"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.[src]

Secrets of the Darkest Art is a tome, possibly of medieval origin, that discusses Dark Arts. It is the only known source of written instructions on the creation and destruction of a Horcrux. It is a large volume, bound in faded black leather.


This book was housed in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library until Albus Dumbledore removed it.[1] It's unknown when, but the school banned the subject prior to the 1940s and Dumbledore (then a teacher) was very strict about it.[2] Tom Marvolo Riddle may have found it and read it to research how to create a Horcrux, but the book does not give any information on creating multiple Horcruxes, as such a feat had never been attempted. He later asked Professor Slughorn for advice.[3][4]

It's unknown when, but Dumbledore removed it from the library and 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 .[5]


Secrets of the Darkest Arts contains a large archive of evil magic, in which made Hermione declare it an awful book. It is the only known document that contains detailed information on Horcruxes, including the process to create them, the consequences it would have on the creator's soul, and that only by remorse can the soul be repaired, a process that is so painful it could be fatal. As creating Horcruxes were originally meant to be a singular act, this book does not contain any information on any individual creating multiple Horcruxes.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes) - "a banned subject at Hogwarts, you know ... Dumbledore's particularly fierce about it ..."
  3. 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".
  4. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas), Hermione says she would "bet Voldemort got all the instruction he needed from here". Harry agreed that it "could" be "where he got the information".
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  6. "First look at Deathly Hallows props including 'Life and Lies', 'A History of Magic', more" at MuggleNet
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