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After Voldemort in his original body (before he created a new one from Adam's rib Wormtail's hand spiced with Harry's blood) was hit by the rebound Killing Curse, his soul was ripped from his body, but where did it appear?

Would it appear at his dead body or 'respawn' at the nearest Horcrux? Did he have to float like a ghost all the way to Albania where he was hiding at some point?

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  • Related not dupe; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14807/why-flee-to-albania
    – Valorum
    Jul 1, 2015 at 11:47
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    If I remeber it right in GoF on the graveyard, Voldemort tells that he took over several creatures and he preferred snakes over other animals. He also said that after he took control over them, they did not have a very long lifespan and died pretty soon. That's why he could take control over Quirrel as you see in PS.
    – Zanser1609
    Jul 1, 2015 at 13:53

2 Answers 2

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He appeared at the Potters’ house, at the site of his body.

When we see the night of the Potters’ deaths through the Dark Lord’s eyes, after the curse rebounds on him, he thinks he must hide himself far away from the house - it’s very clearly where his soul appears after being ripped from his body.

He pointed the wand very carefully into the boy’s face: he wanted to see it happen, the destruction of this one, inexplicable danger. The child began to cry: it had seen that he was not James. He did not like it crying, he had never been able to stomach the small ones’ whining in the orphanage –

‘Avada Kedavra!’

And then he broke: he was nothing, nothing but pain and terror, and he must hide himself, not here in the rubble of the ruined house, where the child was trapped and screaming, but far away … far away …”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda’s Secret)

He “broke”, and sees the house is turned into rubble, so this must be the moment when he’s ripped from his body. His soul remains in the Potter’s house, and he makes the conscious decision to go into hiding. So yes, he would have had to float like a ghost (or possess animals) to get himself to Albania to hide there.

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I don't have access to the books to take the quote from there, but found part of what I wanted online:

I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost … but still, I was alive.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

That's pretty vague, doesn't really clear anything up at all. A Horcrux (or multiple Horcruxes) anchors your soul to the world of the living, preventing you from passing on, but (as far as I know) they don't anchor your soul to a specific place.

However, there's no real reason to think that his soul didn't stay exactly where it was: in the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow. Since souls seem to be a tangible thing in the Potterverse, I suspect it would just stay in place while the body would be blasted away from around it; like freezing water inside a glass bottle and then hitting it with a hammer.

As Zanser1609 stated in the comments, Voldemort was able to take control of smaller animals (and, eventually, Quirrell) which is how he travelled to Albania. That's no doubt the reason it was several years before there were even rumours of his whereabouts.

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  • I think in the quote Rowling is just making the point that surviving through a Horcrux is pretty awful - showing how desperate Voldemort was and reinforcing that others just wouldn't choose it.
    – ThruGog
    Jul 1, 2015 at 19:55
  • Ghosts seem to manifest where they die, IIRC Jul 1, 2015 at 22:32
  • So he had to make his way to Albania by hitchhiking innocent creatures and draining them of life. Typical Voldemort.
    – Zikato
    Jul 2, 2015 at 5:55

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