Tag Archives: library

They Didn’t Think it Through

I recently decided to start rereading the Harry Potter novels.  I suppose the eleven year me is still waiting for his letter from Hogwarts, but the grown up me is fascinated by the way J.K. Rowling crafted these stories and each time I read them the more I learn.

I’m currently in the second book where Harry, Ron, and Hermione take the polyjuice potion to investigate if Malfoy is the heir of Slytherin.  As I was reading this part for the umpteenth time, it occurred to me that Harry, Ron, and Hermione really didn’t think their plan through.  Let’s say hypothetically Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin and confessed to the transformed Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there is nothing they could do with that information.  First, they would have no actual proof but Malfoy’s word, which considering his character traits would probably be inflated.  Also, Malfoy’s confession would’ve been, in his mind, to his friends, so they would have to confess to making a dark (and probably illegal) potion, blowing up a cauldron during Potions as a distraction, breaking into Snape’s office and stealing the ingredients, drugging Crabbe and Goyle, stealing Crabbe and Goyle’s clothes (and hair), and probably a ton other things.

On top of that, the three of them decided to split the potion three ways when they should have split it two ways.  Hermione was intending on transforming into Millicent Bulstrode, but given the fact she wasn’t in Malfoy’s inner gang – at least it wasn’t conveyed to us that Millicent and Malfoy were best of friends – it would have been perhaps a bit suspicious that she would be interrogating Malfoy.  From the book we know that Malfoy’s best friends were Crabbe and Goyle and that he told them everything.  If Hermione (as Millicent) strode in the Slytherin common room with Crabbe and Goyle and started asking Malfoy about the Chamber of Secrets it might of come across fishy.  If they then split the potion two ways and had two of them go in as Crabbe and Goyle, then they probably would have had more time with the potion – remember, they ran out of time when they were interrogating Malfoy.

This whole part of the story seems a bit of waste, but I realize why Rowling needed it for her story: it helps defining the characters’ arcs and it’s a twist and turn in the plot.  It’s just, when you think about it, it’s all rather unnecessary because they characters never consider the fact that they could never prove anything.  In the first Harry Potter book, they were in a similar circumstance when they found out about the sorcerer’s stone, but Harry told Ron and Hermione they couldn’t go to Dumbledore until they found enough proof.  But getting an oral confession from Malfoy while using polyjuice potion probably wouldn’t constitute as evidence.

I told all this to my local librarian whom I often discuss Harry Potter with. She listened to it, nodded, and simply said “And yet after how many times you read the books and saw the movie, you’re now starting to realize it?”  Which is quite a fair point.  I probably have read Harry Potter a thousand times and I’m just realizing this minor flaw.  But still, it’s interesting to wonder.

A Different Kind of Turtle

Growing up, my mom would take me to the library a lot.  She had this huge bag and would bring us into the Children’s room and let my siblings and I fill up the bag with any books we wanted.  Needless to say, growing up in libraries has made me a man who frequents his local library…a lot.

A couple years ago, my library got a pet turtle for their Children’s room.  When they originally got him, they read that his type of turtle prefers to eat lettuce, snails, and little fish, which they added to the tank.  Except our turtle won’t eat the snails or the fish, just the lettuce.  In fact, the fish got so big, the librarians had to give it away as a pet to someone because it was getting too big for the tank (I learned that they eventually released the fish back into the wild).

On top of that, he’s grown accustom to rearranging his tank.  At first, we weren’t sure what was happening.  The books said to put a dock in the corner of  the tank for him to climb up on and bask under a lamp.  Over time, we’d notice the dock would slightly drift away from the corner.  Each time the dock moved, the librarians would put it back right under the lamp because it was “supposed to be” that way.  One time, I thought he went missing, but I found him squished in between the glass and the dock, pushing it away.

Then, the other day, they had a new lamp which seemed to have a lower wattage, and I saw the turtle laying on his dock with the expression that just said “everything is finally right in the world.”