Harry Potter is believed to be the most famous child ever and a favorite fictional character among children and young adults. He is equally celebrated in his fictional Wizarding World and the school he is attending, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as he is in the real world. Harry became popular for being the first person ever to survive a killing curse and defeat the Dark Lord, Voldemort when he was just a baby. So how come he couldn’t kill him?
The reason why Harry Potter did not die as a baby was because his mother gave up her life to protect him, therefore shielding him with the most powerful defense against magic: love.
Harry’s mother died telling him how loved he is and with that, her love continued to live and serve to protect Harry from harm and evil, causing him to be untouchable to the Dark Lord. Even though Lord Voldemort tried to kill Harry multiple times while he was attending Hogwarts, he was unable to succeed. He remained protected until he turned seventeen. It was also very important that Harry stayed with his aunt Petunia and her family during the summer break because aunt Petunia shares the same blood as his mother.
Sacrificial protection is a powerful counter-charm. It has been around since ancient times and needs no incantation.
It is set in motion when one person willingly sacrifices their own life to save the life of somebody else out of deep and pure love. Sacrificial protection is regarded as the ultimate protection. The protector must be given an option to live, and if they consciously choose to die, the protection is formed. After the sacrifice, the protection lives on in the blood of the person that was saved.
In Harry’s case, since he was the only person that was protected, the protection caused Lord Voldemort to feel excruciating pain when touching him.
If the protection involves more people, the extent of it is unknown.
In case that the person who was killed is related to the person they protected, a powerful charm can be cast upon the saved person to give them additional protection. The charm is called the bond of blood and protects the saved one from the person that tried to hurt them while they are in a blood-related relative’s home. In order for the bond of blood to take effect, the living blood-relative has to take the saved person into their home willingly. The protection breaks automatically when the saved person moves out forever or turns seventeen, whichever comes first.
Harry Potter- “The boy who lived“
Harry was born on July 31st, 1980, on the date that ended up being very important. His parents were witch Lilly and wizard James Potter, members of a wizarding group The Order of Phoenix, which fought against Lord Voldemort and his evil army, the Death Eaters.
On Monday, October 31st, 1981, when Harry was just one year old, his life was turned upside down. Lord Voldemort broke into the home at Godric’s Hollow where Harry and his parents were hiding. James tried to fight Lord Voldemort while Lilly and Harry fled, but failed to do so, and he died proudly. The Dark Lord went on to kill Harry, but Lilly threw herself in front of her only child and begged to take her instead. Voldemort killed her, unaware of the protection Lilly placed upon Harry. He threw the Avada Kedavra curse at Harry, which bounced back and hit him instead. Harry was left unharmed, with only a lightning scar on his forehead, and became known as “The boy who lived”.
Avada Kedavra-The Killing Curse
Avada Kedavra is one of three Unforgivable Curses, The Killing Curse, The Cruciatus Curse, and The Imperius Curse. They are named Unforgivable because their use is forbidden and the use is punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban, the wizarding prison.
The Killing Curse manifests as a jet of green light coming from the tip of the wizarding wand. It causes immediate and painless death. The curse can be dodged, blocked with solid objects, or intercepted with only a few very powerful and fast spells.
Harry is the only known person to survive The Killing Curse, which he did twice. He was also the only one ever to nullify and deflect the curse.
The Prophecy-Why Lord Voldemort wanted to kill Harry Potter
The prophecy made by Sybill Trelawney while she was being interviewed for the post of Divination professor at Hogwarts, foretold the birth of a child that would defeat Lord Voldemort forever.
She said: ”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…”.
Lord Voldemort only found out about the first part of the prophecy, and even though two boys fit the description, Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, he chose to eliminate Harry. Trying to kill Harry, he set the prophecy in motion, by “marking him as equal”.
Dumbledore, the most powerful known wizard and headmaster at Hogwarts, warned both Harry’s and Neville’s parents to hide. Regrettably, the Potters made their Secret Keeper Peter Pettigrew, who was a traitor in the Order of Phoenix. He told Voldemort where the Potters were hiding and he hunted them down.
Years later, after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, at the beginning of the Second Wizarding War, Harry was named “The Chosen One”, the one predetermined to kill Lord Voldemort.
The End of Lord Voldemort-Horcruxes and Elder Wand
But the journey to Voldemort’s end wasn’t easy or quick. Key elements in his destruction were Horcruxes.
A Horcrux is an object that is used in an attempt to become immortal. A Dark witch or wizard split their soul into fragments and hide one fragment in a Horcrux.
They serve as a form of container in which a part of a soul is hidden as a way to protect it. When a witch or wizard is killed, their body is harmed but their soul remains untouched, but when a Horcrux is destroyed, so is the piece of the soul that is hidden in it.
They can only be created after committing the supreme act of evil, murder. Because Horcruxes were precious to those who made them, certain measures have been put in place to protect them, such as curses and counter-charms. The Horcrux is considered the most terrible of all Dark magic and dark arts. Lord Voldermort was the only known person to create more than one Horcrux.
The main purpose of a Horcrux is to bind its creator to the mortal realm for the sake of obtaining immortality. For as long as there is at least one Horcrux the creator’s soul will be bound to the world of the living. Therefore, if the creator’s body is destroyed, his soul will stay as a spirit instead of passing through to the other side.
It was believed that Lord Voldemort created six Horcruxes, and Harry and his friends found and destroyed all of them. Only later did they found out that there is one more Horcrux-Harry Potter himself. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry and the Killing Curse bounced off and hit Voldemort instead, a fragment of his soul was torn off and it attached itself to the first thing it found- baby Harry.
Elder Wand is another important aspect in the battle to defeat the Dark Lord.
According to the Tale of Three Brothers, three brothers were out traveling when they came across the river that was known for taking many lives of those who tried to cross it. They pulled out the wand and conjured a bridge out of thin air, thus cheating death. Pretending to congratulate them, Death offered each brother a gift of their choice for outsmarting him. The eldest asked for a wand that would defeat all others. The second brother asked for an object that would recall the dead, and Death gave him the Ressurection stone. The youngest asked for an object that would hide him from Death and was given the Cloak of invisibility.
The Elder wand has since had many owners and it is very loyal- it cannot kill his owner, but it does switch allegiance when the owner loses a duel. When Draco Malfoy killed Dumbledore the wand became his. Harry later disarmed Draco and became the wand’s owner. That is why, when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, the spell rebounded on Voldemort and killed him instead, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Harry killing Lord Voldemort.