I want to take this opportunity to say how vastly I prefer the Stephen Fry audiobooks to the Jim Dale ones. Stephen does a perfectly marvelous job on all the voices. Jim Dale often makes me want to beat my head against the wall.1) The Weasleys and the flying car.
Ron is 12 and the twins are 14. Who taught them to drive a Muggle car anyway? Not that they need to know the rules of the road, but still.... Bad, bad Mr Weasley!2) Mr Weasley knew Harry got an official warning.
Does everyone at the Ministry know everything that goes on there? Maybe it was gossip because it was HARRY POTTER who did it? Or maybe someone just told him because they knew his son was friends with Harry?3) "You forget who I've got with me."
I love the twins. They are so resourceful.4) Physics.
A floating car yanking bars off a window from a dead stop. Physics says...never mind.5) Revving car, trunk and several sets of footsteps clunking up the stairs.
How do the Dursleys fail to wake up until the last possible second?6) "He's getting away!"
I imagine people have already said things along the lines of "why the hell would Vernon not want Harry to leave?" I put it to you that what Vernon is objecting to in the escape scene is the fact that Harry has thwarted his will. Vernon wanted him locked in his room, and Harry is defying him. Also, the Dursleys don't want Harry learning any more magic if they can help it.7) "George handed the hairpin to Ron."
Ron also knows the fine muggle art of lock-picking. Maybe that will be handy later on....8) Conspiracy theory!
What if Dobby's masters gave him conflicting instructions? What if one of the Malfoys sent Dobby to Harry and one of them swore him to secrecy about the diary? That might explain his bizarre behaviour. I want to believe that Narcissa is a secret good guy as much as I like the idea that McGonagall is evil. But she also wouldn't have wanted Dobby to say who had sent him for fear that her husband might find out.9) Harry's intuition.
I love that Harry immediately guesses that Dobby belongs to the Malfoys. He is, of course, perfectly correct. His only error is in assuming a petty, schoolboy grudge as the motive. Harry's intuition is generally very good, but he's not yet quite able to grasp the Big Picture.10) Lucius Malfoy!
*cue dramatic organ music* I am noticing that people have a lot to say about Lucius Malfoy, but hardly anyone ever mentions Narcissa. Yet when they talk about the Lestranges, for example, they refer to them as a unit. Can it be that Narcissa doesn't have the reputation for evil that her husband does?11) "Percy's been acting very oddly this summer."
And there we have the introduction of that time-honoured literary device, the red herring. Percy is 16. Why should he be so secretive about having a girlfriend? Unless Mrs Weasley is anything like my mother....12) Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.
What if one of the Founders artefacts has fallen into Muggle hands? Maybe it's sitting in the British Museum, looking all innocent and whistling to itself. I wonder if Arthur Weasley's obsession with muggles is going to be useful in DH
?13) "An old warlock called Perkins."
What's the difference between a wizard and a warlock? According to the wiktionary
, "warlock" has more negative connotations. "Wizard" comes from "wise", whereas "warlock" seems to mean literally someone whose promises are lies.14) Ottery St Catchpole.
I love British placenames. I once amused myself for an entire afternoon, browsing an atlas of British roadmaps.