reason he struggeled to commit to a relationship with Tonks and the reason he trusted Snape as long as Dumbledore was there, are linked somehow. Lupin grew up being a werewolf and therefore always being a potential danger to others, even or especially those he loved. So affection on the one side was always something dangerous, and on the other side it’s something he desperatly craves for. I see him as someone who has learned not to trust his emotions, to be wary of his desires and he feels contaminated. So, he doesn’t trust his own feelings, especially his affection for Tonks, and also he may not trust his suspicion regarding Snape. The one person that can convince him is Dumbledore, so he acts on his feelings for Tonks when it’s brought up how much Dumbledore would have supported it, and he trusted snape because Dumbledore did. As soon as Dumbledore seems to be proven wrong and everyone agrees on that, his own feelings of antipathy, doubt, suspicion and maybe even hatred take over.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    On Aberforth and Fawkes:

    Where else could Dumbledore be buried than on the Hogwarts grounds? Godric’s Hollow may be an option, but since nobdy who is close to him lives there and only few people know that his family’s grave is there… Does Hogsmeade have a graveyard? Aberforth will most likely be concerned with other things than the whereabouts of his brother’s grave.

    Can only the persons in the Hogwarts grounds hear Fawkes? Maybe the phoenix lament can be „heard“ in Hogsmeade, too, and so Aberforth knows that Albus has died. (Nice foreshadowing of the „broadcast“ that Voldemort does in the Battle the following year.)

    Harry had his King’s Cross moment, and when Dumbledore decides that becoming a ghost is not an option, he goes on, carried by Fawkes. Albus was never frightened of death, so he is on his way to his next adventure in the afterlife, accompanied by his feathered fiery friend.

    Fawkes is an old being, he had a great time hanging out with old Albus, and when he’s done grieving about the whimsy wizard, flies away on other phoenix business. He’s connected to the headmaster as his symbol magical animal, but that doesn’t mean he’s got nothing else to do.

  • ISeeThestrals

    Here’s a funny thought I had but wouldn’t owning a phoenix be a fire hazard? lol

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Dumbledore had to get a license from the department of the something of magical catastrophes before he was allowed to bring Fawkes into Hogwarts, so that he wouldn’t burn down the castle on accident. 😉

    • DoraNympha

      Maybe one of the contraptions in Dumbledore’s office was a fire extinguisher? 😀

  • DisKid

    Hey! JK Rowling said that Lily could have grown to love Snape romantically if he had not been so interested in the Dark Arts. So as much as I do not like Snape as a character or even a person, I do have to say I don’t think you’re correct that they were never going to get together, Mostly since JK Rowling, the ruler of the Potter universe, said otherwise hehe 😉

    Oh and if you’re wondering where my name came from…that’s half my name lol.

    • ISeeThestrals

      Lol. Love your username too. It’d be funny if someone came on here as DatKid.

      • DisKid

        Lol! Then I’d say unless they’re name is Dat, what do they think they’re doing??

    • Hufflepug

      I saw someone tweet at Eric a few weeks ago that his joke about your username now makes them see Disqus as Datqus when they log on, haha. Looks like you’ve inadvertently created a lasting effect! :)

      • DisKid

        Oh goodness! Lol Didn’t expect that to happen!

  • Fawkes stops singing because he is the animagis form of Dumbledore and Dumbledore’s job is never over. Time traveling Dumbledore must travel time.

    • SocksAreImportant

      Ha this was fun to think about. :)

  • Griff

    The repetition of the phrase “Snape killed Dumbledore” throughout the chapter was chilling this reread, especially with the compassion for Snape comment on last week’s thread. In the first readthrough, these words gave a sense of Harry trying to come to terms with what had happened, and making others believe what for so long he had felt-Snape was a “bad guy.” It was a malediction, pure hate for the man who brought down his last mentor and had bullied him his entire school career. And it felt warranted! Now, the fierceness of those words is striking and sad, a reminder that Snape’s sacrifice would never be celebrated in his life. Seen as a traitor by all, and given no reprieve.

    And while Snape was embarrassed to express emotions or admit to the vulnerability of his love (or obsession), I do believe he craved recognition for who he was and what he sacrificed. Lily recognized him, as a person with feelings, and he couldn’t let that go. But he was never secure enough to open up to anyone else in the way he did with her. I’m sure it was difficult for him to be seen as a traitor to the good side. Dumbledore said, “How many men have you watched die?” And Snape replied, “Lately, only those I could not save.” He had a moral compass, despite his selfishness, insecurity, and ineffective life coping mechanisms. And I believe he wanted that to be known, but was not brave enough emotionally for it to be so.

  • Hufflepug

    Great episode! The longer ones are always fantastic. I had to drive two hours today and the show was the perfect way to entertain myself during the otherwise boring trip! :)

    I’ve always wondered about how Fawkes came into Dumbledore’s life. Like the hosts said, he is a part of Dumbledore and it seems like you can’t separate one from the other. If we’re going with the spiritual significance that Michael brought up, then it could be said that Fawkes, as a representation of Dumbledore’s soul, may have come into his life when his soul was reborn and he realized that he was seeking the wrong things in life. That’s of course just speculation, but I think it would fit nicely with Dumbledore’s storyline and his parallels with the idea of a phoenix in general. Continuing with this idea of Fawkes as his soul, I think he would never truly die but would go “on.” The way it seems to the spectators in this chapter, it’s like he will never be seen again – like he’s vanished or something. And that brings to my mind the line from Book 7: “where do vanished objects go?” “Into non-being, which is to say, everything.” It’s an abstract idea, but I wonder if something like that happened to Fawkes, where he appeared to no longer exist but actually existed in a more spiritual way. It’s kind of what happened to Dumbledore. That was a very abstract, Luna-esque thought lol.

    • kind of side-topic, but I read that line from Book 7 to the song “Where do Broken Hearts Go?” by Whitney Houston. lol.
      But otherwise, if he did actually not want to live anymore, maybe he could have just decided not to rise from the ashes when he burned out. From that point, the ashes would just blow away or melt into whatever plant or tree to help it grow. Circle of life. In that way, I would say he’s still around, as part of something else. & I agree that was a Luna-esque thought. :)

      • Hufflepug

        That’s a beautiful thought! Seriously I love that!!! Because I can’t see Fawkes being anyone else’s phoenix.

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        That is a wonderful thought!

        Where do you think he would choose to go and settle into the surroundings? Maybe to Godric’s Hollow, to continue to process of healing its troubled past? Or would he take Dumbledore’s spirit someplace else, someplace peaceful, to move beyond the past … ?

  • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

    One of the themes that came through to me strongly this time around was the theme of things you trusted betraying you. Obviously Snape is the big one in that category, but reading this again, I loved how Rowling used so many things and objects that characters had previously trusted in, who find their hopes to be betrayed. Specifically, we find things that we usually assumed to be good to have a dark side.

    The first clue comes in the description of the Gryffindor rubies, which we have previously associated with points and the House Cup and positive things, but which now “glistened on the floor like drops of blood.” Harry and Ginny go to the hospital wing and see Bill, and Madam Pomfrey, who has always had the answer to mend any ill, cannot cure Bill’s injuries. Lupin, who Harry has trusted in the past to be an emotional anchor, collapses at the news of Dumbledore’s death.

    I particularly like that “Hermione clamped her hands to her mouth and Ron groaned. Luna’s mouth trembled” when Harry tells them, matter-of-factly, that Malfoy came in and disarmed Dumbledore. Yep, Malfoy — Ron and Hermione knew he was a complete git, but he was a student. They trusted in his age and his relation to them as a fellow student to keep him from being truly evil, to keep Harry from being right. Their faith in their fellow students has now been completely betrayed, and possibly their faith in their own judgment. McGonagall too confesses that she put her trust in Snape, and in Snape’s position as a teacher, in sending to him for help.

    And one of my favorites — the Room of Requirement has now betrayed us. when Harry tells them how Malfoy got in, Ron and Hermione look “devastated.” We have trusted in this room! It was Harry’s savior so many times… but it has betrayed the trio. Another object, obviously mentioned later in this chapter, is the locket — Harry trusted that finding it would be the first step to winning, but the locket has betrayed us.

    What really IS my favorite is the Peruvian Darkness Powder. Because this is something of Fred and George’s. We have absolute faith in the twins — they’re mischievous but not evil. And yet something that everyone trusted to be harmless because of its source has now betrayed us.

