Literature / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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"Apparently I underestimated you, Potter. Who would have thought you knew such Dark Magic?"
Severus Snape

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth and penultimate Harry Potter book in the series, published July 16, 2005.

The Ministry has finally accepted that Voldemort is back, but that doesn't really make the situation any better. With everyone terrified, obviously unjustifiable arrests and misinformation still being printed, just in the other way, events play out to show that the Ministry is in no fit state to stop Voldemort.

But while those events linger over the plot, the action stays fully grounded at Hogwarts. Harry learns more about Voldemort's Back Story, becomes increasingly suspicious of Snape's loyalty and discovers an old potions textbook annotated with powerful spells and useful notes from its previous owner who identifies himself only as "The Half-Blood Prince". Draco Malfoy is tasked with something by Voldemort himself; and wacky romantic hijinks ensue for everyone.

As Word of God has noted, Half-Blood Prince is where the serialization of Harry Potter hit its maximum. Where all five of the previous novels ended the main plot, Half-Blood Prince’s ending builds up to an emotional release but simply prepares the reader for Deathly Hallows to start up at a much faster pace. Also, due to the fact that Executive Meddling forced J. K. Rowling to slim down Chamber of Secrets, there is a a lot of Fridge Brilliance here when compared to Chamber.

Followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.


Tropes exclusive to this book or at least especially prominent:

  • Abusive Parents: Dumbledore calls out the Dursleys for being this — not only to their nephew Harry, but also to their son Dudley.
  • Accidental Kiss: Harry and Ginny. Type 1 (In a fit of celebration).
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • In the scene where Harry and Ron go to Slughorn to treat a love potion, Slughorn calls Ron Ralph.
    • Mrs. Cole, the director of the orphanage in which Tom Riddle grew up, introduces Dumbledore to the young Riddle first as Dumberton and then Dunderbore.
  • Acquitted Too Late: Morfin Gaunt, whom Voldemort framed for murder Voldemort himself committed. Dumbledore found evidence Voldemort was the real culprit, but Morfin didn't live long enough to see the verdict being overturned.
  • Acting Unnatural: Hermione attempts to act casually in Borgin and Burkes, and immediately gets noticed.
  • The Alcoholic: It's implied that the head of young Tom Riddle's orphanage, Mrs. Cole, is one. It's not surprising given the stress of running such an establishment — for over at least the last eleven years — and that Dumbledore's visit coincided with the threat of war with Nazi Germany.
  • All for Nothing: After the lengths Harry and Dumbledore go to to retrieve Voldemort's locket horcrux, Harry discovers that someone (later revealed to be Regulus Black) has already stolen it and replaced it with a fake.
  • And That's Terrible: In the song about Odo:
    And Odo the hero, they bore him back home
    To the place that he'd known as a lad.
    They laid him to rest with his hat inside out
    And his wand snapped in two, which was sad.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Snape opens his defense against Bellatrix's accusations with one of these, pointing out that Voldemort trusts him (obviously, or he'd be dead), so does she think that she knows better than Voldemort?
    • When Harry calls Snape a coward during their duel at the end, Snape hisses back: "Your father would never attack me unless it was four on one, what would you call him, I wonder?"
  • Assassination Attempt: A subplot in the book covers failed assassinations that end up hurting students instead. It's very unclear who's being targeted or who's carrying out the attacks for most of the book. Speculation abounds, from the idea that the Gryffindor Quidditch team is under attack to the idea that it's an attempt to kill Horace Slughorn for avoiding the Death Eaters. Harry adamantly holds that Draco is behind it, as he does with most things. It turns out Voldemort hired Draco to kill Professor Dumbledore, which he manages to do with assistance from Severus Snape.
  • Asshole Victim: Morfin Gaunt, Muggle-hater who was framed with the murders of some of Voldemort's victims, all of whom were victims in their own right.
  • Because Destiny Says So: This and about half the Fate and Prophecy Index get smashed into bits by Dumbledore and Harry's discussion on The Prophecy. To make it short, there's no greater providence at work, being The Chosen One is little more than a technicality, Harry has no particular destiny to fulfill nor is there any higher power ensuring his success, and he and Voldemort need to kill each other only because of their mutual desire. It's also because Voldemort believes this trope is in effect, so he will do everything in his power to kill Harry. Because of this, Harry will ultimately have no way to stop Voldemort other than killing him.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Nobody believes Harry as he argues that Draco is a Death Eater plotting against them, since Draco is mostly a joke to them by this point. Dumbledore knows, but he has his own plans in place. And eventually Harry finds firmer evidence that Draco is up to something, which Hermione can't refute.
  • Berserk Button: Harry implies that Dumbledore is leaving the school vulnerable whenever he goes searching for Horcruxes. He immediately realizes he has crossed a line and Dumbledore, who is normally very understanding and accommodating with Harry's outbursts, is legitimately angry with him for the first time.
  • Big "NO!": Harry throws an epic one when it's announced that Snape is the new Defense Against Dark Arts teacher.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Latin, fēlīx fēlīcis are both words meaning "lucky".note 
    • "Luck's luck" is one possible interpretation.
  • Blood Magic:
    • As revealed by a memory given by Slughorn, one of the steps in creating a Horcrux is to commit murder.
    • Also, Dumbledore has to cut his own hand to enter a cave Voldemort has protected with Dark Magic. His main reaction is disappointment at Voldemort's lack of imagination.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Between the Umbridge-a-riffic fifth book and the Kill 'em All seventh, most of this book is a pretty easy-going tale with a lot of exposition and teen angst (not to mention many jokes). That is, until the last few chapters.
    • However, it is easily the most suspenseful of the books because of the lull in the action. What is Draco up to? And why is Voldemort laying low? This tension creates a perfect lead up to the end, where it goes into full-on Wham Episode mode.
  • Brick Joke:
    • "Roonil Wazlib", Ron's misspelled name due to his Spell-Checking Quill malfunctioning. After Snape demands to see Harry's Potions book due to suspicion that he's cheating, Harry borrows Ron's copy, only to discover to his horror the misspelled name inside. He unsuccessfully tries to pass it off as his nickname.
    • In the fifth book, there is a joke when the Weasley twins tell that the lowest OWL grade is T (for Troll), and Harry wasn't sure if they were joking or not (it would, after all, be their kind of humor). In the beginning of the present book, the heroes receives their exam results and yes, Troll is an actual grade.
  • Brutal Honesty: Harry dismisses Romilda on the Hogwarts Express by noting that he's with his friends Neville and Luna. Luna gives us this by noting, "People expect you to have cooler friends than us," but Harry reinforces his sentiment by reminding her that she is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
  • Call Back:
    • Such as Harry going to Diagon Alley with Hagrid and meeting Draco in Madam Malkin's … only Diagon Alley is no longer the wonderful wizard bazaar of the first book, but under war conditions.
    • Harry Potter tries to convince his friends they can't come on his mission to stop the villains, only for one of them to remind Harry he tried to do the same thing five books ago and his friends refused to let him face evil alone.
      "You said it once before," said Hermione quickly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we? We're with you whatever happens.”
    • The most notable call-backs from this book go all the way back to Philosopher's Stone — EVERYTHING from Snape's first Potions class becomes relevant.
    • The previous year, Harry was embarrassed to find himself in the company of Neville and Luna when his crush Cho Chang dropped by his compartment during the train trip to Hogwarts. This year, a bunch of girls all clamoring to be his girlfriend tell him he should sit with them instead of Neville and Luna... he tells them off, as they're his friends.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Mostly played straight, as in the previous books, but averted when non-verbal spells become part of the Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum. Special mentions to the spell Levicorpus, which apparently can only be cast non-verbally.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Harry saying "Ghosts are transparent." (Why he said it made sense in context but still got him told "Ah, I see six years of magical education have not been wasted on you.")
    • The source of "You can't break an Unbreakable Vow." Harry snarks that he'd worked that much out for himself, and asks what happens if you DO break it. "You die."
    • The Chinese translation says that Slughorn is saying Ron's name wrong when we can all tell that from the dialogue.
      • Probably an attempt to prevent what happened following the initial english release which was some people wrote to J.K. Rowling to tell her she got Ron's name wrong. *Facepalm*
  • Cassandra Truth: Harry, dear, when you accuse someone of something it helps to have actual evidence backing it up. Somewhat subverted by the events of the next book, which reveals that Dumbledore was fully aware of Draco and what he was trying to do, if not exactly how, but it suited his plans to let Draco come after him, to protect him from Voldemort's wrath.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Two examples. One inversion and one subversion.
    • The first is when Hermione uses a Confundus charm on Cormac to make him miss his last block, ensuring Ron gets the position of Gryffindor Quidditch Team keeper.
    • The second is when Harry puts Felix Felicis in Ron's drink, which is forbidden; however, it turns out he didn't actually put it in. Ron only thought it did, and it gave him the confidence boost he needed to win. While the plan worked, Ron mocks Hermione's earlier attempts to stop Harry from putting the potion in his drink and then makes out with Lavender, hurting her badly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The series has its own page.
  • Chocolate of Romance: Romilda Vane attempts to give love potion infused chocolates to Harry. He gives them to Ron, who promptly falls in love with her.
  • Chuunibyou: The titular Prince came up with his identity in his teenage years as a way to get back at his Muggle father (hence half-blood) by using his witch mother's last name. He was known to run around with a gang of people who would later become the first Death Eaters and came up with some very nasty spells. He's better known as Severus Snape.
  • Completely Off-Topic Report: When the regular Quidditch commentator is unable to report on a match (having to play in it), Luna Lovegood volunteers to replace him. During the match she talks about things like interesting clouds and whether one of the players suffers from something called "Loser's Lurgy", but never about the action or the score of the game.
  • Compliment Backfire: Ron praises Luna for her performance as a commentator in a Quidditch match. Ron is sincere, but Luna isn't so sure since everybody else tells her she did poorly.
  • Continuity Lockout: Formally takes effect, Rowling dispenses of the — rather tedious — recap chapter that all of the other volumes start with. This is also the book that finally discards the simplistic 'Gryffindor good, Slytherin bad' mantra of the series up to then; we get a slightly-obnoxious but not evil Slytherin, and then a Gryffindor in whom Gryffindor courage manifests itself mainly as arrogance.
  • Continuity Nod: When Harry offers Ron a tainted drink, he says "Coffee? Tea? Pumpkin juice?" Exactly the same thing Umbridge had said to him the previous book when she was trying to get Harry to drink Veritaserum.
  • Contrived Coincidence: If it is indeed chance and not one of Dumbledore's Gambit Roulettes, Harry happening to find the Half-Blood Prince's old potions book, which won him Felix Felicis and saved Ron from dying, would qualify. In addition, both of Draco Malfoy's assassination attempts only fail due to contrived coincidences.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Besides Snape's bouts with Lockhart in Chamber of Secrets, Harry versus Snape is quite possibly the single most one-sided duel in the series. The fact that Snape is using Legilimency to see what spells Harry is going to cast before he casts them just makes it even more pathetic. Made worse still in that Snape kept telling Harry to clear his mind if he wanted any chance on beating him; i.e. attempting to teach him a lesson while kicking his ass.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The creation of a horcrux is so forbidden that there's virtually no information on how to do it besides 'kill somebody in cold blood'. Hermione searches the immense Hogwarts library, and finds only a single mention of them, which gives no information other than that there's something out there with this name, and it's really bad (implied to be a Moral Event Horizon, or nearly so). It's even dangerous to the reader: J.K. Rowling once described the process of making one to her publisher, who vomited after reading it. A rare meta example.
  • Dark is Evil: The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher imparts his personality onto the classroom and adorns the walls with plenty of pictures showing the various horrid things that happen to anyone who runs afoul of the terror of the Dark Arts.
  • Darker and Edgier: Half-Blood Prince may not be as emotionally charged as the novel that preceded it, but it more than makes up for this by being set against the backdrop of a truly dire period for wizards and muggles alike. Atrocities happen at such a high frequency that their coverage is almost passive in tone, thereby implying that this state of terror is the new norm now that Voldemort and his followers are once again at large. That's not even mentioning the death of Dumbledore towards the end of the novel.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Potions class gets some considerable focus in this book, seeing as how the resident new character for the book teaches it rather than Defence Against the Dark Arts and the title character's book revolves a lot around said course.
  • Dead Animal Warning: A flashback shows Dumbledore visiting the orphanage where Tom Riddle was raised, and the matron discusses an incident in which he was accused of hanging another child's pet rabbit from the rafters after the rabbit's owner annoyed him. The accusations had to be dropped because they couldn't prove that he climbed into the rafters to do it, not realizing he was a wizard.
  • Deader Than Dead: Inferi. Being like zombies, they must be burned; spells like Sectumsempra won't work because they have no blood and feel no pain.
  • Dead Man Writing: The mysterious R.A.B. writes a letter to Voldemort which begins with R.A.B. musing that he's probably been kiled by the time the Dark Lord has read the letter. In a twist, Voldemort never reads the letter, since Harry finds it before the Dark Lord can.
  • Dedication: Rowling said that this book and her youngest daughter, Mackenzie, "were racing each other into the world", so she issued this dedication:
    To Mackenzie,
    My beautiful daughter,
    I dedicate
    Her ink-and-paper twin
  • Demoted to Extra: Defence Against the Dark Arts class. With the help of the Half-Blood Prince, Potions is Harry's star class this year, putting less focus on his expertise in DADA. Also, the threats against Hogwarts are less present this year, meaning there's less reason to use defensive magic throughout the book.
  • Despair Speech: Slughorn gives one of these when he agrees to give Harry his memory about Tom Riddle.
  • Destination Defenestration: Attempted on Fudge by an unnamed former Prime Minister. (It should be Margaret Thatcher if the books matched real life, but Fudge refers to the character as a male.)
  • Disappointed In You: When Harry disappoints Dumbledore by not making much of an effort to get a memory from Slughorn, he would have preferred him to yell; "this cold disappointment was worse than anything."
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Hermione's SNEAK jinx in the previous book takes on a whole new level of menace when, months after being jinxed, Marietta still has the scars. Word of God is they will never come off.
    • In response to Fred's taunts about Lavender, Ron throws a knife at him. Luckily Fred has quick reflexes and a good grasp of transfiguration skills, and instantly turns it into a paper aeroplane.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The circumstances of Voldemort's birth. Merope basically drugged Tom.
    • Take away the fantasy elements and you will find that Draco Malfoy basically joined a terrorist cult, went through several assassination attempts, all of which failing and nearly killing others, and in the climax he had basically started a school shooting.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male:
    • The love potions. They're basically the magic world equivalent of date rape drugs. Yet, using them is portrayed as sweet and innocent because it's the girls using them on the boys. Just imagine the uproar of the Moral Guardians if any of the boys were shown using them on the girls.
    • Deconstructed with Merope's rape of Voldemort's father, which is portrayed as a very bad thing. The reason it's played for laughs with Ron is that Harry kept anything untoward from happening. And it's possible the Double Standard exists in the HP universe, and Merope was put in deliberately, to highlight it. Moreover, Harry certainly doesn't consider love potions "sweet and innocent", no matter who uses them — in fact, he actually compares them to Dark Magic at one point. (As they can be used to make a person act against their usual being, Harry probably has a point.)
  • Drunken Song: When Hagrid and Horace get drunk at Aragog's funeral, they sing a song called "Odo the Hero".
  • Due to the Dead: Most of the wizarding community attends the funeral at the end of the book.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Averted with Harry's relationship with the Ministry of Magic. While Rufus Scrimgeour (sort of) tries to patch things up, Fudge's smear campaign — combined with the new Minister continuing policies favored by Fudge and Barty Crouch — leave the schism between Harry and Ministry wide open for the remainder of the series. Scrimgeour mentioning that Umbridge is still at the Ministry triggered Harry's Berserk Button about how she terrorized the school.
    • Played straight and subverted when Snape notes that while Voldemort was not happy that his Death Eaters had abandoned him (and as we saw in Goblet of Fire, was intent on exacting over a decade of penance from them), circumstances forced him to be pragmatic. If he hadn't forgiven those who lost faith, Voldemort would have been left with only a handful of Lieutenants to support him in the Second Wizarding War.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: The Gaunts can speak English, though their preferred language is clearly Parseltongue and flip back to it whenever possible. It shows: when speaking in English the male Gaunts sound crude and uneducated, but when in Parseltongue their vocabulary actually somewhat reflects the high-born lineage to which the Gaunts aspire.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: Practiced by Professor Slughorn. Being a Nice Guy from the otherwise unsavory and self-interested Slytherin House, he'll often help people he thinks would have potential to become great (like Harry) so that he will gain some benefit some way or another later. This backfired with Tom "Lord Voldemort" Riddle, to whom he provided information on unspeakable dark magic, which he regards as My Greatest Failure.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When Dumbledore sees Snape rearing to kill him, Dumbledore can do little but beg Snape not to carry through with the act.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even most books of Dark spells are reluctant to elaborate on the nature or creation of Horcruxes. This is subverted in the next book, when it turns out that some books actually do cover it. Dumbledore was savvy enough to pull them from the shelves after Voldemort came to power; Hermione only found them by Summoning them from his office.
  • Everyone Can See It: Ron and Hermione.
  • Evil is Cool: Used In-Universe with the new Dark Arts teacher. Harry, upon hearing him talk about the Dark Arts thinks, "It was surely one thing to respect the Dark Arts as a dangerous enemy, another to speak of them, as [the teacher] was doing, with a loving caress in his voice?"
