Chapter Nine: The Midnight Duel
Better Title: The Midnight Drool (Get it? Because of the dog? Took me eight hours to come up with that. Please enjoy it.)
Harry can fly! He's a natural broom flyer and can swoop around magnificently. The Gryffindors and Slytherins have flying class together, which means Draco "Mel Gibson" Malfoy is there to tease and taunt Harry Potter. The class gets off to a rocky start when Neville crashes into the ground, breaking his wrist. The flying coach takes him to the hospital wing, leaving the class unsupervised. I always wondered why the teachers are so trusting of the students. The students are loaded guns ready to go off at any moment and have the ability to kill simply by saying two words. My school was much stricter. We weren't even allowed to have backpacks, very sharp keys, or soda that was too bubbly.
Malfoy and Harry go at it, there's a big chase, and Harry does some fancy flying. Professor McGonagall was secretly watching this and is stunned at Harry's broom proficiency. She whisks him away and introduces him to Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor's Quidditch captain. Harry is going to be the new Seeker for Gryffindor! Huzzah! (Am I the only one who pronounces the second H in "huzzah" in a sexy, breathy manner? Thought so.)
Harry is overwhelmed with joy but then he meets up with Malfoy again and he challenges Harry to wizarding duel at midnight. Why don't wizards use guns? Because shut up. That's why. Stop asking stupid questions.
Hermione, who is bookish and bossy, overhears Ron and Harry talking about the duel and demands that they do the right thing and remain in the dorm. Ron brushes her off, but that night when they attempt to sneak out of the Gryffindor room, Hermione, who is bookish and bossy, is there again, telling them to stop or else everyone will get in trouble.
She eventually tags along, and the three kids meet a lost and frightened Neville Longbottom on the way to the duel.
Question: Is Neville fat because his name is Longbottom? Poor kid. I know the pains of having your last name reflect your appearance. That's why I look so much like a mountain-ish rock or mountain-ish beer mug. (High fives to all the German students out there. Let's go hang out by the bleistiftspitzer and get our pencils sharpened, y'all!)
Neville joins the group but when they arrive at the dueling spot, they find Filch standing guard. Obviously Draco told Filch that Harry was going to sneak out. The four Gryffindors run for it.
They come to a locked door, and with Filch hot on their heels, Hermione, who isn't a book-hater or sheepish, uses magic to unlock it. They are safe on the other side, until Neville notices the giant three-headed dog in the room. I love the scene in the book. Hated the scene in the movie because the dog looked faker than Anne Hathaway's smile during interviews.
The kids panic and quickly rush out of the room. Eventually they make it back to their dorm and collapse in the chairs in the common room. Everyone talks about the big dog, but Hermione, who enjoys books and being authoritative, was the only one to notice the dog was standing on a door, clearly guarding something important.
McGONAGALL: I think Harry Potter should be allowed to play Quidditch. He's rather good.
DUMBLEDORE: No deal, McG. He's only a first year student. Step off.
McGONAGALL: But we need a Seeker. Please?
DUMBLEDORE: A'ight. I'll let him play. I'll bend the rules just this once.
McGONAGALL: Understood. Also, Harry asked if he could bring girls up to his room. I know we don't allow first year students to have boy/girl sleepovers, but he's rather good at kissing and hugging. I've watched him do it. So…is that OK?
DUMBELDORE: Well…I guess we can bend the rules a little bit. He is the Chosen One, after all.
McGONAGALL: He also wants a tattoo of a naked lady on his chest. I said it was fine. He is really good at getting tattoos.
Chapter Ten: Halloween
Better Title: Life Is Worth Exactly 5 Points
At breakfast, Harry receives a Nimbus Two Thousand broom from Professor McGonagall. Harry Potters is so stupid and dumb. I hate him and his face. (Sorry. Just being jealous again.)
I wish my teachers gave me magical objects. Instead they only gave me strange looks, broken candy canes, and notes on my exams which read, "Please stop writing 'Tah dah' at the end of every one of your math problems, Mr. Bergstein."
I love the idea of broom flying. They're like less-noisy jetpacks. Sadly, I'm not an inherently good broom rider because my dad isn't a broom rider. He's an accountant. He can only use a broom to sweep up dead mice in the garage and to levitate a mere 7 feet off the ground. Lousy Muggle.
Harry has his first Quidditch practice with Wood. They go over the basic rules of the game. I won't list them here because whenever I type the word Quaffle, I get hungry for quadruple waffles.
In Charms class, the students pair up to try and make a feather levitate. Of course Hermione, who is a book enthusiast and doesn't mind letting her opinions be known, can easily make her feather levitate, much to Ron's disgust. Later Ron talks smack about Hermione, who is bookish and bossy, and she runs away crying.
Instead of attending the Halloween feast, Hermione, who is well read and commanding, cries in the bathroom. Professor Quirrell runs into the dinning hall and tells Dumbledore that there's a troll loose in the castle. This leads to a lot of rushing about and excitement as the students are all led back to their dorms.
Ron realizes that Hermione, who is bossy and bookish, is still in the bathroom and decides to sneak off with Harry to bring her back to the dorm. Now, it would be more prudent to inform a professor or someone older, but…shut up. Through some misadventures, the two kids mistakenly lock the troll in the girls bathroom along with Hermione, who is bookish. She's bossy, too.
They rush in to save her and have a wonderful fight with the troll. The professors finally arrive and are furious. Hermione, who can read splendidly, lies and takes full responsibility, saying she only wanted to get a better look at the troll and Harry and Ron saved her life.
Five points are deducted from Gryffindor because of bookish Hermione's disobedience. Harry and Ron are each awarded five points for their bravery. And so after you do the math, Hermione's life is worth exactly five measly points.
HERMIONE: Help! My entire family is about to be eaten by sharks!
HARRY: I'll save you. [Harry saves Hermione and her family.]
DUMBLEDORE: For saving Miss Granger and her family, I award Harry Potter a bag of fruit snacks and a pencil.
HERMIONE: What the what?!
DUMBELDORE: The package of fruit snacks contains mostly orange, because those are the worst flavor.
DUMBLEDORE: And I'm going to cut off Miss Granger's pinkies as punishment for nearly being eaten by sharks.
DUMBLEDORE: Tough luck, H-dawg. Getting attacked by sharks is strictly forbidden and I must make an example of you. Hold out your hands.
Chapter Eleven: Quidditch
Better Title: Setting Fire To Your Teacher Is Fun
If there are only four Quidditch teams at Hogwarts, isn't it a bit much to call it a "Quidditch season"? The entire "season" could be over in a weekend. And yet in every book the Quidditch season seems to drag out for the entire year. Technically, a team would only need to play twice.
I like Quidditch, but I wish the Hogwarts kids played against other schools. Reading about Harry going up against the same Houses again and again is a bit boring. Plus I think the American Wizarding School's Quidditch team would destroy Hogwarts because Americans are better, and stronger, and freedom, and you can't tread on us, and we're number one, and football, and we made the iPod, and sports, and pizza, and USA USA USA! Liberty Bell!
The meat of this chapter deals with the Quidditch game between Gryffindor and Slytherin. The game starts with a lot of fanfare as Lee Jordon, one of the secret best Harry Potter characters, gives a play-by-play of the action. Things happen, points are scored, people look for the Snitch. If you've read one Quidditch scene, you've read them all.
This one is slightly different than the rest because something happens to Harry. Oh wait. That happens quit a bit during Quidditch games. In fact, they should change the name of the sport to "Team Plot Advancement." This time, it would appear that Snape is somehow bewitching Harry's broom, sending him higher and higher.
Hermione, who enjoys prose and knowledge as well as ordering people around, uses Hagrid's binoculars and notices Snape in the stands staring at Harry and muttering magical words. She sets off to stop him while Ron and the rest of the spectators stare up at the Boy Who Lived dangling high above the ground. Why no one Accio's Harry to safety, is a mystery.
Question: Can you Accio a person? If so…Accio, Robocop! [Dan sits on the front porch expectantly, wearing a suit and tie, and holding a bouquet of roboflowers.]
The bossy/bookish Hermione thinks the best way to stop Snape is by setting him on fire. Remind me to never ask Hermione to stop a toddler from running into the street. Her plan works, and Snape loses his concentration. Harry comes sailing back to the ground, and when he lands, he spits out the Snitch. Somehow he managed to catch the golden object in his mouth, and thus Gryffindor wins. Huzzahhhhh.
Later Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who is bookish, go to Hagrid's for some tea to help them relax. Harry mentions the three-headed dog. Hagrid tries to change topics, saying that whatever is hidden beneath the dog is no one's business but Dumbledore's and some guy named Nicolas Flamel.
The Potter kids now have a new name to investigate and since I can't remember who Nicolas Flamel is, I'm anxious to learn more.
[Robocop, I'm going inside to read some. If you come by, just let yourself in and help yourself to some robolemonade. It's in the green pitcher.]
HARRY: So, I'm the Seeker and that means it's my job to find the Snitch.
HARRY: Catching the Snitch is worth 150 points and the game doesn't end until someone catches the Snitch.
HARRY: The three Chasers try to score 10-point goals. It's possible to win this way, but it's not easy.
WOOD: You got it.
