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You can call me Hal.

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Ron, Draco, and HPB

(Oh my god, Harry Potter content!)

Somehow I had got it in my head that Half-Blood Prince was coming out in June, so I've been past ready to read it for some time now. The thing I'm most looking forward to is seeing what happens for both Ron and Draco.

I've talked about this before, I'm sure, but I always look at Ron and Draco as the Destined Rivals whose Destined Rivalry was fucked up when Harry Potter showed up and got between them.

The Destined Rivalry is the rivalry of school stories. They are both from old wizarding families, families that seem strongly associated with the rival houses of Slytherin and Gryffindor. Draco likes to annoy, Ron likes to get annoyed. Ron seems to respond to Draco's taunts much more strongly than Harry does, even in the beginning. And then their fathers have that fist-fight in the bookstore.

But Harry came along and skewed the balance. I don't think it matters which House he was sorted into -- if it had been Slytherin, then it probably would have been Harry and Draco against Ron, instead of Harry and Ron against Draco. I don't think Harry would have been nasty, but rivalry isn't so much about hatred as it is about competition.

In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Hermione have transcended the school story and are operating as much as possible in the fantasy story and the Fight Against Evil. They still have to deal with school, but their focus is on Voldemort, not Quidditch.

Not so for Ron and Draco. Look how OotP starts out, with both of them becoming prefects. Ron has a classic school story plot: boy practices in secret, boy makes it on the Quidditch team, boy does miserably, boy is taunted by his rival, boy wins the Big Game. (Which Harry and Hermione aren't even there for, that's how far from the school story they are now.)

Draco concentrates on getting in with the power in the school, the nasty headmistress. And he focuses on that level, on Quidditch, on "Weasley is our King".

Then comes the Department of Mysteries. Ron is attacked by Flying Brains. (And, oh my god, I'm so worried about what that will do to him.) Draco's father is defeated by Harry and a bunch of kids and shipped off to Azkaban. They both finally wake up to the fantasy story.

Draco's real moment in OotP is when he swears to kill Harry. Harry brushes him off and later humiliates him, but I hope hope hope beyond all things that Draco has got serious over the summer and really makes the attempt. I honestly think he's going to have to go there before he can find his way back out again.

Of course, as Draco and Ron enter the fantasy story, that makes them much more vulnerable, in a plot sense, to being killed or destroyed. *sigh* But it's a step they both have to take, a step "into a larger world".

I still like the school story, though. Guess it's time to re-read Mike and Psmith.

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Mike and Psmith?

I've never looked at it quite like that before, but you make some interesting points about Ron and Draco.

And you know, I thought the book was out in June, too. *laughs*

We still have two weeks to wait!

You know, that has to be the best (what do you call it? Short essay? Theory? Wonderful piece of thought?) I have read about the HBP in a while. No, I really liked it because I was ooing and nodding my head the whole time.
You made me want to kick Harry in the balls because I'd like, LOVE to see the world of Hogwarts without him - see what it would be like if two of the oldest wizarding families one against the other, rivals greater than any, were Ron and Draco...
*pause* That gives me the shivers...

And you really think either (or both) might die? Hm. That would be terrible, wouldn't it, but just as plausible as Voldemort dying... hell.

Aaaaanyway. *waves hand* that was my bit of boring thought:) Can't wait for HBP either. x

I don't think either are going to die in this book. (At least I hope not!) But in the end, I think either are fair game. It's not as interesting to read if you know there are "safe" characters, though if Ron dies I will be very upset.

If Harry weren't there, the story wouldn't be on the same scale, certainly. He's the stranger who comes to town. I'd love to see the AU where he doesn't show up at all, or the one where he's a Slytherin.

In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Hermione have transcended the school story and are operating as much as possible in the fantasy story and the Fight Against Evil. They still have to deal with school, but their focus is on Voldemort, not Quidditch.

Yes, absolutely: throughout OotP, Harry and Hermione are sharing all these wordless looks and unspoken understandings of things that seem to go right over Ron's head. I found it to be a real sea-change in the dynamic between the three--and I'm interested to see how it's going to play out in the next book.


I felt so badly for Ron -- they were really leaving him behind. (Not their fault though; he just wasn't as mature as they were.)

We're so on the same page. I said at one point that if Ron had been the hero of OotP, it would have been a perfect boy's story--becomes prefect, plays quidditch, becomes quidditch star. Ron's needs are...so boyish, as opposed to Harry's cruel life.

I think that's why I love Ron so much. It's the boyish that always appeals to me. (Vide my current fandom obsessions.)

And I *love* that icon. *hugs Roger Corman*

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