In the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Hagrid mentions he needs to leave in a hurry and hands Harry the train ticket. Harry asks Hagrid about the ticket as he squints at it in confusion, but gets no response. Harry then turns to see that Hagrid is nowhere to be seen, even though he was there just a second ago. He has somehow vanished into thin air.

What actually happened here?

  • Hagrid was there seconds ago.
  • They were standing in the middle a bridge-like walkway in the train station so there are only 2 ways to go; forward or back the way they came, yet there's no sign of Hagrid walking away in the distance.
  • Hagrid, though strong, doesn't strike me as being a cheetah-like sprinter, and I don't think he's related to The Flash.
  • Did he apparate?
  • Did he fly away on a broom?

The question How does Hagrid travel? seems to indicate that itls illegal for Hagrid to apparate, as his wand was broken upon expulsion. Did he apparate then, using the umbrella-wand thingy? What is the in-universe, movie version explanation for how Hagrid seemingly vanished into thin air?

  • 1
    The same question, though differing in the details, is valid for the book—Harry blinks and Hagrid is gone. Apr 30, 2016 at 5:39
  • In the book, it's not clear whether Hagrid literally disappeared or simply moved out of sight while Harry was blinking..
    – Valorum
    Apr 30, 2016 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


I'm going to go with the most obvious (and alas, prosaic) solution.

Hagrid walked off. Harry didn't notice.

enter image description here

As you can see, Harry had his head down reading the ticket for approximately ten seconds. During that time, Hagrid would have had ample time to simply walk across the bridge and down the steps, out of view.

Hagrid walking pace = 5.9f/s (due to long legs)
Distance required to be covered = approx 35-40ft

7s = 41ft

  • 1
    Except in a big, open space like that, someone of Hagrid’s size and bulk would still be quite clearly visible from 10–12 m away. I'm not intimately familiar with the layout at King’s Cross, but from the shot in the film, there doesn't seem to be anywhere anyone of Hagridian proportions would be out of sight within at least a 40–50 m radius. Apr 30, 2016 at 7:53
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - A railway bridge has a staircase at each end. As soon as he walked down that, he would be out of sight.
    – Valorum
    Apr 30, 2016 at 7:58
  • 5
    @JanusBahsJacquet - For me, the bigger question is how Harry gets his push-cart off the bridge given that it's only got staircases.
    – Valorum
    Apr 30, 2016 at 8:02
  • 4
    That is indeed at least as perplexing. I think we can reasonably safely invoke Rand’s maxim here: because the movies are nonsense. Apr 30, 2016 at 8:03
  • 2
    In a world where doing magic in front of muggles is illegal, it seems most likely that Hagrid would have avoided doing magic. When you take away the impossible, what you're left with, however boring, has to be the answer.
    – Valorum
    Apr 30, 2016 at 8:04

Well, I suspect this is simply an instance where the writers didn't think things through. "He's magic, so he can disappear!" But if we really want a movie-universe explanation for his disappearance...

He might have used a Portkey

This seems the most likely, because it is most in accordance with Hagrid's magical capabilities, both in the book and the movie. Dumbledore might have provided him with a timed Portkey to transport him back to Hogwarts. Presumably he would have told Hagrid when to use it. This would perfectly explain why Hagrid was so dismayed when he saw the time: the Portkey was about to activate.

He might have Apparated

In both the book and movie universes, Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts, as a consequence of which he is both not permitted to perform magic, and not as competent as he would have been had he been allowed to continue. However, he was allowed to perform magic to retrieve Harry.

"Be grateful if yeh didn't mention that ter anyone at Hogwarts," he said. "I'm -- er -- not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'. I was allowed ter do a bit ter follow yeh an' get yer letters to yeh an' stuff -- one o' the reasons I was so keen ter take on the job.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, p. 46

As we know, Word of Rowling is that Hagrid cannot produce a Patronus, probably due to the lapse in his education.

I therefore find it improbable that Hagrid could apparate, especially since it was normally taught only in the sixth year, in both the book and movie universes. He would have to have received special instruction.

Nonetheless, in the movieverse Hagrid might have received Apparition lessons from Dumbledore. Harry would probably have heard him disapppear in this case, but in some instances movie-verse apparition is silent.

He might have turned invisible

This seems most unlikely, but it has to be mentioned. Perhaps Hagrid had an Invisibility Cloak in one of his many pockets. I find it hard to believe that Hagrid would have ignored Harry calling out for him, but maybe he didn't hear him, or really needed to get back to Dumbledore.

  • Could he have used PolyJuice potion to turn into an "ordinary-looking" person (he could have swiped a hair off the coat of a passer-by)?
    – Wallnut
    May 6, 2016 at 10:43
  • Nope. It is stated by Moody in Deathly Hallows that the Polyjuice potion does not work on half-giants.
    – Voronwé
    Apr 27, 2017 at 7:22
  • 'This would perfectly explain why Hagrid was so dismayed when he saw the time: the Portkey was about to activate.' Although I'm sceptical that it was indeed a Portkey (I can see where you're going though esp since there are such a thing as timed Portkeys as we find out in book 4) I want to point out that what you say is one of the things world builders can do with magic - it's a brilliant fix to a lot of problems. Of course it's also a problem of problems itself. As she found out with time-turners and thus having to add rules and break them all in OotP, for example. Still a good theory.
    – Pryftan
    Jan 9, 2018 at 22:02

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