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Draco is proud to be working for Voldemort … at first, anyway.
  • Evil Is Petty: Voldemort put a curse on the Defense Against the Dark Arts position because Dumbledore wouldn't give him the job when he attempted to reapply. In this instance, it's not too surprising considering it prevented Voldemort from acquiring relics of the founders he could use as potential Horcruxes.
  • Exact Words: After seeing Ron throw a knife at Fred, Mrs Weasley warns Ron not to ler her see him throwing knives at anyone again. Ron promises he won't, but adds under his breath "let you see me."
  • Fake Memories: Horace has (badly) covered up his own memories of giving the young Voldemort information about dark magic.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tom Riddle murdered a woman for her artifacts and framed her house-elf for it. Dumbledore tells Harry that the Ministry should have investigated further but didn't "…because she was a house-elf". Harry had never sympathized with Hermione's campaign as much as he did at that moment.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Hagrid mentions overhearing Dumbledore and Snape getting into an argument regarding a task Dumbledore entrusted Snape with. The next book reveals that the 'task' was in fact Snape's 'betrayal' and murder of Dumbledore, although it's more complex, being more comparable to Assisted Suicide as Dumbledore was dying anyways from the curse on Marvolo's ring.
    • When Harry catches a whiff of a love potion (which smells different to everyone "according to what attracts us"), he notes that it is a bit familiar, and he has smelled it around the Burrow. Shortly afterward, he notices that it's Ginny's perfume. Later on, he begins to develop serious feelings for her.
    • During the argument in Spinner's End, Bellatrix claims that Voldemort, at some point, entrusted her with his most precious something. It won't be clear until the next book what she's talking about: the Hufflepuff Cup-turned-Horcrux in the Lestranges' Gringotts vault.
    • In the Christmas chapter: "She [Molly Weasley] gave Lupin an annoyed look, as though it was all his fault she was getting Fleur for a daughter-in-law instead of Tonks." She's annoyed with him refusing to admit his feelings for Tonks based on his age or his lycanthropy.
    • Horace Slughorn says he had a house-elf test every one of his remaining bottles of mead for poison. In the next book, Harry learns that Voldemort once used Kreacher to test the potion defense for the Horcrux locket in the cave. Hopefully Slughorn would not have left a poisoned house-elf to die like Voldemort did to Kreacher.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: After Dumbledore tells Harry about the importance of destroying Horcruxes, the latter is concerned about the potential difficulty of finding said artifacts in the first place, but then the Headmaster reveals that he had already destroyed Marvolo's ring, and that Harry himself had destroyed Riddle's Diary in Chamber of Secrets, so there are only four more Horcruxes to worry about.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Hermione vs. Lavender and Ginny vs. Ron.
  • Gang of Bullies: It turns out that Tom Riddle was already recruiting followers while he was still a student. According to Dumbledore, members of this gang ended up becoming the first Death Eaters.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • When Ron and Hermione try and fix the former's misspelled essay due to a worn-out auto-correct quill, one of the things Hermione notes is "Augury doesn't begin with O-R-G' either."
    • Ron saying "Do you want people to be saying my sister's a…" before Ginny interrupts him with "A WHAT, exactly?!"
    • Shockingly averted in Morfin's comments about his sister to his nephew.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Dean Thomas after seeing Harry and Ginny kiss. Romilda Vane seems to be even angrier, as she is described as looking like she's about to throw something.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Dumbledore reveals to Harry the reason for his disappearances throughout the school year is in part that he's been searching and destroying for something very dear to Voldemort. He eventually recruits Harry in his effort and the book ends with Harry resolute to complete the mission in the next book. The plan is to destroy the four remaining Horcruxes, objects which contain fragments of Voldemort's soul, in order to render Voldemort mortal.
  • Grail in the Garbage: At first, Harry fears Voldemort's Horcruxes might be these, until Dumbledore reminds him of Voldemort's egocentric need to stamp himself all over pieces of magical history.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Averted and lampshaded.
    Meanwhile, the Hogwarts library had failed Hermione for the first time in living memory. She was so shocked, she even forgot that she was annoyed at Harry for his trick with the bezoar.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: For whatever reason, Rowling chose to use the archaic meaning of a word that used to be a synonym for "exclaim."
    "Snape!", Slughorn ejaculated...
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Love is precisely what saved Harry as a baby: Lily's sacrificial love is the source of his protection against Voldemort. It comes up again in Deathly Hallows, when Harry's self-sacrifice protects everyone.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Arguably Scrimgeour succeeding Fudge as Minister of Magic. As the former Head of the Auror Office, he's a veteran of fighting Dark Wizards and seems the perfect choice for a wartime leader. Then he continues or resurrects policies of Fudge and Barty Crouch Sr. It ends up making things worse.
    • Dumbledore's portrait appears in the headmaster's office at the end, giving hope that he may still be around in some form.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hermione is indignant when she thinks Harry spiked Ron's drink with Felix Felicis before the Quidditch game, even though she put a confundus charm on Ron's main rival for Gryffindor keeper so he would win in the trials. Harry even points this out.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Dumbledore uses this method to leave Harry alone with Professor Slughorn so as to persuade him to return to Hogwarts — specifically, by asking to use the loo. The fact he returns afterwards with a magazine he wants to keep "for the knitting patterns" just highlights his eccentricity and hilarious kookiness. It was still a nice bit of obfuscation.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Justified via Felix Felicis.
  • Impossible Task: Draco's mission from Voldemort to kill Dumbledore. His chances of succeeding are almost nil. Voldemort himself doesn't expect him to succeed, and intends to use it as an excuse to punish the Malfoys for failing him. It is even suggested that he is hoping Dumbledore will kill Draco in self-defence.
  • Insult Backfire: "Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you?" "Yeah, thanks for clearing that, Minister."
