Half-Blood Prince Discussion Chapters 21-25

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Half-Blood Prince Discussion Chapters 21-25

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jun 9, 2008, 8:43am

Ack! This weekend was so different from the usual weekend that my internal clock is all screwy and I almost forgot to get the discussion going! This weeks chapters are:

21: The Unknowable Room
22: After the Burial
23: Horcruxes
24: Sectumsempra
25: The Seer Overheard

I'm pretty sure that's right. I did it from memory because it is too hot to bend over and pull my notes out of my bag. I'll try to get the energy to do so in the next 30 minutes or so, in the meantime, discuss!

jun 9, 2008, 9:56am

Okay, 30 minutes, an hour, what's the difference. I'll get things started with my Chapter 21 notes:

1. KIK! Roonil Wazlib would also be a good name for a band!

2. Ron said he loves Hermione! I know that he didn't mean it that way yet, but still!

3. Bout time you figured it out Harry! On a related note, you'd think he'd already know that you can't see the Room of Requirement on the Marauder's Map sincehe used it after D.A. meetings to make sure everyone made it back to their common rooms okay.

4. I think the whole Harry not being able to get into the room thing is a bit weak. I feel like "I need to see what Malfoy's doing in here." should work. I would love to have someone who believes otherwise try to convince me though!

Sorry, my notes for this one were a bit weak. They might all be that way this week, I usually take longer to read and note that I did this time!

jun 9, 2008, 10:38am

I'm still incredibly behind in my reading -- I got a lot done this weekend, but reading HBP chapters was not part of it! However, I'm going to respond to Bib's post #2:

1. It would! Particularly Wizard Rock. Do you read Dave Barry? He's always coming up with interesting-sounding phrases that "would be a good name for a rock band."

2. I know he didn't, but (having long experience in liking someone who doesn't know it, as a teenager) you know that, somewhere in her heart of hearts, Hermione was thinking "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! HE LOVES ME!!!"

3. True -- but he was just incredibly slow figuring this whole thing out. I love your comment (I think it was yours, at least) about Harry sometimes forgetting about magic.

4. I guess it would depend on what Draco asked for. Did he say "I need a place where I can work on this, where nobody will be able to find me?" If so, then the RoR would be responsible for keeping everyone else out. This gets a little shaky later, when Trelawney is able to enter the room to hide her sherry bottles. Would Harry have been able to enter the room when Draco was in it, if he said "I need to hide something?" I guess my assumption for "I need to see what Malfoy is doing" not working, is that Draco had already made a prior claim on the room, so it couldn't obey a second person if it was already in use by the first person. Definitely tricky, but it didn't bother me when I was reading.

jun 9, 2008, 10:50am

3.4 I actually have some notes regarding some of what you are saying later. I'm not sure I entirely understand what you are saying at the end about why "I need to see what Malfoy is doing" not working. The first time Harry tries to get into the room, Malfoy is not even in it. Are you saying that somehow Malfoy thought to make it so that the room only became what it becomes for him, for him? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Hermione's explanation doesn't make sense to me either. She says that the only reason Malfoy et. al. were able to get into the D.A. room was because they knew exactly what was going on, but I thought that all Marietta was able to say was that there was a meeting in that room before the curse took effect and she stopped speaking. "There's a meeting in the room" seems to be about as much information as "Malfoy is fixing something in the room", so why wouldn't it work?

jun 9, 2008, 11:20am

Sorry, guess I wasn't clear. Here's how I see it
- Draco was using the Room of Requirement in its "hidden things" manifestation (when it became the room full of junk) to work on his secret project.
- Draco probably asked the room for something along the lines of "I need a place to work on this, where nobody can find me."
- Harry, then, could not enter the room while Draco was in it, because Draco had specified that nobody who was looking for him would be able to find him there.
- It does seem like Harry should have been able to enter the room when Draco wasn't there. He still probably wouldn't have been able to figure out what Malfoy was doing in all that mess, anyhow.
- The fact that Trelawney could enter the room when Draco was in there bothers me -- but I suppose the room wasn't required (heh) to keep out people who weren't looking for Draco.
- Hermione's explanation of the invasion of the DA room makes sense to me. After all, everyone who came to the room that evening thought something along the lines of "I need to get into the DA meeting." Umbridge and Filch could have paced there all night thinking "I need to get to those kids," or "I need to see what they're doing in there," but once they knew specifically what was happening, they were able to get in.
- It comes down to this: the RoR reads minds, in some inexplicable way. This makes for a good plot device and interesting conversation, but it makes it hard to pin down how it works. Maybe JKR will explain more fully in "The Scottish Book!"

