Summary: Chapter Nine: A Place to Hide

The crowd panics and flees. Masked and cloaked figures appear—the Death Eaters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione join hands and Disapparate (teleport) under Hermione’s direction. They arrive in Tottenham Court Road, a busy street in London, in the Muggle rather than the wizarding world.

Though they have been forced to flee the Weasley household with no notice, Hermione reveals that they are better prepared than Ron and Harry think, because Hermione has packed clothes, Harry’s Invisibility Cloak, all the books they might need, a magic tent, their supply of Polyjuice Potion, and many other things, all in a tiny beaded handbag that takes up little space and weighs nothing.

The three friends go to a cafe to plan their next move, debating where they might go now that Voldemort has taken over the Ministry. Two burly workmen suddenly pull out wands and attack them, revealing themselves to be Death Eaters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione fight these attackers off with difficulty, having no idea how the Death Eaters could have found them so quickly, or how to evade them better in future.

Harry and his friends decide to go to Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, the house that Sirius Black left to Harry in his will. They can only hope that the jinxes and charms on the house will be enough to hide them from Snape and the other Death Eaters. Inside the house, small signs, such as a knocked-over umbrella stand, give Harry and the others the impression that someone has been in the house, but it appears to be empty now. Suddenly they feel their tongues raveling and then unraveling, the effect of a Tongue-Tying charm Mad-Eye Moody put upon the house to prevent them from revealing its secrets. (Snape, as a trusted friend of Dumbledore’s, has entered the house before and so may be able to do so again, but Mad-Eye’s spell should prevent Snape from telling anyone else about it.)

Harry feels a burning pain in his scar and vicariously experiences Voldemort’s rage—the connection between their minds is apparently opening up again. Ron badgers Harry about what Voldemort is doing, fearful that Voldemort has attacked Ron’s family, while Hermione scolds Harry for exposing himself to a dangerous connection that he had previously worked so hard to close using the technique of Occlumency.

Ron’s father’s Patronus arrives to say that the family is safe but being watched. Sick with the painful sensation in his scar, Harry excuses himself and goes to the bathroom so he can have his vision in peace. Harry sees through Voldemort’s eyes as Voldemort tortures one of the Death Eaters who attacked them in the cafe, punishing him for summoning Voldemort but then letting Harry escape.