Friday, August 26, 2011

Errol finally arrived!

Poor Errol must be exhausted delivering all those owls for Pottermore. It took him over four hours this morning to bring mine, but he finally made it. I gave him some owl treats and sent him on his way. I haven't quite figured out if the system is that slow or if Pottermore is staggering entry even after they announce that owls have been sent out.

At any rate, I had a great time exploring everything. I have a cat, a wand and I'm in Hufflepuff, which is just where I want to be.

My cat is a fluffy white one with blue eyes. It reminds me of the cat that my favorite aunt had. My mother was terrorized by that cat - was her name Mitzi? Can't remember, really. But she was beautiful. I think I was fortunate not to know that particular cat, but Aunt Neva later had a ceramic full size version of her white cat and I loved it. So that's the one I chose. I'm sure that Mitzi's descendant is nicer than she was. And mine will be named for my aunt - Neva, or maybe I'll spell it Neava, or Kneava, or Kneavah. Well, I'll think about that one for a while. At the moment, there isn't a place to include our pet's name anyway.

My wand is Ash, Phoenix Feather core, and is ten and three-quarters inches long. I think it will suit me well.

As I expected, I'm pathetic at Potions. I never did manage to get the practice one done. I haven't had the courage to try any of the others. I'll save that for another day.

I didn't spend much time in the Hufflepuff common room, but I love all the detail in the message that talks about where it is, how to get in, what it looks like, what Hufflepuffs are like - and it's all much more positive than what was said about us by the Gryffindors in the books. The questions that put me there were interesting. And some just seemed odd. I don't know if all the questions figure in equally of if some are really throw-aways to cover for the ones that point to your house.

I've noticed in the comments throughout that some people really were expecting a game site - they keep saying there needs to be more chances for games. They have forgotten that Rowling said it was to be an on-line reading experience. And that's what appeals to me. Of course, I'm lousy at gaming, so there you go. So far the best is all the back story on Minerva McGonagall. It's so complete and so like Rowling to know just what makes that character so unique and wonderful. I hope over time she will add some more information about the other teachers and minor characters.

Why am I here? Because while I was poking around looking for some galleons I might have missed early on or some Chocolate Frog cards, Pottermore closed for the evening to do routine maintenance.

And with that, I'm going to call it a night - or a morning. But whatever, I need some sleep.

FeatherPixie80, aka Pat

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Pottermore by J.K. Rowling

You have been selected for early entry into Pottermore!

And now we wait. . . and check e-mail whenever I walk passed the computer. o_O

FeatherPixie80 (my Pottermore name)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Always

 Always. That word is on my cell phone wallpaper with the Silver Doe. My older cell phone flips open and doesn’t have a keyboard for texting. So all the while I am tapping out a text, I look at the picture and the word that I found the most poignant in the whole book.

It’s not just a word that applies to Snape, though it is his. Always, Dobby was loyal to Harry, willing to do anything to save him, even when it meant giving his life. Always, Kreacher was faithful to his master Regulus, even at the torturous hands of Lord Voldemort. Always, Harry could count on Ron and Hermione. Disagreements over broomsticks and tournaments were but minor separations for the three of them. Ron left them both in a fit of anger and jealousy, and yet, he regretted leaving as soon as he had done it. And it was Dumbledore who knew that Ron would always want to return to them and gave him the deluminator as the means for him to come back, always. Always, help will be given to those at Hogwarts if they desire it, or as Dumbledore amends it in the movie, if they deserve it. Lily, James, Remus and Sirius are with Harry, always. And that word was added to the movie when Lily says, “Always”.

There were so many things that were spot on in this last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Harry’s meetings with Griphook and Ollivander give us all the information we need before Harry, Ron and Hermione set off to find the remaining Horcruxes. Yes, with changes. Ollivander in the movie does know about the Deathly Hallows, where, in the book, he clearly does not. It’s one of the few reminders the movie goers get as to the story they might have forgotten from the last movie. Gringotts gave us a wild ride to the vaults that reminded me of our recent visit to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal in Orlando. Only wilder. Visually, it was amazing – Gringotts with all the goblins, the Lestrange vault, the treasure locked there, the multiplying treasure, and the escape on the dragon. Minor changes there as it is Hermione who sees the dragon as a means of escape. I don’t think that is one of those changes that matters.

