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Saturday, January 29, 2011

He's gaining strength ...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 28

Now we might be getting somewhere. Mr. Crouch's revelation about Voldemort gaining strength feels like the first big plot advancement in a good while. Of course, Crouch has disappeared, so we can't ask him any more questions. But there are only about another 150 pages, so I will exercise patience.

We also find out that the third task will be a maze. It's an idea that certainly has potential for all kinds of twists and turns to the plot. I have been wondering what the Triwizard Tournament had to do with the central plot of Voldemort vs. Harry, and my crystal ball is showing me that the Dark Lord will make an appearance during the third task. I could be wrong, but I'll bet for sure that Pettigrew will rear his ugly head.

Crouch's mumblings will be news that Sirius will be eager to hear. For his sake, it would be nice if he could clear his name soon and leave the dog days behind.

The crystal ball also shows me that lots more relationship drama is in my reading future. I suppose it will relate somehow, but sometimes I'd rather read about the Dursleys. At least their ridonkulousness is funny.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Feeling a little tetchy?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 27

Some of the unfamiliar British words and phrases that turn up are worth noting. I am usually able to discern their meaning from the context, and there are two in the beginning of this chapter. Hermione is said to be tetchy because of the teasing she has been getting as the thing Krum would miss the most. I assume that word means something similar to being touchy. So in reality, she would probably be more accurately described as more tetchy than usual.

The one I can really relate to now is the description of how the cruel winds skinned their hands and faces every time they ventured outside. Because Ohio (and many neighboring states) feel like Alaska these days, I understand what the word skinned means. That's what it feels like. I hope I have some skin left when summer comes. I'd like to get some tan on the old epidermis.

Meanwhile, back at the cave where we get a history lesson on the mysterious Mr. Crouch. Everyone, it seems, in this story is playing detective without much success.

What is Crouch up to? Is Snape a threat or not? Is Dumbledore, great man that Dumbledore, too trusting? Are Rita Skeeter's gossip-filled reports important, or just an annoying sidebar? Will Sirius be a hero and be able live in the light and out of the shadows?

Well, if you've read all the books or seen all the movies, then you know the answers. I will continue to stumble along in the dark and be grateful it's a figurative dark and not one that requires me to live like a dog and eat rats.

Now cold chicken legs ... those are a true treat. Maybe the best leftover you can discover in the fridge.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Voyage to The Bottom of The Lake

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 26

If Neville ever learns to properly use his wand, he just might be dangerous. The notion of Professor Flitwick flitting about the classroom is a humorous one.

But the levitating levity lasts only so long. Then it's on to Harry worrying and worrying about how to breathe underwater for the second task. Doesn't he know he's the hero of the story and things always work out for the hero?

We are told that that Harry is getting help preparing for his tasks, but I'm quite sure that our other champions have made this a team effort as well. There's too much pride at stake for the schools for heads of schools and others not to help ... or cheat.

I believe I once said that I figured Dobby would one day serve a greater purpose. What I don't get, though, is this: Is there not one book in the Hogwarts library on the subject of gillyweed? And how did Harry and friends not unearth something about the Bubble-Head Charm from the dust of the library? Herm-own-ninny will no doubt be disgusted with herself for not knowing about gillyweed or the Bubble-Head Charm.

I admit, that as Harry was striving to reach the surface, I caught myself holding my breath. Kind of silly don't you think?

And I quite agree with Ron that Harry was a bit thick to think Dumbledore would really let the hostages die. But in frantic times, thoughts can be as frantically unclear as the depths of a lake.

So what will the third task be and what evil lurks between now and the 24th of June? Harry doesn't care right now. He's happy to be tied for first, and he's looking forward to a Sirius conversation soon at Hogsmeade.