| Character profile
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|Tom Marvolo Riddle|
|Nicknames and aliases||Voldemort, Lord Voldemort, You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Dark Lord, my Lord, Lord Thingy, Lord Voldything, Lord Thing, Chief Death Eater, Voldy|
|Birth||December 31, 1926|
|Death||May 2, 1998|
|Parents||Tom and Merope Riddle|
|Wand||thirteen and a half inches, yew, phoenix feather core; later borrowed Lucius' wand; eventually obtained the Elder Wand (but was never its true master)|
|Appearance||tall; extremely white skin; slit-like nostrils; red eyes|
|Hogwarts achievements||Prefect, Head Boy, Special Award for Services to the School, Medal for Magical Merit|
|Boggart||his own corpse|
|Occupation||ruling over Death Eaters (formerly an employee of Borgin and Burkes)|
|Special abilities||Parselmouth, superb Legilimens, excellent potioneer, extremely skillful in the Dark Arts; can fly|
|Other affiliations||Slug Club|
|Portrayer in the movies||Richard Bremmer (PS); Christian Coulson (teenager - CS); Ralph Fiennes (adult); Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (child); Frank Dillane (teenager - HBP); Michael Berendt (18-year-old - HBP)|
|First appearance in canon|| The Boy Who Lived (PS) (mention); The Man with Two Faces (PS) (in the back of Quirrell's head); The Very Secret Diary (CS) (as teenager Riddle); Flesh, Blood and Bone (GF) (reborn); King's Cross (DH) (afterlife form)
Tom Marvolo Riddle, more commonly known as Lord Voldemort since his Hogwarts days, was a dark wizard who controlled a large group of like-minded, blood-conscious wizards who called themselves Death Eaters. He died in the Battle of Hogwarts.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Birth
- 3 Childhood
- 4 Hogwarts
- 5 Adulthood
- 6 First War
- 7 Downfall
- 8 Rebirth
- 9 Second War
- 10 Defeat
- 11 Ships
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
As a teenager, Riddle was extremely handsome, tall, and black-haired (CS13). After leaving Hogwarts, he let his hair grow a bit longer, and his cheeks became hollowed; this improved his appearance.
On October 31, 1981, after the Dark Lord's failed attempt to murder Harry Potter, he was reduced to a ghostlike half-life, and forced to inhabit other creatures' bodies in order to survive (GF33). He eventually met Quirinus Quirrell, and spent almost a year possessing the teacher. Voldemort's face was visible on the back of Quirrell's head, hidden by Quirrell's turban (PS17).
Peter Pettigrew rejoined his master two years later, and nourished Voldemort to full health with the help of Nagini's poison. The Dark Lord took on the shape of a small, crouched, and extremely ugly human child, slimy-looking with scaly, reddish-black skin. His face was flat and snakelike; he had red eyes and small, thin arms (GF32).
Pettigrew brewed a potion that allowed Voldemort to regain his human body. In his new body, Voldemort had large hands with abnormally long fingers, white skin, slit-like nostrils and retained the red colour of his eyes (GF33).
After his death, Voldemort, whose soul had been maimed and torn apart by the large number of Horcruxes he had created, exists in the afterlife in the form of a small, naked, wounded and repulsive child with rough skin, constantly making whimpering noises and struggling for breath (DH35, BLC).
Voldemort was ruthless and determined. He could be extremely charming and beguiling when he so wished; this gave him a large network of acquaintances after his teenager years. He always surrounded himself with people who were devoted to him, but never truly befriended any of them; the idea of needing or depending on someone was entirely foreign to his mind. Teachers and authoritative figures usually loved him, with the notable exception of Albus Dumbledore, who slightly distrusted the boy from the day they first met (HBP13).
He knew himself to be "special" from a very young age (HBP13). Riddle was extremely proud, intelligent, and acutely aware of his brilliance. This fact severely hindered his success several lethal times, for he often failed to pay attention to details. He never valued virtues beyond intelligence or bravery, and did not care for or account for love, elf magic, or true mysteries that go beyond the boundaries of magic itself. Voldemort sought only to bend magic to his will to achieve his ends, notably his unquenchable thirst for power and his quest for immortality (HBP23, DH35).
Some of Lord Voldemort's greatest mistakes were:
- Disregarding house-elf magic when he abandoned Kreacher in the Cave (DH10);
- Failing to prevent underage wizards from accompanying anyone who used the boat in the Cave (HBP26);
- Not thinking of ancient magic when Lily Potter died to save her son (PS17);
- Not noticing that his attempted murder of Harry Potter had made the latter an unintentional Horcrux (DH35);
- Dismissing Severus Snape's love for Lily as mere lust (DH36);
- Forgetting that phoenix tears would heal Harry from the Basilisk's poison in the Chamber of Secrets (CS17);
- Taking Harry Potter's blood without realising that this would transform him into a guarantee of Harry's survival, even stronger than the protection Lily had given to her son with her sacrifice (DH35);
- Not predicting the Priori Incantatem effect, which allowed Harry to escape from the Little Hangleton graveyard unscathed (GF34)
- Believing that he would sense the destruction of any of his Horcruxes (DH27);
- Trusting that no one else would be smart enough to find the Room of Requirement (DH32);
- Not checking for himself that Harry Potter was dead after their confrontation in the Forbidden Forest, therefore allowing himself to be hoodwinked;
- Failing to realise the true identity of the Elder Wand when procuring the object (DH36).
Tom's pride was obvious and could be perceived in several small ways. His displeasure at being referred to by his given name, for instance—a common name he shared not only with his despicable Muggle father but also with ordinary individuals such as the barkeeper of the Leaky Cauldron—, caused him to come up with a different name while still at Hogwarts: Lord Voldemort. He hoped that one day people would come to fear the very sound of it (CS17). Many years later, Dumbledore still insisted on calling him "Tom", much to the latter's annoyance (HBP20, OP36). Harry also called him "Riddle" during their final confrontation (DH36).
Despite his arrogance, Voldemort acknowledged his mistakes on certain occasions. He realised, for instance, that only his many blunders and sheer luck on Harry's part had allowed Harry Potter to survive for seventeen years (DH1).
Voldemort envied old, traditional wizarding families to a certain degree. His choice to give Bellatrix Lestrange one of his Horcruxes to place in her Gringotts vault revealed that the possession of a Gringotts key—a sure sign of status in the wizarding world—was related not only to the place's well-established reputation for safekeeping, but also to his admiration for the bank's traditional standing in the wizarding community (DH24). At the same time, he had complete disregard for Magical Law, and for the rules that limit the usage of magic. Voldemort frequently used the Unforgivable Curses, notably Avada Kedavra (GF1, GF14, GF34, OP36, HBP17, HBP20, DH1, DH7, DH12, DH17, DH23, DH27, BLC); most importantly, he made seven Horcruxes, an abominable act that bends the laws of magic to a highly dangerous level (HBP23). He felt contempt for other, better, wizards' scruples when it came to the Dark Arts (DH36), notably those regarding the act of murder, something Voldemort relished; he enjoyed the feelings of cold-blooded triumph and purpose that precede a killing (DH17, DH30).
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort suggested two temporary cease-fires, hoping to drive Harry Potter out of the castle and not to spill more magical blood than it was necessary (DH31, DH33). This did not mean, however, that he took kindly to anyone who opposed him; once he knew that Neville Longbottom refused to join his side, for instance, Voldemort placed the Sorting Hat on Neville's head and lit it on fire (DH36). The Dark Lord showed as little mercy to his followers when they failed him as he did to his enemies (PS17).
Riddle was extremely self-conscious regarding his half-blood status. He took great pride in being a descendant of Salazar Slytherin, and appeared to be disgusted by Mudbloods and blood traitors. Regardless of this, upon hearing about Sybill Trelawney's Prophecy, and faced with the option of fearing either the half-blooded Harry Potter or the pure-blooded Neville Longbottom, Voldemort chose the former (OP37). He was not above forming alliances with creatures that were subjected to prejudice from the wizarding community: giants (HBP1), Dementors (OP25), and werewolves (HBP16) were recruited to his ranks. However, his distrust and prejudice regarding these lower species were evident; for instance, he never allowed Fenrir Greyback to be branded with the Dark Mark (DH23).
It is important to note that Riddle was obsessed with a quest for immortality. In fact, if Riddle had faced a Boggart, he would have seen his own corpse (ECR). This led him to make six Horcruxes, which ensured that he would not die unless they had all been destroyed. The choice of the objects that were to become Horcruxes—three of which were relics related to the Hogwarts founders—revealed that Voldemort was incredibly attached to Hogwarts, partly because his education allowed him to become everything he'd always dreamt of, giving him the means to achieve real power (HBP23). Additionally, Hogwarts was Riddle's first, and probably only, real home (CS13, DH34).
The Dark Lord's pure-blood fixation, as well as his overall maniacal behaviour, could possibly be attributed to some extent to the inbreeding that was rampant in most conservative old wizarding families, including the Gaunt family (Voldemort's wizarding ancestors). Most of his wizarding relatives were revealed to have been significantly unbalanced and generally insane (HBP10).
Voldemort had a great affinity for snakes due to the fact that he, like his ancestor Salazar Slytherin, was a Parselmouth. This gift allowed him to control the Chamber of Secrets Basilisk (CS17). While hidden in Albania, Voldemort obtained a pet snake for himself—Nagini. Her poison helped him acquire a feeble human body (GF1, GF33), and he turned her into his seventh (though he thought she was his sixth) Horcrux after murdering Bertha Jorkins. This closeness to his snake enabled him to possess her and see clearly into her mind (BLC). Nagini ate human flesh (DH1), and the Dark Lord enjoyed threatening his Death Eaters—notably Peter Pettigrew—with the prospect of being fed to her (GF27, DH9). She was the last Horcrux to be destroyed, beheaded by Neville Longbottom (DH36).
Relationship with the Death Eaters
The Dark Lord did not take kindly to failure. He tortured Death Eaters who failed to meet his expectations (DH9), and was extremely disappointed when only four of them sought him immediately after his downfall (GF33). Voldemort had many minions, but only those in his inner circle were branded with the Dark Mark, and thus available to congregate whenever the Mark was touched with the intention to summon the Death Eaters (DH23). Three Death Eaters were particularly close to him: Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and Severus Snape.
Sirius Black was believed by many to be the Dark Lord's right hand (PA3). This position was probably occupied by Bellatrix—who would have probably lost this position after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries—or by Snape, who was privy to many of Voldemort's most coveted plans (HBP2, DH1).
The Malfoy family
Voldemort entrusted Lucius with a Horcrux: his diary, which made possible the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets (CS18). The Dark Lord was enraged to hear, years later, that the diary had been carelessly handed to Ginny Weasley. Lucius did not know that the object concealed a part of his master's soul; in all likelihood, Voldemort had only told him that the object was enchanted to reopen the Chamber (HBP10).
Lucius pretended to have been under the Imperius Curse after the Dark Lord's first downfall, and maintained a position of influence with the Ministry (GF8, OP9) until the Second War began. When Voldemort was reborn, he welcomed Lucius to his inner circle ("Lucius, my slippery friend..."), and reprimanded Malfoy for running from the Dark Mark conjured at the Quidditch World Cup (GF33, GF9).
Lucius quickly began to lose favour, however, after Voldemort heard about the diary's destruction (HBP10). When the Death Eaters under his command lost the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and failed to retrieve the Prophecy (OP35), the Dark Lord was also extremely disappointed; Lucius was sent to prison after the battle and, as punishment for the elder Malfoy's failure, Voldemort gave his son Draco the nearly impossible task of murdering Albus Dumbledore, with the expectation that he, too, would fail, and then be punished accordingly by the Dark Lord (HBP2).
Draco's scheme succeeded (HBP27), but Voldemort continued to distrust the Malfoys' loyalty. He dwelt at Malfoy Manor for a while, and suspected that the family resented him for it (DH1). During his stay at the Manor, Voldemort used Draco as a pawn, forcing him to torture other Death Eaters, which effectively humiliated the Malfoy pride (DH9).
The following year, after Harry Potter managed to escape from the Manor (DH23), Voldemort tortured Lucius and began to treat him with complete disdain. Malfoy then focused on rescuing his son from Hogwarts during the final battle between Death Eaters and Order members at the school, fearing for Draco's life, and seemed to lose all care for the Death Eater cause. Voldemort snubbed Lucius' concerns for Draco and jeered that perhaps the teenager had chosen to ally himself with Harry Potter when he did not leave the school with the other Slytherins (DH32).
After Voldemort succeeded in casting the Killing Curse on Harry (DH34), Narcissa Malfoy was ordered to confirm the death. Harry was alive; however, Narcissa, only concerned for her son, demanded news of Draco from Harry and, upon learning that Draco was alive and well, she lied to the Dark Lord, stating that Harry was dead. She knew she and Lucius would only be able to return to Hogwarts and reunite with their son if they were part of a victory party. This allowed Harry to confront Voldemort for the last time soon afterwards, during which the Dark Lord was killed by a rebounding Avada Kedavra (DH36). Narcissa's instrumental intervention ensured that the Malfoys were not convicted for their crimes (BLC).
Voldemort was extremely close to Bellatrix. She was his pupil, extremely loyal to him, and he was responsible for teaching her much of what she knew about the Dark Arts (OP36). The Dark Lord was her true love, though Bellatrix was married to Rodolphus Lestrange in the pure-blood marriage expected from her (BLC). Voldemort entrusted her with one of his most prized Horcruxes: Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, which she stored in her Gringotts vault. Harry and his friends later stole the cup from the vault (DH26); Hermione Granger destroyed the Horcrux with a Basilisk fang taken from the dead serpent in the Chamber of Secrets (DH31).
Bellatrix constantly professed her devotion to Voldemort (OP36, HBP2, DH1, DH36). When he mocked her family for the double disgrace of Andromeda marrying Muggle-born Ted Tonks and Nymphadora marrying the werewolf Remus Lupin (DH1), Bellatrix took special effort to kill Nymphadora at any given opportunity (DH5). She eventually succeeded during the Battle of Hogwarts (BLC, DH33).
Severus Snape became a Death Eater in the First War. He was extremely loyal to Voldemort until he realised that the Dark Lord planned to murder the Potters. Severus then asked him to spare Lily, whom he loved dearly, and turned to Dumbledore as well, becoming a spy in exchange for her protection. From that point on, Snape used Occlumency to prevent the Dark Lord from discovering his true allegiance (DH33, OP25).
After Peter Pettigrew broke the Fidelius Charm cast by the Potters, Lily died and Voldemort disappeared; however, Snape's loyalty did not waver, and he swore to protect Harry Potter from the Dark Lord, honoring Lily's sacrifice (DH33).
When Voldemort was reborn and called his Death Eaters to him, Snape did not appear until two hours later. The Dark Lord was suspicious, and feared that Snape had abandoned his service (GF33). On Dumbledore's orders, Severus claimed that his delayed return had secured the Headmaster's continued trust. The Dark Lord questioned Snape extensively, and found all his answers satisfactory; Snape was then welcomed back to the inner circle (HBP2).
Voldemort's trust in Snape was further cemented when the latter murdered Albus Dumbledore (HBP27); the Dark Lord did not know that Dumbledore had previously arranged the assassination with Snape (DH33). Snape then became the Dark Lord's most trusted advisor (DH1) and was given the position of Hogwarts Headmaster soon afterwards (DH12). Unbeknownst to Voldemort, Snape continued to undermine him as much as possible, following Dumbledore's instructions (DH19, DH33).
When Minerva McGonagall began to coordinate the defences of Hogwarts castle for the impending battle against Voldemort, Snape fled (DH30); his master summoned him to the Shrieking Shack soon afterwards. Snape then saw that the Dark Lord had cast special protection around Nagini, and attempted to leave the Shack to give Harry a message from Dumbledore (Dumbledore had instructed Snape that, once Voldemort seemed to fear for Nagini's life, he was to tell Harry that the boy was Voldemort's seventh Horcrux, and therefore had to die) (DH33).
Dismissing Snape's concerns, Voldemort noted that, since Albus' murder, Snape had become the true master of the Elder Wand (or so the Dark Lord supposed). With regret, Voldemort ordered Nagini to kill the Death Eater. Seconds later, after Voldemort left, Snape gave Harry, who had witnessed the scene and entered the room upon Voldemort's departure, several memories that both revealed his true allegiance and passed on Dumbledore's message (DH32).
In his final duel against Voldemort, Harry revealed that Snape had been loyal to Dumbledore since Voldemort had targeted the Potters (DH36).
Peter Pettigrew was a Death Eater during the First War; he passed information about the Potters and the Order of the Phoenix to Voldemort for at least a year before the latter's downfall (PA19). Pettigrew rescued the Dark Lord's wand from Godric's Hollow and hid it during the twelve years he spent in disguise with the Weasleys (BLC). After Remus Lupin and Sirius Black revealed his true identity, Peter fled to Albania, taking the wand with him, and nourished Voldemort back to health (GF33).
Regardless of this service, and knowing that Pettigrew had returned to him out of cowardice and fear more than loyalty, the Dark Lord constantly treated Peter with spite and disdain. He never failed to refer to Pettigrew by his Marauder alias, "Wormtail," and always stressed the wizard's clumsiness with magic (GF1, GF33). He ordered Peter to stay in Spinner's End with Snape during the summer of 1996, thus ensuring that Pettigrew would be thoroughly humiliated (HBP2).
When Voldemort stayed in Malfoy Manor, Pettigrew was there as well (DH1). After the Dark Lord's departure, Pettigrew remained in the Manor. When Harry was about to escape, Pettigrew confronted him. For a moment, however, under consideration of the Wizard Debt the Death Eater owed to Harry, Pettigrew hesitated, and did not alert his fellow Death Eaters. The silver hand that Voldemort had given him promptly strangled him for his treason (DH23).
Regardless of Sirius Black's claims that his brother had never been important enough for Voldemort to kill in person (OP6), Regulus was certainly somewhat close to the Dark Lord. Regulus was devoted to him long before he became a Death Eater at the age of sixteen. Voldemort required an elf of Regulus, who let him use Kreacher. The Dark Lord used Kreacher to place Salazar Slytherin's locket in the Cave (DH10).
Regulus was not, however, prepared for the daily life of a Death Eater. The Dark Lord's near-murder of Kreacher provoked a change of heart in Regulus, who then plotted to get the Horcrux (BLC). He died while obtaining the locket, leaving instructions with Kreacher to replace it with a fake and to destroy the real Horcrux (DH10).
Relationship with Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared (PS4, PS15). The Dark Lord boasted that he had delved deeper into magic than Dumbledore ever had, and considered Albus weak for not having done so (DH36). Dumbledore always addressed Voldemort as "Tom" (HBP13, HBP20, OP36), probably both to emphasise the Dark Lord's Muggle origin and to state that Dumbledore did not acknowledge Voldemort's self-proclaimed superiority and nobility. Without a doubt, the term also reminded Riddle that Dumbledore was several years his senior, and had been one of his teachers.
In addition, Albus always encouraged others to refer to the Dark Lord as "Voldemort," and refused to use such terms as "You-Know-Who" (PS1). According to Dumbledore, "Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself" (PS17). Most wizards respected this habit of his, acknowledging Dumbledore's greatness, but few others dared to speak the name of the Dark Lord themselves (OP24).
It was often stated that Dumbledore was more powerful than Voldemort had been, or would ever be; this assertion greatly upset the Dark Lord. Riddle feared him, and, in all likelihood, the two wizards did not duel until the Battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP36). When Tom and Harry were in the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry demonstrated loyalty to the Headmaster and stated that Dumbledore was a better wizard than the Dark Lord had ever been, Riddle gloated that Albus had been driven away from Hogwarts by the mere possibility of the Dark Lord's return (CS17). He disdained Dumbledore in public, calling him a "Muggle-loving fool" (GF33) and mocking Albus' constant claim that love was the most powerful form of magic (DH36).
Dumbledore was the teacher in charge of notifying young Tom Riddle of his acceptance at Hogwarts. Eleven-year-old Tom's evident instints for cruelty and his misuse of magic to dominate and hurt others alarmed Dumbledore. He noticed several of the boy's defining traits that day, such as his unwillingness to depend on others and his magpie tendencies; these observations would become crucial later on, as Dumbledore sought to comprehend the Dark Lord's character in full (HBP13).
When Riddle started his Hogwarts career, he seemed to be brilliant and perfectly kind. Despite the entire staff's adoration, Albus was not fooled; he kept a close watch on Tom and his Slytherin friends, particularly after the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. This prevented Riddle from freeing the Basilisk more than once while at school (CS17).
Riddle wished to stay at Hogwarts after graduating, his eye on the position of teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts. Dumbledore strongly opposed this, and Armando Dippet, then Headmaster, asked Tom to wait a few more years before applying. After studying the Dark Arts for a decade, Voldemort returned to the school to apply for the same job. Dumbledore, who had become Headmaster, refused to give him the position, lamenting the young man's clear inclination towards Dark Magic.
Albus guessed that Voldemort's true intention in coming to the school was not to request a position—Dumbledore was obviously not going to give it to him (HBP20). In truth, the Dark Lord wished to hide Ravenclaw's diadem in the Room of Requirement, and perhaps to steal Gryffindor's sword if he had the chance (DH31). Nevertheless, after Voldemort's request was refused, he cursed the post he had coveted, and no Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was able to remain in that position for over a year until 1998 (HBP20).
During the First War, Dumbledore was the head of a group of wizards who actively fought Voldemort: the Order of the Phoenix (OP4). Even though the two wizards seem never to have duelled until 1996 (OP36), Dumbledore was without a doubt extremely involved in the fight against the Dark Lord's regime. He treated Severus Snape with some contempt when the latter came to him to warn of the danger facing Lily Potter, and soon afterwards recruited Snape as a spy for the Order (DH33).
After Voldemort's disappearance, Dumbledore—who already suspected that the Dark Lord had made Horcruxes—was certain that he would return someday (HBP23, DH35). Albus used the ancient magic invoked by Lily's sacrifice to protect number four, Privet Drive; not even Voldemort could touch Harry there until the boy turned seventeen years old (GF33, OP37, DH4).
The Dark Lord possessed Professor Quirrell before the school year of 1991, and tried to obtain the Philosopher's Stone during the following months, which would enable him to take a tangible, human form. Dumbledore foresaw this, and guarded the item with the help of the Mirror of Erised: only those who wished to find the Stone for selfless reasons would be able to do so. This obstacle forced Voldemort to use Harry to obtain the Stone (PS17). Albus also suspected Quirrell, and asked Severus Snape to keep an eye on him (DH33). Harry eventually triumphed against the Dark Lord, thanks to Dumbledore's timely arrival; Voldemort was forced to return to Albania (GF33).
When the Chamber of Secrets was opened, in 1992, Dumbledore had no doubt that Voldemort was behind it; he simply did not know how the Dark Lord had managed to open the Chamber (CS10). When Harry defeated Tom Riddle in the Chamber and showed the destroyed diary to Dumbledore (CS18), the Headmaster at last obtained concrete proof that Voldemort had made Horcruxes (HBP23). He strongly suspected that Harry was one of them (DH33, DH35). Two years later, when Harry told Dumbledore about the Dark Lord's return, Albus immediately realised the importance of Voldemort's decision to use Harry's blood in his rebirth potion (GF36, DH35). He tried to warn the wizarding community about Lord Voldemort's return, but was ridiculed as a fool and portrayed as a warmonger (GF36, OP5).
During the course of the following year, Dumbledore noticed that the mental connection between Harry and Voldemort was growing stronger. Albus avoided contact with the boy as much as possible, hoping that this would disencourage the Dark Lord from possessing Harry; in the few occasions he and Harry met, Harry felt a strange urge to attack the Headmaster (OP37). Dumbledore arranged Occlumency lessons for Harry with Professor Snape, trying to prevent Voldemort from using said mental connection (OP24); the lessons were a failure, and the Dark Lord effectively manipulated Harry into going to the Department of Mysteries to get the Prophecy (OP31, OP34).
The Order of the Phoenix came to the rescue of Harry and his friends in the Ministry (OP35); Dumbledore arrived shortly afterwards, and interrupted Voldemort's duel with Harry. Albus and the Dark Lord talked while duelling; Dumbledore admitted that simply killing Tom would not satisfy him. The Dark Lord mocked Albus' claim that there were punishments worse than death, and attempted to fool the Headmaster into murdering Harry. Even though both wizards nearly hit each other with serious curses, both survived (OP36). After the Department of Mysteries failure, the entire British population was informed of the Dark Lord's return (OP38).
Albus investigated Riddle's early life for many years, collecting memories of people related to his upbringing. His knowledge of the Dark Lord's psyche was unrivalled. Knowing how important it would be for Harry to understand Voldemort's character, Dumbledore showed him memories and painstakingly revealed the workings of the Dark Lord's mind to the boy (HBP10, HBP13, HBP17, HBP20, HBP23). By the time Albus died, Harry had enough knowledge to undertake the quest for the Horcruxes on his own (HBP30).
