Much as I just want to jump in and talk about Snape's memory, I'm just going to go ahead and save that til last because I have TOO MANY EMOTIONS and I don't want to expend them all in one go and be too tired to write about other things. So, let's talk about Cho.
And then also she's all like 'let's go to this twee tea room and you can tell me how pretty I am!' and I'm just like 'Just stop it. Please. BE MORE INTERESTING.' And she's not, and it's annoying, and I guess it's because JK wants to get Harry and Ginny together, and also because she wants to show how the fantasy of a person is rarely the reality of them, but still. It's kind of disappointing and makes me roll my eyes a lot.
ST MUNGOS! Firstly, I have to say that, even though I (evidently) don't like Sirius, I'm actually really happy that he didn't have to spend Christmas just with Kreacher, because that is the depressingest. But also, I didn't want ARTHUR (surely the best of the Weasleys) to be attacked by, apparently, snake Harry! Anyway- the first hospital visit is awesome because Mr W gossips about the other patients and OMG that is entirely what happens when people are in Hospital (I'm a pro, trust me.) So it's nice to know wizards aren't above that.
BUT THEN. The Christmas day visit just makes me want to cry in all the ways. I think it's the adorablest that Lupin goes and sits with the werewolf patient because that guy really needs a friend, and Lockhart! You are back and still ridiculous. But then, obviously, there's Neville. Did I get the biggest lump in my throat a person has ever had when I read this?
"Neville looked around at the others, his expression defiant as though daring them to laugh, but Harry did not think he'd ever found anything less funny in his life."
The memory Harry sees in the pensieve is one of the things from all of the books that I remember the most, the one that pretty solidly forms my view of Snape, and that has made me think A LOT over the past week. I have feelings, you guys, and I'm about to word vomit them out in front of you. Be ready.
SO. Firstly and very importantly, I don't think that 'we were only fifteen', has ever been a valid excuse for anything, least of all bullying, you know, 'the weird kid.' Because, like Harry says, HE'S fifteen, and he's actually never bullied anyone because he has a sense of decency and he knows what it's like to be the victim, which also means that he can put himself in Snape's shoes and look at his father and think 'well... Maybe he wasn't all that,' which is kind of sad, but at the same time, who would want to live in that shadow?
And then there's Snape himself, who, as the victim of bullying you would think would kind of be nice to people and not pick on certain students (Harry) and not let other students (Malfoy) pick on certain other students (Harry. Anyone who isn't Malfoy.) because he HAS to know that shit is going on. Here's the trouble with Snape and his attitude towards Harry- because Harry is James's son, and because he looks so much like him, Snape automatically thinks of Harry as being LIKE James, which means he wants to hurt him like he was hurt by James (which is bad. But I get it.) But what Snape forgets (or maybe never knew) is that, Harry isn't like James because Harry wasn't raised by James, and was, in fact, raised by people who didn't like him, where HE was bullied on pretty much a daily basis.
If they understood how alike some of their situations are, maybe they'd be able to find some common ground and not be assholes at each other. But, you know, DRAMA AND TENSION are always good.
Here is A Thing: Sirius pretty much tries to justify why James hated Snape so much by saying that it was because Snape was into the Dark Arts, which James always really hated. Fair enough for James- but you know what? When I was 15, I was into reading a lot of Stephen King (yep. Always) and listening to Nirvana and, like, not talking to people (I'm basically still the same, actually...) but that didn't mean that I was about to shoot up loads of heroin and, I don't know, murder children because how does that mean that? But the thing is, wanting to know about the Dark Arts, and then having kind of a good reason to use them (constant abuse) is BOUND to have an effect on someone and make them, I don't know, do something really stupid and become a Death Eater or something.
You COULD say that James and Sirius's actions, then, CREATED a dark wizard, rather than doing anything to prevent the Dark Arts. You could totally make that argument and I wouldn't disagree with you, and yet again we're learning that the things that seem like they should be good can actually be doing evil just by not doing good. (Is this a sentence that makes sense? Not really. I didn't get much sleep last night.)
In conclusion, Sirius and James suck, Lupin is a good boy for making them ashamed of themselves sometimes, and I love you, Snape, but I just wish you were better.
This gif is not relevant, except it's TOTALLY relevant. AND I just found it so there.