Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Scene 17

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Scene 17

Scene 17

  • Hermione, Harry, and several other students are at Slughorn's dinner party.
  • Slughorn is chatting up Cormac McLaggen and another kid about their families, and then he asks Hermione what her parents do. Apparently, the concept of dentistry is as foreign to wizards as Wizarding would be to your average dentist.
  • Ginny enters. She's been crying—apparently, she fights a lot with her boyfriend. Harry, always the consummate gentleman, rises from his chair until Ginny takes a seat at the table. (Nudge, nudge: Harry, here's your window, man.)
  • Meanwhile, McLaggen is definitely giving Hermione some meaningful looks over dessert, while rather revoltingly licking his fingers (who eats a giant profiterole sundae with their hands, dude?). Hermione clearly isn't impressed, either.
  • When the dinner is over, Slughorn sees the kids out, but Harry stays behind. He's looking at Slughorn's hourglass. The professor explains that he has a kind of shelf of fame in his office where he memorializes his most impressive students.
  • Harry seizes the opportunity to ask Slughorn if Voldemort made the shelf. Subtle segue. Slughorn is…less than keen to talk about it.
  • Harry apologizes, explaining that, ya know, he killed Harry's parents. Slughorn doesn't mind, but he says he can't really help him. He says Riddle was a quiet, intelligent boy, and he saw no sign of him becoming a monster at that time. Why does it seem like Harry doesn't quite believe him?

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