Light & Shadows of Chalandor Book of Shadows
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Title: Horcrux
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From: USA
Registered: 11/21/2008

(Date Posted:02/19/2009 06:57 AM)
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The etymology of the word seems to be this: a combination of "hors" from the French "dehors" meaning outside and "crux" meaning "essence." Thus, a Horcrux is a device for keeping your soul (the essence) outside your body.

A Horcrux is created by manually putting part of the soul into an object. Firstly, the soul must be split into two, where one part remains in the human body while the other is destined for the Horcrux. This splitting is accomplished by the "supreme act of evil," murder, which "rips the soul apart."

Secondly, a powerful spell must be used to gain control over the divided soul to allow the witch or wizard to physically move it into the object they have chosen for the Horcrux.

Creating a Horcrux is unnatural and immoral. Professor Slughorn notes that "the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole...splitting it is an act against nature." Whether this means the creation of a Horcrux is inherently evil is debatable, but it is clearly frowned upon at the very least in the wizarding community, shown particularly by Dumbledore's banning of its discussion at Hogwarts.
To be killed permanently and absolutely, the entirety of a person's soul must be destroyed. When part of it lies hidden in a Horcrux, it is impossible to kill the witch or wizard without first destroying all the Horcruxes they created. Obviously, this is of immeasurable importance to those dark wizards seeking immortality, particularly if the locations of the Horcruxes they made are hidden.

Most significant, though, is Voldemort's use of Horcruxes. It explicitly explains why he wasn't killed when the Avada Kedavra curse intended for Harry rebounded and hit Voldemort instead. As Hagrid put it, "Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die."

Dumbledore said he believed Voldemort made six Horcruxes, with the original part of his soul still remaining in his body. The locations were:

  1. The Gaunt Ring (DESTROYED)
  2. Riddle's Diary (DESTROYED)
  3. Nagini, the snake
  4. Slytherin's Locket, stolen by R.A.B (which some have speculated is the locket that wouldn't open from the glass cabinet in Book Five)
  5. Helga Hufflepuff's Cup
  6. An item of Rowena Ravenclaw's or an item of Godric Gryffindor's.
The first five seem perfectly legitimate, but the last two possibilities have been the subject of heated debate. Since the beginning, Rowena Ravenclaw has been described as wise and shrewd, suggesting she wouldn't allow an object of hers to be used for such evil. Furthermore, Godric Gryffindor's sword and the Sorting Hat currently reside in Dumbledore's office, and since he told Harry only a Gryffindor could pull the sword out of the hat, it seems unlikely Voldemort would have been able to make it into a Horcrux.

Thus, speculation is rife about the location of the last remaining Horcrux. Some possible locations:

  1. Riddle's Award for Services to the school (Riddle liked to collect "trophies", which we assumed was a metaphor...but Jo might have meant for us to take it literally!)
  2. The sinister box from the glass cabinet in Book 5
  3. Harry Potter himself (Dumbledore keeps saying Voldemort left some of himself in Harry the night he tried to kill him, perhaps this is part of his soul!)
The last one is particularly interesting. Voldemort couldn't have created a Horcrux from Harry because he didn't kill him, but he could have made Harry into a Horcrux from killing Lily or James (accidentally we must assume, as he wouldn't have created a Horcrux only to try and kill it). If Harry is indeed the last Horcrux, this means that for Voldemort to die, Harry must die. This could work in two ways:

  1. Harry destroys all the Horcruxes except himself, then kills himself and Voldemort at the same time.
  2. Harry kills all the Horcruxes, including himself, leaving Voldemort completely mortal so that someone else can kill him.
Naturally, this is a horrible thought, but we must consider the possibility that Harry will have to die!
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