14

There is a description of events inside the cave where Voldemort's fake locket horcrux is hidden, in the HBP.

Harry had not expected this, but cleared his throat and said loudly, wand aloft, “Accio Horcrux!” With a noise like an explosion, something very large and pale erupted out of the dark water some twenty feet away; before Harry could see what it was, it had vanished again with a crashing splash that made great, deep ripples on the mirrored surface.

It is described as if it a giant water monster that jumped out, determined no one was actually near the Horcrux, and went back in. Later on Harry sees the inferi under the water surface while he is on the boat, and even fights some of them on the small island in the middle of the lake. The inferi seem to be slow, like muggle zombies are, and from their description they don't seem to be the thing(s) that had jumped out of the water earlier.

Is it explained anywhere what that thing was? An answer from any level of canon is appreciated.

5
  • 4
    I always assumed it was an inferius reacting to the spell... but you are right: The description of them does not match something "large" that "erupted out of the dark water" although "pale" might match... have my +1 for the question...
    – Tode
    Mar 16, 2023 at 13:30
  • 4
    maybe a very large inferi??
    – shanu
    Mar 16, 2023 at 14:38
  • 4
    @shanu a big fat one?
    – user13267
    Mar 16, 2023 at 14:40
  • 3
    @user13267, perhaps - the wiki says - " Being human corpses, they had individual appearances based on the humans they had been created from" so maybe the base human was large and fat
    – shanu
    Mar 16, 2023 at 14:50
  • 2
    Or perhaps a group of inferi that got tangled? Mar 17, 2023 at 0:14

1 Answer 1

2

The answer to this question has not been definitively given even in the novel HBP. But we can make an accurate guess based on our analysis. First of all let me quote the full conversation between Harry and Dumbledore that happened about that something from chapter 26 The Cave of HBP

With a noise like an explosion, something very large and pale erupted out of the dark water some twenty feet away; before Harry could see what it was, it had vanished again with a crashing splash that made great, deep ripples on the mirrored surface. Harry leapt backward in shock and hit the wall; his heart was still thundering as he turned to Dumbledore.

“What was that?”

“Something, I think, that is ready to respond should we attempt to seize the Horcrux.” Harry looked back at the water. The surface of the lake was once more shining black glass: The ripples had vanished unnaturally fast; Harry’s heart, however, was still pounding.

“Did you think that would happen, sir?”

“I thought something would happen if we made an obvious attempt to get our hands on the Horcrux. That was a very good idea, Harry; much the simplest way of finding out what we are facing.”

“But we don’t know what the thing was,” said Harry, looking at the sinisterly smooth water.

“What the things are, you mean,” said Dumbledore. “I doubt very much that there is only one of them. Shall we walk on?”

Also see this excerpt from the Harry Potter Fandom

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.

Based on this, you know very well that any attempt to tamper with the horcrux would alarm the defence system in the cave. By this time the two of them had already come across the lake onto the island which means they had already caused enough disturbance to wake up the inferi.

Hence that something was definitely a group of inferi who were trying to move toward the island by pushing each other in a haphazard way. The reason it seemed to be unlike an inferius must be because the cave was too dark to distinguish things correctly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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