I had a very warm thought the other day, involving something everyone familiar with Harry Potter probably knows about: the horcrux.
Please bear with me, as it takes a little bit to get to the point.
For those not familiar with the Harry Potter series, a brief explanation: a horcrux is one of the darkest forms of black magic. To create a horcrux, one imparts a piece of one’s own soul into some inanimate object. To get that piece of the soul is the darker part: one has to twist their soul to such a sickening degree that they can literally tear it apart.
The reason for making a horcrux is to grant oneself a limited form of immortality. As long as no one tries to destroy the horcrux, it pretty much lasts forever. If one was devious and dark enough (say, a Lord Voldemort) to scatter pieces of his soul throughout a variety of horcruxes, and they were to be gathered together, one could reform an incomplete form of themselves.
Now, by creating a horcrux, you are destroying yourself (as you are literally tearing your soul to pieces). Do it enough times, and it will show—insanity being a clear sign. While you are ensuring a form of immortality, you are destroying yourself in the process.
Now…for something completely different.
Let’s look at simple Love. And let’s look at a simple example of that in the series, a non-magical example: Dumbledore.
In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore is one of the world’s greatest wizards ever…who just happens to be killed off in one of the later books by Voldemort (who had been brought back through the use of his horcruxes).
This might seem like a horrible, atrocious thing—evil triumphing over good, even if only temporarily.
But there is one thing we cannot forget: Dumbledore loved. He loved Harry, he loved all his students, he loved Hogwarts…he loved, period. In everything he loved, he left a small piece of himself.
Rather than inanimate objects, he left a small piece of his soul in living hearts and souls. In doing so, he filled the souls of others…and filled his own soul, rather than tearing it apart. Instead of weakening his soul, thrashing it into frothing bits and pieces of insanity with ill-used magic, he strengthened his very being by just loving.
And then he died.
And yet, he was still there. Like the bits of soul in a horcrux, the imprints and pieces of himself that Dumbledore left in others could never completely replace the true original, the true source.
But nevertheless, he lived on—and in a stronger way than a bit of soul in a horcrux ever could. Horcruxes are inanimate, dead, a shred of suffering in the guise of the ordinary. To love, to be remembered, to live on in the heart of another…your thoughts, actions, and memories forever live on in the beating heart of another, whose soul acts with your own life pumping through their lifeforce, is true Magic.
When we watch Voldemort and Co. take on Harry Potter and his lively crew, it may look like a dark time: evil rising once again, escaping even the jaws of mortality itself, only to throw the very symbol of all that is good into the oblivion of death…
But looks are deceiving. In the final showdown, Voldemort stands there with a broken soul, his entirety of existence focusing on a single point: Harry Potter.
Harry, on the other hand, stands not only with his own soul whole, shining out against the darkness, but the strength of every soul who has ever loved him, past and present, deepening the strength of his wholeness, with all of his loved ones on his mind and in his heart.
And he, by loving, will live on in the souls of all he loved.
(Note: Please forgive any mistakes I make…I’ve only read the first three books so far, and haven’t seen any of the movies…most of the information I lack comes from wiki articles that I’m remembering off the top of my head right now.)