The Battle for Hogwarts had all the right elements, though not in the same way as the book. Some of the characters were there but didn’t have their moment to really shine. It would have detracted from the pacing of the movie, even I admit that. It’s enough that we saw them all fighting for the school, doing their duty as McGonagall ordered the armor that marched forth in a Bed Knobs and Broomsticks manner. Was it the same spell? In seeing the movie the second time, I do think that Voldemort and Harry did the same spells as in the book, but we don’t hear them say them aloud. The result is the same – Voldemort is disarmed and Harry catches the Elder wand.

Thankfully, Yates took the time for all the other things going on during the battle. The Grey Lady (though I missed the back story connection between Helena Ravenclaw and the Bloody Baron) and the Room of Requirement. Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets and a moment we’ve been waiting for since that first hand touch in Prisoner of Azkaban, the one that started in Chamber of Secrets when Hermione and Ron awkwardly avoided hugging after she was un-petrified. Snape. The Prince’s Tale. Harry’s walk into the forest and his talk with his parents and their best friends. Harry’s talk with Dumbledore at King’s Cross Station, which looks more like a cathedral in the first images when Harry opens his eyes, just as I imagined it when I read the book the first time.

David Yates is able to do more with unspoken scenes than most directors. His use of flash backs is better than any director I know of. They are quick, but enough to remind the viewer of past events or choices made. There is a moment with Fred and George that reminds us of their closeness and their transformation from jokesters to serious fighters, one which foreshadows what is to come, be it ever so subtle. What was missing in Fred's quick death, which I didn't see the first time I watched the movie, was the reconcilliation with Percy. That moment of his asking for and being granted forgiveness is important and should have been included. There is a look between eleven year olds, Lily and Severus, that tells us all we need to know about the change in their close friendship and Snape’s regret, even though we don’t have the conversation between the two that Lily can’t be Severus’s friend any longer because of his choice to be with the future Death Eaters. It was in the moment of their sorting that their friendship was changed forever and that point is made in that one look of regret on Severus's face.

I’ve been an Alan Rickman fan since he was first cast as Severus Snape. I’ve watched every one of his many movies that I could find – even if I didn’t like the movie, I loved his performances. So it’s no surprise to me that he gave Snape the richness of character that we all saw by the time we finished the seventh book. I wasn’t the only one in the theater crying over his death and Harry’s last excursion into the Pensieve, this time with Severus's help and permission. One of the best added lines in the movie is Snape telling Harry that he has his mother's eyes just after he said "Look at me."

Was this movie perfect? No. None of the movies are, in my opinion. But that, I’m afraid, is the problem with trying to translate a complex book to a movie. As with all of the Harry Potter books, so much of what is important to the story is seen internally through Harry’s eyes. That’s very difficult as we are reminded with the release of every movie.

I do have some complaints about this movie, for all that I liked about it. The Battle for Hogwarts gave us the visual of the scope of the war and what that would look like. But the final battle between Harry and Voldemort is done out of sight of everyone else. The rest of them are apparently still fighting in the Great Hall and unaware that the battle for their way of life is happening without their knowledge. Consequently, when Harry tells Voldemort a few of the things that he does in the book, no one else hears it. Harry doesn’t elaborate on how he knows that Snape was loyal to Dumbledore and intent on betraying Voldemort. We don’t have the satisfaction of Voldemort being given one last chance at remorse and failing to see that what Dumbledore said all along was what would save his soul.

In reading comments from a few people I’ve talked with for almost ten years, the split on whether the battle in the movie is well done or not hinges on whether they choose to acknowledge the Christian elements in the books, especially in the last book. Those who didn’t like that part of the last book are much happier that it was all left out of the movie and those of us who appreciated the fullness of Rowling’s story are disappointed that this was the part that was changed and omitted from the movie. We’ve been told that Ms. Rowling herself was one of the producers on this last film and that changes made were by her approval. She was so forthcoming about the point of the books, especially the last one, having Christian themes, I have to wonder why she is now backing away from it. What did it take to convince her to give her OK to the changes in the battle?

Yes, I like the dialogue in the book better. I missed hearing Harry once more remind Voldemort that his mother’s love protected him and that his mother’s love bound the two of them together when he mingled their blood at his rebirthing. Those who don’t understand the power of love place their trust in things that aren’t real, that aren’t lasting. It’s the part that ties the last book to the first book and completes the story beautifully. I wish that had been included in the movie.

At the end, we see that Harry explains the Elder wand to Ron and Hermione, rather than to all the people in the Great Hall. He doesn’t have that last conversation with Dumbledore’s portrait, nor does he use the Elder Wand to try to repair his own Holly and Phoenix Feather one. Someone pointed out that in the previous movie, one of the snatchers throws away Harry’s wand in the woods. But wouldn’t that have been the wand he had that Ron brought him after he returned and not his own? I’ll have to re-watch that part of Deathly Hallows, Part 1, I guess.

However, I think that Harry breaking the Elder Wand puts even more of an end to its power than putting it back in the tomb with Dumbledore. Breaking wands isn’t something that is done very often in the wizarding world – it’s only Hagrid’s wand that we are told is broken when he is expelled, Ron’s wand that is accidentally broken beyond repair when they crash the car into the Whomping Willow and Harry’s wand that is accidentally broken when he and Hermione escape from Godric’s Hollow. Breaking another's wand seems to be an act that just isn’t justified in fighting another wizard. Otherwise, when one wizard disarms another, why wouldn’t they just snap the wand in two? So to see the wand broken and discarded at the end leaves us with the reality that the Elder Wand won’t be used by another wizard ever again.

We saw Harry drop the Resurrection Stone in the forest and he makes no mention of wanting to go back to find it. Anyone who has ever dropped anything in the woods would know that it’s extremely difficult to find it again. And of course, he still has the Cloak of Invisibility, though we don’t see him use it as much as in the book. I've always thought that was a technical choice they made for the movies - too much time under the Invisibility Cloak doesn't work as wel in a movie as it does in a book.

Some of the other things that happen during the Battle are implied rather than said. Voldemort silences them all, but then Ginny is able to scream and Neville talks, so his spell isn’t working like it did – they just don’t comment on it like they do in the book. The hug is odd from Voldemort, but Draco’s reaction is really the point. He looks like he is being struck rather than hugged – like he finds the attention from Voldemort repulsive. Gone is all his bravado and Draco's only goal at that point is to get to his parents. They are a family that has suffered more than they ever imagined possible. In the book, they remain in the Great Hall, ignored by the others as they grieve, marginalized as they have done to those who aren’t pure bloods. In the movie, they walk away and I found their exit very effective. It makes the point stronger that the Malfoys, for all their faults, have in the end chosen their family over the ideology of Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

There is one more detail that I thought I saw the first time I watched the movie and definitely saw the second time. When Voldemort is in the boat house, he has his back turned to Lucius (I think it’s him and not Snape, but it doesn’t matter). Voldemort pulls up his sleeve and his arm looks scarred where the Dark Mark was. When he turns back around he hears a muffled sounding Lucius’s voice. That is the pointer to Voldemort’s diminished power over others. He knows it, but still tries to bluster his way through, thinking that by killing Snape he has once again mastered the Elder Wand.

The Epilogue was well done as far as it went. But because there was hardly any mention of Teddy Lupin he’s not there and that leaves out a completion of the alchemical story. The two children with alchemical names, Hugo and Rose, are listed in the credits but no one says their names aloud, so we miss that as well. But we do get to hear Harry tell his youngest son that he was named for two Headmasters of Hogwarts and that Severus was the bravest man he ever knew. It is the verbal affirmation that Harry knew and acknowledges all the sacrifices that Snape made for Lily's memory. And Harry does tell Albus Severus that, if it matters to him, he can choose which house he is in – even the Sorting Hat will take his choice into account.

Love and choice, two themes that come through loud and clear, in the books and in the movies. Always.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

In May we got out of cold and rainy Seattle and spent 11 days where it was really too hot and humid, but it was fantastic. Whenever I felt too hot I just had to remind myself that back home it still looked and felt like winter. Most of our trip was all about Disney. We spent four days at each of the Disney parks, one day at Downtown Disney and three glorious days on the new Disney Dream. Fantastic! However, there was no way I could go to Orlando and not spend a day at Universal's "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter".

It's a theme park that was designed with the help of the set designer for the Harry Potter movies and the author, J.K. Rowling herself. I've heard nothing but good things about it and have waited a year to go. It was worth the wait. It's awesome. I felt like I had walked into the books and the movies. The music from the movies plays everywhere in Hogsmeade (the village) and Hogwarts (the school), even in the restroom. All of a sudden I heard the mournful voice of Moaning Myrtle when I was in the restroom. It made me giggle.

