The Red Hen’s Latest: What Happened at Godric’s Hollow

The Red Hen, aka Joyce Odell, designed and made the most significant contribution to Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? (Zossima Press, 2007). We keep in touch, if I think she talks and writes more often to the other writers in WKAD? than with me. Pout.

Tonight, though, Joyce wrote to say she had been trying to post something below in response to my question about “What Dumbledore knew and when?” and the Word Press blog wasn’t letting her put it up. It certainly deserves its own thread; The Red Hen, once again, has, with the help of Swythyv from WKAD? she reports, figured out something that seemed hopelessly mysterious. As she predicted the Astronomy Tower scene from Half-Blood Prince in remarkable detail in 2003 on Harry Potter for Grown-ups, this shouldn’t be that surprising.

The Red Hen suggests, in brief, that what killed Lily Potter was not an Avadra Kedavra curse but the second part of the Horcrux-creation spell. It makes remarkable reading and I urge you to grab a cuppa before sitting to enjoy it. I expect it will turn your thinking upside-down as it has mine, if pet theories I know are attached to us all with Permanent Sticking Charms. This is yoga-like stretching for everyone’s speculative tissue and the workout is engaging and challenging.

Thank you, Joyce, for your permission to post this here at HogPro.

John, Red Hen fan forever

Well, okay. Swythyv gave me a nudge in a 3-way e-mail conversation with Professor_Mum and I thought I’d run this through here before rlling it into the collection. It is going to be spliced into the Changeling Hypothesis (in pieces).

I still think that Slughorn was telling the truth, as he knows it, when he says that there is a specific spell used to create a Horcrux. And I do not think that he was wrong. Whatever the spell is, it would be classified as a curse. I also believe this as-yet-unnamed curse is the one which actually kills the victim, *as well as* making it possible to capture the soul fragment into its new housing. If the creation of a Horcrux were *only* a matter of procedure I think even Horace might have known that, little as he clearly *wants* to know anything about the creation of Horcruxes. And I still contend that the curse to create a Horcrux is not the AK.

However, the if spell to create a Horcrux is also a *killing* curse, it is one that very few people still know about. Only those who either completed their schooling before the subject was banned at Hogwarts (some point before the mid-1940s), those who received their education outside of Britain, or those who have access outside of Hogwarts to Dark Arts references which still speak of it, and have a reason to look the subject up. To most wizards over the past 3 generations, the term; “killing curse” will bring to mind only the AK.

Common usage being what it is, even those old enough to know better, or who were educated overseas, will probably not remember the Horcrux-creating curse when a current reference is made to “the killing curse”. And since both curses are designed to kill there could be noticable similarities between the two.

A classic AK *is* widely agreed to be unique in that it is *unblockable*. Lily couldn’t have stopped one. An AK would have simply killed her and there would have been *no affect* upon any subsequent spells cast by her murderer.

I don’t think what Tom threw at Harry was a standard AK. I don’t think that what Tom threw at harry was an AK at all.

Tom tried to murder Harry with the *Horcrux-creation* curse.

We still have a number of anomalies in our information regarding the subject, however:

It should be noted that in neither Cedric‚Äôs nor Albus‚Äôs deaths was the ‚Äúrushing sound‚Äù that Harry was aware of in the death of the spider in Moody’s class, or in the death-in-a-dream/vision of Frank Bryce present.

On the other hand, a rushing sound *was* present when Harry was attacked by a Dementor in Little Whinging. As well as when he was confronted by the Dementor on the Hogwarts Express.

*However*, there is no mention of a rushing sound in any of his dementor-assisted memories of the attack upon he and his mother when he was a baby. Which is particularly odd since the presence of the Dementors (at the Quidditch game), or Dementor-surrogate of the Boggart (in Lupin’s tutoring sessions), alone ought to have produced an awareness of the rushing sound, if the sound is also to be associated with proximity to Dementors.

At present we have no context which would make it clear whether the rushing sound is even a relevant piece of data for our reasoning or something that Rowling has let fall through the cracks. Although the fact that there was clearly NO Horcrux created from the death of the spider, *might* possibly count against the likelihood that one was created from the death of Frank Bryce, as well, even though we *did not hear* the actual incantation used to murder Bryce.

Another anomaly we have to juggle is the issue that when *whatever* the spell was *rebounded*. Tom’s body was completely destroyed. There was *no body* left at the scene of the attempted murder.

And the house blew up. AK might damage inanimate objects when it hits them by mistake, but it doesn’t cause explosions.

And there was no record in the Priori Incantatum “log” of a curse that failed.

If the spell was a standard AK, which is agreed to be unblockable, it ought not to have bounced at all. And if it hit the wrong person, it should have simply killed the wrong person. End of story.

If whatever the spell was had merely bounced, it ought to have still worked as designed when it hit a living target, even if it did end up hitting the wrong person. Harry and Draco’s ricocheting spells, in GoF, were both perfectly functional after they collided, bounced, and hit persons they were not aimed at. But whatever Voldemort threw at Harry rebounded and destroyed its caster.

Clearly whatever Lily did totally bollixed whatever Tom was trying to do.

With mostly unforeseen results.

That Albus Dumbledore appears to have nevertheless been able to piece together, after the fact, despite the lack of an eyewitness account. He is very clear that Harry lived because his mother died to save him as early as Book 1. I don’t think he is shaving the truth particularly closely when he tells us all so. And there is no really satisfactory way of placing an eyewitness at the scene who could have reported the event.

So what precisely *did* Lily do?

Frst; I think we really ought to be asking whether we have enough information to postulate just how the Horcrux-creation spell works yet. Because just about any attempt to extrapolate what happened depends on that.

I think we *just* might have enough to work from, although we may still be missing critical bits which will render any current speculation obsolete with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But we might as well make the attempt while we are waiting for it.

This is not my first attempt to try to extrapolate what the spell that Voldemort threw at Harry was, and how it is *supposed* to work, and, most importantly, what exactly went wrong with it. I’ve posted at least two earlier iterations of an attempt at a solution to the problem on Red Hen. So, this is attempt #3.

I think that, as with so much else in this series, we really do have to start with Tom Riddle. Creating Horcruxes seems to be something that is peculiarly well-suited to Riddle’s capabilities. And we already know that a couple of things that Riddle is capable of are presumed to be uncommon.

His status as a Parselmouth, however, is not likely to be a relevant issue here. Albus has already told us that however rare the ability to understand and communicate to snakes may be, great and good wizards have shared this ability with Riddle. I think it is safe to say that we can dismiss Riddle’s being a Parselmouth from any consideration of the creation of Horcruxes.

