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From memory, Voldemort's pet snake doesn't make an appearance in the Harry Potter series until book 4, Goblet of Fire. When Nagini attacks Mr. Weasley, nobody really makes the connection between a giant snake and Voldemort. This implies that Voldemort didn't have Nagini when he was powerful the first time. I've also been told that there were only ever 6 Horcruxes at one time, implying Nagini wasn't made a Horcrux till after the Diary was destroyed in Chamber of Secrets. Did Voldemort get Nagini in Albania while in hiding? If so, from where? Giant snakes aren't exactly native to the country. Where did Nagini come from?

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No, she isn't. That is a misquote of a statement Rowling said in jest regarding the Ring Horcrux being the One Ring. –  Gabe Willard Apr 9 '12 at 21:12
    
The best I have is from here –  Pureferret Apr 13 '12 at 21:17
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Indeed, Nagini didn’t become a horcrux until ~1994, around the time of Goblet of Fire. JKR said in an interview that Nagini became a horcrux with the murder of Bertha Jorkins, which takes place in GoF. (accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html, about halfway down) –  alexwlchan Oct 11 '13 at 13:27
    
What do you mean no-one made the connection that V was involved in Mr. Weasley's attack? –  BorhanMooz Feb 23 at 21:09
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3 Answers

Before Voldemort's second exile he had no need of a snake to do his bidding. He was powerful enough and had enough Death Eaters.

Subsequent to becoming no more than a wraith at the end of the first Wizarding War he no longer had the strength for most magic, and fled to Albania1. Whilst in Albania he possessed snakes to keep himself mobile2. This is the first time we hear about him interacting with wildlife in his 'altered state'.

It was here he met Quirrel and they made a merry jaunt back to Britain. However his plans failed in the first book, and he then returned to Albania2 where he stayed after 1992 until around about 1994 (second exile).

My conjecture relies on this fact, that he met Nagini in Albania either in the the first or second exile but was unable to either horcrux her in the first exile, take her with him or simply hadn't met her. There's no hard evidence but from what I remember, both times he goes directly to Albania implying there is nowhere else he could have found the snake.

1.Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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And what kind of venomous snake that is large enough to constrict lives in Albania? That's the main problem I have with him finding the snake in Albania. Also, do you have exact book/JKR quotes for those citations? –  Gabe Willard Apr 14 '12 at 15:29
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@GabeWillard I should say I'm speculating V enlarged Nagini once he had become enamoured with her. Once at a suitable size and level of intelligence she'd be able to constrict and choose to do so. Unfortunately I don't own the books (besides DH) if I get my hands on a copy I'll be sure to add quotes. –  Pureferret Apr 14 '12 at 16:04
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My problem with him finding her in Albania is connected with Slytherincess' question. No snakes like Nagini live in Albania. If it's in canon that yes, Nagini is unique or some type of mutation or maybe even was in a zoo in Albania, then fine. But that's more of an assumption than what I'm willing to make. :) –  Gabe Willard Apr 14 '12 at 16:27
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@Gabe: there's magical snakes hidden from Muggles, just like how other magical beasts are hidden. –  b_jonas Nov 17 '12 at 18:41
    
@b_jonas Can you prove Nagini is a magical snake, and not just a normal one containing part of Voldemort's soul? No creatures matching her description are listed in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you can, make an answer. I'm fairly confident she's a Muggle snake, however. Such an absence from FBWFT would be unexpected. –  Gabe Willard Nov 18 '12 at 5:59
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My Theory:

It is even possible for Nagini to have originated back in the orphanage. He mentions being able to talk to snakes when Dumbledore tells Tom Riddle he is a wizard. Since Voldemort has a strong feeling of connection to his heritage, it would seem likely to me that Nagini was once a snake he used to talk to. The average lifespan of a snake is 10 years, and Tom Riddle constantly spent summers at his old orphanage. Having learned enough magic and passing the adult age for wizards during Winter Break (Dec 31), he could have easily magicked the snake into the massive snake we see today. It fits his psychological profile, and really only explains the deep "love" he had for Nagini. The only childhood friend of Tom Riddle.

But more conjecture I have is that Nagini existed prior to the first fall of Voledmort. Albus Dumbledore cites in one of the later books that Volemort spent his 'second life' searching for the weapon to destroy Dumbledore and to scheme. This last bit of information is mostly formed on the basis of Voldemort spending the first 4 books constantly trying to get back to life, then the 5th infiltrating the Ministry, the 6th taking down Dumbledore and securing his rule, and 7th looking for the ultimate weapon. Voldemort isn't very fluid in his plans, as it seems to be the exact same plan he had before. Nagini would have been the perfect assassin, like when she wore the bones of Bathilda Bagshot.

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AbeLinkon, I thought underage wizards had a trace; underage magic can be detected. this means he couldn't have made nagini a horcrux at his orphanage where he would be the, perhaps, only wizard-until he waz 17.... –  roonham Nov 4 '13 at 16:34
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Nagini appears in the first book, the snake he sets free at the zoo was Nagini. J.K Rowling said so herself. I imagine that the snake retreated to You-Know-Who until he was at full power, and then He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named made her a Horcrux. Just my theory though.

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Can you site where JK Rowling has confirmed that the snake Harry freed from the Zoo in the first book is actually Nagini? –  Monty129 Oct 13 '13 at 2:37
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It's a fake quote, long since debunked. See scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14538/… –  DVK Jan 11 at 14:36
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protected by Kevin Oct 26 '13 at 4:22

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