The Burrow: Harry Potter and the Seventh Piece of the Puzzle

by Jen

Firstly, have my assurance that I’m not a completely-obsessed-minute-detail-of-every-line-and-sentence kind of fan. It’s too much hard work for me to be like that. I just thought a good summary of what we know was needed, rather than what we think we know, because we fans think we know a lot. For example: we think we know that there are seven Horcruxes. We think we know that R.A.B. is Regulus Black. We think we know that Dumbledore was right, and Nagini and one other item were made into Horcruxes. But do we actually know these assumptions?

What we actually know is Voldemort considered the idea of Horcruxes because of his fear of death. He thought that, by splitting his soul, no one would be able to kill him, effectively making him immortal. And Voldemort considered seven to be the most powerful magical number, so Dumbledore thinks there will be seven Horcruxes in total. Seven horcruxes aren’t completely guaranteed, however. Did he manage to get all six murders and Horcruxes made before and after his “death”? This is a very important question; if he didn’t manage to do so before his “death”, then it will be easier to narrow down any horcruxes Voldemort made after his “death,” if he made any at all.

What we know is that Voldemort created one Horcrux and put it in his Diary. We know he put one in the ring. And we know he put one in the locket. And we know they can be destroyed, but apparently each one is destroyed differently (I doubt very much that Dumbledore destroyed the ring with an inky basilisk tooth). And Voldemort has guarded them all very well. Even Dumbledore met his end because of searching for the Horcruxes: And Dumbledore was the most powerful wizard in the world.

Anything else anyone says that we “know” is, I’m afraid to say, complete rubbish.

Now then, on to the real point of this editorial. I’ve told you what we know and what we think we know, but now I want to provide evidence for what I think I know. Don’t go running off laughing when you see some of my theories. They’re not really that far fetched… well most of them aren’t. And I’ll be putting any facts into the “know” section and any theories into either the “we think we know” or the “I think I know,” so it will be all be clear which ones you can ignore. Right, on to the number seven.

Part One: The Number Seven

“Can you only split your soul once? Wouldn’t it be better, make you stronger, to have your soul in more pieces? I mean, for instance, isn’t seven the most powerfully magical number, wouldn’t seven-?”
Tom Riddle, HBP page 466.

When I read these words, and the words that followed afterwards, I was filled with a kind of fear. My initial thoughts were that there had to be a mistake. Seven? Why seven? And how can Harry possibly destroy SEVEN by the end of it all?

I scanned my memory for any other really important mentions of the number seven, and the first thing that came to mind was actually not a line of Dumbledore’s, not a quote at all… it was the number of books in the Harry Potter series: seven.

This idea brought up new and exciting possibilities. The first of my ideas is that there’s got to be a Horcrux in each book. And if that’s so, that means Harry’s only got one left! And this theory isn’t too far off.

First Book = Voldemort himself

Second Book = The diary

Third Book = The cup

Fourth Book = Nagini

Fifth Book = The locket (if we’re going with the theory that the locket was the one found in Grimmauld Place)

Number Six = The ring

Number Seven = The Seventh Piece of the Puzzle

There are two gaps here. Someone cleverer than me can probably fill them in accordingly. I think the position of each Horcrux is pretty obvious really.

That was the original idea I had: seven books, seven Horcruxes. It all seemed to fit. But isn’t this concept just a little… over the top? And there’s a huge gap in number three where I couldn’t think of any Horcrux found, so I put the cup there with no real reason why (this is also the only book when Voldemort doesn’t appear in any shape or form). Although this theory was certainly interesting, and it could have been the reason for the number seven, it wasn’t what I went with. I’d love for someone else (I can’t believe I’m the only one to think of this theory, that would be ridiculous) to go through and find out what the Horcrux is. It would be a fantastic way (if it was true) of predicting every Horcrux but one – the last one.

But that idea was only that, an idea. Nothing more.

I did some very basic research on the number seven to find out what makes it so powerful and why that might mean JK chose to have seven Horcruxes. Some of these things range from the plainly obvious to the not so obvious. So, first thing’s first: to the Bible.

