Harry’s Key to Survival: Being a Horcrux?
Harry Potter has an awful lot of near-death experiences for a teenage boy. Even apart from annual encounters with Dark wizards, he manages to land himself in the hospital wing with startling frequency. Between Quidditch matches, the Whomping Willow, Acromantulas, Dementors, and the Triwizard Tournament, our protagonist seems to lead a simultaneously cursed and charmed life, constantly at risk but always just managing to make it out alive. For all his run-ins with danger, he remains the Boy Who Lived and Lived and Lived and Lived…
As unfortunate as he is, Harry’s survival rate shows a certain lucky streak. When Dumbledore’s Army is formed with him as its leader, he insists that he has only gotten as far as he has because of luck. But what if his luck is beyond the type that Felix Felicis can provide? Might one close shave after another actually be a result of the fact that Harry is a Horcrux?
We know that Horcruxes possess a sort of defense mechanism and will fight back when threatened with destruction. Slytherin’s locket, for example, chokes Harry when he tries to retrieve Gryffindor’s sword and taunts Ron when he attempts to use the sword to destroy it. Tom Riddle’s diary remains undamaged despite being flushed down a toilet and covered in ink, and Marvolo Gaunt’s ring holds a curse that maims Dumbledore’s hand. We also know that being a Horcrux has effects on Harry, such as the burning of his scar when Voldemort is gaining power, his connection to Voldemort’s mind, and his ability to speak Parseltongue, which he loses after the Horcrux in him is destroyed. Other effects might have been present but less obvious.
Fans have brought up the question of why the Horcrux in Harry was not destroyed when he came into direct contact with Basilisk venom, leading Jo herself to address the issue on Twitter. She explained that the receptacle needs to be destroyed beyond repair, meaning that Harry would have had to die, but Fawkes healed him with phoenix tears just in time. External factors such as Fawkes sometimes help Harry’s circumstances, but the fact that he manages to last long enough for help to come is an accomplishment in and of itself.
In life-or-death situations, timing is everything, and Harry’s always seems to be impeccable. Of course, Harry deserves credit for his quick reflexes in duels and skill on a broomstick, but his natural instincts could be enhanced by his nature as a Horcrux. Perhaps each near miss that Harry experiences is actually the Horcrux part of him keeping him safe from death. Overall, Harry seems to be quite hardy and possess a strong constitution. He has the stamina to withstand great physical stress, recover from serious injury, and hold his ground against dangerous foes. Might his innate talents be getting a Horcrux-assisted boost?
Snape feels that Dumbledore has been raising Harry like “a pig for slaughter,” keeping him alive so that he can die at the right moment (DH 687). But maybe it was the Horcrux in Harry keeping him alive until the moment that Harry intentionally put himself directly in the line of fire with no opportunity for defense.
What do you think? Is Harry just one very powerful and lucky fellow, or does being a Horcrux have its advantages?