Every time Hermione refers back to Hogwarts: A History, I can’t help but think that, if GRRM had written the Harry Potter series, he would have actually written and published Hogwarts: A History by now – and I, for one, would be eager to read it! The downside, of course, would be that Harry wouldn’t be The Boy Who Lived; he would be The Boy Who Died in the First Book . . . and Deathly Hallows wouldn’t even be finished yet!
Let’s talk about Dumbledore getting Draco to monolog. He clearly seems to be doing it intentionally so what do you think is the purpose?
- to “save Draco’s soul” by talking him down from committing murder
- to stall for time for others to come do the deed
- to stall for time for Snape specifically to come do the deed, which, as we find out in Book 7, was the 3D Wizard Chess plan all along
- to tease out certain details for Harry to hear whilst he is totally petrified
- simply for the reader’s benefit
The first time I read this passage, I had just received some very sad, disappointing news. I thought to myself that I needed a little fantastic escapism so I why not continue reading Harry Potter for the rest of the evening – but then I read this and couldn’t fall asleep for a long, long time. OOF, it was like a punch in the gut – not just Dumbledore’s death but the seeming betrayal by Snape, the sacrifice of Dumbledore to waste his last spell petrifying Harry rather than protecting himself, and the revelation that the locket was a fake to boot . . . OOF! This was a series low point and I read it while I was at a low point too – double OOF!
Side note: I talk a lot about Harry’s exceptionalism – especially when it comes to defensive magic. That makes it, well, exceptional, that he has struggled with nonverbal spells, which I like as it makes him a little less OP.