Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by: J. K. Rowling

Chapters 10 and 11

Dumbledore’s seat in the Great Hall is often empty, and it’s difficult for the student body of Hogwarts to see that their headmaster is not there for them when they need him the most. Harry considers Dumbledore a father figure, and most of Hogwarts feels similarly. Given the troubling conditions of the time, with Death Eaters striking innocent victims and people constantly being placed under the Imperius Curse, it is important for the students to feel as though they are being protected and watched over by a wizard as old and as powerful as Dumbledore. Unfortunately, Dumbledore has said nothing about where he goes in his absences, and the students are left feeling abandoned and unimportant. Throughout Harry’s tenure at Hogwarts, there have been many times when the school has threatened to close because of unsafe conditions, and it has always been Dumbledore’s role to comfort parents and ensure them of their children’s safety. With Dumbledore gone, there is little reason for either students or their parents to feel secure. Harry, like most students, feels vaguely betrayed by Dumbledore’s empty chair, finding it difficult to imagine what might be more important than guarding Hogwarts.