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

-/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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

-/ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



THUNDER -- or something like it -- sounds in the distance.

BOOM. Then again. BOOM.

We GLIDE THROUGH the inky blackness. Ambient flashes illuminate the silhouette of the WB LOGO. We PASS THROUGH.

INTO more darkness. Lost. More FLASHES. And we --


A SINGLE EYE Blank behind glasses. FLASH! The PUPIL CONTRACTS and we --



To find... HARRY POTTER, standing numbly beside ALBUS DUMBLEDORE amidst a MOB of REPORTERS. CAMERAS FLASH. Dumbledore's hand finds his shoulder and Harry is moving, drifting through the chaos, Dumbledore protective, graceful, dignified.


His eyes dart from side to side. The lenses glimmer with abstraction. We --



... glass, a window, its surface prickling with another kind of ambient light. We are looking INTO a conference room where office workers sit around a table. But the light has caught one worker's eye, then another, and soon they are all rising, stepping to the window, mesmerized by what lies beyond.



Blood-red and stormy. A VORTEX of CLOUDS -- strangely ominous -- hangs high in the sky, flashing from within, as if about to rain blood over the city. We --



itself and...

... PLUMMET, London expanding, stretching out on all sides. We SWEEP madly OVER Charing Cross, leaving the Muggle world behind and SWOOP INTO...


... Diagon Alley just as the front window of OLLIVANDER'S WAND SHOP EXPLODES. Witches and wizards flee. In the drifting smoke, DEATH EATERS appear, accompanied by a tall, sinewy beast of a man, FENRIR GREYBACK. With a casual sweep of his hand he sends a wizard flying and a witch screams. In deep b.g., two Death Eaters abduct a SHROUDED FIGURE (Ollivander). Greyback grins, then APPARATES, along with the others...

... leaving Diagon Alley behind. The streets of London appear below once more, and then the river. Black trails -- the Death Eaters -- streak across the sky and then turn TRANSLUCENT as they encircle the MILLENNIUM BRIDGE. Pedestrians peer upward, bewildered, sensing a shift in the atmosphere. And then... The BRIDGE CRUMBLES into the THAMES, the image horrifyingly beautiful, as is the SOUND of it, a ROAR, a wail, the last cry of a lion. Then the image begins to FADE and all goes slowly SILENT, until only a WHISTLING WIND is heard and...


... tall grasses toss dreamily in a SLANTING RAIN. An OLD MILL lists like an ancient ruin against a charcoal sky. A DARK FIGURE (NARCISSA MALFOY) MATERIALIZES. As she turns for the town in the distance, another witch materializes: BELLATRIX LESTRANGE.




Like a rat in a maze, Narcissa makes her way through a labyrinth of dilapidated brick houses. Bellatrix trails.

BELLATRIX Cissy! You mustn't do this. He can't be trusted.

NARCISSA The Dark Lord trusts him.

BELLATRIX The Dark Lord is mistaken.

Narcissa turns, shocked. Bellatrix looks shocked herself, rain running down her cheeks. BELLATRIX Or so I believe.

NARCISSA Well, who can one trust these days?


Grim and dark, lit by guttering candles. RAIN drums the roof eerily. A KNOCKER CLANGS. A SQUAT MAN SHUFFLES forth, something familiar in his gait.


The door cracks, spilling sallow light onto Narcissa and Bellatrix. A face: WORMTAIL.


The sisters follow Wormtail down a narrow hallway.

BELLATRIX He lives in this Muggle dunghill?

Wormtail glowers over his shoulder at her. They pass into...


... a room where a MAN sits by the window running with RAIN, his face hidden by the Daily Prophet. (CONTINUED)

4. 9 CONTINUED: 9 On the front page is a PHOTOGRAPH of the MILLENNIUM BRIDGE CRASHING INTO THE THAMES. But even more prominent is the SILHOUETTE of a YOUNG WIZARD and a HEADLINE:

HARRY POTTER: THE CHOSEN ONE? Young Wizard Destined to Kill You-Know-Who?

The paper drops and SEVERUS SNAPE eyes the women curiously.

SNAPE Run along, Wormtail.

10 INT. MILL HOUSE - SITTING ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON (MOMENTS 10 LATER) Snape fills the last of three goblets with wine.

NARCISSA I've nowhere else to turn, Severus.

Snape hands her a goblet, extends one to Bellatrix.

BELLATRIX You must be joking.

Snape smiles faintly, brings the goblet to his own lips.

NARCISSA I know I ought not to be here. The Dark Lord himself has forbidden me to speak of this --

SNAPE If the Dark Lord has forbidden it, you ought not to speak. (eyes shifting) Put it down, Bella. We mustn't touch what isn't ours.

Bellatrix, DARK CURIO in hand, glowers, sets it back down.

SNAPE As it so happens I'm aware of your situation, Narcissa.

BELLATRIX The Dark Lord told you? You? SNAPE Your sister doubts me, Narcissa. Understandable. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

5. 10 CONTINUED: 10 SNAPE (CONT'D) Over the years I have played my part well. So well I've deceived one of the greatest wizards of all time.

Bellatrix makes a scathing sound. Snape turns, eyes hard.

SNAPE Dumbledore is a great wizard. Only a fool would question it.

NARCISSA I... I don't doubt you, Severus.

BELLATRIX You should feel honored, Cissy. As should Draco --

NARCISSA He's just a boy!

SNAPE I can't change the Dark Lord's mind. But it might be possible for me to help Draco. To provide some... protection.

Bellatrix eyes Snape keenly.

NARCISSA Do you mean it, Severus?

SNAPE I can try. NARCISSA Oh, Severus, please, if you would... (I would be forever in your debt.) BELLATRIX Swear to it.

Snape's eyes shift, meet Bellatrix's challenging gaze.

BELLATRIX Make the Unbreakable Vow. (as Snape looks away) You see. It's just empty words. Oh he'll try. He'll give it his best effort. But when it matters most he'll slither back into his hole. Bloody coward...


6. 10 CONTINUED: (2) 10 Bellatrix goes on MUTTERING as she splashes some wine into a goblet. Snape turns back, anger flashing in his eyes.

SNAPE Take out your wand.

Bellatrix freezes, goblet to her lips. As she lowers it, a rivulet of red runs out of the corner of her mouth.


Snape faces Narcissa. Bellatrix, hand faintly trembling, places the tip of her wand over their LINKED hands.

BELLATRIX Will you, Severus Snape, watch over Draco Malfoy as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord's wishes.

SNAPE I will.

A SINGLE STRAND of LIQUID FIRE issues from Bellatrix's wand and wends its way around their hands.

BELLATRIX And will you, to the best of your ability, protect him from harm?

SNAPE I will.

A SECOND STRAND of FIRE intertwines with the first. BELLATRIX And should it prove necessary, if it seems Draco will fail... will you yourself carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?

Snape's hand TWITCHES within Narcissa's. Bellatrix waits.

SNAPE I will.


A TRAIN blasts through the station.



Late. Lonely men and women loiter on the platform. At a food stand, patrons grimly read their TABLOID of choice. CAMERA TRACKS PAST The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Mirror -- LANDS ON... the Daily Prophet. The SILHOUETTE. The HEADLINE: "HARRY POTTER: THE CHOSEN ONE?"

But the (unseen) reader is fixated on a SMALLER ITEM, tucked at the bottom corner of the back page: "Malfoy Sentenced to Azkaban." TWO PHOTOGRAPHS accompany the piece, one of LUCIUS MALFOY, another of Narcissa and DRACO MALFOY as they exit a courtroom. Draco's eyes look distant, haunted.

WAITRESS (O.S.) Harry Potter. Who's Harry Potter? The paper drops, reveals... Harry. He glances up at the YOUNG WAITRESS who stands over him. Pretty. Very pretty.

HARRY Oh. Um. No one. Bit of a tosser.

As she leans over to clear his chips wrappings, Harry's gaze drifts over the smooth skin of her neck, the spray of freckles across one cheek...

WAITRESS Funny that paper of yours. Couple nights ago, I could swear I saw one of the pictures move.

HARRY Really.

WAITRESS Thought I'd gone round the twist.

She makes a face, smiles. A smile to die for. Starts to go.

HARRY Hey. I was wondering...

WAITRESS Eleven. That's when I get off. (the smile) You can tell me all about that tosser Harry Potter.

Harry watches her go, then quickly reaches into his coat and fumbles out a S'Mints container. Just then... (CONTINUED)

8. 12 CONTINUED: 12 ... a LIGHT on the opposite PLATFORM FLICKERS. Harry looks. It FLICKERS again and this time a small cloud of GLITTERING DUST dances over the opposite platform. As a TRAIN ROARS past, Harry squints through the flickering windows and watches the dust transform into... ALBUS DUMBLEDORE. Leveling his glasses, he peers across the platform, smiles and gives Harry a wave.


As Harry arrives, he finds Dumbledore studying a PERFUME ADVERTISEMENT which shows a MODEL with a WAND in her teeth: "Tonight Make a Little Magic With Your Man."

DUMBLEDORE I once knew a Muggle girl from Liverpool with hair like spun silk. No light could resist it... (turning) You've been reckless this summer, Harry.

HARRY I like riding round on the trains. It takes my mind off... things.

Harry hesitates, notices Dumbledore's hand is ASH BLACK.

