You guys, I’m so excited to (finally) be writing this post! After the week I have had, I really needed some Potter therapy. I won’t bore you with the details, but it involved plenty of paper writing, driving, giving a big speech, a cat (and house) that reeks of skunk, being sick, and sleeping very little. Whew, I’m glad it’s over and it’s time for the good stuff! Back to Hogwarts (well, we’re almost there, anyway!)!
GoF was the first Harry Potter book that I got when it was first released. As I mentioned in my very first post on this blog, my mom bought one copy for my brother and me and I would steal it when he went to sleep and read until I just couldn’t stay awake any more. I remember my first impression was that it was SO BIG. There was so much Harry Potter story to get through. How freaking exciting was that? A big fat book that you just know you’re going to love before you even read it? What’s better than that? I also still have the audio book on approximately one bajillion cassette tapes, one of which has been missing for about 10 years. Who else had/has these? Shout out to all my book-on-tape peeps!
CHAPTER TEN: MAYHEM AT THE MINISTRY
I worry a little bit about poor Mr. Roberts and his family. Are they OK? We didn’t really know the extent of this at the time, but severe memory modification can really FUCK YOU UP. Mr. Roberts, if you’re out there, I hope that you’re not mumbling in a mental hospital somewhere. Semi-related sidenote: the obliteration of someone’s memory sounds like a pretty heinous crime to me. I don’t remember if we talked about this in our discussion of the Gilderoy Lockhart approach to fame and fortune, but the whole mind erasure thing is pretty messed up. I hope it’s punishable by a really long stay in Azkaban. It’s nearly equivalent to taking away someone’s life.
Anyway, back to THIS book. The crew makes the trek back from the QWC in a somewhat more subdued fashion. Upon arrival at The Burrow, Mrs. Weasley is, shall we say, a bit upset. I wonder how close to danger the Weasley family members need to be for the clock hands to point to “mortal peril”. I have a feeling Mrs. Weasley was glued to that clock all night. What happens when a Weasley dies? Does that hand disappear? That’s so sad.*
On a lighter note, Percy is so annoying in this book. I would propose a drinking game wherein we drink every time he says “Mr. Crouch” or “cauldron bottoms” but we would probably be too drunk to read by the end… of this chapter.
Amidst all of the Weasley reunioning, Harry pulls his best pals to the side and tells them about his scar hurting. OH MY GOD, HARRY! YOUR SCAR HURT? ARE YOU SURE YOU AREN’T GOING TO EXPLODE OR SOMETHING!? EMERGENCY!! I swear, they either lose their shit or they’re all like whatevs, we’ve got our own problems. You never quite know how it’s going to go down. Mostly, it’s panic city.
Instead of talking to the Weasleys, who are RIGHT THERE and ideally equipped to help him, Harry has sent Hedwig to Sirius. My general theory about this is that it’s usually easier to talk to your cool, aloof uncle about stuff than your parents. These aren’t exactly the relationships here, but close enough.
While everyone else was having fun at the Cup, Mrs. Weasley has picked up all their school things. Aw man, no shopping sequence! I guess there’s really no way to make that interesting for six books in a row. It is here we are first introduced to Ron’s terrifyingly moldy dress robes. I guess it’s better than how they are delivered in the movie, right to the table in the great hall, but I feel so bad for Ron. He is just so embarrassed by them and it makes me cringe. I never understood why he didn’t just wear his normal school robes to the ball.
How awful it is to be an awkward teenager wearing embarrassing clothes. Been there.
Harry, on the other hand, gets pretty green ones.
I thought they’d bring out the color of your eyes, dear.
CHAPTER ELEVEN: ABOARD THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS
Even though we can’t always have “shopping for school supplies” sequences, at least we always get to ride the train. I love riding the train. I’m a big fan of trains in general, and the Hogwarts Express in particular. I’m not really sure why they don’t make an actual train that just circles the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I would ride that shit for hours as long as I could buy cauldron cakes, chocolate frogs, and pumpkin juice (preferably fizzy) on board.
Before we leave on the train, there’s the chaotic “getting ready to leave” scene at the Burrow. Amos Diggory’s head shows up in the fire, giving a report to Arthur about Mad-Eye Moody’s crazy dustbins attacking an intruder.
Arthur, you know Mad-Eye… Someone creeping into his yard in the dead of night? More likely there’s a very shell-shocked cat wandering around somewhere, covered in potato peelings.
I am totally picturing my cat, Kaylee, walking around covered in potato peels. That is definitely something that would happen to her.
So, Barty Crouch Jr. must have been studying Moody for a while before kidnapping him. I can’t see him taking over Moody’s life with only one day of practicing his mannerisms.
They all make the awkward trip to Kings Cross, the Weasley family all make these last-minute cryptic comments alluding to the Triwizard Tournament, and then load a very perplexed group of kids onto the train. Then Malfoy is a dickface and Hermione the encyclopedia explains about other wizarding schools, which is good because then they don’t all look like idiots when the other students suddenly start appearing later.
Not much else happens in this chapter, aside from me enjoying yet another journey to Hogwarts. Let’s do this!
*This is actually the first chapter where the clock is introduced, and I had completely forgotten that one of the spaces says “prison”. Really? That’s amazing.