For the last three hundred pages, I've been noticing the almost complete lack of Snape.
For the last one to two hundred pages, I've been noticing the total lack of Dumbledore.
For somewhere around those numbers of pages, there has been a lack of *any* teacher reaction, other than the annoying as hell Umbridge.
The question has been pounding in my head (along with my headache) for the last few hours: Where the hell is Dumbledore? What's his reaction to Umbridge taking over the school? Why have we not heard one single peep from him? And the only reactions from the teachers comes when Umbridge is watching their class.
Nearly 500 pages into this story, and I feel like we're missing so much of it. (Yes, there is still half the book left to go, but is JKR going to go back in time two or three months and cover what the teachers are doing? I doubt it.)
I'm really disliking Umbridge as a character. She's so over the top. Gloating and throwing her weight around, stomping all over all the other teachers and the headmaster. And, with no visible reaction from them, it feels like they're just letting her.
It might just be my headache or the number of hours I've put into reading this, but I'm getting really grumpy with it. I'm not liking the story. There aren't even any of the characters I like active in it. This Harry/Cho thing is making me gag. Literally. Roll my eyes and cough and look away. (Not just because it seems wrong to have him with a girl, it's just... boring as hell. And it feels all wrong.)
I like bad guys, I almost uniformly like them better than good guys, but I hate Umbridge to death. She's boring, she's annoying, and to me it feels like she's taken over the story and is ruining it. Is there not a war about to start? Aren't there things other than her going on in the world? Yes, Harry is the main character, but we need to see more than just him. At 500 pages in, wasn't there some room for showing us some other things that are happening?
Bah. I hope things improve in the second half of the book. We've not even heard what the secret about Harry is yet! And gods above, will there ever be more of a glimpse of Snape? (I'm putting all my hopes on chapter 28. I'd like to get there tonight, but it's unlikely.)
At this point of the book, I'm really disappointed. I can't wait to finish it so I can read others' comments and see if I'm smoking crack or if others are feeling the same way.
If nothing else, there's always fanfic. (Bittersweet Potion posted the last chapters! Yay! Can't wait to read them!)