Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part Three
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.
- The Unknowable Room
- The incantation "Sectumsempra" was written in Harry Potions' book over the words "for enemies." After his chastisement over using the levicorpus spell on Ron, he decided to wait to try this one out. The date for the apparition license test was set and Harry was the only one who had apparated yet - "just once." He wouldn't be able to take the test on that date, however, because he wouldn't be old enough. Ron and Hermione could though. As Hermione softened and began helping them with their homework again, Ron confessed that he'd like to dump Lavender but didn't have the nerve. Kreacher tried to report to Harry without Dobby, but was found out. His report was useless, but Dobby said Malfoy was a "bad boy" who was skulking about the castle "keen to avoid detection. He has been making regular visits to the room of requirement," Dobbie said, "with a variety of other students to keep watch for him while he enters." They all surmised that Crabbe and Goyle had been using stolen Polyjuice potion to transform into little girls and keep watch while Draco "fixes something" in the Room of Requirement. Harry tried several time to get into the Room of Requirement without knowing already what it was turning into for Malfoy; but, failed every time. He finally had to admit that, unless he already knew what was required, he wouldn't be able to get in.
Seamus asked Snape what an Inferi was in DADA class on day and Snape turned it back on Harry to answer, then belittled what he said. Mundungus Fletcher had been arrested for masquerading as an Inferi while he burgled places. While Ron was complaining to Harry about his apparition test, Moaning Myrtle appeared in their bathroom, apparently looking for her new "boyfriend" who she said was "sensitive" (he was crying and she felt compassion). She described him as "sensitive, people bully him too, and he feels lonely and hasn't got anybody to talk to, and he's not afraid to cry"; but, she wouldn’t say who it was.
While everyone else was in Hogsmead taking an apparition lesson Harry found Goyle standing guard (as a girl) for Draco and scared her off. He still couldn't get into the room, but met Tonks, still looking depressed, who said she came to see Dumbledore but he had gone again. She had heard that someone had gotten hurt and wanted to check with him. The way she continued to act, Harry thought that she must have fallen in love with Sirius, and was feeling bad now that he had been killed.
- After the Burial
- Hagrid sent Harry a note that Aragog had died, and said that he wanted them all to come for the burial that night; but, they all decided that they wouldn't risk it. Harry still hadn't been able to obtain the true memory from Slughorn and Hermione was continually nagging him to do so. Ron suggested Harry use his Felix Felicis to obtain the memory and Harry said that he would - even though he had been saving it for a day with Ginny. They heard that the Montgomery sisters' 5 year old brother had been bitten by Fenrir Greyback, and that he had died because his mother had refused to help the Death Eaters. Hermione convinced Harry that stopping Voldemort's killing was where all his energy should be focused and that meant getting Slughorn's memory for the Pensieve. Everyone went to Hogsmead to take their apparition test, leaving only 3 students in potions so Slughorn just told them all to "make something amusing" for me. Harry used "the prince" to make a Euphoria elixir which he would try to use on Slughorn to make him in a good mood; but, he hurried away, as fast as he could, still trying to avoid letting Harry ask any more questions. Hermione passed her test but Ron failed due to splinching a tiny part of his eyebrow.
So, without any other choice, Harry took just a mouthful of Felix to last him the night. It gave him a warm feeling of confidence and he "just knew" that he should change him mind and go to the Aragog's burial. Being invisible under his cloak, Lavender was only able to see Ron and Hermione together, so SHE got very angry with jealousy. Also, Harry accidentally bumped Ginny as he went through the portrait hole. She thought it was Dean who was pushing her, and SHE got angry at him. Then, taking an unexplained detour around the greenhouses Harry met Slughorn on the way. Instead of getting angry about him being out of the castle at night he just asked where he was going. Harry felt "felix" direct him to tell about Aragog, and Slughorn became anxious to attend the funeral - as well as obtain it's venom for it's monetary value. Harry kept magically refilling Hagrid and Slughorn's drinks until they became very convivial and Hagrid gave Slughorn several valuable unicorn tail hairs.
Hagrid mentioned how good Harry's parents had been, before he passed out from drink; so Harry took the opportunity to tell Slughorn about how his mom and dad had died. The professor became visibly affected, claiming that he had really cared about Lilly; so, Harry was able to shame him for not giving him his true memory of the conversation with Tom Riddle about Horcruxes. The Felix "told" Harry that Slughorn wouldn't remember anything the next day, so he admitted to being "the chosen one," and said he needed the information to kill Voldemort. Slughorn did finally relent and put the memory in an extra vial that he had brought in which to store Aragog's venom.
- The Felix Felicis was wearing off and, annoyed at being awoken, the Fat Lady lied to Harry saying the password had changed after midnight and he'd have to take it up with the Headmaster. He went to Dumbledore's office and together they viewed Slughorn's memory in the Pensieve. Tom Riddle was not the oldest of the "gang," who were in a special meeting with Slughorn; but, he was their leader. He was already wearing Marvolo's gold-and-black ring, and at 11pm he hung back, after the others had been excused, wanting to know about Horcruxes - objects "in which a person has concealed part of their soul." That way, even if "one's body is destroyed, one cannot die" for "a part of the soul remains undamaged." But, "few would want it," Slughorn told him, "death would be preferable." Riddle manipulated an explanation, that: after killing someone, and fracturing one's soul, a spell could be performed to put the fractured part into an object as a Horcrux.
Riddle asked about splitting it, the "magic number seven," times. The question seemed to disgust Slughorn so much that he ended the conversation, regretting he'd ever had it. It may have been just the lateness of the hour; but, uncharacteristically , Dumbledore then had a refreshingly non-cryptic, lengthy discussion with Harry. He revealed that he had made a study of Voldemort's life ever since Harry had provided him evidence that he was making Horcruxes. Voldemort's intent was to "go further along the path to immortality than any other wizard." Using his personal knowledge about how Riddle liked to 'collect' trophy's, he began looking for significant artifacts, which had gone missing after Voldemort had personally killed someone. The "last" (seventh) part of Riddle's soul is left in Voldemort's makeshift body. The first was "his Diary" that Harry had destroyed. The second was Marvolo's ring, which Dumbledore had found and destroyed, to the cost of his withered hand. They conjectured that the "third and fourth" were Slytherin's locket and Hufflepuff's cup, stolen from Hepzibah Smith and still to be found. The fifth and sixth were most likely to have been artifacts from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw - in order to 'complete the set' of Hogwart's founders. Dumbledore conjectured, however, that killing Harry was to have been his ability to make the sixth; but, it was foiled, so he needed to later use his killing of the Riddle estates caretaker to make Nagini the last Horcrux.
Dumbledore promised Harry that he could go with him to destroy the next Horcrux that he found. He answered Harry's question that "Voldemort didn't seem to know or 'feel' when one has been destroyed." When he forced the information out of Malfoy - that the diary had been destroyed - his anger was "terrible to behold." (how did AD know that?) Lucius was supposed to have planted the diary upon someone AFTER he was given the go-ahead by Voldemort; but, instead did it for his own gain (i.e. Ginny Weasley), unaware that it was actually a Horcrux. Dumbledore then got very emphatic in explaining to Harry the subtle difference between "being DRAGGED into the arena to face a battle to the death, and WALKING into the arena with your head held high." If Voldemort hadn't acted of his own accord "to mark" Harry "as his equal," and set the prophecy into effect, it would not have been fulfilled. So, Voldemort actually brought it on himself, AND made Harry the person who would be the most dangerous to him, by giving him the POWER to accomplish it (love)! The fact that Harry had suffered so much personal loss had prevented him from ever, even for a moment, being seduced by the Dark Arts. "You remain pure of heart" just as you were at 11, Dumbledore told him, when "you stared into the mirror (of Erised) and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort and NOT immortality or riches!" (few wizard could have seen what you saw)... Voldemort cannot possess you without enduring mortal agony."