Riddle has at least one other presumably rare (although this is never stated in the text as such) ability, however. One which he kept and undoubtedly will keep to the end.

Even as a thing of shadow and vapor; a disembodied *portion* of a soul, he retained the ability to *take possession* of others. Not merely to dominate them and bring them under his control, but to take physical possession of them as well. Indeed even the soul *fragment* that haunted the Diary was able to take physical possession of Ginny Weasley, ultimately even against her will, and despite her resistance.

That doesn’t sound anyting like as harmless as chatting with snakes, and I am indebted to the LiveJournalist Swythyv for giving me a timely nudge on this particular detail.

So let’s follow this particular line of inquiery a bit further shall we?

For that matter, I am also reminded of a series of three murder mysteries read some years ago, (neither author nor title come up on amazon from what I recall of either, so my recollections of th are bound to be seriously off, sorry) in the first of which, the protagonist, a young woman who is a wiccan, is faunching over a young man who was into Ceremonial High Magick, and among whose grtimores is a ritual in which one attempts to divorce oneself from this world and its limitations by, among other similarly impossible feats, murdering onself, yet continuing to live.

It occurs to me that if Ceremonial High Magick exists in the Potterverse our Tom would probably be seriously into it. It would suit his taste for grandure and self-aggrandizement. Interestingly, the only example of ritual to which we have been treated in nearly 3300 pages was at Tom’s instigation.

However. One evidently cannot split off a piece of their soul and put it directly into an inanimate object, or murder would not be necessary in order to produce a Horcrux. And it is apparant that the typical manner of getting a soul out of a body is by killing it.

But what it the soul in that body is not the Victim’s? Or, rather, what if the body in question contains not *only* the Victim‚Äôs soul?

What if the Murderer *takes possession* of the Victim *before* killing him. What would become of the portion of the Murder’s soul that is *possessing* the Victim at the point of death?

It would get split off, wouldn’t it?

Thank you, Swythyv. I think you have just solved the basic problem for us.

Creating a Horcrux is designed to render you immune from death. Creating a Horcrux requires a form of ritual suicide. The Victim is merely an intermediary proxy. The curse *requires* that both the caster and the Victim share the *same soul*. If they don’t, all hell breaks loose.

So, basically, one must *possess* one’s Victim and then kill the Victim *while* one is in possession of them, in a form of ritual suicide, which will split off the portion of one’s soul that is in the Victim. And one must then capture and contain it in its housing before it is lost through the Veil along with the Victim’s soul. Possibly the curse also slows down the soul fragment, or makes it visible, so it may be snared with a prepared artifact, as with a net. Although the Artifact does not suck the soul fragment in on its own, or you would expect Tom to have been trapped by the artifact he brought with him to create his final Horcrux.

(Let us also resist falling into movie contamination here. In the books it was QuirrellMort skulking around the forrest, not VaporMort. No on ever was in a position to actually see VaporMort but Quirrell, Peter, and the unfortunate Bertha Jorkins.)


And, as a side note, a “normal” murder would NOT split the soul at all.

Not that this is anything that you want to encourage in 6th year students, in any case. Particularly ones that are not really so inclined.

If all that is necessary is that a possessed Victim should die and the soul fragment be split from the Murderer by that death, then you could kill them in any manner whatsoever and the ‚Äúspell‚Äù Horace was wibbling on about *is* just the capture spell. Tom really *could* have killed Hepzibah by poisoning her to create the Cup Horcrux. Although if he did create the Cup from her death, it is more likely that he poisoned her, waited until she was helpless, possessed her, and murdered her then. She *was* poisoned first. (He could have created the Diary from Myrtle’s death as well, but he didn’t. She tells us about her death and there was no possession involved. Besides, the timing is wrong.)

Which raises the question of whether it is ONLY the soul fragment of the Murderer which is captured. Maybe the *Victim’s* soul is captured and imprisoned as well. Unable to get to the Veil to pass through it, and unable to manifest as a ghost. Imprisoned until the Horcrux is broken open. That would be an abomination.

If this is the case, it would also be a good reason to use Muggles for the purpose. They don’t have souls which can manifest as ghosts and so there would be no conflict between them and the fragment, which is still the fragment of a wizard’s soul. And if the VIctim is holding the Murder‚Äôs soul, then it is automatically a *significant* murder, regardless of the Victim‚Äôs identity.

But it does appear to be at least a viable hypothesis that only wizards who are able to take possession of others would be capable of creating Horcruxes. We have no information as to whether that is really common, or if is it a specialty only of wizards “of a certain caliber”?

I think Tom discovered that he could possess other creatures before he got his Hogwarts letter. Billy Stubbs’s rabbit hanging itself from the rafters now looks highly suspicious. He probably made it jump, once the rope was around its neck, and broke contact immediately that time.

But the children he took to the cave may have been less successful “practice pieces” or perhaps he chickened out at the last moment. (Was he able to possess both of them *at once,* or was this merely dominance of will?)

He knew that Parselmouth was uncommon. But *if* possession is also rare, I think he figured out that his knack for it was even rarer. We do not know in what contex that one reference to Horcruxes in the Magick Most Evil book Hermione found was. It is likely that it may have been in a chapter on possession.

Tom knew he could do this, he wanted to know what *else* he can do with it. Ergo he took the risk of raising the question to Slughorn, even if it cost him Slughorn’s regard. It seems to not be out of reason to suppose that Slughorn’s fondness for Riddle might have cooled off considerably after their discussion on that particular subject.

So. just what did Lily do?

Those dementor-assisted memories of Harry‚Äôs are very strange. Harry has no emotional connection to himself in them at all. It’s rather like a Pensieve playback with the video turned off. Or a radio play.

Well, okay. We all agrree that Lily died to protect her son/her son was protected because *she* died *instead* of him.

Ergo; Tom did *not* simply kill her when she wouldn’t cooperate. And, unlike in my previous hypothesis, it *wasn’t* a formal contract that she established between them. She did not *trick* him into such a contract. The contract wasn’t planned. It was a product of “magic at its most impenetrable” she didn’t know *that* part of the result would happen.

But she *was* reasonably sure that what she did was going to save her baby.

She simply threw herself in the path of the Horcrux-creation spell.

Which she knew enough *just* about (possibly from Snape) to know that her intercession would manage to derail it in some, probably spectacular, manner.

Let’s take another look at the order of action here.

Possession does not require touch, Lily’s sacrifice did not keep Tom from *possessing* Harry, but it kept him from *killing* him. So the soul fragment was still split off, but from the death of his OWN body rather than Harry’s.

I now find myself wondering whether the shrill voice Harry heard laughing in the later portion of the memory was his own ‚Äî *after* Voldemort took possession of him. *That’s* the point where Lily stopped pleading and started screaming.

Tom *intended* to kill her child in front of her, and then make use of her for his own purposes. He didn’t believe that she could do anything to stop him.

Okay, let’s try this on for size:

1. He breaks into the room laughing the patented Evil Overlord cackle™. She pleads for Harry’s life.
2. He takes possession of Harry. He didn’t need for her to get out of the way to do that.
3. Harry starts laughing with Tom’s voice, Lily screams and probably glances at him in horror.
4. Tom steps to one side and throws the Horcrux-creation spell *past* her, while she is distracted.
5. She cathes him at it and throws herself in the way of it.

It killed her. But it couldn’t create a Horcrux from her death. The Horcrux-creation spell *requires* that the Victim and the Murderer share the *same soul*. It rebounded *looking* for the caster’s soul.

We’ve seen that rebounding spells can do damage *far* in excess of their original intent. Gilderoy Lockhart completely wiped out his own memory when a defective wand caused a simple Obliviate to rebound. When the Horcrux-creation curse found the soul it was looking for, it destroyed the container housing it. it *vaporized* it. It is probable that this extreme level of destruction was the result of there being no proper “grounding” between Murderer and Victim.

The energy released in that burst produced an explosion that severely damaged the house.

The portion of Tom’s soul which had been possessing Harry was disabled by the magical backlash, although it was not evicted from its temporary housing. We cannot be sure whether the scar was produced by the malfunctioning curse attacking the fragment, or the fragment attempting to escape its housing.

It also shorted out the memory of the fragment of Tom’s soul which had possessed Harry. As well as all sense of its own identity. Otherwise it would have continued to control him in the same way in which the Diary fragment which had possessed Ginny did. That portion of soul scarecly recognized its own former name and unlike the fragment in the Diary (and probably those in the other Horcruxes) has no access to the memories of its creator at the time of its creation, nor does it identify with him. It is a mostly-quiescent passenger. Although the fact that Harry is a Parselmouth is an indication that the fragment is still present.

And even though it behaves as if it has been Kissed, it is still alive and it is still a fragment of Tom’s soul. Harry is still a Horcrux. A defective Horcrux. A Horcrux by default. But a Horcrux, nonetheless.

Which raises a number of questions: If you can only create a Horcrux by possessing the Victim and then killing him, then Tom ought to know perfectly well that Harry is carrying around a piece of his soul. Was he prepared to simply sacrifice that particular soul fragment to the grand gesture of murdering Harry in the full view of all his followers during the graveyard assembly? Because he certainly intended to kill Harry on the graveyard.

Or did he think that because Harry was clearly NOT under his control, that that particular fragment had been lost when his original body was killed? The backlash was great enough to give him that impression. It is possible. It is also possible that the gesture of murdering the child said to be his downfall in the sight of all his possibly doubting followers was worth the sacrifice.

I think we can dismiss the fact that QuirrellMort almost killed Harry back in Book 1. QM was trying to get the Stone away from him, not commit his murder. And the revenant in CoS was young enough not to realize that Harry was effectively another Horcrux, or, possibly, not to care.

(Which raises another question. The revenant was generated from a soul fragment housed in a Horcrux. It must have known that its original source was still alive. The fact of its own existence was proof enough that the original source could not die. You have to wonder what its intentions were toward its — now known to be disembodied — creator. But this is a side track, and not likely to be a particularly productive line of enquery.)

And, returning to the point here, *if* Tom knows that Harry is carrying around his missing soul fragment, did the fact that he could not properly possess him again in the Atrium at the end of OotP come as a surprise? Or was that the point at which he realized that the boy still *was* carrying around the fragment. As well as the fact that the scar served as a warning system.

Because the explosion (implosion?) also appears to have done something like reverse the fragment’s polarity. Now, rather than being drawn to its original source it is repelled by it. When the two are brought into physical proximity the fragment appears to be thrown into the same state it was in at the point of the divorce from its origin. To open the connection from a distance can also set it off if there is a strong emotional charge sent through it. But in the absence of being used as an emotional conduit, it seems at least hypothetically possible that the connection may be used merely for observation.

They certainly had no trouble both hitching a ride with Nagini. I think Lily’s sacrifice being proof against both touch and future possession may be a viable theory, but she was not able to drive Tom out of Harry before he killed her. And the soul fragment was stuck once there was no other place for it to go.

Physical proximity is likely to continue to be a problem, however. Tom was able to get around the physical touch ban from his end by creating a simulacrum which was a blood relation to Lily. But there doesn’t appear to be any really viable way to recreate for himself a soul which can touch Harry, or even to get near him without setting the scar off.

And unless the pain issue is entirely due to something that Lily did, it makes me doubt very much that Nagini is another Horcrux. She would not be so cooperative if she could not get near Tom without pain. I really think that she is more likely to be under Imperius than that she is actually carrying around a piece of Tom’s soul. He can possess her when he needs to. He does not need to keep her possessed. Keeping her spellbound is sufficient.

But I really think that we have come very close to solving the question of what Lily did that makes any kind of sense acording to the material we seem to have to work with and the probability that Harry ended up becomming a Horcrux. Tom just plain *didn’t get* a chance to make 2 tries at it.

And Dumbledore figured it out, at least in theory, because he knows enough about the creation of a Horcrux to know how it was *supposed* to have worked.

The damage to the Potter’s house and the lack of a body, combined with the disappearance of the Dark marks (which had been reported by Snape), was on such a level that it suggested that an improperly grounded spell had gone violently wrong there. And, since Albus had suspected that Tom‚Äôs intention was to create a Horcrux from Harry‚Äôs murder, the fact that Harry was alive, but Lily wasn‚Äôt, suggested to him that she had thrown herself into the path of the spell, destabilizing it.

That Harry was scared suggested that something new was in play that Albus couldn’t anticipate the effect from. But the possibility that the boy was now a Horcrux could hardly be either ignored or dismissed.


  1. Where does the invisibility cloak fit into all this? JKR says this is what we should be asking – why did James leave Dumbledore the invisibility cloak if Dumbledore can already be invisible, and why is this important?

    Also, I think Dumbledore had to be more certain than simply “piecing things together.” He was so certain that he had the letter ready for Petunia, and already made the living arrangements. This would be rather hasty if he was simply “piecing things together.”

  2. shadowquill says

    Wow. That theory works really well.

    The only problem is, I’d like to keep thinking it was “just love” that saved Harry. It’s so much more powerful that way. (Less complicated too.)

    Still, this failed-Horcrux theory works really well. I like it.

  3. oh my stomach hurts! i HATE the “Harry is a Horcrux” theory, but in this instance it makes sense…and there’s been so much talk on the Leaky about just HOW the Horcrux is supposed to be made, i don’t think anyone ever came to this conclusion…it SO makes sense!

    i’m going to go and cry now…great job on the theory!

  4. John,

    Thanks for making this a thread on its own right. It is well deserving.

    I like this theory a lot, but it contradicts some testimony from canon. Specifically the graveyard scene in GoF where Voldemort says that he had forgotten the Old Magic being a counter charm. (Or some such thing, I’m going from memory here.) The implication was that Lily’s love and sacrifice created a powerful protection that prevented the death of Harry.

    It seems if Voldemort was able to remember what happened that night and if he knew that Lily received a blast of a curse that was intended for Harry that he would not have been able to say the things he did to his minions. Or JKR would have deliberately lied to us, both at the end of PS/SS and GoF as to Lily’s love charm saving Harry’s life. That an act of sacrifice on her part lives on in Harry’s very skin.

    So I’ll have to think hard about other aspects of this theory because I think it has merit. The idea of possession prior to casting the Horcrux creating spell makes a lot of sense. Otherwise if murdering caused a soul to split, then we’d have splintered Death Eater souls everywhere. It seems like there is more to it than that, and possessing someone before casting the Horcrux creating/killing curse seems like a workable plan.

    So, my tweaking would be that Lily threw herself in front of possessed Harry, getting needlessly in the way of Voldemort finishing his spell work and so he decided to snuff her. He may have thought she would make a good candidate for the Imperius curse and infiltrate Dumbledore’s Order. Having more than one spy in an organization is always a good plan. More ears, more covert intelligence. Besides, Lily

    Anyway, she was too meddlesome so he threw an AK curse at her which with some other charm work she did (as referenced by Ollivander in the first book that her wand was good with charms), caused the Horcrux spell to backfire and it destroyed Voldemort and the house.

    People assumed it was AK, because of the rarity of the Horcrux creating spell.

    Okay, now onto the Invisibility Cloak and the ruins of the house…things start to fall down logically. And this logic failure is not due to Red Hen, but inconsistencies in canon.

    Jo answered a FAQ about what happens when a Secret Keeper dies. She said the secret dies with them. That meant that we don’t have to worry about Number 12 Grimmauld Place all of a sudden becoming visible to everyone.

    But Peter Pettigrew didn’t die, and no one knew he was the Secret Keeper. Everyone thought it was Sirius. So how could anyone besides Peter Pettigrew see the ruins of the house and/or remove Harry from the rubble?

    And why could the Muggles start swarming around the house? Wouldn’t there only be wizards in a place named *Godric’s* Hollow? Sounds pretty magical to me. It may not be a full village like Hogsmeade having the distinction of being the only fully magical community, but we also know magical places such as Hogwarts and Diagon Alley can be made invisible to Muggle eyes.

    Wouldn’t most wizards such as the Weasley’s with their strange looking house want to avoid Muggle prying eyes? It just seems logical that James and Lily would do the same to their house. Because Voldemort could talk with Muggles and if the Muggles could see the house he might get them to talk, either by charm or coercion, and tell them where the Potters lived. Now, Voldemort might not be able to see the house, but he could surely see them once they came outside. *Unless* they were under an Invisibility Cloak. Which would have made them in essence prisoners in their own home, well, except for the Floo Network.

    Hmmm, so they’d have to unhook that as well so no one could call their home’s name and just show up in their fireplace.

    More intrigue.

    And so getting back to Peter Pettigrew being the Top Secret – Secret Keeper only he would know where the Potters lived.

    Dumbledore wouldn’t know it. Neither would Hagrid. Nor would Snape, unless Peter shared the secret with him and if he had then some of PoA would be a lie to us the readers.

    Because then Snape would have known that Sirius was not the Secret Keeper and that any story told about Peter Pettigrew being the real Secret Keeper was not due to a Confundus Charm.

    Therefore, I cannot see why Snape would have been waiting outside Godric’s Hollow in an Invisibility Cloak.

    And why would anyone be tailing Peter Pettigrew? He was thought to be in danger himself, that’s why Sirius went to check up on him.

    Then Sirius went to Godric’s Hollow. He must have been the only other person besides Voldemort that Peter shared the secret with, once Lily cast the immensely difficult Fidelius Charm.

    So HOW EXACTLY did Hagrid find Godric’s Hollow if Peter was the Secret Keeper and only James, Lily, Sirius and Voldemort knew?

    My head is starting to hurt.

    I hope JKR has all this worked out so there aren’t any Flints in her logic.

    If there are, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.


  5. The invisibility cloak IS evidently important, acto Rowling. But, just not here.

    Rowling hasn’t told us WHY the cloak was important. Or in what context the cloak was important. We have been assuming that the cloak ties in with Godric’s Hollow. But if James deliberately loaned the cloak to Albus, it might have been needed for some other purpose, somewhere else altogether.

    What *reason* do we actually have to suppose that the cloak was relevant to Godric’s Hollow, apart from the fact that it was James’s cloak?

    And, no, I cannot come up with any context in which the cloak would be as relevant as Rowling claims that it is. Just Not. A. Clue.

  6. The Theory is interesting, and definitely worked out pretty thoroughly. I would have to call it plausible, but not to the level of probable or highly probable (in logic terms I would call it valid but not sound, a least not at a level of necessity … that is, internally highly consistent [valid], but the canon evidence seems to me to be too ambiguous at this point to make a call on the soundness [relationship of accuracy to the objective world, in this case the text] … but it is also entirely possible I’m just dense 🙂 [ammend that … I am definitely dense, it’s just a question of whether it’s impacting my thinking here 🙂 ]).

    The only thing that popped into my head from canon that might be taken as evidence against the attempt on Harry’s life at GH being made by means of a curse other than the AK is the conversation Dumbledore and Harry have after they view, in the pensieve, the interchange between Voldemort and Morfin at Gaunt hovel, when Dumbledore relates the events of the subsequent murder of he Riddle family: “The Muggle Authorities were perplexed. As far as I am aware, the Avada Kedavra curse does not usually leave any sign of damage … The exception sits before me,” Dumbledore added, with a nod to Harry’s scar (HBP 366)

    I say “might” be taken as evidence against because it begs two questions to which we do not know the answers definitively yet: 1) How does DD know that info? (was he there that night? does he have a witness? etc) or does he not know it and is simply operating under the same assumption as everyone else who was not there, that it would have been an AK because … well, Voldemorts will be Voldemorts and that’s what Voldemorts like to do, his standard MO, and therefore this statement by DD would not really be conclusive as evidence one way or the other … and 2) Even if we knew that DD KNOWS the facts for sure (rather than opining) there is still the question of narrative misdirection. Personally I am in the camp that thinks the narrative misdirection does not run that deep (“that deep” meaning “to this particular level” – not wanting “does not run that deep” to be taken as “I think the narrative direction speculation is making a mountain out of a molehile”).

