Simple question that I can't seem to find a definitive answer for online (and I can't remember from the books):

At what point did Voldemort realise that Harry was hunting Horcruxes?

3 Answers 3


After Harry & friends raided the Lestrange's Gringotts vault and took Hufflepuffs cup. When Voldemort found out, he killed all that delivered the message in Gringotts.

What did you say to me?" His voice was high and cold, but fury and fear burned inside him. The one thing that he had dreaded, but it could not be true, he could not see how...

The goblin was trembling, unable to meet the red eyes high above his.

"Say it again!" murmured Voldemort. "Say it again!"

"M-my Lord," stammered the goblin, its black eyes wide with terror, "m-my Lord... we t-tried to st-stop them... Im-impostors, my Lord... broke -broke into the Lestranges' vault..."

"Impostors? What impostors? I thought Gringotts had ways of revealing impostors? Who were they?"

"It was... it was... the P-Potter b-boy and the t-two accomplices..."

"And they took?" he said, his voice rising, a terrible fear gripping him, "Tell me! What did they take?"

"A... a s-small golden c-cup m-my Lord..."

The scream of rage, of denial left him as if it were a stranger's. He was crazed, frenzied, it could not be true, it was impossible, nobody had known. How was it possible that the boy could have discovered his secret?

Deathly Hallows Chapter 27

  • 9
    If I were in Voldemort's shoes, I would have made a new horcrux at this point. I know he saw seven as a more powerful magical number, but that particular was already compromised. It seems like adding a late addition to his little collection would have been a good insurance policy, and this scene would have been the time to do it. May 5, 2017 at 16:09
  • 22
    @JoelCoehoorn Perhaps he reached the physical limit that his body could handle.
    – yitzih
    May 5, 2017 at 16:18
  • @JoelCoehoorn He didn't know about the last horcrux, and therefore didn't know that the powerful magical number aspect was "compromised." May 5, 2017 at 18:28
  • 3
    @yitzih Or similarly, perhaps he couldn't create another in his reanimated/unnatural form. Perhaps the workings of the curse required a genuine "natural" body.
    – OhBeWise
    May 5, 2017 at 18:28
  • 2
    It is not the physical limit that he was pushing, it is a limit of the soul. When you kill somebody your soul tears a part, but the torn part remains with you in your body. Your soul isn't whole though until you reach remorse. But if you make a horcrux the part in question is no longer with you but in the horcrux, so you degrade morally. They are connected, yes, so the main portion of the soul cannot leave the Earth if there are horcruxes binding it down. Even Voldemort knows that soul can suffer finite number of mutilations before becoming unstable thus causing madness of its host.
    – Dalen
    May 6, 2017 at 23:17

He realized it on learning the cup was gone, on May 1st, 1998.

The Dark Lord realized it was possible that Harry had known about the Horcruxes when he learns that Helga Hufflepuff’s cup had been stolen out of the vault it was left in.

“Alone amongst the dead, he stormed up and down, and they passed before him in vision: his treasures, his safeguards, his anchors to immortality – the diary was destroyed and the cup was stolen; what if, what if, the boy knew about the others? Could he know, had he already acted, had he traced more of them? Was Dumbledore at the root of this? Dumbledore, who had always suspected him, Dumbledore, dead on his orders, Dumbledore, whose wand was his now, yet who reached out from the ignominy of death through the boy, the boy –
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)

This happened one day before the final battle, which J.K. Rowling has said took place on May 2nd.

Victoire, who’s in the epilogue, was so named because she was born on the anniversary of the battle that finished it all. Which is the second of May, if anyone’s been paying attention.
- J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life

The year would be 1998, as it’s mentioned in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ that Nearly Headless Nick had been a ghost for five hundred years, since it’s his five hundredth ‘deathday’.

“Well, this Hallowe’en will be my five hundredth deathday,’ said Nearly Headless Nick, drawing himself up and looking dignified.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)

It’s also mentioned that he died in 1492, which would mean the year it was then was 1992.

“Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
died 31st October, 1492”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)

That would make Harry’s second year of Hogwarts took place between 1992 and 1993, so the years that the final books would be set in would be 1997 to 1998, so the battle took place in 1998. Therefore, the Dark Lord began to suspect that Harry knew about the Horcruxes on May 1st, 1998.


When Harry, Hermione, and Ron traveled to Gringotts to steal the Horcrux from the Lestranges' vault. The group had no reason to be in the Lestranges' vault unless they knew about the Horcrux, so Voldemort easily figured out their intentions.

  • 1
    Can you please provide some backup for your answer, such as a quote? Please also note that we discourage answers that merely restate something already said in other answers.
    – Mithical
    May 16, 2017 at 12:28

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