Snape

There was a minor delay

My copy of HP7 was delivered to a neighbor, and there was about a five hour delay before the neighbor noticed and called us. I have now read it.

I was satisfied. Rowling surprised me and did what I hoped she would (but feared she wouldn't): Snape's story is the pattern we see in the very first book.

Many of fandom's obvious guesses were correct, which means that Rowling set things up well. Harry was a Horcrux, yes duh. RAB's identity, yes duh. Other things were less predictable. But I repeat: I am satisfied. Rowling done good. And she pulled in quite a bit from earlier books.

If book 6 was the Voldemort origin story, this one was the Dumbledore origin story. He hangs over all of it. And Harry's uneasy relationship with him. We can never set things quite right with the dead, can we?

Yay Neville! Yay for you!

Ron and Hermione were both themselves, and had their moments to shine. Hermione in particular. Go Hermione! I'm glad you two end up happy.

Harry and Ginny. Hrm. I'm not so sold on that. But I'm okay with it.

Lupin/Tonks fell flat. Seriously flat. Couldn't Rowling have given us one non-het baby-pumping relationship? Just one? I wish he could have lived. But the fight had to cost Harry something he valued, and Rowling wasn't going to kill one of the three.

I wish the Slytherin thing wasn't so black and white. I wish some Slytherins had fought on the correct side. I wish some Gryffindors had been evil. Though Snape's story was moving, and he was the bravest of them all. The poor sod.
Heh. I thought she set that one up pretty well, and from the very first-- the act of giving Harry his scar connected him to Riddle somehow. How exactly was something we had to wait to understand.
Well, I guess while it occurred to me that Harry could be an accidental Horcrux, I never imagined she'd really DO that.
Couldn't Rowling have given us one non-het baby-pumping relationship? Just one?

WORD. Word times ten thousand.

I was actually glad Remus died, because it allows me to cling to my delusion belief that he always loved Sirius and only married Tonks out of a rather fucked-up blend of pity and loneliness. That's an interpretation I can make work with the text of DH--rather better than any claim that Remus was in love with her, in fact. If they'd both lived, I'm sure we'd have seen them holding hands on fucking Platform 9 3/4 as well in the epilogue, so I'm glad that didn't happen.

But leaving aside my Remus/Sirius shippiness, it pained me to see Tonks so reduced. From a cool character to a machine for giving Remus a son, in just two books.
Lord, yes, poor Tonks. It's not that I mind women having kids (totally the opposite if they want 'em), it's just that women in the Rowling verse seem reduced afterward. Molly Weasley as an object lesson of a fate to avoid. At least she fought and died in the final battle. That, while sad, is at least taking charge of her fate and dying as she lived. As an Auror.
Yes to all that.

And I'm still kind of stuck at "WTF, does the wizarding world have no birth control?" Because if there is birth control, then that means Tonk chose to get pregnant despite being in the middle of a war where her Auror skills were desperately needed. And, you know, despite the fact that her partner didn't want kids.

I don't want to hate Tonks, but that's enough to make me hate her.

(Accidental pregnancy is of course possible, but there's nothing in the text to support that interpretation. Instead, JKR seems to be very "pregnancy, yay!" and to assume that every couple immediately wants to have a child or ten.)

Also, why the hell isn't Hermione a professor at Hogwarts? The thought of Hermione spending those nineteen years as Molly Weasley a housewife and mother just makes me want to cry.
Hermione is not at Hogwarts because she is a don at the wizarding college at Oxford, where she is a world-renowned alchemist. Ron stays at home with the kids knitting sweaters and charming saucepans. And you're not telling me otherwise.
So, I guess you must like HP? I read the first book and part of the second and just couldn't get into them. Maybe sometime in the future. I really don't get all the hype. There isn't anything there that hasn't been done before. I think that the people who go nuts over HP haven't read a lot of fantasy.
I like them. I've read a fair bunch of fantasy, and I think these books are huge fun. Part of the fun is the event, the sense of sharing the experience as it happens with millions of other fans.

Despite the death and the misery and the horror of the darker parts, there's something sweet and comforting at their core. I nitpick, and I grumble about some things I wish for but don't get, but fundamentally I love these books. They're good. Not the best fantasy ever, no, but they're satisfying and moving and exciting. They're everything I want a reading experience to be.
Fair enough. I've just never liked jumping on the popularity bandwagon. It's probably why I'm a B/G shipper instead of Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike. I don't do easy. Grins. Ask my family and they'll tell you I'm contrary.
Hurrah! although the five-hour delay would have killed me. :-)

But I did think there were good Slytherins (as Phineas Nigellus Black says in that last scene with the portraits, the House of Slytherin did its part) -- although understandably not the young Hogwarts students who'd not been taught any better, but Snape and Slughorn -- and I liked the Epilogue's explicit statement that Harry would be fine if little Albus became a Slytherin.
Ah, you are correct! Slughorn fought in his emerald pajamas, in fact.