- Lavender split up with Ron after she saw him coming out of the dormitory alone with Hermione the night before (Harry was invisible);
and, Ginny split with Dean for always trying to help her through the portrait hole (again, invisible Harry bumped her). In transfiguration, Hermione turned vinegar into wine, Harry turned it into ice and Ron exploded it. Katie Bell was able to return to school and Quidditch so with her and Ron back - and without McLaggen - they still might beat Ravenclaw. She couldn't remember anything about the necklace. Harry became obsessed about his new feelings for Ginny and what Ron might say about it; and, Slughorn had given up his "slug club" meetings all together.
Harry was still checking on Malfoy and one evening found him in the boys bathroom with Myrtle. He was crying, tears streaming down his face, and saying: "No one can help me… I can't to it… It won't work… unless I do it soon… he say's he'll kill me." When Malfoy saw Harry, he threw a curse at him which missed. Harry's "Levicorpus" retaliation was deflected. Then the bin behind Harry exploded and Harry's "Leg-Locker" curse missed and smashed a cistern. As Malfoy started to shout "Cruci…," to use an unforgivable curse, without thinking Harry used "Sectumsempra" merely waving his wand. Unfortunately, the spell cut Malfoy's face and chest; and, devastated Harry, because he had never done anything like that before in his life. Myrtle screamed "murder in the bathroom," and Snape "coincidentally" appeared. He used a song-like, wound-healing incantation three times, which healed Malfoy, then took him to the Hospital wing ordering Harry to "stay here.".
When Snape returned he used Legilimency to see Harry's "Half-Blood Prince" book in his mind, and told him to "go get it." Harry used magic to switch its cover with Ron's book, then tried to find somewhere to hide it. The Room of Requirement became a cathedral sized storage room full of "previously stored" items including: sherry bottles, the broken Vanishing Cabinet of Montague's and an acid-etched cabinet in which Harry hid his book. He marked it with a bust of an ugly old warlock, then went to face Snape. Unfortunately, Snape knew Harry was lying when he found "Roonil Wazlib" written in the front cover and the only excuse Harry could think of was that it was his "nickname." Harry was punished with detention every Saturday for the rest of the year, and had to recopy punishment slips for Filtch including those of his father and Sirius. Despite missing the Quidditch game, Gryffindor won: 450 to 140! So, they won the Quidditch cup. In the excitement, and to everyone's surprise, Harry kissed Ginny, a bit more amorously than he had intended. He quickly looked at Ron expecting the worst; but, only saw stunned surprise and a "well if you must" look. They then went for "a walk" on the grounds.
- The Seer Overheard
- There was more than a small amount of gossip about Harry dating Ginny. When asked if Harry had a Hippogriff tattooed on his chest, Ginny told Romilda Vane that "it was a Hungarian Horntail" and that Ron had a Pygmy Puff tattoo "somewhere else." Hermione found an old newspaper photograph about Eileen Prince at Hogwarts; but, Harry "just knew" that the Half-Blood Prince was a male. Dumbledore asked Harry to come to his office "right away" for something; but, on the way, he ran into Trelawney who had just been "thrown out of the Room of Requirement" by an unknown person, who had been already in there. She told Harry that she had heard "him whooping gleefully," very happy, and that when she called out, it suddenly went pitch black and he threw her out of the room. Harry convinced her to come with him and tell this story to Dumbledore; but, on the way to the office, her blabbering revealed to him that it had been Snape who had been spying on them during the time that she made the prophecy to Dumbledore about Harry. So, it must have been Snape who had sent Voldemort after Harry and his parents! He demanded that Trelawney "stay there" and went on alone.
Harry tried to control his anger when confronting Dumbledore about Snape; because, he still wanted to go with him to get the Horcrux that he probably found. Dumbledore told him that "you have no idea of the remorse he felt when he realized how Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy… I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned" to the right side. The discussion about Snape being an Occlumens, Draco happy about finishing something in the Room of Requirement and Trelawney's experience just got Harry more repetitions of: "I trust Severus Snape." Finally they had to "agree to disagree" and Harry was afraid that Dumbledore wouldn't want to take him with to find the Horcrux. Before taking him with, Dumbledore made Harry promise, several times, that he would "obey every order" even if he didn't want to. When sent back to get his cloak, Harry told Ron and Hermione to round up as many DA members as possible so they could watch the castle while he was gone. He also told them to share the rest of Felix and to use the Marauder's Map to watch Malfoy and Snape. Harry hid under his cloak and they walked out the gates to Hogsmead together. They met Rosmerta outside the Three Broomsticks and Dumbledore said he was going to the Hogshead because he wanted a little more quiet. Instead, they apparated to the cave, to which Tom Riddle had taken his childhood victims.
