Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Scene 39

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Scene 39

Scene 39

  • Back at Hogwarts, Draco is in bed.
  • Not for long though, we suspect: some baddies are headed for that vanishing cabinet in Borgin & Burke's. Looks like Hogwarts is about to get some visitors.
  • Yup: Draco heads to the Room of Requirement and we see the cabinet opening, with a bunch of that familiar black smoke pouring out. Looks like Draco has let in a bunch of Death Eaters through the cabinet. Including Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback. This is not going to end well.
  • Meanwhile, Harry and Dumbledore Apparate back to the bell tower at the top of the castle. Harry wants to get Dumbledore, who's very weak from the Horcrux ordeal, to the hospital wing, but he refuses—he wants Harry to go get Snape.
  • Then, Dumbledore hears someone coming, and he orders Harry to hide.
  • Draco arrives, and Dumbledore seems to know why. Wait, will someone clue us in?
  • Dumbledore tells Draco he's not an assassin. Dumbledore then calls Draco out on his recent sinister antics: cursing Katie and poisoning the bottle of mead meant for the headmaster. Summing up what we've been thinking all along: Draco might be capable of being a pretty big jerk, but he doesn't really have it in him to be a killer.
  • As usual, it seems Dumbledore is right: Draco claims (rather shakily, we might add) that he's been chosen to do the Dark Lord's bidding (he even shows Dumby his new Death Eater arm tattoo).
  • Okay, so now we're getting the picture: Draco has been ordered by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore. He disarms the headmaster, and things are not looking good.
  • Dumbledore hears the door opening and realizes Draco's not alone. Draco, now in full mental meltdown mode, explains how he made a passage with the two vanishing cabinets. He tells Dumbledore that if he doesn't follow through on the Dark Lord's orders, Voldemort will kill him.
  • Bellatrix and the others arrive. Really not looking good now.
  • Meanwhile, below (where Harry is hiding) Snape arrives. He signals for Harry to be quiet.
  • Then Professor Snape goes above. As Draco is still faltering, Snape steps in and aims his wand at the headmaster, seeming to hesitate for a second. Dumbledore, calm as ever, says "Please," at which point Snape invokes the Killing Curse at Dumbledore, who falls back and off the tower.
  • Wait, what? What?
  • NO.
  • Seriously? Dumbledore is dead? And Snape, whom he had always defended, did it? Say it ain't so!
  • Sorry, it's so: Bellatrix revels in their Death Eater victory (mostly by breaking stuff around the castle) and she, Snape and the other Dark Lord minions head toward the forest, with a horrified, crying Draco in tow (guess we were at least right about him not being 100% evil).
  • Harry chases Snape, grieving and furious, and tries to use that nasty Sectumsempra curse from his Potions book against the professor.
  • Snape accuses Harry of trying to use Snape's own spell against him. Wait, what? That means…Snape is the Half-Blood Prince? The hits just keep on coming.
  • Snape flees toward the forest to join the other Death Eaters, who have set Hagrid's house on fire. Nice.
  • Harry returns to the castle, finding students and teachers gathered where Dumbledore's body has fallen. They all raise their wands in tribute.
  • Ginny comforts Harry. And we are full-on sobbing now.

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