DUMBLEDORE Rather unpleasant to behold, isn't it? The tale is thrilling if I do say so myself, but I'm afraid now is not the time to tell it. Take my arm. (extending it) Do as I say.

Harry glances across the platform, sees the freckled Waitress appear, eye his empty table. Slowly, he reaches out and -- instantly -- all goes BLACK in a RUSH of SOUND and FURY, as if Harry had been pitched headlong into a tornado. Seconds later...


... he re-emerges into the world, reeling, eyes stinging with tears. Slowly, his planet stops spinning.

HARRY I just Apparated, didn't I?


9. 14 CONTINUED: 14 DUMBLEDORE Indeed. And quite successfully I might add. Most people vomit their first time.

HARRY Can't imagine why...


Dumbledore leads Harry up a steep narrow street lined with darkened houses.

DUMBLEDORE Welcome to the charming village of Budleigh Babberton, Harry. I assume right about now you're wondering why I've brought you here, am I right?

HARRY (glancing about) After all these years, I just sort of roll with it, sir.

Dumbledore smiles mildly, then pauses, his face darkening. Before them stands a SMALL STONE HOUSE. But something is wrong about the place.

DUMBLEDORE Wand out, Harry.

15 INT. SLUGHORN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME - NIGHT 15 THROUGH a crack in the front door: Dumbledore and Harry move swiftly up the walk and enter.

DUMBLEDORE Lumos... The tip of Dumbledore's WAND BLAZES. He sweeps the shadows. CALLS OUT.

DUMBLEDORE Horace! Nothing. Dumbledore points his wand down a NARROW HALLWAY. Motes of dust dance in the wandlight, but nothing else. He starts down the hallway, toward the OPEN DOORWAY at its end. Slowly, the room beyond comes INTO VIEW:



Utter devastation. A GRANDFATHER CLOCK lays upon the floor, its face cracked. A PIANO sags in the corner, keys strewn like teeth upon the rug. A copy of the Daily Prophet trembles in the breeze from a half-open window. As Harry looks, a DROP of something WET strikes the word "CHOSEN." His gaze rises.

He GASPS. A substance DARK and GLUTINOUS is spattered upon the ceiling. Dumbledore raises his wand. The ceiling SCREAMS RED. Another drop falls and this one strikes Harry's SCAR. As Harry moves to wipe it away, Dumbledore grabs his hand.

Training his light on Harry's forehead, Dumbledore flicks a blackened finger over the scar. Brings it to his tongue. Reacts. Turning, his eyes narrow on an OVERSTUFFED ARMCHAIR. Moving to it, he JABS his wand into the plump seat cushion.

ARMCHAIR Merlin's Beard! Instantly, the Armchair mutates into HUMAN FORM, though briefly gets caught inbetween. After a bit of GRUMBLING, SEAM-SPLITTING and the POPPING of a cushion button or two, a FAT OLD MAN (HORACE SLUGHORN) in a pair of WELL- WORN lilac pajamas appears.

SLUGHORN (rubbing his rump) There's no need to disfigure me, Albus!

DUMBLEDORE I must say, you make a very convincing armchair, Horace.

SLUGHORN It's all in the upholstery. (patting his stomach) I come by the stuffing naturally. What gave me away?

DUMBLEDORE (nodding to the ceiling) Dragon's blood.

SLUGHORN Yes, well, I couldn't very well use wizard's blood, could I? Oho!


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 11. 16 CONTINUED: 16 Slughorn takes a step back, having spotted Harry. The blood on Harry's forehead only serves to highlight his scar.

DUMBLEDORE Ah yes. Introductions. Harry, this is an old friend and colleague of mine, Horace Slughorn. Horace, this is, well, you know who this is. (a droll whisper) Apparently there's some thought he may be the Chosen One.

Slughorn stares at Harry as if hypnotized.

DUMBLEDORE So why all the theatrics, Horace? You weren't perhaps expecting someone else, were you?

SLUGHORN (blinking) S-someone else? I'm sure I don't know what you mean.

Dumbledore raises an eyebrow. Slughorn caves.

SLUGHORN Oh all right! The Death Eaters have been trying to recruit me for over a year. Do you know what that's like? One can only say no to these people so many times before they... DUMBLEDORE Take matters into their own hands?

Slughorn eyes Dumbledore miserably, gestures.

SLUGHORN I never stay anywhere more than a week. The Muggles who own this place are in the Canary Islands.

DUMBLEDORE Well, I think it should be put back in order for them, don't you? Mind?


12. 16 CONTINUED: (2) 16 Dumbledore raises his wand. Instantly, the grandfather clock resumes its rightful place, shattered lanterns re- ignite and the blood on the ceiling evaporates -- just as the piano keys tumble back into place with a pleasant MUSICAL run.

DUMBLEDORE That was fun. May I use the loo?

As Dumbledore heads down the hall, Slughorn calls after.

SLUGHORN Don't think I don't know why you're here, Albus! The answer is still no! Absolutely, unequivocally no! Dumbledore doesn't respond. Slughorn glances at Harry. The silence is palpable. Awkward. A beat. Then:

SLUGHORN You look very like your father. Except for your eyes. You've got --

HARRY My mother's eyes, yeah.

SLUGHORN (smiling softly) Lily. Lovely Lily. She was exceedingly bright -- your mother. Even more impressive when one considers she was Muggle-born.

HARRY One of my best friends is Muggle- born. She's the best in our year.

SLUGHORN Oh, but you mustn't think I'm prejudiced! No, no, no! Your mother was one of my absolute favorites! Look, there she is. Right up front.

Slughorn waves to a dresser crowded with PHOTOGRAPHS.

SLUGHORN All mine, each and every one. Ex- students, I mean. You recognize Barnubas Cuffe, of course, editor of the Daily Prophet. (MORE)


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 13. 16 CONTINUED: (3) 16 SLUGHORN (CONT'D) Always takes my owl should I want to register my opinion on the news of the day. And there's Ambrosius Flume of Honeydukes. Sends a hamper of chocolate to the house each birthday. That is, when I had a house. And Gwenog Jones, captain of the Holyhead Harpies -- free tickets whenever I want them. Of course, I haven't been to a match in some time...

Harry steps forward, takes a picture of one particular BOY, a boy who resembles... Sirius. Seeing Harry thus distracted, he studies him intently, like a rare object.

SLUGHORN Ah yes. Regulus Black. You no doubt know of his older brother Sirius. Died a few weeks ago. I taught the whole Black family except Sirius. Shame. Talented boy. I got Regulus when he came along, of course, but I'd have liked the set.

DUMBLEDORE Mind if I take this? I do love knitting patterns.

Slughorn blinks, looks away from Harry and finds Dumbledore standing there, clutching a MUGGLE MAGAZINE.

SLUGHORN Of course. But you're not leaving? DUMBLEDORE I think I know a lost cause when I see one. Regrettable. I would have considered it a personal triumph had you consented to return to Hogwarts, Horace. You are, like my friend Mr. Potter -- one of a kind.


Dumbledore HUMS placidly as he and Harry make their way down the walk. Seconds later, the front door swings open.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 14. 17 CONTINUED: 17 SLUGHORN All right! I'll do it. But I'll be wanting Professor Merrythought's old office, not that water closet I had formerly. And I expect a raise! These are mad times we live in! Mad!

DUMBLEDORE Indeed they are.


Dumbledore leads Harry back toward the Village Square.

HARRY Sir, exactly what was that all --

DUMBLEDORE You are talented, famous and powerful -- everything Horace values. Professor Slughorn is going to try to collect you, Harry. You would be his crowning jewel. That is why he is returning to Hogwarts. And it is crucial he return...

Harry looks intrigued by this last statement, but before he can pursue it, Dumbledore glances ruefully at the moon.

DUMBLEDORE I fear I may have stolen a wondrous night from you, Harry. She was, truthfully, very pretty. The girl.

HARRY It's alright, sir. I'll go back tomorrow, make some excuse --

Harry stops. Dumbledore is shaking his head.

DUMBLEDORE You'll not be going back to Little Whinging tonight, Harry.

HARRY But, sir. What about Hedwig? And there's my trunk --


15. 18 CONTINUED: 18 DUMBLEDORE Both are waiting for you.

Dumbledore extends his arm. Mystified, Harry reaches out. As his fingers touch the silk of Dumbledore's cloak, he...


... APPARATES INTO VIEW, stumbling to one knee and wincing.


Dumbledore is gone. Harry rises, glances about. In the distance a CROOKED HOUSE shimmers. A PRETTY GIRL with RED HAIR flits briefly past an upstairs window. GINNY WEASLEY.


Ginny DASHES down a vertiginous staircase, flies into the kitchen and finds...


... a LARGE TRUNK and an OWL CAGE. Curious, she cocks her head to one side. The owl does the same in return.

GINNY Hedwig...? Mum!


GINNY'S POV, looking up -- a dizzying perspective of twisting railings and crooked bedroom doors. A CLOCK hangs IN VIEW, bearing NINE HANDS, each inscribed with a Weasley name, each pointing to MORTAL PERIL. MRS. WEASLEY appears, looks down.

MRS. WEASLEY What is it, Ginny? Is it your father? Has something happened at the Ministry? Has he been kidnapped? Is it the Death Eaters?

