** spoiler alert **
I don't really know what I think of the beginning, since the first two (clearly important) scenes are done outside Harry's frame of reference. The whole point of the books has been that we're in limited 3rd person POV - we find things out when Harry does. That's been the clearly established rule for 5 books, I don't understand why we're changing it in the 6th. Obviously the point of being an author is that you make the rules, but once you've made your own rules you're supposed to abide by them until you've also created an exception. That can be done more easily with substantive rules - you can have vampires wander around in direct sunlight eating garlic for all I care, if you say why you're doing it. But a style rule that's been clearly established isn't supposed to be broken, unless you need information that CAN'T be conveyed any other way, and I don't see why she couldn't have conveyed the information in those scenes later in the book in the usual way. Okay, yes, it's clearly important that we know about the Unbreakable Vow, but Harry found out about it anyway, so I'm not sure why we had to know about it when we did. The point could have been to introduce Narcissa and use Bellatrix again, but I'm not sure why we care. Or I guess it could have been that we suspect Snape, which would definitely be fun and games, but I'm suspicious of that clearly planted suspicion. My best guess is that we need to know not only THAT Snape made the Unbreakable Vow, but WHAT he vowed to do, and that must have been the most convenient way to do it.
Also, I would like to veto love triangles. I know, I know - we have a bunch of 16 year olds of the two genders in constant close quarters, it would be more shocking if we DIDN'T have triangles. But it's woeful to have to read it for a million billion pages. And Ron really can be a spectacular McAsshat when he wants to. (Lavender? Really? I have nothing against her, but really?) Although I worry about where she's going with Ron and Hermione - they FIGHT. A LOT. And I don't think that would change that much, no matter what happens...it hasn't been the "bickering of unspoken passion" all this time. I think Ron started the snarking of move around Year 4, but Hermione has been thoroughly...Hermione until this year. Also, I kind of like her with Viktor Krum, because it was FUNNY. Although I am surprisingly myself by being a supporter of Harry-Ginny. I heart Ginny and I think she would work well with him. I mean, if it goes bad it will go VERY VERY BAD, as Harry himself as pointed out, but maybe it won't go bad. Maybe there will be ONE THING in this ENTIRE SERIES that doesn't end up going bad.
....Or she could be the one who dies at the end of book 7 WAH VETO.
One disadvantage of being a Johnny (jill?) come lately is that I knew that Dumbledore died, just like I knew that Sirius died, but I managed to block that out with the supreme conviction of someone who believes that the bad ending will have worked itself out by the time she gets there. Unfortunately, it did not, and I am deprived of Dumbledore as I was deprived of Sirius, and yea verily I cried. I cried harder for Sirius than for Dumbledore, though I'm not sure why - probably because why Dumbledore's death wasn't a shock, how it happened was, and I was too busy screaming "WHAT THE F!" at the book to really be emotionally wracked. I had to go back and read it twice just to make sure I really understood what had just happened, because it seemed like there was just no way.
So the end.....W. T. EEEEEEFFFFFFFF. I mean, what WAS that? Was it an Imperious Curse? Was it the consequences of the Unbreakable Vow? Or have Ron and Harry been right all this time? And it's so utterly bizarre because earlier in the book I'd been thinking about how even though Snape doesn't always like it, in the end he does usually seem to do what's right, like when he made Lupin the serum or when he tried to teach Harry Occlumency-whatever, even though he doesn't like it, and that was what had me convinced that Dumbledore was right in trusting him. And I'd thought that maybe if Harry just sucked it up and apologized to Snape and actually tried being polite it might help - like if he'd had sorry for his accidental disemboweling of Malfoy. I mean, yes, Malfoy was trying to use the Cruciatus on him, but I'd been thinking if Harry just manned up and said to Snape, "Professor, I'm sorry I did that," without making excuses, that might make a different. But then after all of that it turns out that HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS HOWARD CHRIST ON A POGO STICK SNAPE BETRAYED THE POTTERS???? and I seriously rethought that idea.
And then...and then after ALL of that, has he really been still working for Voldemort this ENTIRE TIME? I mean, I'd wondered if everyone circling you for all those years going Dumbledore trusts you but we don't and we just want to make that VERY VERY CLEAR could eventually crack you, and then--wha--wha--what?
And Dumbledore DIED FOR A FAKE HORCRUX AND WHO THE FUDGE IS R.A.B.??
My brain has just waved a tiny white flag and crawled into the corner to cry. Dear J.K. Rowling: please cease and desist phunking with my heart.