Potter and the Cursed Story?

2016-08-12 12.06.47 - editWell, this post is assuming you’ve read the new Potter book or are never planning to read it. If you’re looking to avoid spoilers, this is the post to avoid.

So. Let’s start with the title, officially christened, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” This story takes place at the epilogue of the seventh book, 19 years after they defeat Voldy (aka Voldemort for all you punks).

Right after acquiring our copy at the release party

Right after acquiring our copy at the release party

The style of the book is a script for a play, therefore, there is hardly any narration. Obviously in an actual play the visual direction of each scene would (I would hope) fill in for the lack of narration in this book; however, that is not an option for a script. Knowing what is happening in the character’s minds is crucial for me and is just not an option in a script form, so I critique releasing this as a book for that purpose. So I realise my expectation is beyond the limitations of the medium of the story, but it lead to a very disconnected experience, where I did not feel any real attachment to the ideas presented or the characters, especially the main character, Albus Severus Potter.

MOVING ON.

Potter has some kids. Hermione and Ron have kids but they hardly play any role in the story. The trio does make a comeback but the best part of it by far is that Hermione is Minster for Magic. Love. It.

So, the Potter’s famously-named offspring, Albus Severus, is on his first trip to Hogwarts and becomes fast friends with the progeny of Draco Malfoy who is aptly named ‘Scorpius,’ in line with his heritage. Their friendship is mildly forbidden, as Harry is apparently not over Draco and his role in his school years, despite what we are lead to believe in the seventh book. Plus Albus breaks the Potter and Weasley family traditions and is in Slytherin House. And again, despite what Harry says in the seventh book (that Slytherin would be gaining a great wizard), he certainly doesn’t seem to believe that they deserve that honour.

Once again we find that Harry Potter has some unresolved conflict within him. At least there is nothing new in that respect. The difference is that his son gets part of his anguish now.

Midnight reading after the release.

Midnight reading after the release.

 

Speaking of which, Albus hates his father’s reputation and dislikes that he has been named after Harry Potter‘s epic adventure. He feels he is in his shadow and can’t live up to anything or make a name for himself in anything. He finds solace in his friendship with Scorpius, which is unconventional and not expected.

Things go awry when Albus overhears his father lying to late-Cedric’s elderly father. Cedric’s father wants Harry to go back in time to bring back his son to life, and believes he can do so with a recently-found Time Turner. However, knowledge abou this Time Turner is meant to be hush-hush so Harry denies they have one. Albus, in all his righteousness, believes he can aid the old and ailing Mr. Diggory and bring his son Cedric back through using the time turner. Scorpio happens to have nearly the exact same nerdy personality as Hermione, minus the arrogance, and so he hatches a plan to steal the Time Turner with Albus, and Mr. Diggory has charged his niece to accompany them on the journey.

Needless to say, Pandora’s Box is opened as they try and retry to save Cedric from dying, only to find out in each scenario how crucial it was to their future that he died. In their last foray back in time, they have unearthed (or rather Scorpius has, as Albus was completely oblivious to there being anything wrong with the situation) that Mr. Diggory’s niece is a farce played by a mysterious new and sinister character. It turns out, you see, that Voldemort had a daughter. And her name is Delphi. I admit, that was definitely a surprise.

It is here, my friends, is where my lingering hope for the story faded. Voldemort have a child? He that made horcruxes so that he would live forever?  Who was so confident in them that he had no other back up plan?

Not only that, but Bellatrix is Delphi’s (his daughter) mother. Now, I have no problems seeing Bellatrix desiring such an outcome, but as a friend pointed out to me, she would have been shouting it from the rooftops that she was bearing his child. She is, after all, deranged in many many many ways. I doubt anyone could have kept her from sharing that little bit of information that would have made her extremely proud and more narcissistic. She would have been lording it over everyone. Oh! and she was kept a complete secret up until this moment.

However, even more deeper than that, I can’t see Voldemort desiring a child – essentially the child would be someone who would compete with him for power and that, we know, he would never allow. I have a very very hard time buying all this, given the depth of knowledge of these characters Ms. Rowling shared with us over seven books. Am I wrong here?

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Not. Buying. It.

 

 

It turns out that Delphi wants to bring about a world in which Harry, the trio, and Neville do not defeat Voldemort. She wants Voldemort to reign, and if Cedric lives then the current reality will completely dissipate.

The trio and Draco meanwhile figure some things out and eventually save the day again. Draco, in this script, is a completely admirable and mature character. Harry is a disappointing character – he hardly seems to have matured much beyond his seventh “year at Hogwarts” (which he did not actually do, come to think of it).

So my last two critiques are regarding Voldemort having a child and Harry’s immaturity. Ron and Hermione don’t play an extremely huge role in the development of the story (Ron is really just a token character), so it’s hard to know how well they seemed to relate to their character at the end of the seventh book.

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More like Harry Potter and the Cursed Story.

And that’s it – the kids go on this adventure that is all about them ‘making things right’ cause no one else is paying attention (hello, HP series, have we not covered this?), go back in time thrice to ‘fix’ every mistake, make it back, and everything is back to normal, nothing really changed except that Albus and Scorpius know that messing with time shouldn’t happen again.

It hardly felt worth it. And as it’s a screen play, there was hardly any character development, so I have no attachment to any of them. I find it a disappointing read and don’t even want to reread it right now. Unless someone wants to pick it apart further with me (cause picking the Potter series apart was a specialty for me).

Did you read it? What did you think of it?

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Happiness is… (vol 28)

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Photo courtesy of James Gorman, another devoted Potterhead in addition to Jacqui and I.

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Post-Potter book read. Approximately 3:45am.

Going to a Harry Potter release party after 9 years since the last one. Have you no doubt: geek am I. But only in regards to dearest Harry, and some LOTR, but that’s another story. Will be posting thoughts on the book in a little while; I figure I should let you few people have a chance at reading it before throwing spoilers at the internet.

The party was fun, they had several game-type things going (Quidditch, card-reading, Hat-Sorting, Crafting (aka Transfiguring). It was quite enjoyable and I even bought myself a Ravenclaw infinity scarf and toque out of it. Gullible I am. Or devoted. Both apply, I think.

Have you the Harry book? Are you finished it?

In other news, my garden is exploding with happy unicorns and rainbows. I did not expect the yields I’m getting and it’s quite delightful.

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Look at the size of this beet! It’s monstrous! All the golden beets were huge!

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Clockwise: sage, beans and a garlic head; basil and raspberries, swiss chard.

We are thoroughly enjoying all the produce and I’m looking forward to enjoying all the beans in the winter when the garden produce has died away.

We are eating basil regularly and it’s still hard to keep up with it. I need to make some pesto. But mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwiches are simply amazing and currently regularly on the menu. The joys of a garden!

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Happiness is… (vol 27)

2016-07-29 20.05.14 - editA summer thunderstorm with loud thunder clapping, all whilst the sun shines and sets beautifully framed by the rain.

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7 Quick Takes Friday #7QT

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Today we celebrate Mary Magdalene, an amazing woman transformed by an encounter with Jesus. As everyone knows, she had been a prostitute and Jesus kindly brought her towards the light of her actions.

*ahem*

That's what many Christians believe of our dearest Mary Magdalene but YOU ARE WRONG Click To Tweet That’s what many Christians believe of our dearest Mary Magdalene but YOU ARE WRONG. Never has it been recorded in our Scripture that she was a prostitute and it is erroneous to believe this fallacy. Not like, mortal-sin erroneous, but an ignorant-venial sin type error. Please read some articles and history to help understand her prominent role in evangelization. She has received the title ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ for a very very good reason. And, well, Jesus showed up first to her, not the others. So there’s that too. And she was from a wealthy family and likely financially supported Jesus’ ministry. So, she was fairly awesome. Spiffy, even. I bet she’s cringing at those attributes I’m calling her, but she knows I mean well.

2.

Swim lessons started this week and I don’t know how I always forget that the pool is about 50x hotter than outside with 100x the humidity. The essentials: kids love water, mama hates the hot.

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Summer kisses

3.

We have been catching Pokemon with that app that has us Going places. Spencer loves it and is loving going for walks now. I used to fight with him over a presumed idea of walking anywhere, but this game totally has got him asking me every day if we’re going for another walk today or trying to negotiate how the day works out so that we can go play Pokemon.

Spence: Can we go for another walk this afternoon?

Me: probably not; you all have quiet time and I need to get some things done at home

Spence: What if we have short quiet times¬† and you can do all the cleaning while we’re in our quiet time?

Me: Who made you boss? This is my kingdom, child.

Or at least, that’s how things tend to go. Sometimes we get out again, sometimes we don’t. Today we go play soccer at the free soccer program in the city instead of playing the game. I think it’ll work out fine.

4.

Our cheap deck umbrella is broken from a wind storm and now I’m reluctant to go outside and fill the kiddie pool without that much-needed shade. Perhaps we should bite the bullet and get another one, but what if it happens again? Does anyone have any longer-term solutions to deck coverage that won’t blow away in the strong wind? Cause it’s always windy to some degree on the prairies.

5.

