Salazar Slytherin's Locket


Tom Riddle created his next Horcrux using a locket once owned by Salazar Slytherin and which had belonged to Riddle's mother, Merope Gaunt. The spell was cast after Riddle murdered a Muggle tramp. The locket is introduced briefly in Order of the Phoenix (described only as "a heavy locket that none of them could open") and is destroyed by Ron Weasley in the nineteenth chapter of Deathly Hallows. Slytherin's locket was passed down through the generations and eventually ended up in the possession of Merope Gaunt. After being abandoned by her husband Tom Riddle Senior, Merope sold the locket to Caractacus Burke, shopkeeper of Borgin & Burkes, for ten galleons, a fraction of the Locket's true value. The locket was eventually sold to Hepzibah Smith. Riddle stole the locket, along with Helga Hufflepuff's cup, after murdering Smith. Once the locket became a Horcrux, Voldemort hid it in a cave where he had once terrorized two of his fellow orphans. The cave's magical protection included an enchanted boat and the use of Inferi.
Disillusioned Death Eater Regulus Black learned about the Horcrux and its hiding place. In an effort to bring about Voldemort's eventual downfall, he and his house elf Kreacher broke through the magical protection and stole the locket. While Black died in the effort, killed by the surrounding inferi, Kreacher took the locket back to their home at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Kreacher continued to protect the locket for years. However, while the Order of the Phoenix was using the house as its headquarters, the locket was stolen by Mundungus Fletcher, a petty criminal and member of the Order. He gave it to Dolores Umbridge as a bribe when she caught him selling stolen property.
Two years later, Harry, Ron, and Hermione infiltrated the Ministry of Magic, where Umbridge worked, and stole the locket. Ron later saved Harry from being strangled by the locket. The Horcrux inside assumed the shape of Harry and Hermione and played on Ron's fear that Harry and Hermione had started a relationship during his absence (and his longer-held fear that in Hermione's eyes he, Ron, would never match up to Harry). The Horcrux attempted to possess him, but Ron overcame its influence and destroyed it using the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
After the release of the final book, several reviews noted similarities between Slytherin's locket and the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings, as both artifacts negatively affect the personality of those who wore them.