By J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Chapter Fourteen. The Thief
Harry opened his eyes and was dazzled by gold and green; he had no idea what had happened, he only knew that he was lying on what seemed to be leaves and twigs. Struggling to draw breath into lungs that felt flattened, he blinked and realized that the gaudy glare was sunlight streaming through a canopy of leaves far above him. Then an object twitched close to his face. He pushed himself onto his hands and knees, ready to face some small, fierce creature, but saw that the object was Ron’s foot. Looking around, Harry saw that they and Hermione were lying on a forest floor, apparently alone.
Harry’s first thought was of the Forbidden Forest, and for a moment, even though he knew how foolish and dangerous it would be for them to appear in the grounds of Hogwarts, his heart leapt at the thought of sneaking through the trees to Hagrid’s hut. However, in the few moments
it took for Ron to give a low groan and Harry to start crawling toward him, he realized that this was not the Forbidden Forest; The trees looked younger, they were more widely spaced, the ground clearer.
He met Hermione, also on her hands and knees, at Ron’s head. The moment his eyes fell upon Ron, all other concerns fled Harry’s mind, for blood drenched the whole of Ron’s left side and his face stood out, grayish-white, against the leaf-strewn earth. The Polyjuice Potion was wearing off now: Ron was halfway between Cattermole and himself in appearance, his hair turning redder and redder as his face drained of the little color it had left.
“What’s happened to him?”
“Splinched,” said Hermione, her fingers already busy at Ron’s sleeve, where the blood was wettest and darkest.
Harry watched, horrified, as she tore open Ron’s short. He had always thought of Splinching as something comical, but this… His insides crawled unpleasantly as Hermione laid bare Ron’s upper arm, where a great chunk of flesh was missing, scooped cleanly away as though by a knife.
“Harry, quickly, in my bag, there’s a small bottle labeled ‘Essence of Dittany’- “
“Bag – right -“
Harry sped to the place where Hermione had landed, seized the tiny beaded bag, and thrust his hand inside it. At once, object after object began presenting itself to his touch: He felt the leather spines of books, woolly sleeves of jumpers, heels of shoes –
He grabbed his wand from the ground and pointed it into the depths of the magical bag.
A small brown bottle zoomed out of the bag; he caught it and hastened back to Hermione and Ron, whose eyes were now half-closed, strips of white eyeball all that were visible between his lids.
“He’s fainted,” said Hermione, who was also rather pale; she no longer looked like Mafalda, though her hair was still gray in places. “Unstopper it for me, Harry, my hands are shaking.”
Harry wrenched the stopper off the little bottle, Hermione took it and poured three drops of the potion onto the bleeding wound. Greenish smoke billowed upward and when it had cleared, Harry saw that the bleeding had stopped. The wound now looked several days old; new skin stretched over what had just been open flesh.
“Wow,” said Harry.
“It’s all I feel safe doing,” said Hermione shakily. “There are spells that would put him completely right, but I daren’t try in case I do them wrong and cause more damage… He’s lost so much blood already…”
“How did he get hurt?