Revisiting Harry Potter: I guess now we have to say nice things about Scrimgeour

I decided to do all Disney gifs for this post. Why? Because as usual this readalong is making me feel a lot of feelings, and most of my feelings for the first Deathly Hallows post are wrathful feelings. And Disney makes me feel happy feelings.

Exhibit A: Rita Goddamn Skeeter

How dare she. I get so angry when I read the excerpts from her rotten biography. Righteously angry! With much stomping around and wishing I had her here in my living room. You know what especially pisses me off? I will tell you. It’s when she calls his relationship with Harry “unnatural”.

Yeah, lady, we know what you’re implying with that. I hope Voldemort kills your mother.

(Oh God, I don’t hope Voldemort kills Rita Skeeter’s mother.)

Exhibit B: All these times JKR acts like she’s going to kill Hagrid

Hagrid launching himself off the motorcycle onto a Death Eater to save Harry is of course what would really happen. This is why Hagrid was top of my list for people who were not to die in the seventh book. In fact, this is the part of the book where, when I read it for the first time, I was writing stuff down as I went, and my notes for page 57 of the book (which is where it starts getting super tense with Hagrid and the Death Eaters) say:

I just flipped ahead a few pages to make sure that Hagrid was going to survive.  JK Rowling has a heart of stone and this ISN’T FUNNY.

Yeah, it’s not funny. I have enough emotions. I do not need them to be toyed with. But oh, when they get back to the Burrow, and everyone’s talking about loose lips and how they sink ships, and Harry takes a stand for trusting the people he loves. Once again with Harry making his moral choices. He decides he’s not going to be the guy who’s constantly suspicious of all his friends. He’s going to be like Dumbledore and not like Moody. That’s awesome, Harry. That’s the person you should want to be. Which brings me to:

Exhibit C: Lupin

When did he morph into such a mean jerk? He used to be so chill and calm and sensible, and now he’s all like,

in this book. Slamming Harry into walls and whatnot. Did it happen the instant he put a baby in Tonks, was that the moment? I appreciate that he was there to save George, but I hate it how he’s all “Kill people instead of disarming them!” and “Don’t trust your friends!” Ugh. My love for him started to die in these moments. Shut up Lupin. Go do something nice for your wife instead of looking grumpy and wrathful every time she speaks to you. Or if you can’t do that then, like, go tell your past self how to use a condom.

Not an Exhibit: Ron defending Ginny

Okay, I don’t know what Ginny’s birthday present for Harry was supposed to be ALTHOUGH I HAVE SOME IDEAS AND THEY ARE ALL BLOW JOBS, but I think it’s really sweet how Ron comes find Harry and tells him to knock it off. That’s nice because sometimes in the past Ron has been like awkward big brother sexual protector role, which I hated, and I like it that here he’s just saying, “Do not fuck with my little sister’s feelings.” Yay Ron. Harry shouldn’t fuck with Ginny’s feelings. You are correct.

Exhibit D: Scrimgeour crashing another Weasley party

What is with Scrimgeour’s perpetual crashing of Weasley parties to harass Harry? He can’t come on a different day than party day? First at Christmas and now Harry’s very sweet first-ever (right?) birthday party. And I’m all,

But it avails me nothing because here he is trying to bully Harry and Hermione and Ron. Spoiler alert, Scrimgeour, that has never worked. I feel like when you know three people who have faced down Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters and lived, you should probably come at them with bigger guns than just, like, your angry lion face and a whole lot of self-justification. I don’t actually have to say nice things about Scrimgeour and I’m not going to. Obviously it was not helpful to Harry for Scrimgeour to die without revealing his location, because the Death Eaters are at the Burrow in like twenty seconds.

Speaking of which, is there anyone who read “The Ministry is fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming,” and didn’t start going,

Because that’s what I always do.

And finally, Exhibit E: Voldemort

I know this is predictable. But really, Kreacher’s story about Voldemort “needing an elf” is just — man, Voldemort is an awful, awful person. I always think about how that could just as easily have been Dobby if Voldemort had gone to the Malfoys first. And the Malfoys might not have said “come back” and Dobby could have died right then and never have been free. Meanwhile I like it that Hermione’s not just carrying on and on about house-elves — finally, the people are paying attention to her. Word. I mean they should have been listening to her all along, but we’ll take what we can get.

Next up: The Ron-Harry-Hermione road trips that everyone hates!

27 thoughts on “Revisiting Harry Potter: I guess now we have to say nice things about Scrimgeour

  1. Ron defending Ginny is sort of beautiful. But can we never, ever think about whatever the birthday present would have been? Please? Can I erase that sentence from my mind?

    Also, I don’t know how much I can hate Rita Skeeter. Yes, the “unnaturalness” of Harry and Dumbledore’s relationship is disgusting and another word for disgusting, but she’s a tabloid journalist. She’s out to make noise and get attention, and at the end of the day, a lot of what she writes in the biography is true. She sucks, but hating her? Nah.

    And of course Hermione’s been right about elf-rights all along. It’s just incredible to see the way the whole story is built – from our first introduction to house-elves, through Dumbledore pointing out that Kreacher should have been treated with respect, to the moment Kreacher begins to scream about the locket. That moment is so, so powerful – it just carries so much from the whole series.

    • Hahahaha, I don’t know, she just made it sound like she wanted to do something, you know. Memorable. I’m sorry! I know that is gross!

      What she writes in the biography isn’t true! Or well, some of what she writes is ugly and true, and a lot of what she writes is ugly and false. She implies that Dumbledore didn’t truly make the discoveries he made; she makes it sound like his parents were hiding the sister away when really they were giving her as much of a normal life as they could. And I don’t specifically know what she said about Dumbledore and Harry, but I bet it was yucky and mean and untrue. So.

      I agree with you about Kreacher and what it says for the series. Such a great bit.

  2. Exhibit C; THIS is why I dislike the Tonks and Lupin pairing because all it seems like is that they’re both really tense and angry and miserable from the second they falling in “love”. I like the idea of Lupin struggling to come to terms with what their baby will be but we never seem them happy, and since they’re such small characters (in the grand scheme) it just doesn’t work. Maybe if Lupin was in more of a Dumbledore size role, maybe, but ugh, STOP MAKING LUPIN SUCK!

    Rita Skeeter *does* suck, because she’s doing only doing this for the money and the fame and even if there are segments of truth, when you cloud them with innuendo and falsehoods, especially because you know those falsehoods will sell, you are a dispicable and sad human being.

    I hadn’t even thought about how Dobby could have been in Kreacher’s situation and ahhhh that’s just added a whole new level of sad for me :(

    • Yep, I agree. I think JK Rowling had an idea for Lupin in this book that didn’t quite work — maybe not enough room for it to breathe. What I think worked brilliantly was the running idea that Teddy Lupin was, like, the new Harry, in a sense. He has the same early life that Harry has, in a way, but he grows up happy and with a family, which Harry doesn’t get to do.

      I just thought of the Dobby thing now. I am glad that didn’t happen.

  3. I dunno, I can forgive Lupin for telling Harry not to trust his friends. I mean, if you figure 2 of his closest friends were taken away from him because the other one sold them out. Then Lupin trusted Snape, only to find out that Snape killed Dumbledore. He wants to trust people, but it’s bit him in the ass a few times with pretty horrendous results.

    “I feel like when you know three people who have faced down Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters and lived, you should probably come at them with bigger guns than just, like, your angry lion face and a whole lot of self-justification.” and I laughed and laughed at this. Cos TRUTH

  4. Lupin’s behavior is awful. It’s like when you really like a teacher as an authority figure and follow them around just to found out that their non-teacher persona is… weirdly un-teacher-y and mean.

    (also, this is another instance in which fandom ruined HP for me. In fandom, Remus/Sirius relationship is taken as given. But then book!Remus goes and falls in love with Tonks and I’m all BUT WHAT ABOUT SIRIUS AND YOUR EPIC ROMANCE, YOU WANKER and hate him forever and ever)

    HP7 was the first book I read in English. Which means I probably understood a third of it, anyway (and that third includes ALL THE DEATHS, but not the last battle, ’cause there was something about Neville’s actions that included a lot of non-ESL words, apparently :P)

    • One time I saw my principal making out with her fiance at a bar, and it was really scarring. That is not the same as the Lupin situation but it was also upsetting.

      Wow, you picked an extraordinarily long book for your first English book! Neville’s actions include a lot of exceptional bravery and awesomeness. I am excited to read those parts again. Oh Neville.

