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NiceOrc made an interesting comment that is a good thing to ask separately, in a comment to Why Couldn't Harry Destroy the Horcruxes With His Bare Hands? :

So perhaps if he had touched Nagini, she might have been destroyed by his touch? – NiceOrc

Is that true? Would Nagini have been destroyed - or at least as severely hurt as Quirrell - if Harry touched her, due to her containing a piece of Voldemort's soul?

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No. We know that because Harry DID touch Nagini with no stated ill effects on her.

This happened in HP7 ("The Deathly Hallows"), when Harry and Hermione went to Godric's Hollow and Harry went into Bathilda Bagshot's house; Nagini tried to detain him before Voldemort's arrival by physically restraining him.

He could not get enough breath into his lungs to call back: Then a heavy smooth mass smashed him to the floor and he felt it slide over him, powerful, muscular—

“No!” he gasped, pinned to the floor.

“Yes,” whispered the voice. “Yesss … hold you … hold you …” “Accio … Accio Wand …”

But nothing happened and he needed his hands to try to force the snake from him as it coiled itself around his torso, squeezing the air from him...

The bolded part of the quote shows that he was actually touching the snake with bare hands, in case someone tries to lawyer out of this by saying that it has to be skin to skin contact.

  • Aha, I knew there must have been some point at which Harry touched Nagini, I couldn't remember it for my answer to that post though. – Kevin Dec 18 '11 at 23:14
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    perhaps the difference is that Voldemort had already, at this point, made himself immune to the protective magic from Lily's death when he used Harry's blood to resurrect himself in book 4. Since Rowling said (as seen in the question this one is based on) that that's what caused Quirrel to burn up, it's likely that Harry lost that ability at Voldemort's resurrection. – abcooper Dec 19 '11 at 0:25
  • @abcooper - That wouldn't apply since Nagini was made into the Horcrux before Voldemort did that in book 4 (specifically, the death of Bertha Jorkins that happened prior to Year 4 events) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 19 '11 at 0:31
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    @DVK but presumably there's still some connection between Voldemort and those torn off pieces of soul, since he can't die as long as one exists. – abcooper Dec 19 '11 at 0:37

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