This is the last chapter of Half-Blood Prince. It might be the last chapter for Hogwarts as well. Lessons and exams have been cancelled, and there is uncertainty whether Hogwarts would reopen for Book 7. Some students have already gone home. Others stay to farewell Dumbledore, including, interestingly, Crabbe and Goyle, "oddly lonely without the tall, pale figure of Malfoy, between them".
Hermione has been busy in the library. She still hasn't worked out who R.A.B could be, but she found a newspaper article which was Severus Snape's birth announcement. His mother was Eileen Prince, who had married a muggle, Tobias Snape. Harry would like to know, how could DD have trusted Snape?
The Hogwarts express is due to leave an hour after DD's funeral. Everyone has packed up accordingly. Guests arrive for the funeral, including Bill, who has recovered somewhat from his injuries, though he remains disfigured, with a taste for very raw meat. Others of the Order arrive, Tonks looking more herself, and holding hands with Lupin. Madame Malkin, Ernie Prang and others whose work is enhanced by the Hogwarts connection also attend, along with Madame Maxime, Arabella Figg, Firenze, Hagrid, even Grawp.
Not only Cornelius Fudge, but also Dolores Umbridge, the ubiquitous Rita Skeeter and Rufus Scrimgeour also are present. The merpeople sing for Dumbledore, the centaurs from the forest shoot arrows in tribute to him. And during the service, Harry realises he has to let Ginny go if he is to get on with what he has to do. But is he right to break up with Ginny? Or should this be a decision for Ginny, herself?
The funeral is followed by an uncomfortable talk with Scrimgeour, who wants to know what Dumbledore was up to when he was killed. Scrimgeour is aware of a Death Eater being stunned on top of the tower, after DD had died, and of two broomsticks there. Did Harry get his Invisibility Cloak back from the top of the tower before the Ministry aurors arrived? And did he recover the Half-Blood prince's potion book from the Room of Requirement?
It seems like it is the last chapter for Harry's Hogwarts attendance, also, or is it? He makes plans, not only to go back to the Dursleys, but also to visit Godric's Hollow. Ron and Hermione insist on accompanying him in his future search for the horcruxes. But meanwhile there is Fleur's and Bill's wedding to look forward to.
Is this where we wonder if Dumbledore is really dead? Did Snape really kill him?
Any hope of the Draught of the Living Death being involved?
The nail in the coffin, so to speak, seems to be the portrait of the sleeping Dumbledore that appeared in the headmaster's office, but.....
I have a feeling that Harry's lost some valuable time, but ...
I wasn't surprised that he broke up with Ginny. I think that's finished.
I don't think they're finished. I too, sorta expected Harry to break up with Ginny, it's a very Harry thing to do. IC. But Ginny is too stubborn to listen to Harry. She'll be back.
By the way, it doesn't seem that Ginny knows about the Prophecy or the Horcruxes. Will she ever? DD said only to tell Ron and Hermione and Harry is so insistent on taking what DD says literally...
Did anything think DD bursting into flames was weird? And the phoenix shape going into his flames? Was that Fawkes? I really want it to be explained.
HOW DARE UMBRIDGE SHOW UP AT THE FUNERAL! DIE!
JKR says Umbridge will be back. I hope Hermione kicks her butt again.
Rufus Scrimgeor is mean too. But Harry quoting CoS...so sweet. I nearly cried.
And Ron and Hermione are going to go with Harry! YES! Near the end, I was so scared there would be no more Ron and Hermione. But of course, they are not going to let Harry be stupid. I was so happy they were coming along. Yes!
Note that this is the first HP book NOT to end with Harry getting off 9 3/4. It's...kinda scary. Shows everythings changing.
Things to look forward to in book 7
1. Ron and Hermione at the Dursleys. That will be SO fun.
2. Trio hunting down Horcruxes. GO TRIO! HARRY RON AND HERMIONE FOREVER!
3. The Final Showdown.
Book Seven will SO ROCK! :group: