chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry attends Bill and Fleur’s wedding, where he runs into the Lovegoods and Viktor Krum, and where Aunt Muriel spreads scandals about Dumbledore – but the event is interrupted by Kingsley’s Patronus, warning that the Ministry has been overtaken.
Luna rushed up. “Hello Harry!” she said.
“Er – my name’s Barny,” said Harry, flummoxed.
“Oh, have you changed that too?” she asked brightly.
“How wonderful! Gnome saliva is enormously beneficial!” said Mr. Lovegood, seizing Luna’s outstretched finger and examining the bleeding puncture marks…. “You may have been gifted by the Gernumblies!”
(by Heather Campbell)
Bill… stood up at the front of the marquee…. Fred wolf-whistled and there was an outbreak of giggling from the veela cousins.
(by Laurence Peguy)
Ginny… looked even prettier than usual.
“…then I declare you bonded for life.”
(by Emily Benson)
“Come and dance,” [Ron] added abruptly to Hermione. She looked taken aback, but pleased too, and got up.
They vanished together into the growing throng on the dance floor.
(by Maria Abagnale)
Krum cracked his knuckles menacingly and glowered at Xenophilius. Harry felt perplexed. It seemed incredibly unlikely that Luna’s father was a supporter of the Dark Arts.
(by Drew Graham)
Auntie Muriel… seemed to be enjoying herself hugely…. “His heart wasn’t the only thing. Didn’t Aberforth break Albus’s nose halfway through the service?
If Doge had looked horrified before this, it was nothing to how he looked now.
Graceful and gleaming, the lynx landed lightly in the middle of the astonished dancers. Then the Patronus’s mouth opened wide and it spoke in the loud, deep, slow voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.”
about the chapter
Something You May Not Have Noticed
Bill and Fleur’s wedding is a rather strange event for Harry, but that’s got to be even stranger for Ginny. Weddings are typically very romantic events for couples in attendance, after all, but while her quasi-boyfriend is there… he’s disguised as her cousin. So when she winks at Harry from the front of the marquee, he actually looks like Barny. Of course, it’s probably good that Harry swore to Ron that he wouldn’t do anything with Ginny, because all of that would be nothing compared to the scene it would make if Ginny were dancing romantically with her cousin on the dance floor….
The Wizarding World
Religion in the wizarding world is one topic that is consistently ignored in the books – there are a few references to biblical ideals but we never get a sense that any wizards might be of one religion or another, or indeed that any of them might be religious at all. Of course it’s possible that it’s simply Harry and his friends for whom this is the case; for all we know other Hogwarts students may be attending religious functions led by other students or even teachers, and it’s simply happening off of Harry’s radar. But there are two events that we see which would traditionally be religious events, in Dumbledore’s funeral and Bill and Fleur’s wedding, and there isn’t a hint at either that the “tofty-haired wizard” who leads them is a minister of any sort. In fact Bill and Fleur’s ceremony passes so quickly it seems more likely that he’s some kind of wizarding equivalent of a justice of the peace; the service has no homily and no readings or hymns and is over before Harry even really realizes what’s going on. In some ways, this makes the books more accessible – there’s nobody, anywhere in the world, who’s reading about Harry Potter having a religion that’s different from their own. But it’s still fairly interesting.
The Power of Magic
It’s rather fascinating the way Fleur’s beauty is described on her wedding day: “While her radiance usually dimmed everyone else by comparison, today it beautified everybody it fell upon.” I can’t help but wonder, is this something that veela can control? We heard Harry once before mention that he suspected her of “turning on the old charm” as well (and Ron “getting a blast of it”). If Fleur can control it, it’s interesting to look at other scenes where guys are tripping all over themselves for her – for example, was she deliberately flirting with Ron while staying at the Burrow? And if she can’t control it, it’s a fascinating insight into how easy it must be to read veelas’ emotions. I wonder how that all *works*….
The Boy Who Lived
On one level, it’s sort of funny that Harry is so bothered by the stories that Rita Skeeter and Aunt Muriel tell about Dumbledore. Dumbledore was his teacher; why should Harry have expected him to divulge his life story? Harry certainly never thought it odd while taking lessons from Dumbledore that Dumbledore wouldn’t be talking about his family, for example. But when you think about it, it really goes deeper than that. Because Harry is getting ready to set out on a mission given to him by Dumbledore – despite the fact that he doesn’t fully comprehend why he’s the only one who can undertake that mission. In other words, Dumbledore has consistently asked Harry to trust him, with his life and with his direction in life; and these stories are showing that Albus may not have been quite so trustworthy as Harry wanted to believe. It’s no wonder it makes him uncomfortable.
We’ve only ever seen two wizarding dances, but the parallels and contrasts between them are very neatly done (and certainly deliberate). At the Yule Ball, just two and a half years ago, Ron sulked at the table, refusing to dance while Hermione danced with Viktor Krum – and here, at Bill’s wedding, Krum sits instead, moping about how all the good-looking girls are taken, while Ron and Hermione twirl on the dance floor (at Ron’s invitation, no less!). Two and a half years isn’t all that much time, but Ron has really matured a lot over that span, and it’s cool that Rowling presents this fact to us in such a clear way.