We looked in all the shops, rode the rides (not the Dueling Dragon coaster). We both liked the Forbidden Journey ride so much that we did it twice. As Terry said, it's an intense ride as you "fly" through the castle, over the castle grounds, almost get attacked by the Whomping Willow, a dragon, and Dementors, after flying along with Harry in a Quidditch game. The last part lets us fly along with Harry over the lake and back to the castle. The entrance to the ride is through Hogwarts. All the things from the books and the movies are there. And it's great to see Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom with Harry, Ron and Hermione talking.

Pat at the Three Broomsticks drinking Butterbeer

For lunch we ate at The Three Broomsticks. We both decided on the Cornish Pasties (that's pasty, not pastry). I felt very British, knowing what it was and how to pronounce it. Terry had a Hogshead beer and said it was very good. I had a Butterbeer. It's hard to describe what it tastes like, but it's yummy and I wish I could have them more often. Frothy and foamy on the top, not too sweet, kind of fruity tasting, not carbonated. Oh, and the Cornish Pasties were very good as well.

We stood in a very long line to get in to Ollivander's Wand Shop. The owner of the shop selects one person to be chosen by a wand. Many of his lines are right out of the first book. The girl that was chosen seemed a bit overwhelmed, but she went along with it and when the wand "chose" her and he explained it's meaning, she just kind of glowed. We saw her later with her dad and Terry asked if she got her wand - of course, she did! After the wand show, we were all shuttled into the shop next door. I would love to have bought a lot of things, but honestly, I can get them on-line, meaning I didn't have to carry things around with me.

Later in the day, I bought a bottle of Pumpkin Juice. They drink it all the time in the books, and I always thought it sounded a bit . . . unappetizing. However, now it's my other new favorite drink. This one has apple juice, pumpkin puree and apricot puree, sugar and a few other flavorings. It's kind of the tast of a good spiced cider, like the one from Trader Joe's.

At one point, I asked Terry if he thought most of the other people in Hogsmeade and at Hogwarts were as nerdy as I am about Harry Potter or if they just like the rides. The more we walked around, I think I had found a lot of kindred spirits, all of them referencing the books/movies and taking photos of the shop windows that only appeal to those of us who have loved the books for a long time. So, if that is not you, most of what I really enjoyed about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter probably made little or no sense. But just imagine your own favorite book or movie and then being surrounded by that world. It was great!

Pat and Terry at Hogsmeade

The other part of the day, we wandered through the rest of the Islands of Adventure. That's a not so subtle way of saying there are a lot of roller coasters. I was willing to wait while Terry rode them, including the Dueling Dragons, but he seems to have lost his death wish - which is the way I look at coasters that dangle your feet, twist all around and upside down while going very fast. The rest of our time at Universal was short - I knew he'd like the Jurassic Park River Adventure. We're not sure why it worked, but after we put our things in a locker, knowing that we would likely get wet, we got in the Express line. She scanned Terry's ticket and in we went with hardly any wait at all. It was so much fun that we went right back around and did it again. At that point, we realized there was another line that people were standing in - with a 50 minute wait. We sat in the back both times and only got a little wet, just enough to cool off in the hottest part of the day. The people in the front row, however, were drenched. So glad we put our stuff in lockers - who wants to take a chance on ruining cameras? I think the only other "ride" we did was Poseidon - it was a special effects show.

We headed back to the bus and ate dinner here at the hotel. Homewood Suites offers a breakfast and a meal in the evening. We were both exhausted so the idea of going out for dinner just wasn't appealing. I tried to do some reading while Terry was downloading his photos after dinner and kept drifting off to sleep.

From then on our trip was all Disney. But it was fun to go to a theme park where we'd never been. Everything was new and different and we actually had to look at the park maps to figure out where we were and how to get where we wanted to go.

I don't know that we will ever go back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It's really the only part of Universal that appeals to me and that makes it expensive since Hogsmeade and Hogwarts are a very small part of Islands of Adventure. But I am so glad that I did get to see it for myself. It was worth it at least once.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter 2: "Spinner's End"

Note: I started writing this a long time ago on one of my many re-reads through the 6th Harry Potter book. I found this chapter fascinating. It was one of the few that was not through Harry's eye and mind. And even better, it was all about Snape and his relationship with Voldemort, Dumbledore, Bellatrix and Narcissa. I didn't really finish it, only getting so far as the two sisters showing up to talk to Snape. But it's been sitting as a draft long enough. So here are my beginning thoughts about Snape and what it tells us about who he is based on where he lives. It's something that some of us suspected, that Snape was from a poor muggle part of town and isolated as an adult just as he was as a child.

