In the books, Harry consistently takes seemingly Muggle routes to Platform 9 3/4, to Hogwarts by train (which has been boarded before), or at his place on Privet Drive, (just to name a few of the times) as it seems that he was (nearly) unprotected (magically) most of the time.

Why don't the DE just Apparate in and kidnap him while he's at his most vulnerable?

Edit for clarity: Per the comments and answers, Voldemort was highly against any of the Death Eaters killing Harry, but why not kidnap him directly, rather than put his name in the Triwizard cup? For instance, why not on the train to Hogwarts among other such places? I have reworded the question to lose the specifics (as they seem to get my questions in trouble) and make it more general. I hope this clears up some of the confusion, but if anyone has any edits to make this question more legible, I'd be more than happy to see them.

Also to note, there is protection against Harry dying at Privet Drive, but kidnapping is not listed as something that can't be done from what I can deduce. There may be evidence to the contrary, but I am unable to find it.

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    If BCJ was part of the DE, wouldn't he be included in a larger plot to kill Harry? If you could find the quotes that say that, I'd love to hear them in an answer. Otherwise, there'd be plenty of better ways to teleport Harry than waiting till the end of an entire tournament in which he might have died, THEN using something as complicated as a portkey to finally get him in front of old Voldemort.
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:23
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    In the earlier books, the Death Eaters still fear the Ministry. They can't just go and murder someone in a public place full of Muggles as the Aurors and the rest of the Ministry would be on to them. They had to wait til they had discreetly infiltrated it as they did later on or use mysterious, convoluted means.
    – ThruGog
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:18
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    Prior to Voldemort's return, didn't at least some of the Death Eaters think Harry might turn out to be a great dark wizard who would take Voldemort's place as their leader? I think I remember Snape saying something about that. Feb 25, 2016 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


Simply put, Harry may not have been as unprotected as you believe. In fact, you could say that the only year Harry made the trip to King's Cross completely unprotected would be his first year when the Dursley's dropped him off at the station. All other years, he was accompanied by at least one (if not more) fully trained and competent witches/wizards:

  • Year 1: Accompanied by the Dursley's, seemingly unprotected
  • Year 2: Accompanied by Molly/Arthur Weasley, future Order members
  • Year 3: Accompanied by Molly/Arthur Weasley as well as ministry of magic employees
  • Year 4: Accompanied by Molly Weasley
  • Year 5: Accompanied by multiple members of the Order
  • Year 6: Accompanied by Molly/Bill (?) Weasley
  • Year 7: Did not attend Hogwarts

Additionally, you must also remember that prior to the events of The Half-Blood Prince, the Death Eaters kept relatively quiet (aside from marching at the Quidditch World Cup), and tried to avoid bringing attention to themselves, especially after Voldemort returned to body and prior to Voldemort moving into the open (between the end of Goblet of Fire and end of Order of the Phoenix). Attacking Harry at a time where he is presumably surrounded surrounded by witches, wizards, and muggles alike, would not be a very good way to keep quiet and lay low. As such, the only time we see Death Eater's deliberately attempting to attack Harry while he is being transported is at the beginning of Deathly Hallows. And even then, he isn't attacked in direct public view, but instead in the skies where the only direct witnesses are the Death Eaters and the members of the Order present.

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    Would a small group (3-4 people) not be able to take out Molly Weasley? I'd consider that relatively unprotected in general tbh......
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:27
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    Molly Weasley, as we see towards the end of Deathly Hallows is more than capable of handling herself when it comes to dueling Death Eaters (Bellatrix Lestrange) and additionally, you still have the fact that any attack would be very public, taking place in an area where hundreds, if not thousands of other people, muggles included, are gathered.
    – bz032002
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:30
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    And that is not to mention that a large group of Death Eaters failed to get Harry or the Prophecy in the Battle at the Ministry during OotP. Most of the battle was conducted against school children in the 4th or 5th years, the order did not come to their aid until the end, and even before the order came, the Death Eaters were not having too good of a time.
    – bz032002
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:34
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    In that case it's been clarified that Bellatrix was by far a superior witch, but lost the duel because she underestimated Molly. Also, there's the same thing in the Deathly Hallows where Harry is ambushed in the coffee shop in the middle of Muggles, so it seems they don't care. I can see the point about Voldemort wanting Harry to himself, but there'd be easier ways to get him than the convoluted ways they went about it. For the 5th book, they were trying more to get the prophecy, not necessarily Harry. He just happened to be carrying the prophecy at that time.
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:34
  • @Anoplexian: The coffee shop incident happened after the Ministry had fallen into Voldemort’s control.
    – chirlu
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:34

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