Chapter Seven: The Slug Club
Better Title: Ginger Tale
In this chapter, Slughorn gathers up all the children of famous wizards, along with Ginny, and introduces them to the Slug Club. Ginny gets the invite because Sluggy notices that she’s pretty handy with the Bat-Bogey Hex.
Holy crap! I take back every awful thing I said about Ginny. She’s not a boring character! She’s not a lamp! She’s not a plot device devoid of charisma, crammed into the story just so Harry has someone to love!
She’s amazing! She’s incredible!
SHE CAN DO THAT BAT-BOGEY HEX!
What a champion of personality and adventure Ginny Weasley has become!
We should probably build a statue in her honor, and a boat. She’s like Double-Batman!
Bat-Bogey Hex? Wow. Just...wow. Color me impressed and color me red because I am now an official Ginny Weasley fan. Let me just jaunt on down to the tattoo hut and get “Ginny” tattooed on my right toe knuckles and “Rules” across my left.
Ginny, you are a spirited warrior in the tradition of Han Solo and Nancy Drew. Your personality shines like a thousand Luna Lovegoods and your charm is that of a million Hagrids!
If you are a lamp, then you are the brightest, most vivid lamp in the world—a veritable volcano of light as luminous as lightning reflected off fresh white snow!
You suck. You’re a lamp. And not a good lamp with tassels or even a lava lamp. You’re just a lamp. A dusty one. A lamp that you take to your college and then never use. That’s you. You’re the forgotten lamp. And no Bat-Bogey Hex skills can change my mind. You’re only part of the Slug Club as an excuse to get you and Harry in the same scenes.
I do not like you.
You are not even as interesting as the lint in Luna’s pocket, which Luna will no doubt turn into a bug...because she is awesome.
The real meat of the chapter deals with Draco. He’s up to something, but Harry doesn’t know what. On the train to Hogwarts, Harry wants to spy on him and find out the truth. Everything goes swimmingly (which is such a strange term) until the children arrive at Hogwarts. When the train stops, Draco, who secretly knew Harry was spying the whole time, petrifies Harry, stomps on his nose, and covers him with the invisibility Cloak so that no one will find him.
This is the greatest thing Draco does as a villain. It's truly evil. No sarcasm hand here.
A lot of terrible things happen to Potter in these books, but this one freaked me out the most. The thought of being petrified and invisible is the stuff of nightmares. It’s almost too awful to think about. This is why I always wave my hands around the ground whenever I’m on a train, just to see if there are any petrified people hidden beneath invisibility cloaks. I encourage you to do the same. With your help, maybe we can stop the threat of invisible petrified people once and for all!
HARRY: So I’m in this new elite club for talented and famous wizards.
GINNY: Me too.
HARRY: Why were you invited?
GINNY: Because it gives us an excuse to be in the same chapter. This is as close to a date as we’re ever going to get, so we might as well enjoy it.
HARRY: I love you. I love the way your personality is like that of flat ginger ale and your beauty is like that of an OK-looking painting.
GINNY: My elbows bend and I have teeth in my mouth.
HARRY: Amazing! You are amazing!
LUNA: Hey guys. I just killed a bunch of zombies using karate and knitted a scarf that makes you fly.
HARRY: Luna, come in here. Ginny has teeth! Teeth in her mouth! Show her, Ginny!
Chapter Eight: Snape Victorious
Better Title: It Wasn’t Until Just Now That I Realize “Snape” is Just “Snake” With a P
Tonks saves Harry! Tonks is one of my favorite characters. If Tonks, the Weasley Twins, Luna, and Flitwick all teamed up to fight Fenrir...well, that would be a novel I would read as hard as I possible could.
Of course, Tonks isn’t her usual chipper self in this chapter. We don’t find out why she’s dumpers until later, but for now I just want to give her a hug and some hot cocoa and say, “Hang in there, T.”
At the Hogwart’s front door, Tonks and Harry are greeted by a sneering Snape who deducts a million-billion points from Gryffindor for Harry’s tardiness.
Harry misses the welcoming feast at Hogwarts, but makes it into the hall in time to hear Dumbledore announce the new teaching positions. Slughorn is the new Potions Teacher and Snape is finally the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
Meanwhile, Hagrid invites Harry, Hermione, and Ron to meet Buckbeak before class...but Harry and the gang are too ashamed to tell Hagrid that they’re not taking his class this year. Wow. That’s harsh.
I’m not crying. I’m not sad. I’m not feeling sorry for poor ol’ Hagrid. STOP LOOKING AT ME!
HARRY: Hey Aragog! I’m back!
HARRY: I bet you missed me.
ARAGOG: Die twice. [cough]
HARRY: How was your summer?
ARAGOG: Die in a barn. [cough]
HARRY: Are you feeling alright?
ARAGOG: Shut up. I don’t need some Johnny Haircut fool coming in [cough] my forest and asking me how my summer [cough] was! And I feel fine.
HARRY: You sure are coughing a lot.
ARAGOG: Well excuse me for [cough] being an old blind spider who lives out in the nature, exposed to extreme [cough] temperatures and all the damn germs you sad little losers bring around here with your sticky fingers and lips all covered in flu! [cough]
HARRY: You don’t look so good.
ARAGOG: Hey Leroy!
ARAGOG: Johnny Haircut here doesn’t think I’m handsome.
LEROY: That a fact?
ARAGOG: He says I don’t look good.
LEROY: You’re downright stunning.
ARAGOG: Oh, I know that. [cough] And you know that. But little scar-head here think he’s now the judge and jury of all beauty. Tell me, Johnny Head-Wound, are you the judge and jury of all beauty?
HARRY: I think I better go now.
ARAGOG: Run along, Ugly Johnny. There’s nothing for you here except mountains of truth and rivers of facts. [cough-cough]
Chapter Nine: The Half-Blood Prince
Better Title: It’s Snape
Harry lucks out and even though he technically shouldn’t be allowed to take the classes needed to become an Auror, Slughorn has lower requirements than Snape, so Harry can take Potions.
Does that make sense? I’ll be honest, all this OWLS and NEWT stuff is lost on me. I barely understood my SAT score (I think I got 27.9-degrees of points?) so asking me to understand wizard grading will only result in half-assed answers.
Harry survives his first Snape-helmed Defense Against the Dark Arts class, but just barely. Potions class goes better for Harold, thanks in large part to the borrowed text book he’s using. The book is filled with helpful notes and hints, all of which were written by the mysterious former student known only as The Half-Blood Prince.
Because he makes his Potion extra good, Harry wins a small amount of Felix Felicis, a luck potion that will give the user twelve hours of great luck!
Hermione, naturally, is pissed that Harry would cheat, but Harry and Ron, naturally, don’t care what Hermione has to say.
HARRY: When should I use the luck juice?
RON: Use it right now and then go ask out the prettiest girl in school!
HERMIONE: You should use it before an exam.
DEAN THOMAS: Or, I don’t know, you could drink it, travel back in time, save your parents, stop Voldemort, and ensure the well-being of the entire world.
HARRY: Nah. That sounds dumb. I’m going to ask out the prettiest girl in school. I’ll bring her a glass of lukewarm water and some napkins. Those are her favorite!
House Bergstein School Announcements
There’s a bake sale in the Chamber of Bake Sales! But, for some reason, the proceeds are going towards funding evil and hate. Be advised.
Because of the constant snickering and mockery, Professor Weenerdirt has resigned as Magical Poems Professor. I would be more upset, but really...with a name like Weenerdirt, he was kind of asking for it. Please welcome our new professor, Malcolm Diarrheatongue.
The coed No-Laugh Team defeated Chumpy’s School for Dentistry and Creeks! The winning word was, “Sex.” Congratulations!
The treasure map that is being passed around does not lead to treasure. It leads to math. 'Tis a trap.
The student calling himself Tommy Not-a-Tree, is actually a well dressed tree. Attack him on sight.
Find the highest number you can count to in an hour, and then multiply that by the smallest number you can draw.
Find a way to scientifically prove that rocks are a kind of cherry.
Read this sentence carefully.