Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 5, 2005
POP CULTURE: Horcrux of the Matter - Predictions For Harry Potter #7

Following up on this earlier post and this discussion thread at Michele's, I thought I should go ahead and put on record now my fearless predictions for the concluding Book Seven of the Harry Potter cycle. It should go without saying that YOU SHOULD NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ALL OF BOOK SIX, UNLESS YOU LIKE PLOT SPOILERS.

I should add that, with one or two exceptions I will detail below, my thoughts are not so much original observations as my best guesses and intuition after reading the informed speculation from a number of other sources. So, if I've said something here without explicitly crediting the person who thought it up, my apologies.

Anyway, if you don't mind playing along with this guessing game, read on for my predictions. As Dumbledore would say, "from this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundations of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork." Specific predictions are in bold.

I. Subversion and Death

Let's start with a caveat here. The two most interesting "big picture" questions for Book 7, which affect all of my predictions below, are as follows:

A. How subversive it will be of the things we think we know?

In other words, how much have we been told so far that is not true? For example, is Dumbledore not really dead? Are Harry's parents, or Sirius or his brother Regulus, not really dead? Is someone else Harry's real father? Etc., etc. The speculation you run across is almost endless.

Personally, I hope we don't see much bringing people back from the dead or discovering too many secret identities. Certainly it would violate the whole series if Dumbledore, Sirius and/or Harry's parents aren't really dead (Harry's parents not being dead wouldn't fit with their emergence from Voldemort's wand, nor with Harry's memories of that night), or Snape isn't really Snape (which would create problems with his memories). And my predictions are based on the idea that most of the surprises in Book 7 will be new information that fills in gaps, not things that totally invalidate "facts" from the earlier books.

But let's review two things we think we know, that some people have speculated might not be the case:

1. Is Dumbledore Dead?

Yes, Dumbledore's dead. Let's look specifically at Dumbledore's death. While there are certainly enough oddities about to sustain speculation that Dumbledore isn't really dead, or has some way to come back, or left a horcrux of his own behind, I do think he's really most sincerely dead. First of all, Dumbledore has been telling both Harry and Voldemort for years that there are things worse than death, that death is a natural part of life and should not be feared, etc. And a critical theme of the end of Book 5 (especially Harry's conversation with Nearly Headless Nick), as well as the episode with the Mirror of Erised in Book 1, was the need for Harry to learn that death is real and final. It would be a real breach of faith with the tenor of the story and Dumbledore's character for him not to be dead. And, of course, Dumbledore would naturally regard the making of a Horcrux - which requires a murder, people - as abhorrent on several levels.

We may, yet, see Fawkes again, if someone shows real loyalty to Dumbledore. And we'll doubtless see a conversation with Dumbledore's portrait, although I suspect that, once again, the portrait will have to remind Harry that he's just a painting, less even than a ghost; he isn't the real Dumbledore and thus can't provide information or plot strategy. The most he can do is reflect the personality of the original.

On the other hand, the suggestion that Dumbledore has left behind extra memories to guide Harry, to be used in the Penseive, seems fairly likely. In a lengthy, must-read three part interview I'll excerpt repeatedly here, JKR makes clear that we will see more of Dumbledore's thinking come to light in Book 7.

2. Is Regulus Black Dead?

As discussed in my earlier post, I agree with the general consensus that the "R.A.B." who had preceded Harry and Dumbledore to the cave and had figured out at least something about Voldemort's Horcruxes is likely to be Sirius' brother Regulus Black. There are just too many hints dropped about Regulus in the books for him to be a red herring - after all, other than Snape and Karkaroff, he's the only known defector from the Death Eaters - and he fits too well with the information in the note.

On the other hand, the most intriguing line in the whole Book 6 is when Dumbledore says to Malfoy, "we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine". It seems likely that JKR is setting up someone who is believed to be dead and gone who's actually in hiding or disguised as someone else, and Regulus seems a likely candidate - he had the need, since he was leaving the Death Eaters (as Dumbledore was suggesting Malfoy should do); and while he's presumed dead, nobody seems to know the actual circumstances of his death. If it's Regulus, and as someone has noted "Regulus" has an association means "lion" as "Sirius" and "Remus" do with dog and wolf, he could be Scrimgeour, who is repeatedly referenced as having hair like a lion's mane (a fact that's almost certain to have some meaning in Book 7, whether as an Animagus or a relation to Gryffindor, or both). This would be quite the accomplishment for a guy in witness protection, becoming the head of state.

But: if Regulus lives, whether as Scrimgeour or someone else, and Dumbledore knows where he is, does that mean that Dumbledore knew or should have known that he and Harry were risking life and limb chasing a Horcrux that wasn't there? That's what bothers me. Although it may be that, wherever he is, Regulus' cover keeps him from knowing that Dumbledore is hot on the trail of the Horcruxes.

I'm shying away from an explicit prediction here. In either event, I do think that Harry will get more information from, or left behind by, Regulus, but it would make Book 7 rather anti-climactic if Regulus could guide Harry through everything.

(Note: I've speculated elsewhere that Regulus could be Crookshanks the cat, but JKR has apparently insisted that Crookshanks is not an Animagus)

B. Will JK Rowling break faith with these being children's books and kill off one of Harry/Ron/Hermione?

That's the other big one. I can't see her killing Hermione, but Ron has done nothing useful since risking his neck in Book 1, and I do think he'll have to come in handy again. But it would be, to my mind, a major shock to the many young readers of the books to kill one of the three major characters.

I say she doesn't kill any of them. But more on Harry below.

II. Truth and Belief

We were left with at least two big particular questions at the end of Book 6:

A. Is Snape really still really working on the good side and/or against Voldemort?

B. Is Harry himself, or Harry's scar, a horcrux, such that Harry may have to die to kill Voldemort?

I will say this conclusively: because both of these questions potentially present mortal dangers to Harry - and Voldemort - based upon how they are answered, I believe that Harry will be put in a position where he has to try to answer them before he finds out what the answers are. For example, he may be asked by Snape to trust Snape, based only on what Snape tells him - and have to decide whether he believes him. And he may decide that he has to die to be rid of Voldemort - only to have a horrified Ron and Hermione (and perhaps Ginny as well) try to talk him out of it. The dramatic possibilities of Harry not knowing the answers to these questions are just too juicy for Rowling to pass up.

III. Snape's Loyalties

There has been endless discussion of whether Snape is really working on the good side and/or against Voldemort, notwithstanding having killed Dumbledore, and I won't rehash that all here. I do think, first of all, that it remains possible that Snape (a) changed his allegiance between Books 1 and 6, as opposed to having been a traitor to Dumbledore all along, (b) was always consciously working both sides, or (c) was plotting to eliminate both Voldemort and Dumbledore for his own, Saruman-like purposes. That said, I do think that when all is said and done, it will be proven that Snape was working, and continues to work, for Voldemort's downfall and Harry's protection.

It's been strongly hinted at that Snape - who is endlessly critical of James Potter and Sirius but never says a bad word against Harry's mother Lily - had a thing for Lily. JKR drops further hints in that direction. There's this:

ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily?

JKR: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl.

MA: Snape?

JKR: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly.

ES: What about Lupin?

JKR: I can answer either one. . . . Lupin was very fond of Lily, we'll put it like that, but I wouldn't want anyone to run around thinking that he competed with James for her. She was a popular girl, and that is relevant.

And this:

MA: Oh, here's one [from our forums] that I've really got to ask you. Has Snape ever been loved by anyone?

JKR: Yes, he has, which in some ways makes him more culpable even than Voldemort, who never has.

Of course, JKR could just mean he had parents. If Snape was in love with Lily (who, like Snape, was a Potions expert), this would explain/open several possibilities:

*It would confirm the importance of Slughorn's observations about the dangers of obsessive love.

