Chapter 5 finally gets us to Hogwarts, but not in the way you would expect. Let’s go!
The Weasleys remain the most wonderful people on the planet. They all celebrate the last day before school with a good meal and good fun. It makes me so sad that Harry is not used to being treated like a normal kid, much less a magical one. He is so happy to be there and so grateful, dreading what it will be like to go back to the Dursleys. I want to adopt him so bad!
I love their car. The Ford Anglia. Mr. Weasley is so proud of it! He has magically enhanced it so that it is much larger on the inside (Mrs. Weasley doesn’t suspect, and is quite impressed). I think what I like best about Mr. Weasley is his childlike fascination with Muggle objects. He loves driving the car and is thrilled with the idea of trying out the Invisibility Booster so they can fly without being seen.
They get to Kings Cross and head towards the barrier to Platform 9 3/4. They end up crashing into the brick wall and can’t get through. This leads them to make, what I think, is a big mistake: flying the car to Hogwarts. Seriously, boys? You really thought this was a good idea? Ron is worried that if they can’t get through, maybe his parents can’t get back, but really, I would have at least waited a few minutes to see. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would have to come back eventually to pick up their car anyway. Slow down, kiddos! Just be patient!
Of course, patience is not a teenage boy’s strong suit. They head off, trying to use the Invisibility Booster (which doesn’t work so well), and follow the train to Hogwarts. Trouble is, the car has never flown this far before and starts to break down. In the air! No gonna lie, I would have freaked out at this point. They crash into a tree (breaking Ron’s wand in the process), but turns out, that tree isn’t particularly happy about being crashed into. It’s hard to read the books at this point without drawing comparisons to the films, but I thought the Whomping Willow was so perfect (although I could have done without the flight in the car with Harry almost falling out). I also liked how the car itself is just fed up at this point and takes off. Can’t say I blame it, really.
They sneak into school, missing the Sorting, but realize that Professor Snape isn’t at the Head Table. That’s because he’s RIGHT BEHIND THEM!!! They get lectures galore (due to the car being seen by several muggles) and are threatened with getting expelled. Professor McGonagall also berates them for their actions instead of, oh I don’t know, using Hedwig to send word that they were in trouble. Seriously, I would use owl post all the time if I had an owl. I’d send my husband notes from upstairs all the time. Come to think of it, it’s probably good that I don’t have a magic owl.
Luckily, Dumbledore does not expel them. We know why now, but it does seem unfair that Harry gets away with things so easily. He isn’t really punished at all. Just detention. They even talk their way out of losing House points. Once they get up to Gryffindor Tower, they are lauded as heroes for their daring, except for Hermione, who treats them as the irresponsible yahoos that they are. Hermione, you are my spirit animal. I relate to her so much.
That’s it for this chapter. Tune in tomorrow for Chapter 6!