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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)
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Harry Potter > HPatHBP: Part 1: Chapter 1 - Chapter 6

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message 1: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Discuss Chapter 1 - Chapter 6

NOTE: While this section is meant to focus on the specified chapters of this book, this read is meant for people who have already read the entire series.

As a result, unlike most of our group reads, full spoilers for the series will be allowed without spoiler tags in every discussion post.

If you haven't read some/all of the books (What's wrong with you?) proceed at your own peril.


message 2: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I really like the start of this book. "The Other Minister" does a nice job of recap and introducing Scrimgeour while not feeling too much like either of those things. I think it's a cool idea to see how things look like from the "muggle" side of things as Voldemort and his followers make things worse and worse.

And the chapter with Narcissa Malfoy, Bealtrix and Snape is excellent. This really sets up the whole: Do you trust Snape or not notion of this book and most of the following.

We have no idea at this point that Draco is supposed to kill Dumbledore. Nor do I think does Snape himself. Ever the great spy he talks as though he knows what's up and gathers as much information as he can.

But he also binds himself with that unbreakable vow. Can you vow to do something when you don't know what it really is?

I still remember before the final book came out they were giving out "Trust Snape" and "Snape Is A Very Bad Man" stickers that Waldenbooks was giving out with pre-orders.


Dara (cmdrdara) Ch. 1
-I love this chapter but hate waiting 2 chapters to catch up with Harry.

-Oh, now Fudge knows that Sirius is innocent...

-The slow pace in this book is so wonderful after OOTP.

-RIP Madam Bones, Emmeline Vance (member of the Order, she picked Harry up in OOTP).

-It's kind of amazing that all of this still surprises Fudge. Dumbledore told him at the end of GOF that the dementors would revolt and that Voldemort would recruit the giants.

-Dementors breeding? Ew.

-After all Fudge put Harry through, Fudge wanted him to be a spokesman for the Ministry to show solidarity. Uh, no.

Ch. 2
-This chapter exists solely to cast doubt on Snape and it's done so well.

-I wonder if Dumbledore knows that Snape's info got Emmeline murdered...

-I vaguely wonder what horrible things Snape did in his Death Eater days.

-Snape to Bellatrix: ''And – forgive me – you speak of dangers... you were facing six teenagers, were you not?''

-The Grand Plan: Draco fixes the Vanishing Cabinets to let Death Eaters into Hogwarts. Draco kills Dumbledore.

-How do Azkaban escapees get wands? At least before the kidnap Ollivander.

Ch. 3
-So Side-Along Apparition is a thing. So are Inferi. I wonder if they'll be important later?

-The picture of Harry's messy room is so vivid to me.

-''These words seems to rouse Uncle Vernon. It was clear that as far as he was concerned, any man who could look at Harry and say 'excellent' was a man with whom he could never see eye to eye.''

-Dumbledore's blackened hand is from a curse on the ring horcrux – the Resurrection Stone. Snape traps the curse in Dumbledore's hand, saving his life.

-Harry must have TARDIS pockets to fit the cloak in there.

Ch. 4
-I like the whole scene here with Slughorn, from the destroyed living room to him warming his backside by the fire. Such great characterization.

-Slughorn's comments on Umbridge are funny.

-Private lessons with Dumbledore. Yay!

Ch. 5
-Poor heartbroken Tonks.

-Doesn't Hermione ever go home?

-This chapter makes me want french onion soup.

-''Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects''. Think we could make that title a little longer?

-''What's your dearest ambition?'' … ''To find out how airplanes stay up.'' Never change, Mr. Weasley.

-I feel for Fleur. It's hard to be an outsider in a family like the Weasleys.

-For once, Ron is making more sense than Hermione. Tonks being depressed over Sirius's death is a stretch.

-Solid O.W.L. grades, Harry.

Ch. 6
-RIP Igor Karkaroff.

-Congrats to Harry. Yay Quidditch captain!

-Does Dumbledore want Harry to keep the cloak on him at all times for his protection or to protect the Hallow? I think it's a bit of both.

-Draco freaks when Madam Malkin touches his left forearm. He has the Mark.

-I want to go to Fred and George's shop.

-Pink products for girls! Good to know gender stereotypes are alive and well in the wizarding world...

-Fenrir Greyback is the werewolf who turned Lupin. It's mentioned later in the book.


Dara (cmdrdara) Snape knew what Draco's mission was because in Snape's memory at the end of Deathly Hallows, Snape takes issue with having to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore doesn't want Draco to do it to protect his soul and Snape says something along the lines of "what about my soul?" and Dumbledore kind of shrugs it off.


message 5: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Well Snape eventually knows what Draco's mission is..but whose to say he knows it here?

Does that vision reveal when he learned about it? I was always under the impression that he/Dumbledore figured it out AFTER this meeting.


message 6: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Dara wrote: "Congrats to Harry. Yay Quidditch captain!"

The best part of that is he gets the same benefits as Ron and Hermoine. So we don't have to hear him whine about it..yay less whining!


Dara (cmdrdara) Rob wrote: "Well Snape eventually knows what Draco's mission is..but whose to say he knows it here?

Does that vision reveal when he learned about it? I was always under the impression that he/Dumbledore figur..."


I can't recall, you might be right.


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments Love those first three chapters. Dumbledore and the Dursley household is so great. The glasses nudging them when they won't take a drink. Such a good mental image.

Differences between Fudge and Scrimgeour are immediately apparent. Although it seems like they've went from one extreme to another.

Slughorn gives me the creeps immediately, talking about Lily and all his little connections to the wizarding world through his favoritism.

God, I hated Snape so much throughout this book. I never trusted him, didn't understand why Dumbledore did. Of course now I know, but I remember the hate like it was yesterday.


message 9: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I haven't finished chapter 2 yet myself. I was tempted to sit out in the car a bit longer this morning. Oh well something to look forward to for the ride home (and post work bike ride)


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments I actually finished my re-read a few weeks back. My girl had never finished the series so I talked her into doing it when the group announced this one. I wanted to keep up with her and we flew through the books.

I still love taking part in the discussions though.


terpkristin I loved "The Other Minister" section, it was so insightful for how things worked in practice.


message 12: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Was Madam Bones the head of the magical enforcement that complimented Harry on being able to do a Patronus during his trial?


terpkristin I think so. I remember having that thought when I did a re-read awhile ago.


message 14: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) The very same Madam Bones.


Alexa (littlelexa) | 77 comments Ch. 1
Love this chapter! Really really like Rufus Scrimgeour. I find funny that Rowling tends to describe her characters by comparing them to animals. Umbridge was a toad. Scrimgeour is a lion.

Do you guys remember that Harry refuses to be spokeman because Umbridge is still working at the ministry? I read something about that yesterday but I can't remember it at all. :/

Ch. 2
And love this chapter again! This book has a way better pacing than the last one.

Also, did you notice Bella referring to the horcrux? "The Dark Lord has, in the past, entrusted me with his most precious..."

Ch. 3
I am amazed at how calm Harry is with Dumbledore, maybe because I just read the fifth book and have their last conversation fresh in my mind. I was so angry with Dumbledore... still am!

Ch. 4
Ah, Slughorn... I have to admit I like the old idiot.

Ch. 5
:/ I was so mad with Hermione in this chapter. After everything that happened in the last book, why is she still trying to keep things from Harry? All her "shh!" and trying to change the theme... *sigh*

I'm not a fan of Mrs. Weasley, but her and Mr. Weasley are and adorable couple.


message 16: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Alexa wrote: "Do you guys remember that Harry refuses to be spokeman because Umbridge is still working at the ministry? I read something about that yesterday but I can't remember it at all. "

Yeah. That happens at Christmas when Scrimgeour visits the Burrow.


message 17: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Alexa wrote: "Also, did you notice Bella referring to the horcrux? "The Dark Lord has, in the past, entrusted me with his most precious...""

Which does she have? Hufflepuff's cup? I remember them breaking into Gringotts to get to her vault.


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments Yeah, Hufflepuff's cup.

Aww, I always loved Mrs. Weasley. Especially at the end, bitch slapping Bellatrix


Alexa (littlelexa) | 77 comments Yep. She has the cup. Umbridge has the locket and the diadem is in the Room of Requirement.


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