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Fridge / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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     Fridge Brilliance 
  • When Dumbledore visits the Dursleys, he notes that Petunia's Agapanthus flowers are flourishing. Another name for Agapanthus? Lily of the Nile.
    • And given the usual joke about how something 'isn't just a river in Egypt', this easily becomes Lily of Denial.
  • Harry uses Sectumsempra on Malfoy. The spell requires you to move the wand into the direction of the cut. In the film all Harry did was point the wand at Malfoy's chest, yet the wound though unseen through his shirt caused bleeding in his chest and his back. Harry stabbed him. If that's the case, it's a miracle Malfoy even lived long enough for Snape to show up. A stab wound to the center of the chest can bleed you out in under a minute.
  • When Snape taught Potions, only those who achieved an "O" in their O.W.L.S. could take his N.E.W.T. class. However, when he switches to Defense Against the Dark Arts, he lowered the criteria to an "E". Why? Because if he kept the same standard, the only student who would have been in the class was Harry.
  • When Harry is in detention for cursing Malfoy, he comments on how Snape seemed to be purposely keeping him longer so he couldn't spend as much time with Ginny. While Harry probably thinks this is just because Snape is mean, it may be deeper than that. Think about it — Harry looks extraordinarily like his father. Ginny, meanwhile, has long red hair. Together they resemble Lily and James as a couple. Snape no doubt notices it, and by keeping Harry from Ginny, it's almost like keeping James from Lily.
  • It seemed at first that Voldemort cursed the position of the DADA teacher purely out of spite. ("If I can't have it, nobody can.") Then, after the evidences of abysmal ineptitude of the general wizarding population was presented (like the Ministry of Magic having to buy hats imbued with a Shield Charm from a prank shop), you see the strategic magnificence of V's move. He ensured that the DADA classes would become a total mess, no consistent teaching routine would be possible, and before long the school would run out of decent DADA teachers completely, thus dealing a crushing blow to the opposition.
    • Which is why Dumbledore has future job interviews (e.g. with Trelawney and Snape) outside of Hogwarts: to prevent other curses.
  • Throughout the series, characters speculate on why Dumbledore never gives Snape the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. Generally, the idea is that Dumbledore doesn't trust him near the subject. Actually, it's because Dumbledore knew the job was jinxed so that no one would last more than a year, so he put off giving it to Snape to make sure Snape was always around... until an uncharacteristic mistake leaves Dumbledore with no more than a year to live. Giving Snape the DADA job serves both as a parting gift of sorts, and also as an incentive for Snape to carry out Dumbledore's Thanatos Gambit when the time was right.
    • Not only that, but what specifically does Snape teach for his one year as DADA instructor? Non-verbal spells! He and Dumbledore both knew the Trio would have to go off the grid to complete their mission of Horcrux destruction, and that "stealth magic" would be an invaluable tool for them during that endeavor.
  • Lily might have been so good at potions (according to Slughorn) because she was friends with Snape. If that's the case, then Slughorn was right about Harry being just like his mother. They both got their potions skills from the Half-Blood Prince.
  • A bit of casting brilliance here - after Bill Weasley gets savaged by Greyback in Half-Blood Prince, he's described as bearing "a distinct resemblance to Mad-Eye Moody." Who plays Bill in the Deathly Hallows films? Domhnall Gleeson, the son of Brendan Gleeson, who plays Mad-Eye.
  • Arthur Weasley is promoted out of the understaffed Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office because war is imminent and it's not a priority. The same thing must have happened in the First Wizarding War - how else could Sirius keep hold of an illegal flying motorbike?
  • Throughout the first five books, Hermione performs brilliantly at potions, while Harry, failing to pay close enough attention to Snape's instructions, is mediocre at best. In the sixth, he starts making each potion perfectly by following the Prince's advice, which is what he should have been doing all along.
    • Following this logic it also explains why Hermione seems to have a little more trouble this year as opposed to the previous five, at least in the film. Snape isn't teaching the class anymore. Slughorn is, and while Slughorn is a fine Potions Master in his own right he doesn't seem to be on Snape's level. Hermione is the type of student who listens to every word her teacher says. So when Snape taught the class she was paying very close attention to the man who was likely the greatest Potions Master in the history of Hogwarts, who also was a little more hands on with his teaching. When Slughorn taught it she listened to a fine but inferior Potions Master who seemed to let the textbook do most of the teaching.
  • Who is the Half-Blood Prince and why is Lily mentioned in here more than in any other book?... Gotcha.
