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This part of the website takes a look at J.K. Rowling's masterpiece Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

.: Book Six - Half-Blood Prince :: Chapter Summary - Part Two :.

Chapter Twenty - Lord Voldermort's Request

At their next lesson, Dumbledore asks Harry if he was able to retrieve the memory from Slughorn. Harry has not done so but promises to try harder. Dumbledore is extremely disappointed. They return to studying Voldemort. Dumbledore explains how Voldemort had been an excellent student. Many faculty members suggested that he apply for a position at the Ministry after graduation. Instead, Voldemort asked if he might remain at Hogwarts as an instructor of Defense against the Dark Arts. Then-Headmaster Dippet told Voldemort that he was too young but should consider reapplying later. Voldemort took a job working at Borgin and Burkes, persuading people to part with Dark or unusual objects. Harry and Dumbledore enter the Pensieve to view a memory of Hokey, a House Elf to a very rich old witch named Hepzibah Smith.

Hepzibah is enthralled by Voldemort and offers to show him two extremely rare objects, a small golden cup and a locket. Hephzibah tells Voldemort that the cup belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, one of the four founders of Hogwarts. The gold locket bears Slytherin’s mark and is the same locket that Merope sold to Borgin and Burkes many years earlier. Voldemort’s eyes turn scarlet as Hepzibah explains how she bought the locket from the shop and refuses to give it up. Harry and Dumbledore return to Hogwarts. Dumbledore explains that Hepzibah Smith died days after the visit they witnessed, supposedly poisoned by Hokey, who later confessed to the crime. Harry and Dumbledore agree that Voldemort must have murdered Hepzibah and changed Hokey’s memory so that she would confess to the crime. After Hokey was convicted, Hepzibah’s family realized that the locket and the cup were missing. Around the same time, Voldemort left his job at Borgin and Burkes and was not seen or heard from for a very long time. Dumbledore notes that Voldemort has now committed another murder, this time killing for gain rather than revenge.

The next memory they witness is one of Dumbledore’s, from ten years after Hepzibah’s death. Dumbledore is seated in his office at Hogwarts when Voldemort knocks and enters. Voldemort reminds Dumbledore that he no longer goes by the name Tom Riddle. Voldemort again expresses his interest in teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, but Dumbledore is skeptical and denies him. Harry and Dumbledore return to Dumbledore’s present-day office. Dumbledore reminds Harry that ever since he denied Voldemort the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Hogwarts has not been able to keep a Defense teacher longer than one year. Later, Harry finds a new spell, Sectumsempra, scrawled in the margins of his Potions textbook, with the words "For Enemies." Kreacher and Dobby reappear to report back. Dobby tells Harry that while Draco is not breaking any rules, he makes regular trips to the seventh floor, bringing other students with him to stand guard. Harry remembers the Room of Requirement on the seventh floor, which transforms into whatever its transformer requires.

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Chapter Twenty-One - The Unknowable Room

Harry decides to sneak up on Draco when he is in the Room of Requirement, but Hermione reminds him that unless he knows exactly what Draco is doing, he cannot summon the Room, because he won’t know what he needs it to be. Kreacher and Dobby leave. Harry thinks Draco must have stolen some Polyjuice Potion from Slughorn and has been using it on Crabbe and Doyle, transforming them into first-year girls to avoid suspicion.

The next weekend, Ron and Hermione go to Hogsmeade to practice Apparition. After they leave, Harry attempts to get into the Room of Requirement to see what Draco is doing. After thirty minutes of trying, Harry still cannot gain access to the room. Frustrated, Harry rushes at the wall. His Invisibility Cloak slips off, and Tonks suddenly appears, looking thin and haggard. Tonks asks Harry if he’s heard from any members of the Order, but Harry explains that since Sirius’s death, no one writes to him anymore. Tonks’s eyes fill with tears. Later, Harry tells his friends about running into Tonks and that he suspects she may have been in love with Sirius.

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Chapter Twenty-Two - After the Burial

Harry, Ron, and Hermione receive a tear-stained letter from Hagrid announcing Aragog’s death and requesting their presence at his funeral. They decide it’s too dangerous to travel outside of Hogwarts at night. Ron tells Harry that he should try using Felix Felicis to acquire Slughorn’s memory, and Hermione agrees. Ron and Hermione head off to Hogsmeade for their Apparition tests. Hermione passes her exam, but Ron doesn’t. After dinner, Harry takes a gulp of Felix Felicis, and a warm glow fills him. Harry puts on his Invisibility Cloak, telling his friends he’s decided to go to Hagrid’s. Harry heads toward Hagrid’s, running into Slughorn on the way. Harry explains about Aragog and Hagrid. Slughorn tells Harry that the venom of an acromantula is extremely rare and almost impossible to gather. Harry invites Slughorn to the funeral. Harry, Hagrid, and Slughorn step into Hagrid’s backyard, where a grave has been dug. While Hagrid is crying, Slughorn approaches the giant spider and collects a bottleful of venom. After Aragog is buried, they sit down for drinks.