Voldemort gave Draco Malfoy the task of murdering Dumbledore in the summer of 1996 (HBP2). Snape informed Dumbledore of this, and Albus guessed that the Dark Lord planned to have Snape carry out the task when Draco succeeded. Dumbledore—who was already living on borrowed time due to the curse Voldemort had cast on the Peverell Ring—asked Snape to murder him when the time came (DH33). This arrangement would have ensured that Albus died undefeated (the Elder Wand would have lost its powers if that were the case); however, the plan was hindered by the fact that Draco Disarmed the Headmaster before Severus committed the crime (HBP27, DH36).
The Dark Lord, unaware of the subtleties of wandlore, did not know this. He desecrated Dumbledore's tomb, and snatched the Deathstick from the cadaver's hands (DH24), to no avail; by then, Harry Potter was already the true possessor of the Elder Wand (DH23, DH36).
Before Dumbledore died, he asked Snape to protect the Hogwarts students to the best of his abilities after the school was placed under Voldemort's command. Albus, even posthumously, also continued to use Severus to undermine the Dark Lord as often as possible (DH33). These plans and interventions were extremely important to Voldemort's defeat (DH36).
Relationship with Harry Potter
Voldemort and Harry Potter were deeply connected, and more closely attached than any other two wizards in history. When the Dark Lord killed the Potters and attempted to murder one-year-old Harry in Godric's Hollow, he prevented from harming the baby by Lily's sacrifice. The fact that she chose to die in order to spare her son ensured that the Avada Kedavra curse rebounded, leaving Harry with a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. Voldemort did not die due to the Horcruxes he had made before then, but a part of his highly unstable soul, rendered even more volatile by the evil of the act he was trying to perform, parted from the whole and attached itself to Harry, effectively transforming the boy into an accidental Horcrux (DH35). When Voldemort used Harry's blood as an ingredient to the rebirth potion (GF32), he tied Harry's survival to his own, for his act kept Lily's sacrifice alive. As long as the Dark Lord lived, so would Harry (DH35).
The fact that Harry was a Horcrux created a link between his and the Dark Lord's minds. Harry often felt his enemy's emotions and saw visions of what Voldemort was going through; his scar prickled, hurt, or burned when the Dark Lord was nearby, when Voldemort felt particularly happy or angry, or when visions of Voldemort's actions occurred (PS7, PS15, PS16, PS17, GF2, GF29, GF31, GF32, GF33, GF35, OP6, OP9, OP10, OP13, OP15, OP18, OP21, OP22, OP23, OP24, OP25, OP26, OP27, OP28, OP31, OP32, OP33, OP34, OP36, DH4, DH5, DH7, DH9, DH12, DH14, DH15, DH17, DH22, DH23, DH24, DH27, DH29, DH30 and DH32). The part of Voldemort's soul in Harry also empowered the boy with some of the Dark Lord's characteristics and skills, notably the ability to speak Parseltongue (CS18).
From very early on, Voldemort identified himself with Harry. When he heard of Sybill Trelawney's prophecy, he concluded that it referred to the son of the Potters—a half-blood like himself (OP37). When the Dark Lord was possessing Professor Quirrell, he met Harry for the first time, and mentioned his appreciation for the boy's outstanding bravery. Voldemort easily saw through Harry's lie—that he did not know where the Philosopher's Stone was—and ordered Quirrell to kill him in order to get the Stone. Quirrell failed, for he could not touch Harry due to the protection of Lily's sacrifice (PS16).
Upon hearing that one-year-old Harry Potter had defeated his later self, the teenage Riddle inhabiting the diary Lucius Malfoy gave to Ginny Weasley was intrigued by the apparent similarities between their characters: both were half-bloods, Parselmouths, orphans, and had been raised by hostile Muggles. He sought to corner and confront Harry, and eventually succeeded in the Chamber of Secrets, where Harry overcame him for the third time with the help of Fawkes and the Sorting Hat (CS17).
With the help of Peter Pettigrew, Voldemort acquired a weak physical body and sought to regain his former human shape. He believed that using Harry's blood in his rebirth potion would stregthen him and cause Lily's sacrifice to protect him, as well. The Dark Lord plotted to bring the boy to the Little Hangleton graveyard, with the help of Bartemius Crouch, Jr. (GF33). Harry was transported there at the conclusion of the Triwizard Tournament, and Peter Pettigrew took his blood to add to the potion (GF32). This enabled Voldemort to touch Harry if he so wished; Lily's sacrifice no longer shielded her son from contact with the Dark Lord (GF33).
Voldemort decided to give Harry a chance to match their skills, believing that Lily's sacrifice would no longer give the boy any advantage. During the duel that ensued, Voldemort used the Cruciatus Curse, and attempted to use Imperio to force Harry to beg him not to do so again. The Dark Lord mocked Harry for dodging curses, and for hiding behind tombstones; Harry decided to face him at last, fully embracing the possibility of dying and choosing to do so boldly, like his father.
The Priori Incantatem effect resulted when Harry and Voldemort cast spells at each other simultaneously (see "Harry and Voldemort's Wands," below). The Dark Lord was bewildered and terrified by the unforeseen occurrence; he hysterically ordered his Death Eaters to Stun Harry before he escaped, to no avail (GF34).
Harry's escape was a major setback for Voldemort, who realised that it was necessary to fight Harry by other means. He attempted to obtain the only known record of Trelawney's Prophecy from the Department of Mysteries, hoping that it would give him an insight into Harry Potter's extreme luck and knack for survival (OP5, OP37). The Dark Lord obsessed over the Prophecy—and, therefore, so did Harry; the connection between their minds was growing stronger, and Harry had constant flashes of the Department of Mysteries in his dreams (OP1, OP6, OP10, OP15, OP18, OP21, OP22, OP24, OP25, OP28, OP30).
Voldemort noticed the connection when he and Harry possessed Nagini at the same time (OP21, OP37). He tried to use it to his favour, and fabricated a vision that tricked Harry into believing that Sirius was being tortured by the Dark Lord in the Hall of Prophecy (OP31). As Voldemort had predicted, Harry rushed to his godfather's defence. Later that evening, the Dark Lord himself took part in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He possessed Harry, and attempted to lure Dumbledore into killing the boy. However, Harry's deep love for the recently deceased Sirius ensured that the possession did not last long; Voldemort could not coexist with such strong, positive emotions within the same body. The Dark Lord was once more forced to retreat and flee (OP36).
After the Department of Mysteries fiasco, Voldemort started using Occlumency to prevent Harry from learning of his actions (HBP4). Meanwhile, Albus Dumbledore taught Harry much about the Dark Lord's character and earlier life, believing that such knowledge would be instrumental to Voldemort's defeat (HBP10, HBP13, HBP17, HBP20, HBP23).
As the Dark Lord's power grew, it became increasingly difficult for him to keep Harry away from his thoughts. Though Voldemort's Occlumency sometimes prevented Harry from seeing into his mind with clarity (DH22), Harry gained insight into most of his plans in 1997 and 1998—secret plans not even Death Eaters were privy to, including Voldemort's search for the Elder Wand (DH7, DH9, DH14, DH23, DH24).
Harry chose not to try to block these visions (DH11); coupled with the late Dumbledore's lessons, they allowed him to guess most of the Dark Lord's intentions. Harry's understanding of Voldemort's character was remarkable; his shrewd guesses regarding Horcruxes were often proved to be correct (DH15, DH24, DH31).
After Dobby's death, Harry learned that he was capable, if he so wished, to prevent the visions; grief blocked his mind from Voldemort's thoughts (DH24). However, Harry continued to keep track of the Dark Lord's actions, using that knowledge to make his final plans (DH27).
When Harry arrived at Hogwarts to search for Ravenclaw's diadem, Voldemort was notified of his presence there (DH30). He arrived at the gates, and annouced that he would not attack Hogwarts if the castle's defenders handed Harry over to him (DH31).
Voldemort believed that he knew Harry better than Severus or Lucius; both Death Eaters disagreed with the Dark Lord's idea that Harry would come find him of his own accord. Voldemort was certain that Harry would not stand to see many others dying for him, and would seek to end the battle as quickly as possible. However, Voldemort feared facing Harry before knowing himself the true master of the Elder Wand; he killed Severus Snape to ensure this (DH32) and challenged Harry to meet him in the Forbidden Forest (DH33).
Harry eventually went to the Forest, aware that he would have to die at the Dark Lord's hand for Dumbledore's plan to be fulfilled. Just as Voldemort prepared to acknowledge his mistake, Harry arrived, and the Dark Lord cast the Killing Curse on him (DH34).
The curse rendered both wizards unconscious for a moment; they regained consciousness soon afterwards. Voldemort, believing that Harry had died (though Harry was merely feigning death), gloated about his victory, and lied to the castle's defenders, stating that Harry had been caught while trying to escape Hogwarts. Meanwhile, Harry bided his time, waiting for an opportunity to face the Dark Lord for the last time.
After Neville Longbottom beheaded Nagini, the opportunity presented itself: Harry revealed himself to Voldemort. They talked before throwing any curses; Harry informed the Dark Lord of some of the latter's biggest blunders (DH36). Like Dumbledore before him (OP36), Harry exalted the power of magic that Voldemort had never learned to acknowledge—notably love. He urged the Dark Lord to feel remorse for his actions, for remorse is the only cure for a soul torn by the making of Horcruxes.
Voldemort would hear none of it. Disregarding Harry's main revelation—that he, Harry, was the Elder Wand's true master—, the Dark Lord attempted to kill him. The Deathstick refused to attack its master; the Avada Kedavra curse rebounded, and Voldemort died (DH36).
After the Dark Lord's demise, Harry's scar never hurt again (DHE).
Harry and Voldemort's wands
Harry and Voldemort's wands mirrored the connection between their masters; their cores shared the same source—Fawkes' tail feathers (GF36). This caused the Priori Incantatem effect when the two wizards duelled for the first time, in the Little Hangleton graveyard (GF34). During that duel, Harry's wand absorbed some of the power and skills of the Dark Lord's wand, and it eventually used some of this power against Voldemort himself (DH35).
Riddle first used Harry's wand in the Chamber of Secrets; he seemed to have no problems with it (CS17). After the Priori Incantatem effect occurred, Voldemort sought to obtain information about the occurrence; he eventually kidnapped Ollivander, who told him about the twin cores (DH24). The Dark Lord borrowed Lucius Malfoy's wand to attack Harry during the Battle of the Seven Potters, but that failed as well. Harry's wand used some of the magic it had imbibed from Voldemort's stick in Little Hangleton, recognising its foe despite the different wand the Dark Lord wielded. Golden flames erupted from Harry's wand tip, snapping Lucius' wand (DH4, DH35).
The Dark Lord then tried to find the Elder Wand, believing that it would make him undefeatable (DH24). By the time he stole it from Dumbledore's tomb, Harry had already won Draco Malfoy's wand (DH23), and was therefore the Deathstick's master (DH36). Because of this, the Elder Wand did not perform as magnificently as Voldemort had expected it to; he was not unable to do anything beyond his usual magic with it. He correctly attributed this to the fact that he was not the wand's true possessor (DH32).
In Harry's final confrontation with Voldemort, the Elder Wand refused to obey the Dark Lord's command to kill Harry; the Killing Curse rebounded, and murdered Voldemort (DH36).
Voldemort's mother, Merope Gaunt, was born to a family of old wizarding stock—direct descendents of Salazar Slytherin and of Cadmus Peverell (DH22). The Gaunts lived on the outskirts of Little Hangleton, and shunned contact with the Muggles who lived in the village.
Merope's father, Marvolo, was obsessed with blood purity and often chastised his children in Parseltongue. Both Merope and her brother Morfin were mentally unstable, and heavily affected by the oppressive atmosphere in which they were brought up. Morfin was extremely aggressive towards Muggles; Merope showed a Squib-like ineptitude towards magic (HBP10).
Merope and Tom
Merope fell in love with Tom Riddle, a handsome Muggle who lived nearby. After Marvolo and Morfin were sent to Azkaban, she managed to feed Tom a Love Potion, ran away with him to London, and the two lived together happily for a while, marrying despite the Riddles' disapproval. Merope eventually believed that Tom would have developed true affection for her while under her spell, and ended the enchantment; she was mistaken, and he abandoned his pregnant wife in London, returning to his parents' home in the village (HBP10). According to Voldemort, Riddle abandoned Merope when she revealed to him that she was a witch (GF33).
Desperate, alone, and extremely poor, Merope was forced to sell her most private possession and heirloom—the locket her family had treasured for many generations, which she had stolen before leaving Little Hangleton—to Caractacus Burke for the measly sum of ten Galleons. She was already near her due date by then, and had apparently forfeited her magical powers.
On December 31, 1926, a cold and snowy night, Merope found her way to an orphanage. She went into labour, and had her son within an hour. She lived long enough to express her hope that the child would grow to resemble his father, and to choose the baby's name (Tom, after her husband, and Marvolo, after her father). Merope died one hour after Voldemort's birth (HBP13).
Tom Marvolo Riddle grew up in the grim orphanage where his mother left him. The place was run by a woman named Mrs. Cole, and housed several children, including Martha, Billy Stubbs and Eric Whalley. As a baby, he hardly ever cried. He developed an irresistible, powerful, commanding tone that he used to bend those that surrounded him to his will—an early manifestation of his magical powers that, according to Dumbledore, betrayed the boy's obvious instinct for domination (HBP13). Tom loathed the sound of crying children (DH17).
The other orphans—and, presumably, the staff, too—were scared of Tom. He was a strange child, and odd things tended to happen to people who crossed him: Billy Stubbs' rabbit, for instance, showed up hanging from the rafters a day after he argued with Riddle.
Every summer, the orphans were taken for a visit to the countryside. On one such occasion, Riddle went with two children, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop, to explore a cave nearby; the pair was never the same again, even though he swore that nothing had happened. (He later used the Cave as the hiding place for one of his Horcruxes.) During one of these country trips, Riddle discovered that he could speak to snakes.
Riddle collected trinkets and keepsakes from the children he bullied, and stored them in a box inside his wardrobe (HBP13); this packrat tendency would later develop into a penchant for saving souvenirs after memorable killings and transforming them into Horcruxes (HBP23).
Dumbledore visited the orphanage when Riddle was eleven years old in order to invite the boy to study at Hogwarts. Albus talked to Mrs. Cole first, who informed him of how unusual Tom was, sharing tales of his extraordinary influence over the other children.
When Dumbledore was at last introduced to the boy, Tom at first believed him to be a doctor or psychiatrist of some sort, come to take him to an asylum. He was convinced when Albus revealed that Hogwarts was a school for those capable of doing magic. "I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do, without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want to," Riddle said. "I knew I was different. I knew I was special."
Tom's abuse of his wizarding powers alarmed Albus. He demanded that Riddle show him respect, and ordered the boy to return the items stolen from other childen at the orphanage. Dumbledore also warned Tom that at Hogwarts he would be introduced to the laws that controlled the usage of magic in the wizarding world, and that law-breakers were punished with severity.
Riddle's demeanour changed after Dumbledore reprimanded him; he became more guarded and shielded his reactions. When Dumbledore told him about Diagon Alley, the boy insisted on going alone, and Albus gave him some money from the Hogwarts fund which helped students who needed financial assistance to obtain supplies. Riddle also mentioned that he was a Parselmouth, which surprised Dumbledore.
Dumbledore provided Riddle with enough information to find Diagon Alley and Platform Nine and Three-Quarters (HBP13). Riddle bought some second-hand robes and spellbooks for himself (HBP17), along with his wand—thirteen and a half inches; yew; phoenix feather core—at Ollivanders. Mr. Ollivander later said that the wand was very powerful (PS5); Voldemort was very pleased with it until the wand failed him during his confrontation with Harry in the Little Hangleton graveyard, many years later (GF34, DH24).
Tom as a student
When Riddle first arrived at Hogwarts, he effortlessly won the admiration and affection of his classmates and the teaching staff. He was a Slytherin (PS5); the Sorting Hat Sorted him only a moment after being placed on the boy's head. He was brilliant and polite. Dumbledore told no one of his first impressions, hoping that Riddle had somehow changed. Nevertheless, Albus—who was the Transfiguration teacher at the time—didn't trust the boy as much as his fellow professors did, and watched the student carefully. Tom, however, was always guarded when near his teacher.
Tom was obsessed with discovering more about his genealogy, having learned nothing from Dumbledore when the latter had visited him at the orphanage. Like Salazar Slytherin, Tom was a Parselmouth; the gift set him apart. He tried in vain to look for records of his father at Hogwarts, believing his mother to have been a Muggle due to her unremarkable death (HBP17). He realised that his mother was a witch at some point before June, 1942 (CS13).
Riddle gathered a group of loyal supporters at Hogwarts; in Dumbledore's words, the group "had a kind of dark glamour within the castle. They were a motley collection; a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish, gravitating towards a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty. [...] [Some] of them became the first Death Eaters after leaving Hogwarts." The group was somehow linked—but never solidly enough to implicate its members—to several incidents that happened during Riddle's seven years at the school, including the opening of the Chamber of Secrets (HBP17). They were the first to call him "Lord Voldemort"—an alias obtained from an anagram of Tom Marvolo Riddle: "I am Lord Voldemort" (CS17).
Voldemort was extremely interested in the subject of Horcruxes. It is likely that he found out how to make them with the help of a book entitled Secrets of the Darkest Art, which Dumbledore later removed from the Hogwarts library (DH6).
Chamber of Secrets
While at Hogwarts, Tom heard about the legend of the Chamber of Secrets. It took him five years of deep research to find the entrance, and in June of 1942, he set loose the Basilisk therein. Several students were injured, and one Ravenclaw—a girl named Myrtle—died (CS13).
Riddle used her death to transform his diary into his first Horcrux (BLC). The diary detailed his fifth-year experiences, Riddle made in such a way that the part of his soul contained in its pages could communicate with anyone who wrote in the diary.
Soon afterwards, Tom sent a letter to the headmaster of the time, Armando Dippet, requesting to stay at Hogwarts over the summer. Dippet refused to consider the possibility, especially considering the recent attacks; the Ministry of Magic was even considering shutting down the school. Tom decided to frame a fellow student, third-year Gryffindor Rubeus Hagrid, for the incidents.
Riddle cornered Hagrid in one of the dungeons, where the half-giant was tending to a young Acromantula, Aragog, but the Acromantula managed to escape the dungeons before it could be captured. Despite Hagrid's protests that Aragog had had nothing to do with the attacks, he was expelled from the school, and Tom received a Special Award for Services to the School (CS13). As he later put it, it was his word against Hagrid's: "On the one hand, Tom Riddle, poor but brilliant, parentless but so brave school Prefect, model student; on the other hand, big, blundering Hagrid, in trouble every other week, trying to raise werewolf cubs under his bed, sneaking off to the Forbidden Forest to wrestle trolls."
No one seemed to question the absurd possibility of Rubeus Hagrid being the heir of Slytherin; Riddle's accusations appeared to have been confirmed by the fact that no more deaths occurred. Only one teacher did not trust the Slytherin boy's version of the events: Dumbledore, who persuaded Dippet to keep Hagrid on as the school's gamekeeper (CS17).
Murder of the Riddles
Riddle discovered some information about the surviving descendents of Salazar Slytherin in the Hogwarts library. In the summer after his fifth year (July or August of 1942), he went to Little Hangleton to visit the home of the Gaunts. There, he met his uncle Morfin, who was drunk and at first mistook the teenager for the Muggle Tom Riddle. Begrudging the elder Riddle for taking Merope away from the family, Morfin attacked the teenager; he recoiled only when Riddle spoke in Parseltongue.
Morfin explained that Marvolo had died years ago, and briefly narrated the story of Merope, mentioning the locket she had stolen from the family before running away. Morfin then blacked out; when he woke up the following morning, the entire village was gossiping about the murder of the Riddles—Tom and his parents—, which had taken place the previous evening. Morfin promptly confessed details about the assassinations to Ministry officials. His wand was proven to have been used to commit the murders, and he claimed to be proud of his actions.
Tom stole the ring Morfin had been wearing—one he had inherited from Marvolo—, and inserted the false memory in Morfin's mind, ensuring that the soon-to-be-convicted murderer would be sentenced to life in Azkaban (HBP17). In the Muggle world, the Riddles' gardener, Frank Bryce, was generally believed to be guilty of the crimes. No evidence was ever found against him, however, and no one believed his story that a teenager had been skulking around the Riddle House that day (GF1).
Riddle used his murder of his father to split his soul and transform the ring into his second Horcrux (BLC). He was not familiar with the legend of the Deathly Hallows, and did not recognise the stone in the ring for what it truly was—the Resurrection Stone, engraved with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. According to Dumbledore, even if Voldemort had acknowledged the Stone's true worth, he would have had no use for it; he feared death, and had no deceased loved ones (DH35).
After the triple murder, Tom took to the habit of wearing the ring (HBP17). He later hid it in the Gaunt shack, keeping it in a golden box beneath some loose floorboards, guarded by intricate protection spells (HBP23, DH29).
In his sixth year, after a Slug Club meeting, Riddle persuaded Horace Slughorn to talk to him about Horcruxes. The professor gave him a brief overview of the subject, explaining that in order to make a Horcrux a wizard had to commit a murder and cast a certain spell. He further clarified that it was possible for someone to make more than one Horcrux (Tom specifically asked about splitting one's soul into seven pieces, showing that he had already made his plans at that point). The conversation seemed to frighten Slughorn, however, and he warned Tom not to speak of it to anyone (HBP23).
Tom approached the Grey Lady, the Ravenclaw ghost, at some point during his last years at Hogwarts. He was flattering, and showed her sympathy and understanding when she revealed her true identity—she was Helena Ravenclaw, Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter—and the story behind her death; he could certainly identify with the ambition that had driven her to steal Rowena's diadem. She told him where she had left the item: a forest in Albania (DH31).
As a seventh-year, Riddle achieved top grades in all his examinations. He had been prefect and was Head Boy; most staff members expected great things from him. He received offers from several teachers—including Slughorn—to find him a position in the Ministry of Magic, but Riddle refused. He went instead to Armando Dippet, the headmaster, and requested the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, vacant after the retirement of Galatea Merrythought. Dumbledore guessed that Tom wanted this position for three reasons: Hogwarts was the place in which he had been the happiest; the castle was a stronghold of ancient magic, and Riddle still felt he could discover more of its secrets; and the position of teacher would grant him great influence over young witches and wizards.
Dippet, who was very fond of the teenager, advised Riddle to return after a few years, for he was still far too young to teach. Dumbledore strongly opposed the idea, and spoke out against it (HBP20).
Borgin and Burkes
Soon after leaving Hogwarts, Riddle began working at Borgin and Burkes (HBP20). Before doing so, however, he went to Albania and recovered Ravenclaw's diadem from the hiding place that Helena had revealed to him (DH31). There, he murdered a local peasant, and used the death to transform the diadem into his third Horcrux (BLC).
At Borgin and Burkes, Riddle's job was to persuade witches and wizards who owned valuable, powerful relics to sell the items to the shop. He was very talented at it, partially because of his charisma and partially because of his natural ability to command others.
One such witch was Hepzibah Smith, a distant descendent of Helga Hufflepuff. She was an old collector who grew immensely fond of Riddle—enough to reveal to him her two most prized possessions: a cup that had belonged to Hufflepuff and Slytherin's locket, which Hepzibah had previously bought off Caractacus Burke for a huge sum of money.
Smith died two days after revealing the items to Riddle. Much like Morfin in the case of the Riddles' murder, Hokey, Hepzibah's house-elf, confessed to the murder, claiming to have accidentally poisoned Hepzibah's cocoa (HBP20). Voldemort used Hepzibah's murder to transform the cup into a Horcrux (BLC). He killed a Muggle tramp shortly afterwards, and cast the Horcrux spell on Slytherin's locket as well (BLC).
It took Smith's family a long time to realise that the two treasures were nowhere to be found. By then, Riddle had already quit his job at Borgin and Burkes and disappeared without a trace (HBP20).
Voldemort spent the next ten years delving deep into the Dark Arts. He later stated to Dumbledore that he had performed experiments, expanding the boundaries of magic perhaps further than they ever had been pushed. His appearance changed drastically (see "Physical Characteristics," above).
He began gathering loyal followers, who took on the title of 'Death Eaters,' and started demanding that everyone address him as 'Lord Voldemort' (HBP20).
After his ten-year disappearance, Voldemort returned to Hogwarts to procure the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Dippet was no longer headmaster of the school; his position had been taken by Albus Dumbledore.
Voldemort made an appointment with Dumbledore at some point in winter, and went with a few of his Death Eaters—Nott, Rosier, Mulciber, Dolohov—to Hogsmeade. The group stayed at the Hog's Head, and Aberforth, the barkeeper, informed his brother Albus of their arrival.
The meeting was somewhat tense. The two wizards had irreconcilably different views on magic, and the headmaster acknowledged that Voldemort had no true intention or wish to teach at Hogwarts, nor did he expect Dumbledore to agree with his request. After Albus categorically refused to grant the petition, the Dark Lord left (HBP20).
