-3

In the Harry Potter universe, Horcruxes are described as dark objects in both the movies and the books. Could these objects be classified as "good or neutral" magic if a “good” wizard had created them (without murdering)?

  • 4
    The horcruxes are dark magic because one has to split own soul to create one. There's a single method known in the books: murder. – Gallifreyan Jun 9 '18 at 18:32
  • @Gallifreyan Thank you for this comment, I just edited the question. :) – Galabyca Jun 9 '18 at 18:37
  • 1
    There is no concept of "white magic" in Harry Potter. – The Dark Lord Jun 9 '18 at 18:40
  • @TheDarkLord , Thanks for your advise. I'll remove it for a clear question. – Galabyca Jun 9 '18 at 18:51
  • 1
    It's a question that is answerable, why the down votes? – Bernard the Bear Jun 11 '18 at 12:13
9

Horcruxes are dark magic first because, in order to create one, you must commit murder. You must tear your soul apart. Accidental death and just war and so on don't seem to count, it's murder that damages the soul, that violates nature, and that is exploited.

'How do you split your soul?'

'Well,' said Slughorn uncomfortably, 'you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature.'

'But how do you do it?'

'By an act of evil - the supreme act of evil. By committing murder. Killing rips the soul apart. The wizard intent upon creating a Horcrux would use the damage to his advantage: he would encase the torn portion -'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.465 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

There is no good way of splitting off a part of the soul and it certainly isn't the producer that makes a Horcrux evil. It is killing another to save yourself.

Secondly, although this isn't shown on-screen:

'Encase? But how -?'

'There is a spell, do not ask me, I don't know!' said Slughorn, shaking his head like an old elephant bothered by mosquitoes. 'Do I look as though I have tried it - do I look like a killer?'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.465 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

Off-screen we see that encasing the torn portion itself requires an especially vile act too gruesome even to make it into the books:

MA: What is the process? Do you-- Is there a spell? Is there a-- What do you have to do?

JKR: I see it as a series of things you would have to do. So you would have to perform a spell. But you would also-- I don't even know if I want to say it out loud, I know that sounds funny. But I did really think it through. There are two things that I think are too horrible, actually, to go into detail about. One of them is how Pettigrew brought Voldemort back into a rudimentary body. 'Cause I told my editor what I thought happened there, and she looked as though she was gonna vomit. And then-- and the other thing is, how you make a Horcrux. And I don't even like-- I don't know. Will it be in the Encyclopedia? I don't know if I can bring myself to, ummm... I don't know.

(Source)

There's absolutely no question that, in-universe, Horcruxes are considered evil and utterly beyond the pale even by Dark wizards.

'I haven't found one single explanation of what Horcruxes do!' she told him. 'Not a single one! I've been right through the restricted section and even in the most horrible books, where they tell you how to brew the most gruesome potions - nothing! All I could find was this, in the introduction to Magick Moste Evile - listen - "of the Horcrux, wickedest of magical inventions, we shall not speak nor give direction" ... I mean, why mention it, then?' she said impatiently, slamming the old book shut; it let out a ghostly wail.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.357 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 18, Birthday Surprises

  • 2
    It's a popular theory that the creation of a Horcrux involves cannibalism, which is why JKR was so reluctant to say. – Mithrandir Jun 9 '18 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Mithrandir I think with all such things it's better when you don't know and it's left to the imagination – Au101 Jun 9 '18 at 22:26
4

It’s Dark magic because it involves murder, then splitting the soul.

There are two main reasons why creating a Horcrux is considered Dark magic. The first is that they’re created with murder, which is a ‘dark’ act of itself.

“By an act of evil – the supreme act of evil. By committing murder. Killing rips the soul apart. The wizard intent upon creating a Horcrux would use the damage to his advantage: he would encase the torn portion –”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)

This adds to, but isn’t the sole reason that, Horcruxes are considered Dark.

Splitting the soul is considered a Dark act, even without murder.

Then, after the murder has been done, the wizard creating the Horcrux must intentionally split their soul to encase a part of it in their chosen object. This is considered an extremely Dark act - it’s likely considered Darker than simply murdering.

“Well,’ said Slughorn uncomfortably, ‘you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)

Dumbledore explains in his notes that “tampering with the deepest mysteries” is something that should not be attempted. This shows that the splitting, not just the murder, is considered Dark.

“The resemblance of this action to the creation of a Horcrux has been noted by many writers. Although Beedle’s hero is not seeking to avoid death, he is dividing what was clearly not meant to be divided — body and heart, rather than soul — and in doing so, he is falling foul of the first of Adalbert Waffling’s Fundamental Laws of Magic:

Tamper with the deepest mysteries — the source of life, the essence of self — only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind.
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Though it’s not possible, Dumbledore describes what the warlock in “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart” as being Dark magic, though the warlock didn’t harm anyone to do it.

“He wants to remain forever uninfected by what he regards as a kind of sickness, and therefore performs a piece of Dark Magic that would not be possible outside of a storybook: He locks away his own heart.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

So, splitting the soul would similarly be considered Dark, whatever the method used.

2

Horace Slughorn said to Tom Riddle:

"Well, you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature."

... so even if there were some way of creating a Horcrux without committing murder and other crimes (which, as Au101's well-researched answer explains, there isn't) it would still be considered a Dark Art simply because the end goal is considered inherently wrong. The end doesn't justify the means, but the means don't justify the end either.

Fiendfyre is another example of the general principle: so far as we can tell, it does not require a murder or any other crime to cast, but it is still a Dark Art.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.