Harry senses that he should abstain from drinking too much, and nonverbally casts a Refilling Charm, making sure Slughorn and Hagrid’s glasses stay full. Hagrid and Slughorn continue to drink heavily. Harry tells Slughorn about the pain of his mother and father dying so young and reminds Slughorn of how much he liked Harry’s mother, Lily. Harry tells a very drunk Slughorn that the only way to stop Voldemort is to give Harry the true memory. Slughorn tells Harry he is not proud of what it contains, but he hands it over anyway.

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Chapter Twenty-Three - Horcruxes

Harry feels the Felix Felicis wearing off and walks back to the castle. Dumbledore is delighted with Harry’s success and empties Slughorn’s memory into the Pensieve. This time, there is no fog or loud voices. When Voldemort asks about Horcruxes, Slughorn explains that a Horcrux is an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul. Even if the person is attacked or destroyed, a small part of his soul lives on outside of his body—and therefore he can never die. Slughorn goes on to explain that very few would want that kind of existence, and that death is often preferable. Splitting one’s soul is an unnatural violation and can only occur when one commits the supreme act of evil, murder.

Slughorn tells Voldemort not to repeat anything he has just heard, and the memory ends. Dumbledore tells Harry that he suspects Voldemort has split his soul into seven pieces, and that no wizard has ever attempted multiple Horcruxes. The only way to kill Voldemort is to destroy all seven Horcruxes. Dumbledore believes that the seventh Horcrux is Voldemort’s regenerated body and should be destroyed last. Of the other six, two are already gone—the diary Harry obliterated his first year at Hogwarts, and Marvolo’s ring, which Dumbledore withered his hand destroying. Harry suggests Slytherin’s locket and Hufflepuff’s cup. Dumbledore wonders if one of the remaining two Horcruxes belonged to Ravenclaw, since Gryffindor’s only known relic, the sword, is safe in Dumbledore’s office. Dumbledore believes that Nagini, the snake, is the sixth. It is revealed that when Dumbledore leaves Hogwarts for long stretches of time, he is out hunting for Horcruxes. Dumbledore thinks he is close to finding another, and tells Harry that he can come along to help destroy it. Dumbledore reminds Harry that his ability to love makes him a great and powerful wizard, explaining that this capacity for love is the only thing that has kept him from being lured to the Dark Arts.

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Chapter Twenty-Four - Sectumsempra

Ron and Lavender have broken up, as have Ginny and Dean. Harry is ecstatic. Katie Bell recovers and returns to school. Tensions run high for the Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw game. A few days before the match, Harry checks the Marauder’s Map and sees Draco in the boys’ bathroom with Moaning Myrtle. Harry rushes to the bathroom where Draco is crying at the sink, sobbing that unless he does something soon, he will be killed. Draco spots Harry and pulls out his wand. Harry yells "Sectumsempra," the hex scribbled in the margins of the Half-Blood Prince’s book. Blood spurts from Draco’s face and chest, and Myrtle beings screaming. Snape bursts into the room and heals Draco’s wounds almost immediately. Snape hurries Draco to the hospital wing, commanding Harry to wait behind. When Snape returns, he asks Harry where he learned the spell, and demands that Harry bring him his Potions textbook. Harry leaves and runs into Ron, who lends Harry his Potions textbook. Harry sprints to the seventh floor and opens the Room of Requirement. Harry sees the broken Vanishing Cabinet Montague used last year. Harry hides the Half-Blood Prince’s book and runs back to the bathroom.

Snape is skeptical of Ron’s book and gives Harry detention every Saturday until the end of the term, which means Harry will have to miss Saturday’s Quidditch match. Harry’s teammates are devastated. That Saturday, when Harry is finally dismissed from detention, the Quidditch match is already over. Harry returns to the Gryffindor common room and is greeted with a huge celebration. Gryffindor won the match and the championship. Ginny runs toward Harry and throws her arms around him. Without thinking about it, Harry kisses her. Students immediately begin gossiping about Harry and Ginny. Ron chides the new couple but lets them know he has no objection. At lunch, Hermione shows Harry a newspaper article about Eileen Prince, and suggests that she may be the Half-Blood Prince. Harry receives a scroll asking him to report to Dumbledore’s office as quickly as possible.

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Chapter Twenty-Five - The Seer Overheard

On his way, Harry runs into a distressed Professor Trelawney. Harry asks her what happened, and she tells him that she was trying to get into the Room of Requirement to hide her sherry bottles, but when she went in, someone was there, whooping with excitement. She was hurled out of the room almost immediately. Harry tells Trelawney that she should tell Dumbledore what happened, and they head off together. Professor Trelawney tells Harry about her first interview with Dumbledore before she was hired. She was staying at the Hog’s Head, and Dumbledore came to see her in her room. Harry knows that this was when she made the prophecy about Harry and Voldemort, but Trelawney only remembers feeling funny. She and Dumbledore were interrupted by Snape, who was caught eavesdropping by a barman. Harry realizes that it was Snape who told Voldemort about Trelawney’s prophecy, thus sending Voldemort after Harry and his mother and father. Harry leaves Trelawney in the hallway and races toward Dumbledore’s office. Before Harry can confront Dumbledore, Dumbledore tells him that he has found a Horcrux and that Harry will be accompanying him to destroy it. Dumbledore tells him that the Horcrux is hidden in a cave on the coast, the same cave in which Voldemort once terrorized two children from his orphanage.

Harry tells Dumbledore that he knows that it was Snape who carried word of the prophecy. Dumbledore defends Snape, saying that he was still under Voldemort’s control and had no way of knowing that Voldemort would kill Harry’s parents. Harry is still outraged and implores Dumbledore to tell him why he trusts Snape. Dumbledore simply does. Harry tells Dumbledore about Draco’s whooping in the Room of Requirement. Dumbledore is once again unconcerned, assuring Harry that Hogwarts will be protected in their absence. Before they leave for the Horcrux, Dumbledore tells Harry that he must follow all orders Dumbledore gives him. Harry leaves to fetch his Invisibility Cloak and finds Ron and Hermione in the common room. He gives them the Marauder’s Map and the bottle of Felix Felicis and tells them to watch Snape and Draco Malfoy and to use special Galleons to contact any members of the D.A. (Dumbledore’s Army, the secret study group formed by Harry and his friends in the previous book to study Defense Against the Dark Arts) who may be able to help. Harry and Dumbledore walk to Hogsmeade together and Apparate to the shore.

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Chapter Twenty-Six - The Cave

The entrance to the cave is concealed, and Dumbledore determines that it requires an offering of blood to open. Dumbledore cuts his hand and drips blood onto the stone, opening the passageway. They reach a small pool of water with a green glow emanating from the center. Harry attempts a Summoning Charm on the green glow, but something very large and white erupts from the water in response. Dumbledore tells Harry that it is there to protect the Horcrux. Standing at the water’s edge, Dumbledore waves his wand and summons a tiny boat on a copper chain. Harry and Dumbledore start sailing toward the green light. Harry sees dead human bodies floating in the water, and Dumbledore tells him that they should not worry about them yet, and that like most creatures that dwell in cold and darkness, they are afraid of warmth and light.

The glow is coming from a stone basin filled with green liquid. Dumbledore conjures a crystal goblet and tells Harry that the green potion must be drunk before they can retrieve the object at the bottom of the basin. Dumbledore tells Harry that it’s his job to see that Dumbledore continues drinking, no matter how painful it is for Dumbledore. Harry hesitates, but Dumbledore reminds him of the conditions of the trip. Dumbledore drinks three and a half goblets of potion before he falls over. Harry gently lifts the goblet to Dumbledore’s lips and pours the remaining liquid down his throat. Harry repeats this process eight times. Dumbledore collapses and mutters for water. Harry tries to use an Aquamenti spell to fill the glass, but the water disappears as soon as Harry brings it to Dumbledore’s mouth. Harry is forced to plunge the goblet into the lake, and the disruption makes the bodies start moving toward the island.

Harry fights them off as best he can, and Dumbledore manages to cause an eruption of fire, which sends the Inferi—the bodies—back into the water. Dumbledore grabs the locket from the bottom of the stone basin, and he and Harry climb back into Voldemort’s boat and retreat. Harry Apparates back to Hogsmeade with Dumbledore at his side. Dumbledore is extremely weak and unable to walk.

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Chapter Twenty-Seven - The Lightning-Struck Tower

He tells Harry that he needs Snape to treat him. Madam Rosmerta, owner of the Three Broomsticks, rushes toward them. The Dark Mark is currently visible over Hogwarts. Dumbledore asks Rosmerta for brooms, and he and Harry fly toward the school. When they arrive at the Astronomy Tower, directly under the Dark Mark, they hear footsteps coming from the opposite direction, and Dumbledore motions for Harry to back off. The door bursts open, and a voice shouts, "Expelliarmus." Harry is paralyzed. Although he knows that Expelliarmus is not a freezing charm, Harry realizes that Dumbledore has nonverbally frozen him under his Invisibility Cloak.

The voice turns out to be Draco Malfoy’s. Dumbledore’s wand has been tossed from his body. Draco spots the two brooms and immediately asks who else is in the tower. Dumbledore asks Draco who else he is working with, and Draco tells him there are Death Eaters at Hogwarts, fighting off Dumbledore’s guards down below. Dumbledore tells Draco to get on with it and kill him, but Draco simply stares at Dumbledore. Dumbledore smiles and tells Draco he, Draco, is not a killer, and that his heart is not in it. Draco still does nothing, and Dumbledore notes that Draco is afraid to act alone. Dumbledore asks him how he smuggled Death Eaters into Hogwarts, and Draco tells him he used the Vanishing Cabinet that Montague was lost in last year. Draco explains that there is another Vanishing Cabinet at Borgin and Burkes, and together they make a passageway. With Dumbledore’s prodding, Draco admits to being behind the cursed necklace and poisoned mead. Draco tells Dumbledore that Snape is a double agent and has been lying to Dumbledore. Even now, Dumbledore insists that Snape is trustworthy.

Dumbledore infers that Draco put Rosmerta under an Imperius Curse and had her wait in the bathroom with the necklace. Dumbledore then tells Draco that if Draco were really going to kill him, he would have done it by now. Draco responds by telling Dumbledore that he doesn’t have any options, and that Voldemort will kill Draco and his family if he doesn’t complete the murder. Dumbledore is sympathetic and tells Draco that the Order can help him hide. Draco lowers his wand. Suddenly, four Death Eaters burst through the door. They all command Draco to finish Dumbledore, but Draco still does not move. Snape bursts through the door, and, for the first time, Dumbledore looks frightened. Snape raises his wand and shoots a blast of green light straight at Dumbledore. The force throws Dumbledore out the window to fall to the ground below.

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Chapter Twenty-Eight - Flight of the Prince

The freezing spell cast over Harry is broken, and he rushes down the stairs after Snape and Draco. Harry runs, dodging curses and bodies and hexing Amycus, who is trying to kill Ginny. Harry sees Ron, Professor McGonagall, and Lupin each battling a Death Eater. Harry sprints past his confused schoolmates toward Snape, Draco, and a large blond Death Eater. Harry sees Hagrid emerge from his cabin and attempt to stop the Death Eaters from fleeing the grounds. Harry is struck from behind by a curse and waits on the ground for his attackers to near. Harry strikes back, knocking them both down, then keeps running. Hagrid is fighting the blond Death Eater, and Snape and Draco are rushing toward the gates, where they will be able to Disapparate. Harry aims at Snape and misses. The blond Death Eater sets Hagrid’s house on fire. Snape tells Draco to keep running and turns to face Harry. Snape does not fight back, and Harry screams at him, calling him a coward. Harry is suddenly hit and falls over. He hears Snape’s voice shouting "No!" and telling Harry’s attacker that Harry is to be saved for the Dark Lord.

Harry no longer cares whether he lives or dies and staggers toward Snape, but Snape dodges his curses once more. Harry attempts a Levicorpus curse, but Snape deflects him. On the ground again, Snape moves toward Harry, crouching over his fallen body. Snape tells Harry that he, Snape, is the Half-Blood Prince, and that Harry should not use his own spells on him, as Harry’s father did. Harry dares Snape to kill him and calls him a coward once more. Snape stuns Harry and runs toward the gates, where he and Draco Disapparate. Harry struggles to sit up and yells for Hagrid. Hagrid rushes over and scoops Harry into his arms. Together, they use the Aquamenti spell to put out the fire in Hagrid’s house. Harry tells Hagrid that Snape killed Dumbledore. Hagrid does not believe Harry and leads him back to Hogwarts, where the students are assembling on the lawn, still unsure what has happened.

