Thursday, 25 September 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Most cringe inducing scene in the series

There are, of course, more than enough scenes of the kind, considering how long the series is, and a great many that have such an effect on me and that I've always had trouble reading - sometimes even skipping completely. However, in my case they all have one thing in common: they're all connected with Harry's moments of failure or stupidity. Unsurprisingly, Harry's most stupid moments that make me cringe happen in my most/least favourite book (according to the number of things that I love and hate about it) - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

But let's start from the beginning. I can never read without cringing how everyone turns against Harry for the first time in PS - that's when he, Hermione and Neville lose 150 points each for getting caught at night after Harry and Hermione had successfully got rid of Norbert but stupidly enough forgot the Invisibility Cloak on top of the Astronomy Tower and poor Neville found himself caught in the drama, because he wanted to warn Harry about Malfoy. In fact, I could never understand why Harry and Hermione felt so ashamed and disgusted with themselves - I mean, they were trying to do they right thing, weren't they? They were helping Hagrid! But, somehow, they felt that they deserved everybody's contempt and hostility. I could never get that. How easy one can fall from grace... Hogwarts students are extremely fickle in their likes and dislikes when it comes to Harry, aren't they?

Another example of what a cringe inducing scene constitutes for me is when Harry inadvertently reveals himself to be a Parselmouth during the Duelling Club in CoS and becomes the main suspect behind the attacks on cats, ghosts and students and a pariah all over again. Even worse for me is the scene in PoA when Harry loses his first ever Quidditch match to Hufflepuff because of the Dementors, falls off his broom and his ever faithful Nimbus Two Thousand gets smashed by Whomping Willow - this is the part that I used to skip until very recently. I just could not get through it. Harry - lost a match?! No way! Grim defeat indeed! Then Ron turning on Harry in GoF, not believing him (!!!) and leaving him to deal with the backlash without his support when he counted on him so much. Most of OotP. Especially, Harry's trip to the Ministry of Magic and its heart-breaking consequences. Ron yelling and leaving in DH... Awful, awful.

And, finally, two scenes that I absolutely hate and that make me cringe the most, because Harry was so incredibly stupid during both of them!  The first is when Harry decides to spy on Malfoy on Hogwarts Express and gets his nose broken.

'Petrificus Totalus!'

Without warning, Malfoy pointed his wand at Harry, who was instantly paralysed. As though in slow motion, he toppled out of a the luggage rack and fell, with an agonising, floor-shaking crash, at Malfoy's feet, the Invisibility Cloak trapped beneath him, his whole body revealed with his legs still curled absurdly into the cramped kneeling position. He couldn't move a muscle; he could only gaze up at Malfoy, who smiled broadly.

He considered Harry for a moment.

'You didn't hear anything I care about, Potter. But while I've got you here...'

And he  stamped, hard, on Harry's face. Harry felt his nose break; blood spurted everywhere.

'That's from my father. Now, let's see...'

Malfoy dragged the Cloak out from under Harry's immobilised body and threw it over him.

'I don't reckon they'll find you till the train's back in London,' he said quietly. 'See you around, Potter... or not.'

And taking care to tread on Harry's fingers, Malfoy left the compartment.

Honestly, Harry!

And the second - so much worse and thus its cringe inducing factor so much higher - when he uses Snape's Sectumsempra spell on Malfoy later on in the book, almost killing him, and Moaning Myrtle screaming murder at the top of her voice. "Harry, Harry, Harry..." as Gilderoy Lockhart would have said, shaking his head and showing all of his blindingly white teeth. "How in the name of Merlin's pants could you have been so utterly stupid?! You could have bloody well killed him, you complete idiot!" It makes me cringe every single time I brave the part and actually read it. 

'SECTUMSEMPRA!' bellowed Harry from the floor, waving his wand wildly.

Blood spurted from Malfoy's face and chest as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword. He staggered backwards and collapsed on to the waterlogged floor with a great splash, his wand falling from his limp hand.

'No - ' gasped Harry.

Slipping and staggering, Harry got to his feet and plunged towards Malfoy, whose face was now shining scarlet, his white hands scrabbling at his blood-soaked chest.

'No - I didn't - '

Harry did not know what he was saying; he fell to his knees beside Malfoy, who was shaking uncontrollably in a pool of his own blood. Moaning Myrtle let out a deafening scream.



  1. Yeah Harry is a dumbass sometimes! I was really mad at him for like half the series for being so headstrong and dumb so often, rash and forgetful, you name it. He was really kept in check by his friends or he would go down like a comet. Bright and fast. :X

  2. Oh man, each of these moments, definitely some cringe-worthy behavior going on. I'm right there with you especially for the scene where Malfoy actually gets the best of him. Of all those scenes, that's the one I'd be the most embarrassed about. Great picks! Mine are all wrapped up in Lockhart and his stupidity...My HP MOTW.

    1. I can't help it. I'm OK with horrors that Harry faces and stuff but when it comes to making a fool of himself or doing something incredibly stupid or failing, I cringe.

  3. OH MY! You're so on point with the sectumsempra moment. That was absolutely cringe-inducing!! I enjoyed reading over all your moments and agree with each of them, but this one jumped out at me making me wonder how I could've possibly forgotten it. Great picks :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.