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This is the third installment of my actual notes out of four (fourth forthcoming in a bit, since it's really the second half of this post), but I'll have a wrap-up post where I actually try to be critical and address some of the issues I've seen/heard raised about the book, though I've added a lot longer asides here as well.

Initially, I wanted to add all those asides to the other (wrap-up) post, but I can't be bothered; my first meta went here so things ballooned and now I'll have to make another post or this one'll be too bloody long to be borne. :> So consider these my first semi-coherent thoughts on the big subjects :>

Okay, I realize I've spent at least half my comments gushing about Harry, but. [And here I am horrified at myself... um,] I was like, 'aww' when he was -so- outraged at Amycus's spitting in McGonagall's face he could mean it when he Crucio'd him. I know it's twisted, but he loved Sirius; I just think-- he's most powerful [and free with Dark spells and pretty much any spells] when he's protecting someone. <3 Harry. <3.

[It just occurred to me that he only used Expelliarmus back in the beginning when Death Eaters were chasing them because he was only defending himself; I think that's something that mattered to him. Harry's always both at his most scary and his most wonderful when he thinks of others and he does stuff in the 'name of' others the way he wouldn't do it on his own.

And it's a very complicated issue, so I don't know how I feel about this in retrospect yet, exactly. To some extent I just naturally see where Harry's coming from, and it's an effort to divorce myself and realize he's veering into unforgivable-- literally-- territory, especially during the first flush of response as I read. That said, I think he truly wanted to punish Amycus in a way he'd never really wanted to punish before-- from a position of complete certainty and control, because his anger was cold; with Bellatrix, he was lashing out as a child, rather than judging her as an adult. So in a way, it's another way Harry's grown, and another way he's lost his innocence and childish purity at the same time. Any goodness he has now, like with Dumbledore, is going to be weighed down with regrets and mistakes, but it's also stronger and much more active in terms of responding to & being aware of the world.

Well. I mean. Also, Harry does have a dark side. One that grew the more he messed with Voldy's mind. And he was LITERALLY a Horcrux. I dunno >___>

The word I'm looking for here is responsibility: I think Harry uses spells he is willing to take responsibility for, making hard choices, no longer seeing the world in black and white near so much. This makes him both darker and more threatening as an opponent, so I suppose in the end, after he gives himself up to Voldemort and lets go, he forges a strong enough sense of identity that afterwards he circles him 'like a wolf', as an equal.

In this way, I guess I'd be horrified at child/adolescent!Harry using Crucio or Imperio a lot more, and in fact I always insisted that Harry couldn't cast it when responding to both fics and meta post-OoTP. Now, it's an entirely different context. I feel like Harry knows exactly what he's doing rather than spouting Dark curses carelessly and blindly like in OoTP and HBP with Draco. I also think that Harry has always shown this tendency to blur the lines and an attraction to the Dark Arts on some level-- so nothing's changed; only Harry's level of understanding & control changed. I think that's why Dumbledore was also shown as attracted to and/or dabbling in the Dark Arts-- I mean, the separation between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys was blurred in this book very obviously [aside from The Slytherin Problem overall, which needs its own post], which is why there was the focus on Dumbledore (rather than having more Snape, because Snape is really a much more straightforward person than Dumbledore in terms of his allegiances/beliefs, but more on that later).

This theme of increasingly impartial 'punishment' and judgment for good or ill on Harry's part is reflected all the rest of the book, so you can't just talk about Amycus and the Gringotts scene; it's reflected in his questioning Mundungus, lecturing Remus, his questioning Dumbledore, accepting Snape's bravery, feeling sorry for and rescuing Draco-- all these things are part of the same process and have the same roots. He may not always be right and neither is he perfect (obviously), but this tendency towards judgment, positive or negative, is something new to DH!Harry. And for good or ill, Harry is shown as having the 'right' by the end of the book-- the right, the responsibility and the ability to judge others fairly-- something that's made clear by Dumbledore, implied by Remus, shown by all of Hogwarts waiting for his leadership in responding to Snape & the Carrows, and evident from even McGonagall's deference to him: I believe she accepts him using the curse as she would accept Dumbledore using it, at this point-- she trusts Harry above and beyond her own judgment, and in fact I think canon renders this plausible.

