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"This is the one that gives explicit instructions on how to make a Horcrux. Secrets of the Darkest Art — it's a horrible book, really awful, full of evil magic..."
Hermione Granger regarding the wholly dark nature of this book[src]

Secrets of the Darkest Art was a tome[3] written by Owle Bullock,[1] possibly of medieval origin, that discussed only the most advanced Dark Arts. It was the only known source of written instructions on the creation and destruction of a Horcrux. It was a large volume, bound in faded black leather.[3]


Hermione Granger: "I wonder when Dumbledore removed it from the library...if he didn't do it until he was Headmaster, I bet Voldemort got all the instruction he needed from here."
Ron Weasley: "Why did he have to ask Slughorn how to make a Horcrux, then, if he'd already read that?"
Harry Potter: "He only approached Slughorn to find out what would happen if you split your soul into seven. Dumbledore was sure Riddle already knew how to make a Horcrux by the time he asked Slughorn about them. I think you're right, Hermione, that could easily have been where he got the information."
— The trio discussing this book[src]
Secrets of the Darkest Art HL

Book cover in 1890

This book was housed in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library by at least 1890, when Sebastian Sallow and the new fifth-year student noticed it while pursuing their own intentions.[2] It would remain there until Albus Dumbledore removed it.[3] Prior to the book's removal, students were not allowed to read the book, due to it containing in-depth information about Horcruxes, which is a banned subject in Hogwarts, and Dumbledore (then a teacher) was very strict about people reading it.[5] Tom Riddle probably read the book, and found the information on how to create a Horcrux, but the book did not give any information on creating multiple Horcruxes (Riddle's goal) as such a feat had never even been thought of. Riddle later asked Professor Slughorn for advice.[6][3]

When Dumbledore removed the book from the library, he stored it in his office. In 1997, Hermione Granger managed to summon the book just before leaving Hogwarts at the end of her sixth year by shouting "Accio Horcrux books", thinking correctly that it would be worth a try to test her luck. Hermione took the book with her on the year-long quest to destroy Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes with Harry Potter. Despite the usefulness of the book in learning about Horcruxes, Hermione found it to be a repulsive document, due to the depraved nature of what it contained.[3]

During the Calamity in the late 2010s or early 2020s, a Calamity Investigator working for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force asked Sage Bragnam to loan them a copy of this book in order to better understand the Dark Arts they were confronting. Sage agreed to loan them the book due to his respect for their courage. The investigator read through the book and was repulsed by its vile contents, although reading it did help them better understand the darkest of Dark Arts.[4]


Secrets of the Darkest Art contained a large archive of evil magic, which made Hermione declare it an awful book. It was the only known document that contained detailed information on Horcruxes, including the process to create them, the consequences it would have on the creator's soul, and that only by heartfelt regret and remorse could the soul be truly repaired, a process that was so painful it could be fatal. As creating Horcruxes were originally meant to be a singular act, this book did not contain any information on any individual creating multiple Horcruxes (as no person before Lord Voldemort ever thought of attempting such a feat).[3]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "First look at Deathly Hallows props including 'Life and Lies', 'A History of Magic', more" at MuggleNet
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hogwarts Legacy, Main Quest "Secrets of the Restricted Section"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes) - "a banned subject at Hogwarts, you know ... Dumbledore's particularly fierce about it ..."
  6. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes), Dumbledore thought that Tom knew how to create Horcruxes, but that he just wanted to know whether it was possible to create seven because "no book could have given him that information".