The Mystery of the Locket and R.A.B.
As usual, JKR wrote an outstanding book. As she herself stated in one of her
interviews, book six was about answers, not more clues and questions. However,
naturally there are quite a few clues and several loose ends to tie up before
the end of book seven.
The main clue (and theme of the next book), is, of course, the horcruxes. Let
us list them so far:
- Riddle's Diary (destroyed)
- Marvolo's Ring (ditto)
- Nagini the snake
- Something of Ravenclaw's or Gryffindor's
- Hufflepuff's cup
- Slytherin's locket
The most mysterious of these, of course, is Slytherin's locket. For who knows
where it lies now, or if it has been destroyed yet. What's certain is that
someone by the initials of R.A.B took it, and Voldemort does not yet know. We
don't know who R.A.B is, or if he's even alive, but my theory goes along with
the majority: Regulus A. Black. He was mentioned briefly in OotP, by his
dear-departed brother Sirius:
"…he was murdered by Voldemort. Or on Voldemort's orders, more
likely. I doubt Regulus was ever important enough to be killed by Voldemort in
person. From what I found out after he died, he got in so far, then panicked
about what he was being asked to do and tried to back out. Well, you don't just
hand in your resignation to Voldemort. It's a lifetime of service or
death." - OotP, Chapter Six, page 104.
I believe Sirius knew little about Regulus, and he may even be alive right
now. However, it is also possible that he did indeed die, but not for the
reasons Sirius believes. It was shown on the Black Family Tree that Regulus'
date of death was some fifteen years previously. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Regulus, in some way or another, might have found out about the prophecy. I
mean, after all, he was a Death Eater, wasn't he? I believe he knew about the
prophecy as well as the horcruxes, and set out to find one of the horcruxes, at
least. He found Slytherin's locket and replaced it with a locket of his own,
leaving a message inside. Voldemort has not been back all these years and I do
not think he knows of this.
I believe that after Regulus stole the horcrux, he hid it in his home (Number
12, Grimmauld Place). I think those extreme fans might recall this passage:
"…[they found] a heavy locket that none of them could open…"
- OotP, Chapter Six, page 108.
Harry found this locket while cleaning out the drawing room with the others.
There was barely a line of description, so we don't know exactly what the locket
looked like, but it seems very suspicious to me. Why, a horcrux might have been
hidden inside! An ordinary pair of hands could not have opened it.
I think Regulus hid the locket there, but was indeed cowardly when it came to
his Death Eater duties, so in the end he was murdered by fellow Death Eaters
(probably not Voldemort himself). I think Voldemort did not give Regulus enough
thought; he believed him weak and a coward, so he probably did not have much
chance to break into his mind and discover that Regulus had nearly brought him a
step closer to death.
However, there is always the possibility that the horcrux inside the locket
had already been destroyed by Regulus before he died; however, this seems
unlikely to me.
I think the future for Harry is clouded, but he will sometime have to visit
Grimmauld Place, and that will be a painful experience, especially with the
memory of Sirius feeling so trapped inside that house. But Harry will have to
overcome his emotions, at least long enough for him to think clearly to find and
destroy the locket.
If Regulus is still secretly alive, though, I daresay we'll meet him before
the end. And don't go forgetting about the two-way-mirror! Jo hinted that we
hadn't seen the last of it yet. What if Regulus had Sirius' mirror? There's
definitely something about that mirror that hasn't been revealed yet. Until the
end, of course we have two years still of wondering and speculating, and plenty
of time to think up new theories.