I want to make clear, however, that I'm not defending or approving use of the Unforgivables on anyone for any reason, by Harry or anyone. However, it's made clear in context that of course McGonagall wouldn't publically criticize him, especially not at a moment like this (Hogwarts being invaded, all of them fighting, not to win but to give Harry time without even KNOWING WHY). She says he belongs in her House, but she says this with pride and (I believe) with the context/subtext of a teacher claiming a famous alumnus for her own House. And I also want to make clear that I'm not implying I approve of the subtext I'm seeing in canon that justifies Harry's behavior through some kind of righteousness/heroics/Chosen One blather, but rather describing what I see in the text, as is.

This whole theme is finalized by his ability to wield the Hallows without being spoiled by the desire for selfish power.

And that's a whole 'nother post, because I do believe the Hallows storyline was essential and indispensable for both DH's plot & the series' arc as a whole, contrary to all the people who think it should've been introduced earlier or cut. The Hallows are essential to act as a catalyst for Harry's character, and the book really would've been a boring repetitive Horcrux hunt without them. Just like ALL THOSE STUPID FANFICS. :/ heh yeah, a leeeetle bitter.]


Heehee McGonagall called casting a Dark spell-- an Unforgivable-- "gallant". Everyone's gaga for Harry Potter these days, what is the world coming to. :> :>

Also: gallant! chivalry! Harry really is a true Gryffindor. <3<3<3


I love these two chapters, btw. Ak-shoonn <3.

Also, it makes me really happy to see the professors strut their stuff. Sorta feels like the encore to a good show, where everyone plays their best/most masterful work to thundering applause. Flitwick's sudden display of power was way cool, though the way they all ganged up to chase Snape out reminded me of the Marauders ganging up on him &-- how things hadn't really changed that much.

"The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties"-- what exciting words!!!! :D YEAY! [...and in retrospect... um...]

I believe in you, Slytherin. ♥♥♥ Truce. ♥.

[*cries* I was so hopeful. WAH.]

Even Voldemort loves Hogwarts, in his twisted way. ♥♥

"Am I too late?" *cries*
Awesome!! ♥

I love how fully half the Gryffs stayed. ♥. Hehe Creevey!! It's so cute. They're crazy, but so cute! ♥. Well, I guess they're Gryffindor for a reason, eh? :D Though I still hold out hope for Slytherin. Or just Draco, it seems.

Aww. He can't "marshal his ideas" without Ron & Hermione. ♥ *sigh*

It was really cool meeting Ravenclaw's daughter & having more info on the Founders. I think she's my favorite ghost so far in Hogwarts. That whole scene was really vivid to me. <3

Also, gotta love Harry's runaway intuition train. This is why I got a bit offended at people basically reducing his ofbsession with what Malfoy was up to in HBP to repressed hormones-- because so much of who Harry -is- is about processing things through this kind of intense fixation on a subject followed by everything clicking in its own sweet time. That's his overall MO, totally regardless of hormones. I always felt like people were dismissing the power of Harry's intuition in some way when they sniggered about how it was really that he's horny. This just makes him sound way more dense than he is by far.

Guess what: Harry isn't dense, he's brilliant. :P In an intuitive way, I mean, totally different from Hermione but just as good, so. Not that he's not oblivious about some things he's got special blockages for, but overall he's a keen observer and often quite insightful about people when he's not overly invested.

I wish the dense!Harry people would fully realize they're drowning in fanon. :P

"Braggarts and rogues, dogs and scoundrels, drive them out, Harry Potter, see them off!" heehee :>


I can't believe Ron spoke Parseltongue from hearing Harry once!! o_0 Seriously, wow. I'm not sure I can really swallow it. (Seems a bit like a cheat to move things along faster now that they're running out of time ala post-HBP fanfics [and btw, this is why I love it that they 'waste' all that time camping-- because that's how it'd go, realistically, and Harry needed the time to work through some things], but it just edges into believable 'cause they're in Hogwarts, where pretty much everything is centered + they're allat their best and most comfortable, I guess.)

Also, Ron needed more action, 'cause it shouldn't be all Harry's show anyway. Still.

I mean... I guess this means Parseltongue isn't -that- alien and may be just another language to learn, just more difficult?? Like learning to be an Animagus-- some do it more naturally than others, but even Pettigrew could do it in the end...?

I dunno. Things were so stalled for so long, though, and now it's just all happening at once when it's an emergency-- I'm a bit uncomfortable about that, but. We'll see.

Anyway, finding the fangs makes sense. If there was another Horcrux at the Chamber of Secrets, that would've been too much. And it's great that Hermione stabbed it. :D

Heee, Harry yelling "genius" is just too cute. <3

"It was nothing," said Ron. <3<3<3<3 :D

Ron needs a title (besides just King). Something like, King Ronald the Awesome. :D Queen Hermione the Sensibly Cool. :D Knight Harry the Gallant :P :D

Ahaha, I can't believe that's when they chose to kiss. Oh man. R/Hr. <3

[Btw, since I didn't draw it myself, this is my favorite illustration of the scene so far. IT'S JUST SO PERFECT!!1 ♥___♥!! HEEE. YOU KNOW SHE LEAPED JUST LIKE THAT!! Oi oi, [ profile] reallycorking's ain't half bad either, heheheh. My favorite there is Harry's expression. HAR.]

The best part is that I can't tell if Ron is being smooth on purpose or he really is all mushy about house-elves now. :> And I imagine neither could Hermione. But then I guess she just needed an excuse. :>

"Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?" Harry shouted
[should be]
"Never mind that, what about the Draco/Harry?"

See. I was right about the Room, though not quite for the reason I thought. :P

I will not make joke about Harry holding Draco's wand. Will not. Will NOT.

["Wanted to hold my wand, did you, Potter?" Omg so fanon. Haha. But I found this fanart of sneery!Draco that so goes with it, hahaha. But see, fanon or not, I look at pics like that and think how I'd love for him to stay unrepentant 4EVAH and EVAH. And Harry would be like, *CLUTCHES WAND TIGHTER, SWALLOWS*. Ahh, fandom. WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU. YOU GET ME THROUGH THE COLD & RAINY MOMENTS OMG. -.- There is nothing IN THE UNIVERSE that could convince me Harry wouldn't fuck Malfoy's brains out if he saw him like that. NOTHING, YOU HEAR. *facepalm* Sadly. But yeah, I mean. God, he's hot when he's all 'I SNEER AT YOUR GRYFFINDOR HANG-UPS, POTTER'. Even though you can't picture this boy clinging to Harry and screaming in fright. WHY IS LIFE SO CRUEL. WHY IS SUPER-SLYTHERIN!FANON!DRACO SO HOT. Ahem. But it's okay since no one really writes that fanon anymore.

Anyway, um, I should stare at forbis' Malfoys fanart to remind myself what Draco looks like. *irons hands* -.- ...Or actually, more like this, ahahah <33333333. I ART CRUEL MISTRESS. :((]

Also: omgwtf YEAY DRACO STAYED <3<3<3 [ JKR to have him stay for very Draco-like reasons, natch.]

Oh boys and their wands Har Har :P

Oh Draco and his 'brittle' voice. Bitter, darling? <3

Okay, I don't care -why- he's yelling for them not to kill Harry, but it's SO AWESOME I COULD DIE!!!!! FUCK [...I was really overcome, haha.]

Btw, win!! Crabbe & Goyle aren't his friends, they said "take orders". Hah :P I'm don't know why I'm so pleased, but. Er. ^^;; Though I think Malfoy did care (more).

Man. Harry's attitude towards Malfoy has seriously changed. While he laughed humorlessly about Draco having his mom's wand, there was no real antagonism anymore, though it's clear they don't particularly like each other, but at the same time the interaction didn't seem -personal-. Unlike Snape, the sight of whome reminded Harry how much he hated the very look of him (even his eyes), with Malfoy he's observant and restrained, like his feeling that 'Malfoy, Crabbe & Goyle' of all people may present a threat at this point.

But whereas Ron just don't wanna bother about those big Slytherin morons, Harry finally wants to be fair to them (probably even moreso after their experience with the goblic, Dobby, and seeing all Slytherins leave, and then Malfoy trying to save his life for whatever reason.)

Though "Winners, keepers, Malfoy" is a bit antagonistic, I guess, that seems surface somehow-- reflex, even.

I love that he's grown up enough to do as he probably subconsciously knows Dumbledore would do, having thought about how obviously holding Slytherin students hostage is wrong, whereas a yaer ago or more he definitely would've fixated on how those bastards all left and Pansy's attempts at rabble-rousing, which he barely seemed to register compared to the amazement at the other Houses acting as one. His focus shifted(!).

Oh, and then there's the small matter of Harry saving Draco's life. <3

Which seems an obvious solution in retrospect.

Oh JKR. A WAND & then sharing a BROOM?

But I can't enjoy it as much as I want to 'cause I know fandom will pitilessly fixate on this as a Sign of their Eternal Loff. :/

Harry on a broom yet again. <3 SEEKING with MALFOY on board. Oh JKR. *___* You mischievous woman. <3

One more phallic symbol and someone will come in their pants from all the friction. :>

"Malfoy was screaming and holding Harry so tightly it hurt."


At least Harry got his last glittering Snitch. <3


"Nooooo, Harry! Aaaah!" *clutch!!* <3 [That is what's called a totally subjective shipper and yaoi-fangirl reading, in case you were wondering.]

Why does Ginny have to be badass. :(

Har har, Crabbe destroyed the Horcrux after attempting to bring them in. [And btw, you can easily, veeerry easily make the case in an AU fic that Draco couldn't blatantly join Harry's side anyway because Crabbe and Goyle were not his 'jailers' as much as his bodyguards, because of that bit where he said they don't take orders from him sorta aggressively. Though the truth is I like Draco petty, ambiguous and none too easily driven into Harry & co's welcoming arms. Good thing Harry would save him anyway.] That's called justice, Gryffindor style. >___>

Shut up, I'm feeling Gryffindor today. >___>

Anyway, uh, it's nicely ironic. :P

Though if Hermione knew Fiendfyre destroys Horcruxes, they should've at least -tried- to safely use it in controlled conditions somehow. Or at least she could've -mentioned- it. :/ I dunno.

"Hello, Minister!" bellowed Percy, [BELLOWED?] sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. "Did I mention I'm resigning?"

"You actually are joking, Perce" <3!!!!! WIN!

Percy shielding Fred's dead body. <3

It's interesting that Voldy thinks Harry isn't clever or cunning enough to have found the room of Lost Objects. A Slytherin quality, cunning. But anybody can be cunning, and you don't even need to be to have found it if you're mischievous & inquisitive. Instinct vs. calculation.

AHAHA "Perhaps he decided to befriend Harry Potter?" [Voldy re: Draco]

"I'm Draco Malfoy, I'm Draco, I'm on your side!"
*cries* I. I. Oh Draco <3


[...and here I totally misunderstood as I skipped ahead a few paragraphs and didn't put it in context, so I didn't see he was speaking to a Death Eater-- a continuing trend, as I kept on hoping pathetically to the point where I assumed things would be All Better; every time I saw a sign, I thought it'd be different 'next time', and every time I had to come back and reread to make sure there wasn't a Slytherin tapestry after all, which I'd already anticipated and immediately reacted to there being, to make sure no Slytherins stayed after all after that 'time to choose' speech, assuming Draco stayed for Harry after all, etc, even thinking that now that Harry saved his life, of course it's obvious now things would change because after all, Harry SAVED HIS LIFE.

It's so poignant and silly because of my sorta childish-- fanonish?-- faith about this, and how I kept on thinking it can't be true, that any second, around the corner, everything would be better and Draco would actually join them and/or some Slytherins would turn on Voldy, etc. I kept waiting and waiting for it to happen to the point where several times I thought it did before I read closer. It's just sort of ridiculous and sad. I don't know what to say; it makes sense that Snape didn't die a hero protecting Harry, and that Draco didn't stay to fight with Harry but to do one last crazy bid for his own place in the scheme of things, and that Slughorn wasn't too keen on battle-- all that makes sense, but I just. I couldn't help hoping. And I don't hold it against the books, even, because a long time ago decided hoping in general was pointless, and I should face reality & just enjoy it, but. I guess some hopes straggled quite stubbornly and embarrassingly where I thought I had none.

Anyway. Um. I'll write up my reaction when I thought Draco said that to the 'good guys', just... just because. It's poignant in a stupid way. This is where my hope died. I mean, I do respect and accept how things happened, but in my universe, I like to think that you could've inserted Draco looking for protection from some Order member instead of a Death Eater without really shifting anything else in the plot because of it-- just that one little detail would be so easy. Ahh. In my heart, it did happen.]

This is the real thing, baby, this is the pay-off. Bring on the H/G babies, I'm happy. So perfect and wonderful, like Percy returning, like Ron saving Harry's life & returning, it's so awesome. And baby introducing himself, just like he did at the first book-- "Draco, Draco Malfoy."-- and it's just so perfect and non-shmoopy and. Draco-baby, you're the best. *cuddles him* I just. I'm really proud of him. ♥. Screechy clinging, and all. Ah. Happy.

If only Draco re-introduced himself and cried "I'm on your side!" to Harry. :(


Heehee good ol' Peeves comes through once again.

I guess Draco still needs "work done" on him. *taps foot* :P

Heehee for Ron punching him from under the Clock. <3

The jury's still out though, so obviously I hold out hope. Besides, Draco would say he's on the Death Eaters' side in that situation even if he wasn't.

Haha Trelawney wielding crystal balls is Le Awesome. :D

It's really an awesome moment when Luna & co's Patronuses come to rescue the Trio from despair. I love how they're a team after all. ♥ (Even as Voldy's inner circle deteriorated because it was never that strong, based on fear.)

Aww, the passage is a tighter squeeze than last time. *pout*

I just noticed the parallel: Voldy using Lucius's wand as Harry uses Draco's. Every time I notice something like this, I think, 'Fandom met people are probably already all over this' and it sorta makes it that much less exciting & cool. :/

I'm not saying fandom's got any problem-- I know it's all me, but I can't stop thinking like that. Meh.

It really sucks that Snape didn't die saving Harry (as so many wanted and/or predicted), but this makes clear logical sense [and also reiterates that he's Not A Hero, I guess]-- Snape really did kill Dumbledore, and in some way you could see this as his punishment or justice, even if he did it on Dumbledore's orders.

Also: he seems quite desperate to find Harry, isn't he?

Once again, we will see.

Oooh, not dead yet!! Quite sloppy, really :>


Yeay <3 Yeah okay, sucks he's dead but it's not like he was gonna live. In any case, yeah, Reena's a heartless bitch. :P

Anyway, the 'silvery stuff' leaking makes one wonder if wizards have got the same anatomy [all things considered]. :P

I love the parallels between Snape's mismatched shabbiness and Lupin's, just dead (a horrible shock, since I was only spoiled for Tonks and a part of me had been waiting for her to die and leave Remus to his gayness and his robustly hetero offspring.) And btw, that puts Harry's Grimmauld Place confrontation into an even starker and more ironic light, since he'd been telling Remus to go stick by his kid so he didn't die like his dad-- and Harry the godfather, so I suppose by JKR's repetitive plot logic, Remus's death was as inevitable as Snape's, in a way. Hmm. The parallels! The parallels MUST PREVAIL! :P *eyeroll*

But I love Snape knowing Lily & Petunia as a child, and a pox on Snape/Lily haters. It really is there in the books since book 1 after all, because JKR is quite transparent & predictable about these things once you know what to look for.

I do think Harry seems to have a little too much affection & goodwill towards everyone now, to the point wher ehe's starting to remind me of Dumbledore, though perhaps that is the point, after all. :-?

Heeheehee at trapeze-artist!Lily :D Like mother, like son. <3

And man, am I glad I wasn't spoiled for this. <3 Or for Remus, the only death I actually cared about [since I teared up]. -.- Spoilers are so not of the good especially with JKR, where so much hingers on surprise plot-twists.

Anyway, my problem with H/G in this book doesn't lie with Ginny but with Harry; he's too... I dunno, stereotypical? About worrying about her so much even though she's repeatedly proven she's good, whereas he treats Hermione & Luna as partners. He thinks of her but it doesn't seem to have that breath of life, that natural conflict & many-facetedness of Hermione's thinking of Ron, say, and getting angry, frustrated, pleased, proud, tender-- many different emotions, whereas with Ginny Harry is possessive, worried, smitten with her beauty, and lonely without her. Even with Dumbledore I'd say he has a wider range of emotions. I dunno if his emotions are that varied with Ron or Hermione either, but still there's that sense of normal reactions, of ease.

With Ginny, it's like she always plays a role in Harry's head, in his life. "The love interest" may as well be stamped on her forehead, and that, that does bother me [even though I like H/G in theory]. The prescribed way he relates to her, the predictability & limitedness of it botehrs me way more than H/G or Ginny herself.

Ah! Harry understands Snape's disappointment & can tell he's been planning this awhile!! <3 Omg LOVE.

Omg, Snape "nodded importantly" :D :D So cute!! :D

Heeeee, Snaape & Liiily, childhood friends! Sorta. Aaaand is that why she's good at potions?? :D

See! See! JKR can do romance, dammit! Why can she do Snape/Lily [with both subtlety and intensity & good angst, I think!]--
    (His black eyes, eager in the greenish gloom, moved over the pale face, the dark red hair.
    "No," he said. "It doesn't make any difference.") [re: Lily being a Mudblood]
--but not Harry/Ginny the same way?? WHY? D:

[I know why-- she wants to make Harry happy, and can't bear making him either as much of a comic relief and/or sorta under Hermione's thumb as Ron or as pathetic/creepy as Snape, or even as crazy/assholish/arrogant as James must've been around Lily.]

"Severus," she said!!!! And she smiled! :D Aww. ♥
A "little smile twisted Snape's mouth." ♥
YEAY. ♥ [That one moment when Snape smiles that secret pleased-as-fuck smile, I really loved him a lot. If someone loved him-- I can't help thinking this, but if he had real friends, real relationships, like Remus had, like Sirius had-- he wouldn't have been such a dried up shell of a human being. I think it's unfair to compare his circumstances with Remus's just to say 'well, Remus is a better person even though look at his life', 'cause Remus had friends and support in his formative years. And while Lily was Snape's friend, I also think their relationship was very unbalanced and never really remotely healthy on Snape's side, obviously, 'cause he never really expressed his feelings so they must've given him ulcers with paranoia and unhappiness even while Lily was his friend.

Also, HAHAHAHAH SNAPE/LILY IN HEAVEN fanart. OR... NOT. It's things like this that I need to focus on, because the people talking about how Snape's really the hero and not Harry-- because he had a 'moral struggle' & Harry's too predictable-- just make me want to eat fandom for breakfast.

People. PEOPLE. Snape had no real moral struggle either; Snape was always Snape, it's just that circumstances changed, and he-- rather cutely-- did all he could for Lily. Sorta like unsouled!chipped!Spike & Buffy, except not as hot. I'm starting to think a lot of the Snape fandom only liked him 'cause they were 'reading between the lines' of what was one of the central mysteries of the books-- we just didn't know enough about Snape's loyalties and history, and I guess that made him oh-so-complex & 'mysterious'. Don't get me wrong, though, I love the pathetic bastard & I love Snape/Lily, but then I KNOW how much of a sucker I am for his type.

Like I said before: EVERYONE in these books reveals themselves and becomes more of who they are-- which is a form of change!-- rather than changing in a transformative sense, Snape very much included all along. And I think you can make the argument that's how it is in real life too, btw. Obviously it's a valid matter of opinion, is what I mean, where there's no 'right' philosophy anyway. HOWEVER, while I personally want people to transform into their best possible selves, I don't need every bloody story to be like that, and I think it can be human to also accept and love people as they truly are, which can often lead to peace and mercy a lot faster than the evangelism of some transformative-change sects.

Anyway, you could also look at it as Snape being Slytherin rather than a 'hero' vs an 'anti-hero', good guy vs. bad guy & various Gryffindor-type terminology; in the books, they're all largely motivated by familial ties and-- in Snape's case-- personal attachments that act as a 'clannish' bond as well. Snape imprinted on Lily early enough and had no real familial bonds, so I'd argue his fixation on Lily and even helping Potter though he hated him 'cause he's Lily's-- all of that is part of the Slytherin-style clannishness. Obviously, Draco (with his desperate bravery for his parents' sakes & his concern for Crabbe & Goyle) as well as Narcissa and Lucius fall into that mode as well, and you could even see the Purebloods-only philosophy as an outgrowth of this fixation on 'us' vs 'them' on multiple levels, where 'us' is the direct familial/loyalty & blood-driven group.

In a very real way, I'd say you could view Lily as Snape's fucked up idea of 'family', which explains the 'Always' in that last conversation with Dumbledore in HBP as being as natural as anyone's feelings about family. It's not that Snape isn't a Byronic romantic archetype as well, I'm just saying that he fits into that Slytherin clannishness paradigm quite directly, as does Draco-- as does Slughorn with his favorite students, etc.

Further, all of this ties in directly with the whole thing where Slytherin is the House founded on allegiance by blood (ie, Purebloods only), and, y'know, that is a shaky foundation in the Potterverse as it stands; every other House has a non-political ideal as its foundation, whereas the Slytherins need the clannishness to keep their identity at all, which definitely traps them and engenders the very resentment that breeds the conflict and aggression/intolerance that makes the other Houses wary & breeds further intolerance. A lot of the stuff that the Sorting Hat said (cunning, for instance) also make them suited for behind-the-scenes efforts rather than straight out resistance fighting (which is why the Death Eaters are masked-- don't want to rock the status quo or face real danger in their daily lives, do they?)

So asking Slytherins to 'stand up and fight' is already problematic. A lot of this makes me wonder what JKR was thinking, pushing the Slytherins between a rock & a hard place by nature; I mean, they have their virtues & their place in the scheme of things, obviously-- they are necessary and often brilliant and dangerous if disenfranchised, clearly-- so the greatest unfairness is just constructing the whole Wizarding world to be stacked against them. There's no real way to 'redeem' Slyths in this context (Purebloods Forevah = bad + stupid) without making them a lot less... well, Slytherin. I dunno. Even when they're not purebloods (like Snape and Tom aren't), they just wind up confused and/or self-hating; though Snape+Lily is an example of just how confusing it must've been-- he didn't care she was a Mudblood (she's beautiful! hot! smart! and she likes him omg!!), but his very pride rested on the approval of his Housemates and his identity as a Slytherin. So in the end he spent the rest of his life trying to reconcile his love for Lily & overcompensating on self-respect as bullying/aggression over those weaker than him (and of course it naturally lends itself to life as a double agent).

