why i wanted to read it: oh, i didn’t. when this novel was published nearly two decades ago, i was a scanning technician at a printing company in houston. not long after, i changed jobs, choosing instead to work as a bookseller for borders. i seem to recall management having to go to sam’s club and purchase additional copies of one of rowling’s books because the store hadn’t ordered enough. i can recall balking, with great success for a significant period of time, against reading any of these novels.
the dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it (p. 1).
“can’t stay long, mother,” he said. “i’m up front, the prefects have got two compartments to themselves–“
“oh, are you a prefect, percy?” said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. “you should have said something, we had no idea.”
“hang on, i think i remember him saying something about it,” said the other twin. “once–“
“oh, shut up,” said percy the prefect (p. 96).
harry learned that there were seven hundred ways of committing a quidditch foul and that all of them had happened during a world cup in fourteen seventy-three; that seekers were usually the smallest and fastest players, and that the most serious quidditch accidents seemed to happen to them; that although people rarely died playing quidditch, referees had been known to vanish and turn up months later in the sahara desert (p.181).
“there’s no need to tell me i’m not brave enough to be in gryffindor, malfoy’s already done that,” neville choked out (p. 218).
“you know how i think they choose people for the gryffindor team?” said malfoy loudly a few minutes later, as snape awarded hufflepuff a penalty for no reason at all. “it’s people they feel sorry for. see there’s potter, whose got no parents, then there’s the weasleys, who’ve got no money–you should be on the team, longbottom, you’ve got no brains.”
neville went bright red but turned in his seat to face malfoy.
“i’m worth twelve of you, malfoy,” he stammered (p. 223).
out on the stone steps, harry turned to the others.
“right, here’s what we’ve got to do,” he whispered urgently. “one of us has got to keep an eye on snape–wait outside the staffroom and follow him if he leaves it. hermione, you’d better do that.”
“it’s obvious,” said ron. “you can pretend to be waiting for professor flitwick, you know.” he put on a high voice. “oh professor flitwick, i’m so worried, i think i got question fourteen b wrong…” (p. 269).
“so light a fire!” harry choked.
“yes–of course–but there’s no wood!” hermione cried, wringing her hands.
“have you gone mad?” ron bellowed. “are you a witch or not?” (p. 278).
what sucked: nothing.
having said that: i love this story. read it if you not. read it again if you have.