Without warning, Malfoy pointed his wand at Harry, who was instantly paralysed. As though in slow motion, he toppled out of 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.
‘I thought so,’ he said jubilantly. ‘I heard Goyle’s trunk hit you. And I thought I saw something white flash through the air after Zabini came back …’ His eyes lingered for a moment upon Harry’s trainers. ‘That was you blocking the door when Zabini came back in, I suppose?’
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.
(Source: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bloomsbury 2005, ISBN 0-7475-8108-8.)
The fragment above sums up quite perfectly why I love Harry Potter so much. It’s about a magical world with real humans. Humans with real emotions they transfer to the reader, characters you can relate to so much. When I read this passage for the first time, I felt disgust and anger towards Malfoy, and I could also feel Harry’s fear. Aside from the fact that there’s an invisibility cloak involved, this is a situation happening to so many people. It’s about bullying, about violence and humiliation. It’s about making other people powerless, for the sole purpose of feeling superior. And on top of that, there are spells and invisibility cloaks. What’s not to love about this?
I might be boring you by now, praising the works of J.K. Rowling over and over again. But it’s true. Every Harry Potter book is a true diamond she made. And they get better each time. This book tops all the previous ones in my opinion. Maybe that’s also because the story unfolds even further, and while certain parts seem to get solved, the mystery grows bigger at the same time.
J.K. Rowling also never ceases to surprise me. Although I was accustomed to people dying in the books by now, nothing could have prepared me for the person she decided to kill this time. (Okay, except maybe the episode of the Big Bang Theory in which they spoiled this part of the book, thank you very much). Spoiled or not, it still felt as if I was struck by lightning.
I love books that make you feel real emotions. And this one certainly put me in a roller coaster of emotions. I chuckled, I laughed, I felt anger and hatred, I cried and I sobbed. And after reading the last page, I couldn’t wait to continue with the seventh (and last!) book. This is a jewel. If you have not read it yet, do it now!