“By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation and stopped working. And that is how the Universe was created.”
Genesis 2:1 – 2:4.

It was the most obvious thing I could think of, and even though I’m not a Christian myself, that was what came to mind first. From this point of view, seven is certainly a very important number. Whether this would matter to Voldemort or not (he doesn’t strike me as being very religious) I don’t know, but it’s certainly one of the main reasons seven is considered lucky in our culture, or, as Voldemort said, “magically powerful.”

There are seven days in the week (because of the lunar month of 28, which, when divided by four, makes seven, and also because of the Story of Creation in Genesis). Earth is the seventh planet in the solar system if you go inwards towards the Sun. Seven is the sum of four + three, both of which are also considered highly important numbers. There are seven colors in the rainbow as well (far-fetched I know, but still, it’s a seven).

I’m not here to write an analysis on the number seven because I’m not nearly clever enough and I don’t really think it’s that important at this point. Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s already been done somewhere. And besides, all that is comparatively useless evidence compared to the one, big, major piece I’ve got for there being seven Horcruxes.

I chose to believe there were really seven Horcruxes, not because of the perfect symmetry with the books, or because of seven’s symbolic meaning, but because Voldemort says so. It’s the most obvious piece of evidence you can have. Whatever Voldemort considers to be important simply has to be important. If Voldemort thinks the number seven is the most powerful magically, let’s face it, it probably is. And that is why I think I know that there are seven Horcruxes.

Part Two: The Diary, the Ring and the Locket

So, if there are indeed seven Horcruxes, what are they? Well, there are four we know for sure, including the diary, the ring and the locket (assuming, that is, that the locket wasn’t just a trap set by Voldemort to catch us all off guard). The fourth known piece of soul is of course within Voldemort himself.

Right, onto each Horcrux separately. First: the diary. Now, for this one we have perhaps the most information. Voldemort murdered someone (I’m going to assume that it wasn’t Moaning Myrtle, as many people have suggested. I was under the impression that for a Horcrux to be made, Voldemort himself would have to commit murder, and technically here the Basilisk killed Myrtle, not Voldemort). We don’t have much information to go on as to who it is he killed here, but we can narrow it down slightly. Firstly, when he asked about Horcruxes, Professor Slughorn said the following:

“Look sharp Tom, you don’t want to be caught out of bed after hours, and you a prefect…”
HBP, page 463

And then the evidence from CoS:

“Tom Riddle had been at Hogwarts fifty years ago, yet here he stood … not a day older than sixteen.”
CoS, page 227

At sixteen, Riddle was a prefect. We can assume he was either in his fifth or sixth year at Hogwarts. But who did he kill to make the Horcrux diary? Not Myrtle, as I’ve already proved that wrong (or at least, I think I know it’s wrong). And not any of the Riddles, because Tom Riddle was already wearing the ring before he asked about Horcruxes. So whom? Surely the only conclusion to be gained from this is that Voldemort was killing more people than we’ve heard about, even at sixteen.

But whomever he killed, the diary was a Horcrux:

“Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her…”
CoS, page 229

It almost makes me want to hit myself repeatedly on the head, it was there, staring us all in the face, “…my soul back into her…”!

Moving on, because if I look at that line any more I think I’ll cry… Harry of course destroys the diary (it’s relatively easy to destroy) with the basilisk tooth. I wonder if he could have just stamped on it, would that have hurt Riddle, or was it only the basilisk poison that finished him off? (Then again, Ginny tried flushing him down a toilet. I wonder if he felt that…)

What we know, however, is that this particular Horcrux was destroyed, and very effectively so.

“Riddle was writhing and twisting, screaming and flailing and then… He had gone.”
CoS page 237

The connection between HBP and CoS is now surprisingly easy to see. And perhaps the thing that Harry discovered in CoS that related to HBP was simply that Riddle could put his essence, or as we now know, part of his soul, into an object.

Moving on then, to the ring.

I would have liked to hear more about this curse that was on the ring, because it’s the first real sign we get of the power Voldemort has to hurt Dumbledore. They had dueled before, but neither of them seemed to sustain any serious damage. And yet this single curse is nearly enough to kill Dumbledore, as he admits:

“Had it not been – forgive me the lack of seemly modesty – for my own prodigious skill, and for Professor Snape’s timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale.”
Dumbledore, HBP, pages 470-1

A number of things jump out at me from this passage, not least of which that Professor Snape (who I am convinced is evil) saved Dumbledore’s life, but that Dumbledore was, let’s face it, nearly killed. And with just one curse! Just one Horcrux! Harry isn’t nearly as powerful as Dumbledore (yet), and he doesn’t have multiple lives if he messes up. I can’t see how he’s going to destroy all of these Horcruxes without it resulting in his own death.

Someone else should probably go deeper into Snape’s part in this story. Does Snape saving Dumbledore mean he knew about the Horcruxes? If so, then surely he will have told Voldemort that Dumbledore was trying to destroy the Horcruxes. Surely he’ll assume (because he knew about the private lessons with Dumbledore as one of Harry’s detentions was cancelled because of them) that Harry also knows about the Horcruxes? Surely Voldemort will know Harry will be trying to destroy them? Surely this knowledge means Voldemort could put even more protection around them?

These questions are too many and too complicated for me to answer in this editorial (which is already turning out to be amazingly long and revealing far too many points for me to examine).

I’m pretty positive that when Dumbledore says the Horcrux was destroyed, he meant it, therefore, we know it was destroyed. What we don’t know, however, is if he destroyed it before HBP or during it – the curse could have been lying in wait at the Gaunt’s house and not in the actual ring, so that when Dumbledore tried to pick the ring up he was cursed. We also seem to know that the object can somewhat survive the destruction or removal of the soul, as remnants of the diary remain and Dumbledore retained the ring.

Onto the locket then. And here we reach the ends of fact and move firmly into “we think we know” territory. We think we know that the locket was a Horcrux; in actual fact, no canon proof exists, just Dumbledore’s assumptions (which, I have to admit, are probably right). We know R.A.B. took the locket but we don’t know if he (or she) managed to destroy it. Most of us think we know that R.A.B. is Regulus Black. This isn’t a fact – it’s just what we think.

What do we know about the locket?

“’See this?’ he (Marvolo) bellowed at Ogden, shaking a heavy gold locket at him, while Merope spluttered and gasped for breath.”
HBP, page 196″She slid back the fine, filigree clasp and flipped open the box. There upon the smooth crimson velvet lay a heavy golden locket.
Voldemort reached out his hand without invitation this time and held it to the light, staring at it.
‘Slytherin’s mark,’ he said quietly, as the light played upon an ornate, serpentine S.”
HBP page 409

We know that it was one of Slytherin’s possessions, and that it’s got its own magical qualities. Voldemort murdered Hepzibah Smith just to get his hands on the lock (although that doesn’t really surprise me seeing as he can kill his own grandparents). He took the locket and Hufflepuff’s cup and disappeared for a decade, presumably making the two items Horcruxes in this space of time.

And then we get into the really shady area. Voldemort hid this Horcrux in the cave (more on that cave later), and somehow, someone named R.A.B. stole it, replaced it with a fake locket, and vanished. Presumably Voldemort never knew that this had happened.

“To the Dark Lord,I know I will be dead long before you read this, but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more.

HBP, page 569

This topic has been pretty much exhausted already, but I know that when I read the initials R.A.B., the first person I thought of was indeed Regulus Black, and that’s what most of us thought. And until a better candidate comes up, that’s who we think we know it is.

I love the idea of Kreacher helping Regulus to get the Horcrux (a very brilliant theory by LadyTory). And the theory that the trio have already found the locket at Grimmauld Place was very good as well. I can see that happening, but remember, it’s not fact, it’s only what we think we know.