In line with that thought, I’m debating whether growing hops and trellising it over the deck would work. In the new Food & Drink magazine (now available digital! squee!) I’m told we can harvest the shoots from it and eat them similar to asparagus. And potentially in a couple years we could also harvest hops for our beer…anyone have good thoughts on trellising a deck cover?

6.

Andy starts holidays today at 4:30. I’ll just dance a dancey-dance right now.

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Party at the splash park. With semi-closed eyes. Cause I’m so good with a camera like that.

7.

We bought the kids a bunk bed from IKEA. With the optional trundle bed. We had been planning on making a set of triple bunk beds, but after Andy made his scale-drawings of the beds and the room size and it’s awkwardness, it turns out it’s easiest to buy a standard bunk bed and use a trundle for the third bed.

So all of this means that Andy gets his 2 weeks of vacation back to doing nothing rather than just spending it making beds. Win all around. Happy summer-ing!

Linking up with Kelly

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Weather and Soup

2016.07.11There’s not much to say about getting lots of rain, except that I hope we don’t flood like Estevan did yesterday. At least this week our parish has Vacation Bible School (super yay for Cat.Chat!) so we won’t be cooped up the whole time here and the kids are getting their daily recommended socializing. I have little desire to be outside in rainy, wet weather and less still with three children.

This past weekend we had a bit of a meal making frenzie. It was short (about 3 hours) as it was between having to work on my business stuff Saturday morning and then Saturday Mass at 5pm, but I made chicken stock (hurrah!) and a Veggie-Lentil soup while Andy did something…oh! he made meatballs.

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Le Soup. The best my phone camera could do in a pinch without showing off how insanely disgusting our stove top was by this point.

Sunday I made an absolutely delectable Tortellini Soup and it is my highest recommendation I can give in that department – I seriously don’t believe I’ve made anything more tasty. You can find detailed photographs on the Closet Cooking website. It has tomatoes, parm, spinach, did I mention parm?, tortellini, basil, cream. Soooo good. I ate waaay too much of it yesterday. My girls got picky with the spinach, which set them off and then refuse the rest, but I’m not gonna care cause it leaves much more for me. I’m just gonna claim their share now. Recipe notes:

  • If you collect Parmesan rinds (like we *ahem* might), this is the soup to use them in. I cut the parm in half and used two rinds in the soup (soak them in the soup while cooking, remove before serving)
  • I used the basil pesto option for adding basil and oh.my.
  • Now that I’ve tried the soup basically ‘as is’ I’m definitely going to try just using milk instead of cream. While it’s tantalizingly creamy, I think the milk would be enough to give it that edge.

If you’re looking for a treat of a soup, definitely give this one a go. You’ll love it.

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The Week Long Get-Away in Pictures

2016-06-20 12.47.41 - edit We had a fabulous trip to Mexico (a resort an hour south of Cancun) all thanks to my mom who sponsored us and enjoyed it with us. The most startling news is that Spencer is now willingly putting his face in the water and holding his breath (say what?!), which he hated and freaked out about before. So thank you crystal-clear waters and interesting fish! I’m looking forward to his swim lessons in a week to see how he uses his newfound skills.

2016-06-20 12.50.03 - edit 2016-06-21 07.03.03 - edit 2016-06-21 15.21.43 - editWe sure enjoyed spending so much time at the beach, every morning. 2016-06-22 17.01.55 - edit 2016-06-22 17.07.36 - edit 2016-06-22 17.04.12 - editThe free drinks were a huge plus when we hung out there. I only indulged in a morning drink twice, most of the time it was the afternoon beach laze. Such nice beaches – much much nicer than the place we stayed at in Puerto Vallarta when Spencer was 11 months old. And the water! So blue! So clear!

2016-06-22 16.53.47 - editLoved watching the thundershowers roll by.

While we were taking a tour of Tulum (Mayan ruins) we got hit with not one, but two storms! They both dowsed us very well. The second one was actually the start of a mild tropical storm that continued to get bigger (but amounted to nothing huge by the time it completed it’s course). We watched it from the cliff in the ruins coming at us over the water. It was almost surreal, and beautiful. And so very, very warm. The rain here in Saskatoon is cold and unfriendly, and though Spencer would disagree with me, the rain in Mexico was warm and enjoyable.

IMG_4533 - editHeading into the area of the city

IMG_4536 - editFirst look at the ocean from Tulum. Two storms – one on the left and one on the right. IMG_4544 - editIMG_4541 - editAfter the first soaking, with the Mayan temple in the background. IMG_4549 - editHe’s a fake-smile. He was not pleased with the rain. In fact, he told Andy, “I’m not happy. I used to be happy, but I’m not happy anymore” in regards to how he felt about being in the rain storm. You can see that second tropical storm coming at us in the background. The white waves in the background are a part of a huge reef that protected the shore. The guide was telling us it’s the second-largest reef in the world, but it just seems unlikely since I could see the whole edge of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I can’t seem to find any validating info about that. IMG_4550 - editHello second storm! IMG_4554 - editBut oh! That blue! Worth the storm. Wish we had time to have gone swimming here.

2016-06-23 20.20.14 - editBack at the hotel, they had 6 or 7 restaurants for us to choose from each evening. Andy and I went to a Tapas one for a date night. Andy got the Chicken with Teriyaki foam. He thought they were kidding about the foam. 2016-06-23 18.16.26 - editHappiness wasn’t always a given, though.

2016-06-24 06.3-0.48 - edit2016-06-24 06.50.25 - editEarly one morning Spencer and I headed out to explore while it was quiet and everyone else was sleeping. We observed the fish and then headed across the beach through the other resort to watch the waves crashing in.

2016-06-24 11.19.56 - edit 2016-06-25 12.05.05 - edit 2016-06-25 12.21.36 - editIt’s always a curious occasion when someone says, ‘Here, hold my beer.”

IMG_4511 - edit IMG_4512 - edit2016-06-24 09.40.54 - editThe girls just loved, loved, loved riding the small waves into the beach. I taught Spencer how to predict the waves coming so as to be able to “ride” them (like surfing). He was very good by the end at figuring out when to ride a wave! I was very proud of him!2016-06-24 10.30.00 - editEnjoying all the cervesa he could possibly while we were there.

2016-06-24 19.46.26 - editSomeone got a-hold of Nana’s sunglasses. 2016-06-25 09.49.59 - editAndy’s expression perfectly describes his experience of the heat. If you know Andy, you know he hates the heat. 2016-06-25 19.36.29 - editLast night at the resort this girl and I took an extra long walk back to the room. 2016-06-26 07.45.09 - editThe morning we left I got up extra early and enjoyed some peace and quiet to pray and enjoy coffee. I should have done this every morning I was there, it was so amazing.

2016-06-26 17.18.57 - editSo long, Mexico (picture is part of Cancun). Until we meet again.

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7 Quick Takes Friday

Seven-Quick-Takes-510x510Linking up with Kelly.

1.

2016-06-10 15.10.28 - edit smNap transition. So, all you parents of young’uns have dealt with this…Cassia has a bad combo of being a night-owl and also napping in the afternoon (1.5 hours, roughly). She doesn’t need the nap, as she has a hard time going to bed at bedtime without it – with the nap, she often doesn’t fall asleep until about 10 (so frustrating!). Have you any good tips for transitioning? Currently she has what we call ‘quiet time’ for 1.5 hours in the afternoon, which was initially meant to be either napping or playing by themselves. I would prefer her to play but I always find her curled up at the end. And she’s always a mess when she wakes up. A very unhappy whiny girl. Tips anyone?

2.

We will be heading on vacation soon to happy Mexico! I’m looking forward to the endless drinks, Andy is dreading the heat. So, it’ll be a happy time, right? I’m desperately hoping that I’ll have a batch of homemade sunscreen to bring along for testing purposes. I just can’t get the water-based lotion to set properly with the preservative (*ugh!*) so I’m heading back down my initial path: homogeneous oil-based variety, similar to consistency of the bum cream I make. No separation issues with this, I’ll be sure!

3.

I’m actively procrastinating the writing of the homeschool summary report. It’s due in 5 days. If anyone’s interested in doing it for me, I’m all ears.

4.

Spencer and I are reading The Hobbit as a part of our Kindergarten curriculum and I’m so excited. I think he’s nearly as excited as I am, which just gives me such encouragement. I love that book, and so far he tells me, “I don’t like it. I love it!”

5.

My baby girl turned two last month. And her vocabulary has vastly expanded within the last few weeks. Just today she came up to me after finding a long-lost soother and said, ‘It’s broken’ indicating the rip in it. I had no idea she knew that word. If you haven’t seen her cute interpretation of ‘stinky bum, I encourage you to watch the 10 seconds of it here.

6.

I’ve started writing for The Catholic Hipster blog in addition to Catholic Mom. It feels a little more laid-back and, well, hip. There are some great articles up there so if you have a coffee head over there and check it out. You can even read my first article there.

7.

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene! July 22! About darned tootin’ time. That is all.

St Mary Magdalene mosaic by Lawrence OP (2010) via Flickr.

St Mary Magdalene mosaic by Lawrence OP (2010) via Flickr.

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