    But it’s a valid question … I’m still of the mind that Voldy tried to kill baby Harry with an AK and that the Crux-Hunt is still on for book 7 … but they are valid questions. I think it highly unlikely that there is no misdirection going on by characters in the story (even within a “completely naive realist” reading, Snape’s stated role in working for the order would not be simply to spy on Voldy, but to diseminate false information to him, an agent of a form of narrative misdirection)

    And I think one way or the other there is a LOAD of information at Godric’s Hollow that will be unpacked in Deathly Hallows (although I am personally of the opinion that it will be “real time” revelation and gains and not involve the particular paradoxes of identity involved in the whole time travel game, that Rowling is going with a straight-up fight rather than metaphysical manipulation … but that is just my opinion, I’ll be perfectly fine with being proven wrong if I am … at this point, in a certain manner of speaking, I have given up “caring” – not that I don’t actually care, I am eagerly awaiting and probably will not sleep for a week before July 21st, but I’ve decided to take the approach of waiting like an average joe who’s just excited to hear how the story ends – I’m sure I’ll poor inordinate amounts of time into pondering the meaning of the works once I have read Deathly Hallows, simply because, based on my experience in them already, even without the finale being out, I see a great deal in the series that is deeply meaningful and poignant concerning our lives in our world [particularly I think theories like this are barking up the right tree in so far as I think that DH will hold much revelation on how exactly Horcruxes are made, revelations that I think will really flesh out the meaining of the image a lot, so I think theories like these are asking questions in the areas that will be the most meaningful images and symbols developed in book 7] … but that will be then, and this is now 🙂 )

  7. This makes a lot of sense, and lends a lot more credibility to the “Harry as Horcrux” theory. And yes, “love” did save Harry. Why else would Lily jump in front of Harry?

    There are two remaining questions: 1) Why would Voldemort tell Lily that she could be spared after he had dispensed with James? and 2) What was the object that Voldemort was to have put the completed Horcrux in? The invisibility cloak?

  8. Oh yeah, I also think the possession thing is a really good pick up. As I said with the other aspects, I don’t see canon evidence as being conclusinve one way or the other as to it being part of the Horcruxing process. But it definitely seems possible, including possible that even were it not part of the process as developed befor Voldy, that he is an innovator who realized some way that his own prowess at possession could be used to “improve” the magic, either in power or in efficiency of the process or in the possibilty for repeating it in multiple Horcruxes, or some such way … he does seem to be selling himself as a wizard who is able to push the envelope and go further than others, and indeed in HBP that theme also furthered in that that is the precise character we have revealed in Snape: not just a “dab hand at potions” but, moreover, a gifted innovator in that field.

    I like that so much because of what Rowling has said in interviews about magic in the series in relation to technology. The first thing that comes to mind in that regards is the “technological imperative” … the thought that just because we can do it, we should. It immediately brings to mind Quirrel’s recitation of the Voldy creed in book 1: there is no right and wrong, only power and those too weak to seek it.

    I also think that the possession thing connects with the control element of fascism, a system that has been oft compared with the series in the instance of pure-blood bigotry and the ethnic issues in WWII Germany. The classic formulation I always heard is that in communism the state controls the means because it owns them (with at least some small vestige of a right based in externally objective reality) … in fascism it simply controls them, while not bothering with the obligations entailed in ownership. All of that is a good bit of emphasis on control – and then I looked at Volde-boy’s summary of his own magical powers when he meets DD – the same control verb repeated 4 times in 4 lines: “I can make things move … I can make animals do what I want … I can make bad things happen to people … I can make them hurt” (HBP 271) (as opposed to “I can move things without touching them” or “I can hurt people” … which doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but the repetition of the verb does give a very litany-type feeling to it).

    I also think the observation of the particularly ritual element is a good observation. I had noticed that before, mainly in thinking in regards to people saying that the books contained and advocated actual magic practice (and functioned as a sort of under-cover occultic primer for kids), that the graveyard reincarnation scene in GOF is really the only place we see any formulaic or ritualistic ceremony. I would not be surprised at all if when we find out exactly how Horcruxes are made (which I would be very surprised if we did not find out that information in book 7) that, as dark magic, it involves a similar ritualistic character/element.

    (And I think Rowling has a nack for using not only formulaic ritual for special instances that carry heavy meaning, she also occassionally uses specific images from Judeo-Christian religious heritage, with a pretty strong impact, I think, because of the limitedness of her use of them … I kind of got chills the first time I read the “make” litany I cited above, because of the way it closes with an almost spooky “religious ectsacy” moment: “His legs were trembling. He stumbled forward and sat down … his head bowed as though in prayer. ‘I knew I was different,’ he whispered to his own quivering fingers.”)

    The only possible rival I can think of is the process of the alchemical production of the Philosophers Stone. I do not know the specifics of that process, whether or not it is more strictly like potions or if it involves more specifically ritualistic elements as well, but if it does, it seems to me like the characterization I have seen of it (especially as a symbolist discipline, as you’ve discussed in The Hidden Key) would mean it is more of a life-time process, or at least MUCH longer, and involving much more commitment of the person, than the short bits of ceremony involved in the re-birthing scene in GOF and, hypothetically, in the Horcruxing process. For me that connects up with what I said above about the symbolic level of magic as technology: the process that involves more commitment versus the “quick and easy” path.

    Those thoughts on the possible similarity and distinction between the Stone process and a Horcruxing process, as elements that both connect in character with the re-birthing in GOF (if the two hypotheticals are both ritualistic in some way) also appeals to me (not necessarily in the way of “that definitely has to be there” but more of “I would think that was really cool if it was”) as part of chiastic structuring (a-b-c -d- c1-b1-a1, the pairings of 1-7, 2-6, 3-5 and book 4 being the interpretive cruxt) … especially if we had the ritualistic elements of both the stone (main, titular element of book 1) and Horcruxing, and maybe even whatever magical forms Dumbledore used in utilizing the magic of love, all as part of the action leading up to book 1 and revealed in book7 as keys to the final action.