Voldemort's true intention was to hide Ravenclaw's diadem in the Hogwarts castle. He believed that no one other than him would possess the intelligence necessary to find the Room of Requirement (DH32), and on his way to or from the Headmaster's office he placed the diadem in the Room of Hidden Things, a cathedral-like chamber full of objects hidden by generations of Hogwarts students. He had also probably hoped to seize the opportunity to steal Gryffindor's sword from Dumbledore's office, but he did not succeed (DH31).
Though he had not truly wanted the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Voldemort jinxed the post; from the end of his meeting with Dumbledore, no professor of the subject lasted more than a year at Hogwarts (HBP20).
Voldemort's followers had different levels of prestige. His most trusted minions, branded with the Dark Mark on their forearms and therefore able to summon him when necessary, made up an inner circle (DH23) that included, among others, the Lestranges, Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, Igor Karkaroff (GF33) and the Carrows (DH30).
The Dark Lord entrusted two of his Horcruxes—the diary and Hufflepuff's cup—to Lucius (CS18) and Bellatrix (DH24), respectively. He planned for the diary to be read someday, so that he could take credit for opening the Chamber. It was the least safely guarded of all Horcruxes, almost casually handed to Lucius for safekeeping (CS18) and eventual passing on to someone else—Ginny Weasley (CS4). According to Dumbledore, the careless way that Voldemort treated this part of his soul was a certain sign that he had made more than one Horcrux (HBP23).
Voldemort treated Bellatrix as a pupil, and taught her the Dark Arts when she entered his service (OP36). He gave her Hufflepuff's cup, and asked her to keep it safe in the Lestrange family's Gringotts vault (DH24).
As Voldemort's power grew and he started gathering more followers, the British wizarding community began to live in terror of him and his Death Eaters. His rise to power was marked by a series of mysterious disappearances (GF30).
The sight of the Dark Mark floating over a house, signaling that Death Eaters had attacked its inhabitants, became increasingly more frequent, and reports of new victims were common. Dark magic—such as the creation of Inferi (HBP9) and the use of the Unforgivable Curses—was used freely, with no regard for the Ministry of Magic's prohibitions.
During this period, the name of the Dark Lord was uttered only in total fear—and eventually not mentioned at all. Most individuals, with few exceptions, called him "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" (GF10).
This set of circumstances, commonly known as the First War, greatly mobilised the Ministry to act against Death Eaters. These actions, however, were inspired by mass paranoia and hysteria. The likes of Bartemius Crouch, Sr., then head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, encouraged intolerance and disregard for ancient wizarding principles. Aurors under Crouch's command were allowed to use the Unforgivable Curses against Death Eaters, and some people were sent to Azkaban without a trial (GF27).
At some point during the First War, Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix, a group of wizards dedicated to fighting against Voldemort. The Dark Lord had some of its members murdered—Edgar Bones (and his family), Benjy Fenwick, Marlene McKinnon (and her family), Caradoc Dearborn, Gideon and Fabian Prewett—, and assassinated Dorcas Meadowes himself (OP9). Voldemort also had other confrontations with Order members; notably, he encountered Frank and Alice Longbottom and Lily and James Potter each three times (OP37).
In 1981, Sybill Trelawney went to Hogsmeade for a job interview with Dumbledore, seeking the position of Divination professor. During the meeting, which took place at the Hog's Head inn, she went into a trance and prophesied Voldemort's (possible) defeat: "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 powers 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..." (OP37).
Severus Snape was present at the inn that night, and overheard the first part of the prophecy before he was caught eavesdropping and thrown out (HBP25). When Voldemort was informed of the Seer's prediction, he sought out to destroy his future enemy. Two boys whose parents met the criterion of defying Voldemort three times were born near the end of July 1981: Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter. The Dark Lord believed Harry to be more of a threat, and chose to murder him. According to Dumbledore, he saw the similarities between his own half-blood status and that of Harry (OP37).
When Snape realised that Voldemort was planning to murder the Potters, he begged the Dark Lord to spare Lily. However, Severus did not trust Voldemort to keep the promise, and went to Dumbledore, asking him to protect the family. In return, Snape swore to act as a spy for Albus, a position to which Severus remained true until his death (DH33).
Peter Pettigrew, a close friend of the Potters', became a Death Eater and started spying for Voldemort at some point in 1980. When Lily and James went into hiding and chose him as Secret Keeper, he revealed the couple's location to the Dark Lord (PA19). Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow on October 31, 1981.
When he arrived at the village, he ran into two children who were celebrating Hallowe'en. When one of them complimented what they believed to be a costume, Voldemort contemplated murdering them, and thought better of it; the crime was unnecessary, and he proceeded to the Potters' house. The Fidelius Charm was broken, and the Dark Lord could see the family through the sitting-room window.
Voldemort used a spell to open the door. James ran to the hall, wandless, and ordered Lily to run so that he could try to stall the Dark Lord. Voldemort laughed at the ludicrous idea, and effortlessly murdered James. He went up the stairs, while Lily tried to barricade herself inside Harry's room; Voldemort forced the door open, and used his wand to throw aside the chair and piled boxes. She stood between the Dark Lord and her son, who was resting in his crib.
True to his promise to Severus, Voldemort attempted to move her away from the crib so that he could murder Harry without harming her. However, Lily refused to budge despite his repeated commands, begging for the life of her son in exchange for hers, and he murdered her as well (DH17).
Lily's sacrifice created a strong protection for Harry; it called upon ancient magic, shielding Harry from the Dark Lord's attempt on his life and preventing Voldemort from even touching him. Because of this, when the Dark Lord attempted to cast Avada Kedavra on Harry, the curse bounced off the child (PS17), and caused the roof of the house to collapse (DH16). Harry was left with a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead (PS1); he usually felt searing pain on his scar whenever Voldemort was nearby or feeling particularly strong emotions (PS7, PS15, GF2, GF29, OP21, OP36, among others).
The rebounded curse would have killed Voldemort if he had not made his Horcruxes; it reduced him to a feeble life form instead (GF33). His soul was, at that point, so unstable that the attempted murder of Harry caused part of his soul to split and attach itself to that of the child. This transformed Harry into an unintended Horcrux; Voldemort could not die as long as Harry lived.
The part of Voldemort's soul that lived in Harry granted him some of the Dark Lord's abilities—such as the ability to speak Parseltongue—and extraordinary insight into Voldemort's mind (DH35). As soon as the Dark Lord started regaining strength, Harry began having visions and dreams that revealed his secret plans, actions and thoughts (GF1, GF29, OP21, OP31, DH7, DH9, DH14, DH23, DH24, DH27, DH30, DH32, among others). This was crucial to the destruction of the Horcruxes and to Voldemort's defeat (DH36).
As stated above, the rebounding Killing Curse did not kill Voldemort, for he had made Horcruxes to secure his immortality. He was reduced to a weak and insignificant life form—"less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost," in his words—, with no physical body. He forced himself to continue existing daily (GF33). In need of a hiding place, he remembered the Albanian woods where he had found Ravenclaw's diadem, and lived there for many years (DH31).
Voldemort hoped that one of his servants would try to find him (GF33). None came; Barty Crouch, Jr. and the Lestranges attempted to obtain clues of his location by torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom, and were sent to Azkaban for doing so (GF30).
Voldemort had no shape unless he shared the body of another being (PS17). He was therefore forced to possess the bodies of small animals—preferably snakes, for obvious reasons—, which shortened the creatures' lifespan. The Dark Lord did not dare to approach humans, for fear that Aurors would find him (GF33).
In the summer of 1991, Quirinus Quirrell went to Albania. The Dark Lord seized the opportunity to use him; Quirrell brought him back to England, and eventually to Hogwarts, where he was Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Voldemort planned to obtain the Philosopher's Stone and fabricate the Elixir of Life, which would enable him to acquire a body. Acting on his master's orders, Quirrell broke into Gringotts to get the stone from Vault 713 on July 31, 1991 (PS8), but Dumbledore had ordered Hagrid to empty the vault earlier that same day (PS5).
Dumbledore stored the Philosopher's Stone inside the Hogwarts castle, under a trapdoor in the third-floor corridor. Quirrell obtained information regarding how to get past Fluffy, the three-headed dog guarding the trapdoor, from Hagrid in exchange for a dragon egg. He tried to get to the Stone on Hallowe'en by allowing a troll to enter the school as diversion. Severus Snape, however, whom Dumbledore had instructed to watch Quirrell, was not fooled, and hindered this attempt (PS10, DH33).
After the Gringotts fiasco, Voldemort possessed Quirrell; his face showed on the back of the professor's head, usually hidden by a large purple turban (PS17). Quirrell had to kill unicorns from the Forbidden Forest and drink their blood in order to strengthen the Dark Lord. The task—whose nature ensured that the drinker had to lead a cursed life from that point on, according to Firenze—greatly displeased Quirrell, and Harry once saw him trying to resist Voldemort's order to obtain more blood. The resistance attempt was useless; Quirrell went to the Forbidden Forest and another unicorn was slain. He met Harry, Draco Malfoy and Fang there, and was about to attack Harry when Firenze rescued the boy (PS15).
About a week before Harry's exams, Voldemort ordered Quirrell to try to get the Stone again. Harry overheard this, and mistook the conversation for an argument between Snape and Quirrell (PS15). The night after the students' exams ended, once Dumbledore had left for London because of a false missive from the Ministry (sent by Quirrell), both Quirrell and the Trio progressed through obstacles blocking the way to the Stone (PS16).
Harry confronted Quirrell alone. The professor was having a hard time figuring out how to get to the Stone from the Mirror of Erised—he saw only himself presenting the Stone to Voldemort. The Dark Lord suggested that he use Harry, and perceived that the boy was lying about what he saw in the Mirror (Harry saw himself receiving the Stone—and actually received it—but told Quirrell he had seen himself winning the House Cup for Gryffindor). Voldemort then ordered Quirrell to let him speak to Harry face-to-face and noticed that the boy had the Stone in his pocket. He was, however, unable to intimidate Harry, despite the latter's shock, terror, and intense scar pain.
The Dark Lord ordered Quirrell to seize and kill Harry, but the professor was unable to do so. The protection that Lily's death had cast upon Harry rendered it impossible for Quirrell to touch him; his hands broke out in blisters whenever he tried. Harry instinctively touched Quirrell's face before passing out; Voldemort fled to Albania, and left Quirrell to die (PS17). The Dark Lord nearly despaired, believing that no one would seek him once more, and fearing that he would never regain his powers (GF33).
In August 1992, Lucius Malfoy slipped a copy of Riddle's diary into Ginny Weasley's copy of A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration (CS4), hoping that her involvement in Muggle-born killings would hinder her father Arthur's Muggle Protection Act (CS18). Ginny confided all her thoughts, fears, and dreams, in the diary-Riddle and was delighted to have found in Riddle a friend who cared about her problems. Her trust was, of course, misplaced, and her confessions gradually strengthened Tom to the point where he was able to possess Ginny and thus reopen the Chamber of Secrets.
While possessed, Ginny not only commanded the Basilisk but also wrote messages in blood on the school walls (CS8, CS16) and killed Hagrid's roosters (the rooster's cry is fatal to the Basilisk) (CS12). She ordered the serpent to attack Mrs. Norris (CS8), Colin Creevey (CS10), Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick (CS11), and Penelope Clearwater and Hermione Granger, all of whom were Petrified (CS14).
Most Hogwarts students suspected that Harry was the heir of Slytherin due to his recently revealed ability to speak Parseltongue. Dumbledore, however, was not fooled. When questioned by McGonagall, he demonstrated knowledge of the person responsible for the attacks—he simply did not realise how Voldemort had been able to infiltrate the school to make them happen (CS10).
Frightened by the frequent blanks and memory losses, Ginny attempted to dispose of the diary by flushing it down Moaning Myrtle's toilet. Harry Potter found it shortly afterwards; Riddle—who had been anxious to find out more about the responsible for his downfall—was delighted, and showed the boy a memory of his discovery Hagrid with Aragog to win over Harry's trust (CS13). When Ginny found out that Harry had found the diary, however, she stole it from the boys' dormitory (CS14).
Riddle, exasperated and by now strong enough to be more daring, forced Ginny to enter the Chamber and write a message stating that "Her skeleton [would] lie in the Chamber for ever". This encouraged Harry to find the entrance himself to rescue Ginny, even though by then he knew only that the monster inside was a Basilisk (CS16).
