Gryffindor Tower #16: Cleaning Up and Moving On

by Dan

The following was actually written two weeks after Gryffindor Tower #15 came out. Feel free to jot on down to the end of the plus signs if you really don’t feel like reading my rebuttal to the millions and millions of people who need to be kicked out of the GT common room. +++

Dan, I must say that I am sorely disappointed in your last Gryffindor Tower. You missed the mark on the whole point of your column, opting instead to discuss what is going on in our country. I hope that it will not happen again. Dan, I can only assume from your last column that you are a Democrat and are still sore about the election of 2000. Your column sucked, like it always does, and I don’t know why Emerson doesn’t fire you. I don’t give a **** about your friends who died or your teacher who is sick. They can ****** die and you can die with them. Why doesn’t Emerson fire you?

If you don’t want to read Gryffindor Tower, don’t. You’ve all had your say. Now, it’s my turn. If you emailed me in the last few weeks and don’t read what I have to say in response, then you are pretty pathetic. For anyone who read the last GT, was disappointed, and emailed or commented in a civil way that my column sucked, I thank you. In honesty, I only wrote it to keep my job. My heart wasn’t in it, nor my mind. I just did it to do it, and I’m sorry for wasting your time with it. There’s so much going on right now, and I unfortunately had no one to vent to, so I vented to you, which was a mistake. I truly am sorry. Now, for those of you who emailed with any variation of comments including “I hate you, you should die” (which I really did get from a few people) and the like, or any comments that basically abused me, I ask you to close this web browser and never again read my column. I have too many loyal fans (and by loyal, I do NOT mean that they always agree with what I say, or always enjoy my columns) who are articulate and cultured enough to criticize me in a way that actually makes me feel good about my writing. Why, you ask? Simply, because there are people out there who want to help me, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Also, if you wanted an apology about the President Bush joke, don’t hold your breath. I never apologize for comments I make about people. It was a joke, and seriously, you guys need to lighten up. One guy told me I was going to be arrested by the Department of Homeland Security, detained in Guantanamo Bay, and executed. I never said I didn’t like Bush! Bush is a great president, and after 9/11, my respect for him has shot up a hundredfold. Coincidentally, I found it rather amusing that people accused me of trying to push my “political agenda”…I didn’t go on a rampage about Bush’s policy, I said he looks like a primate…how is that “pushing my agenda”? Seriously guys, if I was trying to sway people against his politics, I would have chosen better remarks than those about his appearance. And the comments that I’m upset that he’s president? Ok, in all honesty, I wouldn’t have voted Democrat in 2000 if I could have. I wanted John McCain, and I never would have voted Gore into office. To accuse me of such ridiculous things was absolutely ludicrous.

You should really think about some of the horrible things you’ve said to me in the past few weeks. I don’t care who you are, you don’t have the right to say those kind of things to people. What a lot of you said wasn’t criticism, it was harsh, vulgar, and insulting. In the future, I hope you will be more considerate of people. You don’t have the right to hurt somebody the way you hurt me. Now, you have had your say, and I have had mine. And if it bothers you that I was allowed to have my say, tough. Do you really think that any one of you is so important or elite that you can attack someone without repercussion? Not to point anyone out, of course, I’m sure you little turd-dogs embarrass yourselves enough without my help, but one person actually emailed me somewhere in the realm of 150 comments from the comments board and then posted in the comments board ”Yeah, I got him good! I sent him all our nasty comments! Maybe he’ll learn!”, or something to that effect. A lot of people asked for an apology, including one guy in the comments board named GT??????? (apparently he has an overabundant fondness for question marks). Well, GT??????, here ya go. I’m sorry. But not to you. As I said in my before, I’m sorry to all those true HP, MuggleNet, and GT fans who had to endure my ten minutes of unadulterated BS. To you, well, Avada Kedavra, anyone?

Get a life. Seriously. Just get one. Stop whining that someone made fun of your president because he looks like an overgrown monkey, and because you are too immature and wholly dimwitted to take a joke. Grow up, get a life, move on+++.

Goodness, I never thought I’d be writing a GT again! I hope you all are well, eagerly anticipating the Azkaban movie, hopefully already having seen Return of the King, I must admit, I was a jerk in that intro. I wrote it a while ago, and I really do want to apologize for the last abysmally foolish GT. Having just finished this semester of college, I am now free to do whatever I want (mostly sleep, I assume it’s just too much fun to pass up). But I suppose, with the nonstop influx of email to Gryffindor Tower, that I should get around to writing once again. So, until January 26th (or the weekend thereabouts), Gryffindor Tower will once again be a weekly column. Now, although I seem to be a perpetual disappointment, I want to get this new GT in ASAP, and I have nothing on schedule as the semester is still winding down, so I give you the two chapters that I forgot to analyze. There is another reason why I’m not doing too much this week, and I’ll tell you about it after the eight and nine analyses.

