Blogging Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Part 10
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Snape's Worst Memory
Better Title: Snape Had It Easy
Fred and George are well on their way to becoming the greatest twins in all of literature as they completely give up on Hogwarts and instead dedicate their lives to upsetting Umbridge. More on that in the next chapter.
Much of this chapter deals with Snape's past, specifically the memory he's been hiding from Harry during Occlumency lessons. Before the lesson one evening, Snape has to rush out of the office, leaving Harry alone with the forbidden memory swirling about in the Pensieve.
We all know Harry is a rule-breaker, so it's no surprise that he takes a peek at Snape's dark past. You know how this turns out. Harry sees his own father teasing and bullying poor Snape. It's a shock to Harry to witness his dad being a jerk—something that will take several chapters for him to deal with—but what bothers me more about this memory is that Snape, well, is an ass.
Surely he didn't deserve to be bullied, and it must have sucked to be picked on by cool dude James Potter, but if this, and this alone, is why Snape is such a jerk as an adult, and this is his very worst memory, then Snape is a whiny b-word who needs to grow the hell up!
There. I said it.
I'm sure you have memories far worse than this living in your head. Hell, I suffered through 37 incidences just this morning that were more traumatic than Snape's so-called worst memory. Granted, most of my horrible experiences this morning dealt with a burnt tongue and mac-n-cheese that was not yet cool enough for human consumption, but it still sucked.
If the very worst thing, the most terrible, awful thing to ever happen to you is that you were turned upside down in front of a pretty girl, then consider yourself damn lucky.
Moreover, I find it odd that of all the memories in Snape's mind, the only one he needs to hide from Harry is this silly moment. What about all the R and X-rated adventures human beings tend to have? Oh, it’s fine for Harry to accidentally stumble upon a memory in Snape’s head of Snape’s first sexual experience, but don't you dare let Harry see you get shoved.
In the previous blog, I ragged on Cho "I'm As Boring As a Toothpick" Chang. But her boyfriend was killed by a dark lord. Losing a loved one is twenty-million times worse than being flipped upside down.
Screw you, Snape. If you can't laugh off that experience, then you're a wretched person. And everyone who thinks Snape is so cool and dark and meaningful and poignant should realize that they're admiring a pitiful man who has never, ever truly suffered. He’s brat. Add in some ridiculous magnet analogy, and he’s Bella Swan.
I know what true pain is. I read Twilight.
Snape catches Harry watching the "worst" memory and yanks him back to reality. Occlumency lessons are over.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Fred and George, on the verge of greatness.
SNAPE: I…I can't go on.
DUMBLEDORE: What is it, Severus?
SNAPE: It's too painful. Too evil…
DUMBLEDORE: What happened, my friend?
SNAPE: One time, I was sitting on a chair, and when I moved, the chair made a sound. Everyone thought I farted! Oh god! Now I'm crying again! Damn you, cruel world! DAMN YOU!
DUMBLEDORE: I believe you're overreacting.
SNAPE: No! You don't understand. Everyone thought I farted! But I didn't fart at all! I would never do such a thing! It was the chair! The chair made the noise. It was the plastic cushion!
SNAPE: And then I ran out of the room, and now twenty years later, I've decided to mock and degrade the son of the man who made that chair.
DUMBLEDORE: Seems a tad petty, no?
SNAPE: And this one time, I dropped my tray in the cafeteria and everyone started to applaud! That was the worst thing to ever happen to the universe!
DUMBLEDORE: You are the true hero, my friend.
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Career Advice
Better Title: Yay!
I know. I know. I keep saying that every scene in this book is my favorite, but the end of this chapter is really, 100%, no-foolin' my favorite. When Fred and George denounce Hogwarts, defy Umbridge, and fly off on their brooms, I tear up with happiness.
Fly on, you twins of mischief. Fly on!
The chapter also brings up many, many problems with the wizarding world. Harry and the gang are given career advice as their education is about to become more focused on specific jobs. It's the sort of thing that happens in high school, except the career opportunities for wizards are much more limited.
I don't get it. I don't get why a wizard must take on a wizarding occupation. If a wizard wanted to be a vet for cats and dogs? Sorry. You have to be a vet for crazy magical creatures. If a wizard wants to be astronaut? Sorry. You have to work for the Ministry and have a dull life. If a wizard wanted to learn math? Sorry, numbers and science are dumb and so must you be.