HARRY: OK. So why the hell doesn't one or two of the Chasers help me find and catch the Snitch instead of trying to nab ten lousy points? The game would be over faster and we'd win.
WOOD: I don't understand.
HARRY: If we were in a competition to eat the biggest burger, I'd be chewing the meat while the Chasers would be nibbling on the pickles. Can't one of the Chasers help a brother out? Instead of getting ten points, they could be helping me get 150.
WOOD: Right. You have a point. But what the hell is a ten?
Chapter Twelve: The Mirror of Erised
Better Title: Desire Fo Rorrim Eht
And now we come to the saddest chapter in this book, when Harry finally sees his parents in the magical mirror. Go ahead and cry. I did. If you don't let the tears out now, one day you'll be in the electronic section of Target and spontaneously yelp, "They loved you Harry! Never forget that! They aren't gone if you carry them in your heart!" And then the store clerk shows you to the bench at the front of the store where you can collect yourself. Trust me. It's not pretty.
On Christmas morning there are a pile of presents for Harry, much to Harry's surprise. He gets candy from the book admirer Hermione, a sweater from Mrs. Weasley, and a wooden flute from Hagrid. He also receives the Cloak of Invisibility from an anonymous gift-giver. (I bet you $40 it's from badass Flitwick!)
The Cloak of Invisibility is a fun idea, but…well…there's something that doesn't make sense to me. How do you see it? If it makes any object under it invisible, then the cloak itself must be invisible too.
"Dan," you say. "You're an idiot and I hope you die in a helicopter propeller. The cloak only works when a human is beneath it. When it's not in use, it looks like a regular cloak."
Fair enough. But that brings me to my next problem, one that involves every type of physics from meta to astro.
Let's say I put the cloak on. You couldn't see me. I would be invisible. All light passes through me. Right? Right. Now, let's say I'm wearing the cloak, and the cloak is long enough that a bit at the bottom drags on the floor. What happens if you look directly down at me? Would you see through he Earth?
The cloak allows light to pass through it and the objects beneath it. That means the stone floor would also be invisible. It's under the cloak, too. I'm under the cloak. My clothes are under the cloak. We would all be invisible. The ground is also wearing the cloak, technically. And so a person need only look down and peer through the Earth's core to realize something is afoul.
To which you say, "But Dan, you're a complete ass face. The cloak's powers only work for a small amount of matter. It would hide you, but the power would not penetrate through the entire Earth. Stop being such a ho-bag."
OK. Let's agree that the cloak's powers cannot penetrate through the entire planet. But its powers wouldn't just stop once the human is completely hidden. Some of the ground would be turned invisible too. And yet we never hear Snape cry out, "My god! I can see dirt where there should be carpet!"
And is the cloak one-sided? If not, when Harry wore it, the entire world would be invisible to him. Or at least those objects that come very close to the cloak. So if I'm wearing it, and standing right next to you, wouldn't you also be wearing it, from my point of view, and thus you would be invisible to me?
Think of it this way: If I'm wearing a sheet of red cellophane, you would see me as being red. And I would see you as being red. I suppose the cloak only works one way, but…but…
"Dan," you say. "You're being a turtle fart. Stop over analyzing something that was meant to be fun and entertaining."
You're 100% correct. I love the Invisibility Cloak. I want one almost as much as I want a jetpack or Robocop's e-mail address. I'm just spitting out the random thoughts that pop into my head. By the way, isn't it odd that all buckets can be hats, but not all hats can be buckets?
Sorry for the long rant. Anyway…Harry uses the cloak for the first time and eventually finds himself in a room with the magic mirror that shows him his parents as if they were still alive. It's a touching scene. The next night, he takes Ron to the room, hoping to show off his parents. But Ron sees himself as Head Boy and star Quidditch player.
The mirror only shows you what your heart desires most, so if I looked into it, I would see myself starring in my own TV show featuring puppets, robots, Pam from the Office, werewolves, pie, an infinity roller coaster, friendly giant spiders, pudding, and thought-provoking kites—a show I call "Seinfeld 2" or "Dan-tasy Island."
HARRY: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
HERMIONE: I see a perfect grade and my very own library.
NEVILLE: I see a great big hole I can hide in.
SNAPE: I see a young woman whose name is certainly not Lily.
FLITWICK: A pack of smokes and my enemy's head mounted on the headlight of my motorcycle.
McGONAGALL: Flitwick playing sweaty volleyball.
QUIL: My very own apartment on Sesame Street.
HARRY: Who the hell are you?
QUIL: Um…I'll be leaving now. Technically, it's against the law for me come within 500 feet of a school anyway. Later, haters! Wolfman, out!
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