*It would explain why Snape's worst memory is an instance when he snapped at Lily and she sided with James.

*It's possible - vindicating Hermione's insistence about the Half-Blood Prince - that the textbook Harry found was at least partly the work of his mother, as well as Snape (that would explain the girlish handwriting, and if she had a schoolgirl crush on him at some point, the "property of the Half-Blood Prince" is the kind of thing a teenager would put in the back of a book), and of course it would explain why Snape hung on to the thing in his classroom for years as a memento and why he'd be incensed when Harry found it.

(A side note: I only noticed this long after the fact, but we saw Snape use at least some form of the Half-Blood Prince's Sectumsempra spell once before Book 6: in the "Snape's Worst Memory" chapter in Book 5, he casts a spell on James Potter that opens a gash on his face.)

*Regardless of where his loyalties lie, I do think that Snape has taken the Unbreakable Vow with Dumbledore at some point, possibly a vow to protect/not harm Harry, which would explain both why Dumbledore trusted him and why he never harmed Harry. But it's possible there was a parallel vow between Snape and Voldemort: Voldemort promised Snape he wouldn't harm Lily, which would explain why Voldemort tried to get her out of the way rather than kill her straight away to get to Harry.

In fact, if Voldemort has made the Unbreakable Vow not to kill Lily and then he tried anyway, that would explain what really went wrong for him that night. Or if he just made a regular promise, perhaps Snape was there. Either way, the "Snape turned away from Voldemort because Voldemort killed Lily" storyline has something to it.

IV. The Horcruxes

OK, we've been told that Voldemort's soul is in 7 pieces, six Horcruxes and Voldemort himself. As she must, to keep the plot manageable, JKR confirms that this is the case:

Dumbledore's guesses are never very far wide of the mark. I don't want to give too much away here, but Dumbledore says, 'There are four out there, you've got to get rid of four, and then you go for Voldemort.' So that's where he is, and that's what he's got to do.

ES: It's a tall order.

JKR: It's a huge order. But Dumbledore has given him some pretty valuable clues and Harry, also, in the course of previous six books has amassed more knowledge than he realizes. That's all I am going to say.

ES: It seems like it would be impossible. If Harry had gone to the cave, he never could have done it on his own, it seems like.

JKR: Well, I'm prepared to bet you now, that at least before the week is out, at least one of the Horcruxes will have been correctly identified by careful re-readers of the books.

MA: Someone put it to me last night, that if Ginny, with the diary -

JKR: Harry definitely destroyed that piece of soul, you saw it take shape, you saw it destroyed, it's gone. And Ginny is definitely in no way possessed by Voldemort.

So, we have:

1. Voldemort
2. The diary (destroyed)
3. The ring (destroyed)
4. Probably the locket (more on this below)
5. Perhaps the snake, Nagini
6. Perhaps Hufflepuff's cup
7. Perhaps something of Gryffindor's or Ravenclaw's.

Well, I've tried to be a careful re-reader, and I've got some predictions on the Horcruxes and what Harry has to do to get to them. But bear in mind that we don't yet know (a) how one makes a Horcrux - is it a spell that must be performed at or near the murder (b) how being a Horcrux affects an object/person/creature, other than that Riddle's diary took on a life of its own, and (c) how you destroy the Horcrux, if this can be done without destroying the object/person/creature. That said, the nominations:

A. The Sorting Hat

First of all, I assume that precisely one Horcrux will be at Hogwarts, so Harry must return there but also must go elsewhere. (JKR has confirmed that there are no more Quidditch scenes, which implies that Harry will keep his vow not to go back to school. But the school is too important to the saga, and too many key characters will still be there, for there not to be scenes at the school.

Second, think misdirection, as well as the fact that Rowling has hinted that we know some/all of the Horcruxes already. Dumbledore points to the sword and says it's the only Gryffindor relic. We know it's not, and there's one ancient enchanted object that belonged to Gryffindor, and has a connection to all four founders, and that would amuse Voldemort because it sits under the headmaster's nose: the Sorting Hat. (The hat says in one of its songs that Gryffindor pulled the hat off his head). It would have to have become a Horcrux after the diary, since otherwise the teenage Riddle would not have been so contemptuous of Fawkes bringing the hat into the Chamber of Secrets.

Only two reasons to think otherwise: first, when would Voldemort have been alone with the hat? Is it possible he made a Horcrux with that little flick of the wand Harry saw in the memory of Voldemort's meeting in Dumbledore's office?

And second, can a thing be a Horcrux and not show signs of Voldemort's personality (the hat is clearly willing to warn and work against him, although it did briefly try to convince Harry to join Slytherin).

Still, I think the hat is an excellent candidate. Consider this remark by Rowling in 2000, prior to the publication of Book 4:

The character you might be most surprised to see evolve is none other than the Sorting Hat. "There is more to the Sorting Hat than what you have read about in the first three books," Rowling says. "Readers will find out what the Sorting Hat becomes as they get into future books."

Well, we saw the hat warn the students about standing united against Voldemort, but otherwise, it hasn't done much in Books 4 and 5 and didn't appear at all in Book 6. Sounds to me like there's still more surprises to come with the Sorting Hat in Book 7, and being a Horcrux could well be it.

Runner-up possibilities: the sword, or Harry's Invisibility Cloak.

B. The Locket

We know Voldemort had a Horcrux in the cave. It was probably the locket, which presumably made its way (via Regulus) back to Grimmauld Place (recall the heavy locket that wouldn't open, from Book 5), and which, I assume, was then stolen and fenced by Mundungus. Tracing the locket will provide a good story, one that may involve Dumbledore's brother Aberforth (who is in the Order of the Phoenix, is apparently the bartender at the Hog's Head and who JKR has suggested we'll get to know better in Book 7) as well as possibly some of the other seedy characters we haven't seen lately, like Bagman and the goblins.

I agree with some of those who have suggested that Regulus got the locket out by traveling with the family house-elf, Kreacher (recall that Dumbledore needed a second with him), who may have suffered ill effects from drinking the potion and who could be the conduit for providing information to Harry about Regulus' activities.

There is, however, a school of thought that says that there is deeper significance to Dumbledore's actions after ingesting the potion, implying that the Horcrux was the potion itself or was somehow already in Dumbledore. Dave Kopel has a fascinating look at the scene where Dumbledore drinks the potion in the cave, which is worth excerpting at great length here:

[M]y guess is that the primary source of the "revulsion and hatred" [on Snape's face when he kills Dumbledore] is that Snape knows the same things that Dumbledore had learned just a few minutes before, when Dumbledore drank the magic potion - from the basin in the secret lake where Voldemort had hidden a Horcrux. (Note the meaning of "whore/horrible cross" - a perverted version of the soul-saving object which overcomes death.)

Dumbledore suffered agony while drinking the ten [ed. - eleven?] goblets of potion. Harry presumed that Dumbledore was simply hallucinating while he drank, but I believe that Dumbledore instead was seeing some terrible truths.

Harry saw Dumbledore become frightened. He moaned " . . . don't like . . . want to stop . . . I don't want to . . . Let me go . . . Make it stop, make it stop." . . . Dumbledore continued, "I can't, don't make me, I don't want to . . ."

Then, "It's all my fault, all my fault . . . I know I did wrong, oh please make it stop and I'll never, never again . . . Don't hurt them . . . it's my fault, hurt me instead . . ." . . .

Dumbledore implored "Make it stop, make it stop, I want to die!"

Then, as just before Harry gave Dumbledore the tenth and final goblet, Dumbledore yelled "Kill me!" "'This - this one will!' gasped Harry." (573).

Dumbledore, I believe, realized that he had made a terrible mistake which had empowered Voldemort, and that only by dying could Dumbledore stop the harm from that mistake. As Dumbledore had told Harry long before, "I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being - forgive me - rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger." (197).

What was the mistake? It likely has something to do with the meeting that Voldemort arranged years ago with Dumbledore, ostensibly to apply for a professorship at Hogwarts. Dumbledore was baffled by the meeting, since Voldemort (a/k/a Tom Riddle) plainly knew that there was no chance that Dumbledore would hire him, and Dumbledore knew that Riddle knew.

Yet Dumbledore let Riddle into Dumbledore's own office. Watching a replay of the meeting in Dumbledore's Pensieve, Harry notices something at the very end of the meeting, which Dumbledore, it seems, did not: "For a second, Harry was on the verge of shouting a pointless warning: He was sure that Voldemort's hand had twitched toward his pocket and his wand; but the moment had passed, Voldemort had turned away, the door was closing, and he was gone." (446).

Whatever malignant spell that Voldemort secretly cast on that day - enchanting something in Dumbledore's own office, or even Dumbledore himself - had consequences which Dumbledore only realized when he drank the potion on the island. The spell may have involved inserting into Hogwarts (in a deep magical disguise) the four followers of Voldemort who were waiting gathered in the town outside Hogwarts. As Dumbledore told Riddle during the interview, it made no sense for Riddle to have been accompanied by the four, if Riddle only wanted to speak with Dumbledore.

In any case, Dumbledore understood, for reasons that are still unclear to us, that he had to die soon in order to save innocents.

Very interesting. Personally, I think that Dumbledore's statements while drinking the potion were echoes of things said when the young Riddle tormented those kids in that cave many years before, and Harry may need to track down the now-elderly Muggles involved to find out what happened.

C. The Hufflepuff Cup

Not a lot I can add here, but I can say this: we will see more of Zacharias Smith in the next book. He's a Hufflepuff, as was Hepzibah Smith, who owned the cup. Same surname, same house - can't be a coincidence. Of course, if the cup is indeed a Horcrux and - per my earlier prediction - is not at Hogwarts, there will have to be some other interesting adventure connected to locating it, and some sensational murder involved in making it a Horcrux. At present, I can't think of either.

D. The Snake

Maybe I'm being too conventional here, assuming the snake is the last Horcrux, rather than either Harry himself or Harry's scar. One thing: there are at least four characters (Neville, Snape, Draco, and Pettigrew) and possibly others (Ginny, Hagrid, Aunt Petunia, the house-elves) who JKR has set up to potentially step in and play a surprising role at a key plot point to get Harry through the remaining tasks of destroying Horcruxes and killing Voldemort. The need to dispose of the snake does offer one such opportunity, and I can easily see Pettigrew - who, as Harry has been reminded, owes him "a life debt" - killing the snake.

V. Hagrid

From Alas, A Blog we get this informed speculation:

Occasional "Alas" poster Elkins, who knows quite a lot about thing Potter, pointed out something interesting, which is that in alchemy, the philosopher's stone is made through a system of refinement in which the stages are black, then white, then red - a fact that has been referred to in passing in the novels. In book 5, Black died; in book six, White died ("Albus" means "white"). If so, then Hagrid (whose name means "red") is going to die in the next novel.

Well, maybe. Then again, there's an entire family of redheads this could also refer to.

VI. The Epilogue

Harry is, according to Scrimgeour, "Dumbledore's man." Despite his wishes to be an Auror, he's not a Ministry guy, hates the politics. And he always parallels Voldemort, who didn't want to teach but kept asking for jobs at Hogwarts. And we know Harry can teach, from the DA. And ever since Voldemort got turned down, they've been unable to keep a Dark Arts teacher. JKR has said we will see at least a little of what the surviving characters do afterwards. Isn't the obvious wrapup ending of Book 7 that after Harry vanquishes Voldemort, he comes back to Hogwarts - the only home he's ever known - to become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?

Additional Sources

*A commenter at Drum's place suggests a parallel between the Potter story and the Biblical Passion narrative, and also suggests the role Pettigrew may play.

Anyway, this post has run on too long already; if I think of more, I'll post again on the subject another day or add updates to this one.

UPDATE: Random predictions:

*The book will open with Harry's last visit to the Dursleys - that's where he was headed at the end of 6, before making his way to the site of his parents' death in Godric's Hollow. I fully expect something bad to happen at the Dursleys', which may force the issue of whether Aunt Petunia has magical powers after all.

*There will clearly be an intensive focus on the events surrounding the death of Harry's parents.

*It is possible, if the missing Horcruxes are things we've met before, that the Goblet of Fire could be one. That seems a stretch, and we know nothing of its provenance. But I am convinced that the Horcruxes are going to be things we've seen already, so if there is a Ravenclaw Horcrux, there will need to be an association made to an existing magical object.

UPDATE #2 (8/23): I should mention here the Special Award for Services to the School won by Riddle, which sits in the Trophy Room at Hogwarts - Ron cleans it in detention in Book Two. It's certainly one of the lesser candidates for a Horcrux - a plausible candidate because it is significant for Riddle/Voldemort and because Rowling's mention of it seems gratuitous. But a lesser candidate because (1) I think it more likely that only one Horcrux is at Hogwarts and it's something like the Hat or the sword, and (2) because of its connection to the Chamber of Secrets, it's sort of redundant to have along with the diary.

I would think that we will, at the end of the day, be able to identify each of the seven parts of Voldemort's soul with one of the books: say, Voldemort himself (or Harry's scar) with Book One, the Diary with Book Two, Nagini (or Voldemort's new body) with Book Four, the locket with Book Five, the ring with Book Six. But Book Three comes up a bit empty, plus where do the hat and the cup fit in?

UPDATE (8/31): Another intriguing suggestion from the continuing thread at Michele's:

To explain Dumbledore's "look of triumph" when he learns that Voldemort used Harry's blood in the "comback" potion, consider the following. When DD explains "all" to Harry at the end of OOTP, he goes into considerable detail as to the nature of the "protection" that Harry enjoys at the Dursely's because his mother's "blood dwells" there. Since Harry has his "mother's blood" also, when Voldemort took Harry's blood, he took Lily's blood, as well. So Lily's blood also "dwells" with Voldemort. It may come to pass that the "ancient protection" comes to apply to Harry when he is in Vodemort's presence.

That is probably not exactly correct, but I suspect it's at least partly true.

UPDATE (October 2006): My best deductive reasoning to the contrary, JK Rowling herself says that the Sorting Hat is no Horcrux.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:45 AM | Pop Culture | Comments (45) | TrackBack (1)
Comments

Thanks for the nice summary Crank. I agree with many of your hypotheses. I went back and re-read the Snape's worst memory chapter, and one of the other spells that was used was the Levi-corpus (or whatever it is called) that hoists someone up by the ankle. This is the one that was used by Harry on Ron to much comic effect in Book 6. In Snape's worst memory, it was used against him by James.

I think your interpretation of why this particular memory of Snape's is put into the penseive is a good one. When I initially read OoP, I simply thought that Snape did not want Harry to inadvertently see him humiliated by James and company. But, there must have been many such memories of humiliation that were not removed, which lends support to your idea (Harry in fact briefly penetrates Snape's mind and sees some rather disturbing scenes of neglect and humiliation from Snape's childhood). I suspect that those other two memories of Snape's that were in the pensieve during that scene might become important in Book 7.
I still think Snape was present at Godric's Hollow when Lily and James were killed - though I would like to ascribe a higher purpose to his being there - an attempt to save Lily (and James) before V. gets there.

Posted by: mojo at August 5, 2005 4:00 PM

Just a quick note in relation to the quote by Kopel. I disagree with his take there. I agree with you, Crank, that Dumbledore's comments while consuming the potion could have been memories of what happened to the children. When I read that scene, I thought the potion would casue the drinker to experience the worst possible things they could suffer, causing them to stop drinking. He could have seen his powers being used to hurt the children of the school, something Dumbledore would die for in order to avoid.