Thankfully, Harry doesn't want to be a doctor, scientist, engineer, writer, businessman, artist, lawyer, chef, dentist, public relations representative, actor, musician, entrepreneur, soldier, archaeologist, geologist, chemist, physicist, filmmaker, medical technician, any other type of technician, child-care worker, designer, economist, carpenter, computer programmer, pilot, systems analyst, surveyor, pharmacist, architect, farmer, dancer, actuary, electrician, mason, orthodontist, chief executive, sales manager, art director, biochemist, college professor (is there even a college?), miner, chiropractor, software developer, auditor, purchasing agent, or plumber.
He instead chooses a wizard job. He wants to be an Auror, who are the wizarding police. But as we all know from the previous books, these Aurors are about as useful as a no-legged dog when it comes to fighting crime. They casually let students be hunted down by monsters and Dark Lords and don't so much as issue a warning when trouble arises. Saying you want to be an Auror is like saying you want to be an assistant high school fencing coach. You're not going to be that busy.
Come to think of it, being an Auror is a pretty sweet gig. You get to sit around all day and do nothing, and every once in awhile you have to bust a ghost or kill a were-donkey.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: The twins transcend Hogwarts and prove that formal education is not for everyone. Fly on, you copper-topped pranksters. Fly on!
RON: So what do you want to be when you grow up?
HARRY: An Auror.
RON: Me too!
HARRY: Where should we go to college?
RON: Huh? What the hell is a college? Is that some sort of cheesy milkshake? I'd like a college, please.
HARRY: No. It's where you go after high school. You attend a university or college.
RON: University? That sounds like a spaceship.
HARRY: So there are no wizard colleges or universities?
HARRY: And after we leave Hogwarts, we're to have all the knowledge we'll ever need?
HARRY: Hmm. Seems like wizards would be total idiots.
RON: Nuh-uh. Wizards are real, real smart.
HARRY: But you've made no advancements in the areas of science or technology in over 3,000 years.
RON: Yeah, but we can fly on brooms! That's crazy-smart!
DUMBLEDORE: And sometimes we don't tell little kids important information that will help them live longer. Smart!
Chapter Thirty: Grawp
Better Title: Oh Brother Where Art Thou
It's tough to finish this book after the Weasley twins escape Hogwarts. That's the highlight of the entire series, and would have made a much finer ending than what happens in Book 7. (Oh…we go into Harry's head and Voldemort is sad and the souls were linked and then everything was vague? BRILLIANT!…Sarcasm Hand.)
After the Twins' departure, other students at Hogwarts have taken up the responsibility of pulling pranks and upsetting Umbridge. There are lots of stink bombs and fireworks being unleashed in the hallways, and McGonagall, Flitwick, and the other "cool" professors are enjoying Umbridge's attempts at restoring order.
Most of the chapter takes place in the forest during a Quidditch match as a bruised and battered Hagrid takes Hermione and Harry to see…Grawp. Grawp is Hagrid's half-brother, and at nearly 16 feet tall, he's much more a giant than Hagrid. Grawp can't really speak, and acts like a confused and troubled child. Loveable Hagrid brought him back from the land of the giants and now isn't sure what to do with him. Hagrid suspects Umbridge is going to fire him, and if Hagrid has to move out of Hogwarts, he wants Harry and Hermione to look after Grawp.
Of course Harry says he’ll help. Hagrid could probably ask Harry to smuggle nuclear weapons into Iceland, and Harry would do it. Hagrid is just that charming. (Or, more likely, Harry is just that dumb.)
Not much else happens here. After returning to the Quidditch match, Harry and Hermione learn that Ron actually did well during the match, and Gryffindor won.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: The centaurs are still pretty cool, if somewhat mean.
HAGRID: Harry, I need you to do something for me.
HARRY: Sure, what?
HAGRID: Kill a Dutchman.
HAGRID: Just do it.
HAGRID: Because you're my friend and I'm asking you.
HAGRID: Aren't we best buddies?
HARRY: Sure. Um…OK. I'll do it.
[Harry kills a Dutchman]
House Bergstein School Announcements
The prom theme is "Spines." Dress accordingly.
Those wishing to take the field trip to Easter Bunny village, please remember that all human beings are deathly allergic to Easter bunnies, hence all the Easter bunny secrecy and hiding of eggs. You will need 17 inoculations if you'd to go on the trip.
The ceiling in the bathroom knows what you did and told me everything.
The pizza party will be occurring twenty-four minutes ago, and only those who have mastered time travel may attend. (Way to go, gang! So proud of you!)
Fireworks are banned. Fireplays are required.
Find a new flavor.
Fold a pencil in half.
Write an essay on the subject of: Mooooooooooooo.
Related posts: Blogging Harry Potter