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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Ch. 20-24 Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Posted by ladyandrea in harry potter, Lady Andrea, summer of awesomeness, unhealthy obsessions.

Chapter 20: Lord Voldemort’s Request
Harry and Ron are allowed to leave the hospital wing. On their way to breakfast with Hermione they run into a small girl in the 7th floor corridor and help her pick up the scales she drops. Hermione also informs Harry that Ginny and Dean are fighting, which cheers him. Luna passes by and gives Harry a note about another appointment with Dumbledore.

That night, Harry arrives at Dumbledore’s office to find Trelawney threatening to leave if that “nag” doesn’t stop teaching Divination too. Dumbledore reveals to Harry that she would be in great danger outside Hogwarts because it was she who made the prophecy so many years ago. Dumbledore gets a great little throwaway line in, “Divination is turning out to be much more trouble than I could have foreseen, never having studied the subject myself.” Snerk. That Dumbledore.

Dumbledore questions Harry as to whether he has procured Slughorn’s real memory and Harry is suddenly wracked with guilt. “Dumbledore had not raised his voice, he did not even sound angry, but Harry would have preferred him to yell; this cold disappointment was worse than anything.” Ain’t that the truth. Harry says he’ll do better and Dumbledore forgives him, setting up their memories for that night’s lesson. He says that after school Voldemort was refused a job teaching at Hogwarts. Dumbledore thinks Voldemort wanted to teach at Hogwarts because it was the first and only place he had felt at home, which makes Harry a titch uncomfortable as he feels the same way. It also would’ve given him a lot of control over students. But Headmaster Dippet said he was too young, so he took up as a shopkeeper at Borgin and Burkes.

The memory is of a fat old witch whom Voldemort visits to buy things that interest Borgin and Burkes. He kisses up and charms her and she shows him her two prized pieces: Helga Hufflepuff’s cup and Salazar Slytherin’s locket, which Voldemort knows belonged to his mother. When the memory is finished, Dumbledore tells Harry that two days after the woman showed those objects to Voldemort, she was found dead and her house-elf was convicted of poisoning her mistress by accident.

The last memory is of Voldemort visiting Dumbledore to inquire about a job again. Dumbledore refuses to call him Lord Voldemort and tells him he is fearful of the rumors he hears about Tom. Voldemort says he’s gone further in magic than anyone and yet Dumbledore reminds him he is woefully ignorant of some kinds of magic. Voldemort replies that nothing he has seen supports the idea that love is more powerful than his kind of magic. That is so sad.

Dumbledore reveals that he knows Voldemort has a group of cronies sitting at the Hog’s Head, which unnerves Voldemort. Dumbledore says he is merely friends with the local barman. He refuses Voldemort the job and Voldemort leaves. Harry asks if Voldemort was after the DADA job and Dumbledore says, “Oh, he definitely wanted the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. The aftermath of our little meeting proved that. You see, we have never been able to keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort.” DUN DUN DUN!

Chapter 21: The Unknowable Room
Harry searches his potion book for an idea on how to get the memory from Slughorn, while Hermione says it has to be something about Harry specifically and not a spell because Dumbledore would’ve tried that. He does find a spell “for enemies” called Sectumsempra and dog-ears the page. Ron’s spell-check quill starts going haywire and calls him “Roonil Wazlib,” so Hermione takes his essay and fixes it for him. Ron says, “I love you, Hermione” and she blushes. Awwww.

Kreacher and Dobby show up, with Dobby saying he hasn’t slept in a week because he’s been tailing Malfoy so much. Dobby is so great to Harry, I’m getting prematurely sniffly about it. They reveal that he’s been going to the Room of Requirement on the 7th floor and Harry realizes the small girls they’ve been seeing outside that room aren’t really girls, they’re Crabbe and Goyle being lookouts because earlier in the year some Polyjuice Potion was stolen.

The next day Harry tries to get inside the room, thinking things like, “I need to see what Malfoy’s doing in here,” but to no avail. Later he and Ron are talking in the bathroom and Moaning Myrtle shows up, hoping to see the boy who comes in and cries sometimes. She won’t reveal who it is. When everyone goes to Hogsmeade, Harry stays behind and stakes out the RoR but instead finds Tonks there. She says she’s there to see Dumbledore and is acting very strangely. Harry fills Hermione and Ron in about Tonks after they get back from Hogsmeade. They all wonder what exactly is going on with her.

Chapter 22: After the Burial
The Trio get a note from Hagrid about how his pet spider Aragog has died and could they come to the funeral. Harry finally has a brainstorm about using his Felix Felicis potion to get the memory from Slughorn, which: DUH! Everybody else got there like 10 chapters ago. That night, Hermione and Ron take their Apparition tests. Hermione passes, but Ron leaves half an eyebrow behind and will have to retake with Harry. Haha, awww. Poor Ron.

