Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Horace Slughorn

  • On their way to the Burrow, Dumbledore takes Harry to visit Horace Slughorn, a former Hogwarts professor.
  • Horace's house is a wreck, almost as if a group of Death Eaters, Voldemort's followers, had trashed it. There's even blood on the walls.
  • They find Horace in the form of a big, overstuffed armchair. Turns out he was trying to make it look like he had been dragged away by Death Eaters.
  • As usual, there's an opening for a new professor at Hogwarts, but Slughorn doesn't want to go back – he loves the comfort of retirement too much.
  • Dumbledore has brought Harry along to meet Slughorn, knowing that the retired teacher loves famous people. Dumbledore conveniently gets up to use the restroom, leaving Slughorn alone with Harry.
  • Harry, without necessarily realizing it, persuades Slughorn to return to Hogwarts. Slughorn is clearly interested in Harry, and also realizes that the safest place during this time of war is in Hogwarts.
  • As Dumbledore and Harry head out into the night, Slughorn tells Dumbledore that he will return to Hogwarts.
  • On their way to the Burrow, Harry and Dumbledore discuss the state of things. Dumbledore proposes that Harry should take private lessons with him this year.
  • This thrills Harry.
  • The two arrive at the Burrow. It is late at night, but lights are still on.
  • Inside, they find Mrs. Weasley and Tonks having some tea – Tonks looks distressed.
  • Tonks decides to leave, and Dumbledore escorts her out, leaving too.

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