Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- "There is a room in the Department of Mysteries that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all."
- —Albus Dumbledore regarding the power of love[src]
Love is a deep, powerful, and ineffable emotion of attachment to, and affection for, another being or beings. It gives those who experience it the ability to do very great things. Someone full of hate (such as Tom Riddle) who has never known it even once in their entire life, cannot understand love's full magical properties. Love is one of the hardest and strongest kinds of magic and as such, there is a room devoted to the study of it in the Department of Mysteries. Love is also quite possibly the most mysterious branch of magic and is extremely difficult to comprehend.
- "He tracked me to the forest where I was hiding. When I refused to return with him, he became violent. The baron was always a hot-tempered man. Furious at my refusal, jealous of my freedom, he stabbed me... When he saw what he had done, he was overcome with remorse. He took the weapon that had claimed my life, and used it to kill himself."
- —Helena tells Harry the story of her and the Baron's death[src]
The Bloody Baron had fallen in love with Helena Ravenclaw, but she did not reciprocate, and rejected his many advances, the last one leading to him impulsively killing her, and then himself out of regret. Helena never found true love due to never having found a man worthy of her standards.
Cadmus Peverell fell in love with a woman, but she died of unknown causes before the two could be wed. After creating the Resurrection Stone (though in the story version, Death gave it to him), he used it in an attempt to bring his late lover back to him, but this "revival" was incomplete and she was sad and cold, giving off the feeling of the two were still separated. Cadmus was driven mad by being unable to be with his love in this life, so he committed suicide by hanging himself to be truly reunited with her.
Around 1634 Gormlaith Gaunt tracked down Isolt Sayre, her niece who had escaped her, and placed her and her husband, James Steward, under a powerful curse that kept them in a deep sleep. Though it seemed nothing could wake them, the screams of their daughters broke through the enchantment, awakening the power of love.
- "I believe that Merope, who was deeply in love with her husband, could not bear to continue enslaving him by magical means. I believe that she made the choice to stop giving him the potion. Perhaps, besotted as she was, she had convinced herself that he would by now have fallen in love with her in return. "
- —Dumbledore regarding Merope Gaunt's tragic relationship with Tom Riddle Snr[src]
In 1925, Merope Gaunt had fallen deeply in love with Tom Riddle, and betrayed her family's beliefs in blood purity to be with her love. She used a love potion in order to attract Riddle to her, but ceased feeding him it once she was pregnant, thinking that Tom would finally love her in return or at least stay for their unborn child out of love for it, of which Tom did neither. The usage of a love potion for Tom Marvolo Riddle's conception is symbolic for his inability to understand love for his entire life as it was due to coercion rather than true love.
Bellatrix may have married Rodolphus Lestrange out of obligation for her family's beliefs, but her true love is Lord Voldemort. Voldemort, on the other hand, did not reciprocate, as he cannot understand love due to his upbringing, although he does value Bellatrix's talents and loyalty. Unlike their eldest sister, Andromeda and Narcissa married their respective spouses out of true love, and in Andromeda's case, went against her family's beliefs, which led her to be disinherited.
- "Shall I reveal what really happened that night thirteen years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? Yes, shall I? It was love. You see, when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son... she provided the ultimate protection. I could not touch him. It was old magic."
- —Lord Voldemort reflecting on his first defeat[src]
In 1981, Severus Snape's love of Lily Evans pushed him to join the Order of the Phoenix, even though he hated her husband, and then Snape begged Lord Voldemort to promise to spare her when he went to murder her son Harry Potter.
In that same year on Hallowe'en, James' love for his wife and son caused him to stand face to face with the darkest wizard in a century (Lord Voldemort) on his own in an effort to give his wife and child time to escape. Also in the same night Lily's love for her son Harry protected him against Lord Voldemort. He became the only known person in history to survive the Killing Curse because of the power of her loving sacrifice. However, it could be that while love was the motive, the cause of Harry's protection was that Lily had lured Voldemort into a binding magical contract so that having killed her, he would be unable to kill Harry, because he had already promised to spare Lily, and only her offer allowed him to kill her.
Also on Hallowe'en in 1981 (after travelling back in time) Ginny Potter's love for her husband is shown when she argues against Harry being the one to disguise himself as Voldemort in order to lure Delphi into a trap. She even offers to be the one disguised instead, but eventually coincides as both her and Harry agree it must be him, because it is the only way. That every same night the love that Albus Potter feels for his father Harry causes him to risk his own life in order to save him from Delphi, during the latter's duel in a church. This love is returned when Harry jumps in front of his son when a Killing Curse is aimed at Albus. Harry is later found after the battle to be furious at Delphi for even attempting to murder his child.
After Barty Crouch Jr was imprisoned in Azkaban, his mother persuaded his father to help break him out. Crouch Snr agreed out of love for his wife, even though he did not love his son at the very least. Winky the house-elf, who also loved Barty Jr, cared for him with a sense of motherly affections, though Barty believed that it was pity and duty.
1991-1992 school year
- Albus Dumbledore: "Harry, do you know why... Professor Quirrell couldn't bear to have you touch him?... It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you. And that kind of act leaves a mark... This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin."
- Harry Potter: "What is it?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "Love, Harry. Love."
- — Albus Dumbledore discussing the power of love with Harry[src]
On 4 June, 1992 because of the protection that Lily Potter's death created for Harry Potter (when she lovingly sacrificed her life for him) Professor Quirinus Quirrell could not touch Harry without serious harm to his physical well-being, his body started to crumble and deteriorate, when he came into contact with Harry's skin. In doing so, this led to Professor Quirinus Quirrell's death and Voldemort was once again without a body to possess and was unable to return to power without a corporeal form of his own, bringing him back to being less than a ghost, Lily's love for Harry pushing back his return.
1992-1993 school year
On 29 May, 1993, the love for Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger caused Ron Weasley and Harry Potter to head down to the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Ginny from the heir of Slytherin (Tom Riddle Jr).
1993-1994 school year
On the 6 June, 1994, the love for his godfather (Sirius Black) and the prospect of living with him instead of the Dursleys gave Harry Potter a powerful and happy enough memory to conjure a incredibly powerful corporal Patronus and drive away hundreds of Dementors.
1994-1995 school year
1995-1996 school year
- "I cared about you too much. I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act."
- —Dumbledore on his affection for Harry[src]
In 1996, Harry's love for Sirius again helped him, when his grief over his godfather's death overcame Voldemort's attempt to possess him and forced him out of his mind. Voldemort couldn't stand to be exposed to the emotions Harry felt and couldn't maintain control over him.
In that same year Dumbledore ignored Harry, thinking that this would prevent Voldemort from using the connection with Harry Potter to gain insight into his own mind because Voldemort would sense he cared "too much" about Harry and would be eager to use their relationship to gain access to Dumbledore's mind and knowledge of the activities of the Order of the Phoenix.
1996-1997 school year
In 1997 it is revealed that the pain inflicted upon Voldemort when Harry forced him out of his mind scared him away from attempting the same tactic again. Harry Potter's love for Ginny Weasley was shown when he entered into the common room after the Quidditch match that took place during his detention with Professor Snape and ended up kissing her and it also drove him to leave her in fear of her being a target of Lord Voldemort.
In that same year, Harry's love for Professor Albus Dumbledore pushed him to attack Severus Snape with one of his own spells. Draco Malfoy's love for his family pushed him to attempt to kill Dumbledore, even though he really did not want to. Fleur Delacour asserted her love for Bill Weasley even after he was horribly scarred in battle by Fenrir Greyback. Her declarations prompted Tonks to once again impress upon Remus Lupin she did not care about his being a full werewolf, older than her, or that he was poor and that she loved and wanted to be with him anyway.
1997-1998 school year
Their love and caring for Harry motivated Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley to accompany him on the Horcrux hunt, leaving their families and risking their lives. When the Harry, Ron, and Hermione were taken to Malfoy Manor, Ron begged and pleaded with Bellatrix to interrogate him instead of Hermione, because he deeply loved her. Xenophilius Lovegood's love for his daughter drove him to abandon his public support of Harry and attempt to turn him, Ron, and Hermione over to the Death Eaters in an attempt to get Luna back when she was abducted by them.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy's love for their son motivated them to look for him and desert Voldemort instead of fighting. Molly Weasley's love for her daughter Ginny Weasley made her face Bellatrix Lestrange herself and said that no student should help her. Ron and Hermione also began in the battle one of the most powerful relationships in wizardkind. In the end, Harry's love for his friends caused him to sacrifice himself to Voldemort. This conferred a certain amount of protection on Harry's allies, making it so that spells Voldemort tried to place on them, including Silencing Charms and a Full Body-Bind Curse quickly wore off. This love was what made Harry different from Voldemort. He had something worth fighting for while Voldemort could never understand the power of love. Harry's love for people even made him offer Voldemort a final chance of redemption.
Harry Potter's love for Ginny Weasley (his future wife) made her the last person he thought about before facing his own death. Also when it seemed that Harry had been murdered by Voldemort, Ginny was beyond heartbroken and screamed louder than anyone. The supposed death of her one love was enough to drive her to attack the incredibly powerful Bellatrix Lestrange alongside Luna, and Hermione.
Scorpius Malfoy's desperation to restore Rose Granger-Weasley's existence to the timeline that he and Albus Potter accidentally altered by us of a Time-turner, shows that his interest in her is more than just a simple schoolboy crush and indicates that he is truly and deeply in love with her.
There is a difference between love and a simple, short-term infatuation, such as a crush. Harry Potter developed a crush on Cho Chang and their relationship broke apart from various misunderstandings and quarrels. Harry eventually lost interest in Cho altogether though he remained friends with her. True love has the power to change the form a Patronus takes, as proven with Nymphadora Tonks when she fell in love with Remus Lupin.
Love and magic
- "You are protected, in short, by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, as pure as you were five years ago, when you looked into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire. Harry, do you have any idea how few wizards could see what you saw in that mirror?"
- —Professor Dumbledore regarding Harry Potter's nature[src]
Love has a profound effect on magic. Lily Potter's love for her son made her willing to die for him, and because of that sacrifice, Harry Potter was protected from very powerful Dark magic — the Killing Curse. Love is the only protection against the lure and power of the Dark Arts, which come from hateful emotions. Harry failed to learn Occlumency in order to block his connection to Lord Voldemort's mind, but he managed to block the link when he focused on his feelings for his loved ones, such as when he felt grief over his godfather's death, and when he was frantic with worry about Hermione Granger when she was being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange. Those who are filled with hatred, such as Tom Riddle and Quirinus Quirrell, can be inflicted great pain and even death by the power of love.
Love can also affect other types of magic, notably the Patronus. Harry's Patronus is the same as the Patronus and Animagus form of his father's, a stag. James' wife (Lily Evans) had a doe Patronus to match her husband's and Severus Snape's mimicked hers because of his love for her. Nymphadora Tonks's Patronus changed to a wolf when she fell in love with Remus Lupin.
Love Potions (like Amortentia) and Entrancing Enchantments, are meant to artificially create love, but they cannot; nothing can reproduce love. Instead, they can at most produce an intense infatuation. When a person smells Amortentia, they will smell things that remind them of what and who they love. Within the Love Room of the Department of Mysteries is where love is being studied, and a large fountain of Amortentia is kept.
It appears that those who abuse the power of love, or apply it for the sake of those who have an affinity for the Dark Arts, usually suffer some severe backlash, based on the First Law of the Fundamental Laws of Magic. A prime example is seen when Merope Gaunt used enchantments to subjugate the man she genuinely loved. This subjugation led to her being abandoned and left to die in despair (along with her magical powers being drained from the sorrow), when she lifted the control off her besotted. She later gave birth to a loveless being who would create a campaign of hatred for many decades, and would eventually be left to suffer a terrible after-death, due to his lack of understanding of love. Also, despite Mrs Crouch and Winky truly loving Barty Crouch Jr and forfeited many of their own benefits for his sake, he was utterly ungrateful and instead let their sacrifices be in vain (if not for the worse). Since he abused their affections and returned to the Dark Arts he suffered a fate worse-than-death.
Love in literature
- Amata in The Fountain of Fair Fortune fell in love with a Muggle named Sir Luckless.
- The Warlock in The Warlock's Hairy Heart regarded love as a sickness and used Dark Arts to prevent it from happening to him, which led to him paying dearly for it.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mmentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Love at Wikipedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Author's comments
- ↑ Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry"
- ↑ 30 July, 2007 Bloomsbury webchat
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Leaky Cauldron: J.K. Rowling Webchat 30 July 2007
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child