Kreacher doesn't return for a couple of days. Instead, some mysterious cloaked men appear outside. They're Death Eaters, trying to scope out whether or not Harry's in there (however, only Snape is authorized to enter the house, since he used to be an Order member).
Everyone's tense – and the tension comes to a boiling point when they have an unexpected visitor. It turns out to be a friend, not a foe, however – it's Remus Lupin.
They tell Lupin about their encounter on Tottenham Court Road, and he's shocked; he can't figure out how they were found in that random location, and so quickly.
After the trio left the wedding, apparently Kingsley managed to help everyone escape.
The Death Eaters didn't seem to know where Harry was. They've gone to every Order-connected house in the country trying to find him. Though they've been liberal with their destruction and torture, apparently nobody has been killed… yet.
Lupin's brought more bad news – a new edition of the Daily Prophet claims that Harry is wanted on suspicion of Dumbledore's death. Apparently, the newspaper has been completely taken over by Death Eaters, and is hard at work keeping the public in the dark about what's really going on.
Voldemort seems to have everything under his control – the media, the government, and, in effect, the population.
The new Ministry has instated all kinds of new anti-Muggle measures. All Muggle-born wizards are required to register with the Ministry to be studied; the Ministry is putting out all kinds of anti-Muggle propaganda, saying that Muggle-born wizards must have stolen their powers.
They've also changed the Hogwarts rules, so that only pureblooded wizard kids can attend. Oh, and attendance is mandatory, so that Voldemort can keep an eye on them and make sure nobody's rebelling.
Talk turns to Harry. The Order knows that Dumbledore left him a mission – but Harry refuses to tell Lupin what it is.
Lupin offers to join them in their quest regardless. Hermione's upset by this; what will Lupin do about his new wife, Tonks?
Lupin finally admits that Tonks is pregnant. Hermione gets all excited, but the father-to-be doesn't exactly seem thrilled. He repeats his offer of help and protection.
Harry's torn – but he does what he thinks is right, and tells Lupin that he should stay with his own unborn child.
Lupin explains his troubles: he feels awful for burdening Tonks and their child-to-be with his werewolf nature, saying that in the world outside the Order, he's an outcast, and his family is too, because of him. He's terrified that the child will be a werewolf – or, if not, that his child will be ashamed of him.
Harry, being brutally honest and enraged, says that he's ashamed of Lupin for even thinking of abandoning his child to go on their quest – after all, his father, Lupin's best friend James, died trying to protect Harry and Lily.
Lupin and Harry get into a dramatic fight, and Harry says a lot of quite cruel things. Lupin storms out.
Hermione and Ron are horrified by the things Harry said, but Hermione understands that it's really his own loss of his parents that has made him so upset.
Harry, still caught up in the argument, leafs through the copy of the Daily Prophet. In it, there's another feature on the Dumbledore family by Rita Skeeter, including a family photo.
The story claims that Kendra, Dumbledore's mother, used the family's move to Godric's Hollow after her husband's arrest to cover up her Squib daughter, Ariana, once and for all. Again, Bathilda Bagshot comes up as the source for this information.
Harry's sure that they should go to Godric's Hollow, but before he can ask Ron and Hermione, Kreacher comes back, dragging Mundungus Fletcher with him.
After some persuading, Mundungus revealed that the locket was taken from him while he was illicitly selling the goods he stole from Sirius's house in Diagon Alley.
The culprit? A familiar former Hogwarts teacher from Book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, whose punishment stays with Harry to this day, scarred into the back of his hand… Yep, nasty Dolores Umbridge.