    Then Hermione again — she now has not only had her faith in students betrayed, but in the infallibility of teachers. She says that they just let Snape go– he is a teacher, after all! Even after they find Flitwick, they don’t get it — she never would think a teacher, not even Snape, would attack another teacher.

    The betrayals have piled up, and then Jo does what she does best and pulls a fast one. Molly expects Bill’s hopes to be betrayed by Fleur, and she is proven wrong. For once, having expectations proven wrong is a good thing — and this is the point where the chapter pivots. Fittingly, it is love that gives everyone the courage to move on from all these betrayals. But all these little betrayals that touch so many different characters really drive home the magnitude of Snape’s betrayal, and how completely our trust and our faith has been shaken. It also sets the stage for the remainder of the story — we cannot trust so easily, anymore.

    But we do know one thing — love will always win out.

    • DoraNympha

      This is excellent meta, I love the lesson you drew from it too. The betrayal of trust is also counterbalanced by the reverse of how no one had believed Harry yet now he turned out to be right so that’s mistrust turned into trust.

      • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

        Very true! And you know, one of the things that I REALLY think is important is that Harry has so often mistrusted himself. He second guesses his deductions at times. But in HBP, he KNOWS he is right. It’s just that no one else is listening. It’s an important step toward maturity and understanding for him. If he hadn’t had HBP, I wonder if he could have made the leaps necessary to understand Dumbledore’s clues to the Hallows in the 7th book. It always impressed me that, by Book 7, Harry makes major decisions regarding Hallows v. Horcruxes without consulting anyone, without telling anyone what he has figured out. He’s operating like Dumbledore, finally, but he has ultimately learned to trust in his own judgment and knowledge. I love seeing that integral part of him finally shine.

  • DoraNympha

    Great show once again! I’ve always loved this chapter because yes it’s sad and it’s after a major major death and everyone’s in shock and afraid but it’s also a chapter full of love. Dumbledore, forever preacher of the power of love, had just died, yet we get to hear a lot about everyone’s love and family relationships and hear them share their ideas about love. Lupin even exclaims that this is not the time to discuss his personal love life, but these conversations, like Fawkes’s song, in the midst of grief and shock are the light in the darkness Dumbledore talked about. I don’t know what that means, if anything, I just thought it was fitting for Dumbledore!

  • DoraNympha

    Werewolf injuries have always bugged me so much because we get unexpected things like Bill in the Potterverse, but I think the core of him taking on some wolvish tendencies resides in the fact that even if a werewolf is in human form, they don’t stop having the werewolf “virus”, for lack of a better term. I used to think Bill was just scratched but he would have to have been bitten as well for him to develop these features because Rowling has explicitly stated that the infection goes from saliva to blood.

    I have several questions.

    First of all, if Bill suffered wounds from human Greyback that are magical curse wounds so they can’t be treated perfectly, they will always show on his skin, does that mean any werewolf, including Lupin, is a walking hazard, even in human form? I mean I get how detrimental it would be for someone to have to transform every month and get tired and everything but was Lupin careful not to accidentally hurt anyone or himself, 24/7? Does this apply to only stuff like bites and scratches or can he not punch anyone without the bruise staying on that person’s face forever? Did he magic-punch Harry against the wall in Deathly Hallows because of this? Had he gone for it manually, Harry Potter would have had another permanent scar on his face? And, I’m sorry but for the sake of science, does that mean no love bites with Tonks? Well, being careful means a whole different thing for them, I guess… And, could Tonks’ metamorph powers override a werewolf scratch, transformed or not?

    Secondly, why only saliva to blood? I know St Mungo’s isn’t exactly updated on Muggle medicine but, theoretically, what would happen if a werewolf’s blood were tranfused into someone else, would that not make the receiver a werewolf just as much as a bite at full moon? That can’t be right, unless we treat the process of infection like rabies. Although… Jo said it’s a blood-borne disease, that’s why there’s a taboo surrounding it, but lycantrophy doesn’t seem to align with Muggle infections perfectly, it’s more like a virus like HIV but transmitted like a rabid dog (or wolf, of course) infecting someone with a bite? But does this mean blood-to-blood infection really wouldn’t work? That still doesn’t make sense to me.

    Lastly, if the infection works like rabies, does that mean a person has to go through a period of fever and sickness and whatnot when bitten by a werewolf? What exactly happens when someone’s bitten? Do they just have to tend to their scars and deal with full moons from then on? I’ve always assumed there’s some sort of fever sickness while the infection really spreads. And what if your wounds don’t heal perfectly within a month? Do they just reopen when you’re wolving out? So many questions. This wouldn’t be an issue for Bill, though, because Greyback was human, of course.

    P.S.: Greyback and Enobaria from the Hunger Games would be great pals. Gross.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      magic messes with medicine quite a lot when we try to explain things. :-)

      You’ve mentioned some great questions, and I believe we have to look at the “traditional” werewolf cases differently than at the Greyback-Bill or Greyback-Lavender case. During the full moon I believe all werewolf body fluids would be infectious. Because werewolves tend to bite humans there will be saliva-to-blood-infections, maybe blood-to-blood-infections, that turn the victim into a werewolf. Don’t know about the exact process during the time after the infection.

      Greyback seems to be a special case. He malevolently infects children during the full moon and then goes on to wound others with his infectious bites in human form. I believe he is not a strong wizard anymore, so he can do more damage with biting than with magic, except for the killing curse, which is much less “fun” for him.

      Because the full-moon-magic is not active when Greyback is in human form, his victims don’t become werewolves, who are infectious for others or transform. Maybe it has to do something with the level of infectious cells in the body fluids, which rises during full moon and then drops again.

      • DoraNympha

        You’re right, we do have to treat them differently, it’s very case to case, I guess. I think Bill wouldn’t have taken on wolvish features from a simple scratch unless Greyback had a cut on his hand that touched Bill’s wound, I think Greyback bit him, but of course in human form. If Lupin gave blood to someone, I think the same thing would happen, actually, I think it unlikely the reveiver wouldn’t take on the same features Bill did. However, if a fully transformed werewolf were to somehow drip blood and not saliva into someone (imagine the Marauders accidentally rubbed bruises together when roaming the grounds, idk, it’s theory, just go with it), would that complete infection? Would it be a half-wolf thing like what Bill had? Or would that transmit lycanthropy fully, just like if a werewolf actually bites someone? I find it hard to believe saliva to blood is more infectuous that blood to blood.

        Oh Greyback is certainly a special, gruesome, deeply disturbing case of something that’s on a whole other level of sick. If I had to die, I’d rather Bellatrix Lestrange had her way with me than Greyback, for real, ugh Greyback is seriously more disturbing than anyone else brrr. I get bad shivers just thinking about him. He didn’t even have a wand on him in HBP, right? Maybe his magic didn’t vane but he neglected it on purpose. I just… this character.. just.. gross.

        But if werewolves in human form can cause magical wounds that can be sealed but never disappear, like, I’m worried for Lupin just on an everyday level. I cut my hands with my nails accidentally all the time, does Lupin have to apply silver+Dittany on every nail-cut or else it won’t stop bleeding? I mean, after experiencing full moons without Wolfsbane this was probably the least of his worries but I’d still like to know, I mean Bill’s case certainly points to this.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          another idea: in human form, can werewolves choose their body fluids to be infectious? So in everyday life a werewolf is not dangerous, except if he wants to bite and infect someone. We just can’t be sure because Greyback was the only one who did things like that.

          • DoraNympha

            Oh interesting but I think you can’t really control that…(?)

  • DoraNympha

    I wanted to talk about Tonks and Lupin, too. Like many, I just neutrally accepted them as a couple in canon but Pottermore really gave me the shipper bug. It makes so much sense now and I can so get behind their relationship knowing their story. However, we get none of this in canon, which is a shame. When Lupin introduces Tonks to Harry we do get a bit of a lovely quip but nothing that suggests anything deeper. I think the first time in canon that I was really feeling something for them two together was when Lupin comes with the news of Teddy’s birth. We get to see him enthusiastic and full of life because of his family, which we really hadn’t seen before. We only got to see the brooding self-hating problematic side, which would have made Lupin seem reluctant rather than wanting to be with Tonks, which we now know he DID, very much so. Coincidentally, this is also pretty much the last we get of them before they die so… why, Jo, why? There COULD have been more clues, though, it would have been so easy to slip in a few throwaway lines about Lupin having to stop himself from laughing/smiling too long at something Tonks did or said, or some awkward trailed away sentences, you know, something to tell us they had to stop themselves from saying too much or being too obvious. There were many occasions where this could have shown itself through tiny cracks in conversations, especially in Order of the Phoenix. We only get this when they’re worried, scared, in denial, just negative stuff (like Tonks’ coded questions to Harry about whether he’d heard about anyone from the Order, “anyone” meaning Lupin…), we never saw this for good reasons. :(

    Also, I’ve seen people say Tonks is kind of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and nope, she’s not, just because Lupin needed one, that doesn’t make Tonks one. 😀 I mean, we do see how inconcievably little Lupin had thought of himself all his life, ever since he was a child, so while I hadn’t expected Tonks to be paired with him, when it happened I was like, okay, she’ll be good for him, she’s so full of life and energy, so they two make sense, I guess. But yeah, only because Pottermore.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      It would have been great to get more Lupin in the books, more happy Lupin&Tonks in the books.
      But I think that the parts that are just mentioned, but not elaborated give fans great opportunities to use their own imagination and the results can be incredibly great. For happy Lupin&Tonks and some Teddy love I suggest “A little more time” by Pallas, I’m sure many of you already know it, but it can’t be mentioned too often.

      • DoraNympha

        Thanks, I’ll go check it out! :) I draw HP fanart and try to focus on fun moments instead of the heavy stuff, you know. I love that their dynamic goes really deep because they’re both so complex so there’s a lot of space for dramatic storytelling but we really need more happy things about them, so thanks for the tip! :)

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Oh great, where can we check out your fan art?? If you want to show it, of course.

          • DoraNympha

            Oh um I’m not sure about links on here but I’m on tumblr, my url is animateglee and if you go into my Doodles tag on the sidebar on the left, they’re there. Look, some artists go for pain, I go for the silly fun stuff… enough pain in canon for me!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            so the comic with Tonks wearing the Do the Hippogryff shirt and Molly cooking is yours? AWESOME! Following right now! *swoon*

          • DoraNympha

            Thanks! 😀 That’s me, yup. I feel a moral obligation to come up with fun, silly headcanons to counterbalance all the painful ones out there! They’re everywhere and so I hurt. 😀

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            You’re making my day right now, so thank YOU!

            my counterbalancing-art is simple, I do alliterative appreciation shirts for characters (like my icon) because every time I get artsy the result is letters, not pictures.

          • DoraNympha

            Oh I love your icon! Is there a place you post more of your art? :)

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            @How2Ravenclaw on twitter, #harrypottershirts
            my next one will be McGonagall, just need to buy new colors first.

  • DoraNympha

    Oh and also, Lupin and shipping! 😀

    While I personally never got into non-canon ships, I thought this was a good time to bring up how fandom has thought about him through the years. Okay, so, we know Alfonso Cuarón told David Thewlis to play Lupin as a “gay junkie”, for some reason, but at the same time Prisoner of Azkaban is also the movie that started all that Lupin and Lily shipping with those added lines in the bridge scene. And then you have the tremendous amount of Sirius and Lupin, a.k.a. wolfstar shippers, which is, okay, so, it’s objectively not the craziest idea but I love close friendships that aren’t limited by weird manly boundaries, lest they’re misinterpreted as a couple, and so while I don’t think it’s the most far-fetched non-canon ship, to me it feels a little like when a story has a male and female protagonist who become a couple for literally no reason other than they’re the protagonists and because they’re straight, tbh. :/ And while we’re at it, Tonks is a metamorphmagus, and gender-fluidity is also a thing fandom likes to toy with, which is also understandable if you think about it. (I mean, I identify as female but if I could shape-shift I’d go for it every day, duh, if only to walk safely at night as a guy in appearance. I bet a lifetime of this possibility might make one see things as more fluid anyway, why not?) In addition to this, as a sidenote, like probably most fans, I also have my headcanons about which characters are queer, there are hundreds of characters, Dumbldore can’t be the only LGBTQ person in HP, but I’m too lazy to type all that meta up now and it’s not that relevant to the chapter anyway, just there was something you guys mentioned on the show that prompted this! So, just saying, Lupin being paired up with Tonks has never crushed anything in me, if that’s comfort! :) Plus it really doesn’t have to mean he’s straight, we can’t know that unless Jo says something, so, just, I’m a Ravenclaw, so I needed to make sure we know that just because there’s a canon seemingly straight ship, that doesn’t have to mean anything. Now, as far as having a character we’re in love with and so they shouldn’t be with ANYone, whoever they are, well, there should probably be a helpline for that! 😀

  • StoneHallows

    So a question I thought of, again when listening to last week’s PQotW.

    Do we think that Dumbledore “painted a target on Snape’s back” because he knew how unhappy Snape was with everything? Did he view this as a merciful act? Think about this. After the war was done, if Snape had lived, what would have happened to him? Would he be tried with other Death Eaters? Would anyone believe that he had been working on the side of good when he has played his part so well? Would he have had to go on the run or something? What kind of life would he have had? Did Dumbledore perhaps think that if SOMEONE had to die, it should be the one with the less to live for, and the most miserable?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I do believe that Dumbledore would have liked to help Severus find a way to LIVE more peacefully after Voldemort’s death. But as he knew Severus had both little chance to get away alive and not much else to live for than help bring the Dark Lord down and protect Lily’s son, he expected Severus to be less afraid of dying than most other persons.
      Yes, he would have a trial, and if he’s punished I believe exile would be a good idea. There would have been a place and a purpose for Severus after the war. Being a potions master will always make a person useful, and even if he only sat in a chair reading all the books he owns, that would have been alright. He would have done his share of world-saving and deserve a quiet place to be on his own. He would not care to mingle with other persons much, but having the time and the opportunity to share his potions knowledge with the world without having to put up with kids and colleagues and other nuisances would be something he appreciates.

      • StoneHallows

        I completely agree that he would LIKE to be left alone to live the rest of his life in peace on his own terms, but I’m asking if we think the wizarding community in general would believe him that he had been on the side of good the whole time. How would he have gotten the information to Harry that he needed to? How would that have affected Harry’s forgiveness of him? I’m sure once he knew the truth, Harry would speak out for him, but we have seen how fickle the community as a whole can be. It would take just one Rita Skeeter-esque rumor that he’d bewitched Harry or something like that and they could all turn on him.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          I’m sure that post-DH Harry would not be regarded in the same way as he was in OotP. The press campaign became so insane, because Fudge was behind it. With Kingsley as minister for magic things will be different. He will make sure everyone gets a fair trial.
          All Death Eaters who come forward on their own without being forced will get a few months less in Azkaban than those who need to be captured.

          About the exact way how Harry gets the information he needs, I’m not sure, but sending a talking patronus would be possible. Harry would listen to the doe and be inclined to believe and forgive.

          • StoneHallows

            I was talking more about the stigma that would be out in the community more than the law. You’re right in that Kingsley would be 100% fair and would believe Harry. But what about the people? A lot would most likely believe, but I would imagine there would always be those that were cynical and inclined to believe the worst of everyone.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            yes, there would be the Auntie Muriels and other persons who rejoice at the chance of tearing someone apart in public. But as long as he gets his quiet place I think Severus doesn’t mind the ones who are unfair to him. He’s been through worse.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I don’t think Dumbledore wanted to put Snape out of his misery as much as that he knew that Snape had risked his life all along and was clearly willing to lay it down for the cause. Had Snape lived I’d like to believe that Dumbledore had arranged some pensieve memories or something that would have cleared him, but I doubt he did. In many a fan fiction where Snape survives the snake attack, Harry uses Snape’s memories and testimony from Dumbledore’s portrait to clear Snape, but there always remains a portion of the population that never really trusts him. Yet just as he never cared before what people thought of him, he doesn’t care about this either. I think Snape always expected to die in the end and if he’d survived he would have been surprised and just been glad to be master of his own life for the first time. I think he would have retired to a place where he could read and research and do as he pleased.

