Wednesday, October 16, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Half-Blood Prince, Chapters 17-19

My Harry Potter reading assignment for the first week in October was three chapters: Chapter 17 ("A Sluggish Memory"), Chapter 18 ("Birthday Surprises"), and Chapter 19 ("Elf Tails") in Half-Blood Prince. Spoilers below.

Chapter 17 finally introduces Horcruxes. These are such a part of the lore of this series that it's kind of amazing in retrospect to realize how late they are named and explained, especially given that one of them was destroyed all the way back in book 2. I remember being totally intrigued by this idea the first time around, and I'm enjoying revisiting how the clues unfold. I also continue to love the way Rowling uses memory - and the fact that some characters (Slughorn) choose to alter their memories - in Dumbledore's lessons with Harry.

I remembered that Ron fell victim to a love potion around the time of his birthday, but I had totally forgotten that the antidote given to him by Slughorn turned out to be poison! It does seem a little convenient that Harry had this sudden opportunity to use a bezoar after just figuring out what they do in class, but I honestly can't remember how this ends up tying into the story, so it's possible that it's not just a convenient coincidence. I'll have to wait to have my memory refreshed.

Finally, it is incredibly risky to ask Kreacher to spy on Malfoy. I don't remember how this turns out, either, but it seems like a bad idea. I do love any opportunity for Harry to use the Marauders Map, however, and it definitely builds up suspense to show that Malfoy keeps disappearing from the map from time to time.

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