Ron's Ministry deceit

Ron shows Harry the lengths he has gone to in order to go in search of Horcruxes

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

'Descendo,’ muttered Ron, pointing his wand at the low ceiling. A hatch opened right over their heads and a ladder slid down to their feet. A horrible half-sucking, half-moaning sound came out of the square hole, along with an unpleasant smell like open drains.

‘That’s your ghoul, isn’t it?’ asked Harry, who had never actually met the creature that sometimes disrupted the nightly silence.

‘Yeah, it is,’ said Ron, climbing the ladder. ‘Come and have a look at him.’

Harry followed Ron up the few short steps into the tiny attic space. His head and shoulders were in the room before he caught sight of the creature curled up a few feet from him, fast asleep in the gloom with its large mouth wide open.

‘But it … it looks … Do ghouls normally wear pyjamas?’

‘No,’ said Ron. ‘Nor have they usually got red hair or that number of pustules.’

Harry contemplated the thing, slightly revolted. It was human in shape and size, and was wearing what, now Harry’s eyes became used to the darkness, was clearly an old pair of Ron’s pyjamas. He was also sure that ghouls were generally rather slimy and bald, rather than distinctly hairy and covered in angry purple blisters.

‘He’s me, see?’ said Ron.

‘No,’ said Harry. ‘I don’t.’

‘I’ll explain it back in my room, the smell’s getting to me,’ said Ron. They climbed back down the ladder, which Ron returned to the ceiling, and rejoined Hermione, who was still sorting books.

‘Once we’ve left, the ghoul’s going to come and live down here in my room,’ said Ron. ‘I think he’s really looking forward to it – well, it’s hard to tell, because all he can do is moan and drool – but he nods a lot when you mention it. Anyway, he’s going to be me with spattergroit. Good, eh?’

Harry merely looked his confusion.

‘It is!’ said Ron, clearly frustrated that Harry had not grasped the brilliance of the plan. ‘Look, when we three don’t turn up at Hogwarts again, everyone’s going to think Hermione and I must be with you, right? Which means the Death Eaters will go straight for our families to see if they’ve got information on where you are.’ ‘But hopefully it’ll look like I’ve gone away with Mum and Dad; a lot of Muggle-borns are talking about going into hiding at the moment,’ said Hermione.

‘We can’t hide my whole family, it’ll look too fishy and they can’t all leave their jobs,’ said Ron. ‘So we’re going to put out the story that I’m seriously ill with spattergroit, which is why I can’t go back to school. If anyone comes calling to investigate, Mum or Dad can show them the ghoul in my bed, covered in pustules. Spattergroit’s really contagious, so they’re not going to want to go near him. It won’t matter that he can’t say anything, either, because apparently you can’t once the fungus has spread to your uvula.’

‘And your mum and dad are in on this plan?’ asked Harry.

‘Dad is. He helped Fred and George transform the ghoul. Mum … well, you’ve seen what she’s like. She won’t accept we’re going ’til we’ve gone'


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling