Harry opens his eyes and finds himself in a forest. Hermione and Ron are there, but Ron is bleeding profusely, a huge chunk of his side missing. Hermione explains that he has been Splinched, meaning he left a part of himself behind while Disapparating. They treat his wound with a potion from Hermione’s bag, and Hermione tells Harry how she had taken them to Grimmauld Place, but Yaxley had grabbed hold of her so that she inadvertently took Yaxley with them, within the perimeter of the house’s protective enchantments. She was then able to slip out of Yaxley’s grip and bring them to these woods—the site of the Quidditch World Cup the year before—but now that Yaxley has gained entry to the house, they can no longer go back there.
Harry and Hermione set up the tent and cast protective charms on it, then they consider their situation. They do have the Horcrux, as Hermione had succeeded in taking the locket from Umbridge. As they are unable to open it and have no idea how to destroy it, all Harry can think to do for the moment is to wear it on a chain around his neck for safekeeping. Moreover, they have no idea where to start looking for any of the other Horcruxes, and they have little or nothing to eat while they try to figure it out.
Harry’s scar prickles and he sees through Voldemort’s eyes as Voldemort interrogates the wand maker Gregorovitch. Gregorovitch insists that he does not have what Voldemort wants, as it was stolen from him long ago. Voldemort, thinking he’s lying, reads his mind and sees a memory of a young, handsome blond man stealing the wand, stunning Gregorovitch with a spell, and escaping through a window. Voldemort draws back out of Gregorovitch’s mind, Gregorovitch screams, and there is a flash of green light as Voldemort kills Gregorovitch.
Hermione does not want to hear about Harry’s vision, being angry at his letting it occur. Harry describes it to Ron, saying that the vision makes no sense. Why would Voldemort kill Gregorovitch, when surely Voldemort must have visited him because he wanted Gregorovitch to make a new, more powerful wand that could defeat Harry? Yet Voldemort made no mention of such a desire.
Harry reflects that the mischievous-looking blond youth must be Voldemort’s next target. Harry thinks he’s seen this man before, but can’t think where.
Harry buries Moody’s eye in the forest. The trio move their camp near to a market town, and Harry goes to steal food, but he sees dementors and is unable to summon his Patronus to protect himself, so he has to leave. Back at the tent, Hermione realizes that Harry’s problem is that he’s wearing the Horcrux. The Horcrux exerts a negative magical influence, blocking the positive emotion needed to summon a Patronus. They agree to take turns wearing it, but it makes whoever wears it irritable and argumentative.