Now that Vernon has lost his fight to “protect” Harry, he (and Petunia and Dudley) just turn mean. I mean, dropping Harry at the non-existing platform and leaving him there, laughing at him, that’s just mean. Before that, there was at least a warped sense of honor involved for Vernon. I guess this is his way of regaining his dignity. (he had the strongest agenda before, so I’m assuming that Petunia and Dudley are taking their cues from him now; this was Vernon’s idea.)
When Harry asks Hagrid why wizards hide from Muggles, Hagrid replies, “Blimey, Harry, everyone’d be wantin’ magic solutions to their problems. Nah, we’re best left alone.” It’s interesting because there’s no sense of fear. Also reminds me of later when Harry will write an essay on that witch that was supposed to be burnt at the stake but just made a joke out of it. The wizards are extremely isolationist, but they are like that out of a sense of superiority. That’s why Arthur’s interest in Muggles is considers so quirky, too; it’s like when somebody studies turtles, weird, quirky but harmless. Anyway, it’s a perfect breeding ground for an anti-Muggleborn attitude. In this world where Muggles are a nuisance at the best of times, of course a lot of people would consider Muggleborns inferior as well. And while a part of the wizarding world is fighting anti-Muggleborn attitudes, nobody is giving a fuck about anti-Muggle attitudes. Hagrid, of all people, has them. Everybody has them.
What exactly IS a Keeper of the Keys? Did it ever get explained? Gamekeeper is one thing, but Hagrid is both. If we assume that Keeper of the Keys means that Hagrid literally has all the keys to Hogwarts, which in a magic world would mean protection charm passwords or what have you, and considering that Hogwarts was the only safe haven through two wars, that’s a fucking big responsibility. I mean, Hagrid would basically be Hogwarts’ Secret Keeper. But clearly he’s no such thing, because as dearly as I love Hagrid, it’s fucking easy to get a secret out of him if you know how. So even Dumbledore wouldn’t be that irresponsible. And if Hagrid had held the key to all of Hogwarts’ entrances through two wars, McGonagall would hardly have been so surprised that Dumblemumble would entrust Hagrid with Harry’s safety in the opening chapter. So I still have no idea what a Keeper of Keys does.
There’s a little lemon theme in the first two chapters. Dumbledore likes lemon drops, Petunia doesn’t like lemon as her face turns into an expression as if she has bitten on one, Harry gets a lemon ice pop at the zoo and clearly keeps it with Dumbledore’s preference, thinking it “wasn’t bad” although it was cheap. 😮
Dudley’s eyes are watery, and his friend Piers has a face like a rat, both of which are characteristics of Peter Pettigrew. Meanwhile, Dudley and Piers do not eat lemon ice cream. They get chocolate.
These are optimized reposts (with pictures!) of a reread I’ve been doing on Tumblr. I imagine I’ll eventually end up posting them here directly. For the record, I care about looking at what makes a story work, why things are depicted the way they are, and why they caused specific reactions in fandom. I have a degree in that very thing (though in a …. uh, slightly different genre of literature) and am waiting to defend my doctoral thesis on it. Also I’m a huge geek. So you should totally feel free to take bits of these and throw them at your teachers. Come up to me for arguments against what they teach you any time. :p