Welcome to the Slug Club

Harry meets the rest of Professor Slughorn's new 'favourites'

Extract from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling

It was as Harry had suspected. Everyone here seemed to have been invited because they were connected to somebody well-known or influential – everyone except Ginny. Zabini, who was interrogated after McLaggen, turned out to have a famously beautiful witch for a mother (from what Harry could make out, she had been married seven times, each of her husbands dying mysteriously and leaving her mounds of gold). It was Neville’s turn next: this was a very uncomfort- able ten minutes, for Neville’s parents, well-known Aurors, had been tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange and a couple of Death Eater cronies. At the end of Neville’s inter- view, Harry had the impression that Slughorn was reserving judgement on Neville, yet to see whether he had any of his parents’ flair.

‘And now,’ said Slughorn, shifting massively in his seat with the air of a compère introducing his star act. ‘Harry Potter! Where to begin? I feel I barely scratched the surface when we met over the summer!’

He contemplated Harry for a moment as though he were a particularly large and succulent piece of pheasant, then said, ‘The “Chosen One”, they’re calling you now!’

Harry said nothing. Belby, McLaggen and Zabini were all staring at him.

‘Of course,’ said Slughorn, watching Harry closely, ‘there have been rumours for years ... I remember when – well – after that terrible night – Lily – James – and you survived – and the word was that you must have powers beyond the ordinary –’

Zabini gave a tiny little cough that was clearly supposed to indicate amused scepticism. An angry voice burst out from behind Slughorn.

‘Yeah, Zabini, because you’re so talented ... at posing ...’

‘Oh dear!’ chuckled Slughorn comfortably, looking round at Ginny who was glaring at Zabini around Slughorn’s great belly. ‘You want to be careful, Blaise! I saw this young lady perform the most marvellous Bat Bogey Hex as I was passing her carriage! I wouldn’t cross her!’

Zabini merely looked contemptuous.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling