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HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
As the new year begins at Hogwarts, Dumbledore introduces the students assembled in the Great Hall to returning Potions Professor Horace Slughorn. He also reveals that Severus Snape has finally achieved his long-held ambition to become the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

The students had also been greeted by added security measures, which Dumbledore now explains are to protect both them and the school against the threat of the rampaging Death Eaters. However, the young wizards are about to discover there is no magic formula to help them navigate their teen years, and the intertwining stories of romance, jealousy, crushes, unrequited love, and romantic rivalries might also feel familiar to any Muggle who is—or has ever been—a teenager.

David Barron illustrates, "For the first time we learn that Harry has feelings for Ginny Weasley, who is going out with Dean Thomas, much to the concern of her brother Ron, who has fallen head-over-heels for Lavender Brown, leaving Hermione, who is secretly in love with Ron, watching jealously from the sidelines, so she goes out with Cormac McLaggen, even though she can't stand him, to make Ron jealous… Welcome to the normal life of a teenager,” he deadpans.

Returning in the role of Hermione Granger, Emma Watson notes, "These characters are usually facing such huge issues, like fighting evil, so it's easy to forget that they're just teenagers. For me, this film feels more like a romantic comedy than the others, in the sense that we get to see them coping with first love, jealousy and insecurity and all the usual things involved in dating.”

In "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Harry famously had his first kiss with Cho Chang. In this film, we see him begin a new relationship with an old friend, as he discovers that Ron's "baby” sister, Ginny, is now a lovely young woman. Bonnie Wright, who likewise has grown up in the role of Ginny, says her character's attraction to Harry is not news to her. "As a little girl, Ginny fancied her big brother's best friend, but she never believed anything would come of it because he is her brother's best friend.

Over the years, they developed a connection; she understands the responsibility Harry has to the rest of the wizarding world and that he is seen as the ‘Chosen One.' But what she doesn't realize is that he has begun to like her, too. That does come as a surprise to her and I guess to him, as well,” she smiles.

Standing in the way of Harry and Ginny's budding romance, there is the matter of her current boyfriend, Dean Thomas (Alfred Enoch). Ron has been glaring at Dean while keeping a protective eye on his sister, and Harry would prefer not to see that glare turned towards him. Radcliffe offers, "Harry is starting to feel incredibly strongly about Ginny, but her brother is his best mate and he doesn't want to jeopardize that. At the same time, he really does want to kiss Ginny so it's a bit of a dilemma. I think it's good fun and quite sweet.”

However, Ginny's big brother is about to be distracted by his own romantic triangle. Ron Weasley gets his first official love interest, although fans have long suspected that he and Hermione have feelings for each other, while never actually admitting them. But pretty Lavender Brown makes no secret of her affection for Ron and never misses an opportunity to demonstrate her adoration.

"Ron finally gets a girlfriend in this film,” Rupert Grint says. "At the start, he thinks he's quite the man. But after a while he finds her a bit overwhelming because Lavender is sort of over the top; she's starting to scare him. She calls him ‘Won-Won' and gives him jewelry, and Ron doesn't know how to handle it. She's driving him crazy.” Heyman comments, "Lavender is a force of nature. She's a lovely girl but not at all reserved. She is all over Ron,

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