      As for how Snape would get the information to Harry that he needed to, I think he’d use Legilimency to give him pretty much the same memories he did in the pensieve. This would be a direct way to get them to him and he could do it without anyone around knowing what he was passing along. I don’t think Harry would believe Snape if he just told him, “you have to die,” he needed to see the backstory and hear Dumbledore himself telling Snape. Outside of pensieve memories I don’t know of another way he could persuade Harry to believe him and not think it was a trick to get him killed.

      • StoneHallows

        I agree about Snape just being glad to be master of himself for the first time in a very long time. I suppose I was thinking of how it would be in the Muggle world. If you had this kind of stigma around you, unless you were almost 100% self sufficient there was no way to get around coming into contact with people. But it is easier to do that in the wizarding world, so it might not be as much of a nuisance, as little as he would have cared anyway.

        As for how Snape would get the information to Harry, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Harry would need to SEE it to believe it. Not because of Snape per say, but because of the whole circumstance. It could be almost ANYONE besides maybe his parents themselves, and possibly Ron and Hermione and he would need to see the proof. I wonder how he was planning on doing it when he didn’t know he was going to die himself. Perhaps call him with the doe and transfer them that way… or find a way of getting him into the office and showing the memories with the Pensieve there…

        • SnapesManyButtons

          Can you imagine Harry believing anything Snape has to say after watching him kill Dumbledore? Especially, “You have to let Voldemort kill you.” Harry would never believe that coming from Snape. Yet I don’t think Dumbledore would trust anyone else to tell him, though, because anyone else would try to find a way around Harry having to die, or just plain wouldn’t let him do it. In my mind Snape had somehow already collected all the memories he wanted to give to Harry when he finally got a chance, but as he was dying he couldn’t control how to release them and they just all flowed out from everywhere. There didn’t seem to be any irrelevant memories so I don’t believe it was a random collection of memories. He knew what he had to show Harry to get him to believe and trust him, and he had them at the front of his mind ready to go when he found Harry. Exactly how he’d transmit them, I’m not sure.

  • DoraNympha

    Alohomora has made me think about Snape in ways I hadn’t before. This control thing is fascinating. And you know what, my boyfriend questions why Snape chose to share his love for Lily with Harry in his memories. He could have instructed Harry without ever specifying explicitly that he was in love with Lily, it would only have been essential when the doe came into play but it would still have remained such a subtle clue. My boyfriend’s argument is that it was weirdly personal and that it’s uncharacteristic of Snape to want to share something so intimate with Harry and that it’s odd to tell a kid you’re in love with their mum in any case. However, I say that his love for Lily (yes love, I’ve talked about this before, it’s really love, Jo says so too) is just as essential to Harry’s willing sacrifice as actual information about Voldemort’s soul on Harry’s own, Harry is walking into his death affirmed by the knowledge that he’s doing exactly what his mum did and Harry has to understand the power of love in order for the narrative itself to conclude that love won over evil, part of which was that Snape was never Voldemort’s because of Lily. Snape would also have wanted someone, anyone, to know what he had done for the war but I think he also needed someone to know about his love for Lily, not necessarily Harry but he was just there so it was him that Snape told. Plus, anyone could just get emotional in their dying moments, and we have discussed Snape’s emotional side on account of last week’s podcast. But honestly, maybe it was just an accident, Snape was dying, the snake’s venom was spreading quickly, maybe Snape didn’t even fully intend to let Harry know about his love for Lily, it just sort of got jumbled together in his head and I mean the man was dying, of course his last thoughts would be about Lily. Snape breaks control that one time for real, I mean, reevaluating last chapter’s moment when Snape was so quick to fire up at Harry, that was just the tip of the iceberg, that was just a tiny crack on his facade, his control; the real breakdown of this control happens when he lets Harry know about his feelings for Lily. Only Dumbledore had known about it, who’s dead, so no one alive knows. Whether passing on this information was intended or not or not in this way is just detail. I know one thing, though: previously I would have agreed that it was uncharacteristic of him to tell Harry his most personal secret but because of you guys on the podcast and in comments I now think of Snape differently and I think he would have liked people to know, just for the sake of knowing, not for appreciation or merit or anything, for a change. (I know this is relevant to DH but all this talk about Snape’s control brought this about, plus I’d forget this by this time next year!)

    • ccmoundshroud

      I think it may be some sort of apology to lily and using Harry as a proxy, and while it may be uncharacteristic of him to share emotions like this, you must remember, he’s dying, people often behave differently when facing their own mortality

  • SpinnersEnd

    The collective “awwww” in response to Michael’s comment about including the Lupin/Tonks wedding in the movie made my day!

  • SpinnersEnd

    Is anyone else surprised that Slughorn stayed on as a professor? He took on this job partly as a favor to Dumbledore and partly to “collect” Harry for the Slug Club. Both of them are gone now. What reason does he have to stay? Especially before the Death Eaters takeover the school.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Maybe he has become accostumed to the comfort of having everything done by house elves. Staying at Hogwarts when McGonagall is headmistress may seem safe enough, and when Snape takes over and Slughorn realizes what has happened to Charity Burbage he rather stays and teaches than tries to run again. And he does care for his Slytherin students and some of the others once he’s got to know them. Also, Hagrid would hunt him down and feed him to Aragog’s family if Sluggy ran away.

      • SpinnersEnd

        Ahahahaha! I’m imagining Hagrid rolling Slughorn out to the Forbidden Forest.

        And I agree, I don’t think Slughorn would have left after the Death Eaters took over. That would have been far too dangerous to him personally.

    • Hufflepug

      In the end he decides to fight, right? I think he has a tiny sense of duty that he might not even realize he has yet. He’s not a bad guy – just kind of selfish and cowardly at times – but I think he truly feels some obligation to protect his students. After all, if he didn’t feel that obligation then the Carrows would have easily convinced him to support them, and from what we know it seems like he was doing the opposite during that year at Hogwarts.

  • Hufflepug

    The topic of where the Death Eaters are hiding out right now makes me wonder a few things. We truly don’t know the exact date of when the headquarters changed to Malfoy Manor. All we know is that back in Goblet of Fire and likely in the later books they used the Riddle house as the headquarters. I wonder if they made Malfoy Manor the headquarters immediately after this battle and their first big meeting is just three months later. I don’t see why they would wait so long to have a meeting, but maybe it’s because people already knew their tasks until that point: Imperius people, infiltrate the Ministry, and do whatever Voldemort tells you to do. One thing I’ve always wondered: why didn’t they put the Fidelius charm on Malfoy Manor? And isn’t it kind of a careless idea to put a dungeon in your secret headquarters, since if the enemy escaped they could tell everyone where it was?

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      Actually i think the meeting was only like 3 weeks later…dumbledore dies june 30, and they meet the week or 2 weeks before harrys bday july 31…i tried to work out the timeline because lupin and tonks get married and there was another mass breakout of azkaban all between bks 6 and 7 so i wanted to know how long it was, and it turned out to be only a couple of weeks.
      Great thoughts! I like the bit about the dungeons being at the headquarters :-)

      • Hufflepug

        My bad! I either misheard it on the podcast or didn’t remember what they said – three weeks makes much more sense and for all we know that’s where they fled immediately!

  • Hufflepug

    So Fenrir Greyback is one of the most twisted and disgusting characters in the series. I wonder what he was like before he became a werewolf. There was obviously already something evil about him beforehand because otherwise we would see all werewolves ending up that way. I feel like he might have expressed some of the same psychopathic tendencies as Tom Riddle did when he was a child.

    • DoraNympha

      I agree, I am way more creeped out by Greyback than Voldemort, Bellatrix and Umbridge put together, albeit Voldemort certainly allowed and even encouraged Greyback in his disgusting acts. I think his past had a lot to do with isolation and neglect, regardless of when he got bitten, because that’s what he does, he infects children, kidnaps them and raises them isolated from society, brainwashed, etc. He was probably bitten as a child. I don’t even want to think too much about him, tbh, there’s something really gross, weirdly paedophilic and rapey about him (the way he talks when the snatchers capture the trio omg) behind sheer violence and love of gore and I think that has something to do with his own backstory. While I bet he was bitten as a child, the lycanthropy can’t have been the sole reason for what he became, I also think he had to be influenced by something else to become so aggressive, maybe even before his being bitten. We know his revengeful streak comes from being shunned from society or rather seeing how werewolves are usually outcast (because he himself wasn’t known to be a werewolf until he bit Lupin, so I don’t exactly know what he was so revengeful about personally rather than as part of a collective group of people). What we also don’t know is whatever happened to those kids in his “army”? What happened to them after the wars ended? Were they sent to Azkaban? That’s both fair and unfair, isn’t it? The werewolf army probably did a lot of harm and many probably murdered so it’s only right to punish them but can you really punish someone who was abducted as a child, raised by Greyback in his own weird community and brainwashed into killing? I can’t even wrap my head around all the ethical problems about this. Just disturbing.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        and again, that’s why the wizarding world needs social workers. Can’t just put people in prison and expect them to become better citizens by that.

      • Hufflepug

        You’re right. I never thought about what happened to those kids and it’s so twisted and ethically confusing that every answer seems wrong. I also think Greyback seems pedophilic… and it’s just so messed up to come to that realization when you’re reading a magical and wonderful Harry Potter book but Jo really does put some dark suggestions behind the story.

        • DoraNympha

          I agree, that’s one of the seriously messed up things in HP and to be honest I think the making of a Horcrux wouldn’t be nearly as disturbing as Greyback, if we ever get to know! That’s why I shake my head when HP is called a children’s story… not with Greyback in it!

  • DoraNympha

    There’s also a weird thing Slughorn says in this chapter:

    “‘Snape!’ ejaculated Slughorn, who looked most shaken and sweating. ‘Snape! I taught him! I thought I knew him!”

    Yeah and he thought he knew Riddle as well, I bet, so… why so shocked, Horace? Not like this is the first time this happens..?

  • Lord_Trolldemort

    This may or may not be on topic, but I was really reminded during the Snape discussion at the beginning of the chapter of my opinions on how ‘isolated’ Snape may have been after Dumbledore’s death. It’s true enough that Snape had to hide a great deal of his feelings and intentions, but given that he has always had a proclivity for the dark arts, I always saw his character as being a Death Eater and dark arts sympathizer for every subject but Lily Evans.

    Consider that Snape never had a dependable father figure during his formative years. He learns of and most likely meets Lord Voldemort through his connections with future Death Eaters while still young and finds that affirmation of his talent and worth through Voldemort’s approval, and perhaps even training of his skills (as we see through his abilities to take flight without the aid of a broom). One might assess that he saw Lord Voldemort as more of a father figure than he would have ever considered his family or Dumbledore. In return, unwittingly, in seeing Snape as worthwhile of his time and effort, Voldemort might have gained a view of Snape that may have been the nearest to a ‘friend’ as a man of his heartless nature could have had. This isn’t to say that he didn’t suspect Snape, but rather that he was impressed with him.

    I don’t think that Snape found outright camaraderie within the Death Eaters, but I don’t think he was necessarily maligned by them entirely. This may even be confirmed by the fact that Bella suspects him. She would only get this emotionally invested in tearing down someone who she saw as a threat to Voldemort’s favoritism, so obviously even if some of them were doubting him, others must have been just fine with him and perhaps even supported him.

    We get so few views of the Death Eaters that I can’t be too certain, but I speculate that Snape might have felt far more at home among those who use the Dark Arts than he ever had at Hogwarts.

    • Lisa

      I’m not sure how much Voldemort respected Snape during the first war or how high Snape’s position was. I mean, he was sent to sit in a pub and spy on Dumbledore (in case he said or did anything that might interest Voldemort) that doesn’t seem like something a high-ranking Death Eater would do. On the other hand, Voldemort did teach him how to fly, but that might have been only during the second war.

      • Lord_Trolldemort

        I definitely see where you’re coming from here. It’s very possible that Voldemort didn’t respect Snape, but also consider that the pub that Snape had been sent to spy on was expecting a visit from Albus Dumbledore himself. I can’t see him sending just anyone to spy on Dumbledore for him.

    • Slyvenpuffdor

      I don’t think that Volde is capable of being impressed with anyone in the way that most of us are familiar with. Whereas most people could view the actions of a friend, coworker, etc, and being genuinely impressed with their skill, wit, whatever it may be, Voldemort is impressed with others the way someone might be impressed with a dog listening to instructions.

      • Lord_Trolldemort

        I think that Voldemort most likely had an appreciation for skill within the art of magic. I think if Snape showed an aptitude for that, Voldemort would have seen it and recognized it and harnessed it. I could see Voldemort’s way of showing ‘respect’ as imparting the most valuable gift in his own eyes, his attention and instruction.

        I don’t think that I would classify that as him seeing Snape as a ‘dog listening to instructions’, but hey, that’s just generally my viewpoint.

  • Hermione’sAwfulKnitting

    Re: Voldemort being impressed with Draco

    I totally agree that Voldemort doesn’t give 2 poops about Draco (or anyone) as a person, and saying thank-you isn’t exactly his style. However, Voldemort does recognize when people are genuinely skilled or exceptionally loyal (Snape, Bellatrix, Wormtail) because these are the people who are most useful to him. He even rewards them at times (Wormtail’s silver hand, making Snape headmaster of Hogwarts), although these rewards shouldn’t be taken at face value because Voldemort only gives them when they increase his own power (Wormtail’s hand kills him when he is disloyal, Snape as headmaster gives Voldemort access to Hogwarts).

    I think that Voldemort was genuinely a little impressed with Draco, and showed it in his own creepy, self-serving way. In the first chapter of Deathly Hallows, Voldemort passes right over Draco and chooses to take Lucius’s wand instead. It would probably make more sense to take Draco’s wand and let Lucius keep his, after all, Lucius is a fully trained grown wizard with many more years of experience and service to Voldemort than barely-of-age Draco. But Lucius failed at his big mission while Draco pretty much succeeded at his, and did some pretty impressive magic to do it (remember how impressed everyone was when Hermione did the protean charm to make the enchanted Galleons? Draco did that too! Unless he just stole the Galleons from Hermione, a very Slytherin move which Voldemort would probably still appreciate). I know part of the reason Voldemort took Lucius’s wand was to embarrass him, but Voldemort is a very calculating dude and pretty much every move he makes increases his power in some way. Voldemort recognizes that Draco is a more competent wizard than his father, and he’s allowed to keep his wand because of it.

    A few chapters later, Harry has a vision of Voldemort using Draco to torture Rowle. Clearly Draco is not pleased with this arrangement, but pretty much any other Death Eater would have considered it an honor to be in his spot. That’s why Draco’s story is so tragic: he gets exactly what he thought he wanted (a better spot in Voldemort’s circle) but it ends up making his life a living hell.

    Voldemort probably knows how queasy torturing people makes Draco and that’s definitely a big reason why he makes Draco do it, but perhaps there’s a small part of Voldemort that thinks Draco has the potential to become a powerful dark wizard. By forcing Draco to torture people, he’s sort of helping Draco improve his skills while at the same time breaking Draco and bringing him further under his control. I don’t think that Voldemort sees Draco becoming his right hand man or anything like that, but at this point Voldemort sees more value in Draco’s continued service than he does in Lucius’s.

    Tl;dr Voldemort does recognize and reward Draco’s skill, but only because he can see potential benefit for himself.

    LOVED this discussion by the way, I think about what happened to Draco and the gang between Dumbledore’s death and the beginning of Deathly Hallows a lot, and it probably shows a bit lol

    • MartinMiggs

      Draco’s wandcore is unicorn hair so wouldn’t that make it difficult to perform Dark Magic? Just spitballing here

      • Hermione’sAwfulKnitting

        Yeah I think that and the fact that Draco has a conscience and isn’t genuinely evil both contribute to him being a pretty lousy dark wizard in the end. But Voldemort doesn’t understand either wandlore or human compassion that well so it probably doesn’t matter that much to him in his plans for Draco.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I’ve also thought a lot about how Voldemort would react to Draco once he returns from his mission, having partly succeeded but still having allowed Snape to kill Dumbledore. I like all of your points, especially about Lucius’ wand and also Voldemort “training” Draco. The reason he chooses Draco for the mission of killing Dumbledore (rather than just directly asking Snape to take care of it, which would have been more efficient) is only partly for pay-back to Lucius for failing at the Ministry; Voldemort’s larger purpose, I think, is to put Draco through a sort of Death Eater hazing/boot camp. He needs (yes, needs) to groom him as a leader of the next generation of Death Eaters.