GINNY Exactly. How'd you guess?


16. 22 CONTINUED: 22 Mrs. Weasley throws her hands up over her face.

GINNY I'm joking, Mum.

MRS. WEASLEY You're worse than Fred and George.

GINNY Now you're joking. I was only wondering when Harry got here.

MRS. WEASLEY Harry who?

GINNY Harry Dimpleton. Harry Potter, of course.

MRS. WEASLEY I think I'd know if Harry Potter was in my house, wouldn't I?

GINNY Well his trunk's in the kitchen. And his owl.

MRS. WEASLEY I seriously doubt that.

Just then, HEDWIG SCREECHES O.S. Ginny gives her an I- told-you-so when another door opens and RON WEASLEY looks down.

RON Harry? Did someone say Harry? GINNY Me, nosy. Is he up there with you?

RON `Course not. Think I'd know if my best friend was in my room, wouldn't I?

Another door opens: HERMIONE, in a robe, TOOTHBRUSH in hand.

HERMIONE Was that an owl I heard?


17. 22 CONTINUED: (2) 22 GINNY Harry's. Haven't seen him, have you? Apparently, he's wandering about the house.


HARRY (O.S.) Really.

Ginny spins. Harry. Standing in the doorway of the kitchen.

RON/HERMIONE/MRS. WEASLEY Harry! As the others rocket downstairs, Ginny gives Harry a great grinning hug. There is something oddly charged in the moment, a surprise to both of them. The others arrive. More hugs.

MRS. WEASLEY But why didn't you tell us you were coming?

HARRY Didn't know. (a shrug) Dumbledore.

MRS. WEASLEY That man. But then, what would we do without him? Ron!

Ron is about to touch Hermione. She retracts her neck. RON You've a bit of...

He gestures to the stray lace of toothpaste on Hermione's chin. Quickly she wipes it off, gives him an odd look.


The Daily Prophet tumbles within a makeshift campfire of BLUE FLAMES, but magically doesn't disintegrate. Harry teases the fire with the tip of his wand, where The Chosen One? mingles with Draco's haunted face in the flames.

HARRY When'd you get here?


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 18. 23 CONTINUED: 23 HERMIONE A few days ago. Though... for a bit, I wasn't sure I was coming.

Harry looks up, sees her glance at Ron.

RON Mum sort of lost it last week. Said Ginny and I had no business going back to Hogwarts. That it's too dangerous.

HARRY Oh come on...

HERMIONE She's not alone. Even my parents -- and they're Muggles -- know something bad is happening.

RON Anyway, Dad stepped in, told her she was being barmy. Took a day or two, but she came round.

HARRY But we're talking about Hogwarts. Dumbledore. What could be safer? Hermione and Ron exchange another glance.

HERMIONE There's been a lot of chatter lately. That he's gotten... old.

HARRY Rubbish. He's only -- what?

RON A hundred and fifty. Give or take a few years.

Silence. Nods. Then the three break out laughing. Grow quiet again. Harry takes another poke at the Prophet. Draco's haunted face appears briefly, then is gone.


bearing Weasley's Wizard Wheezes clutched in the hand of a boy being pulled by his mother through the throng packed sardine-tight in the store.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 19. 24 CONTINUED: 24 It's utter madness: Ever-Bashing Boomerangs whip through the air, Dr. Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start No-Heat fireworks spit sparks, and Nose-Biting Teacups bare tiny porcelain teeth. FRED & GEORGE WEASLEY, in SCREAMING MAGENTA, stand upon a counter, selling to the masses:

FRED/GEORGE Step up! Step up!

GEORGE We've got Fainting Fancy...

FRED Nosebleed Nougats...

GEORGE And just in time for school... FRED Puking Pastilles!

A BOY stops chewing, turns PALE GREEN -- literally.

FRED/GEORGE Into the cauldron, handsome.

Together, with the tips of their toes, Fred and George launch a SLOSHING CAULDRON down the counter, drop down on either side of Harry, begin to steer him through the store.

FRED What'd you think, Harry?

HARRY Amazing. GEORGE (to a browsing boy) Pocket that and you'll pay in more than Galleons, my friend.

FRED/GEORGE We've got eyes in the back of our heads.

The boy, working a SCREAMING YO-YO, blanches as Fred and George turn, reveal they do in fact have EYES IN THE BACK OF THEIR HEADS -- phony, but unnerving. As the EYES WINK, the tiny boy bolts.

GEORGE Bloody urchins.

Harry eyes a display of ORANGE AND BLACK LUMPS. (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 19A. 24 CONTINUED: (2) 24 HARRY Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder?

FRED A real money spinner that.

FRED Handy if you need to make a quick escape. Hello, ladies!

George drops one of the lumps in Harry's hand, turns to Ginny and Hermione, who peruse a display of "Wonder Witch Love Potions."

GEORGE Yes, they do really work. FRED Then again, the way we hear it, sis, you're doing just fine on your own.

GINNY Meaning?

FRED Are you not currently dating Dean Thomas?


20. 24 CONTINUED: (3) 24 Harry pretends to consider a rack of "Ten-Second Pimple Vanisher," but secretly eavesdrops.

GINNY None of your business.

HERMIONE These are adorable.

Inside a cage, small round BALLS of FLUFF roll about, SQUEAK.

FRED Aren't they now. Pygmy Puffs. Can't breed them fast enough.

Just then a HUGE BOY (CORMAC McLAGGEN) passes behind Hermione and, with his eyes, takes the full measure of her. Noticing, she turns, receives a faint smile as he moves on.

RON How much for this?

A TINY WOODEN MAN ascends a TINY GALLOWS and... DROPS. George rides a rolling ladder INTO FRAME, drops next to Fred.

FRED/GEORGE Five Galleons.

RON How much for me?

FRED/GEORGE Five Galleons. RON But I'm your brother!

FRED/GEORGE Ten Galleons.

RON C'mon. Let's go.

The trio head for the door, passing LAVENDER BROWN, who smiles flirtatiously at an oblivious Ron.





The sun fades over an IRON ARCHWAY -- Welcome to Diagon Alley! -- as Harry, Ron and Hermione pass beneath. All around them, SHOPS sit silent, windows BOARDED-UP or SHATTERED. People scurry by, avoiding the SCARY FACES of the witches and wizards who peer out from the SECURITY POSTERS plastered to every LAMP POST. Bellatrix is there: "KNOWN DEATH EATER," And Greyback: "WEREWOLF." And LUCIUS MALFOY: "CAUGHT."

HERMIONE How is it Fred and George are doing it? Half the alley's closed down.

RON Fred reckons people need a laugh these days.

HARRY Reckon he's right...

Harry eyes the poster of Bellatrix, her mocking half- smile.

HERMIONE Oh no. Look.

Harry and Ron follow her gaze to the wreck that is Ollivander's Wand Shop.

HERMIONE But everyone got their wands from Ollivander. Young. Old... HARRY Good. Bad. Speaking of which...

Across the avenue, DRACO MALFOY and Narcissa pause, glance around, then slip quickly down an alley.

RON Is it just me? Or do Draco and mummy look like two people who don't want to be followed?


The trio trail Draco and Narcissa, who navigate these dark streets with ease. Hermione, lagging a bit, glances up at the darkening sky. When she looks back, she sees Ron and Harry far ahead. They turn a shadowy corner, vanish. (CONTINUED)


Harry and Ron duck inside a shop front. At the end of the alley, a single shop glimmers dully: Borgin & Burkes. Narcissa and Draco enter, greet a STOOPED MAN (BORGIN). He POINTS. Draco walks to a LACQUERED CABINET, plays his fingers over its glassy surface. Narcissa speaks and Draco turns, finds Borgin holding the curtain to the back room aside. Draco hesitates, then follows his mother through.

RON What're they playing at?

HARRY Dunno. Let's get closer. RON (a nod; stopping) Hey. Where's Hermione?


Hermione moves through the shadows, alone, peering down side streets, each darker than the next, lost, but holding it together, when... a SHADOW FLICKERS overhead. She looks up, sees a FIGURE (Greyback) leap from one roof to another. She stands perfectly still, then... hears VOICES.


Harry and Ron race down one passage then another. Stop. RON Harry, where is she? HARRY I don't know. I'm turned around.


Hermione creeps to the end of a narrow passage, toward the VOICES, and finds herself... behind Borgin & Burkes. FIGURES encircle an old cauldron, among them Greyback, Bellatrix, Narcissa, and in the very center... Draco.

Hermione squints against the brilliance of the FIRE, the FIGURES twisting like Giacomettis. Draco extends his left arm... when a SHADOW falls over Hermione, fingers find her arm. She wheels, terrified.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 23. 26 CONTINUED: (2) 26 Ron.

HERMIONE Bloody hell.

RON Sorry.

Just then, the cauldron EXPLODES with light. Instantly, the group, including Draco, disperses.

HARRY What just happened?

HERMIONE I don't know. Harry stares at the SMOKE drifting from the cauldron. A SOUND RISES, growing more powerful and the ROAR of a...


... TRAIN overtakes us, the scarlet stack of the Hogwarts Express churning furiously towards the horizon.

LUNA Quibbler...? Quibbler...?


