The Final Hiding Place

chapter twenty-seven of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry, Ron, and Hermione fly the dragon north, finally dropping off into a lake and collapsing on the bank. Then Harry watches as Voldemort learns of the Horcrux being stolen, thinks of the others – the final one at Hogwarts – and sets off to check on them. So the trio sets off as well, Apparating to Hogsmeade to try to break into Hogwarts.
 

The Escape, by Elad Tibi

As they climbed higher and higher, London unfurling below them like a gray-and-green map, Harry’s overwhelming feeling was of gratitude for an escape that had seemed impossible.


 

The Final Hiding Place, by somelatevisitor

Lower and lower the dragon flew, in great spiraling circles, honing in, it seemed, upon one of the smaller lakes.


 

Fly, by Maria Abagnale

“I say we jump when it gets low enough!” Harry called back to the others. “Straight into the water before it realizes we’re here!” They agreed, Hermione a little faintly, and now Harry could see the dragon’s wide yellow underbelly rippling in the surface of the water. “NOW!”


 

Draco dormiens... by pojypojy

Hermione looked across the lake to the far bank, where the dragon was still drinking. “What’ll happen to it, do you think?” she asked. “Will it be all right?”
“You sound like Hagrid,” said Ron. “It’s a dragon, Hermione, it can look after itself.”


 

In a Moment of Incredulous, Grateful, Cathartic Mirth, the Trio Laugh on the Shore of the Lake as the Escape Dragon Flies into the Distance, by Drew Graham

“It’s us we need to worry about.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I don’t know how to break this to you,” said Ron, “but I think they
might have noticed we broke into Gringotts.”
All three of them started to laugh, and once started, it was difficult to stop.


 

Lord Voldemort, by TBranch

“What did you say to me?” His voice was high and cold, but fury and fear burned inside him. The one thing he had dreaded – but it could not be true, he could not see how….

(by TBranch)


 

Avada Kedavra, by NicoPony

A scream of rage, of denial left him as if it were a stranger’s…. The Elder Wand slashed through the air and green light erupted through the room… and those who were left were slain, all of them, for bringing him this news, for hearing about the golden cup….


 

about the chapter

 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

The thing I find most incredible about the trio’s flight aboard the dragon is how unbelievably long they’re up there. They leave Shell Cottage as dawn is breaking, before Bill and Fleur are even awake; they arrive at Diagon Alley just as the shops are opening for the day (so do the shops open ludicrously early or do Bill and Fleur sleep in?); and their entire trip to Gringotts can’t possibly take more than fifteen minutes. Yet by the time they land in the lake, the sun is setting. It’s spring, so the days are long, and we’re talking easily eight hours on the back of the dragon, and maybe more. All the while holding on to the beast’s rock-hard scales for dear life!
 
Of course this also begs the question: What is Voldemort doing during all this time? Or the wizards and goblins at Gringotts, for that matter? Like the Ministry of Magic, I imagine it first took a while for Gringotts to get everything together and figure out what had happened. They had to investigate who had been there; how they did it; what they took; and then resecure the place. Then Voldemort had to be told there was news, and told what it was. I imagine this was quite a day for most of the goblins at Gringotts. You have to feel sorry for them, especially since one of them then has to bring the news to Voldemort personally (and of course is instantly killed).
 

Something Else You May Not Have Noticed

When Voldemort learns that Harry has stolen one of his Horcruxes, he immediately starts running through the other hiding places in his head, wondering how Dumbledore might have found out that the Horcruxes existed. What’s most interesting about this, though, is a key thing that Voldemort doesn’t consider: that Dumbledore might have gotten the information from Horace Slughorn. For long before Harry weaseled Slughorn’s full memory out of him, he gave the adulterated version to Dumbledore. And in some ways, that memory was even more valuable, as it confirmed a simple truth: that Voldemort was using Horcruxes at all. Yet as far as we know, Voldemort never thinks to blame Slughorn, even though Slughorn is back teaching at Hogwarts again, and even though his former teacher was one of the keys that led Dumbledore (and eventually Harry) down this path. We may never see Voldemort being particularly trusting, but it seems that on at least this one occasion, Tom Riddle was.
 

The Wizarding World

Harry, Ron, and Hermione have now successfully broken into, and escaped from, two of the most secure wizarding buildings in Britain – the Ministry of Magic and Gringotts Bank. A lot of planning and cleverness was involved in both, of course, but so was an awful lot of luck. And when you think about it, there’s really only one more building left that would even have this level of security, and that’s Hogwarts. So it’s only natural that by the end of the chapter, the trio is heading off to try to figure out how to break in there, too….
 

Full Circle

Of course, the return to Hogwarts was in some ways inevitable. How could we finish the final book in the series without ever visiting the place? Or without ever seeing so many of the characters we’ve been reading about for all these years? There were plenty of theories before book seven was released as to where a final confrontation might take place, and many people thought we might revisit the Death Chamber or the locked room in the Department of Mysteries. But overwhelmingly, fans knew that Harry and Voldemort were likely to both end up back at Hogwarts. Both grew up there, in more ways than one; both consider it their only true childhood home; and thanks to the final Horcrux, both are now planning to return there this very night. There are only nine chapters left in the book, and while we don’t know what will happen, it’s now pretty clear that we know where. Nothing could be more fitting.
 

Something to Remember

While we’re at it, we’ve had hints throughout the series of all the Horcruxes that Harry has managed to locate thus far. He had already seen the locket in Grimmauld Place, of course, and had already visited the Ministry of Magic. He also knew what the cup looked like, and had visited Gringotts in the past as well. Given Rowling’s tendency to drop hints and later return back to things, it’s worth asking ourselves what this final object might be, and where at Hogwarts it might be hidden? Harry has said many times that he knows the school better than almost anyone, and all we know of the object is that it’s probably something of Gryffindor or Ravenclaw’s. Let’s say it’s a question worth asking….
 


56 Responses to “The Final Hiding Place”

  1. I’ve often wondered who all exactly Voldemort killed when he went berserk after receiving the news from the Gringotts goblin. It seems like most of the usual Death Eaters are later present at the Battle of Hogwarts–so how many extra people were at Malfoy Manor for him to strike down people “again and again.” And even Bellatrix can’t wait to get out of there this time… it’s surprising she or anyone is left to fight *with* the Dark Lord in the end.

    Also, I like the little “full circle” moment of Harry, Ron & Hermione squeezing under the invisibility cloak one more time… not in order to sneak out of Hogwarts as usual (to visit Hagrid’s etc.), but to start an attempt to get back in.

  2. Another great chapter, and great art. Interesting about how long the day is.

    I never really thought about how they rose so early and got there before the shops were open, and then it’s sunset.

  3. Wonderful, once again! I always love seeing these notifications in my inbox, and the art is great. My favorite is the one by Drew Graham. I absolutely loved that moment. It always seems like I get the giggles at the most inopportune moments, and surely this is one of those for the Trio. I love how JKR can inject that kind of humor into any situation.

  4. I was a little surprised when you said they were probably only in Gringotts for 15 minutes, but it makes sense. I always assumed they were on the dragon for a long time, but they also flew a logn way. Who knows which direction or how fast the dragon was moving. It’s quite possible they passed through some time zones and were really only in the air for 5 hours or so? Still a long time.
    Andres: I’m not sure how many of Voldemort’s victims were actual Death Eaters… maybe some henchmen and followers, but I doubt he’d massacre his inner circle when he knew Harry was after Horcruxes. He’d need as many “trustworthy” people as possible.

  5. That moment where the three of them start laughing and can’t stop is actually one of my favourite moments in the whole book! It’s so realistic after all the anxiety of the last few hours… relief and pent-up anxiety can often come out as laughter. I think JKR drew that character moment exactly right.

    And we need a moment of emotional reaction from the three of them right then, after the almost-unbelievable gringots expedition…

    And then Harry’s not even able to stop laughing before that vision delivers the message that it’s not over yet. What a perfect way to raise the anxiety level another notch, right when we thought we could breathe again!

    So economical!

    It’s like the scene with the comical Porter in Macbeth. The moment of funny makes the moment of fear that much more frightening.

  6. Christa, there’s only one time zone in Britain. If the dragon stayed in Britain (i.e., flew north-north-west) they were on Greenwich time all day.

    It takes the Hogwarts Express nine hours from London to Hogsmeade, and a dragon wouldn’t be as fast as a train. So while it’s a gruellingly long journey, it seems that it did indeed take around ten hours, and that they finally landed in, say, Cumbria. Sunset on 1 May would be around 9pm, but the sun would “begin to set” an hour earlier.

    I remember in the months before DH was released, nearly everyone assumed that the final horcrux would be “something of Ravenclaw’s” (because the only plausible item of Gryffindor’s was the Sword, which we knew had been ruled out) and nearly everyone assumed that it would be “that tiara” that Harry saw in the RoR.

    The crown, cup and sword make an interesting triptych of symbols…

  7. The speed of dragons must surely depend in part on obvious factors like: which dragon? My top speed, running for a bus, does not come close to Usain Bolt’s! And this was an elderly, partially sighted dragon which had been cooped up and unable to fly for who knows how long. The poor old thing would be a whole lot slower than a train, but some of Charlie’s charges could probably give a propellor-driven aircraft the time of day, at least for a while.

    Cumbria is a good notion, with just one proviso: the lakes there are insanely popular with tourists, sailors, hill-walkers, hang-gliders, picnickers … perhaps a Scottish lochan would be more private for it, and would also add to the travelling time.

  8. Voldemort’s worst nightmare has just began, I liked that.
    One interesting twitch, that Harry never had time to do, I wonder what would be LV’s reaction after arriving at Gaunt’s shack and finding a ticket with something like that written:
    “Hello Riddle
    Your diary is gone. The ring also. You know by now that I have your Gringott’s Horcrux. For your information I also destroyed the Horcruxes you left at the lake and in Hogwarts. After finishing with Nagini I’m going after you, so I’ll see you soon.
    Harry Potter”

  9. Concerning the dragon and the lake and Cumbria, can you just imagine the myths that would arise from it if people did see.

    “You saw a dragon! Are you sure it wasn’t something like Nessie in Scotland. That would attract all sorts of tourists!”

    And the Aurors would shrug and say; ‘just go with it’

    And wouldn’t it be nice to know if in JK’S world a similar incident had caused the myth surrounding the Loch Ness Monster?

  10. I love your bit on The Wizarding World. Just the way you phrased it really tickled me. The part with the trio laughing was also a welcome relief for me. I knew it couldn’t last but after all the tension from Gringotts, it was nice to laugh along with them for a little.

  11. Andrea and Christa: there’s at least one Death Eater (or henchman) taht is referred through the book and whose name is not mentioned in the final battle, and that’s Selwyn. Was he perhaps one of the victims of LV’s wrath after finding out of the cup?

  12. Jose, that’s hilarious! But Harry wouldn’t be so stupid. Why warn Voldy that he ought to hide his snake? I’ve always thought it a pity that Voldy never read that final nose-thumb from R.A.B.

    Emma, I think there is something like that in FB&WtFT. The Loch Ness Monster turns out to be a Kelpie; there are many Kelpies, but this is the one whom the Muggles caught.

  13. This is the chapter when it was 1AM and I was unable to sleep for the anticipation and just said “go for it!” and delightfully spent the rest of the night/book rushing to the end breathlessly with Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the world.

  14. GhV: Voldy ended up protecting Nagini, after all. He only removed the protection when he thinked Harry was dead.

  15. I, too, love to get the next installment in my inbox! Only sorry I didn’t find this site long ago… I’m still working through the first books.
    The giggle-fit at the edge of the lake has always been one of my favorites, too.
    As far as the time discrepancy- one thing that came to mind- JKR has mentioned before that numbers aren’t her thing- so I wonder if some of it is due to that? For instance- the bit about them getting up before B&F and yet getting to Diagon Alley as the shops were opening. If they really were on the back of that dragon 8-10 hours- well, I’m glad it wasn’t me! (It also seems quite a stretch to think that a dragon kept in captivity as this one has- in the depths of Gringotts would be able to fly that far without stopping.

  16. I have always — from the first reading onwards — failed to see why the trio did not apparate off the back of the dragon. I can understand why the gobblins might have put the same anti-apparation magic in place at the bank — great anti-theft protection. But once the dragon was over London, why not?

    Spoiler: the only reason I can see is that it gave the inhabitants of the Room of Requirement some uplifting news (Terry Boot in the great hall and Neville as he walks the trio back to the Room of Requirement). Or, so that the battle of Hogwarts would occur when they are exhausted.

  17. Gary, I have that question a lot. For instance, why not Apparate when cornered by the Snatchers? They certainly could have grabbed the sword and clasped hands in the time it took Hermione to blast Harry’s face. Apparition is one of those things (like Polyjuice) that drives me crazy because it’s *too* powerful, and therefore would ruin the plot if used in otherwise obvious situations.

  18. Lets not forget that you have to be very concentrated to perform an Apparition. The last time the trio tried to Apparate while on a thight situation Ron ended up being splinched, probably it would happen the same thing if they try to Apparate to another place when they were cornered by snatchers.

  19. When reading the book I could not stop puzzling over the identity of the goblin who Voldemort killed. Was it just some random goblin, or was it Griphook, or Bogrod? This question still needles me.

  20. Hazelwillow, I also liked the part where the trio breaks down laughing. That actually happened to my sister and myself after the funeral of our mother a couple months ago. After a full day of sober behavior, we were looking at pictures in the family album and came across a comical picture of our dog. We laughed so hard we rolled on the floor for what seemed 5 minutes! It was great a release after all the tension of the day.

  21. In all justice, the goblin killed by Voldemort had to be Griphook. He was the one that took back the sword and double-crossed the trio by yelling to the other goblins that thieves had broken into a vault.

  22. I have figured out, that the trio must be on the dragon for 13 hours. They got up at 6.am. and made last preperations incl. Hermione taking Polyjuice Potion. As they had reached the “Thief’s downfall”, that Polyjuice Potion still worked, so it must be less than one hour, since Hermione had taken it. Let’s give another 30 minutes to take the cup and escape, so it should be not later than 8 a.m., as the dragon took off. They might have landed somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland, probably north of Hogwarts, or even on the Oakney Islands or the Herbrides. Sunset is there at 9 p.m. So the pace of the dragon must have been arround 60-70 km/h (40-45 miles/h)

    And Voldemort had learned actually later of the raid on Gringotts than the students of Hogwarts. Voldemort had learned it, as ist was civil evening twilight in the Highlands of Scotland and already dark at Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire, so arround 9.15 p.m. Terry Boot had announced it already at dinner in Hogwarts, which must have been much earlier, and he had known also, that Harry was involved.

  23. GinGin4, for Griphook to act like he wasn’t with the trio wasn’t exactly commendable, but to fault him for taking the sword is a bit rich. He didn’t double-cross Harry; he prevented Harry’s plan to double-cross *him*. I’d hardly say he deserves to die for it!

  24. @ Jose Lopes

    There are a few Death Eaters, who were not mentioned at the Battle of Hogwarts, and they might have either got victim of Voldemorts rage, as he had learned about the cup, or got even killed earlier, p.e. in the Battle of the 7 Potters.

    There we have Avery, Crabbe sr., Goyle sr., Jugson, Rabastan Lestrange, Rudolphus Lestrange, Mulciber and Nott sr.

  25. Josie, I don’t fault Griphook for taking the Sword either, but when GinGin4 mentions a “double cross,” I think she is referring to when he yelled “Thieves!” at the top of his voice. He didn’t have to do that. He could have taken off with the Sword and ignored everything else.

    However, I don’t think the murdered goblin was Griphook, because Harry would have noticed if it had been. Griphook didn’t even work at Gringotts any more, so he probably wasn’t on premises when they drew straws to select the unlucky messenger.

    Marco, your timing makes sense, as Hogwarts dinner seems to be Tabout 6pm. That gives Terry Boot plenty of time to yell the good news, give chase to the furious Carrows, and end up in the RoR well before Harry arrives at 9pm or later. (The sun takes at least an hour to set as far north as Hogwarts.) Terry must have been the final D.A. member to arrive in the RoR before the action begins: we wonder what he’d been doing at Hogwarts for the previous couple of weeks!

  26. Emma, according to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” the Loch Ness monster is a kelpie, a water demon, who gives a lot of trouble to the Ministry of Magic because it seems to have grown a taste for publicity and is spotted by Muggles quite often.

