Harry Potter at its Grimmest Mood

harry potter and the deathly hallowsFor a seemingly structured gap of two years of waiting between each book's release since its fifth instalment, here comes the ultimate sequel to J.K. Rowling's famed Potter sentology, which by the title itself, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is apparently the darkest among the seven, judging from the numerous deaths it presents in the running.

Only after a month when it was released last July 21, 2007 had I been able to pore on this 36-chapter, 608- (Bloomsbury) or 759-page (Scholastic) compelling work of literature, and I had been too keen to engross me in it for as short as 14 hours (excluding breaks and sleeps) or a day and a half from the time I commenced reading it, thereby enlisting my own self to the millions of fans (the reason it had an initial print run of 12 million copies) who dedicatedly perused it.

And how was it? Primarily, there is triumph, alongside casualties, romance, mysteries, revelation and, for the most expected part, thrilling adventure. The Dark Lord is meaner than ever, less merciful and helplessly more evil. He and his nasty minions, with Snape and Lestrange as his favorites, embark on thwarting the Order of the Phoenix's fetching and transporting of Harry from Privet Drive to The Burrow, or if any luckier, catch and kill Harry at once. But they fail, succeeding only with having killed two side characters in the process.

Harry, with his fidelous friends Ron and Hermione, has to kick off on the task left to him by Dumbledore, whose death and personality is now somehow the irrespectful subject of an intruder-by-nature, tactless, known journalist's book of biography she entitles, "The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore", which creates a stir and doubt about him in the wizarding community and, at some point, in Harry himself, although reluctantly.

Scrimgeour, still the Minister for Magic, hands down some of Dumbledore's possession, whose esoterical uses grip the recipients by confusion, by virtue of Last Will and Testament, to Ron, who receives the Deluminator (Put-Outer) Dumbledore used in the streetlamps of Privet Drive sixteen years ago; to Hermione, a copy of "The Tales of Beetle the Bard", a collection of wizarding children's fairy tales; and to Harry the very Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match, and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, which Scrimgeour does not give out just yet, with the conviction that it belongs to the Ministry as it is an important historical artefact.

Bill and Fleur's wedding takes place, but only next to Lupin and Tonk's, whose marriage is rather clandestine and immediate. Harry uses a Polyjuice Potion to disguise himself in the wedding as Ron's supposed cousin, and just as everyone revels in Bill and Fleur's union of hearts comes mayhem, by the intrusion of the Death Eaters.

But Harry is safe, thanks to quick-witted Hermione! With Ron, they fleetingly stay at a Muggle pub, only to know that moments later they are being followed by a number of Death Eaters. Although quite uncertain, they dwell in the old Order's headquarters, the security of which being excellently tightened, most especially against Snape, with comers to the place confronted first with a question of verification and taunted second with a horror-figure of Dumbledore before they can fully penetrate into the house, where the ungrateful, offensive house-elf, Kreacher, learns to respect and obey lightheartedly the three by their valued treatment of and, likewise, respect to him. There Harry finds out who RAB is, the arcane initials on the note left in the locket that cost Dumbledore's life, and this locket, most unluckily, had fallen to the hands, or neck rather, of the toad-like psychopath Dolores Umbridge. At this knowledge, Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry, with the aid of prior careful investigations as to who customarily comes when and with Polyjuice Potions for most. Once there, Harry sees Moody's magical eye embedded in Umbridge's office door to spy on her employees, and he and Hermione witness the cruel handling of witches and wizards, whose bloodlines are suspected vague and questionable, by Umbridge and Yaxley (another Death Eater) carrying on the newly instituted Muggle-Born Registration Commission deeds. At the chance Harry gets by force the locket from Umbridge's neck, and when the Ministry key officials get a tip about the commotion in that particular hall, the situation worsens and the trio are nearly caught, leaving them not to stay again in Grimmauld Place but to go hiding in forests with charms and enchantments to protect themselves. Ron gets angry and impatient, and, sadly, leaves the two.

Hermione and Harry visit Godric's Hollow in an attempt to acquire helpful clues and answers as to where the other Horcruxes might be hidden and also to just linger for a moment in the place where a happier life could have been for Harry had his parents were not killed. In here, Harry's wand breaks when they are attacked by Nagini in one of the houses there, and they go back into hiding all the more. In their new refuge, Harry is tantalizingly visited by a mysterious Patronus in a form of a doe, and lured him to retrieve Godric's Sword, which Ron uses the moment he is back to destroy the locket Horcrux.

