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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Chapter Three:
Will and Won't

Notes by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
Synopsis and links by John Kearns

U.S. hardcover edition: pages 38 - 56
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 42 - 58
Timeframe: Friday, 12 July, 1996 [Y16]

In which the Daily Prophet tells us about the wizarding public's perception of Harry and the steps the Ministry has taken to provide safety in the war, and Dumbledore returns to Privet Drive. Before leaving, Dumbledore sits with Harry and the Dursleys, updates Harry on his inheritance from Sirius and gives him Kreacher, determining that he has indeed come into Harry's possession. Dumbledore then chastises the Dursleys for their treatment of Harry but asks that he be allowed to return to Privet Drive one final time, and he and Harry depart.

Will and Won't

The chapter title is reminiscent of first word we ever heard Dudley say in the books ("won't" in the U.S. edition); here it's a reference to Kreacher's reaction at being inherited by Harry. "Will" refers to Sirius' last will and testament, which Dumbledore discusses with Harry herein.

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

An alarm clock, repaired by Harry several years ago

This may be the repaired clock referred to during Harry's first few days in Dudley's second bedroom.

Harry had read this letter so often since its arrival three days ago

Since the scene occurs on Friday night, the letter arrived on Tuesday.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

  • None

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • Still to come....

Spells and Potions:

Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

  • "It is a long time since my last visit," said Dumbledore, peering down his crooked nose at Uncle Vernon. "I must say, your agapanthus are flourishing."

  • Harry looked around; all three of the Dursleys were cowering with their arms over their heads as their glasses bounced up and down on their skulls, their contents flying everywhere.

  • "And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."

Strictly British:


Dumbledore's letter states that he's picking Harry up on a Friday. The rest of the evidence pertaining to the exact date of this Friday is in the next chapter - but it's most likely 12 July.


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