- The Cave
- They apparated onto a cliff by the sea and climbed down it's face using small niches as footholds. Then they swam into a narrow, winding fissure which led into a large cavern. A magical place in the wall opened into a door; once Dumbledore had deduced that they needed to sprinkling it with blood. It led to an inner cave which contained an immense lake. Dumbledore warned Harry against touching the water and, walking around the shore, eventually found an invisible chain which he magically set in motion to retrieve a submerged boat. He said that, after being Riddles teacher, he recognized "his style" in the imprint of magic he left behind. Entering the boat, it magically moved into the center of the lake where a rock island contained a pedestal with a basin filled with what looked like a clear fluid. The Horcrux was probably at the bottom but Dumbledore could find no way, other than drinking it, to remove the liquid. Dumbledore demanded that he drink it himself and that Harry continue making him drink the liquid, even if it gave him pain or made him beg for it to stop. It indeed did cause Dumbledore agony and apparently to see visions of his past. He begged to "make it stop," that "it was his fault," and that "he wouldn't do it again." Once it was gone, Dumbledore begged for water, which Harry tried to magic into a goblet but couldn't; so, was forced to dip from the lake. Doing so awakened an Inferi army, that began to drag him into their lake. Just as he was resigning himself to his doom, Dumbledore awoke and produced a fire shield that drove the Inferi back. It allowed them to grab the locket from the bottom of the basin and escape, in the boat, back to shore.
Dumbledore was visibly weakened, so Harry assisted him from the boat and around the lake to the exit ,which had closed back up. Harry had been wounded, so he used his own blood this time to exit the cave, then he side-apparated Dumbledore back to Hogsmead. When Harry assured Dumbledore not to be afraid, they would get back, Dumbledore responded "I'm not worried Harry, I am with you."
- The Lightning-Struck Tower
- They arrived back in Hogsmead with Dumbledore extremely weak and asking Harry to go get professor Snape (despite Harry's protestations.) Rosmerta saw them arrive, from out of her window, and rushed to them, pointing out the Dark Mark which had appeared above the astronomy tower. Dumbledore asked Harry to "accio" some broomsticks from her cupboard, which they used to get back into the school. Dumbledore muttered counter jinxes all the way, which let them pass through the security. He couldn't go any further once they had reached the tower; so, he sent Harry to retrieve Snape. Before he could go, however, Draco came through the door yelling "Expelliarmus." Dumbledore only had time to do one spelland he chose to freeze Harry in order to keep him out of danger under his cloak. Therefore Draco's spell was able to disarm him. Dumbledore spoke calmly to Draco, eventually informing him that he had known of his activities all along; but, that he knew if he had stopped him, Lord Voldemort would have killed him and his family. Draco confessed that he had been repairing the vanishing cabinet, having heard Montague tell that he'd been in limbo between the school and Borgin and Burke's last year when the Weasley's stuffed him in it. Malfoy argued with Dumbledore over whether or not Snape was working for Voldemort or for him; finally claiming that now "Snape won't be Voldemort's favorite anymore, he'll be nothing compared to me." He also confessed that he'd "imperioused" Rosmerta to help him; also that he'd used Hermione's advice, about Filtch's not being able to recognize potions, and her idea to enchant a coin to communicate with Rosmerta.
Draco said he was supposed to have been waiting on the tower for Dumbledore's return; but, "Phoenix guys" got in his way. Still speaking softly, but convincingly, Dumbledore told Draco that HE wasn't a killer. He asked him to "come to the right side" and the "Order" could convince everyone that he had been killed, and could "hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine - also your mother, and when the time comes, your father." Draco actually began to lower his wand when Death Eaters: Amycus, Alecto, Fenrir Greyback and a large brutal faced man arrived. Draco denied that he had known the werewolf was going to come into the school. They all told Draco to "do it"; but, when he didn't, and another said he was going to, he was prevented by the rest saying "Draco's got to do it." Draco still hesitated, in spite of their urgings, and when Fenrir started to attack Dumbledore, one of the others blasted him aside.
Finally Snape came through the door and all the others treated him with deference. Harry thought he heard Dumbledore pleading saying "Severus." Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore with revulsion on his face and Dumbledore repeated "Severus… please…" Snape then killed Dumbledore by pointing his wand and saying "Avada Kedavra"; but, it blasted him up and over the ramparts, and he fell backwards off the tower to the ground.
- Flight of the Prince
- After his "murder" of Dumbledore, Snape took Malfoy by the scruff of the neck, and pulled him through the door. The others followed behind them, leaving Harry to his scream of "NO" as his paralysis disappeared. When Dumbledore died, the binding spell he had produced released, and Harry was able to "petrify" the brutal-faced Death Eater before he followed Snape and heard him tell the other's: "it's over, time to go!" Fenrir turned and attacked Harry; but, was petrified just before he hit. Harry ducked just as a jet of green light, came right at him. He saw Ginny dodging Cruciatus curses from Amycus, so used "Impedimenta" at him. Ron, McGonagall and Lupin were all fighting Death eaters. Tonks was fighting an enormous blond wizard who was just blasting away indiscriminately. Harry followed the siblings escaping but tripped over Neville who said Snape and Malfoy had just passed. Harry aimed a hex at the blond from the floor which hit him in the face but he just staggered off after them all. Harry dodged a hex from the siblings and ran into a shortcut to the front door. He beat them there to see Hagrid battling the blond in the distance who set his hut on fire. The Death Eater siblings came up behind him and hit him with a jinx; but, Harry "Impedimenta'd" them when he dove and rolled over. He continued chasing after Snape and Malfoy and finally caught up to them outside the castle, on the grounds.
Harry cast "Stupefy" at Snape but it missed and he told Malfoy to "keep running" then turned to face Harry. Snape knocked Harry backward off his feet when he shielded himself from the boy's angry "Cruciatus" curse, exclaiming: "no Unforgivable Curses from you, Potter!" Then, almost lazily, Snape blocked Harry's curses one by one, saying, he would continue to block them "until Harry learned to keep his mouth shut and his mind closed." While they "battled," the huge Death Eater sneaked up behind Harry and hit him with the "Cruciatus" curse; but, Snape stopped him, saying: "No, Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord… we are to leave him!" The siblings and huge Death Eater ran off. Angry, Harry tried "Sectumsempra" on Snape, which was just deflected, as was his "Levicorpus." Finally Snape knocked Harry backward with an "expelliamus" on his wand; then demanded, "how dare you use my own spells against me?" "I am the Half-Blood Prince," Snape confessed. Harry reached for his wand, but Snape blasted it farther away, so Harry told him: "so kill me then, like you killed him (Dumbledore)… you coward!" Snape's face became deformed, inhuman, as though in pain, and he screamed "don't… call… me… coward!" And he slashed at the air with his wand, causing a white-hot, whip-like, something to hit and cut Harry across the face, knocking him backward. Buckbeak seemed to come out of nowhere and flew at Snape, slashing him with his claws as they ran, all the way to outside the front gate where Snape Apparated away.
Harry helped Hagrid "Aquamenti" water onto his burning hut, which had been set afire by the Death Eaters, to put out the fire and rescue Fang from inside. Hagrid wouldn't believe that Snape had killed Dumbledore, so Harry just took him up to the body. Harry knew that the release of the Full Body-Bind curse on him could have happened only because its caster was dead. He looked at the locket which had fallen out of Dumbledore's pocket, and realized that it wasn't even the "real" Slytherin's locket! When he opened it, he found a note inside which said: "I know that I will be dead by the time you read this", but "I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret!" It said that the person had stolen the real Horcrux and would destroy it as soon as he was able. He faced death in the hope that "when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more." And it was signed R.A.B. Apparently Dumbledore weakened himself with the potion… for nothing.
- The Phoenix Lament
- Hagrid tried to get Harry to go inside the castle but he wouldn't, until Ginny took him by the hand. They all went to the hospital wing where Bill was receiving treatment. He had been severely slashed by Fenrir (even though it wasn't the full moon) and was who Harry had stepped on, thinking he was dead. Ginny said that, if they hadn't all taken the Felix, they would have been dead; because, curses just seemed to miss them. Bill's badly slashed and ripped face couldn't be healed by magic and would probably remain. Harry was the one who told them that Snape had killed Dumbledore. In face, he was the one who had most of the answers for everyone the whole night. Through their grief, they heard Fawkes singing on the grounds which eased their pain somewhat. When McGonagall came, they discussed Snape and his Occlumency ability. She said that Dumbledore had told her explicitly that Snape's repentance was absolutely genuine; but, none of them had ever heard what Harry told them: that Snape felt bad and guilty about having betrayed his parents. Lupin puzzled that it was "hard to believe, because Snape HATED James." Harry said "and he hated my mother too, called her a Mudblood," but nobody asked how he knew that.
Only Luna and Neville had responded to Hermiones summon, using the old DA coin, and they had watched Malfoy and Snape on the Marauders Map. Malfoy was already in the Room of Requirement. When he came out, and saw Ron, Ginny and Neville, he threw the Instant Darkness Powder at them; then, led the Death Eaters out using his Hand of Glory. The three ran into the Order members fairly soon after giving chase, and then found the Death Eaters heading toward the Astronomy Tower (apparently to set the Dark Mark). Gibbon went on to the tower, but the others turned and fought. Lupin ducked a Killing Curse and it hit Gibbon as he was coming back from the tower. McGonagall said she felt guilty for having sent Flitwick to get Snape; because, he didn't know anything about it before he was told. Flitwick hadn't even seen Hermione or Luna, who were watching outside Snape's door. They had heard a thud. Then, when Snape came out, he told them that Flitwick had collapsed and they should go in and help him - he had really been stunned. Malfoy had slipped out of the fight; then, a little later, had been followed by a few more. To prevent being followed, one of them blocked the stairway with a curse (which only someone with a dark mark could go through.) Neville ran at it and got thrown back into the air. Then Snape came through the battle; and, without even knowing the barrier was there, went easily through after Malfoy. Lupin, who tried to follow immediately, was thrown back by the still present blocking jinx.
The fight continued until the big Death Eater fired a jinx, which brought the ceiling down and broke the blockade. The Order ran toward the tower, but out of the dust came Snape with Malfoy and, puzzled, they just let them pass. Then, the other Death Eaters and Greyback appeared and they were fighting again. Harry told them that Snape had told the Eaters that "It's over" and to leave.
Molly and Arthur eventually came, with Fleur, and began lamenting over everything, including their son Bill. When Molly said "and he WAS going to be married," Fleur took loud umbrage, and showed her loyalty to Bill, which really impressed Molly. They made up, from their long standing feud, and Molly offered a tiara for her hair at their wedding. Seeing Fleur's love for Bill, even though he may be a werewolf, Tonks rounded on Lupin about his resistance to becoming involved with her. She had apparently not been in love with Sirius, as Harry had thought, but Lupin instead.
Hagrid came in, having just moved Dumbledore's body. McGonagall asked Hagrid to arrange a staff meeting, quickly before the Ministry got there; then took Harry to the Headmaster's office, to talk to him. A portrait of Albus Dumbledore had appeared on the wall with the other former headmasters; but, he was "slumbering peacefully." She wanted to know about where they had been that night, but Harry refused to tell her. "It may be important," she said. "Oh, it is," he told her, "but I have nothing to tell you." He did tell her about Rosmerta being under the Imperious curse. They were warned by Everard that the minister had just apparated from the ministry and would be there in minutes. The heads of houses (including Slughorn for Slytherin) discussed Hogwarts remaining open. They decided to let the board of governors decide. When McGonagall talked about getting the Hogwarts Express to take the students home in the morning, Harry disagreed; and said they should be allowed to stay for the funeral. They all agreed with him. Dumbledore had wanted to be uniquely buried on the school grounds.
