Half Right About Harry's Horcrux
An original editorial by Hannah Deprey-Severance
During the seven days it took for me to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows thoroughly, I experienced time and time again the lurch in my stomach and the fleeting disbelief that only means one thing: one of my pet theories, one of the exhaustively researched and argued guesses about this final Harry Potter book, has been proven downright incorrect. Sometimes, it was easy to admit that my reasoning had failed me. I was sure none of the Weasleys would die, and I was certain that the final battle would take place behind the Veil at the Department of Mysteries, but after a simple shrug and an oh well, I moved on. There was one theory, though, that I was very reluctant to abandon, even after our own Albus Dumbledore debunked it.
You see, I was positive, absolutely adamant, that Harry was not a Horcrux.
Even after MuggleNets What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? delivered the verdict, Harry is a Horcrux, I didnt agree. I found ways to explain away the reasoning in favor of Harrys possession of a piece of Lord Voldemorts. I wholeheartedly supported the evidence given in dissention to the verdict, believing that data to bear far more weight in the argument than anything Emerson (no offense, mate) could come up with to argue his opinion.
Even upon closing that brown-jacketed tome, I was already formulating my case that J. K. Rowling had made a mistake. Harry shouldnt be a Horcrux! But two seconds later, I changed my tune. Lack of sleep and quite a lot of crying over the deaths in the book had made me take leave of my senses. Its her book, I told myself, and shes the only one who knows what she wants Harry to be. I should just admit that I was wrong.
But alas, I couldnt manage that amount of humility. I was so sure that the only soul in Harrys body was his own! So I reviewed my theory, re-read some of the book, and slowly I began to realize that I wasnt quite as wrong as I had initially thought. Believe it or not, almost all of my original reasoning still held up! (By the way, much of the reasoning came from and was supported by MuggleNets book and by discussions on the subject on MuggleCast.) I had two main points:
1. You cant do magic by accident.
Only immature wizards and witches cause bursts of uncontrolled magic, like when Harry vanishes the glass of the boa constrictors tank at the zoo (Sorcerers Stone, pg. 28, American edition). The spell to create a Horcrux is presumably a very precise spell, and there is overwhelming evidence throughout the series that a wizard or a witch cannot accidentally perform precise spells. Following this logic, if Harry was a Horcrux, Voldemort would have made him one on purpose, which makes no sense because Voldemort has tried time and time again to destroy Harry. If he knew Harry was one of his Horcruxes, he would have been very careful to keep Harry alive, for why would the Dark Lord want to destroy part of his own soul? No, Voldemort couldnt have made Harry into a Horcrux on purpose, and it is inconceivable that he performed such a complex spell by accident. The spell for the encasement of a piece of shattered soul isnt a pistol that accidentally goes off when dropped.
Thats what I said before, and I say it still.
Harry is an accidental Horcrux, but not a true one. That is, Voldemort did not accidentally encase his bit of soul via a specific spell and transfer it to Harrys infant body. Instead, as Dumbledore explains to Harry,
He [Voldemort] had rendered his soul so unstable that it broke apart when he committed those acts of unspeakable evil, the murder of your parents, the attempted killing of a child. But what escaped from that room was even less than he knew. He left more than his body behind. He left part of himself latched to you, the would-be victim who had survived.
Deathly Hallows, pg. 709
The accident was not the spell, which was never performed. The accidental part of Harrys Horcrux-dom was the attachment of the piece of soul to his body. That piece was never encased, which means Harry is not a true Horcrux. Which brings me to my next point
2. Voldemort has no connection to his other Horcruxes.
The pieces of soul that Voldemort sliced apart and separated into Horcruxes are no longer part of him. Due no doubt to the nature of the encasing spell, Voldemort cannot tell what is happening to the diary, the ring, the locket, the cup, and the diadem (the snake, Nagini, is kept with him at all times, so of course he knows whats up with her). He couldnt tell that his diary possessed Ginny Weasley, nor did he realize until much later that the ring, the locket, and the cup were moved from their secret hiding places. According to Dumbledore, whose guesses are usually accurate, Voldemort cant even tell when these bits of soul are destroyed (Half-Blood Prince, pg. 507-508). But Harry and Voldemort are irrefutably linked; Harry can often feel Voldemorts emotions and can sometimes see what Voldemort sees, and Voldemort can plant false images in Harrys mind. This link cannot be explained by saying that Harry and Voldemort share a soul, since none of Voldemorts other Horcruxes share this unique link.
So I believed, and I still stand by it.
Going along with the conclusion that Voldemort did not make Harry into a true Horcrux, the link between them makes sense. The encasing spell was not cast, and so the splintered bit of soul that latched on to Harry was never completely separated from Voldemort. That explains Harrys natural ability to speak Parseltongue and his capacity to effectively read Voldemorts mind. Harry has part of Voldemorts soul, but not in the same way that the locket had part of Voldemorts soul. The two wizards are (well, were) linked, and that proves that Harry is a different kind of Horcrux. Because Harry definitely doesnt act like a typical Horcrux, can we really call him a Horcrux after all?
You may accuse me of arguing semantics (just please dont call me delusional). Dont get me wrong. Im thrilled that Harry possessed part of Voldemorts soul -- otherwise, can it be debated that Harry or his friends would have been killed on numerous occasions if Harry hadnt known Parseltongue, hadnt seen through the eyes of Nagini, or hadnt gleaned vital information from Voldemorts own mind? Regardless, the two aforementioned pieces of reasoning still hold up. So I can sleep easily, knowing that I wasnt an absolute idiot to think that Harry was no Horcrux. This even proves (as if we needed more proof) that J. K. Rowling is an absolute and utter literary genius: somehow, she has written a book that brings up heated arguments and then dubs both sides essentially right.
Of course, this lovely situation didnt occur in every collision of opinion. Those people who still pulled for a Draco-Ginny pairing (which, Ill admit, I entertained for a short time) were irrefutably wrong. Oh well. You cant win every battle.
Posted by: Amy