The Harry Potter Reread

The Harry Potter Reread: The Deathly Hallows, Chapters 7 and 8

The Harry Potter Reread was on Facebook the other day and a picture of Hanson (the band) popped up, and the Reread was like “whaaaaaaa?” The Reread has no idea why it needed to inform you of that. Other than the fact that it was a very jarring situation.

This week we’re going to celebrate a very important birthday and attend a fancy to-do at the Burrow. It’s chapters 7 and 8—The Will of Albus Dumbledore and The Wedding.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

 

Chapter 7—The Will of Albus Dumbledore

Summary

Harry has a dream back in Voldemort’s head about searching for a man. Ron wakes him, saying that he was calling for someone named Gregorovitch. Harry thinks that Voldemort is abroad looking for the man, and asks Ron not to tell Hermione that he’s seeing into Voldemort’s mind again. He’s fairly sure that Gregorovitch has something to do with Quidditch, but he can’t remember what. Ron reminds him that it’s his birthday, and Harry celebrates by calling his glasses to him with magic. (They poke him in the eye.) Harry then sends various objects flying about the room, before Ron suggests that he do his fly-up by hand. Then he gives Harry a birthday present: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, a book that Ron claims helped him understand everything about girls. The twins gave him his copy, and he insists he’s learned much.

They head downstairs to a pile of presents. Molly and Arthur give Harry a watch, a traditional present for wizards when they come of age. Harry’s is a hand-me-down from Molly’s brother, and she apologizes for it, but Harry is overcome and hugs her. Hermione gives Harry a new Sneakoscope, Bill and Fleur give him a magic razor, he gets chocolates from Fleur’s family, and new Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes mercy from the twins. Hermione volunteers to pack Harry’s gifts, claiming that she’s nearly done, just waiting for Ron’s underwear to come out of the wash—which is hardly a welcome discovery on Ron’s end. Ginny calls to Harry and he enters her room for the first time. She says that she didn’t know what to get him for his birthday, but decided that she wanted to give him something to remember her by while he’s out there, so she kisses him fiercely. And then Ron bangs open the door and utterly destroys the moment. Ginny turns away from Harry, possibly to cry, and Harry follows Ron and Hermione out of the room, then follows Ron out into the yard.

Once there, Ron starts in on Harry for “messing Ginny around” after ending things with her. Harry insists that’s not what he was doing, and that Ginny knows full well that they don’t have a future together. This puts Harry in mind of Ginny someday getting married to someone who is obviously not him. When Ron continues to scold Harry, he tells his friend that it’s not going to happen again. Ginny pretends that nothing happened at all, and Charlie arrives in the afternoon, helpfully distracting everyone. So many people arrive at Harry’s birthday dinner that Molly puts several tables out in the garden for the celebration. Everyone helps with the decorations, and when Hermione dresses the bushes and trees with streamers, Ron compliments her, to her confusion. Harry figures there’s a chapter in the book Ron gave him on that. Molly comes outside with a giant birthday cake for Harry in the shape of a Snitch. Hagrid arrives in his awful hairy suit, and Harry notices that while Tonks seems incredibly happy, Lupin looks the opposite. Harry and Hagrid reminisce about their meeting, but has to avoid Ron and Hermione’s eyes when it comes clear that Hagrid doesn’t know they’re not coming back to school. He gives Harry a drawstring pouch that prevents anyone but the owner from getting into it. Hagrid talks to Charlie and asks after Norbert—who turns out to be a lady dragon.

Mr. Weasley is late for the dinner. Suddenly, his Patronus shows up and conveys a message: The Minister of Magic is coming with him. Lupin panics, grabbing Tonks and running off. Arthur and Scrimgeour appear, and the Minister asks to speak to Harry, Ron, and Hermione alone. They all head into the sitting room, the trio worrying, wondering who could have told Scrimgeour that they were not coming back to school. He tries to separate them out, to talk to them individually, but Harry insists that they stay together. Scrimgeour tells them that he’s there about Dumbledore’s will, and is surprised that none of them know they were left anything by him. Harry asks why it’s taken so long for them to be told, and Hermione realizes that they’ve been examining all the items he left to them. When Hermione takes him to task for it, Scrimgeour insists that the law supports his actions—to which Hermione schools him on the law in question, pointing out that it’s meant for Dark artifacts, and that the Ministry would need powerful evidence to suggest that the items were dangerous. Scrimgeour asks Hermione if she’s planning a career in Magical Law, but she tells him she only means to do good in the world. Harry asks why they’re handing over the objects now; Hermione informs him that they only get 31 days to prove that they’re dangerous, so time’s up.

Scrimgeour asks if Ron was close to Dumbledore, startling everyone. Ron says they weren’t really before realizing that admitting to it is a mistake. Scrimgeour wants to know why Dumbledore would have bequeathed something to Ron when he barely knew the headmaster, especially since he gave out very few things in his will—the majority of his possessions were left to Hogwarts. Hermione insists that Dumbledore was fond of Ron, though they all know that’s not true. Scrimgeour reads the relevant parts of the Dumbledore’s will aloud, giving Dumbledore’s Deluminator to Ron. He suggests that Dumbledore might have invented the item himself and asks why he would have left something so special to Ron. He tells them that Albus only left items to them out of all the students he taught. When he asks what Dumbledore expected Ron to do with the Deluminator, Ron suggests that he’ll “put out lights, I s’pose.” So Scrimgeour moves to Hermione, who was left a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. He asks Hermione why she was left this book. Hermione suggests that Dumbledore knew she loved books as she wipes tears from her eyes. Scrimgeour asks if this book is a means to pass codes or messages, which Hermione denies. Harry is given the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match, and feels a bit underwhelmed by it.

Scrimgeour asks Harry is he knows why he was left that Snitch, and Harry figures it’s symbolic, to remind him to persevere, as Dumbledore suggested in his will. But Scrimgeour has a different idea; he thinks that an object might be hidden inside it. Harry doesn’t know why he’d think that, but Hermione does. It’s because Snitches have “flesh memories.” Apparently, a Snitch is never touched before it’s released, even by the people who create them. The first person to lay hands on a Snitch imprints upon it, meaning that the Snitch Harry has received will respond to his touch. Scrimgeour thinks that perhaps Dumbledore has hidden something for Harry in the Snitch. Harry realizes that the Minster is likely right, but he has no option but to take the thing. Nothing happens. Scrimgeour reveals that there was another item left to Harry by Dumbledore—Gryffindor’s sword. Scrimgeour informs Harry that the sword is a historical artifact, and so it was not Dumbledore’s to give. Hermione is furious about it, since the sword chose Harry in second year. When Scrimgeour asks Harry why Dumbledore would want Harry to have to sword, Harry gets flippant, bringing the Minister’s temper to the forefront. He asks if the sword is the only thing that can kill the Heir of Slytherin, to which Harry asks if the Ministry has assigned anyone to figure that out. Then he asks what else the Minister has been doing to waste time while people die all around them.

Calling Scrimgeour out on his BS finally gets a reaction, and the Minister pulls his wand on Harry and presses it to his chest, singeing a hole in Harry’s shirt. Ron gets to his feet to defend Harry, but Harry calls him off to prevent anyone from getting arrested. Scrimgeour goes off on Harry for his insolence, telling him it’s time that he learned respect. Harry counters that it’s time Scrimgeour earned it. Molly and Arthur burst in at the raised voices and Scrimgeour clearly regrets losing his temper so obviously. He once again suggest that he and Harry should be working together. And once again, Harry reminds him that he doesn’t like the Ministry’s methods, flashing that scar on the back of his hand, given to him by Umbridge: I must not tell lies. Scrimgeour leaves. Arthur asks what happened, and Harry explains that the Ministry released the objects in Dumbledore’s will. Everyone exclaims over what the trio was left and is upset over the loss of the sword, but no one understand the Snitch. The group eats and then the party is over. Hagrid sets up a tent for himself in a nearby field since he’s coming to the wedding the next day. Harry tells Hermione to meet him and Ron upstairs after everyone’s asleep.