LUNA LOVEGOOD moves down the aisle wearing a pair of RED and BLUE CARDBOARD GLASSES (SPECTRESPECS) identical to the ones modeled by a witch on the cover of the current issue of The Quibbler, a stack of which Luna clutches to her chest.

LUNA There's an article on Wrackspurts this month. Quibbler...?

The loitering STUDENTS ignore her, including DEAN THOMAS, currently WHISPERING to Ginny, who smiles mildly, more interested in the PURPLE PYGMY PUFF perched on her shoulder.

LUNA He's lovely. They've been known to sing on Boxing Day, you know. Quibbler? GINNY Please. What's a Wrackspurt?


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 24. 28 CONTINUED: 28 LUNA They're invisible creatures that float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy. (moving off) Quibbler? Quibbler?


Harry, Ron and Hermione sit together. Hermione has a book entitled Advance Rune Translation open on her lap, while Ron lets Harry's INVISIBILITY CLOAK play through his fingers.

HARRY Don't you see, it was a ceremony. An initiation.

HERMIONE Stop, Harry, I know where you're going with this --

HARRY It's happened. He's one of them.

RON One of what?

HERMIONE Harry is under the impression that Draco Malfoy is now a Death Eater.

RON You're barking. What would You- Know-Who want with a sod like Malfoy?

HARRY So what's he doing in Borgin and Burke's? Browsing for furniture?

RON It's a creepy shop. He's a creepy bloke.

HARRY Look. His father's a Death Eater. It only makes sense. Besides, Hermione saw it. With her own eyes.

HERMIONE I told you. I don't know what I saw. (CONTINUED)

25. 29 CONTINUED: 29 Harry rises, snatches the cloak from Ron's hands.

HARRY I need some air.


A blood-red sun shimmers through the windows, staining the interior a deep scarlet. Students read, play cards. In one compartment, CRABBE and GOYLE slumber sloppily. As Harry enters, the ACCORDION doors to the NEXT CAR SQUALL open and a PAIR of TWIN GIRLS emerge. He watches them when a VOICE causes him to turn back. As the accordion doors slowly close, he spies Malfoy sitting with PANSY PARKINSON and a BOY with the cheekbones of a sphinx (BLAISE ZABINI). Harry studies Malfoy when a BOY pushes through the accordion doors. As they begin to close, slowly, Harry reaches into his pocket and removes the ORANGE AND BLACK LUMP Fred gave him in Diagon Alley. He eyes Malfoy, eyes the closing door and -- impulsively -- pitches the lump into the air. It soars through the narrowing crease of the doors and -- just as Malfoy glances his way -- just as it reaches the apex of its flight -- POOF! -- explodes softly, raining DARK POWDER.


One train car -- and only one -- goes DARK:

32 INT. HOGWARTS EXPRESS - AISLE/COMPARTMENT - SAME TIME - DUSK 32 CHAOS. PANICKED VOICES. Then, like a thinning mist, the darkness eerily recedes, the red light of dusk returns and Malfoy is revealed, standing in the DOORWAY of the car. As he looks on warily, students return to their seats. Across the way, Crabbe & Goyle continue to slumber.

MALFOY What just happened? Blaise?

BLAISE (tense himself) Don't know.

Just then, a SMALL BAG TEETERS... then tumbles from a luggage rack. Malfoy wheels, eyes the bag.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 26. 32 CONTINUED: 32 PANSY Relax, boys. The lights went out is all. Come, Draco. We'll be at Hogwarts before you know it.

She pats the seat. Draco eyes the bag, slings it back onto the luggage rack and plops down. Pansy strokes his hair.

MALFOY Hogwarts. What a pathetic excuse for a school. I think I'd pitch myself off the Astronomy Tower if I thought I had to continue on for another two years.

Pansy, gently twisting one of Draco's locks, stops. PANSY What's that supposed to mean?

MALFOY Let's just say I don't think you'll be seeing me wasting my time in Charms Class next year.

Confused, Pansy glances at Blaise, who snorts derisively.

MALFOY Amused, Blaise? We'll see just who's laughing in the end.

Blaise shakes his head, smiling as he looks out the window at the darkness. Just then the small bag in the upper rack shifts. Malfoy's eyes play over it.


The Hogwarts Express steams into the station.


Ron and Hermione step into the crowded aisle.

HERMIONE Where's Harry?

RON Probably on the platform. C'mon.



As Blaise and Pansy make to exit, Malfoy takes down the small bag, grips the handle thoughtfully.

MALFOY You two go on. I want to check something.

Malfoy slides shut the door. LETS THE BLINDS DOWN. A beat.

MALFOY Didn't mummy ever tell you it's bad manners to eavesdrop, Potter? Petrificus Totalus! Malfoy wheels, points his wand at the luggage rack. Something hits the floor with a THUMP. The Invisibility Cloak slips away and reveals Harry, paralyzed on the floor. Malfoy grins.

MALFOY Oh, right, she was dead before you could wipe the drool off your chin.

Malfoy brings his boot down hard on Harry's face. SNAP! Blood squirts from Harry's nose. Malfoy snatches up the Invisibility Cloak, pitches it over Harry.

MALFOY Enjoy the ride back to London.

36 EXT. STATION - EVENING (MOMENTS LATER) 36 Malfoy steps off, pulls his cloak tight and disappears into the night. Softly, a SOUND rises, of a GIRL LIGHTLY HUMMING and we --




Luna Lovegood wanders down the aisle HUMMING, red and blue Spectrespecs wobbling on the bridge of her nose. Up ahead one compartment's BLINDS are shut. Luna stops HUMMING. Cocks her head curiously. As she does, the LIGHT from an overhead lantern kicks off the cheap plastic lenses of her glasses and, for the briefest of seconds, a FLUTTERING CLOUD appears. (CONTINUED)

28. 37 CONTINUED: 37 Of tiny insects. Or pixie dust. Or a trick of the light.


Luna's SILHOUETTE SWELLS over the blinds, then the door opens. She calmly draws her wand and sends forth a blast of RED LIGHT. The Invisibility Cloak slithers from Harry's body.

LUNA Hello, Harry.

HARRY Luna. How'd you...? LUNA Your head's full of Wrackspurts. them.


The castle glitters. Harry, face blood-spattered, nose slightly off-center, approaches with Luna.

HARRY Sorry I made you miss the carriages, Luna.

LUNA It's alright. I enjoyed our walk. It was like being with a friend.

HARRY I am your friend, Luna.

LUNA That's nice.

Just then PROFESSOR FLITWICK rushes forth clutching a long roll of PARCHMENT bearing all students' names.

FLITWICK About time! I've been looking all over for you two. Names.

HARRY Professor Flitwick, you've known me for five years.

FLITWICK No exceptions, Potter.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 29. 39 CONTINUED: 39 LUNA Who are those people?

Harry turns, sees Luna staring into the darkness, where SHADOWS drift eerily, like ghosts.

FLITWICK Aurors. For security.

MALFOY (O.S.) It's a not a cane, you cretin. It's a walking stick.

Harry and Luna turn. Draco stands amidst a mountain of TRUNKS and OWL CAGES, watching Filch pass a long SECURITY DETECTOR over a WALKING STICK. FILCH And what exactly would you be wanting with a walking stick?

SNAPE It was his father's.

Snape separates from the shadows. Draco eyes him warily, then snatches the stick from Filch.

MALFOY Is my father's. He's not dead. Snape watches Malfoy carefully wrap the stick in felt, lay it back inside his trunk.

SNAPE It's alright, Mr. Filch. I can vouch for Mr. Malfoy. Draco eyes Snape warily again, then begins to slouch off, catches Harry looking.

MALFOY Nice face, Potter.

Harry puts a hand to his nose, watches Malfoy disappear into the darkness, trailed by Snape.

LUNA Would you like me to fix it? Personally I think you look a bit more devil-may-care this way. But it's up to you.

HARRY Have you ever fixed one? A nose.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 29A. 39 CONTINUED: (2) 39 LUNA No. But I've done several toes and how different are they really?

This does not fill Harry with confidence. Nevertheless...

HARRY What the hell. Give it a go.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 30. 39 CONTINUED: (3) 39 LUNA Episkey. Luna poises her wand over Harry's nose and... gives it a TAP. It VIBRATES WILDLY and then... SNAPS into place.

HARRY Well? How do I look?

LUNA Exceptionally ordinary.

HARRY Brilliant.

40 INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 40 Hermione cranes her neck, looking for Harry, while Ron stuffs his face with pudding, MUMBLING, MOUTH FULL:

RON Don' you worry. He'll be `long soon `nuff --

HERMIONE (whacking him) Will. You. Stop. Eating! Your best friend is missing! RON Oi! Turn around, you lunatic.

Hermione spins, sees Harry and Luna approaching. In the light of the hall, Harry's blood-spattered face is quite the sight. GINNY He's covered in blood again. Why is it he's always covered in blood?

RON Looks like his own this time.

HERMIONE (as he arrives) Where've you been, Harry? And what happened to your face?

HARRY Later. What've I missed?


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 31. 40 CONTINUED: 40 RON (shrugging; still eating) Sorting Hat urged us all to be brave and strong in these troubled times -- easy for it to say -- it's a hat, isn't it? First Years seemed to enjoy it, though. Wankers. Filch give you the wand outside?

Harry nods. Ginny, damp napkin in hand, begins to dab his face, then feels suddenly awkward. Harry takes it from her.

