I am at this point only four chapters into book six, aka & the Half-Blood Prince. Some thoughts thus far:

  • The teacher in me really hates Dumbledore. He wants to shout into D’s ear constantly that they are children for gods’ sakes, that if they get caught doing whatever they’re doing every time Dumbledore encourages them to break every rule and most laws while he looks the other way, they are screwed.
  • The kid in me likes Dumbledore just fine.
  • The kid in me is weaker than the teacher; as such, I am in direct opposition to most fans of the Harry Potter books by virtue of basically hating Dumbledore.
  • At the beginning of HP5 I liked Harry and couldn’t stand Dumbledore. At the end of HP5 I hate Harry and I could almost-maybe like Dumbledore.
  • In case an odd-numbered page and one’s goldfish-level memory might lead one to forget, a reminder: no one can Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s! If one forgets while reading this sentence, don’t worry; shortly one will have an even-numbered page to read, on which Hermione will surely remind one.
  • In case one finds one’s self too occupied forgetting and being reminded of the fact that no one can Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s to remember this fact, fifth years have a lot of homework.
  • I have posited to Deadblob that – note: there is a subtle reminder in the next fragment – given one cannot Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s it is highly likely that one cannot Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s because one has far too much homework to do.
  • I’m actually really enjoying these books.
  • The end of HP5 is just unforgivable. I want to reach into the novel and choke Harry with my own two hands.
  • That I feel this way simply means JKR has very successfully made me care what happens.
  • Everything about the 5th year Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – more accurately, both of them – is absolutely brilliant.
  • I really want a better understanding of how magic works. It seems like they point their wands and say their fake Latin wordsincantations and if they really want it then it just happens. Much as I like a lot of the plot points and story effects of magic in the books a part of me finds this a really dissatisfying technology of magic.
  • Gods almighty, has any setting cried out more desperately for 0th-level detect magic? Jeez.
  • If anything bad happens to Lupin in the long run I think I will probably cry my goddamned eyes out.

For now I’m taking a break. In part this is to “let” Deadblob catch up but truth is he’s already passed me. I needed to pull my head out of that world for a while after HP5. Right now I’m reading Boris Akunin‘s The Death of Achilles. Highly recommended; it’s Holmes meets Marlowe meets Bond in Moscow in 1882. The empire is just starting to look a little wilty around the edges and a Russian diplomat trained in martial arts and philosophy is solving murders with his Japanese manservant. It sounds terrible, I know, but it is not. It is quite good.