Harry fills Hagrid’s moleskin bag with the shard of Sirius’ mirror, the R.A.B. locket, and the Marauder’s Map. Hermione enters, using the Muffliato spell so they won’t be overheard; apparently she approves of it these days. Hermione asks to see the Deluminator, wondering why it was given to Ron when they could achieve the same effects with Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder. Harry asks if Hermione thinks Dumbledore figured on the Ministry examining the items, and she figures he did. She also wishes that she knew why he couldn’t have given them hints about these items while he was still around. She also wonders why nothing happened when Harry touched the Snitch, which is when Harry points out that he misled Scrimgeour on purpose—because when he caught that Snitch, he nearly swallowed it. Harry presses it to his mouth, but it does not open. Then Hermione notices writing on it, reading “I open at the close.” None of them can figure out what that means. Ron asks about the sword again, and Harry wonders why Dumbledore didn’t just hand it over in his office last year. Hermione mulls over her book and the fact that she’s never heard of it. Ron is shocked; Beedle is the author of all well-known wizarding children’s stories. Hermione wonders why Dumbledore thought she should read them. They hear a creak downstairs and agree they should all get to bed.

Commentary

Harry goes into Voldemort Vision for the quest to find Gregorovitch, a mystery that gets solved in the very next chapter. But it’s his birthday! Yay? Ron gives him his first present, a book about how to figure out girls. Ron. Oh my god, Ron. Harry doesn’t really need help with that like you do. Which is mostly because Harry has already worked out that women are just people. Their discussion of the book does lead to this choice quote, however:

“Well, Fred and George gave me a copy, and I’ve learned a lot. You’d be surprised, it’s not all about wandwork, either.”

Wait. Wait, are we talking about wandwork or wandwork? You know what, don’t tell me, either way I’m disturbed.

Harry opens his other gifts, and the one from Molly and Arthur is a watch, which is part of wizarding tradition on a coming-of-age birthday. Molly feels the need to apologize for its secondhand-ness, but Harry is buried by his feels, and then I remember why I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night crying over these characters and their perfect relationships…

…no? That’s just me?

It’s everything that matters about Harry and the Weasleys. Harry, who comes from a respected pureblood family and has access to a fair bit of money, but would never think to look down on such a thoughtful gift just because it wasn’t new or fancy. Because the gift is entirely symbolic; Harry knows nothing about the common practices of magical culture, and the Weasleys (particularly Molly) always take it upon themselves to pull Harry into the fold by always doing the things his parents would have done for him were they alive. Family sweaters and supervising his first Floo trip and inviting him over for holidays and throwing him a birthday party. The watch isn’t there because Harry must have that gift when he comes of age. The watch is there because Harry is their son. And he knows.

We get Hermione’s mention of packing Ron’s underpants and more awkwardness all the way around, which then culminates in Harry and Ginny’s brief makeout session and Ron’s big-brother foot stamp about it. This is all incredibly important in the grand scheme of the story: Everything that happens in this chapter is foreshadowing Ron’s problems toward the middle of the book. Ron needs a book to “understand” women. Ron completely misunderstands why Harry is kissing his sister. Ron is still learning that compliments make a person like you better, that you actually have to be emotionally available to someone for them to take you seriously as a potential partner. This chapter should also make it pretty clear why Ginny and Harry end up together; this is a damned mature relationship for a sixteen- and seventeen-year-old to have, and they are entirely compatible as people. Ginny has the right sense of humor, a metric ton of bravery, she aligns precisely with Harry in all the ways that count, young or not. Her brother mistakes the moment he walks in on for Harry taking advantage of Ginny’s feelings, failing to recognize that NO ONE IN THE UNIVERSE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF GINNY WEASLEY WITHOUT HER EMPHATIC SAY-SO. Ginny is tough as they come. Ginny is saying goodbye, knowing that this might be the last moment they spend together, and she plans to make it count.

On the other hand, we get all this hinting about Remus and Tonks and, uuuuuuggggghhh this plot line pisses me off. At least it ends in Teddy Lupin (who is a fandom darling if I ever saw one, though we know practically nothing about him other than his multi-colored hair and adoration for Victoire), but that doesn’t excuse Remus, who is basically pulling a Tonks from the previous book, spending the whole time sad and cagey and difficult to be around. And there’s a legitimate reason for it with the Ministry being so anti-werewolf, but we don’t ever get information on what the Ministry is doing in that regard, which I think is a mistake. Let us know what Remus and Tonks actually have to contend with, don’t just make him frowny and then murder him.

(Brief aside: Norberta. I had completely forgotten than part. I feel like I lost a beloved birthday present and re-found it in my closet years later. Norberta the dragon. <3)

We get the items from Dumbledore’s will, but whatever, the whole point of this chapter is watching Hermione and Harry school Scrimgeour:

“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.

“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”

I don’t think this line affected me quite so much the first time around, but being older, I can take a step back and think about it. About what it means to have watched Hermione grow and evolve through these past six books and come out as this dazzling woman. And then I think about what we know of her future, about how she does go into Magical Law, and she does do good, and now I’m crying because 5000 points to Hermione Granger for being awkward and nosy and bad at people and proud of her own intelligence, and coming out the other side as this unstoppable force for change. It’s impossible to appreciate her enough.

She also does this, which is the best:

“I notice that your birthday cake is a Snitch,” Scrimgeour said to Harry. “Why is that?”

Hermione laughed derisively.

“Oh, it can’t be a reference to the fact Harry’s a great Seeker, that’s way too obvious,” she said. “There must be a secret message from Dumbledore hidden in the icing!”

I’m pretty annoyed with the bit about flesh memories magic where Snitches are concerned because that’s clearly just written in for this book. Up until this moment, there was never a suggestion that you had to use a new Snitch for every Quidditch game. Some of these fill-ins that Rowling has to do don’t bother me, and some of them stick out in ways they irk—this one gets under my skin and itches, even if it’s used to excellent effect. Just a shame it couldn’t have been brought up in an earlier book somehow.

And then Scrimgeour loses his cool with Harry, and this moment is such a slap in the face. Because I feel like there’s something to be said about the malleable line between being a child and being an adult that Scrimgeour throws into relief. Sure, seventeen is the coming-of-age for wizards, but age is an arbitrary marker at best for deciding when someone is an “adult.” Frankly, “adult” is a wobbly term all by itself. So I think it’s fair to say that while Harry is a fully-grown mature human being in some ways, in others, he’s not quite grown up yet. But Scrimgeour comes on this day, the day that the wizarding world says Harry is an adult—and even if the reason is due to time being lawfully up with Dumbledore’s bequeathals, it doesn’t change the fact that on this meeting he blows his calm to act violently toward Harry the way he would toward a grown man. He wants leave to treat Harry that way, yet he also wants the blind respect that adults often demand of children.

And it’s down to Harry to tell the Minister of Magic that no matter his own tender age, no matter his experience, he will not afford Scrimgeour respect he has not earned.

Yeah, I love this entire section.

We hear about the sword of Gryffindor, and on a reread, it’s obvious why Dumbledore leaves it to Harry when he cannot legally possess it; it’s simply to remind him to use it. A smart move that will pay off later on.

 

Chapter 8—The Wedding

Summary

By 3pm the next day, everyone is awaiting the wedding guests. Harry has taken Polyjuice Potion to look like a Muggle boy from town, with a plan to introduce him as their cousin Barny. Harry, Ron, and the twins are showing people their seats. The back yard is all done up, and Harry is very uncomfortable in his dress robes with a slightly larger body. Fred tells everyone that when he gets married, they can all wear what they like. George points out that Molly’s in a good mood despite everything, though she did cry a little in the morning over Percy not being there. Tonks and Lupin turn up during the seating, and Tonks apologizes for their flight the night before; the Ministry has been very anti-werewolf of late. Harry notices that while Lupin gives him a smile, when he turns away he looks upset again. Hagrid sits down in the wrong place, reducing several chairs to kindling, which Arthur repairs. Ron is seating Luna’s father Xenophilius Lovegood, who lives with his daughter just over the hill. Luna recognizes Harry immediately due to his expression, though luckily her father does not hear her greet him by name. She tells Xenophilius that she was bitten by one of the garden gnomes she was talking to, and he is elated, telling her that she may have been gifted with their magic. Luna tells Harry that he looks good in his dress robes and goes off to sit with her father.

Ron walks over with his Auntie Muriel, who is busy criticizing everyone. She’s displeased that Harry isn’t at the wedding, as she’d been waiting to meet him. Then she criticizes Fleur for being French and continues on with Ron toward her seat. Ron comes back later to complain about how she used to come over every Christmas until the twins set off a dung bomb under her chair. Hermione shows up looking lovely, and Ron compliments her. Hermione informs him that Muriel didn’t think she looked all that good, and Ron assures her that his aunt insults everyone. The twins show up to remark that they wished their Uncle Bilius was still alive because he was such fun at weddings (the one who saw a Grim and died a day later). As they’re all laughing over stories about him, Viktor Krum shows up, telling Hermione that she looks wonderful. He was invited by Fleur, and while Ron is steaming and Hermione is flustered, Harry shows him his seat. Viktor causes a stir in the tent, being a famous Quidditch player and all. The wedding begins, presided over by the same wizard who led Dumbledore’s funeral. Muriel praises her tiara that Fleur is wearing, but is displeased over how low-cut Ginny’s dress is. Ginny grins and winks at Harry when she hears. As Fleur and Bill are pronounced husband and wife, the balloons about explode releasing flowers and ringing golden bells.

The tent transforms itself for the reception, gaining a dance floor and tables and chairs for eating. Ron grabs the three of them butterbeers and suggests that they grab a table before anything else. They sit down at a table with Luna, who tells them that her father is giving Bill and Fleur their present. When Ron cracks a joke about it, Hermione tries to kick him under the table, but gets Harry instead. The first of the dances begin, and Luna gets up to join in, leaving a spot open for Viktor to sit. He asks about who Xenophilius is, but Ron doesn’t want to talk with Viktor—he tells Hermione to come and dance with him. Viktor figures that they’re dating now, then decides to talk to “Barny,” telling him that if he were not Fleur’s guest today, he’d duel Xenophilius. Harry asks why, and Krum tells him it’s because Luna’s father is wearing a symbol—something that looks like a triangular eye—that is Grindelwald’s sign. It turns out that Grindelwald killed Viktor’s grandfather back in the day. The Dark wizard carved the same symbol into walls at Durmstrang when he was a student. Viktor tells Harry that other students copied the symbol down to seem “impressive” until other Durmstrang students who had family killed by Grindelwald “taught them better.”

Harry suggests that Xenophilius might not know what the symbol means, given his usual odd theories. Krum isn’t sure how to take that and thinks that Barny might be making fun of him, so he draws his wand… and then Harry remembers that Gregorovitch made the wand, that he heard that name during the Triwizard Tournament when their wands were weighed. Krum doesn’t understand how Harry could know the maker of his wand, so Harry pretends he somehow read it in a fan magazine. He asks after Gregorovitch, and Viktor tells him that the man retired right after he bought his own wand. Harry realizes that Voldemort must be searching for the guy to find an answer to his wand problem. Viktor then asks about Ginny, and Harry tells him that she’s dating a big jealous dude, and that he should stay away. Poor Viktor is understandably put-out. Harry goes to tell Ron about Gregorovitch, but Ron and Hermione are still dancing. Ginny is dancing with Lee Jordan. The festivities proceed to get more drunken and more unkempt, and Harry is wandering around trying to avoid an uncle of Ron’s who thinks that Harry might be his son. Eventually he discovers Elphias Doge and asks to sit down next to him. He tells the man who he truly is and Doge is dearly pleased to talk to him. Harry mentions his obit on Dumbledore and Rita Skeeter’s interview. Doge is ashamed of being rude to her, though he still doesn’t like her one bit. When Harry brings up what she said about Dumbledore being involved in the Dark Arts, Doge tells him not to believe a word of it, insists that Harry let nothing tarnish his memory of the headmaster. It’s not the answer Harry wants.

Muriel hears Rita Skeeter’s name and starts talking about how much she loves the woman. She takes a seat from another Weasley and starts going on about the new book, giving Doge a hard time for worshipping Dumbledore, suggesting that it might turn out that Albus offed his Squib sister. Harry is shocked, and tries to clarify; all he’d heard was that Ariana was ill. Muriel says that it happened ages ago, and no one from their generation really knows what happened, which is why she’s so keen on getting a copy of Skeeter’s book. Doge insists that Dumbledore never spoke of his sister because he was devastated by her death, but Muriel points out that most people didn’t even know Ariana existed until she died. Then she mentions how terrifying Dumbledore’s mother Kendra was, saying that she was Muggle-born, though she might have pretended not to be, and would have been upset to have a Squib daughter. She tells Harry that in their day, Squibs were often sent to Muggle schools to integrate into their society rather than being second class among magical folk, but that Kendra would have never allowed her daughter to do that. Doge still insists that Ariana was not a Squib, that she simply had poor health, but Muriel demands to know why she never went to St. Mungo’s or saw a Healer; her cousin worked at St. Mungo’s and told her Ariana had never been in.

