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I never saw that before.  What Snape does for Harry, risking his own life to run into the Shrieking Shack to rescue this kid he really dislikes, who has deliberately defied all his attempts to keep him safe this dangerous year, when Snape believes that Lupin (on a full moon night) is conspiring with Death Eater and mass murderer Sirius Black to lure Harry off the Hogwarts grounds in order to kill him...  and running to save those other two Gryffindor kids as well, none of whom he loves...  He doesn't like Harry, but he thinks Harry does not deserve to die like this.

That's not, of course, what was happening.  In the end, instead of Harry thanking him, Harry continues to hate him, and Lupin and Sirius get away once again.

He had thought James Potter was in on the "prank" and then got cold feet.  He thought that until he overheard, while under the invisibility cloak, that James hadn't known about it at all and ran after Snape, risking his own life and knowing that Lupin was in werewolf form in the tunnel.  James did more for Snape than Snape realized.  James hated Snape, but thought Snape didn't deserve to die like that -- true, he didn't want Sirius to become a killer and Lupin to be a dangerous monster, but he also thought Snape didn't deserve to die like that.

At the end of Sorcerer's Stone, Dumbledore says he thought Snape wanted to be rescue Harry in order to cancel out his life debt to James.  I think he did that in PoA.  Of course, he has the much greater debts to repay because of Voldemort killing James and Lily.  But this one concept -- "my enemy does not deserve to die this way; I will risk my life to save my enemy" -- this one he has now repaid.

I love how all the times JKR shows a belief or a given and then shows further information later to change it, but doesn't point it out.  Like Dumbledore guessing that Voldemort had enchanted the boat in the cave to carry only one adult wizard, not counting less powerful beings at all, and Harry knowing better later, knowing that Voldemort had intended it to carry one wizard and one less powerful victim.

Prisoner of Azkaban is a really, really complicated novel.  I feel like I'm still going to be working on it long after I've finished the chapters for all the other volumes!  Although I cannot let that literally be true.

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Heading to 221B Con!

I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year, but things with the World Figure Skating Championships worked out so I can leave there on Friday morning and get to Atlanta by Friday afternoon.  I won't be able to do as much planning for con this year, but I'm looking forward to going to at least part of it as just an attendee and enjoying the work that other people put into stuff!

So!  Who else on my f-list is headed to 221B Con?

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Tomatopus.

Well, I was going for "tomato," anyway.  The Director tells me it's more like "red pepper."  I will try again but hand-stitch the green yarn next time instead of crocheting it.  That might help.

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I want someone to give Dog!Sirius a bath

Harry's just told Sirius and Dumbledore what happened in the graveyard after the Triwizard Portkey and now Sirius has transformed back into a dog to take him to the hospital wing.  He's been in a cave living on rats all year and he's filthy and skinny.  I'm going to fantasize that somebody gives him a warm, sudsy dog bath and combs out his fur and gives him a lovely meal before he heads back out into the cruel world again.  What a traumatic episode for everyone!  Fudge hasn't gotten BC Jr. Kissed yet, though.  I wish I could go back in time and prevent that from happening.  Augh.

This is a good story.  :-)

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Reading through GoF endgame now.  If only Voldie had accepted Wormtail's suggestion to reconstitute his body using any wizard's blood, not Harry's, he wouldn't have been nearly as vulnerable.  This is what happens when dictators refuse to have advisors!  

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I never thought about this much before, the fictional school the Dursleys tell everyone Harry attends, which takes boys as young as 11 who have been deemed Incurably Criminal.

I'm glad Snape never gave up on Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle.  I think he wanted to do well by them especially because he saw criminal tendencies in them, just like he had when he was a first-year who knew more curses than most seventh-years, and no elders took an interest in him except Lucius Malfoy.

This fictional school is for boys only because boys do get disproportionately written off as rotten and no good in this way.  Yes, there are many ways girls are written off, but I do not like the school of thought that boys have it so much better or have no right to complain.  It doesn't match up with my admittedly limited experiences and observations.  From what I've seen, little boys have it tough because of gender stereotyping in ways that no child enjoys, and I don't have any interest in trying to think if it's better, worse, or equal to what girls go through.  I just wince seeing any kid go through that.  

