Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Ch. 25-30 Thursday, June 12, 2008Posted by ladyandrea in harry potter, Lady Andrea, summer of awesomeness, unhealthy obsessions.
Chapter 25: The Seer Overheard
Harry and Ginny are dating and everything is sunshine and puppies. Hermione is still on Harry about the dodge HBP, showing him a photo of a girl named Eileen Prince. Harry says he can just tell it’s not a girl and she says that he doesn’t think a girl would be clever enough. Harry is stung, asking how can he have hung around Hermione for 5 years and not think girls are clever? Hermione runs off to investigate further.
Harry gets a note telling him to come to Dumbledore’s office as quick as he can. On the way he bumps into Trelawney, who has been expelled from the Room of Requirement by someone who is already in there. She heard someone celebrating, whooping it up. Harry tells her she should tell Dumbledore. She bristles, saying he won’t listen to her no matter how many times she pulls the lightning-struck tower in her tarot spreads. But Harry convinces her.
On the walk there, she reminisces about her meeting with Dumbledore to be hired at Hogwarts so many years ago and how they were interrupted by Severus Snape. Harry feels ill, realizing it was Snape who overheard the prophecy and had sent Voldemort hunting after his parents. He ditches Trelawney and storms into Dumbledore’s office.
Dumbledore reveals that he believes he has found a Horcrux and that he did promise Harry he could join him in finding it. Harry gets momentarily distracted by this and when Dumbledore notices how upset he is, Harry blurts out that it was Snape who told Voldemort the prophecy. Dumbledore’s face whitens and begs Harry to listen to him, saying Snape made a terrible mistake and that Dumbledore believes it to be the biggest regret of Snape’s life. Harry laughs, saying Snape hated his father and how can Dumbledore be sure. Dumbledore looks “as though he was trying to make up his mind about something.” Oooooh, Dumbledore almost spilled the beans right there. But merely says that he trusts Severus.
Harry keeps at him about Snape and Malfoy and says Dumbledore is just going to walk out of school tonight. Dumbledore gets sharp with him, telling him not to suggest that he does not take his students’ safety seriously. Dumbledore asks Harry if he still wishes to come along tonight. Harry does and Dumbledore tells him that he must follow all of DUmbledore’s orders. All of them, even if he tells him to leave Dumbledore and save himself. Harry agrees and Dumbledore tells him to fetch his Invisibility Cloak and meet him in the entrance hall in five minutes.
Harry rushes back to the common room, grabs his cloak, the Marauder’s Map and his leftover Felix Felicis. He hurriedly fills in Ron and Hermione and instructs them to keep an eye on Malfoy all night and to rustle up anyone they can get from the DA. He tells them Snape and Malfoy will be anticipating DUmbledore’s extra protection but won’t be looking for the DA. He then thrusts the Felix Felicis at Ron and tells them to share it between themselves and Ginny (Andrea tears up) and to say good-bye to her for him (cries a little) and that he’ll be alright because he’ll be with Dumbledore (full on crying now, #26). Harry meets Dumbledore and they take off for Hogsmeade so that it looks like Dumbledore is merely going to town for a drink. Once inside the Hog’s Head they apparate somewhere with cool, salty air.
(From now on, I pretty much cry throughout the rest of the book. So if I say Andrea Cries # Whatever, that just means it’s an especially big cry.)
Chapter 26: The Cave
Dumbledore and Harry are on the rocks where Tom Riddle went with his orphanage as a boy and terrorized the two other children. They swim into the cave and Dumbledore finds the right spot, saying simply that “it has known magic.” He looks and touches and feels the wall until he knows where the portal is and then realizes that it demands blood to open it, which Dumbledore finds crude and distasteful. He says Lord Voldemort has again failed to grasp that there are more terrible things than physical injury. Dumbledore cuts his arm, puts a few drops on the wall and the stone melts away to reveal a doorway.
