I've had a bad week. It's one thing to read a book, discuss it's merits and failings, and move on. It's another to reach for that book in the dark days and realize that - despite disappointments, frustrations, and occasional outright dislike, the book has become a friend. This week, Harry joined Hobbits and Russians, and one or two others in that fictional friendship, and I'm not at all sure how it happened. I tell myself it's through no merit of his, but I'm not sure I believe myself yet..
Jenna's too long neglected post on chapter 16 is amazing. I like seeing the tasks all laid out before me that way. I liked, as I read, the reminder on every page that all things worth doing will pain us, challenge us, and will lead us to yet another, harder challenge. That burdens are best when shared with willing friends..Harry and I are alike (shocking, I know) in that we both prefer to avoid burdening others, we would rather not have friends along to aid and comfort, until we give in and realize that without them, we would have failed. I felt with him the surprise and terrified joy that comes when Ron and Hermione insist on helping..the "Oh thank goodness" right after "Oh no!"
I'm glad they do come along. It makes the story so much more about love and the strength of commitment than about the skills and luck of one particular boy. And the tasks themselves are ..honestly sort of a disappointment. I mean really, aren't these supposed to be skilled witches and wizards? Except Snape's, they're all sort of mundane, really. Snape's though, is delightful. It's more than a task, it's sort of an introduction to the man, a picture of his layered and solitary soul. A soul full of nooks and chambers and dusty-0ut-of-the-way places where old photos are laid face down so we can't snoop. He's clever, hidden, lost inside himself, and oh-so-full of secrets, like his potions, and he offers clues..but not direct ones. If you need direct clues he despises you..which may be more of the reason for his dislike of Harry than anything else. Harry's a liar, but he's a clumsy one, he has no subtlety. Snape has subtlety in spades. I adore it!
Christie's breakdown of the trio's positions on the chessboard is lovely, by the way! I loved it! And I'm thrilled Rowling didn't make Harry the King, that would have been obnoxious..
The rest will have to wait for the final part of our Book one discussion..I'm tired, I haven't written so much in a week, and I have my newest tattoo to plan before Tuesday..Blessings all!