  • In this book, Snape is about to kill Dumbledore, and Dumbledore is left begging, "Severus, please...". At first it seems like he's weakly shocked at betrayal by Snape. Actually, it's because he's begging Snape to kill him. Because Snape is putting Dumbledore out of his misery, it doesn't harm his soul; instead, it lets Dumbledore save two lives - Snape's, from the Unbreakable Vow, and Draco's, from Voldemort's Uriah Gambit - in exchange for his own. That's why he'd spent the night searching for him.
  • Blaise Zabini. First off, he doesn't exactly come out of nowhere - he's mentioned in passing in Book 1 because he was (alphabetically) the last new student in Harry's year. Of course, from then, the Fandom tried to make a character out of him...or "her" in some fanfics. Then we finally find out (partially through the movie) that he's indeed a Black male. He gets into the Slug Club because his mother is famous. She married seven times, each time to a wealthy husband. Each husband died mysteriously, leaving Blaise and his mother with all the wealth. Of course, the implications there are obvious. Zabini's mom is a "Black widow." The black widow, of course, is a spider that's known for being very poisonous, first off, and second, killing her mates - and the term has been used for a woman who has killed a succession of husbands or boyfriends. The fact that Zabini's mom (more than likely) literally is a Black widow (in terms of race) just makes this even more brilliant.
  • The Death Eater attack of the Burrow put in the film seems pointless, but earlier Ron told Harry his mother had not wanted Ron and Ginny to return to Hogwarts because it wasn't safe anymore, and to stay home. The attack on the Burrow during Christmas made it clear that nowhere was safe from Voldemort and his followers, not Hogwarts and not even people's homes.
  • When Dumbledore was trying to convince Draco to give up, not kill him, and go into hiding, he might have been trying to course-correct. He might have known Draco disarming him would screw up his plans to break the power of the Elder Wand and hope to win it back by defeating Draco, by convincing him to surrender so the original plan, having Snape kill him without ownership of the Wand passing from him. Brilliant.
  • When Harry and Dumbledore are visiting memories, Dumbledore knows that Tom Riddle's friends are in the Hog's Head. Why? Because the Barkeep of the Hog's Head is his brother.
  • The name of the chapter in which Dumbledore dies? The Lightning-Struck Tower. Commonly called The Tower in modern Tarot decks, this card is one of the most feared (along with the Death card). It talks about a sudden realization, loss, a Broken Pedestal. And even more so, several decks' illustration for the Tower shows people falling/being thrown out of a tower. All of this happens in the chapter: Dumbledore was killed via an Avada Kedavra that looks suspiciously like a lightning strike, thrown off the Astronomy tower, and this causes the aforementioned feelings in Harry. Also one to the readers as well. Admit it, most of us probably held a Like You Would Really Do It attitude towards Rowling killing off Dumbledore until it hit us in the face.
    • The Tower is also a symbol of absolute destruction that razes the old way of things so that a new thing may rise from the ashes. It represents the need to tear something down completely to rebuild it into something wholly new. Considering the series' phoenix references/imagery as well as how many things fundamentally lurch in a new direction after this (Hogwarts becomes a Dark Arts academy, the storyline itself becomes an Artifact Quest for the first time since SS, all the relationships get upended, etc.), this moment is symbolic of that rebirth but in the inverse way: this is not the glorious phoenix's rebirth, but essentially the Fourth Reich (because Nazi allegory!). Even though Dumbledore plans everything and makes sure it's Snape who casts the spell, it sets actions in motions that neither of them could ever have anticipated.
  • Harry becomes a Karma Houdini in the movie version of Half-Blood Prince (he runs off before Snape can punish him for using Sectumsempra on Draco). Why? Because it changes his motivation for getting rid of the Half-Blood Prince's book - he's not hiding it because he doesn't want Snape to confiscate it; he's hiding it because he doesn't want anyone (not even himself) to be tempted by the dark magic in the book.
  • Remember how Ron has always craved attention and admiration? Well, in this book/movie he gets what he it: In the form of the lovestruck girl, Lavender Brown. Then, he gets the hint of how downright annoying it can be to always get attention. In a way, Lavender was a physical aesop on the lesson "be careful what you wish for".
  • After Harry takes the luck potion to get the memory from Slughorn, he is guided in a roundabout and unpredictable path to get his goal. It's odd though that he bumps Ginny Weasley on his way through the portrait hole under his invisibility cloak. Why would he, when he has perfect luck to prevent it? But ...that bump helped break Ginny and Dean Thomas up, a hidden desire of Harry's. Of COURSE he bumps her; he wants them to break up, and the luck potion makes it happen.
