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24 October 2008 @ 10:57 pm
Chapter 5: The Whomping Willow  
Y'know, I think there's probably something about this community that we can improve on to make it more interactive...I'm probably not the best example because I post and jet back [presumably, to work] without doing much else, but does anyone have any suggestions?

So it's the start of another school year at Hogwarts! This means a lot of bustling around at the Burrow while everybody scrambles to jam everything into the spacious Weasley Ford Anglia (courtesy of a magic expansion charm). When everybody finally makes it to Platform 9 3/4, it's in a rush--the whole lot of them dash through the barrier, leaving Harry and Ron behind to follow. When they try to make it through the entrance to the Hogwarts Express, however, an odd and unexpected thing happens: They crash into the barrier.

Desperate and in danger of missing the train, Ron suggests that they fly the Ford Anglia to Hogwarts; the car has invisibility features and will allow them to follow the train. Harry agrees, and they both undergo a long and grueling ride in the flying car, whose invisibility features keep flickering and whose engine is running dangerously on edge. Finally, just as Hogwarts comes into view, the car sputters to a complete stop, and the two boys are sent flying straight into an enormous tree that saves their lives.

The only problem: this tree fights back.

Unbeknownst to them, they've flown straight into the Whomping Willow, an ancient and animated tree; Ron's wand broken and their morale spent, Harry and Ron finally manage to escape the clutches of the battering plant, only to find themselves in deep trouble with Snape, who drags them away from the Great Hall to his office. As it turns out, they were spotted in the flying car--and, miraculously, are not expelled, but let off with a warning. Ron finds out from McGonagall that his sister has been sorted into Gryffindor, and the pair returns to the common room, where they discuss the entire escapade excitedly with the rest of the crew.
Treacle Tart for Thought:

"Whomping Willow" is an example of one of the many cases of alliteration that Rowling uses. Can you think of any other favorites that are used throughout the books?

The introduction of the Whomping Willow obviously foreshadows some events in the third book, and is used as a major rallying point for other parts in the series. Where can you remember the Whomping Willow (or anything related to it) showing up again in other books, and how is it used? (^^ I don't really remember myself, so I'm kind of curious!)

Once again, Rowling brings up the issue of Snape not getting the DADA job (see passage below). Why do you think Dumbledore is so reluctant to give him the job, even though he later insists that he completely trusts him? Do you think that the other choices for DADA were better (or safer) candidates than Snape? How do we explain Dumbledore's mistake in appointing Quirrell in the first book?

Favorite Passage:
"Maybe he's ill!" said Ron hopefully.
"Maybe he's left," said Harry, "because he missed out on the Defense Against Dark Arts job again!"
"Or he might have been sacked!" said Ron enthusiastically. "I mean, everyone hates him--"
"Or maybe," said a very cold voice right behind them, "he's waiting to hear why you two didn't arrive on the school train."
Harry spun around.

Mizmizubyte on October 27th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
I'm not really sure what to say about the community itself. I check it out, but unfortunately term 1 finals are coming up, which means PTCs and also um, NOVEMBER = NANOWRI.... which means every second thats not spent working is spent trying to figure out how on earth I'm going to plan a story....

I do love having people to talk to about the books though... so I don't want to the community to go away. sigh. I wish I was more help.

Ah so on to the chapter... honestly why would you expel students for WANTING to go to school? Being seen by Muggles seems like something for the Ministry to deal with (a warning) or their parents, not the school. I've always wondered about how involved the school is in so many decisions that have nothing to do with schooling...

personally I like "Peter Pettigrew" as some nice alliteration. Hmm...

As for not letting Snape teach DADA... I think Dumbledore thought that Voldemort would eventually be back and Snape would have to spy again. If he had been off teaching all the kids how to defend themselves from the darkside, I imagine Voldie would NOT be happy.... safer for him to be the Potions Master