On the back of this question, did Voldemort's cave turn anyone who entered the lake into an Inferius?

We know that Voldemort filled the lake with Inferi when he put the Horcrux there originally. He didn't intend that anyone should ever discover his secret so wasn't expecting anyone to enter the cave. Nevertheless, he placed defences there just in case. Regulus Black was dragged into the lake. Kreacher was momentarily dragged under before escaping back to Grimmauld Place.

Was the lake charmed so that anyone who entered it was put under the Inferius curse - so that it adds any intruder to its defences, zombie-style? Or did Regulus just become an ordinary corpse?

  • 8
    Have you forgotten which spells did you cast there? :D
    – Schullz
    May 23, 2016 at 12:43
  • 1
    I assume he filled the lake with existing inferi. Anyone they kill would (in the absence of a spell to turn them) just be a rotting corpse.
    – Valorum
    May 23, 2016 at 13:02
  • 1
    Amnesic syndrome?
    – KyloRen
    May 23, 2016 at 13:04

3 Answers 3


Harry certainly thought so

But though gashes appeared in their sodden rags and their icy skin, they had no blood to spill: They walked on, unfeeling, their shrunken hands outstretched toward him, and as he backed away still farther, he felt arms enclose him from behind, thin, fleshless arms cold as death, and his feet left the ground as they lifted him and began to carry him, slowly and surely, back to the water, and he knew there would be no release, that he would be drowned, and become one more dead guardian of a fragment of Voldemort’s shattered soul....

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We know that Voldemort must originally have placed a great number of Inferi in the lake, since Regulus Black and Kreacher were the only individuals who likely learned of its location. As indicated in the previous quote, Harry seems to believe that anyone who dies in the cave will also become an Inferi.

However, to my knowledge, there is no evidence of this other than Harry's personal speculation. We know that the vast majority of the corpses were homeless Muggles whose disappearance Voldemort presumably thought would go unnoticed, along with a few witches and wizards who had gotten on his bad side. According to this article, referencing a now-defunct Pottermore page:

“The Inferi whom Harry and Dumbledore encounter in the depth of the lake in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were, when alive, mostly vagrant, homeless Muggles whom Voldemort had murdered for the purpose during his first rise to power, although some were the earthly remains of wizards or witches who ‘disappeared’ without explanation.”

Harry presumably lacks the magical knowledge to know whether there is a spell on the lake that will resurrect those who die there as Inferi. Dumbledore undoubtedly would know, but he did not mention how the Inferi came to be there.

Harry's intepretation is certainly a plausible one, but it may not be true.

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    +1. Harry has been studying Inferi in a prior chapter but he's as thick as piggo when it comes to schoolwork, especially without Little Miss Plotpoint around to remind him of all the things he was supposed to learn.
    – Valorum
    May 23, 2016 at 17:59

It’s not likely - Inferi are made by performing spells on a corpse.

Professor Snape states that Inferi are corpses reanimated by a Dark wizard using spells, somewhat implying Inferi take conscious actions to create.

“The Inferius is a corpse that has been reanimated by a Dark wizard’s spells. It is not alive, it is merely used like a puppet to do the wizard’s bidding.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)

In the J.K. Rowling Pottermore writing on Inferi, it’s explained that Inferi are created by casting complex spells on a human body. This further suggests that each Inferius has to be intentionally created, rather than being able to be “turned” by other Inferi.

An Inferius (plural: Inferi) is a corpse that has been reanimated by a Dark wizard’s curse. It becomes a grisly puppet, and may be used as an expendable servant by the Dark wizard in question. The most obvious sign that one is facing an Inferius rather than a living human are the white and cloudy eyes.

The spells used to reanimate a human body are much more complex than those used, for instance, to make inanimate objects fly. The Inferius may be cursed to respond lethally if disturbed, to kill indiscriminately, and to undertake perilous jobs for its master.
Inferi (Pottermore)

While it’s never stated outright, it seems that creating Inferi requires too much conscious effort to enchant the corpse for the Inferi in the lake to be able to “turn” someone who they drag into the lake. It seems more likely that anyone pulled into the lake is simply drowned and killed.


Voldemort put them in the lake in The Cave and was charmed to make anyone entering the water an Inferius after they were drowned.

An Inferi-infested lake separated the entrance of the cave from the Horcrux. Any attempt to use a Summoning Charm to get the Horcrux would cause one or more Inferi to leap out of the water to block the spell's effect. If the water is disturbed, the Inferi would emerge and attempt to drag the intruder into the water to drown, where the intruder would become an Inferius upon death.

There is no other way to do this other then casting a spell on the Inferius in the lake to do this.

Edit: Left out important details. The Inferius were made to do excatly what the question is asking.

when Regulus Black attempted to destroy the said Horcrux, he succumbed to the Drink of Despair's effects and tried to take a drink of water from the lake, only to trigger the Inferi and was killed by them.

The key word here is "Trigger". That is what the curse of the Inferi did to them. Also, as stated earlier, once killed by the Inferi, you then become one. As is the case with Regulus Black.

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    The wiki does not supply a source for this information. What makes you think it's correct? May 23, 2016 at 13:37
  • @CodedMonkey. Read my updated answer. After being killed by an inferi, you then become one.
    – KyloRen
    May 23, 2016 at 13:49
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    I side with @CodedMonkey here. The Wikia is not canon and there is no source for that quote. Unless you're able to find a quote from JKR or from the books, I'm afraid your theory is not supported by canon.
    – A. Darwin
    May 23, 2016 at 15:47
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    What I mean is that is not confirmed by canon. Of course, unless we find a canon quote stating the contrary, it is not even contradicted by canon. But, IMHO, this just means that your theory is a speculation. An interesting one, by the way, but still a speculation.
    – A. Darwin
    May 23, 2016 at 15:58
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    As an aside, JKR wrote on Pottermore that there are several reasons why she didn't name the Inferi "zombies", such as the fact that zombies have been represented and reinterpreted on film so often in the last fifty years that they have a whole raft of associations that were of no use to me. Since one of the main features of zombies is to turn their victims into zombies, this might mean that JKR didn't want to give this "property" to Inferi. This is a personal interpretation of a JKR quote vs. an unconfirmed quote from the Wikia, so I don't think I should post it as an answer.
    – A. Darwin
    May 23, 2016 at 16:21

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