hopeischord: of course he is. of course. it’s been a long time since i’ve read hbp, but from your quotes i find it really interesting from a harmonian fuck canon sort of perspective, because we’ve had five books of them in balance but of a lot of her protecting him, gender subversions included, and hbp, amidst knocking our kids off balance etc., provides harry the opportunity to prove that he’s just as there for her as she has always been for him.
yep. i just decided to have a harmonian reading of hbp. who even am i. i wonder what i thought when i first read that book.
meanttobefree I feel like as horrible as HBP was for these kids, there were some great Harry —> Hermione moments. I only read it once, but wasn’t there even a scene where they like made fun of Filch and were super flirty or something? Did I make that up?
hopeischord: that’s what i’m gathering, which i love because i feel like he gets so caught up in the comfort of her because she has never left him that we don’t always get to see how he works in their relationship as clearly as we see her (which is an odd sort of development, since it’s his pov), or maybe that’s why i see h/hr mostly from hermione’s pov despite being a harry stan (i always just assumed he’d have some grand revelation in 6 because harry potter functions in grand revelations; this is also why i can’t understand hermione outside of harmony so i can’t be fucked. i spent nearly a decade reading that woman in a very particular way, you cannot take the carpet from under me, jo).
so when he does see the balance unsettled between them — or, more importantly, sees how wrecked she is in that book — he goes out of his way to try and make her feel better (and this happens a number of times throughout the books, and is another reason why that dance in the movie is so perfect). at the end of the day, these kids are about protecting each other and caring for each other in a world that is relatively senseless, as any world that asks its children to fight a war the adults are largely too afraid to fight is indeed rather senseless. they function in balance and reciprocation; i’m not surprised at all that if hermione felt weak or sad he’d react as he does in hbp. in my head, harry thinks of hermione as the strong one. why else would she never mention that this war is being fought on her body nearly as much as his? she’s the one who plans and makes decisions and does not break. she does not capslock, though she has every right to. she’s the strong one. he’s a mess, but no one thinks of them that way, they expect harry to be a soldier and he makes himself into one but he couldn’t have done it without her. she’s the head, he’s the hand, i could go on about these two and their balance for eons, harmony is the best fucking ship name for them it’s disgusting. i will stop now.
and karen i see that giant ass message you just put in my ask i will get to it tomorrow :)
I just need to have this here.
fuckyeahharryhermione: so much THIS, i can’t even.
orangefilteredsky: Hermione was more soldier than Harry was. she thought like one, functioned like one. (this is why i always pictured post-war Hermione as a total wreck. she was always too brave, too calm, in too deep. i think she never really dealt with what the war made her do, what it did to her. the weight had to crush her someday. but this is me going off on a tangent ugh.) she was rationality, sanity, comfort. she was his rock. i mean, this boy is such an emotional mess, and he doesn’t even realise it, cuz he hasn’t known anything different, ever. but she keeps him together. he yells at her, rages, behaves like a complete idiot cuz consciously or subconsciously, he knows that he can never do anything bad enough to lose her. but when the balance shifts, when she lashes out, when she breaks, he reaches out. he tries. he protects. and that means a lot, cuz I personally think Harry didn’t really know how to love, how to offer love. he desired to be loved, yes, but he didn’t always know how to give, to just be there.
also, gotta love how when they have to choose, Harry puts Hermione above Ron, and she chooses him over Ron too. a trio is always two plus one.
~ * ~
hyacinthian: This might have a lot of feelings.
But yes. I mean, that book tries so hard to shut down our ship but the second time reading it, there could still be a ~somewhat shippy reading of it, even though it's not as shippy as the other books. I realized that I like seeing Harry being the one to reach out because they've spent so much of these books balanced, of them understanding each other, that when he doesn't, when he's confronted with the fact that the Hermione in front of him does not make sense with the Hermione that he used to know - he still makes an effort to know her. He's the one who sits down with her always, even though she always tells him to leave, that she's fine, that it's nothing. He's the one who lays his hand down on the paper to prevent her from barricading herself from him and Ron so much so that she has to jerk the paper out from under his hand to do it. And the thing about HBP is that it's a book where they all get entirely caught up in the things that they're doing - Hermione and Ron busy themselves with the loads of arrests that are going on, and it's more about Draco and Dumbledore than it is about Harry. Harry spends that entire book learning. He learns about Voldemort, but he also learns about Hermione and he learns about Ron through what he learns about Hermione and he learns about the dynamics of the group. It's the first book where he makes the explicit statement that he's not sure that he would fit if they were to ever get together, and it's the first book where he comes to terms with the fact that their getting together and acting as Bill and Fleur act might make him feel excessively uncomfortable. I suppose in retrospect it seems like a book of Harry emotional revelations than anything else, amidst the chaos of everything until we get to the pants monster.
And even then, I guess you could argue that H/G is all about substitutes. Ginny wants Harry Potter TM, The Boy Who Lived, and it isn't until he spends the summer at the Burrow that he starts thinking about Ginny that way, but this is hardly the first summer he's spent with the Weasleys so what's different? And I think the difference this time around is that Ginny has begun to slip into Hermione's space here. She's the one who's around all the time, who talks about the battle, while everyone else is sort of dithering around. She defends Harry against Hermione's criticisms of all people, and I find that scene really interesting because their roles have sort of meshed together. There's this one line in one of the chapters where it's the Trio but Ginny's name is included, and he always talks about how he walks around with her in school and there's all this weirdness because he always feels like he has to decide between Ron or Ginny. Ginny becomes a way for Harry to internally deal with the idea of Hermione without dealing with the idea of his feelings for her. He has the same emotional conflicting issue with loyalties either to the girl he has an interest in or to Ron, as well as the fact that Ginny becomes the girl who occupies the space of the warrior as Hermione and Ron are both absent for a lot of the book. In the first battle at Hogwarts, when Snape and the other DE are trying to make their escape, Ginny and Ron are both fighting, but Hermione is absent from the battle. So in that first battle, it's Harry, Ginny, and Ron. Ginny is the one to lead him back to the castle afterward.
I think it's possible that she became an emotional substitute for him because she started to occupy the role that Hermione had played in the first five, and it's interesting that he breaks up with her at the funeral, that she expects it and that she factors it into his heroic role. She would attribute it to the fact that he does have a hero complex because things we know, Ginny has a thing for Harry Potter TM. But he looks at the faces of his friends before he breaks up with her - so he comments on how Ron and Hermione both react to Dumbledore's death/funeral before he splits with Ginny, which is then immediately followed by Ron and Hermione both agreeing to see the quest with him until the end.
Just a ...very wordy thought.
hopeischord: OKAY HI THIS POST IS HUGE I’M HERE I’M SORRY.
i mean, let’s be honest, i spend a lot less time trying to conceptualize h/g than i do r/hr because the book doesn’t put stock in it and more importantly neither really does fandom, so i have to say i have little to contribute because i never really think about h/g. i think that ginny as a ron substitute is interesting and kind of pulls potter into a queer theory sort of place if you want it to, which is interesting. this is not relevant to your post.
i think one of the most tragic things of that book is the way that h/hr gets so sideswiped in the text in a number of ways you talk about here and that we discussed the other day. i haven’t re-read hbp in a while, though i did re-read it about six months after it came out to try and make sense of it (and i can still remember that, sitting against the door of my closet, trying to figure out what the hell was going on), but if/when i do re-read this ‘verse, i think thinking of hbp as a book about harry and his feeeeeelings might make it easier. that poor child. he thinks those kids are going to become more to each other than he is to either of them. crying.
my thing with HBP is that it could have all been worked toward in ootp, and even looking back on it i’d say ootp is the one book where obhwf is really not there (which is particularly odd given the r/hr blowup in gof, which i would say is the broadest ~anvil~ in the books up to that point), and i think that’s a problem in terms of construction because as we were saying yesterday when obwhf goes on vacation for a book and it’s the same book all the harmonians are reading as the fucking ship bible and then there’s hbp and delusiongate?
NO WONDER THIS FANDOM EXPLODED.
ugh ootp. favorite book for all of the reasons, but she really fucked with my perception of this ‘verse in that one. gof made me stan it, but ootp entirely convinced me we were right. DOM BATTLE, HERMIONE ON THE GROUND, HARRY FALLS TO HIS KNEES.
i’m sorry, let me clarify that:
IN A MOMENT OF DESPERATION, THE JESUS FIGURE OF THIS TEXT FORGETS ABOUT THE WAR AND FALLS TO HIS KNEES. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT’S AN ACT OF SUPPLICATION.
this had nothing to do with your post. you’re right, so i have nothing else to add but ootp flail. someone asked me why i like ootp, it’s in my ask box, and i’m full of too many feelings to answer it.
everything is the answer.
eta: aj wrote Hermione is a Soldier fic omg!brilliant!