(Semi-spoiler alert. I'm up to page 445. They've just heard the radio broadcast.) In the back of my mind, through this whole book so far, I keep thinking of "the darkest hour", when Britain stood alone against the Nazis in World War II, when London was being bombed, families were separated, and though the outlook was bleak, pockets of resistance kept hope alive. Rowling's not old enough to have lived through that, but those of us children of the "greatest generation" were raised on the stories, and I'm sure the Brits are especially steeped in it.
Unfortunately, our heroes have just suffered a setback. I fear the Battle of Britain is not yet at hand.
Things rattling around in the back of my mind: so what is the real story with Dumbledore's past? I expect it will be neither Rita Skeeter's spin, nor the "official" story. Did Grindelwald kill Dumbledore's sister? And what of that stone? Is it really the stone in the ring? Perhaps Dumbledore destroyed it? If D could have destroyed the ring-horcrux using the sword, how did he get his hand all blasted?