  27. Yes, it has been mentioned about the Kelpie being Loch Ness, I was more trying to imagine how much drama the dragon would cause if it had landed at the lake district as one other person had suggested and comparing it to what has happened at with the Loch Ness monster though I’d forgotten what was in Fantastic Beasts

  28. Also in Fantastic Beasts it doesn’t describe the arrival of the Kelpie which then began the myth and thats the part i wanted to know about

  29. About apparating: Maybe you can’t apparate when you are moving yourself… I can’t come up with a situation where we’ve seen wizards apparate when they are on a moving/magical vehicle, so perhaps that’s why they can’t apparate of the dragon?
    Also, when they don’t apparate when caught by snatchers, I think it’s the panic in Hermione that’s taking over. Just showing us again that Hermione isn’t perfect in panicky situations, and Harry is too pre-occupied to do something himself…

  30. Something just occurred to me about another part, I was reminded due to the mention of snatchers and how Voldemort’s name calls them to Harry and Co.
    When ever Harry says Voldemort in Snape’s presence during the other books Snape flinches and seems to have a reaction, a lot of people assume this is because the dark mark reacts to the name (possibly a precursor to the larger curse on his name, it was in development say) but this led me to another thought the whole You-Know-Who business, what if the death-eaters that escaped Azkaban where the ones who started the not calling him by name thing (pretending to be fearful of the name Voldemort, flinching whenever its spoken due to the reaction) and they encouraged it so they could hide their true alliances etc. It makes more sense then people just stopping speaking his name

  31. Is it ever mentioned whether Bill is working, during the time the others are at Shell Cottage?? Or is he just lying low like the rest of the Weasleys??

    If he’s laying low and just hanging around all day, it’s no wonder that Fleur and him would at least sleep in just to kill time. =)

  32. @kim- Mundungus disapparated off the back of the (broom, I think) at the beginning of DH the night the Order moved Harry out of the Dursleys’ place so that doesn’t seem to be the issue. I think it just works better for the plot to have them stay on the dragon for awhile.
    @Irene- by this time, the whole family is in hiding and none of them are able to go to work anymore because of Ron having been with Harry the night the snatchers caught them.

  33. If the Hogwarts Express is anything like a real steam train (and it seems that way to everyone using it) there would be no normal way to get to the driver’s cab from the rest of the train, but the Trolley Lady suggests she can simply go and talk to the driver. Perhaps she can apparate there, even when the train is in motion. (But then, how can the (under-age) passengers go to find her there?)

  34. Marco

    ” it was civil evening twilight in the Highlands of Scotland and already dark at Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire, so arround 9.15 p.m.”

    This reminds me of highlights a JKR geographical error – the next morning Harry has a vision of Hogsmeade “still dark because it was so much further north”. (Chapter 24). This takes place at around the time of the Vernal Equinox when sunrise is at the same time all along a given line of longitude – you need to be further WEST for the sun to rise later. (And after the Equinox, thge sun actuaklly rises earlier the further north you go). If the sun has risen at Shell Cottage in Cornwall, but it’s still dark at Hogsmeade, Hogsmeade is further west than Shell Cottage. But Cornwall and the Highlands of Scotland are both at about the same longtitude – between 4 and 6 degrees west): even if Shell Cottage is in the extreme east of Cornwall and Hogsmeade in the extreme west of the Scottish mainland sunrise wouldn’t differ between them by more than about eight minutes.

  35. Josie, you bring up an interesting point about Voldy not thinking of Slughorn. But a possible explanation might be that Voldemort is more alarmed that Harry knows to look for a cup than the fact he’s looking for Horcruxes. In fact, he’s not even sure if Harry knows it’s a Horcrux. But if he knows to look for the cup, that means he knows to look for the locket, and possibly the ring and diadem. After all, Voldy’s main protection wasn’t the fact that he put protective spells on the Horcruxes or that he hid them, or even the fact that people knew he had Horcruxes (he brags to his Death Eaters about the steps he took to immortality, and surely there are only so many options to choose from…). No, his main protection is that no one has any idea what these Horcruxes are, so they wouldn’t know what to look for! Even Dumbledore doesn’t know what all the Horcruxes are, and that’s keeping in mind that he has been privy to information about Voldy that no one else has. So if Voldy learns that Harry took the cup, I cna see why he’s freaking out so much!

  36. To tag onto the discussion surrounding plot holes where apparition or polyjuice potion could have easily solved the problem… I was really surprised the first time I read the part where Hermione alters Ron’s appearance before their break-in at Gringotts. If it’s really that easy to change one’s looks, why didn’t the trio use this method of disguise more often (eg. the visit to Godric’s Hollow) and save their stores of polyjuice potion for occasions when they really needed to take on the exact appearance of another person? I’m also surprised that all witches & wizards don’t look young & beautiful if they can simply use some wandwork to alter hair colour, change the shape of their noses, skin appearnce, etc. It seems like all of the benefits and none of the pain of plastic surgery!

