Is Harry the last horcrux?
by David Haber
In Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, we learned that, to make himself immortal, Lord Voldemort ripped his soul into seven pieces, and created six horcruxes (the seventh piece of his soul still residing in his body). In the course of the book, we find out the specific whereabouts of some of the horcruxes and learn some information about the others.
To recap, this is what we know about the locations of the horcruxes so far:
1. Tom Riddle's diary (destroyed)
2. Marvolo Gaunt's ring (destroyed)
3. Slytherin's locket (presumed destroyed by Regulus Black)
4. Hufflepuff's cup (whereabouts unknown)
5. Nagini the giant snake (Dumbledore's guess)
We know that Tom Riddle liked to collect "trophies", so the final Horcrux might be something that belonged to either Rowena Ravenclaw or Godric Gryffindor. But that makes the identity of the sixth horcrux still very unknown.
There is one other possibility for the location of the sixth horcrux that, I must admit, I have been reluctant to consider until very recently. But if you look at the clues, I now think it's a very strong possibility.
It's possible that Harry is the sixth horcrux, and it is physically located in his body at the location of his famous scar.
We learn in the very first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, that Harry can speak to snakes. We learn more about this in the next book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry is a Parseltongue, and this plays a big part in his battle in the book against Tom Riddle and the basilisk, a really big snake.
At the end of the book, Harry and Dumbledore are talking about the recent battle, and Harry's fear that he might be the heir of Slytherin. Dumbledore tells Harry:
"You can speak Parseltongue, Harry," said Dumbledore calmly, "because Lord Voldemort -- who is the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin -- can speak Parseltongue. Unless I'm much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do, I'm sure ..." "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" Harry said, thunderstruck. "It certainly seems so." (CoS pg. 332/245)
We know J.K. uses very specific words on purpose. Notice Harry says, "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me" and Dumbledore says "It certainly seems so."
In the context of the second book, as readers we assumed they meant this in a general, unspecified way. But now that we've learned what horcruxes are, literally a bit of a person's immortal soul that is placed in a container for access later, "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me" certainly sounds just like what a horcrux is, doesn't it?
And although we would tend to assume horcruxes are inanimate objects like rings, lockets and cups, Dumbledore himself suggests in Half-Blood Prince that the snake Nagini is very possibly a horcrux. So, its possible for a horcrux to be in a person, like Harry.
Working back from this assumption, let's look at the other clues.
In the first book, Hagrid tells Harry:
"Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. Thats what yeh get when a powerful evil curse touches yeh." (SS/PS pg. 55/45)
Once again, notice the words. "A powerful evil curse". That pretty much describes horcruxes again, doesn't it? In Half-Blood Prince, the horcrux is described as the most evil of any magic, so evil that its very mention is banned in Hogwarts.
From the very first book we were shown that Harry was a parseltongue (although we didn't know right away what it was called), and we were also shown that there was a connection between Harry and Voldemort via Harry's scar. In the first book his scar hurts when he looks at Quirrel, we only learn at the end of the book that it was actually hurting because Voldemort was in Quirrel's head at the time. As the books progress, this connection culminates in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as we learn that, via the scar, both Harry and Voldemort can tell what the other is feeling.
During the course of the book, we see steps being taken to minimize the effects of this connection (Harry taking Occlumency lessons, Dumbledore avoiding his gaze). But we're never given a good, specific explanation for why Harry's scar could cause this psychic connection between them. Physically having a piece of Voldemort's soul in him would certainly explain this very nicely, wouldn't it?
There is so much that is not known about the events at Godrics Hollow on the night of Halloween, 1981. All we know is that, because of Lily's sacrifice, Voldemort's Avada Kedavra curse intended for Harry rebounded back onto Voldemort himself, leaving him almost . We know that, as part of the process of making a horcrux, it is necessary to commit a . Voldemort entered James and Lily's house intending to them that night. What if he was already planning on making a horcrux that night, but because of the unexpected rebounding of his Avada Kedavra curse onto himself, he inadvertently and accidentally ended up putting a bit of his soul into Harry?
The ultimate question is, why is Harry "The Boy Who Lived"? We surmise it was Lily's love that caused Voldemort's Avada Kedavra to rebound onto himself, but what actually allowed Harry to live through it with only a scar to show for it, when Voldemort was almost ed by it?
We know that a horcrux prevent the horcrux's maker from ing. Is it possible that the bit of Voldemort's soul in Harry's head is what actually allowed him to survive the attack that no wizard had ever survived before?
And here's the part I don't like thinking about. The prophecy says "neither can live while the other survives". It would seem that Harry is safe, because Voldemort would never Harry, if Harry is his last remaining horcrux. But, we know Harry must destroy all the horcruxes before he can Voldemort. How can he destroy all the horcruxes when he's one of them himself? It certainly looks like Harry must , but if he's the only one the prophecy says can Voldemort, how can he do that if he, himself, has to first?
Published January 8, 2007
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