Hagrid spots the Dark Mark over the Astronomy Tower and notices a body lying in the grass—Dumbledore. Harry is silent as he straightens Dumbledore’s spectacles and wipes away the trickle of blood coming from his mouth. A crowd gathers behind Harry. Harry spots the locket they took from the cave, which has fallen from Dumbledore’s pocket, and he picks it up. The locket is not as large as Slytherin’s, nor does it bear his mark. When Harry opens it, he finds a small piece of parchment with a note written to Voldemort. The note’s author, who signs his or her name “R. A. B.,” tells Voldemort that he has discovered his secret, stolen the Horcrux, and intends to destroy it as soon as he can. The author tells Voldemort that he or she hopes that when Voldemort meets his match, he will simply be a mortal man. Harry does not understand the message, nor does he care. Harry only knows that whoever stole the real Horcrux contributed to Dumbledore’s death, causing him to weaken himself by drinking a horrible potion for nothing.

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Chapter Twenty-Nine - The Phoenix Lament

Ginny grabs Harry’s hand and gently tugs him back. Harry asks her who else is dead, and Ginny says that Bill was badly hurt by Fenir Greyback, but no one is dead. They reach the hospital wing. Neville is asleep, and Ron, Hermione, Luna, Tonks, and Lupin are gathered around another bed, where Bill Weasley is lying, his face unrecognizable. Madam Pomfrey tells Harry that no charms will cure his disfigurement. Ron asks if Bill is a werewolf now, and Lupin tells him that because Greyback was not transformed when he attacked, Bill will probably not be a true werewolf. Still, Lupin does caution that there could be some contamination. Ginny tells the group that Dumbledore is dead. Lupin collapses, and Tonks asks how it happened. Harry tells them about Snape. Outside, Dumbledore’s Phoenix is singing.

The group stands in silence. Professor McGonagall walks in and tells everyone that the Weasleys are on their way. Harry repeats the news. McGonagall is shocked, and Lupin and Tonks both speculate on what it was about Snape that made Dumbledore trust him so deeply. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Fleur rush in. When Mrs. Weasley sees Bill’s face, she screams and starts to cry. Mrs. Weasley assumes that Fleur will no longer wish to marry Bill, but Fleur is offended and tells her that she still intends to marry him. Tonks glares at Lupin and tells him that just because someone is a werewolf doesn’t mean they cannot be loved. Harry realizes that Tonks has been in love with Lupin, not Sirius. Hagrid enters and tells Professor McGonagall that he has moved the body and alerted the Ministry. McGonagall asks Hagrid to tell the Heads of House to meet her in her office.

Professor McGonagall asks Harry what he and Dumbledore had been doing that evening, but Harry tells her he cannot betray Dumbledore’s confidence. Professor Slughorn, Sprout, and Flitwick enter the office with Hagrid. Moments later, one of Dumbledore’s portraits tells Professor McGonagall that Scrimgeour has left the Ministry and will be at Hogwarts shortly. McGonagall tells the group that she is not certain Hogwarts should reopen next year. Harry asks about Dumbledore’s funeral, and the faculty agrees that he should be buried on the grounds and that students should be allowed to attend. Harry walks through the common room without saying a word to anyone. Ron asks Harry if he and Dumbledore succeeded in getting a Horcrux, and Harry tells him no.

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Chapter Thirty - The White Tomb

Classes and examinations are suspended. Hermione tells Harry that Eileen Prince was Snape’s mother, which is why Snape called himself the Half-Blood Prince. The day of Dumbledore’s funeral, Hagrid carries Dumbledore’s body, wrapped in purple cloth, down the aisle. Harry cannot hold back his tears any longer. Harry thinks of how many people have tried to protect him and died while doing it: his father, his mother, his godfather, and Dumbledore. After the funeral, Harry tells Ginny that they cannot be together because Voldemort will eventually use her to get to him. Ginny is upset but understands. Harry walks back to the castle. Ron and Hermione catch up, and they speculate on whether the school will close. Harry tells them that he’s not coming back. Harry will spend the summer with the Dursleys per Dumbledore’s wishes and return to Godric’s Hollow, where his Wizarding life started. Harry also wishes to visit the graves of his parents. After that, Harry will begin his search for the remaining Horcruxes. Ron and Hermione tell Harry that they will accompany him to the Dursleys and will stay by his side from there on. Ron reminds them that they need to return to the Burrow for Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Knowing that the future holds a long and difficult journey, Harry enjoys one last moment of peace with his two best friends.

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