Harry as Horcrux 101 (B): How Harry became a Horcrux

continued from Harry as Horcrux 101 (A) above:

“But, John, HOW could this Horcrux have been made?”

Okay. I hear you. No need to shout. Let’s review quickly and get to the “how.”

There are seven quick reasons why Harry’s scar being a Horcrux seems logical. A scar Horcrux answers questions that are otherwise mysteries that readers have just come to live with. There is one major objection to this possibility, however.

How could Voldemort have mistakenly made a Horcrux on, of all people, the child prophesied to kill him and not realized his mistake? Good question.

It certainly wasn’t made intentionally. As Dumbledore told Harry in the passage above, Lord Voldemort came to the Potters’ home that Halloween night to kill James and Harry, not create a “Potter Horcrux” on Harry’s forehead. How then could the scar Horcux have been made accidentally and in such a way that Voldemort wouldn’t have known what happened until, like Harry, he realized he had a mind-link with the boy?

Let’s recreate the events leading up to Harry’s parents’ murder.

First there is Peter Pettigrew’s betrayal of the Order of the Phoenix by becoming a spy for the Death Eaters. This is followed by his betrayal of the Potters as a Death Eater consequent to being made the Potter’s Secret Keeper. Sirius tells us that they should have guessed Peter was the spy:

“I’ll never understand why I didn’t see you were the spy from the start. You always liked big friends who’d look after you, didn’t you? It used to be us… me and Remus…and James…” (Prisoner, Chapter 19, pg. 369)

Peter rats on the Potters some have suggested because of his love for Lily Potter and inevitable envy and hatred for James. This makes more sense to me than Severus as Heathcliff to Lily’s Catherine but it is all a-textual speculation. We are told in text that he became a Deatheater or at least a Voldemort spy because of his being a congenital suck-up to those more powerful than himself. If he was carrying a torch for Lily, though, we have an explanation for why Lily didn’t have to die, as Voldemort tells Harry in Philosopher’s Stone (Chapter 17, pg. 294). Perhaps Voldemort promised Pettigrew Lily’s life that night if the information he was providing proved true. Something like the arm he was promised in Goblet….

Lord Voldemort’s intentions in Godric’s Hollow that night, I think, were to:

• Kill the child prophesied to kill him (close to certain);
• End Gryffindor line by killing both James and Harry (possible, not necessary);
• Spare Lily as gesture to Pettigrew and/or Snape (purely speculative); and
• Create a Horcrux after the two Potter murders (close to certain).

I’m assuming that the various clues about Harry being the last of the Gryffindor line are true, though, again, this point is not made explicitly in the books. It would explain why Voldemort was hunting the Potters (which forced them into hiding beneath the Fidelius Charm); perhaps he discovered the Potter/Gryffindor link in his search for Horcrux materials in relics from the four Hogwarts Founders. The Prophecy would have then forced him to the conclusion that Harry rather than Neville was the prophesied champion because of the symmetry of the Heir of Gryffindor fighting the Heir of Slytherin.

The man seeming to be Dumbledore explained to Harry that he believed the Dark Lord was collecting magical objects, preferring those “with a powerful magical history,” “worthy of the honor” of serving as his soul depositories (Chapter 23, p. 504). Voldemort seems to have wanted a collection of Hogwarts Founders items to serve as Horcruxes. What could he have had in mind for the object to become a Horcrux after the Potter murders?

Logically, he had three options:
• something he always or already owned,
• something he had acquired before going to the Potters’ home, or
• something he expected to find in the Potters’ home.

Linda McCabe, a Harry Potter authority whose instincts I almost always defer to, suspects that it was either a Gryffindor relic Voldemort had found (i.e., stolen) or that he expected to find in the Godric’s Hollow home of the Potters. There is nothing in the books to clue us in to what this might be (Dumbledore tells Harry the only known relic of Godric Gryffindor is the sword in Dumbledore’s office, if we have been told the Sorting Hat, too, once belonged to this Founder).

It might be something he stole from Hogwarts, perhaps on the day he visited Dumbledore to interview for a teaching position. In the Pensieve Harry sees Tom Riddle as he rises to leave the office reach for his wand: “He was sure that Voldemort’s hand had twitched toward his pocket and his wand; but then the moment had passed, Voldemort had turned away, the door was closing, and he was gone” (Chapter 20, p. 446). This could be a sign of his frustration Рor perhaps Voldemort got the drop on Dumbledore and went looking for Horcrux material?

Not likely.

Dumbledore says that Nagini is a likely Horcrux because the snake “underlies the Slytherin connection” and because his fondness for her means “he certainly likes to keep her close” (Chapter 23, pgs. 506-507). If we eliminate as speculative the options of something he found and something he expected to find at the Potters’ after he arrived, we are left with something he always had, something he “likes to keep close.”

The obvious magical object that meets this requirement is Voldemort’s wand.

Lord Voldemort’s Wand

The Dark Lord’s wand, we learn from Mr. Ollivander himself, is “Thirteen and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands… well, if I’d known what that wand was going out into the world to do…” He laments to Harry, as he touches the scar on his eleven year old forehead, “I’m sorry to say I sold the wand that did it” (Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 5, pg. 83). Dumbledore explains in Goblet again what Ollivander told Harry in his shop. Voldemort’s wand has a Phoenix feather core, one of only two wands made from Fawkes’ feathers, and that Voldemort’s wand is in this respect the brother of Harry’s eleven inch holly model (Goblet, Chapter 36, pg. 697).

Lord Voldemort’s wand meets every requirement Dumbledore thinks an object must have to become a Dark Lord Horcrux, namely:

• It is always with him;
• It is an object with a “powerful magical history;” and
• It is an object, in itself, “of a certain grandeur.”

The key here is the core, Fawkes’ feather. Simply being Lord Voldemort’s wand might be sufficient to satisfy the necessity for “grandeur” given his high opinion of himself Рbut that the wand has a Phoenix feather, i.e., a core made from a Fantastic Beast who is immortal, and who is the pet of the greatest wizard living, gives it grandeur, history, and powerful magic all in one.

The wand may or may not be associated through Fawkes with Godric Gryffindor; we do not know Fawkes’ prior “owners.” It would be an impressive argument for its being a Horcrux object if we did know of this connection with a Hogwarts Founder, but, if it isn’t, it is not a disqualifier.

The Diary and Nagini were suggested by Snape/Dumbledore, not posing before the scar-o-scope, to be objects not because they were linked directly to Slytherin because they were owned by him but because they pointed to Riddle’s relation with the Founder of Slytherin House. A wand in the four suits of playing cards (“clubs” in modern parlance) are tied to the Fire element as is the Phoenix and Ms. Rowling in her description of the Four Houses of Hogwarts has told us that Gryffindor corresponds to the fire element. [We need a sword, a cup, and a ring for the set…]

Here I think Dumbledore’s humility and our insistence that every relic be from a Founder blinds us to the ‚Äúrightness‚Äù of a wand Horcrux. Lord Voldemort knew that Dumbledore was the greatest living wizard, the only wizard he ever feared, and that Fawkes was his familiar. Would he not have had some satisfaction in placing a Horcrux on a momento from his most dangerous adversary? Dumbledore gave Riddle the money he needed to buy his wand (Chapter 13, pg. 274) and, Gryffindor pet or not, a Fawkes feather wand makes for a grand Voldemort Horcrux.

Wand Problems

Having said that, we know this wand has been known to do some peculiar things, almost in imitation of the Phoenix from which its core was made. Most spectacularly, of course, is what Voldemort’s wand did when forced into action with its brother, Harry’s wand, in Goblet. Dumbledore explains in his post battle session with Harry the Priori Incantatem effect of two like-cored wands fighting each other; “one of the wands will force the other to regurgitate spells it has performed Рin reverse” (Goblet, Chapter 36, pg. 697).

But this was only the beginning of what happened in the Graveyard duel. Yes, we had Priori Incantatem and the weird procession of shade-echos from Voldemort’s wand, but more spectacularly, I thought, we had the splintering of the golden thread connecting the two wands, splinters that formed a “golden, dome-shaped web, a cage of light.”

And then a unearthly and beautiful sound filled the air….. It was coming from every thread of the light-spun web vibrating around Harry and Voldemort. It was a sound Harry recognized, though he had heard it only once before in his life: phoenix song.

It was the sound of hope to Harry… the most beautiful and welcome thing he had ever heard in his life….He felt as though the song were inside him instead of just around him…. It was the sound he connected with Dumbledore, and it was almost as though a friend were speaking in his ear…. (Goblet, Chapter 34, pg. 664).

