The Song of the Sorting Hat


“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffis are true And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!”

Source: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K.Rowling

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The prophecy

A figure rose out of it, draped in shawls, her eyes magnified to enormous size behind her glasses, and she revolved slowly; her feet in the basin. But when Sybill Trelawney spoke, it was not in her usual ethereal, mystic voice, but in the harsh, hoarse tones Harry had heard her use once before:

‘The one with the power to vanquish the- Dark Lord approaches: born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies: and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not: and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives: the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies:’

The slowly revolving Professor Trelawney sank back into the silver mass below and vanished.

The silence within the office was absolute. Neither Dumbledore nor Harry nor any of the portraits made a sound. Even Fawkes had fallen silent.

‘Professor Dumbledore?’ Harry said very quietly, for Dumbledore, still staring at the Pensieve, seemed completely lost in thought. It .. did that mean: what did that mean?’

‘It meant,’ said Dumbledore, ‘that the person who has the only chance of conquering Lord Voldemort for good was born at the end of July, nearly sixteen years ago. This boy would be born to parents who had already defied Voldemort three times.’

Harry felt as though something was closing in on him. His breathing seemed difficult again.

‘It means – me?’

Dumbledore surveyed him for a moment through his glasses.

‘The odd thing, Harry,’ he said softly, ‘is that it may not have meant you at all. Sybill’s prophecy could have applied to two wizard boys, both born at the end of July that year, both of whom had parents in the Order of the Phoenix, both sets of parents having narrowly escaped Voldemort three times. One, of course, was you. The other was Neville Longbottom.’ ‘

But then: but then, why was it my name on the prophecy and not Neville’s?’

‘The official record was re-labelled after Voldemort’s attack on you as a child,’ said Dumbledore. ‘It seemed plain to the keeper of the Hall of Prophecy that Voldemort could only have tried to kill you because he knew you to be the one to whom Sybill was referring.’

‘Then – it might not be me?’ said Harry.

Source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K.Rowling

P.S: I miss reading ’em! 😦 Wish Rowling brings the 7th book soon. But then, the 7th is the last – what will I do after that?!

Sectumsempra

SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yet, you wouldn’t want to read what’s coming up.

Source: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by J.K.Rowling

And Harry realized, with a shock so huge it seemed to root him to the spot, that Malfoy was crying — actually crying — tears streaming down his pale face into the grimy basin. Malfoy gasped and gulped and then, with a great shudder, looked up into flu-cracked mirror and saw Harry staring at him over his shoulder.

Malfoy wheeled around, drawing his wand. Instinctively, Harry pulled out his own. Malfoy’s hex missed Harry by inches, shattering the lamp on the wall beside him; Harry threw himself sideways, thought Levicorpus! and flicked his wand, but Malfoy blocked the jinx and raised his wand for another —

“No! No! Stop it!” squealed Moaning Myrtle, her voice echoing loudly around the tiled room. “Stop! STOP!”

There was a loud bang and the bin behind Harry exploded; Harry attempted a Leg-Locker Curse that backfired off the wall be-hind Malfoy’s ear and smashed the cistern beneath Moaning Myr-tle, who screamed loudly; water poured everywhere and Harry slipped as Malfoy, his face contorted, cried, “Cruci —”

“SECTUMSEMPRA!” bellowed Harry from the floor, waving his wand wildly.

Blood spurted from Malfoy’s face and chest as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword. He staggered backward and collapsed onto the waterlogged floor with a great splash, his
wand falling from his limp right hand.

“No —” gasped Harry.

Slipping and staggering, Harry got to his feet and plunged toward Malfoy, whose face was now shining scarlet, his white hands scrabbling at his blood-soaked chest.

“No — I didn’t —”

Harry did not know what he was saying; he fell to his knees beside Malfoy, who was shaking uncontrollably in a pool of his own blood. Moaning Myrtle let out a deafening scream: “MURDER! MURDER IN THE BATHROOM! MURDER!”

Harry Potter and the Letdown of the Year


Merry Christmas Everyone!!

I know I’m late, but had my own Christmas celebrations with my better half and didn’t get to even open the laptop. But hey, better late than never!

Sunday saw us at the IMAX theatre watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this but, the movie was a let down. Maybe because I’ve read the book atleast a gazillion times and found the movie not even close. Imagine – I found the Quidditch matches in the book more interesting than on screen!! (If you do not know what Quidditch is, chances are you won’t understand even a single word of what’s coming up – so..consider yourselves warned.)

SPOILER ALERT!! – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, but intend to, please don’t read on.

If you have read the book, you know what I’m talking about – the first scene in the movie with Harry’s dream about Wormtail and Voldemort in the Riddle House – well, they also show Barty Crouch Jr (the one who impersonates Moody) in the dream!!! Can you believe that??!!! there’s more – they did not show the Quidditch World Cup match – I was dying to see the Wronski Feint by Krum, but no..they just didnt show it! No Veela, no leprechauns – nothing!! There was nothing about Winky the house-elf (so you can imagine how distorted the plot is if there is no Winky tugging an invisible Barty Crouch who casts the Dark Mark in the sky).

The director seems to have taken a lot of liberty with the story line – in the second task, Harry gets the gillyweed from Neville – not Dobby! There’s nothing about Rita Skeeter being an animagus. And the biggest lapse of them all – the third task in the maze was the letdown of the year!! They did not show any obstacles at all in the maze – just the scary looking maze and Krum trying to jinx Fleur and Cedric. No sphinx asking questions, no spider attack on Harry and Cedric, no fog that turns the world upside down, no Blast-ended Skrewts – nothing, zero, zilch! There was way too much dialogue between the characters and very less action.

But surprises that I liked – the scene with the Durmstrang ship coming was too cool. So were Victor Krum and Cedric Diggory and Hermione. Mad-eye Moody was ok – I’d imagined someone less fat though 😉 Snape did some comedy – shocked eh? Well, no comments on that one. Loved the scene were Malfoy is transfigured into a ferret by Moody. There was a scene were Prof McGonagall teaches the class to dance – it’s not in the book right? It was good though – especially with Ron, Fred and George (who look cool btw). The last scene in the graveyard with Voldemort rising was really well-taken. Voldemort rocks! Looks just like the descriptions in the book.

The best part about the movie were the actors – they were absolutely amazing! Daniel Radcliffe was mind-blowing (forgive my choice of words for superlatives – I’m not such a good review-writer – I just write what comes to my mind). Emma Watson – she was really really cute (hubbie dear liked her the best!) . No comments on Ron. The coolest was Draco Malfoy – he actually looks handsome and..for want of a better word – yummy! Dumbledore was good, his costumes could have been better though – he walked around in what looks like a faded, old nightie for cryin’ out loud! Madame Maxine was good too – she actually makes Hagrid look normal. The Beauxbaton girls and Durmstrang guys were awesome – the introduction scene for them was great.

I know its a 2.5 hour movie and you cannot have the full book in it, but some parts were outrageous. A person who hasn’t read the book (like my husband) would never appreciate the true beauty of a Harry Potter tome if the movie is like this! Then again, I don’t think any movie that’s completely based on a book can do full justice to all aspects of the book and maintain the nature of cinema at the same time. End of the day, it’s still a HP movie and I’m always a very faithful fan – so I can tolerate the movie!

The movie is worth watching only once – I say only once ‘coz for me, the rest of the HP movies can be watched any number of times. Not so for the Goblet of Fire. Loved the IMAX experience though – but that’s a topic for another post!

So long then…Buon Natale again folks! Hope you had a wonderful miracle-filled and jolly Christmas!

Expecto Patronum

A fist made contact with the side of Harry’s head, lifting him off his feet. Small white lights popped in front of his eyes. For the second time in an hour Harry felt as though his head had been cleaved in two; next moment, he had landed hard on the ground and his wand had flown out of his hand.

‘You moron, Dudley!’ Harry yelled, his eyes watering with pain as he scrambled to his hands and knees, feeling around frantically in the blackness. He heard Dudley blundering away, hitting the alley fence, stumbling.

‘DUDLEY, COME BACK! YOU’RE RUNNING RIGHT AT IT!’

There was a horrible squealing yell and Dudley’s footsteps stopped. At the same moment, Harry felt a creeping chill behind him that could mean only one thing. There was more than one. ‘DUDLEY, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! WHATEVER YOU DO, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Wand!’ Harry muttered frantically, his hands flying over the ground like spiders. ‘Where’s – wand – come on – lumos!’

He said the spell automatically, desperate for light to help him in his search – and to his disbelieving relief, light flared inches from his right hand – the wand tip had ignited. Harry snatched it up, scrambled to his feet and turned around.

His stomach turned over. A towering, hooded figure was gliding smoothly towards him, hovering over the ground, no feet or face visible beneath its robes, sucking on the night as it came.

Stumbling backwards, Harry raised his wand.

‘Expecto patronum!’

A silvery wisp of vapour shot from the tip of the wand and the Dementor slowed, but the spell hadn’t worked properly; tripping over his own feet, Harry retreated further as the Dementor bore down upon him, panic fogging his brain – concentrate –

A pair of grey, slimy, scabbed hands slid from inside the Dementor’s robes, reaching for him. A rushing noise filled Harry’s ears.

‘Expecto patronum!’

His voice sounded dim and distant. Another wisp of silver smoke, feebler than the last, drifted from the wand – he couldn’t do it any more, he couldn’t work the spell. There was laughter inside his own head, shrill, high-pitched laughter. He could smell the Dementor’s putrid, death-cold breath filling his own lungs, drowning him – think something happy –

But there was no happiness in him. The Dementor’s icy fingers were closing on his throat – the high-pitched laughter was growing louder and louder, and a voice spoke inside his head: ‘Bow to death, Harry..it might even be painless. I would not know, I have never died.”

He was never going to see Ron and Hermione again –

And their faces burst clearly into his mind as he fought for breath.

‘EXPECTO PATRONUM!’

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix