Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore and Harry set off on a journey to acquire a new professor for Hogwarts. In the process, their relationship begins to grow into something new. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


We’re four chapters in. I haven’t done a list yet. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Let’s talk about why Dumbledore is a badass and why I’m so stoked about the role he’s taking in this book.

#1: He allows Harry to use magic outside of school.

And even though he admits that there probably won’t be an attack on Harry while he’s with him, he still gives him permission “to use any counterjinx or curse that might occur to” him. Thank you, Dumbledore.

#2: He Apparates Harry for the first time in his life.

OH GOD I WISH I COULD APPARATE. Do you realize how amazing that would be? DUMBLEDORE, COME LIVE IN MY HOUSE.

#3: He does hesitate to answer Harry’s questions.

It’s in direct relation to the end of the last book, but Dumbledore is done hiding his life and what’s going on in the world from Harry. Also THIS IS AN INGENIUS WAY TO GIVE US ALL ANSWERS Y/Y/Y/Y

#4: His own sense of poetry.

When Harry asks about his burnt hand, Dumbledore replies:

  • “I have no time to explain now,” said Dumbledore. “It is a thrilling tale, I wish to do it justice.”

Again, I believe he is being 100% sincere.

#5: His sense of humor.

Dumbledore’s never been laugh-out-loud funny, but he has this quiet, strange humor that always makes me smile. When he and Harry speak about the absurdity of the Ministry’s guide to protecting your family against Dark Forces, he says this:

  • “For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry…although of course, if I were a Death Eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preferences before impersonating myself.


#6: Few things stump him.

Including knowing that Horace Slughorn WAS A FUCKING ARMCHAIR. What? WHAT? How would you know that?

#7: He’s got a plan for everything. Well, usually.

It’s clear now that Dumbledore left Harry alone with Slughorn on purpose. He’s at a point where he trusts Harry and he trusts what Harry has to say. Leaving him alone with the possible new teacher of Hogwarts allowed them to have a conversation that most likely would have lead to where it did.

#8: His endless curiosity

When asked why he took so long in the bathroom, Dumbledore says:

  • “No, I was merely reading the Muggle magazines,” said Dumbledore. “I do love knitting patterns.”

Again, he’s probably not lying at all. BLESS THIS MAN.

#9: He genuinely cares about Harry.

After the meeting Slughorn, Dumbledore, surprisingly, talks quite a bit to Harry and it’s obvious how much he cares for his wellbeing. He warns Harry that Slughorn is a collector of sorts, in that he wants to surround himself with the successful, the powerful, and the famous, and that he’ll probably do the same with him. (Side note: Slughorn is the first Slytherin we meet who isn’t a total shitbag. Interesting.)

But the conversation they have after they Apparate to the Weasley household is more important for their relationship; Dumbledore speaks openly about Sirius.

  • “I hope you will forgive me for mentioning it, Harry, but I am pleased and a little proud at how well you seem to be coping after everything that happened at the MInistry. Permit me to say that I think Sirius would have been proud of you.”

    Harry swallowed; his voice seemed to have deserted him. He did not think he could stand to discuss Sirius; it had been painful enough to hear Uncle Vernon say “His godfather’s dead?” and even worse to hear Sirius’s name throw out so casually by Slughorn.

    “It was cruel,” said Dumbledore softly, “that you and Sirius had such a short time together. A brutal ending to what should have been a long and happy friendship.”

There’s a part of me that feels there’s a subtext to this that’s Rowling apologizing, in a way, for what I imagine was an entire legion of people freaking out over how she’d written Sirius. But I also like to think it’s Dumbledore’s way of saying that he understands Harry as well.

This spawns Harry to say something that’s significant, too:

  • “But while I was at the Dursleys’…” interrupted Harry, his voice growing stronger, “I realized I can’t shut myself away or–or crack up. Sirius wouldn’t have wanted that, would he? And anyway, life’s too short….Look at Madam Bones, look at Emmeline Vance….It could be me next, couldn’t it? But if it is,” he said fiercely, now looking straight into Dumbledore’s blue eyes gleaming in the wandlight, I’ll make sure to take as many Death Eaters as I can, and Voldemort too if I can manage it.”

wwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy does this feel like foreshadowing? Oh fuck, Draco’s task is to kill Harry, isn’t it? kadsjklsdfjklajl;asfkl;afs;kdj;lkaj;klasdf;lkjasf

#10: He finally offers to teach Harry himself.


As our characters head for The Burrow, let me just say one thing that didn’t fit into this list.

ZOMBIES. Inferi = zombies. Harry Potter just got 324582348732490 times better.