Tag Archives: Gretchen Alice

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: “Call me Newt. Only my mother calls me doctor.”

First, here’s the big news that everybody already knows about. We’re getting a movie! Three movies! And at least the first one will be written by J.K.! I am over the moon about this. It’ll be set in the 1920s and will take place in New York. American wizards and witches? Even MORE magical creatures? I CAN’T WAIT.

So J.K. Rowling released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages in 2001 as a charity effort for Comic Relief U.K. They expanded the world without expanding the story and it was a really big deal when the books were released. Someday we will get our Harry Potter Encyclopedia and it will be even better than these.

One of the best parts about this book is that it’s been “vandalized” by Harry and Ron, with a few rare asides from Hermione. We get to see their handwriting, which feels like a gift. Hermione’s is neat and tiny, Ron’s is messy and scrawled, and Harry’s is thin and connected. Harry really does swoop his g’s—just like his mom did—and I can’t think about that without getting emotionally worked up.

About the Author:

Newton Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1887. His mom sounds like the coolest woman ever, as she bred fancy hippogriffs. Newt worked in the Beast Divison and spent his holidays searching for new and fantastic creatures. He eventually married a woman named Porpentina and I feel like J.K. kind of wrote herself into a hole on that one because she’s gonna have to be in the movie and the only decent way to shorten her name is to call her Tina. But then, she’s a writer who turned the name Hermione into a thing, so maybe she can pull it off. Continue reading

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The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 12-14: The Moody Blues

There’s a lot to cover in these chapters, so let’s get down to business.*

*If you did not follow that up with “…to defeat! the huns!” then maybe you should go re-think your life choices.

CHAPTER TWELVE: THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT

The soggy-bottomed boys and girls of Hogwarts show up to the front door, only to be assaulted by water balloons thrown by a vindictive Peeves. Getting wet when you’re already wet does not sound like a terrible thing, but in actuality it’s really awful. (Speaking of, here’s a video of a kitten discovering water balloons. It’s less than a minute long. Go ahead. Watch it. I’ll wait.)

Harry, Ron, and Hermione find their place with the rest of the Gryffindors. The readers get their usual recap of how things go down at Hogwarts. Why don’t we get more info about Professor Sinistra? She sounds super cool. The first years get sorted along with a new sorting song. (Hey! You know what’s cool? I was assigned all of the sorting hat chapters in the series. Neat.) I’m partial to the song from the first book only because it’s so darn catchy. This song gives us a little bit of insight into the house founders themselves. The founders are described as bold, fair, sweet, and shrewd, which sounds vaguely like a new sandwich at Subway. We also learn that Gryffindor was the one who enchanted the sorting hat. This makes it even more meaningful that Harry pulled Gryffindor’s sword out of Gryffindor’s own hat.

Cho Chang is over at the Ravenclaw table and Harry’s brain flips out when he sees her. Ah, to be a young wizard dealing with the raging surge of hormones! (Okay, seriously, I love how this book handles crushes. It’s just darling. When I was fourteen, I was majorly in love with this boy who was a grade older than me. He had dressed up like a Jedi for Halloween and he was HOT. These two things alone meant that we were destined to be together. We had two very painfully short conversations and I don’t think he knew my name. Shockingly, it did not work out.) Gryffindor gets Dennis Creevey and Natalie McDonald. Finally, finally, Dumbledore gives the okay for dinner.

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The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 19-20: The Strange Case of Sirius Black

CHAPTER 19: THE SERVANT OF LORD VOLDEMORT

I rapped my knuckles on the door of the office suite that I’d become all too familiar with over the past few weeks. I thought I heard a voice say, “Come in.” I couldn’t be sure, but I took the chance anyway. I turned the brass knob and entered. Stacks of paperwork rested on the filing cabinets that occupied every spare inch of the office. Shadows spilled over the space, backlit from the streetlight that kept vigil outside the window. Some might call it cluttered, but I knew there was a method to this madness.

I took my usual place in the wooden chair by the desk. The arm rests had been worn down to a shiny, smooth patina. Other clients had sat in this chair and clutched the sides, fidgeting for lack of a better place to put their worry and concern.

“Well? What do you have for me?” I couldn’t wait any longer.

The detective spun her chair around and placed her feet up on the desk, leaning back precariously. A proper fedora tipped over her eyes. She clasped her hands together and sighed.

“He’s innocent, just as you expected.”

I exhaled, unaware that I’d been holding onto my breath.

“So what happened that night?” I’d come for answers, and I wasn’t going to leave without them.

“The Secret-Keeper was transferred at the last minute. It was a foolhardy choice; one bred out of desperation and misplaced trust. Black handed the responsibility over to Pettigrew. Pettigrew betrayed the Potters and killed all those bystanders.”

“That rat bastard!” I exclaimed. “But…but why would Black do such a thing?”

“I believe he thought he was making the right decision for the Potters’ safety. Which raises the question–does a person who believes that they are truly making the right choice, even if it ends up being the wrong choice, still end up in the clear?”

I had no answer, other than feeling sorry for Black, who had suffered for so long being unfortunately framed. I’m sure not a moment went by when he didn’t feel the sting of what took place that night. The light from outside hit the detective’s strawberry blonde hair–the color stood out against the black-and-white saturation of her sharp outfit.

Something else had occurred to me. “I’m a bit surprised that Snape didn’t intervene more. He had so much vehemence in him.”

“That’s a story for another day,” she replied. I’d have to be satisfied with that, I supposed.

“Did you figure out how Pettrigrew managed the crime?” I asked.

“Of course I did.” I saw the curve of a smirk hidden under the brim of her hat, like she had thought of everything. She probably had. “He changed into his animagus form and slipped away to his master. Rather cowardly, not that it comes as a surprise. Black noticed him in the paper.”

“I don’t know why Black didn’t take care of him right there and then. Twelve years in that hellhole…” Oh, the tales I’d heard about Azkaban.

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