Monthly Archives: September 2015
Ahh, chapter 6, the first chapter that is interesting. It’s titled: “The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters”. It could also be called, “The Five Chapter Bore is Over and Now on to the Reason why You Bought This Book–Magic School Time!” or it could be titled: “Wizards Possess an Extreme Lack of Foresight or Care for the Safe Travel of their Young Pupils to School.”
I mean…What exactly was Dumbledore thinking? “Hey Hagrid, go bust into the Muggle household and force the Dursleys to relinquish Harry for the day to buy his school supplies.” “Ok.” “Oh and, make sure you take Harry back to live with the Dursleys afterward as well. They’ve done a wonderful job raising our ward-of-the-state- and doing everything I’ve told them to do in that letter I left for them long ago- I’m sure they will take him to our magic school too! Cheers!”
Then Harry has the good knowledge to procrastinate getting a ride to King’s Cross Station. He asks the day before! Alternate take on this bit: “Hey, Uncle Vernon, can I get a ride to King’s Cross tomorrow?” “Can’t. Car’s broken.” (Or he simply says: NO!) And that’s the end of that rubbish.
Also, Harry asks Vernon to give him a “lift”. And in an odd bit of language failure, Vernon buys him an elevator. Good job, Harry. Even a stuck-up American such as myself knows what a “lift” is in England.
Now I said at the beginning that Wizards lack foresight. Case in point: Harry Potter! He gets to King’s Cross and…wouldn’t you know it there is no Platform 9 3/4! So Harry sits staring at the wall until the train just leaves, never knowing one of its passengers didn’t know how to get to the platform. One would think that there would be a Wizard-employee of King’s Cross that would direct the students to the platform or put up a sign that says “Wizards run at this wall!” Which leads to the second question: How do the other Muggle-borns know what to do??!
But at last we are introduced to the Wizarding family we have all been waiting for! Enter the Weasleys! A family of 9: 2 graduate parents from Hogwarts, 2 graduate sons of Hogwarts, 3 currently attending students of Hogwarts, 1 noob going to Hogwarts, and that one girl. You would think that YEARS of going to Hogwarts would have made this muscle-memory, but nooooooo. Mrs. Weasley just has to ask (loud enough for any Muggles to hear) “What’s the platform number?” This moment is both extremely convenient for Harry, and sets up the dim-wittedness that runs deep in red-haired magical families.
Here’s the sage advice of Mrs. Weasley to Harry on how to get onto the platform: “Don’t stop and don’t be scared you’ll crash into it, that’s very important.” Uum…..What happens if you stop? Do you get sucked into a vortex where nothing moves at all? Does the magic require kinetic energy to function?? And, don’t be scared??! Does the wall smell fear just by looking at you and screams: “Halt! We don’t accept pansies on this platform! Only the courageous may pass! That’s right, Gryffindors only!” (In case you’re wondering, the wall doesn’t sense fear, so Mrs. Weasley was just being a real w*tch to Harry’s psyche.
Now, this book has established how ignorant wizards are of the real world (yeah, I said it), so why do the chocolate frog trading cards mention that Dumbledore likes tenpin bowling? The majority of collectors are scratching their heads wondering what kind of bowl Muggles use and why Muggles put pins in it. I mean, this is hardly newsworthy. Shouldn’t they put “Dumbledore’s gay!” on the back of the chocolate frog? That’s what any other paparazzi group would do.
Don’t get me started on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. What numskull thought that was a bright idea? I’ll answer: the same kind of numskull that buys the beans on a regular basis to keep Bertie in business. When I buy some candy, I’d rather not play roulette with it (and yeah I hate boxes of chocolate. Such a waste of good chocolate.) Think about it people! They mean every flavor! You get chocolate, marmalade, and peppermint….but then you can get spinach, liver, menstrual fluid, and sweaty jock strap! wwwwhhhhhyyyyyyy??????????!!!
As they continue on the train, Hermione shows up (a big round of applause for the best person in these books ever!!) Her first appearance endears her to us as she says “it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter!” Such understatement! A letter saying you’re a witch?! What a surprise. Yay. How exciting. I didn’t see this coming. I got a letter saying I’m a witch. I don’t think the English language has a word that can describe the feelings I would feel if I got such a letter.
(I might feel something like this:)
I imagine that’s how any Pottered would be like when they receive their letters to Hogwarts.
Yeah, that’s all for this chapter. Most of it was lacking in nitpick-ability and is the wonderful beginning to a great book series!
BONUS FACT: I bet you don’t know how JK Rowling came up with the names of Malfoy, Goyle, and Crabbe! Malfoy comes from the latin prefix: mal- meaning “bad”. Goyle sounds similar to both “gargoyle” and “skin boil”. Crabbe was originally going to be named Scabbies, but it sounded too similar to Scabbers, so she went with Crabbes instead.
After a month, I’ve renewed my interest in Harry Potter. Seriously, I thought there was supposed to be magic in this story? It’s chapter 5 and Harry’s still alive (despite the previous chapter’s breaking and entering and assault by Hagrid. Three Muggles were exposed to the magical world, a heinous crime indeed! Read more on page A6).
Hagrid gets the mail delivered to him via owl, which I assume is the mail method for all magical folk now. Where do they keep these owls? If the news were to be delivered to all magical folk in Great Britain, that means there would have to be an owlery capable of sustaining thousands of owls! That is a scent that not even magic can mask!
Gringotts may be the most muggle idea the wizarding world has. You put five thousand gold coins in and every year they give you one penny in interest! Just like magic!!!!!
Ok, nitpick: Hagrid flew to the cottage in the sea, but now that he has told Harry about magic and shown Harry magic, he’s not supposed to use magic now that he’s abducted Harry?! Why not?? Wizards are so inconsistent.
Oh, but don’t worry, Hagrid still speeds things up with magic anyway and Harry swears to not tell anyone he used magic…because in this world, wizards have no way of tracking who uses magic! Remember that when Harry goes to court for using magic.
I may be the only one that thinks this, but wizarding folk are utter MORONS! Hagrid doesn’t know how to use “Muggle money” as though the concept of “pay me six pounds” is so foreign when compared to “pay me six galleons”. The money has its name and value stamped right on it! It isn’t hard to figure out. Also, this is a good reason why Hagrid should use magic with Harry around. Hagrid doesn’t understand Muggle money so they should just fly to Gringotts! (Also, 12-foot hairy Hagrid stands out in a crowd right? SO much for not drawing attention to the Wizarding world!)
Oh, I do love the list of required items for school. Let’s have a laugh at this:
“Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling”. This theory stipulates that magic is directly proportional to wand-waving divided by faux-Latin words. (But there are counter theories and arguments…magic isn’t an exact science!)
And what kinds of names are these? Emeric Switch, Phyllida Spore, Arsenius Jigger, Newt Scamander? You’ll never guess what books they write…. especially Arsenic Jogger…err Arsenius Jigger.
First years aren’t allowed broomsticks, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing mops… assuming Wizards like cleanliness.
Hagrid complains about the lack of magic when they have to walk up a broken escalator. Yes, you read that right. The guy who lives in a castle filled with stairs complains about having to walk up stairs. I suppose if the escalator worked, he’d complain about how the entire staircase didn’t get up and move somewhere else…or have vanishing steps…or lead to deadly 3-headed dogs, but I digress.
Harry wonders to himself: “Could there really be piles of wizard gold buried beneath them?” Harry, you’re in London! Centuries of kings’ wealth and pirating Spanish galleons and colonizing and stripping the world of its wealth is in London. What isn’t buried there?
“Were there really shops that sold spell books and broomsticks?” Yes. Most bookstores (even before your book series) sold something along the lines of spell books. Also, do Muggles not have brooms? Is dust not found in England? I tip my hat to the man that invented “no-dust”.
They get to the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron, a “grubby little pub” that the Muggles pass by without glancing at. Strange indeed. I thought all Londoners spent their days wandering the streets staring at grubby pubs. It’s almost as though the Muggles prefer the ol’ Prancing Pony to grubby pubs named “Leaky”.
Also, the pub is next to a book store and record store. There you go: spell books in one and potions ingredients in the other! Wasn’t Beatles’ juice an ingredient? In the pub, one old woman is smoking a long pipe (insert Wizards’ lung cancer joke here). And the bartender? Why, he looks like a “toothless walnut”. Yes, a toothless walnut. I can’t imagine what a walnut without teeth looks like… [Face palm for lame descriptive imagery].
Then Diagon Alley appears behind the Leaky Cauldron. London’s city planners are the worst ever. After centuries of building and rebuilding, did not a single Muggle think to occupy that windy cobblestone alleyway (I assume it appears as a large gap between buildings on the city lay-out) or build something useful there? “Just record store here, bookstore there, a grubby pub and… By Jove, it’s teatime! Toodle-pip, no time to think about this space here, what what!”
But, now…finally, after nearly 5 1/2 chapters, we get to see some magic!! Cauldrons of all sizes – copper, brass, silver… because when you make potions in them, there won’t ever be a reaction between the metal cauldron and its contents…Self-Stirring…not recommended for those potions that require special attention to how many stirs clockwise, then how many stirs counterclockwise…and Collapsible for all your Neville Longbottomy needs!
“Dragon liver, sixteen sickles and ounce.” Sounds pretty cheap considering the rarity of dragons and the difficulty of harvesting their livers. Or do dragons grow on trees?
And this is what ticks me off. What makes one broomstick better than another? Sure you could make it aerodynamic and polished to reduce drag, reduce the weight like a car, but you can’t add a bigger engine or better fuel to a broomstick…can you?
I lied about Gringotts being like Muggle banks. They don’t do interest, stocks/bonds, or loans. They have a poem: “For those who take, but do not earn, Must pay most dearly in their turn.” So how does Gringotts make money to pay for all the taxes, insurances, and employees? You;re not going to tell me book? Fine. I’ll assume there is no currency in the Wizarding world.
“Griphook unlocked the door. A lot of green smoke came billowing out, and as it cleared, Harry gasped.” ‘Shouldn’ter eating’ that XXL Burrito.’ Mumbled Hagrid apologetically.
Ok, I am wrong again. There is currency in the Wizarding world (how could I have assumed otherwise?) The system is 29 Knuts to 1 Sickle and 17 sickles to 1 Galleon. That’s why Hagrid had so much trouble with the British system of 100 pence is equal to 1 pound. 493 Knuts to the Galleon is so much easier to remember.
Gringotts logic: Only goblins may open vault 713 by stroking the door with his finger. If anyone else tried this, they’d be sucked into a room that is checked once every 10 years. Sounds like a devious trap until you realize that once you get sucked into the vault, you drink the Elixir of Life and wait ten years for the goblins to open the door. Smart… [Claps enthusiastically]
Did you know that only “some” of the Muggle-born students haven’t heard of Hogwarts. According to Draco Malfoy, not me. (PS: I’m sure he’ll be an upstanding citizen and philanthropist like Dr. Doom).
Hagrid compares Quidditch to…soccer!! Ha! This proves that American football is the only football…. also, Hagrid knows what “soccer” is, but doesn’t know anything else about the Muggle world.
Hagrid says, “Everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o’ duffers…” It’s as though Hagrid saw into the Harry Potter fanbase before the fanbase existed! And JK Rowling didn’t give us anything outstanding about them, so they are duffers in her eyes too.
Hagrid says, ‘There’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin.” I’ll repeat what everyone says: If your school has a house for Hitler Youth types, KKK types, and al-Queda types expect a few rotten eggs to come out of that house. Also, why would you train friggin’ sociopaths how to use magic??!
Now Hagrid explains to Harry that he needs to study before he can use advanced spells like “Jelly-Legs and Hair Loss”. I think Harry knows enough. If he gets angry, he can make glass disappear, talk to snakes, and leap tall buildings. Hair loss is basic arithmetic at this point. And screw studying! Harry doesn’t need to study to do magic, he’s already done plenty! Just slap him on the behind and point him at Voldemort!
But no. He needs a magic wand to perform magic. You can’t do magic without a wand (see previous rant for further details on this BS). Also, Olivander remembers when Harry’s mum bought her first wand. Emphasis on first. Even Harry’s mummy broke her wand (don’t ask how). And (wand) size does matter. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 11 inches is more powerful than 10 1/4 and 13 1/2 is a “powerful wand, very powerful”. Olivander said so, not me. All those Harry Potter fanfics (you know the ones) make sense, and make me sick. Pervs.
And the wand chooses the wizard, so when Harry’s wand chooses him, was it trollololling? “I choose the kid that my twin almost killed! ROFL!”
And why does Olivander need to measure Harry? It’s a wand! And the wand chooses, not Harry! Or does wand size compensate for something else? (Long wand = short nostril spacing, get your mind out of the gutter).
Tune in next time to FINALLY see Harry go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!