Based on this answer about what it takes to destroy a Horcrux, it seems that the key requirement is being damaged beyond magical repair (at least according to Hermione).

“Exactly,” said Hermione. “Our problem is that there are very few substances as destructive as basilisk venom, and they’re all dangerous to carry around with you. That’s a problem we’re going to have to solve, though, because ripping, smashing, or crushing a Horcrux won’t do the trick. You’ve got to put it beyond magical repair.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 6: "The Ghoul in Pajamas"

"Beyond magical repair" is a bit of a fuzzy limit, generally taken to mean Nagini (and by extension Harry) needed to die to destroy the Horcrux associated with them.

However, George Weasley's ear creates an interesting possibility, as it's cut off by Snape's Sectumsempra, and is explicitly beyond magical repair:

'I think so, although there's no chance of replacing his ear, not when it's been cursed off -'

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows chapter 5: "Fallen Warrior"

Assuming a Dark Lord with a decidedly twisted sense of humor (and no common sense) snuck into the Burrow when George was a child and made that particular ear a Horcrux, it stands to reason that having the ear cursed off in that manner would put it beyond magical repair and destroy the Horcrux, leaving George both holey and Holy (at least in comparison).

Is there anything preventing the use of something like Sectumsempra to magic off the bit of Harry's forehead with the scar to get rid of the Horcrux?

A note on J.K. Rowling: due to her unfortunate tendency to contradict herself, "Word of God" evidence rates lower than Cursed Child, which rates lower than Pottermore, which rates lower than the books.

I'll happily accept any evidence presented, as long as it's not contradicting something more trustworthy.

  • 3
    In the same way that I use Horcrucify to refer to the act of turning something into a Horcrux, I’m now going to start calling the act of removing/destroying a Horcrux a Horcrucectomy. Jun 27, 2018 at 7:53
  • 2
    @AniketChowdhury Balderdash! The world needs more useless words, and I for one am happy to provide. Jun 27, 2018 at 17:51
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    I think there’s a distinction between being destroyed beyond magical repair and merely being maimed beyond magical repair when it comes to living things. Certainly George was beyond magical healing, but I don’t think you could call him destroyed unless he were actually dead. Jun 27, 2018 at 17:54
  • 1
    Also, Harry was not a proper Horcrux, so a whole different set of rules apply to him; in particular, he didn’t need to be destroyed in order for the soul fragment within him to be destroyed. Jun 27, 2018 at 17:56
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    Note: George's ear wasn't destroyed, it was merely detached, but I suppose it would be preferable to detach your ear before having it stabbed with a basilisk fang.
    – scott
    Jun 27, 2018 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


It might be possible, but living Horcruxes may work differently.

It seems theoretically possible that a living Horcrux could possibly be destroyed by cursing off a body part, unless a Horcrux in a living creature is sustained by the soul or life force so of its host wouldn’t be gone until the host is killed. The method of destroying a Horcrux that’s not alive is to put its object beyond magical repair, meaning do a certain amount of damage to the object in such a way that it can’t be repaired by magic (though it doesn’t have to be entirely destroyed).

“That’s a problem we’re going to have to solve, though, because ripping, smashing or crushing a Horcrux won’t do the trick. You’ve got to put it beyond magical repair.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)

It has to be something powerful enough that the Horcrux can’t simply repair itself magically.

“It doesn’t have to be a Basilisk fang,’ said Hermione patiently. ‘It has to be something so destructive that the Horcrux can’t repair itself.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)

Having a body part cursed off by Dark Magic is irreparable by magic, so it seems like it might count.

“Mrs Weasley looked round and said, ‘I can’t make it grow back, not when it’s been removed by Dark Magic. But it could have been so much worse … he’s alive.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior)

Though it’s not as drastic as dying, it is damage beyond magical repair, and so theoretically it might work. However, it may be different in the case of a living Horcrux. It’s possible that with a living Horcrux, the piece of soul is sustained by the “host” soul, and that soul or life force needs to be killed before the Horcrux can be destroyed. Another problem with the idea that the piece of soul in Harry could be killed by just cursing off a part of him is that although Dumbledore suspected Harry had it in him for a while (so he had time to think) and he would have rather kept Harry alive, he never tried cursing off a body part before deciding Harry had to die.

The piece of soul itself doesn’t seem to exist in any specific spot.

Though his scar was certainly connected to the piece of soul in him, in general, Horcruxes don’t seem to have the piece of soul exist in one specific place within them. It didn’t seem to matter where any of the Dark Lord’s Horcruxes were damaged beyond magical repair, just that they were. It also doesn’t seem in any way possible when creating a Horcrux from a living being to use a specific body part to house the soul piece. It most likely can’t be placed specifically in an ear.

