I might have complained about the angst last week but by the time I get to chapter 13 I'm well and truly over it, which is good because it means I can get appropriately riled up with Umbridge and her punishment, which is actually torture and I'D HAPPILY POKE HER STUPID EYES OUT WITH SCALDING POKERS YOU STUPID EVIL HAG.
Umbridge. Is. The. Worst. Voldemort is evil in the sense that he's the bad guy and therefore must be, but Umbridge is actually evil. Whyyyy is she like she is? I've never really understood her motivation in this book. Because forcing a child to WRITE LINES WITH THEIR OWN BLOOD is not proof of you believing the school is run poorly, it's proof of your INSANITY. Is she supposed to be indicative of ministry folk? Does Fudge know what she's doing? And approve it? And she's meant to be rile up the Slytherin hate right? What with her hatred of "half-breeds" and fondness of torture and why she hates all Gryffindors, even the ones who don't believe Harry *cough* Seamus *cough*? I know the first time I read this book I was expecting to find out she was chums with Voldy, and maybe doing a Crouch 2.0 thing. But nope, just a major evil bitch.
I guess JKR just wanted it to be VERY clear who was on Harry's side and who wasn't. Because we also get that maddening owl from Percy, who was always a pretentious piece of shit but crosses over into complete dicknose territory when he writes to Ron. Did anyone else think Percy might be imperius'd when they first read this? Because he was always the worst Weasley, but he seemed pretty friendly with Harry at school and always respected Dumbledore but suddenly he's really aggressively "herp derp Dumbledore's senile, derpity Harry's dangerous". I was pretty disappointed when it's revealed NOPE Percy is just a power hungry asshole happy to turn against his family for a shitty assistant role. Ugh, Percy is second only to Umbridge.
This is turning into such a rage post. I swear I didn't set out to be so shouty. My last point is a little rage-y but much less shouty. Mainly because it involves Hermione, so it's more disappointed than angry. So I am completely Team Ron about the house elves. Regardless of your thoughts about elf slavery, tricking them into taking clothes is SUPER unfair. Does Hermione actually think that the second they pick up her knobbly little hat the spell would be broken and they'd start a group sing along of George Michael's Freedom? You're supposed to be the smartest witch of your year, how are you so naive? And while we're on Hermione, lady you need to lay off Luna. Just because she believes in things you don't doesn't mean you treat her like garbage.
Although kudos to JKR for the subtle integration of the religious/atheist divide and neat little commentary on it featuring two of our favourite witches. I love when Luna calls out Hermione on her shortsightedness, because that's absolutely one of Hermione's biggest flaws - just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't possible. I mean, I guarantee Hermione thought magic was bullshit before her letter arrived. I'd also like to think it was a subtle dig at the folk who were railing on HP for being satanic - it's sad that their imaginations have shriveled up and are unable to digest fun anymore. Tolerance guys, it's not just a song by the Sorting Hat.
But it's OK Hermione, I still love you. But you Umbridge? And Percy? Nope you are forever on my shit-list.
*I'm sorry but Malfoy is NO GOOD. His childish attack on the Quidditch pitch just proves that he's a shitty person and NOT just a product of his parent's intolerance.
*Let's spare a thought for the poor souls in charge of collecting dragon dung for a living.
*So Hogwarts is a public school right? I mean, that's the only way the ministry would be able to impose so many rules and force Umbridge onto the staff right? Which means that Hogwarts fees would be all/mostly subsidised by wizarding taxes.
*I didn't even mention Dumbledore's Army! Egad! I want to be part of that club! I'll take Zachariah Smith's place because he is a poo-face.
*Hagrid's back! And how much do you want to know how his dad stuck with his mum for 3 years if she was anything like the giants Hagrid mentions!?