    (I believe the chiastic structure is there, as oppposed to the structure described in Who Killed Albus Dumbledore, where the pairings are 1-5, 2-6, and 3-7, with book 4 as more of a bump in the middle … but I’ll make no claims as to any neccesities in how things play out on the level of physical action, but I do think the structure is there on varying other levels [e.g.. modes of revelation of Voldy; in books 1 and 7 direct speaking engagements, books 2 and 6 we have visions of/encounters with his past via “oracle” devices such as the diary and penseive, in books 3 and 5 he is largely absent, at leas his “direct person,” until we find out something key at the end … although book 5 is a definite development of book 3 on these lines, in that we actually encounter him in the end of book 5, as opposed to simply learning that he must be alive and still going if his servant is going to be reunited with him in book 3, which fits at least somewhat with the tenet of chiastic structure that the second of each pairing {c1, b1, a1} are developments of the first of the pairing {a,b,c} by way of the central element {d}] … I believe it’s there on such various levels of the symbolic, and that it is natural ind fulfilling in symbolist lit for those levels to inform the material level of physical plot development, but I can’t make any claims to have developed any brilliantly clever systematizations, much less to have demonstrated them in iron-clad fasion with tight canon arguments.

    … As with every such “meta-structure” you can’t force all of the data of a well-written story to fit it, or you wind up with the proverbial Procrustean bed [in which case you damage the story, like cutting off the feet or head, or stretching some things unnaturally, to fit the bed] , even if it is in fact the main underlying meta-structure … and, as with all theories, one, or at least I, must be willing to accept the possibility that it is incorrecet … that’s just the best sense I can make out of what I think I see in the nature and tone of the series as a whole and a structure that seems to me like it fits a good bit of the data)

  9. I have problems with this theory.

    First, no assumptions can be made about the secondary effects of the Avada Kedavra since it’s clear from the text that these are so variable and overlapping that no patterns can be drawn. The Avada Kedavra always produces an intense green light, but the light is sometimes described as a flash of green light and sometimes described as a jet of green light. There is similar variability in sound effects since the curse is sometimes described as accompanied by a rushing noise and sometimes not. A quick look at the AK’s we’ve seen so far demonstrates that there is a lot of overlap and no pattern:

    • Babymort cast the curse on Frank Bryce in GF (it was a verbal curse by the way since Babymort was described as muttering words even though Harry couldn’t hear them over Frank’s screams; Frank’s death was immediately preceded by a “flash of green light and a rushing sound,” so we have every reason to believe it was a verbal AK, especially since the identical secondary effects were described when we saw Fake Moody demonstrate the AK a few chapters later).
    • Fake Moody cast the curse on a spider in GF (it was verbal curse that produced a “flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound).
    • Wormtail cast the curse on Cedric Diggory in GF (it was a verbal curse that produced a “blast of green light” that “blazed through Harry’s [closed] eyelids,” but Harry didn’t hear a rushing sound even though he heard the verbal curse and heard Cedric’s body fall next to him).
    • Voldemort cast the AK verbally at Harry in the graveyard at the end of GF; this was the curse that connected with Harry’s Expelliarmus spell and caused the Priori Incantatem effect; it produced a “jet of green light” but no sound.
    • Voldemort cast the curse five times in the MoM battle at the end of OP—the first time was cast verbally at Harry and then was cast four additional times in a short period nonverbally at Dumbledore (we know the first one was an AK because it was cast verbally, shortly after, Voldemort is described as casting a curse that produced “another” jet of green light,” and shortly after that, Voldemort was described as casting “another killing curse.” It is clear from the context of this section that Voldemort was casting a series of AK’s even though Rowling didn’t include descriptions of light or sound for each one).
    • Bellatrix cast the curse on a fox in HBP (it was cast nonverbally, but we assume it was an AK because it produced a jet of green light and the fox died instantly from it; there was no sound described).
    • Snape cast the curse on Dumbledore in HBP (it was a verbal curse that produced a jet of green light that hit the headmaster in the chest but no sound was described).

    Second, Voldemort’s wand did not regurgitate evidence of every spell it had been used for since the murder of Lily Potter, so it’s no surprise to me that there was no evidence of the failed killing curse that backfired at Godric’s Hollow. After all, there was no record of the AK cast that caused the Priori Incantatem effect, and if the wand recorded every casting of the AK whether or not it succeeded as intended, then some evidence of it should have appeared first. There was no magical record of the ropes Wormtail had conjured to bind Harry even though we saw at the end of PA that this spell causes the ropes to be expelled directly out of the wand; Wormtail’s silver hand had come directly out of the wand and a ghostly image of the hand was produced during Priori Incantatem, so if the hand, why not the ropes? That wand must have been used many times in Albania and the UK between the deaths of Bertha and Frank, so why no record of those spells? And surely the wand had been used during the ritual that created Babymort’s rudimentary physical body, so why was there no record of that spell? Since the final (failed) AK wasn’t reproduced in a ghostly record, why would the failed AK cast at Harry in Godric’s Hollow be recorded in the wand? And shouldn’t we have seen some magical record of the Horcrux spell if indeed one had been used? My gut says Rowling, for dramatic purposes, only included a few select events to emerge in ghostly form during Priori Incantatem; I don’t see how anything can be surmised from the absence of a spell record during that event.

    Third, and most importantly, although the AK cannot normally be blocked, we do have evidence in the Priori Incantatem event of a highly unusual event that mutated the magic of the AK and produced a different outcome. When the jet of green light from Voldemort’s verbal AK met the jet of red light from Harry’s verbal Expelliarmus, the intended effects of both spells were blocked and the magic that connected in the light stream was altered to form the golden cage, etc.

    I believe something similar happened at Godric’s Hollow that mutated the magic of the AK Voldemort cast at baby Harry. The deep, ancient, impenetrable blood magic invoked by Lily’s sacrificial death covered Harry with a powerful magical protection that caused a mutation of sorts to Voldemort’s AK when it met Harry’s forehead; when the altered curse magic rebounded on Voldemort, it had changed so completely and powerfully that it destroyed Voldemort’s body and caused an explosion that left the house in ruins. The fact that Baby Harry was unharmed by the destruction of the house is another clue that the effects of the rebounded AK were caused by the interaction with the magic invoked by Lily rather than being evidence that Voldemort had cast something other than an AK. And my interpretation is consistent with Rowling’s drumbeat about LOVE being so important: the reason Harry didn’t die, the magic that Voldemort underestimates, the means by which Voldemort will be vanquished, etc.

    There are other problems with the theory IMHO, but the ones I’ve listed struck me early on in the essay and undermine the rest.

  10. just as an aside, i just happened to read the chapter in HBP where Hermione tells about Magike Moste Evile, and the part about Horcruxes is in the introduvction of the book
    Chapter 18, Birthday Surprises, pg 381, US version

  11. On Athena’s comment on murder tearing the soul and having lots of death eater souls parts floating around. A thought had struck me a while back when somebody somewhere was speculating about Sectum Sempra being connected with the Horcrux process (I think it was Pauli). I don’t have anything worked out concretely on how likely or unlikely that particular theory is, but the possibility of it did make me think along the lines of of what Athena said here, although in the opposite direction. I think that murder does rend the soul, but not irreparably, since it does not remove a torn portion from the body. As long as the portion remains in the body there would be possibility of healing (for example, on the converse, because of the Horcuxes Dumbledore describes Voldy’s soul as “damaged beyond repair” [HBP 509, emphasis added]). Like I said, I have no strong conclusion that Sectum Sempra is directly involved, but somebody else making that suggestion did make me think on the lines of the meaning of the Latin of the spell and what might make it particularly apt for making Horcruxes, on that possibility. Literally the phrase would mean “ever-cut” or “ever-separate” … “ever partitioned” (literally “ever sectioned”). If the spell were connected to the process of Horcruxes the meaning of the words would reveal some of the particular evil of the Horcrux … that, rather than seeking healing from such a psychic wound (the damage to the psyche/soul of the other person, forcing its separation from the body and thus its separation from this life/word, is irrparable in this life; but the passageway of the veil does seem to offer some hope of at least a place beyond this world where reconciliation may be at least possible, but it would seem that if the torn portion of the killers soul remained in the body that healing might be possible, especially if the “physics” [or rather implicit “metaphysics”] of the potterverse allows, within the system of the world of magic, a possibility of inter-psychic healing, healing between persons, although with all such wounds, I would imagine scars would be inevitable, inevitable but not incapable of being transformed into positive things and meanings and symbols, like Harry’s scar) … but once the Horcrux has been made a new step has been taken in which the soul portion is radicallyM/I> separated, “ever separated.” Even if the SS spell and its Latinate meaning are not concretely tied to the HC process in the text/world, I think the “ever-cut” meaning of it is, at least implicitly, a facet of the meaning of what makes Horcruxes so evil and yield such dehumanization (evident in his disfiguration). To radically cut off the possibility of healing in the attempt for immortality is a radically new step in dehumanization of the self, even beyond murder.

    THUS, since none of the Death Eaters have done this (specifically made a Horcrux), while they may have torn souls from committing murder, the soul portions would not be floating around or have gone outside the body (that is, they would still be capable of healing … it would be possible – how probable is an entirely different story; I don’t think it would simply be a matter of a “time heals all wounds” kind of thing, I would tend to think it would take some more direct action)

    In addition to what I cited in one of my previous comments on Dumbledore’s reference to Harry’s scar as the only know sign of physical damage left by an AK, I found Felicity’s comments illuminating on the plausibility of Red Hen’s theory here that Lily got in the way of some curse particular to the Horcrux process, rather than got hit with an AK. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that there is no discernable logic whatsoever to the spells regurgitated from Voldy’s wand (although what possible logic there is is, I think, fairly latent – the hand appearing versus the ropes could be that the hand is 1) physically united with Peter’s psychic being, ie a part of his body and thus mystically wedded to his soul and 2) the replacement for a hand that is an integral part of Voldy’s being as the basis of the flesh of the new body wedded to his own soul … the connection between this [the hand] and the shades of those killed by the AK curses would be … the ropes were only ever things hooked onto the exterior of a body, not involving any psychic connections … of course, in the beginning of GOF we have Priori Incantatem producing a non-psychic vestige, the mini dark mark, from Harry’s wand, but then that was an actual incantation of Priori Incantatem and not exactly the same thing we have going on in the graveyard as an unexpected result from the tension of the cores etc … but, like I said, even if it is a discernable logic it’s on a very latent level [alhtough the inclusion of the hand but not of the ropes seems a little conspicuous, seeing as the hand does not play a physical role beyond simply appearing but it is in fairly close temporal proximity with the ropes but she “remembered” to put the former in but not the latter … but that’s not really conclusive] … if there is any I would simply place it on the level of Vanderark’s “Jo Logic,” the high level of consistency she has in physical details in the works even when she may not have concretely “mapped things” out [ie consciously correlated and double checked things etc], due to that she simply has a very real and vivid picture of the scenery and workings of the potterverse in her head, which is what yields such a consistent and gripping picure on the page … but the particular point of whether the logic is there or not is not really here or there for me in any strong sense, just some thoughts [and an opportunity to bring up VanderArk’s observation and coining of the term “Jo-Logic” because I thought it was so good, and I think the consistency of the “Jo Logic” in these scenes maintains whether or not you think there is a discernable logic on that particular element or not]).
    BUT the salient point is that Lily’s shade emerged from the wand 1) as a distinct shade and 2) in the same fashion as the others (to the extent that its place in the progrssion could be interchanged “accidentally” with James’ and then switched back without, seemingly any real ramification, meaning the variant readings in the American editions of GOF, where in one printing Lily’s shade appears and tells Harry to hold on and that James is coming [which is the edition I have in the paperback] but in the other James’ appears first and speaks similar words about Lily coming, and it was officially explained as just a mistake and fixed in the next printing). I now decidely think she got hit with an AK like the others.

    I also like Felicity’s word “transform” for a change brought about in the AK by contact with Lily’s love (although in Potter-verse lingo I might use “transfigure” instead … not meaning I think there is specific transfiguration class/magic thing involved – just that I think the term rather neatly appropriate, especially given the history the word has in Christian Biblical tradition)

    To give an example from a very PoMo band: I was recently discussing the music of U2 with a friend, saying that I was coming around to liking a certain phase of their music . This friend said he sees the most recent album as a return at least closer to their old pre-1990 ways (as he called it, the “blow-hard Bono”) and that he is not as much into it, and that the albums that have been seen as so divergent are the ones he is actually into, and he phrased it: “I like the post-lapsarian stuff … forget this parousia junk.” I’m not saying I agree with him but I do see the issue at stake: the parousia (fulfilment of salvation in the second coming … seen in U2 in their recent tour closings of combining the early religious material in a song like “40” with the most recent “feeling of religious resolution” of a song like “Yahweh”) seen as simply “undoing” the curse of the fall … either going back before the fall, pre-lapsarian, or going to to where humanity might have gone had the fall not happened, ie pre-lapsarian-Plus … either way sort of “bracketing” the post-lapsarian … and what it tends to overlook is the Felix Culpa (don’t get me wrong, I’m for the parousia … otherwise the Felix Culpa is just … culpa – which ‘twould not be a good thing atall).

