>> -/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

-/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ( 2)

: -/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

-/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(CONTINUED)

62. 57 CONTINUED: (3) 57 SLUGHORN No matter. You'll be just in time for dessert. That is -- if Belby leaves you any.

As Ginny moves to her seat, Hermione WHISPERS to Harry.

HERMIONE Look at her eyes. They've been fighting again. Her and Dean.

Harry nods, then stands as Ginny reaches the table -- the only one. Hermione notices, eyes him with amusement as he sits.

HARRY What? HERMIONE Nothing.

As Hermione smiles, she lightly strokes the crystal hourglass with a finger and we --

DISSOLVE TO:

58 INT. SLUGHORN'S OFFICE - NIGHT (LATER) 58

... LATER, the sand having run out with the evening. Slughorn says his goodbyes.

SLUGHORN Thank you, one and all, for a most stimulating evening. We'll have to do it again. Slughorn closes the door, turns, sends a FLOOR LAMP WOBBLING and, catching it, finds Harry.

SLUGHORN Oh. Potter.

HARRY Sorry, sir, I was just admiring your hourglass.

SLUGHORN Ah, yes. A most intriguing object. The sands run in accordance to the quality of the conversation. When it is stimulating, the sands run slow. When it is not...

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 63. 58 CONTINUED: 58 HARRY I think I'll be going.

SLUGHORN Nonsense. You have nothing to fear, m'boy. As for some of your classmates, well, let's just say, they're unlikely to make the shelf.

Slughorn steps to a makeshift bar, begins to construct a drink.

HARRY The shelf, sir?

Slughorn gestures to the PHOTOGRAPHS seen earlier, now ranged like a menagerie atop a low bookcase. Once again, Lily Potter and Regulus Black up front.

SLUGHORN Anyone who aspires to be anyone hopes to end up here. Then again... you are already someone aren't you, Harry?

HARRY I don't really know how to answer that, sir.

SLUGHORN Your mother was modest too. Your father not so much. As you can see, he did not make the shelf.

Slughorn smiles genially, turns back to his drink, using a pair of TONGS to drop ice into his glass.

HARRY Did Voldemort ever make the shelf, sir?

Slughorn stiffens, his back to Harry. His hand trembles and the ice slips from the tongs. Harry notices.

HARRY You knew him, didn't you, sir? Tom Riddle. You were his teacher.

SLUGHORN Mr. Riddle had many teachers while here at Hogwarts.

HARRY What was he like? (CONTINUED)

64. 58 CONTINUED: (2) 58 Harry can see the vein in Slughorn's temple pulsating. Fearing he may have overstepped...

HARRY I'm sorry, sir. Forgive me. He killed my parents, you see...

Harry stops, frowns. Slughorn turns, studies Harry. Nods.

SLUGHORN Of course. It's only natural that you should want to know more. I'm afraid I must disappoint you, Harry. When I first met young Mr. Riddle, he was simply a quiet, albeit brilliant, boy committed to becoming a first-rate wizard. Not unlike the others I've known. In fact, not unlike... you. If the monster existed, it was buried deep within.

CLOSE ON THE HOURGLASS

Nary a grain trickles through.

59 INT. GREAT HALL - MORNING 59

Ron enters the Hall, eyes lowered, knuckles taped for Quidditch, flexing his fingers anxiously as he makes for the Gryffindor table. Neville passes going the other way. NEVILLE Good luck, eh, Ron?

Ron nods shortly, then Seamus comes up on his side, WHISPERS CONSPIRATORIALLY.

SEAMUS Counting on you, Ron. I've two Galleons on Gryffindor.

As Seamus peels off, Ron cuts his eyes toward the Slytherin table, where the Quidditch team sits together. One Slytherin juts his chin toward Ron, MUTTERS something. A few turn, snigger. Ron averts his eyes and... almost runs into Cormac, who eyes him with disdain as he passes. Frowning, Ron drops down opposite Harry and Hermione. Harry eyes him briefly, knowingly, pushes a plate across. Ron takes a fork, pokes at it glumly.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 64A. 59 CONTINUED: 59 RON So. How was it?

Hermione continues to read the Prophet, unaware of Ron's mood.

HERMIONE How was what?

RON (with mock refinement) Your dinner party.

HERMIONE Dead boring. Though I think Harry enjoyed dessert.

(CONTINUED)

65. 59 CONTINUED: (2) 59 Harry's eyes shift, find Hermione smiling faintly from behind the Prophet.

HERMIONE Ol' Sluggy's having a Christmas do, you know. And we're meant to bring someone...

RON I expect you'll be going with McLaggen. Isn't he a member of the Slug Club?

HERMIONE Actually, I was going to ask you.

RON Really?

HERMIONE Really. But seeing as you have such a distaste for the idea --

LAVENDER BROWN (passing by) Good luck today, Ron! I know you'll be brilliant!

Ron smiles feebly, looks back down at his plate. Hermione stares daggers.

RON I'm resigning. After today's match. McLaggen can have my spot.

Hearing this, Hermione turns back. Harry catches her eye, extends a SHAKING HAND to indicate Ron's mental state.

HARRY Have it your way. Juice?

Hermione blinks, surprised by Harry's callousness. Ron is surprised as well -- and mildly put out.

RON Sure...

As Harry pours, Luna arrives at the table wearing a HAT that bears an uncanny resemblance to a real lion.

LUNA Hello, everyone. You look dreadful, Ron.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 65A. 59 CONTINUED: (3) 59 Ron nods grimly, lifts his glass. Luna turns to Harry.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 66. 59 CONTINUED: (4) 59 LUNA Is that why you just put something in his cup. Is it a tonic?

The tiny vial of Felix Felicis glints in Harry's palm.

HERMIONE Don't drink that, Ron!

But Ron's frozen in mid-sip, looking at Harry's palm too. Quickly, he gulps down the rest.

HERMIONE You could be expelled for that.

HARRY Dunno what you're talking about. Harry pockets the vial, winks at Luna. Ron rises.

RON C'mon, Harry. We've got a game to win.

CLOSEUP - QUAFFLE

As it ROCKETS into the AIR...

60 EXT. QUIDDITCH PITCH - DAY 60

Instantly, Slytherin snatches the Quaffle and rushes en masse toward Gryffindor's end, weaving and passing with wicked skill, culminating in a vicious, slicing shot on goal. Just when it appears it will clear the hoop, Ron streaks out of nowhere and sends the Quaffle screaming in the opposite direction. Ginny pauses on her broom, stunned.

GINNY What's gotten into him?

She glances up at Harry, circling high above and he grins. Just then, Dean streaks by:

DEAN Ginny! Let's go!

Instantly, she rolls backward, jets off and races down her fellow Chasers. Flying in spread formation, Dean -- on the far wing -- starts the Quaffle "up the line" until it lands in Ginny's hand.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 67. 60 CONTINUED: 60 Pitching herself into a wide slide to avoid a PAIR of WHISTLING BLUDGERS, she leans recklessly off her broom and whips the Quaffle through the goal untouched.

As the CROWD SCREAMS, Harry eyes the Gryffindor section, where Luna's LION HAT ROARS, Lavender CLAPS for Ron and Hermione sits with her arms crossed, a look of supreme annoyance on her face. Harry grins, jets off.

61 INT. GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM - NIGHT 61

The room teems with students celebrating Gryffindor's victory. It feels like Mardi Gras. Or a mosh pit. Or a riot. And Ron is right smack in the middle of it.

CROWD Weasley! Weasley! Weasley! Harry takes his backslaps on the periphery, smiling as he sips a Butterbeer and enjoys Ron's turn in the spotlight.

HERMIONE Ron seems to be enjoying himself.

HARRY Yep. Apparently it's his lucky day.

HERMIONE You shouldn't have done it, Harry.

HARRY Yeah. I suppose I could've just used, I dunno... a Confundus charm? HERMIONE (caught) That was different. It was tryouts. This was an actual match --

She stops. Harry dangles the vial. The SEALING WAX is UNBROKEN, the bottle full.

HERMIONE You didn't put it in? (as he shakes his head) Ron only thought you did?

He nods. She POPS him playfully on the arm when WHISTLES and CATCALLS rise. They turn to see what the commotion is about and find, smack dab in the center of the room... (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 68. 61 CONTINUED: 61 Ron and Lavender. In a clinch. Kissing. Harry stares, blinks, then turns back... to no one. His eyes shift, track Hermione as she bumps through the crowd toward the portrait hole.

62 EXT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT (SECONDS LATER) 62

Harry leaves the ROAR of the party for the QUIET of the corridor. Ahead, a door stands ajar. CHIRPING can be heard.

63 INT. CHAMBER - SAME TIME - NIGHT 63

Hermione sits atop a desk, a small ring of TWITTERING BIRDS circling her head. The birds change color as they orbit, from sunny yellow to a dark, angry scarlet.

HERMIONE Charms spell. Just practicing.

HARRY Ah. Well... they're really good.

HERMIONE (studying her wand) How does it feel, Harry? When you see Dean with Ginny? (off his look) I know, Harry. You're my best friend. I see how you look at her.

Just then the DOOR BURSTS WIDE and Ron rushes in, pulling a GIGGLING Lavender by the hand. They stop. Take inventory.

LAVENDER BROWN Oops. I think this room's taken.

As Lavender pulls Ron out, he cuts his VOICE LOW to Harry.

RON What's with the birds?

Before Harry can reply, Hermione rises, points her wand.

HERMIONE Oppugno! Instantly the birds race like angry red bullets toward Ron, who flees, SLAMMING SHUT the door.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 69. 63 CONTINUED: 63 As the birds hit the door, they EXPLODE SOFTLY into small FEATHER CLOUDS and Hermione covers her face and SOBS. Harry goes to her, hesitates, then tentatively drapes his arm over her. As she turns her face into his chest, he pulls her closer, watching as, across the room, the last scarlet feather drifts to the floor, joining the pool already there.

HARRY It feels like this.

64 EXT. CASTLE - WINDOW - SAME TIME - NIGHT 64

THROUGH the icy window, we see Harry cradling Hermione within. As CAMERA DRIFTS AWAY, RISING THROUGH the FALLING SNOW, the VIEW EXPANDS. In the Common Room, the party rages on, while three windows down, Lavender pulls Ron into a kiss. Figures pass by windows, including one tall, pale boy standing at a WINDOW on the SEVENTH FLOOR: Malfoy. As he turns away, the castle slides FROM VIEW and the CAMERA TILTS UP TO the sky, drifting with snow.

65 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY 65

Tinsel decks the banisters and mistletoe droops from the ceiling. As Ron and Harry make their way down the crowded corridor, passing the BIRDCAGE, Ron walks with a new air of confidence, not exactly strutting, but close.

RON Look, I can't help it if she's got her knickers in a twist. What Lav and I have -- well, let's just say there was no stopping it. It's chemical. Will it last? Who knows? Point is, I'm a free agent.

66 INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT 66

Harry trails Hermione through the stacks.

HERMIONE He's at perfect liberty to kiss whomever he likes. I really couldn't care less. Was I under the impression that he and I would be attending Slughorn's Christmas party together? Yes. Of course, now, given the circumstances, I've had to make other arrangements.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 70. 66 CONTINUED: 66 HARRY Have you?

HERMIONE Yes. Why?

HARRY I just thought, you know, since neither one of us can take who we'd really like... maybe we'd go together. As friends.

HERMIONE (stopping) Why didn't I think of that?

HARRY So who are you taking?

HERMIONE (evasively) Um... it's a surprise. Besides, it's you we need to worry about. And you can't pick just anyone. See that girl over there. That's Romilda Vane. Rumor has it she's trying to slip you a love potion.

HARRY Really...?

Harry considers a fine-boned GIRL with RAVEN HAIR (ROMILDA VANE). She is exquisite, an absolute work of...

HERMIONE (snapping fingers) Hey! She's only interested in you because she thinks you're the Chosen One. You know that, right?

HARRY But I am the Chosen One.

Hermione cocks her head at him, exasperated.

HARRY Okay. Kidding. I'll just ask someone I like. Someone cool.

71.

67 INT. STAIRCASE/CORRIDOR - NIGHT 67

Luna Lovegood, decked out in a set of SPANGLED SILVER ROBES, and Harry, in basic black, make their way toward the STRAINS of CHRISTMAS MUSIC, RED LANTERNS lighting their way.

LUNA I've never been to this part of the castle. At least not while awake. I sleepwalk, you see. It's why I wear shoes to bed.

As Harry and Luna pass out of sight, we PICK UP Malfoy, standing in the shadows of an alcove. He watches them go, then moves off.

68 INT. HOGWARTS CASTLE - ANOTHER CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - 68 NIGHT

In the f.g., the BIRDCAGE glimmers dully in the gray moonlight streaming through a window. Within, the TWO BIRDS huddle quietly. We RACK FOCUS and see, THROUGH the grid of wire, a FIGURE APPROACHING.

Draco moves down the corridor, eyes fixed oddly ahead. He looks pale in the moonlight. In his fist he grips an APPLE. As he passes the cage, we HOLD ON the BIRDS.

69 INT. SEVENTH FLOOR CORRIDOR - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 69

Draco approaches. Stops. Turns to the wall. Closes his eyes.

70 INT. ROOM OF REQUIREMENT - NIGHT (SECONDS LATER) 70

CAMERA GLIDES PAST dozens of TOWERING SHELVES, dust- strewn and listing like dominoes, cluttered with all matter of strange OBJECTS. Draco appears, his legs pushing him on, wending his way through the narrow passages.

NEW ANGLE - BEHIND LARGE RECTANGULAR MASS

We RISE ABOVE it, watch Draco walk directly TOWARD us and stop. He stares at the solid mass before him. Reaches out and takes the fringe of the tapestry covering it. Tugs. The tapestry shivers like water to the floor, revealing...

A CABINET, identical to the one in Borgin & Burkes. (CONTINUED)

72. 70 CONTINUED: 70 Draco runs a hand over the glossy finish, comes away with DUST upon his fingertips. Glancing around, he spies a BUST of a WOMAN wearing a TIARA, removes the SILK SCARF hanging from her porcelain neck and gently wipes the dust away from the cabinet. Bringing the apple up, he opens the cabinet and places it within. Shuts it. Closing his eyes, he MUTTERS a LOW INCANTATION, barely discernible.

He reaches out. Opens it. The apple is gone. He closes the cabinet again. Waits. Longer this time. Finally, he opens it. Removes the apple. Rotates it.

Someone has taken a BITE out of it.

71 INT. SLUGHORN'S OFFICE - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 71 FLASH! A CAMERA POPS, reveals Harry smiling with Slughorn before a PHOTOGRAPHER (ADRIAN). The ceiling and walls are draped with HANGINGS of emerald, crimson and gold, so the room feels like a tent... or the inside of a gift box. It is LOUD and packed with people.

SLUGHORN Thank you, Adrian! (quietly to Harry) One of mine. Class of `78. I had hoped for more out of him, but at least the pictures are in focus. (suddenly) Oh my! Excuse me, Harry. I must greet the new Minister of Magical Transportation. Class of `67. (as he goes) Mingle, m'boy! Mingle! We're all friends here. And we run the world.

Harry watches Slughorn make a beeline across the room, along the way nodding to the twins, who have apparently come with each other.

VOICE (O.S.) Drink?

Harry turns, finds Neville standing with a tray.

HARRY Neville...?

NEVILLE I didn't make the cut for the Slug Club. It's okay. He's got Belby handing out towels in the loo.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 73. 71 CONTINUED: 71 As Neville turns away, Harry notices a pair of GIRL'S FEET protruding from beneath a CRIMSON HANGING. His gaze rises, finds Hermione peeking out. As he moves off, we see Luna talking to a small, stout bespectacled man (ELDRED WORPLE).

ELDRED WORPLE Lovegood, did you say? I once encountered a seriously unbalanced man by that name at a book signing. Claimed to run a magazine...

NEW ANGLE - HERMIONE - BEHIND THE HANGING - SECONDS LATER

HARRY (O.S.) What're you doing?

Hermione YELPS, turns, pulls Harry behind the hanging. Her hair is slightly askew, her lipstick a bit blurry.

HARRY And what's happened to you?

HERMIONE Hm? Oh, I've just escaped -- I mean, left Cormac. Under the mistletoe.

HARRY Cormac! That's who you invited! HERMIONE I thought it would annoy Ron most. But he's a menace. He's got more tentacles than a Snarfalump plant.

WAITER (O.S.) Dragon tartar?

They turn, find a WAITER peeking in, tray in hand.

HERMIONE No thank you.

WAITER Just as well. They give one horribly bad breath.

HERMIONE (grabbing the tray) On second thought -- maybe it'll keep Cormac at bay. Oh no, here he comes! (CONTINUED)

74. 71 CONTINUED: (2) 71 Hermione pops two of the Dragon blobs into her mouth, shoves the tray in Harry's hand and flits away.

NEW ANGLE - PARTY - SAME TIME

Snape, looking bored, stands on the periphery of a conversation, when he sees Hermione exit one side of the hanging and Cormac enter the other.

NEW ANGLE - BEHIND THE HANGING - SAME TIME

HARRY I think she went to powder her nose. Harry looks past Cormac's shoulder, out past the hanging and sees Slughorn laughing with a guest. Cormac plucks a dragon blob off the tray in Harry's hand, pops it.

CORMAC Slippery little minx, your friend. Likes to work her mouth too, doesn't she? Yak yak yak. What is this I'm eating, by the way?

HARRY Dragon balls.

As Cormac's face freezes, Harry starts to head toward Slughorn when the HANGING IS SWEAP ASIDE: Snape.

SNAPE What's going on back here? Cormac SPEWS raw dragon all over Snape's shoes. Snape surveys the damage, then his eyes rise darkly.

SNAPE You've just bought yourself a month's detention, McLaggen.

McLaggen dashes off. Harry makes to follow.

SNAPE Not so quick, Potter.

HARRY I think I should rejoin the party, sir. My date...

SNAPE ... can surely survive your absence for another minute or two. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

75. 71 CONTINUED: (3) 71 SNAPE (CONT'D) Besides, I only wish to convey a message.

HARRY A message...?

SNAPE From Professor Dumbledore. He asked that I give you his best and that he hopes you enjoy your holiday. You see, he's traveling and won't return until term resumes.

HARRY Traveling? Where? Snape merely stares a Harry silently, briefly, then exits, taking Harry's gaze with him, to Slughorn once again, wildly gesturing with a full glass of wine.

MALFOY (O.S.) Take your hands off me, you filthy squib!

A frown overtakes Slughorn's face and he turns toward the source of the commotion, exits Harry's view. Harry emerges from the hanging, finds Malfoy in Filch's rough grip.

FILCH Professor Slughorn, sir! I've just discovered this boy lurking in an upstairs corridor. He claims to have been invited to your party. MALFOY Okay, okay, I was gate-crashing. Happy?

SNAPE I'll escort him out.

Draco's eyes shift, regard Snape. He shrugs free of Filch.

MALFOY Certainly... Professor.

72 EXT. DARK CORRIDOR - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 72

CAMERA GLIDES in the DARKNESS. VOICES are HEARD.

(CONTINUED)

76. 72 CONTINUED: 72 MALFOY (O.S.) Maybe I did hex that Bell girl. Maybe I didn't. What's it to you? Two SILHOUETTES come INTO VIEW -- Malfoy, slumped against the wall in lazy insolence, and Snape.

SNAPE I swore to protect you. I made the Unbreakable Vow -- MALFOY I don't need protection. I was chosen for this! Out of all others. Me! And I won't fail him. SNAPE You're afraid, Draco. You attempt to conceal it, but it's obvious. Let me assist you -- MALFOY No! I was chosen. This is my moment! Malfoy exits. Then Snape.

WIDER ANGLE

Harry is revealed in an adjacent alcove. He's heard all. A TRAIN is HEARD...

73 EXT. HOGWARTS EXPRESS - MOVING - DAY 73 The Hogwarts Express CHUGS through a SNOWY COUNTRYSIDE.

74 INT. HOGWARTS EXPRESS - MOVING - DAY 74

Ron lies on his back, while Harry sits opposite, leafing through the Half-Blood Prince's potions book.

RON Unbreakable Vow. You're sure that's what Snape said.

HARRY Positive. Why?

RON It's just, well, you can't break an Unbreakable Vow. (CONTINUED)

77. 74 CONTINUED: 74 HARRY I'd worked that much out for myself, funnily enough.

RON No, you don't understand -- Oh, bloody hell...

Lavender stands outside the compartment door. Fogging the glass with her breath, she ETCHES "Ron + Lav," encircles it with a HEART, mimes "I miss you," and exits with a pout.

HARRY Lovely.

RON All she wants to do is snog me. My lips are getting chapped. Look.

HARRY I'll take your word for it.

Just then, Hermione passes by, breaks stride as she spots Lavender's handiwork, then continues on. Ron shakes his head.

HARRY So what happens? If you break an Unbreakable Vow?

Ron glowers, watching as Lavender's heart slowly VANISHES.

RON You die.

75 INT. WEASLEY HOUSE - SAME TIME - NIGHT 75

The house glows with light and HOLIDAY MUSIC rings from the WIRELESS. Fred and George fill cups with STEAMING NOG and Mrs. Weasley and Ginny ferry plates of food.

MRS. WEASLEY Eat up, eat up, everyone! There's more to come!

Harry sits in deep conversation with LUPIN, TONKS, and MR. WEASLEY. Ron sits by silently. Lupin looks haggard.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 78. 75 CONTINUED: 75 HARRY Draco's plotting something, I know it, something to do with Voldemort. He's been given a task or a mission -- and Snape was offering to help.

LUPIN Voldemort has chosen Draco Malfoy for a mission?

HARRY I know it sounds mad --

LUPIN Has it occurred to you, Harry, that Snape was simply pretending to offer Draco help so that he could find out what he's up to?

HARRY That's not what it sounded like.

TONKS Perhaps Harry's right, Remus. To make an Unbreakable Vow, after all --

LUPIN It comes down to whether or not you trust Dumbledore's judgement. He trusts Snape. Therefore, I do.

HARRY But Dumbledore can make mistakes. He's said it himself -- LUPIN You're blinded by hatred.

HARRY I'm not --

LUPIN (sharply) You are! People are disappearing, Harry. Daily. We can only put our trust in a handful of people. If we start fighting amongst ourselves, we're doomed.

Tonks gives Harry a furtive glance, as if to say, "Leave it."

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 78A. 75 CONTINUED: (2) 75 GINNY Open up, you.

Harry turns, finds Ginny, holding something in her fingers.

GINNY Don't trust me?

He obliges and she pops a SMALL TART in his mouth.

HARRY It's good.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 79. 75 CONTINUED: (3) 75 GINNY `Course `tis. Made them myself.

She smiles at him, hooks her ginger hair over one ear and Ron plops down between them. Big brother to the rescue.

76 EXT. REEDS (SURROUNDING BURROW) - NIGHT (LATER) 76

Within the reeds. An eerie POV. TRACKING Harry and Mr. Weasley as they walk from the house to the adjacent WORKSHOP.

77 INT. MR. WEASLEY'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 77

Harry trails Mr. Weasley through his cluttered workshop, which is chock-a-block with MUGGLE OBJECTS: Steam irons. Toasters. Clock radios. Plugs. Lots of plugs. The PARTY can still be heard, drifting faintly from the main house.

MR. WEASLEY You'll have to forgive Remus. It takes its toll -- his condition.

HARRY (studying him) Are you alright, Mr. Weasley?

Arthur tries a smile, but it fades. He frowns, pained.

MR. WEASLEY We're being followed, all of us. Molly doesn't leave the house most days. It's not been easy. HARRY (a nod, then) Did you get my owl?

MR. WEASLEY Yes, but I thought it best if I replied in person. If Dumbledore's traveling, it's news to the Ministry. But perhaps that's the way Dumbledore wants it. As for Draco Malfoy -- I know a bit more.

HARRY Go on.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 80. 77 CONTINUED: 77 MR. WEASLEY I sent an agent to Borgin & Burkes. From what you describe, I think what you and Ron saw at the end of the summer -- the object that Draco seemed so interested in -- was a Vanishing Cabinet.

HARRY A Vanishing Cabinet?

MR. WEASLEY They were all the rage when Voldemort first rose to power. You can imagine the appeal. Should the Death Eaters come calling, one needed only slip inside and disappear for an hour or two. But they're tricky contraptions. Require a tremendous amount of looking after. Eventually they fell out of favor.

HARRY What happened to it? The one at Borgin & Burkes?

MR. WEASLEY Nothing. It's still there.

Harry nods, pondering this.

MR. WEASLEY Harry. You know, I went through all this before -- the last time around. Times like these -- dark times -- do funny things to people. It can bring them together and it can tear them apart. Things... speed up. It's what happens when you don't know if today will be your last.

78 EXT. REEDS (SURROUNDING BURROW) - NIGHT (LATER) 78

Similar eerie POV. On the porch, Molly and Arthur, looking middle-aged and fragile, say goodbye to Lupin and Tonks.

81.

79 EXT. PORCH - SAME TIME - NIGHT 79

While the others TALK, Lupin stands a bit off to the side, staring into the reeds. His nostrils flair subtly.

TONKS It was delicious, Molly. Really.

MRS. WEASLEY You're sure you won't stay?

TONKS No, we should go. (under her breath) The first night of the cycle is always the worst -- Tonks gestures vaguely to the moon. Arthur glances at Lupin.

ARTHUR'S POV - LUPIN'S HAND

... as the HAIRS on the knuckles RISE.

BACK TO SCENE

MRS. WEASLEY Remus...?

80 INT. WEASLEY HOUSE - SECOND FLOOR - SAME TIME - NIGHT 80

Harry peers through the ripples of an imperfect windowpane, studying the others below. A FLOORBOARD CREAKS. He turns, watches Ginny emerge into the light, in a robe, twisting her wet hair in a towel.

GINNY Everyone gone to bed?

HARRY Soon.

GINNY I don't sleep these days. So I wash my hair. Silly, right?

Harry just stares at her, the air prickling with silence. Ginny eyes him knowingly.

GINNY Happy Christmas, Harry.

82.

81 EXT. PORCH - SAME TIME - NIGHT 81

Lupin continues to peer into the reeds. His PUPILS CONTRACT.

TONKS Sweetheart...

LUPIN There's someone out there. I can smell him. There's more than one --

Suddenly -- throughout the reeds -- TORCHES BLAZE.

82 INT. WEASLEY HOUSE - SECOND FLOOR - SAME TIME - NIGHT 82 The rippled window behind Harry blushes with light. Ginny's eyes shift from Harry to the trees beyond.

GINNY Oh my god...

Harry turns, his BREATH FOGGING the WINDOWPANE as, far below, FLAMES SNAKE out of the reeds and SLITHER toward the house. Bellatrix emerges, peering up through the darkness toward Harry's SILHOUETTE, a mad grin on her face. As she SHRIEKS EERILY, his eyes flash with hatred.

83 EXT. WEASLEY HOUSE - PORCH - SAME TIME - NIGHT 83

Harry bursts through the front door, wand drawn, pelts toward Bellatrix. She grins, turns, and vanishes into the reeds. MR. WEASLEY Harry, no!

