Overall, I think HBP moved up to second favorite, HP books-wise. My list now goes: 3,6,5,4,2,1. So basically each book as gotten better.. but 3 just still stands out in my mind. As a happy year. As I've said recently, I would love to read about years at Hogwarts without the worries of the dark side.
Thoughts, theories, and questions
1)The locket with the note signed by R.A.B. was likely Regulus Black
2)It is likely the same locket that was found in Ootp while cleaning Grimmauld Place. Hopefully it is still there, and Mundungus didn't sell it
3) Thoughts on Dumbly/Snape: Dumbledore was going to die anyway. The potion was making him weaker and weaker. R.A.B (who I assume to be Regulus Black) took the potion and left the note in the locket, saying he knew he would be dead by the time Voldie read it. We can assume the potion eventually killed him, and therefore, it would have eventually weakened Dumbledore to the point of death.
Dumbledore didn't want Draco to become a killer. And Draco, faced with the idea of actually murdering Dumbledore, was shaking in his shoes. Dumbledore was pleading with Snape-- I don't think it means he was pleading with him not to kill-- but actually to kill him. This lets Snape fulfill his unbreakable vow, stay on good terms with the Death Eaters (who I believe he is still going to spy on, and who will give him major props for doing something Voldemort never even tried to do, kill Dumbledore). Dumbledore has been getting old. He knows that, why else would he be taking the time and trouble to show Harry his thoughts, and pass on his work with the Horcruxes? With Dumbledore going to die that night anyway, plus the fact that he always trusted Snape, it really fits. Theres no possible way that two accomplished legilimens could have looked at eachother for that minute and not been discussing. I think the look of hatred on Snape's face was being upset at the situation of Dumbledore asking him to kill him. Harry needed convincing at the end of the book to do exactly what Dumbledore told him to do. But Snape, who has been given Dumbedore's trust undoubtedly for so many years... well Snape took Dumbledore's words as law, and did exactly what he asked.
The problem arises now that no characters will understand this. Snape obviously can continue acting as a double agent of sorts and spying on the death eaters, but there's no way that after killing Dumbledore that he'd a) be let back into the order b)he's ever going to get to be a teacher at Hogwarts again.
Not that this lets Snape off the hook. I'm incredibly pissed that Snape gave away Harry's parents.
4)Harry could be a possible Horcrux, even though Voldemort didn't actually kill him. The intent was enough for the Horcrux. This opens up a "tragic hero/self sacrifice" idea when Harry has to possibly kill himself to get rid of the last of Voldemort.
5) Tonks's patronus: Padfoot because of her sadness over the loss of her cousin? Or Werewolf!Lupin, given her love for him?
6)Can you look in a dead person's pensieve? That is, can harry look through Dumbledore's memories? I know Dumbly had to capture the memories of other people before they died (Hokey, etc), but if they are already in the pensieve, can Harry just look at them? Also, how exactly does it work? It's not the person's memory, I think perhaps the memories are the memories of the time, but not specifically the exact memory of the person. For instance, even though it was Snapes memory in OotP, Harry followed the Marauders and found out what they were saying, even though Snape couldn't hear.
7)Why was Bellatrix teaching Draco Occlumency? To stand up to Voldie? Dumbledore? Snape?
8)Did Merope attend Hogwarts?
9)What now happens to the Order of the Phoenix secret-keeping? Does it automatically transfer to someone else? Or is no one new allowed to know where it is?
Random other thoughts on the book
1) Glad Fleur didn't leave Bill. Impressed that her first thought was that the Weasleys would think that Bill wouldn't love her anymore, instead of the other way around. I have much more respect for her now.
2) Couplage: Ron and Hermione.. Glad they will be getting together in the next book instead of this one. It gives them less time to break up. Ron/Lavendar and Hermione/Cormac were done simply to make the other one jealous/mad. Tonks and Lupin: Awwww! Not expected but so cute! Harry and Ginny: Amazing that it finally happened, though I think Dean was definitely a catalyst in getting them together, by getting Harry to realize he liked Ginny. Am sad that Ginny didn't stubbornly say she would stay by his side, but understand why Harry had to break up with her.
3)Never realized until just now, with a typo, how close "hermione" is to "heroine."
4)Bob Ogden and Tiberius Ogden.. related? Which is the one known for firewhiskey?
5)Slightly amused and slightly upset about Dumbledore's constant narcissism about how smart/clever he is.
6)Mollywobbles. Nuff said.