HARRY Thanks... Just then, the light in the Hall begins to gently dim and all eyes turn to Dumbledore, standing at the top of the Hall, ashen hand raised to the enchanted ceiling, where clouds respond to his gestures and shroud a gleaming full moon.

HERMIONE What's happened to his hand?

DUMBLEDORE The very best of evenings to you! First off, please join me in welcoming the newest member of our staff, Horace Slughorn.

MILD APPLAUSE ensues. Harry claps perfunctorily, his eyes drifting to the entrance of the Hall as a pair of Aurors station themselves just outside. DUMBLEDORE Professor Slughorn, I'm happy to say, has agreed to resume his old post of Potions master. Meanwhile the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts will be assumed by Professor Snape.

This is greeted by stunned silence. Dumbledore frowns, then attempts to generate something by CLAPPING his hands once. A few Slytherins join in and some dim-witted First Years.

DUMBLEDORE Now, as you know, each and every one of you was searched upon your arrival tonight. You have a right to know why. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 32. 40 CONTINUED: (2) 40 DUMBLEDORE (CONT'D) (a beat) Once there was a young man who, like you, sat in this very Hall. Walked this castle's corridors. Slept beneath its roof. He seemed, to all the world, a student like any other. His name? Tom Riddle.

The Hall goes utterly silent.

DUMBLEDORE Today, of course, the world knows him by another name. Which is why, as I stand looking out upon you all tonight, I am reminded of a sobering fact. Each day, every hour, this very minute perhaps, dark forces attempt to penetrate this castle. But in the end, their greatest weapon remains... you.

Harry eyes Malfoy, slouched low, lazily levitating a fork with his wand, as if Dumbledore were unworthy of attention.

DUMBLEDORE Just something to keep in mind. Now, off to bed. Pip pip!

RON (as they rise) That was cheerful.


A TEEMING MASS of STUDENTS fight their way to class on first day of term. Amidst it all, McGonagall stands tall and stern. The twins pass by, bearing identical looks of consternation.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL History of Magic is up, ladies, not down. Mr. Davies -- that's the girl's toilet...

McGonagall's eyes shift, find Harry and Ron sitting upon a ledge, clearly deriving immense pleasure from the chaos.



33. 41 CONTINUED: 41 Harry's smile droops. McGonagall beckons with a finger.

HARRY This can't be good.

Ron grins as Harry makes his way "upstream" to McGonagall.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Enjoying ourself, are we?

HARRY Well, you see, I've got an open period this morning, Professor --

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL So I noticed. I would think you'd want to fill it with Potions. Or is it no longer your ambition to become an Auror?

HARRY It is. Or was. But I was told I had to get an Outstanding in my O.W.L. --

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL And so you did when Professor Snape was teaching Potions. However, Professor Slughorn is perfectly happy to accept N.E.W.T. students with `Exceeds Expectations.'

HARRY Really? Well... brilliant. I'll head there straight away.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Good. And take Weasley with you. He looks far too happy over there.


Ron trails Harry toward an open door.

RON But I don't want to take Potions!



As Harry drags Ron inside, the other students turn in unison. Hermione frowns. Lavender, seeing Ron, beams.

SLUGHORN Harry m'boy! I was beginning to worry! And I see we've brought someone with us...

RON Ron Weasley, sir. But I'm dead awful at Potions, a menace actually, so I probably should just be going --

SLUGHORN Nonsense, we'll sort you out. Any friend of Harry's is a friend of mine. Right then, books out --

HARRY Um, sorry, sir, but I haven't got my book yet -- nor's Ron. You see -- (until this morning...)

SLUGHORN Not to worry. You can get what you need from the cupboard.

As Harry and Ron step to the cupboard, Slughorn resumes, gesturing to the cauldrons bubbling before him.

SLUGHORN Now, as I was saying, I've prepared a few concoctions this morning. Any ideas what these might be? Yes, Miss...?

HERMIONE Granger, sir. That one there is Veritaserum. And that would be Polyjuice Potion. And that...

In the cupboard, Harry and Ron find two TEXTBOOKS -- one new, one shabby and soiled. Both snatch for the new when a box -- marked "BEZOARS" -- tips. As Harry makes a grab for it, Ron wrests free the new textbook and goes off grinning.

HERMIONE ... is Amortentia! The most powerful love potion in the world. (MORE)


35. 43 CONTINUED: 43 HERMIONE (CONT'D) It's rumored to smell differently to each person, according to what attracts them. For example, I smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and spearmint toothpaste --

Hermione blushes, stops herself. Slughorn regards her.

SLUGHORN One of my best friends is Muggle- born. She's the best in our year... Harry, settling into his seat with the soiled textbook, looks up just as Slughorn's eyes shift to him for confirmation. As Harry nods, Hermione glances curiously at him.

SLUGHORN Now Amortentia doesn't create actual love, of course. That's impossible. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession. For that reason, it is probably the most dangerous potion in this room.

Slughorn turns, finds a sea of dreamy faces leaning into the VAPORS. Instantly, he CLANGS a cover onto the cauldron, bringing them round. As Ron blinks, he finds Lavender still staring dreamily -- at him. Noticing, Hermione's eyes narrow.

KATIE BELL Sir, you haven't told us what's in that one.

SLUGHORN Ah yes...

Slughorn steps to a SMALL BLACK CAULDRON. Begins to ladle a bit of GOLDEN LIQUID into a TINY VIAL.

SLUGHORN What you see before you, ladies and gentlemen, is a curious little potion known as Felix Felicis. But it is more commonly referred to as --

HERMIONE Liquid luck.

A buzz runs through the class. Even Malfoy perks up. (CONTINUED)

36. 43 CONTINUED: (2) 43 SLUGHORN Yes, Miss Granger. Desperately tricky to make. Disastrous should you get it wrong. But brewed correctly, as this has been, it has remarkable powers. One sip and you will find that all your endeavors succeed... at least until the effects wear off.

KATIE BELL But then why don't people drink it all the time?

SLUGHORN Because taken in excess it causes giddiness, recklessness and dangerous overconfidence.

BLAISE Have you ever taken it, sir?

SLUGHORN Twice. Once when I was twenty- four. Once when I was fifty- seven. Two tablespoons taken at breakfast. Two perfect days...

Slughorn eyes the vial dreamily, adrift. Finally he blinks.

SLUGHORN So. This is what I offer each of you today. One tiny vial of liquid luck... to the student who, in the hour that remains, manages to brew an acceptable Draught of Living Death, the recipe for which can be found on page ten of your textbook.

Excitement seizes the class. Slughorn smiles knowingly.

SLUGHORN You should know that in all the years of my previous tenure at Hogwarts, not once did a student brew a potion of sufficient quality to claim this prize. In any event -- good luck.

Slughorn sets the vial upon his desk, where it SHIMMERS in a SHAFT of SUNLIGHT. Harry opens his book. Frowns. The MARGINS of the page before him are black with the tight SCRIBBLINGS of a previous owner. (CONTINUED)

37. 43 CONTINUED: (3) 43 The same CREEPY GRAFFITI fills the next page as well, on and on throughout the book. Shaking his head, Harry runs his finger under the first PRINTED INSTRUCTION:

"Cut up one Sopophorous bean."

Harry takes the SILVER DAGGER upon his desk, poises it over the BEAN when... Ron's bean shoots across the room and bounces off Katie Bell's head. Harry surveys the rest of the room: everyone is struggling to cut the resistant legume. He glances back to his book, considers the instruction again.

As ARROW has been drawn from the word "Cut" to the margin, where a modification has been written in the tight scrawl: "Crush with blade -- releases juice better."

Harry considers the dagger in his hand, then places the flat of the blade against the bean and presses. Instantly, the protective parchment covering the desk runs RED with juice.

HERMIONE How did you do that?

HARRY Crush it. Don't cut it.

HERMIONE No. The instructions specifically say to cut.

HARRY No. Really -- HERMIONE Sh!

Harry shrugs, lifts the parchment and tips the juice into his cauldron. It HISSES, then turns LILAC. Harry grins. CAMERA BEGINS SLOW DOLLY TOWARDS the vial of Felix Felicis and...


Students struggle. A cauldron overflows. Lavender eyes Ron.


Hermione grows more and more frustrated. Her hair grows bushier in the steam rising from her cauldron... (CONTINUED)

38. 43 CONTINUED: (4) 43 Harry's finger traces under the official instruction... then drifts to the spidery scrawl in the margin...

Malfoy cuts himself, curses...


Harry, cool as a cucumber, adds one last ingredient, steps back, done...

Hermione, hair like Medea now, glowers at him...




Slughorn wends his way amongst the cauldrons, nodding with sympathy at the fiascos before him. Then... he stops, staring in disbelief at the pearly sheen of one bubbling potion.

SLUGHORN Merlin's Beard! But it's perfect. So perfect I daresay one sip would kill us all! Your mother was a dab hand at potions, but this... My, my, what can't you do, m'boy? Perhaps you will save us all in the end...

All eyes turn to Harry. His smile falters. SLUGHORN Here you are then, as promised. One bottle of Felix Felicis. Use it well.

Slowly, Harry reaches out... takes the glittering vial.


The Castle is dark, but for one WINDOW.


