|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "Dear Harry, Ron, and Hermione!
Aragog died last night. Harry and Ron, you met him and you know how special he was. Hermione, I know you'd have liked him. It would mean a lot to me if you'd nip down for the burial later this evening. I'm planning on doing it round dusk, that was his favourite time of day. I know you're not supposed to be out that late, but you can use the cloak. Wouldn't ask, but I can't face it alone.
- —Hagrid's letter to the trio[src]
The funeral of Aragog took place on 21 April, 1997. The funeral was an event commemorating the life of Aragog, an acromantula, after he passed away from old age. It took place in Rubeus Hagrid's pumpkin patch, behind his cabin.
Before the burial
Aragog, the acromantula cared for by Rubeus Hagrid for over fifty years, became ill over the summer of 1996. Despite Hagrid's ministrations, his health continued to deteriorate over the next several months.
Finally, on 20 April, 1997, the elderly acromantula passed away. Hagrid, determined that his lifelong friend should receive a proper burial, removed Aragog's body from the Forbidden Forest, to prevent the other acromantulas from cannibalising the corpse. Hagrid sent an invitation to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger to join him for the burial, but the trio decided to decline. Ron's previous encounter with Aragog, not to mention his arachnophobia, set him firmly against attending, and Hermione reasoned that it was not worth the risk of punishment for being outside the school at night. Although he felt sorry for Hagrid, Harry reluctantly agreed with his friends.
As it so happened, that night Harry took a small dosage of the luck potion Felix Felicis in an attempt to obtain a vital memory from Professor Horace Slughorn. To Ron and Hermione's shock and eventual alarm, Harry was filled with an overwhelming urge to visit Hagrid and help him with the burial. Trusting in the Felix Felicis, Harry left the castle and headed for Hagrid's hut, encountering Slughorn near the greenhouses along the way. Harry subtly persuaded Slughorn to attend the burial as well by baiting him with the possibility of obtaining valuable acromantula venom.
- "Farewell, Aragog, king of arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you won't forget! Though your body will decay, your spirit lingers on in the quiet, web-spun places of your forest home. May your many-eyed descendants ever flourish and your human friends find solace for the loss they have sustained."
- —Aragog's eulogy, delivered by Horace Slughorn[src]
Slughorn arrived at Hagrid's hut shortly after Harry, bringing with him several bottles of wine. They proceeded to the pumpkin patch, where Hagrid had laid Aragog's body next to a large, freshly-dug grave. After discreetly obtaining some of Aragog's venom while the emotional Hagrid was distracted, Slughorn gave a moving eulogy in Aragog's honour that Hagrid described as "beautiful". Hagrid then hefted the acromantula's body into the pit, and Slughorn filled in the grave with a wave of his wand.
Returning to the hut, Slughorn and Hagrid indulged in several bottles of wine, while Harry used a Refilling Charm to keep things going. After Hagrid passed out, Harry used the opportunity to persuade Slughorn to give him a memory pertaining to Voldemort's Horcruxes that Dumbledore had tasked him with retrieving for their private lessons. By stirring Slughorn's sympathies with tales of his mother, Harry was able to obtain the memory at last.
Behind the scenes
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there is no mention of Aragog before the funeral itself, nor does Hagrid send an invitation to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. After drinking the Felix Felicis, Harry simply walks down to Hagrid's hut with Slughorn in tow to find the funeral already in progress.
- There is an added portion in the film version where Slughorn tells Harry of how Lily gave him a pet fish named Francis. This is not mentioned in the novel.
- Fang could be counted as a fourth participant because he howls unexpectingly at Aragog's funeral.