Did R.A.B. manage to destroy the Horcrux? How? If Harry can destroy one at just twelve years old, then surely an adult wizard could; but then again, Dumbledore barely survived getting the ring. Is this third Horcrux gone then? Many people assume it’s not, and I’d have to agree with them. If R.A.B. is Regulus Black, then perhaps Voldemort had him killed before he could destroy it, and it lay there in the house… but this isn’t canon. Regulus could have destroyed it, in which case there are only four Horcruxes left to find, which brings us to…

Part Three: The Cup and Nagini

She opened the lid. Harry edged forwards a little to get a better view and saw what looked like a small golden cup with two finely wrought handles.”A badger,” murmured Voldemort, examining the engraving upon the cup. “Then this was…?” “Helga Hufflepuff’s -”

Voldemort and Hepzibah Smith, HBP page 408

This cup, like the locket, was stolen from Hepzibah Smith and (we presume) turned into a Horcrux. Voldemort seems to have a habit of turning valuable things into even more valuable things. And we must assume he’s hidden it with numerous protective spells. The cup is the one item I feel we can confidently say has been made into a Horcrux. It may not be quite as important to Voldemort as the locket was/is, but it’s still one of the founders’ items, and it’s incredibly valuable. As to where it is… I’ll come to that later.

The Sixth piece of Voldemort’s soul is (according to Dumbledore) inside Nagini. Nagini being a Horcrux depends on whether or not Voldemort finished making his Horcruxes before his “death.” If he didn’t, then I believe Nagini is indeed the sixth Horcrux. If he did, however, create all the Horcruxes before his “death,” then I’m afraid to say I think it unlikely that Nagini is one of the Horcruxes. She’s surely only mortal, and, after all, why put part of your soul into something that could die? I personally believe that Nagini is indeed a Horcrux (let’s take Dumbledore on his word; he was only wrong about a few things in his entire lifetime, why should Nagini be one of those things?).

Part Four: The Seventh Piece of the Puzzle

At last we reach the real point of this editorial, to tell you what I think the seventh piece of the puzzle is. What is the seventh mysterious Horcrux?

Well, we all know what Dumbledore thinks it is. He believes that Voldemort would have been drawn to the idea of using an item from each of the four founders as a Horcrux. He had Slytherin’s: the locket. He had Hufflepuff’s: the cup. So that left Gryffindor’s and Ravenclaw’s objects.

Dumbledore believed that Gryffindor’s sword was the only known relic and was therefore safe. Ravenclaw’s however, he did not know about. But are these the only possibilities? I don’t think so. As Dumbledore explains:

“He (Voldemort) seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths. You (Harry) would certainly have been that. He believed that by killing you, he was destroying the danger the prophecy had outlined. He believed he was making himself invincible. I am sure he was intending to make the final Horcrux with your death.”
Dumbledore, HBP page 473

If Voldemort was indeed planning this, then that implies (to me at least) that he would have had the item he was planning to make into a Horcrux with him at the time. But there can be no doubting that this failed. The Horcrux was not created, the item (whether it was Ravenclaw’s, Gryffindor’s or something else) was either destroyed with the house or left at the scene and forgotten.

What was this item? I believe this was Ravenclaw’s object, and I also believe it was lost and is now useless to Voldemort. But that doesn’t explain where the seventh Horcrux is. I read a long time ago the Changeling Hypothesis, both on Red Hen and The North Tower (#s 23 & 24).

The second I read the word “soul” in the description of a Horcrux I was instantly reminded of the theory. And I do not believe the theory is impossible, even now.

Could the seventh Horcrux be Harry himself?

This is of course just a theory, but the evidence for the Changeling Hypothesis can surely apply here as well. I’m not going to go into details here, as the theory has already been brilliantly explained both at Red Hen and at the North Tower. But that’s what I think anyway.

Not quite sure? How about these other ideas then. The Sorting Hat, as one of Gryffindor’s objects, could surely be valuable to Voldemort. I’m not sure if he’d ever have gotten time to convert it into a Horcrux, though.

Or how about this idea then: Hogwarts itself is a Horcrux? I know it sounds a bit dodgy (not much evidence for this one I know), but Voldemort is making items he feels a connection to into his Horcruxes. And didn’t Dumbledore and Voldemort say that Hogwarts was where Tom Riddle had always felt most at home? Didn’t Voldemort try to get a job there? Dumbledore assumed he was looking for one of the founders’ objects, but what if he was actually waiting so he could murder someone and convert the castle into a Horcrux?

I did say my theories would be wild and a bit strange.

Part Five: Hidden Treasures and Puzzles

Right then, on to the next part of the puzzle, how to destroy these seven Horcruxes (in whatever form they may be). This part is almost completely “I think I know.”

Firstly, I think Harry will try to find out who R.A.B. is. Yes, we all think it’s Regulus Black, but Harry doesn’t. Give him time to prove us right (or, as the case may be, wrong). If R.A.B. is Black, Harry will undoubtedly return to Grimmauld Place. I don’t foresee many problems here when it comes to destroying this Horcrux, if it is indeed in Grimmauld Place. UNLESS, of course, Dumbledore’s fidelius charm has ended with his life, in which case I see problems ahead in the shape of Severus Snape telling the death eaters about the house.

After Harry destroys the locket, he’ll have a lot to think about. He’ll have destroyed three out of seven Horcruxes. He should now begin looking for Helga Hufflepuff’s cup. And the cup, I believe, will be either at Borgin and Burkes (a place Voldemort might have felt a connection to) or at the orphanage (another place with which he had a connection).

It will be extremely well guarded. Harry will need all his skill (and probably quite a bit of Ron and Hermione’s as well) to get to it. I’m sorry to say that I can’t see all of the trio making it through safely. There will be curses, and it’s far too easy to imagine Ron or Hermione going in first…

The same can, of course, be said for the seventh Horcrux, the unknown one. If it’s something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s, then it will be hidden just like the cup, and it’ll be just as hard to reach.

Five down, two to go (or four down, three to go if you’re going with the whole “Harry is the seventh Horcrux” theory). Harry will now head off to his final battle with Voldemort, at Voldemort’s lair.

I’ve wondered for a long time where this lair might be. I think it’s fair to say that the Riddle House stands as good a chance as any to remain his hideout. It’s near the graveyard, which I think Voldemort will be feeling a certain pull to (I have no real evidence, just a feeling). There’s no one really living at the house, and to be honest I don’t think the Ministry of Magic ever made the connection. Voldemort would probably feel strangely happy knowing his father was being useful in leaving him a home.

Harry, Ron and Hermione (and anyone else, if they’re alive) will go to the house, meet the death eaters, and the final battle will begin. Of course, Harry (or someone) will have to kill Nagini, and that leaves us with just one (or two) Horcrux(es) left.

Part Six: Voldemort

It has to come down to a one on one battle between Harry and Voldemort. It just has to. I’ve never seen the series ending any other way (unless the prophecy has other meanings, of course). And here’s where it gets tricky. If Harry isn’t the seventh Horcrux, then it’s a relatively easy road ahead (of course there’s the killing Voldemort part).

If, however, Harry is the seventh Horcrux this raises problems. I don’t think Voldemort can know Harry has a part of his soul because he wouldn’t keep trying to kill him. I’m not sure if Harry would know by this point. I predict Voldemort will kill Harry and then someone else will kill Voldemort (once he’s mortal again). I’d love for this other person to be Neville, or maybe Snape (though that’d be going a long way down the road of redemption). And I’d love the Horcrux in Harry to die but Harry to live and then kill Voldemort. Anything is possible in JKR’s world after all.

Part Seven: Conclusion

What have I proved? Hopefully I’ve shown you at least one thing: that we know less than we think we do. After all, over half of this editorial was stuff I repeated, and most of that wasn’t fact at all! Never take characters’ words in Harry Potter as the truth, because every person makes mistakes and JKR wouldn’t be a good author if she didn’t show this in her books. Also, be careful of what Harry believes to be true and what is true. And, hopefully, I’ll have helped to convince you that maybe Harry could be holding the seventh Horcrux. But whatever you take away from this editorial, I hope that you can see one very important thing: this is no easy journey for our hero. I can’t honestly see how the trio are going to make it through all of Voldemort’s barriers without losing someone. And I can’t see how Harry will kill Voldemort in the end, or how he could win without killing Voldemort. Will Harry make it? Is he capable of murder? Only JKR knows.