Destroying the ring

Having explained his theory about Voldemort's Horcruxes, Dumbledore tells Harry how he found and destroyed Marvolo Gaunt's ring

Extract from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling

‘But the six Horcruxes, then,’ said Harry, a little desperately, ‘how are we supposed to find them?’

‘You are forgetting ... you have already destroyed one of them. And I have destroyed another.’

‘You have?’ said Harry eagerly.

‘Yes indeed,’ said Dumbledore, and he raised his blackened, burned-looking hand. ‘The ring, Harry. Marvolo’s ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too. Had it not been – forgive me the lack of seemly modesty – for my own prodigious skill, and for Professor Snape’s timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale. However, a withered hand does not seem an unreasonable exchange for a seventh of Voldemort’s soul. The ring is no longer a Horcrux.’

‘But how did you find it?’

‘Well, as you now know, I have made it my business for many years to discover as much as I can about Voldemort’s past life. I have travelled widely, visiting those places he once knew. I stumbled across the ring hidden in the ruin of the Gaunts’ house. It seems that once Voldemort had succeeded in sealing a piece of his soul inside it, he did not want to wear it any more. He hid it, protected by many powerful enchant- ments, in the shack where his ancestors had once lived (Morfin having been carted off to Azkaban, of course), never guessing that I might one day take the trouble to visit the ruin, or that I might be keeping an eye open for traces of magical concealment.

‘However, we should not congratulate ourselves too heart- ily. You destroyed the diary and I the ring, but if we are right in our theory of a seven-part soul, four Horcruxes remain.’

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling