And now we know that the H in Jesus H. Christ stands for "Harry."
These are very initial reactions and subject to revision upon rereading/rethinking/talking about Deathly Hallows, hereafter DH. Right now I have only discussed it a bit with my kids, who are only partway through the book. I liked it much better than I was expecting, especially having been spoiled for the epilogue (not the details but the "Nineteen Years Later, Rowling Reveals Her Inner Control Freak Fangirl" aspect). I felt with HBP and I feel even more with DH that neither book went much in the direction I was expecting, which is both good and bad. Since this is the last novel, I feel that a great deal lacks closure, particularly where characters are concerned -- like, some of my favorites were cast aside as plot devices rather than being given the development and in many cases farewells that I felt they deserved.
But the Deathly Hallows themselves were as delightful to me as the Horcruxes were last time. I'm a sucker for a nifty magical gimmick, and I really loved that this was a magical gimmick buried inside a fairy tale, in some ways like the magical letters of Gematria or the magical symbols of Tarot cards. I thought much of this book was going to be taken up with the Horcrux hunt, and getting this whole new distraction changed the nature of my expectations. It's like Rowling decided late in the game that she needed a One Ring moment for Harry and Horcruxes weren't quite the thing, because there was no way Harry was going to consider murdering anyone, even if did start firing off Unforgivable Curses with ease.
I said last time that I always expected a high body count at the end of the series and to learn that Dumbledore was yanking everyone's strings in quite unpleasant ways. I was quite ready for all my favorite adult characters to die, and true to form, they did. I know that there is already hysteria about how Snape died, how needless it was, and the fact that he did not get a heroic moment in the end in which he rather than Harry revealed his true allegiances, but I was even ready for that, given the deck his character dealt himself long ago. (I had suspected since the fifth book that we were going to find out he did it all for love of Lily, though I was desperately hoping to be spared that particular cliché; how much more interesting if he had done it all because he loved or identified with Dumbledore or Regulus Black, for instance! But no such luck.)
Ironically, considering that this is by far the most "adult" of the novels not only thematically and in terms of the violence but in the use of naughty language and wand jokes, DH is structured more like a children's book than its past four predecessors. I suspect Rowling was going for classical comedy in the end, pairing everyone up, but between the cutesy names and the cutesy relationships -- everyone marries someone they've known since childhood, and the next generation, growing up free from war, is not spared the same provincial tendencies! -- it's hard to take any of the characters seriously as adults even when we're told it's decades later. There's a book to be written about Harry's Oedipus complex and all the ways in which, despite having to be an adult too soon, he never quite grows up; there's another book to be written about the infantilization of women in this series as a whole.
Anyway, here are a bunch of page by page notes that should not be taken as literary criticism; they're more notes to myself about my initial reactions so I can refer to them later...
4-6: Snape again gets his own chapter at the start, and again it's obvious he's playing a role and lying through his teeth. The poor man cannot ever have had a real friend as an adult; he must have known he could end up watching anyone die the way Burbage died, be it McGonagall or Slughorn or Hagrid.
7: Voldemort asks Lucius for his pimp cane! Okay, his wand since this is the book not the movie, but still! Then he measures to see whose is bigger.
25: Dumbledore had "a brother famous for fiddling around with goats" -- okay, I know Aberforth's Patronus is a goat but this still begs to be taken the wrong way, as I'm sure is intended. In a kids' book.
27: Rita Skeeter repeatedly calling Dumbledore's interest in Harry unnatural...heh.
34: The wizarding-real world doubling still makes me uncomfortable...it's still wizard-terrorists who are getting blamed for most of the horrors in Britain, and much as it would be nice if it were truly Voldemort's little cabal, the truth is so much more complicated that it makes me uneasy having it in here in such a way. Also, the 1945 Dumbledore-Grindelwald battle standing in for World War II, where it's wizards oppressing Muggles instead of the people of specific nations attacking and trying to exterminate the people of other nations and cultures fuzzes over actual Jewish and Romany and European history in ways that make me squirm uncomfortably.
37: The Trace business confuses me. Diggle doesn't want to do magic in the Dursley house because he thinks it could be an excuse to arrest Harry, but didn't the Weasleys do magic in the Dursley house when Harry was much younger? Couldn't Harry have gotten in trouble for that?
42: I liked the bonding with Dudley because I was betting he'd show up again, in the much-later epilogue if nowhere else. I'm rather sorry that he didn't; feels unresolved to me, that Harry entirely ditched his Muggle family in favor of wizards.
49: The twins saying they don't want to look like Harry forever and 13 wizards can't possibly overpower him made me giggle with delight.
53: Fleur (disguised as Harry) giving Bill a "slavish" look that Harry sincerely hopes never to see on his own face again is just the start of a long list of Girl Stuff I loathe in this book and the series as a whole. How come when Ron gives Hermione such looks they are not described as "slavish"?
55: The flying motorcycle battle sounds written for a movie. Maybe a video game, too; keep from falling, fight your enemies and dodge curses at the same time!
75: George's lame ear jokes are priceless. (Of course Snape cut an ear off rather than killing him. Snape's not killing any kids.)
78: How come I was sadder about Hedwig than Mad-Eye? Because he did this for a living while she could never directly consent to any of it?
113: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways To Charm Witches: "It's not all about wandwork" HAHAHAHAHAHA! The number of wand/penis jokes in this book surprised and amused me.
116: However, the descriptions of how Harry feels kissing Ginny sound utterly, totally fake (badfic fake) to me. Maybe I don't know what it's like for boys to kiss girls and they really do get all lalalalala...but actually I suspect it's Rowling who's inarticulate about it, not Harry. Also I don't like Harry thinking how wonderful it is that Ginny rarely cries -- not all girls who cry are Lavender Brown, and not all boys are so contemptuous of femininity that isn't defined by long red hair and intense looks in their direction. (It is really such an improvement to have a girlfriend who doesn't trust you to work with your ex in the middle of a battle?)
Also, back to page 116, if Ginny had never kissed him "like that" before, what were they doing all those afternoons in remote parts of the school grounds in HBP? If they were TALKING, I would love to hear what they were TALKING about, because as far as I can tell, all Ginny's good for is bat-bogey hexes and being a delightful tease. Okay, I know that's a terrible way to talk about a girl, but most of the girls in here are such vapid nothings that it's hard for me to care about them at all.
121: Arthur Weasley's weasel Patronus goes pop!
132: Ron reminds Hermione that she doesn't approve of the Half-Blood Prince's spells and she tells him "Times change." Heh.
143: Ron's uncle Bilius, whose name is Ron's middle name, could pull flowers out of his...
145: I am SO HAPPY that Bill and Fleur had a wizarding world wedding, not a Christian one. (See note on Harry's parents' grave below.)
148: Krum giving background on Grindelwald rocks. I am so happy to see him again; he was always so much more appreciative of Hermione and her brains than most of her supposed friends. Interesting that in this world, Krum is the closest thing we see to a descendant of a Holocaust victim, which makes it interesting as well that he went to Durmstrang, the big Eastern European school notorious for ongoing tolerance of the Dark Arts. I am curious about the Hallows symbol being known as Grindelwald's symbol, though, because I am shocked that more people would not therefore recognize it. Just about everyone recognizes a swastika and knows what it represents to much of the world, even people from cultures where the symbol still conveys its older, life-affirming meaning. All the repression of history and lies in the wizarding world are sure to keep biting them in the ass again and again -- people didn't learn from their mistakes with Voldemort the first time around because no one wanted to talk about him or speak his name, even while it was still safe to do so.
149: Harry pretending he read a fan magazine about Krum so he know about Gregorovitch and Krum's wand...hee, Krum must think all the boys at Hogwarts had a crush on him!
154-5: No surprise at all that Dumbledore's mother was a Mudblood. More of a surprise that he lived in Godric's Hollow and never mentioned it to Harry. (I expected this to bear fruit in terms of common relatives -- not that I mind in the least that it did not, as Rowling keeps trying to have her blood lineage and dismiss it too.)
159: A flying lynx Patronus with bad news is a kick-ass way to end a wedding.
167: Harry hears Hermione mutter a suggestion in the cafe as to where Ron could stick his wand instead of his too-tight jeans pocket. Go Hermione!
179: Sirius had posters of Muggle girls in bikinis up in his room. Obviously he wanted to fool his mother about his sexual orientation rather than his House loyalties. Sorry, JK, but if he liked actual girls, he'd have a photo somewhere of an actual girl he liked!
181: Aww, James, Lily and Harry had a cat. I hope it wrecked all of James' possessions.
186: Yay, RAB!
194: Voldemort made Kreacher drink the evil Horcrux protection potion, not Regulus/RAB as so many had speculated.
199: When Harry gives Kreacher the fake Horcrux locket, why does that not constitute giving a house-elf clothes and thus set him free?
206: According to rumor, Scrimgeour defended Harry in the end, didn't give away where he was -- good for him.
213: Remus' description of marrying Tonks against his better judgment and practically his will so sounds like a gay man pressured into doing what is socially expected that I didn't know whether to cry for him or smack him around. (Did Tonks have to metamorph into a man to get him to impregnate her?) "You fancy stepping into Sirius' shoes" as Harry says, indeed. Oh, I have tried not to care since the last book when the Lupin of POA and OOTP vanished entirely, but I was still not so ready for him to be tossed aside as if he'd been a gimmicky plot device all along. I get that Harry can't have a single adult as support because he has to become the responsible leader in the end, but did Rowling have to destroy Lupin as a character to get him there? Couldn't he have had conflicted loyalties about the young werewolves being blamed for Greyback's actions and run off to help them, or something? What happened to his undercover work with the werewolves, anyway?
225: It is wrong that the words "Headmaster Snape" turn me on?
227: "What in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y-fronts was that?" is going to be my new WTF.
241: Flushing selves into the Ministry of Magic...Rowling likes making Harry stand in toilets, she had Dudley do it to him too in an earlier book. Perv.
260: Ministry as wussy version of Guantanamo Bay. This is one case in which I actually wished Rowling was more in tune with the real world; I'd have written Umbridge much more terrifying interrogating suspects.
263: "Geminio," the spell to duplicate an object...don't remember that one from before, most useful!
276: The Horcrux acts like the One Ring around Harry's neck. I mean, we're supposed to make that connection, right? Rowling doesn't honestly expect that we won't notice?
273: While reading I noted that I suspected Ron was right, for a change, when he insisted that they not say You Know Who's name. Felt terribly vindicated on 389 when that proved to be true.
310: I kept muttering, "Harry's turning into Frodo and Ron is turning into Sam!" which turned out to be literally true here as Ron packed up and left. Dynamics of course totally different since Harry is with Hermione instead of
318: Oh, and Gryffindor was from Godric's Hollow too, which I have read as speculation many times but don't think I had seen Rowling confirm anywhere. Call me crazy but I hate the idea of Harry descended from famous Purebloods. If Rowling really wants to get rid of this shit about hereditary importance, she should get RID of it, not try to have it both ways by having a handful of clever Mudbloods like Lily and Hermione but also all these precious families with their precious heirlooms ending up more important than anyone else.
319: Must remember to come back and think about all the events that happen on significant pagan holidays (Halloween, Yule...call it Christmas if you want, but it feels very pagan here).
325: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" on Ariana's grave -- is that for Harry? I'd think it would be the other way around if it were a philosophy of life, "Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also." I figured maybe it was directions to the sword, but no.
328: Harry reads what read to me as a rather Christian sentiment about death being the last enemy vanquished as a potential pro-Voldemort slogan! I wonder what it says that I was rolling my eyes and thinking, "Fuck, she's going to do a C.S. Lewis and drag Jesus and resurrection into this" at the moment he was thinking -- though I hadn't read it yet -- that some Death Eater had put it there.
329: Hermione knows what Harry wants at his parents' grave, a wreath to lay, without him having to say anything. Yeah, I know, they only love each other like brother and sister and she and Ron are meant for each other and yadda yadda. I just wish I didn't feel like Rowling had gone to such lengths to make Hermione the only fully-fleshed woman in the whole series, only to hand her over to the sidekick and give Harry the trophy girl. It took me seven books and five movies to become a fully realized Harmonian, but here I am.
332: I love the Ground Zero memorials at Godric's Hollow. I held my breath waiting for the Inferi to rise...and they never did, not here or anywhere in the book. I can't decide whether I am really relieved or really disappointed.
353: Dumbledore/Grindelwald, everyone's new favorite romance! (I mean, besides Albus Severus/Scorpius, but they are the obvious heirs to their fathers, who are in turn the obvious heirs to Dumbledore/Grindelwald.)
360: Nurmengard's a prison, not a death camp. Not that that should matter as this is fiction. Sigh. Why did it have to be 1945?
