Chapter Thirty-Four: The Department of Mysteries
Better Title: Curtain o' Death
It’s been far too long since the previous blog. I wish I had a better excuse, but the truth is, I bought and drank time travel juice from an unreliable source, and while I was able to leap into the future, I had to stick around and wait for everyone else to catch up. Now that we’re all on the same timeline, let’s get to work! Also, who won the Olympics? And is planking still popular? Please say yes. I spent all this time making a planking smock.
Before we begin, head on over to MuggleNet.com and download the latest episode of the Alohomora Podcast to hear my sad, sleepy voice talk about Harry Potter for nearly two hours! The show was a lot of fun and a big ol’ bucket of thanks to the entire Alohomora team, who are as smart, funny, and fun as they are professional. You guys rock! LET ME BE ON YOUR SHOW AGAIN! I have so much to say! I promise not to be as sleepy!
On to the blog. Let’s plow through this so we can wrap up the book. Ready? Set! Go!
Harry and the rest of Shark Force Omega (which now includes Luna, Neville and Ginny) fly to the Ministry of Magic on the backs of Thestrals. Harry is sure that Sirius is in trouble and rushes to save him!
But at the ministry, they don't find Sirius. Instead, they find awesome, amazing rooms. One room is filled with glowing brains and another room is home of the dreaded curtain. (More on that curtain later.)
After much scrambling, Harry finds the right room, the room from his dreams, the room that will solve all the mysteries! But instead of finding Sirius inside, the gang finds a room filled with glass baubles and balls.
And then…the Death Eaters appears!
Favorite Part of the Chapter: The curtain!
GINNY: Did you see that room with the brains? That's not magic. More like Mag-ick!!! Know what I'm sayin'…
GINNY: But seriously folks, did you hear that Apple is launching a new app? Yeah, you can ask it questions for one year, and everyone will fall in love with the app, and then the app dies. It's called Siri-us. Ho-ho!
HARRY: That's not very funny, Ginny.
GINNY: Come on! I need to be the funny one! Right now I'm nothing but a plot device to assure readers that Harry marries someone familiar. I need a personality! Let me be the Seinfeld of this group! PLEASE!
GINNY: You know why Dumbledore can drive in the carpool lane? Because he's All Bus!
Chapter Thirty-Five: Beyond the Veil
Better Title: Sirius is Dead. That's for Curtain.
Here it is. The final battle of Sirius Black. Before Sirius and Bellatrix engage in the battle that sends Sirius to "Curtain Land" there's a lot of action with Harry and the gang fighting off the Death Eaters. I love it.
Whenever a battle like this erupts, I always ask why the bad guys don't just kill all the kids with Avada Kedavra…or a gun. But whatever. It makes for an exciting scene as all the kids run from the baddies.
Eventually, Harry ends up in the room with the deadly curtain. The Order of the Phoenix appear and start kicking all manner of ass, with Sirius going after Bellatrix.
Just when we think everything is good and lovely, Bellatrix zaps Sirius in the chest, sending him through the death curtain. So long, Sirius. You will be missed.
By the way, if you're looking for a cheap, yet terrifying Halloween costume this year, dress up as a Death Curtain. Take a photo and send it to me and I'll give you 65 Dan Points!
Harry tries to save Sirius but Lupin says, "Dude! No." But in a more Lupin-y way.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: That curtain is still awesome!
HERMIONE: We need to talk about Harry.
RON: What about? Seems alright to me.
HERMIONE: He's thrashing all the curtains in your house with a steak knife…
RON: Yeah. He just really hates curtains.
HERMIONE: He also burned all the bed sheets…
RON: He says bed sheets are curtains for your body.
HERMIONE: He's running around naked!
RON: "Clothes are just curtains waiting to happen," according to Harry.
GINNY: Did you hear about the Sorting Hat that nearly drowned in the lake? It was cap-sized! Wacka-wacka!
DEAN THOMAS: I liked you better as a lamp.
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Only One He Ever Fears
Better Title: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain
With Sirius curtained, Harry wants to attack Bellatrix. There's a chase through the Ministry of Magic as the two fight. Voldemort shows up, then Dumbledore, and then the two wizards battle.
It's a great scene, but it's a fight without much of a conclusion as Voldemort just pops away.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Dumbledore vs. Voldemort.
HARRY: So the curtain killed Sirius?
DUMBLEDORE: I’m afraid so, Harry.
HARRY: That's a hell of a curtain, huh?