  • Inverted Trope: In the previous book, Harry was wrong and everyone else was right that Voldemort was trying to lure Harry into the Department of Mysteries - Harry's being mislead resulted in the death of Sirius. This is switched around in this book, as Harry is right and everyone else is wrong, and again resulting in the death of a major character.
  • Invisible President: The Muggle Prime Minister is not named during the first chapter. Going by the book's timeline, it's John Major.
  • Ironic Echo: During the story of the fifth book, more than once Hermione discourages Ron from doing things she considers unbecoming of an authority figure by reminding him that he's a prefect. This time, Harry makes fun of her for secretly interfering with Cormac's Quidditch performance when Ron's trying out for the same position as Cormac by reminding her of her prefect position. Not surprisingly, she's not amused.
    Hermione: Oh, be quiet.
  • Irony: Previously Potions was Harry's least favourite subject because Snape was such a jerk to him. In his first class this year he finds a secondhand book labelled as "property of the Half-Blood Prince". Inside the book are copious hints that help Harry in his Potions classes, making it his best subject. At one point, Harry even thinks to himself that the Prince has been a much better teacher than Snape. Snape also comments that he struggled to teach Harry anything in five years of potions classes. Then the big reveal is that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. A slightly tragic twist to the irony here is the implication that Snape would have found Harry to be a highly competent and willing student if only he had been able to see past his loathing of Harry's father.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Right before Christmas vacation, Ron and Lavender are described as "saying a thoroughly nonverbal good-bye".
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Harry has to tell Ginny this. She knows exactly what he's trying to do and ignores it.
  • Just Between You and Me: Dumbledore encourages Draco to go on about his plans in order to buy time. Since Draco is reluctant to kill him, he complies.
  • The Ketchup Test: Dumbledore performs this to ensure that the Death Eaters have not, in fact, found Horace.
  • Kick the Dog: Greyback attacked the five-year-old son of Ms. Montgomery when she refused to cooperate with the Death Eaters. The boy later died from his injuries.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: After everything he did in Book Five and the end of Book Four, it's hard to feel sorry for Fudge after he's forced to resign in disgrace, and more so in that he was planning to use Harry to boost morale after smearing him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dumbledore specifically states that fire is the most effective against Inferi. The Ring of Fire he uses in the cave is even in the British cover pictured above.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: A literary version as Rowling brushes off their new relationship from the reader. We've sat through Harry's journey to find love, and Ginny's quiet pining after Harry for years — now that they are together, it's pretty much none of our business what they are doing in the quiet corners of Hogwarts.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Not only do Harry and Ginny become a couple close to the end after Harry spends a good portion of the book crushing on her, but they actually manage to break up before the end of the book! Doubly so because the novel glosses over the few weeks Harry grows closer to Ginny, in the span of a chapter going from crush to couple. The film rectifies this a bit by expanding Ginny's screen time and giving her more scenes alone with Harry.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: A young Tom Riddle is (mistakenly) convinced this is the case, and that his father was the one who was magical, not his mother, though this is not due to any sort of sexism on his part, but rather his inability to understand how his mother could have possibly died the way she did if she had been magical.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Amelia Bones' body is found by the Muggle police in a room that was locked from the inside. The wizard authorities know it was the Death Eaters - likely Voldemort himself.
  • Loophole Abuse: Defied when Harry orders Kreacher to spy on Draco. Mindful of what happened in Book Five, Harry makes sure to close every potential loophole that would allow Kreacher to tip off Draco.
  • Losing the Team Spirit: Dumbledore's death has this effect on the entire school.
  • Love Epiphany: Harry's "chest monster", as he calls it.
  • Love Hungry: Merope Gaunt for Tom Riddle Sr. See above entry for Love Potion.
  • Love Potion:
    • Part of the merchandise at Fred and George's joke shop. One of Harry's fangirls attempts to trick him into eating a box of chocolates spiked with them. Hilarity Ensues when Ron eats them instead.
    • In addition, this seems to be the entire reason that Lord Voldemort exists in the first place, as his mother had used a Love Potion on a snobbish Muggle, Tom Riddle Senior.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: Harry and Ron, among others, get into NEWT Potions with E (Exceeds Expectations) OWLs because Slughorn has lower standards than Snape, who would only take O (Outstanding) students.
    • As noted in Fridge Brilliance, it's likely that Snape allowed everyone with an E into NEWT Defense Against the Dark Arts because otherwise Harry (who got an O, which not even Hermione managed to do) would have been the only student in the class.
  • Magically Binding Contract: Introduces the Unbreakable Vow, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Magic Feather: Harry pretends to give Ron a luck potion to give him confidence. A slight subversion in that the potion would have actually worked if added for real, but its use in contests is of course banned.
  • Meaningful Echo: Near the beginning, Dumbledore tells Harry they shouldn't find trouble. "You are with me." This later becomes "I am not worried, Harry. I am with you." Former Trope Namer.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Dumbledore's funeral is also the end of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's days as schoolchildren, and indeed as children; from here on out it's the real world for the Power Trio.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Dumbledore. Afterwards, Harry reflects on how he's been losing protector figures since the age of one, and is now basically on his own (save for Ron and Hermione).
  • Meta Twist
    • Horace is set up as the new DADA teacher of the book. Harry is as surprised as the reader to learn he's actually replacing Snape, who's moved positions after wanting the job for years.
    • Two previous Red Herring characters are behind the main plot, and this time Harry is on to them from the beginning. So is Dumbledore, but he's keeping quiet about it in case Voldemort catches on through Legilimency.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The Aurors may qualify, depending on whether you consider them an army. Herein, they fail to kill or capture any Death Eater, imprison innocent people (where they are captured and Brainwashed by said Death Eaters) instead, and do nothing to prevent the ministry from being infiltrated by Voldemort.
  • Mind Rape: Dumbledore goes through this while drinking the potion guarding Voldemort's locket.
  • Mood Whiplash: Early in the book, Harry confides in Ron and Hermione about the prophecy made about how "neither of us can live while the other survives". There's a shocked moment … then the prank telescope (one of Fred and George's devices) Hermione had idly picked up explodes in a cloud of black smoke as a tiny fist punches her in the face, giving her a brilliant black eye.
  • My Greatest Failure
    • Slughorn revealing information about Horcruxes to a young Tom Riddle.
    • We hear Dumbledore going through his during his mind rape.
    • Also Snape's feelings about giving Voldemort the prophecy and dooming James and Lily, though Harry believes this to be a lie at the time.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Harry struggles with this. In the end, Ron is fine with him dating Ginny, though. After all, they are best friends! Indeed, it's implied that Harry's the only person Ron wants Ginny dating.
  • Never My Fault: During the meeting at Spinner's End, Snape sarcastically asks Bellatrix if the Dark Lord still considers her a confidante after the fiasco in the Department of Mysteries. Bellatrix responds that it was all Lucius' fault. However, it was her getting trigger happy which derailed the entire operation, got all the operatives except herself thrown into Azkaban, and exposed Voldemort's return to the Wizarding world at large. Even better, Narcissa gets pissed that she's trying to shift the blame to her husband and calls her sister out on it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The 1940s-era Dumbledore choosing not to tell the other Hogwarts teachers about the young Tom Riddle's love of cruelty and bullying. If he had not given Riddle a chance to turn over a new leaf, Wizarding history would probably have taken a different turn.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Voldemort's mother at first used a Love Potion to make Tom Riddle, Sr. fall in love with her. She then decided that it didn't feel real because it wasn't genuine, so she neutralized the potion, hoping that he'd really be in love with her after it wore off. Unfortunately for her, he dumped her like a hot potato, abandoning her and her child.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: Harry, Dumbledore and the Horcrux-containing potion. Harry keeps his word, but only barely.
  • No Name Given: Two prominent Death Eaters at the end of the novel are unnamed but referred to constantly, the first one is only referred to as "The Brutal-Faced Death Eater" and then later we see "The Big Blond Death Eater". Both of these individuals are identified early on in the next book as Yaxley and Thorfinn Rowle.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Dumbledore's body-bind spell. There are hints throughout the books that this is a common and expected phenomenon: magic dies along with the wizard who performed it.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In-universe example. Love potions can't actually create love, only infatuation.
  • Not a Date: Harry and Luna at Slughorn's party. He makes it clear that they're going as friends, which she is perfectly happy with. Peeves, of course, overhears them and zooms off cackling about how "Potty loves Loony."
  • Not An Act: When suspected of being a Double Agent by Bellatrix, Snape has a long speech where he patiently takes apart her arguments, including one where he belittles Harry as a mediocre wizard who needs his friends' help to get anywhere. As we see in the last book, most of what he told Bellatrix was a lie and he was always against Voldemort, but his contempt for Harry was genuine, using very similar terms when speaking to Dumbledore about him.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Minister Scrimgeour, when trying to talk Harry into becoming the Ministry's poster boy, mentions that Umbridge is still working at the Ministry, and she actually said that Harry wanted to be an Auror, in an attempt to bribe him. Harry bristles and shows the Minister the "I must not tell lies" scar that he received from his various detentions.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Inferi are basically magical zombies with a different name. (The original voodoo/vaudou kind, not the modern post-George Romero kind.)
  • Not What It Looks Like: In the evening Harry decides to see Slughorn to coax his Horcrux-related memory out of him, he (after taking his Felix Felicis and donning his Invisibility Cloak) leaves the boys' dormitory with Ron and Hermione in tow and encounters Lavender Brown in the Gryffindor common room. Unable to see Harry, Lavender believes Ron and Hermione to be alone in the boys' dormitory, prompting her to jump to her worst-case assumption, which results in her screaming at Ron before breaking up with him. This ends up working in Ron's (and, by extension, Hermione's as well) favor, because Ron had been hoping for Lavender to break up with him for some time by that point already.
  • Oh, Crap!: Harry when he realizes what exactly the Sectumsempra spell does. It rips open huge, bloody wounds in whoever the caster shoots it at.
  • One Last Field Trip: Invoked after Dumbledore's funeral. Harry has lost his mentor and broken up with his girlfriend. He is going to drop out of school to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes. He is glad that he has "one last golden afternoon" to spend with Ron and Hermione.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The protection around the Horcrux ensures that it's impossible for anyone (including Voldemort himself) to get at it without hideously torturing them.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Hermione attempts to do this by asking Cormac McLaggen to Slughorn's party to make Ron jealous, only to fail spectacularly as she can't stand the guy's presence for more than a minute. Ron's relationship with Lavender has elements of this as well, and is more successful. Stuck in the crossfire of crappy decisions, Harry spends most of the conflict facepalming at both sides.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Finally averted by the Weasley Twins, who take Harry's Triwizard winnings as seed money and build a very lucrative business in Diagon Alley.
  • Please Dump Me: Ron takes the coward's way out and just pretends to be asleep every time Lavender visits him in hospital, to Harry's exasperation.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Snape points out that Voldemort had to forgive all the Death Eaters who gave up his cause when they thought he was dead, because otherwise he'd have hardly any followers left.
  • Precision F-Strike: Marvolo calls his daughter a slut.
  • The Profiler: The main plot of this book is Dumbledore and Harry constructing a profile of Voldemort's background, his motives, and his behavior, so they can figure out how many Horcruxes Voldemort made and where he would have kept them.
  • Properly Paranoid: Harry (finally) turns out to be right about Malfoy being a Death Eater and planning something.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: Tonks loses control of her metamorphmagus powers in her depression over Lupin rejecting her.
  • Rasputinian Death: Dumbledore. Let's see: He gets an arm nearly burned off from a curse — a curse that proceeds to slowly drain his life force away. Later he has to slice open his arm for a blood tribute. He drinks all that poison to retrieve the fake Horcrux. Then he gets a Killing Curse right in his chest and tumbles off the balcony of the tallest tower in Hogwarts.
  • Reality Ensues: At the end of Book 4, Fudge was informed of the return of the most dangerous terrorist in Wizarding Britain. The Minister of Magic responded by not only covering it up, but also wasting valuable time and resources persecuting and harassing the very people who tried to warn him. When Voldemort’s return is confirmed beyond any doubt, it ignites a scandal of epic proportions. Quite understandably, Fudge loses all public and political support and is forced to resign in disgrace.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Some fans have made much of Harry being excluded from the reading of Sirius' will, even attributing sinister motives to Dumbledore in this regard. However, assuming Dumbledore is the executor, Harry learned of his inheritance the way most people do in Real Life; if you inherited something, you just get a notice from the executor saying what you've got, with no formal will reading involved.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Played with, as it's not delivered by the Big Bad, but Snape does give Harry a rather good one when they are dueling at the end — and, in hindsight, it's very easy to interpret as Snape getting one last chance to say to Harry, 'No, seriously, get better at what I was trying to teach you or you will die.'
    • Harry also delivers one to Rufus Scrimgeour.
    • Dumbledore also gives a small one to the Dursleys in the beginning of the book, calling them out on not bothering to treat Harry like a second son and instead treating him like a piece of trash, though he does remark that Harry turned out better than he could have under more loving circumstances, because Dumbledore was able to see what happened to Dudley, who had been given everything he'd wanted.
  • Red Herring: Both Inverted and Hand Waved: the book starts out with Snape giving Bellatrix (and by extension the readers) a detailed accounting of himself during the previous books to make it plausible he could still be working for Voldemort despite the previous buildup of him as a bad-mannered but otherwise trustworthy good guy.
  • Refuge in Audacity: An In-Universe example: one Potions lesson has Slughorn presenting a mystery poison to the class and the students must concoct an antidote based on the contents of the potion. Harry, who has been receiving help from the Prince's annotations, realizes there's no real foolproof cheat around this (as Hermione also gleefully remarks on), so he grabs a bezoar, which can be used as an antidote for most basic poisons, from the cabinet and presents that as his antidote. When Professor Slughorn comes around, he laughs and rewards him "ten points … for sheer cheek." No one else is amused.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In-universe example. Fleur's insistence on marrying Bill forces Molly to admit that her future daughter-in-law is a far, far better person than she had given her credit for.
  • The Reveal:
    • Snape was the Death Eater who told Voldemort about the prophecy, bumping Lily and James to the top of his hit list. Harry, naturally, learns this minutes before going after a Horcrux with Dumbledore. It takes everything he has not to start tearing the office apart like at the end of the last book.
    • The climax of the book ends with Harry learning the identity of the Half-Blood Prince: Severus Snape, Harry's least favorite teacher and the murderer of Harry's mentor.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Hermione thinks the titular Prince was Eileen Prince, a student at Hogwarts, and theorizes that the title comes from her pride to be the child of her Prince parent. The Prince is actually Severus Snape, but Eileen was his witch mother. This means Hermione was entirely correct about the Prince being proud of their parent of the same name, she just had the wrong person.
    • After Harry encounters Tonks inside Hogwarts, he speculates to Ron and Hermione that Tonks might have been in love with Sirius, the reasons being that: a) Tonks was nearly in tears after Harry mentioned Sirius' name, and b) her Patronus resembles a four-legged entity nowadays. Near the end of the year, Tonks confesses her love to Lupin, prompting Harry to realize that he was right about Tonks being in love; he was mistaken only about whom she's in love with.
  • Running Gag: The running joke about each of the DADA teachers lasting only a year gets deconstructed as we learn Voldemort placed a curse on the position after Dumbledore wouldn't give him the job.
    • However, it gets played straight as Snape only lasts a year before fleeing Hogwarts after killing Dumbledore.
  • Self-Guarding Phlebotinum: The cursed opal necklace that kills anyone who touches it. Bonus points for being a Chekhov's Gun from its brief mention in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Separated by a Common Language: When Hermione says Harry has never been more fanciable, American readers may see that as Hermione simply calling Harry likeable, but British/Commonwealth readers will know that Ron is acting so jealous because Hermione has just called Harry desirable in public.
  • Sequel Hook: Harry's decision at the end not to go back to Hogwarts in favor of focusing solely on destroying Voldemort signals a radical departure for the final installment.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Did you hear the one about how the Horcrux Harry and Dumbledore nearly killed themselves trying to retrieve from the cave turned out to be a fake, planted by someone else to buy the resistance some time for when Voldemort came back to get it?
  • Shipping Torpedo: A handful are especially prominent in this book, though play out in others as well:
    • Ron is not a fan of anyone dating his sister Ginny.
    • More amusingly, this is initially Mrs. Weasley's reaction to Bill and Fleur.
  • Ship Sinking: Though not officially torpedoed until Book 7, this book effectively sank the ship of Harry×Luna. However, it does still give the readers some …
  • Ship Tease: Harry and Luna get some moments, such as him telling her she's cool, refuting his thoughts about her from Book 5, and when he takes her to Slughorn's Christmas Ball. After he asks her to go with him, Peeves also becomes a Ship Tease and starts singing, "Potty loves Loony!"
  • Shotgun Wedding: Merope was hoping to have one of these with Tom Riddle Sr., or at least have him stay with her due to her pregnancy.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: When it is revealed that the only side effect Fenrir's bite will have on Bill is a preference for very rare steaks, Fleur declares that it is lucky that he is marrying her because "ze British overcook their meat." There is a French term "bleu" which is decidedly rarer than the British/American "rare". Essentially, it is just seared. The surface is cooked, but the inside is not really cooked at all.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Bill and Fleur (as far as Ron and Ginny are concerned), Ron and Lavender (mainly the latter). Lavender even gets Ron a big gold necklace reading "My Sweetheart", to Ron's disgust and Harry's amusement.