Once Bella and Cissy talk with Snape, we see that the spinner is not the street but Snape himself who tells Cissy and Bella what they need to hear so he can continue to do whatever it is he is doing. At this point we don't really know. But Cissy needs to hear that Snape will protect Draco and Bella needs to hear that he is loyal to Voldemort.

A bit of a time lag, there. But not because I haven't been reading or thinking about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. So I'll tackle two chapters in the next few day in an effort to do some catching up.

Chapter 2: "Spinner's End"

Ah, after the first chapter that had important information to fill in some gaps and bring the reader up to date, but still a little fluffy, in my opinion, we get our first whole chapter about Severus Snape. I'm not one of those who liked reading about Snape in the first two books. I've said before that I found him irritating and two-dimensional. It was in the third book and the fifth book that I started to see there was much more to his character. Nothing nice, but more.

So, in this second chapter we are still not at Hogwarts and we haven't seen Harry. To go so long in the story without Harry is quite a big signal that these events are important for the overall story.

Some of my margin notes have to do with the description of the place. I had finished reading Oliver Twist not too long before this so the similarity to Dickens jumped out at me. The other thing that I noticed was Rowling's choice of words to describe the old "disused mill" as a relic. When I think of relics I tend to think in terms of finding some artifact in an archaeological dig, or something that is a reference to the Catholic Church.

I liked the exchange between Bellatrix and Narcissa, two sisters who are as different in their personalities and purposes as they are in looks. It's not the last time we will see just how different they are, and this was a nice set-up, since we haven't seen them together.

Side by side they stood looking across the road at the rows and rows of dilapidated brick houses, their windows dull and blind in the darkness.

"He lives here?" asked Bella in a voice of contempt. "Here? In this Muggle dunghill? We must be the first of our kind ever to set foot --" [HBP, US version, p. 20]

Thinking of the windows that are dull and blind made me think of eyes being called the windows to the soul. And here we have "eyes" that give no clue to the residents of the houses, or if there are even people still living there. What a perfect place for Severus Snape to hide out for the summer, away from Hogwarts, other wizards, and unnoticed more than likely by any neighbors. It's never clear whether it's his idea to be there or Voldemort's, or whether Voldemort was coaxed into telling Snape to be there. Does Snape always go home for the summer? I wouldn't have thought so; it seems he would have been safer at Hogwarts under Dumbledore's continued protection.

Bella clearly will do anything to please Voldemort, while Narcissa - Cissy - puts her own safety aside in an effort to protect her son, Draco. That takes a kind of courage that parents understand but that is totally lost on Bellatrix, who says later that she would be proud to have her son do a task for Voldemort. She might be so derranged that she would give up her only child to a cause, but most parents would side with Cissy.

The description of Snape's street as a labyrinth is an apt metaphor for the situation that Cissy is entering: she has been told not to speak to anyone of Voldemort's plan. She has to "walk" carefully so that she doesn't lose her way. When they find Spinner's End, the "towering mill chimney seemed to hover like a giant admonitory finger". [HBP, US, p. 21] Even the buildings on the street are warning Cissy to be careful, to perhaps reconsider what she is about to do.

Harry Potter sighting!

It's amazing how a Harry Potter book can catch my eye. I've looked at the covers so often that I notice them even when they are in the background.

I was watching the news story about a police officer in Anchorage, Alaska, who is an illegal immigrant. The man they were interviewing about the story was sitting in front of a book shelf that had the Harry Potter books, in order, on the top shelf. It was the spine of Goblet of Fire that I saw first. And then I noticed that all the books were there with Deathly Hallows clearly on the end.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I started to write this last December, but with Christmas and personal issues in the first part of the year, I never finished it. Now the DVD is out, so here it is, a combination of my thoughts about the movie when I saw it in the theater and my thoughts about the content on the BluRay - and I haven't even had a chance to watch all of it yet.

I've been meaning to write something ever since I saw the movie on the first day, and then after I saw it a week later. But Thanksgiving, which was at our house this year so getting to take time out for the movie was all the extra time I had. I did manage to go again the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and then we were busy with decorating for Christmas. Now that the outside lights are up and the tree is decorated, I'm taking a break before I lose the magical feelings I had after watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.

This was the first Harry Potter movie that I didn't see at midnight since the first two. Sarah and I went on Friday at noon. The advantage was that we didn't have to stand outside in the cold and rain for hours and the theater wasn't full. When I went a week later, the theater was almost full, so maybe we just picked the slow time. No matter - there were enough there to share in the laughter, the tears and the gasps.

I knew going in that there was an added scene with Hermione's parents, but I had no idea that I would start the movie with tears. The other added scene I'd heard about was the dancing in the tent. I'll get to that later.

There were so many things I liked about this movie, so many things they did right, from the Dursleys leaving (abreviated but with the same sense of urgency and lack of caring from Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia towards Harry) to Snape at Malfoy Manor and Dobby, that it's easier to talk about the very few nitpicks I have.

I was curious why they changed the colors of the wedding. I was looking forward to seeing gold and white. However, the dark purple and red and the black phoenixes on Fleur's wedding gown and the black and white of Ginny's bride's maid dress (with her red hair) gave it all the right feel. I always get a little lost with the alchemical images, unless they are obvious. So I think I'm probably missing some of the finer points here. However, Luna and Xenophilius were in yellow and gold, so maybe that is enough. The other thing I noticed when I watched it the second time was how much gold, red and orange there was in the Weasley house when the trio talked to Scrimgeour. I hadn't particularly noticed those colors in previous movies. When Harry, Ron and Hermione are sitting on the sofa, there is a picture on the wall that looks like a sun rising just above her head. The color was striking, and that it was a sun was striking. A sign of hope? I'm not sure, but I liked it. The sun and the colors seemed to be a contrast to the tone of the interview by Scrimgeour.

We didn't get to see the wedding, just the reception dinner. It was lovely. The arrival of the warning by Kingsley was well done. The chaos was vivid and scary and all the things it should be. The scenes that followed with the trio in London were well done. Some changes, but nothing jarring.

I thought the wandering camping trip was appropriate in length and tone. But I didn't mind it in the book like some did. We needed to see (in the book and the movie) that Harry knows what needs to be done but has no clue how to do it.

Ron's leaving and return were fairly in line with the book. I'm glad they took the time to let him explain some of his following the light when he wanted to come back. And before that, rather than having long scenes of Harry and Hermione not talking or exchanging only a few words, we had the dancing in the tent. I didn't think I would like it. There was an awkwardness to it, but that's what made it work. Two girls would have sat and talked about why Hermione was so sad and upset, or why Harry was so frustrated by not being able to find the other Horcruxes. But Harry isn't a girl, and he's never been chatty about his feelings. We've always known what he was thinking in the books, because that is the point of view - we know his thoughts and we also know he doesn't usually share them very well.

Instead, Harry noticed how unhappy Hermione was and took action by leading her into a dance in an effort to comfort her. And the best part is the look on Hermione's face when she puts her head on Harry's shoulder. It's not a look of attraction to Harry, but one that clearly says she was cheered for a few minutes but is still sad and missing Ron. And nothing will change how she feels about Ron. Perfect - and without any words. It's not a romantic dance, but a dance between close friends.

I missed Kreacher's Tale ending in his redemption and devotion to the trio. But I did like the reintroduction of Dobby, since he was missing from the last movies. It needed to be done that way, and for me, it worked. It was enough. The only thing that was missing there was the extent of terror that Kreacher went through in finding the locket Horcrux. In the book, that is one way we see just how cruel and inhuman Voldemort is.

Now that I have the movie, I have watched all the deleted scenes and I do wish they had included the one with Petunia and Dudley saying good-bye. They weren't that long and they were perfect. I don't think the chasing rabbits was necessary, even though it also shows the increasing tension between Harry and Ron.

I have always loved watching the movie with the audio commentary. But this movie is even better. I just haven't had the chance to watch all of it yet. As the movie plays, instead of talking (sometimes babbling to fill time) over the movie, they actually stop and insert commentary by Jason Isaacs, and other actors, the director and others, about the scene. They talk about how it relates to the earlier movies, with reminders of who the characters are, what the situation was, and so forth. They even have Tom Felton (Draco) reading excerpts from the books. I love it. It's the best kind of commentary and it makes me glad I spent the extra money for the BluRay (and glad that we have one).

So that's where I am at the moment. I hope to watch the rest in the next few days, but I quickly realized that it's going to take a while since all these things are added in.

And after seeing a sneak peek at the opening scene for Deathly Hallows, Part II, I can't wait to see the whole movie. They do seem to be doing the thing properly this time. What a great way to end this movie series, that has at times been spot on and at other times has missed. As much as I look forward to the next and last movie, i will miss having a new Harry Potter movie every other year. It's like saying good-bye to a dear friend, knowing that they aren't coming back.