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Now I'm not talking about part of Voldemort's soul inside Harry which he never intended to put there. What I am asking is when he went to the Potter's house, was he only intending to destroy Harry because of what he had heard about the prophecy, or did he have some intention to create another horcrux based on this particular killing?

I have a very faint memory of reading somewhere that Voldemort had intended to use Harry's destruction as a means of adding another horcrux, which was the reason why his soul was torn apart and latched onto Harry (being unstable due to the horcruxes he had already made) when his curse backfired, which seemed to make sense (Voldemort had probably killed lots of people after making his horcruxes and before attacking Harry, and even after creating the Nagini horcrux he has done so many times, but his soul did not break apart and latch on to random objects in those cases). Now I cannot find what gave me this idea.

Is this mentioned anywhere in the books, or am I getting confused due to some random information I read somewhere else?

22

Yes, or at least Professor Dumbledore believed so and his guesses are usually correct. Quoting him from Half-Blood Prince chapter 23.

‘[…] Voldemort was still at least one Horcrux short of his goal of six when he entered your parents' house with the intention of killing you.

‘He seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths. You would certainly have been that. He believed that in killing you, he was destroying the danger the prophecy had outlined. He believed he was making himself invincible. I am sure that he was intending to make his final Horcrux with your death.

‘As we know, he failed.

Update: fixed typos in quotation.

  • 2
    If Dumbledore thinks so it must be true. However this isn't what gave me the idea about him wanting to create a horcrux at that time. Anyway, I think this is the best answer we have yet. if this is true however, it gives rise to another question: if he was intending to create a horcrux at that time, what magically significant object did he have then, and why didn't he use that object later on instead of Nagini? – user13267 Sep 24 '13 at 9:41
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    @user13267 Considering it’s possible to use both inanimate objects and living beings as Horcruxes, it’s possible (not sure how likely, but definitely possible) that he had actually planned to use Harry as a Horcrux—but a dead Harry, obviously; not the way it turned out. I’m sure a dead body would work just as well as anything, and the physical proof of his victory over the final obstacle on his path to immortality, the downfall of his most dangerous opponent, would certainly be a meaningful ‘object’ to use. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 5 '15 at 20:37
  • @user13267 I've wondered that for ages. When Voldemort "died" at Godric's Hollow, Pettigrew got there in time to retrieve Voldemort's wand, Hagrid got there pretty fast - "before the Muggles started swarmin’ around" and presumably the Muggles would react fast to an explosion in a residential area - and Sirius arrived shortly thereafter (in time to give Hagrid his bike), but neither Voldemort nor any of those three ever mention retrieving an object that could be the Horcrux-to-be. Does some artifact of significant magic-related history now lie in a Muggle police division's evidence storeroom? – anaximander Jan 11 at 16:57
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No, Voldemort didn't intend to create Horcrux when he attacked Harry. It was the prophecy due to which he tried to kill Harry.

"Voldemort tried to kill you when you were a child because of a prophecy made shortly before your birth. He knew the prophecy had been made, though he did not know its full contents. He set out to kill you when you were still a baby, believing he was fulfilling the terms of the prophecy. He discovered, to his cost, that he was mistaken, when the curse intended to kill you backfired. And so, since his return to his body, and particularly since your extraordinary escape from him last year, he has been determined to hear that prophecy in its entirety. This is the weapon he has been seeking so assiduously since his return: the knowledge of how to destroy you."
- Albus Dumbledore (to Harry Potter shortly after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries)

Here's the prophecy:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."
- Sybill Trelawney (to Dumbledore)

Severus Snape, who at the time was working for Voldemort, was caught eavesdropping on Trelawney and Dumbledore by the owner of the Hog's Head and was subsequently thrown out of the pub. Snape then returned to Voldemort to tell him what he had heard.

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    I'm not sure that quote's enough to say he didn't intend to create a Horcrux when killing Harry. Considering everything that Dumbledore states about Voldemort during the sixth book I think it's entirely possible that he'd want to both eliminate his greatest threat (Harry) and create his final Horcrux, forever securing his immortality. – Anthony Grist Sep 21 '13 at 15:38
  • @AnthonyGrist Its possible. But, after seeing Voldemort's character who is impulsive, I don't think he was thinking about other than killing Harry at that time.. – Avenge The Fallen Sep 21 '13 at 15:49
  • @AnthonyGrist Another thing: Killing someone was a cheap thing for him. For Horcrux creation process, he could easily get a person to kill. So, why would he bothered to attach the process with Harry's killing.. If killing someone was an expensive thing, then it could be the case.. – Avenge The Fallen Sep 21 '13 at 16:54
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    What's the evidence for Voldemort being impulsive? Everything shows him as being brilliant and calculating, though he does have some flaws: notably his inability to understand love and compassion and his temper when things don't go to plan. "why would he bothered to attach the process with Harry's killing" Probably for the same reason he didn't use random items for his horcruxes, he places immense significance on certain things. – Anthony Grist Sep 21 '13 at 17:12
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    The items he created the horcruxes out of: the diary, the Peverell/Gaunt family ring, Slytherin's locket, Ravenclaw's diadem, Hufflepuff's Cup, Nagini; these aren't just any old items, they're very specific, very important items in terms of magical history or for Voldemort personally (and, in some cases, both). There was a lot of effort and planning that went in to procuring those items with the specific intention of creating horcruxes from them. He could have chosen literally any item, but he didn't. – Anthony Grist Sep 22 '13 at 17:14
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Voldemort is probably the world's foremost expert on horcruxes. We all know that it's possible to turn a living being into a horcrux: Voldemort himself did so intentionally with Nagini. But we also know that killing a living horcrux is sufficient to "destroy" it, again, because of Nagini. Voldemort undoubtedly knew this too.

This, I think, gives us the biggest reason to believe that Voldemort did not intend to create a horcrux: he didn't expect Harry to live. He used the surest method of murder known to the wizarding world, one that had had absolute reliability prior to his attempt. That's not something you do against a target that you need to stay alive.

Most likely, he did not even know that Avada Kedavra would carry a piece of his soul. It had probably been doing this for some time, but the fragment would always come right back to him when the target died. It probably happened too quickly for him to even notice.

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    The act of killing is what splits the soul - it doesn't get carried on the Avada Kedavra curse. The curse rebounded and knocked a piece off, which then latched on to Harry. It's still possible he was trying to create a Horcrux with an item he had on him, which is what the question is asking. – Izkata Sep 21 '13 at 17:27
  • The question specifically states he's not asking about the unintentional effect, but the potential Horcrux he would have done after killing Harry and himself living without any ill effect. – b_jonas Sep 22 '13 at 19:12
  • The distinction is that Voldemort didn't plan to make Harry into a Horcrux, but he did (we think) intend to use the act of killing Harry to make some other thing into a Horcrux. – anaximander Jan 11 at 16:45
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No, because Voldemort had not heard the full prophecy, only the part that Harry would be the one to vanquish him. What Voldemort hadn't known is that when he attacked Harry, he gave him part of his soul, marking him as his equal, rather than killing him.

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