Harry Potter & the Horcrux of Doom…

…or something like that.


Okay, so I’ve been re-reading the whole Harry Potter series, and now it’s time for my ideas, hypotheses, and wild daydreams about things I’ve noticed and what’s going on and where the series is going.

First…the Horcruxes.

Am I the only person that doesn’t see that Harry himself is one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes? This is supported both by the “facts” of the books and story patterns of myth and legend.

Let’s put the facts together. We know from “Half Blood Prince” that:

– Horcruxes require the murder of another person
– Voldemort reserved the making of a Horcrux for significant deaths.
– You can use “animals” as Horcruxes, though to “confine a part of your soul to something that can think and move for itself is obviously risky business.” And yes, humans are animals/mammals.
– Dumbledore’s speculation: Voldemort was intending to make his final Horcrux with Harry’s death.

From the previous books, we know that:

– Harry is a Parselmouth, because Voldemort gave Harry part of his powers in the failed Avada Kedavra. So far in the series, the only Parselmouths we’ve seen have been Harry and those related to Voldemort and Slytherin’s line.
– Harry is the only known survivor of the Avada Kedavra curse, and no one knows how he, just a baby, survived it.
– Harry has a connection to Voldemort and can sense Voldemort’s thoughts and feelings, and tell when Voldemort is near.
– Voldemort can possess Harry and send him visions (see “Order of the Phoenix”)
– Harry looks a lot like the young Voldemort (Tom Riddle) and has a similar background (orphaned, displaced from his rightful place in the Wizarding World, placed in an unloving/uncaring environment of Muggles).

Okay. So Voldemort had murdered Harry’s parents before turning his wand on Harry. Voldemort had to have done some preparation of the final Horcrux beforehand, may have even had the Horcrux spell invoked, to be closed & sealed with the final Avada Kedavra on Harry. This also implies that Voldemort would’ve had the item he intended to be his Horcrux on hand when he came to Godric’s Hollow — how much will anyone bet me that Harry will find some relic of a Hogwarts Founder at the ruins of his parents’ house in the last book?

No other Avada Kedavra spell has given its recipients the powers of the killer (that the books have told us about). It seems the curse might be blocked by the willing self-sacrifice of another person, as the speculation in the books is that Lily Potter’s death to save her son is what caused the spell to rebound. But if that’s the case, then why didn’t James Potter’s self-sacrificial death in defending in his family save Lily from the same curse?

This is arguing for the presence of another spell in operation at the same time, another magic that interfered with the usual operation of the Avada Kedavra. Now it is certain that Lily — a skilled intelligent witch — had also cast a spell to invoke protection for Harry with her death, sealed by her death. But it should be fairly obvious that this alone would not have worked! If that was indeed the way to counter the AK curse, others would’ve done it, and there would be more survivors than Harry. There aren’t, and this furthers the argument that yet another magic was happening at the same time; it’s implying that there were special conditions at work that night, that weren’t there with the other AK deaths – namely, the Horcrux magic. Lily’s spell conjuncted with the Horcrux magic conjuncted with that final Avada Kedavra…

Now I’m going to depart from the facts and go into speculation based on story patterns and myth. What do writers think like? What is the usual mythic story pattern?

JK Rowling goes for name play, parallels, and foreshadowing. Voldemort is a descendant of Slytherin — it makes perfect story-sense that to counter-balance that, there would be a descendent of Gryffindor around. The Slytherin/Gryffindor enmity has been set up all through the books, played out through the rivalry between the houses to the point that the other two houses may as well not exist. We don’t know much about Harry’s parents, save that they lived in “Godric’s Hollow”. Other fans have noted the connection between that and “Godric Gryffindor”, and it would make perfect story-sense that a descendent of Gryffindor would live in a family house, passed down through the generations (as Sirius Black’s family did). This would make Harry a descendant of Gryffindor, and as such…a relic of Gryffindor.

What if Voldemort was unaware of this? What if his Horcrux spell was keyed to “the relic of Gryffindor”, or other suitable wording that Voldemort would’ve thought was specific enough, but actually vague enough that the magic would leap and follow the path of least resistance to the “relic” that it was being aimed at — Harry? Think of all the faery tales, myths, and legends where someone is done in by a vaguely-worded wish, or a statement that had more than one meaning. Even Dumbledore says it: “Voldemort himself created his worst enemy.”

Think, too, on the usual mythic pattern, that heros have to defeat the evil in themselves to finally win their reward. Remember Star Wars: Return of the Jedi? That final scene with Luke facing down Vader and the Emperor? Luke may have been physically fighting Vader, but he didn’t win the fight until he realized that the Dark Side was in himself, and rejected that. Luke’s victory came when he tossed away his lightsaber and told the Emperor, “I will never turn…I am a Jedi, as my father before me”. Lucas was following well-established mythic pattern, there…and Rowling is no different. In order to defeat Voldemort, Harry is going to have to recognize and defeat his own darkness…

…and the most dramatic way for that to happen is for Harry to find out that he’s a Horcrux. This parallels the story (Lily and James gave their lives for their son, now it’s the son’s turn to return that sacrifice), fits the “relics of Hogwarts founders used by Voldemort for Horcruxes” stipulation, follows mythic pattern (the hero finding and rejecting the darkness in himself), and is the most dramatic turn the story could take. What writer could resist that twist or drama? There’s too much weight of story-build-up, myth, and pattern behind this idea.