Their curiosity soon revolves around the Deathly Hallows, and what better way to gain more information about the matter than consulting experts on it, one of them is Luna's father, who becomes miserable by this time as afflicted by sorrow and has apparently made a 180-degree turn from his usual known occupation because of a certain circumstance. Positively, knowledge about the Deathly Hallows is obtained, thanks to him!

But alas! Harry, Ron and Hermione are captured by two Death Eaters wandering around the forest and they are brought to Malfoys' manor, where Harry and Ron join Luna, Griphook, Ollivander and Dean Thomas in the cellar while Hermione succumbs to Bellatrix's Cruciatus Curse. Dobby arrives with help and Wormtail faces his end. To retrieve Hermione from Lestrange, Dobby and Harry valiantly fight Narcissa, Bellatrix and Draco and has gotten the three's wands in the process.

Yet there is another touching death and a corresponding paying of respect. The trio learn about wandlore, how a wand changes its allegiance once it is won from its true owner, such fact answering so much about the Elder Wand, one of the three Deathly Hallows, which are collectively represented by an esoteric symbol of an upright triangle (the Invisibility Cloak) with a circle inside it (the Resurrection Stone) and a vertical line (the Elder Wand) that divides half of the triangle and circle.

In an attempt to obtain another Horcrux, our epic heroes enter Hogwarts harry potter and the deathly hallowsand real adventure begins. Every underage student is told to evacuate, and the of-age given permission by McGonagall to take part in the imminent battle between them and the arriving Death Eaters. While battle commences at Hogwarts, with giants, centaurs and Acromantulas participating, Harry sees before his eyes how Nagini, by his master's bidding, ruthlessly killed Snape in the Shrieking Shack. When Voldemort and Nagini leaves Snape wring to death, and few seconds before he completely drifts into eternal flight, Snape gives Harry his swirls of memories, which Harry immediately bottles up and pours into the Pensieve moments later and learns about Snape's truest self, his concealed identity --- a complete revelation, a biting, touching verity.

Voldemort does not partake in the ongoing battle at the castle, and instead needs Harry to personally come to him, or more innocent, brave lives will be wasted if the battlers continue to resist him. And so Harry does the request, and the time the Dark Lord sets eye on him in the Forbidden Forest, he is cast with the Killing Curse.

Similar that of a dying person meeting God, Harry gets to have an intimate conversation with Dumbledore in a completely deserted (except for them), heaven-like King's Cross Station, and Harry is told that he is not dead and has to come back to life to finish the battle.

Convinced of the fact that Harry had already faced death, Voldemort announces marvelously loudly over Hogwarts and Hogsmeade that he has been victorious. He goes, together with his servants, to the Hogwarts to present the evidence of Harry's downfall, and everyone in the castle went teary-eyed. But what all of them do not know, excluding Narcissa, is that Harry is only playing dead and is just waiting for the rightest time to emerge. With the Cloak, he carefully gets out from the gargantuan arms of Hagrid who carried him up to the castle by Voldemort's command and surprises everybody by his sudden disappearance. And by this time, Neville has courageously slaughtered Nagini.

The battle then recommences: Hogwarts becomes a pool of confused spells soaring overhead hither and tither. Here casualties increase by number and when all the Death Eaters lay defeated, either dead or simply pinned down, including the eternal flight of Bellatix Lestrange, Voldemort faces Harry and casts Avade Kedavra while Harry the Disarming Charm. Their spells meet ferociously an unfortunately for Voldemort his spell rebounds and killed him --- something about the magic of love which he has never comprehended in all his living (or surviving) years.

So therein lies how the story runs. This is an engaging epic tale of love and hate, faith, loyalty and courage, and, best of all, magic. This a compelling read, a breathtaking travel and a very spectacular finale, leaving the readers in full relief, in overwhelming triumph and, perhaps, a bit of melancholy. Yet there is something to giggle and celebrate for in the end, nineteen years later, much like the wedding of Bill and Fleur, and also maybe that of Remus and Lupin. Sigh.

All in all, this is the best Harry Potter so far. We could only wish he does not say goodbye but even good things come to an end. Long live Harry Potter, and J.K. Rowling too!

harry potter and the deathly hallows

"Don't talk too much; the more you talk the more you endanger yourself." -- Caesar G. Balatero

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