The Master Post
My original review
Okay, the first thing we need to talk about today is yet another horrifying example of injustice in the wizarding world. I could summarize it, except Cornelius Fudge just says it so much better:
"'Look at it from my point of view... I'm under a lot of pressure. Got to be seen doing something. If it turns out it wasn't Hagrid, he'll be back with no more said... If someone else is caught, you'll be let out with a fully apology...'" (pg. 261)Is this man serious? He, the highest representative of wizarding law in England, is going to incarcerate somebody because he's got to be seen doing something? No evidence, other than the word of a child-turned-serial murderer fifty years before? What, would actually holding an investigation seem too weak? The series has been full of injustices up until now, though most of them have been emotional manipulation on the part of Rowling, to make us hate Slytherin and think Harry is awesome. There's Dobby of course, though the fact that he's not human and his treatment is so widely accepted makes his slavery appear less heinous than it really it. Here, though, we see injustice pervading the very structure of wizarding society at a level that nobody can miss and nobody does anything about it. Hagrid isn't dragged in for questioning, he's imprisoned without trial, with only the hope of a meager apology to sustain him. Injustice is a major vein, nay artery running through the series, and this horrifying example only foreshadows the worse to come. And we'll get to what that jail is like next week...
Speaking of Hagrid - what the HECK is he thinking? Okay, so he always thinks beasts are nice and fluffy when really they want to eat your face, but sending Harry and Ron into the Forbidden Forest when there's some unidentified evil thing lurking around that has only failed to kill students due to dumb luck? Really? Hogwarts is already the most dangerous place EVER, does the staff really need to put the kids in more danger? And also, the return of Mr. Weasley's car, which has gone feral and dog-like, is just laughably awful. So now we know why there had to be the ridiculous flying-to-school scene, but was this really the best way that Rowling could get Harry and Ron out of the horrible situation Hagrid put them in?
To back up a little, let's talk about the diary. The ordinary-looking Muggle diary that Harry becomes inexplicably obsessed with despite the fact that nothing is written in it (okay, the random and violent abandonment in an out-of-order bathroom near the scene of a crime is a bit odd, but shh). But it turns out that Voldy wrote all sorts of things! Okay, I guess it is kind of cool, with how it can manipulate people and bring young Voldy back, and all through the power of WORDS. So yeah, good one J.K. Except for how this is supposedly a Horcrux even though it doesn't really seem like most of them and COME ON, Voldy would not have chosen a MUGGLE artifact to store his soul in and most of them don't even have personalities (see Hufflepuff's cup). But I'm getting ahead of my self (Deathly Hallows, I'm looking at you).
And then Harry and Ron are all heroic (except Harry's more so, obviously) and I want to just put both of them in time out for being so irresponsible and also smack the teachers for not figuring this stuff out, which I definitely think they should have been able to do even without knowing that Harry's hearing voices (step 1: make a list of any- and everything that can Petrify people), and also for apparently not notifying any parents of the mortal peril their children are in because NOBODY LEAVES and that just doesn't make any sense.
And then (this is the big one), after saving the world again, there is "Hermione running toward him, screaming 'You solved it! You solved it.'" Facepalm. No, Hermione. You solved it, and Harry stole your notes. LITERALLY. Stop undermining yourself, this is two books in a row now. And you, J.K. - we see through your not-so-clever ruse to make Harry the ultimate hero by having the real brains behind his brawn misrepresent herself. STOP IT.
Aaaand the general blah-ness of the beginning of the series is over. Onwards and upwards!