      True, Voldemort believes he will live forever and always be the supreme leader, and he also believes that, eventually, everyone will be forced to serve him. Yet, as he brags to anyone and everyone, he is the *only* one who can live forever — soon, Bellatrix and Snape and his other top tier workers will be gone, and wouldn’t it be better to have a few loyal young Death Eaters whom he’s personally taught, promoted, and worked on their psyche such that he can trust (to the extent he trusts anyone) them to eventually assume the responsibilities of the present group of Death Eaters? I think this is the main reason why he spared Draco any real punishment for not personally killing Dumbledore, as he was ordered to do. I don’t think Draco’s life was in danger so long as he proved himself competent at performing at least some of his task successfully (if he had failed completely, of course, then Voldemort would have dispensed with him and turned to Theodore Nott or someone else to be his new leader).

      Voldemort is thinking strategically at this point about what the wizarding world will look like in the future once he has assumed total control. Although he seeks to rule primarily by means of fear (rather than respect), I think he’s sharp enough to realize that coercion only buys you so much loyalty, whereas people who he can brainwash from a young age and cause to feel indebted to him (because he gives them coveted missions or teaches them skills, etc.) would be more useful servants. So yes, he only values and rewards Draco in so far as he contributes to his own goals, but I do believe that he hand-picked Draco for a reason and was thinking about a larger role for Draco down the road.

  • 934always

    I wanted to add another point to the discussion about McGonagall suggesting to close the school. I think her grief was coming through in that scene but I also think that she was truly thinking about the safety of the students with Voldmort powerful and Dumbledore gone. Would have it been better for the school to be closed rather than students being terrorized by the Carrows? What if they closed Hogwarts? What if all the teachers had left? Would that have prevented students being kidnapped and tortured? Or would Voldmort have restarted the school with all death eater teachers and still forced all students to attend? We will never know but it was a valid question for anyone that had the students best interest at heart.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Alison is spot on with her explaination about why the school should be closed. Minerva is responsible for the entire school and she needs to make sure everyone is safe and if she can’t guarantee that, something must be done. She’ll go out and fight like no one else a year later when the Death Eaters are threatening the school, but only after bringing the younger students to safety.
      She is not putting anyone’s life in danger, she the mother of the castle, the lioness, and now I need to go on working on my Minerva Shirt.

      Or pick up Philosopher’s Stone and have Dumbledore alive again.

  • my kids are filthy muggles

    Personally I always thought that Fawkes had chosen not to be reborn again. Never really gave it much thought until now as to how it worked, but just as Harry just knew that Fawkes had left Hogwarts for good just as Dumbledore had left I thought Fawkes had just died. I feel like they were linked so deeply that when Dumbledore died Fawkes’s sadness was so deep that he just burst from within and went to join Dumbledore in the afterlife since there was nothing else for him here without him.

    One thing I love about this chapter too is when McGonagall is trying to get Harry to tell her what he and Dumbledore were doing. She goes “It might be important” and Harry is just “Well, it is but I still won’t tell you”. I think that this whole scene also shows how much Harry has grown and how he is becoming his own man and a leader. Granted, he still needs to learn many things, but I think that he is starting to appreciate the true meaning of the prophecy and taking his fate in his own hands. He could have easily told McGonagall or Lupin that Dumbledore was trying to find Horcruxes and let others handle it, but he didn’t. He chose to rise to Dumbledore’s expectations of him, or at least to what he thought Dumbledore expected of him and finish the job he ultimately was the only one who could finish it.

  • RoseLumos

    Shout out to whoever (maybe Michael?) does the editing for the chapter titles. I loved the music they found for Fawkes! Every time I read about the music in the book, I could always imagine the feelings it gave people but I could never really visualize the sounds. Now, I have a reference! I especially loved what sounded like a Celtic or Irish sounding melody in there.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I loved that music, too! And also especially because it was a Celtic (or Celtic-inspired) tune.

    • Hufflepug

      I agree. The chapter titles are always great but this one was just stunning!

    • Michael Harle

      Thank you! Yes, I edit all of the chapter titles (most of the sounds are sourced from wherever I can find them – I usually have very specific ideas in my head, so the hunt is often longer than I plan for).

      Interestingly, the music is not Celtic, but a piece of Chinese flute music . . . played backwards. I was debating about a Chinese or Native American piece, as they both seem to purposefully emulate bird sounds. But I didn’t want it to be too recognizable as that, so I reversed it. Glad you guys were taken with the effect!
      :{D

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        great idea of reversing it! I recognized the flute, but not the origin. So now we know that Chinese flute music reversed is suitable to a sad night in an old castle in Scotland!

  • Roonil Wazlib

    My heart is breaking for Ron and Hermione in this chapter. There is nothing like the feeling that you’ve let down one of the most important people in your life.

    “I messed up, Harry”
    “I was so stupid, Harry!”

    When have we ever heard Ron admit a mistake with so much responsibility and humility. When have we ever heard Hermione call herself stupid. Their pain in this scene is striking.

    They are only 17–none of this should’ve been their responsibility. Time and again throughout the series too much is asked of Harry, and he in turn asks too much of his friends. Usually, they rise to the occasion and fight by his side. This time is so different though. As Ron and Hermione see it, Harry was counting on them, they failed, and now Dumbledore is dead. This might be the most painful moment in the series so far for either of them.

    • RoseLumos

      That’s a great point. I think we sometimes forget what Hermione and Ron are going through. To be fair, Ron is about to make a much bigger mistake. However, no friendship is perfect and they both prove that although they may make a mistake here or there, they really are the best friends you can find and they will always be there for each other.

    • Slyvenpuffdor

      I would be willing to bet that Hermione is crushed on two fronts: the first being that she missed the signs of Draco’s machinations, and the second being that failed to trust Harry as a friend or at least help him figure things out. Her pride in her observational skills and intellect and her loyalty to her best friend both take huge hits in this moment.

  • Prongs_begone

    This is not the most on topic of questions… But am I the only one who wonders if the way readers feel about Snape relys somewhat on what house they are in? Like, personally I very much dislike Snape for a great many reasons (I’m a Gryffindor) yet I have friends in Slytherin who love him just because and other friends in Hufflepuff who like him because they feel bad for all the crap he had to go through (they also ship Snily quite hard). Does the difference in our opinions rely somewhat on the traits that put us in the houses we’re in?

    • Hufflepug

      Good question! I’m a Hufflepuff and I’m back and forth about Snape. The part of me that likes Snape likes him for his willingness to change his ways and sacrifice basically all of his happiness and security for Dumbledore’s cause. I also feel bad for him – that one comment that was read on the show this week about all the crap he has to deal with sums it up. Not a Snily shipper though, but I ship their friendship (friendshipper? Is that a thing?) But then I don’t like him because he did betray Lily and also because I don’t like anyone who gets involved in dark magic or who treats students so horribly. He is completely unfair to Harry and the Gryffindors in class and that drives me up the wall. So I guess from my Hufflepuff viewpoint most of my feelings about Snape stem from whether he is fair and loyal or not, which are both Hufflepuff qualities. I want to see what the other houses have to say :)

      • Prongs_begone

        From the Gryffindor p.o.v I respect his bravery in being a double agent. But he acted cowardly, and weak during his school years by giving in to the temptation to join the dark arts. He also hates my house which is something I that rubs me the wrong way. I accept, however, that I may be a bit bias because the rivalry between our houses. I very much dislike Snily romantic or not, mostly because I believe that their relationship was toxic to Lily and not worth risking her life. I also think that, honestly, he didn’t really love lily, he confused guilt, regret, and obsession for love (but I don’t see how that is attached to me being Gryffindor)…

        • Hufflepug

          I don’t think all of it necessarily has to be tied to house, it’s also a matter of values and beliefs that may end up fitting with your house :)

          • Prongs_begone

            I think that maybe you’re right… But ,because the houses are based on what qualities those sorted into the house value, it
            can be said that what house you are in has some effect on how you feel about Snape. Or rather that there is at least some correlation between what house you are in and your feelings towards Snape, simply because if you are in a certain house you share the importance of core values with the rest of your house.

    • Slyvenpuffdor

      I mean there’s something to people of different general values having different opinions about Snape, but I wouldn’t think it’s significant.

      • Prongs_begone

        Then you have to admit that it’s a coincidence that many Gryffindors don’t like him and many slytherins like him very much

    • Lisa

      It’s interesting, I guess it’s possible that there is a connection between house and likings. I think in general people who end in Slytherin tend to like the bad guys more than the good guys. I doubt too many Weasley family fans are in Slytherin, for example. I’m a Slytherin and I’m indifferent to Snape so I don’t know. Although I like other characters who are Slytherins in the books (or former Slytherins) more than I like characters in the Gryffindor house.

      • Hufflepug

        My Slytherin friend likes bad guys who turn out to be redeemed to some extent. Some of her favorite characters are Snape, Percy, and Kreacher. Maybe it has to do with Slytherin being stereotyped so much. So I can see how Slytherins, especially those who would support Harry rather than Voldemort, would like Snape.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          My Slytherin friends are the ones who like complex characters, who enjoy role playing games with detailed backstories, who are not afraid of exploring the darker aspects of a story or a character, who go through hell and back with their characters and still stick to their beliefs, or have their characters go through several mind changes in more than one dimension. They prefer to play races who are the subject of prejudice, they like to give their characters disadvantages to work against. They don’t like easy games, they are strategists, they are fiercely loyal to their friends.
          Sounds a bit like Snape.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      speaking as a Ravenclaw, the field of studying human feelings, behaviours, relationships, psychological processes and their depiction in literature Severus Snape provides is very interesting. Lots of material, lots of people participating again and again, that’s lovely.
      But from my personal interests I prefer to turn my attention to other characters who are not discussed that often and thoroughly, don’t cause as much emotional outbursts and are less intensively explored in fan fiction.

      My personal feelings regarding Snape differ depending on the scene I’m looking at and if I’m just reading and following Harry or if I’m looking at another layer of the story.

      If we want to know if there is a connection, as you mentioned, someone could take samples from the comments of this book and another, not Snape-centered book and evaluate them for opinions, sorted by houses. Would make a great piece of scientific work!

  • lostonplatform93/4

    This is such a small detail, but has anyone else ever felt like Dumbledore dying on June 30 was too late in the year to make sense? Hogwarts final exams hadn’t even happened yet at this point, meaning that students were scheduled to take their exams in July. This is much later than previous years, when exams usually begin early to mid June. I think the only reason we believe he dies on this date is because the Ministry can only keep the contents of Dumbledore’s will for 31 days and Scrimgeour gives the contents to the trio on July 31. However, the 2013 Mugglenet fandom calendar has Dumbledore’s death at June 11. This date makes much more sense in terms of when the school year would end. Do we think this is another case of Jo getting confused by math or did the Ministry keep the contents of the will for more than 31 days?

    • Hufflepug

      Yeah it is weird. I’m looking at the wiki now and even though it has Dumbledore’s death listed as June 30th, the page for Hogwarts says that exams are held on the first week of June and results come out the next week. I think the wiki probably has Dumbledore’s death date listed wrong. Maybe his will was only available to the Ministry starting on June 30th for whatever bureaucratic reason but he died almost a month before that.

      • lostonplatform93/4

        Ah I like the idea that the will was only available to the Ministry starting June 30. That is going to be my headcanon now! :)

  • RavenPaw

    I really think that the reason for Dumbledore turning a blind eye to Draco’s plan is simply because that’s his personality. I don’t think he ever really outgrew the ‘for the greater good’ thing, and even though he knows the damage that sacrifices can do. I do think that he sincerely cared for the safety of his students, but him not putting a stop to Draco’s attempts at murder really shows how he still is the man that he was at sixteen. This also applies to his master plan for defeating Voldemort. Like the hosts have previously said, it’s like he’s playing chess. He sacrifices some people for others. I think it would’ve been interesting to read about his thoughts after Ron and Katie nearly died, to see whether he placed any blame on himself, because really, it was his own fault.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Exactly. He sent Remus to the werewolves knowing that they would resent him for consorting with wizards and he sent Hagrid to the giants knowing not only that the giants were dangerous, but that Death Eaters would be going there also. I don’t think there’s anyone, including himself, he wouldn’t sacrifice for the Greater Good. But these are very deliberate decisions, he will save everyone he can even if that means others are lost.

  • RavenPaw

    Something that has always bugged me is when Harry is talking about how Snape probably never cared about his (Harry’s) mother either, using the evidence that he called her a mudblood. Lupin went to school with Snape and Lily, most likely had lots of classes with them, and was in the popular group of the school. How did he not know that they were very close friends?! Surely he would’ve heard James talking about them even if he didn’t notice himself? Or was he keeping information from Harry as to not further upset him, knowing that his mother was friends with a murderer? Or, was Lupin simply too caught up in emotion to even register Harry’s comment?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I believe that in that moment Remus does not give enough notice to what Harry is saying to realize that he could have reason to correct him. During her friendship with Severus Lily did not hang out with the marauders outside of class on a regular basis. And when she started dating James, her friendship with Severus was no longer a thing. So Remus would have noticed that Lily and Severus were friends, but to what extent that friendship was important to her is not as obvious, because she is known to be friendly to everyone. Severus did not emphasize his friendship with her in public, because he liked it best when they were alone.

  • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

    I just had a crazy thought about Dumbledore, Fawkes, and the puppet master theory!

    In Norse mythology, the god Odin has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. They fly around the world and bring Odin information about what’s going on. Maybe we have the same relationship between Dumbledore and Fawkes – Fawkes flies around Hogwarts and bring Dumbledore information. That would explain a lot of Dumbledore’s knowledge – the knowledge that gives him the ability to be the puppet master. We know for a fact that Dumbledore has used Fawkes as a look-out at least once, so I find it likely that Fawkes may play a much larger role in than we see. Maybe Fawkes is the true master of mystery!

    I read a bit more about Huginn and Muninn, and found out that their names in Old Norse mean “thought” and “memory”, respectively. I find this striking as thought and memory are the two things Dumbledore uses to unravel the secrets of how to destroy Voldemort – by collecting memories and thinking about their connections.

    And by the way, to answer Alison’s question, I’m a Slytherin, not a Hufflepuff :)

    • SnapesManyButtons

      She got that from your user name because on the Very Potter Musicals they told us that Hufflepuffs are very good Finders! Great comment, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was true.

      • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

        Thanks. But what the h*ll is a Hufflepuff? 😉

        • SnapesManyButtons

          They’re the ones hanging out by the hidden swimming pool!

          • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

            Hahaha! That’s the best answer ever!

  • The Half Blood Princess

    46.5 hours! Impressive. Most impressive.

    Harry doesn’t really care who the half-blood prince is, Hermione’s the one who was trying to find out.

    The comment wasn’t suggesting that Snape liked Harry, it said he envied him. Regardless of whether you agree with the comment, it seems clear to me that Snape envies Harry.

    I forget, did Lily ever call Snape a coward? From what we could see?

    I heard JK Rowling told AR that Snape was in love with Lily.

    You judge Snape partly based off of how the fandom sees him? How is that fair?

    I agree that Draco is an ant.

    I read Draco’s pottermore backstory. It was pretty good.

    Question, if the DEs have big all-hands on deck meetings like the one in the beggining of DH, why is Karkaroff only able to identify a handful of DEs?

    Earlier in the book, Lupin said he neither liked nor disliked Snape. I think what it really was was, Lupin both liked and disliked Snape, and those feelings balanced eachother out. Now that Snape has killed DD, he has tipped the scales into “dislike”.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      to your question: I don’t think they have those meetings with that many persons that often. Back in Karkaroff’s time they were organized in smaller groups and only group leaders knew other group leaders, and I believe Karkaroff was no group leader.

      Judging characters: I believe that how you feel about a character and how that feeling changes is influenced by different experiences / has different phases:

      when you first read about it,you try to get an opinion.
      how your feelings change

      a) through the years

      b) with the rereads

      c) through what other fans say about them

      d) through fan art (this is a part of c, really, but let’s split it into creative works like fan fiction, drawings, films etc, and discussions, either in person or online)

      and e) through later added details, from interviews with Jo or from Pottermore

      I feel that many do not have that much problems with characters, because they take them as they come, and make their minds up about them. But when other fans take and formulate different views, we are challenged to compare our positions and re-arrange what we have been thinking. And sometimes other fans have ideas that are so much different that we just shake our heads and oppose those ideas by disliking the character even more. Although this happens too, when you like a character and later you like them less because other fans make you rethink your views.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    I think Harry deserves points for the comment about how Snape didn’t care about Lily, because it’s a sign that Harry remembers that this applies to Lily as well, and even if Harry reached the wrong conclusion, he at least considered the possibility.

