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Nitty Picker and the Sorcerer’s Stone- Ch.8

Harry is at Hogwarts and it’s a-MAY-ZAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! He’s been accepted into the fearsome League of Lions, he’s got his first words of wisdom from Dumbledore (“Blubber!”) and he’s excited to be away from the Dursleys. What happens to our brave hero in this exciting 8th chapter?!

Harry’s first obstacles at Hogwarts are: a lack of engineering degrees, blueprints drawn by Picasso, and living standards that are grossly failing health and safety regulations. Let’s tackle these problems as they arise!

Hogwarts has 142 staircases. The following should be considered Safety Hazard #2:

  • wide, sweeping ones (these staircases have giant brooms that try to knock students off the edge)
  • narrow, rickety ones (because the termites are the closest thing wizards have to carpenters)
  • some that led somewhere different on a Friday (you are still expected to get to classes on time, even if that means jumping to the desired floor)
  • some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump (but halfway down, you’re ok)
  • there were doors that wouldn’t open unless you asked politely (because doors think it’s polite to stand in your way when you need to pee)
  • or tickled them in exactly the right place (because tickling is all you can think of when you have to pee)
  • and doors that weren’t really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending. (don’t expect students to hold in their urine)

Filch catches Harry and Ron trying to open a door that happens to be the entrance to the third-floor corridor. Again, no signs, no warning lights, no caution tape? Let’s sue that Dumbledy-doo.

Harry quickly found out that waving your wand and saying a few funny words is not everything there is to magic. After all, you have to get emotional, want it (this won’t be a rule until the 5th book, but I’m adding it anyway), and pronounce the words correctly so the wand understands.

McGonagall’s first magic trick to the first years is to change her desk into walking bacon and back again. (Remember this moment for Book 7, kids. Making food could save your lives.)

And at the end of class, only Hermione was able to make her match all silver and pointy. I guess she didn’t say the funny words, wave her wand, get emotional, want it, or pronounce the words correctly so her wand could understand. Better luck next time, Hermione!

Snape’s debut performance is more than worthy of mention. “I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death.” If Snape can brew glory, then why isn’t he glorious? If he can bottle fame, then why why whhhyyyyy did he sell it to Jaden Smith and Justin Beiber??!!!!!

These students need to listen to Snape. He can teach them to “stopper death”. I know this is a kids’ book, but bare with me on this one. What if (if, mind you) someone important in this book series will die (I know it’s crazy-talk, but hear me out!) What if Dumbledore or Harry or, I don’t know, Snape were about to die. Snape could have this stuff on hand to save their lives!

Ok, trivia time. I’ll write the questions and you answer them before looking to see the correct answer below.

Q: What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?

A: Benedril

Q: Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?

A: Cybertron. Bezoars are wild robot pigs that will gore you, so be careful.

Q: What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?

A: One is a hood worn by monks, the other isn’t.

How did you do? I got 5/5 right.

Safety Hazard #3: Neville had somehow managed to melt Seamus’s cauldron into a twisted blob, and their potion was seeping across the floor, burning holes in peoples shoes and causing boils to grow all over Neville. Any safety committee would demolish Hogwarts for the following:

  1. Not providing personal protective equipment to students.
  2. Not providing fire extinguishers or fire blankets for fire emergencies.
  3. Not providing waste disposal, wash stations, or spill-cleaning equipment.
  4. No downdrafts or fume hoods for vapor protection.
  5. Not providing safety training for students, or educating them on what to do in emergency situations.
  6. Using toxic, corrosive, and carcinogenic chemicals without first informing parents via permission slip.
  7. Using metal equipment to hold highly acidic chemicals instead of glass.

In short, I give Hogwarts an F minus minus for negligence in all safety regulations. This school should be shut down immediately and its faculty imprisoned.

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