Flames race up the porch steps, climb the walls of the house. Lupin draws his wand and races after Harry.

TONKS Remus!

Ron, Fred and George appear, join Arthur as he dashes toward the smoking marsh. Arthur glances back as Ginny emerges.

MR. WEASLEY Ginny, stay with your mother!

Without hesitation, she races for the reeds.

83.

84 EXT. REEDS (SURROUNDING BURROW) - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 84

Harry careens through the marsh, reeds flashing past, then spies Bellatrix. She GRINS, looking like a crazed wood nymph, then flits off, her LAUGHTER mocking him. As he pursues, FIRE SNAKES through the reeds toward him.

NEW ANGLE

Fred, George, Ron and Arthur fan out, running full-out, their feet kicking up SPARKS as SHADOWS splinter throughout the reeds. It's like chasing ghosts.

NEW ANGLES Ginny, copper hair gleaming, races through the reeds.

Bellatrix leads Harry on, grinning madly.

Ginny comes dashing to a halt, chest heaving as she peers into the smoking marsh. A HUGE FIGURE QUIVERS through a veil of smoke. Ginny's eyes SHIFT, see Bellatrix racing forward through the reeds, then SHIFT back as the veil of smoke evaporates, reveals... Greyback. Bellatrix makes an ODD, CLICKING noise -- like a signal -- and Greyback edges forward, sweeping away the reeds in front of him and revealing...

... Harry as he pelts forward.

GINNY No, Harry! It's a trap! Harry falters, looking toward Ginny's voice and spies Greyback. Bellatrix stops dead, wheels in her tracks and, seeing Ginny, SHRIEKS with RAGE. Raising her wand, she fires a BOLT of RED LIGHT which explodes in a SHOWER of SPARKS around Ginny. Ginny fires back, then wheels away, flashing through the reeds and coming face to face with...

Greyback, sharp teeth glittering.

GREYBACK Don't you smell clean.

Just then, a BOLT OF BLUE bursts off Greyback's back and he turns, sees Harry standing several yards off. As Greyback gives chase, Ginny pelts after and we CUT BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN Harry, Ginny and the beast between them, faster and faster, their BREATHS shortening until...

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 84. 84 CONTINUED: 84 Greyback rushes into a clearing, panting, glancing about.

Just then, TWIN BOLTS of light blast from opposite sides of the clearing and Greyback is lifted in the air, slammed to the ground. As he regains his feet he looks into the reeds and sees Harry and Ginny, wands poised. He grins... when Bellatrix's odd, CLICKING signal carries through the night once again. Turning away, he exits.

Harry and Ginny slowly step out of the reeds, stare at each other wordlessly. Then... Ron, Fred, George, Arthur and Lupin come thrashing into the clearing, stop. All around them, the reeds SMOKE, the flames dying. Across the marsh, Bellatrix's cackle rises briefly on the air -- then all is quiet.

HERMIONE (V.O.) You're lucky you weren't killed.

85 INT. HOGWARTS CASTLE - CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - DAY 85

Hermione reads the Daily Prophet as she walks alongside Harry. The HEADLINE is GLOOMY: "MORE DISAPPEARANCES."

HERMIONE You have to realize who you are, Harry.

HARRY (sharply) I know who I am, Hermione, alright? (frowning) Sorry. HERMIONE So tell me what Arthur said.

HARRY If Dumbledore's traveling places, it's news to the Ministry. But get this: that night at Borgin & Burkes? It seems Draco was looking at a Vanishing Cabinet.

HERMIONE What would Draco want with a Vanishing Cabinet?

HARRY You tell me.

Hermione frowns, pondering this. Then:

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 84A. 85 CONTINUED: 85 HERMIONE He looks different, don't you think? Draco. Almost... ill.

HARRY Who could tell the difference?

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 85. 85 CONTINUED: (2) 85 RON (O.S.) Lav, c'mon. Of course I'll wear it.

They glance ahead, see Ron and a pouting Lavender. Ron holds a GOLD CHAIN which spells out "My Sweetheart."

LAVENDER BROWN That's my Won-Won.

HERMIONE Excuse me, I have to go vomit.

As Hermione exits, Harry spies Ginny, in an alcove, sitting by as Dean laughs with SEAMUS. Looking up, she sees Harry, gives a feeble wave. He waves back and we -- CUT TO:

86 INT. DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE - NIGHT 86

HARRY'S FACE PLUNGING INTO WATER, BREAKING THE SURFACE...

87 FLASHBACK - INT. SLUGHORN'S OFFICE - NIGHT (YEARS PAST) 87

We emerge from the CRACKLING EMBERS of a FIREPLACE. A much younger -- and more smartly dressed Slughorn probes a dish of CRYSTALLIZED PINEAPPLE as he holds court before 16-YEAR-OLD TOM RIDDLE and five other BOYS. The CRYSTAL HOURGLASS sits on a side table.

TOM RIDDLE Sir, is it true that Professor Merrythought is retiring? Slughorn chuckles, wags a sugar-encrusted finger at Riddle.

SLUGHORN Now, Tom, I couldn't tell you if I knew, could I? I must say, m'boy, I'd like to know where you get your information. More knowledgeable than half the staff, you are. (as the other boys laugh) By the way, thank you for the pineapple -- you're quite right, it is my favorite -- how is it you knew?

(CONTINUED)

86. 87 CONTINUED: 87 TOM RIDDLE Intuition.

Riddle smiles but his expression suggests intuition had nothing to do with it. Slughorn chuckles uneasily.

SLUGHORN Good gracious, look at the time. Off you go, boys, or Professor Dippett will have us all in detention. Lestrange, Avery, don't forget your essays...

As the others file out, Slughorn busies himself with some papers when -- Ping! -- he turns, finds Riddle still there, standing by the crystal hourglass. SLUGHORN Look sharp, Tom. You don't want to be caught out of bed after hours...

TOM RIDDLE I know a secret shortcut or two.

SLUGHORN Yes, I imagine you do. Something on your mind, Tom?

TOM RIDDLE Yes, sir. I couldn't think of anyone else to go to. The other professors, well, they're not like you. They might... misunderstand.

SLUGHORN Go on.

Riddle slips off the RING on his left hand, begins to roll it between his fingers. It is set with a BLACK STONE.

TOM RIDDLE I was in the library the other night, in the Restricted section, and I read something rather odd, about a bit of rare magic, and I thought perhaps you could illuminate me...

Suddenly, a DENSE FOG engulfs the room and SLUGHORN'S VOICE twists into an ANGRY SHRIEK:

(CONTINUED)

87. 87 CONTINUED: (2) 87 SLUGHORN I don't know anything about such things and I wouldn't tell you if I did! Now get out of here at once and don't ever let me catch you mentioning it again! The FOG grows thicker and...

88 INT. DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE - NIGHT (PRESENT) 88

... CAMERA EMERGES FROM the swirling Pensieve. Harry blinks, finds Dumbledore studying him from across the room.

DUMBLEDORE Confused? I would be surprised if you weren't.

HARRY I don't understand -- what happened?

DUMBLEDORE This is perhaps the most important memory I've collected. It's also a lie. (off Harry's look) This memory has been tampered with. In this case by the person whose memory it is, our friend Professor Slughorn.

HARRY But why would he tamper with his own memory?

DUMBLEDORE I suspect he is ashamed of it.

HARRY Why?

DUMBLEDORE Why indeed.

Dumbledore trails his withered fingers in the Pensieve.

DUMBLEDORE I asked you to get to know Professor Slughorn and you've done so. (MORE)

(CONTINUED)

88. 88 CONTINUED: 88 DUMBLEDORE (CONT'D) Now I want you to persuade him to divulge his true memory. Any way you can.

HARRY I don't know him that well, sir --

DUMBLEDORE You're the Chosen One, Harry. And Horace is, at heart, a decent man. Provide the proper circumstances and he will confess his sins.

Dumbledore lifts his fingers from the Pensieve, studies them. They are, in this moment, iridescent, whole.

DUMBLEDORE This memory is everything, Harry. Without it, we are blind. Without it, we leave the fate of our world to chance. You have no choice. You must not fail.

As Harry watches, the damp sheen enveloping Dumbledore's hand evaporates and once again his fingers decay.

89 INT./EXT. SLUGHORN'S CLASSROOM - DAY 89

As the CLASS BELL RINGS, a group of FIRST YEARS rise.

SLUGHORN Now don't forget to look over the chapter on antidotes. I'll be poisoning one of you next time we meet. I'm joking! Off you go! Don't forget your rattails, Miss Alys.

As the tiny ones scurry out, Harry is revealed, waiting just outside the door. He enters. For a moment, Slughorn merely HUMS over his briefcase, unaware. Then...

SLUGHORN Ah! If it isn't the Prince of Potions himself! To what do I owe the pleasure?

HARRY Well, sir, I wondered if I might ask you something.

SLUGHORN Ask away, my dear boy, ask away! (CONTINUED)

89. 89 CONTINUED: 89 HARRY Well, you see, the other day I was in the Restricted Section -- in the library -- and I stumbled upon something rather odd while reading. Something about a bit of rare magic...

SLUGHORN Yes? And exactly what was this rare magic.

HARRY I'm not sure... That is, I don't recall the name... exactly. But it got me wondering... Are there some kinds of magic you're not allowed to teach?

Slughorn looks up, eyes Harry carefully.

SLUGHORN I'm a Potions Professor, Harry. Perhaps your question would best be posed to Professor Snape.

HARRY Yes, well, we don't exactly see eye-to-eye, sir. What I mean to say is, he's not like you. He might... misunderstand.

Recognition flickers in Slughorn's eyes. A glint of fear.

SLUGHORN There can be no light without the dark. And so it is with magic. Myself, I have always strived to live within the light. I suggest you do the same.

Slughorn gathers his briefcase, starts to exit.

HARRY Did you say the same to Tom Riddle, sir? When he came asking questions.

Slughorn freezes in the doorway, then slowly turns.

SLUGHORN Dumbledore put you up to this. Didn't he? Didn't he!

(CONTINUED)

90. 89 CONTINUED: (2) 89 HARRY Sir --

Slughorn silences him with an upraised hand. Then, without another word, he is gone.

90 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 90

Lightning flashes. Thunder rumbles. Rain lashes the windows. Through the birdcage's grid of wires someone approaches. We RACK FOCUS... FIND Harry. As he passes, we HOLD ON the cage. One bird is missing. Only the BLACK one remains. As thunder BOOMS, the bird RUFFLES its feathers.

Harry glances down the corridor adjacent, sees a FIGURE start up the far stairwell. As the SHADOW ASCENDS, Harry follows.

91 INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - DAY 91

The FIGURE continues on, passes OUT OF VIEW. Harry follows.

92 INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - DAY 92

Harry, still trailing. The FIGURE turns a corner...

93 INT. SEVENTH FLOOR CORRIDOR 93

... comes INTO VIEW. It's Draco. He stops halfway down, looks back the way he came. HARRY'S SHADOW scales the wall as he approaches. Draco watches calmly, then turns, CLOSES HIS EYES. And simply... DISAPPEARS.

Harry turns the corner. Stops. No one.

94 INT. ROOM OF REQUIREMENT - DAY (SECONDS LATER) 94

Draco wends his way through the towering shelves, removes the tapestry and faces the gleaming cabinet. He reaches into his coat and carefully removes the WHITE BIRD. Holding it in one hand, he studies it, gently stroking its feathers with the other. For a moment, he seems lost in the activity, lost in the bird's coal black eyes, its bobbing head. Then, gently, he places it in the cabinet and closes the door. Waits.

When he opens the cabinet, the bird is gone. He closes the cabinet once more. (CONTINUED)

91. 94 CONTINUED: 94 A feather, white and gleaming, clings to the cuff of his jacket. He takes it, turns it in the light. It is fragile, translucent. He looks briefly lost again, then blinks, turns back to the cabinet, slowly reaches out and opens it. The bird is there.

Dead.

95 INT. COMMON ROOM - NIGHT 95

Hermione does her homework while Harry peers at the Marauder's Map. They are the only ones present.

HERMIONE Did you actually expect you could just walk up to Ol' Sluggy and ask him to reveal his deepest, darkest secret? Honestly, Harry, sometimes I think the Daily Prophet should call you the Dim One.

HARRY Nice.

HERMIONE (rising to go) You're going to have to persuade him somehow. And now, I'm afraid, you've made it a lot harder.

HARRY Hermione. I think Malfoy's leaving the castle. Hermione stops dead, looks back at Harry. He nods.

HARRY I've seen it. Sometimes... sometimes he just disappears off the Map.

HERMIONE That's... not possible. No one can leave the castle these days. The Map is wrong.

HARRY The Map is never wrong.

Hermione frowns, thinking, then shakes her head, turns away.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 92.

96 INT. BOYS' DORMITORY (GRYFFINDOR TOWER) - NIGHT (LATER) 96

Harry slumps into the darkened dormitory. Stops. On the floor, glittering in the moonlight, is a trail of CANDY FOILS. A bit further along, Ron sits in his PJ's upon the window sill, a HEART-SHAPED BOX by his side.

RON It's beautiful, isn't it? The moon.

HARRY Divine. Had ourselves a little late-night snack, did we?

RON It was on your bed. The box. Thought I'd try one...

HARRY Or twenty.

RON I can't stop thinking about her, Harry.

HARRY Really? Honestly, I reckoned she was starting to annoy you.

RON She could never annoy me. I think... I think I love her.

HARRY Excuse me? Ron nods. Harry looks bewildered.

HARRY Well... Brilliant.

RON Do you think she knows I exist?

HARRY Bloody well hope so. She's been snogging you for three months.