    I love the line about how DD would be glad to know there was a little more love in the world. It’s so true.

    Why was Slughorn named head of Slytherin? He was only a teacher for one year. Oh yeah… there are only 2 Slytherin teachers with names.

    • pennysoakystation

      He was head of Slytherin before he retired, so he was just put back in his old role.

  • Lord_Trolldemort

    I know that there’s been some talk of this already, but I’m absolutely horrified by Fenrir Grayback. I feel like, encased in him or the idea/description of him, is a very concentrated and revolting form of all of the base carnal evils. His physical attraction towards attacking women and children particularly disturb me and I wouldn’t put it past him to be a rapist (and I do not throw that word around lightly, not that anyone really ever should). I think that his thoughtless form of violence strikes a deeper cord with the readers because at least you know that Voldemort’s brand of cruelty always has a purpose and an end. Fenrir’s does not and is usually dictated moment per moment by his carnal desires, whether it be for food or for flesh or for both. I think that’s what scares me about him most.

    • The Half Blood Princess

      Bellatrix Lestrange is simmilar in those regards.

      • Lord_Trolldemort

        I always thought of Bellatrix as someone who put her loyalties to Voldemort before her ‘carnal needs’ and everything else in her life for all that matter. In her sick and twisted way, I’m sure she enjoyed the more bloody aspects of her job, but I always speculated that would be because she was doing a suitably good job for her master.

        • Lisa

          I think Bellatrix likes having power over her victims but Greyback’s type of evil would probably be too unsophisticated for her, in a way. She doesn’t like to get physical as much as him, she keeps her distance and casts the Cruciatus Curse, whereas Greyback enjoys ripping someone’s skin open with his nails and teeth. But yeah,they’re both evil and sadistic, it’s just that Greyback is more of a thug and Bellatrix’s evil is more similar to Voldemort’s.

    • Hufflepug

      DoraNympha and I were talking about this earlier and I’m glad you agree. He’s on his own level of evil… we were saying how there’s even something pedophilic about him. It’s not even just violence what he does – it’s like this horrible, carnal pleasure in violence and a complete disregard for anything or anyone else. And what’s scarier is that despite all of his over-the-top violence and insanity, he’s still “realer” than a lot of the villains in the series because there are people out there who do take pleasure in those horrible things. You know, the people who are the reason we lock our doors and stay with our kids in public and don’t walk down dark allies at night. And I agree so much with what you said about him being different from Voldemort. Not to say that Voldemort has an ounce of good in his body, lol, because he doesn’t.

      • Lord_Trolldemort

        Thanks so much for agreeing! I definitely see where you’re coming from here. It’s not even the extreme violence which I find to be so unnerving, it’s the illogicality of it. I feel like Fenrir is really a good example of someone who is a slave to their carnal needs, whatever it may be. Because Voldemort is after power solely, the threat of him being illogical does not exist (but the threat of his petulance is definitely present).

      • thequeerweasleycousin

        I have issues with comparing Greyback to pedophilia. I will try and explain why, and I try to choose my words carefully here. The problem is, pedophilia is comparable to a severe mental disorder: people have it, regardless of if they want it or not, and they have to find a way to deal with it. There are lots of people that struggle against it and try everything to fight it down. I think you can rather compare it to being a werewolf in general: at full moon/in certain situations you turn into something that has a desire to hurt other people. You can fight that desire (like Lupin does) and try your best to keep everyone from harm. And if you are a really cruel and evil person you enjoy it and try to cause as much harm as possible (like Greyback). But also, Greyback is not all about blind violence, he has some kind of political agenda: infect all children and turn them against the wizards.
        It’a a really difficult topic to talk about, because it raises a lot of emotions, and so horrible things happen to children. But sometimes I find it important to remind everyone that even though someone is pedophilic, they can be a decent human being. And not everyone who abuses children is pedophilic, either.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          thank you very much for this very considerate and informative comment!

        • Hufflepug

          Thank you for your well-thought out comment. I hadn’t considered that side of it (again… emotions) and I agree with you 100%.

        • Lord_Trolldemort

          WOAH. Super insightful comment! Thanks so much for sharing. You definitely added a whole new shade to this conversation.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    gendered emotion moments

    Molly and Fleur realize that they have more in common than what sets them apart. We don’t know exactly how old Molly was when Bill was born, but we can assume that she was about the age Fleur is now. So the prospect of her grownup firstborn son getting married in FOUR WEEKS! That’s like tomorrow! When it feels like it was yesterday that he was her baby boy. Fleur is only scared when her loved ones are in danger. Who else do we know who feels that way? Molly.

    This is a wonderful example of Jo showing us how much women gain when they don’t oppose each other, especially not over men they love. There are more examples, as well in this book as in the other ones – Hermione and Luna fighting over whether there are heliopaths; Hermione and Lavender over Ron’s
    attention – and of course it applies to men opposing each other as well – when Ron is jealous about Harry entering the Triwizard tournament – and in mixed constellations – Molly and Sirius argue if Harry is allowed to as questions about the order.
    The Sorting Hat said it two years ago: unite!

  • ScarletGhost

    I never really realized how much of an info dump this chapter really is until this re-read. It’s pretty much just dialogue about what happened that night when Harry was away. I find this very interesting because it actually works. Writers are constantly told “show don’t tell” but this goes against that totally and I can think of 2 reasons why it works, and I think it’s a mixture of both. 1.) Because had we cut back to the actual battle happening it would have drawn us out of the story and the pacing. 2.) Becuase J.K. shows the reactions and emotions from the other characters over the news (such as Hermione almost breaking down over letting Snape go) and that’s what truly drives this chapter. [On top of the last “had left Harry” line, I swear that has to be one of the most heartbreaking lines in the entire series, I want to die whenever I read it, no matter how many times I come back to it I still have the same emotional response I had when I was 10 when I first read it, I don’t even like Dumbledore much anymore but I absolutely hate and love that line.]

    • RoseLumos

      It’s funny because a week ago I was getting ready to read this chapter again and I thought to myself, “uh this chapter is such an info dump it’s so boring.” But after reading it again I realized that this is a great example of how to write an info dump properly. JKR didn’t just info dump, she made sure we knew how each and every character felt about the situation, which made it great. In a side more, the one character who gets ignored in this chapter is Luna. She is in the chapter, but she had no lines and just sits there. She is probably as shocked and upset as everyone else, but I would have liked to hear one of her classic Luna lines that makes everyone feel better.

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    Another thought about McGonagall – we see her react very similarly to the death of the Potters. She is in shock, but trusts the people around her and while she does grieve and is upset, she takes the necessary steps to make sure that things continue/go on as planned. In Sorcerer’s Stone, that’s making sure Harry is okay. In Half Blood Prince, it is making sure the students are safe. She really is a true leader in that never fails to step up to the plate when others might be distracted by their emotions and makes sure to handle those situations professionally and respectfully

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    I have to touch upon the surprisal of how quickly Lupin turned from trusting Snape to hating him so much once Harry tells him what happened. I don’t think it’s surprising at all! Everyone has been in that situation. In the third book when Harry wants to kill Sirius, 10 minutes after he finds out that Sirius is his godfather he wants to go live with him. it’s the same thing.

    • my kids are filthy muggles

      It’s similar but I don’t think it is exactly the same thing. To me it is not surprising because Lupin never really liked Snape and the only reason he somewhat trusted him was because Dumbledore trusted Snape. He said it himself, he trusted Dumbledore so he must trust Snape. Lupin was not happy about it, he didn’t like it but it was something he had to do even if deep down he wanted to punch Snape in the face everytime he saw him. We have to remember that they disliked each other since school and I bet anything there was a part of him (Lupin) that blamed Snape for Sirius’s death too.

      As for Harry’s change of heart about Sirius it’s also understandable because he was not only presented with an alternate story about what happened to his parents but he was given proof in the form of Wormtail so it is reasonable that he would change his mind rather quickly. What could be surprising is how Dumbledore is willing to believe the story without actually seeing Wormtail himself, but then again, Dumbledore always knew more than he led on so it might not be surprising at all.

  • RoseLumos

    Happy July 31st everyone! I know May 2nd is considered Harry Potter Day because of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I think this day is even more special!