  37. Andrea, remember Hermione’s hair at the Yule Ball? She knew it was beautiful and a great improvement, but she still found it too much effort to charm it every day! Which actually says that she was happy inside her own skin and her own hair, and didn’t feel the need to be something other than herself.

    Her teeth, though, clearly did bother her because she got teased about them, so she took the opportunity to have magical aothodontic treatment! It’s all about priorities, really.

  38. Another plothole or at least something that annoys me because it is never adaquately explained is the disappearence of Forstesque, he must be important for him to dissapear like that yet its never mentioned why! And it happens in sixth year, same as Ollivander, he’s explained so why not poor Fortesque, who despite his only short appearence in the book is a character I actually quite like and Harry knows him quite well because of his third year, wouldn’t he want to know!

  39. Emma, during LV’s ascentions to power there where many wizards and muggles that have disappeared without explanation (other than being probably killed by Death Eaters).

  40. Yeah but most of them who are named are explained or obvious, like Madame Bones and Emmaline Vance, a ministrial candidatea and an order member respectively.

    Un-named people or only surnames of people Harry doesn’t know aren’t explained because most of it’s Harry point of view and so he understands they’ve vanished but he doesn’t know them.

    What I mean about Fortesque is that he’s one of the named who Harry knows, better than Ollivander but he doesn’t even find out how or why he’s vanished and he wasn’t an order member or a ministrial candidate, we know he was possibly related to one of the older headmasters but otherwise nothing.

    He’s the only fully named character, who we know goes missing but never learn the conclusion to his disappearence or death or why he’s important enough to have to go running or be attacked. all we know is that he’s knows ice-cream and a lot about witch-burnings

  41. That happens in wars, you know. People go missing and we never learn what happened of them. Sad, but true.

  42. I think JK Rowling does have the backstory about Fortescue, I heard so in some interview, but she in the end decided not to weave it into the book.

    Better wait for the Scottish Book! :) (as she’s called her potter encyclopedia!)

  43. Here’s what Rowling said about Fortescue:

    (Question: “What happened to Florean Fortescue?”)
     
    “He was killed. Yeah, I know. I didn’t want that to happen. Bizarrely, my best friend, after I named Florean Fortescue, she went and met, and is soon to marry, a guy called Florean, which is very bizarre, because it isn’t exactly a common name, is it? Because of him, I was very attached to Florean Fortescue but no– Yeah, he died. He died.”
     
    (“He was just an ice cream man, wasn’t he?”)
     
    “The Scottish Book will reveal there was more to that than subsequently made it into the books. It was one of those little sub-plots that had to be sacrificed because it was not really leading anywhere, but I did have a sub-plot planned for Florean. And it was to do with the Elder Wand, so I will definitely put that into the Encyclopedia.”

    Of course, Rowling *used* to put sub-plots like this on her website, but sadly that seems to have been abandoned. So perhaps one day we will in fact get the mysterious book.

  44. That will be nice to find out because now I pointed it out to myself its really annoying me that I don’t know but that happens to me all the time; like when you forget a word and its on the tip of your tongue then you randomly blurt it out hours later, surprising everyone.

  45. About getting to the engine’s driver’s cab during the ride: In hp-lexicon there is an essay, where this question is addressed. The answer, given in that essay is simple: in the year 1928 a new train service was introduced: the train would go non-stop from London to Edingburgh and these trains had specially designed tenders, that had acorridor from the driver’s cab to the back of the engine, so that it would be possible to change the crew without stopping the train. Most probably a similar solution isused at the HE too.
    The entire essay can be found here: http://www.hp-lexicon.org/essays/essay-platform-nine-and-three-quarters.html

  46. You know, I’ve always wondered. If the Death Eaters and everyone else KNOWS that the bearer of bad news will inevitably be killed by You-Know-Who….why don’t they just send an owl? Perhaps a lovely Holwer? I’m sure the bird would get away before He finished the letter.

  47. Maybe they couldn’t apparate because they couldn’t exactly do that…turn thing…while holding on for dear life on a dragon’s back.

