Subject: re: 5.20 Lord Harry Potter and the Distracting Romantic Subplot
Posted on: 2024-06-10 21:52:53 UTC

Oh boy, the relationship between Harry and Qiu was even less healthy than I realized! I don’t blame them too much, mind you, they’re both traumatized just from growing up in this freaky culture, let alone piling the Cedric situation on top of that. But yeah, this chapter was a bit of a slog for me, not because of your writing in any way, just . . . I don’t care about all this teen romance drama. Don’t get me wrong, I loved, “Harry hadn’t been paying that much attention to Draco’s growing list of admirers, but: [enumerated list],” as well as Crookshanks sensing that Harry is deceiving himself and trying to correct his direction towards Draco, excellent use of Kneazle instinct! And you’re really writing Harry at his peak, core essence here, what with immediately abandoning his own conviction against courtship practices to save Qiu from bullying, and then immediately abandoning his date with Qiu to save Draco from drowning. (He couldn’t have known how shallow the lake was before he got into it!) But overall, wow, let’s get back to toppling fascistic authoritarians, my eyes are ready for it!

Oh man, “THE FALL OF AVALON BEGAN WITH A SELFISH HIGH QUEEN”. Oh man, I so rarely think about the whole Guinevere/Lancelot affair because again, don’t care about romance drama. If Guinevere and Lancelot and Arthur are all doing right by the kingdom and protecting their citizens, I don’t particularly care what level and frequency of bed-sharing is going on in the castle. But I can see how, in the extremely healthy culture that is New Avalon, Guinevere would be turned into a symbol of adultery, similar to how the names of Jezebel and Delilah from the Bible are still used to similar purpose in the real world. But it’s so gross! Even if she was real in this universe, it was over a millennium ago! And her name is still being used to shame and control women! The leader of the Jewel Riders deserves more respect! (Jeeze, I remember those characters looking so much older in the early 90s . . .)

One scene you did especially well was the Legilimency lesson. All the various memories being described so quickly gave that sequence a dreamlike vibe that really added to the feeling that Harry was being dragged along through his own memories, just really perfect pacing and description throughout

My face when the narrative gives Harry’s pronunciation of Madam Yue’s name, and implies it’s wrong, and I was reading it as exactly the same as Harry pronounces it . . .

Man, the second I saw Marietta’s face covered, I knew it was coming . . . Anyway, the political debate at the end was a very welcome breather from the teen romance stuff! Gaunt is being nasty up there. As much as Silverstream’s plan to revitalize Knockturn Alley is blatant gentrification, it’s sure a nicer outlook than Gaunt’s “let rich people do what they want and everybody else can bite me lol.” Honestly, my estimation of Silverstream has gone up a bit, just seeing how she’s willing to stand up for herself against Gaunt and call him on his own points. I know Regulus is still the best option, and he’s still giving the best responses up on that stage, but my hope for him winning is gone. But the society will certainly be able to survive Clinton Biden Silverstream getting elected. (In before she gets Imperiused and forced to drop out, just like Thicknesse probably was.) Anyway, I see we’re rolling towards the final confrontation against Umbridge, and I am quite ready for it! (Boy, this year feels so different without the Department of Mysteries plot!)

Oh boy, I don’t know if I’ll do very well at guessing the Lady Polixenes stories, but I’ll give it a shot:
-“creative couple, families in conversation, namesake, golden bangle. . .” Yeah, I’ve literally got nothing.
-“two young men” with all the song titles, that one’s obviously Dean and Seamus
-the “gemstone mine” situation, nope, don’t know these people, way too many background characters in this series . . .
-the “plant-loving heir” and “new bloods” are obviously Neville and the Creeveys, not sure who Colin is trying date, though it’s obviously the girl who walked in on Luna in the bathroom.
-And the last story, of course, is Harry, Draco and Qiu, no bonus points for me on that one!

—doctorlit notes that Hermione ♪wrote her way out♪ in a way that hurt her loved ones and turned them against her, in a way reminiscent of a certain U.S. Secretary of the Treasury . . .

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