Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chapter 9

By J.K. Rowling

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Chapter 9

The Half-Blood Prince

  • Lots of stuff happens on the first day of school.
  • Harry discovers that he can, after all, take N.E.W.T. Potions, meaning that his goal of becoming an Auror is again attainable.
  • McGonagall gives Harry the list of students wishing to try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and tells him that he must arrange a tryout soon.
  • In Defense Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.), Snape gives a chilling and unpleasant introduction. He has also redecorated the classroom with portraits of victims who suffered from the Dark Arts.
  • The first lesson is in nonverbal spells. Snape has everyone try to perform a jinx on a partner without speaking a word.
  • Snape sees that Ron, who's partnered with Harry, is struggling, so he shows him how it is done. But Harry instinctively speaks a Shield Charm so powerful that Snape is knocked off kilter.
  • Snape gives Harry detention next Saturday.
  • After D.A.D.A., Harry receives an invitation to his first private lesson with Dumbledore, which will take place the following Saturday evening. Guess he'll have to miss detention with Snapeā€¦
  • In Potions class, Slughorn gives the class a contest: they must make a Draught of Living Death potion, a complex undertaking. The student who mixes the best brew will receive a highly prized good luck potion, Felix Felicis.

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  • Draco eagerly sets to work, clearly desperate to win the Felix Felicis.
  • Because Harry didn't think he would be able to take Potions due to his less-than-perfect O.W.L. results, he doesn't have a textbook.
  • Slughorn lets him borrow a used book from the cupboard until Harry can order his own.
  • It turns out this used Potions textbook has lots of helpful notes scribbled in the margins. Harry is happy he has such good luck.
  • With the help of his new textbook, Harry wins the context and, therefore, the Felix Felicis potion.
  • He is elated, but Hermione is not. She thinks that he's cheated and shouldn't follow the handwritten directions in the used textbook.
  • Harry discovers that someone has written in the cover: This Book Is the Property of the Half-Blood Prince.

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