Dumbledore sits alone at his desk, the deep lines of his face illuminated by the shimmering PENSIEVE. TWO OBJECTS of note are before him. One is a BLACK-STONED RING. The other is TOM RIDDLE'S DIARY. (CONTINUED)

39. 45 CONTINUED: 45 He briefly balances the ring upon the tip of an ashen finger, then turns a page of the battered diary. His face is troubled. A KNOCK. He takes the ring and diary, slips them inside a drawer. The door swings open, reveals Harry.

DUMBLEDORE Good evening, Harry. You got my message, I see. Come, come. Sit.

Harry steps forward, eyes the Pensieve curiously. Sits.

DUMBLEDORE So. How are you?

HARRY Fine, sir. DUMBLEDORE Enjoying your classes? Professor Slughorn, for one, is most impressed with you.

HARRY I think he overestimates my abilities, sir.


HARRY Definitely.

Dumbledore smiles affectionately, nods.

DUMBLEDORE And what of your activities outside the classroom? Do they bring you satisfaction?


DUMBLEDORE I notice you spend a great deal of time with Miss Granger. One can't help but wonder if --

HARRY No! I mean... she's brilliant. And we're friends. But... no.

DUMBLEDORE Forgive me, Harry, I...


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 40. 45 CONTINUED: (2) 45 Dumbledore smiles faintly, shakes his head.

DUMBLEDORE ... I was merely curious. (rising) In any event, I'm sure you're wondering why I've summoned you here tonight. The answer lies here.

Dumbledore swings open a cabinet where DOZENS upon DOZENS of GLITTERING VIALS stand like tiny glimmering soldiers.

DUMBLEDORE What you see before you are memories. In this case pertaining to one individual: Voldemort. Or as he was known then... Tom Riddle.

Dumbledore reaches down with his damaged hand and removes a stoppered VIAL, dusty and veined with age.

DUMBLEDORE This vial contains a most particular memory -- of the day I first met him. I'd like you to see it. If you would...

Dumbledore extends his ashen hand and Harry rises, gingerly takes the vial and removes the cork. He tips the contents into the Pensieve. Dumbledore nods and Harry leans into the iridescent liquid, his face breaking the surface...


A horse-drawn MILK CART rattles across a RAIN-SWEPT London street and a YOUNG DUMBLEDORE appears in a PLUM VELVET SUIT. We TRACK him down the street (and see him eye a LOVELY LASS appreciatively) until he reaches a GRIM BUILDING surrounded by IRON GATES. As Dumbledore passes through, CAMERA RISES:


The IMAGE SHUDDERS and we --




A skinny, sharp-featured woman, MRS. COLE, leads Dumbledore down a drab corridor. CHILDREN'S VOICES carry from an unseen COURTYARD, splashing and shrieking, in the midst of some game.

MRS. COLE I must confess to a bit of confusion upon receiving your letter, Mr. Dumbledore. In all the years Tom's been here, he's never once had a family visitor. Frankly, I was stunned to find that someone knew of his existence. DUMBLEDORE I am not family. But his name has been known to me since birth.

MRS. COLE I see...

But she doesn't really. She stops, frowns.

MRS. COLE I think I should tell you. He's a funny boy -- Tom. Odd. There have been incidents with the other children. Nasty things.

DUMBLEDORE Perhaps you could give me an example. Mrs. Cole starts to speak, then shakes her head, moves off. As Dumbledore makes to follow, his eyes happen upon a FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH on the wall, old and yellowing, depicting a SEASIDE SCENE of a SHARP ROCK OUTCROPPING and a CAVE. As he exits, we HOLD ON it.


Mrs. Cole's hand appears. KNOCKS. She turns the KNOB.


A small room, grim and shadowy. TOM RIDDLE, 11 years old, sits atop a bed, hands in lap. The walls CRAWL with REFLECTED RAIN, oozing like oil down a grimy window.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 41A. 48 CONTINUED: 48 MRS. COLE You've got a visitor, Tom.


42. 48 CONTINUED: (2) 48 Dumbledore steps forward, extends his hand.

DUMBLEDORE How do you do, Tom.

Riddle eyes Dumbledore briefly, looks away.

MRS. COLE Well, I'll leave you two to yourselves.

Mrs. Cole exits, closing the door. Dumbledore studies Riddle, then begins to tour the room. Carefully placed upon a low shelf are some ODD SOUVENIRS. A grouping of SEVEN STONES... A book containing SEVEN MATCHES. SEVEN BRASS KEYS... Moving on, Dumbledore passes a TALL CABINET, tracing his FINGERS over its surface, as if the wood's grain were Braille, as if somehow "seeing" what lies within.

Then Dumbledore pauses. Strewn on a small table are a grouping of SEVEN DARK DRAWINGS. A BOY and GIRL, their faces anguished. A sea-swept CAVE. The same cave from the photograph. Dumbledore begins to reach out...


Dumbledore stops, turns. Finds Riddle's level gaze on him.

DUMBLEDORE As you wish.

Riddle looks away and Dumbledore, for the first time, notices his hands. They are splayed, utterly still, and INTERLACED with a SILKY WEB, where a SPIDER knits back and forth.

TOM RIDDLE You're the doctor, aren't you?

DUMBLEDORE No. I am a Professor.

TOM RIDDLE I don't believe you. I hear Mrs. Cole talking, her and the rest of the staff. They want me looked at. They think I'm different.

DUMBLEDORE Perhaps they're right.


43. 48 CONTINUED: (3) 48 TOM RIDDLE I'm not mad.

DUMBLEDORE Hogwarts is not a place for mad people.

Riddle looks up, cocks his head ever-so-slightly.

DUMBLEDORE It's a school. A school of... magic.

Riddle stays looking, but says nothing.

DUMBLEDORE You can do things, can't you, Tom? Things the other children can't.

Riddle eyes Dumbledore intensely, unblinking.


DUMBLEDORE Tell me some of the things you can do, Tom.

TOM RIDDLE (watching the spider) I can make things move -- without touching them. I can make animals do what I want without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who are mean to me. I can make them hurt... if I want.

Dumbledore studies Riddle -- then the boy looks up.

TOM RIDDLE Who are you?

DUMBLEDORE I'm like you, Tom. Different.

Riddle closes his hands and the web collapses.

TOM RIDDLE Prove it.

It is not a request. Without breaking his gaze, Dumbledore's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly and... the WARDROBE BURSTS INTO FLAMES. Riddle wheels.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 43A. 48 CONTINUED: (4) 48 Slowly smiles. Dumbledore studies him. Abruptly, the wardrobe begins to SHAKE. Riddle's smile fades.


44. 48 CONTINUED: (5) 48 DUMBLEDORE I think there is something trying to get out of your wardrobe, Tom. Open it. Open. It.

Terrified, Riddle steps to the burning wardrobe and throws open the door. On the topmost shelf, above a rail of threadbare clothes, a SMALL BOX SHAKES VIOLENTLY.

DUMBLEDORE Take it out.

As Riddle's fingers touch the box, the flames engulfing the wardrobe vanish, but the box continues to SHAKE -- the only sound in the now-silent room.

DUMBLEDORE Is there anything in that box you ought not to have?

Riddle eyes Dumbledore, a trifle fearfully this time. He spills the box onto the bed: a YO-YO, a silver THIMBLE, and a tarnished MOUTH ORGAN.

DUMBLEDORE Why did you want these things, Tom?

TOM RIDDLE (looking off) I like having things that belonged to other people. It makes me feel ... close to them.

Dumbledore studies Riddle's profile, pondering this. DUMBLEDORE Thievery is not tolerated at Hogwarts. At Hogwarts, you will be taught not only how to use magic, but to control it. Understood? (as Riddle nods) I'll be going now, Tom. Leave your window open tonight. An owl will bring you a message. Read it carefully.

Dumbledore starts to exit, when:

TOM RIDDLE I can speak to snakes too.

Dumbledore stops and we are ON his face, his back to Riddle. (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 45. 48 CONTINUED: (6) 48 TOM RIDDLE They find me. Whisper things. Is that normal. For someone like me?

DUMBLEDORE It is unusual. But not unheard of.

Dumbledore exits then, without a backward glance, leaving 11-year-old Tom Riddle alone. The IMAGE SHUDDERS and...


... Harry and Dumbledore reappear. The room has grown DIM in their absence. Dumbledore gestures. LAMPS BLAZE to LIFE. HARRY Did you know, sir? Then?

DUMBLEDORE Did I know that I had just met the most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time? No. Had I...

Dumbledore falters, his expression troubled. Harry looks up from the Pensieve, where young Tom Riddle's fragmented face floats on the surface, eyes Dumbledore.

DUMBLEDORE Over time, while here at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle grew close to one particular teacher. Can you guess which teacher that might be? HARRY You didn't bring Professor Slughorn back simply to teach Potions, did you, sir?

DUMBLEDORE No. I did not. You see, Professor Slughorn possesses something I desire very dearly. And he will not part with it easily... (eyeing Harry knowingly) I'd rather not divulge any more just yet, Harry. But I promise. In time you will know everything.


46. 49 CONTINUED: 49 HARRY You said Professor Slughorn would try to collect me.


HARRY Do you want me to let him?

Dumbledore trails his ashen fingers in the surface of the Pensieve, vanquishing young Tom Riddle's face.



Harry tries -- with little success -- to get the attention of the throng of aspiring Quidditch players assembled on the pitch.

HARRY All right! Queue up! Excuse me...


Instant silence. Harry frowns, nods to Ginny nevertheless.

HARRY Thanks. All right. This morning I'll be putting you all through a few drills to assess your strengths. But know this: Just because you made the team last year does not guarantee you a spot this year. Is that clear?

Ron looks unnerved at this, sweating so much he's attracted a PESKY FLY. CORMAC McLAGGEN, the huge boy from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, sidles up.

CORMAC No hard feelings, Weasley, alright?

RON Hard feelings?


47. 50 CONTINUED: 50 CORMAC I'll be going out for Keeper as well. Nothing personal.

RON Really? Strapping guy like you, you've got a Beater's build, don't you think? Keeper needs to be agile, quick --

Cormac nabs the FLY between two fingers, kills the BUZZ.

CORMAC I like my chances. Say... think you could introduce me to your friend Granger? Wouldn't mind getting on a first name basis, know what I mean?

Cormac gives a lewd wink, saunters off. Ron glances up to the stands. Hermione smiles, waves.


Ginny flies swiftly, handling the Quaffle with ease.

TWO SECOND YEARS collide in mid-air.

Cormac makes a brilliant save.

Ron makes a shaky save.

Hermione looks on, nervous for him.

Katie Bell snatches a Quaffle with one hand, splits two defenders beautifully and makes a slick blind pass to Dean who jets high in the air, then lets the Quaffle roll off his fingers... right into Ginny's hands as she races below.

Seamus sends a Bludger rocketing into the stands, scatters a group of onlookers, leaving only Neville, who sidles delicately to the right as the others leg it.

TWO THIRD YEARS collide in mid-air.

Cormac makes a brilliant save.

Ron turns the wrong way but makes the save anyway as the Quaffle caroms off the tail of his broom.

Hermione looks on more nervously.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 47A. 50 CONTINUED: (2) 50 DEMELZA ROBINS, bent low over her stick, pins the Quaffle under her chin, splits two Bludgers and a pair of Beaters.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 48. 50 CONTINUED: (3) 50 TWO FOURTH YEARS collide in mid-air.

Two aspiring Beaters "whiff" on a pair of Bludgers, whack each other instead and plummet to the pitch as the Bludgers ricochet off one another and go flying into the stands, scattering onlookers yet again and leaving, as before, only Neville. This time, he sidles delicately to the left.

Cormac makes a brilliant save.

The Quaffle bounces off Ron's head.

Hermione looks on extremely nervously.

TWO FIFTH YEARS collide in mid-air. END MONTAGE.


The survivors press ICE PACKS to their heads, run TAPE round twisted fingers. Only Ron, hovering at the west goal, and Cormac, hovering at the east, remain on the pitch. Luna, Spectrespecs in place, eyes Cormac -- cool, confident, clear. Then eyes Ron -- sweaty, nervous, SWARMING in WRACKSPURTS.

HARRY All right. Cormac. Ron. It's down to you two for Keeper. We'll decide it with a shootout. Demelza, you'll bring the Quaffle up against Cormac. Ginny, you'll take on Ron. CORMAC Hang on. She's his sister. How do I know she won't toss him a floater?

GINNY Piss off, Cormac. How `bout I toss you a floater?

HARRY Quiet! I'm Captain. We do it my way. Now line up. On three. One. Two... Three!

Demelza and Ginny rocket forth. Ron weaves nervously while Cormac hovers in place, a confident sneer on his face.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 49. 50 CONTINUED: (4) 50 HARRY (under his breath) C'mon, Ron...

Demelza hunkers over her broom once again, flying like an arrow, then goes into a wide, sweeping slide. Ginny blasts over the pitch, ginger hair streaming like flames, then rolls recklessly to the side. As one, they both let fly...

Hermione, face buried in her fingers, MUTTERS SOMETHING.

Cormac, at the last moment, inexplicably rolls his broom to the right and the Quaffle sails over his shoulder. Ron, zig-zagging crazily, nearly falls off, rights himself in a panic, and deflects Ginny's Quaffle... with his forehead. As a few partisan CHEERS erupt from the stands, Harry grins, then has to restrain himself. Hermione opens her eyes slowly.

LAVENDER BROWN Isn't he brilliant?

Hermione stares balefully at Lavender, then notices Cormac eyeing his broom incredulously. She gets up, slips away.


Harry scans his Potions book. Hermione peruses the Prophet. Ron cracks walnuts, pitching the pieces into the fire.

RON Have to admit, thought I was going to miss that last one. Hope Cormac's not taking it too hard.

Behind her paper, Hermione rolls her eyes.

RON Has a bit of a thing for you, Hermione. Cormac.

HERMIONE He's vile.

Ron considers this, then glances across the room at Lavender.

HARRY Ever heard of this spell?


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 50. 51 CONTINUED: 51 Harry points to a notation in the margin underlined three times: "Sectumsempra. For Enemies." Hermione frowns.

HERMIONE No I have not. And if you had a shred of self-respect you would turn that book in.

RON Not bloody likely. He's top of the class. Even better than you, Hermione. Slughorn thinks he's a genius.

Hermione casts Ron a withering glance.

RON What?

HERMIONE I'd like to know just whose book that was. Let's take a look, shall we?

HARRY (holding it out of reach) No.

HERMIONE (suspicious) Why not?

HARRY It's... old. The binding is fragile. HERMIONE The binding is fragile? She makes another grab for it, but Harry holds it clear. Then Ginny appears, plucks it out of his hand.

GINNY Who's the Half-Blood Prince?


GINNY That's what it says. Right here. `This Book is the Property of the Half-Blood Prince.'


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 51. 51 CONTINUED: (2) 51 Ginny points. Written on the frontispiece is: "This Book is the Property of the Half-Blood Prince."


Students lean into a bitter wind, trudging through deep snow.

HERMIONE For weeks you carry around this book, practically sleep with it... and you have no desire to find out who The Half-Blood Prince is?

HARRY I didn't say I wasn't curious. And, by the way, I don't sleep with it.

RON (a sarcastic chortle) Yeah. Right. (as Harry glares) Well, it's true. I like a nice chat before I go to bed. Now you're always reading that bloody book. It's like being with Hermione.

This time it's Hermione's turn to glare.

HERMIONE Well, I was curious. So I went to -- HARRY/RON The library.


HERMIONE And... nothing. There's no reference to the Half-Blood Prince anywhere.

HARRY Good. That settles it then.

Hermione starts to object, when:

HAGRID Hey, you three!


52. 52 CONTINUED: 52 HAGRID emerges out of the trees, beard crusted in white, looking like a crazed Father Christmas. Behind him, deep in the woods, DARK SILHOUETTES -- AURORS -- can be seen. Hermione eyes them briefly, then nods to the PULSATING BURLAP BAG Hagrid clutches in his fist.

HERMIONE What've you got there, Hagrid?

Hagrid tips open the bag. The trio grimace. Hagrid CHUCKLES.

HAGRID Stinksap. Burn the whiskers right off yer chin. Trees `ere are drippin' with it. HERMIONE Stinksap? You're not sick, are you?

HAGRID It's not fer me. It's fer Aragog. Yeh remember Aragog, don' yeh?

RON Spider? About six feet tall? Ten feet wide?

HAGRID Tha's the one. He's taken ill. I'm hopin' ter nurse `im back. Keep yer fingers crossed.

Hagrid crosses his fingers. Ron forces a grin, does the same, shakes his head as Hagrid disappears back into the trees.

RON Barking. Does he not remember that raving arachnid tried to eat us? What?

Ron sees Hermione staring at the Aurors again.

HERMIONE The Aurors. I know they're here to protect us, but... somehow I don't feel any safer.

Just then Harry spies Slughorn, heading down towards the Village, passing a weary Flitwick coming the other way.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 52A. 52 CONTINUED: (2) 52 SLUGHORN Filius! I was hoping to find you at the Three Broomsticks.

FLITWICK Emergency choir practice, I'm afraid, Horace.

Harry watches Slughorn continue on toward the Village.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 53. 52 CONTINUED: (3) 52 HARRY Who's up for a Butterbeer?


As the trio enter, Harry glances round, locates Slughorn at the bar, planted plumply on a stool.

HARRY No. Over here.

Hermione and Ron, in the midst of seating themselves at a perfectly acceptable -- and clean -- table, see Harry seat himself at one strewn with the detritus of a previous customer -- but which puts him in direct view of Slughorn. They exchange a glance, shrug, join Harry. Ron starts to take the chair directly opposite Harry -- blocking his view.

HARRY No, no. Sit next to me.

Ron stops, exchanges another glance with Hermione.

RON O-kay.

A SKINNY KID in an apron appears, tosses a FILTHY RAG upon the table -- which begins to wipe the surface on its own. Harry cranes his neck around the kid to keep Slughorn in view.

SKINNY KID What'll we have? HERMIONE Three Butterbeers. Splash of ginger in mine, please.

The kid WHISTLES and the rag leaps back into his pocket. Harry continues to eye Slughorn, when he sees Draco. They lock eyes briefly, then Draco exits.

RON Aw, bloody hell...