Harry takes a mouthful of his Felix Felicis and says he feels like attending Aragog’s funeral. That’s what the potion is telling him to do. He dons the Invisibility Cloak and sets off. The FF tells him to swing by the vegetable patch, where he runs into Slughorn and gets him to come to the funeral because acromantula venom is very valuable. Slughorn and Harry go to Hagrid’s hut and Hagrid is just touched that Slughorn is there. Heh. Slughorn says a few nice words, sneaks some venom into a bottle and they bury the spider. Inside Hagrid’s, the two men proceed to get drunk and once Hagrid has passed out, Harry starts in on Slughorn. Harry guilts drunk Sluggy about his poor dead mother who was killed by Voldemort and finally Slughorn gives up the memory because he has such affection for Lily Evans. Slughorn starts to cry (awww) and says, “You’re a good boy. And you’ve got her eyes…just don’t think too badly of me once you’ve seen it.”

Chapter 23: Horcruxes
Harry goes straight to Dumbledore’s office with the memory and Dumbledore is stunned and excited. They venture into the memory and find out that Slughorn really told Tom Riddle that he was going to go far. And then when Tom asked about Horcruxes, he spilled all the beans. How they are something you use to conceal a part of one’s soul. He says you split your soul so that you cannot die, and you can only do it by committing murder because killing rips the soul apart. Tom asks if it wouldn’t be better to, instead of just having one Horcrux, to have 7 because that’s the most magical number. Slughorn is appalled at the thought and tells Tom to keep quiet about what they’ve discussed tonight.

Back in Dumbledore’s office, he confides in Harry that this supports his theory that Voldemort really did make 6 Horcruxes (7 parts of his soul if you count his actual body). He says he was tipped off back when Ginny Weasley had Riddle’s diary. He’d never seen a mere memory thinking and acting for itself and that Harry destroyed the first Horcrux back then. He reveals that the Peverell ring he destroyed is another Horcrux gone. So if his theory is correct, there are 4 remaining. He thinks that Voldemort liked to use special objects that he had collected and Harry correctly guesses Hufflepuff’s Cup and Slytherin’s Locket. Dumbledore also thinks he may have gotten something of Ravenclaw’s, but that the only known artifact of Gryffindor’s is the sword in Dumbledore’s office and that it is not a Horcrux. Dumbledore’s theory is that the last Horcrux is the snake, Nagini.

Dumbledore reveals that he thinks he is very close to finding another HOrcrux and Harry asks if he may come along when Dumbledore retrieves it. Dumbledore, much to Harry’s surprise, says he can, that he’s earned it.

There is then an extremely interesting conversation about how Harry has power the Dark Lord knows not because of his ability to love. I would just recommend reading pages 509 to 512. The gist is that after all that has happened to Harry it is remarkable that he can still love. Also that the prophecy is only significant because Voldemort made it so. He singled Harry otu as the person who would be most dangerous to him and in doing so MADE Harry the person who would be most dangerous to him. Harry doesn’t understand, thinking it comes to the same end that he’s got to kill Voldemort but Dumbledore says that he has to NOT because of the prophecy but because of who he is. Because he will never rest until Voldemort is dead. Because even if he hadn’t heard the prophecy he would still feel the exact same way. Harry realizes it is the difference between being dragged into an arena for battle and walking into the arena with your head held high. And he knows that that is all the difference in the world. Very excellent few pages of writing by Rowling.

Chapter 24: Sectumsempra
Harry fills Hermione and Ron in on the lesson in Charms the next day and also finds out Ron did that thing where he pissed off Lavender so much that she broke up with him so he wouldn’t have to do it. Brat. Ginny and Dean also broke up, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Harry was on Felix Felicis and under his cloak brushed against Ginny. She thought it was Dean pushing her and she dumped him for being so controlling. HAHA! Harry starts to really plot how he can have Ginny, afraid of what Ron will do.

Katie Bell returns from the hospital and Harry is pumped about his Quidditch team again and they have several awesome practices before the last match of the year. If they win by more than 300 points, they win the Cup.

A few days before the match, Harry is again staking out the RoR when he hears Myrtle comforting someone in the boys’ bathroom. It’s Malfoy and he’s crying about how he can’t do it anymore, but someone is going to kill him. When he spies Harry, they start dueling and as Malfoy is about to use the Cruiciatus curse, Harry uses “sectumsempra” on Malfoy. Malfoy’s face and chest are slashed as if by an invisible sword and Harry freaks out. He runs over and tries to stop the bleeding. Snape shows up and mends Malfoy temporarily, then takes him to the hospital wing. He tells Harry to stay there. Harry does not think for a second about leaving. He’s in total shock about what he’s done.

