The Ghoul in Pyjamas

chapter six of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

With the Burrow abuzz with wedding preparations, the trio struggles to find time together – but when they finally do, Hermione and Ron show Harry the plans they’ve made for hunting Horcruxes, sending Hermione’s parents abroad and transfiguring the ghoul to resemble Ron. Finally, the Delacours arrive and help finish readying for the wedding.

Things Unsaid, by Loleia

“I think Mum thinks that if she can stop the three of you getting together and planning, she’ll be able to delay you leaving,” Ginny told Harry in an undertone….
“And then what does she think’s going to happen?” Harry muttered. “Someone else might kill off Voldemort while she’s holding us here making vol-au-vents?”

(by Loleia)


Packing, by TomScribble

The room was just as messy as it had been all week; the only change was that Hermione was now sitting in the far corner… sorting books into two enormous piles.


Preparing to Hunt Horcruxes, by Laurence Peguy

“No Harry, you listen,” said Hermione. “We’re coming with you. That was decided months ago – years, really.”


The Ghoul in Pyjamas, by Hannah-Dora

“Assuming I survive our hunt for the Horcruxes, I’ll find Mum and Dad and lift the enchantment. If I don’t – well, I think I’ve cast a good enough charm to keep them safe and happy. Wendell and Monica Wilkins don’t know that they’ve got a daughter, you see.”


Ron Steps Up and Comforts Hermione When She Explains How She Had to Modify her Parents' Memories for Their Own Safety, by Drew Graham

Hermione’s eyes were swimming with tears again. Ron got back off the bed [and] put his arm around her once more.


Deathly Hallows Trio, by Leela Starsky

The measures [his friends] had taken to protect their families made [Harry] realize, more than anything else could have done, that they really were going to come with him and that they knew exactly how dangerous that would be. He wanted to tell them what that meant to him, but he simply could not find words important enough.


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

It’s fun to watch Hermione as she sorts her books, deciding which books are useful enough to bring and which to leave behind. Among those she’s choosing to leave? The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts (one of the books in which Hermione read about Harry before she first went to Hogwarts); Travels With Trolls (by Gilderoy Lockhart); and, “without a second glance,” Defensive Magical Theory (Umbridge’s class textbook). The funny thing isn’t so much that she’s choosing to leave them behind, as the fact that she still owns them at all – and that she even brought them with her to the Burrow, for that matter. Some things never change….

The Power of Magic

Hogwarts classes are great for teaching students basic spells and things of that nature. But Harry is starting to see more and more that some types of magic go much deeper (and transcend many more subject areas) than any class he’s ever taken. Here, Hermione’s book on Horcruxes describes a single antidote for healing one’s soul after ripping it apart – remorse. This fascinates me because in some ways, it’s not really magic. It’s a basic human emotion – just like love. But Harry is learning that as magic gets more and more powerful, these sorts of basic human instincts and emotions guide a wizard’s magic that much more strongly. Just like how Voldemort never learned that it doesn’t matter how much more powerful he is than Harry Potter, so much as it matters how much more powerful he is than Harry *and* all of his friends and allies. At the end of the day, spells are nice, but the deeper stuff is what’s going to win this war. And Harry’s advantage on that front is growing larger every day.

40 Responses to “The Ghoul in Pyjamas”

  1. Leela Starsky’s picture is absolutely gorgeous!!

  2. Good idea, the picture of Leela Starsky with Ron and Harry unshaved. They would surely had no time to shave everyday on their hunt for horcruxes. In the movie this and that a 17yo male has to shave had been not taken into consideration.

    But such a picture would also fit into the epilogue.

  3. Yes, I love Leela Starsky’s picture too.

    This chapter has the weird thing where Hermione is able to completely brainwash her parents that they are W. & M. Wilkins, but then a few chapters later in Tottenham Ct. Rd. she says she’s never done a memory charm but knows the theory. Has anybody ever gotten a good explanation out of JKR about that?

  4. Anna1 – yes! I didn’t think about putting the quote on the page, but here’s what you’re looking for, from an online chat shortly after the release of Deathly Hallows:

    Question: “Did Hermione really put a memory charm on her parents she says she did but then about 50 pages later tells ron shes never done a memory charm?”
    J.K. Rowling: “They are two different charms. She has not wiped her parents’ memories (as she later does to Dolohov and Rowle); she has bewitched them to make them believe that they are different people.”

  5. Wow, thanks, Josie! That was nagging at me.

  6. Josie: In response to the SYMNHN, my personal thoughts were that, in order to help her parents believe that they were different people with no offspring, she had to remove all evidence of herself, which would include all her stuff. It would make sense that she’d throw everything into her enchanted bag and sort through it later.

    I’m glad they showed Hermione doing this in the movie, and made it such a prominent scene, too. It is an incredibly horrific, violent, and depressing act and it’s good that the film made that more prominent. Hermione’s family has always been really ignored in the books. Can you imagine if Ron had bewitched his parents to make them forget him? We would all be heartbroken at the thought, because we all know and love his parents.
    What Hermione did has got to be one of the most difficult things it’s possible to do.

  8. * Whoops! by “this” I mean “taking her parents’ memories of her.”

  9. Re-reading this chapter I’ve wondered if later events, namely Voldemort and the DEs seizing power and gaining control of the Ministry, change Molly’s perspective on the kids having to go back to school, rather than on some secret and dangerous mission. With Dumbledore dead, Hogwarts is already not as safe as it was, but with the DEs in charge it’s now probably the LEAST safe place to which Harry could go, beside Voldemort’s side.

    Of course, we don’t get to know because the Trio runs as soon as the Ministry falls… But I wonder…

  10. The explanation given for why the Death Eaters didn’t just round up the Weasleys and threaten to torture them until Harry surrendered just draws attention to how ludicrous it is that they don’t once they have conquered the Ministry. Just because the ghoul with a red wig is Ron with a fatal disease and a completely different appearance… how convenient.

  11. Starsky’s paintng fits vey well with the optimism the trio had in the beginning; not realizing what was ahead of them.

    The explanation of the Horcrux, particularly the part about the possibility of possessing another soul, is fascinating. It makes us realize what poor Ginny went through. The movie didn’t begin to do justice about this. The way Riddle forced her to release the basilisk on unsuspecting students and strangle Hagrid’s chickens. You can just imagine what Ginny’s room mates thought about her and her strange behavior. Arthur and Molly must have been horrified when they realized what happened to their daughter.

  12. I think Hermione is quite selfless to go to such extremes to protect her parents. They’re probably really proud parents, and others have mentioned on here before that Hermione probably doesn’t have many friends in the muggle world. So to cut ties with people like this is a big act on her part. And maybe, because she doesn’t have children of her own, she doesn’t realize how much her parents wouldn’t want to forget her. She’s sacrificing a lot to keep them safe, and she’s doing it out of love.

  13. As a ton of people have already said Leela Starsky’s picture is absolutely beautiful! I thought it was great how the movie actually showed Hermione modifying her parents memories….that was one of the saddest parts.

  14. It is easy to forget that Hermione is the oldest of the three, and she shows the most maturity. While it is awful that she must bewitch her parents, it is actually an act of great love because it will not only help keep them safe, but it will also prevent their future distress should Hermione be killed. The whole idea of “deeper magic” is one JK has been developing throughout the books – that love is stronger and more “magically powerful” than any spell or even dark magic.

    As far as Molly wanting the kids to go back to Hogwarts, don’t forget the ministry has not yet been taken over; so the school is not yet being controlled by the death eaters and would seem like a safer place than the ‘outside’ world where Voldemort is currently gaining control.

  15. I haven’t seen the movie yet (university work is taking up my time at the moment) but I’m glad they included Hermione modifying her parents’ memories. I really wish we had seen more of them in the books.

    It must be so tough being Ginny during this book. She knows Harry is going off but I really felt for her when Harry said “Someone else might kill off Voldemort while she’s holding us here making vol-au-vents?” Not only is her soul mate (JKR called them that) off Merlin knows where risking his life but her brother and one of her best friends are off with him. I wish we had seen more of Ginny in the book. The Harry/Ginny relationship is left a lot to the reader’s imagination. She may not be in it much but Ginny is one of my favourite characters. Harry tells her he has to defeat the darkest wizard who has ever lived and she stumbles a little but takes it in her stride. She is just such an amazing character.

  16. Please, anyone who knows a fanartist, encourage them to try their skills on a Spattergroited ghoul in Ron’s PJs. It would make me happy for ever and ever – and I can’t draw!

  17. Deborah Hubbard – Mary GrandPre drew the transfigured ghoul as her chapter illustration for the American edition of the book – very cute, in a creepy sort of way!

  18. Do Arthur and Molly know about Ginny and Harry’s relationship at this point? We don’t have any indication that they do. Ron wouldn’t tell them. Would Ginny tell her mother? If she believes she needs to keep this a secret for the protection of all of them, this would be an extra burden that she’s carrying.

  19. Well, going by the film, George knows by The Wedding at least. Josie, this has not much to do with anything, but I’ve noticed you changed your originally posted American spelling of the chapter word “Pajamas” to the English “pyjamas”. Did you feel obliged to do that due to being true to the book? Because I don’t get it – the book has been translated into so many different languages, so why is American not OK as one of them?

  20. @Billie: Ooh … we don’t get the US editions where I live, but the few examples of Ms GrandPre’s art that I have seen haven’t moved me at all. I’d love to see her do creepy. Mostly it’s been 1950s cutesy, and (reasonably enough I suppose) almost entirely not English. But I’ve only seen a few examples of her work, and those from the early books.

  21. @ Deborah Hubbard

    Josie, is it ok for me to link?? If not, just delete this post. =)

  22. Billie, I love your thought about Molly and Arthur not knowing about Harry and Ginny – I’d never really thought about it one way or another, but you’re right that it has some interesting ramifications for Ginny especially. I wonder if they knew about Dean or Michael, for that matter?

    rtozier, I don’t think I consciously changed the spelling on this one…. but American vs British spellings of certain words is one thing that I confess I’m very sloppy about (I think Sibyll vs Sybill Trelawney is my worst one). I’m American, so I’ve always read the American versions, but I used to work for the Lexicon where we tried for a while to use all British, so both look right to me. In an ideal world I think I’d use all the British spellings, quotes, etc, just because that’s what the books were originally written in, but I hit a point in building this site where I just gave up trying. So there’s quite a mixture site-wide.

    Deborah Hubbard, it’s so funny to me that you feel that way about Mary GrandPre… for me the drawings have always been there, so I’ve never given much thought to them – they’re just part of the books for me. :) But I confess there have been some times (this chapter is one of them) that I’ve wished I could use one of her drawings; or worse, spent hours searching for a drawing because I know I’ve seen one, only to discover that it was hers and I can’t use it anyway.

    Irene M. Cesca, links are fine, it’s just set up so that I have to approve them all individually, so sometimes it may take a while to post. :)

  23. I had no idea that the American books were illustrated with drawings. Is there one for each chapter? Only the British version of the books are available in Canadian bookstores.

    Most of the images I think of now as I read the novels come from this site. Thanks Josie for compiling such a great catalogue of art!

  24. Andrea: Guess I always took those extra pictures for granted. Too bad Josie can’t post those here, as well, for out-of-country readers. They’re all available on the Lexicon, I believe. Some of my favorite Harry Potter pictures are done by Mary GrandPre herself. (Like the artwork for “The Boy Who Lived.”) Hope they’re still there or that you can get your hands on some U.S. printings!

  25. I didn’t seek permission to post Mary GrandPre’s drawings here because I decided that they didn’t really fit with this site (it’s sort of like artwork that imitates the movie actors – for me seeing her work alongside fan art pulls me out of the world a little bit). But the artwork is all online at the Lexicon, through the Reader’s Guides, if you don’t mind doing some clicking. I’ll link to the first page of each chapter since there’s no central page on the site from which to get to all of them….

  26. What i find interesting is that before the big trip, Harry genuinely trusts that Ron and Hermione know what they are getting themselves into, and then later Ron chickens out… i guess i see his perspective but still… that must have been a message to Harry that everything isn’t as it seems.

  27. The British editions don’t have artwork because the publishers thought they would make the books look too “babyish” for the target audience of older children.

    In fact JKR drew her own pictures for the first book, although these were never used. I really wish we could have some new editions that used JKR’s own illustrations.

  28. Thanks Josie for posting all the links to the chapter art in the Lexicon! I had some happy time clicking tonight!

  29. Josie – I hope you know what a gift you have given us by interacting with us in the comments! I love this site!

  30. Re Harry and Ron’s shaving situation. Hermione packed all of Harry’s birthday presents, among them a magical razor from Fleur’s parents.

  31. I remember the first time I read this chapter, I thought Hermione was kidding when she said she modified her parents’ memories. She had to be exaggerating or being facetious or something…it just seemed so *extreme*. It wasn’t until she started to cry that I stopped, reread it, and realized she was being completely serious. I guess I just never considered the Grangers to be in any real danger, perhaps because we see and hear so little of them.

  32. Jonathon, when Harry and crew arrive at shell cottage it’s stated that the Weasley family has stopped working and Bill and Mr Weasley, are both secret keepers to their homes. So the Death Eaters can’t really use the Weasley family as a means to try and find Harry. Though since I don’t believe it is stated if they started that right after the ministry’s fall or not, if the weasely family didn’t, I do tend to agree with you. The death eaters are suppose to be ruthless and not using the Weasley family to try and find Harry, if it is possible, seems down right ridiculous.

  33. I would like to know your thoughts on something that has been left behind. The whole harry-weasley relationship; i mean, sure his best friend and his soul mate are from this family, and everything else with the rest of the brothers; but what about Molley and Arthur; I was always shocked by this two, I mean in their first year Ron told her mom and she knitted a sweater, on the second year he comes out of nowhere an he is welcome… well you know as well.

    What I would to love your opinion is when Mollwy gives Harry one clock as a gift, I recall from one of her dead brothers, and harry hugging her trying to express all his feelings towards her. Wha wonderful people this two are, and i just can’t stop smiling everytime i read about harry feeling a little ashamed fo their generosity and hospitality… also about that tie arthur made a toast saying that how lucky the weasley’s were when ron talked to harry that day on the train… I think how lucky Harry was to find this family.

  34. I always wondered what the conversation was between Ron and Mr. Weasley before they started their transformation on the ghoul…the fact that Mr. Weasley helped him with this ruse shows his confidence in Ron, if not agreement in what he’s doing. It’s an interesting difference between the two Weasley parents- one sees Ron as a boy who should be kept at school and out of danger, and I think Mr. Weasley had an easier time seeing Ron as a man.

  35. Wouldn’t Hermione’s spell on her parents lift if she died? We saw that in the previous book when the spell Dumbledore cast on Harry to paralyze him lifted after his death. Does JKR ever say anything about this?

  36. One thing I thought about – when Hermione starts crying about Mad-Eye being dead, she quotes his “Constant vigliance”. Only, do we ever hear him say that when he is not actually Bart Crouch jr…?

  37. Amanda, we might not hear him say it (good point), but I’m guessing that in order to fool everyone in the order including Dumbledore, BC Jr. had to do a pretty darn good impression of Mad-Eye, including using his favorite catch phrases.

  38. The Leaky Cauldron has all the chapter artwork one page per book here

  39. There’s a moment in this chapter that always freaks me out. When Ron says “Oh, of course. I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.” Since when does Ron say the name? I really, really, think that was a mistake.

  40. Does anyone else look at Leela Starsky’s picture and think that perhaps she meant for that to be the Harry, Hermione, and Ron from the epilogue? They look like they are much older then 17, with lines on their face and grey in their hair..
    Just my thoughts.

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