Harry turns, sees Ron glowering at Ginny, who sits in a dark corner with Dean, their faces lit by a guttering candle.

HERMIONE Oh, honestly, Ronald. They're just holding hands... (MORE) (CONTINUED)

HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 54. 53 CONTINUED: 53 HERMIONE (CONT'D) (as Dean kisses Ginny) And snogging.

RON I'd like to leave.

HERMIONE Leave? You can't be serious.

RON That happens to be my sister.

HERMIONE So? What if she looked over here and saw you snogging me? Would you expect her to get up and leave? Ron blinks, utterly speechless. Then:

SLUGHORN Harry, m'boy! Slughorn's voice BOOMS so loudly even Ginny jumps -- and catches Harry looking. As Slughorn waddles over, SLOSHING mug in hand, Harry rises immediately -- an action so grossly out of character that Hermione regards him with amused curiosity.

HARRY Hello, sir. Wonderful to see you.

Hermione, brow wrinkling, turns to Ron, silently mouths: wonderful to see you? HARRY So what brings you here, sir?

SLUGHORN Oh, the Three Broomsticks and I go way back. Longer than I'd care to admit. In fact, I remember when it was simply One Broomstick!

As Slughorn GUFFAWS, Harry joins in, LAUGHING HEARTILY as well. Slughorn's belly trembles next to Hermione's cheek and his waving mug sloshes over, spattering the table.

SLUGHORN Oops! All hands on deck, Granger!

Hermione smiles thinly, when a WHISTLE is heard and the FILTHY RAG is back, whisking away Slughorn's mess as the SKINNY KID slides three foaming mugs onto the table. (CONTINUED)

55. 53 CONTINUED: (2) 53 (In the b.g. Katie Bell emerges from the back, starts for the exit. Her friend LEANNE follows her out.)

SLUGHORN Listen, m'boy. In the old days, I used to throw together the occasional supper and invite a select student or two. Would you be game?

HARRY I'd consider it an honor, sir.

SLUGHORN You'd be welcome too, Granger.

Hermione, in the midst of emptying her Butterbeer in one long draw, SLAMS down her mug -- leaving behind a "mustache."

HERMIONE Be delighted, sir.

SLUGHORN Brilliant. Look for my owl. (exiting, to Ron) Good to see you, Wallenby.

Ron frowns as Slughorn waddles away, turns to Harry.

RON What're you playing at?

HARRY Dumbledore asked me to... get to know him. RON Get to know him? HARRY Dunno. But it must be important. Otherwise Dumbledore wouldn't ask.

Slam! Ron turns, sees that Hermione has emptied his mug as well. Ron gestures to her upper lip.

RON Um... You've got a little...

Without a thought, she flicks her tongue up, wipes it clean.



The snow falls heavily now. Ron and Harry walk together, while Hermione trails several yards behind, pirouetting happily, letting snowflakes fall on her tongue.

RON Bit worried about her. Did you hear that rubbish she was talking back in the pub? Her and me snogging. Ha. As if...

LEANNE (O.S.) Katie. You don't know what it could be!

Up ahead, Katie Bell and Leanne stand in the drifting snow, ARGUING. Katie holds a SLENDER PACKAGE. Hermione comes bumping up, drapes her arms over the boys.

HERMIONE What's up?

At that very instant, Katie Bell RISES SIX FEET INTO THE AIR. Hair dancing violently in the wind, her face remains eerily placid. Then she... SCREAMS. Harry and Ron DASH FORWARD, seize her ankles. At their touch, she FALLS to the snow, THRASHING and SHRIEKING, EYES ROLLED UP in her skull.

LEANNE I warned her! I warned her not to touch it!

Hermione looks. Lying in the snow is the PACKAGE, TORN. RON Harry, she's swallowing her tongue --

HERMIONE I'll get someone --

HARRY There's no time!

Suddenly, a MASSIVE FIGURE LURCHES out of the WHITE: Hagrid.

HAGRID Get back! All o' yeh!


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 57. 54 CONTINUED: 54 He says this so forcefully the others instantly obey. Effortlessly, he scoops up Katie's thrashing body and then, as if calming a terrified animal, presses his face close to hers and WHISPERS with great TENDERNESS:

HAGRID Now, now. Now, now...

Over and over he repeats this, soothingly, the words like a mantra, until Katie's lids flutter and her body goes limp.

HAGRID Don' go touchin' tha' but by the wrappin's. Unnerstan'?

Hagrid nods darkly to the package in the snow. Harry kneels. Poking through the paper is an ORNATE OPAL NECKLACE. Taking off his scarf he carefully enfolds package and rises. Then, along with the others, he watches Hagrid lumber off, Katie cradled in his arms. In seconds they are swallowed by the snow. The only sound is the ROAR of the WIND.


The necklace lies green and glittering upon McGonagall's desk.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL You're sure Katie did not have this in her possession when she entered the Three Broomsticks, Leanne? LEANNE It's like I said. She went to the loo and when she came back she had the package. She said it was important she deliver it.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Did she say to whom?

Leanne shakes her head.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL All right, Leanne. You may go. (as Leanne exits) Why is it always you three? Hm? When something happens?


58. 55 CONTINUED: 55 RON Believe me, Professor, I've been asking myself the same question for six years.

Just then, Snape appears at the door, eyes the trio.


SNAPE Is this it?

McGonagall nods. Snape takes his wand, lifts the necklace like a dead snake. Eyes it with fascination.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL What do you think?

SNAPE I think Miss Bell is lucky to be alive.

HARRY She was cursed, wasn't she? I know Katie. Off the Quidditch pitch she wouldn't hurt a fly. If she was bringing that to someone, she wasn't doing it knowingly.

Snape eyes Harry levelly.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL Yes. She was cursed.

HARRY It was Malfoy.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL That's a very serious accusation, Potter.

SNAPE Indeed. Your evidence?

HARRY I... just... know.

SNAPE You... just... know. Once again you astonish with your gifts, Potter, gifts mere mortals could only dream of possessing. How grand it must be to be the Chosen One. (CONTINUED)

59. 55 CONTINUED: (2) 55 Ron and Hermione avert their eyes uncomfortably.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL I suggest you return to your dormitory. All of you.


Harry and Ron lie awake in the darkened dormitory. Ron stares at the ceiling. Harry eyes "Malfoy" on the Marauder's Map.

RON What do you suppose Dean sees in her? Ginny. HARRY What does she see in him?

RON Dean? He's brilliant.

HARRY You called him a slick git not five hours ago.

RON Yeah, well, he was running his hands all over my sister, wasn't he? Something snaps. You've got to hate him. You know, on principle.

HARRY (troubled by this) I suppose.

RON So what is it? He sees in her?

HARRY I don't know. She's smart. Funny. Attractive...

RON Attractive?

HARRY You know. She's... got nice skin.

RON Skin? You're saying Dean's dating my sister because of her skin?


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 60. 56 CONTINUED: 56 HARRY Well, no. I mean... I'm just saying it could be a contributing factor.

Silence. Then:

RON Hermione's got nice skin. Wouldn't you say? As skin goes, I mean.

HARRY I've never really thought about it. But I suppose, yeah. Very nice. Another silence. Suddenly it feels weird.

HARRY I think I'll be going to sleep now.

RON Right.

Harry sets the Map aside. We HOLD. Malfoy's DOT moves down the 7th Floor corridor... and disappears.

SLUGHORN (V.O.) A toast!


Slughorn stands at the head of a table, goblet raised to the students seated before him, which in addition to Harry and Hermione include MARCUS BELBY, Blaise Zabini, NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM and the TWINS. A distinctive CRYSTAL HOURGLASS sits in the center of the table.

SLUGHORN To Hogwarts' best and brightest!

CORMAC Here, here!

Hermione exchanges a wry glance with Harry, who notices that ONE SETTING is EMPTY. The twins make -- and drink -- their toast in perfect unison. Neville stares hopelessly at the vast array of forks, knives and spoons placed beside his plate.

NEVILLE Which one do I use for the soup? (CONTINUED)

61. 57 CONTINUED: 57 Hermione grins, looks up, and gets a WINK from Cormac.



SLUGHORN So tell me, Cormac. See much of your Uncle Tiberius these days?

CORMAC Yes, sir. In fact, I'm meant to go hunting with him and the Minister for Magic over holiday.

SLUGHORN Well, be sure to give them both my best. What about your uncle, Belby? Working on anything new? (to the others) For those of you who don't know, Marcus' uncle invented the Wolfsbane Potion.

As he speaks, Belby never once looks up from his plate.

MARCUS BELBY Dunno. He and me dad don't get on. Probably because Dad thinks potions are rubbish. Says the only potion worth having is a stiff one at the end of the -- (day.) SLUGHORN And you, Miss Granger? What is it your family does in the Muggle world?

HERMIONE My parents are dentists. They tend to people's teeth.

SLUGHORN Fascinating. And is that considered a dangerous profession?

HERMIONE No. Though, a boy named Robbie Fenwick did bite my father once. Needed ten stitches.

As Slughorn nods, the door GROANS. Everyone turns.


HARRY POTTER... HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Rev. 11/6/07 61A. 57 CONTINUED: (2) 57 SLUGHORN Miss Weasley! Come in, come in.

GINNY Sorry, I'm not ordinarily late --

She falters, eyes red, uncharacteristically flustered.




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