lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)
I briefly considered entering this journal for a Most Neglected Journal award, then realized I would lose.  Nevertheless, I feel really, really guilty.

It's not like I haven't had anything to update, either.  I've written and posted fic.  I have to, um, figure out what the last thing I posted here was - Mischief Managed

Well, there's been two more posted Hellsing things:
  • Afternoon Off, written last summer and not posted until this April because that's just how I do things.  It was written as a present for Jean, to match an amusing (but wonderful) picture she drew.
  • Sunday Morning Wake-Up (I want my title inspiration BACK): a v. short scene of mine and a very beautiful picture of Jean's.
Annnnd back to Harry Potter, I've joined [profile] redandthewolf, a community for Remus and Lily, shipped or otherwise.  I'm oddly excited about it, and submitted a story for their first challenge.  My first challenge!fic!  But I'm awfully un-proud of it, hence why it hasn't been posted here on fanfictionDOTnet yet.  However, I will link it here now - I called it Never Spoken, Never Forgotten.

Now [profile] redandthewolf is having their second challenge, and as I was looking over their prompts I got really excited and wrote some down as well as a start of five hundred words.  So you'll hear more about that.  Eventually.

And yeah, I haven't forgotten about nightmare-story or any of my other long-suffering (srsly) WIPs.  They're...among my priorities.

Also, it seems like I've given up my SOS reviews, since I read Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter trilogy, loved it to pieces, and didn't review them.  Meh.  Well, SOS does stand for Supply of Sanity (or was it Store of Sanity?), created in a time of great need which I am fortunately no longer in. 

Now, want to know the real reason for this entry?

Like many, I've been re-reading all the Harry Potter books in preparation for the seventh; right now I'm in chapter eight of the fifth book.  But just a little earlier tonight I was in chapter seven, "The Ministry of Magic," closely reading the descriptions of all the floors in the Ministry (which I think are the coolest thing, y'know).  And I got to Level Three, which is the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes including the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, Obliviator Headquarters, and Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee.

Like a lot of things in Ms. Rowling's world, the obvious and most practical purpose a name suggests is not necessarily what it actually is.  Some things are silly and ridiculous or just odd.  In the names of the Ministry offices particularly, there seem to be a lot of hidden jokes.  So I puzzled over this - do they handle lame excuses from law-breaking wizards/witches, and the name is a deliberate insult to Muggles?  Is this a committee which actually creates Muggle-worthy excuses for other magical departments or whatever?  And then it hit me: it's a committee that creates excuses to present to the Muggles involved in magical catastrophes or accidents.

Once grasped, I knew this had to be one of the most brilliant jobs in the wizarding world.  Also, the committee must be almost entirely made up of Muggle-borns.

All day they receive news of catastrophes/accidents and invent the most plausible excuses for them Muggles would understand/believe.  They must have to stay up on Muggle technology, for excuses about gas lines and, y'know, technology, and wow.  Ooh, the fics that could be written about this committee.  Seeing how it has to be almost entirely Muggle-born, it could also be the headquarters of a secret Muggle-born society, for whatever purpose you like, etc.
lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Half-Blood Prince)
I swear "Mono" by Courtney Love is one of the most perfect embodiments of everything a rock song should be.  I have had it for years, and whenever I come back to it I am always like oh man, play that again. 




...On a totally different note, the twelfth chapter (The Mirror of Erised).

This has always been one of my most favorite chapters, because omg Lily.

Christmas was coming.
Indeed.

Harry watched Hagrid getting redder and redder in the face as he called for more wine, finally kissing Professor McGonagall on the cheek, who, to Harry's amazement, giggled and blushed, her top hat lopsided.

...WTF.

A piercing, bloodcurdling shriek split the silence -- the book was screaming!

See note further down.

She was a very pretty woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes – her eyes are just like mine, Harry thought, edging a little closer to the glass. Bright green -- exactly the same shape, but then he noticed that she was crying; smiling, but crying at the same time.

a;lsdkfjasdlfka;sdkjf  ...Wah.

Harry felt as though his insides had turned to ice. He looked behind him. Sitting on one of the desks by the wall was none other than Albus Dumbledore. Harry must have walked straight past him, so desperate to get to the mirror he hadn't noticed him.

This is also related to my quote above with the screaming book: ...Mm, Ms. Rowling has improved a lot in describing unexpected turns of events. 

Chapter thirteen (Nicholas Flamel):

"I'm going to play," he told Ron and Hermione. "If I don't, all the Slytherins will think I'm just too scared to face Snape. I'll show them... it'll really wipe the smiles off their faces if we win."

"Just as long as we're not wiping you off the field," said
Aha, wow - that was cheerful, Hermione.
Little did Harry know that Ron and Hermione had been secretly practicing the Leg-Locker Curse. They'd gotten the idea from Malfoy using it on Neville, and were ready to use it on Snape if he showed any sign of wanting to hurt Harry.
Ahahaha, SO HARDCORE of them.

"You know how I think they choose people for the Gryffindor team?" said Malfoy loudly a few minutes later, as Snape awarded Hufflepuff another penalty for no reason at all. "It's people they feel sorry for. See, there's Potter, who's got no parents, then there's the Weasleys, who've got no money -- you should be on the team, Longbottom, you've got no brains."

There's that quote, and a couple ones before, and three more after it, and the conclusion is: God, but Malfoy does have a mouth.  He also must really be feeling suicidal to have come into the Gryffindor section just to mouth off.
Harry had reached the shed. He leaned against the wooden door and looked up at Hogwarts, with its windows glowing red in the setting sun. Gryffindor in the lead.
Oh, that's nicely symbolic.
lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (drawstrings vs. KKK hand-me-downs)
Single chapter, just a few quotes, so it won't go under a cut.

Chapter eleven (Quidditch)

First match ever, and exciting as Harry's broom is hexed during it.
She would never let them copy ("How will you learn?"), but by asking her to read it through, they got the right answers anyway.
Concerning the parenthetical note - I totally agree, Hermione, and have always agreed.

And it's so funny to see Harry and Ron (and a little later on, Hermione) plotting together for the first time about Snape and the third floor corridor.  They're still so innocent...and I really think it's the first time they're actually hunting out adventure on their own, where it doesn't directly concern them and isn't pulling them into it.

Marcus Flint seized the Quaffle and scored five times without anyone noticing.

Oh, that is such a true Slytherin.  Hee.  I approve.
lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Stephen King. Word)
*looks v. guilty*

I didn't forget about this journal.  I recalled it intermittently, and the promises I had made to announce various things as they are released to the internet public, but...could not find the motivation to log out and back in to do so. 

Here I am though, for an entirely different purpose.  Because I've begun re-reading Harry Potter (for neither the second nor third time, okay) and I still want to make little comments at various points, and I do remember how a few friends of mine said they really enjoyed my notes.  So, here I am.

But before I begin, I am very much obligated to make the built-up announcements, and list what else I need to do here.

So, foremost, what I was hinting in my last few entries: [profile] integral_art.  This is a collaboration community of both [profile] givemethechild, Jean Farwig (artist, author, and musician extroardinaire) and myself.  More information is found in the profile. 

For its grand opening, we posted my Ties of Blood, previously known as the dungeon scene.   ...Yes, it is something that for once, I am still proud of and I think does justice to its content and purpose. ♥

I also uploaded it to fanfictionDOTnet, along with a (revised) version of the funeral scene - now appropriately titled The Funeral.

Eventually, now, I'm going to have to write an SOS of the thirteenth book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Good Omens, and Lolita, as I will probably have finished it by that time.

Still working on a few dozen WIPs, naturally.  Have also written some original things that don't seem too bad.  Er, will post them too sometime?

So, to my comments over the first four chapters of the first book, now.

lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard ("Pay attention)
Sigh.  I have been so lazy about this, like a lot of other things in my life.

Cut for length in advance - it's seven chapters )


lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard ("Pay attention)

I finally picked the fifth book up again.  Had stopped in the middle of chapter twenty-nine, Career Advice, right when Harry decides to break into Umbridge's office to contact Sirius.  Read until the middle of chapter thirty-one, O.W.L.s, as Harry falls asleep over his History of Magic exam paper to dream his fateful dream.

Here are some notes. )

lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)

Still re-reading the fifth book - about a third of the way through, at the start of Chapter Fifteen, The Hogwarts High Inquisitor.  Have accumulated a few thoughts....

[The first Saturday morning when Harry goes to the Owlery and has a full conversation with Cho] 

'Morning,' Harry said brightly to Ron and Hermione as he joined them at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.

That's the first time he's remotely cheerful in the book.

"Oh no,' said Hermione, looking relieved, "if you're going that means I can go too, without being rude. I'm absolutely exhausted and I want to make some more hats tomorrow. Listen, you can help me if you like, it's quite fun, I'm getting better, I can do patterns and bobbles and all sorts of things now."
Harry looked into her face, which was shining with glee, and tried to look as though he was vaguely tempted by this offer.
"Er… no, I don't think I will, thanks," he said. "Er- not tomorrow. I've got loads of homework to do…"
And he traipsed off to the boys' stairs, leaving her looking slightly disappointed.


From the very first time I read that, it struck me as uncharacteristically cruel on Harry's part.  I don't know why, I know he isn't about to sit around knitting, and he did try to find a way to turn her down gently - but the way that chapter ends like that, with him leaving her sitting there - it makes me think he could have found a way to make it up to her, perhaps.

