MuggleNet Rereads “Half-Blood Prince”
Welcome back to our sixth installment of “MuggleNet Rereads Harry Potter.” For a more in-depth discussion of the books, check out our podcast, Alohomora! Last time in our series, Melissa covered the longest book of the Potter series, Order of the Phoenix. Now, we turn to one of my favorites in the series, Half-Blood Prince.
I always forget how much I love Book 6, especially the conversation between the British Prime Minister and Fudge, and I’m still sad it was cut from the film. Looking back, I almost feel bad for Fudge, considering how everything fell apart, but it was his blind eye that sealed his fate. Moving forward, I still find it hilarious how Bellatrix calls Narcissa “Cissy.” The scene in Snape’s home still gives me chills as I realize just how good of a liar Snape is. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, this is about to go down,” when the Unbreakable Vow came up and was performed.
I’m also still upset that the Dumbledore at the Dursleys scene was cut because sassy Dumbledore is such a treat for everyone to enjoy. His sassiness continues when he and Harry go off to find Horace Slughorn, only to distinguish him by the stuffing on an armchair. And oh, Slughorn, I have such mixed feelings for you. The way he values his former students and hides in times of trouble. Well, we’ll get back to him later.
Fleur being called “Phlegm” is incredibly funny but also really sad because all she wants it to be accepted, and Ginny and Hermione are not having it. Mrs. Weasley isn’t much better either. Actually, she’s worse. The success of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes warms my heart because it teaches readers that school isn’t meant for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you will never succeed in life. I also appreciate the visit to the twins’ shop because I found a spirit animal in Ginny Weasley’s confidence — at least, her confidence in dumping men: “He was a loser.” Goals.
Draco slid into that Death Eater role really quickly, and I love the irony of how Harry ends up being right with his suspicion of Draco’s new extracurricular while Ron and Hermione treat him like he is crazy for a majority of this book. Moving forward, we experience the first time Harry starts to become jealous because he is not dating Ginny, and in that moment, every time I read this book, my heart leaps into my throat because my favorite ship is about to come to life. There is also a very sweet moment where Neville talks about how his grandmother is proud of him, and it brings tears to my eyes.
Draco stomping on Harry’s face makes me mad to this day. I get you hate each other but physically breaking each other? Have we truly reached this point? Then Tonks saves the day with her genius, but the happiness only lasts for a moment because Snape makes sure to be a royal arse to Harry for missing the feast. You know, because his face was stepped on. I give Snape a lot of credit for being a perfect arse to Harry for six years straight.
My favorite line to date is still “No need to call me Sir, Professor” because it’s the perfect amount of sass from Harry (and also, James Potter would be ridiculously proud). Harry wins the Felix Felicis from Slughorn during their Potions competition, and as a result, Ginny voices her concern over Harry following instructions from a book. Hermione believes that the Half-Blood Prince could be a girl, and surprisingly, Harry is right in his assumption that the identity is male.
The reason I love Book 6 the way that I do is because of Voldemort’s backstory. I truly believe knowing history is the way to make a further impact moving forward, and because of this, Merope’s backstory pains me. It is one of the few times I have ever felt bad for Voldemort because of the life he never got to have. The more Harry and Dumbledore met to discuss Tom Riddle’s history, the more intrigued I became about the man. Later on, when they learn about Hokey, that was when my brain finally caught up with the decision that Voldemort was nothing but bad. And then Horcruxes… I LOVE the Horcruxes chapter. It’s the a-ha! moment of the series where everything seems to fall into place. I love the discussion Harry and Dumbledore have about Harry’s role in the prophecy. I love the story behind it all.
Moving on, there are a few more moments that stick out to me every time I reread Book 6, including how Cormac McLaggen is still dreamy if we ignore his rotten behavior. Hermione is a badass for that Confundus Charm to ensure that Ron remains on the Quidditch team. There’s also a bittersweet moment for me when Hagrid is crying about Aragog’s impending death because he is crying over a giant spider. I still hate Mundungus Fletcher for selling Sirius’s belongings, and what happened to Katie Bell still haunts me. I was on MuggleNet Academia to talk about it, and you can listen here to learn more about her attack. If you’re having a bad day, remember that Fred and George trapped a garden gnome into being a tree angel.
Okay, back to business. Malfoy being sliced open in the bathroom continues to haunt me because I had never felt such horror before from a book. Magic was real and powerful and dangerous inside Hogwarts. We sometimes don’t realize what we are capable of.
The rest of this book depresses me, but at least Fleur was finally accepted by Mrs. Weasley. Remus and Tonks arguing over whether to be a couple continues to remind me that love and relationships are hard work.
I don’t want to talk about how Dumbledore’s funeral was cut. I don’t want to talk about how Ginny and Harry’s breakup was cut. I don’t want to talk anymore, especially about the trio making a pact to track down Voldemort together.
The highs and lows of the last half of Half-Blood Prince:
High point: Harry and Ginny get together after Ginny helps Gryffindor win the cup while Harry is stuck in detention as a result of nearly killing Malfoy.
Low point: SNAPE KILLED DUMBLEDORE. Okay, sorry.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book:
Ghosts are transparent.” – Harry (460)
Parry Otter, the Chosen Boy Who – well – something of that sort.” – Drunk Slughorn (487)
I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.” – Dumbledore (578). And me sobbing in the background.
Don’t call me coward.” – Snape (604). And now, knowing what we all know, that line hurts me.
I could ramble about this book for hours, but I loved getting a chance to sit down and revisit my second favorite book in the series. I hope you enjoyed my reread! If you want to look back on more rereads, you can find the links here: Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and Order of the Phoenix.
Until next time, Mischief Managed.