I’m betting when unicorn hair or dragon heart string wands match up you don’t get a golden web of light singing phoenix song that increases “the courage of the pure in heart and [strikes] fear into the hearts of the impure” (Fantastic Beasts, pg. 32). This is peculiar to Phoenix feather wands we can be sure because of its kinship with what we know of Fawkes.

Fawkes responds to loyalty with his appearance, his song, and even with magical gifts, as we saw in the Chamber of Secrets. His song, the Sword-In Hat he brought there, and his blinding the Basilisk pull Harry’s fat out of the fire in the fight with the Riddle memory. Fawkes responds, too, to heroic, sacrificial suffering with his life saving tears both in the Chamber and after Harry’s battle in the Graveyard. He does the same in Prince at Harry’s statement of faith in Dumbledore (Chapter 17, pg. 357). If Dumbledore has already died or is dying, of course, Fawkes’ reaction and faux-Dumbey’s have a different meaning.

The song from the cage, though, is the important point because the Phoenix, the “Resurrection Bird” and used traditionally as a symbol of Christ, in Ms. Rowling‚Äôs books resonates or resounds in answer to like virtue, namely, sacrificial loyalty and love. We see it in the Chamber in Fawkes‚Äô being summoned by Harry‚Äôs loyalty and in the Graveyard in the effect on Fawkes‚Äô feathers in the wands when Harry decides to stand and fight, against all odds. The feathers are shaking in the wand cores and creating golden light and phoenix song just like we‚Äôd expect from the magical creature from which the wand-cores come.

Consequences in Godric’s Hollow

Voldemort comes to Godric’s Hollow that night, with or without the Secret Keeper; I’m thinking that Pettigrew is probably there, because he has to pick up the wand sometime, but whether he is inside or outside the house is anybody’s guess. Peter’s presence isn’t necessary except to be sure that the wand Horcrux survives.

Voldemort comes with the idea that he will turn his phoenix feather-cored wand into a Horcrux. He doesn‚Äôt know about the way the core of his wand might react. All he knows is that it is a magical object of no little grandeur and history. What a twist, that his means of destroying his prophesied vanquisher and perhaps the Gryffindor line will be through a wand Dumbledore gave him the money to buy as an eleven year old charity-case — and whose core came from the great wizard‚Äôs familiar!

Lord Voldemort enters the house and kills James Potter as planned — no problem. His soul is rent here by the murder, but this must be a familiar feeling to the Dark Lord by now. It is with his attempt to kill Lily that the problems begin.

When the Dark Lord kills Lily Evans Potter, he departs from his original plan. As Dumbledore likes to point out, love is something that Voldemort doesn’t understand and his belief that death is the worst possibility (a belief he thinks all people share) is his point of vulnerability. Lily’s sacrifice, her preference for death before the death of her baby boy, consequently, comes as something unexpected to Lord Voldemort. His mother had died mourning for her one true love and left baby Voldemort an orphan.

Lily’s sacrifice and love disturb him enough that he lies about it later. He tells Harry in the room with the Mirror of Erised that his parents “died begging me for mercy” (Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 17, pg. 294). It is, fair enough, something the Dark Lord couldn’t have anticipated from Harry’s mother. His mother died because of him but not for him. Maternal love and sacrificial love at that are in his mental blind spots.

As bad or as confusing as this may have been for him, I think the wand’s response to killing Lily had to have bothered him a lot more.

Judging from what happened in Goblet in the presence of a like-cored wand and Harry’s resolve to “die upright like his father,” Voldemort’s wand in the presence of Lily’s sacrifice probably began to shake and to sing after her murder. I think it shook because of the dissonance of the phoenix core with the wand holder and that it sang because of its resonance with sacrificial love and death. Sacrificial death motivated by love, of course, is the distinguishing characteristic of the Christ/Phoenix. Remember Fawkes swallowing the Death Curse in Order of the Phoenix?

Lily’s murder causes a wand core crisis because (1) the mother sacrifices herself in love for the wand holder‚Äôs intended victim and (2) perhaps the murder was a betrayal on top of a murder (Lord Voldemort having promised someone that he wouldn’t do it). The resonance of the wandcore with the victim, whose loving, sacrificial death is the characteristic action of the Christ/Phoenix, and the dissonance with the wand holder cause the wand core to freak out, if you will.

Voldemort responds decisively, of course, confused as he may be by Lily’s senseless sacrifice (senseless to him at least) and disheartened as the phoenix song may make him feel. After a moment of panic, the Dark Lord acts by instinct on his prior plan. He decides to still the wand by turning it into his sixth and last Horcrux. He performs the nonverbal Horcrux Animampono spell, “Animampono Baculum!” (literally, in Latin, Animampono = “I place the soul,” and Baculum, its object = “wand, staff;” taken all together, he says “I place the soul-part on the wand”)

My bet is that magically stuffing the fragment of soul the murders of James and Lily Potter ripped from him into the wand probably stilled and silenced it, at least momentarily. In that moment, the Dark Lord turned to baby Harry to kill his prophesied vanquisher with his new Horcrux wand. “Avadra Kedavra!”

About Wand Cores

Voldemort makes two mistakes here: one, in making a wand Horcrux, and, two, in simple addition.

A wand Horcrux is a bad idea, really. All Ollivander wands have essentially Christ-magic cores (coming from the unicorn, phoenix, or heart strings of a dragon) and are, like the human person, designed for the good as a reflection of harmony with this core and for magic by incantation with the Word. This deserves a pretty long digression largely taken from this blog’s posts and responses – thank you Felicity, Athena, and those-who-will-not-be-named.

Ms. Rowling was asked about wand-cores in Manhattan last summer:

An Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp:
Readings and questions #1, August 1, 2006

Samantha: In the wizarding world there are many wandmakers, Ollivander’s being the one we’re most familiar with. How come Ollivander chose the three magical cores for the wands he makes to be phoenix feather, unicorn hair, and dragon heartstring? And how come he decided that these are the three most powerful cores as opposed to others such as veela hair?

J.K. Rowling: Good question. Well, it is true that there are several wandmakers and in my notes about Harry I have many different cores for wands. Essentially I decided Ollivander was going to use my three favorites. So Ollivander has decided that those are the three most powerful substances. Other wandmakers might choose things that are particular to their country because countries as you know in my world have their own particular indigenous magical species so veela hair was kind of obvious for Fleur’s wand. But um, yeah, good question. I’ve never had that one before (crowd applauds).

Dragon’s blood, incidentally, is traditionally linked to the Elixir of Life that is the tincture of the Philosopher’s Stone, and this link makes a further connection with the Eucharist, or, specifically, the Blood of Christ (the Philosopher’s Stone is a traditional symbol of Christ in poetry and drama because it gives you eternal life and spiritual riches usually represented with gold). This suggests dragon’s blood’s powers may be somehow akin to the life-sustaining power of the unicorn’s blood, another symbol of Christ in the stories. Ms. Rowling has Firenze almost quote from 1 Corinthians 11:29 when describing the effects of drinking unicorn’s blood, establishing that link with the blood of Christ. With the phoenix feather as a third, Ollivander has chosen three wand-cores linked to symbols of Christ.

As interesting and more revealing were Ms. Rowling’s frank comments about the wand cores. Wand cores do not have to be a unicorn’s hair, a phoenix’s feather, or dragon’s heart string but these three wand cores are Rowling’s “favorites” and are Ollivander’s strong preference. You’ll recall his comments about Fleur’s wand-core at the Tri-Wizard Tournament ‘Weighing of the Wands:’

Fleur Delacour swept over to Mr. Ollivander and handed him her wand.
“Hmmm…” he said.
He twirled the wand between his long fingers like a baton and it emitted a number of pink and gold sparks. Then he held it close to his eyes and examined it carefully.
“Yes,” he said quietly, “nine and a half inches… inflexible…rosewood…and containing…dear me…”
“An ‘air from ze ‘ead of a veela,” said Fleur. “One of my grandmuzzer’s.” ….
“Yes,” said Mr. Ollivander,”yes, I’ve never used veela hair myself, of course. I find it makes for tempermental wands… however to each his own, and if this suits you…”
Mr. Ollivander ran his fingers along the wand, apparently checking for scratches or bumps; then he muttered, “Orchideous!” and a bunch of flowers burst from the wand tip.
“Very well, very well, it’s in fine working order,” said Mr. Ollivander, scooping up the flowers and handing them to Fleur with her wand. “Mr. Diggory, you next.”
(Chapter 18, pg. 308)

An aside: Diggory’s wand has a unicorn tail hair core and Ollivander has it send silver smoke rings across the room, Krum’s wand has a dragon heartstring inside and Ollivander produces “small, twittering birds” from it as a test. Harry’s holly wand with phoenix feather core is tested so that it produces, of all things, “a fountain of wine.”

