These chapters are some of my favorites, if only because they’re a last respite before the trio are, once again, thrown to danger. They seem to have fewer and fewer moments, as the series progresses, to actually enjoy themselves, what with the threat of Voldemort hanging over all of their heads. It’s unfair, really, and I commend all of them, not just the trio, for being able to enjoy anything with all this bad shit going on, especially since I’m one of those people who seems to need to have everything JUST SO in order to enjoy myself. But enough about me (I mean, right?), let’s see what’s going on in Harry’s world.
CHAPTER 6: THE GHOUL IN PAJAMAS
Wedding preparations are well underway, and Ron warns Harry that Mrs. Weasley is having none of this “quitting Hogwarts to go on a secret Dumbledore mission” business. And quite right! She’s such a mom. She didn’t even want the twins messing about with all that joke magic, so the thought of her son and two of his friends (one of whom she looks at as a son, the other who will soon become her daughter-in-law) dropping out to go on some unknown (to her) mission is absolutely ridiculous.
But go they must and, despite Mrs. Weasley’s best efforts, they manage to escape to Ron’s room to do some planning. Hermione sorts books while Ron cleans, and the three discuss Mad Eye’s death. Hermione becomes upset and, to Harry’s surprise, Ron rushes over to provide her with some support. The moment is broken when a book tries to eat Ron’s foot, and Harry takes that opportunity to try to talk Ron and Hermione out of coming with him to search for Horcruxes. Hermione reminds him of everything she and Ron have done to get ready for the journey, which I have prepared for you in list format:
- Hermione has been packing, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but we’ll soon find out how big (little?) a deal it actually was.
- She confiscated the rest of Moody’s Polyjuice Potion.
- She gave her parents brain damage, removing herself from their memories, changing their names and sending them to Australia. YOU GUYS. I hope when this is all over, the Ministry creates a Hermione Granger Day or something.
- Ron, with the help of Mr. Weasley, Fred, and George, has transformed the ghoul in the attic into some semblance of human being, dressing it in pajamas and giving it red hair. The ghoul will be Ron’s stand-in since he’ll be running off with Harry.
They discuss where to go upon leaving The Burrow. Harry wants to go to Godric’s Hollow, for obvious reasons, but Hermione reckons they ought to search out the Horcruxes first. DUH OH. Except for the tiny fact that they have no idea where they are. But! Hermione, dear Hermione, has at least discovered some information about destroying them. She, after Dumbledore’s funeral, Accioed some helpful books into her possession, because when you’re Hermione, and you’re grieving, and you’re faced with an unknowable quest, you draw comfort from books.
It turns out they only way to destroy a Horcrux is to “damage it beyond magical repair.” They discuss how they might do this until they’re disrupted by Mrs. Weasley.
Residents at The Burrow, which replaced Grimmauld Place as Order HQ after Dumbledore’s death, are often joined by other Order members just stopping by. I’m once again jealous of everyone who gets to hang out at The Burrow. From these visits, they’re all kept apprised of important news, such as the fact that Moody’s body hasn’t been recovered, and no one has mentioned his death in The Daily Prophet. Also! The Minister has neglected to mention that a bunch of Death Eaters (and dementors) have escaped from Azkaban NO BIGGIE I’m sure it’s fine.
Soon the Delacours arrive, throwing them all into a wedding tailspin that won’t end until, um, the wedding. Along with wedding preparations, they have to be extremely cautious since they are housing undesirable numero uno, a fact that makes Harry feel immensely guilty (as per usual). His guilt does not dissipate when Mrs. Weasley reminds him of his 17th birthday and offers to throw him a party. He’s the guiltiest-feeling person this side of Fox Mulder, me thinks, who always looks like he needs a hug.
CHAPTER 7: THE WILL OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
Harry dreamtalks about Gregoravitch, seeing once again into Voldemort’s mind. Neither he nor Ron can figure out who this is, though Harry thinks the name sounds familiar. Oh well, who cares, it’s Harry’s birthday! Harry Accios his glasses straight into his eye, which isn’t how you want your birthday to start, probably.
One of Ron’s gifts to Harry is Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, something he’d originally received from Fred and George, and which he hints would have helped him charm the robes off of Hermione when he was trying to get rid of Lavender. He then says one of my all-time favorite lines of the series:
You’d be surprised, it’s not all about wandwork, either.
Truer words, Ron. Truer. Words.
They go downstairs, where Harry opens Mr. and Mrs. Weasley’s gift, a watch, which is what wizards typically get on their 17th birthday. (I wonder what witches get?) Harry makes me cry by giving Mrs. Weasley the biggest hug ever and you guys can we just talk about the wonder of Molly Weasley? She raises a crapload of kids on not a whole lot of money, and she and her husband have created a genuinely nice life where they are respected by non-Muggle-hating witches and wizards, and when she meets Harry and realizes who he is and that no one, save his dead parents and the strangers who revere him, loves him, she quickly makes him hers. I JUST LOVE HER.
Anyway. Ginny and Harry make out YAWN and Ron interrupts and then tells Harry off for being insensitive to Ginny’s feelings, which is pretty rich of Ron, tbh.
Then it’s Harry’s birthday! Yay! Charlie’s there! Yay! And Lupin and Tonks arrive! Yay! And HAGRID HI HAGRID I LOVE YOU HAGRID.
Ron uses some more of his book knowledge to compliment Hermione. Smoooooth. When did you start shipping Ron and Hermione? I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t, now, which seems weird, as they were 11 when the books started. OH WELL.
Mr. Weasley sends his patronus (a weasel…really?) ahead of him on his way home to warn them that the Minister of Magic is joining him. Tonks and Lupin quickly run off, lickity split.
Scrimgeour pulls the trio aside to inform them Dumbledore has left them some items in his will. We all already know this (I mean duh we know everything because we’ve already read these) so here’s what they get:
- Ron gets the Deluminator.
- Hermione gets Dumbledore’s copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
- Harry gets the snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match and…the sword of Gryffindor.
Scrimgeour watches as Harry takes the snitch, hoping that something, ANYTHING, will happen. Nothing does. He doesn’t give Harry the sword, however, because he insists it was not Dumbledore’s to give. Harry then gets into a fight with Scrimgeour, because that’s what Harry does, which leads to the Minister burning Harry’s shirt with his wand. Oopsies! This brings the adults into the room and Scrimgeour quickly leaves with a “I regret your attitude.”
This has always reminded me of Pride & Prejudice, when Lady Catherine visits Elizabeth to tell her under no circumstances is she to hook up with Mr. Darcy (spoiler alert: it doesn’t work) and then leaves in a huff when she doesn’t get her way.
After the Minister’s exit, the rest of the party is kind of a downer, so they hurriedly finish dinner and cake. The trio gather in Ron’s room and come to the conclusion that they have no idea why Dumbledore left them the gifts he did. Although, curiously, when Harry puts the snitch to his mouth (since that’s how he caught his first snitch), the words “I open at the close,” appear on the surface. So that’s probably something, yeah?
One last note…I love Ron expressing shock that Harry and Hermione have no idea what wizard fairy tales (BABBITY RABBITY) are, AND that he thinks Cinderella is some kind of disease. I guess what I’m saying is, Ron’s pretty much my favorite in both of these chapters. THE END.