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Help. When do we find out how old Snape is?

In which book do we find out that Snape is 20 years older than Harry?  For sure we don't know in Sorcerer's Stone that he is only 31!  He acts like he's been bitter for 50 years at least.  ;-)  I don't think we know in Chamber of Secrets, either.

ETA:  Hurray!  strawberrypatty found it for me!  She believes the first source is an interview JKR did after GoF came out, but that Deathly Hallows was the first canon confirmation.

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So.  Thinky.  The lesson of the Time-Turner is...?

If you learn that sometimes there is no justice, sometimes innocent people are incarcerated or executed without a fair trial or any trial at all, sometimes the powers that be even know they are innocent or are scapegoating for corrupt reasons...  then the only way to save more than one innocent life is to wait until the circumstances are right so you don't get other innocent people in trouble, then dash in and harbor those innocent people as fugitives.

Underground-Railroad style.

Buckbeak was framed.  Hagrid was scapegoated, as Stan Shunpike will be later.  Sirius was framed, imprisoned, and sentenced to the Kiss without trial.  There is no lawful way for them to live their lives.  They have to go on the run, and those who love them must help.

So Hermione, Harry, Ron, and Hagrid tried to save Buckbeak through proper channels.  Fudge looks very confused when Ron sees him coming to witness Buckbeak's execution -- before the appeal -- and seems to think there's a chance Buckbeak might get off.  Dumbledore sees Hermione, Harry, and Ron lose their innocence about power and the legal system and sends them back in time to do things illegally but justly.  The one thing they could have changed:  once Hagrid shooed them out of his hut, once the Ministry saw Buckbeak tethered, the kids could have lingered behind under the Invisibility Cloak and set Buckbeak free.  Dumbledore knew that -- we saw him create a delay (signing papers or something) -- and marked the moment in his mind as the place to return the kids so they could change something.

Then, Dumbledore must have realized that a rescued Buckbeak could pick up Sirius on his way out.

Dumbledore knew about the Time-Turner.  He must have been watching the whole time for a fissure in the proceedings to which he could return the kids -- once they understood that life isn't fair, or that humans aren't fair, at any rate, and sometimes the only way to do the right thing is to break the law.

There are two opposites for innocence.

Things look one way when you're innocent and another way when you're -- experienced -- or when you're -- guilty.

Sirius is experienced.  Dumbledore and Snape are guilty.  Either way, they know things that the innocent do not.  They can make things happen that the innocent cannot.  When Harry, Hermione, and Ron lose their innocence at the sound of the axe hitting the wood, they have crossed the divide.

More reasons why JKR's writing impresses me

This little cameo from Madam Hooch.  This really is what it's like being a kid waiting impatiently and slightly nervously while grownups yammer on about their own obsessions.  Will the grownups ever stop?  Will they ever give back the kids' possessions?  Is that the bell ringing somewhere?  Is it okay to just...take back one's things and leave?

“Madam Hooch, who was still overseeing Gryffindor practices to keep an eye on Harry, was just as impressed with the Firebolt as everyone else had been. She took it in her hands before takeoff and gave them the benefit of her professional opinion.
“Look at the balance on it! If the Nimbus series has a fault, it’s a slight list to the tail end — you often find they develop a drag after a few years. They’ve updated the handle too, a bit slimmer than the Cleansweeps, reminds me of the old Silver Arrows — a pity they’ve stopped making them. I learned to fly on one, and a very fine old broom it was too. . . .”
She continued in this vein for some time, until Wood said, “Er — Madam Hooch? Is it okay if Harry has the Firebolt back? We need to practice. . . .”

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I just noticed that the Cornish pixies disarm Lockhart by throwing his wand out an open window, and Ron does the same thing to Lockhart in his office when he tries to Obliviate them and leave without saving Ginny.  First Harry casts Expelliarmus so his wand flies in the air, then Ron catches it and throws it out the window.  Cute touch.

Then in book 6, Draco casts Expelliarmus on Dumbledore and the Elder Wand goes flying out the open window.  Huh.

I also like that Harry disarms Draco by taking the wands out of Draco's hand.  Sometimes you don't need fancy magic tricks.

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