Ms. Rowling says Ollivander prefers feather, hair, and heartstring because he “has decided that those are the three most powerful substances.” This makes all three wand cores pointers to Christ, even independent of the traditional symbolism of unicorn, phoenix, and dragon’s blood/Philosopher’s Stone.


Dumbledore’s repeated explanations to Harry and expositions of the power of love. Love, is quite simply, the great mystery and power of Rowling’s Magical world, and, by the way, of all traditional cosmology. God is Love, as St. John tells us (1 John 4) and the Creative Principle driving and sustaining creation is one of polarity resolved, hence the complimentary opposites that define life on earth (male/female, night/day, hot/cold, contraction/expansion of heart, etc.). In Christian language, this Principle is God’s Logos or Word that becomes a man as Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

Back to wand cores.

What are the most powerful wand-stuffers? Those that draw from or focus best the power that is the fabric of all things, seen and unseen. This power is Love. What better way would there be to represent this in story than to use pointers to Love Himself? We have that in Ollivander’s preferences for Phoenix feathers (the Resurrection bird), Unicorn hair (traditional symbol in poetry, tapestry, and story for Christ), and, via its connection with the dragon blood-red tincture of the Philosopher’s Stone’s Elixir, Dragon heartstrings.

Perhaps this interpretation of wand-cores strikes you as over-wrought. I can live with that. Here is the value of this wand-core discussion in grasping three of the five keys that unlock Harry Potter.

Traditional Symbolism: Ms. Rowling is very careful to use traditional symbols for Christ from the English literary tradition so that they pervade the magical world and the action of the story. Not only do we have the preferred wand-cores all come from Christ symbols but the drama rides on figures like Fawkes, the Stag Patronus, and the Philosopher’s Stone. Pull the phoenix elements out of the endings of Prisoner, Goblet, and Prince and the story is much changed and diminished. The prevalence and prominence given this imagery demonstrates its relationship with the theme of love’s power.

Postmodern Themes: The poststructuralist message is that messages are by nature exclusive, totalitarian, and oppressive to the group of people necessarily marginalized by the Grand Narrative. Literary postmodernism, consequently, self-consciously laughs at itself, turning things on their heads, to insure readers understand that there is no sermon being smuggled in here (other than that readers should be wary of people bearing sermons). Rowling shows this in her books and shares it in her interviews.

Reporter: Your books have a theme of racism with the wizards oppressing other races and half-bloods. Do you think this has changed how people think when they read them?

JKR: Do not think I am pessimistic but I think I am realistic about how much you can change deeply entrenched prejudice. So my feeling would be that if someone were a committed racist, possibly Harry Potter is not going to have effect.

I would hope that it would make people think. I mean, I do not write the books thinking what is my message for today, what is my moral, that is not how I set out to write a book at all. I am not trying to criticise or make speeches to you in any way, but at the same time, it would be great if the people thought about bullying behavior or racism.

The house-elves is really about slavery, isn’t it? The house-elves are slaves, so that is an issue that I think we probably all feel strongly about enough in this room already. http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_4690800/4690885.stm

Rowling says here that, yes, she is writing about racism, bullying, and slavery, but, no, she isn’t trying to win anybody over to her side about these things, because, hey, we all agree, don’t we, that these things are bad? So that doesn’t count as criticizing or making speeches, right?

She shows the postmodern conflict of bearing serious messages about the evil of serious message-bearers in her interview with Lev Grossman, a certified C. S. Lewis despiser:

And unlike Lewis, whose books are drenched in theology, Rowling refuses to view herself as a moral educator to the millions of children who read her books. “I don’t think that it’s at all healthy for the work for me to think in those terms. So I don’t,” she says. “I never think in terms of ‘What am I going to teach them?’ or, ‘What would it be good for them to find out here?’”

“Although,” she adds, “undeniably, morals are drawn.”

