| Quote #7
Ron was not the only one to be excited at the prospect of Apparition. All that day there was much talk about the forthcoming lessons; a great deal of store set by being able to vanish and reappear at will. (17.66)
Just like learning how to ride a bike, learning how to swim, or learning how to drive are big cornerstones of growing up for us, learning how to Apparate is a huge rite of passage for the students in Harry's year. Apparition implies greater mobility and freedom, and it signals the beginning of adulthood.
| Quote #8
"As he moved up the school, he gathered about him a group of dedicated friends; I call them that, for want of a better term, although as I have already indicated, Riddle undoubtedly felt no affection for any of them. This group had a kind of dark glamour within the castle." (18.116)
It's interesting that when Voldemort was first building his identity at Hogwarts, he found it necessary to give the impression that he had friends. He recognized that having alliances was important to his success, even though, by nature, he would rather operate completely alone. He may have never had a true friend in his life, but he does know that he can only be truly successful with the help of those willing to fight for him.
| Quote #9
It took Harry only five minutes to realize that his reputation as the best potion-maker in the class was crashing around his ears. (17.28)
Do you agree with Harry's use of the Half-Blood Prince's notes and scribblings? How much of Harry's interest in this textbook lies in the fact that he is able to coast through potions? How much has to do with the fact that he is arming himself with valuable information? If you were to interview a random third year student at Hogwarts and to ask her who Harry Potter is, what would she tell you?