Chapter Nine-The Woes of Mrs. Weasley

I must say, this chapter freaked me out. A lot going on here that is important to the OotP storyline, as well as some things that I shall point out in the bigger picture. Dumbledore left Harry, making us wonder why he is ignoring what seemed to be his favorite student. First, notice that Madam Bones is the only person noted that actually addressed Arthur Weasley as she left the Wizengamot chamber. She’s obviously well connected in the Ministry, at a high level, and I have a feeling that she will be an asset to Arthur in (in my theory) his ascension to Minister of Magic. Harry and Mr. Weasley talk about the regurgitating toilet a bit more (what I wouldn’t give to have one of those in my dorm’s shower room…), until they run into Cornelius Fudge and Captain Greasy-Hair himself, Lucius “Don’t I make the cutest puns ever?” Malfoy. Malfoy calls Harry “Patronus Potter”…I have a strong feeling that this whole Patronus thing will become much more important later. We still haven’t seen the all-out war between Voldemort’s forces and the MoM/Order forces, which means that there is still a great amount of soul-sucking dementors floating around, waiting to do Voldemort’s bidding. I also noticed that Lucius commented on Harry’s “snakelike” escape (which is, of course, an obvious bit of foreshadowing) …but I don’t think that enough of us noticed Harry’s reply. “Yeah,” said Harry, “yeah, I’m good at escaping…” Say what you will, but I read into this a lot more. If we’ve noticed anything, Harry’s confidence has skyrocketed to almost arrogant levels. We even see in the Department of Mysteries that Harry causes Sirius’s death (I don’t care what Dumbledore said, it was still partly Harry’s fault). Question is, will that confidence/arrogance subside after Sirius’s death and into book six, or will it grow into a greater anger? Even more so, if it does diminish, will it be replaced by a focused, able Harry, or a depressed, unwitted Harry? Every great story has told us that the hero can be neither foolhardy nor complacent, for neither will lead to good’s victory over evil.

Lucius and Fudge leave Harry and Mr. Weasley, and Harry asks about what it could be that they have business. “Gold, I expect” is Arthur’s reply. He explains that Lucius has a good amount of political clout with the Ministry. If you haven’t read Josh’s Pensieve on the Politics of Harry Potter, I suggest you do. It offers some insight into the political realm of the HP series.

He got off, he got off, he got off…”As weird as that sounds out of context, the Weasleys are finally relaxing now that Harry is safely going back to Hogwarts. Err..did I say safely? Well, he’s going back, at least…safe is another issue. Backing up a few lines…”‘I knew it!’ yelled Ron, punching the air. ‘You always get away with stuff!'” Wow…extraordinary statement, in my opinion. We all theorized that Harry would get expelled, but he apparently didn’t. Or hasn’t…yet. I don’t think that this was the big one. If I had to guess, Harry will definitely be getting the boot from Hogwarts before the end of the series. A little farther, Harry talks about Dumbledore “swinging” the hearing for him…and as he begins to get angry at Dumbledore for not speaking to him, the scar on his head begins to burn. Think Star Wars…the Emperor tells Luke how his anger is pushing him farther and farther to the Dark Side…and then we have Harry, in exactly the same predicament. Voldemort, although he doesn’t know it yet, can use Harry as his greatest ally…work up the hatred in him, and consequently get him to act out of rage instead of courage. So here goes my Quibbler-worthy theory of the week…Harry will not be able to contain himself by book seven, and will be the cause of the death of a very important character…possibly Ron or Hermione…and someone else will vanquish Voldemort…wait for it..Lucius Malfoy! Ok, the Lucius part won’t happen…but I do believe that Harry’s unending temper will be the downfall, later on, of a very important character, yet again.

Hermione, Ron, and Harry have a conversation about Sirius and whether or not he sees Harry as his father’s son or as his father…now, obviously how that would affect Sirius is a moot point, but let’s look to the future for a bit. Who will Harry become? In book five, we see, as I have mentioned in previous articles, a great deal of arrogance from the young hero. Later, when we see Snape’s worst memory, we learn that James (in his fifth year, right after an O.W.L.) was exactly like Harry is in book five: arrogant. And I believe, moreover, that one person will play a vital role in Harry’s maturation: Snape. We see that, by the end of book five, Harry hates Snape more than ever, and for what reason? I think that his attitude towards Snape, whether he takes up his father’s shortcoming and continues to hate Snape, or accepts his father’s arrogance and apologizes to Snape for his father, will be the single most vital marker of Harry’s character in the last two books.

