In other questions regarding the Knight Bus on this site, it is confirmed that it travels through Apparition or some other method of teleportation. In Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry first rides it, he is blasted with a bang from Privet Drive (Surrey, England) to somewhere in Wales in an instant. Considering it drives around the country at high speeds when on roads and is capable of teleporting, why does it need beds? How long could you possibly need to be on it? (A witch is actually in one and needs to be woken up in this same scene in Prisoner of Azkaban.)

  • 2
    maybe you are the 100th apparition stop on the route... that could still take a long time
    – Skooba
    Apr 11 '16 at 17:52
  • Maybe it's for the operators.
    – user40790
    Apr 11 '16 at 18:10
  • @Axelrod all two of them? :P
    – Mac Cooper
    Apr 11 '16 at 18:16
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    @ThruGog - Nope. Which is why I posted it as a comment, and not an answer. If it was an answer, I'd have used the answer button and posted it there instead :-P
    – Valorum
    Apr 11 '16 at 21:41
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    @ThruGog - Nah, I tend to post links as comments when there's useful info and to save others having to google to find the wiki
    – Valorum
    Apr 11 '16 at 21:59

First, the purpose of the Knight Bus is the transportation of witches and wizards too young or frail to Apparate:

The need for some form of transportation that could be used safely and discreetly by the underage or the infirm had been felt for a while and many suggestions had been made (sidecars on taxi-style broomsticks, carrying baskets slung under Thestrals) all of them vetoed by the Ministry. Finally, Minister for Magic Dugald McPhail hit upon the idea of imitating the Muggles’ relatively new ‘bus service’ and in 1865, the Knight Bus hit the streets.

So it does not necessarily travel through Apparition.

It would seem than the Knight Bus cannot simply teleport to its destination.

For example, when Harry asks to go to Diagon Alley, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

"Right then, Neville," said Stan, clapping his hands, where abouts in London?"

"Diagon Alley," said Harry. "Righto," said Stan.

"'Old tight, then."

BANG. They were thundering along Charing Cross Road.

Harry sat up and watched buildings and benches squeezing themselves out of the Knight Bus's way. The sky was getting a little lighter. He would lie low for a couple of hours, go to Gringotts the. moment it opened, then set off — where, he didn't know.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Instead of merely appearing in front of the Leaky Cauldron, or indeed in Diagon Alley, the Knight Bus appeared elsewhere on Charing Cross Road. This suggests that it can only teleport to certain locations. I suspect the Bus is more like a Portkey or the Floo Network than Apparition, insofar as it may be bound to certain locations: it has a few "nodes" to which it can instantaneously transport itself, and then can travel between them with great speed. Given that it often travels at night and transports unwell wizards or children, even relatively short rides might benefit from beds.

Of course, the bus can also transport itself to any impromptu "node" created when a wizard or witch sticks out their wand.

"Yep," said Stan proudly, "anywhere you like, long's it's on land. Can't do nuffink underwater. 'Ere," he said, looking suspicious again, 'You did flag us down, dincha? Stuck out your wand 'and, dincha?"

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

As to why its "node" is not right in front of the Leaky Cauldron, perhaps the sound of the Knight Bus appearing is simply too loud for the guests there to tolerate. Or perhaps Tom dislikes it.

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    Actual source: For witches and wizards who are Floo-sick, whose Apparition is unreliable, who hate heights or who feel frightened or queasy taking Portkeys, there is always the Knight Bus. (Pottermore - Knight Bus)
    – ibid
    Apr 11 '16 at 19:40
  • If it can only move to certain locations, why is "In front of Harry's House" one of those locations?
    – Valorum
    Apr 11 '16 at 19:46
  • @Richard "Of course, the bus can also transport itself to any impromptu "node" created when a wizard or witch sticks out their wand."
    – Adamant
    Apr 11 '16 at 19:51
  • @Jonah - The Leaky Cauldron isn't a "node"?
    – Valorum
    Apr 11 '16 at 19:53
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    Alas, some things still make no sense. Perhaps Tom doesn't like the Knight Bus appearing in front of his bar.
    – Adamant
    Apr 11 '16 at 19:53

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