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Say for instance, Voldemort is just chilling in Albania, possessing snakes and having fun when, out of the blue, some mad man destroys his Horcruxes?

Considering that he is already on 'earth' would the destruction of his Horcruxes push him to the other side? Or are Horcruxes only needed to tether you to 'earth' upon death? Just something that exists to stop you progressing but once stopped you won't be pushed on until you die again.

What would happen to him?

For the purposes of this question we shall assume that all fragments of Voldemorts soul currently encased or attached to anything are destroyed

  • +1 for conjuring an image of Voldemort 'chilling in Albania' – Often Right Dec 3 '15 at 3:58
  • It's a beautifully worded question – Au101 Dec 3 '15 at 3:59
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    I was tempted to rewrite the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song @N_Soong – CandiedMango Dec 3 '15 at 4:02
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    If you wish to downvote it would be appreciated if you commented and let me know in what way I could improve the question! Thanks :) – CandiedMango Dec 3 '15 at 4:11
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    I'd hazard a guess that if your soul was still floating around loose, so to speak, you'd die. If you were possessing a snake, say, you'd probably keep living until the snake died. Whether you could move from one to the other ... doubtful. Unless someone can find a Word of God reference I don't think the question can be answered from canon. – Harry Johnston Dec 4 '15 at 1:20
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I would say the answer hinges on Slughorn's explanation:

'Then, even if one's body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - pp.464-5 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

So you cannot die if you have this undamaged, earthbound anchor. But if that anchor's gone then there's nothing tying you to life anymore, if you don't have a body.

Obviously if you have a regenerated body, that keeps you, hence the regenerated Voldemort doesn't die when all of his Horcruxes are gone, he only dies when his body is destroyed in the final battle with Harry.

However, if he had not regenerated a body he would have had nothing tying him to existence. Part of the soul would not have remained earthbound and undamaged, and he would not have had a body, bye bye Voldemort. Bad time to be you.

I'll go a little further, and consider Dumbledore's views on the subject.

'The seventh part of his soul, however maimed, resides inside his regenerated body. That was the part of him that lived a spectral existence for so many years during his exile; without that, he has no self at all. That seventh piece of soul will be the last that anybody wishing to kill Voldemort must attack - the piece that lives in his body.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.470 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

And:

'So if all his Horcruxes are destroyed, Voldemort could be killed?'

'Yes, I think so,' said Dumbledore. 'Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul.'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.475 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

So from this I understand that, as I said above, the body will keep you once all the other Horcruxes are destroyed.

But also, I understand that killing a person with Horcruxes will destroy their body and they'll live a spectral existence because of their Horcruxes. Removing the Horcruxes will leave them with nothing.

If they regenerate a body before their Horcruxes are destroyed, you must remove the body and then that's it. The end. But if they don't have a body to remove when their Horcruxes are destroyed, then I don't see anything keeping them earthbound.

In other words, if they haven't got a body, they are surely in the same position Voldemort is in after his body is destroyed in the final battle with Harry. No body, no Horcruxes, no Voldemort.

Consider: "Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man" and mortal men need bodies.

My final word, will be JKR's:

Dumbledore had passed the job of destroying them to him, and obediently he had continued to chip away at the bonds tying not only Voldemort, but himself, to life!

...

One Horcrux remained to bind Voldemort to the earth, even after Harry had been killed.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.555 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 34, The Forest Again

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    Great Answer and great question...I think if we take for granted that this answer pretty much sums up all the information that can be gained in the books dealing with this topic, there might be another question: If you would die if you're just this "soul fragment" hovering around and your Horcruxes are destroyed, why would the order of destroying Voldemorts Hocruxes even play a major role? Wouldn't it be much easier to just kill Voldis Body and then hunt the Horcruxes down. Given that Voldemort would need some time to get another body....again. – Zanser1609 Dec 4 '15 at 15:22
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When you have horcruxes remaining, as Voldemort did that night when he tried to kill Harry, your soul cannot die. When Voldemort's curse rebounded on him, his body was killed. One part of his soul latched onto Harry's, and he already had a bunch of other Horcruxes. So when his happens, his soul (well, a part of it) was not destroyed, and went off to chill in Albania. He wasn't killed. He was technically still alive, he just had no body.

Then, if someone came along and destroyed all of his Horcruxes, he would not be destroyed because he was alive. But he would be almost dead and have no body.

The existence of the Horcruxes saved him from death. They were the only things keeping him alive. But once he had already not died, he was not dead, and so the horcruxes had no impact on his welfare.

In short, he would continue chilling in Albania as if nothing had happened. And then Pettigrew would still find him. He'd still come back. Harry and co. would search for all of the Horcruxes and never find them because of the dude ho destroyed them earlier, and Voldemort would win the war and rule the world.

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