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Tear Jerker / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

From the Book:
A final farewell.
  • Even though he brought it on himself, it's still sad to see how far Fudge has fallen after the depth of his errors came to light. Scrimgeour gives a token mention of keeping him around in an advisory capacity, but it's clear that Fudge is just being Kicked Upstairs and his reputation is irreparably ruined. Even the Muggle Prime Minister (who's never liked dealing with the Ministry of Magic) feels a bit sorry for Fudge, seeing the man trying to swallow back his sadness as best as he can.
  • Just how hurt Hagrid's feeling that Harry, Ron, and Hermione aren't taking his NEWT Care of Magical Creatures class.
  • Dumbledore's funeral.
    • Even worse is Harry's broken reaction, declaring to himself that no one else will die for him and breaking up with Ginny.
  • Fawkes flying around Hogwarts lamenting his owner.
  • Dumbledore throughout all of the scene in the cave, especially if you have read Deathly Hallows. It's obvious even only from this book he is going through horrible and mind-breaking memories, but what exactly those memories are we can only begin to suspect when reading the last book...
  • When Harry sees Dumbledore's body on the grass next to the Astronomy Tower. It was bad enough seeing that Snape actually killed Dumbledore, but the fight scene distracts you from that until Harry pushes through the crowd around Dumbledore's body. Then there's the bit with the fake locket.
    • It's particularly painful seeing Harry so furious at Snape that he tries to assault him with a Cruciatus Curse...which Snape nullifies while bitching out Harry.
  • The scene when Slughorn finally gives Harry his memory. His sad declaration that he's not proud of what he did and the way he tremulously asks Harry not to think too badly of him after he sees it especially.
  • During the scene when he and Harry go to recruit Slughorn to work at Hogwarts, Dumbledore tells Harry that he wouldn't need to worry about being attacked, because "You (Harry) are with me (Dumbledore)." At the end of the book, after Dumbledore takes all of the potion to get the fake Horcrux, Harry is helping Dumbledore get out of the cave, leading to this exchange:
    "It's going to be all right, sir," Harry said over and over again, more worried by Dumbledore's silence than he had been by his weakened voice. "We're nearly there.... I can Apparate us both back.... Don't worry...."
    "I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you."
  • Snape's "Don't call me coward!", especially when you realize how much he went through just to get to that moment. He'll be hated and reviled for the rest of his life (and possibly beyond that) for his act, and he knows it.
    • A bit of a Fridge Tear Jerker when you realize that Snape didn't properly lose it with Harry until he uses Levicorpus, which is the same spell that James used to attack Snape all those years ago. Now Harry, who is near-identical to James, is using the the same spell, bringing Snape back to the moment which, through Snape's own doing, set him to the path that would lead him to where he is now, the darkest moment of his life.
  • Similar to the above, Snape looking at Dumbledore with hatred and revulsion seems like the betrayal, but it's more hate at having to do this at all, especially with the later heavy implication that Dumbledore is his Parental Substitute.
    • The awful moment when when Dumbledore is begging Snape "Please" and you later realize Dumbledore was begging Snape to kill him to spare Draco from having to do it and Dumbledore from unnecessary suffering.
    • The way that Snape and Harry have the same words describing them when they have to harm Dumbledore in some way:
      Hating himself, repulsed by what he was doing, Harry forced the goblet back toward Dumbledore's mouth and tipped it, so that Dumbledore drank the remainder of the potion inside.
      Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.
  • Lupin and McGonagall's reactions to Dumbledore's death. Lupin's distraught "NO!", the only time Harry had ever seen him lose control of his emotions (which included seeing one of his best friends die right in front of him), and McGonagall, who is always so calm and collected, almost fainting.
    • And in general, everyone's reactions to it being Snape who killed Dumbledore, particularly the staff's (McGonagall didn't believe until she heard it from Harry, Hagrid couldn't believe it though Harry told him explicitly several times, even tries to defend Snape and had to see Dumbledore's body to finally believe, Slughorn's reaction...) are not immediate anger/outrage, but shock and disbelief. It is clear that whatever doubts about Snape they held in the beginning, they trusted Dumbledore so much to eventually trust and accept Snape as one of their own after all these years of working alongside him. To imagine how the pain of this betrayal must have hurt; after all, not only is Dumbledore dead, but that he is killed "at the hands of one of our colleagues is a terrible stain upon Hogwarts’s history. It is horrible." Especially as it was not betrayal at all and only Snape knows this now, but they don't find out until after his death, and the last encounter between him and his former teachers/colleagues/fellow Heads of Houses ends with their duel and driving him out of the castle.
      "Snape," repeated McGonagall faintly, falling into the chair. "We all wondered...but he trusted...always...Snape... I can't believe it..."
      "Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. "Snape! I taught him! I thought I knew him!"
    • Fridge Sadness: similar to the above, Snape wasn't just McGonagall's colleague, he was her student at one point. One can only imagine how horrible she felt after his death and acquittal, especially given how harshly she treated him in that last year (calling him a coward and being the one to drive him from the castle, and ultimately to his death); it was hardly undeserved, given the circumstances, but it's still got to weigh heavily on her.
  • The end of Voldemort's job interview (as seen in a Pensieve memory). Whatever he became, Dumbledore's line still brings to light the simple fact that Tom Riddle could have been so much more, and the sorrow that Dumbledore feels over how much of a monster his student became.
    Voldemort: We have nothing more to say to each other.
    Dumbledore: No, nothing. [a great sadness fills his face] The time is long gone when I could frighten you with a burning wardrobe and force you to make repayment for your crimes. But I wish I could, Tom... I wish I could...
  • Sirius's name is cleared but it's too late for him.
  • Remus describing himself as "too old, too poor, too dangerous" for Tonks. It's clear just how low the poor man's self-esteem is, and also suggests that after Sirius's death he doesn't want to get close to anyone again for fear of losing them. He's lost all of his closest friends, either because they died (like James and Sirius) or because they betrayed everyone (like Peter Pettigrew).
  • Not a specific moment, but something about how Harry, for a limited time, came to feel a certain degree of affinity and awe about the Half-Blood Prince/Snape's potions handbook, given the mutual dislike as far as their face-to-face communication goes. Were it not for their mutual baggage, they could have had a very productive, even friendly, teacher-student relationship.
  • In a moment that really sells just how lonely Luna is, her reaction to hearing that Harry won't be continuing the DA is to simply remark, "I liked the meetings. It was almost like having friends."
  • A downplayed moment is that the day after Ron's run-in with Ginny, it's said that he's treating "a hurt and bewildered Hermione" very frostily as well. Only because he found out she had kissed Viktor Krum some two years ago. One of her best friends suddenly starts treating her in a hostile way, and she has no idea why. Harry says he doesn't even want to tell her.
  • Dumbledore's death is just one big Tear Jerker. He was one of the very first characters we ever met and has always been a source of wisdom, comfort, and gentle humor. From the end of Order of the Phoenix onwards, he became a Parental Substitute to Harry, as well as opening up and becoming more human. Now, he's gone, and Voldemort's biggest opposition is out of the way.

From the Film:
The school of Hogwarts mourn the passing of a great wizard.
  • The opening scene, which is essentially part of the aftermath of the battle from the previous installment. Harry is being photographed like a celebrity, and he's so devastated over the loss of Sirius that he barely registers it.
  • The addition made after Dumbledore's death, when first McGonagall, then Luna and Neville, and eventually everyone raises their wands lit by Lumos in silent honor of their fallen headmaster. Said wands disintegrate the Dark Mark.
    • The look of utter devastation on McGonagall's face... and the scene afterwards.
      McGonagall: You meant a great deal to him.
    • Speaking of said scene, the emotion and tearjerky-ness when McGonagall finding Harry in Dumbledore's office. She obviously is still hurting over the loss of her closest friend and tries to comfort one of Dumbledore's favorite pupils, only for Harry to simply try to pass her and leave the room. While one would feel this is a Jerkass moment for Harry, one does have to take into account that like McGonagall, he's hurting over the loss of Dumbledore as well, which leads to McGonagall giving the line above.
  • Dear lord, the scene where Dumbledore leads Harry to get the Horcrux and Harry must feed him the potion, even after he cannot tolerate it, and he gets all frail and pale.
  • When Malfoy is in the Room of Requirement, trying to get the Vanishing Cabinet to work, and the finch appears to have died. On top of being shown his utterly disturbed expression, you can hear him crying and you can really feel how stressed and scared he is. Pushed even further when he's in the bathroom later, breaking down.
    • It's enhanced by the fact that, in the book, Draco is definitely sympathetic, but still clearly not to be rooted for. The movies, however, humanize him and turn him from just another caricatured antagonist into a boy who made all the wrong choices and is lonely and afraid. One may be unable to help but see the similarities between Draco and Regulus Black, as both are forced down the path of darkness out of loyalty to their family.
    • Draco's reaction to Hogwarts getting destroyed.
  • Slughorn's story about the magical fish that Lily gave him and how, when he came downstairs and looked at it one day, it had vanished and so he knew that she was dead, because a wizard's magic only stops when they do.
    • It's a double one because, up until now, the audience is lead to believe that Slughorn only cared for his Slug Club members to cash in on their fame and get gifts from it. However, upon learning that Lily died, he was completely devastated, showing that he did care for their well-being.
  • When Hermione is crying in the abandoned room and Harry tries to comfort her, only to have the lovebirds interrupt and be driven off by the real lovebirds. Specifically the line "How does it feel...when you see Dean with Ginny?". Christ, you can hear how heartbroken she is.
    Harry: It feels like this.
  • The last scene in the movie. As the Golden Trio reflects on what has happened and what will come in the future, a noise echoes through the sky. It's Fawkes, singing his song to mourn his lost master and flying away from Hogwarts for good. Cue credits and audiences blubbering.
  • If the events of Order of the Phoenix wasn't enough, Lestrange singing "I killed Sirius Black" in the cornfield to taunt Harry and Co. will elicit both Berserker Tears and sad tears.
  • Pay attention to Alan Rickman's performance when Snape kills Dumbledore. In the book, he shouts out "AVADA KEDAVRA!" but in the movie, his tone of voice (remember, he's being asked by Dumbledore to do this against his wishes) is more like "God forgive me..." It's one of regret and remorse.
    • It's a good thing none of the Death Eaters could directly see his face, because you can tell Snape is in damn pain. Especially with the heavy implication that Dumbledore is his Parental Substitute.
  • In a deleted scene, we see the Hogwarts students sing a hauntingly beautiful choir that takes place immediately before Dumbledore's death. We witness Snape overlooking the window, thinking about what he will have to do while shedding a single tear.


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