Harry is thrown by the entire conversation, wondering if Dumbledore’s sister had been subjected to a life like his at the Dursleys, only reversed. Muriel claims that if Kendra hadn’t died before Ariana, she’d have assumed that she did in her own daughter, but figures that perhaps Ariana killed her mother in a struggle to break free. She points out that Doge was at Ariana’s funeral, and when Doge insists that Albus was heartbroken, Muriel points out that Aberforth broke his brother’s nose at the funeral—she knows because her mother was friends with Bathilda Bagshot (the woman who wrote A History of Magic, an old friend of Albus’), who told her the whole story. Apparently, Aberforth shouted that Araina’s death was all Albus’ fault before decking him, and Albus didn’t bother to defend himself. Muriel reckons that Skeeter got Bagshot to talk to her, though Doge denies that she ever would. Muriel counters that Bagshot’s mental state isn’t what it used to be, and that getting information from her would be well worth the trek to Godric’s Hollow. Harry chokes on his butterbeer. He asks about that, and Muriel informs him that Bagshot’s lived there forever, along with the Dumbledore family. Harry cannot understand why, but Albus never having mentioned that they had this place in common feels like a lie to him, and he feels numb at the revelation.

Hermione comes to sit down, claiming that she can’t dance anymore. Ron is off finding more butterbeer, and she thinks that Viktor and Xenophilius were fighting about something. She notices something off about Harry and asks what’s wrong, but in that moment, Kingsley’s lynx Patronus appears on the dance floor. It has a message for them:

The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.

Commentary

Oh nooooooo, no, Fred makes a comment about how everyone can dress down when he gets married NOOOOOOOOO ROWLING HOW COULD YOU.

We meet Aunt Muriel, who is not quite as bad as Vernon in terms of terrible prejudiced relatives who you hate having at family functions? But she’s not much better, either. We also meet Luna’s dad, who is every bit as fun and out there and we’d expect him to be. Also, I want Luna to dance at every party I ever go to forever, the end.

I love the bit where Viktor explains to Harry about his anger over Xenophilius wearing Grindelwald’s symbol because it’s such an excellent fictional example about morphing symbology in the real world, and the problems it causes. Many know that the swastika was not originally a Nazi symbol at all, for example. But even though the Nazi’s appropriated it from another culture, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for other people to go around wearing swastikas—because the Nazi Party’s use of the symbol changed its meaning to the world. Here we have the same situation: to Xenophilius Lovegood, he’s wearing the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. But for Krum and other people who lost family and more at Grindelwald’s hands, he is wearing a symbol that represents a Dark wizard’s reign of terror and violence. Krum even talks of kids taking up the symbol at Durmstrang, and how other students who had been personally affected by his reign put a stop to it. (We don’t know if they did this peacefully or through intimidation, which is important as well.) And honestly, while I hope he didn’t hurt anyone to get his point across, I am absolutely on Viktor’s side in terms of how the symbol should be put aside going forward. Unfortunately, Xenophilius Lovegood isn’t exactly a person you can talk to reasonably on the subject, as we will later come to see.

Harry gets the chance to talk to Elphias Doge, a conversation that gets sidelined by Auntie Muriel and her mean gossip about Albus and his family. And now I remember what really happened with Ariana Dumbledore and Albus’ dad, which I had previously forgotten at the start of this book’s reread. True to form, what we’re hearing about Albus are extremes on both sides, just like the Daily Prophet’s sampling. And it’s clear that Rowling is doing this on purpose, is making the point that no one really gets these things right. Saints and demons, we love those, but rarely is a person remembered for who they truly were. Elphias Doge isn’t right about Albus, but neither is Muriel. One is too forgiving, the other revels in nastiness. And Harry doesn’t really believe either of them entirely—he just know there’s something wrong with the story. And then gets the extra punch of learning that Albus lived in the same place where his family did. Harry feels betrayed, but it seems likely yet again that this was done on purpose; Albus had no idea that Harry had planned to go to Godric’s Hollow, and probably wanted to ensure that he did. Leaving that important piece of info out certainly strengthens Harry’s resolve to go.

And then this chapter ends on the most horrific note possible. Even knowing it was coming this time around, my stomach dropped all over again. It’s perfectly ominous in every possible sense, and creating horror at a wedding is a sure way to prove you mean business.

Sooooo much information in these chapters! I’m sorry about the summaries having to be so long. Oof.

Emily Asher-Perrin still has chills over Kingsley’s Patronus message. You can bug her on Twitter and Tumblr, and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

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