I'm a huge JK Rowling fan, which is good because my children are obsessed with Harry Potter. We've just worked our way through the Half Blood Prince on audio (a great way of keeping everyone distracted on even short car rides).
I've read the book already, of course, and seen the rather disappointing film version (how did they get it so-o-o wrong?). But listening to Stephen Fry's narration got me thinking: did Albus Dumbledore create his own version of a horcrux in order to keep up the good fight after his death?
Horcruxes were Voldemort's dastardly plan to live forever. A slither of his soul is sliced off and kept in an artefact, for revival at a later date. To kill Voldemort, Harry has to first destroy all the horcruxes. In the end he doesn't destroy any of them, but his friends do. It's a great yarn.
In the last book, Dumbledore is dead. But we discover late on in the story that Snape truly is Dumbledore's man. Snape's posthumous memories include him plotting with Dumbledore's portrait on how and where to leave Harry the Gryffindor sword.
Later still, when the war is won, Harry speaks to the Dumbledore portrait. My feeling about both these scenes is that Dumbledore's image goes way beyond any other magical portrait. You sense it is more than just an impression of the living man. you sense that it is Dumbledore.
If that is the case, does Dumbledore live on in his portrait? Is it in some sense a horcrux? And if it is, did big D have to kill anyone to make it?