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Hermione and Harry avoid talking about Ron. They wait for Ron to come back, knowing he’ll have no way of ever finding them again once they Disapparate from their current location. But Ron does not appear, and they move on to a new site. With Ron gone, and little idea what to do next, Harry and Hermione make a habit of bringing Phineas Nigellus’s portrait out of the bag and talking to Phineas, from whom they learn that at Hogwarts, Ginny, Neville, and Luna seem to be trying to continue Dumbledore’s Army, carrying out acts of low-grade mutiny against Snape.
Hermione, who has carefully studied The Tales of Beedle the Bard, shows Harry an unexplained symbol that someone drew onto a page of the book after it was printed—a symbol that looks like a triangular eye, with a vertical line for a pupil. Harry recognizes it as the symbol Luna’s father was wearing at the wedding, and he tells Hermione how Krum had said it was Grindelwald’s mark.
Harry tells Hermione that he wants to go to Godric’s Hollow, and to his surprise—since she had previously said it was a waste of time—she agrees, having made up her mind that Godric’s Hollow is the most likely location of Gryffindor’s sword, since it was Godric Gryffindor’s birthplace. Harry reminds her that according to Aunt Muriel, Bathilda Bagshot still lives in Godric’s Hollow, and Hermione imagines that Dumbledore might have entrusted the sword to her.
Harry and Hermione plan their trip carefully, using some of their store of Polyjuice Potion, and go to Godric’s Hollow well disguised as middle-aged Muggles—wearing the Invisibility Cloak to boot. They realize when they get to the town that it is Christmas Eve. They go to the graveyard and see Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore’s graves. Hermione finds a grave that has the triangular symbol on it, beneath the name Ignotus Peverell, but Harry presses on, more interested in finding his parents’ grave.
Finally, they find it—the grave of Lily and James Potter, bearing the inscription “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Just as Harry realizes that he has brought nothing to leave at his parents’ grave, Hermione conjures a wreath for him to lay. Then they head out of the graveyard and back toward the town.
Thinking that they hear someone coming, Harry and Hermione leave the graveyard and put the Invisibility Cloak back on. As they walk along the street, they suddenly come upon what can only be the house of James and Lily Potter. The hedge and garden are overgrown, untended for sixteen years. The house itself is a ruin, with its top floor partially blown apart—evidence of Voldemort’s backfired curse.
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