Fred and George claim it is harder to Apparate in the dark:

"You two just Apparated on my knees!"

"Yeah, well, it's harder in the dark --"

Ch. 6, OOTP

But from HBP, we know that all that's truly required to Apparate is a knowledge of the destination with determination and deliberation.

Is it really more difficult to Apparate in the dark or are the twins making excuses for a poorly executed Apparition?

If it is harder, why?

  • 1
    If only there were some blind characters in HP, this might be easier to answer ...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:39
  • @randal'thor Like Aragog? :) I tease.
    – erip
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:40
  • Or the Dementors. Hmm - I wonder if Dementors can Apparate? Their magical ability seems to be restricted to making people feel like s**t, but they do sometimes show up very suddenly (e.g. at the start of OotP).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:52
  • Dementoids? We have some inkling of how they travel:"Running? Dementors don't run, they glide." Not sure if that's the only way they travel.
    – erip
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


We don't have enough information to be sure whether it's really more difficult to Apparate in the dark.

The case for yes

From Apparition lessons:

“Step one: Fix your mind firmly upon the desired destination,” said Twycross. “In this case, the interior of your hoop. Kindly concentrate upon that destination now.”

“Step two,” said Twycross, “focus your determination to occupy the visualized space! Let your yearning to enter it flood from your mind to every particle of your body!”

-- HP and the Half-Blood Prince

The Apparating wizard must "concentrate upon" their destination, but it's not made clear exactly how this concentration works - maybe visualisation of the spot is required, in which case it would make sense for it to be more difficult in the dark.

More importantly, what does the wizard have to do when they land? There must be some last-minute adjustment involved (possibly subconsciously), to take account of factors such as uneven ground or the exact altitude of the destination spot. I don't think there are any canon examples of Apparating into mid-air, but it would certainly be quite a feat to be able to concentrate on one's destination well enough to be able to fix one's height aboe the ground so exactly that one's feet land without a bump. Since no such bump is described, perhaps the Apparating wizard takes a glance at their surroundings while they're in the process of materialising and adjusts themselves slightly so as to land more smoothly. All this would probably be subconscious.

Another excellent point - thanks to @JanusBahsJacquet - is that the point of Fred and George's departure (their own bedroom) as well as arrival (Harry and Ron's bedroom) was presumably also dark. The twirling motion on the spot that's used in Apparition would be harder to do successfully in the dark and might cause them to be imbalanced as they're Apparating - hence the imprecision in precisely where they land.

The case for no

Fred and George are the ultimate pranksters. Apparating on top of their younger brother's knees is just the sort of thing they'd do for a laugh, and then they could shrug off his indignance by coming up with some excuse. He was only fifteen at the time, and would believe whatever nonsense they told him about Apparition in the same way he half-believed their stories about wrestling a troll during the Sorting Ceremony when he was eleven.

And JKR probably didn't plan out all the details of Apparition. It certainly seems to work in all sorts of circumstances - Apparating to a place one's never been before, for instance - so the answer to "how do you manage to land perfectly with your feet on the ground?" could be just "because magic *waves hand* ". Being able to visualise your destination perfectly can't be a requirement if it's somewhere you've never been, so why should it matter whether or not you can see your way around when you arrive there?

  • 4
    Just to add to the case for yes: don’t forget that it’s not only Harry and Ron’s bedroom that’s dark—Fred and George’s upstairs presumably was as well. I’ve always thought that the imprecision was not so much because they couldn’t see where they were landing in the dark, but because the swirly-turny motion you have to do on the spot was a lot harder in the dark of their own bedroom. Try standing in a dark room and do a quick turn—you’re quite likely to stumble and lose your balance. And if your balance is already half gone when you start, the ending probably won’t be ballerina elegance. Jan 27, 2016 at 5:06
  • Absent any other evidence for "yes", I think it's perfectly plausible it was just a comical excuse.
    – Nkrisc
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:35
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Thanks - I've added this reasoning into my answer.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:39

The three D's (Destination, Determination, Deliberation) mention nothing about seeing. Neither does the HP wiki article. We must assume, since

  1. Fred and George recently got their licenses and
  2. Fred and George probably weren't listening at all during Apparition lessons,

that he was just making it up.

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