The Latin motto of Hogwarts translates to “Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.” I think this is Ms. Rowling’s policy as a postmodern writer, too. C. S. Lewis wrote that he tried to “steal past the watchful dragons” in his readers’ hearts, dragons of skepticism about anything suggestive of stained glass church windows and Sunday school. Ms. Rowling’s dragons are the same as Lewis’, only the times have changed and with them the dragons’ attentiveness. Rowling’s messages are relatively nuanced and buried in comedy and narrative misdirection compared to Lewis’. Her readers will not tolerate sermons and she is not an apologist for any “doctrine” save non-conformity.

What is amusing is that the books are “drenched,” as Lev Grossman might put it, in traditional Christian imagery, themes, and symbolism, “morals are drawn” undeniably and heavily, and the books are didactic, however subtle (I mean, we’re talking “wand-cores” here, right?) they may be compared with the Inklings or Victorian moralists. But Rowling, the supreme planner, as a postmodern writer will not allow that this is intentional.

Literary Alchemy: Alchemy is the acceleration of human perfection by the deliberate and focused work with contrary tendencies to purify the soul. Literary alchemy is the use of alchemical images and story elements to the same end through reader/audience identification with character(s) and katharsis. As explained above, the theme of love’s power is highlighted by the use of Christian imagery because Christ is love himself and the Creative Principle is love insomuch as love is the resolution and peace of contrary tendencies or complementary antagonists (think of the Tao’s yin and yang tendencies, the Tao and the Word being different names for the same Principle). The use of alchemical imagery also highlights this theme, perhaps even more dramatically, because the work of alchemy is the action of alchemical mercury and silver Рthe “quarelling couple” represented in Harry Potter by Hermione and Ron Рto create a Philosopher’s Stone from a substance and a Hermaphrodite or Androgyne of the Alchemist, in whose persons peace and love are incarnate as the greater contraries have been resolved.

Understanding the wand-cores, then, throws light on Ms. Rowling’s postmodern subtlety and anti-didactic posture and her use of tradition Christian and alchemical images. Not bad.

Back to how bad people can use wands stuffed with Love-focusing symbols to do bad things:

In a nutshell, wands can be used for evil just as human beings can sin despite being images of God ourselves. We have this capability contra-design because we are fallen creatures more than capable of independent, God-denying action. Call it “free will.”

The question is “how much wickedness can a wand-core take?” We have seen that the Phoenix sings and responds to loyalty to the Christ figure of the book, Albus Dumbledore, and in one case where it recognizes its like as just a feather (recall, again, the ends of Chamber and Goblet, and in Harry’s statement of faith in Prince).

Lord Voldemort’s response, I think, to his vibrating and singing wand is logical.

(1) Attach the piece of his soul that has come loose consequent to the Potter deaths to the Dumbledore/Gryffindor/Voldemort artifact wand he intends to make a Horcrux.

(2) He then takes the same wand and tries to murder Harry with it.

Logical, but not do-able, especially given the arithmetic he neglects. Wand cores have their limits and I think they are not a match for murderer’s soul fragments. Light cannot “hold” darkness and vice versa. Phoenix-core in a state of excitement, that is, in resonance with loving sacrifice, would be especially resistant to retaining a soul fragment of Lord Voldemort’s soul, misshapen and darkened (cf., Matthew 6:23) as it is with his ego and embrace of spiritual death for continued physical life.

Beyond the incompatibility of Phoenix feather and Voldemort’s soul piece, there is the matter of simple addition. Voldemort has just killed two people in two deliberate and distinct murders (unlike the sudden death visited on the Riddle family) requiring his decision to kill. James is surprised and dies in the ambush of Voldemort’s entry to the house. Lily, though, knows she is about to die and Voldemort offers her an escape. He then has to decide to override his offer and cut her down.

Two distinct murders means two soul fragments.

That would mean there are two fragments of soul loose and ready for attachment as Horcruxes when the Dark Lord creates his wand Horcrux. Both fragments break loose when he says the magic words and one piece attaches itself to the wand. The other?

When Voldemort performs the Death Curse on Harry, because of the “irreconcilable differences” between core and fragment and because only one soul fragment has been attached to the wand, the wand weeps like a Phoenix. It throws off Voldemort’s second soul fragment, which flying Horcrux hits Harry simultaneously with the death curse. The wand barfs, if you will, for the same reason it shook and sang at Lily’s sacrifice: (1) resonance with the innocence of victim and with the sacrificial love of mother and (2) dissonance with the monstrous, defiling Horcrux soul-bit Voldemort tried to attach to it. And because it had been asked to eat just a little too much with the second fragment.