  48. I have to say, I rather disagree with the idea that Voldemort’s failure to consider Slughorn as the reason Dumbledore became aware of his Horcruxes is the product of Tom Riddle’s trust. I think it never would have occurred to him that Slughorn – who he questioned about the Horcruxes because he knew he was such a silly, easily-manipulated and proud man – would have even realized Voldemort created Horcruxes, let alone had the courage to tell Dumbledore that he was the one who told Riddle about them. Readers know Slughorn is actually quite clever, despite his faults, but Voldemort would have been blind to that in contrast to Slughorn’s foolishness; his own arrogance leads him to dismiss other people as threats. I think he would have assumed Dumbledore – who Voldemort saw, despite his vehement denial, as something of a genius – worked it out for himself.

  49. Regarding not apparating when the snatchers came, I always assumed it was because they would want to apparate together and the were split up when the snatchers caught them If they did not go together, how would they now how to get back together again? You can’t trace someone unless you are holding on to them.

    I never thought about them not apparating off of the dragon, I guess I assumed they would not be able to hold hands and turn while holding on to the dragon.

  50. I’m amazed that so much brain power has gone into why they did not apparate from the dragon. Have you all forgotten about Yaxley grabbing Hermione at MoM? A dragon is a live being they are all clinging to. At best…they transport themselves somewhere unknown…along with a dragon who has been “nice” enough to ignore them until now. It may decide being abruptly re-routed might be justification to turn them into a trio of bacon bits.

    At WORST….they splinch the dragon (and possibly themselves) who just saved their backsides from Gringott’s. Not nice.

  51. NicoPony’s portrait of Lord Voldemort is so much similar to the movie version of LV! I thought I could detect a bit of Ralph Fiennes in it.

    As to the Something Else You May Have Not Noticed part, I’d say You-Know-Who actually failed to zone in on Slughorn. I got the notion that he was too preoccupied about pondering over the matter of his Horcruxes’ safety that he never got too far about wondering as to who might have aided Harry into knowing about those (apart, of course, from Dumbledore, whom he already knows is “omniscient”). Just my assumption, though.

  52. Count me as one person who hopes that Griphook wasn’t the goblin that Voldemort killed – largely because that would throw out the vision I’ve had ever since I read the book of, immediately after Neville draws the Sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat, Griphook staring in bewilderment at the empty space where the sword had been (probably grasped in his hands) moments ago. (That would make a great picture.)

  53. I would argue that Voldemort didn’t really trust Slughorn so much as he was relying on him being too afraid to relay the memory. Dumbledore told Harry that most people are not willing or prepared to talk about Tom Riddle as he was at Hogwarts, and so perhaps Voldemort, knowing how truly scared people are of him, never expected Slughorn to even mention the memory at all.
    And he obviously was never ready to willingly give up the memory at all, because of how hard we worked to keep it secret. Only when Harry took Felix Felicies, got Slughorn drunk, and then berrated him with terrifying images of one of his favourite students being killed did he give it up.

  54. Josie,
    Sorry I haven’t had time to read the other comments so I don’t know if anyone has brought this up;

    With regards to the Slughorn memory.
    I believe this is another instance where Voldemort underestimates/overlooks the power of love and friendship.

    Voldemort does not understand these simple truths, he only values the loyal.
    Voldemort probably thought the memory was safe with Sluggy because he was a Slytherin and one of Sluggy’s ‘favourites.’

    What Voldy failed to take into account (and Harry and DD used to their advantage,) was Slughorn’s affection for Lily. Almost in the same way that Voldy overlooked Snape’s feelings toward Lily.

    Of course, he may have simply forgotten that he had had the conversation with old Sluggy (it was a long time ago,) but I would like to believe the former.

  55. Timbo, latitude north or south does have an effect on how much sunlight there can be at a particular time of day at a particular season. Longitude affects local time of day along that meridian, but not how much sunlight there can be at that time of day. As the surface of the earth is a spheroid, and as the earth is tilted on the axis, the sun will not cast the same amount of light nor have the same apparent height in the sky at different points north or south on a particular meridian, or longitude line.

    In summer, a point farther north from the equator along a meridian will have more sunlight than will one closer to the equator. That is how the long hours of daylight occur in higher latitudes in summer.

  56. It’s funny, three of the horcruxes end up in the three most secure magical buildings in Britain: MOM, Gringotts and Hogwarts

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