Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’: Chapter 7
In the seventh chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry finally turns seventeen and rejoices in the ability to use magic whenever he wants. This moment, however, is nearly ruined by the appearance of Rufus Scrimgeour. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.
CHAPTER 7: THE WILL OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
Man, the chapter title alone filled me with anticipation. Unlike other books, I didn’t read any chapter titles this time around at all. I didn’t want to know ANYTHING going into this book. I don’t think I’m sad for knowing the SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE spoiler because my brain convinced itself it wasn’t happening in Half-Blood Prince. But I’m happy to be traveling forth through Deathly Hallows without a single spoiler. (I’D LIKE TO KEEP IT THAT WAY, BRB RETURNING TO INTERNET BUBBLE).
Seeing Dumbledore’s name set off a nervous flurry inside because, again, I didn’t expect much of him in this book at all. We begin with Harry waking up on his birthday. Ron says Harry was saying a name—Gregotovich—while sleeping. This is obviously a plot from Rowling to drop this tiny detail and then bring it back later to BLOW OUR MINDS, so, unlike every book so far, I am going to desperately try to remember this detail because…well, there’s no real reason except that I keep getting fooled by these books and I am determined to finally end it.
Let’s talk about how fantastic it is that Harry is no longer and underage wizard anymore:
- Harry seized the wand lying beside his camp bed, pointed it at the cluttered desk where he had left his glasses, and said, “Accio Glasses!” Although they were only around a foot away, there was something immensely satisfying about seeing them zoom toward him, at least until they poked him in the eye.
“Slick,” snorted Ron.
Reveling in the removal of his Trace, Harry sent Ron’s possessions flying around the room, causing Pigwidgeon to wake up and flutter excitedly around his cage. Harry also tried tying the laces of his trainers by magic (the resultant knot took several minutes to untie by hand) and, purely for the pleasure of it, turned the orange robes on Ron’s Chudley Cannons posters bright blue.
“I’d do your fly by hand, though,” Ron advised Harry, sniggering when Harry immediately checked it.
I was pretty much enjoying myself and this scene until Rowling reminded me that Harry has a penis and I WOULD NOT LIKE TO THINK ABOUT THE GENITALS OF ANY PERSON IN THIS SERIES. Thank you very much, J.K. Rowling.
I was slightly weirded out by Ron’s gift to Harry, but I think I’ll see where it goes before I MANRAEG COMPLAIN. But a guide to Charm females?
Look, I am a dude. I have also only kissed a girl whilst I was in a musical. (why am I so tragically gay) So I realize my privilege and my utter inexperience wooing the opposite gender. But these sort of self-help guides for men for how they win over women always seemed really strange and insulting to me. I think we all know that there is no code for attracting other people and it is always going to depend on the various circumstances and personalities to involve. Still, there’s no parody (YET) involved with introducing this detail, so it seemed weird.
Harry heads downstairs to find a mound of presents for him from everyone. Mrs. Weasley’s gift….OHHHH GODDDDDD.
- “It’s traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age,” said Mrs. Weasley, watching him anxiously from beside the cooker. “I’m afraid that one isn’t new like Ron’s, it was actually my brother Fabian’s and he wasn’t terribly careful with his possessions, it’s a bit dented on the back, but–”
The rest of her speech was lost; Harry had got up and hugger her. He tried to put a lot of unsaid things into the hug and perhaps she understood them, because she patted his cheek clumsily when he released her, then waved her hand in a slightly random way, causing half a pack of bacon to flop out of the frying pan onto the floor.
OHHHHMMMYYYYYYGGGGGGOOOOOODDDDDDDDD. Harry has lost his mother and his father and two father figures over the course of the series. And he finally recognizes Molly for who she is: the only real mother figure he’s ever had. S;LDKFJAA;SFKLJA;SKDFJA;AKJ;ASDKFJA;DSKFJASDF;J
But the present Ginny gives him is…well, you all know.
- Ginny looked up into Harry’s face, took a deep breath, and said, “Happy seventeenth.”
