The Long-Lost Horcrux
An original editorial by Cody Gaffney
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.
J.K. Rowling, interview with Emerson and Melissa, 7/16/05
Jo Rowlings interview with Emerson and Melissa raised more
questions than it provided answers. The above quote, which
occurred after Emerson prompted Jo about the seemingly impossible task
facing Harry in Book 7, is in my opinion the most glaring topic
the interview shed light on. It prompted me to reread the six
books in an effort to find these identifiable Horcruxes; and I
believe that I have found an answer.
Lets start off with what we know:
- Multiple Horcruxes have made an appearance in the books, though at that time unknown to the reader.
- There was more than one presented (noting Jos use of the words at least one).
- Dumbledore correctly deduced that Voldemort was employing the use of Horcruxes.
- Only Dumbledore, Slughorn and R.A.B. are known to have awareness of the Horcruxes existence.
I shall start off by saying that I whole-heartedly believe, like many others, that the locket in the cupboard of the tapestry room at Number 12 Grimmauld Place is Slytherins locket, and is one of the multiple Horcruxes that Jo mentioned in her interview. I need to get this out of the way before talking about the next Horcrux.
I direct your attention to point number 3. Dumbledore was able to work out that Voldemort was using Horcruxes. Slughorn managed to realize the consequences of his telling the young Tom Riddle about them. R.A.B. learned of Voldemort's plan and replaced a suspected Horcrux with a fake one. Thats three people, plus Harry. My theory depends solely on the assumption that another person gained knowledge of Voldemorts employment of Horcruxes.
This leads us to two options: (1) Either Dumbledore or Slughorn told
somebody else about the Horcruxes, or (2) Theres somebody else as
bright as Dumbledore who was able to figure it out.
Im ruling out the Dumbledore blabbed option right now, but what about
Slughorn? He is a bit of a loose cannon in my opinion, but considering how protective he was of the Horcrux memory, Im going to say that he didnt let the word get out. No, theres someone out there who figured out that Voldemort was dividing his soul.
Who is this mysterious person? Lets construct a profile: We know
they have to have been unusually intelligent and aware of Voldemorts
movements, which means the person was very well connected with the
inhabitants of magical Britain.
Before I tell you my theory, I would like to approach the puzzle from a different angle.
Horcruxes look just like any other normal object. Its the same
idea behind a Portkey. If a Muggle was to come across a tattered
old boot on top of a hill, they would think nothing of it, and the
same is true for Horcruxes. What normal wizard would know that any
given object contains the soul of the most powerful and evil wizard to
ever live? Im guessing not many, which adds another characteristic
to our profile: This person must have been able to recognize a
Horcrux, demonstrating large knowledge of and access to a number of
Here it goes: I believe that this mystery person is none other than Mr. Ollivander.
Anybody doubting that Ollivander is not a bright fellow might as well
take up reading another book series. Hes one smart cookie. He knew
every witch or wizard who had bought a decent wand, and he certainly
had access to a range of magical objects. And given his seemingly
vast knowledge of magic, Im prepared to bet he could recognize a
Horcrux if one was sitting right in front of him.
Ollivanders business is, of course, wands. I believe that one of the remaining Horcruxes is in fact just that...the wand of one of Hogwarts old founders.
Now, how did Ollivander get this Horcrux? He couldve stolen it, but
I see this as unlikely. Voldemorts past is the key to finding the
Horcruxes, but Voldemorts past is pretty much unknown to all but
Dumbledore and Harry. Plus, the Horcruxes are very well protected.
I think that this Horcrux was given to Mr. Ollivander, and he just
had the brains to figure out what it was.
Was it placed in his possession by a careless Death Eater, or a traitor to Voldemorts cause? Or was it maybe some innocent witch who found it and tried to sell it for a couple Sickles? Or even better...what if the wand, like the diary, was intended as a weapon? What if it was planted in Ollivanders shop to do some
damage? The possibilities are endless.
So, at this point in our story, Mr. Ollivander had, by some means,
gotten the wand of a Hogwarts founder, and managed to figure out that
a bit of Voldemorts soul was bobbing around inside.
Lets bring two pieces of the Half-Blood Prince puzzle together. Mr. Ollivanders sudden flight from society put up a red flag, in my case anyway. Is it possible that somebody found out that Ollivander possessed a Horcrux? This would certainly help explain his disappearance.
So, Ollivander got hold of a wand, figured out that Voldemorts soul
was inside, did away with it, packed up and went into hiding, figuring
every Death Eater in the world would be on his tail. Sounds reasonable, right? Sure, but I still havent answered a glaring
question: how did Ollivander do away with it?
Yes, I thought Gran would be angry about all the publicity, said Neville, but she was really pleased. Says Im starting to live up to my dad at long last. She bought me a new wand, look!
He pulled it out and showed it to Harry.
Cherry and unicorn hair, he said proudly. We think it was one of
the last Ollivander ever sold, he vanished the next day
I find it amazingly coincidental that Ollivander stuck around long
enough to give Neville a wand, and then promptly vanished. Is this
the Horcrux Ollivander found? Did Ollivander hide Voldemorts Horcrux
by selling it to his last customer?
Nothing is unlikely at this point, but I feel I must point out one further thing. Of all the wizards in the world who buy from Ollivander, of all the people who couldve walked into the shop at that exact moment Ollivander decided to sell the wand, it just happened to be one of Harrys closest friends, Neville.
Observe the quote again. Neville mentions the immense publicity surrounding the Order of the Phoenix climax. With all this publicity, wouldnt Ollivander have known Neville was close to Harry? Maybe he was trying to get the Horcrux close to Harry, to help him destroy it? Or, if the wand was intended as a weapon, should we maybe
reconsider the assumption that Ollivander is on the Orders side?
Like in the interview, I seem to have raised more questions than answers, but with Nevilles wand and Slytherins locket already
identified and found, one can hope that Harrys book 7 search wont be
nearly as impossible as its always seemed.
Posted by: Sara