The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone was guarded first in Gringotts (which had never been robbed until the events of the book) and then later was moved to Hogwarts (where it was pretty well protected). After Harry stopped Voldemort from getting it, Dumbledore says that he and Nicolas Flamel decided that it was best to destroy the Stone to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

But why not hide it in a place protected by a Fidelius Charm*, either after removing it from Gringots or after nearly losing it at Hogwarts? It seems like you could just have Nicolas Flamel as the secret-keeper (who might reveal it to Dumbledore), and then nobody, including Voldemort, could ever find it.

I realize that out-of-universe, this is because Rowling hadn't invented the concept yet, and in the case of bringing it out of Gringotts, it would have been Harry Potter and the Boring First Year if it were immediately hidden by the Fidelius Charm instead of being taken to Hogwarts. But I'm wondering if there was an in-universe reason why it might have not been hidden using the charm.

I suppose that maybe it was moved from Gringotts to Hogwarts to draw out Voldemort on Dumbledore's turf, but I'm not sure why they wouldn't hide it afterwards.

So why not hide the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone with a Fidelius Charm?

* For more info on a Fidelius Charm and it's rules, check out Precisely How Does the Fidelius Charm Work?

  • 1
    Up until that point, Gringotts was an incredibly secure location, and both Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel probably decided that it was perfectly secure where it was.
    – Paul Omans
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:08
  • @PaulOmans It makes sense that it was originally held in Gringotts, since it was thought to be unable to break into, and certainly much simpler than using a Fidelius Charm. But after Dumbledore decided to remove the Stone from Gringotts (presumably because he caught wind of Quirrel's attempt to steal it), why not then hide it more securely than Gringotts with a Fidelius Charm? Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:38

4 Answers 4


I think it was because performing Fidelius Charm could put the secret keeper and people close to the secret keeper in grave risk.

Based on Pottermore

Generally speaking, being a Secret Keeper is a dangerous position to occupy. It is such a serious and binding enchantment that few would undertake it lightly. In spite of the fact that the secret can only be given up voluntarily, many have been subjected to the Imperius and Cruciatus Curses in an effort to make them share their information.

Secret Keeper

Since the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone belonged to Nicolas Flamel, he should rightly become the Secret Keeper.

Now if Nicolas Flamel does not voluntarily give up the information, they could threatened his immediate family.

The problem in this case is that there are very few people involved (Nicolas Flamel, Albus Dumbledore and Mrs. Nicolas Flamel) with the stone. So the list of people who could be Secret Keeper and trusted to keep the secret here is small.

  • 1
    Good points! I'd +1 if I could, but I'm out of votes for today :( Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:59
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    I think that using Imperius or Cruciatus Curses to try to get the secret would be ineffective, since earlier in your linked Pottermore page, it says that the secret cannot be "forced [Imperius], bewitched, or tortured [Cruciatus] out of the secret keeper". Still, having those cast on you is definitely a bad thing and threatening Flamel's family seems like it could be a way to get him to reveal it of his own free will. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 5:05
  • @N_Soong It's okay.
    – Vishvesh
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 5:12
  • @Thunderforge: While it may be true that the two Unforgivables named may be ineffective in overcoming the Fidelius Charm, it won't stop greedy and/or desperate people from trying.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 19:07
  • 3
    If Dumbledore was secret keeper voldemort would no only have to best him in battle to perform these curses on him, but do it non-lethally. Probably not possible.
    – josh
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 7:38

Because Dumbledore wanted Harry to face Voldemort as part one of his plan to prepare Harry to sacrifice himself in the end. Everything Dumbledore did in the books was calculated, from the moment he left Harry with the Dursleys to Dumbledore's own death. Below is Dumbledore's conversation with Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, emphasis mine:

“So the boy . . . the boy must die?” asked Snape quite calmly.

“And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.” Another long silence.

Then Snape said, “I thought . . . all these years . . . that we were protecting him for her. For Lily.”

“We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,” said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut. “Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth: Sometimes I have thought he suspects it himself. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort.” Dumbledore opened his eyes. Snape looked horrified.

You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?”

“Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?”

“Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape. He stood up. “You have used me.” “Meaning?” “I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter —”

“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?". . .

