Blogging Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Part 2
Chapter Four: Horace Slughorn
Better Title: Friends With a Past?
Did Slughorn and Dumbledore date?
I’m sure if I search the internet I’ll find fan fiction that supports this rumor, but that leads down a road of literature best left untraveled. So for the sake of time, I’ll just assume that yes, Dumbledore and Slughorn dated very briefly in the 1980s but things didn’t work out and now they’re just friends and colleagues.
Keep this dating idea in mind when reading this book and suddenly the banter between Albus and Horace is even more charming.
I wish the professors at Hogwarts dated. Poor things seem to live the lives of the clergy for no other reason than shyness and dedication to the job. But surely they must feel lonely, and surely there are other wizards in the world who would find a gainfully employed wizard scholar somewhat of a catch. It’s depressing to think that these educators have no social life outside of The Yule Ball and wars.
The Harry Potter series isn’t about the lives of the teachers. I know this. But I’m not asking for entire chapters about McGonagall's date night at the roller rink. I just feel sad that every professor at Hogwarts is lonely. And old. And kind of miserable.
Horace Slughorn is no different. He doesn’t have a wife, husband, or significant other. He’s all alone. So that means he’ll make a perfect Hogwarts teacher!
Dumbledore and Harry go to recruit the paranoid Slughorn and only after realizing he’ll get the chance to teach the famed Harry Potter does he agree.
He also likes to have private meetings with secret groups of little kids, which in any other book would be very creepy, but here it’s only somewhat creepy. Maybe instead of Lupin, Horace should have been the werewolf. Hmm.
Towards the end of the chapter, Dumbledore tells Harry to share the secret prophecy with Ron and Hermione. Why? Because Dumbledore is a cryptic loon. Lovable, but cryptic.
HORACE: The best part about being a teacher is watching the eager young minds blossom into the leaders of society.
HARRY: And the worst part?
HORACE: The crippling loneliness. The hours and hours of solitude. The decades that pass by without so much as a hug. Relishing every handshake and cherishing every high-five, for they are the only forms of physical affection I know.
DUMBLEDORE: And the long nights in cold beds. The guest towels in the bathroom that go unused. The awkward questions from friends who ask, “So, are you seeing anyone these days Al?”
MCGONAGALL: Oh, and sharing a New Year’s Eve kiss with the back of your own hand. And never knowing what it’s like to share a dessert.
SNAPE: And never knowing what a kiss feels like. Does it feel like moist noodles? I assume that it does.
HARRY: Um...well, I really should be going.
TRELAWNEY: I took a sack of tangerines as my date to the prom.
SNAPE: No Hogwart’s professor ever had children.
MCGONAGALL: My collection of souvenir spoons are my children. Oh, that reminds me. I need to get a sitter for them Friday night when I’m going out to shop for new shoe laces. What a time I’ll have!
HARRY: Neat. I’m going to bed now.
DUMBLEDORE: In fact, the only teacher to have a girlfriend was Flitwick.
FLITWICK: She broke up with me because of the sounds.
HARRY: Off I go. G’night!
HAGRID: H’gg’t ‘lick ‘t’ ‘t t’’’ t’’’ ‘’’’f’ spoon ‘grime! An’ t’erh romance flowers!
Chapter Five: An Excess of Phlegm
Better Title: Tonks A Lot!
Poor, poor Tonks. She’s not her usual cheery self. Maybe she’s upset that Sirius died and it was all (kind of) her fault. Or maybe something else is wrong. Whatever the issue, I sure hope she never dies. That would be sad. At least if she did die, we would see how she died. Right? RIGHT?
Harry meets up with everyone at the Weasley’s and there’s a whole lot of exposition in this chapter. We learn about Harry’s grades and his future career, we find out a bit more about Slughorn, Fleur is now engaged to Bill and is annoying the hell of Ginny, and Percy is still not talking to the Weasley family.
HOGWARTS GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: So Harry, do you want to be a teacher or a shopkeeper?
HARRY: Those are my only options?
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Well, you could also work in the Ministry. And you can be a bus driver, too.
HARRY: What if I wanted to be a actor?
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: I don’t know what that is. You mean one of those big machines that chops up hay? You can't be a machine. You're a person.
HARRY: No. An actor. Like in movies?
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Movies? Oh, you mean an upset stomach? My grandfather used to get the movies every time he ate cabbage. Didn’t stop him from eating cabbage though.
HARRY: The cinema? The theater? What if I wanted to be on the stage!?
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: I don’t know what any of those words mean. I’ll just put you down for shopkeeper. How’s about a nice tie shop, eh? Or maybe a shop that sells kettles. Not enough kettle shops, I say.
HARRY: This school is a fortress of imbeciles.
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Copper kettles, iron kettles, kettles that whistle...
DUMBLEDORE: Harry, when you’re done picking one out of five possible careers, I’d like to see you in my office so I can give you some cryptic riddles regarding your future and the survival of all existence. ‘K?
Chapter Six: Draco’s Detour
Better Title: WEREWOLF (no jetpack)
I love Fenrir Greyback. He’s evil, he’s scary, he is everything a werewolf should be. He hides in the shadows of these books and doesn’t have huge part. He is the Boba Fett of Harry Potter.
Here we get the first mention of him as Draco threatens Borgin with a visit from Mr. Greyback. It’s amazing. We’ll actually see him later, and he will do awful, scary things to people. Who cares what else happens in this chapter?
Oh. You care? Sorry.
The chapter follows Harry and the gang as they load up on school supplies in Diagon Alley. There's something fishy going on with Draco, but Harry can’t tell what. They follow him in Borgin and Burke’s, where Draco and Borgin have a heated argument over some mysterious artifact.
Hermione tries to sniff around, but it doesn’t work.
FENRIR: Today I ate a child.
JACOB: I date a child, too! Werewolves are the best!
[Fenrir kills Jacob]
House Bergstein School Announcements
There is an early dismissal today so that we can properly deal with what has been unofficially classified as a “Doom Puddle.” Also, wear your boots!
The Danger Team will be holding tryouts tomorrow in the chimney. Bring a helmet and your troll allergy medicine.
Magic Hat class has been canceled after the hat that brings forth rabbits and the hat that animates snowmen were switched and now we have a giant super rabbit to deal with.
This semester, the school play will be The Hobbid: The Journey to the Mountains of Adventure. Note: Because we couldn’t raise enough money to actually buy the rights to The Hobbit, we have to go with the generic knock-off. The main parts are listed below:
Baldo Waggins - The main Hobbid
Gander Wizardman - The purple wizard
Shelly Oaken-face - She’s in charge of the 13 imps
Dirt Cloud - The scary dragon
Ms. Boomer - The funny sidekick who loves chocolate, adventure, and her helicopter
Tony - Baldo’s magic talking harp
Orrin - The sexy vampire who loves ordinary women and hates playing by the rules!
Dum-Dim-Dum-Dum - One of the imps whose catchphrase is, “Ouch!”
Regular-Sized Sarah - She’s the imp who has the normal amount of teeth.
Yep, this show is going to be amazing! Auditions will be held Friday in the Sear’s parking lot.
We’re collecting eels for the needy. Bring your new or gently used eels to the main office.
The girl’s knee-boxing team suffered a loss against Tito’s School for Barbarians and Algebra, though an investigation is underway to see if our opponent’s use of sarcasm was legal.
The elevator is out of order and keeps screaming about injustice. Just use the stairs.
Run a marathon, but don’t brag about it to anyone.
Find a way to do trigonometry that tastes good.