Subject: re: 5.19 Hermione Granger and the Belief in a Better Tomorrow
Posted on: 2024-06-10 01:14:21 UTC

Man, I’m feeling so much solidarity with this version of Hermione right now! That paragraph about Hogwarts feeling “so small, so petty,” when measured up against all the problems in her world . . . there’s so much to fix, yet we’re asked to keep clocking in and out, and paying our bills, and buying our groceries, because forcing us to fixate on the everyday keeps us from looking at the big picture and trying to change anything. We’re all so stuck repeating our actions on the assembly line, that no one has time to go looking for the off switch . . . And then, when Hermione thinks she finds the off switch, it brings down the whole factory instead of letting anyone rest! She wanted so hard to try to make things better, and instead Gaunt is seizing the moment to demolish his strongest opponent, leaving only the hope that Clinton Biden Silverstream can manage to pull ahead in the end so they don’t get stuck with the worst option, even though Silverstream herself was never the best option. (Having the privilege of the reader’s eye, I forget sometimes that most of this culture doesn’t realize Gaunt is the leader of the Knights, so it was a bit mind-blowing to see Gaunt blaming Dumbledore for that!) It’s so frustrating, and I feel so bad for Hermione just wanting change, and coming up against the bad actors in her culture who are desperate to stall and halt change as long as possible. The end to this chapter is crushing . . . All the same, it’s given me a thrill to see Hermione drift from Lawful Good to Neutral Good this year; at least Umbridge is teaching some of the students that not all laws are legitimate!

I hate to have Jacques lose his role in the story; he’s been a delight whenever he appeared so far. But I am glad he and Liu were finally able to be open about the three-way Bond! Even if, as Umbridge said, the “extra” Bonds aren’t recognized on paper, at least people will realize there isn’t any sneaking behind each other’s backs going on.

That scene with Victor Krum was interesting. We know the “Peverell crest/Mark of Grindelwald” is a representation of the Deathly Hallows, but since the Hallows seem to have a lot less cultural significance in this timeline, it makes sense that people would associate it more with Grindelwald himself than with the original legend and items. And in light of that, even knowing that Xenophilius wears it as a symbol of the Hallows, it does feel insensitive for him to wear it in public . . . I can understand Krum getting angry about that!

Some minor points I enjoyed today:
-“Thank the hearth” is an excellent invention for a house-elf saying!
-Dobby just can’t get away from thrown daggers, can he?
-As much as I dislike Astoria, her mustering up the power to fire off that Stunning Spell, and she and Luna dancing in celebration afterwards, was pretty darn cute!

One mini-Aragog:
“Hermione could feel Ron tensing beside her, probably because of the mention of the Drumstrang headmaster.”
Perhaps the Free Elves’ Orchestra could use a drummer? And eight-legged drummer?

—doctorlit, waiting for change . . .

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