All right. On to point number two, which might seem like a minor point compared to the above, but is going to play out major in the next book.

Towards the end of Half-Blood Prince, Harry opens the locket that he and Dumbledore had recovered as possibly one of the Horcruxes. However, far from being a Horcrux, the locket only contains a short message from “R.A.B”:

“To the Dark Lord
I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more.”

Others have speculated that “R.A.B.” is Regelus Black, Sirius’s younger brother, as that’s the only character in the series with initials close to those. Without arguing for or against it, I’m going to run with that speculation for a bit, as we’re too late in the series for Rowling to be bringing in other major characters…and again, the parallels and story-weight behind that idea are too strong for it not to be so (especially with Rowling’s thing for dropping minor names in an innocent way at one point, then bringing them back to play bigger roles later on — Mrs. Figg being the biggest example of this).

We know from Sirius that his younger brother Regelus was a Death-Eater who left because he could not stomach what Voldemort was doing, and that Voldemort’s followers tracked down and killed Regelus. Evidently Regelus was also very clever at magic, given that Slughorn makes comments about “wanting the set” of Sirius and Regelus when he’s reminiscing about prior members of his “Slug Club”.

We also know that, after Voldemort’s fall, the remaining Death-Eaters (the Lestranges and Barty Crouch Jr) tortured Neville Longbottom’s parents into insanity because they thought the Longbottoms had information concerning “Voldemort’s whereabouts”.

Doesn’t that strike anyone else as more than a bit odd? Why would Aurors have any idea where Voldemort is? Why would the Death Eaters think that the Longbottoms would have such information — or that the Longbottoms would think anything other than Voldemort is gone for good? And why would these Death Eaters in particular be so certain the Voldemort was still alive?

Possible answer to the above: The Longbottoms didn’t know of Voldemort’s whereabouts…but may have had information about the whereabouts of a Horcrux that contained Voldemort’s soul.

If the “R.A.B.” speculations are true, Regelus Black found out about Horcruxes and Voldemort’s plan. Regelus found the Horcrux in the cave (possibly Slytherin’s locket), stole it, and left behind the other locket in its place. He leaves the Death Eaters and goes to the Longbottoms (another true-blood family) for help in hiding. The Longbottoms may have tried to help Regelus hide or get away…unsuccessfully, as we know Regelus was killed by the Death Eaters. After Voldemort’s fall, an inner core of the Death Eaters attempted to find the missing Horcrux to bring back their Master (possibly acting on Voldemort’s instructions to simply “Find this and do this in the event of my death”). They found the Horcrux-locket gone, found the note signed “R.A.B.”, and proceeded to re-track Regelus’s path, which led straight to the Longbottoms, and the Longbottoms were tortured because the Death Eaters thought Regelus may have had their help in hiding the Horcrux-locket containing Voldemort’s soul…or told them where he’d hidden it.

Some other random facts that add in to this:

– The Fidelius Charm is a way of concealing something so thoroughly that no one can find it unless the person who is secret-keeper tells you where it is. This charm involves the placement of a secret inside the soul of another living person.
– We’ve been told about Memory Charms, which cause you to lose your memory. A strong enough Memory Charm causes forgetfullness and absent-mindedness, to the point that the person seems dim-witted (Bertha Jorkins is the example we’re pounded over the head with in “Goblet”).
– We know that Memory Charms can be worked around by a skilled Legillimens or broken by extreme torture.
– Neville Longbottom was born at the same time Harry was, at the end of July, and was another possible candidate for the prophecy until Voldemore attacked Harry.
– Neville is an extremely absent-minded & forgetful person.
– Per OOTP, Regelus was killed “15 years previously”. Harry is 15 in that book, as is Neville; Voldemort killed Harry’s parents when Harry was about 1 year old. This can place Regelus’s death just after the births of both Neville & Harry.

Now, if you combine a Fidelius with a Memory Charm so that the person bearing the secret forgets they know the secret…

I’m reminded of “Prisoner of Azkaban”, where Sirius is telling of the change in plans to use him as a secret-keeper for the Potters, and instead they use Peter Pettigrew: “It was the perfect plan, a bluff. Voldemort would be sure to come after me, would never dream they’d use a weak, talentless thing like you…” And note, Harry did draw a parallel between Neville and Peter earlier in that book.

Regelus was a skilled wizard and a Death Eater, who presumably would’ve had few compunctions about some types of magic. He may have approached the Longbottoms for help in hiding from the Death Eaters; either he or the Longbottoms may have concealed the knowledge of the Horcrux inside Neville using the Fidelius and followed it with a Memory Charm. Note that the Longbottoms were tortured into insanity by the Death Eaters…possibly to break a potential Memory Charm placed on them by Regelus? To force them to tell the secret of the whereabouts of the Horcrux? And the Death Eaters would never have dreamed that the real Secret Keeper was a weak baby…


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