Secondly, Dumbledore mentions the Dark Arts position being cursed, saying that no teacher has held it for more than a year since his meeting with Voldemort. I think the wand flick in Dumbledore's office was the application of the curse.

Finally, Harry as horcrux. I need to reread some sections of the book, but my take is that Voldemort intended to kill Harry, killing Lily only when she got in the way. If the intent was to kill Harry, wouldn't Voldemort have made something else the horcrux? Who would want a dead body horcrux? Even as an inferi, Voldemort wouldn't risk his inferi/horcrux being destroyed and wouldn't be able to use it for anything. As I write this, though, I wonder: what if the horcrux spell backfired and in killing Liliy, she became both the horcrux and an inferi? An encounter with his mother's animated corpse is hopefully too horrible for Rowling to put Harry through. I guess it's possible that the scar itself is the horcrux, but reference the scene in OoP where Voldemort is caused horrible pain when he invades Harry's mind. I don't think Harry can be the horcrux.

This doesn't preclude Harry from being connectd to Voldemort in numerous twisted ways. For instance, is it possible that Harry's death would cause some portion of Voldemort's power to disappear, or could even cause his death? When Dumbledore learns that it was Harry's blood used to revive Voldemort, he seems relieved. Could Harry's death cause some last sideaffect of Lily's love to destroy Voldemort through the blood of Harry's he used?

I don't have any predictions per se, but those are some comments. Take 'em for what they're worth.

Posted by: jfournier at August 5, 2005 6:30 PM

Just a thought - but if Snape was in love with Lilly - maybe Voldemorte was only supposed to kill Harry's dad and Harry - leaving Lilly alive for Snape. When he killed Lilly too, maybe that broke the bargain Voldemorte had with Snape, and maybe that's when Snape turned on Voldemorte?

Excellent post by the way!

Posted by: chris at August 6, 2005 10:20 AM

Hey Crank,

I've come across your site a couple times but I must say this HP breakdown is fantastic! I'll be coming back for more (and linking you).

Cheers,

MRhé

Posted by: MRhé at August 11, 2005 10:33 AM

the last Horcruxes will be in Harry himself. Something went wrong when he tried to kill harry and creating the 7th Horcruxes with something of Ravenclaw. So Harry will be debating to kill himself, but later will discover LV soul can be removed by a death eater. Some how a DE will have to suck only LV soul out and the process will have to be stopped before Harry loses his soul.

Posted by: asian7448 at August 18, 2005 1:36 AM

The flick of Voldemort's wand in Dumbledore's memory shouldn't be disregarded as a mere flick. Dumbledore was a master wizard, it is possible he covered up an entire battle scene between he and Voldemort in that room and possible conversation afterword. Possible incriminating stuff Dunbledore wished not to be known or felt guilty about. We know Scrimgeour stank at covering up his memories, but when Rowling showed us it was somewhat POSSIBLE, it opened the door to the idea that even Dumbledoor could be doing it.
Perhaps the flick was just a leftover piece of memory that Dumbledore forgot to "tape over".

And I'm sure this has been stated, but maybe Voldemort wasn't trying to kill Harry at all, but purpousfully killed Lily to make a Horecrux out of Harry. What better way to get around the prophecy? Now if Voldemort kills Harry, Voldemort is still alive with only 1/7th of himself missing. And if Harry kills all of Voldemort's Horecruxs and Voldemort's body, Voldemort is STILL alive inside Harry. Whoever wins, Voldemort still wins.
Perhaps Voldemort's "death" was a side effect of splitting one's soul so many times. No one knows what happens when you make a Horecrux. Perhaps "dieing" is common in doing so, certainly none of the good wizard witnesses would have known what happened when one creates a Horcrux, especially not for the seventh time.

Posted by: yooki42 at August 18, 2005 4:30 AM

This may be the order in which LV made Horcruxes.

1. Marvalo's ring - Murder of his father.
2. Diary - ?? (Murder of his Grandfather/Grandmother)
3. Merope's locket - Murder of Hepzibah Smith
4. Hufflepuff's Cup - ??
5. Object of Gryffindor or Ravenclaw - ??
6. Object of Gryffindor or Ravenclaw - The curse that failed - NO HORCRUX
6. Nagani - Murder of Frank Bryce

While it is possible that he made the diary at the same time that he made the ring, it seems overly ambitious to make two horcruxes on the first try.

Posted by: Phillip Chesson at August 19, 2005 12:13 PM

The diary horcrux would be Moaning Myrtle, no?

Posted by: The Crank at August 19, 2005 1:36 PM

I don't have GOF here to look at it, but didn't Voldemort say that Pettegrew would hold "a special place" (paraprhase from memory) because of the sacrifce he made of his hand for the ritual.

and Diggory was just killed,

putting two and two together, I think Peter Petigrew's new hand is the Horcrux and the life debt is going to end up allowing Harry to get it!

Posted by: Mustang 23 at August 20, 2005 6:53 AM

Thanks for a great summary!

I looked again at the Sorting Hat's songs, which JKR said will become more prominent in future books (which leaves book 7), and two things stood out.
http://www.hp-lexicon.org/hogwarts/sorting_hat.html

1) From the Sorcer's Stone: "There's nothing hidden in your head The Sorting Hat can't see..."

If Dumbledore made Snape wear the hat, then Dumbledore may have had proper reason to so completely trust Snape. This argues that either Snape didn't kill Dumbledore, or did so on Dumbledore's orders. I think Dumbledore is dead, by the way.

2) From the Prisoner of Azkaban song:
"though condemned I am to split you
still I worry that it's wrong,
though I must fulfill my duty
and must quarter every year
still I wonder whether sorting
may not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
the warning history shows,
for our Hogwarts is in danger
from external, deadly foes
and we must unite inside her
or we'll crumble from within..."

This suggests to me that Harry will have to team up with members from all the houses to defeat Voldemort. Going further, based on nothering but speculating, I suspect that Harry will be required to trust people that he (at least at one time) dislikes or distrusts. Snape and Draco (Slytherin) would certainly fit this category. Obviously, Ron and Hermione from Gryffindor would satisfy the requirement from that house, but maybe he will need someone else too (Colin Creevey?). I don't remember this part, but a friend told me that Harry didn't like Zacariah Smith of Hufflepuff, so he may be a candidate. For a Ravenclaw, Cho Chang comes to mind. Harry's only problem with Cho is that she is sort of an ex, but for a teenager, that could be a serious problem. All these people were in Dumbledore's Army, so its plausible.

I would love to hear what others think,

Craig

Posted by: Craig at August 20, 2005 4:46 PM

i agree that regulus isn't dead and i think he will play a big part in book 7. i don't think sirius is really dead either

Posted by: stef at August 22, 2005 10:09 AM

hey crank -

what about the medal for special services being the horcrux for his indirect murder of myrtle? The basilisk actually did the deed, right? And her killing was accidental, not murder exactly. But I can see TR/LV relishing the irony of a medal for murder as he planted the horcrux in the safest place on the planet: Hogwart's trophy case.

scott

Posted by: scott at August 25, 2005 9:57 PM

I think that JKR is trying to trick us usining the other books!! Probably all the things are already revealed... If not, book 7 will be the thickest book ever. Imagine this... she managed to write a book only about the potion's book.... would she only write one book for all the horcuxes, for more information about Harry, for the final battle with Voldemont.

Everything is already revealed... In book 7, JKR is going to put all the separate pieces of the previous books to solve everything. If we make good predictions from the previous books... WE WILL HAVE BOOK7!!

Posted by: Andy at August 27, 2005 7:10 PM

Wonderful post. Something I pondered on re-reading: if it is Voldemort's wish to have a seven-part soul, and he knows that the diary is destroyed, (...his fury was terrible to behold...), is it not likely that he has since created another Horcrux?