She was looking at him steadily; he, however, found it difficult to look back at her; it was like gazing into a brilliant light.
“Nice view,” he said feebly, pointing toward the window.
HAHAHDSFLJKAHSDF ARE YOU SERIOUS, HARRY. Oh god, this is hilarious.
- ”So then I thought, I’d like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some vela when you’re off doing whatever you’re doing.”
“I think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground, to be honest.”
“There’s the silver lining I’ve been looking for,” she whispered, and then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before, and Harry was kissing her back, and it was blissful oblivion, better than firewhiskey; she was the only real thing in the world, Ginny, the feel of her, one hand at her back and one in her long, sweet-smelling hair—
The door banged open behind them and they jumped apart.
“Oh,” said Ron pointedly. “Sorry.”
RON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Oh god, Ron, you are my favorite even when do things like this. I am glad he is way past the point of freaking out about dudes getting’ it on with Ginny. Though it is Harry we’re talking about. WHATEVER, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. Let’s just appreciate how DAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWW this moment is. Oh god, WHY DO I SHIP GINNY AND HARRY SO HARD.
Ron is certainly mature enough to accept his sister’s relationship with Harry, but he starts a small argument with Harry about Harry’s intentions.
- ”She was really cut up when you ended it—“
“So was I. You know why I stopped it, and it wasn’t because I wanted to.”
“Yeah, but you go snogging her now and she’s just going to get her hopes up again—
“She’s not an idiot, she knows it can’t happen, she’s not expecting us to—to end up married, or—“
As he said it, a vivid picture formed in Harry’s mind of Ginny in a white dress, marrying a tall, faceless, and unpleasant stranger. In one spiraling moment it seemed to hit him: Her future was free and unencumbered, whereas his…he could see nothing but Voldemort ahead.
I still get why Harry broke up with her, as much as I want both of them to be happy. I think that Harry has lost two people he cared about, that he loved. (Sorry I am not including Cedric, but I suppose that also contributes to Harry’s mindest.) He knows that Voldemort will attack those he loves because he’s proven it. It’s real. It’s a real risk. So cutting things off from Ginny makes sense, and it makes sense why he doesn’t want Ron or Hermione to come along.
I don’t know if I think anyone is entirely in the wrong or in the right here and it’s a delicate situation all around. Ginny initiated the kiss and, really, WHO COULD BLAME HER. I know she’s acting strong so far, but she has to be more torn up about this than she is letting on.
Ugh, what a shitty situation.
Harry’s party is a break from this; Mrs. Weasley’s cake is a giant Snitch, which is unbelievably amazing. (Why is Lupin so unhappy, by the way? Hmmmm.) Charlie shows up, with his new haircut WHY DO YOU HATE PUNK ROCK MRS. WEASLEY. We learn that Norbert is actually a female dragon! Oh god, that is from THE FIRST BOOK. Oh god.
And in typical Rowling fashion, just as we’re enjoying something amidst the terror of the larger narrative, she pulls the rug out from under us.
- They all saw it at the same time: a streak of light that came flying across the yeard and onto the table, where it resolved itself into a bright silver weasel, which stood on its hind legs and spoke with Mr. Weasley’s voice.
“Minister of Magic coming with me.”
The Patronus dissolved into thin air, leaving Fleur’s family peering in astonishment at the place where it had vanished.
“We shouldn’t be here,” said Lupin at once. “Harry—I’m sorry—I’ll explain another time—“
WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING. Why is the Minister showing up? And why can’t Tonks and Lupin be around???
Scrimgeour shows up and completely ruins Harry’s party by requesting private words with Ron, Hermione, and himself. This is not good. THIS IS NOT GOOD, GUYS.
But right off the bat, their conversation is ridiculously satisfying on multiple levels, but mostly for the fact that I am so happy that these three people are simply done taking bullshit.
- ”I have some questions for the three of you, and I think it will be best if we do it individually. If you two”—he pointed at Harry and Hermione—“can wait upstairs, I will start with Ronald.”
“We’re not going anywhere,” said Harry, while Hermione nodded vigorously. “You can speak to us together, or not at all.”
