I picked up the book at around noon yesterday. wildernessguru
and I parked outside of REI for him to pick up shoes (WG in an outdoor store is a guaranteed distracted man... jackets... camp stoves... 3-season tents...). His niece was very impressed when she picked up her backpack at Second Ascent and discovered everyone in there knew him: "Oh yeah, [WG]'s a really experienced climber." He set her straight he was a backpacker, not a climber, though he admits the climbers there might have thought
he was 'one of them.'
So I settled in the car for a long wait, enjoying the soft breeze on a gray day. He assumed I would read. But... you know? I had this fanfic that was niggling at me and there was a noisy construction site nearby, so I wrote a steamy Snape/Percy fanfic instead.
I was going to leave the house for the duration of HBP so WG wouldn't interrupt. He's high maintenance and requires attention every four hours from both me and the cat.
But... I realized I wasn't as wound up last time. I'd avoided all spoilers. I just wanted to enjoy the book.
I sprawled out on the bed to read, and I laughed out loud at various parts. Grinned at the suspense. Got up and got something to drink. Nuzzled the kitty when he sat on my book. Kissed WG when he went out to visit a friend.
It was all very peaceful and relaxing, until I reached the end and needed to talk to someone online. Then WG spilled root beer all over the living room which of course is a state of emergency. (WG had gone more than four hours without attention, so required a little TLC and help mopping it up.)
I have my own theories about the ending, though I'm not particularly attached to them. I'll wait for the next book to see what happens.
But I find that shipping is something I just don't do in HP. I'm interested in particular characters, and then I seem to slash those particular characters with, oh, everyone.
I've always loved Snape's ambiguity. I adore Percy's arrogance.
For me, canon just defines the characterisation and certain key events. Everything else is wiiiiide open.
So shippers, don't despair. There's plenty of room for all of us.