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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J. K. Rowling

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 4

“I take you with me on one condition: that you obey any command I might give you at once, and without question.”

Dumbledore speaks these words to Harry at the end of Chapter 25, before he agrees to take Harry with him to destroy the locket Horcrux. Harry responds by giving his word, which Dumbledore later holds him to, demanding that Harry pour the poison potion down Dumbledore’s unwilling throat, no matter how difficult it might be for Harry to see Dumbledore in such pain. Because Harry trusts Dumbledore so deeply and would never break a promise, he forces Dumbledore to drink the hideous potion. Once again, Dumbledore places Harry’s well-being before his own and must be certain that he can fully protect Harry before he agrees to let Harry accompany him on such a terrifying journey. Although Harry is a powerful young wizard, Dumbledore still feels enormously responsible for his well-being, and occasionally must step up in his role as elder. This happens again when Dumbledore freezes Harry in the astronomy tower, effectively rendering him useless to help save Dumbledore. Harry is unable to even attempt to stop Draco or Snape, which keeps him safe. Still, the decision to freeze Harry ultimately proves fatal for Dumbledore.

Readers may recall this quote at the end of the book, when Dumbledore is weak, toppled over, and without a wand and mumbles, “Severus, please,” at Snape, who has pointed his wand directly at Dumbledore—although Rowling makes no explicit suggestion that Dumbledore had, in fact, asked Snape to kill him to save Draco from becoming a murderer, it suddenly seems oddly possible, given Dumbledore’s selfless, self-sacrificing nature.