Re-reading the Harry Potter series is something every HP fan knows about. It doesn't take away the magic to read your favorite series over and over again, but instead gives you more insight into what J.K. was thinking and how she planned to keep the story going, from foreshadowing in the second book to references in the seventh. As they get darker and more complex, the books get even better, which is why I think the thoughts you have when you re-read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are the most mind-boggling.
The sixth book was published in 2005, which means it's hitting its eleventh birthday. But that doesn't make what happens in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince any easier to understand. The death of Dumbledore was huge, and not one I was prepared for at all. I know that I half-trusted Snape through the entire series, but when it came time for him to kill Dumbledore, I lost it. He was officially a bad guy, and I was convinced that there were no more twists left to be had in the series. This was it. This was the big one.
Which is probably why re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gives you all 81 of these thoughts. Because now we know that Dumbledore's death at the hands of Snape is not the big twist in the series, that J.K. had plenty more to give us. But you're still going to need some tissues when you re-read this one.
1. Oh God, I Remember What Happens In This Book
And I remember how it made me hate Snape until the end of the last book. UGH.
2. It Never Occurred To Me That The Muggle Prime Minister Should Be In The Know
I mean, ever. Re-reading this just proves how obvious that was, but still. Of course there was no way to keep the worlds entirely separate.
3. I Feel Bad For Fudge
But only a little bit. Now that he's no longer Minister of Magic and actually believes Voldemort exists.
4. Oh Hi, Scrimgeour
You won't last too long, I'm afraid.
5. Lily's House Is Near Snape's, Isn't It?!
Damn. Now that I know Snape and Lily were childhood friends, it's hard not to imagine being so close to her childhood home when Bellatrix and Narcissa visit with Snape.
6. I Bet Snape Stayed In Spinner's End Because Of Lily
How could he bear to leave the place where they met, especially after she was gone? I bet it kept him rooted and helped inspire him to fight the good fight. Oh Severus.
7. Narcissa Is A Piece Of Work
Hey, if you don't want your son to suffer at the hands of Voldemort and be forced to do the dark lord's bidding, how about you not become a Death Eater?
8. I Seriously Hate The Malfoys
I hate to dispute anything my queen J.K. Rowling writes, but knowing they all get to walk away without any tragedy makes this scene even more unbearable.
9. Snape Has No Time For Your Sass, Bellatrix
I love when he shuts her down. I love it. I wish he would've been the one to kill her in the end.
10. Also, Snape Is The Best Spy Ever
Seriously, all of those explanations he gives for not killing Harry when he had the chance, why he didn't steal the stone in the first book, and not being at the Department of Mysteries? So good.
11. This Unbreakable Vow Is Bogus
I feel better reading this and already knowing that Snape was destined to do Malfoy's mission. The first time I read this and he made the Unbreakable Vow, I remember getting a little nervous about his loyalty.
12. I Hate Knowing Malfoy's Mission
The first time I read this, I had no idea what the mission was. Now that I know, it makes me mad only two chapters in. Ugh.
13. Ugh, Dumbledore's Shriveled Up Hand
How did I not know something was going on when I read this the first time? Why else would he have a blackened, shriveled hand for no apparent reason?
14. Dumbledore & The Dursleys Is My Favorite
He also has no time for their sass and just keeps reminding them of the promises they've made. Also, this is the first time he's been back to Privet Drive since Harry was a baby, right?
15. Apparating Sounds Awful
No thank you. I'll take a broomstick, please.
16. Oh, Professor Slughorn
He knows why Dumbledore really wants him back at Hogwarts, but man he wants Harry Potter in his circle so badly. I disliked Slughorn the first time I read this, but knowing the truth about him, I feel nothing but sympathy.
17. I Bet Slughorn Is Also Feeling Massive Guilt About Lily
You know, thinking about this, I bet the appeal of Harry was less about Potter becoming part of his "collection", and more about feeling guilty for Lily's death.
18. Dumbledore With The Foreshadowing
Dumbledore telling Harry to share the real prophecy with Ron and Hermione seemed like good advice the first time I read this. Now I see the foreshadowing — Dumbledore wasn't going to be around to help Harry and he needed some other people in the know.
19. Tonks Is So Heartbroken In This
Now I'm ridiculously sad because Tonks is so heartbroken.
20. Totally Forgot All The Ladies Hate Fleur
Kind of a funny social commentary, right? Even the beautiful people get judged.
21. Don't Worry, Harry, You'll Still Be An Auror
Also, doesn't it seem a little hilarious that while they're entering the second Wizarding World War, they're all still worried about the results of their O.W.L. examinations?
22. Poor Diagon Alley
Isn't it sad to hear that the usually bustling alley is now desolate? It sounds so scary and depressing.
23. Where Are The Grown-Ups?
They bring extra people, like Hagrid, to keep the kids safe and they still manage to sneak off under Harry's invisibility cloak. This is like Carl in The Walking Dead, geez.
24. Back To Borgin & Burkes
It's been a while since I heard about Borgin and Burkes, but it's a nice connection from the second book. Especially knowing that the cabinet is still there and is going to be used soon.
25. Oh Hey, There's That Cursed Necklace!
How is Borgin and Burkes even allowed to have that in their store? That seems like something the Ministry of Magic should have, right?
26. OK, I Know Harry Has Some Wild Ideas, But This One Is Real
It's funny that no one believes Harry about Draco being a Death Eater. I mean, I know Harry has had some wild ideas before, but this one's legit!
27. Also, Of Course When Harry Speaks Up, No One Believes Him
Most of the time he keeps everything to himself and makes it worse. Now that he's speaking up, everyone's all, "Yeah, OK, Harry."
28. How Come Luna & Neville Didn't End Up Together?
Has Rowling explained this? Everything in these books leads you to believe that the two of them are destined for love and babies and life-long happiness.
29. Tonks For The Win
I've never understood making Luna with her crazy glasses the one who spots Harry in the train and saves him. Obviously the invisibility cloak would be worthless if any Hogwarts student with Spectrespecs could see the person underneath.
30. I Really Love Lupin & Tonks
Just a reminder. I can get over the deaths of Sirius, Dumbledore, and even Fred, but not Lupin and Tonks.
31. Why Is Harry Still Such A Sh*t To Snape?
He hasn't done anything to show loyalty to Voldemort and yet Harry still can't help but hate him. Ugh.
32. I Thought The Half-Blood Prince Was Voldemort
I mean, I think we all did, right? Nobody thought it was Snape! Although Voldemort probably wouldn't have proclaimed his half-blood status proudly, if at all.
33. I Need Some Felix Felicis
I think it's called coffee in the muggle world though.
34. Snape Is Really The Horcrux Finder When You Think About It
Harry wins the lucky potion, which is what gets Slughorn's real memory, and is what helps Dumbledore and Harry discover that there are more horcruxes out there. Without Snape's potions book, Harry would have never won the potion. Snape's the real MVP.
35. Voldemort's Family History Is Super Depressing
I forgot all about this story of his muggle mother using a love potion on the muggle Tom Riddle and then getting pregnant. And her horrible family! Ugh, no wonder Voldemort turned out so evil.
36. Also, Slytherin Liked His Bling, Didn't He?
A giant locket? Marvolo Gaunt with the big black and gold ring? They liked their gaudy jewelry those Slytherins.
37. Let Mudungus Sell That Mirror, Harry!
It's going to save your butt when it's in the hands of Aberforth anyway.
38. A Cursed Necklace Sounds Dangerous AF
Why is that even a thing that exists for someone to sell?
39. I Need More Of Voldemort's Background
Forget a play about Harry's kids. I need one that focuses on the background and young life of Tom Riddle. These dips into the pensieve are my favorite part of the whole book.
40. So Obvious Why Future Ron & Hermione Need Counseling
I mean, Ron ignores Hermione because he learns she kissed a guy two years before when they weren't even remotely together. What the hell, Ron?
41. Everyone's In Love With Each Other & Fighting
I also forgot that they're all bickering with each other because they're in love and none of them will do anything about it. Teenagers.
42. Malfoy Is Such A Jerk
Whining to Snape that he doesn't need any help, ha! You little weasel.
43. Why Would Harry Think His Dad Is The Half-Blood Prince?
Isn't James Potter a full-blood wizard? Why would he think the Half-Blood Prince is his dad?
44. Greyback Is Horrifying
I think he's the scariest part of this entire series. Positions himself near the homes of little children when it's time for a full moon? So creepy.
45. Why Is The Ministry Still Against Dumbledore?
I thought everyone was over this, Scrimgeour.
46. I Love That Dumbledore Gets Emotional Over Harry's Loyalty
Especially knowing he's going to die soon. Tears.
47. Dumbledore Really Had To Do Some Work Here
All of these memories he's hoarding in the pensieve? He really had to do some investigating to get all of this information.
48. Poor Slughorn
That fake memory nonsense is really sad actually. The guilt he must've felt when he realized he was the reason Voldemort was still around is so upsetting.
49. Grab Some More Of Those Bezoars, Harry
Maybe one could've saved Dumbledore when he's poisoned in the cave later.
50. Pay Attention To The Marauder's Map, Harry
If sometimes you can't find Draco on the map at all, then you know something's up! The map doesn't lie.
51. The Weasleys Should Probably Hire Harry To Be Their Family's Personal Savior
Ginny, Arthur, and now Ron? What would the Weasleys do without Harry?
52. Can You Imagine If Voldemort Had Been The Defense Against The Dark Arts Professor?
Worse than Umbridge, I'm sure of it.
53. Also, Implanting Memories Is A Scary Piece Of Magic
You would think the wizarding world would keep this in mind when it's time to convict people of crimes. How would you know which memories were real and which ones weren't?
54. The Room Of Requirement Is Awesome
But it would be nice if it wouldn't give the room to people that were using it for bad things.
55. Oh Poor Tonks
Knowing that she's looking for Dumbledore because she's worried about Lupin just makes my heart hurt.
56. Also, Teddy Lupin Wouldn't Get Away With Anything
Tonks is always there when Harry's up to something or in trouble. Teddy Lupin would've never been a trouble-maker with Tonks around.
57. Nice Foreshadowing That Ron Fails The Apparition Test
Explains why he gets splinched in the next book, doesn't it?
58. I Want To Get Drunk With Hagrid & Slughorn
Do they not sound like the best drinking companions ever?
59. Also, Harry Could've Totally Done That Without Felix Felicis
I mean, I get that the potion sets him up for the whole thing, but all he had to do was get Slughorn drunk and make him feel guilty about Lily and done.
60. I Don't Blame Slughorn For Telling Voldemort About Horcruxes
Riddle was a nice kid, an exceptional student, and seemed fine. No one would bat an eye at telling Harry about them, so I get Slughorn's story.
61. How Did Rowling Come Up With Horcruxes?
Insane. What a creepy thing to create.
62. Dumbledore So Lies Right Here
Telling Harry that he thinks the seventh horcrux is Voldemort's new body? Total lie, right? He had to have known the seventh horcrux was Harry since both of them must be destroyed to stop Voldemort.
63. I Love The Themes On Love Conquering All
Without love, the capacity for evil can be overwhelming. I love that this theme is through everything, even Harry's battle against Voldemort. Love wins.
64. How Did I Not Know That Snape Was The Half-Blood Prince?
His reaction to Harry's sectumsempra curse and then asking for his potions textbook is a dead giveaway.
65. Why Did Snape Leave His Potions Book Anyway?
That seems like a poor decision.
66. OK, I Would Be Pissed, Too If I Didn't Know That Snape Overheard The Prophecy
Harry has a right to be angry here, I can admit this. Especially since he already judged Snape without knowing that info.
67. You Know It's A Big Deal When Dumbledore Has To Make Harry Promise To Listen To Him
Because we all know how Harry never listens.
68. UGH, It's About To Happen
I don't want to keep reading.
69. This Trip To The Cave Is Pointless!
How does Dumbledore not know, in all of his research, that Regulus has already found the locket? Go talk to Kreacher already! This is pointless.
70. Poor Dumbledore
Reliving his sister's death as he's being poisoned and it's all for nothing? Ugh.
71. Inferi Are Terrifying
Dead bodies bewitched by magic? NO THANK YOU.
72. Now Draco Is The Elder Wand's Master
And nobody has any idea. Insane.
73. How Come The Ministry Didn't Intervene With Draco's Magic?
He used the Imperius Curse on Rosmerta to make her give the cursed necklace to Katie. Why wasn't the Ministry notified? Shouldn't they know when a student performs an unforgivable curse?
74. OK, I Feel For Draco Here
And since he's going to redeem himself later when he saves Harry, I feel even more sympathy for his situation.
Ugh, this will never get easier to read. I know Snape and Dumbledore had an agreement, but this is so hard. Don't kill him!
76. Stop Calling Snape A Coward!
Equally hard to read. He's one of the bravest men you'll ever know, Harry.
77. And Now I'm Crying
When everyone realizes Dumbledore is dead? Oh, my heart.
78. No, Snape Is Still Good!
Trust him! Be like Dumbledore! He did it for a reason!
79. Tonks With The Mic Drop
If Bill and Fleur can make it, so can you and Tonks, Remus. Get it together.
80. It's A Wonder Harry Can Even Stand
He's 16 and has lost his parents, his godfather, and his mentor. It's a wonder he has the strength to go on.
81. Goodbye, Hogwarts
It's rough saying goodbye to Hogwarts, especially when you know what it's going to be like next year. But time to get some horcruxes, team. Let's do this!