    • Right before the aforementioned scene with Dean Thomas and Ginny, when Harry leaves the Gryffindor boys' dormitory with Ron and Hermione in tow, they encounter Lavender Brown, Ron's girlfriend, in the Gryffindor common room. Unable to see Harry because he's hidden underneath his Invisibility Cloak, Lavender believes Ron and Hermione to have been alone inside the boys' dormitory, causing her to scream at Ron before breaking up with him. This is lucky for Ron and Hermione because Ron wants to end his relationship with Lavender but is too much of a coward to do it himself, and Felix Felicis sees to it.
    • Even if the luck potion only benefits the drinker, the effects still make sense. Ron was becoming increasingly paranoid about even being seen by Lavender, it was only a matter of time before he started pestering Harry to borrow his Invisibility Cloak so he could vanish from her completely. The longer Ron puts off the breakup, the more annoying it is for Harry (and the more likely it is Hermoine decides Ron's not really worthy of her affections, and his two best friends become completely incompatible). Ron and Lavender breaking up is really lucky for Harry.
  • After Harry learns it was Snape who relayed the prophecy to Voldemort, Harry asks Dumbledore how he can be sure a talented Occlumens like Snape is on the right side. Dumbledore considers for a moment before replying that he trusts Snape completely. Dumbledore wasn't reconsidering whether he trusts Snape – he does – but whether explaining why he does in order to reassure Harry would be worth breaking his word to Snape never to reveal certain facts.
  • Hermione outright says that she was going to ask Ron to Slughorn's Christmas Party. This is in contrast to Book 4 where she waited around hoping Ron would ask her. She's likely copped on to how clueless he is by now.
  • It is well that Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes has expanded into new classes of product line in addition to joke items, because joke shops often require general economic prosperity to stay afloat and prosperity is not a permanent thing.
  • The lesson that Dumbledore tries to impart on Harry after seeing Slughorn's true memory has much deeper implications once you've read the seventh book. He is trying to impart to Harry the difference between being dragged to death kicking and screaming or facing it willingly. Depending on how you read the subtext, he is manipulating Harry to accept that he needs to be killed by Voldemort to destroy the piece of soul still inside him, OR if Harry chooses to die, then he will confer the same on all of is friends and loved ones as his mother placed on him when she chose to die. Even if Harry was killed off for real at that moment before he would vanquish him, all of the people he loved would have finished the job. There's no way that Dumbledore wouldn't have deduced/planned ahead for this possibility.
  • It seems as though some people were baffled at how little impact the identity of the Half-Blood Prince had within the book or movie. However, that may have been the point. Why? Well, in the previous books, mysteries involving objects usually had a sense of innocence and childlike wonder to them, and were usually treated as one of the biggest deals. However, because Harry almost killed Malfoy with a potentially fatal curse, being forced to accept the responsibility and hide the prince's book away deterred Harry from learning more about him. Even Hermione admonishes Harry, bringing up the consequences alongside the action. Later, when the prince's identity is revealed, consider when it happens: after Dumbledore, the man who usually encouraged wonder, just died. With something like that, the HBP's identity looks like far smaller potatoes.
  • In the film, after Katie Bell is cursed and Snape inspects the necklace, he chafes at Harry for "just knowing" that Malfoy is the culprit. McGonagall then suggests that "you go back to your dormitories. All of you." She was chiding all her present pupils, current or former, including Snape.
  • In the book, Molly mentions that her husband now has a better (and far better-paying) job, although he liked his old job more. It might seem out of nowhere, but in book four Ron stated that his father could obtain better jobs in the ministry, but he preferred the one he had. After Voldemort came back, Arthur put his preferences aside to help as much as he could against him. It is also further proof that the Weasleys are actually very competent wizards.
  • The Felix Felicis Harry won from Slughorn in this years first Potions Lesson. As it needs half a year to be made and Slughorn had only one Month and a half, there wouldn't have been enough time to create it just for this occasion. This Felix Felicis was actually Slughorn's emergency stash in case the Death eaters got hold of him, he wanted to drink it in order to make it easier to escape. But now when he was safe and sound in Hogwarts he felt safe enough to give it away as he was under Dumbledore's protection.