jun 9, 2008, 11:33am

Maybe he was thinking, "I need someplace to work on this where that nosy Harry Potter won't find me."

jun 9, 2008, 11:45am

#5: I agree that if he had been able to get in Harry might not have been able to figure out what Draco was doing (although maybe he had talked about it to Ron and Hermione someone would have realized that there were Vanishing Cabinets in both places) but I simply don't understand why Harry couldn't get in when Draco wasn't in there, unless the RoR doesn't know people's names and therefore wouldn't know who Malfoy is and couldn't become what it becomes for him. On a side note: who put the cabinet in there and how did Malfoy know where it was?

#6: LOL!

jun 9, 2008, 12:33pm

Alright, here we go with my chapter 22 notes:

1. I like this Potions class. It takes me back to the feeling of those last few days of school when the teachers stop caring too!

2. When Harry gets Felix, Slughorn says it's 12 hours worth, here Harry says 24. I know I'm not the first person to have ever noticed it, but I thought I'd say it again anyway.

3. I love Ron and Hermione's reaction to Harry on Felix. Essence of Insanity!

4. Does anyone else find that reading Harry on Felix seems to release endorphins? I just get really happy reading this chapter! JKR magic?

5. Even those of you who dislike house-elves have to admit using them to test for poison is pretty horrific. Add to that the fact that it's alcohol they're testing and that Butterbeer gets them toasted and I'm ready to join S.P.E.W.!

6. Where are the bottles refilling from? Don't you have to know where food is to conjure it? Does that not apply to drinks? Is Harry refilling from Slughorn's stores?

jun 9, 2008, 1:42pm

okay going with number six first of your last post bib, the bottle wasn't empty so maybe thats how harry could refill it?

Slughorn should have been jailed for using houseelves that way!

yes, I felt just as good as harry felt when I read that part

Ron and hermione need to stand by Harry no matter what! (of course they do later but still...)

yeah, the most fun days at school!

jun 9, 2008, 1:50pm

Hmm . . . Maybe he was refilling from Slughorn's private stores -- maybe the Felix "helped" him do that. Of course, there's the "Aguamenti" spell for water -- maybe drinks/liquids work differently than food.

jun 9, 2008, 3:00pm

Well water would make sense to be able to conjure as it's an element found all over the earth, but it's true that I think liquids might work differently. Polly, that's a good point, maybe if you don't allow something to completely empty it's not so much conjuring as copying? Something to think about.

jun 9, 2008, 3:07pm

Here's what I got for chapter 23:

1. I wonder how Voldemort found out the spell to make a Horcrux? He apparently wouldn't have found it at Hogwarts, perhaps a trip to Knockturn Alley over break?

2. The last few pages of this chapter are so important. They help to understand why Harry heads into the forest in Deathly Hallows.

3. I'm personally a big fan of the way JKR uses prophecy and is able to reconcile the idea of fate and destiny with free will and choice.

jun 9, 2008, 4:29pm

#12.1 -- Don't forget, DD had some books of dark magic stashed in his office (BIG talking point when we get to that point in DH, by the way) . . . they may have been on the shelves back when Voldy was at Hogwarts, before DD became headmaster.

jun 9, 2008, 4:54pm

True, but don't Slughorn and Voldemort say something about it being a forbidden subject at Hogwarts? I don't have my book in front of me to check it.

jun 9, 2008, 5:22pm

Forbidden subject, yes -- but the books might still have been in the Restricted Section. I mean, at some point there apparently were books on Horcruxes at Hogwarts. I just checked DH -- Hermione was very clear that the books she summoned from DD's study were Hogwarts library books at some point.

jun 9, 2008, 5:36pm

Interesting. I suppose that is one way he could have discovered the spell. I'm going to go ahead with my chapter 24 notes:

1. It seems to me that turning vinegar into wine would be Transfiguration and not Charms.

2. I think all this worry about how Ron would react to Harry and Ginny drags on a bit. He's made it perfectly obvious in the past that he expected Harry and Ginny to get together.

