So I started a tag rant on this post, but the tag limit cut me off, and the more I think about it, the more I am obsessed with this idea. We all know JK Rowling’s books were, ultimately, children’s books, so something this dark was never going to happen. But what a hell of an AU it would make…

What if Voldemort’s horcurxes weren’t in objects? What if he’d put them in people?

We know that a horcrux can exist within a person, because (spoiler alert!) Harry was the final horcrux. Now, sure, that might have been an accident, and I’m sure making a living human being your horcrux isn’t common practice, but neither is making seven of them. And Nagini was also one, so I don’t think it’s entirely improbable that Voldemort could have done it.

And imagine how horrific that would have been - that Harry’s final task, the legacy Dumbledore left him, was to kill 7 innocent people. Imagine the horror of beginning this journey with Ron and Hermione, only to discover that was the truth Dumbledore had hid from him all these years. Imagine how difficult it would have been for Harry to complete that task and defeat Voldemort then - having to track down and murder 7 people.

The 7th book would have been considerably darker had the story gone in that direction. Just think how Dumbledore’s grooming of Harry would have differed if the means to defeat Voldemort included cold-blooded murder; to the rest of the world it would like as though Harry (and his friends) and lost their minds and gone on a murderous spree. And the truth of it wasn’t any better.

Because how could you live with yourself after that? That’s something Harry wouldn’t ever recover from. And it would be so deliciously Slytherin of Voldemort too - sure, you could defeat him, but you’d have to become as bad as him in order to do it. I mean… how could you stand when it was all over and align yourself with the ‘good guys’ and the 'morally justified’ side of this fight? Well… you couldn’t.

I’d imagine some people, once they found out the horrific truth, would come forward willingly. I’d imagine some of them ended up being people Harry cared about dearly. Some people in their lives that they couldn’t bear to part with. I’d imagine that Harry actually couldn’t bring himself to do it, and they’d have to do it for him, and it would be horrendously heartbreaking.

And I’d imagine that some people never saw it coming. Because Harry decided it was better for them not to know the truth, and to go as peacefully as he could allow. To spare them the truth, he’d have to stab them in the back. Literally. And the last thing they’d know was the confusion and pain of believing him a murderer. But that was a price he was willing to pay.

And I’d imagine there’d be some who found out the truth about the evil within them, but didn’t want to give up their lives for the ~greater good. And whether he loved them or hated them, Harry would have to track them down. He’d have to become more than just a killer - he’d have to be hunter; a predator tracking down his prey, and desperately trying to get them to understand that he had to do this.

Just imagine the kind of scars that would leave. Imagine the delicious darkness the last book would have had then - the kind of questions it would ask about morality and murder…