I've never really evaulated the fifth book in comparison to the other books, like I've only half-evaluted the fourth book.  I still hold the third book as supreme.  But I've decided now the fifth book has a great number of high points.  Ms. Rowling's language in it is her wittiest - when I read the book aloud to my parents, I remember my stepfather laughing at the lines:

He wished very much that he could have talked to Sirius about it, but that was out of the question, so he tried to push the matter to the back of his mind.

Unfortunately, the back of his mind was no longer the secure place it had once been.

  • 'Well,' he said, trying to sound as though he found the whole thing a joke, 'if you want to - er - what is it?' (He checked Percy's letter.)  'Oh yeah - "sever ties" with me, I swear I won't get violent.'

  • “This is Firenze,' said Dumbledore happily to a thunderstruck Umbridge. 'I think you'll find him suitable.'

as examples of some that amused me the most.

Speaking of that first quote...there are certain scenes I especially look forward to reading in the fifth book, that make the fifth book great - Percy's letter is one of them.  There are also Umbridge's supervision of McGonagall and Severus, and the great scene when Umbridge tried to throw Trelawney out, and Dumbledore stopped her.  That scene is profound.  Then there's Christmas on the Closed Ward, where the trio encounters Neville's parents, and then the attempt to remove Dumbledore from Hogwarts - and Phineas Nigellus's speeches to Harry.  Fred and George's cheerful mayhem for Headmistress Umbridge is always fun to read, as well as the teachers' coded praise of Harry's successful interview with The Quibbler, and their ways of making life difficult for her.

But there are also those that, after reading, only leave me feeling rather confused.  The biggest one is after Mr. Weasley's attack before Christmas, and Harry overhears Tonks and Moody and thinks he's possessed, so he goes about hiding for a while, until finally he's convinced by Ginny and the others that he's not.  I never understood the point of that scene.  Why is it there?  It never amounts to anything.  Only purpose I can see in it is to demonstrate the new Ginny.  Perhaps I'm judging it prematurely, and the next books will make it relevant. 

'Hermione, you are honestly the most wonderful person I've ever met,' said Ron weakly...

Point for Ron/Hermione shippers. 

[That was said the same night Percy's letter arrived, when Hermione finally gives in and helps Harry and Ron with their homework.]

Now for some Sirius thoughts: 

'I see them d-d - dead all the time!' Mrs Weasley moaned into his shoulder. 'All the't -'t - time! I d - d - dream about it…'

Sirius was staring at the patch of carpet where the Boggart, pretending to be Harry's body, had lain.

If you will recall the hostility between Sirius and Mrs. Weasley seen the first night Harry arrived at Grimmauld Place, this scene is intriguing.  I think he really had a moment of connection with her.

Moving on to Percy and Padfoot, the night Percy sent his owl and they talked to Sirius in the common room fireplace: 

[concerning Umbridge] 'Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters,' said Sirius with a wry smile.

Look!  Right there!  Insight!  Insight, I tell you!  And good insight, at that.  It's insight like Faramir's insight: "The enemy?  His sense of duty is no less than yours.  I wonder what his name is...where he came from...if he was really evil at heart - or if lies and threats led him this long march from home - if he would not rather have stayed there.  Peace."  But barely a page later:

'You're less like your father than I thought,' he said finally, a definite coolness in his voice. The risk would've been what made it fun for James.'

'Look -'

'Well, I'd better get going, I can hear Kreacher coming down the stairs,' said Sirius, but Harry was sure he was lying. I'll write to tell you a time I can make it back into the fire, then, shall I? If you can stand to risk it?'

*facepalm*

The bastardly bastard.

Well, actually he is a touch unstable, so I suppose it can be understood...

lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)

"...You'd have died like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black -- now get out of the way, or I will make you. GET OUT OF THE WAY, POTTER!"

Was Severus threatening Imperius?  (Note the formatting: I bolded it, but "make you" is in italics.)

"And now you've come to finish him off!"

"Yes, I have," said Black, with an evil look at Scabbers.

 

Still love that quote.  Another good one:

 

"I'll understand, of course, if you want to stay with your aunt and uncle," said Black. "But... well... think about it. Once my name's cleared... if you wanted a... a different home..."

 Some sort of explosion took place in the pit of Harry's stomach.

 

Sigh...things could have been so happy if Peter had been turned in.  Imagine if Sirius's name had really been cleared, Harry had been able to go live with him - Sirius never would have had to die.

 

"Miss Granger, HOLD YOUR TONGUE!"

"...For once in your life, hold your tongue."

 

Twice in one night, Severus told Hermione to hold her tongue.

 

Point for the Hermione/Severus shippers.

 

"One moment, please, Macnair," came Dumbledore's voice. "You need to sign too." The footsteps stopped. Harry heaved on the rope. Buckbeak snapped his beak and walked a little faster.

 

In the movie as well, there are definite signs of Dumbledore delaying Macnair and Fudge from going out while Buckbeak was still getting away.  I have a feeling Ms. Rowling asked Warner Bros. to make a point of that.  Interesting that Dumbledore had the power to know about what was being done with the Time Turner....

 

"HE DIDN'T DISAPPARATE!" Snape roared, now very close at hand. "YOU CAN'T APPARATE OR DISAPPARATE INSIDE THIS CASTLE! ..."

 

So Hermione isn't the only one who's read Hogwarts, A History.

 
lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)

Have begun the fifth book - reached the fourth chapter, when they just explained about Percy to Harry.  Some notes to make...

Am again impressed by how very angry Harry is.  These furious thoughts whirled around in Harry's head, and his inside writhed with anger...

There's also just so much humor too, in the beginning.  Harry's snarkiness, Uncle Vernon's various names for the dementors - also want to repeat a joke my friend once came up with:

DEMENTOIDS.  THE CURIOUSLY DEPRESSING MINT.

A really excellent quote:

"Come here, boy," said Moody gruffly, beckoning Harry toward him with his wand.  "I need to Disillusion you."

"Well, they're writing about you as though you're this deluded, attention-seeking person who thinks he's a great tragic hero or something," said Hermione, very fast, as though it would be less unpleasant for Harry to hear these facts quickly.

Especially when you're reading the book aloud, as I have.

Also, I can't quite remember...was Bill/Fleur around in fandom before the fifth book came out?  I think it was.  And I'm still very curious to find out what Dudley heard when the dementors came toward him...I really have no clue.  Petunia's very interesting, as always. 

Also, I noticed something -

"I think we're well shut of him," said George with an uncharacteristically ugly look on his face.

As I reread now, I look for differences between the twins. This is a rare example of George really showing his own. It was he who argued against blackmailing Bagman, and it's Fred who seems to be always taking the lead on many occasions, but I'm glad we see something of George now in this way.

lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)

Have reached the Pensieve scene in the fourth book.

“Stupid little feathery git!"  Ron hissed, hurrying up the stairs and snatching up Pigwidgeon.  "You bring letters to the addressee!  You don't hang around showing off!"

 Pigwidgeon hooted happily, his head protruding over Ron's fist. The third-year girls all looked very shocked.

"Clear off!"  Ron snapped at them, waving the fist holding Pigwidgeon, who hooted more happily than ever as he soared through the air. 

 

I think that's one of the funniest parts of the book.  The mental image is just perfect...

 

Also, upon the scene after Harry falls asleep and has visions in Divination, and he goes to Dumbledore's office, but doesn't know the password, so shouts various candies at the gargoyle and kicks it, until finally he says, "Cockroach Cluster!"  Well, I got this sudden image of an invasion of Hogwarts by Voldemort and the Death Eaters you see every so often in the darker fics.  Dumbledore's taken all the students up into his magically expanded office, and Voldemort's facing the gargoyle, trying various passwords...

 

It's interesting reading Sirius again - comparing him to how he acts in the fifth book, and fandom's opinion of him now.  But the truth is, the person he is in books four and five are completely separate.  I don't think there's any hint of fifthbook!Sirius in the fourth book, or vice versa.

 

Also, have figured out the complicated subplot going on with Voldemort and Womtail's goals in most of the book.  Yes.  The blunder was Wormtail's first letting Crouch Sr. escape. 

lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Default)

Have re-read 260 pages of the fourth book - aim to re-read both it and the fifth book before the sixth comes out.  It's not that I'm a slow reader, only busy-factor....

However, made some mental notes to bring up as I read:

  • "Do you know whether we're waiting for any more, Amos?"
    "No, the Lovegoods have been there for a week already and the Fawcetts couldn't get tickets," said Mr. Diggory."



    Interesting - so Luna lives near the Weasleys. 
  • "Imagine if your dad catches Lucius Malfoy," said Harry..."He's always said he'd like to get something on him."
    "That'd wipe the smirk off old Draco's face, all right," said Ron.



    Maybe Ms. Rowling did it for clarification purposes, seeing they were just talking about Malfoy Sr. - BUT.  Ron.  Just called Malfoy.  Draco.
  • On Professor Sinistra's other side was the sallow-faced, hook-nosed, greasy-haired Potions master, Snape....

    An alarming number of adjectives for dear Severus.  But there's a point for Sinistra/Snape.

Meanwhile, am v. busy working on second Religion project.  Unfortunately, it appears that this story will be somewhat shorter than Bina.

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April 2009

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