360-1: Hermione notes that Grindelwald and Dumbledore were very young when they were pondering taking over the Muggle world...the same age as Harry and Hermione now. Harry thinks this is no excuse, but ultimately he forgives Dumbledore and I'm sure it's why Dumbledore ultimately forgave Snape. I can't wait to hear some of the Extreme Anti-Snape Brigade make the excuses for Dumbledore that they would never accept where Snape was concerned.
366: I knew it had to be Snape's Patronus, but even as I was rolling my eyes and saying duh, of course it would be a doe because this has all been about Lily Fucking Evans, I was also noting that Snape's Patronus and Harry's could mate. *snickering* But seriously, who else would have Gryffindor's sword and be able to lead Harry there with a Patronus? It only made sense.
378: It's the same discussion Leia and Han have about Luke! "She's my sister!"
379: The Harry/Ron post-Horcrux-destroying hug is awesome. Since Hermione is NOT anyone's sister, unlike Ginny, I don't see why the Trio couldn't just have gotten married and lived happily ever after.
406: I love the fairy tale read by the Divination skeptic that turns out to be true.
412: History of the Elder Wand with totally wonderful cracked names! And then Ignotus Peverell...I am sorry Harry has not thus far named a child after this ancestor.
415: Hermione says wands are only as powerful as the wizards who use them, some just like to brag about how theirs are bigger and better. Okay, that's four wand-penis jokes!
417: Only moment I really choked up in the entire book: Luna's painting of her friends.
427+: Okay, slow down! Harry guessing all about the Hallows and assuming correctly that the Resurrection Stone is in the Snitch is way too fast and phony, telling-not-showing, like Rowling had it in her head that he was not being tested enough within as well as without and needed a One Ring/Dark Side of the Force device. Neat idea but lousy writing.
428: Oh that's right, Voldemort was a Peverell, too. So Harry is probably related to him AND Dumbledore. And bloodlines don't mean anything, right?
430-3: The Elder Wand obsession is also very One Ring. Could there be any more borrowed Tolkien?
459: Draco really, really does not want to identify Harry, Ron and Hermione and thus be responsible for their deaths. Nice moment.
470: Peter dying at his own hand (well, Voldemort's hand, since Voldemort made it for him) is perfectly fitting and better than the werewolf-silver thing I was half-expecting. Though I know I saw something like that once in a robot movie, or maybe even a Star Trek episode, and now I can't remember the details -- someone whose own body part kills him because he disobeyed orders. Anyone know?
476: Dobby's death was good too -- sad but necessary both for plot reasons (made a goblin give Harry a chance) and because it really cemented the idea of Dobby living and dying on his own terms for what he thought was right.
508: Harry lies to Griphook. Hermione knows he'll pay. Bill warns him that he'll pay. We all know where this is going. However, the entire Gringott's sequence almost feels like it was written for the film and videogame, right down to the dragon escape, so I didn't really spend any time thinking about the ethics.
520: Harry likes Draco's wand. A lot. Of course it works for him -- I'm sure it loves being in his hand, all ten very springy inches. (Look, after all the penis/wand jokes, this was BEGGING to be said!)
531: Harry uses the Imperius curse without a second thought. And it feels good to him. And he does it again, and again, still without thinking about it or about the fact that it feels good and makes things so easy. I found this quite troubling despite the desperate circumstances. Imperio may not sound as awful as Crucio or Avada Kedavra, but they start coming easier and easier until Harry can use Cruciatus on the Carrows just for spitting in McGonagall's face (593)...come on, she's a big girl, she can take a little nastiness of the sort she has probably endured all year. I suppose I should note that McGonagall uses Imperius very easily too (594). I guess what constitutes Unforgivable, like torture, is relative in times of war?
563: Lest it should appear that I am fixated on penis jokes and not noticing the anal jokes, Doge "thought the sun shone out of my brother's every orifice, he did" according to Aberforth. Who rocks.
568: Aberforth knows Dumbledore is a manipulative bastard who is using Harry.
574-6: Neville! And Gran! ARE MADE OF AWESOME!
583: Harry's afraid he's turning into Dumbledore, with all his secrets and lies. That's Snape he's turning into, too.
584: I was really happy to see Cho. The more I (don't) see of Ginny, the better I like Cho.
