That night, Harry has disjointed dreams; Nagini, Voldemort's huge snake, slithers through all of them. He thinks he hears someone outside the tent, and gets up to join Hermione, who's on watch.
The two of them agree to move somewhere else – Hermione also thinks she hears people moving around outside. They pack up and Disapparate to the Forest of Dean, a secluded place where Hermione went camping once with her family.
After an uneventful day, Harry takes the night watch. He feels strangely alert and oddly different. Suddenly, he sees a glowing silver light in the darkness – it's moving towards him. What is it?
The source of the light is a brilliant, beautiful silver doe. She and Harry regard each other intently, then she walks away slowly. Harry, certain that she means for him to do, follows.
Suddenly, the doe vanishes, leaving Harry in darkness. He lights up his wand, and finds himself in front of a frozen pool – and at the bottom pool, a familiar object: the ruby-hilted sword of Godric Gryffindor!
Harry tries to just summon the sword, but it won't come. He realizes that he has to prove his worth as a Gryffindor by diving into the frozen pond and pulling it out himself – eek!
Despite the biting cold, Harry strips down, then magically cracks the ice on the top of the pond. He jumps into the freezing cold water and successfully (though painfully) dives down and gets the sword.
As he's about to leap out of the frigid water, though, the Horcrux locket tightens its chain around his neck, trying to drown him. Harry's lost in a chaos of flailing limbs, desperately trying to get out – and then, out of nowhere, someone else pulls him out and safely delivers him to solid ground.
The Horcrux is removed, but Harry can't see who removed it for a moment. When he can, he's shocked – it's Ron!
Ron is horrified by Harry's utter stupidity in failing to remove the Horcrux before he dived… to be honest, we're a little surprised, too. Not exactly his finest moment. Moving on.
Harry gets dressed, still overwhelmed by shock. He thinks for a moment that Ron cast the silver doe Patronus, but he didn't… so who did?
Ron is back to stay, if Harry and Hermione still want him. Yay!
Harry and Ron can't figure out who cast the doe and put the sword in the pond, but they decide to figure out if it's the real sword of Gryffindor by seeing if it can destroy the Horcrux. Harry asks Ron to do the honors, since he's the one who ultimately pulled the sword out of the pool.
He has a gut feeling that Ron's meant to do it.
Ron doesn't want to, though, so Harry firmly tells him he has to. Harry opens the locket using Parseltongue, and Ron prepares to stab it.
The locket opens, revealing two dark, handsome eyes – the eyes of Tom Riddle. It starts to speak, not to both of them, but just to Ron. It knows all of his doubts and fears (that his family doesn't love him, that Hermione doesn't love him), and it exploits them; it even produces a horrifying image of Harry and Hermione taunting Ron, kissing.
Finally, Ron stabs the locket – it screams and shatters. The Horcrux is definitely done for.
Before they go back to the tent, Harry takes a minute to reassure Ron that there's never been anything between him and Hermione, and that they're like brother and sister – definitely no kissing. This seems to help.
Ron apologizes for leaving, and the two of them hug and make up.
Back at the tent, Hermione freaks out when she sees Ron. Ron optimistically raises his arms for a hug, but she attacks him with her fists instead. Harry quickly casts a shield spell to keep them apart.
Hermione has a spazz attack about Ron's disappearance and his cavalier reappearance. It's pretty obvious that she was extremely, extremely upset by his absence (which probably means that Ron's fears of being unloved are quite unnecessary).
Ron explains that he tried to come back right away, but was detained by a gang of Snatchers (some petty criminals who try to earn money by rounding up Muggle-borns and turning them in to the Ministry). Ron got away from them, and managed to steal one of their wands before he left.
However, when he Apparated back to the last campsite he'd left Harry and Hermione at, they were gone. He went home, and discovered that the Deluminator did more than just extinguish lights – it actually guided him to Harry and Hermione.
After a near-miss (the day that Harry and Hermione thought they heard someone outside the tent, they did), Ron arrived in the Forest of Dean and saw Harry pursuing the doe, so he followed.
Here Harry concludes the story, telling Hermione that Ron saved him and destroyed the Horcrux.
Ron gives the Snatcher's wand to Harry, and the three of them settle down for the evening, together again at last.