Dumbledore got a curse upon him when he wore the cursed Horcruxed ring. He was eventually going to die because of the curse.

“If you had only summoned me a little earlier, I might have been able to do more, buy you more time!” said Snape furiously.

But at the same time, Arthur Weasley was successfully cured from the bite of Nagini. Why should this happen? The ring as well as Nagini was a Horcrux, a thing that carries a curse of extraordinary power. Then why should one die when attacked by a Horcrux and the other should live?

1 Answer 1


Dumbledore wasn't killed by the ring being a Horcrux; he was killed by the curse on it.

The curse was in addition to, and separate from, the Horcrux nature of the ring. It was placed upon the ring by Voldemort as one of his precautions to protect his Horcruxes.

"The ring, Harry. Marvolo's ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too."

-- Dumbledore, HP and the Half-Blood Prince


"Why," said Snape, without preamble, "why did you put on that ring? It carries a curse, surely you realised that. Why even touch it? [...] That ring carried a curse of extraordinary power, to contain it is all we can hope for; I have trapped the curse in one hand for the time being —"

-- Snape, HP and the Deathly Hallows

Whereas Arthur Weasley was bitten by a dirty great snake. His injuries were nasty and probably life-threatening, but they were purely physical: there was no magical curse acting on him. Just being a Horcrux doesn't make an object more or less lethal (just perhaps more evil).

Clearly Voldemort didn't put a similar curse on all his Horcruxes, since Harry, Ron, and Hermione carried the locket around for weeks without suffering any lasting ill-effects. (It did have a psychological effect on them due to the evil magic surrounding it, but that's a lot less serious than the curse that killed one of the greatest wizards of the age.) Presumably he thought they were already sufficiently protected: the diadem in the room he thought nobody else knew about, the locket hidden in the cave with multiple protections, etc.

  • 2
    @prakharlondhe I just edited with some more quotes. The curse was placed by Voldemort, and in addition to the ring's Horcrux nature. Note that the locket had no such curse, as Harry and co. were carrying it around with them for months.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 3:14
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    @prakharlondhe Voldemort makes mistakes. That's why he lost :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 3:24
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    ... Because Nagini already has extremely powerful venom. He can hardly put a curse on her. Leaving aside whether it's possible to put a curse on a living thing, how is he supposed to touch her? How is he supposed to keep her with him? That's regarding Nagini specifically, of course. With the others: He buried the ring and hit it away. That was a defence. The Cup, for example, he put in someone else's vault, where it might be handled by his second lieutenant. The locket could have been cursed, but it had the potion. And he believed he was the only one to know about the room of requirement
    – Au101
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 3:45
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    And remember: nobody was injured by handling Tom's diary, and the 7th Horcrux wasn't harmful either. Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 8:40
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    @PeregrineRook Harry was never a Horcrux!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:54

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