Scrimgeour gave Harry a cold, appraising look. Harry had the impression that the Minister was wondering whether it was worthwhile opening hostilities this early.
Seriously? How do you high five characters through the pages? I am ecstatic for what is about to happen.
- “I am here, as I’m sure you know, because of Albus Dumbledore’s will.”
- ”A surprise, apparently! You were not aware then that Dumbledore had left you anything?”
“A-all of us?” said Ron. “Me and Hermione too?”
“Yes, all of—“
WWWWWWWWHHHHHHHAAAAATTTTTTTTTT. What the hell is going on? THIS IS SO EXCITING. But…it’s been a while since this…will came into effect. So what took so long?
- “Isn’t it obvious?” said Hermione, before Scrimgeur could answer. “They wanted to examine whatever he’s left us. You had no right to do that!” she said, and her voice trembled slightly.
“I had every right,” said Scrimgeour dismissively. “The Decree for Justifiable Confiscation gives the Ministry the power to confiscate the contents of a will—“
“That law was created to stop wizards passing on Dark artifacts,” said Hermione, “and the Ministry is supposed to have powerful evidence that the deceased’s possessions are illegal before seizing them! Are you telling me that you thought Dumbledore was trying to pass us something cursed?”
“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.
HAHAHAAH YOU ARE A FOOL, SCRIMGEOUR. That’s your comeback? Oh, you are not prepared, sir.
But then I wasn’t prepared either. Scrimgeour makes a good point that’s actually pretty hard to contest: Dumbledore left Ron something in his will. Why?
It was a strange moment to read because it’s something that makes me wonder about all the moments we’ve never seen in this series. Ron and Dumbledore clearly never hung out, but what about Hermione and McGonagall? Did they ever talk outside of that meeting during Prisoner of Azkaban? I don’t think it was Rowling’s intention for me to think about any of this, but that’s what happens inside my weird brain.
So let’s move on to the actual items willed to our trio. Ron gets Dumbledore’s Deluminator. It took me a second to remember what this was because it’s been a long time since it was around: first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone. And then I read my first review and I am a moron.
But…why? Why the Deluminator?
Hermione’s item makes no sense either: a copy of The Tales of Beedle The Bard, which, by the way, is currently sitting on my bookshelf. Oh god, why am I trying so hard to put myself in this series. But what does it mean? WHY IS ROWLING ADDING MORE MYSTERIES WHEN THERE ARE OTHER MYSTERIES TO FIGURE OUT? Oh god, are we in the Department of Mysteries right now?
- Hermione took it from Scrimgeour without a word. She held the book in her lap and gazed at it. Harry saw that the title was in runes; he had never learned to read them. As he looked, a tear splashed onto the embossed symbols.
Oh god, Hermione, please do not cry. I cannot handle it.
- ”’To Harry James Potter,’” he read, and Harry’s insides contracted with a sudden excitement, “’I leave the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match at Hogwarts, as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill.’”
Well, this is not one of the saddest things ever OH WAIT IT TOTALLY IS. I don’t even care if there’s no big secret behind what it’s for. This is such a heartfelt (and heart-wrenching) thing to be given. OH GOD, DUMBLEDORE, WHY ARE YOU THE VERY BEST.
I thought Scrimgeour was losing it when he suggested there was some sort of conspiracy involved with the Snitch birthday cake, but then shit gets so goddamn real.
- ”I don’t think there’s anything hidden in the icing,” said Scrimgeour, “but a Snitch would be a very good hiding place for a small object. You know why, I’m sure?”
Harry shrugged. Hermione, however, answered: Harry thought that answering questions correctly was such a deeply ingrained habit she could not suppress the urge.
“Because Snitches have flesh memories,” she said.
- ”Correct,” said Scrimgeour. “A Snitch is not touched by bare skin before it is released, not even by the maker, who wears gloves. It carries an enchantment by which it can identify the first human to lay hands upon it, in case of a disputed capture. This Snitch”—he held up the tiny golden ball—“will remember your touch, Potter. It occurs to me that Dumbledore, who had prodigious magical skill, whatever his other faults, might have enchanted this Snitch so that it will open only for you.”
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. OH my god, this is amazing. Also, for the sake of surprise, I am not going to read any part of Sorcerer’s Stone because I don’t want to figure this out OH GOD THIS IS GETTING SO EXCITING.
I was relieved that nothing happened when Harry held the Snitch because that means SUPER AWESOME FUN TIMES AHEAD. But, of course, a moment of relief is completely blown out of the water.
- ”Dumbledore left you a second bequest, Potter!”
“What is it?” asked Harry, excitement rekindling.
Scrimgeour did not bother to read from the will this time.
“The sword of Godric Gryffindor,” he said.
AKL;SDFASD SA;LKDFJ ;LASDFJ ASF;LD SDFAL; ADS;FLKJSAD;LKSFD;LKJ
HOLY FUCKING SHIT
OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK. Ok, so, I have to stop with the extreme keysmashes and caps lock freak outs because so much is happening right now. Scrimgeour wonders aloud why Harry should get the sword; perhaps Dumbledore intended Harry to use it to kill Dumbledore? (DUMBLEDORE IS DEAD, MARK. YOU MEAN VOLDEMORT. Stop trying to use your reviews to bring him back. ::sadfaces forever::)
- ”Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put down some people onto that, instead of wasting their time stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azkaban. So is this what you’ve been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying—I was nearly one of them—Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad-Eye Moody, but there’s been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you!”
Must. Figure. Out. Literary. High. Fives. This is one of Harry’s finer moments. It’s precise and necessary and brave and simply wonderful. Holy shit, guys!
- ”You go too far!” shouted Scrimgeour, standing up; Harry jumped to his feet too. Scrimgeour limped toward Harry and jabbed him hard in the chest with the point of his wand: It singed a hole in Harry’s T-shirt like a lit cigarette.
“Oi!” said Ron, jumping up and raising his own wand, but Harry said,
“No! D’you want to give him an excuse to arrest us?”
“Remembered you’re not at school, have you?” said Scrimgeour, breathing hard into Harry’s face. “Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insuboardination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It is time you learned some respect!”
Well, you just leapt to the top of my shit list, Scrimgeour. Did you just insult Harry’s scar? Do you realize how deeply fucked up that is?
Wow, what a douche.
Oh god, this review is seriously over 2,500 words already. I AM ON PAGE SIX IN MICROSOFT WORD ALREADY OH GOD.
So Scrimgeour is sort of chased away after Mr. and Mrs. Weasley arrive. After Harry briefly resumes his party, him, Hermione, and Ron continue to talk about the items Dumbledore left them, which includes the Snitch.
- ”Yeah, well,” said Harry, his pulse quickening as he raised the Snitch in his fingers. “I wasn’t going to try too hard in front of Scrimgeour, was I?”
“What do you mean?” asked Hermione.
“The Snitch I caught in my first ever Quidditch match?” said Harry. “Don’t you remember?”
Hermione looked simply bemused. Ron, however, gasped, pointing frantically from Harry to the Snitch and back again until he found his voice.
“That was the one you nearly swallowed!”
“Exactly,” said Harry, and with his heart beating fast, he pressed his mouth to the Snitch.
Head is exploding a million times over. How does she do this with such mundane details?
They find out that this triggers a message to appear on the Snitch: I open at the close. Do I understand what this means? Absolutely not. In fact, none of them are able to figure out why Dumbledore gave them what they gave them and it does give us possibly Ron’s best line of all time:
- ”Come off it!” said Ron, looking in disbelief from Harry to Hermione. “You must’ve heard of Babbitty Rabbitty—“
“Ron, you know full well Harry and I were brought up by Muggles!” said Hermione. “We didn’t hear stories like that when we were little, we heard ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and “Cinderella’—“
“What’s that, an illness?” asked Ron.
BEST PERSON OF ALL RECORDED TIME ON ALL PLANES OF EXISTENCE. Oh god, Ron, you are the best.