Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part Two
My interest in the Harry Potter books wasn't planned, but grew from trying to form an opinion for an article I was writing and questions that I was being asked by the parents of my patients. Finding the books not to be as worthless as some less-than-unbiased organizations were claiming; I have, in fact, read them all, some several times. And, I must confess, that I had great anticipation for the release of book six, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." For me, this book was similar to the previous releases in that It was difficult to put down and received almost a "straight through" reading over the two day weekend. All that being said, I must confess that, at it's completion, I feel somewhat like having been "slugged in the stomach."
J K Rowling has said many times in interviews that she would not forget that she was writing her books for the 7 to 11 year old child. She seems, to me, to have missed her mark a bit on this one! The book is unmistakably the quality of a Rowling effort, with it's convincingly vivid word pictures. And, it did portray a refreshingly greater "you're-not-being-left-alone-to-raise-yourself-so-here-is-some-adult-mentoring" type of relationship with Harry; which, in my opinion, was lacking in previous books. New characters were unique and skillfully crafted in the "Rowling-ian" fashion; and, it did have "surprises around every corner." When an author breaks down the readers pre-conceptions about characters, their distress and even feelings of loss is, of course, to be expected. Even in a mystery novel such as this.
The enormous "HOWEVER" comes, this time, in the feeling of "pointlessness," which was left in many readers this time around. Perhaps Ms Rowling was actually intending to inflict the reader with feelings of: being overwhelmed with the enormity of the task ahead; that little, if anything, had seemed to have been accomplished so far; that there is aparantly a hopelessly impossible and vaguely defined task ahead; that Harry evidently has totally inadequate skills (Harry couldn’t inflict even one defensive or retaliatory spell on Snape let alone LV); that he is left alone with no significant source of information or assistance which would actually help him become adequate to the task; that making the ultimate sacrifice was pointless; or, to leave Harry with only an inadequately vague, or non-existent plan, or hope, for the future.
Even the customary "moral" or uplifting message, found in all the other books, seemed more vague, to me, in this book; thereby making my defense against the all-to-frequently-present, opinion-by-proxy critic, who was denigrating the book and it's author, more difficult. I saw more than a few youngsters (in the previously targeted age bracket) dressed in their themed clothing, waiting, with me (and their supportive parents with the checkbooks), in the long lines so we could receive "tokens" of permission which would enable us to stand in yet other lines, where the books were located. After they have returned their costumes to the closet this time I wonder how they will feel during the next two years awaiting "closure." I will wait of course; but, it just seems (to me at least) that it wouldn't have been too difficult, or un-true to the plot, for Ms. Rowling to have left Harry (and readers) with just a little bit of realistic confidence upon which to hang some hope.
- Hermione's Helping Hand
- Their sixth year had several "free periods" during the day which they unfortunately found they needed in order to study and keep up with the increased difficulty of the coursework. Non-verbal spells were now expected. They were too busy to visit Hagrid and he became more distant. Harry received the new copy of "Advanced Potion-Making" he ordered and used "Diffindo" to take the cover off and "Reparo" to replace it so he could keep the "Half-Blood Prince's" annotations. Stan Shunpike, of the Knight bus, was arrested on suspicion of Death Eater activity because of his "bragging" in a pub. Some parents were withdrawing their children from school, others were notified that their parents were dead or missing and they noticed that Dumbledore was gone from the school for periods of time.
Cormac McLaggen tried out for Keeper. Harry had to weed out many novices who couldn't fly, didn't have a broom or were not even from Gryffindor. Katie Bell, returned as chaser with Demelza Robins and Ginny Weasley. Jimmy Peakes (3rd year) and Ritchie Coote became Beaters. Ron saved 5 penalties in a row beating McLaggen who had only 4. Harry found that Hermione had confunded McLaggen but didn't say anything to Ron.
They really had to work at making up with Hagrid who had become really hurt that they had snubbed him then wept when he told them that Aragog (his spider) was dying. Hermione had to tell Hagrid that they couldn't even squeeze his class in with "Time Turners" because they had destroyed the ministries entire stock last year when they fought the death eaters.