  • Smooch of Victory: Harry kisses Ginny after she wins Gryffindor the Quidditch Cup. (Also an Accidental Kiss.)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Variant: the one invoking this isn't the one being accused of prejudice. When Slughorn talks about how surprised he was that Muggle-born Lily was so good at potions, Harry mentions that one of his best friends is Muggle-born and she's the best in their year. Slughorn plays it dead straight immediately after, denying any insinuations that he's prejudiced by rapidly pointing out that he's got several favourite Muggle-born students.
  • Soul Jar: Horcruxes are objects meant to hold a piece of someone's soul away from their body. The only way to rip out a part of one's soul is to commit murder in cold-blood, so even creating a single Horcrux is a terrible thing. Voldemort made six of them.
  • Spinning out of Here: Apparition is triggered by spinning in place.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Romilda Vane for Harry Potter and Merope Gaunt for Tom Riddle Sr.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: In the cave scene, Dumbledore is shown to determine where the secret entrance is and the spells used on it without the use of any detection spells.
  • Supernaturally Marked Grave: Dumbledore's grave, an enchanted tomb of marble.
  • Switching P.O.V.: To show us Snape's vow.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Ron accidentally eats love-potion-spiked chocolates meant for Harry. Harry gets Slughorn to give him an antidote before things get out of control … and then he drinks poisoned wine meant for Dumbledore.
  • Telefrag: Not in the normal way, but this book confirms that one danger of Apparating is that if you don't have enough will to go through with the teleportation, or aren't properly prepared, there's a very good chance that part of your body will remain behind (though, thankfully, during all of the tutoring we see there are teachers on hand to reverse the process).
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • Albus Dumbledore, though we don't learn it until the next book.
    • Also, apparently, R.A.B.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Harry, when he discovers that Snape was (inadvertantly) responsible for Voldemort targeting his parents. Dumbledore actually has to get legitimately angry before Harry calms down. Of course, Snape killing Dumbledore in front of him mere hours later does not improve Harry's opinion of him.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Book 6 was promoted by the information that one major character would die. Theories raged like wildfire for a year before its release.
  • 21-Gun Salute: The centaurs of the dark forest fire off a volley of arrows in honor of Dumbledore, at his funeral.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • After Bill is mauled by Fenrir Greyback the werewolf, Fleur still loves him. This is what finally convinces Ginny and Molly Weasley to accept her.
    • Inverted with Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle.
    • Played straight with Lupin and Tonks. Though we're sure some fangirls will insist otherwise. After all, Lupin is actually handsome, it's just his age and his lycanthrophy puts the odds against him.
    • Also played straight in the next book with Mr. and Mrs. Delacour.
  • The Unchosen One: Dumbledore makes a point of making Harry realize that, regardless of the prophecy, what Harry does is his own decision and no one else's.
    "But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argumentative, "it all comes down to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or —"
    "Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!"
    Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front of him, and he thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sirius. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat.
    "I'd want him finished," Harry said quietly. "And I'd want to do it."
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Chest monster" is certainly an original term, though anyone who's been an adolescent male probably has no trouble sympathizing.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Morfin Gaunt hexing Tom Riddle Sr. This simple act sets off a chain of events that not only ends up destroying both of their families, but also gives rise to the most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time.
  • Uriah Gambit: Voldemort doesn't actually think Draco will successfully assassinate Dumbledore, so the whole thing is an exercise in futility to punish Lucius for his failure in the previous book. Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, so it is likely that Voldemort assumes Dumbledore will kill Draco in self-defense. Furthermore, when Draco fixes the vanishing cabinet, Voldemort dispatches a B-team to accompany him. The incompetent Carrows, the supposedly inferior werewolf Fenrir Greyback, and accidental Team Killer Thorfinn Rowle certainly won't win awards for Death Eater of the Month compared to, say, Bellatrix Lestrange or Antonin Dolohov, who Voldemort could have chosen to send instead. He still wants Dumbledore dead, which is why he orders Snape to finish the job, but he certainly does not believe that Draco Malfoy has even the slightest chance to kill the only one he ever feared.
  • Wham Episode: Dumbledore's death.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: The Weasley twins essentially smuggling Love Potions into Hogwarts so that the female population of Hogwarts can use date-rape drugs on the poor, unsuspecting boys.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: "So, when the Prophecy says, that I'll have 'power the Dark Lord knows not' it just means love?" asked Harry, feeling a little let down. "Yes, just love," said Dumbledore.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Harry calls out Scrimgeour on resurrecting Barty Crouch's policy of imprisoning suspected Death Eaters with no trial.
    • Harry using an unfamiliar spell, the effects of which were unknown, on Draco, resulting in Draco being severely injured. Fortunately Snape was able to heal him, being that he invented the spell, but Harry feels appropriately guilty for the incident. Somewhat justified in that Draco attempted to hurt him first. Regardless, the fact that Harry could well have killed Draco makes it a pretty morally questionable move. Possibly justified in that Malfoy had been about to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry, though this makes no sense, as that would have earned Malfoy a one-way ticket to Azkaban. Then again, it's abundantly clear that Draco is no longer thinking things through by this point.
    • Harry gives one to Dumbledore for not telling him that Snape gave Voldemort the information about the prophecy, and letting Snape teach at Hogwarts despite that.
  • Writing Lines: Seamus accidentally knocks Flitwick off his desk with a spell, and has to write "I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick."
  • Xanatos Gambit:
    • Voldemort's plan. The plan is to give Draco an impossible, likely-suicide mission in order to punish Draco's father, Lucius, for his failures. But, hey, if Draco succeeds, all the better.
    • Speaking of Voldemort, his job interview with Dumbledore during one of the flashbacks. If the Headmaster hires him, then it gives him access to potential Hogwarts relics for Horcruxes, a recruiting ground for young Death Eaters, and stores of ancient magic to tap. If Dumbledore doesn’t give him the job, that’s fine too, since he’s using the brief access to the castle to hide one of his Horcruxes in the Room of Requirement.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Dumbledore and Harry go on a dangerous mission to find a Horcrux. They find it … and it's a fake.

Alternative Title(s): Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince