Harry angry!! Harry smash!!
Oy, vey, the teenage rage hormones. I forgot about that aspect of this book and how often I wanted to smack Harry while reading it the first time. And then Dumbledore does that "you'll understand why I'm being a dick to you later" thing instead of, oh, I don't know, telling Harry exactly why he's taking occulmency lessons? Maybe then he would've taken them seriously? Dumbledore is too old for the Big Misunderstanding. Bad, Dumbledore! Bad!
But damn, Umbridge is absolutely the most perfect "love to hate them" villain ever. Fudge is just irritating and in denial and doesn't want to see the crap hit the fan, but Umbridge is a megalomaniac. She gets high on power and forcing people to do whatever she feels is best for the whole wizarding world. And what really makes it sinister is her obsession with pink and kittens - two harmless and fluffy things - that she ruins just by being her. ... Ok, maybe kittens aren't completely harmless. They do have those super sharp claws and that pesky habit of hiding underneath the couch and jumping out to stab you in the foot with them, but that's instinct. They can't help it. Umbridge can.
And that veil is still the creepiest thing that JK Rowlings has ever put to page. No thank you! It's right up there with the barrow-wights in Lord of the Rings. About the only way to make that creepier is to have the barrow-wights hiding behind the veil waiting for you to walk by so they can stab you in the foot with their skeletal claws! I can't believe how badly the movie messed up the veil. Bad, movie! Bad! I could nitpick the hell out of the movie, because even I was confused about what was going on when I went to see it and I'd just finished rereading the book. I can't imagine what a non-reader thought of that nonsense. Would thirty more minutes of screen time really have killed them? Com'n now! But The Dom nitpicks it better than I could, so go check out this playlist on his YT channel:
(I haven't seen them all yet, since I'm watching them as I finish each audiobook. He's currently on DH pt 1 from the looks of it.)
While I've enjoyed Jim Dale's narration up to this point and still do, I have to say this is the first time he disappointed me with a character voice, and that's Luna Lovegood. I admit I'm just used to the actress in the movie who is so perfect for the part I can't imagine anyone else in it, but I would've been okay if Dale hadn't been able to capture that same dreamy quality to her voice. I am not okay with him making her sound like a sixty-year old chainsmoker. Umbridge is supposed to be the toad, not Luna. Bad, Jim Dale! Bad!