Professor Slughorn invited Harry and Hermione to a dinner party while completely ignoring Ron. Slughorn thought he could talk Snape into letting Harry off from detention to attend the party but really had no chance. The Daily Prophet reported that Arthur Weasley had done another search of the Malfoy house (because of Harry's information about Draco's visit to Knockturn Alley) but didn't find anything. Hermione said that Filtch scanned everyone with secrecy sensors when they arrived so Draco couldn't have brought it with him to Hogwarts. Snape sent a note to Harry that he would be sorting flubber worms in detention "no matter how many party invitations you receive!"
- Silver and Opals
- In mid October they were allowed to go into to Hogsmead for the first time that year. Harry found himself reading the Half-Blood Prince's book for personal reading and was surprised to find things other than Potions in it as well. Some were original spells, that he had seemed to have invented himself, and Harry used one, "Levicorpus (nvbl)," unintentionally on Ron which flipped him upside down in the air by his ankles. Unfortunately Ron was asleep at the time and his startled screams cause a roar of laughter throughout their bedroom. All Ron told Harry, though, was "tomorrow I would prefer that you set the alarm clock." Although Harry had been able to reverse it quickly, (and he remembered that his dad had used it on Snape), Hermione became increasingly upset at "the Prince" whom she described as "dodgy." Ginny began dating Dean Thomas and upset Ron greatly when he caught them "snogging" in a passageway.
Zonko's joke shop was boarded up. Slughorn met Harry again and invited him for the third time to one of his parties; but, He still couldn't go because of his next lesson with Dumbledore. They caught Mundungus talking with the Hogs Head barman and when they helped him pick up objects that he had dropped they found that it was stolen property from Sirius' house! Hermione and Tonks had to prevent Harry from choking Mundungus he got so angry.
On their way back to the castle, Katie Bell and her friend Leanne were seen arguing over a package. They pulled at it together and when it ripped and fell, Katie rose into the air in a trance and screamed until she collapsed. Harry was able to get Hagrid to carry the still screaming Katie back to the hospital wing; then realized that she had been cursed by the ornate opal necklace which fell out of the package. It was the one that they had seen in Borgin and Burkes. Katie had been "imperiused" in the bathroom to deliver it to "someone" up at school. Harry remembered that Draco knew about the necklace; but, when he went to tell Dumbledore, McGonagall said that the Headmaster was not at the school so she wanted to hear Harry's story. He told her that he believed Draco had given Katie the necklace, but she said Draco had been in detention with her all day for not finishing his transfiguration homework twice in a row. They didn't know who would have been the recipient of the necklace but figured that Draco must have had an accomplice.
- The Secret Riddle
- Katie was taken to St Mungo's Hospital but no-one, including Ron and Hermione, believed Harry's "Malfoy-Is-a-Death-Eater" theory. Katie hadn't touched the necklace except through a tiny hole in her glove, or she would have died. Dumbledore told Harry that Professor Snape was able to "help save her." Dumbledore wouldn't tell him, however, why he was frequently leaving Hogwarts or where he was going. But, he said, "Mundungus won't be stealing anything from you again" because he had gone underground. Dumbledore poured memories into the Pensieve and they took another excursion, this time through one of his own memories with Caractacus Burke (founder of Borgin and Burke). Burke said that Merope, covered in rags and pregnant, had come to sell him her locket because she needed the money. He felt proud of himself for only giving her 10 galleons for it. Dumbledore pointed out to Harry that Merope wasn't using magic at the time for some reason, and apparently had "chosen" to die. At Harry's apparent confusion and repulsion over leaving her son, Dumbledore answered that "yes" Harry's mother had "made a choice" as well.
A second memory in that lesson was when Dumbledore, then a teacher at Hogwarts, went to retrieve Tom Riddle from Mrs. Cole the matron of an orphanage, Ostensibly for his "scholarship" at the school. Dumbledore had to trick her with a magically conjured letter of credentials and several bottles of Gin. She revealed to him that just after she had started working at the orphanage a young girl came staggering up the steps to deliver her baby. The girl had died two hours later. But, before she died, she had said "I hope he looks like his papa." She said his surname was to be "Riddle." And "Tom for HIS father" and "Marvolo for HER father." Mrs. Cole said that Tom had always been a "funny child." He "hardly ever cried" and he "scares the other children." Several "nasty incidents" had occurred. "Billy Stubbs's rabbit, didn't hang itself from the rafters," and "Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop were never quite right after they went into a cave near the seaside during an excursion" with him. They were unable to say anything else about their time in the cave.
When they met, Tom was suspicious of Dumbledore and literally commanded him to "TELL THE TRUTH" in a loud, intimidating manner; apparently, like he had done it many times before. After he was told that he was a wizard, Tom exclaimed "It's magic, what I can do?" "I can make things move without touching them," he said, "I can make animals do what I want them to do, without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want to." When Riddle tried again to intimidate Dumbledore to "PROVE IT" (that he was a wizard) Dumbledore peacefully backed him down and told him to call him professor or sir. Tom then became obsequiously polite. Dumbledore caused Tom's wardrobe to burst into flames as a proof of his wizard-hood. He also then found several stolen items in the wardrobe, and told Tom to take them back and apologize. He told him clearly about standards at Hogwarts and advised him regarding obeying wizarding law which could be punishable by Azkaban prison.
Tom refused any help from Dumbledore in going to Diagon Alley for school supplies. Dumbledore told him how to get there and ask "Tom the barman" how to get in. Riddle said that he could talk to snakes. "They find me, they whisper to me." Dumbledore told Harry that he had returned to Hogwarts determined to keep an eye on Tom; because, he said: "his powers were unusually well-developed for his age" and that he had begun to "use them intentionally against other people, to frighten, to punish, and to control." He told Harry that Riddle's being a parselmouth didn't concern him as much as his "obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy, and domination." Dumbledore pointed out that Tom had "showed contempt for (his name and) anything that tied him to other people." Also that he was (and still is) friendless, secretive, and self-sufficient, even though some Death Eaters like to think, and claim, that they are in his confidence. He also pointed out to Harry that Riddle liked to collect trophies from victims of his bullying. When he left, Harry noticed that Marvolo's ring had gone from Dumbledore's table.
- Felix Felicis
- In Herbology, they had to literally "wrestle" gnarled stumps of Snargaluff for the pod contained within. Hermione told them that Slughorn's parties were "not bad" and that she had been asked to tell Slughorn which day Harry had free so his Christmas party could be planned for that date. Ron jealously maligned the "slug club" until Hermione said she would invite him as her guest. Harry pondered if their friendship could survive if Ron and Hermione began dating then broke up. He asked Dean Thomas to fill in for Katie as Chaser, which upset Seamus. Ron was an inconsistent Quidditch player and when stressed he became wild and unable to play. Ginny read Ron the riot act when he ragged on her for kissing Dean; then, belittled him for "never having anyone to kiss." Near tears, she claimed that Harry had "snogged Cho and Hermione had snogged Viktor Krum" which really upset Ron. They found a small girl in the 7th floor corridor, outside the room of requirement, who dropped a bottle of frogspawn when she saw them walking past her. They commented that students seemed to be getting younger every year. Harry then began daydreaming about having a relationship with Ginny; but, worried about how Ron would take it.
Ron, upset that Hermione had kissed Viktor, became abusive with other team mates until Harry had to threaten him with removal. Ron said he was resigning after the next game even though Harry told him that it was all a problem of "nerves." Lavender began pursuing Ron. Before an important game, Harry let Hermione and Ron see him sneak some of his Felix Felicis into Ron's pumpkin juice; which he drank, even though Hermione was disgusted at them. Malfoy feigned illness so he didn't have to play and wasn't at the game. Zacharias Smith was commentating and used it to malign the Gryffindor team. Ron made spectacular saves and Gryffindor was substantially ahead when Harper went after the snitch. Harry was only able to catch it by distracting Harper, asking "how much Malfoy had paid him to play." Even though the game was over, Ginny sped up and "accidentally" crashed into Zacharias' podium. Harry finally admitted to Ron and Hermione that he had only "faked" using the potion and Ron had actually done it all himself! Then Ron got mad at Hermione for thinking it couldn't have been his skill. It seemed to Harry that the two were just determined to argue with each other, no matter what.
Lavender finally "captured" Ron and began snogging with him in the common room (and anywhere else she could get him). Harry grew more fond of Ginny but didn't dare act on it because Ginny was dating Dean and worrying what Ron might think. Ron's "writhing about" with Lavender seemed to hurt Hermione's feelings, and Harry found her alone in an empty classroom having conjured a small flock of canaries while she wanted to be alone. Lavender and Ron barged into the room also, but Lavender excused herself. Hermione then also left but not before using the "Oppugno" spell to cause her bird flock to attack Ron!
- The Unbreakable Vow
- Harry found himself in the middle of Ron and Hermione's "not talking to each other" episodes. Hermione warned Harry about hearing Romilda Vane and others talking about giving Harry love potion they had bought from Fred and George by mail order. They had it mailed to them disguised as perfume. She advised him to quickly ask someone to the Slug Club party in order to stop the girls' plans and noise behind a bookshelf made them realized that they were being overheard by someone. Later, Romilda gave Harry some Chocolate Cauldrons - he took them but didn't eat them. Ron and Hermione's feud escalated to tears. Luna Lovegood had an "unusual knack of speaking uncomfortable truths" and Harry asked her to the party "as just friends." Ron began using Lavender to "get at" Hermione; and Hermione asked "Cormac McLaggen" to get back at Ron calling McLaggen a "really good Quidditch player."
Slughorn gave Harry an effusive welcome to his party, and introduced him to Eldred Worple, an author who tried to pressure Harry to let him write his biography. Harry uncharacteristically told him "I'm definitely NOT interested!" Hermione met he and Luna when she was "escaping" from McLaggen, who "makes Grawp look like a gentleman." Luna and Professor Trelawney amused everyone with their off-beat opinions and discussions. Slughorn snagged Snape into a conversation where he complimented Harry on his Potion making ability; and, Filtch drug Malfoy in by the ear after finding him "lurking in an upstairs corridor (probably the 7th floor). Malfoy looked pale and drawn and seemed disappointed when Slughorn invited him to stay. Snape demanded to speak alone with Malfoy; so, Harry followed them, under his invisibility cloak, to the end of the dungeon corridor.
When Snape appeared to be trying Legillimancy on him, Malfoy said that "I can stop you," because his aunt Bellatrix had been teaching him Occlumency. Snape asked "what thoughts are you trying to conceal from your 'master?'" Malfoy said "nothing from HIM, I just don't want YOU butting in." Malfoy had been deliberately refusing to come to Snape's office for punishments and talks. Snape told Malfoy that he had "promised his mother, with an Unbreakable Vow," to help. Malfoy said: he "had a job" to do; wouldn't tell Snape about his plan; had some "better help" than just Crabbe and Goyle; and that DADA is all an ACT "like any of us need protecting against the Dark Arts." Snape then asked "where do you think I'd have been all these years if I didn't know how to ACT?" Draco stormed out.
- A Very Frosty Christmas
- Ron and Harry were at the Burrow for Christmas where Ron was filled in about Snape's conversation with Malfoy. "A person dies," Ron said, "if they break an 'unbreakable vow.'" Harry said he would tell Dumbledore, but Ron suggested that everyone would think Snape was just trying to get Draco to tell him what he was doing so he could spy the "Order." Lupin also came for Christmas and looked more ill than ever. Mr. Weasley confided to Harry that probably none of the arrests the ministry had made so far were Death Eaters including Stan Shunpike. When told of Draco and Snape, both Mr. Weasley and Lupin said "Dumbledore trusts Snape and that should be good enough for us."
Lupin had been living with the Werewolves who follow Voldemort thinking they would have a better life under his rule. Fenrir Greyback is the most savage of them, believing his mission is to bite and contaminate as many people as possible. He actively pursues victims, specializing in children. It was Greyback who had bitten Lupin. No one had ever heard of the Half-Blood Prince and the use of the Levicorpus spell was common, Lupin told them. James Potter was a full-blood wizard and never went by "Prince," he said. Lavender gave Ron a gold chain reading "My Sweetheart" which embarrassed and disgusted him. Kreacher gave Harry a package of maggots. Fleur and Bill acted more in love than ever, much to the consternation of Molly. Referring to Tonks, Lupin said that a patronus might change in response to a "great shock or emotional upheaval."
Percy came to visit his family, and Minister Scrimgeour "just happened" to come along. It was a ploy to get Harry to talk to Scrimgeour. The minister pretended it was Percy's idea and he "accidentally" chose Harry to walk in the garden with him. The minister was miffed that Dumbledore had been preventing him from speaking with Harry. He danced around topics, even tried to tempt Harry with a future Auror position, until Harry forced him to a admit that he really wanted Harry as a "poster boy" for his administration. Harry maturely and forcefully stood up to him, saying "but If I'm seen with you, won't that make people think I agree with what you are doing? And I don't! You're making Shunpike a scapegoat, just like you want to make me a mascot. You people never get it right," he said, and he showed him his scarred hand from Umbridge's abuse. "You seem cleverer than Fudge, I'd of though you would have learned from his mistakes. He tried interfering at Hogwarts, he's not minister any more. I'd leave Dumbledore alone, if I were you." When taunted Harry admitted that "Yes, I guess I am, Dumbledore's man through and through."
- A Sluggish Memory
- A few days after New Year, Harry, Ron and Ginny used the Floo network to return back to Hogwarts through McGonagall's office. It was a one time only occurrence, due to security measures. Mrs. Weasley had cried ever since Percy stormed out of the house on Christmas day. The Fat Lady and her friend Violet had drunk their way through all the wine in the picture of the drunk monks in the Charms corridor. And, if possible, Lavender became even more possessive and embarrassing to "Won Won" as she called Ron. Like the others, Hermione believed Snape was just trying to obtain information from Draco for the Order; but, conceded that Malfoy was "planning something." She reminded Harry that Fenrir Greyback was the person who Malfoy mentioned as a "friend of the family" to intimidate Borgin in Knockturn alley. Apparition lessons began for those who will be 17 on or before 31 Aug.
Dumbledore got emotional over Harry telling Scrimgeour he was "Dumbledore's man." The argument Dumbledore had with the minister was over not allowing him access to Harry for his political purposes. Harry got upset when Dumbledore told him that he understood about Malfoy and Snape "better than you do"; and, using legillimancy, Dumbledore had to put Harry in his place. After their disagreement, he showed Harry two more memories in the Pensieve. In his first year, Tom Riddle was dressed in second-hand robes. He was placed in Slytherin house the moment the Sorting Hat touched his head. Riddle learned that Slytherin had been able to talk to snakes; but, gave no hint of frightening or speaking parceltongue to other students. He showed no sign of arrogance or aggression at all, but was unusually talented and very good-looking which drew attention and sympathy from the staff. Dumbledore didn't tell the other staff of his concerns, preferring to give Tom a second chance. Riddle gathered a group of "friends" (although he had no affection for any of them) of consisting of the: "weak seeking protection, ambitious seeking shared glory, and thuggish seeking a leader toward more refined forms of cruelty." Riddles seven years at Hogwarts was marked by several nasty incidents, none of which could be proven. Dumbledore said that, in his search for "memories," he needed to trick many acquaintances into talking. Riddle had been obsessed with his parentage, but finally accepted that "Tom Riddle Sr." was not a wizard and dropped his name in favor of "Lord Voldemort." He then began searching for Marvolo, and stumbled across the existence of Slytherin's surviving line - the Gaunt's.
In the Pensieve, Harry saw Riddle go back the Gaunt house, during the summer of his 16th year, and speak with Morfin, who was wearing Marvolo's black stoned ring. Riddle learned the story about his mother being disowned and his muggle father living across the valley. Morfin's memory then went blank and Dumbledore explained his hypothesis that Riddle had stupefied him, took his wand and killed the Riddles. Then he had modified Morfin's memory, so that he would confess to the killings, and stole Marvolo's black ring. Dumbledore was able to obtain Morfin's memory just before he had died in Azkaban. He told Harry that the ministry can tell IF magic is done at a location, but not by WHOM. The memory in the second phial, he wanted Harry to see, had congealed somewhat. It was of potions professor Slughorn talking to student Tom Riddle in his senior year during a "slug club" meeting; but, it had been "altered." Riddle had asked him about Horcruxes and was told: "I don't know anything and wouldn't tell you if I did." Dumbledore assigned Harry to obtain the "true memory" from Slughorn, as he was the "one person who might be able to penetrate his defenses."
- Birthday Surprises
- Ron and Hermione continued to be angry with each other and put Harry in the middle. Potions class was about creating an antidote for some blended poisons, which neither Ron or Harry understood. Hermione felt vindicated that she wouldn't be bested by Harry and "the Prince" this time. The annotation in Harry's book merely said to "stuff a Bezoar down their throat." Nearly all of the class failed (Hermione's antidote had 52 ingredients!);
except that Harry just held up a Bezoar, which made Slughorn laugh. Harry did ask Slughorn about Horcruxes; but, he got angry and stormed out. Hermione failed her library search to find any reference of Horcruxes; except: "that of the wickedest of magical inventions, the Horcrux, we shall not speak."
Twelve weeks of extracurricular Apparition lessons began. Harry positioned himself to be able to hear Malfoy argue with Crabbe about "it taking longer than I thought it would," and that it was "none of their business what he was doing" and that "they should just keep lookout." Apparition needs "3 D's": Destination, Determination & Deliberation - sort of "see yourself there" turn and be there. Susan Bones left a body part behind in her attempt, called splinching; but was put right by the Heads of Houses. Splinching, there instructor said, "occurs when the mind is insufficiently determined." Harry began tracking Malfoy with the Marauders Map without success. He saw Crabbe and Goyle alone in corridors, but Malfoy wasn't even on the map. The next Hogsmead trip was cancelled (on Ron's Birthday March 1st), and the Daily Prophet reported more disappearances of people. Ron opened his birthday presents and mistakenly thought the candy Romilda Vane gave Harry was a present for him, and ate some. It actually contained Love Potion as a trap for Harry. Harry took Ron to Slughorn for an antidote. Afterwards, Slughorn offered them a celebratory drink of "one last bottle" of oak-matured mead that he had forgotten to give to Dumbledore for a Christmas present. Ron drank first and fell unconscious, poisoned. Harry had presence of mind enough to find and put a Bezoar into his mouth which saved him.
- Elf Tails
- That evening, Fred and George were with Harry, Hermione and Ginny at the bedside of Ron in the hospital wing. The twins were in Hogsmead thinking about buying Zonko's. They finally surmised that the poisoner meant the bottle to go to Dumbledore. Hagrid came in late, having been "reading to" Aragog. Ginny said that the poisoner didn't seem "to care how many people they hurt before they reach their victim." Mr. Weasley told Harry that "half our family does seem to owe you their lives… It was a lucky day for the Weasley's that Ron" met you. Talking, Hagrid accidentally let slip that he believed Dumbledore was "angry with Sn… "; because, he had overheard them near the forest having a "heated discussion." Snape had said that "Dumbledore took too much for granted, and maybe -- Snape -- "didn't want to do it any more" but didn’t' say what. Harry became even more concerned about Dumbledore's apparent blindness about Snape and Draco.
