Hey, there! I'm sorry I've delayed commenting so long. I'm still working on putting everything back where it belongs in my condo, and I've been reading this chapter during lunch breaks. As such, my notes and thoughts may be a bit more disorganized than usual, but I promise that's not a reflection on the chapter; it was an extremely good and engaging chapter, and I wish I wasn't forced to read it in pieces!
I was struck by how huge and fancy Godric's Hollow is! Partly because my brain keeps trying to convince me that the Hollow is actually Grimmauld Place, since that's usually the ancestral home full of magic traps and overly critical wall hangings that this canon winds up in. But yeah, it makes sense, with the Potters being a Most Ancient House, and Lily's potion-making, that G's H would be quite a mansion in this timeline!
Oh! Seeing Dobby in clothes, and willingly employed! It feels great to read! And I'm glad Draco gets to spend time with him again.
I love how you've characterized the town as a mix of Muggle and magical culture, something we never tended to see much in canon. And I like that it's a bit ambiguous whether there are charms blocking some things from Muggle view, or if the Muggles just don't care there's a different culture living alongside them. Almost as though cohabitation encourages tolerance or something! That said, even I was a little shocked at how brazenly Harry was allowing Rose and Gary to see things in the Hollow later on. As bad as things got, it could have been a lot worse, and I'm surprised Draco didn't protest more than he did. Talking openly about "the secret context" feels like it's asking for trouble, too . . . (To be clear, I'm more concerned about the Ministry coming down on Harry than about Gary and Rose.) That said, I did enjoy the conversations where the kids were all talking at odds around each other, especially the dragon discussion. On the other end of the spectrum, it's wild to read how naturally Draco expects his fellow thirteen-year-olds to physically attack him once things go sour, just because of all the propaganda he's been raised with . . .
Okay. Um. I probably don't need that enchanted bookmark. I mean, how often do I need to mark multiple points in a novel? That's silly
. . . But we wants it, yesss, Precioussss, we needs it, we—
Oh hey, a reference to the Fawley family! Nice for Wizards Unite to get a nod.
Draco isn't a character I tend to sympathize with often, but in anti-denim solidarity, we are in accord: jeans suck, they're too tight and restrictive of movement. Draco is objectively in the right here.
I'm liking Regulus quite a bit more after this chapter. Previously, I disliked how attached he is to social expectations, but I really enjoyed seeing him loosen his standards and party with some "disgraced" families, freely and easily. He's certainly a much better role model for Draco than the boy has had previously, and I'm glad to see Regulus displaying an element of humility to go along with his social status. Plus, even removed from the Pureblood society weirdness of this setting, it's impressive to see a grown man lose graciously to a thirteen-year-old!
My favorite thing out of this whole chapter is the contrast between Charlus's warning that "enjoying yourself here" is dangerous, and all the fun Draco experienced throughout the holiday. Doesn't get much more explicit that you're in a cult that wants to control your behavior than that!
Oh my gosh, peafowl HATE rain, they always duck into the hay barn about 20 minutes before it starts coming down. I can't imagine how they would react to snow! Poor peafowl . . .
Draco: suggests a veterinarian for Scabbers
Ron: says he can't afford it
Pettigrew: bites Ron
logical conclusion: Pettigrew wants health care, based Pettigrew
Heh, my last note is "kill Pettigrew," which I wrote in between the penultimate and final scenes, on the assumption that the one painting lady saw Pettigrew's human form, and assumed it was a still-living Charlus. But I guess it really was Charlus in the painting who tricked Gary and Rose, so "kill Charlus" I guess. woodchipper intensifies (Except I suppose the painting people are pretty hard to kill, since they can just step into another one, huh?)
—doctorlit is about to refresh the Board for the first time in over a week, and learn just how far behind he is at reading and reviewing . . .