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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

In the summer of 2003, the Arizona Diamondbacks went on a crazy intense winning streak, due mostly to the fact that they had something like eleven to thirteen rookies playing at any given time, all of whom were unknown quantities (and thus harder to beat). They were calling them the "Baby Backs" (future Cy Young winner Brandon Webb among them). As of June 30, 2003, the team had won eleven consecutive games, one away from beating their record. My sister, Melissa, likes baseball in an unnatural obsessive fashion (much the way I like TV) and got us tickets to the game. Naturally this concerned me due to the midnight release part of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I was supposed to be attending that night. (Bear with me, this story does eventually relate to Half-Blood Prince.)


So it's like the bottom of the 8th inning and we're losing and I'm really worried at this point that we're going to be late so I make my entire family get up and leave. My sister put up a little bit of a fight, but as we were losing by at least three runs, she eventually shut up and we left. But as we were walking back to the car, the stadium EXPLODED. And kept exploding. Fireworks went off (not a euphemism). And my sister turned to me and knifed my bowels into ribbons with just the power of her angry eyes. I tried to explain to her that you don't fuck around with Harry Potter, but not five minutes later when we'd reached the car and turned on the radio and she learned that we'd won that 12th consecutive game and that we'd been there and left, I really thought she might murder me. She hadn't read Harry Potter yet, you see. She didn't understand.


Fast forward two years. She was right there with me at the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince, dressed as Draco Malfoy. We raced home together and read the book late into the night, waking up early to finish. I finished first and she was mad when I started crying and she had to wait to find out why. And of course, later in the shower, when I remembered what happened and started crying AGAIN (is there anything more pathetic than crying in the shower over a dead fictional character?), after I got out she couldn't resist making fun of me. Apparently I'd been crying so loud that she'd heard the sobs through the walls and over the sound of the running water. But FUCK, man! That shit is sad! Served her right ten minutes later when it was her turn to cry.


But anyway, the point is that none of you should be in doubt: Harry Potter is way more important than baseball. And football. And soccer. And Hockey. And that is a lesson everybody should learn.