Harry wanted to leave the office before the minister got there. He confirmed for the Fat Lady that Dumbledore had actually been killed and she, unusually, let him in without the password. He went upstairs, leaving the rest of Gryffindor in the common room. Ron was up in the bedroom and asked about the Horcrux. Harry had to say it had already been removed by someone before they got it, and all they got was a fake. Neither of them knew who "R.A.B" was. Fawkes had stopped singing, and Harry knew, without knowing how he knew, that the phoenix had gone from Hogwarts… for good.
- The White Tomb
- The Patel twins and Zacharias Smith were taken from school by their parents the next day. Seamus Finnigan had a shouting match with his mother in the entrance hall, until she let him stay for the funeral; but, she had a hard time finding a room in Hogsmead because of all the people coming in. Madame Maxime came in her powder blue carriage, pulled by giant winged palominos. Neville recovered. Bill, however, was still terribly disfigured by scars; but, he didn't seem to have any of the other feared complications, except a fondness for very rare steaks. Hermione found, in old newspapers, that Eileen Prince had once owned Harry's potions book, because she was Snape's mother and had married Tobias Snape, a muggle. He was proud of being a Half-Blood Prince; and, it seemed to Harry, that he must have known Harry had his old book all along.
Harry was severely melancholy. He carried the fake locket with him as a reminder of "what it had cost and what remained still to do." "The locket, the cup, the snake, something of Gryffindor's or Ravenclaw's," he kept telling himself over and over. The Hogwarts Express would be leaving an hour after the funeral. Everyone was wearing their dress robes and was subdued. McGonagall had left Dumbledore's seat at the table empty, but Snape's had been filled by Scrimgeour. Crabbe and Goyle looked lonely without Malfoy. Harry reflected that he believed Malfoy wouldn't have actually killed Dumbledore if the others hadn't come. Madame Pince was with Filch. The funeral was out near the lake, where a marble table had been placed. Ernie Prang, Madame Malkin, Tom the landlord of the Leaky Caldron, Arabella Figg, the Weird Sisters' hairy bass player, the trolley witch on the Hogwarts Express and the barman at the Hogs Head were all there. Fudge, Rita Skeeter, Umbridge, Scrimgeour and Percy were also there; along with the Merpeople, who sang a song, and the Centaurs, who stood by the trees and shot their arrows in final tribute.
Hagrid carried Dumbledore's body up the isle in his arms; then laid it upon the marble table, before going back to his seat next to his brother Grawp, who was dressed in a suit. While a little tufty-haired man in black robes spoke, Harry reminisced and thought of the many things he wished he had asked Dumbledore before he died; and wept, while squeezing the locket. He remembered Dumbledore's advice that: "it was Important to fight, and fight again and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated." He remembered all the people "who had cared about him and had stood in front of him one by one, his mother, his father, his godfather and finally Dumbledore, all determined to protect him; but now that was over." Harry was more alone than ever before and realized that it was HE now who had to confront Voldemort.
When the man finished speaking, white flames erupted around the table encircling Dumbledore's body. The flames rose higher and higher, producing white smoke spiraling into various shapes, including what Harry thought was a Phoenix, flying joyfully away. When the fire vanished there was a white marble tomb encasing the table and Dumbledore's body.
Harry and Ginny conversed afterwards, and Harry said that he couldn't be involved with Ginny anymore, citing Voldemort's "use" of people he cared about. Harry then walked off around the lake alone; but, Scrimgeour caught up to him, wanting to talk. After his beating around the bush, Harry finally demanded "what do you want," and found it was just more of the same. He refused to tell Scrimgeour what he and Dumbledore had been doing; nor, would he be Scrimgeour's "poster boy!" Harry asked if he'd "released Stan Shunpike yet?" When Scrimgeour stormed off, Ron and Hermione came and heard Harry say that he wouldn't be back at Hogwarts next year. He'd be going after the Horcruxes, then Voldemort. First he was going to Godric's Hollow he said; but, Ron and Hermione said they would be going with him, "whatever happens." First, however, Ron said, we need to stop at the Burrow… for Bills wedding.