aka "the best book," according to people who don't realize the true awesomeness of Order of the Phoenix.
1. An Insufferable Know-It-All: The more I reread, the more I realize just HOW MUCH I'm like Hermione, including her not-so-great points. Like thinking she Always Knows Best. Always. I can't even imagine how obnoxiously like her I was at 13.
2. Dying Words: HOW did I not realize how horrific this book is? 13 year old Harry hears his mum's dying words whenever he gets near to a Dementor. And there's a part of him that wants to keep hearing it, because it's the only thing he remembers her saying. WHY, JKR, WHY.
3. A Class Of One: I know Hermione is dedicated to her studies, but if she literally the only person in her other classes? How could she have one at the same time as Charms, when all the Gryffindors take Charms together? Why were the exams scheduled at the same time -- because, again, every single Gryffindor is taking Divination. And if it was just her, why weren't they just scheduled in free time?
(Also, as someone who fought the administration for the right to take extra subjects in highschool... SO RIDICULOUSLY LIKE HERMIONE, guys. Why would I want to put myself through that?? If I'd had access to a timeturner, I'd probably have taken every subject too).
4. Dumblefail: wtf is Dumbledore even doing in this book? Seriously, NOBODY, including this wizard who always knows what's going on, thought to question the possibility that Sirius was Voldemort's right hand man? (They were outgunned. Outmanned. Outnumbered, outplanned... k sorry I'll stop).
5. Alternate Timelines: When Harry is in Lupin's office, "he thought of telling Lupin about the dog he'd seen... but decided not to." How different would things have been if he had?? Lupin would have known it was Sirius! But would that have made things worse for Sirius, or would it have led to events where they revealed Pettigrew around other witnesses?
Speaking of... what if Lupin had seen Scabbers at some point in the book? What if he'd been awake on the train and seen him then??
6. Prongs Rides Again: Omg, at the second Quidditch match, Lupin looks shaken after Harry casts a Patronus... because HE JUST SAW THAT HARRY'S PATRONUS IS A STAG. He basically saw the ghost of his best friend again. Gahhh.
7. A Cat By Any Other Name: I already have a black cat called Hermione, so here's my question. If I got a fluffy ginger cat, would it be better to call it Ron, or Crookshanks?
8. Ugh Snape: Snape is an absolutely awful human being. Working against Voldemort doesn't make him GOOD, it makes him just not completely evil. Even if you excuse all the Harry stuff (and why would you?), he bullies Neville so badly that he's the thing he's most scared of in the world, even though his parents were tortured into insanity by Death Eaters. He tries to poison Neville's toad as a punishment for not being good at potions. Snape can eff off.
9. Tear Count: 2. Once in the Shrieking Shack, when I suddenly remembered that it's all pointless because ALL THE MARAUDERS DIE, and once in the final chapter, when Dumbledore told Harry, "So you did see your father last night, Harry... you found him inside yourself." It's perfectly normal to cry in the bathtub over fictional deaths that happened a decade ago, right??
Next up, Goblet of Fire! Aka the first book to ever really emotionally affect me, in a book-hangover, omg can't stop thinking about it way. Because even though Voldemort's return seems kind of inevitable now, 11-year-old me NEVER saw it coming. I remember reading the last words on the chair in my living room after a marathon reading session -- "What would come would come, and he would have to meet it when it did" -- and just STARING at the page, completely unable to comprehend what had happened and what was going to happen next.
Looking forward to it!