I've read and read the books but I can't seem to find any place where Harry kills another person.

My question is does he? And where? And who?


4 Answers 4


Technically he never does. Voldemort kills himself. Although knowing him, he probably sees the fact that he didn't offer himself up sooner during the Battle of Hogwarts, as making him at least partially responsible for the deaths that happened.

As Harry himself says:

“I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there,” said Harry, “That’s Voldemort’s job.” -- DH

He keeps his hands on Quirrel's face to save his own life, but passes out from the pain of it. Quirrel would have had the chance of pushing away, but then Voldy would have done him in.

  • 7
    If we're sticking just with the books, it isn't even Harry's attacking Quirrel that kills him. He dies because Voldemort flees his body, leaving him unable to live. Aug 11, 2014 at 20:28

It depends on what you mean by "intentionally kill."

Did Harry ever cast the Killing Curse, or kill someone with a spell?

The answer to this is unambiguously no.

Did Harry ever act with the intent to kill someone?

Yes. Harry spent the better part of a year destroying Horcruxes with the explicit understanding that it would allow him to kill Voldemort. Harry never really seemed to harbor any delusions that Lord Voldemort could be bargained with or thrown in prison. It was always going to end in Voldemort's death, or Harry's.

In the end, Voldemort killed Voldemort, not Harry, but Harry entered the battle with the understanding that Voldemort would end up dead. That's why he told Voldemort to "try for some remorse." He had seen what awaited Voldemort's mutilated soul in the afterlife, and realized this was Tom Riddle's last chance to undo years of damage.

Obviously, regardless of whether or not he "intentionally killed" Voldemort, Harry was acting in defense of himself and his friends. He certainly wasn't a murderer by any definition.

Did Harry ever cast a spell he knew would very likely kill someone?

Yes. During the Battle of the Seven Potters, Harry casts several Stunning Spells and Impediment Jinxes aimed at wizards on broomsticks thousands of feet above the ground. The text always makes sure to say that other wizards swoop in to collect the Death Eaters knocked off their brooms.

Later, when explaining why he Disarmed Stan Shunpike instead of casting a Stunning Spell, Harry straightforwardly says that Stunning him would have been the same as killing him. That shows that he was pretty aware when fighting the Death Eaters that he was casting spells that were very likely to kill them.

Another example is that during his duel with Snape at the end of Half-Blood Prince, Harry casts Sectumsempra, a curse with the potential to kill unless the victim receives prompt attention from someone with advanced knowledge of the Dark Arts. I don't doubt that if Harry's curse had connected, Snape would be dead.

In the end, no, Harry never intentionally killed anyone. But only because of circumstances beyond his control.

  • 2
    He also casts Sectumsempra on Malfoy and would have killed him if Snape hadn't arrived.
    – Phil
    Feb 10, 2016 at 6:12
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    @Phil the question asks about intentionally killing someone, Harry had no idea what Sectumsempra would do, so it clearly doesn't count.
    – BMWurm
    Feb 10, 2016 at 22:10

Harry kills Voldemort. By systematically destroying his horcruxes, and then rebounding a killing curse into Voldemort. The biggest point to this question is intent, Harry showed clear intent that he wanted Voldemort to be able to be killed. After accomplishing this he then put himself and Voldemort in a situation in where Voldemort would be able to be killed, and lo and behold Voldemort dies as intended. We can also assume Rowling wanted Harry to kill Voldemort as the prophecy even says that one will kill the other. She just had Harry kill him in a very nice way, not compromising Harry's ideals.

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord [Lord Voldemort] approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him [i.e Harry Potter], 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 ...

Quote from yourdictionary.com:

At the Hands of


The definition of at the hands of is an event or consequence that happens under the control of a certain person or is caused by a certain person.

An example of at the hands of is when a murderer kills a victim. The victim would be said to have died at the hands ofthe [sic] murderer.

  • 1
    <comments removed> Take the discussion to chat.
    – user1027
    Aug 11, 2014 at 20:24

If the books are the only accepted source of answers, then I agree with BMWurm's answer.

However, for what it's worth, I'll raise an argument that Harry intentionally murdered Quirrell in the movie version of the Sorceror's Stone:

First of all, it is still true that Harry first attempts to fend off Quirrell in self defense.

But when Quirrell is ordered to get the stone by Voldemort, he no longer tries to attack Harry, but rather go straight for the stone. Harry, on the other hand, directly attacks Voldemort by placing his hands on his face.

In this shot from youtube:

it is clear that Quirrell is not attacking Harry because you can see his hand reaching for the stone, not for Harry's body in any way.

enter image description here

Quirrell's arm at this point has already been seen by Harry to have burned off. Therefore, I would argue that Harry, by touching Quirrell's face intentionally meant to murder him in order to keep him from the stone and eternal life. Especially because he continues to attack Quirrell to the point that his face is already charring:

enter image description here

To say that Harry didn't kill him, but rather his mother's protection did, is in my opinion a weak counter argument because Harry used the protection (though not known by him what it was at the time) as a weapon to fend off Quirrell.

To be stated again, this answer is obviously a movie only answer because the corresponding scene in the book does not play out the same way.

  • 1
    I disagree, in the movie, at least he does seem to kill Quirrell intentionally. If you are talking about the books only, I accept that it is more vague, but in the movie it seems pretty obvious that he is attacking Quirrell to keep him away from the stone. Aug 11, 2014 at 19:22
  • 1
    True, in the movie it IS a problem. He doesn't pass out before Quirrell dies either, meaning he should be able to see Thestral's WAY earlier than movie #5, and since we see the carriages driving themselves in #3, the movies really cannot be taken verbatim with that scene. They probably thought Voldy-Ghost driving through Harry would be a cool visual, while in reality, contact with Harry HURTS Voldy's soul so he would literally go out of his way to NOT touch that kid.
    – BMWurm
    Aug 11, 2014 at 19:57
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    @TomDoyle: isn't that basically saying "people don't kill, guns do"? Aug 12, 2014 at 10:42
  • 1
    Then why go for his face? Aug 12, 2014 at 16:32
  • 1
    Harry has just realised that he can kind of corrode and burn Quirrell’s skin by direct touch. A scrawny 11-year-old ramming himself against a grown man won't be much use, and since it looks like it's skin-on-skin contact that does it, pushing on Quirrell’s robe would at least conceivably not have any effect. So Harry does what all kids do when they fight: he goes for the face. Why not go directly for the face, which is one of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of the body to begin with? American footballers are trained; Harry was not. Dec 27, 2015 at 22:14

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