The Horcrux expelled from the wand in turn shields Harry from the death curse. We learned in the battle between Lord Voldemort and Dumbledore in Phoenix that simple heavy materials are capable of reflecting the Unforgivable Curse, Avadra Kedavra; the Headmaster shields Harry with parts of the Fountain of Magical Brethren. The Horcrux soul fragment is not destroyed or damaged by the curse because Avadra Kedavra is not a suicide curse. To perform it correctly you have to hate the object you are cursing. Voldemort’s soul, being rightly part of Voldemort and here his means to immortality, may be the only thing the Dark Lord loves.

Though repelled back onto the body of Voldemort, the Death Curse leaves the scar where the wand-expelled Horcrux is fixed to Harry’s skin. The curse itself is not destroyed or diminished, like repelling like, and Lord Voldemort is destroyed as a body-soul person or integer; he becomes the entity known in Fandom as Vapormort. The Dark Lord’s soul fragment that was with his body remains in existence, out-of-body, because of the five other Horcruxes he had previously created that serve as place holders for him in this world.

[There is, of course, a great dispute among thinking readers about why Voldemort, when hit by the back blast of his own curse, is vaporized and the house destroyed. It certainly doesn’t happen to anyone else who is hit by the Avadra Kedavra curse. I suggest it “blows up” in the same way that Lockhart’s memory is “blown up” in the tunnel leading to the Chamber of Secrets. The over-loaded and foully laden wand is effectively broken and backfires, with the force of the spell recoiling onto Voldemort in addition to the rebounded curse. In Chamber, a simple Obliviate spell from a loser-wizard like Lockhart causes a cave-in that almost kills everyone. It is hardly stretching things to imagine the death curse delivered by the Dark Lord back-firing would be several times more destructive. See the Red Hen’s most recent post on this subject for another view.]

What This Means

Animampono explains, in brief, how the scar Horcrux could have been created accidentally and so that Voldemort did not understand what had happened. It suggests that Lord Voldemort cast the Animampono spell nonverbally after the murder of Lily in order to still the wand, compose his rent soul, and create the Horcrux – a spell he had intended to cast on his wand after Harry’s murder but which plan circumstances (i.e., Lily’s sacrifice) forced him to change.

The soul-attachment spell, however, did not work as he expected because there were two pieces of soul to attach consequent to the double murder and because of the Phoenix/Christ core’s resonance with Lily’s love and revulsion from the soul fragment. The ‚Äúspare‚Äù portion of soul was expelled with the death curse, effectively shielding Harry from the curse’s effect but branding or tattooing him with the scar Horcrux.

Voldemort does not grasp what has happened until Prince because he gets his wand back and it is a Horcrux, just as he expected. What he intended to do, he had in fact done. There was just that neglected extra soul fragment he forgot. Harry’s scar Horcrux was made unintentionally and remained unknown to the Dark Lord until he wakes up to the mind-link with Harry.

In addition to opening the door to acceptance of Harry’s scar being a Horcrux Рwhich resolves at least seven mysteries of the books listed above РAnimampono also points to one explanation of Ollivander’s disappearance and Horace Slughorn’s delight with Hagrid’s gift of unicorn hair (Chapter 22, pg.487), that is, if you’re an EVIL Slughorn advocate. Lord Voldemort has figured out what happened when he was within Harry at the Ministry of Magic after battling Dumbledore in Phoenix Рand he knows he needs a new wand or at least a new wand core. Ollivander and a fist full of unicorn hair should be able to do the job. If Sluggo is a good guy, of course, there is an equally believable and contrary explanation.

to be continued…


  1. korg20000bc says


    Thanks for this.
    I think the second soul fragment being created by the second slaying (Lily) is extremely plausible.

    I apprecisted the work on wand cores and Fawkes.

    When I think of Dumbledore and Fawkes’ relationship I cannot see a wizard/familiar type thing. What I do see is a frendship and alliance- more like Gandalf/Shadowfax. Even though Gandalf asks Theoden to give him Shadowfax their relationship doesn’t appear to be that of owner and object. In the same way Dumbledore is not Fawkes’ owner but rather his ally in his own fight against evil and vice versa.

    Oh yeah, the hand movement of Voldemort towards his wand in the headmaster’s office is when Voldemort curses the DADA professorship- in my opinion.


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