Inside the Chamber, Harry confronted Riddle, who ordered the Basilisk to kill the boy. Harry's manifest loyalty to Dumbledore brought Fawkes, the headmaster's phoenix, to his aid, along with the Sorting Hat. Fawkes blinded the serpent, while the Hat provided Harry with Godric Gryffindor's sword, which Harry then used to kill the Basilisk; however, in killing the beast, Harry was stabbed in the arm by one of its fangs.
Undaunted by the Basilisk's death, Riddle gloated that he had won; Harry was about to die. Fawkes shed tears over Harry's leg and healed the wound (CS17)—phoenix tears are the only known antidote to Basilisk venom (DH6), a fact that Riddle remembered far too late—enabling the boy to destroy the Horcrux with the venom from one of the dead Basilisk's fangs. The teenage Riddle disappeared, and Ginny, who had been unconscious and growing steadily weaker until that point, regained consciousness (CS17).
Harry narrated the entire incident to Dumbledore (CS18). Albus, who already suspected that Voldemort had made Horcruxes for himself, now became certain of it, and his research into the Dark Lord's early life intensified (HBP23).
After Harry Potter completed his final Divination exam in his third year, he witnessed Sybill Trelawney make her second prophecy: "It will happen tonight. The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight, the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his mater. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever before. Tonight ... before midnight ... the servant ... will set out ... to rejoin ... his master ..." (PA16).
Later that day, the prophecy was fulfilled. Peter Pettigrew, who had spent twelve years hiding with the Weasleys under the disguise of Scabbers, was cornered by Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, the latter of whom revealed the truth about Peter's betrayal of the Potters. This forced Pettigrew—who had faked his own death twelve years prior in order to escape Sirius' rage and Death Eaters suspicious of his involvement in Voldemort's downfall—to set out to find the Dark Lord (PA19).
Pettigrew searched for Voldemort in Albania, the country where he was last suspected to have been sighted. Wormtail had also recovered his master's wand from the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow, to guarantee that Voldemort would take him back (BLC). Rats along the way—with whom he could communicate in his Animagus form—informed him that there was an area in the Albanian forest that animals avoided, for many of them had died there due to a force that possessed them.
The quest was lengthy and difficult. One night, Peter decided to stop by an inn in order to get some food. There, he met a witch named Bertha Jorkins, who worked for the Ministry of Magic and was currently on vacation (GF7). With rare presence of mind, he persuaded her to go out for a walk with her, during which he overpowered the witch and eventually brought her into the presence of the Dark Lord.
Jorkins proved to be extremely useful, possessing a great deal of information interesting the Dark Lord. A lenghty interrogation, combined with torture and presumably Legilimency, revealed that she was privy to the presence of a loyal Death Eater—Bartemius Crouch, Jr.—trapped inside the house of Bartemius Crouch, Sr., head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation. She also provided information about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament, scheduled to take place at Hogwarts that year (GF33).
The Dark Lord could not possess Peter, for the wizarding world believed Pettigrew to be dead, and a hypothetical sighting could be extremely troublesome. Peter nursed Voldemort to some degree of health; the Dark Lord acquired a baby-sized corporeal form (GF32) with the help of his snake Nagini—he fed off her poison (GF1)—, a few spells that Voldemort himself invented, and a potion made of unicorn blood mixed with snake venom from Nagini's fangs. The Dark Lord correctly guessed that Dumbledore had already destroyed the Philosopher's Stone, and focused on regaining his former mortal shape (GF33).
The interrogation had damaged Jorkins' brain beyond repair and, once Voldemort had regained a physical body, he disposed of her (GF33) and used the murder to turn Nagini into his seventh and final Horcrux (BLC).
Based on the information that Bertha Jorkins had given him, Voldemort had Peter bring him back to England, along with Nagini (GF35). They stayed at the Riddle House in Little Hangleton for a while, biding their time while the Quidditch World Cup took place; the Dark Lord believed that the Ministry of Magic would be alert to any disturbances in the country during the course of the event.
One night, when Peter and Voldemort were discussing their plans, Nagini alerted the Dark Lord of the presence of a Muggle—Frank Bryce—eavesdropping outside of the door. Bryce, stupefied by the mysterious conversation between the two men, bravely defied Voldemort and promised to hand him over to the police. The Dark Lord, probably through the use of Legilimency, realised that the Muggle had not told anyone that he was entering the house, and murdered him on the spot (GF1).
After the Quidditch World Cup, Voldemort and Peter went to the Crouches' home close to midnight, placed Bartemius Crouch, Sr. under the Imperius Curse—he was forced to continue working as if nothing were wrong—and freed his son. The Dark Lord asked Barty Crouch, Jr. to carry out a plan that would allow Harry Potter to enter and win the Triwizard Tournament, and thus touch the Triwizard Cup at the end of the third task. The Cup, which was to be transformed into a Portkey, would lead the boy to Voldemort (GF35).
Peter—possibly compelled by the Wizard Debt bond created when Harry spared Pettigrew's life (PA19)—attempted to convince the Dark Lord to use the blood of any other of his many, less well-protected enemies, but Voldemort would hear none of it. By using Harry's blood, he planned to acquire the protection that Lily had given to her son with her death and nullify the (GF33).
Crouch was glad to obey his master's orders. He and Pettigrew prepared Polyjuice Potion so Crouch could impersonate Alastor Moody, who would be taking the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts, for a year. They went to Moody's home (GF35) and overpowered him after some struggle, imprisoning him in his own trunk (GF10). Crouch extensively questioned the old Auror with the help of the Imperius Curse for detailed information during the entire school year, effectively fooling even Dumbledore.
At some point, Barty Crouch, Sr. started resisting the Imperius Curse. Voldemort concluded that it was far too dangerous to let him out of the house, but Peter was not diligent enough and Crouch escaped. The Dark Lord was furious and planned to feed Pettigrew to Nagini for his blunder. Crouch Jr., however, was forewarned of his father's escape; the Death Eater cornered and murdered him a week later at Hogwarts, before the old man had a chance to reveal the truth to anyone (GF35). The Dark Lord chose merely to use the Cruciatus Curse on Pettigrew after the blunder had been repaired (GF29).
Barty Crouch, Jr. succeeded in his mission, and Harry Potter was, along with Cedric Diggory, transported to the Little Hangleton graveyard. Voldemort ordered Peter to murder Diggory. After killing the boy, Wormtail completed a potion which would give his master a corporeal form, adding the three crucial ingredients: "blood of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son"—magically extracted from Tom Riddle, Sr.'s grave—, "flesh of the servant, willingly given, you will revive your master"—Pettigrew's hand—and "blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe"—from a cut in Harry's arm (GF32).
Voldemort decided to take Harry's blood to both enable him to touch the boy (as he had not been able to do so while possessing Quirrell) and to give him a degree of the blood protection which had resulted from Lily's sacrifice. However, he did not realise that such an action would tie Harry's life to his own. In doing so, he became a guarantee of Harry's survival until his own death. The bond that had linked them ever since the attempted murder in Godric's Hollow was thus doubled, for each contained part of the other, and the connection between them became stronger (DH35).
The Dark Lord rose again in full form (GF32), and called his Death Eaters to join him by touching the Dark Mark in Pettigrew's arm (GF33). Several Death Eaters returned, including Lucius Malfoy, Avery, Macnair, Crabbe, Goyle and Nott, and, upon arriving fell to their knees, crawled to their master, and kissed the hem of his robes. Voldemort asked them why they did not search for him, voicing concerns regarding whether his servants' loyalty had wavered. Avery, in particular, begged for forgiveness, and the Dark Lord responded with the Cruciatus Curse.
Though acknowledging that Pettigrew had returned to him out of cowardice and fear of the surviving Marauders' revenge, Voldemort rewarded Peter for his services by giving him a new silver hand in replacement for that which had been cut off for the potion which resurrected him.
Voldemort then examined the circle of Death Eaters and acknowledged several absences in the group, among which were three dead in his service, one too cowardly to return to him—Igor Karkaroff, who had betrayed several of his fellows to avoid spending life in Azkaban (GF30)—, one who appeared to have left the Dark Lord's service forever—Severus Snape—and one other, whom he called his most faithful servant: Barty Crouch, Jr., who was still at Hogwarts.
Three other notable absences were mentioned: those of the Lestranges, who were in Azkaban. Voldemort announced his plans to reward these three faithful minions as soon as the Dementors joined his ranks. The Dark Lord also planned to have the banished giants return to England to serve him (GF33).
Voldemort decided to match his strength against Harry's, to prove that the boy's only worth had been Lily's sacrifice for him. The protection her death had cast upon him was no more, and the Dark Lord was now able to Harry's skin without being injured. Pettigrew returned the boy's wand, and Voldemort forced Harry to follow the proper Wizard's Duel manners and bow to him.
In the duel, Voldemort used Crucio, and tried to use Imperio to make the boy plead for the pain to stop. Harry resisted the curse, however; he chose to stand up to the Dark Lord and at least die bravely. Harry used the Disarming Charm at the same time that Voldemort used Avada Kedavra; this generated the Priori Incantatem effect (GF34), because both wands had cores—phoenix feathers—from the same source, Fawkes (GF36). The Dark Lord did not know about the twin cores; the event terrified him, and Harry's courage overpowered Voldemort. The connection between the two wands caused Harry's to absorbed some of the powers of Voldemort's wand (DH35).
The connection also forced the ghosts of several of the Dark Lord's past victims to emerge from his wand. They blocked his view while Harry made a dash towards the Triwizard Cup. Voldemort angrily ordered his Death Eaters to Stun Harry but not murder him, to no avail—Harry safely returned to Hogwarts (GF34).
Dumbledore alone—drawing parallels with events that had taken place before the First War—had noticed the disappearances of Bertha Jorkins, Frank Bryce and Barty Crouch, Sr. and linked them to a possible return of Lord Voldemort (GF30). When Harry confirmed that the rebirth had happened, Albus quickly summoned Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, and recommended urgent measures to be set in motion in the aftermath of the event, notably the replacement of Dementors in Azkaban by other, more reliable method of security.
Fudge refused to accept Dumbledore's suggestions, and pegged both the headmaster and Harry as insane for believing the ramblings of a lunatic like Barty Crouch, Jr. The Ministry of Magic, therefore, did not acknowledge the return of Voldemort, and Albus took the initiative of regrouping the Order of the Phoenix to fight against the Dark Lord (OP36). He also sent Hagrid as an envoy to the giants along with Olympe Maxime, but their mission failed; Death Eaters approached the giants with far more success (OP20).
Voldemort was no stranger to operating in secret, and started regrouping and recruiting shortly after his rebirth. Deception and blackmail were two of his greatest weapons. Harry's survival had been a major setback—the Dark Lord had planned to have no witnesses to the graveyard scene—, but the Ministry's Dumbledore-discrediting campaign was useful: the general wizarding population received no news of suspicious activity, and was blissfully defenceless (OP5).
Department of Mysteries
At some point after the Dark Lord's rebirth, he forced Lucius Malfoy to tell him what had happened to the diary. Voldemort was extremely angry to hear that it had been destroyed, and in all likelihood punished Lucius severely (HBP10).
Over the course of Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts, the connection between his mind and that of Voldemort intensified. Soon after the Dark Lord returned, Harry started having repeated dreams about the Department of Mysteries (OP1). It took him many months to understand what the recurring nightmares referred to (OP24); Dumbledore later explained that they were due to Voldemort's obsession with the Hall of Prophecy (OP37).
The Dark Lord was convinced that the half of Trelawney's first prophecy that Snape had failed to overhear would reveal to him how to dispose of Harry. Dumbledore realised that this would be Voldemort's topmost priority, and commanded Order members to guard the Hall of Prophecy (OP5).
Voldemort made several attempts to obtain the Prophecy, the most notable of which being his possession of Nagini shortly before Christmas. The snake somehow made her way to the Department of Mysteries, and was unable to reach the Hall of Prophecy due to the intervention of Arthur Weasley (OP21). Nagini attacked him, and he suffered serious injuries (OP22).
Harry dreamt of the attack, and found himself possessing Nagini along with Voldemort. The mental connection between the two wizards was at its strongest by this point, and the Dark Lord seemed to become aware of it for the first time. Dumbledore, fearing that Voldemort would then start using the connection for his own purposes, instructed Severus Snape to give Harry weekly Occlumency lessons (OP24).
The lessons were a complete failure, and Harry was unable to prevent the Dark Lord from accessing his mind. Likewise, Harry continued to gain insight into the Dark Lord's plans, and one day noticed a sudden surge of happiness (OP24), which was soon explained: the Azkaban Dementors had betrayed the Ministry, and several Death Eaters—the Lestranges, Antonin Dolohov and others—had fled the prison (OP25).