    So, in terms of Voldy on that fateful night … was he undone by simply an AK rebounding and doing its AK thing on its usual “AK Terms” (“ok, the curse of the fall backfired and undid the villian of the fall … so now we can just sort of forget that that fall thing ever happened … you know, ‘justification’ as ‘just as if I never sinned’ kinda thing”) or was what undid him an AK, death, transfigured by love? I like the latter possibility: it’s that mystery of the Felix Culpa … it remains a culpa, neither dismissed nor deconstructed and reconstructed in a way that does violence to that fact, but somehow mysteriously transformed by Love into the Felix Culpa (I’m aware that I’m getting dangerously close to heretically making sin a positive and necessary constituent part of things, andthus evil, but that is always the danger in trying to examine a mystery in too concrete of terms, which is why there is a very healthy note of sanity in the Eastern emphasis on apophatic theology [“negative theology” – focussing more on what we cannot say about God and mysteries of faith, rather than trying to pin down their exact nature] but hopefully I haven’t crossed over that line).

  12. Just a couple of thoughts — James was holding Voldemort off to buy Lily and Harry time in Godric’s Hollow.

    My thinking is that Lily didn’t just die for her son; I feel sure that there were probably others who died for their loved ones before Lily died for Harry, but their sacrifice did not have a similar effect. So what was different this time? I think that while James was buying Lily time she performed some sort of ancient charm; a charm that had to do with love and sacrifice. I think that her death was necessary for the spell to be complete and that that is what gave Harry his amazing protection that the wizarding world had never seen before.

    It seems failry clear that Lily was killed with an Avada Kedavra curse because of the flash of green light, but what curse Voldemort then used on the seemingly unprotected Harry I do not know; the theory that in order to create a horcrux Voldemort would have needed to use a different spell seems reasonable enough to me, but I don’t think that the spell that killed Lily was the one that rebounded back onto Voldemort. He just killed her. The spell that vanquished Voldemort rebounded off of Harry, though it did have some effect by leaving a connection between Harry and Voldemort.

    If Harry is indeed a horcrux I guess that means that in order to kill Lord Voldemort completely Harry will indeed have to die … don’t really want to see him have to die, but then it isn’t up to me is it, and after all it is only a story.

  13. zafiroblue05 says

    I thought I posted this earlier, but apparently it didn’t go through. In short, this theory doesn’t make sense for one simple reason – as shown in the scene in the Atrium, when Voldemort takes possession of someone, his original body disappears. So possession can’t be used to create a Horcrux as described here, because he couldn’t possess Baby Harry and then simultaneously throw a Horcrux-creation spell at Harry.

  14. Wow, this is a well thought out and very detailed theory. I wonder however, about the idea that Dumbledore clearly states in Half Blood Prince (HBP) that Lord Voldemort cannot understand the power of a soul that is untarnished and whole. Unless this is another instance where Dumbledore is incorrect, Harry and Dumbledore cannot share the same soul becuase Harry’s soul is whole and untarnished.(Horcruxes chapter of HBP). How can two souls inhabit the same place?

  15. JKR said that Harry and Voldemort will not morf into one soul/person and I do not believe anything close to it either.

  16. John Madill says

    I have been trying to leave a post for some time but my password wouldn’t work until now. In regards to Lily protecting Harry, it has been my opinion since OTP when Arthur is explaining to Harry about the various departments in the Ministry and he mentions the Department of Mysteries and the wizards/witches who worked there being called (if I remember correctly without looking it up)’Unmentionables’that this was what Harry’s parents did. At the time I had been complaining to anyone who would listen that the natural thing for Harry to do as soon as he found people who knew his parents would be to ask numerous and probably annoying questions concerning everything and anything they could tell him about his parents. Of course most of us soon keyed into that this was obviously important later and was deliberatly not being asked by Harry. It is, in my opinion the one big thing that is really incongruent to the plot any normal kid his age would want to know. Enough said about that. My point is that my first thought ah! his parents are Unmentionables, now I think it was only Lily that was working in the Department of Mysteries as an Unmentionableeither directly with the Veil or theories about the afterlife her research or study in that area gave her the knowledge to use the protection she used to save Harry.

    How do we know this: Voldemart asked her to step aside and the only thing he is interested in is power and immortality.

    I agree with Redhen that Harry’s green eyes are only important in that Harry has more of Lily’s gifts or strengths, his inherentence of her magic she is more important than whatever he got from James ( flying being one).

    Last point as a question: Is it because of Lily that harry has the ability to throw off the Imperious curse or is that a remnant of Voldemart, if it is the former than the possession of Lily wouldn’t work in creating the horcrux.

  17. John Madill, where does it say that Lily was an Unspeakable? I thought we never found out what either of Harry’s parents did?

    As to Lily’s eyes being important, they are. They are a symbol that he will choose to die to protect someone else (my guess is Snape), and this is how he will destroy the horcrux in himself and defeat Voldemort forever. He won’t necessarily die, (though I think he will. I think the sacrifice will be real, like his mother’s), but making that choice will in itself drive Voldemort out of him, just as it did in the Ministry at the end of OOTP>

  18. Jayne1955 says

    I am also a Red Hen fan forever.

    This theory helps me reconcile some things that bother me. The only AK that Harry actually sees, is the one that kills Cedric. The other two mentioned, the one that destroyed the house at Godric’s Hollow, and the one that tossed Dumbledore over the wall, did not act anything like that one, except for the green light appearing. I think there is something different about BOTH of those particular AK’s actually.

    BTW, has it ever been proved, beyond a doubt that JAMES was the man’s voice we heard at Godric’s Hollow, or could someone else have been there?

  19. mary, I think you’re right–we’ve never actually been told what Harry’s parents did–just that they were in the Order and were widely respected for their efforts.

    jayne–you brought up something that I’ve thought about before. Have we discussed it before? I don’t remember.

    Harry assumes that since he heard his mother’s voice that the male voice he heard was his father, James. But I’ve always wondered if it was actually Snape who told Lily to take Harry and run, perhaps he stepped in after James was killed. But all of that is just a guess. Part of what made me think it might be Snape was that JKR said that Snape wasn’t hiding under the Invisibility Cloak–but she could just as easily have put our speculation to rest by saying that Snape wasn’t at Godric’s Hollow that night.

    Well, at least we’ll find out in just over 80 days. Yay!!!


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