  5. OMH, the Moving Right Along gif from the Muppets–I used to know all the words to that song. Yay!

    I don’t partuicularly like Lupin’s change in behavior, but I think it makes him a more interesting character from his somewhat wishy-washy, generic good persona from all books except Book III.

    I think you’re right on with Ginny’s birthday present. But unless wizarding kids just aren’t doing much, er, exploration, as muggle kids these days, I’m a bit surprised that hasn’t, er, come up before. Pun intended, in case you were wondering. :-)

    Re: Rita: I can’t even take her character seriously anymore. I pretty much skim over every part where she appears. The very notion that what she writes passes as journalism for the wizarding world is appalling.

    • I still know most of the words to that song. It is a great great song. It is maybe my favorite Muppet song, or at least very close to that.

      That is a great pun and I’m glad it’s intended. But I don’t know when Harry and Ginny would have had a chance. I mean they’re at a boarding school. There’s nowhere that private for them to go.

  6. Oh man, I didn’t even realise how MUCH it seems like JK is going to kill Hagrid, but it really really really does. I was SO worried during the whole seven Potters debacle, and I pretty much knew that he survived!

    Lupin has definitely become a lot more angry and ARGH-ish. Maybe it’s just because he has more to lose now? Either way, I think this explains why, although I fall in love with him in PoA, I also forget about that. Because he’s all angry and grumpy.

    I don’t hate the Ron-Hermione-Harry road trip! I don’t understand why everyone does! I think I might get shouty next week… :s

    • I didn’t know that he survived. I was very frightened but I didn’t want to read the end.

      I neither hate nor love the Ron-Hermione-Harry road trip. I can see people’s point, but I also think there’s a lot of good stuff there.

  7. I love you forever for that Merryweather GIF. FOREVER.

    Instead of killing Rita Skeeter’s mom, let’s just put her back in a jar and then put that jar in Hermione’s magically giant purse. That would be fine.

    I think this might be the first time I’ve been reading a series I love and haven’t made a mental list of characters that just CANNOT die. Probably because I have a pretty good idea of who dies, and many of them would have been on that list. So maybe I’ll just put Neville and Luna right at the top and call it a day.

  8. ‘I HAVE SOME IDEAS AND THEY ARE ALL BLOW JOBS’ – HAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    ‘The Ministry has fallen’ etc – that gives me CHILLS.

    I just finished reading the road trip section (because that is how I spend my Fridays) and yes, I still hate it so, so much.

  9. “Okay, I don’t know what Ginny’s birthday present for Harry was supposed to be ALTHOUGH I HAVE SOME IDEAS AND THEY ARE ALL BLOW JOBS”

    OMG I ALMOST SPIT OUT MY TEA.

    Also Lupin is a psychojerk in this book, which makes me really sad. Although I do kind of understand why he’s so vigilant about making sure people keep their traps shut, considering how Lily and James died.

  10. Yes to all your exhibits and your one not-an-exhibit. I have a note for this section that just says “Motherf**ker, Rita Skeeter” (except not censored, because that would be odd).

    I don’t remember the road trip section or whether it sucks! I’m going to guess I liked it because I am incapable of feeling anything else about these books.

  11. Ha!!! Ginny’s birthday gift to Harry. Awesome. I thought the same thing when that happened actually. I did love the way Ron told Harry to quit playing with her feelings though. Good stuff that.

    Lupin gets laid, Lupin gets cranky. Sigh… OK, he’s allowed to worry but not allowed to take it out on everyone around him. I stopped liking him then.

    Love this post.

  12. This is great, and I agree with, especially about Lupin being a mean jerk in this one. Ugh. I am doing a re-read, too, but I am only on book 1, and this time, I am taking notes, so I hope to be able to contribute some meaningful reflection on my blog.

  13. Lupin broke my heart with his behaviour in this book. I always wonder if I do not give enough credit to someone who has lived through a previouw war, who has lost friends and has reason to distrust friends.. I probably do not. But I still wanted Lupin to be more like the loveable Lupin of previous books.

    Also, I do not remember that birthday present scene! I need to reread this!

    And yes, the ministry has fallen passage always makes me think “we’re all doomed”.

    I love your posts so much, Jenny <3

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