  • It turns out Voldemort helped bring about his (original) downfall because he actually took one of Sybill Trelawney's prophecies seriously (as Dumbledore points out, it was no more accurate than any of her other predictions; it was only fulfilled because Voldemort acted on it). So believing Harry was the one who would destroy him, Voldemort set off to kill Harry and his parents. Cue Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Crosses over with Hilarious in Hindsight. Fudge was appointed as Minister for Magic in 1990, and mentions that his first Muggle PM tried to throw him out the window. Who was PM in 1990? Yeah, they didn't call her the Iron Lady for nothing.
  • How does Dumbledore know that the chair is actually a Transfigured Slughorn? Well, perhaps part of it is that, as he shows later in the book, he's an expert at detecting magical "residue." But in a house where everything has been trashed and broken, the one thing which is perfectly the chair.
  • Tom Riddle Sr. leaving Merope after she stopped feeding him the love potion and his discovery that she was a witch. Back in the 1920's popular culture had not yet truly overcome the traditional religious association of witchcraft with the Devil. To somebody of Riddle's background this was far worse than merely being date raped by an ugly peasant girl. It would have been seen as outright satanic and the child he conceived on the witch who ensorcelled him would have been little more than a demon in his mind. But, since The Masquerade was stronger in the U.K. (as shown in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) he could hardly go public with what really happened. Hence the more mundane, if dubious, "hoodwinked" explanation.
  • In the flashback, Tom asks Slughorn if seven horcruxes would be the best number. Slughorn rambles in terror about splitting your soul in seven, but 1 master soul plus 7 fragments equals 8 parts. Dumbledore gets that wrong too, proposing that Riddle aims to split his soul in seven and have six horcruxes. Why do they make such mistakes? Well, earlier it is established that Slughorn never noticed how ineffective Libacius and Borage's potions book was and it took Snape to correct a ton of things for the potions to be easy to brew. This could point to potioneers being bad chemists and not understanding dilutions, causing them to confuse things like a wizard making seven horcruxes meaning he split his soul in eight.
  • Bit of a stretch for a Meaningful Name entry, but here goes: Lavender Brown. Both colors, but while Lavender is pretty, exotic, and pleasing, Brown is common, plain, and unappealing. When Ron first starts liking (and liked by) Lavender Brown, he thinks things are exciting and wonderful. Then he starts to realize their relationship is empty and meaningless. Their relationship goes from bright and colorful lavender to dull and lifeless brown.
  • Harry asks Dumbledore if Merope didn't want to live even for her child. But think about it: Merope suffered so much abuse in her own home that she barely could use magic (implied it was very severe) and as Dumbledore points out, it's very likely that she stopped giving Riddle the love potion because, despite everything, she truly loved him and couldn't bear to keep the lie going. Yes, it is still rape and not at all justifiable, but still tragic. It's not unlikely that all this resulted in her pregnancy being of high risk. In the end, Merope did the very same thing that Lily Potter did: She died so her son could live.
    • Made a tear jerker once you think about it... Voldemort believed his mother was weak for dying, never understanding the sacrifice she made for him.
  • This book actually forshadowes the Elder Wand. When Aragog dies Hagrid and Slughorn sing, 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. The practice of snapping a dead witch or wizard's wand must have started when someone figured out that wands learn from their masters.
  • Two for the meaning of Sectumsemprae: either it could mean 'Sever(us) forever', which is a pun on Snape's name (plus, if you see the 'Us' as separate, could allude to him and Lily's relationship being severed), or 'cutting always' (as of the next book, 'always' becomes one of Snape's most remembered lines).
  • Hermoine acting a bit drunk on butterbeer after the group leave the Three Broomsticks. Slughorn (obviously fairly sloshed himself) had spilled his drink over Hermoine's part of the table. . . some of what he was drinking landed in her butterbeer, and she didn't notice when she chugged it back.
  • One from the film: in the book, Harry and Dumbledore have to walk to Hogsmeade in order to apparate to the horcrux cave, and then return to Hogsmeade before flying back to Hogwarts. Because of time constraints in the film, this gets changed to them apparating directly to and from Hogwarts, with Dumbledore addressing the impossibility by saying "Well, being me...has its privileges." How so? Well, since he's taught there for almost all his adult life (several decades), he would know better than anyone else about the protective enchantments (both the ones that have been there for centuries and the recent additions in the wake of Voldemort's return) and would therefore know how to penetrate them.


     Fridge Horror 
  • Dumbledore was confident that the only known relic of Gryffindor (the sword) was always well out of reach of Voldemort, but he was wrong. There was one more object at Hogwarts that once belonged to Gryffindor... the Sorting Hat. The hat itself mentions that it was originally Gryffindor's and it would have been fantastic as a Horcrux, allowing a piece of Voldemort's soul to peek into the hearts and minds of every student who passed through the school. It's a damn good thing Dumbledore never gave Voldemort that teaching position because had the hat been or become his true target, the story could have potentially ended very differently.
  • The scene involving Harry making Dumbledore drink the potion was nasty enough to begin with, but it becomes much worse when you realize what that potion actually does, as hinted by the flashbacks in Deathly Hallows: It makes you live through your worst memories over and over, presumably worse each time. Basically, Dumbledore was reliving the fight between Grindelwald, his brother, and himself that left their little sister dead.
  • Amortentia, Love Potion, is, essentially, a magical date-rape drug. They distribute these openly. Worse still, it could have been (and probably was) the very potion under which Voldemort was conceived. One must wonder why, if Dumbledore was aware of this, it was still on the sixth year curriculum to begin with (Although to Slughorn's credit, he calls the potion extremely dangerous.)
  • Never mind that - what the hell was the Draught of Living Death doing on the curriculum? From the sounds of things, just a tiny bit would essentially put the drinker into a coma, and too much would kill them outright. It's one thing to discuss it in class, but to actually try making it...
    • Perhaps the Draught of Living Death and "love" potions are there for cross curriculum purposes with Defence against the Dark Arts? The principle of 'offense informs defense' is common in advanced courses, and since NEWT potions is a requirement for Aurors, that would explain why these dangerous potions are in the 6th and 7th year syllabi.
    • Snape had apparently made the potion himself successfully during his school years. He couldn't possibly have been planning to use it (or his Sectumsempra curse) on a certain group of Gryffindors that had been bullying him, right....?
    • If you think about it, this could be a Fridge Brilliance as well. The instructions for the recipe was the only one in all the books to be wrong such as the wrong number of beans, how to extract the juice from them, and missing a counterclockwise stir after every seven clockwise stirs. As this was an advanced potions textbook, it should have been perfect, but maybe the author of the book realized the danger in putting such a dangerous potion in a book for sixteen-year-old students. Slughorn may have known this and knew only the best of the best potions students would recognize the errors and be able to correct them, which is why he did the contest on the first day to get such a powerful reward that had only been won by one other person in his many decades of teaching.
  • Why is Snape so furious when Harry uses Sectumsempra on Malfoy? Because it's a lapse in Snape's Unbreakable Vow to protect him from harm at all costs. And it's a spell Snape invented himself.
  • During Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, there's an army of Dementors "breeding" all over Britain and no one controlling them. Not only that, there's no spell described in the books that can actually kill them (a Patronus just repels them) and Word of God says they're immortal.
  • The Sectumsempra spell which almost made Draco bleed out is noted as "for enemies" by its creator...Gee, who were those enemies? Answer? Sirius and James. And if the memory in Order is anything to go by, he tried to use it on James, though it was weak, nonverbal and to the face instead of to the chest. However the very fact that he didn't massacre them especially after that trick with the Whomping Willow when Lupin was transformed, shows tremendous self-control.
    • How exactly would one invent a spell like that anyway? Did he just say random words and point his wand at someone until something happened in general, or would he have done research on various spell effects and try to tweak them to suit his needs? Either way, he probably would have had to test it out on somebody to know it was bad enough for enemies...
  • Ginny mentions that it was lucky Harry had a good spell in his arsenal when Malfoy tried to use the Cruciatus curse on him. Malfoy, however, is definitely the lucky one. He was one syllable away from spending the rest of his life in Azkeban. Even if Harry had sliced his throat and killed him instantly, it would have been a favor. On another level of horror, what if that was exactly what Draco was going for? What if he was trying to escape Voldemort's demands and see his father again in one fell swoop? In his emotional state at the time, it might have made sense in his head.
    • To be fair, the dementors aren't actually at Azkaban at the time.
  • It's mentioned in passing that Harry's only struggles with N.E.W.T.-level Defense Against the Dark Arts come from him occasionally disagreeing with what Snape is teaching him. This not only shows just how far Harry has come, it also neatly parallels the Half-Blood Prince, who ignored the official recipes in favor of his own innovations. It's another example of how much Harry and Snape have in common.
  • When Dumbledore goes to see Tom Riddle at the orphanage, Mrs. Cole, the matron, is initially suspicious of Dumbledore- until he waves his wand while handing her a blank piece of paper. Her eyes are noted to "slide in and out of focus" before she placidly accepts the paper. Dumbledore, one of the Muggles' greatest defenders, just illegally used magic on a Muggle.
    • No, because The Conspiracy depends upon as few Muggles as possible knowing of the Magic realm. He cannot achieve his aims with this powerful young wizard without this person's acquiescence, and they perform Memory charms on Muggles regularly to maintain The Conspiracy.
      • Also, it's implied (by Hagrid in book 1) that the rule is relaxed a bit for the specific instance of interacting with Muggle-raised wizard children because introducing young wizards to the world in which they belong is so integral to the survival of wizard society. And, one could argue, to The Masquerade itself. If these children are not retrieved and introduced to Hogwarts, what you'd end up with is older wizard children whose powers manifest themselves in Muggle environments at inopportune times. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them shows the worst-case scenario (or one of them, anyway) of what can happen if a teenage wizard's powers suddenly explode after lying dormant for years. Read: Said teenage wizard almost leveled Manhattan. Also, in Riddle's instance, he had already been using magic to control and harm the other orphanage children, so that was an even more special case.
  • There's an interesting, alternate interpretation of Voldemort's curse on the Defense Against The Dark Arts class. What comes across as pettiness is actually a brilliant piece of strategic warfare. Without a consistent DADA teaching curriculum, the up-and-coming generation of young Wizards would have been ill-equipped to fight the First Wizarding War. Indeed, the people teaching that position have run the gamut from the competent (Lupin) to the incompetent (Lockhart) to the deliberately obstructive (Umbridge) to actual Voldemort spies (Crouch-As-Moody), and several shades in between. And even if all of the teachers had been competent, the inconsistency that comes with changing teachers yearly isn't the best learning environment, particularly for kids.
    • A comment by the Weasley twins lends more evidence to this having been intentional. Apparently, an alarming number of Ministry workers don't know how to cast a simple Shield charm, which is designed (at its base level) to block minor to moderate jinxes. It's literally one of the more practical Defense spells one can learn and employees in the Ministry, most of whom would have been old enough to remember the First War, don't know how to cast it. If that's any indication, the Defence instruction in Britain hasn't been up to snuff for at least a generation.
  • There's a point where Harry is sitting across the train from Neville and he wonders what it would be like if their lives were switched (because of what he learned about the prophecy) and Neville was The Chosen One instead. It never occurs to Harry that Neville's parents being linked (however tenuously) to that prophecy might be what got them tortured by Bellatrix et. al. in the first place. So in such a scenario, Harry's parents might be alive, but.......
  • Tom Riddle Sr was raped. Okay, he did marry Merope, but he was under Amortentia, basically uberpowerful roofies. She kept him enslaved to her will for several years after forcing him to leave his family for her, stopping only when she fell pregnant with his child. And we readers blame him for getting the fuck away from her when he realized what she did to him.
    • Even worse, he probably never got closure for his experience. He would have been locked in a mental hospital if he had accused a witch of enthralling him, and since it was before the Second World War, it wouldn't have been a pleasant sojourn. And of course, it's impossible for a man to be sexually assaulted, so no one could sympathize with him or offer him support.
    • And it might not have only been his family he left when she drugged him... Who knows just how close he was to Cecelia, the woman he was seen riding horses with. They might well have been in love or engaged.
    • Plus, this is after Morfin hexed his face. For all his snobbishness, he took a LOT of abuse from the Gaunt family: first from Morfin's hex, then from Merope's drugs and rape, and finally from his own son murdering him.
  • Harry was extremely lucky that Malfoy isn't the loyal Death Eater that he is presumed to be when he used the full body-bind curse on him on the Hogwarts Express (which may have been the point of course). Malfoy could have inflicted injuries much worse than a minor broken nose, to accidentally standing on Harry's famous phoenix wand, to just straight up apparating away and handing him to Voldemort. And remember that no one knew Harry was is there; it was only luck that Tonks put two and two together. There was plenty of opportunity for nasty things to happen.
  • Slughorn was lucky that he didn't have a drink of that poisoned mead when he was in his quarters by himself, because then he would have died without anyone being there to save him (like Harry was able to do for Ron). Not only would that possibly mean he'd need to be replaced (or Snape would be the Potions teacher again and someone else would do DADA?), but then Harry might have never gotten the full memory about Horcruxes, depending on when Slughorn might have chosen to drink the mead on his own.


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