In retrospect, I guess if they wanted Slytherins to stay and fight, they should've made them feel a part of Hogwarts in the first place, so they'd be part of the Hogwarts clan rather than the Pureblood clan or the Death Eater clan. I think that was really the reason you couldn't, logically, have had a turn-about and/or "redemption" for Slytherin in book 7 without a lot of build-up and change in the previous books, and if that happened, the Death Eaters wouldn't have gained such a foothold so the plot would've suffered to the point of becoming impossible. So in fact I think The Slytherin Problem is an inevitable function of the plot as it stood.]

Date: 2007-07-28 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I want to be a bit mean now.

Date: 2007-07-28 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Are you asking permission from me or trying to make me more paranoid? :))

Date: 2007-07-28 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't want to freak you out. The miscommunication sorta made me jumpy too. I'm recalibrating my definition of meanness.

Date: 2007-07-28 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is there like, 'good' squee I'm just not having or is all squee bad squee when it comes to Harry? :> Probably has to do with authorial approval issues or whatever... however, I always wonder if it's just that you think the squee means I have an agenda...? :-?

Date: 2007-07-28 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, it's stuff like Snape is creepy.

Date: 2007-07-28 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That only bothered me in the context of you just saying a bunch of other stuff-- by itself it wouldn't freak me out at all. :>

I didn't think you were mean!! I just thought you were..............I don't wanna say 'serious' because that just makes me sound stupid :)) But I thought you really thought so in some fashion (which, in some fashion, I think you do, since I know you don't like him, hahah-- Snape I mean). My sensitivity levels rise and fall, but they're bound to be a bit higher when I'm like 'SHE THINKS I'M ENDORSING A DICTATORIAL STATE, WOE' :>

My feelings on free will & the question of choice have always been mixed, btw; I mean, in general. I think you have to... choose to choose, to decide to relate to your existence with Agency, which some people never claim for themselves and therefore they get their choices made for them because they're passive. It's sort of like how Noam Chomsky talks about deciding that we have a voice (paraphrasing heavily), and then we will have one.

Something I don't even consider, however, is the idea that 'essentialism' (or 'revealing' oneself through one's choices) has to automatically mean the bad were born bad and the good are always good (again, not talking HP canon). That's just ridiculous, and yet I have to face the idea that in HP canon, sometimes things edge that way. So trying to really get a grasp on the moral underpinnings of that universe is difficult for me, though I try. The main difference between me & JKR here-- but also a difference between you and me on a different axis-- is that I don't believe people are 'good' or 'evil'-- as in, I don't believe in absolute/essentialist(?) ideas of good and evil in the first place, and I always try to understand/accept people as they are and based on their own context and intent/motivations (whether it be a single character or a whole system they're working under), while at the same time believing you can Choose to transcend the system and become more of an individual (force of Agency) who can affect change upon the system. Which is totally not even related to JKR except in a glancing way, because I don't relate this to being good or bad or a moral standard, but merely being self-aware and self-confident.

I don't even know what I'm saying, I'm just figuring things out and you're very certain whereas I'm just questioning a bunch of different viewpoints and ways of understanding the overall picture. I want to establish what I'm seeing before I have an opinion on it, and JKR has confused me, really. :>

Date: 2007-07-29 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Alright, JKR aside.

I think free will exists and doesn't exist. I think agency exists for the individual, but the political and historical context can deny it to them; what I don't believe him is an essential construct.

Yeah, for you it's almost easier to bypass the moral structure because you don't have a structure, per se. I think it's important to consider the characters in terms of both portrayed people and fictional construct. You'll have your own judgment of the actions, but the way they function inside the structure is different, they're there to say something. In general, I really can't separate essentialism from ethics, because I've always seen used in context that were political even when they were resistent to it, and in JKR's universe it's obviously the place where the moral subtext is taking place, so if I talk about it I'm doing in relation to the moral structure. It doesn't really have any other reason to be there.


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