610: Pansy, however, would turn Harry over to Voldemort in a heartbeat to save her own skin. I really hope Draco didn't marry her.
623: I see now why Harry had to hide the Potions book -- so he'd know the hiding place -- but why did Snape let him hide it when he could just as easily have used Legilimency to find out where it was? I thought that meant something -- that Harry would need to go back and retrieve it because the Half-Blood Prince had some crucial piece of advice in there.
624: IN THE NAME OF MERLIN'S MOST BAGGY Y-FRONTS, TONKS, SHUT UP ABOUT REMUS! IF I HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU DO THE "HAVE YOU SEEN REEEEEEEEMUS" ROUTINE AGAIN I WILL SCREAM, I WILL YELL, I WILL CAPSLOCK! OH FUCK THERE IT IS AGAIN ON PAGE 626! HOW CAN YOU NOT BE UNDER A CURSE OR A LOVE POTION? Die you stupid worthless cow...not that it will do any good for your son, because unlike Lily and James, each of whom was willing to sacrifice the other as well as himself/herself to save the baby, you were so pathetically obsessed with getting yourself a man who did everything in his power to get the hell away from you that you left your orphaned child without even Saint Lily the Dead's sort of protection against the cruelties of the world.
625: Now, I did like Ron and Hermione's Will-and-Elizabeth moment. Not that I am completely sold on Ron/Hermione, but at least there was none of the pathetic forced repulsiveness of Tonks/Remus (dead on 661 and not a moment too soon).
634: During the Room of Requirement rescue, "Malfoy was screaming and holding Harry so tightly it hurt." I'll bet he was!
637: Oh, Fred. *moment of silence*
646: Yay Trelawney fighting! With crystal balls! And knocking out Greyback! Who got nearly as cast aside as Remus, I must say; I really thought Fenrir got introduced, and Bill got scraped up, for a reason, because it mattered what side the werewolves chose and how the Ministry and wizards treated them. I always expect Rowling to come back to such things and instead she goes spiraling off in different directions almost as if she got bored with themes she introduced earlier. We never hear anything at all about the fate of the werewolves, just Remus' angst and Fenrir's being a petty little crook. In fact Remus and Fenrir are both toilet paper characters in the end while even Fleur gets more solid characterization.
656-7: Harry bleeds biting his knuckles while watching Snape get attacked. That's a really interesting moment. I always knew that Rowling would kill Snape, perhaps even pointlessly, but as a device for his death this was fairly unimpressive in execution. I kept wondering whether Harry could have spoken Parseltongue and distracted Nagini or cheered on Nagini or done something he never even thought about. Ultimately all of Snape's heroism is in the past tense, so that there is not a moment of defiance to Voldemort's face. That seems more unfair than the fact of his death or the reason or manner in which it is carried out.
671: James is described as having the look "of having been well cared for, even adored," that Snape lacked. I keep being told by the Anti-Snape Brigade that I am supposed to like James Potter because he eventually grew up, but other than snippets of him being a decent husband and sacrificing father, he's a selfish nasty asshole. A few moments of being willing to die for his son and friends do not redeem him for me. Sirius I forgive because he grew up unloved by the unloving Blacks, Remus I forgive because he grew up with a deadly secret, but if I am not supposed to forgive Snape for being an asshole then Merlin knows I do not have to forgive James.
679: "My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?" Ohh that's sad! Though clearly Snape wanted Harry to know the best of him; he didn't only hand over the most crucial memories proving that he was no traitor to the Order and telling Harry what Dumbledore expected of him.
683: Dumbledore doesn't think it will hurt Snape's soul to kill him because Snape is doing it on Dumbledore's request. Easy for Dumbledore to assume, maybe. Dumbledore is SUCH a manipulative bastard and a good one.
687: I love so much that Dumbledore thinks Snape has grown to care for the boy -- I'm going to believe that even if Snape refuses to say it. I note again, his Patronus is the mate of Harry's Patronus, not Lily's! Also, I love Snape saying that Dumbledore has been using him (and everyone else including Harry). Because even though we've always known that Dumbledore had his reasons, that really doesn't mean we have to like them. The whole business with Harry not liking Scrimgeour's methods could have applied just as easily here.
697: I also love the direct comparison of Harry, Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, and how they had all found a home at Hogwarts.
711: Last wand reference, I promise: Dumbledore talks about Lucius' poor stick compared to Harry's powerful wand. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
726: Harry is protected because Narcissa loves Draco. And Lucius does too -- he's running screaming for Draco through the Hogwarts corridors for his son in the end, he's not freaking out about who else is dead or hiding so he doesn't go to prison. I have to admit, because Narcissa thus far hasn't appeared in the movies and her scene with Snape could easily be cut from HBP, that I am kind of hoping they play the scene where Voldemort needs someone to check whether Harry is alive after the first Avada Kedavra with Lucius instead of Narcissa...I can JUST see him leaning over with his long blond hair in Harry's face and whispering, "Is my son alive?" It would also be nice to get evidence that a father's love is just as protective as a mother's.
733: Yay Neville, pulling the sword from the hat like
735-6: Yet again we see that Harry has the same freakin' crush on his dead mother as he has on Ginny. He thinks at different times about how he just wants to look at each of them forever. But that's what girlfriends are for -- not to be your equals (like Hermione who's just a friend) but to be your object/prize/nurturers. You couldn't pay me to be Harry's girlfriend.
736: Molly kills Bellatrix with a "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" Very Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Which made me laugh far more than it should have.
742: Harry talks to Voldemort about Hallows and Horcruxes and why Voldemort should repent for the end is at hand. And talks. And talks. Probably not for as long as John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, but at times it felt like it. Clearly no one has EVER discussed the difference between exposition and storytelling with Rowling.
Epilogue: Speaking of BAD BAD BAD BAD storytelling...no, I won't. I really enjoyed the book far more than not, and I am just going to pretend that epilogue is not there. Okay, yes I am for a minute, because the epilogue cements how I became a H/Hr fan just as I realized it was too late for that. Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna and the twins are perhaps the only people in this series who love Harry as Harry, not as the Boy Who Lived or the Chosen One or James II or Lily's Son or The Hero Who Saved Me From The Basilisk or The Hero Who Saved Our Daughter From The Basilisk or what have you. Assuming like Rowling does that he probably wants a family more than anything, and also accepting like Rowling does that everyone wants to marry someone they knew as children rather than growing up a bit first, his choices are pretty restricted to Hermione, Luna and Ginny, since just about every other girl has been dismissed as frivolous or unworthy like Cho. We all know Hermione would be my first choice, but apparently in Rowling's eyes she needs a big wizarding family like Ron's to live happily ever after, so she and Ron get each other. Now, I adore Luna, but I could see how Harry might not feel quite connected enough to her to fall in love with her, considering she doesn't seem quite connected to the world overall. But even she DOES things in this book that we see, like trying to comfort Harry about Dobby.
Ginny is The Trophy Girl Who Wasn't There. Who worshipped Harry from her parents' and brother's stories before she ever properly met him. Who played damsel in distress to him in the Chamber of Secrets while still a child, Who has never been a part of his quest the way Hermione was. Who's insecure enough to assume he'll be tempted by veela and can't be left alone with Cho even while searching for a much-needed Horcrux. She's like a pale imitation of Saint Lily the Dead, who herself is a pale imitation of a fully developed character...same hair color, same moderate wizarding talents, but Ginny's never asked to prove herself the way Lily was. (I bet Saint Lily the Dead wouldn't have written in Tom Riddle's diary!) And it diminishes Harry for me, that this is what he wants, not a partner but someone who'll pop out babies for him and give him a nice big extended family that his own young children already think Teddy Lupin must marry into to become a part of (who raised that poor boy, anyway?) I really, truly didn't think I cared who married whom, but apparently I was kidding myself on that count.
Randomness: Sadly there is no return of Barty Crouch, Jr. in the book, so no David Tennant in the last movie. And was anyone else expecting Fleur's wedding tiara (on loan from Aunt Muriel, goblin-made) to be Rowena's? But that would make the Weasleys of equal if not better blood than Harry's, which would make them less distinctly sidekicks. Hmm. As with HBP, I fear that if I overthink, I will think of more things that didn't quite work out for me, so I think I will stop analyzing and go back to, "It was a good read for several hours and I enjoyed it!"
And Snape fans who are despondent? (Or Lupin-Tonks-Fred-Moody-et-al fans who are despondent?) We don't even have to make up our own reset buttons, because Rowling has left one lying on the forest floor on page 748. The Resurrection Stone is a fan fiction writer's dream and it's canon here. Go get it!