I Finally Read the Harry Potter Books: Some More Favorites

By Wednesday, May 11, 2016 , , ,

When I began thinking about everything I wanted to discuss from the Harry Potter books, I quickly realized I’d need more than one post! So, now that I’ve shared initial thoughts and answers to some big questions, here are some other “favorites” of mine from the series. You know that everyone gets envious when reading about all those nifty magical tools, so I’m starting with that, and then on to some favorite scenes! Both are of course difficult questions, but doing my best here. 

Favorite Magical Things that I’d Want 

Invisibility Cloak
Cliché? Maybe. But that probably means there’s a good reason a lot of people mention it! And seriously, who wouldn’t want one of these?! It serves Harry and his friends quite well on countless occasions, and there would be so many practical uses for it in the real world too. I’d probably start with some simple people-watching at a weird place.

Time Turner 
As we hear quite forcefully from Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban, the Time Turner must be used responsibly, so care would be required with this one. But I’ve been thinking that for starters, it’d just be an excellent way to simply sleep late more often. Sleep in, then go back a few hours and get things done. Productive AND well rested every day, so a total win-win.

Undetectable Extension Charm
This was by far one of my favorite magical things from Deathly Hallows. It was a true lifesaver for Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their extensive camping trip in the first part of the book. All they needed for weeks was readily available in a tiny bag that Hermione could stuff in her sock! Pretty sure every woman could use this one these days. Packing and traveling made so simple.

Favorite Scenes

Obstacles to the Sorcerer’s Stone 
This climactic sequence in the first book sticks out to me because it sort of brings together our three main players in a way that hasn’t been seen before. They’ve worked together plenty, but this is one of the first instances when they’re all in legitimate danger, there’s no quick escape route, and they only have each other. And I really enjoy how each obstacle to the Stone plays to their various strengths – Hermione’s brains and memory, Ron’s chess skills, Harry’s broomstick flying, etc. And it’s one of the earliest moments in which they all realize how much they care about each other. Ron’s sacrifice of himself in the chess game really gave me some feels, let me tell ya. 

Escape in the Flying Car 
Take that Dursleys! Harry’s worst birthday turned to the best one in a flash. I loved the grand getaway and how this scene put to rest his doubts about Ron and Hermione’s friendship with him. Fred and George’s antics made it that much better too.

Harry, Hermione, and the Time Turner
I really love this part! And I must say, I think the film captures it so well! This is one of the scenes that makes me step back and marvel at J.K. Rowling’s imagination. It’s such a creative plot twist that kind of makes your head hurt and keeps you in suspense, all the while making you laugh at the right moments. I also think it’s a great, enjoyable turning point for Harry and Hermione’s friendship.
Hermione and Harry during the Time Turner sequence in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Photo Credit: Fanpop
Hermione Tries to Explain Women to Harry  
The great thing about Harry is that even though he’s an incredibly likable hero and easy to relate to, he has many flaws. A glaring one is that he’s absolutely hopeless with women. His disastrous Valentine’s Day date with Cho Chang in Goblet of Fire had me rolling with laughter, and Hermione’s kind attempt to enlighten him afterwards made it even more amusing. She’s frequently a few steps ahead of Harry and Ron, but she’s got light-years on them in the romance-and-feelings category, and it’s shown fabulously here. J.K. Rowling gets into their teenage minds brilliantly well, and I was inwardly applauding Hermione’s explanation. She says exactly what I’d been wanting to say to Harry for several pages, and his cluelessness is flat-out hilarious. 

Umbridge Gets Undermined  
“Anyway…we’ve decided we don’t care about getting in trouble anymore.” (Fred Weasley, Order of the Phoenix Chapter 27)

Fist pump! Once Dolores Umbridge had her nasty claws in practically every corner of Hogwarts, I couldn’t WAIT to see the Weasley twins make some well-deserved chaos for her. Their fabulous, rule-breaking fireworks show inside the school was an excellent start, and I loved seeing the students and teachers fight back along with them in various ways, sometimes quiet and sometimes obvious. McGonagall and Flitwick are especially enjoyable in their rebellion. And of course, the twins’ exodus is just as epic as it’s memorable and hysterical. I may have cheered out loud as I read it:

“We won't be seeing you,” Fred told Professor Umbridge, swinging his leg over his broomstick.
“Yeah, don't bother to keep in touch,” said George, mounting his own. 
Fred looked around at the assembled students, and at the silent, watchful crowd. “If anyone fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated upstairs, come to number ninety-three, Diagon Alley – Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes,” he said in a loud voice, “Our new premises!” 
“Special discounts to Hogwarts students who swear they’re going to use our products to get rid of this old bat,” added George, pointing at Professor Umbridge. 
“STOP THEM!” shrieked Umbridge, but it was too late. As the Inquisitorial Squad closed in, Fred and George kicked off from the floor, shooting fifteen feet into the air… Fred looked across the hall at the poltergeist bobbing on his level above the crowd. 
“Give her hell from us, Peeves.” 
And Peeves, who Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultuous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset. (Order of the Phoenix Chapter 29) 

YES YES YES AND HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!!!

Photo Credit: Wallpaper Cave
Malfoy Manor 
I think I might have been legitimately shaking as I read this sequence. It’s a huge turning point in Deathly Hallows and is incredibly charged with so many different emotions – suspense, panic, surprise, empathy, relief, shock, horror, grief, and a lot of other things in between. The tension between all those different feelings is masterfully written. I was afraid for Harry and Ron and Hermione, sat in wretched suspense when the Sword of Gryffindor was noticed, and felt the boys’ pain as they had to hear Hermione scream. Draco Malfoy’s position is also an interesting one. I actually feel a small twinge of sympathy for him here, even though he is a vicious bully. You get the sense that even though he’s always resented and mistreated Harry, this is still his schoolmate and he doesn’t want to turn him over to Voldemort. But he’s trapped by his parents and many other expectations and can’t see a way out. At the same time, we’re more than happy when Harry disarms him in the escape scuffle. Dobby’s arrival brings very palpable relief and hope, and the skirmish with the Malfoys, Bellatrix, and their accomplices is thrillingly action-packed. Then there’s another immediate tension between relief and sadness after their escape. They’ve made it out, but at the cost of Dobby. Sob. I think Harry’s overwhelming grief makes this death one of the saddest. 

The Final Showdown 
Everything’s been building to this moment of final face-off between Voldemort and Harry for so long, and J.K. Rowling outdid herself. I could picture everything so vividly as I read it and could almost hear everyone crying and shouting when it was all over. And let’s just take a second to admire how well Rowling describes wand dueling. Like its completely made up...how does she do it?! The two major duels at the end – Mrs. Weasley vs. Bellatrix and Voldemort vs. McGonagall, Kingsley, and Slughorn – could not have been more epic. CHEERS FOR MOLLY WEASLEY, AM I RIGHT?! What a woman! And I love how Harry stays under the Invisibility Cloak until the perfect moment, but still fights and protects others from beneath it as he waits. The images of him pulling it off to everyone’s astonishment and then of him and Voldemort circling each other like lions about to pounce are truly spine-tingling. Harry’s ensuing revelation of the truth about Snape, the Elder Wand, and so much more heightens the excitement. There’s a weighty sense that he now has a distinctive upper hand on Voldemort, and the final defeat brings so many waves of exhausted relief and emotion. I love Harry’s later moment with Ron and Hermione. It’s moving to see these three conclude the biggest sequence of the story in the same way that they’ve come through so many other obstacles – together. I just hope they found some good wizard counseling after things calmed down a bit. As Harry said, they’ve frankly had enough trouble for a lifetime.
Photo Credit: Moviebreak
What magical things from the Harry Potter books would YOU like to have in real life? What are YOUR favorite scenes throughout the series? Dont hold back! I’d love to hear!

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