OotP, Chapters 6-10
Welcome back to Gryffindor Tower! It has been awhile, I admit...three weeks, is it? I must apologize, and as I have promised many of you who sent inquiring emails as to my whereabouts, I will explain everything. However, to business at hand. It is time for me to review all those foreshadowing pieces of evidence in Order of the Phoenix
, chapters 6-10.
Chapter Six--The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black
Sirius, Lupin, and the rest of the Order just finished telling Harry everything he could about what Voldemort's been up to, until Mrs. Weasley cut him. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny talk about the weapon Voldemort is trying to get (too bad the US media wasn't on to it...they'd tell Harry that Voldemort was hiding nuclear weapons under an Invisibility Cloak in his backyard). While Harry and company are clearing the drawing room of doxies, Kingsley Shacklebolt turns up at 12 Grimmauld Place. Don't ask me why I'm mentioning that; I don't think it means anything, I just really like Kingsley...he's JK Rowling's answer to Sam Jackson. Fred and George pocket a few doxies and, although we find out later that they do get a place in Diagon Alley, this should really show us how intent they are on becoming serious inventors. Yes, it may be gags now, but let's face it: Fred's and George's inventions are quite ingenious, and could be invaluable to the Order later on. Further on, Mrs. Weasley, in quite the Mrs. Weasley-like fashion, explodes on Mundungus Fletcher for bringing stolen cauldrons into the Order HQ. This raises odd questions about Dung. Why, for instance, would he do anything that may be potentially harmful to the Order? After all, he already left Harry alone on Privet Drive when he was supposed to be shadowing him, which incidentally led to Harry's encounter with a pair of soul-sucking dementors. I certainly question Dung's reliability. If you think back to book, err, four, I believe, there is a mention of Mundungus trying to curse Arthur Weasley while his back was turned. Unfortunately, there is one thing standing against this: Dumbledore, at the end of GoF, mentioned three people in particular out of the "old crowd": Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, and Mundungus Fletcher. Dumbledore trusts Mundungus. The question is: is that trust founded?
Next, we meet Kreacher (creature, Kreacher...anyone else spot that?). We learn a bit of the hatred between Sirius and Kreacher, a hatred that flows equally between the two. Then Harry sees the tapestry with all of the Black family, sporting the family motto "Toujours Pur" which, in literal translation, is "Always Pure." No Mudbloods for the Blacks, it seems. We learn a bit about Sirius's relations, to Tonks and her mother, to the Weasleys, and to the Malfoys. It also seems that Sirius is related to Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange and Rodolphus's brother Rabastan.
While cleaning, they come across a music box that tries to put them to sleep, until Ginny slams it shut. My first question was why Harry didn't snap out of it first. After all, it seems that alot of the things that control people, like that music box and Tom Riddle's diary, work along the same lines as the Imperius Curse. Of course, Harry has shown many times that he can defeat the Imperius Curse. This time, however, it is Ginny. Much different girl than when Voldemort possessed her in book two. This may seem unimportant to many, but to me, it is another clear sign of what we can expect from Ginny later on.
Chapter Seven--The Ministry of Magic
Yes, as many of you told me, the number to get into the Ministry visitor entrance, 62442, does spell MAGIC on a phone pad. The first big thing I noticed is the Fountain of Magical Brethren. As it is described on page 127, First American Edition, "a noble-looking wizard with his wand pointing straight up in the air. Grouped around him were a beautiful witch, a centaur, a goblin, and a house-elf. The last three were looking adoringly up at the witch and wizard." Hmm...I'm sure we all laughed when Hermione started S.P.E.W., but this makes her mission seem more important. It's not just about pure blood among humans...as Fudge made apparent in book four, anyone not human should not be treated with respect. He even suggested that Madam Maxime attacked Barty Crouch Sr. on the Hogwarts grounds in book four, even though we found out it was Crouch's own son, a pureblood. No centaur would ever gaze at a human adoringly, nor would a goblin, and house-elves are just dumb. This will be important...I don't know how, but it will be. The rest of the chapter shows us around the Ministry, but there doesn't seem to be anything else of importance there.
Chapter Eight--The Hearing
The first important thing, in my opinion, that we learn, is Dumbledore's full name: Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, initials APWBD. Very important for later. Also, I did a search on Percival and Wulfric. For Wulfric, here's what I got: Patron Saint. At first, Wulfric was a priest who liked to hunt and party more than tend to his flock. Apparently he saw the error in his ways, and repented, but no one knows why. One is that he encountered a beggar, another is that he repeated the verse "I will wash my hands among the innocent." He also had the gift of prophecy, and he was a counselor to two kings. I didn't find much on Percival, but it doesn't matter. The Wulfric stuff I find very interesting. For instance, it always seems like Dumbledore can see the future. During Fudge's early years as Minister of Magic, it was often Dumbledore from whom Fudge sought advice. Also, what do we know about Dumbledore? How do we know that he was never a Dark Wizard? He's old, and this Wulfric dude converted long before he was old. Then again, could be coincidence.
Next thing I found was this: during the hearing, Fudge says that Harry comes up with cock-and-bull stories. When he mentions the floating pudding at number four, Privet Drive a few years ago, Dumbledore says that he can summon the house-elf to the Wizengamot. However, Fudge replies, "I-not-I haven't got time to listen to house-elves!" (pg. 149, First American Edition) Again, going on my earlier theory, this points to the future problem between humans and magical creatures. That's all for chapter eight.
Unfortunately, now I must stop, because my OotP book has gone missing. I took a break from writing, and as I have come back, it is gone. I am pretty sure I know where it is, and I will have the rest of chapters six to ten done by midweek, I hope.
I promised you all that I would tell you where I was. Truth is, both my mother and my brother ended up in the hospital soon before my column two weeks ago should have been written. Last time I took sabbatical, I chose not to tell you guys why, but I feel alot closer to my readers than last time. I hope you all have been well, and I hope you continue to enjoy Gryffindor Tower. I do, however, have good news. I have been working on a novel for awhile now, and with the time spent at the hospital, I didn't have much to do, so I worked more on my novel. And, I just found this out last week, it will be getting published by the end of the year. I am quite excited, as it will be sold in all the stores around my hometown, including the local Borders, which really excites me. This leads me to a few questions. Would any of you be interested in seeing a few parts of my novel? And, if I were to sell it online, would any of you be interested in buying it? It will be cheap, I can promise. If anyone wants a preview of it or such, just ask.
Let me announce this week's Harry Potter Fansite Spotlight. It goes to The Wireless Wizarding Network, a very creative fan site which features many interesting bits of info about the HP world. Hope y'all like it!
It's time once again for my two favorite features of GT. First, here is the Gryffindor Tower Flick Pick! (cue Star Wars theme music) Thank you, thank you! (cut Star Wars theme music) This week I review the new teen comedy American Wedding. Before I delve into this, I must warn, this movie is rated R, and although I went to see R movies when I was a child, you shouldn't. I was young and foolish. Heh. Anyhoo, Wedding picks up with Jim (played by loveable goofball Jason Biggs) proposing to band dork Michelle (the beautiful Alyson Hanigan). Right from the first scene, it is clear that the audience is in for the kind of laughs that only the American Pie fanchise can deliver. However, I noticed that many critics gave this a pretty good review, and, however perplexed I was, my opinion was witheld until the end of the movie. And I must say, I understand why they reviewed it so well. This story truly goes deeper than I believe anyone could have imagined for the same franchise that exposed Jason Biggs as having improper relations with an apple pie and a tube of superglue. The story between Jim, Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas, a fine actor, in my opinion), and Steven Stiffler (the up-and-coming superstar Seann William Scott) is truly one of those memorable experiences. I won't give anything away, but trust me, by the end, you'll look at some of those characters (one in particular) in a very different way.
This week's Dan's Book Review is for a book I found recently that has kept my interest as good as any, including Harry Potter. By D.J. MacHale, the books are called Pendragon. They are about a fourteen year old boy, Bobby Pendragon, who discovers that he is a "Traveler", a kind of universal freedom fighter. His job, like the job of all Travelers, is to go from territory to territory (a territory is a single piece of space and time in existance...for instance, the world we currently live in is part of a territory known as "Second Earth") and fight the evil Saint Dane, a twisted evil madman who wants to destroy all of Halla (Halla is, basically, everything...every place, time, and space). The first book, The Merchant of Death finds Bobby traveling to the submodern territory of Denduron, where he must stop a centuries long war between two native tribes. Trust me, if it sounds not all that cool, it's deceiving. These books kept me, nose-to-the-page-reading, interested. They are phenomenal books with fantastic, real characters, and the action is unbelievable. I hope you all check them out. Also, D.J. MacHale, the author, is one hell of a nice guy!
Sorry to be leaving you so soon! Next week's column will not be about chapters 11-15, it will be about the relationships that I believe will show up in book six. If you guys have any input, as always, feel free to send it. However, I must ask you all for a favor. I am in desperate need of organizing my email, so here's what I need you all to do: if you want to send me general comments or questions about HP or my column, send them here. If you have predictions, and ONLY predictions, about future books, send them here. And, as I have not been able to log into the signup page, that email address is not made yet. It will be by the end of the week.
Take care y'all, and see ya next week with what seems to be a very popular topic, "Who's Bewitching Who? The Romance of Harry Potter"!. Peace!
If you'd like to contact Dan, you may do so here.