I think Regulus is dead, if only because the Black family tapestry registers his death date, and similar magical objects in canon are not fooled (Weasley clock, Marauder's Map...)

One very interesting theme throughout the series and especially book 6 is the idea that murder should be avoided at all cost, due to the risk to the murderer's soul. Will JKR make her hero a murderer in the end, even if he is killing the villain? I suspect the conflict may finish with Lord Voldemort on the receiving end of a Dementor's kiss.

The biggest argument against Harry as Horcrux is that since he is a mortal being, the fragment of soul would no longer be earthbound when he died. Har. as Hor. would therefore only have happened inadvertantly. The scar as Horcrux theory is even less plausible as a scar is not an object, separate from the body that wears it.

Finally, the question of what happened between Voldemort and Dumbledore in the office is of utmost importance. With regard to this, I like every theory on this page. However, it's important to notice that from JKR's description, ("He was sure that Voldemort's hand had twitched TOWARD his pocket and his wand; but the moment had passed...") it would seem that Vold.'s hand never actually made it into the pocket.

Posted by: shyster at September 2, 2005 2:54 AM

Ok. there is NO WAY Voldemort intentionally makes Harry a Horcrux. The "evidence" for this theory seems to be based on the last half of the prophecy. One small problem here and this little breakdown in logic should dispel the notion...
Voldemort does not know the entire prophecy. IF HE DID, WHY WOULD HE HAVE THE DEATH EATERS GO TO THE MOM TO STEAL IT? Why spend a year of your life trying to find out something you know? (Snape was thrown out after only hearing the first half)

Given that Voldemort does not know the last half of the prophecy (It is stated that ONLY Harry and Dumbledore know the entire thing), he would
NOT make Harry a horcrux. He did not go to Godric's Hollow with that intention (of making Harry a horcrux; he did intend to make one, but of
an object). Given that he only heard the first part, he went with the intention that he was going to kill the person with the power to vanquish him... he did not know he would had powers he knew not of (LOVE) or that he would mark him as his equal. All he thought was that if he killed Harry, no one could defeat him.

Now, is it possible that Harry was ACCIDENTLY made the horcrux... sure, although I for one think JK has a little to much originality than to rehash an old plot device such as this... but I might be wrong. But if you really go back and read the books closely, there is nothing to support that Voldemort intentionally turned Harry into a Horcrux. Ignoring the prophecy, if he did do it, why would he try to kill him at the end of GoF and OotP? Why would he destroy a piece of his soul knowingly?

Personally, I agree that Snape killed Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders to keep Draco alive (because he is just that type of person) and
because Dumbledore realizes that Harry is the most important aspect. Snape will die in book 7, but I think he does it to save Harry... Maybe during
their duel Voldemort is about to win and Snape saves him, in which Bellatrix or more likely Voldemort, kills Snape. I also think Wormtail
sacrifices himself to save Harry too, mainy because it was hinted at in the end of PoA. (The part about how when one wizard saves another's life
there is a primal debt, yada yada yada). I am hoping this is when Bellatrix gets killed (Wormtail making amends for getting James Killed). I
also tend to agree with the theory that Harry is a decendant of Gryffendor... which is why I think that Voldemort gets killed with the sword... given that the wands can't duel each other. Which brings up another question, I wonder if Olivander is dead, or if he is being forced to make a new wand... not sure, just wondering.

(Posted by Michael and reposted by site administrator following resolution of problem with comments)

Posted by: The Crank at September 6, 2005 4:04 PM

i think that harry is a horcrux and i have proof:(i think!)

i think that evrytime a horcrux is made it is left with a mark. in HBP when DD and harry go into the gaunts house we notice that marvolo gaunts ring has the parele coat of arms etched on the black stone part however when we leave the pensieve and harry notices the ring on the table there is a differnt mark. instead the black stone has a smal mark on it. if u turn the british edition of HBP over on its spine u wil se a picture of that ring on the very top of it and it chilingly resebles the scar shape on harrys forhead. i believe that whenever a horcrux is made it leaves this scar shape on the objects. the scar shape symbolises somthign being split into two jsut liek the soul. a soul is suposed to be intact and spliting it is an act of violation that is it is agaisnt nature.

so inconclusion i htink hary is ahorcrux and the scar on his forhead is because he was turned into an accidental hocrux.

the only problem is we never saw the diary with this kind of shap etched on it then again harry spent more tiem flicking through the pages then lookign at the cover.

what do you think

Posted by: jenny at September 7, 2005 5:56 AM

Just a thought. Concerning Voldemort's wand. How did he retrieve it? Could it be Snape? In the JK interview when asked if someone else was present at the Potters deaths, she says the always telling "No Comment".

Also could Lily being like Ginny went with Snape to make James jealous, which ties in with James meaning 'supplanter' to encourage James to act more mature. And thus Snapes hatred and possible obsessive love for Lily.

Posted by: Kodo Hai at September 12, 2005 12:57 PM

Could Dumbledore have been present during the death of James and Lily and somehow view himself as in some way responsible.."don't hurt them...it"s my fault... hurt me instead.

Posted by: duncan Mclellan at January 30, 2006 1:56 AM

I really don't think that Snape is on the good side. If you think about it, if Snape wanted to help protect Harry then wouldn't he have been a little nicer to him as a teacher? He wouldn't have babied him, he just would have been more like the other teachers. I also think that Rom is gonna do something really cool in the 7th book. As you said, he hasn't done anything much except risk his neck in the 1st book. Therefore he will either die (which i really hope doen't happen, he's my fav character) or do something really heroic.
I'm also wondering what's gonna happen with Ron and Hermione in the 7th book. I mean, they r quite obviously in love with each other!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Emily at February 18, 2006 6:15 PM

I have to say I do think Snape is working for the good guys. Remember Snape has been a deatheater, Dumbledore made Snape promise to kill him in order to protect Malfoy. If Malfoy had killed him that would be a line he could never cross back from.

Posted by: Tabitha at March 12, 2006 9:00 PM

THE SNAKE AS A HORCRUX

I believe that when Harry saw the attack of Mr. Weasly in the Department of Mysties corridore and then went down to DD office and DD did something with the little instrument and noted "but essence divided", I believe he realized that part of LV soul was in the snake enabling him to control it.

Posted by: Kyle at March 21, 2006 5:33 PM

I agree that Snape loved Lilly. If you remeber in one of the books Petunia talks of her sister and "that boy" staying at her house and doing magic during the school holidays, (most likely the summer ones as students seem to be in Hogwarts during the Xmas holidays quite a lot). That boy couldn't have been James because Sirius tells Harry (after he is upset about seeing his fathers behavour in the Pensive) that James and Lilly got together in the seventh year after James matured a bit. If this is true she couldn't have been with a boy in the summer holidays after year seven because she would have finished school by then. It could only be Snape. Maybe they became friends and he hated James so much for stealing Lilly away.

I also think that Snape is good - he killed Dumbledor becasue Dumbledor wanted him to. I think that when DUmbledor cried and moaned when he drank the potion he found out hte horrible truth that Voldemort had made him a Horcrux. Thats what the flick of hte wand was for during Dumbledor and Riddle's meeting so many years ago. I think it is possible that you could be a Horcrux without realising it (this is what a lot of you think about Harry). That is why after the tenth goblet, once the potion has shown Dumbledor the whole truth he shouts "Kill me". Becasue he has found out that he is a Horcrux. This is why he speaks so pleadingly to Snape - becasue he wants him to kill him, in order to lessen Voldemots defences. He could have communicated this to Snape through Occulmency. Teh look of revulsion and hatred on Snape's face could be becuase he has just learned what Voldemort has done.

It makes sense when you think about it - Voldemort hid a piece of his soul in the one place he could be sure it would be safe - inside the one wizard he was truly afraid of. Someone he would assume would be very unlikely to die.

Another possibility is that Voldemort turned Fawkes into a Horcrux - they live for so long she could have once been Godric Griffindor's. Also, she would be very safe as she is immortal - she will always come back to life.

annother possibility is that teh invisibiity cloak is a Horcrux - again because it couldhave originally been Griffindor's. Also becasue this would explain why Harry was given the cloak many years ago - bacuse Dumbledor had planned for Harry to track down the Horcruxes for a very long time.

Posted by: rosie at April 24, 2006 12:34 PM

I, too, agree with most of your theories, but I have a wrench to throw in: Snape. He's in trouble, because Voldemort said that Malfoy was supposed to kill Dumbledore, and then the Order thought that Snape killed Dumbledore. UNLESS that the Order knew about Dumbledore's plans for being killed by Snape. Maybe Snape and Dumbledore made an Unbreakable Vow, and he told the Order.

In regards for Dumbledore NOT being dead, perhaps Hermione figures out that Dumbledore isn't dead (assuming he's not), and goes in to hiding. I recommend www.dumbledoreisnotdead.com for further evidence

And as for the horcruxes, Harry has never seen any horcrux being destroyed. The diary was still intact, as Harry gives it to Lucius to free Dobby. We do not see it again. Perhaps Lucius kept it, and it was not completely destroyed. As for the ring, we have to trust Dumbledore.

And a little interesting tidbit of information: in the fifth book, to get into the Ministry of Magic, you have to dial 62442. If you take a letter from each of the numbers, such on a telephone, you get 'magic'. (Eg. 6:M 2:A 4:G 4:I 2:C) I doubt this has anything to do with the story, but it's cool to know.

Posted by: Adam at June 28, 2006 1:22 PM

A lot of these theories are really good, but we will only know when the book comes out. but anyways, i just finished the 6th book again and was thinking about the horcruxes. i may be out on a limb about this, but w.e.

So, for this one, im gonna be talking about the one that has to do with gryffindor. I may have a forgetful memory, but i think DD stated a few books ago how the only known relic of gryffindors was the sword. (idk if this is true or not)

SO... I noticed that TWICE at the end of the book, it states something about gryffindors. When Harry running out of the main door chasing Snape and Malfoy, it stated how gryffindors clock lay broken on the floor, with RED rubees laying on the ground, looking like blood. Then when Harry is taking back inside by Ginny, JKR again stated about Gryffindors clock laying broken on the floor.

So, idky she would talk about this twice, but i found it interesting. maybe the red jewels could be the blood of the soul, if this clock were a horcrux. LV would have had an easy opportunity to make it one the day he left the school when he asked DD for a job back, since he would have had to leave the main door to get out. it might have been a last opportunity to get something of gryffindors, since he would most likely not be welcome back in the school....

just a thought.
Brian R

Posted by: Brian R at June 30, 2006 1:04 AM

Has anyone considered peter's new hand as a horcrux? It was given to peter after the murder of Cedric, and who knows, he possibly could have divided his soul an eighth time?

Posted by: Brett Adams at July 1, 2006 6:49 PM

It pains me to say this but i think that Harry Potter is a horcrux (waaaaaaaa).

Wen Harry was 1 he tried 2 kill Harry but da
spell backfired.... maybe cuz he kill Lily nd James he turned Harry Potter in2 the 7th nd final horcrux.... which means Harry Potter will die at da end of book 7.........

Posted by: Becky at July 31, 2006 12:51 PM

Hey you guys i think i figured out one of the clues and something big rememeber in POA the movie when all the boys seamus ron neville harry and dean were taking those things that made them sound like different animals well ron made the roar of a lion and Gryffindoors banner is a lion which means ron is the heir of gryffindoor coincidence or not i dont know if thats one of them but it sure makes sense

Posted by: nate at August 3, 2006 2:15 PM

The seventh horcrux could be one of LV's first trophies i.e. the ones he stole at the orphanage :-the yo-yo the mouth organ and stuff

Posted by: hawk at August 6, 2006 11:22 AM

If Snape REALLY is on the good side, Dumbledore wouldn't have been pleading and looked nervous right before Snape killed him in HBP (he said "Severus, no" or something like that). He would have remained calm and cool, like he always is. And the only reason he wouldn't want to die, (because he has said death is natural and not something to be feared) is that he may have had something else to do (i.e. the Horcruxes).

Posted by: Kevin at August 9, 2006 7:01 PM

SNAPE CANNOT BE A GOOD GUY:
DUMBLEDORE IS DEAD:
If snape was on the good side, dumbledore wouldn't've been pleading for him not to kill him. Also it is stupid to say that's he not dead. Snape said "avada kedava" and dumbledore fell to the floor. unless snape killed a passing fly and Dumbledore was playing along, DUMBLEDORE HAS TO BE DEAD. Dumbledore wouldn't have pleaded to him for him to not kill him unless he had more to do on earth, dumbledore DOES NOT FEAR DEATH, he says it's natural so in conclusion snape is not on the good side and dumbledore is dead, face the facts!

Posted by: KD at August 9, 2006 7:12 PM

Why does Brian R. think the gryffindor's clock is a horcrux? Sure, Voldemort had a good oputunity to make one when he left the school from his interview with Dumbledore, but you have to kill when you make a horcrux. I really don't think Voldemort killed sombody at Hogwarts after he was rejected by Dumbledore.

Posted by: I'm 11! at August 14, 2006 3:04 PM

If Dumbledore isn't dead, come the charm on Harry was lifted when snape killed dumbledore?When dumbledore hit the ground, if he was faking, I don't think even he could have hit harry and lifted the charm from that angle. Besides, How would dumbledore have not moved the entire time from hisdeath to his burial.
P.S. I don't think he would have liked being thrown in the
lake if he was alive.
P.S.S. Harry carefully inspected Dumbledore when he was on the ground. DD showed no sighns of life, including no pulse.

Give me feedback!

Posted by: i'm 11! at August 14, 2006 3:23 PM

hey i think i have wrked out the entire book 7
i've been wrkin on my theory for around a year now , slpeepless nites reading and re reading books so i could make perfect sense of what the horcrux's are I'm not goin to state my reasons as i dnt wnt people on other syts like this one 2 copy me but i have my reasons for my decisions on my piczo syt www.piczo.com/domluvzudecide

1) the sorting hat
2) Nagini - lord voldemorts pet snake
3) the ring
4) the goblet of fire
5) peter's hand
6) ravenclaw cup
7) ron

Posted by: dom at August 26, 2006 1:36 PM

Snape Is On The Good Side. I Think Dumbledore Realized He Was A Horcrux When He Drank The Potion And He Also Realized That When He Altered His Memory Of When Lv Came Back To Ask For A Job, He Shouldve Shown Harry The Real Memory. Now, As For The Look On Snapes Face, Dumbledore Probably Told Snape At That Moment To Kill Him And Snape Probably Thought It Was Discusting To Kill Dumbledore. As For Dumbledore Saying Severus... Severus Please... He Was Probably Telling/asking Snape To Kill Him While Trying To Make It Sound To Everybody Else That He Didnt Want To Die. P. S. This Is Just A Guess. Nobody Really Knoes If This Is True Or Not.

Posted by: steven at August 29, 2006 7:21 PM

It seems to me that any theories about the horcruxes must take into account that it appears that the horcrux must be created at the time of the murder - I do not believe that the fragment of one's soul can be kept around and then later tossed into some object. Thus, the theory suggesting that Riddle created a Horcrux while visiting with Dumbledore seem far-fetched.