Harry was never in real danger during the events of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Dumbledore purposefully led him to the mirror of Erised, so that he could teach him hows to use it. He sent Hagrid to take the stone out of Gringotts on the same day he took Harry there. He even made it so that Hagrid would be Harry's most trusted adult, the one who saved him from his miserable life under the stairs and introduced him to the world of magic. Ever wonder how Dumbledore showed up just at the right moment to find Harry? How he just knew something was wrong and had to return? Harry was never in any danger at all, he was simply put to the test.

  • 1
    You probably get this a lot, but I do find it funny that Lord Voldemort is answering this question, explaining how Dumbledore prepared Harry to defeat him. It's like an excerpt from his autobiography where he reflects on what led to his downfall, and is naturally quite bitter about it! Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 5:15
  • @Thunderforge ak-hdl.buzzfed.com/static/2014-03/enhanced/webdr08/25/16/… Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 5:22
  • This assumption is a bit of a long shot. Dumbledore was also deceiving Snape in this dialogue. He really needed Voldemort to (attempt to) kill Harry but for a different reason - to destroy the seventh hocrux inside him.
    – vap78
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:16
  • I'm giving it a while before choosing an answer because I want to see what sort of answers emerge. I posted it late at night in my time zone and want people to have the chance to give late answers and upvote the ones they like. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:29

You are missing the point aren't you? Dumbledore had modified the Mirror of Erized to hide the stone in it. The mirror would only give the stone to whoever wanted to find it but doesn't want to use it. Therefore as we saw the stone was always safe, as Quirrell had no clue how to get the stone... Dumbledore thus was never worried that the stone will ever be found. The only thing that backfired Dumbledore's plan was that he never could have predicted that Harry and the other 2 will ever get into all that hustle to look for it!

Which gets us to the point that all of you are missing, which is that if Harry had never gotten down and accidentally helped Quirrell get the stone - Quirrell would never have gotten it as he didn't know how and Voldemort was too weak to help him out...

So the point you are missing is that, all that stuff under the trapdoor fluffy was guarding never was anything other than Dumbledore's trap to whoever tried to steal the stone! Dumbledore actually wanted someone to go down there so he can actually catch him. The proof for that is that the Mirror of Erized was never even under the trapdoor to begin with! It was in the Room of Requirement where Harry initially found it... That was the initial plan of Dumbledore... But after Harry found out about the mirror Dumbledore had to move it "somewhere else"

Dumbledore never predicted that Harry would go down there and nearly handing over the stone to Quirrell, thus the stone was perfectly safe and Dumbledore's plan to catch any potential thief in the was in place, but Harry ruined it for him but hopefully he was lucky enough to save it at the very last moment...

  • I upvoted this answer, even though it is resurrecting a very old question, because I think it captures an important point - the Stone was pretty clearly being used as bait in a trap, so the "best" method of hiding it would not actually serve Dumbledore's purpose. If you allow the location of the Stone to be known, but make it impossible to retrieve, you lure in whoever originally tried to steal it. We also have no reason to think that Dumbledore expected Voldemort to be involved - for all they knew, they were just trying to catch an immortality-seeking burglar.
    – tbrookside
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 11:57

Because Voldemort could probably still find it

In the question you've linked to, @Donald.McLean explains to us that:

When the secret keeper dies, everyone who knows the secret becomes a secret keeper. They can then communicate the secret to anyone else.

Now, if Flamel and Dumbledore were the secret keepers and something happened to Dumbledore and Flamel, we know that people who knew them would become the Secret Keepers. The key problem with this is that Dumbledore may confide in several people with connections to Voldemort! So, it is theoretically possible that Voldemort would come to know the secret location, through one of the people Dumbledore confides in (perhaps even Quirrel), defeating the purpose of the Fidelius charm!

However, using the Mirror of Erised and ensuring that only those who wanted to find the stone but not use it could access the stone is a far more fool-proof method. It means Voldemort couldn't access it, because Voldemort would want to use it!

  • I think this answer is incorrect. Only those who the secret has been revealed to become the new secret keepers. Not those who know the secret keeper.
    – user32390
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:24
  • @sumelic I have reworded my what I meant to say; sloppy writing on my part! Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:30
  • @MathiasFoster I have altered my answer somewhat - you may be interested to revise your opinion ;) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:33
  • Why would Dumbledore confide the secret in others? It seems to me that he would have been perfectly content keeping the secret between Nicolas Flamel and himself. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:39
  • @Thunderforge well, he had the help of Quirrel, Snape, McGonnigal, Hagrid, Sprout and Flitwick in his plan; he could very well have confided in them also! Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:41

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