I have a very smart, very sweet student who is going through a passionate first journey of HP discovery, and she gives me a quick update every day as she's leaving class as to what happened in her reading the last night, probably sensing that I'm not just humoring her but that I really look forward to hearing her reactions. (Because, honestly, that way, I get to be a 7th-grader reading for the first time, too! Although, unlike me, she will not immediately reach for the fourth book only to be told Sorry, that's not due out for over a year yet!)
She's just finished HPB. (I caught her one morning DEVASTATED because she was just beginning the hospital wing scene and COULD NOT BELIEVE that Snape had killed Dumbledore. Dumbledore! Snape! NO WAY.)
So at Literary Club this week, in preparation for plans to begin DH during silent reading time right after lunch, she seeks me out for her longest debrief yet. She drifts away from the club and we wind up eating lunch in a corner, talking about Snape and Horcruxes and R.A.B. (The rest of Lit Club is pretty geeky too, mind, but this girl is a bit of a loner, despite how outgoing she is, just because she really is twice as smart as even her Honors classmates. So they aren't willing to geek out in as much detail as she craves.)
I ask her who her favorite characters are.
"Oooh, the twins, definitely. I love them both, but I love Fred just a little bit more than George."
I try not to wince. Instead, we chat about Greatest Highlights in Weasley Wheeze History for a moment, still spoiler-free. Then she goes on, unprompted: "Sirius was also my favorite, until he died… and Lupin, I like Lupin…"
"Yeah. I guess those are my absolute favorites. You know how much I liked Dumbledore, too. I'm forgetting some. Really, the whole Order of the Phoenix is really interesting. Like Tonks! Oooh, I can't believe I forgot about her. Tonks is so cool!"
"That makes sense," I said, neutrally as I can. "You kind of remind me of her, actually."
She beams (proving my point). "What about you, Mrs. G.? Who did you like?"
"You already named most of them." Then I add, honestly but reluctantly: "I always had a soft spot for Colin Creevey. I adore his enthusiasm and how he has zero sense of self-perservation."
"Oooh, yeah! I forgot how funny he was with his camera. I guess he was pretty neat. Oh, and Dobby started in that book too, right? I think Dobby rocks. I'm so glad he's working for himself now."
"So, do all these characters show up in the next book? I guess everyone will return at some point in Book 7, right?"
"Oh, uh, yeah. Everyone you've mentioned will definitely show up."
"Cool. I can't wait!"