Each time I re-read these, it’s harder to say goodbye. The next time I re-read them I either won’t blog about them, or it’ll be to retire this blog (or after it’s retired). This re-read reiterated how I absolutely would be in Ravenclaw and yet would probably sit outside the common room a lot waiting for someone to come along and solve the puzzle.
“The deserted Ravenclaw common room was a wide, circular room, airier than any Harry had ever seen at Hogwarts. Graceful arched windows punctuated the walls, which were hung with blue-and-bronze silks: By day, the Ravenclaws would have a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. The ceiling was domed and painted with stars, which were echoed in the midnight-blue carpet. There were tables, chairs, and bookcases, and in a niche opposite the door stood a tall statue of white marble.” (242)
What I took away from this re-read was just how much Harry, Ron and Hermione grew throughout the series. They are still VERY young, but they learned and applied so much throughout their six years at Hogwarts and the year they spent tracking down Voldemort.
“He was not being kind or generous. As certainly as he had known that the doe was benign, he knew that Ron had to be the one to wield the sword. Dumbledore had at least taught Harry something about certain kinds of magic, of the incalculable power of certain acts.” (154)
“Dumbledore’s betrayal was almost nothing. Of course there had been a bigger plan; Harry had simply been too foolish to see it, he realized that now. He had never questioned his own assumption that Dumbledore wanted him alive. Now he saw that his life span had always been determined by how long it took to eliminate all the Horcruxes. Dumbledore had passed the job of destroying them to him, and obediently he had continued to chip away at the bonds tying not only Voldemort, but himself, to life! How neat, how elegant, not to waste any more lives, but to give the dangerous task to the boy who had already been marked for slaughter, and whose death would not be a calamity, but another blow against Voldemort.” (286)
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” (298)
I also really loved how much of this book and the story hinge on the underdogs, the people who are written off as jokes, as losers, as poverty-stricken nobodies. From Severus Snape and Molly Weasley to Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, the heroes of this series are not the well-to-do witches and wizards, they’re the people with heart and courage.
“There was a great roar and a surge toward the foot of the stairs; he was pressed back against the wall as they ran past him, the mingled members of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army, and Harry’s old Quidditch team, all with their wands drawn, heading up into the main castle.” (249)
“‘But this is touching, Severus,’ said Dumbledore seriously. ‘Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?’ ‘For him?’ shouted Snape. ‘Expecto Patronum!’ From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. ‘After all this time?’ ‘Always,’ said Snape.” (284)
“‘NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!’ Mrs. Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger. ‘OUT OF MY WAY!’ shouted Mrs. Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. ‘No!’ Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. ‘Get back! Get back! She is mine!'” (304)
And more than anything I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this as I’ve gotten older and I could really see the spectrum on which Rowling wrote her characters. This line brings it home:
“But he was home. Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here. . . .” (288)
Potter. Snape. Voldemort. They’re the same and yet so different, their choices defined who they were whether anyone knew what choices they made. It was fascinating to see the research Dumbledore (and ultimately Harry, Ron and Hermione) did in the final two books to reveal not only Voldemort’s past, but Harry’s past and future, and Snape’s past and future. They were so eloquently written and tied up that I can’t say much more than that.
Recommendation: How can I say anything other than read these books? They are such an exhausting journey, but 100% worth it. As I said above, and probably will say again, the next time I read these I probably will not review them on here or if I do they will be the final books I review to retire my blog.
Opening Line: “The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”
Closing Line: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)
Additional Quotes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Albus Dumbledore was never proud or vain; he could find something to value in anyone, however apparently insignificant or wretched, and I believe that his early losses endowed him with great humanity and sympathy.” (8)
“She stopped and looked back. For a moment Harry had the strangest feeling that she wanted to say something to him: She gave him an odd, tremulous look and seemed to teeter on the edge of speech, but then, with a little jerk of her head, she bustled out of the room after her husband and son.” (17)
“Harry thought of Godric’s Hollow, of graves Dumbledore had never mentioned there; he thought of mysterious objects left without explanation in Dumbledore’s will, and resentment swelled in the darkness. Why hadn’t Dumbledore told him? Why hadn’t he explained? Had Dumbledore actually cared about Harry at all? Or had Harry been nothing more than a tool to be polished and honed, but not trusted, never confided in?” (72)
“Seeing the grave was worse than hearing about it. Harry could not help thinking that he and Dumbledore both had deep roots in this graveyard, and that Dumbledore ought to have told him so, yet he had never thought to share the connection. They could have visited the place together; for a moment Harry imagined coming here with Dumbledore, of what a bond that would have been, of how much it would have meant to him. But it seemed that to Dumbledore, the fact that their families lay side by side in the same graveyard had been an unimportant coincidence, irrelevant, perhaps, to the job he wanted Harry to do.” (134)
“Point is, people, don’t get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking he’s out of the country. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to, so don’t count on him being a long way away if you’re planning on taking any risks. I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but safety first!” (183)
“I remember, Harry Potter. Even amongst goblins, you are very famous.” (201)
“‘If there was a wizard of whom I would believe that they did not seek personal gain,’ said Griphook finally, ‘it would be you, Harry Potter. Goblins and elves are not used to the protection or the respect that you have shown this night. Not from wand-carriers.'” (202)
“Harry was suddenly reminded of how he had been unsure, when they first met, of how much he liked Ollivander. Even now, having been tortured and imprisoned by Voldemort, the idea of the Dark wizard in possession of this wand seemed to enthrall him as much as it repulsed him.” (206)
“As he followed Bill back to the others a wry thought came to him, born no doubt of the wine he had drunk. He seemed set on course to become just as reckless a godfather to Teddy Lupin as Sirius Black had been to him.” (214)
“Screams of terror rent the air: The fighters scattered, Death Eaters and Hogwartians alike, and red and green jets of light flew into the midst of the oncoming monsters, which shuddered and reared, more terrifying than ever.” (267)
“The green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more.” (271)
“His will to live had always been so much stronger than his fear of death.” (285)
“If he could only have died on that summer’s night when he had left number four, Privet Drive, for the last time, when the noble phoenix-feather wand had saved him! If he could only have died like Hedwig, so quickly he would not have known it had happened! Or if he could have launched himself in front of a wand to save someone he loved. . . . He envied even his parents’ deaths now. This cold-blooded walk to his own destruction would require a different kind of bravery. He felt his fingers trembling slightly and made an effort to control them, although no one could see him; the portraits on the walls were all empty.” (285)
“It was not, after all, so easy to die. Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious: To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second.” (288)
“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” (296)
“You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.” (288)
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (299)
“‘Albus Severus,’ Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, ‘you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.'” (312)