What is Dark Magic? We know that Dark Magic is often characterized by powerful and often irreversible effects, such as the spell that claimed George Weasley’s ear, or the cursed ring that destroyed Albus Dumbledore’s hand. But the true mark of Dark Magic is not the power of the spell. It’s the malice with which the spell must be cast. Such spells are never cast by accident, nor are they cast by someone with goodness in their hearts. They are always, always cast with ill intent. And their effects are, without exception, equally harmful to the subject of the spell. In effect, Dark Magic is the caster’s hate or fury made manifest, by the power of magic. The Unforgivable Curses are so named, in other words, because nobody can cast them without evil intent.
Even Harry Potter, who tortured a Death Eater with the Cruciatus curse, necessarily did so with hatred in his heart. We don’t need Legilimency to figure that out, because if he hadn’t, the curse would not have worked. Mr. Potter’s claim that he did so only in defense of Professor Minerva McGonagall, therefore, does not hold water. After all, would not a Stunning spell served just as well? Similarly, take the case of the Gringotts break-in (which, by the way, we are not prosecuting as a bank robbery). A Confundus charm would have granted Harry Potter and his friends entry into the bank. There was no need to violate the minds of bank staff members with such a cold-blooded hex as the Imperius curse.
No one can deny that Mr. Potter’s actions led to the downfall of the wickedest sorcerer the world has yet seen. But if Harry Potter did Unforgivable things along the way, should we turn a blind eye? Do the ends really justify the means? Witches and wizards, we await your verdict.