Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling

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Chapter 15 Summary

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The Goblin’s Revenge

Harry wakes up early the next morning to give Mad-Eye Moody’s eye a proper burial in private. When Ron and Hermione awaken, the three decide to move on so they can keep their whereabouts a secret.

When they get to their new spot to pitch their tent, the three of them are so starving that Harry ventures into the nearest town to find food. Unfortunately, “he had barely entered the town when an unnatural chill, a descending mist, and a sudden darkening of the skies” told him that dementors were present.

Harry runs back to Ron and Hermione and tells them that his Patronus stag would not appear. This worries Ron and Hermione. Meanwhile, Ron gets more and more grumpy for lack of food.

Harry finally realizes why he couldn’t produce his Patronus: he is still wearing Voldemort’s Horcrux. It must be having a very negative effect on him. Harry, Ron, and Hermione agree to take turns wearing the locket to protect the trio from any bad psychological effects the Horcrux might have.

After finding a neighboring farm and procuring some eggs and some bread, the three begin to discuss where and how they will find the items containing parts of Voldemort’s soul. “Dumbledore had told Harry that he believed Voldemort had hidden the Horcruxes in places important to him.” Listing the places Voldemort considered dear causes Harry, Ron and Hermione to get into another fight. Exasperated, the three decide to start in London at the orphanage where Voldemort grew up.

Under the invisibility cloak, the three search for Voldemort’s orphanage, but they find that it has been destroyed and replaced with a set of office buildings. Meanwhile, Harry’s scar keeps prickling on his forehead and he keeps seeing the face of the blond man escaping with the object Voldemort wants.

As summer seeps into fall, the relationship between Harry, Ron and Hermione becomes more tense, with Harry worrying about the other two doubting his leadership. Soon, the three hear some noise outside their tent and discover a group of wizards and Goblins who are escaping the Ministry of Magic’s new crackdown on magic fold who aren’t pureblooded.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione listen in on the conversation undetected. They find out that some Hogwarts students (Ginny included) attempted to steal the sword of Godric Gryffindor, one of the things they know will destroy a Horcrux. As a result, Snape confiscated the sword and locked it away in Gringotts. Griphook, the Goblin, realizes that the sword Snape confiscated is actually a fake; therefore, the real sword is still at large. Further, The Quibbler, the newspaper edited by Luna’s father, has stopped printing silly articles and begun printing real news that contradicts the Ministry’s lies as scattered by the Daily Prophet.

As the group of fugitives moves on, Hermione takes out another confiscated item she brought along, the portrait of Phineas Nigelius, and questions the former headmaster about what Snape is doing. Nigelius says that the last time he saw the sword, Dumbledore was using it to break open a ring (one of the first Horcruxes). Thus, they realize that “Goblin-made blades imbibe only that which strengthens them . . . that sword’s impregnated with basilisk venom!” It can, therefore, destroy Horcruxes.

The trio decide that they must have that sword. Unfortunately, they fight about how to find it. The fight ends with Ron storming out for good. Harry places the Horcrux around his own neck while Hermione crumples to the floor, crying.

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