And I teared up again when I read the name "Albus Severus". Bravo to Harry for remembering his childhood tormentor with respect and honor.

I was on the verge of running out to a bookstore to buy a copy anyway when we got the phone call. It was killing me to wait!
Yeah Lupin/Tonks felt a little 'pasted on yay' to me too. Though I did like Harry's berating of Lupin at Grimhould Place.

I felt so proud of Neville!

But Fred!! *wails* And Mrs. Weasley smacking a bitch! Yay!

Overall a satisfying end to the sereies.
Molly Weasley comes through in that battle. Boom!

Neville might now be my favorite minor character. Love his arc so much.
Just out of curiosity . . .
...because I am a Harry/Hermione 'shipper and proud of it, what is it about Ron/Hermione that attracts you? The reason I ask is that I've reread the other 6 books to refresh my memory before DH, and I've come to the conclusion (and this is, actually, what pushed me over the edge on H/Hr) that if I had a friend treat me the way Ron treats Hermione (not that she's a saint, mind), I would've killed him and told God he died. Dating him would have been so far out of the question, NASA's biggest telescope couldn't see it.

Okay. Off my soapbox.

But as both a person and an author I respect, I would love to find out why that pairing works for you? Indulge me? Please?
Re: Just out of curiosity . . .
Okay, gotta answer carefully here. There's nothing particularly that attracts me about Ron/Hermione, other than that it's canon.

I don't write HP fic, and read it only now and then, so I'm not particularly invested in pairings there. Even where I am invested in pairings, I'm fairly relaxed. E.g., Giles/Buffy is my OTP, but I'm perfectly happy to read any Giles pairing that's handled well. I want to see Giles in action. I do tend to give privileges to canonical pairings. Giles/Jenny is reality, and I will honor his feelings for her. Giles/Ethan is so close to canon as may as well be (if you count expressed authorial intention), so I honor that as well.

I want Harry, Ron, and Hermione to live happily ever after. I'm okay with riding along with Rowling's version of how that happens. She's the boss.

If I were to ship anybody in HP, it'd be... let's see. Remus/Sirius, for sure. HG/SS is probably what I've read more of than any other pairing. But I'd be fine reading SS/LE. I could read Harry/Luna, Neville/Luna, and Harry/Hermione with happiness. I probably wouldn't seek out any Ron/Hermione fic. Canon gives it to me; don't need more.

Because. Well. If Hermione came to me in real life, and asked me for advice about this guy Ron, I would caution her against him. He doesn't value what she values. He's not nearly as smart as she is. He comes from a background that teaches him that women marry, stay home, and have babies. Lots of babies. Hermione, while she might well want kids some day, has made it clear that she's interested in the world of learning, of magic, of academics. The thought of her trapped at home like Molly Weasley is pure horror to me.

But in real life, I wouldn't have to warn Hermione. In real life, she'd go off to college & meet a bunch of smart, interesting people who share her values and her focus. She'd come home at Christmas time and break up with Ron. He'd sulk but be secretly relieved, because it meant he could date the cute new barmaid at the Ottery Arms without guilt.
Re: Just out of curiosity . . .
Pardon me while I do the dance of joy. You aren't a R/Hr 'shipper, I can sleep tonight. Thanks for indulging my curiosity!
First of all, in reference to all the baby-making, we should remember that the target audience for these books is children. So, there's a definite contrast shown between life bad, people die and life better, people marry and have babies. It is simplistic, a little stupid, but it's reassuring for kids, even though, personally, I hated the epilogue. I think, if JKR intends DH to be the last HP book, it was her way of slamming the back cover shut.

The feeling of family was threaded through the entire book. Even if Molly ended up being a baby machine, there's no denying that The Burrow was a happy place to live with all those kids. And, though a little heavy handed, Harry's dressing down of Lupin was all about parental responsibility. OTOH, it was fascinating to see that Narcissa would finally defy Voldemort just for a word from Harry that Draco was alive.

And there's the main message. Evil chews people up and spits them out before breakfast while good takes a personal stand and refuses to let more innocent people die. One just has to remember that this is a morality tale for kids, though adults can peek in, too.

Anyway, just my observation.
And, now, back to brekkie.
H.
Not sure I agree with that. See, in a world where unreservedly brilliant children's books like Philip Pullman's His Dark Material series can retell Paradise Lost and make the statements it does about religion, you've got an existence proof that children's lit doesn't have to be dumbed down or softened.