Avery mistakenly informed Voldemort that an Unspeakable would be able to remove the orb from the Department of Mysteries; the Dark Lord ordered Lucius Malfoy to cast the Imperius Curse on Broderick Bode to have him retrieve the prophecy, but Bode resisted the curse and was eventually caught and sent to St. Mungo's. Augustus Rookwood, a former Unspeakable himself, revealed that only the subjects of the Prophecy—Harry and Voldemort—could remove it from the Hall of Prophecy (OP26).
Unwilling to enter the Ministry himself, the Dark Lord planted a vision in Harry's mind: Voldemort torturing Sirius Black in the Department of Mysteries (OP31). The boy was alarmed, and rushed to his godfather's defence (OP34). There he met a handful of Death Eaters, who strived to obtain the prophecy. The attempt was thwarted by the fight put up by both Harry's companions and Order members, who arrived shortly afterwards (OP35).
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
After Bellatrix Lestrange murdered Sirius Black in the battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP35), she fled the Death Room. Harry chased her, and they duelled in the Atrium of the Ministry building. He flaunted the fact that she had failed to obtain the Prophecy, which had smashed; judging by the sudden searing pain in his scar, Harry realised that Voldemort was aware of the failure. Moments later, he noticed that the Dark Lord had joined them in the Atrium.
Voldemort tried to cast the Killing Curse on Harry, but the boy was saved by the timely arrival of Albus Dumbledore. The headmaster bewitched parts of the Fountain of Magical Brethren to protect Harry and restrain Bellatrix; he then duelled against the Dark Lord. Voldemort spitefully noted that Albus was not trying to kill him, and Dumbledore pointed out—calling him "Tom" all along—that there were other, worse ways of destroying a man (OP36). When Voldemort disagreed, Dumbledore said, "You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness..."
The Dark Lord almost managed to make a beam of Avada Kedavra hit the headmaster, but Fawkes appeared and absorbed it instead. Voldemort then possessed Harry, and used the latter's mouth to beg, "If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy..." When Harry's mind wandered to Sirius, however, emotion flooded him, and the Dark Lord could no longer share a body with him. Voldemort grabbed Bellatrix and Disapparated (OP36).
The Second War begins
Following the battle of the Department of Mysteries, Cornelius Fudge was forced to admit that Voldemort had returned (OP36). The Dark Lord's actions became much more evident, and the terror atmosphere was reinstated in wizarding Britain: the Second War began (OP38).
Voldemort threatened a mass Muggle killing if Fudge did not step down; the Minister obliged, and Rufus Scrimgeour, former Head of the Auror Office, took the post. Death Eaters wreacked havoc in Somerset, with possible giant involvement, in an event that was masked by the Office of Misinformation as a hurricane to the Muggle population.
Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, was murdered, possibly by Voldemort himself (HBP1). Emmeline Vance, a member of the Order of the Phoenix, was also captured and killed (HBP2). Both Ollivander and Florean Fortescue vanished, probably kidnapped or murdered on the Dark Lord's orders (HBP6). Hannah Abbott's mother was assassinated (HBP11), and a man named Octavius Pepper also disappeared (HBP21).
After his failed attempt to retrieve the Prophecy by manipulating Harry's mind, Voldemort fully realised how dangerous it was to give the boy occasional access to his emotions, and started employing Occlumency against him (HBP4).
The Dark Lord, furious at Lucius Malfoy for the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries, trusted Draco Malfoy with the nearly impossible task of murdering Albus Dumbledore. Narcissa, though forbidden to speak of the matter, discussed it with Snape, who agreed to make an Unbreakable Vow according to which he would complete the task in case it appeared as though Draco would fail (HBP2).
Voldemort's relationship with Bellatrix Lestrange was also affected by the Battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP36). They became significantly less close, and he neglected to share certain details of his plans with her (HBP2).
Draco succeeded in his task, and introduced Death Eaters into Hogwarts with the help of Vanishing Cabinets. He hesitated, however, before killing Dumbledore, and Severus Snape did so instead (HBP27). Snape prevented all dark wizards from injuring Harry during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, on Voldemort's orders ("Potter belongs to the Dark Lord — we are to leave him!"). After the battle, the surviving Death Eaters fled Hogwarts (HBP28).
During Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore attempted to make him understand Voldemort's character better to aid him in his task of defeating the Dark Lord. The headmaster revealed several memories, painstakingly collected in his Pensieve over several years, and shared recollections and theories of his own. This allowed Dumbledore and Harry to piece together a fairly complete picture of the changes that Tom Marvolo Riddle had undergone until his rebirth (GF32).
- Bob Ogden's memory: the Gaunt family before Marvolo's arrest (HBP10);
- Caractacus Burke's memory: Merope sold Slytherin's locket to him;
- Dumbledore's memory: the orphanage in which young Tom Riddle lived, and the boy's reaction upon learning of his acceptance at Hogwarts (HBP13);
- Morfin Gaunt's memory: Tom's visit to Little Hangleton after his graduation;
- Horace Slughorn's memory: Riddle as a sixth-year Hogwarts student, learning of Horcruxes for the first time (HBP17 and HBP23);
- Hokey's memory: Tom as a young man, visiting Hepzibah Smith and seeing the Locket and the Cup;
- Dumbledore's memory: Voldemort requesting the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher (HBP21).
After his duel with Harry, Voldemort sought to understand what had caused the Priori Incantatem phenomenon. He kidnapped Ollivander and thus found out about the wand core he shared with Harry; he therefore borrowed Lucius Malfoy's wand before facing Harry. The Dark Lord also realised that only he could murder Harry, and ordered his Death Eaters not to try to do so (HBP28, DH1, DH32).
Ollivander explained the connection between the two wands, but was unable to understand why even a borrowed wand snapped when Voldemort confronted Harry. The Dark Lord, furious and frustrated, tortured him (DH5).
In the summer of 1997, there was another mass breakout from Azkaban. Several Death Eaters who had been imprisoned in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries were set loose, including Lucius Malfoy. Stan Shunpike, who had been arrested for foolishly bragging about knowing the Dark Lord's plans, was placed under the Imperius Curse and engaged in Death Eater activity from that point on (DH5).
Voldemort elected the Malfoy Manor as his headquarters. He guessed that the Malfoys were not pleased with the situation, but Bellatrix insisted otherwise. This did not affect him, in any case; he now had Severus Snape by his side, who had achieved the position of his right-hand man after the murder of Dumbledore.
In mid-July 1997, Voldemort kidnapped and killed Charity Burbage, former Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts, for having written an article to the Daily Prophet in the defence of Muggle-borns. He fed her to Nagini (DH1).
From the Manor, Voldemort made his plans for two different fronts: he intended to take over the Ministry of Magic soon—the first step to that was having Yaxley place Pius Thicknesse under the Imperius Curse—, and plotted to have Harry Potter murdered as soon as the protection Dumbledore had cast over number four, Privet Drive wore out (DH1). This would happen either when Harry moved out of the house or on July 31, 1997, when he turned seventeen (DH4). Trusting information Snape provided, Voldemort made plans to ambush Order members as they rescued Harry.
Battle of the Seven Potters
Voldemort, believing that the real Harry would be under the protection of the best wizard among the lot, attacked Mad-Eye Moody; the Killing Curse hit Moody straight in the face. Mundungus Fletcher, the Polyjuiced Harry who accompanied Moody, Disapparated instantly. The Dark Lord moved to whom he believed to be the second-best wizard among the lot: Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was flying with Hermione. His chase of Kingsley did not last long, however (DH5).
When Harry Disarmed Stan Shunpike, the dark wizards—who had learned to view Expelliarmus as his trademark move—realised who the real Harry was. Voldemort flew over to attack him. When he attempted to do so, however, Lucius' wand snapped; Harry's, on the other hand, moved of its own accord and caused golden flames to erupt of its tip.
The Dark Lord tried to borrow Selwyn's wand, to no avail: Harry had managed to fly through the protection that the Order had cast over the Tonks' house and thus escape (DH4). Ollivander was unable to explain the golden flames phenomenon to Voldemort (DH24). Dumbledore eventually revealed that it was due to the wand connection formed in the Little Hangleton graveyard; Harry's wand had absorbed some of the essence of Voldemort's. Because of this, Harry's wand regurgitated a bit of the Dark Lord's powerful magic back at him, refusing to succumb to someone whom it recognised as both kin and foe (DH35).
On August 1, 1997, Voldemort took over the Ministry of Magic (DH8) and made his name Taboo, aiming to capture all those who dared to say "Voldemort" (DH20). Now able to use whatever aggressive magic he wished without fear of retribution, the Dark Lord ordered the Death Eaters to break into the house of several Order members, including The Burrow, which was hosting Bill and Fleur Weasley's wedding at the time (DH8).
Harry, Ron and Hermione barely managed to escape the invasion of The Burrow; they Apparated to Tottenham Court Road. Two Death Eaters—Thorfinn Rowle and Antonin Dolohov—quickly tracked the Trio with the help of the Taboo jinx, but were defeated. Hermione cast a Memory Charm on both dark wizards. Voldemort, whom the pair had summoned to the scene with the use of the Dark Mark, soon discovered what had happened, and tortured them for the failure (DH9, DH23).
The Ministry, under the Dark Lord's control, made it seem as though the late Scrimgeour had resigned; Pius Thicknesse, under the Imperius Curse, replaced him as Minister for Magic. The coup was kept secret; many in the British wizarding community suspected the truth, but they no longer knew who to trust. The atmosphere of terror that reigned in the First War was thus effectively re-established.
Voldemort took over the Daily Prophet as well, and manipulated the news so that Harry would be wanted for questioning regarding Dumbledore's death (DH11)—Rita Skeeter had previously spread rumours about Harry's presence in the Astronomy Tower (HBP27, DH2).
Voldemort also determined that a false Department of Mysteries research should be published, stating that only wizards could pass on the magical gene. The obvious corollary of that was that the "so-called Muggle-born [was] likely to have obtained magical power by theft or force." All Muggle-borns were therefore ordered to go to the Muggle-born Registration Commission for an interview regarding their ancestry. Hogwarts attendance also became mandatory for all British wizarding children with Blood Status.
At Hogwarts, Severus Snape took the post of Headmaster; Alecto and Amycus Carrow joined the teaching staff (DH11) and set in place a terror regime that included torturing students who were given detention. The syllabus included anti-Muggle bigotry; Alecto became the Muggle Studies Professor, a now-obligatory class that expatiated on the inferiority of Muggles (DH29). Voldemort received reports about Hogwarts; he would later recognise Neville Longbottom as a particularly trouble-making student (DH36).
The Elder Wand
Voldemort quickly realised that Ollivander would be able to offer him no more information about the connection with Harry. He sought, therefore, to obtain a more powerful, unbeatable wand, and asked Ollivander about the Elder Wand. The wandmaker told Voldemort of old rumours that Gregorovitch had obtained the Deathstick and was trying to reproduce its qualities in wands of his own making (DH24). The Dark Lord began looking for Gregorovitch (DH7), who had retired several years previously (DH8).
Voldemort found a German family who presumably lived in Gregorovitch's old home; they could give him no information, and he murdered them without hesitation (DH12). He eventually tracked down the wandmaker, and confronted him. Gregorovitch claimed no longer to have the wand, and Legilimency proved to Voldemort that this was true; he saw an old memory that showed a young blonde man stealing the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch's shop.
When it became clear that Gregorovitch did not know who thief was, Voldemort murdered him. The Dark Lord dwelt on the memory of the young man's face for a long time, unable to guess his identity (DH14, DH15).
Voldemort began a quest for the whereabouts of the Elder Wand. He undertook the task alone (DH27). Rumours that the Dark Lord was spending most of his time abroad spread in England; the underground radio programme Potterwatch alerted its listeners that this did not meant that Voldemort could not return very quickly when summoned (DH22).
After hearing about The Tale of the Three Brothers from Xenophilius Lovegood (DH21), Harry realised that the Dark Lord was searching for the Wand of Destiny (DH22). Harry eventually accepted that he was not supposed to prevent Voldemort from acquiring the wand (DH24).
Voldemort believed that Harry would wish to visit Godric's Hollow while on the run. For this reason, he murdered Bathilda Bagshot and disguised Nagini as Bathilda; she was ready to warn him if Harry should appear.
Harry and Hermione went to the village on December 24, 1997. Nagini approached the couple as they observed the Potters' old home, and lured them to Bagshot's house. She brought Harry to the upper floor and summoned Voldemort, who ordered her to keep the boy secure. However, Harry immediately sensed the warning, and sought to escape. He succeeded with the help of Hermione; they Disapparated the moment the Dark Lord arrived.
Voldemort screamed with rage, and in his fury relived his first defeat in Godric's Hollow. Afterwards, he saw a photo in Bathilda Bagshot's house that revealed the identity of the thief who had stolen the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch: Gellert Grindelwald (DH17).
In March, 1998, a group of Snatchers, among which Fenrir Greyback, captured Harry Potter and his two companions and took them to Malfoy Manor. Bellatrix caught a glimpse of Gryffindor's sword—the Snatchers had taken it from the Trio's tent—and hesitated before summoning the Dark Lord to the Manor. If the sword were real, this could indicate that Harry had somehow gained access to the Lestranges' Gringotts vault and stolen it from there. Griphook confirmed that it was false, and Bella used her Dark Mark to warn Voldemort of Harry's capture.
Earlier that same day, Voldemort went to Nurmengard, flew up to the topmost window of the highest tower and interrogated Gellert Grindelwald. The aged prisoner, who had expected Voldemort to come question him one day, attempted to lie and stated that he had never possessed the Elder Wand. The Dark Lord noticed the lie, but Gellert laughed in response to his fury, and said scornfully, "Kill me, then, Voldemort, I welcome death! But my death will not bring you what you seek ... there is so much you do not understand..."
Voldemort felt Bellatrix's summons, and it angered him; he murdered Grindelwald and flew back to England.
Harry saw Voldemort's upcoming arrival and, with the help of Dobby, fled along with Ron, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Ollivander and Griphook (DH23). The Dark Lord punished the inhabitants of Malfoy Manor severely for their failure upon his arrival (DH24).
Voldemort, like Harry, quickly realised who had succeeded Grindelwald as master of the Elder Wand: Albus Dumbledore. The Dark Lord went to Hogwarts, cast a Disillusionment Charm to hide himself from everyone, opened the white tomb on the grounds and sntched the Wand of Destiny from the late headmaster's hands (DH24).
Destruction of the Horcruxes
After the Fall of the Ministry, Harry, with the help of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, began seeking Horcruxes. They stole Slytherin's locket from Dolores Umbridge, who had taken it from Mundungus Fletcher as a bribe (DH11), in the Ministry building (DH13). Ron later destroyed the locket with Godric Gryffindor's sword, which Snape had covertly delivered to Harry (DH19).
A Gringotts goblin notified Voldemort of the break-in. When the Dark Lord realised what Harry had taken from the vault, he was furious, and murdered the messenger and all the other wizards present in the room who—unlike, for instance, Bellatrix and Lucius—had not run out the door fast enough.
Voldemort's rage soon made way for a plan. He was astounded to realise that Harry had found out about the Horcruxes, and proceeded to ensure the safety of the remaining ones. The Dark Lord correctly guessed that the late Dumbledore was to blame for this unexpected turn of events, and embarked on a journey to examine each hiding place. He took Nagini with him, and from that moment on chose not to part with the snake for fear that she, too, would be slain.
Unbeknownst to Voldemort, Harry gained access to his mind while the journey plans were being set. This confirmed that the only Horcrux still hidden—Ravenclaw's diadem—was concealed somewhere in the Hogwarts castle (DH27), a fact which Harry had suspected for some time (DH15).
Voldemort mulled over his Horcruxes, pondering which of them Dumbledore could have most likely found. He believed that the diadem was the safest, considering Snape's strict control over the castle. Knowing that Albus, like himself, could have traced the name Marvolo to the Gaunts, the Dark Lord first visited the Gaunt shack (DH27, DH29). The discovery of the empty golden box unearthed from beneath the floorboards—Dumbledore had destroyed the Horcrux almost two years previously (HBP4, HBP23, DH33)—incensed him (DH29).
The Dark Lord warned Snape (DH27), and ordered the Carrows to watch Ravenclaw Tower closely, and to warn him if Harry should visit it. Alecto Carrow summoned Voldemort to Hogwarts when Harry's presence there was first detected. He delayed his travel to the castle, wishing to check the Cave first; he soon remarked that the locket, too, was gone, and quickly made his way to Hogwarts.
Meanwhile, Harry enlisted the help of Minerva McGonagall and other teachers to hold the Dark Lord off and fight his minions while the Trio searched the castle for the diadem (DH30).
Battle of Hogwarts
Lord Voldemort arrived at Hogwarts and stood at the gates with Nagini wrapped over his shoulders (DH30). He did not enter the grounds at first; instead, he spoke with magically enhanced voice that echoed in the entire castle and reverberated even in Hogsmeade, urging the Hogwartians not to fight, for he had no desire to spill more magical blood. He promised not to harm anyone, and to reward them all, in exchange for Harry. He gave the defenders of the castle half an hour, until midnight, to make their decision (DH31).
Death Eaters, giants and Acromantula made their way into Hogwarts, deteriorating the castle's structure and injuring—sometimes killing—several of its defenders. Despite the Dark Lord's arrogant presumption that no one else would be able to find the Room of Requirement, Harry entered the place once more, and found the diadem. Crabbe sought to thwart and capture him, and conjured Fiendfyre inside the Room. The curse accidentaly destroyed the Horcrux and killed Crabbe (DH31).
Voldemort remained in the Shrieking Shack for most of the Battle, accompanied by Nagini—now surrounded by a glittering protective sphere—and Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy, who was still suffering from the injuries the Dark Lord's torture had inflicted on him, begged Voldemort to call a cease-fire in order to capture Harry before any Death Eater accidentally murdered him.
The Dark Lord saw through Lucius' pleading, and realised that Malfoy was only worried about Draco's safety. He refused to halt the battle, and ordered Lucius to fetch Snape. Once Severus arrived, Voldemort announced his foremost concern: that the Elder Wand was not performing as wonderfully as he had expected. The Dark Lord attributed this to the fact that its ownership had presumably passed to Snape after Dumbledore's murder.
Severus undoubtedly understood what was about to happen. He noticed that Voldemort had surrounded Nagini with special protection (DH32) and, following Albus' instructions (DH33), tried to leave the Shack to deliver a message from Dumbledore to Harry. The Dark Lord ignored Snape's request, and ordered Nagini to murder the Death Eater.
The snake bit Snape's neck, and he bled to death. Voldemort claimed to regret the action, but his countenance showed no true remorse; he was confident that the action had made him the true possessor of the Elder Wand. He and Nagini left the room and Harry, who had watched the entire scene, approached the dying Headmaster. Snape gave him memories that would reveal Dumbledore's intentions, and died (DH32).
The Forbidden Forest
Now entirely certain that the Elder Wand would perform well against Harry, Voldemort announced a personal challenge in the same tone that echoed in the castle and surrounding areas: he ordered his forces to retreat, giving the Hogwartians time to tend to their wounded and mourn their dead; the Dark Lord would wait for Harry in the Forbidden Forest for one hour. If Harry decided not to enter the Forest, Voldemort himself would join the battle, and would punish the defenders of the castle mercilessly.
Harry used the Pensieve in Dumbledore's office to see Snape's memories (DH33). Realising that Albus' masterplan inevitably led to his own death, Harry went to the Forest, ready to sacrifice himself.
Dementors guarded the way into Aragog's old lair; the Death Eaters Yaxley and Dolohov patrolled the path as well. They did not see Harry, hidden by the Invisibility Cloak, approach the group of Death Eaters—among which the Malfoys, Rowle, Greyback and Bellatrix— surrounding Voldemort. Just as the Dark Lord was admitting his mistake in thinking that Potter would present himself to avoid bloodshed, Harry revealed his presence to the group. Both his wand and the Cloak were stuffed inside his robes; he had no wish to fight.
Voldemort's Killing Curse, however, did not truly murder Harry. They were both knocked unconscious for a few moments (DH36). Harry was transported to a dreamlike version of King's Cross; there he met both the maimed form that the Dark Lord would take on in the afterlife and Albus Dumbledore, who explained many of the events of the past year, and the exact nature of Harry's connection with Voldemort.
Harry's death was essential to his victory, for he was Voldemort's seventh, unintentional Horcrux. The Avada Kedavra curse effectively destroyed that part of the Dark Lord's soul, but Harry himself could not die (DH35); when Voldemort took his blood in the Little Hangleton graveyard (GF32), he transformed himself into a guarantee of Harry's survival. Harry would therefore live for as long as Voldemort did (DH35).
Both Voldemort and Harry regained consciousness moments later. Several worried Death Eaters surrounded their master, but he rose without assistance, and ordered Narcissa Malfoy to check whether Harry was dead. She confirmed it, even though it was not true. The Dark Lord cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry to make sure, but Harry felt nothing as Voldemort tortured him and threw his body up in the air repeated times.
The dark wizards left the Forest in a triumphal procession. Voldemort had Rubeus Hagrid to carry Harry ahead of them all, and followed the half-giant along with his minions. At the edge of the forest, the Dark Lord moved to the front of the group, with Nagini—now devoid of her protection—around his shoulders.
Voldemort loudly announced that Harry had been killed while trying to sneak out of the grounds. He stated that the Hogwartians had thus clearly lost the battle; they were outnumbered, and should lay down arms and kneel before the Dark Lord. On this condition alone, both the defenders of the castle and their families would be spared.
Standing outside the castle, the Dark Lord watched as his opponents came to stand before him. They despaired when faced with what was believed to be Harry's corpse; he was trying his best not to move and reveal his survival to Voldemort. The Dark Lord Silenced those who yelled against him, and had the body placed at his feet.
Neville Longbottom stepped forward and attempted to attack Voldemort; he was promptly Disarmed. Learning of the teenager's pure-blood status, and impressed with his bravery, the Dark Lord offered Neville a chance of redemption, and a position as Death Eater.
Neville promptly refused, and shouted, "Dumbledore's Army!" The Hogwartians, whom the Silencing Charm had not affected for long, cheered in response. Voldemort Summoned the Sorting Hat from the Headmster's office, and announced that Sorting and Houses would be abolished henceforth; the school shield would be solely that of Salazar Slytherin.
The Dark Lord cast a Body-Bind Curse on Neville and placed the Hat on his head. Death Eaters prevented the Hogwarts defenders from intervening; Voldemort set the Hat on fire. The curse did not restrain Neville for long; he pulled Gryffindor's sword out of the Hat and cut off Nagini's head.
Hogsmeade shop owners and the families of Hogwartians joined the struggle, as did the herds of centaurs and Thestrals that inhabit the castle grounds. Harry covered himself with the Invisibility Cloak and cast a Shield Charm between Voldemort and Neville.
The Dark Lord fought his way into the Great Hall, shouting instructions to his minions. Harry followed him, using more Shield Charms to protect those who duelled with Voldemort, including Seamus Finnigan and Hannah Abbott. Several house-elves also participated in the battle, led by Kreacher.
In the Great Hall, Voldemort duelled with Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt. When Molly Weasley killed Bellatrix, he screamed, blasted his three opponents backwards, and moved to attack Molly. Harry revealed his presence by casting a Shield Charm to protect Mrs. Weasley (DH36).
The final duel
Harry prevented everyone else from interfering with a duel; he stated that it was necessary for him to face the Dark Lord alone. All Horcruxes had been destroyed, and Trelawney's prophecy had to be fulfilled at last.
Voldemort mocked Potter for his arrogance, saying that Harry had only survived for so long due to lucky accidents and greater wizards and witches who had helped and died for him. Harry calmly pointed out that his sacrifice that night had cast the same protection on the Hogwartians that Lily had once cast on him; Voldemort could not harm them.
Much to the Dark Lord's fury, Harry called him "Riddle" during the exchange, encouraged him to feel remorse (DH36)—the only way to mend Voldemort's maimed soul (DH6). When the Dark Lord used Harry's blood to regenerate himself, it was as if he had put some drops of goodness in his soul once more. Had he managed to feel remorse as Harry suggested, his soul would heal far more than anyone could have predicted (JKRW), but he dismissed Harry's last redemption offer, and did not understand it.
In a final warning, Harry listed some of Voldemort's greatest mistakes. He also revealed Dumbledore's great plan, and Snape's betrayal; most importantly, Harry revealed that the true master of the Elder Wand after Dumbledore had not been Severus, but Draco (DH36). Harry's Disarming of Draco had made him the possessor of the wand (DH23).
At last, Harry and Voldemort duelled: one spell each, Expelliarmus against Avada Kedavra, precisely like their confrontation in the Little Hangleton graveyard. The light beams collided, and the Elder Wand, refusing to murder its master, abandoned the Dark Lord's hand. Harry caught it as Voldemort fell backwards—once more the victim of a rebounding curse—and died (DH36).
- Voldemort's name
- Harry's dreams
- Harry's scar
- List of First War victims
- List of Second War victims