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- Chapter 23

"Seven! Isn't it bad enough to think of killing one person? And in any case ... bad enough to divide the soul ... but to rip it into seven pieces ..."
-- Horace Slughorn

HBP23: Horcruxes

Harry learns that Professor Dumbledore has returned, races off to his office. Together they watch Horace Slughorn’s memory, where Tom Riddle learns what Horcruxes are and contemplates making more than one. Dumbledore explains his suspicions that Riddle made six, including the now-destroyed ring and diary, the locket, the cup, and Nagini. Dumbledore promises Harry can join him in destroying the next one, and explains to Harry what love – and the prophecy – really mean.

Calendar and Dates

The chapter continues the same night the previous one left off, Monday, 21 April.

Interesting facts and notes

"Oh, groaning and clanking up on the Astronomy Tower, it's a favourite pastime of his -"

Interesting favourite pastime of the Bloody Baron's

"Come back! All right, I lied! I was annoyed you woke me up! The password's still 'tapeworm'!"

Apparently the Fat Lady can deny entry into the Common Room even if a person knows the password.

Slughorn looked deeply troubled now: he was gazing at Riddle as though he had never seen him plainly before and Harry could tell that he was regretting entering into the conversation at all.

One wonders if Slughorn treated Tom Riddle differently after this conversation or not.

Exceptional character moments

Harry finally understands that he does not have to fulfill the prophecy. It is his choice and because he loves his parents he wants to avenge them.

Memorable lines

It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew - and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world.

Words and phrases

HBP 23 — Horcruxes
Abbreviation HBP23: Horcruxes
Canonicity Primary Canon


The conversation that Dumbledore and Harry have about the prophecy echoes their conversation after Harry saves Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets. In both conversations, Dumbledore tells Harry that his choices matter. Harry chose to be in Gryffindor and he can choose whether or not to fight Voldemort.  Dumbledore finally impresses on Harry the importance of his ability to love and how it sets him apart. It is his love for his parents and his friends that keeps him fighting. - C.M.

Related images:

   The diadem of Ravenclaw. Helga Hufflepuff as Ace of Disks. 

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: choices dark defeat destroy diary fear locket love magical ability magical concealment murder pride professors prophecy protection regret ring shock soul

Editors: and

The Harry Potter Canon