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HP 20th Anniversary reread, chpt 7

Random thoughts, because I'm lazy (and also short on time):

- The anti-Slytherin bias begins ... but then it is kind of human nature isn't it? We see what we expect to see. Whatever critique you have about homogenising Slytherin house as one whole nasty-looking bunch, it is what we do.
- Seamus was on the stool for a minute! I wonder what the debate was for him. No one seems to have made anything of this yet, but I get the idea that he might have been a Gryffindor/Slytherin deliberation too.
-Neville continues to be endearing. I think we can all appreciate being the kid that stumbles and does something dumb and feels like everyone's eyes are on you--only in this case they actually are. (And here's my chapterfic focusing on Neville from last year.
-I wonder who sets the Hogwarts menu. I imagine Dumbledore has some input, given the mint humbugs.
-It's actually quite painful to watch Harry being welcomed, especially by Percy, knowing what happens in a couple of years and how fickle fame is.
-I get the sense that a lot of this chapter was JKR having a great deal of fun and being whimsical. School song, for instance? Never shows up again. Never mentioned. But fun while it lasted here.
-Oh yes, the following the crowd through the halls of Hogwarts. Totally get how you can do it and have no clue where you're going or how you got there. :p
-And that is what makes for great characterisation, too, I guess. Experiences that we can relate to even in a complete weird and wacky environment. The humanness of it comes through. I think for me that's an absolute requirement if I'm going to get involved in the story. Never mind if the plot is convoluted or weird or too straightforward--as long as I get the characters and they appeal to me, if I can get to know them as real people, I'm sticking with the book.

And since we're talking houses this chapter, I'm going to mention that how very amused I am that I'm attending an academic event full of researchers and still managed to find a bunch of Potter fans! Our houses were duly discussed, and we promptly moved on to the lack of test-retest reliability on the Sorting quizzes. Yeah, you can't take distract the academics for long. At least we didn't end up debating the merits of a trait measure Sorting vs the Sorting Hat's psychoanalysis-esque's version (its kind of the wizarding equivalent of a Rorschach blot test, if you think about it, only magically more accurate).

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