When Snape returns, he cries that he didn’t know what that spell did and that he didn’t mean to hurt Malfoy that way. Snape uses legilimency and demands to see Harry’s schoolbooks. Harry runs back to the Gryffindor dormitories, covered in water and blood. He grabs Ron’s Potions book and runs back to the RoR, thinking he needs a place to hide his Potions book. The door appears and inside is a cathedral-sized room full of all sorts of random things. (Side note: my mom and I found an antique/junk shop this past weekend that was an open room probably 3 stories tall and the length of a football field. It was quiet and dirty and scary. I have expected to find a hobo’s body amongst the shelves. But it TOTALLY reminded us of this room in HBP. That is all.)

Harry runs through the stacks, passing the vanishing cabinet that Montague got lost in in OOTP. He stashes his Potions book in a large cupboard, then places a statue with a wig and a tiara on top of the cabinet so he can find it again. Harry rushes back to Snape, who doesn’t believe for a moment that that is his Potions book. He asks why it says “Roonil Wazlib” inside the front cover (NICE bring-back) and Harry says that’s his nickname. Snape gives him detention every Saturday from now until the end of the school year.

The Quidditch team is dismayed because he’s going to miss the final match and Hermione starts in with her “I told you so” about the Half-Blood Prince being a dodgy character. Ginny tells her to give it a rest because it sounds like Malfoy was about to use an Unforgivable Curse and it was lucky Harry had something good up his sleeve. Hermione tries to defend herself, saying she thought after what it’s done to their chances in the match and Ginny interrupts to snap, Oh, don’t start acting as though you understand Quidditch, you’ll only embarrass yourself.” HAHAH! Ron hides behind a book. Snerk.

Harry reports to detention and is made to alphabetize discipline reports by hand. Finally he is done and heads for the Gryffindor common room. It’s in an uproar because they won 450 to 140. “There was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.” (Andrea cries #25). Harry finds Ron in the crowd, who gives an “if you must” head jerk and Harry grins at Ginny and they leave through the porthole to walk around the grounds and “discuss the match.” WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

PS: The reading schedule for Deathly Hallows is below. We are starting Friday because I’m actually already done with HBP and I am just ITCHING to start DH because I haven’t read it since the night it came out. I read it so quickly that I’m sure I missed stuff or forgot about stuff, so I’m really excited. It’s almost like it’s new for me.

Friday June 13th: Chapters 1-5
Monday June 16th: Chapters 6-9
Tuesday June 17th: Chapters 10-13
Wednesday June 18th: Chapters 14-18
Thursday June 19th: Chapters 19-23
Friday June 20th: Chapters 24-28
Monday June 23rd: Chapters 29-33
Tuesday June 24th: Chapters 34-Epilogue



1. Rockabye - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It’s so sweet that you’re so excited about these books. Harry Potter is the only fiction series (besides Animorphs, and, seriously, I’m not recapping those) I’ve ever been really EXCITED to read, with characters I cared about.

2. DougOLis - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ch. 20: Did Voldemort show restraint and compassion with Hokey? He could have altered Hokey’s memory to make it so she purposely killed Hepzibah Smith but left it open for her to get off on old age and confusion. Either that or he just didn’t care.

Ch23: I don’t get why that memory is so important. Dumbledore knows that Voldemort knows about horcruxes and created multiple already; plus he has a good idea that there were 6 made and what most of them are. All it does is confirm there were likely 6 made (which was in fact wrong). Why wouldn’t Voldemort make the Earth into a horcrux? That would seemingly prevent his destruction.

Ch24: When Harry snogs Ginny for the first time it makes me think of The Girl Next Door when Emile Hirsch kisses Elisha Cuthbert with David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” playing. I like both those scenes too much and they make me irrationally happy.

3. DougOLis - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So we’re skipping the end of the book?

4. ladyandrea - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Of course we’re not skipping the end. Tomorrow’s Thursday, Doug. Deathly Hallows starts Friday.

5. DougOLis - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ha, I’m an idiot. Guess I was hoping for the weekend too much.

6. ladyandrea - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BTW: I think it’s more that Voldemort just couldn’t be bothered with Hokey. That or he didn’t even alter the memory, he just put the poison in the sugar bowl.

I think the memory just helped confirm Dumbledore’s suspicions and also cement that there were 6 made. He knew of two and suspected two more, he is still only guessing about something of Ravenclaw’s and the snake. He probably just wanted confirmation.

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