HARRY: I'm guessing there's a reason why we can't just throw it on top of Voldemort and be done with this crap…
DUMBLEDORE: Hmm. Actually, we never thought of that before.
HARRY: I hate wizards.
HARRY: Who's there?
GINNY: Dean Thomas!
HARRY: Dean Thomas who?
GINNY: Exactly!!! Hahaha! You’ve been a lovely audience!
DUMBLEDORE: Ginny, you cannot be “the funny one.” We already have Ron for comic relief. How’s about you be “the one who’s great with maps.” Maps can be your thing.
GINNY: But I want to be the funny one.
DUMBLEDORE: Not gonna happen, Globe Girl.
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Lost Prophecy
Better Title: Dumbledore's a Jerk
Harry is back in Dumbledore's office and Dumbledore explains everything…sort of. The prophecy says a boy born in July will be as powerful as the Dark Lord. Either the special boy or the Dark Lord must die.
There were two wizards born in July, Harry and Neville. I never understood this whole "Is it Harry or Neville" mystery. Is it a mystery? Why does J.K. even bring this up? It’s like saying, “Someone with the initials HG will marry Ron, and this girl is bookish with bushy hair, and it’s Hermione.” This is a plot thread that never develops. Or maybe I missed something.
Harry is rightfully pissed that Dumbledore never explained anything. All Dumbledore says is, "Sowwy!" But in a more Dumbledorian manner.
We know Dumbledore is a good guy, but this ridiculous. Had he just told Harry from the start what was going on, Sirius would be alive and it would have saved a lot of time and trouble.
But…then this story wouldn't stretch out to seven books.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Angry Harry.
HARRY: You knew what was going on and didn't tell me?
HARRY: So my godfather would be alive if you'd said, "Harry, there's this prophecy that Voldemort might want. Don't go to the Ministry because it's 100% a trap." You could have passed me a note? Sent me a text? Or just shouted: Don't go to the Ministry!
DUMBLEDORE: What can I say? I'm a bit of a rascal!
HARRY: Well, at least now I know everything, right?
HARRY: There are no more prophecies or secret trinkets that would no doubt save a lot of lives and time…are there? And you don't know anything more about my scar, right?
DUMBLEDORE: Um…hey look! Ginny's here! She's so funny! Hi Ginny!
GINNY: Did you hear about the offensive painting at the museum that everyone is afraid of? Don't worry. It can't hurt you. It's just Bog-art!
Chapter Thirty-Eight: The Second War Begins
Better Title: Aww!
Umbridge wasn't killed by the centaurs, sadly. She's recovering in the hospital, along with Hermione.
Harry is still bummed out about Sirius, but finds comfort in Luna, who tells him about the death of her mom. It's so freaking touching that it's been four hours since I read it and I'm still crying from my eyes, nose, and mouth.
Instead of kissing Luna, like he should, Harry leaves. He has to stay with his aunt and uncle because he'll always be protected by his mother's blood…or some such nonsense. To be honest, I didn't read all this prophecy stuff too closely. But I do wonder why Harry doesn't just slather himself with his aunt's blood before doing battle against Voldemort. Isn’t that DNA like wearing a bulletproof vest? Perhaps we'll see that in the R-rated Harry Potter remakes.
The book ends with Harry feeling the love of his friends (both his classmates and the rad people of the Order of the Phoenix.)
It's a dark book, but it ends on a hopeful note. I like that.
Favorite Part of the Chapter: Luna.
HARRY: Hi Aragog!
ARAGOG: Shut up.
HARRY: Did you hear about Voldemort?
HARRY: Proud of me?
ARAGOG: For what? You ducked behind a statue. Yeah, kid. Way to go! You're the very best ducker in all the lands. Bravo.
HARRY: You should be nice to me. My godfather died.
ARAGOG: Killed by cloth. Quite the hero, huh?
HARRY: Ginny's telling jokes now. That's her new thing.
GINNY: Just saw Moody at the Apple store. He has a broken eye-pod. Ka-boom!
ARAGOG: Her, I don't like.
House Bergstein School Announcements
Holy crap! The new school year has begun and that means we need a new class officers. Here are the open positions.
Keeper of Magical Shoes (And Skis) [And Hilarious T-Shirts]
Master of Many Liquids
Secretary of Gravities
Secretary of Magic Orbs
Secretary of the School’s Stegosaurus
Captain of Illegal Maths
King/Queen of Plants
To apply, write a one-sentence essay explaining why you’re the best person for the job, and a second sentence answering the question: Did you hear about Todd?
Find a new word for “penguin.”
Add eight to everything.
Locate Spain in a dream.