With Ron out of Quidditch, Cormac McLaggen pushed Harry into playing keeper; then, kept dogging him, trying to force his detailed training schemes on him. Lavender kept pushing questions about Ron on him as well; because, Ron pretended to be asleep whenever she visited. On the way to the Quidditch game against Hufflepuff Harry passed Draco with two girls. They were going back into the castle away from the game and he almost decided to miss the game to follow them. Trying to end the game early, so he could go follow Draco, he was even more distracted when McLaggen spent more time criticizing the rest of the team than defending the goal. Luna Lovegood commentated the game in her dreamy style - to Ron's (who was up in the hospital wing) great delight . Grabbing Peakes' bat, McLaggen tried to show him how to hit a bludger but hit Harry in the head. They lost the game, 320 to 60! Madame Pomfrey mended Harry's cracked skull, but kept him over night.
Having a brainstorm, Harry called to Kreacher and the elf "popped" to him. However, he came right in the middle of a fight with Dobby, over insulting Harry. Peeves came with them and Harry used "Langlock" to glue Peeve's tongue to the roof of his mouth. Harry forbid the two elves from fighting with each other, then asked them to "tail" Draco and find where he was going, who he was meeting and what he was doing. He said that he wanted regular reports and preemptively ordered Kreacher not to have any contact with Malfoy.
- Lord Voldemort's Request
- Now that Ron had been knocked out and poisoned, Hermione, was friends with him again. She also repaired a "little girl's" scales that had been dropped outside of the room of requirement. Luna delivered Harry another invitation to a "Dumbledore Lesson." As Harry arrived, Trelawney was leaving, upset and complaining about the "usurping nag" (Firenze) and wanting his removal - which had been denied. Firenze can't go back to the forest, Dumbledore told Harry, and Trelawney doesn't know the danger she'd be in outside the castle from Voldemort. Harry received a chastisement because he hadn't obtained Slughorn's memory yet. Harry promised he would put his best efforts into obtaining it. Dumbledore said that, after Voldemort was 17, evidence about him was much more scarce because people weren't willing to talk. Conjectures were drawn from two memories and Dumbledore wanted Harry's opinion.
Voldemort had approached Headmaster Armando Dippet for the vacant DADA job, but was told he was too young and he could re-apply later. He then worked at Borgin and Burkes as an "obtainer" of magical objects - which he excelled at. A "client," Hepzibah Smith, made the mistake of showing Tom her Helga Hufflepuff gold cup and her Salazar Slytherin gold locket (from Merope Gaunt). He came back two days later and imperioused her house elf, Hokey, to poison Hepzibah then stole her items. Hokey was convicted by confessing just like Morfin had done. Harry surmised that Tom had done the deed and blamed it on Hokey. Riddle then disappeared for many years.
Ten years later Tom came to Dumbledore, who was now headmaster, to ask for the DADA job. He was no longer handsome but had "burned and blurred" features, like distorted wax, and a permanently bloody look to his eyes. His face was as pale as snow and he wore a long clack cloak. Dumbledore refused to call him anything but "Tom" a "teachers prerogative." As a compliment Riddle acknowledged that Dumbledore had been offered, and turned down, the job of Minister of Magic three times. Dumbledore said he "would be sorry to believe half of the rumors" about Tom. Riddle said he had "pushed the boundaries of magic farther than they have ever been pushed," and he taunted Dumbledore that nothing supported his "pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic." He lied to Dumbledore; but, was called on it by having to explain why he was accompanied to the interview by the Death Eaters: Nott, Rosier, Mulciber & Dolohov. Riddle wouldn't answer what the "real reason" he had come back to Hogwarts had been. Dumbledore reflected to Riddle that he "could no longer scare him and force him to make repayment for his crimes, but he wished he could." After he was refused, Hogwarts had never been able to keep a DADA teacher for longer than a year!