And then we get SPEW again. And no, it’s not the Society for Pompous, Enervating Women (for you longtime GT readers). Obviously, Hermione is not letting her little liberation project go, and as we have all speculated, it will play a major role in time to come. It seems to us that the house-elves have little to contribute to an all-out war between the Ministry and the Death Eaters…however…if Dumbledore could possibly break the brainwashing placed on them by years of involuntary servitude, the elves could prove to be valuable assets as…possibly spies?

Harry’s daydreaming of Quidditch…can you say, “indefinite suspension”?

So, Ron becomes a prefect, and Hermione, and we once again delve into Harry’s ridiculous arrogance, this time exemplified by jealousy. But first, Mrs. Weasley is so excited that everyone in the Weasley family was a prefect (“What are Fred and I, next-door neighbors?” said George indignantly, as his mother pushed him aside and flung her arms around her youngest son.). I really don’t want to read into that line any more than for its humor value, so I just won’t…but I’m sure you see what I can gather, if we were to think of Mrs. Weasley’s actions in a more…ominous view. But getting back to Harry…notice that a little voice in his head stuck up for Ron and Hermione, while the text says that “Harry argued with himself” against Ron and Hermione. Why would he do that? Funny how his conscience tells him one thing, yet we see he is already consciously fighting his morality. And later, at dinner, he is upset about the prefect thing until he learns that his father wasn’t one…AHHH! I honestly cannot guess as to whether he’ll follow in his father’s footsteps, or go his own…but for the sake of argument, let’s try to relate everyone in Harry’s group to his father’s…Harry would be James….Ron would be Sirius (his best friend) …Hermione would be Lupin (always a little more of a rule-follower than the other two, and extremely intelligent) …and Peter…who would be Peter Pettigrew? By simple physical and character description, I would venture to guess Neville…but that would really suck. I can’t see Neville turning on Harry and company…he’s too…well, honestly, he’s too vindictive. He wants to get back at Bellatrix for destroying his parents’ lives. So then, who can be comparable to Peter? Seamus seems to have the mentality through much of OotP, but he’s not that close to Harry (as compared to James and Peter). It needs to be someone who hero-worships” Harry like Peter did James.. any idea? Think of a flashing camera.

Ok…first question for y’all…using the feedback form, send me your pairings for Harry and his friends as relative to James and his friends, and give me a one-line explanation for each. We’ll see if we can’t get some good input for the next GT.

The whole dinner is a complete disaster for Harry; everywhere he turns, he finds more grief. Not that going up to bed turned out to be much better…as Harry makes his way upstairs, he hears sobbing…and walks into the drawing-room (what in the hell is a drawing room? Is it British slang, or am I just a complete imbecile?) to find Mrs. Weasley cowering in a corner, and Ron lying dead on the floor. I find it interesting that (if I counted right) Harry is the seventh person Mrs. Weasley sees dead…I’ll leave that one to you. As Harry goes to bed, he thinks about how stupid he was that night, to be so worried over such trivial things as a joke shop and a prefect’s badge…and for once, I have faith in him again.

Chapter Ten-Luna Lovegood

As chapter ten opens, Harry dreams about a few things. First, his parents…I’m sure we can all agree that that is normal. Second…Mrs. Weasley crying over Kreacher’s dead body, watched by Ron and Hermione, both wearing crowns…this one interests me. Why is Mrs. Weasley crying over Kreacher’s body? I really could use some insight on that one. Send me feedback! Second…and I am not trying to push the Ron/Hermione ship…Ron and Hermione wearing crowns…well, it’s an obvious illusion to them becoming prefects…but they’re both wearing crowns…usually a king and queen wear crowns together…but the question is (if this idea makes any sense), over what are they “ruling”? Possibly the whole wizarding world? Maybe this is foreshadowing two Weasleys’ ascensions to the Minister of Magic spot? Arthur and Ron? That’s my guess.

As they are walking to King’s Cross to board the Hogwarts Express, one sentence, on page 181 American edition, caught my eye. When Sirius (as a dog) is jumping around, Mrs. Weasley “pursed her lips in an almost Aunt Petunia-ish way”. At first that would seem almost insulting to Sirius. But we know that Draco finds out that Sirius was at the station, which in turn leads to Sirius’s eventual death. First, that means that Mrs. Weasley was completely justified in being angry with Sirius for wanting to leave Grimmauld Place. But…why compare her to Aunt Petunia? To justify an action comparable to something Petunia would do seems antithetical to Molly’s character…but the action seems to be, in the end, at least, out of compassion for the safety of Sirius. We know that there is something Rowling’s not telling us about Petunia, but what? Molly is a paragon of love and warmth, and Petunia is, well, a nightmare, so why parallel? Either Molly is really bad at heart (highly unlikely) or Petunia is, well, less horrible?

