I know there are many questions going on this very topic - like why the Triwizard Cup Portkey was two-way and why the Portkey didn't return Harry and Cedric to the center of the maze, where it was originally placed. But my question is a little different...

In book 5 when Dumbledore created a Portkey and sent Harry to his office from the Ministry, Fudge told him that creating a Portkey like this is illegal ... and since all illegal activities are closely monitored by the Ministry, be it underage magic or Unforgivable Curses, this activity must also be closely monitored.

Secondly, in book 7 I supppose, it was told to Harry that the Floo Network and Apparition are closely monitored by the Ministry and it is worth their lives to create an illegal Portkey, so that was why they used brooms to fly him out of his home.

Now coming to my question -
How come Barty Jr. created a Portkey, a powerful one to carry someone hundreds of miles away from Hogwarts grounds, and still this activity was not noticed and brought to the attention of Dumbledore or the Ministry?

  • 3
    The ministery can't track every spell. They are watching Harry's house, they are not watching Mad-eye
    – user46509
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:33
  • 2
    Because his boss was the most powerful dark wizard who ever lived, capable of magics that even Dumbledore struggles to comprehend?
    – Valorum
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:34
  • 1
    @Richard - Not at the time when it was all done. The time when Barty created the cup a portkey, Voldy can't even eat on his own..let alone helping someone hundreds miles away in magic.
    – Harsimrat
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:35
  • @AncalagonTheBlack - Yes Ministry doesn't track every spell but something illegal and big like portkey must be within the radar. Being able to send someone (one or more) to anywhere else can be exploited big time and this activity, I am sure, must have been tracked quite finely. Imagine if someone create a portkey within Azkaban to take all death eaters to Miami beach or some place else :)
    – Harsimrat
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:38
  • 2
    @Harsimrat no. They have to be actually looking for stuff, otherwise voldermorts murders earlier in the book would have been solved in 10 seconds flat
    – user46509
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


Logically there's only one possible answer:

Making Portkeys is illegal, but is not closely monitored.

Just as in the real world, not all illegal activity is automatically monitored and picked up by those in charge. They do have a special kind of magic to monitor underage magic, but there's no reason to believe they can similarly find out whenever anybody casts an Unforgivable Curse or creates a Portkey.

In book 5 when Dumbledore created a portkey and sent Harry to his office from Ministry, Fudge told him that creating portkey like this is illegal..

Precisely. Fudge says it's audacious of Dumbledore to create an unauthorised Portkey right in front of the Minister for Magic. Had it not been right in front of him, Dumbledore would probably have got away with it.

and since all illegal activities are closely monitored by Ministry, be it underage magic or un-forgiven curses, So this activity must also be closely monitored.

Must it? Why?

There are several examples throughout the series of characters casting Unforgivable Curses and getting away with it, and also of them creating unauthorised Portkeys and getting away with it - such as the example you give. It follows, then, that the casting of Unforgivable Curses and the creation of Portkeys is not closely monitored by the Ministry.

Secondly, in book 7 I supppose, it was told to Harry that Floo Network and Apparition are closely monitored by Ministry and it is worth their lives to create an illegal portkey so that is why they will use brooms to flew him out of his home.

Yes. In that book, Harry's house is under close surveillance, so they might well be found out if they did something illegal there. Even if there was no guarantee of it, they might still say "it's more than our life's worth" just for the possibility of being caught.

  • Valid points but still I am not able to wrap my head around the fact that something as big as portkey creation is not closely monitored. As I mentioned earlier, creating portkey is not easy and what if someone create a portkey within Azkaban and take all the death eaters out? Portkey can be exploited to be extremely dangerous and bad if done with wrong intentions and I am sure something like this must be monitored very closely.
    – Harsimrat
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:44
  • 1
    I think it's a matter of practicality. You can't keep track of every portkey being made, no more than you can wiretap every US citizen and expect to be able to tell what is going on.
    – Theik
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:53
  • @Harsimrat Probably they would monitor it closely if they could - just like the real-world authorities would have magical spells to keep an eye on every illegal activity if they could - but perhaps spells like the one to watch underage magic don't work for everything. Even in a world of magic, not everything can be done magically!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:54
  • Even without a source I maintain it's either a plot hole or Dumbledore created the Portkey originally unbeknownst to Barty Jr. Oct 29, 2015 at 11:34
  • @CandiedMango Thus suggesting that Dumbledore created the port to the graveyard? Why would he do that? Or I misunderstand? I don't see how it's a plot hole; after all you note that the trace is also flawed: that's how Riddle was able to implicate his uncle in the murder of the Riddles with the false memory charm. Dumbledore iirc even notes it's flawed.
    – Pryftan
    Oct 16, 2017 at 22:36

Because it was already a Portkey.

The idea was whoever survived the maze and found the triwizard cup was supposed to be ported back to the beginning of the Maze, where the schools were watching intently (which I found odd, as they would be literally staring at hedges waiting for fireworks). Everyone was waiting for whoever won to be ported back USING the Triwizard cup as a portkey. I understood that upon reading it, and seeing it in the movie as well. If you're going to make a Macguffin like that, why wouldn't you also enchant it to magically pop yourself over to the celebration... You'll just appear, literally holding the trophy.

What they didn't know is that Mad-Eye Barty had ALSO made it a portkey to go to the graveyard to hang with Voldemort & friends.

I will admit, however, that this interpretation is in the air because JKR has actually said that them appearing back in front of everybody was a mistake and they should have gone back to the middle of the maze. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me personally, and since it's not technically written anywhere in the seven books or portrayed in the 8 movies, it isn't technically canon, so take that how you wish. The professors do state something along the lines of "It was a portkey??", but that could just as easily reference that they were confused that their portkey WAS ALSO a portkey, rather than the cup being a portkey versus not. Ah, magic.

  • 5
    I am not sure where you got this idea because it is neither mentioned in the book nor anywhere else. Can you please share the source of this info?
    – Harsimrat
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:26
  • 4
    This answer makes perfect sense, some speculation here but if you stack portkey spells, they probably unstack in the same order. How did Harry know to get back to the trophy if it wasn't supposed to port them back to hog warts? So the last portkey spell fires off first, then the first port key spell fires off when it is touched again. Makes perfect sense.
    – Escoce
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:32
  • 2
    Exactly. There's no specific source, it only makes sense in the context of the story, the reaction of the characters to one another and the situation. Here's the video clip of the scene: youtube.com/watch?v=eL28nE2gxVY HP and Deadric arrive, there's cheers from the amassed crowd and the band starts playing. There's no question of how HP arrived, why he appeared holding the cup, nor his wand. It's all expected. They were sitting out there for a reason, expecting the winner to arrive.
    – Vogie
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:43
  • I thought that the statement have not been made by professors but by Cedric and Harry right after they teleported.
    – Zikato
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:45
  • @Vogie - Movies could be misleading. There are tons of things not shown in movies which were in books and even more shown in a twisted way not described in books at all!
    – Harsimrat
    Oct 29, 2015 at 16:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.