RON Snogging? Who're you talking about?

HARRY Who're you talking about? (CONTINUED)

93. 96 CONTINUED: 96 RON Romilda, of course. Romilda Vane.

Harry stares at Ron... then grins.

HARRY Okay. Very funny.

He turns to his bed, throws back the covers when... the heart-shaped box caroms off his head.

HARRY What the hell was that for? RON It's no joke! I'm in love with her! HARRY Okay! Fine! You're in love with her! Have you ever actually met her!

RON No. Can you introduce me?

Harry stops rubbing his head, eyes Ron oddly, then glances at the candy box at his feet. There is an envelope. Taking it, he slides out a card: "Dear Harry. Thinking sweet thoughts of you. Happy Valentine's Day. Romilda." He suppresses a smile.

HARRY Ron, these chocolates, they're -- C'mon. I'm going to introduce you to Romilda Vane.

97 INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 97

Harry leads Ron, still in his PJs, toward a door.

RON How do I look?

HARRY Devastatingly handsome.

Harry RAPS on the door. FOOTSTEPS -- followed by a LOUD CRASH.

SLUGHORN (O.S.) Damn it all!

(CONTINUED)

94. 97 CONTINUED: 97 The door OPENS. Slughorn stands in a GREEN VELVET DRESSING GOWN and matching NIGHTCAP, looking bleary-eyed and annoyed. Something SMOKES on the floor behind him -- the FLOOR LAMP he'd sent wobbling the night of the dinner party.

SLUGHORN Yes???!!!! (warily) Oh. Potter. It's you. I'm afraid I'm busy at the moment --

He starts to close the door. Harry sticks his foot in.

HARRY Sir. I'm sorry. I wouldn't bother you if it weren't absolutely --

RON Where's Romilda?

Slughorn squints over Harry's shoulder at Ron who is doing precisely the same from the other side.

SLUGHORN What's the matter with Wenby?

Harry leans forward, WHISPERS into Slughorn's ear. He frowns.

SLUGHORN Ah. Very well. Bring him in.

98 INT. SLUGHORN'S OFFICE - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 98 Slughorn, with practiced ease, mixes a concoction of powders and potions into a goblet while Ron peers into a mirror. As he paces, Harry passes "the shelf" and finds, front and center, a PHOTOGRAPH of himself and Slughorn -- the one taken at the Christmas party. In deep b.g. is photograph of Snape, as a young student, clutching his POTIONS TEXTBOOK.

SLUGHORN I'd have thought you could whip up a remedy for this in no time, Harry -- an expert potioneer like you.

HARRY I figured this called for a more practiced hand, sir.

(CONTINUED)

95. 98 CONTINUED: 98 RON Hello, darling. Fancy a drink?

Slughorn and Harry turn, watch Ron WINK into the mirror.

SLUGHORN Hm. Perhaps you're right.

As Slughorn goes back to mixing, Harry eyes him furtively.

HARRY I'm sorry, sir. About the other day. Our... misunderstanding.

Slughorn eyes Harry briefly, looks away. SLUGHORN Yes, well, water under the bridge as they say, correct?

HARRY I mean, I'm sure you're tired of it, after all these years. The questions. About... Voldemort.

Slughorn's mixing hand falters instantly.

SLUGHORN I'll ask you not to use that name.

Slughorn's stare is fierce. Finally, he turns, goblet in hand, and puts a smile on his face, his voice cheery.

HARRY Yes, sir. It's just, well, Dumbledore once said that fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself. It seemed sensible.

SLUGHORN With all due respect, Dumbledore sometimes forgets that most of us do not possess powers so great that we can risk offending the most dangerous Dark Lord who ever lived.

Slughorn's stare is fierce, as fierce as the one Dumbledore fixed Harry with. Finally, he turns away.

SLUGHORN Alright, m'boy! Bottoms up!

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 95A. 98 CONTINUED: (2) 98 RON What's this?

(CONTINUED)

96. 98 CONTINUED: (3) 98 SLUGHORN A tonic for the nerves.

Ron drinks. Beams briefly. Then his grin sags.

RON What happened to me?

HARRY Love potion.

SLUGHORN And a bloody strong one at that.

RON I feel really... bad. SLUGHORN Pick-me-up's what you need, m'boy. (eying Harry again) Do us all good, I think. I've got butterbeer, wine -- ah -- and a dazzling oak-matured mead. I had other intentions for this but given the circumstances...

Slughorn takes a STOUT BOTTLE and fills a glass for Ron. As Ron SIPS, Slughorn fills a pair for he and Harry.

SLUGHORN There we are, Potter. To life!

CRASH! -- Ron's glass hits the floor and he crumples to his knees, then tumbles full out on the rug, SPASMING horribly, FOAM oozing over his lips. Harry rushes to him. HARRY Ron! Professor, help him! Ron!!! SLUGHORN I d-don't understand --

HARRY Professor! Do something!!

Slughorn shuffles haplessly through his bag, MUMBLING, at a loss. Harry turns back to Ron -- his skin is turning BLUE.

HARRY He's choking!!

(CONTINUED)

97. 98 CONTINUED: (4) 98 Harry glances about, then leaps up, and frantically begins to strip the walls of its potion stores, looking for something, anything. A box tumbles, something spills: a scattering of stones, no bigger than a robin's egg, shriveled and dry. Snatching one, he wrenches open Ron's jaw and THRUSTS it deep into his THROAT. Instantly Ron stops moving, paralyzed. The room is suddenly silent. He's not breathing. Harry places both hands behind Ron's head and gives it a SHAKE. Another.

HARRY Breathe! C'mon, Ron, don't be a prat. Breathe! BREATHE!

Harry shakes him again and again... then stops. Ron's head rolls limply from his fingers. Slughorn looks on, mouth agape. Useless. Then... A COUGH, a great hiccupping COUGH -- like a swimmer almost drowned -- and Ron is back. Breathing.

RON These girls are gonna kill me, Harry.

Harry grins. Then Ron's eyes flutter. Out. But breathing.

99 INT. HOSPITAL WING - EARLY MORNING (LATER) 99

Harry, Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Ginny and a very somber Hermione circle Ron's bed as MADAM POMFREY ministers to him. Slughorn sits off to the side, in a chair, looking stunned.

DUMBLEDORE Quick thinking on your part, Harry. Using a Bezoar. You must be very proud of your student, eh, Horace?

SLUGHORN Hm? Oh. Yes... very proud.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL I think we all agree that Mr. Potter's actions were heroic. The question is: Why were they necessary.

DUMBLEDORE Why indeed.

Dumbledore takes the half-empty bottle of mead, still bearing a bit of GIFTWRAP. (CONTINUED)

98. 99 CONTINUED: 99 DUMBLEDORE This appears to be a gift, Horace. You don't by chance remember who gave you this bottle, do you -- which by the way possesses remarkably subtle hints of licorice and cherry when not polluted with poison.

SLUGHORN Actually I had intended to give it as a gift myself.

DUMBLEDORE To whom might I ask?

SLUGHORN You, Headmaster.

Just then -- the DOOR BURSTS OPEN: Lavender Brown.

LAVENDER BROWN Where is he? Where's my Won-Won! Has he been asking for me? (stopping; glaring daggers) What's she doing here?

HERMIONE I might ask you the same.

LAVENDER BROWN I happen to be his girlfriend.

HERMIONE I happen to be his... friend. LAVENDER BROWN Don't make me laugh. You haven't spoken in weeks. I suppose you want to make up with him now that he's suddenly all interesting.

HERMIONE He's been poisoned, you daft dimbo! And for the record, I've always found him interesting. Hermione frowns, a bit embarrassed. Ron SNORTS, stirring.

LAVENDER BROWN Ha! See? He senses my presence. I'm here, Won-Won. I'm here --

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 99. 99 CONTINUED: (2) 99 RON Er... My... Nee... Er! My! Nee! Ron, in a haze, reaches out blindly. Blushing, Hermione takes his hand. Instantly, he falls unconscious again. Lavender, vibrating with rage, stalks out. Dumbledore beams.

DUMBLEDORE Ah, to be young and feel love's keen sting. Come, everyone, I think Mr. Weasley is well tended.

As Dumbledore leads the others past Harry, Harry studies him. Ginny passes, face very close, WHISPERING as she indicates Ron and Hermione. GINNY `Bout time, don't you think?

Harry watches her go, hopelessly smitten, sees that Slughorn has paused in the doorway.

SLUGHORN I've always cherished my students. They're my life...

Then he is gone too. Harry turns back, studies Hermione, hand enfolded over Ron's. She looks up, sees his faint smile.

HERMIONE Oh shut up.

100 INT. GREAT HALL - DAY 100 Harry spoons soup into his mouth while perusing the Half- Blood Prince's Potion book, his eyes lingering, as before, over the SECTUMSEMPRA SPELL: "For Enemies." Ron absently twirls his wand as he covertly eyes Lavender. Hermione frowns over the Prophet when... a snowflake falls upon her nose.

HERMIONE Ron. Stop. You're making it snow.

RON Huh?

Ron looks up, sees that it is SNOWING exclusively over the trio. Hermione places her hand atop his wand and he blinks, as if the gesture kindles some sense-memory.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 100. 100 CONTINUED: 100 RON Tell me again how I broke up with Lavender?

Harry pauses on his soup, exchanges a glance with Hermione, who carefully withdraws her hand from Ron's.

HERMIONE Um, well, she came to visit you in the hospital, you see, and you talked -- I don't believe it was a long conversation --

RON Don't get me wrong. I'm bloody thrilled to be shot of her. It's just she seems... a bit put out. As one, the three glance over at Lavender and are rewarded with a lethal squint.

HERMIONE Does, doesn't she? And you say you don't remember a thing from that night? Not one thing?

RON Well... there is... something. (as Hermione hangs) But no. It can't be. Besides, I was completely boggled, wasn't I?

HERMIONE Right. Boggled...

Hermione slumps back, frowning. Harry smiles with amusement. Just then, a MILD COMMOTION draws his attention. At the back of the Hall, a group of girls surrounds a new arrival.

HERMIONE That's Katie. That's Katie Bell.

Katie Bell, pale but smiling, greets the other girls. After a moment, she looks up. Finds Harry standing before her.

HARRY How are you, Katie?

KATIE BELL Give me a moment, girls.

The girls drift off. Harry watches them go, curious, then: (CONTINUED)

101. 100 CONTINUED: (2) 100 KATIE BELL I know you're going to ask, Harry. But I don't know who cursed me. I've tried to remember. Honestly. But I just... can't...

Katie's eyes shift. She goes ashen. Harry turns, follows her gaze and finds... Malfoy, staring at her. Katie backs away, retreating to the other girls. Harry watches her go, then looks back. Catches Malfoy fleeing the Hall.

101 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 101

Malfoy hurtles past, forehead gleaming with sweat, passes OUT OF FRAME. Seconds later, Harry appears, follows. As he passes the birdcage... we HOLD. It's now EMPTY.

102 OMITTED 102

103 INT. BATHROOM - SAME TIME - DAY 103

Malfoy lurches to the mirror, steadies himself against the sink. Then, with a great, heaving shudder begins to... CRY.

In the MIRROR, we see the bathroom DOOR ease open: Harry. He stops, stunned. Malfoy's eyes shift. Horrified to be exposed. He wheels, points his wand. WHOOSH! The LAMP next to Harry's head SHATTERS. FLAMES spider up the ceiling.

Harry draws his own wand, fires back. The CISTERN behind Malfoy EXPLODES and WATER sweeps the ceiling, rains down. Malfoy HOWLS with RAGE. Harry readies himself.

MALFOY Cruci-- HARRY SECTUMSEMPRA! BLOOD SPURTS from Malfoy's face and SCARLET SLASHES OOZE through the white of his shirt. He staggers, HOWLS again and COLLAPSES. Harry glares at his wand in horror, then slushes across the floor, the water running red with Malfoy's blood.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 102. 103 CONTINUED: 103 MALFOY Don't touch me! Don't you dare touch me! Harry stops dead... transfixed by a FLASH of SOMETHING DARK pushing through the wet fabric of Malfoy's shirtsleeve. Just then... Snape BURSTS THROUGH THE DOOR. Seeing Malfoy -- and the nature of his injuries -- he eyes Harry with keen curiosity. Kneeling, he traces the TIP of his WAND over Malfoy's wounds, MURMURING an EERIE INCANTATION. Instantly, the skin begins to knit itself together. Harry backs away, Snape's ancient CHANT ringing in his ears, blood floating like crimson flowers on the floor, backing away until he reaches the door...

104 INT. COMMON ROOM - DAY 104 Harry sits numbly, the Potions textbook lying limp in his hand. Hermione, Ron and Ginny sit together, a bit apart, keeping a kind of vigil. Finally, Ginny rises, steps to him.

GINNY You have to get rid of it. Today.

105 INT. SEVENTH FLOOR CORRIDOR - DAY (LATER) 105

Harry, Potions book in hand, follows Ginny past the empty birdcage and down the corridor when she pauses, turns to the wall and shuts her eyes.

GINNY Take my hand.

106 INT. ROOM 0F REQUIREMENT - DAY (SECONDS LATER) 106

Ginny and Harry materialize.

HARRY The Room of Requirement...

Ginny nods, turns away. Harry follows.

NEW ANGLE - SECONDS LATER

Harry eyes the shelves that tower above him and the odd things they hold: a SMALL CAGE bearing the SKELETON of some long-dead creature. A JAR of QUIVERING EYEBALLS which track him as he passes.

(CONTINUED)

103. 106 CONTINUED: 106 GINNY Over the years, if someone had a secret, if they wanted to conceal something, this is where they came. Some of these things are almost as old as the castle itself.

HARRY Who showed you this? First.

GINNY Fred and George. First year. I hid Tom Riddle's diary here for a time. Wish I'd left it...

As Ginny drifts in the memory, Harry studies her, then a SCUFFLING SOUND is heard nearby. They turn, look off.

GINNY/HARRY (at the same time) What was that?

They turn back, look at each other. Ginny smiles. Then:

NEW ANGLE - BEHIND VANISHING CABINET

Harry and Ginny approach. The SCUFFLING GROWS LOUDER. Harry reaches out, pulls aside the tapestry. Reacts. The cabinet door VIBRATES. Slowly, he opens it and...

... the BLACK BIRD flies free in a rush of FLAPPING wings.

GINNY See, you never know what you'll find up here.

Harry nods, looks back to the cabinet, mystified.

GINNY All right. Close your eyes. That way you can't be tempted.

Ginny slips the book from his fingers and starts to back away. She mouths: Close... your... eyes. As she leaves FRAME, CAMERA PUSHES EVER-SO-SLOWLY IN ON Harry. Still. Waiting. For a long moment, there is only silence. Then a shadow gently eclipses Harry's face.

GINNY There's something else. Another secret of sorts. One of mine...

(CONTINUED)

104. 106 CONTINUED: (2) 106 Ginny leans in then and places her mouth on Harry's.

GINNY That can stay hidden up here too, if you like.

Harry opens his eyes, watches Ginny back away, then disappear around the corner. He stares at the empty air, blinking, then watches the black bird flutter overhead.

107 INT. CORRIDOR - LATE AFTERNOON (LATER) 107

Harry, looking a tad dazed, walks aimlessly.

RON (O.S.) So. Did you and Ginny do it? Harry jumps, watches Ron appear.

HARRY What?

RON You know. Hide the book.

HARRY Oh. Yeah.

Just then, Slughorn rounds the far end of the corridor and -- spying Harry -- does a little Oliver Hardy "Oops" and retreats.

RON Still no luck with Slughorn, I take it? Harry shakes his head -- then stops cold, stares at the empty space where Slughorn stood moments before.

HARRY Say that again.

108 INT. COMMON ROOM - DUSK 108

The tiny VIAL of FELIX FELICIS glimmers in Harry's palm as he and Ron and Hermione huddle in the empty dormitory. They exchange glances, then Harry brings the vial to his lips.

HERMIONE Well? How do you feel?

(CONTINUED)

105. 108 CONTINUED: 108 HARRY Excellent. Really excellent.

HERMIONE Now remember. Slughorn usually eats early, takes a short walk and then returns to his office.

HARRY Right. I'm going down to Hagrid's.

HERMIONE What? No, Harry -- you've got to go see Slughorn. We have a plan --

HARRY No. I've got a good feeling about going to Hagrid's. I feel like it's the place to be tonight, know what I mean?

HERMIONE/RON No.

HARRY Trust me. I know what I'm doing. Or at least Felix does.

109 INT. CORRIDOR - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 109

A BOY with a PREFECT'S BADGE patrols the corridor. Bored, he ponders the progress of his FAINT MUSTACHE in a mirror. Harry walks by, unseen.

110 INT. ENTRANCE HALL - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 110

Filch paces, standing guard while Mrs. Norris sits calmly by. A MOUSE appears in the OPEN helmet of a SUIT OF ARMOR, washes its face with its tiny paws, then spies Mrs. Norris -- who HISSES. The mouse makes a quick retreat and the FACE PLATE comes CLANGING down. As Filch wheels, Harry strolls past.

111 EXT. GROUNDS/HOGWARTS CASTLE - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 111

TWO AURORS, twin SILHOUETTES, patrol the grounds. Harry approaches, about to intersect their paths when, at the last second, something on the ground catches his eye. He KNEELS, considers a BEETLE on its back, legs churning helplessly. Harry extends his finger, letting the tiny bug gain purchase, then tips it upright... (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 105A. 111 CONTINUED: 111 ...just as the Aurors' SHADOWS quiver over him and vanish. Rising, Harry starts off in one direction, then stops, as if compelled by some inner voice, and heads the opposite way.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 106.

112 EXT. GREENHOUSE - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 112

Harry HUMS placidly. Up ahead, a FIGURE ripples beyond the steamy panes of the Greenhouse. It's Slughorn, hunched over a PLANT whose TENDRILS coil eerily, resisting his attentions. Snip! He stealthily removes a sprig, looks up and JUMPS.

SLUGHORN Merlin's beard, Harry!

HARRY Sorry, sir. I should've announced myself. Cleared my throat. Coughed. You probably feared I was Madam Sprout. SLUGHORN Well, yes, actually -- (paranoid) Why would you think that?

HARRY Just the general behavior, sir. The sneaking around. The jumping when you saw me. By the way, those Tentacula leaves -- they're quite valuable, aren't they?

SLUGHORN Ten galleons a leaf to the right buyer -- not that I'm familiar with such back alley transactions. One hears rumors is all. My own interests are purely academic, of course. HARRY Personally, these plants have always kind of freaked me out.

Harry gives a little SHIVER of the shoulders, smiles. Slughorn cocks his head, studies him oddly.

SLUGHORN Exactly how did you get out of the castle, Harry?

HARRY Through the front doors, sir. I'm off to Hagrid's, you see. He's a very dear friend and I felt like paying him a visit. So if you don't mind, I'll be going.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 107. 112 CONTINUED: 112 SLUGHORN Harry!

HARRY Sir?

SLUGHORN It's nearly nightfall. Surely you realize I can't allow you to roam the grounds all by yourself.

HARRY Well, then by all means come along, sir.

113 EXT. HAGRID'S HUT - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 113 Harry appears over a rise, strolling happily along... when Slughorn appears, huffing and puffing to keep up.

SLUGHORN Harry, I must insist you accompany me back to the castle immediately!

HARRY That would be counterproductive, sir.

SLUGHORN And what makes you say that?

HARRY No idea.

Slughorn frowns impatiently -- then stops, blinks. SLUGHORN Merlin's beard...

Up ahead, Hagrid sits disconsolately upon a stump. Nearby, Aragog's massive body lies legs up.

SLUGHORN Is that an actual Acromantula?

HARRY A dead one, I think, sir.

NEW ANGLE - SECONDS LATER

Harry and Slughorn approach a sullen Hagrid.

(CONTINUED)

108. 113 CONTINUED: 113 HAGRID `Arry. `Orace.

SLUGHORN My god, dear man. How did you ever manage to kill it?

HAGRID Kill `im! Me oldest friend, `e was!

SLUGHORN I'm sorry, I... (didn't realize.)

Slughorn falters helplessly. Hagrid waves his hand.

HAGRID Ah, don' worry yerself. Yer not alone. Seriously misunderstood creatures -- spiders. It's the eyes, I reckon. Unnerve people.

HARRY Not to mention the pincers.

Harry makes a little claw motion with his hand, while making a CLICKING sound. Hagrid eyes Harry curiously.

HAGRID I reckon that too... How'd yeh get outta the castle anyways?

HARRY Through the front doors.

SLUGHORN Hagrid. I wouldn't want to be indelicate, but Acromantula venom is uncommonly rare and, well, if you wouldn't mind my extracting a vial or two -- purely for academic pursuits...

HAGRID Don' suppose it's doin' `im any good, izzit?

SLUGHORN My thoughts exactly! Always carry a few spare ampoules for just such occasions. Old Potion Master's habit, you know...

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 108A. 113 CONTINUED: (2) 113 Slughorn rummages about his pockets, extracts some SMALL VIALS -- all empty save for one containing a HAIRY WORM -- then scrambles up close to Aragog. Harry and Hagrid watch.

HAGRID Wish yeh coulda seen `im in `is prime. Magnificent `e was. Jus' magnificent...

Hagrid BLINKS wildly, then takes out a handkerchief and SNORTS LOUDLY into it. Slughorn looks up, studies Hagrid's sorry expression with empathy and steps away.

SLUGHORN Why don't I say a few words? I trust he had family? HARRY Oh yeah.

SLUGHORN (clearing his throat) Farewell...

Slughorn frowns.

HAGRID Aragog.

SLUGHORN (a nod) Farewell, Aragog, king of arachnids. Though your body will decay, your spirit lingers on in the quiet, web-spun places of your Forest home. May your many-eyed descendents ever flourish and your human friends find solace for the loss they have sustained.

HAGRID Tha' was... tha' was... beautiful.

Hagrid wipes his eyes, then rises. He walks to Aragog, studies him lovingly, then puts a shoulder to the big beast's body... and sends him tumbling into the freshly- dug grave adjacent with a SICKENING THUNK.

HAGRID/SLUGHORN (O.S.) (singing) And Odo the hero, they bore him back home...

109.

114 INT. HAGRID'S HUT - NIGHT (HOURS LATER) 114

Harry, Hagrid and Slughorn sit at the massive kitchen table, which is strewn with EMPTY WINE BOTTLES. Hagrid and Slughorn are feeling no pain, while Harry looks clear- eyed, focused.

HAGRID/SLUGHORN To the place 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... As they finish, both men CHUCKLE. Hagrid tops off everyone's mug with a bit more wine. Harry brings his mug to his lap... then slyly pours it into the bucket at his feet. HAGRID I had `im from an egg, yeh know. Tiny little thing he was when he hatched. No bigger'n a Pekinese.

SLUGHORN Sweet. I once had a fish. Francis. Lovely little thing. One day I came downstairs and he'd vanished. Poof.

HAGRID Tha's odd.

SLUGHORN Isn't it? That's life, I suppose. One goes along and then... poof. HAGRID Poof.

HARRY Poof.

They all nod soberly. Slughorn's eyes rise to the ceiling.

SLUGHORN That's never unicorn hair, Hagrid?

Hagrid looks up, reels a bit. Nods.

SLUGHORN But my dear chap, do you know how much that's worth?

(CONTINUED)

110. 114 CONTINUED: 114 HAGRID No idea... no idea at all...

Thunk! Hagrid's great shaggy head hits the table. Instantly, he is SNORING, so DEEPLY his MUG shimmies across the table. Slughorn smiles, regards Harry, who merely stares back. Slughorn averts his eyes. Suddenly nervous. A WIND rises outside. Windowpanes rattle.

SLUGHORN It was a student who gave me Francis. One spring afternoon I discovered a bowl upon my desk with a few inches of clear water. There was a flower petal floating upon the surface. As I watched, the petal sank, but just before it touched bottom... it transformed. Into a wee fish. It was beautiful magic, wondrous to behold. The petal had come from a lily.

Hearing "lily," Harry looks up. Slughorn nods.

SLUGHORN Your mother. The day I came downstairs, the day I found the bowl empty... was the day she...

Slughorn falters, pain etching his face.

SLUGHORN I know what you want. But I can't give it to you. It will ruin me... Harry studies Slughorn a moment, thinking, then speaks.

HARRY Do you know why I survived? The night I got this.

Slughorn looks up, sees Harry pointing to his scar.

HARRY Because of her. Because she sacrificed herself. Because she refused to step aside. Because her love was more powerful than Voldemort.

SLUGHORN Please don't say his --

(CONTINUED)

111. 114 CONTINUED: (2) 114 HARRY I'm not afraid of the name, Professor. And I'm not afraid of him. And you shouldn't be either. She didn't just die for me that night. She died for you too. She died for everyone who's ever woken in the middle of the night afraid a Death Eater waited on their doorstep.

Slughorn gazes into the guttering candle before him.

HARRY Professor. I'm going to tell you something, something others have only guessed at. It's true. I am the Chosen One.

Slughorn looks up. Harry nods.

HARRY Only I can kill him. But in order to do so, I need to know what Tom Riddle asked you that night in your office all those years ago. And I need to know what you told him.

Slughorn's eyes well with tears, his hands tremble.

HARRY Be brave, Professor. Be brave like my mother. Otherwise you disgrace her. Otherwise she died for nothing. Otherwise, the bowl remains empty forever.

Slughorn shakes his head, staring into the candle. Finally, slowly, he removes his wand.

SLUGHORN Don't think too badly of me once you've seen it. You don't know what he was like... even then.

Slughorn fishes out a tiny vial -- the one with the WORM -- but his hand is shaking so violently, Harry has to take it. Slowly, Slughorn raises his wand, touches it to his temple and withdraws a LONG, SILVER THREAD. Harry extends the vial and... it drops within.

112.

115 INT. DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE - NIGHT 115

Dumbledore holds the vial in wonderment. The worm hangs in eerie suspension.

DUMBLEDORE How is he? Horace?

Harry shrugs. Dumbledore nods, then tips his hand. A LONG strand hangs suspended like glass. A pearl forms... and as it hangs... Harry's eyes shift, notice a DRAWING on Dumbledore's desk, one of Tom Riddle's drawings seen at the orphanage, of the CAVE and the distinct OUTCROPPING. Then... the pearl drops.

116 FLASHBACK - INT. SLUGHORN'S OFFICE - NIGHT (YEARS PAST) 116 As before. The CRACKLING EMBERS of the FIRE. Slughorn, a circle of six. Riddle commanding the room.

TOM RIDDLE Sir, is it true that Professor Merrythought is retiring?

Slughorn chuckles, wags a sugar-encrusted finger at Riddle.

SLUGHORN Now, Tom, I couldn't tell you if I knew, could I? I must say, m'boy, I'd like to know where you get your information. More knowledgable than half the staff, you are. (as the other boys laugh) By the way, thank you for the pineapple -- you're quite right, it is my favorite -- how is it you knew?

TOM RIDDLE Intuition.

SLUGHORN (an uneasy chuckle) Good gracious, is it that time already? Off you go, boys, or Professor Dippett will have us all in detention. Lestrange, Avery, don't forget your essays...

The others exit, when -- PING! -- Slughorn turns, eyes the hourglass, finds Tom Riddle still there. (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 113. 116 CONTINUED: 116 SLUGHORN Look sharp, Tom. You don't want to be caught out of bed after hours...

TOM RIDDLE I know a secret shortcut or two.

SLUGHORN Yes, I imagine you do. Something on your mind, Tom?

TOM RIDDLE Yes, sir. I couldn't think of anyone else to go to. The other Professors, well, they're not like you. They might... misunderstand. SLUGHORN Go on.

TOM RIDDLE I was in the library the other night, in the Restricted section, and I read something rather odd, about a bit of rare magic and I thought perhaps you could illuminate me. It's called, as I understand it... a Horcrux.

Slughorn's weak smile evaporates altogether.

SLUGHORN Excuse me?

TOM RIDDLE Horcrux. I came across the term while reading and I didn't fully understand it.

SLUGHORN I'm not sure what you were reading, Tom, but that's very Dark stuff, very Dark indeed.

TOM RIDDLE Yes, sir. Which is why I came to you. I mean no disrespect to the rest of the staff, but I thought if anyone could tell me... it would be you.

Slughorn frowns, clearly disturbed, then speaks quietly.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 114. 116 CONTINUED: (2) 116 SLUGHORN A Horcrux is an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul.

TOM RIDDLE Yes, I thought it might be something like that. But I don't understand how that works, sir.

SLUGHORN One splits one's soul and hides part of it in an object. By doing so, you are protected should you be attacked and your body destroyed. TOM RIDDLE Protected?

SLUGHORN That part of your soul that was hidden, lives on. In other words, you cannot die.

Riddle nods and TURNS AWAY, staring at himself in the MIRROR on the wall opposite. A hint of RED glints in his eyes.

TOM RIDDLE How does one split his soul, sir?

SLUGHORN I think you can guess the answer to that, Tom. TOM RIDDLE Murder.

SLUGHORN Yes. Killing rips the soul apart. It is a violation against nature. After, one is never the same.

TOM RIDDLE Out of curiosity, sir -- can you only split your soul once? For instance, isn't seven the most powerfully magical number --

SLUGHORN Seven! Merlin's beard, Tom! Isn't it bad enough to think of killing one person? To rip the soul into seven pieces... (MORE) (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 115. 116 CONTINUED: (3) 116 SLUGHORN (CONT'D) (stopping; worried) This is all hypothetical, isn't it, Tom? All academic...

TOM RIDDLE Of course, sir. And I promise I'll not speak of our conversation. It'll be our little secret...

Riddle reaches out then and pinches the FLAME of a candle, killing it. As SMOKE RISES, we --

DISSOLVE INTO:

117 INT. DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE - SAME TIME - NIGHT (PRESENT) 117 ... the surface of the Pensieve, where Riddle quivers. We RACK FOCUS and Dumbledore's troubled face bleeds through Riddle's.

HARRY Sir --

Dumbledore holds up his withered hand, silencing him, turns away. Harry studies him, waiting, the hush palpable.

DUMBLEDORE (haunted) This is beyond anything I imagined. In my life I have seen things that are unimaginably horrific. I know now... you will see worse. Dumbledore looks off, his eyes distant. Harry watches him intently, as do the HEADMASTERS in their frames above. Finally, tentatively, Harry speaks.

HARRY Do you mean to say he succeeded, sir? In making a Horcrux?

DUMBLEDORE Oh he succeeded. And not just once. Think, Harry. He's just told us.

HARRY Seven. He made seven -- the most powerfully magical number. But... what are they exactly?

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 116. 117 CONTINUED: 117 DUMBLEDORE They can be anything. The most commonplace of objects. A ring, for example. Or a book...

Dumbledore slides open a drawer, removes the RING and Tom Riddle's battered DIARY.

HARRY Tom Riddle's diary --

DUMBLEDORE It's a Horcrux, yes. Four years ago, when you saved Ginny Weasley's life in the Chamber of Secrets, when you brought me this -- (holding up the diary) I knew. This was a different kind of magic. Very dark. Very powerful. But until tonight, I had no idea just how powerful...

HARRY And the ring...?

DUMBLEDORE Belonged to Voldemort's mother. It was difficult to find and... (raising his damaged hand) ... even more difficult to destroy.

HARRY But if you could find them all. If you did destroy each Horcrux...

DUMBLEDORE One destroys Voldemort.

Harry begins to reach out for the ring...

HARRY But how would you find them? They could be hidden anywhere, couldn't they...

DUMBLEDORE True. But magic, especially Dark magic...

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 117. 117 CONTINUED: (2) 117 Just then, as the flash of Harry's fingers make contact with the ring, IMAGES FLASH by in DIZZYING succession: VOLDEMORT'S FACE, twisted in pain. A DERELICT HOUSE, deep in a haunted clearing. An ANCIENT CUP, gleaming as it tumbles from an old woman's hand. A SNAKE (NAGINI) slithering through damp grass. Dumbledore slipping the ring onto his finger, recoiling as his skin decays...

DUMBLEDORE ... leaves traces.

Harry's clenched hand SPASMS, RELEASES. The ring skitters across Dumbledore's desk and Harry brings a hand to his chest, a look of bewilderment on his face. Dumbledore watches the ring spin down, then glances at Harry and slowly extends his own hand, lightly touching the center of Harry's chest with the tips of ashen fingers, as if reading braille, as if he can somehow "see" into Harry's heart. Trepidation -- and recognition -- flicker over his face.

HARRY It's where you've been going, isn't it, sir? When you leave the school.

Harry's eyes drift once again to the postcard on the desk. Dumbledore withdraws his hand, nodding, still studying Harry oddly, his voice, when it comes, distant.

DUMBLEDORE Yes. And I think... perhaps... I may have found another. But this time I cannot hope to destroy it alone. Harry peers into Dumbledore's eyes. Dumbledore nods.

DUMBLEDORE Once again, I shall ask too much of you.

118 INT./EXT. GARGOYLE CORRIDOR - LATE DAY 118

Harry stands at a window, looking out. He brings his fingers to his chest again when... Hermione comes up behind him.

HERMIONE Harry. It's time.

118.

119 INT./EXT. COURTYARD - LATE DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 119

Harry, Hermione and Ron walk.

HARRY Hermione, is the Room of Requirement unplottable?

HERMIONE If one wants it to be. Why?

HARRY It would explain why I thought Malfoy was leaving the castle when he disappeared off the Map.

HARRY He was going to the Room of Requirement.

HERMIONE Of course, and that explains the Vanishing Cabinet as well!

RON No. I got an owl from Dad this morning. The one at Borgin & Burke's? It's still there.

HARRY But I'm telling you. I saw it --

Just then, the twins appear, pass. Harry watches them, a thought forming.

HARRY What if there are two? Vanishing cabinets.

HERMIONE What if there are?

HARRY I don't know...

Harry watches the twins vanish around a corner.

RON Good luck, mate.

Harry turns back to Ron and Hermione, neither able to fully conceal heir concern. He smiles reassuringly, continues on.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 119. 119 CONTINUED: 119 HARRY I don't need luck. I'll be with Dumbledore.

120 EXT. ASTRONOMY TOWER - DYING LIGHT (LATER) 120

As Harry trots up the spiraling exterior stairs, he hears VOICES coming from the topmost level and pauses, peering up through the grid-like floor above: Dumbledore and Snape.

SNAPE Have you ever considered that you ask too much? That you take too much for granted? Has it ever crossed your brilliant mind that I don't want to do this anymore?

DUMBLEDORE Whether it has or hasn't is irrelevant. I will not negotiate this with you, Severus. You agreed. There's nothing more to discuss.

Harry stands poised, peering upward, where Dumbledore squints toward the dying sun and Snape glares at his back. Finally, Snape turns away and -- before Harry can react -- is descending the stairs. Seeing Harry, Snape falters briefly, then continues on without a word. As his FOOTSTEPS fade, Harry ascends to the upper tier. Dumbledore turns. Smiles.

DUMBLEDORE Harry. You need a shave, my friend.

Harry runs his hand over his face.

DUMBLEDORE At times I forget how much you've grown. At times I still see the small boy from the cupboard. (smiling) Forgive my mawkishness, Harry. I am an old man.

HARRY You look the same to me, sir.

DUMBLEDORE Like your mother, you are unfailingly kind. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

120. 120 CONTINUED: 120 DUMBLEDORE (CONT'D) A trait people never fail to undervalue. I'm afraid.

Dumbledore turns then, eyes the fiery sky again.

DUMBLEDORE The place to which we journey tonight is exceedingly dangerous, Harry. I promised that you could accompany me and I stand by that promise. But there is a condition: You must obey any command I give you -- without question.

HARRY Yes, sir. DUMBLEDORE Understand what I'm saying. Should I tell you to hide, you must hide.

Harry nods.

DUMBLEDORE Should I tell you to run, you will run.

Harry nods.

DUMBLEDORE And should I tell you to abandon me and save yourself...

Harry's eyes rise, meet Dumbledore's. DUMBLEDORE You will do so.

Harry hesitates.

DUMBLEDORE Your word, Harry.

Harry debates this internally, then, finally, nods.

HARRY My word.

DUMBLEDORE Take my arm.

(CONTINUED)

120A. 120 CONTINUED: (2) 120 HARRY Sir, I thought one couldn't Apparate within Hogwarts.

DUMBLEDORE Being me has its privileges.

The WIND GUSTS and Harry reaches out. Dumbledore's CLOAK BILLOWS and we are TOSSED INTO...

121 EXT. OCEAN - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 121

BLACK. Undulating. The sound of WAVES. We EASE UP, out of the ocean. A GIANT WAVE crashes over a jagged outcropping. As the SPRAY clears... Dumbledore and Harry are revealed. Dumbledore eyes the TOWERING CLIFF FACE opposite, the CAVE.

HARRY It's there, isn't it?

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 121.

122 EXT. CAVE - SAME TIME - DUSK 122

Harry and Dumbledore materialize. It is quiet here, eerily so, the waves merely distant thunder. As Harry glances about, Dumbledore moves to an archway, passes beyond. Harry follows, finds Dumbledore standing below a towering dome of rock, probing its mysteries with the light from his wand.

DUMBLEDORE This is the place. Oh yes, this place has known magic. (closing his eyes) Where you stand, Harry, Tom Riddle once stood many, many years ago, when he was but a poor orphan boy with a penchant for cruelty... Dumbledore's wand stops briefly in its arc and his face registers pain, as if detecting some past unpleasantry. He begins to TRACE HIS FINGERS over the surface of the rock.

DUMBLEDORE One wintry afternoon, he lured two younger classmates to this cave. What happened is unclear. But this much is known: the children were damaged.

Dumbledore begins to MURMUR in a STRANGE WHISPER as his fingers play over the rock... then stop. His eyes open. He takes a dagger from his robes and draws the blade across his forearm, speckling the rock face with scarlet beads. HARRY Sir! The rock face SIZZLES like acid and begins to crumble, forming a narrow opening.

DUMBLEDORE In order to gain passage, payment must be made, payment intended to weaken any intruder.

HARRY You should've let me, sir.

DUMBLEDORE Oh, no, Harry. Your blood is much more precious than mine.

122.

123 EXT. ARCHWAY/UNDERGROUND LAKE - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 123

Dumbledore and Harry emerge onto the rim of a VAST LAKE teeming with MIST. A chill hangs in the air.

DUMBLEDORE Careful. The water.

Harry peers into the lake. It is black as ink.

NEW ANGLE - MOMENTS LATER

Harry follows Dumbledore around the rim of the lake. In the center, a GREENISH GLOW shimmers in the mist.

DUMBLEDORE It's there. The only question is how do we get to it?

HARRY We couldn't, perhaps, just try a Summoning Charm, sir?

Dumbledore smiles, motions: Be my guest. Harry lifts his wand.

HARRY Accio Horcrux! There is an EXPLOSION and something PALE erupts out of the water. Harry nearly sheds his skin. Dumbledore calmly watches it VANISH beneath the surface.

DUMBLEDORE Perhaps not.

NEW ANGLE - MOMENTS LATER

Dumbledore leads Harry on. Stops. Takes a step back. He CLOSES HIS EYES and to Harry's horror walks right to the lake's edge. As the dark water laps over the toes of his shoes, Dumbledore PASSES HIS HAND slowly through the air, then closes it... as if gripping something invisible. Taking his wand, he gives his CLENCHED FIST a TAP and a thick coppery-green CHAIN appears out of thin air, extending from the water to Dumbledore's hand.

DUMBLEDORE If you would, Harry...

Quickly Harry grasps the end of the chain and together he and Dumbledore pull, end over end, until the PROW of a SMALL BOAT pierces the surface, green with algae. (CONTINUED)

123. 123 CONTINUED: 123 NEW ANGLE - MOMENTS LATER

In eerie silence, the boat cleaves the water, ferrying Harry and Dumbledore toward the GREENISH GLOW.

HARRY Sir... have you ever taken Felix Felicis? DUMBLEDORE Only recreationally. You see, I believe one creates one's own luck.

Harry looks down into the water, watches a FACE skim by beneath the surface. HARRY Professor... there are bodies in this lake.

DUMBLEDORE Yes.

NEW ANGLE (SMALL ISLAND) - MOMENTS LATER

Here the GREENISH GLOW is ferocious. As the boat arrives, Dumbledore steps out.

DUMBLEDORE Remember... the water.

Harry nods, steps out carefully and joins Dumbledore at the source of the GLOW -- a BASIN filled with a PHOSPHORESCENT LIQUID. Dumbledore extends the tips of his blackened fingers toward the basin, but cannot touch the liquid.

HARRY Do you think the Horcrux is in there, sir?

DUMBLEDORE Oh yes.

Dumbledore steps back, ponders the basin. Notes the CRYSTAL GOBLET sitting beside it. Smiles ruefully.

DUMBLEDORE It has to be drunk. (as Harry reacts) You remember the condition on which I brought you with me?

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 124. 123 CONTINUED: (2) 123 Harry starts to respond. Stops. Nods.

DUMBLEDORE This potion might paralyze me. It might cause me to forget why I'm here. It might create so much pain I beg for relief. You are not to indulge these requests, Harry. It is your job to make sure I keep drinking this potion even if you have to force it down my throat. Understood?

HARRY Why can't I drink it, sir?

DUMBLEDORE Because I am much older, much cleverer... and much less valuable. (taking the goblet) Your good health, Harry.

Dumbledore dips the goblet into the gleaming liquid and brings it to his lips. Drinks deep. Closes his eyes.

HARRY Professor?

Dumbledore shakes his head, silencing Harry, then dips the goblet once more. Twice more he drinks. His hand TREMBLES and he grips the side of the basin.

HARRY Professor? Can you hear me? Dumbledore says nothing. The corners of his eyes TWITCH. His hand TREMBLES, savagely this time, and he nearly drops the goblet. Harry reaches out, steadies his hand.

DUMBLEDORE Don't... don't make me...

Harry eyes Dumbledore's anguished face, steels himself.

HARRY You... you can't stop, Professor. You've got to keep drinking. Like you said. Remember.

DUMBLEDORE Nooooooo!!!

(CONTINUED)

125. 123 CONTINUED: (3) 123 Harry staggers back, so primal is Dumbledore's plea. Dumbledore's arm goes slack, the goblet clanging dully against the side of the basin. Harry takes a breath, steps forward, places his hand over Dumbledore's, lifts the cup.

DUMBLEDORE Make it stop... Please... make it stop...

HARRY It will, sir. It'll stop. But only if you drink...

Harry, his own hand TREMBLING now, tips the goblet over Dumbledore's lips. DUMBLEDORE My fault. It's all my fault...

Harry brings the goblet up once more. Dumbledore drinks.

DUMBLEDORE Too much... I can't... take it... I want... to die... kill... kill me... KILL ME, HARRY!

HARRY What?

DUMBLEDORE Your word, Harry! Your word!

HARRY No... DUMBLEDORE KILL ME! IT'S THE ONLY WAY! Harry stands paralyzed, unsure what to do. Then... Dumbledore collapses, rolls onto his back. Harry pelts forward, dips the goblet into the basin and kneels by Dumbledore.

HARRY One more. Just one more. And then -- I promise... I'll do what you say.

Dumbledore, jaw clinched shut, eyes Harry.

HARRY I promise.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 126. 123 CONTINUED: (4) 123 Dumbledore's jaw relaxes and Harry pries open his mouth, tips the liquid down his throat. Pain ripples through Dumbledore's face. He tries to speak, Harry eyeing him with trepidation, fearful of what he will request. Again and again Dumbledore struggles and then... his eyes... open. Find Harry.

DUMBLEDORE Water.

A shudder of relief goes through Harry. Grinning, he leaps to the basin. A GOLDEN LOCKET now lies at the bottom. Harry snatches it up.

DUMBLEDORE Water... HARRY Aguamenti. Instantly COLD CLEAR WATER rises in the basin.

HARRY You did it, sir. Look --

Harry frowns. The goblet is empty.

DUMBLEDORE Water! Harry dips the goblet into the basin yet again, brings it to Dumbledore's lips... but once again finds it empty. Dumbledore tries to speak, but his lips are CRACKING, his tongue like SAND. He GULPS DRILY for air.

HARRY I'm trying, sir. I'm --

Harry stops. All is silent... except for the SOFT LAPPING of the lake. He considers the GHOSTLY SHAPES gliding just below the surface. Deciding, he dips the goblet into the dark water. Instantly, the lake begins to CHURN. Harry backs away, the goblet sloshing in his hand. FACES, pale and haunted, quiver in the roiling water.

Harry tips the water into Dumbledore's mouth. Dumbledore blinks. His tongue probes his lower lip. Harry returns to the water's edge, hesitates, then plunges the goblet into water once more. Instantly, a SLIMY WHITE HAND snags his wrist and Harry is pulled under. The goblet bobs on the surface.

(CONTINUED)

127. 123 CONTINUED: (5) 123 NEW ANGLE - UNDERWATER

Utterly silent. Harry twists madly as HANDS reach for him, turning him this way and that. HAUNTED FACES float by.

NEW ANGLE - THE SURFACE

Harry breaks the surface, GASPING for air, blinking, catching a glimpse of Dumbledore slumped against the basin as he is...

NEW ANGLE - UNDERWATER

... pulled underwater once again, into the eerie SILENCE of flailing arms. He shakes free again and again, but there are too many hands, too many haunted faces. We STAY UNDER a very long time, feel his lungs burning. His eyes lose their focus, turning blank. Bubbles trail out of his mouth as his face goes slack. He sinks deeper, in free fall, takes one last look at the SHIMMERING SURFACE ABOVE, the last thing he will see... when a SHADOW SHIVERS briefly and...

... the SURFACE SIZZLES with RED LIGHT, like blood, then becomes TRANSPARENT, revealing DUMBLEDORE, wand pointed directly at the water.

NEW ANGLE - THE SURFACE

Harry breaks the surface, SPITTING UP WATER, GASPING FOR AIR. Dumbledore staggers, slumps once more against the basin, weakened by his effort. Harry scrambles up, steadies him and the lake EXPLODES WITH FIRE. Harry wheels, watches the bodies in the lake twist in pain.

DUMBLEDORE Go...

Harry turns, confused. Dumbledore's hand finds his face.

DUMBLEDORE We have to... go.

Harry glances to the boat. Flames lick the prow, darkening the wood, but do not destroy it. He nods.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 128.

124 EXT. CAVE - ENTRANCE 124

Harry and Dumbledore emerge from the cave. Dumbledore, pale and weak, scans the stars wearily, leans heavily on Harry.

HARRY Don't worry, sir. We're nearly there.

DUMBLEDORE I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.

A CHOIR IN FULL VOICE RISES ON THE AIR and we --

CUT TO:

125 INT. GREAT HALL - SAME TIME - NIGHT 125

We HOLD ON the Gothic glass of the main window. Ambient light, ominous and cool, plays across its shimmering surface. Flitwick, arms flowing gracefully, conducts a group of FIFTH YEARS, looks up toward the window, eyes the pulsating light.

126 EXT. COURTYARD - SAME TIME - NIGHT 126

McGonagall stands in the courtyard as the CHOIR DRIFTS FAINTLY on the night air. She glances up to the sky, a curious expression on her face, then spies a pair of First Years straggling across the courtyard.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL To your Houses. No dawdling.

As they scuttle off, McGonagall looks back to the sky. A VORTEX of CLOUDS swirls eerily in on itself. We PULL BACK...

127 INT. CASTLE - WINDOW - SAME TIME - NIGHT 127

... out of a window, its glass prickling with ambient light, and find Snape standing silently, staring at the gathering storm, his expression inscrutable. The choir a murmur.

129.

128 INT. COMMON ROOM - SAME TIME - NIGHT 128

Darker than usual. The fire muted. Ron and Hermione sit together. Silent. Glance toward the window, the sky beyond.

129 INT. HOSPITAL WING - SAME TIME - NIGHT 129

Draco's face, skin glimmering with the light crawling across the ceiling above him. He stares, unblinking, swings out of the bed. Bare feet -- Draco's -- drop to the tiles.

130 INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 130 The choir echoes eerily. SIXTH YEARS, little more than SHADOWS, hang out, giggling in dark corners. Malfoy glides by in his bare feet. Unnoticed. A ghost.

131 INT. ROOM OF REQUIREMENT - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 131

Dense with shadow. Strange slashes of light. Malfoy, a shadow within shadows, pulls the tapestry from the Vanishing Cabinet, steps back...

He stares at the monolith before him, lifts his wand and begins to CHANT eerily. The surface of the cabinet glimmers, atremble in the ambient light. Almost alive. Then he stops. Looking back, his eyes haunted, he slips away.

Light plays within the cabinet. Movement. Shadows flicker within, coalesce. We ease up, reveal... Bellatrix. Greyback. And a few friends. Bellatrix steps into the light. Glances around. Grins.

132 EXT. ASTRONOMY TOWER - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 132

Harry and Dumbledore materialize on the rooftop. Dumbledore glances above, notes the clouds.

HARRY We need to get you up to the hospital, sir, to Madam Pomfrey --

DUMBLEDORE No. Severus... Severus is who I need... Go and wake him... Tell him what has happened... (MORE) (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 130. 132 CONTINUED: 132 DUMBLEDORE (CONT'D) Speak to no one else... I... I shall wait here...

HARRY All right. Okay.

Harry gently disengages from Dumbledore, leaves him leaning against the ramparts. He dashes to the stairwell door and, glancing back, sees Dumbledore MUTTERING WEARILY as he GESTICULATES with his blackened hand.

HARRY Sir, are you... praying?

DUMBLEDORE (smiling faintly) No, Harry. I do not pray. I was merely closing a window -- the one that had allowed us to Apparate.

Harry nods, begins to open the door, when FOOTSTEPS sound. Draws his wand. Dumbledore cocks his head, listening. Wincing, he straightens up, as if to mask his infirmity.

DUMBLEDORE Hide yourself below. And do not speak or show yourself without my permission. No matter what.

Harry looks down, through the LATTICEWORK at his feet, to the tier below. The FOOTSTEPS DRAW CLOSER.

DUMBLEDORE Do as I say, Harry. Harry hesitates. Dumbledore's eyes blaze...

DUMBLEDORE Trust me. Harry meets Dumbledore's eyes, then pockets his wand and slips down the stairs. As he reaches the level below, the DOOR above FLIES OPEN. Harry peers up through the grid, watches Malfoy come INTO VIEW.

DUMBLEDORE Good evening, Draco. What brings you out on such a fine Spring evening? Or is it Summer?

Draco stands poised, wand in hand, eyes darting about.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 131. 132 CONTINUED: (2) 132 MALFOY Who else is here? I heard you talking.

DUMBLEDORE I often talk aloud to myself. I find it extraordinarily useful. That which sounds sane at a whisper can seem utterly mad when said for all the world to hear. Haven't been whispering to yourself, have you, Draco?

Draco eyes Dumbledore with unease.

DUMBLEDORE You are not an assassin, Draco. MALFOY How do you know what I am? I've done things that would shock you.

DUMBLEDORE Like cursing Katie Bell and hoping she would, in turn, bear a cursed necklace to me? Like replacing a bottle of mead with one laced with poison. Forgive me, Draco, but these are attempts so feeble I cannot help but question if your heart has been really in them. I'm curious. When Voldemort gave you this task, when he asked you to kill me, was it in a whisper?

MALFOY He trusts me! I was chosen!

Malfoy thrusts out his arm, pulls back his sleeve and reveals the DARK MARK. Dumbledore barely looks at it.

DUMBLEDORE Then I shall make it easy for you.

Slowly and without intent, Dumbledore draws his wand. Instantly Malfoy raises his own.

MALFOY Expelliarumus! Harry watches in horror as Dumbledore's wand flies free, clattering across the grid above. Malfoy watches it roll to a stop, a curious mixture of fear and awe at his own actions. Dumbledore eyes the wand, then Draco.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 131A. 132 CONTINUED: (3) 132 DUMBLEDORE Well done, Draco. But I warn you. Killing is not nearly as easy.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 132. 132 CONTINUED: (4) 132 Malfoy looks into Dumbledore's eyes, then to the sky, at the gathering clouds, twisting darkly, then glances to the stairwell. Dumbledore notices.

DUMBLEDORE You're not alone. Are you. There are others. How?

A sneering smile plays over Malfoy's lips.

MALFOY The Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement.

DUMBLEDORE That cabinet has been broken for years. MALFOY I've been mending it.

DUMBLEDORE Ingenious. Let me guess. It has a sister. A twin.

MALFOY In Borgin & Burkes. They form --

DUMBLEDORE A passage, yes. Very good. (eyes shifting) I once knew a boy years ago who made all the wrong choices. Let me help you, Draco.

MALFOY I don't want your help! Don't you see! I have to do it! I have to! (in a whisper) I've got to kill you or he'll kill me.

DUMBLEDORE Say that again, Draco. But aloud this time.

Draco looks deep into Dumbledore's eyes. His hand trembles. Transfixed, Harry watches from the shadows. Slowly, Malfoy begins to LOWER HIS WAND... when FOOTSTEPS ECHO. The DOOR FLIES OPEN: Bellatrix, Greyback and the others.

BELLATRIX Well now, look what we have here. Dumbledore. Wandless and alone. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 133. 132 CONTINUED: (5) 132 BELLATRIX (CONT'D) Cornered in his own castle. Well done, Draco.

Harry peers up, eyes flashing angrily at the sound of Bellatrix's voice. He draws his wand slowly.

DUMBLEDORE Good evening, Bellatrix. I think introductions are in order.

BELLATRIX Love to, Albus. But I'm afraid we're on a bit of a tight schedule. (to Malfoy) Do it. Malfoy's wand rises once again. Harry raises his own, aiming through the grid, poised. Just then, a SHADOW splinters through the columns to his right. He looks, finds Snape, quiet as a ghost, peering upward. Carefully, Snape draws his wand, then turns to Harry, a finger to his lips: Shhh. Then he is drifting upward. Silent. A ghost again.

GREYBACK He doesn't have the stomach. Like his father. Let me finish him. In my own way.

BELLATRIX No! The Dark Lord was clear. The boy's to do it. Go on, Draco. Now! Once again Draco raises his wand, his hand trembling. Harry's own arm is stiff, sure. The vein in his hand pulsates...

SNAPE (O.S.) No.

Harry watches Snape come INTO VIEW.

DUMBLEDORE Severus...

BELLATRIX Well, look who's here. Hogwarts own Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Come to see the slaughter?

DUMBLEDORE Severus... please. (CONTINUED)

134. 132 CONTINUED: (6) 132 SNAPE I gave my word. I made a vow...

Harry's eyes dart back and forth frantically, trying to make sense of the scene playing out above. Snape's arm rises.

SNAPE Avada Kedavra! A JET of GREEN LIGHT hits Dumbledore squarely in the chest. For a second he hangs, suspended upon the ramparts, and then... the night swallows him.

HARRY SCREAMS in RAGE. Bellatrix raises her wand to the sky and a DEAFENING BLAST shakes the castle, masking Harry's cry. The CLOUDS EXPLODE with GRIM LIGHT, mutating into a SKULL. As the Death Eaters flee, Snape's arm drops limply to his side.

SNAPE You can no longer stay here.

Draco, stunned, stares at the empty place where Dumbledore stood only seconds before. Snape takes him by the scruff of the neck, forces him through the door, then follows.

Harry scrambles up the stairs and lurches to the ramparts, BATHED IN THE GREEN LIGHT from above. He peers down. Agony wrecks Harry's face and he has to steady himself. He looks up into the leering skull above. Rage fills his eyes.

132A EXT. ASTRONOMY TOWER - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132A Snape leads Malfoy and Bellatrix down the spiraling staircase.

132B INT. SLUGHORN'S CORRIDOR - NIGHT 132B

Snape leads on, his face a mask as he rounds a corner. STUDENTS in pajamas and robes peer at the emerald sky, then turn, stare curiously at their teacher and his companions. Snape sweeps past wordlessly. Draco averts his eyes. Bellatrix leers at a TINY FIRST YEAR, leans close:

BELLATRIX Boo.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 134A.

132C INT. OUTSIDE GREAT HALL - NIGHT 132C

Hearing FOOTSTEPS, an AUROR turns, is BLASTED off his feet as Snape and the others appear. Bellatrix lags, then steps to the TOWERING DOORS of the Hall, peering upward, past the FLOATING CANDLES to the vaulted ceiling, solemn as a church. Raising her wand, she sends a FIERY BOLT toward the GRAND WINDOW opposite. As it EXPLODES, a BLAST of COLD AIR sweeps the room, EXTINGUISHING THE CANDLES. Snape turns, looks back. Bellatrix simply GRINS, a mad child.

132D INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132D

As Bellatrix's BLAST ECHOES, Ron and Hermione -- racing side by side in their regular clothes -- glance at one another, dash on.

132E EXT. CASTLE - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132E

Filch, on guard, looks up, watches SHARDS OF GLASS spill from the window like jewels, standing transfixed as the fragments lash his face, draw blood.

132F INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132F

Harry races on, glances out a window and sees Snape and the others racing across a lower courtyard.

132G EXT. LOWER COURTYARD - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132G

Malfoy slows, glancing upward, watching the students come to the windows and peer out at the emerald sky. They look like ghosts in their nightclothes.

BELLATRIX Draco! Draco! (as he turns) They'll kill you if you stay.

132H INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132H

Hermione and Ron push through the other students, who are confused, crying. McGonagall appears, meets Ron and Hermione's glance, continues on.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 134B.

132I EXT. HAGRID'S HUT/GROUNDS - SAME TIME - NIGHT 132I

Quiet here. A VIEW TOWARD the castle. We HOLD. Slowly FIGURES appear on the horizon. The Death Eaters. Greyback. Bellatrix, Draco. And Snape.

133 EXT. HOGWARTS CASTLE - NIGHT 133

Harry bursts through the entrance doors, wand in hand. Before him, the grounds shimmer eerily in the GREEN GLOW. He sees the FIGURES FLEEING towards Hagrid's Hut.

134 EXT. HAGRID'S HUT / GROUNDS - SAME TIME - NIGHT 134

Snape and the others race toward the edge of the grounds. Suddenly, Snape pulls up, looks back. Sees Harry sprinting toward him. Malfoy, looking edgy, is watching Harry too.

SNAPE Go on!

(CONTINUED)

135. 134 CONTINUED: 134 Just then a GIANT FIREBALL erupts into the sky. Snape wheels, sees Bellatrix and the others silhouetted against the flames. They've set Hagrid's Hut ablaze. Malfoy stands paralyzed.

SNAPE Go on!

NEW ANGLE - HARRY

Running. Harry bolts forth, wand in hand, vengeance in his eyes. Up ahead, Snape stands stolidly, tall and black against the raging fire. Harry points his wand, fires a JET of RED LIGHT. Snape doesn't move, merely lets it streak by his head. Harry stops, chest heaving, and takes aim again. HARRY Cruciatus! Snape raises his wand, parries the curse with ease.

HARRY Incacerata! Once again, Snape deflects the spell.

HARRY Impedimenta! Another lazy flick of the arm, another curse defeated. Harry drops his arm in frustration.

HARRY Fight! Fight back, you coward! With staggering quickness, Snape's wand whips forth and Harry is off his heels and crashing to the earth.

SNAPE Don't ever associate that word and my name again.

Harry raises himself up on one knee, points his wand when... a JET of RED LIGHT sends him crashing back into the grass. Snape wheels, sees Bellatrix standing behind.

SNAPE No! He belongs to the Dark Lord!

Bellatrix eyes Snape levelly, then turns, trots off. Snape glances at Harry, then turns away himself, walking. Harry grimaces, pulls himself to his feet and aims one last time. (CONTINUED)

136. 134 CONTINUED: (2) 134 HARRY Sectumsempra! Bang! Snape wheels and once more sends Harry flying onto his back. Harry stares at the stars as they wheel over him, when Snape comes INTO VIEW.

SNAPE You dare use my own spells against me, Potter?

Harry goes still. His eyes shift, meet Snape's.

SNAPE You may have gotten your mother's eyes, but you're as dim as your father. Yes. It's me. I'm the Half-Blood Prince.

Snape kicks Harry's wand aside and turns away, joining Malfoy and the others where they wait beyond the flaming ruins of Hagrid's Hut. They head for the darkness of the treeline. And VANISH. Harry pounds his fist into the ground, then stops.

HARRY Hagrid... HAGRID!

Harry races toward the hut when the DOOR flies off its hinges. Seconds later, Hagrid stumbles out, beard SMOKING.

HARRY Hagrid! You alright?

HAGRID Take more'n tha' ter finish me off. Not sure about me `ouse, tho'. But if anybody can put it righ', Dumbledore can.

HARRY Hagrid, Dumbledore --

HAGRID Only thing I can't reckon is wha' Snape was doin' with tha' lot.

Hagrid turns then, sees the HUGE THRONG of STUDENTS and STAFF assembled outside the castle.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 137. 134 CONTINUED: (3) 134 HAGRID An' wha's this wi' the Dark Mar'? Who's been killed? (stopping) Where's Dumbledore, `arry? Where's Dumbledore!! Harry tries to speak, but he is mute. Hagrid goes still.

135 EXT. HOGWARTS CASTLE - MIDDLE COURTYARD - NIGHT 135

Ron, Hermione and Ginny stand with the staff. They turn and watch the throng of students part for Harry and Hagrid.

Hagrid stops short, shattered by what he sees. Harry pushes on, kneels. Dumbledore's eyes are closed, his face peaceful. Harry straightens his half-moon spectacles, wipes a trickle of blood from his mouth. Runs the back of his hand, gently, over the weathered cheek.

Then he notices something lying beside Dumbledore's ashen hand: the locket. He takes it, considers it numbly. Then begins to cry, great shudders of grief wracking his body. Hermione gives Ginny a nudge and she steps forward, drops beside him. At her touch, his head falls on her shoulder and she begins to stroke him. Ron looks on. Understands all.

McGonagall lifts a trembling wand to the sky and slowly the TIP GLOWS to life. One after another, students and staff do the same, lifting their wands in salute. As CAMERA RISES, the pinpricks coalesce into one BLAZING FIRE. The sky, briefly emerald, turns black once more. The Dark Mark vanishes.

136 EXT. HOGWARTS CASTLE - DAY 136

The castle sits silent. BLACK BANNERS fly on the parapets.

136A EXT. BRIDGE - DAY 136A

Silent. Desolate.

137 INT. GREAT HALL - DAY 137

Dumbledore's chair -- empty. The House tables -- empty.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 137A.

138 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY 138

A tapestry tosses lightly in the breeze. The PERCH in the empty birdcage sways, SQUEAKING gently.

138.

139 INT. DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE - DAY 139

Quiet. Still. Empty. Then:

The door eases OPEN and Harry enters. For a moment, he simply stands staring. Taking inventory. Spying something, he crosses to the great desk opposite. Looks down.

Dumbledore's wand.

Reaching out, Harry takes it in hand. Old, oft-used and bearing the impression of its owner's fingers, it is a strangely beautiful object. Harry traces his thumb lightly over the wood, transfixed, when...

... McGonagall enters. PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Potter.

He doesn't respond, lost in the wand. McGonagall's eyes drift to it, briefly, then study Harry's face. She frowns, trying to call forth some words.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Potter, in light of what's happened... should you feel the need to talk to someone...

She falters. Harry gently sets the wand back upon the desk, retraces his steps to the door, pauses for one last look.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL You should know... Professor Dumbledore...

Harry turns then, studying her drawn face, no words necessary. At a loss, she finishes quietly:

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL You meant a great deal to him.

Harry's eyes rise. High upon the wall, the past Headmasters snooze in their frames. The last looks remarkably peaceful, the trace of a smile on his lips as he sleeps.

Dumbledore.

Harry nods, lingering one last moment, and exits.

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 138A.

140 INT. TOWER DORMITORY - DAY 140

Harry stands at the window, alone in the empty dormitory. At the doorway, he looks back. As if committing it to memory.

141 INT. COMMON ROOM - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 141

Harry starts down the stairs, stops. Hermione, Ron and Ginny sit talking quietly. Ginny looks up. Smiles softly.

142 EXT. ASTRONOMY TOWER - DAY 142

Harry and Hermione stand by the ramparts while Ron and Ginny stand further along, just out of earshot. Harry stares into the distance at the ashes of Hagrid's Hut. Hermione toys with the locket before them.

HERMIONE Do you think he would've done it. Draco?

HARRY No. He was lowering his wand. In the end, it was Snape. It was always Snape. And I did nothing...

Hermione studies Harry, takes the locket from the rampart.

HERMIONE Strange. Thinking this is a piece of Voldemort's soul...

HARRY Yeah, strange. Only... it's not. It's a fake.

As Hermione reacts, Harry nods. HARRY Go on. Open it.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 139. 142 CONTINUED: 142 Hermione pries open the locket and removes a piece of PARCHMENT folded in a tight square. READS:

HERMIONE `To the Dark Lord. I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more. R.A.B.' (looking up) R.A.B.?

HARRY Dunno. But whoever they are, they have the real Horcrux. Which means, it was a waste. All of it.

Hermione studies Harry's troubled face, then glances at Ginny and Ron.

HERMIONE Ron's okay with it, you know. You and Ginny. But if I were you, when he's around, I'd keep the snogging to a minimum.

Hermione smiles faintly, trying to cheer him, but Harry merely nods, looks away again.

HARRY I'm not coming back, Hermione. Hermione nods.

HERMIONE We reckoned -- Ron and me.

HARRY I have to finish what Dumbledore started. I'm not sure where that will lead me... but I'll let you and Ron konw where I am -- when I can. (ALT: I have to finish what Dumbledore started. And... I have to do it alone.)

HERMIONE I've always admired your courage, Harry, but sometimes... you're really thick. (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 140. 142 CONTINUED: (2) 142 Harry turns, looking at her in surprise.

HERMIONE You don't honestly think you can find all those Horcruxes by yourself, do you? (leaning in; a whisper) You need us, Harry. Harry just stares at her. She cocks her head, smiling, doing her best to coax one out of him. Finally, he does, briefly.

HARRY Yeah. I do. But do me a favor. When I'm around? Keep the snogging to a minimum.

Hermione looks stunned. Reddens.

HERMIONE Like that's going to happen.

She glances at Ron, shakes her head.

HERMIONE Besides, he's barking.

HARRY Funny, he says the same about you.

HERMIONE Yes, but I'm exceptionally perceptive. HARRY You're brilliant. You both are.

Harry looks off again and Hermione follows his gaze. She looks out over the grounds. Slowly losing herself. We can tell. She's taking inventory. Pressing it into a scrapbook.

HERMIONE Do you think we'll ever... (come back?)

She stops. Her eyes glisten briefly. Then she fights it back. Tough. Harry fights back his own emotion, reaches over and gives her hand a brief squeeze. Then releases her.

(CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 141. 142 CONTINUED: (3) 142 HARRY I don't know.

Hermione nods and Harry's eyes shift, consider Ron and Ginny. As if sensing his gaze, Ron turns and they exchange a look, something unspoken but true passing between them.

Just then a SONG rises on the air, mournful and haunting, and seconds later a BIRD soars out from beyond the tallest turret and begins to stitch its way across the sky.

Ron and Ginny cross to Harry and Hermione, lean against the rampart. All look to the horizon, watching the bird grow smaller while its song -- magically -- endures. No one says a word.

FADE OUT.

<<<

-/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Copyright 2005-2018. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru