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"An eerie sight met their eyes: they were standing on the edge of a great black lake, so vast that Harry could not make out the distant banks, in a cavern so high that the ceiling, too, was out of sight. A misty greenish light shone far away in what looked like the middle of the lake; it was reflected in the completely still water below. The greenish glow and the light from the two wands were the only things that broke the otherwise velvety blackness, though their rays did not penetrate as far as Harry would have expected. The darkness was somehow denser than normal darkness."
— Description of the Cave[src]

This cave was visited by Tom Riddle as a child. As Lord Voldemort, he later used the cave to hide Salazar Slytherin's Locket, one of his Horcruxes. The cave was visited again when Regulus Black stole the original locket[3] and when Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter went searching for it.[2]


In his childhood, Tom Riddle was brought to a seaside site near this cave on holiday with his orphanage. He discovered this cave and terrorised two fellow orphans, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop, there. The experience was so terrible they refused to divulge exactly what happened.[1] Without magic, entering the cave would require uncommon mountaineering skills, as boats could approach the cliffs.[1]

The first incursion upon the cave was by Regulus Black and Kreacher after Voldemort asked Regulus Black for a house elf. Regulus Black offered Kreacher and he was taken here. Kreacher was forced to drink the potion and Voldemort left, leaving him to get killed by the Inferi. Kreacher disapparated back as Voldemort didn't remember or realise that house elves could apparate in and out. Kreacher told Regulus Black what had happened and Regulus started to hate Voldemort. Regulus worked out that Voldemort had made Horcruxes and asked Kreacher to take him back. Regulus got the locket, which was later stolen from the Black family home.[3]

Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore inside the cave in 1997

The second skirmish at the Horcrux cave took place on 29 June, 1997 after Albus Dumbledore tracked down what he believed to be one of Lord Voldemort's Horcrux's, located in a seaside cave Tom Riddle had visited as a boy while living in Wool's Orphanage as a boy. He took Harry Potter along with him to find the Horcrux.[2] The "Horcrux" turned out to be a fake. Finding a cryptic note inside from an "R.A.B.", Harry kept the locket, not because it was valuable, but because of what it had cost to obtain it.[4]

Infer in the cave

Upon learning that Harry was hunting his Horcruxes, having taken Hufflepuff's Cup from the Lestrange Vault, Voldemort immediately went to check the other ones for their safety and redouble their security. After finding Marvolo Gaunt's Ring gone from the Gaunt Shack, he immediately arrived at the cave and found the locket also gone, much to his murderous fury.[5]

Horcrux hiding place

"Harry turned his head to look at the greenish glow toward which the boat was still inexorably sailing. He could not pretend now that he was not scared. The great black lake, teeming with the dead..."
Harry Potter in the cave with Albus Dumbledore searching for one of Voldemort's Horcruxes[src]

The inside of the cave

Voldemort later decided to use this cave as a location for one of his Horcruxes (Salazar Slytherin's Locket). It was a very difficult place to find and even Dumbledore had to make a lot of research about Voldemort's past. Upon storing the locket in the cave, Voldemort set up a large number of complex enchantments, designed to keep others out but still allow him access to the Horcrux, should he desire to visit or remove it. As acknowledged by Dumbledore himself, the defences that Voldemort had set up within were well-designed in that one person alone could not enter and leave it without assistance.[2]

He placed a spell on the cave so that it was impossible to Apparate inside it[2] (though ineffective against house-elf magic, as Voldemort underestimated them).[3]

A smaller entrance was made: a door which required a blood sacrifice, a weakness payment, to open. According to Dumbledore, this was due to a common misconception by Voldemort that physical pain would weaken a person entering the chamber.[2]

An Inferi-infested lake separated the entrance of the cave from the Horcrux. Any attempt to use a Summoning Charm to get the Horcrux would cause one or more Inferi to leap out of the water to block the spell's effect. If the water is disturbed, the Inferi would emerge and attempt to drag the intruder into the water to drown. The Inferi are frightened off by fire. The darkness within the cave was noted to be denser than normal, and the light created from a Wand-Lighting Charm would illuminate less than expected.[2]

The island in the cave being swarmed by Inferi

The Horcrux was placed on an island in the middle of the lake. To get there, one had to find an invisible boat anchored to the cavern wall. The boat was enchanted so that only one wizard of age could be transported in it. This once again shows Voldemort's habit of underestimating his opponents, because he did not expect any underage wizard would attempt such feats.[2]

The Horcrux itself was in a basin filled with a potion that could not be touched, vanished, transfigured, or charmed; the only way to dispose of it was to drink it. Once drunk, though, it caused the drinker to see "terrible things", to experience almost unbearable burning in one's insides, and to be dehydrated. If the drinker still had strength left after consuming the potion, conjured water would vanish on them and they would have to drink from the lake; upon disturbing the water an army of Inferi would rise from the lake and attempt to kill the interloper by dragging them under the water and drowning them.[2]

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Wiki has 45 images related to The Cave.

Notes and references

Death Eaters
Dark Mark Pottermore.png
Leader: Lord Voldemort
Death Eaters

Avery (II) | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Crabbe | Bartemius Crouch Junior (deceased) | Antonin Dolohov | Gibbon (deceased) | Goyle | Gareth Greengrass's brother | Jugson | Barnaby Lee's father | Barnaby Lee's mother | Bellatrix Lestrange (deceased) | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Walden Macnair | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Pyrites (possibly) | Augustus Rookwood | Rosier | Evan Rosier (deceased) | Thorfinn Rowle | Selwyn | Merula Snyde's father | Merula Snyde's mother | Travers | Wilkes (deceased) | Corban Yaxley | Unidentified Death Eaters

Death Eater defectors

Regulus Black (deceased) | Igor Karkaroff (deceased) | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Peter Pettigrew (deceased) | Severus Snape (deceased)

Death Eater allies

Borgin | Vincent Crabbe | John Dawlish | Delphini | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | Fenrir Greyback | Mafalda Hopkirk | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) | Ismelda Murk (unofficially, supposedly) | Nagini | Mr Padgett | Mrs Padgett | Pansy Parkinson | Quirinus Quirrell | Albert Runcorn | Stanley Shunpike (Imperiused) | Scabior | Serpent of Slytherin | Pius Thicknesse (Imperiused) | Dolores Umbridge

Other affiliations

British Ministry of Magic (under Voldemort's control) | Daily Prophet (Under Voldemort's control) | Dementors | Draco Malfoy's gang | Kreacher (formerly) | Tom Riddle's gang | Gang of Slytherins | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Inferi | Charmed skeletons | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Theodore Nott (possibly) | Snatchers | Werewolf army | The Unforgivable

Death Eater establishments

Abandoned nuclear power plant | Borgin and Burkes | British Ministry of Magic Headquarters (under Voldemort's control) | The Cave | Chamber of Secrets | Forbidden Forest | Gaunt Shack | Lee family house | Lestrange Vault | Little Hangleton graveyard | Malfoy Manor | Misty Dell | Riddle House | Snatcher Camp | Spinner's End | The Abandoned Substation | The Ruins | The Quarry