As for Harry or the scar being a Horcrux, here I am also similarly skeptical. The creation of a Horcrux appears to be no simple charm - remember, in the book that Hermione finds it won't even discuss how to do it. It is clear that Voldemort went after Harry with the sole intent of killing him (this is a common theme in all sorts of literature, a powerful king seeks the death of a child who has been prophesized to destroy the king). He had no prior knowledge of the "ancient magic" of love that would protect Harry and would destroy his physical form. Dumbledore suspects that Voldemort intended to use Harry's death to create the final Horcrux - but of course he did not succeed in killing Harry, so the conditions were not right to create a Horcrux. It is possible he could have created a Horcrux with the earlier murder of James, though as others have asked, why would he possibly use that murder to create a Horcrux in Harry, who he was about to kill? Makes no sense. Of course, there has been very little revealed about how a Horcrux is actually created, so it is certainly possible some nuance not previously revealed will be made clear in book 7 that would allow for Harry and/or the scar to be a Horcrux.

On this topic, I think it is a very interesting question as to whether Voldemort created any Horcruxes since his return. I am under the impression that these were all created before his encounter with the 1-year old Harry (as evidenced by Dumbledore's theory about Voldemort's intent to create the final one with Harry's death). If Dumbledore is right, then there are only 5 Horcruxes aside from Vodemort himself, since he never succeeded in killing Harry and creating the final fragment of his soul. Leaving aside Voldemort, we've got the ring (destroyed), the diary (destroyed), the locket (perhaps destroyed or perhaps at Grimmald Place). That leaves only two for Harry to find in book 7. I am doubtful about Nagini; certainly, when the old muggle stumbled upon them, Voldemort was hardly prepared to create a Holcrux (and one wonders if he was even capable of it, given the state he was in).

I almost wonder if the Holcrux hunt isn't a bit of a red herring somehow, only because when one looks at how long and how much effort it took Dumbledore, the greatest wizard, to find just 2 of them - well, how the hell are Harry, Hermione and Ron going to do it?

I find myself obsessing on the question of Snape's loyalties, not surprisingly, and I find myself torn between believing on the one hand in the numerous plot hints over the 6 books suggesting Snape is a good guy, and on the other hand the idea that JKR is too good and clever a writer to hit us yet again with the "bad guy turns out to be a good guy" theme. In my mind, the sum of what we have seen from Snape really suggests he has not turned and remains a double agent working against Voldemort. But, isn't this a little tired as a plot device already? This was basically the entire plot of book 1 (with the same character) and book 3 (Sirius Black). Now maybe JKR has left enough ambiguity with regard to Snape (and certainly killing Dumbledore is on the surface as bad as it gets) so that she feels it will still be a turnabout for him to turn out to be a good guy, but I don't know, it just seems like that theme isn't as clever as it was in books 1 & 3.

Lots of people have articulated lots of reasons why Snape is still working for Voldemort's fall, so I won't rehash them all, but here are a couple that I've not seen mentioned (though I can't say I've searched exhaustively).

First, in reading book 6, I was shocked at how Snape lies in response to the queries of Bellatrix just before making the Unbreakable Vow. He takes complete advantage of their lack of knowledge, it is almost funny how they are asking him to explain his actions and he feeds them a load of garbage and they accept it all! For example:

1. First he puts them on the defensive by asking how he could possible fool "the most accomplished Legilimens the world as ever seen?" But we know that Snape may be as nearly accomplished as an Occlumens. So Bellatrix is already admitting Snape is really on their side, while the reader thinks this a hardly a plausible argument.

2. Next, he says he tried to block Quirrell from getting the Sorcer's Stone because he had no idea Voldemeort was involved and thought it was just Quirrell acting alone, as a greedy wizard. Yet - it was known that someone very powerful was after the Stone, which is why it was moved to Hogwarts, and Snape obviously knew that Quirrell was trying to kill Harry - which obviously had nothing to do with Quirrell just being after the Stone for personal reasons. And of course, the confrontation between Quirrell and Snape that Harry overhears in chapter 13 - Snape tells Quirrell they will talk again soon when Quirrell has "decided where his loyalties lie." It seems pretty certain that Snape knew at the time that Quirrell was not merely after the Stone for personal gain, yet that is his excuse to Bellatrix.

3. He tells them that he delayed returning to Voldemort when the Dark Mark started burning because he wanted to continue remaining undercover, and returned only when Dumbledore ordered him to, with Dumbledore believing Snape was Dumbledore's spy. He says he knew the Dark Mark had been getting stronger and could have "escaped" if he had chosen - Bellatrix accepts this rationale for the delay but in fact we know this is rubbish. First, Snape has known for a lot longer that Voldemort was back because of all he has known about Harry's various confrontations - yet he did not share this information with them; he claims he only realized it when the Dark Mark started getting stronger. Second, why would Snape want to "escape" if he was not loyal to Voldemort when in fact the safest place for him to be as a turncoat Death Eater would be at Dumbledore's side, in Hogwarts. Third, he boldly claims that he has been feeding information on Dumbledore and the Order to Voldemort, yet he obviously failed to provide any information about the Order knowing of Voldemort's plan to get the prophecy from the Ministry. If Snape was such a good spy, why didn't he warn Voldemort in advance that that the Order would be there?

4. Snape claims he had no idea that Voldemort wanted Harry dead, when we know this is a bald-faced lie - Voldemort tried to kill Harry multiple times and Snape knows it! In fact, one has to wonder why these two women buy Snape's story when they witnessed Voldemort trying to kill Harry at the end of book 4 (I seem to recall them being among the Death Eaters present at that confrontation). When they ask him why he hasn't killed Harry himself, Snape says only that he wanted to remain in Dumbledore's good graces and he could not have killed Harry under Dumbledore's nose. But he does not tell them he has actually tried to save Harry's life! Remember, Dumbledore speculates at the end of book 1 that Snape may view himself as having a bit of a life-debt towards Harry.

5. Snape tells them that it became apparent to him that Harry has "no extraordinary talent at all." We know Snape pretty much hates Harry because Harry reminds him of James, but even for the highly biased Snape this is a poor chracterization of Harry. While Harry is not evenly accomplished across all wizarding skills, he has demonstrated extraordinary talents plenty of times, and Snape is well aware of this. Plus, Snape is no doubt aware of the ancient magic that Dumbledore believes protected Harry from Voldemort, another extraordinary attribute.

So why all the lies? Because if Snape told the true story of all that had transpired between him, Harry and Dumbledore over the years, it would be very hard indeed to believe his heart was with Voldemort. Moreover, we still do not know what convinced Dumbledore so completely that Snape was "his" man, as Snape himself notes Dumbledore views him. The story of showing "deep remorse" over having been a Death Eater will likely prove to be yet another lie, as Dumbledore would not trust Snape so completely with anything less than a bucketful of memories that Dumbledore could have explored, or more likely, an Unbreakable Vow of loyalty to Dumbledore. And of course, it is highly unlikely that Bellatrix and Narcissa are going to do any fact-checking with Voldemort since (1) they are both on the outs after the Ministry fiasco and (2) they don't want Voldemort to know they've been sneaking around behind his back, trying to get Malfoy some high-powered help for his impossible task. So Snape's pack of lies to Bellatrix and Narcissa will never be revealed (unless Wormtail, who saw Snape try to protect Harry from Sirius, was again listening behind the door . . .)

As I looked over this first chapter of book 6, I just noticed something huge - when Narcissa is begging Snape to help her, she says "Severus . . . please . . ." - these are PRECISELY the words Dumbledore says to Snape. To remind Snape of his Unbreakable Vow for Narcissa? To remind him that (for reasons that remain unclear), things are better with Dumbledore dead and Snape alive as a double agent, rather than Dumbledore alive (though ill and facing a bunch of Death Eaters, a battle from which he would not likely emerge the victor), and Snape dead for having failed to fulfill his vow to Narcissa. I have no problem accepting Snape as disgusted with himself for having to kill Dumbledore - that is precisely why he is no coward, he was probably contemplating not fulfilling the vow and was looking death in the eye until Dumbledore prompted him. As a complete aside - after this of course, Snape and friends flee from Hogwarts, probably back to Voldemort, and I am tempted to speculate that Malfoy is killed by Voldemort for failing in his assigned task. In the presence of his mother too, to demonstrate to her that she Snape's action did not make up for her family's failure at the ministry AND with the Dumbledore hit. One can only hope! Wouldn't this make a great opening scene for book 7 . . .

I also find Snape's behavior at the end of book 6 to be again, inconsistent with a true servant of Voldemort. While all the Death Eaters seem to know that Malfoy must be the one to kill Dumbledore, it is Snape who informs the others that Harry should be left for Voldemort - none of the others seem to have a clue. Then, while seemingly taunting Harry in their battle, he is clearly offering him critical advice (one wonders if Harry is mature enough to put aside his hatred of Snape and force himself to heed that advice and work on unspoken spells - likely more growing up he'll have to do in book 7). Snape also prevents Harry from reciting Unforgivable Curses.

Finally, given the ease with which Snape parried all of Harry's attacks at the end of book 6, it seems highly unlikely that Harry, Hermione and Ron could possible challenge Snape, Voldemort and some Death Eaters in a big showdown. I just don't see any way they can get past Snape to Voldemort. Yes, they disarmed him in book 3, but they took him by surprise while he was focused elsewhere. Not going to happen again. Thus I think that logic also dictates that Snape must help destroy Voldemort. It is clear that I assume in the end that Harry (representing love) wins over Voldemort (representing evil) - the other way would be far too dark for a series of books that has emphasized this theme repeatedly (and which includes many many children as devoted fans).

Tying both elements of this very long posting together, perhaps Snape destroys or helps destroy or helps locate the remaining Horcruxes. Probably not by acting in concert with H+H+R but rather helping them behind the scenes. Perhaps there is a member of the Order who knew that Snape would be forced to kill Dumbledore if the situation demanded, and who will either convince Harry of this, or will help H+H+R on their quest for Horcruxes with information passed on by Snape. Maybe Snape himself, using Polyjuice Potion (wouldn't that be a good scene - they have been helped by some member of the Order, and are about to retrieve the final Horcrux when the potion begins to wear off, then - Snape is revealed. They try to attack him but he subdues them and overcomes his arrogance to convince them he is on their side. Perhaps Harry and Snape overcoming their mutual hatred is the kind of Hogwarts unity that the Sorting Hat predicted was needed for victory over Voldemort!)

Posted by: tony at September 5, 2006 1:16 AM

Dumbeldore repetedly says that in Voldemorte's attempt to kill Harry, the dark lord put a part of himself inside Harry. Although it seems so evident that Harry is a horcrux, I find it impossible because I don't think JKR would give the ending away to a historical series just like that. I mean, halfway through the 6th book I had my assumations that Harry was a Horcrux. Any intelligent being could figure that out with Dumbledore's commments of Voldemort giving Harry a pary of him and the prophecy. If Harry turning out to be the last Horcrux is truly the ending to this phenominal series, I will be extremely disappointed.

Posted by: James at September 7, 2006 7:27 PM

Peter Petigrews Hand Cant Be A Horcrux Becuase Peter Was The One Who Killed Digory, Not Voldemort

Posted by: theinvisibleman at September 9, 2006 9:19 PM

Peter Petigrews Hand Cant Be A Horcrux Becuase Peter Was The One Who Killed Digory, Not Voldemort. Also, The Teen Riddle Could Not Have Made The First/second Horcrux By Killing His Father/grandfather Because During The Memory Where He Asks Slughorn About Horcruxs He Is Already Wearing Marvolos Ring

Posted by: theinvisibleman at September 9, 2006 9:28 PM

Peter Petigrews Hand Cant Be A Horcrux Becuase Peter Was The One Who Killed Digory, Not Voldemort. Also, The Teen Riddle Could Not Have Made The First/second Horcrux By Killing His Father/grandfather Because During The Memory Where He Asks Slughorn About Horcruxs He Is Already Wearing Marvolos Ring

Posted by: theinvisibleman at September 9, 2006 9:30 PM

in the UK edition of HBP on the spine it shows a pic of the ring with a lightning bolt through it. However, if you remember, when Marvolo is showing off his ring to the ministry official it shows the slytherin family crest on it, not a lighning bolt. The only probable thing that could have made that mark was Dumbledore when he did whatever he did to destroy it because he found it in their houes untouched for years(and it must have ben pretty strongly protected to do what it did to dumbledore).

Posted by: peyton at September 13, 2006 9:09 PM

Well, im a big fan of the potter books. My predictions several. i just been playing around with characters and i came up wit possible outcomes. nothing too extraordinary, just guesses.

-it might be possible that harry will save malfoy at some point and die and thus, bring malfoy some sort of life epiphany and causing him to change his ways. Or he saves malfoy with no death between them... (gut feeling, could be the chile fries talking though)

-Snape getting killed. Saving the potter kid. I think. He might wear pastels...okay maybe the pastels are out of the question.

-Harry Potter dies (I dont want him to die but whatever it is a possibility) and Ginny ends up with Neville. in the GOF they go to the banquet together. I think there are references of him liking her right? (let me double check that) He might be the guy to uhm, sweep her away.

-Harry might kill or hurt very badly, Bellatrix. Remember he is angry she killed Sirius.

-Could be neville and potter were switched at birth. Remember harry thinks how it would be if neville was the one who had the scar and no parents, and he would have had nevilles life. but then again, he also says, the outcomes could have still led to this....just something to think about. but then again, he does look like both his parents...

-one horcrux could be either wand. Maybe harry's. Maybe not.

thats all the rubbish i can tolerate for one night...

-

Posted by: sortinghut at September 25, 2006 2:16 AM

ok, dumbledore is definitely dead. first of all, because snape said avara kadavara and dumbledore fell down, second of all even if the spell hadnt killed him falling from the astronomy tower (tallest tower of hogwarts) would have done it and third of all dumbledores coffin erupted in blue flames!

does anyone think that the houseelves or the mermaids, or something in the forest will become more important??

i want to know more about grawp!

Posted by: harry potter fan at October 1, 2006 12:59 PM

Nobody seems to wonder how RAB found out about the horcuxes and whether or not he found any of the others. It may very well be that there are far fewer horcruxes to be found as RAB may have hunted some more of them down and destoyed them. This would seem to be a convenient way to make the finding and destroying of all the horcuxes fit into the last book. I think RAB is alive, has been in hiding with the help of The Order and will help Harry hunt down what ever is left to find.

Posted by: rw at October 26, 2006 2:47 PM

has anyone thought of why ollivander would get kidnapped? think about it, the one perfect time that voldemort would have been able to rid himself of his biggest pain in the butt of his life, and out of a 1 in a million chance their wands backfire and initiate the priori incantatem. Obviously voldy wasn't planning on that happening, and once he got away by the 6th book he realized, hmmm...well it didn't work then, it's not gunna work later, and if i'm gunna get rid of this pain in the butt teenager i'm gunna need something that will actually let me kill him....voldemort took ollivander to make him a new harry-killable wand.

Posted by: peyton at October 30, 2006 9:51 PM

harry isn't a horcrux. here's why. i kinda didn't finish my explanation about the ring theory above a few comments, but as i said, in the UK edition, it has a picture of the ring with a lightning bolt on it, not the family crest as before. it is this that makes me think that if harry was a horcrux, or at the very least intended to be a horcrux, he isn't one anymore because the lighning bolt is a sign of a destroyed horcrux, not a whole horcrux.

Posted by: Peyton at October 30, 2006 9:58 PM
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