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The Final Hiding Place

- Chapter 27

"He knows, and he's going to check where the others are, and the last one [...] is at Hogwarts. I knew it. I knew it"
-- Harry Potter

DH27: The Final Hiding Place

HarryRon and Hermione spend most of the day riding the dragon, only to get away from it near sunset. Harry has a vision of the theft being reported to Lord Voldemort, and realizes that they are running out of time – Voldemort now knows that they are after Horcruxes, and that the last Horcrux is at Hogwarts School. Harry realizes that they must get to it before Voldemort moves it to another location.

Calendar and Dates

Begins immediately after the preceding chapter, on 1 May 1998, and extends into the early evening. Sunset on that day was 8:55 pm in Scotland, 8:35pm in Yorkshire. We don't know exactly where they were, but it seems likely, given the long flying time, that they were in the north of England or in Scotland.

Interesting facts and notes

as they flew further and further north

That's not much of a clue to their final destination, given that they started in London - much of the rest of Britain is north and/or west of London.

deep-green mountains and lakes, coppery in the sunset

Since they started out for Gringotts first thing in the morning, this gives us a small clue - the lake is located among mountains in mainland Britain, some distance north of London. However, we don't know how long they were in Gringotts, so we don't have more than a very approximate travel time.

No one had ever known him to be related to the Gaunts, he had hidden the connection

Considering how far they had fallen, claiming descent from the Gaunts, however pure their blood, would have been awkward, even had Tom Riddle not had to work to trace them.

the killings had never been traced to him

The killings of his father's family, for which he had framed one of his Gaunt relations.

Their abandoned home was, perhaps, the least secure of his hiding places

True, as it turns out, but Voldemort is of course far too late in realizing this - almost two years too late.

Didn't their stupidity and carelessness prove how unwise it was ever to trust?

This reminds me a little of the Eddings' Malloreon, wherein one of the major differences between the two sides was just this: that the Child of Dark always acted alone, while the Child of Light had companions and shared responsibility, so to speak.

While Voldemort doesn't trust his subordinates (and to be fair, neither did Dumbledore, entirely, though with a different attitude), Harry depends on help from his friends.

Exceptional character moments

Bellatrix and Lucius throwing others behind them in their race to escape from Voldemort before he killed everyone present who had heard the news about the cup.

Memorable lines

"Well, I don't know how to break this to you," said Ron, "but I think they might have noticed we broke into Gringotts."

"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."

Words and phrases


This chapter is very climatic. Voldemort realizes that Hufflepuff's cup is gone and that Harry is hunting Horcruxes. Voldemort's worst fears are being realized; Dumbledore and Harry discovered his secret and he is at risk of becoming mortal once more. The readers watch as he becomes visibly afraid for the first time. His fear is his downfall; It leads to Harry's understanding of where the final Horcrux is hidden. Voldemort forgets about the connect between his mind and Harry's. By reviewing the locations of the Horcruxes, Voldemort gives Harry the information he needs. -- C.M.

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