  • I agree with you about the horcrux not being in a specific spot. I think Harry’s scar might have just been the focal point of it. It’d have been interesting to see what would have happened if the basilisk fang had peirced the scar before Fwakes had healed Harry, if only to have JKR’s take. But has anyone considered the fact Harry’s scar is also in the shape of a rune, and the implications of that? Jun 27, 2018 at 6:36
  • @crystynmorey I think if the basilisk fang had pierced his scar, he'd be dead. Mostly because it's unlikely it would have stopped at the scar, and basilisk poison to the brain is a Really Bad Thing.
    – Morgen
    Jun 27, 2018 at 22:44
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    We have some evidence that with living horcruxes, it's not physical harm, but whether if their soul still resides in their physical body. Harry was "killed" by avada kedavra, which causes no physical harm to the body, but that was enough to make him no longer a Horcrux.
    – Kai
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:33
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    – Pryftan
    Sep 12, 2018 at 19:04
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    – Obsidia
    Sep 12, 2018 at 23:33

I don't think this is answerable, because there are no canonical examples of a Horcrux of the type "George Weasley's ear". I somewhat doubt that you could even make an ear that is attached to a body into a Horcrux. There are a number of weird issues that would come up if it's possible to make a Horcrux out of something other than a single discrete, complete object or entity.

Horcruxes that are living beings

The situation with Harry and Nagini seems to be that the living being itself is the host for the soul fragment; it isn’t connected to one particular part of their bodies as far as I can tell. Harry's scar was created when the soul fragment entered him, and it seems to serve as a locus for Harry's special Voldemort-related senses, but it seems very doubtful to me that anything but the death of the living being that contains the soul fragment would count as sufficient damage to destroy the Horcrux. Evidence:

  • Hermione makes it clear that in a conventional Horcrux, the soul fragment is dependent in some way on the physical integrity of its vessel (hence her somewhat confusing statement that "a Horcrux is the complete opposite of a human being"). But the soul fragment in Harry is destroyed when Voldemort Avada Kedavra’s him; we know that AK normally doesn’t do any damage to the body (there are various descriptions of this fact; e.g. at the start of Book 4). It seems therefore that the soul fragment in Harry is somehow tethered to this world by Harry's life.

  • Harry is a vessel for Voldemort’s soul fragment despite having a scar on his forehead that cannot be healed because it was caused by Dark magic. (I’m not sure if the scars he gets from Umbridge’s pen would also count as Dark magic wounds.)

  • When Harry asks Dumbledore if it is risky to make a living being into a Horcrux, Dumbledore brings up the risk of entrusting part of your soul to something that can think independently of yourself; he doesn't say something like "yes, it's risky because living beings can be permanently scarred by Dark magic, which would destroy the soul fragment even if the living being survived".

  • Likewise, Dumbledore tells Snape that Harry must die; he doesn't say "or, we could cut off part of the skin on his forehead".

  • Dumbledore says "You were the seventh Horcrux, Harry, the Horcrux he never meant to make" (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35). It's true that Dumbledore's wording here is not particularly precise, since JKR has clarified that Harry was not strictly speaking a Horcrux going by the technical definition of that term (which refers to something that has been intentionally made into a soul container by the use of some kind of Dark magic--what the Harry Potter wiki calls the "Horcrux-making spell"). But nevertheless, it seems relevant that Dumbledore says that Harry, himself, acts as the seventh Horcrux. He doesn't say "Your scar is the seventh Horcrux."

  • While Nagini is clearly fully integrated with the Horcrux she hosts, in Harry it always seems to come back to the scar. Particularly in light of Voldemort's inability to tolerate extended contact with Harry's mind, it almost seems more like a parasite with a specific point of connection. A source for the assertion that a Horcrux is a connected to a living host in a general way would be greatly appreciated.
    – Morgen
    Jun 27, 2018 at 22:51
  • @Morgen: As I said in the first bullet point, the soul fragment in Harry is destroyed when Voldemort AK's him even though there is no apparent damage to his scar. This seems like evidence that the soul fragment is not tethered to the physical scar
    – wyvern
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:02
  • I'll probably end up accepting the concept, but I'd love a source that doesn't involve the Killing Curse, as it's a bit odd. It's the only one I can think of off hand that has the property of absolute effect, regardless of where it hits the target. Alternately, something pointing to Harry's Horcrux interacting with him in a way that doesn't involve his scar would be awesome. - Edit: missed the answer edit, the last bit about Dumbledore makes a good case for the Harry being the Horcrux rather than Harry hosting the Horcrux.
    – Morgen
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:27

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