So before I get into all the sads and Dudley being a real human being and whatnot, I need to say it - the plan to get Harry out of Privet Drive is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. Why make seven Harrys when they could just turn the real Harry into someone else and totally confuse the Death Eaters into not killing anyone? OR, why not turn the protectors into Harry Potter so that they can protect themselves and their charges better? OR, why not transform the whole lot into Muggles and have them stroll out of Privet Drive? OR, why not just shove Harry into the Dursleys' trunk and than apparate him away from a different, non-protected point? OR...we could do this all day. Suffice it to say that I think this giveaway plan is strong on drama and danger and weak on strategy and logic. Just wait until we find out whose idea it was and we'll all really be confused.
AND, to make it even worse, Hedwig DIES. WTF, JKR? That is clearly a moment designed to make us cry confusedly because, like Cedric's death, it happens so suddenly that it takes a minute for the brain to catch up, and also to make us to feel HORRIBLE about ourselves because when real human being Charity Burbage was summarily executed and EATEN BY A SNAKE a few pages earlier we were all, how sad, that Voldy is quite the jerk and now, when a freaking BIRD is abruptly murdered, we are all
And then, a few pages later, when we find out Moody was killed, we are all Ho hum, I'd cry about this except I HAVE NO TEARS LEFT. Fresh out, I tell you.
Totally random aside, but every time I listen to this audiobook (which has happened more times than I'm ready to admit), I get really confused by the epigraphs at the beginning and have to check to make sure I'm listening to the right book. Because, yes, I would have LOVED epigraphs to every book, but starting epigraphs with the seventh and final book is just a little silly and inconsistent and really? Aeschylus? It's a little jarring.
So Harry has his moment with the Dursleys when it is confirmed that they are indeed giant assholes, until Dudley proves to have a real, human, non-hairy heart and we're all like aww. Then he gets to the Burrow and Ron is being an asshole to his mom, as ever, and she is dealing with her fear and anxiety by being crazy and controlling and we all totally get it. Meanwhile, Hermione has put a spell on her parents so that they will forget her very existence and move halfway across the world where maybe, one day, she may be able to find them again if, you know, she SURVIVES and we're all what a clever girl you are Hermione! And that is totally effed up. I'm so glad the director of the movie realized that and showed this to be a horrifyingly sad thing.
On a lighter note, Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches - "and it's not all about wandwork either" (133)! I feel like this is the most awkward book ever to give your emotionally reticent best friend who just broke up with your sister, but it is also hilarious and I love Ron's pointed efforts to, you know, NOT be an asshole, and his approval of Harry's apparent use of the techniques outlined on his own mother (by which I mean being a decent person and complimenting her). Speaking of Mrs. Weasley, and back to the tears, Mrs. Weasley gives Harry the traditional wizard coming-of-age gift, a watch. SO SWEET. Especially since Harry probably wouldn't even have known he was missing out if she hadn't given it to him, but she just cares so much about him that she wanted him to have it anyway. Speaking of Harry's birthday gifts, is it weird that EVERY Weasley AND the Delacours give Harry a gift? It's weird, right? As far as we know, Harry never gives ANY of these people gifts, and how did the Delacours even know to bring him something? Were they cordially invited to the wedding of their daughter, but more importantly the birthday of some teenager they never met before who is the questionable hero of a different country? Weird.
Did anyone else find the bit during the wedding, when the ceremony turns into the reception, to be really unnerving? I mean, Auntie Muriel can barely stand up and most of the ladies are probably wearing heels and here there are chairs flying about and floors changing substance and all sorts of extremely shaky things going on. Also, are sandwiches wedding food in England? For a casual wedding sure, but this seems to be a rather fancy affair.
Last point and then I think I'll leave it here for this week as I've done all the sobbing I can for one day: where the hell would Harry and Ron be without Hermione?? Never was this so clear as when they had to flee the wedding and Harry's all man, I wish I'd brought my invisibility cloak and I really wish I wasn't so awkwardly dressed and Hermione's all, no worries, I'VE GOT EVERYTHING WE COULD EVER POSSIBLY NEED. What was Harry's plan? No, seriously, what did he think he was going to do when he didn't even have basics like eating and sleeping covered. It's like - I don't know what it's like. I have literally never been that unprepared for anything in my whole life. Maybe like going to the grocery store while intentionally leaving your list and money at home, time a million?