Inside is a massive cave with a giant lake in the middle, so high that Harry cannot see the ceiling and so wide that he cannot see the far banks. In the middle of the lake is a misty green light. Dumbledore cautions him not to step into the water and to stay close. As they walk around the lake, Harry wonders if they might use a summoning charm on the Horcrux. When Dumbledore tells him to try it, he does and a great large something erupts out of the water, then splashes back down into it. Dumbledore says it is something set to respond should they attempt to seize the Horcrux. Harry wonders if they’ll have to go into the lake and Dumbledore says only if they are very unfortunate.
Dumbledore finds the spot where there is an invisible chain that pulls up a rowboat. It is very small, but Dumbledore says that the boat cares not about the weight but about the magical power of the occupants. It will not recognize Harry as a full-fledged wizard because Voldemort would not have expected a 16 year-old to get this far. They get in the boat and as they are gliding out to the middle, Harry sees a dead man floating in the water. Harry is naturally freaked the hell out, but Dumbledore tells him there is nothing to be feared from a body, just as there is nothing to be feared from darkness. Lord Voldemort secretly fears both and that is why the cave is pitch dark with a lake full of bodies. Dumbledore tells Harry the bodies will not bother them until they have the Horcrux and that fire will frighten them away.
The small island in the middle of the lake contains a large stone basin filled with green phosphorescent liquid. Dumbledore realizes that the poison is to be consumed to get to the Horcrux. He says that it won’t kill the drinker right away because Voldemort would want them alive long enough to find out how they found and retrieved his Horcrux. He also says the potion will probably make him forget himself or cause him pain and that Harry much make sure that Dumbledore drinks it all. Dumbledore reminds Harry of the condition on which he brought him along and that he is ordered to force Dumbledore to drink all of the potion.
As Dumbledore drinks, he begins yelling and moaning about making it stop and Harry, hating himself, keeps force-feeding him more potion. After 10 goblets-full, Dumbledore asks for water and Harry realizes he cannot conjure any, so he dips the goblet into the lake, which brings to life hundreds of bodies rising out of the water like an undead army. Harry begins shouting curses at them and fends them off for a moment, but soon he feels arms closing in from behind him. Finally Dumbledore is on his feet and casting fire from his wand, encircling them with protection. Harry helps him back into the boat and they get back to the banks, Dumbledore telling Harry that he did very, very well.
As they leave, Harry keeps reassuring Dumbledore that it’s going to be okay and that he can Apparate them both back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore says, “I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.” (Andrea cries #27).
Chapter 27: The Lightning-Struck Tower
They return to Hogsmeade and Madam Rosmerta comes rushing over, pointing up in the sky. The Dark Mark has been cast over Hogwarts. (I can’t even tell you how scared I got at this part, I thought so many people would be dead.) They borrow Madam Rosmerta’s brooms, Harry’s mind racing about jeopardizing his friends by asking them to patrol the corridors. They fly to the Astronomy Tower and Dumbledore instructs Harry to put on his cloak, speak to no one and find Severus as quick as he can and bring him to Dumbledore.
As Harry gets to the door, someone comes up the staircase and shouts “expelliarmus” just as Harry goes rigid and immobile. Harry realizes that Dumbledore had wordlessly immobilized Harry and that had allowed him to be disarmed. Draco Malfoy stands there, saying he let the Death Eaters into the school tonight. He says he has a job to do and Dumbledore tells him he is not a killer. He has tried feebly all year, via the necklace that cursed Katie and the poison that got Ron. His heart wasn’t really in it.
Dumbledore says he is alone and injured, but that Draco seems scared to act without the Death Eaters around. Dumbledore asks how he managed to get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts and Draco says he mended the Vanishing Cabinet. It acts as a passage from Borgin and Burkes. Dumbledore reveals that he knew the plan all along and had Snape watching Draco all year. Draco believes he is a double-agent for Voldemort’s side. Dumbledore says that Draco had to have an accomplice and then realizes he had Madam Rosmerta under the Imperius Curse.
Draco says the Dark Mark was a trap to lure him to the Astronomy Tower to kill him but that one of his people IS dead downstairs. Dumbledore says that Draco has options, but Draco freaks. He cries that he hasn’t got any options, that Voldemort will kill him or his parents. Dumbledore says he can help Draco, but Draco says nobody can help him because Voldemort will kill him. Dumbledore says you cannot be killed if you are already dead and that the Order can hide Draco and his mother. Dumbledore says he is not a killer. Draco says he got this far and that Dumbledore is at his mercy now. Dumbledore says, “No, Draco. It is my mercy, and not yours, that matters now.” Harry thinks he sees Draco’s wand drop a fraction but then the door bursts open and out come four Death Eaters on to the Tower.
A brother and sister named Amycus and Alecto and Fenrir Greyback. Dumbledore says he is surprised Draco would let Fenrir into the school where all his friends are and Draco says he didn’t know Fenrir was coming. They tell Draco to finish it and his hand begins to shake. Snape suddenly bursts onto the Tower and Dumbledore quite says, “Severus,” like he is pleading with him. Snape gazes at Dumbledore, hatred and revulsion etched on his face. “Severus…please…” And Snape says “Avada Kedavra” and Dumbledore is lifted above the Tower and falls over the battlements and out of sight. (Andrea cries #28).
Chapter 28: Flight of the Prince
The Death Eaters run for it and Harry realizes he can move again. He chases after them and sees Ginny fighting Amycus and Ron, McGonagall and Lupic each fighting a separate Death Eater. There is Tonks fighting an enormous blonde wizard. Harry continues to chase Snape and trips over Neville lying on the floor. He chases after Snape and Malfoy across the lawn and spies Hagrid emerge from his hut to fight. He thinks, “Not Hagrid…not Hagrid too…”
Finally Snape tells Draco to run and turns to duel with Harry, blocking his curses almost lazily. When another Death Eater inflicts one on Harry, Snape stops it and shouts that they are to leave him for Voldemort. Harry tries sectumsempra and levicorpus on Snape, who yells that he dare to use his own spells against him. Snape is the Half-Blood Prince and he gets Harry on the ground, wandless. Harry says to kill him like the coward killed Dumbledore and Snape screams, “DON’T CALL ME COWARD!” Buckbeak flies in to charge down Snape, who runs away and Disapparates outside the castle gates. Hagrid picks Harry up and Harry manages to say that Snape killed Dumbledore. Hagrid tells him not to be stupid, tells him Snape had to go with the Death Eaters to keep his cover and takes him back to the school.
There are people gathered around Dumbledore’s body. Harry straightens Dumbledore’s glasses and wipes a trickle of blood from his mouth. He also picks up the locket that they retrieved from the stone basin and opens it to find a note that says “To the Dark Lord: I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more. –RAB.” Harry realizes that Dumbledore drank that horrible potion that weaked him for nothing and he begins to cry.
Chapter 29: The Phoenix Lament
Ginny finds Harry and takes him by the hand away from the body. She takes him to the hospital wing. On the way he asks who is dead and she says no one. That Draco stepped over Bill’s body but that he’s not dead. But he’s been attacked by Greyback and won’t look the same anymore. She says if they hadn’t had the Felix Felicis they’d probably all be dead. Every curse seemed to just miss them.
In the hospital wing Harry sees “an unrecognizable face lying on Bill’s pillow, so badly slashed and ripped that he looked grotesque.” Lupin says that since Greyback wasn’t in werewolf form that Bill probably will not be a werewolf, but the wounds will unlikely ever heal fully and he may have some wolfish characteristics. Ron says that Dumbledore might know something that will work and Ginny reveals that Dumbledore is dead. Harry says that Snape killed him and that he saw it happen. Somewhere out in the night there is a Phoenix calling, a beautiful sad song. McGonagall can’t believe Snape betrayed them and Tonks says she always thought Dumbledore must know something that they didn’t. Harry reveals that Snape told Voldemort the prophecy to hunt down James and Lily and that Dumbledore believed he was sorry. Everyone is shocked that that is the only reason Dumbledore had to trust Snape.
The others reveal that they were staking out the RoR, but when Malfoy came out he threw some of the Weasley Twins’ Darkness Powder and they couldn’t see anything. But when they finally got out of the corridor they warned the others and a fight broke out. They go back over the fight and then Molly, Arthur and Fleur burst into the hospital wing. Molly and Arthur rush to his side and Fleur just stands there, frozen. Ginny watches her, eyes narrowed. Molly blubbers that he was such a handsome boy and that he was to be married. Fleur demands, “What do you mean he was going to be married? You think Bill will not wish to marry me anymore? You think because of these bites he will not love me? Because he will! It would take more than a werewolf to stop Bill loving me!” Molly interrupts that she thought perhaps…given how he…
Fleur continues, “You thought I would not wish to marry him? Or perhaps, you hoped? What do I care how he looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I think! All these scars show is that my husband is brave! And I shall do that!” And she grabs the rag and ointment from Molly and begins tending to Bill. I think this might be one of the hardest times I cry in the entire series. It’s just so unexpected and beautifully done. I hope it doesn’t get cut from the movie. That’s #29. Molly offers to let Fleur wear her Aunt Murial’s tiara for the wedding and they both start crying. Then Tonks rounds on Lupin with, “You see! She still wants to marry him, even though he’s been bitten!” Lupin says it’s different because he’s not a full wolf and that he’s too old, too poor and too dangerous for her, that she deserves someone young and whole. Arthur says that she wants him, though, and Lupin says that it isn’t the time to discuss it because Dumbledore is dead. McGonagall curtly interjects, “Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world.” I love her.
McGonagall has a private meeting with Harry, but he won’t tell her what he and Dumbledore were up to that night. He says he was not to disobey Dumbledore’s orders even after he died. She then meets with the Heads of House about whether the school should remain open and when the students should leave. Harry says that they shouldn’t send the students home until after teh funeral because they’ll want to say–and his voice catches. Professor Sprout finishes for him, “Good-bye.” Sniffle.
Back in the dorm Harry reveals to Ron that the locket is a fake Horcrux and then he lays in bed knowing that Dumbledore was gone for good because Fawkes had stopped signing. Gone from the school, gone from the world, gone from Harry.
Chapter 30: The White Tomb
Hermione reveals to Harry that she was right about Eileen Prince. Prince was Snape’s mother, who married a muggle named Tobias Snape. He feels so betrayed that he was helped by the Half-Blood Prince all year. The next day, wizards arrive from all over to pay their respects. Harry reflects for a bit on Malfoy. He still doesn’t like his interest in the Dark Arts, but now feels pity for him, imagining what Voldemort is making him do under the threat of killing him or his parents. He also remembers that Draco was scared up on the tower and that he lowered his wand before the Death Eaters arrived.
At the funeral, there are not only wizards but merpeople in the lake and centaurs in the forest paying tribute to Dumbledore. Harry sees Luna helping Neville find a seat. They were the only DA members to show up tofight and he knows that they were the ones who had missed the DA the most and probablyt he ones who checked their coins regularly in the hopes that there’d be another meeting (Andrea cries #30). Hagrid brings Dumbledore’s body in and cries his eyes out, as do Ginny and Hermione. (Pretty much just continual crying now).
Harry keeps finding funny thoughts creep into his mind and has to fight the urge to laugh, which is so appropriate for Dumbledore’s funeral. Near the end, the body suddenly bursts into flames and is surrrounded by a white marble tomb. As Ron and Hermione comfort each other, Harry tells Ginny that he can’t be involved with her anymore because of Voldemort. He has to fight Voldemort and can’t let him use Ginny against him. She says she never really gave up on him but she knows that he wouldn’t be happy unless he was fighting Voldemort and maybe that’s why she likes him so much.
As Harry walks around the lake, Rufus Scrimgeour tries to convince him once again to help out the Ministry. Harry basically tells him to go fuck himself. Harry then informs Ron and Hermione that he’s not coming back to Hogwarts next year because he’s going to set off to destroy the Horcruxes and fight Voldemort, starting in Godric’s Hollow, after a brief trip back to the Dursleys because that’s what Dumbledore wanted him to do. Ron and Hermione say they are coming with him because they agreed long ago to all be in this together.
Whew. Long one tonight. Can’t wait to start Deathly Hallows!!!