Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’: Chapter 8

In the eighth chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the wish of MORE SNAPE is granted…yet not quite in the way anyway imagined. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


Before we move onto OMG SNAPE, we need to address the ramifications of the horrifying ending to the last chapter.

  • Harry could not move a muscle. He lay there beneath the Invisibility Cloak feeling the blood from his nose flow, hot and wet, over his face, listening to the voices and footsteps in the corridor beyond. His immediate thought was that someone, surely, would check the compartments before the train departed again. But at once came the dispiriting realization that even if somebody looked in the compartment, he would be neither seen nor heard. His best hope was that somebody else would walk in and step on him.

It’s hard for me to imagine a more stifling, claustrophobic horror than this. And it proves how cruel Draco is; it’s not enough for him to stand up for his father, but he’s got to cause pain, suffering, and embarrassment in the process.

Which leads me to wonder: how on earth do any of you like this character? I should probably wait until I’m done the series before I say much more, but Draco would have to do A LOT to make up for this. A LOT OF STUFF I CANNOT DEFINE.

But I saw a lot of comments saying they appreciated that Draco finally did something instead of just bullying. UM WHAT WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE. What the fuck, guys? That’s like saying…actually, it would probably be a terrible idea to draw a metaphor from this.

The train begins to leave, but Tonks manages to realize that Harry hasn’t got off the train and she finds him; they quickly jump off the train onto the platfrom before it leaves.

Again, Harry notices that Tonks has lost her usual spunk:

  • From what Harry could see in the darkness, she was as mousy-hared and miserable-looking as she had been when he had met her at the Burrow.

Not only is this a continuation from what happened at the end of the last book, but it’s a part of life during war. We lose the ones we love and sometimes, we lose the splendor we have for life with it. Ugh. My heart goes out to Tonks. I’m glad Rowling is paying attention to this as well. NOW CAN WE PLEASE GET MORE LUPIN. Thank you.

Here’s where things get a little weird and I’m unsure why things happened the way they did. Snape comes to retrieve Harry, probably after seeing Tonks’s sign (a Patronus). Snape is immediately rude to Tonks after he comments about wanting to see her new Patronus.

  • He shut the gates in her face with a loud clang and tapped the chains shut with his wand again, so that they slithered, clinking, back into place.

    “I think you were better off with the old one,” said Snape, the malice in his voice unmistakable. “The new one looks week.”

    As Snape swung the lantern about, Harry saw, fleetingly, a look of shock and anger on Tonk’s face. Then she was covered in darkness once more.

Is Snape like…ever nice? Or polite? Or kind? Or has the bitter hatred of his past and the trauma of what was done to him taken over everything he’s done? Jesus, man.

Harry also notices that literally everything Snape seems to do is pretty fucked up.

  • Whatever Dumbledore said, Harry had had time to think over the summer, and had concluded that Snape’s snide remarks to Sirius about remaining safely hidden while the rest of the Order of the Phoenix were off fighting Voldemort had probably been a powerful factor in Sirius rushing off to the Ministry that night that he had died. Harry clung to this notion, because it enabled him to blame Snape, which felt satisfying, and also because he knew that if anyone was not sorry that Sirius was dead, it was the man now striding next to him in the darkness.

If you put Harry’s anger aside, there’s a powerful message here: Words DO have consequences and sometimes those consequences are severe.

  • “Fifty points from Gryffindor for lateness, I think,” said Snape. “And, let me see, another twenty for your Muggle attire. You know, I don’t believe any House has ever been in negative figures this early in the term: We haven’t even started pudding. You might have set a record, Potter.”

And now we get to the part I don’t understand. Harry is the #1 person the Order of the Phoenix is trying to protect, given the prophecy, and Snape is a part of that group. Instead of wondering why Harry showed up so late WITH BLOOD COVERING HIS CLOTHES, Snape’s immediate concern is how he can best embarrass and humiliate Harry.

And Dumbledore trusts him…..because……why? The entire school (and certainly not Dumbledore or any of the other teachers) cannot possibly be this naive to what is going on. So why is it allowed? Does Snape know Malfoy did this? How much to Malfoy and Snape actually talk about their hatred (and bullying) of Harry?

I don’t get it. This seems like such an obvious display of bias and no one will call him out on it.

Snape’s plan works; Harry is utterly embarrassed walking into the Great Hall, covered in blood, wearing Muggle attire. Hermione, ever the great friend, cleans him up quickly while she and Ron try to grill him about what happened. Harry decides to tell them later, leading Ron to show his emotional range when Nearly Headless Nick butts into the conversation.

  • “‘Harry Potter knows the he can confide in me with complete confidence,’ I told them. ‘I would rather die than betray his trust.'”

    “That’s not saying much, seeing as you’re already dead,” Ron observed.

    “Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe,” said Nearly Headless Nick in affronted tones…

Bless your lack of tact, Ron.

Dumbledore gives his yearly welcoming speech and my brain melted in my skull:

  • “We are pleased to welcome a new member of staff this year. Professor Slughorn”–Slughorn stood up, his bald head gleaming in the candlelight, his big waistcoated belly casting the table below into shadow–“is a former colleague of mine who has agreed to resume his old post as Potions master.”




  • “Professor Snape, meanwhile,” said Dumbledore, raising his voice so that it carried over all the muttering,” will be taking over the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.”



I don’t know what is going on anymore. Is Snape a spy for the Order? Or for the Death Eaters? WHAT THE FUCK I AM SO CONFUSED. It doesn’t help that Ron and Hermione STILL don’t believe Harry that Malfoy is up to something, which is kind of disheartening, given what he said in the train car.

Ugh. Man. MAN. This shit is so real MY HEART CAN HARDLY STAND IT.