sarnath: Fai from Tsubasa reservoir chronicle (Default)
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To his great joy, Harry is allowed to leave number four, Privet Drive, and he meets all sorts of new and interesting people in the process!

But first he goes through a few days of even more intense frustration.

I’ve just been attacked by Dementors and I might be expelled from Hogwarts. I want to know what’s going on and when I’m going to get out of here.

Is what he writes.

Why was he still trapped here without information? Why was everyone treating him like some naughty kid?

He sends Hedwig to Sirius, Ron, and Hermione, being irrationally irritable with her (though he soon regrets it).

Keep pecking them till they’ve written decent-length answers if you’ve got to. Understand?’

Yeah, I think the best description of Harry right now is probably "high strung".

And surely they'll answer right away, after a Dementor attach and everything? ...Yeah, right.

Not getting an immediate answer he alters between restless energy and lethargy. Petunia feeds him through the catflap in his door. He doesn't seem to be locked in, though, as he thinks that he doesn't want to "force his company" on the Dursleys (no sense in more rows). He pelts Petunia with questions (through the catflap?) every time she comes by but that's completely useless. Naturally he starts to worry he'll be thrown in Azkaban for his Very Serious Crime of underage magic (High. Strung.) and he's working himself into a right state when the Dursleys suddenly decide to leave.

Harry had no particular feeling about the Dursleys leaving. It made no difference to him whether they were in the house or not. He could not even summon the energy to get up and turn on his bedroom light.

His life has no meaning. The end is nigh. He will just lie there and waste away, like a maiden in her tower. Woe.

Harry lay there in a kind of stupor, thinking of nothing, suspended in misery.

But then someone breaks in, so that's all right.

Burglars, he thought, sliding off the bed on to his feet – but a split second later it occurred to him that burglars would keep their voices down, and whoever was moving around in the kitchen was certainly not troubling to do so.

Nope, because the house has suddenly bee invaded by no fewer than nine grown magic folk, including Remus Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody! It's interesting that it's specifically pointed out that Remus is quite young, still. It's most likely to lay the groundwork for Remus/Tonks, though as I recall it still felt completely out of the blue. We'll see.

Anyway, the rest of them all seem to be satisfied to stand there and ogle him. Tonks is introduced (wotcher!)

Harry could hardly believe this was real. Four weeks with nothing, not the tiniest hint of a plan to remove him from Privet Drive, and suddenly a whole bunch of wizards was standing matter-of-factly in the house as though this was a long-standing arrangement. He glanced at the people surrounding Lupin; they were still gazing avidly at him. He felt very conscious of the fact that he had not combed his hair for four days.

They're all a bit nervous and just as secretive as the letters Harry's been receiving, but as he's involved directly now it doesn't seem to bother him. Tonks goes with him to help him pack and reveals herself to be a metamorpmagus. And not only that!

'You’re an Auror?' said Harry, impressed. Being a Dark-wizard-catcher was the only career he’d ever considered after Hogwarts.

Fake Moody put it in his head last year, and it seems to have stuck. He does seem to have a talent for it, just as fake Moody said, though; he's been pretty good at solving mysteries so far! And he loves poking around when he finds something suspicious and he won't easily let go, just like a true policeman (I'm with Sam Vimes on this one). Though Aurors seem more like detective inspectors with a hint of James Bond from what I recall.

Tonks uses both a packing spell and a scourgify, so why doesn't the ministry notice? They did think Dobby's magic was Harry. Maybe it's something with the wands?

They're about to leave, and Lupin has left a letter for the Dursleys.

Harry, I’ve left a letter telling your aunt and uncle not to worry –’

‘They won’t,’ said Harry.

‘– that you’re safe –’

‘That’ll just depress them.’

‘– and you’ll see them next summer.’

‘Do I have to?’

Lupin smiled but made no answer.

Harry, ILU. I wonder, though, does Lupin realise just how bad Harry has had it with the Dursleys? It doesn't really seem like it, does it?

They'll be flying on broomsticks to wherever they're going (Harry is completely unconcerned; they're going back to the wizarding world and that's enough for him!)and Moody is as paranoid as expected. Or sensibly concerned, if you're asking him.

‘I’m just telling the boy the plan,’ growled Moody. ‘Our job’s to deliver him safely to Headquarters and if we die in the attempt –’

‘No one’s going to die,’ said Kingsley Shacklebolt in his deep, calming voice.

I just love the description of Harry's emotions as they finally leave.

Harry kicked off hard from the ground. The cool night air rushed through his hair as the neat square gardens of Privet Drive fell away, shrinking rapidly into a patchwork of dark greens and blacks, and every thought of the Ministry hearing was swept from his mind as though the rush of air had blown it out of his head. He felt as though his heart was going to explode with pleasure; he was flying again, flying away from Privet Drive as he’d been fantasising about all summer, he was going home ... for a few glorious moments, all his problems seemed to recede to nothing, insignificant in the vast, starry sky.

He was going home, I love that! Life at school, no matter how dangerous it's often been, is real life, and Privet Drive no more than a temporary limbo. And I love how he feels about flying. The whole description of the flight is wonderful, especially in contrast to the previous chapters with their suffocating sense of confinement. It's such a symbol of freedom, and he lived a trapped life for so long.

I mean, I just don't get how a few fanfic authors feel the need to give him an even more traumatised childhood. What he actually has in canon is awful enough!

Flying at night is a cold endeavour, and they're all freezing when they reach London, where they land in a small unkempt square.

The grimy fronts of the surrounding houses were not welcoming; some of them had broken windows, glimmering dully in the light from the streetlamps, paint was peeling from many of the doors and heaps of rubbish lay outside several sets of front steps.

Not a very nice part of town, it seems! But to get where they're really going, Harry needs to memorise a couple of lines written on a note Moody hands him.

The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.

That's such a perfect, evocative way of ending a chapter. Grimmauld Place! Order of the Phoenix! Such mysterious, exciting names, conjuring up all sorts of fantastic images. This is where Rowling excels, I think; in building up tension and mystery, and in exciting the reader's imagination.

Onwards to chapter four!

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