3. I'm simultaneously horrified that Harry used the spell without knowing what it did and glad (as Ginny says) that he had something to use to get out of Malfoy's crucio, I'm also horrified at Snape for inventing the spell in the first place.

4. It will be interesting to see what they do with all this in the movie, it seems the kind of thing they would be tempted to cut (in part to maintain their rating) but they can't as they need to show the Room of Requirement, right?

5. THE KISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jun 9, 2008, 7:14pm

Okay, I'm just going to post my chapter 25 notes so I don't have to worry about them tomorrow.

1. I so love seeing Harry happy!

2. Okay, so why not go to the Room of Requirement and make a copy of the book with one of the speels used on Quibbler in OotP attached to it so Snape can't see it?

3. I imagine DD wasn't too happy about the timing of this new revelation to Harry.

*Almost done. Should we start a thread announcing when the DH reread will start for people who don't read this thread but might be interested in joining us for that?

jun 9, 2008, 8:02pm

I'll have to drop out for the DH reread since I've been waiting for the paperback to come out. Heck, I'll just get it from the library. But does anyone know when the paperback comes out in the states? All I could google was that it was out in GB in July. Would it be the same in the US?

jun 9, 2008, 9:26pm

I love that Harry is so cautious about Ginny. I think it makes sense; Ron has been a prat all year about Ginny and her various boyfriends. Besides, after the Cho fiasco, he's probably justifiably skittish about getting involved. And then there's the Ron & Hermione show. Ron is hardly a bastion of rationality. Still, he's Harry's best mate and he can ill afford to lose him.

Why does JKR have her couples' first kisses so public? First Harry/Ginny and then Ron & Hermione in DH. Weird.

I hate that Harry has like 3 weeks of happiness in his entire life. It's a bit harsh, really.

jun 9, 2008, 9:36pm

Re the ROR: I think Draco thought specifically about keeping Harry out of there. Wouldn't you?

This book is so full of Snapey goodness. Isn't it so JKR to demonstrate his genius (through the book) and then have him do something so reprehensible? She really worked the double agent thing well. So many people were fooled. (Not me, though, I always believed.)

I have a friend who was so hoping Snape was evil just because his wife has a giant foggi-ish crush on him. heheheh, we had the last laugh. (and sob)

jun 10, 2008, 8:30am

#18: Definitely you should get it from the library and join us! In the US books (including the HP books) generally take a year to be released in paperback. This is occasionally longer if the book is selling well in HC, because of course people make more money that way. I would imagine that DH would be out in paperback here sometime this month or next month though.

#19: I think in both cases they've been repressing their feelings for so long that when it happens it just doesn't matter where they are anymore! Also, I wouldn't say his entire life, he seemed pretty happy in the epilogue and I imagine he was happy with his parents. But from the ages of 1-17 yeah, it seems like there could be a bit more happiness there!

#20: I suppose its possible, especially knowing what Harry overheard on the HE. I'm going to hold off on Snape comments till next week I think.

jun 10, 2008, 12:22pm

>7 biblioholic29: On a side note: who put the cabinet in there and how did Malfoy know where it was?

Wasn't the cabinet mentioned in the last book where someone got shoved into it and was missing for a few weeks? I presume that Malfoy figured out that the cabinet at Hogwarts and the one in the shop went together and he moved it to the Room of Requirement so he could work on it.

jun 10, 2008, 1:44pm

#22 SPOILER for DH: Didn't Voldy know about the cabinets? Perhaps he told Malfoy.

jun 10, 2008, 2:15pm

I'm just saying, no one noticed Malfoy moving a cabinet? I get the feeling it's pretty big? Did Voldy know? It's been too long. I guess I'll see soon.

jun 10, 2008, 2:23pm

Good point about Malfoy moving the cabinet. However, the Room of Requirement seems to be able to appropriate things from around the castle. In OotP, one of the things mentioned as being in the DA room was the impostor Moody's Foe-Glass from book 4 -- no clear explanation as to how it got there, either. Maybe the Room brought the cabinet there, rather than Malfoy himself?

Another option: I can certainly imagine Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle sneaking around the castle after curfew to move the cabinet.

jun 10, 2008, 2:37pm

Given that this is a Harry Potter book, it wouldn't surprise me if they found some magical way to move the cabinet without being noticed.

Redigerat: jun 10, 2008, 2:39pm

#26: I suppose that's true, although I think I figured (at least after reading HBP) that the foe glass ended up in the Room as one of the hidden or broken things. I wonder if the room can only appropriate from that room. This makes me wonder (because really reading the description of the room when hiding things, it seems like it would be quite tough to work in) maybe Umbridge moved the cabinet (or had Draco move the cabinet) after the Montague incident. That could explain quite a lot actually. Then perhaps Malfoy was able to make a room with just the Cabinet and whatever tools he might need....BRAINSTORM! Maybe the RoR was originally just a place to hide and put broken things but now it is able to pull from that "area" as it were and repurpose them to whatever a person requires. Some of the items are so specific...am I making sense?

jun 11, 2008, 11:43am

We were just having a jest about the book over on another thread and it brought to mind something I've been thinking about. I really enjoy the romance elements of the HP series. It's obvious (to me, anyway) that Ron & Hermione are meant for each other, but there is no way someone as grounded as Hermione is going to lose her head over it. She knows all of Ron's faults (and he has many), but she loves him anyway. And vice versa. That's what love actually is, it's not about swooning. These are young people, so they are understandably overwhelmed by their strong feelings. They play crazy games in their denial--this is how people actually act.

Does the lack of swoonity-swoon make it any less romantic when they finally get together? I say, no, it makes it that much more meaningful. After 7 books, we all understand what it is that brings these characters together, what they've shared and how they've grown, and why they are great complements to one another.

Same can be said of Harry/Ginny, I suppose, however I hate all the gallantry leveled Ginny's way. She can handle herself, she should be allowed to fight along with the other three.

Just wanted to get that out of my system.

jun 11, 2008, 11:54am

#28 I agree with you 100% lg. In many ways the book is far more of a fantasy than the HP books are for the simple reason that people don't act that way. When I read Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny I see true friendship their before any of the other stuff. People tend to forget that attraction and desire are all well and good, but they fade and if you don't have something solid to fall back on your relationship is doomed.

Redigerat: jun 11, 2008, 12:18pm

#29 What's cool about HP is that it's about both. Why does Hermione fall in love with Ron & not Harry? That's the underlying attraction and desire working. Harry & Hermione are like brother & sister, they just don't fancy each other. In real life, you have to have both the attraction and the friendship to make a real love match.

jun 12, 2008, 9:14pm

Back to the cabinet and how it got in the RoR. The chapter said something about proud house elves hiding broken or worn out castle items in there, like maybe the cabinet.

I have mentioned it before, but I like that the characters didn't get swoony and end up with the person from their first relationship. There were many sitcoms a few years back where kids were interested in each other as middle schoolers or freshmen and a few seasons later they were getting married!

jun 12, 2008, 9:17pm

I'm not posting about the book, and have no idea what you are discussing, but there was a crack in my wall.

jun 13, 2008, 8:17am

#31 Good point about the house elves, I had forgotten about that!

I'm going to go ahead and make the announcement foggi usually makes now. Last 5 chapters of HBP begin on Monday. Get out your kleenex and start reading!

jun 13, 2008, 2:31pm

she made the announcement, it's its own thread

jun 13, 2008, 5:48pm

No, she made the announcement for when DH starts, not for the last 5 chapters of HBP.

jun 18, 2008, 5:50am

Tissues galore!