Voldemort’s Make-Over II: How Lily Did It and How Harry Will
If you’re not familiar with my last editorial Voldemort’s Make-Over, the long and the short of it is: Voldemort is a vampire, a dragon, a unicorn, an Erkling, a basilisk, and Jo knows what else all morphed into one. If that sounds insane I suggest going back to the original for all the evidence and page numbers. If not, read on.
First, how did Lily beat him? More importantly, how will Harry? We know that Lily’s wand was good for charms (SS/PS) and that this is important (JKR). One obscure little charm quickly mentioned in CoS with all the fanfare of Sirius Black in SS – the Homorphus Charm. Lockhart claims to have used it against the Wagga Wagga werewolf. I’m inclined to think it’s a real spell rather than one he’s made up because it’s based in Latin rather than a bad Dr. Suess imitation a la Peskipiksi Pesternome. We all know it wasn’t Lockhart himself using it against the werewolf, but some poor Obliviated witch or wizard – but that’s beside the point. The point is that the name and situation implies that this charm could turn someone back into a man. It’s probably a highly complex and difficult charm or a) werewolves would not be considered so dangerous, b) Black would have used it on Lupin at the climax of PoA, and c) it wouldn’t be so high on Lockhart’s name-dropping list.
I believe the Homorphus Charm to be the center of a multi-pronged attack on Lily’s part. After all, Voldemort stated in GoF, “it appeared that one or more of my experiments had worked…for I had not been killed…” Voldy tried more than one thing to save his own life. Surely Lily would have thrown in everything but the kitchen sink to protect her only son.
“If, Then Spells”
We know from a number of spells that they can involve “if, then” statements. Beyond Hermione’s DA contract and the magical Triwizard Champion contract Harry couldn’t get out of, there’s Madam Pince’s Library Book Spells – where Dumbledore doodles absentmindedly; the book hits him on the head – and also the anti-Cheating Spells on the testing quills. These “if…, then…” spells can be attached to objects like books, quills, or, say, babes. I believe Lily attached the Homorphus Charm, a Severing Charm, and a good Reducto to Harry with this “if, then” statement: “If someone Kadavras Harry, then these charms will hit them.” Once Voldemort Kadavraed, the charms came out of Harry one at a time with the rebounded Kadavra sandwiched in the middle. First, the Homorphus Charm turned him back into a man (or at least got him closer), second the Kadavra hit the newly restored Voldemort and killed him, and third the Severing Charm split his soul in two. (Obviously I’m a proponent of the Changeling Hypothesis.) The Reducto then demolished house.
“The Life Contract…
…is a popular theory – that a rushed and panicked Lily tricked Voldemort with a kind of “My life for Harry’s” offer that Voldemort agreed to and went back on without realizing it was a magically binding contract – but I disagree. A) Magically binding contracts are not old magic he would have forgotten about, and B) I think the exact wording would have come out more clearly in the PoA series of memories Harry has of the event. I have a slightly different take. Voldemort describes the spell he had Wormtail execute to bring him back as “old magic,” so I believe he took the idea from Lily and that what Lily did was similar, not in the panicked last moment but prior to the event to protect Harry in case they were found. Remember: they had full knowledge that Voldemort was after Harry. That’s why they went into hiding in the first place. Lily wouldn’t have waited and hoped for the best; she would have done everything possible. I envision a similar cauldron with Lily’s and possibly James’ and Harry’s blood going into it. Like the ugly baby Voldemort, Harry himself may have gone in the cauldron or perhaps he simply drank it. Either way it’s permanently and physically in his veins – in his blood. That’s why Voldemort went so far out of his way to use Harry’s blood and no one else’s, even though Dumbledore had him so closely watched and protected. Like the spell Voldemort used “Willingly, Forcefully, Unknowingly,” once Lily (and possibly James) willingly died, this powerful spell was initiated or ignited.
How Harry will do it…
…I can’t say for sure, but I think it will have something to do with this: “But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortality. I set my sights lower…I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength.” (656, GoF) NOTE: HE HAS HIS OLD BODY. Clearly not the Tom Riddle body, but this body apparently came before he had done something important – something critical among all those transformations. Perhaps the Phoenix Transformation is what’s missing? Or maybe it’s the post-Homorphus Charm version. The 3 human parts involved in the spell aren’t needed to make Voldemort human again. Human, or at least closer to it, is simply the way he was left after Lily’s spell was finished with him, and that’s the way he’ll be until he can find a way to undo it.