Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’: Chapter 15

In the fifteenth chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the trio finally come into contact with other people—and goblins. The information they learn from overhearing their conversation changes their search for Horcruxes, but not necessarily in any way they expected. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


Well, I have to hand it to Rowling; despite that she’s using yet another device that she’s used before, she at least changes up the logistics.

I can’t remember where I said it in my past reviews, but I said that Rowling often has Harry overhear crucial conversations while hidden, that provide him with necessary information for him and for us as well. At this point, in the seventh novel, it feels garish and lazy. Surely she could come up with some other way of disseminating this information, right?

It’s not a full complaint, though, because she does change the method of organizing how this is executed. The trio are still camping in the woods, lonelier than ever, with little to no contact with the outside world. Harry takes a trip into town to get food and is frightened off by dementors because he suddenly doesn’t believe his Patronus can fend them off. Hermione figures out that the locket itself can actually affect a person’s emotions, which isn’t surprising to me. The Horcrux contains a soul split by murder, so….yeah, I’d be pretty upset and sad wearing that thing too.

Believably so, the nerves of the trio begin to grate on each other, from lack of contact with anyone else, without news of the war with Voldemort, and from a growing sense of boredom. I thought it was pretty funny that food alone helped lift their spirits. I mean, WHO DOESN’T LIKE TO EAT TOAST. Yeah, that’s right, only terrorists don’t like toast.

Toast doesn’t solve everything. (It should.) It becomes clearer that the fact that Harry and his friends have no idea what they’re doing next is going to drive them mad. Hermione and Ron start talking about Harry behind his back, whispering when they think he’s not paying attention, and it contributes to Harry questioning himself as well. Does he actually know what he’s doing? Why didn’t Dumbledore tell him more?

And then Rowling sets up our characters to overhear yet another conversation, but the details are drastically different than before, since this is possibly the first time they probably wanted to be seen and discovered. Hidden behind Hermione’s protections, yet still right out in the open, they watch as a group of people descend into the valley where they are.

It reminds me of the scene in Order of the Phoenix (Author’s note: I’ve been corrected. That happened in Goblet of Fire. WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER ANYTHING) when Harry stood on the stairs while Moody and Snape discussed the disturbance in Hogwarts. The tension is unbearable, but the reason why is different. When they learn that the two goblins are with Dean Thomas and Ted Tonks, it takes every ounce of willpower for them not to break the enchantments and actually talk to someone.

It’s been a while since I did a pure list. Let’s list what we learn from this conversation!

– The prosecution of all non-pureblood wizards is so serious that many people, like Dean and Ted, are willing to simply run away.

– Goblins have not chosen a side in the “wizards’ war.

– Gringotts is no longer being run by goblins.

– Ginny, Neville, and Luna tried to steal the Gryffindor sword, but were caught. (!!!!!!!!!)

– Snape stored the sword in Gringotts.

– Oh yeah, THE SWORD ISN’T REAL. Someone switched out the real and replaced it with a replica.

Oh god, so, this was already pretty wild news, but Hermione immediately has the idea to pull out Phineas Nigellus’s portrait to see what information they can get from him. Fuck it LIST TIME.

– Ginny, Neville, and Luna weren’t hurt because they were given detention with Hagrid. Which is the best type of detention ever, AMIRITE?

– Dumbledore was the last person to remove the Gryffindor sword.


– Guys, the Gryffindor sword is a goblin-made blade imbibed with fucking basilisk venom OH MY GOD THE ANSWER TO DESTROY THE HORCRUXES. But…WHERE IS THE SWORD????

There is no time for celebration or excitement because Ron flips out. You guys, Ron has a whole lot of feelings that absolutely no one understands so he might go write in his LiveJournal but make it a private entry because he’s not totally ready to share it with the public.

I’m kidding. Ron’s fight at the end of the chapter actually makes me sad because I don’t want him to leave and I want him to be a part of these adventures, but he has a point. (Sort of.) He had a different idea of what this journey would be and he didn’t count on it being…well, so miserable. Being hungry and alone, not knowing if his family is ok, not knowing what the rest of the world is up to, not accomplishing anything for weeks on end, having nothing to show for their excursion….all these things are putting him in a really bad place.

It’s sad, but it’s Ron. It makes sense to him and it makes sense for his character. It makes sense that he doesn’t share Harry’s sense of self-involvement and that he doesn’t have Hermione’s intellectual muster. I think Ron is talented, smarter than he lets himself be, and he is a great part of this friendship. But I’m sure he simply feels left out in this case, so he reacts in the only way he knows how to demonstrate that he has power too.

  • She was impeded by her own Shield Charm; by the time she had removed it he had already stormed into the night. Harry stood quite still and silent, listening to her sobbing and calling Ron’s name amongst the trees.

    After a few minutes she returned, her sopping hair plastered to her face.

    “He’s g-g-gone! Disapparated!”

    She threw herself into a chair, curled up, and started to cry.

    Harry felt dazed. He stooped, picked up the Horcrux, and placed it around his own neck. He dragged blankets off Ron’s bunk and threw them over Hermione. Then he climbed onto his own bed and stared up at the dark canvas roof, listening to the pounding of the rain.

It seems to me that this Horcrux is tearing them apart. Miles away, unknowing, Voldemort is making sure that love is extinguished in their world.