And then we meet Luna. First off, can anyone tell me what they think of that quote “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure” and how it relates to the story? Feedback forms! A lot of stuff happens on the train, most of which I find pointless for future reference, although there are some interesting theories floating around on both Sirius “Stubby Boardman” Black and Cornelius “Goblin-Crusher” Fudge, neither of which I hold much stock in. HOWEVER, my opinion on Fudge will be coming up shortly.

Finally, I have gotten way too many emails on the whole thestrals thing, so I’d like to clear that up now, as it does come up in chapter ten. In my always humble opinion, there is a very good reason why this is the first time Harry sees the thestrals. As it is stated in the book (later), only people who witness death see thestrals. Many people have said, “Well, he saw his mom die, so he should have always seen them”. How many of you can remember being one year old? I’m not exactly sure why, but I remember in one of my psychology classes a teacher talked about memories being encoded differently in the brain before the age of three or so (maybe a psychologist GT fan can help clear that up?). That means that he, for all intents and purposes, did not see his mom die, at least, not in a way that he could remember. Now, many of you also said that he saw Cedric die, so he should have seen the thestrals before he left Hogwarts at the end of book four. However, he did not see them. Why? I can only assume that, to see thestrals, one must not only witness death, but that experience must truly sink in. He didn’t really brood on Cedric’s death until after the summer break started. It’s only a theory, and it’s an irrelevant point, but a lot of people asked.

Well, now that that is out of the way, it’s time to talk about next week. Which reminds me, first off, as soon as I write a column, it will be posted, which means that one may come out Sunday, and the next as early as Monday or Tuesday but no matter what, they will never be more than a week apart. Anyhoo, I have been debating over a topic for a while. See, my concentration in my major (history) is American history, Revolutionary Period to 1848, which means that I have a lot of experience in the slavery era. So, I was thinking about doing a comparison between the American Slave Institution, 1776-1865 with a comparison of the House-Elf enslavement in the HP books. Again, send feedback on the subject, so I can see if you all are interested. As Maline recently pointed out over at the North Tower, if you don’t like that kind of article, don’t send stupid emails ripping it apart, just send constructive criticism. Also, Josh’s political study of OotP got me thinking, I have jotted down some ideas studying the political structure of the HP series, from the end of GoF through OotP. That will probably be right after the slavery one. As always, if there are topics you guys would like addressed, feel free to send them to me.

This week’s Gryffindor Tower Flick Pick actually stars two HP stars, one veteran, one newcomer. The movie is Love, Actually, and the actors, of course, are Alan Rickman (Severus Snape, Rickman is possibly one of the best actors alive today) and Emma Thompson (the new Professor Trelawney). This movie is definitely not for little kids, but, if you’re over the age of fifteen, then I suggest that you go right away to see this movie. The movie follows the stories of about 12 different people, all of whom are looking for, finding, or losing love. What I found most amazing about this movie was the cast: Director Richard Curtis (of the phenomenal Four Weddings and a Funeral, one of my all-time favorite movies) put together an all-star cast of the best British actors alive today, including Hugh Grant (as the Prime Minister), Liam Neeson (a widowed stepfather), Bill Nighy (a raunchy rock star), Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman (as possibly-cheating husband and faithful wife), Keira Knightly (who I still want to marry), Colin Firth (who is cheated on by his wife with his brother), Martine McCutcheon (who I’d also like to marry), and Laura Linney (ok, she’s not a Brit, but she’s amazing!), to name some. The writing and direction is superb, and the story will have you hooked from the start. The movie is stolen by young Thomas Sangster, who plays Liam Nelson’s stepson who recently lost his mom. His problem? He, much like everyone else in the movie, is in love, even though he’s about ten. Sangster’s performance and just plain cuteness as he pursues his love will leave you feeling like you couldn’t have spent a better twenty bucks (that’s how much it costs to go to the movies anymore, it seems). Go see Love, Actually. Don’t ask questions, just go see it. It’s a wonderful movie, set at Christmastime, that will, if nothing else, make you feel great.

Dan’s Book Review this week is very, very short. I haven’t touched a HP book all semester, so the first night I was out of school, I started on Sorcerer’s Stone. That’s this week’s book pick. Go back and read, and remind yourself once again how this whole phenomenon started.

FEEDBACK!

You know, thinking back, I was a little harsh on GT????, so I’m going to take back that ”Avada Kedavra!” GT?? Imperio! Ok, now that I have control of you, turn your wand around, point it between your eyes, and scream, as loud as you can, “Avada Kedavra!” Wow, I feel so less guilty now. So, until next week – Cheers!

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