I know that when Lily sacrificed herself for Harry, Voldemort could no longer touch him and any attempted Avada Kedavra on Harry by Voldemort would rebound onto himself, until, of course, he took some of Harry's blood and put it into himself.

Now Harry and Voldemort share Lily's sacrifice and protection and also share Voldemort's soul since Harry is a Horcrux. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry in the Forbidden Forest, Harry was kept alive by his own blood which ran through Voldemort's veins. When Harry then challenged him a second time, Voldemort's killing curse rebounded onto him yet again since the Elder Wand won't kill its master.

But Voldemort shouldn't have been able to die since Lily's blood sacrifice lived in him and Harry should never be able to die either... shouldn't they both be immortal? I don't get it, someone help!


4 Answers 4


No, neither Harry nor Voldemort should have been immortal. First, Harry is not a Horcrux. As well, the protective qualities of Lily's sacrifice were only in place if Harry had a place with relatives who were willing to take him in (No. 4 Privet Drive) and the enchantments would be removed the moment Harry either left Privet Drive by choice, never intending to consider it a home again, or when he turned 17. The magic that was created when Lily sacrificed herself to save Harry was in the form of protective enchantments and nothing more. The best bet for immortality was Voldemort's Horcruxes, and those were all destroyed, leaving Voldemort as mortal as Harry and Lily.

  • 2
    How is Harry not a Horcrux? I followed the link without luck.
    – user931
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 3:26
  • 1
    @SachinShekhar Check this out.
    – NominSim
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 3:32
  • 5
    Short version of the above link (read the link anyway, it's an amazing answer): Harry was a container of a piece of soul; but a Horcrux is a specially made container, made with special process and having special properties. Dumbledore - in Harry's mind! - used the term "Horcrux" as the best approximation, since there's no single word for "a body that a soul fragment accidentally lodged in". Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 6:10
  • the enchantments would be removed the moment Harry either left Privet Drive by choice, never intending to consider it a home again, I believe so long as he was welcome there the protection would continue to his 17th birthday, regardless of his intentions. Otherwise, they would have ceased in PofA when Harry left the Dursleys after inflating Aunt Marge. This seems further enforced by Dumbledore's request in HBP: I ask only this: that you allow Harry to return, once more, to this house, before his seventeenth birthday, which will ensure that the protection continues until that time.
    – Xantec
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 16:55
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    This answer seems to confuse the protective qualities of Lily's sacrifice with the charm cast by Dumbledore on Privet Drive. They're not the same thing.. -1 Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 15:07

I can't find the post now, but in a separate SFF qeustion, we established that Lily's protection had ONE and only ONE functionality: Harry was protected from being killed by Voldemort. That's it. Nothing else. No protection against being killed by other DEs. Or against being poisoned by Basilisk. Or eaten by spiders. Or falling off the bed and breaking his neck. Or getting a bad disease and dying.

Notice how this rule says NOTHING about protecting Voldemort from dying? It's protecting HARRY. Exclusively.

Now, as far as Voldemort taking blood, it protected him, but not from dying but from being damaged by Harry's touch.

  • 2
    The protection did apparently cover Death Eaters and anyone or anything else acting on Voldemort's orders. From chapter one of Deathly Hallows: "'I hope so,' said Harry, 'because once I'm seventeen, all of them - Death Eaters, Dementors, maybe even Inferi - will be able to find you and will certainly attack you.'" Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 0:32
  • @HarryJohnston I think you're mistaking Lily's protection with the magical Trace, (Trace is the charm that detects all magical activity around under-17s). harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Trace Also, why does it look like Harry is addressing himself as 'you'?
    – Sandun
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 9:08

A specific person not being able to kill Harry with a specific spell does not mean Harry is immortal. He could die by other means, including drowning, falling from a great hight, being eaten by a monster, or old age. The protection only meant that killing spells rebounded off him, that's all.


Voldemort's near-immortality came from his Horcruxes, including the fragment of shattered soul that latched itself onto Harry's. It was only Harry's life that was protected by the love-magic in Voldemort's blood (as of Goblet of Fire). Now, Dumbledore says to Harry:

"... Lily's protection [is] inside both of you! ... He [Voldemort] tethered you to life while he lives ... As long as that enchantment survives, so do you ..."

This made me think, originally, that Harry was practically immortal after the events of the fourth book, meaning that his life was never actually in danger all those times he was facing impossible odds in between books 4 and 7. So even if he had fallen off a broomstick or Thestral (OotP), he would have been sent to that limbo world for a brief time and return to life again (all injuries to his body healed, I suppose). But then I remembered Dumbledore's conversation with Snape in the Pensieve:

Snape: "So the boy ... the boy must die?"

Dumbledore: "And Voldemort must be the one to do it, Severus. That is essential."

From this it seems that because Lily's sacrifice had been made to protect Harry FROM Voldemort, it's magic was only related to those two beings. So, I would say that Harry was ... immune ONLY to Voldemort's attacks. Presumably, had anyone else used the Killing Curse on Harry, he would have actually died.

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