I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I read these chapters for the first time. It was the afternoon after the book had been released. I’d stayed up as late as I could stand the night before but only gotten about a chapter or two in before passing out — I’d worked the midnight release party at Barnes & Noble, which was horrible and tiring and stressful, and hadn’t gotten home until 2:30 AM. I’d also gotten a bit of a late start that morning. I don’t think I woke up until around 10 AM. So this is why I was only on chapter twenty at this point. So there I was, sitting on my kitchen floor (linoleum, covered by a rug I still own to this day, and that reallllly needs replacing). My butt hurt but I didn’t want to move. I was cooking one of those soup-in-a-bag things you can get at the grocery store. It was chili (I would never make this again, as a point of interest). I was wearing my favorite sweatpants and a U of A t-shirt. My mouth was probably open and drooling.
I suspect that I remember so much detail of this because these chapters instantly became one of my favorite things about this series. I LOVE fairy-tales. I can remember where I was and what I was doing while reading other books for the first time, but I’m pretty sure this is the only instance in my memory that I can remember individual chapters. Anyway, all that is to say I totally assigned myself these chapters, but now that I’m confronted with writing about them, I find myself completely incable of expressing exactly what it is I love about them.
So I re-interpreted them as a fairy-tale instead. No idea how this is going to turn out.
– – –
Once there was a man who loved his daughter very much.
This man, who possessed the unlikely name of Xenophilius Lovegood, was not like other men. Other men loved their daughters, for sure, and other men had professions that made them proud, woke them up in the morning, and gave them energy for the day. Other men like a nice cuppa and a long sit. So, yes, if we must be honest, he was like other men in some ways. All men are like all men at their elements. But we are not speaking of elements. We are speaking of Mr. Lovegood, and what made Mr. Lovegood different from most men is that he possessed the rare ability to believe in that for which there is no proof. To really and truly believe.