First off, I have to say how much this section sucks. Even though Harry's being stupid and stubborn and should have learned Occlumency goddammit, I still want to fold him up in my arms because man he's got to feel like crap after all this (Sirius DEAD, friends INJURED, Bellatrix and Voldy ESCAPED) and I totally get how he let it all get to that point. He has the vision, actually tries to find adults to get help for once (growth!) and forgets Snape, which is actually pretty understandable because Snape always presents himself as an enemy even though they're technically on the same team. I would argue that after being reminded of Snape and the whole hike in the woods, Harry should have just gone back up to the castle to find him. OR, after having the vision, he could have used the secret passageway into Hogsmeade to use a fire there to contact Sirius and avoided Umbridge's fire altogether. But hindsight, right?
The Department of Mysteries is an excellent setting for an adventure. Sure, they could have been in an empty basement somewhere and had a five-page battle and that would have been the end of it, but instead we get tanks of brains and time in a bell jar and a veil of death and all sorts of other excellent oddities. I really love how the kids keep getting distracted by stuff in a way that very much reminds you that they are not grown-ups and someone has to keep saying, Hey, aren't we in the middle of something? so that they can get on with it.
Let's take a minute to talk about Bellatrix, shall we? That lady is the CRAZY. Malfoy's all cold and evil and controlled but she's just wild and loves hurting people and also loves Voldy and who thought that was possible? Not I. And then she kills Sirius BUT HOW? Is it the spell that kills him or falling through the veil? Are we even sure he's dead? (JK, there's your cue to bring him back.) And then Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse on her and I'm all "Noooo, don't go to the Dark Side, Harry!" but I am privately cheering because she is the worst in the best way. By which I mean that she is a much more interesting evil person than Umbridge is.
But Sirius dies! And it is so sad because even though he is sometimes a jerk, he is the only adult that Harry really loves and trusts and it is just the worst because he is neither the first nor last in the long line of traumatic losses Harry must experience. Why must he go it alone (or at least without adult guidance?).
I can't end this post without talking about Luna: "Well, I've lost most of my possession," said Luna serenely. "People take them and hide them, you know. But as it's the last night, I really do need them back, so I've been putting up signs" (862). I cry. She is mocked and burgled and pretty much the laughingstock of Hogwarts, but she's so strong and self-assured and generous in the face of all that and I just respect her so much. She is a great friend, even without having any practice, and Harry should respect the crap out of her, but all he can muster up is pity. LUNA DOESN'T NEED YOUR PITY. Empathy and friendship, yes, but she is too strong and beautiful and wonderful to need pity. Her awesomeness is only matched by Ginny's awesomeness, which makes me extremely glad that they are friends, or at least companions drawn together by personal losses that make it difficult to truly relate to other people. Oh, and she kicks butt at the mystery and single-handedly gets Ron and Ginny safely out of the planet room. But you know what she would say about all that?
|Me too, Luna. Me too.|