In Prisoner of Azkaban, Cornelius Fudge decides that the dementors are no longer appropriate protection after they tried to steal Harry's soul with the Dementor's Kiss. He then says the following:

No, I’ll have them packed off back to Azkaban tonight. Perhaps we should think about dragons at the school entrance ...’ -Prison of Azkaban

I find it interesting that dragons at the school entrance were considered, but to my knowledge, this never happened. By the time of The Half-Blood Prince, the school entrances were secure enough that the Death Eaters couldn't just waltz in, requiring them to use the teleporting cabinets instead.

So what type of protection does Hogwarts have at the school entrance (by which I mean the intended entrance, not hidden ways into the school)? And aside from the presence of the dementors, did this change over the course of the books?

  • are you asking EVER, or specifically after book 3, up until book 6.
    – Himarm
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 15:32
  • Edited my question. I am most interested in permanent ones, but also any that changed over the course of the books that I may have forgotten, aside from the dementors which are already mentioned. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


Not much, until Voldemort's return

For most of the books, there is no particular magical protection on the gates. Of course, presumably the gates have Muggle-Repelling Charms on them, like the rest of the castle, and they are undoubtedly included in other spells as well, but they seem to have no special magical protection. People (or at least witches and wizards) can walk through them at will. For example, in Goblet of Fire the Trio can simply run through the gates:

Breaking into a run, she led them all the way back up the road, through the gates flanked by winged boars, and up through the grounds to Hagrid’s cabin.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Of course, after the escape of Sirius Black dementors were posted at the gates. Fudge's suggestion that dragons be put at the gates was in the context of Sirius's continued freedom, but Sirius indicated that he would allow himself to be seen far from Hogwarts, in order to get the Ministry to lift security.

I am planning to allow some Muggles to glimpse me soon, a long way from Hogwarts, so that the security on the castle will be lifted.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After the public return of Lord Voldemort, security was stepped up massively, and the gates received some extra protection.

At the very least, the gates cannot be unlocked through magical means:

But when he put out a hand to push open the gates, he found them chained shut.

“Alohomora!” he said confidently, pointing his wand at the padlock, but nothing happened.

“That won’t work on these,” said Tonks. “Dumbledore bewitched them himself.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Note the word "them": the spell is on the gates as a whole, not just the padlock.This protection is presumably specific to the gates, since the walls and grounds cannot be opened in the first place.

The gates also probably have anti-intruder jinxes of some sort:

“I could climb a wall,” he suggested.

“No, you couldn’t,” said Tonks flatly. “Anti-intruder jinxes on all of them. Security’s been tightened a hundredfold this summer.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

If such jinxes have been placed on the walls, it seems very likely that they also were placed on the gates.


Until book 6, you could literally just stroll through the gates into Hogwarts. The gates themselves appear to have no additional protection beyond what the grounds and castle already contained, such as unplottable, cannot apparate, ect. In book 6 we see they gates are guarded both by the ministry of magic as well as the Order of the Phoenix. We see in year 6 that Anti-intruder jinx are inplace on the wall, and that the Gate itself is locked at night.

‘No, you couldn’t,’ said Tonks flatly. ‘Anti-intruder jinxes on all of them. Security’s been tightened a hundredfold this summer.’

Though in year 6 we still see students can simply walk through the gates, with a brief security check at the door into the castle.

Year 2 we see Lucius Malfoy simply wandering the grounds

Mr Lucius Malfoy strode into Hagrid’s hut, swathed in a long black travelling cloak, smiling a cold and satisfied smile. Fang started to growl.

Years 4,5,6 Students simply wander through the gates all day on their Hogsmead trips. In year 6 the gates also do not stop or prevent cursed items, as Harry was able to bring it all the way up to the castle unopposed till Filch comes to sweep them.

‘It’s the thing she touched,’ said Harry. ‘Good Lord,’ said Professor McGonagall, looking alarmed as she took the necklace from Harry. ‘No, no, Filch, they’re with me!’ she added hastily, as Filch came shuffling eagerly across the Entrance Hall holding his Secrecy Sensor aloft.


As far as I know there is no real protection at the gates. Occasionally Filch checks for secret magic on any of the people entering but that is more to stop mischievous students than an actual intruder. The only magical protection for Hogwats is the no apparating spell and possibly the Whomping Willow. There are also a few muggle repelling charms I think. The school mainly relies on the fact that any intruder to the school would be seen and the staff could then evict them. The Death Eaters needed the cabinet so they could get to Hogwarts without being seen since I doubt the Ministry would fail to notice a bunch of Death Eaters flying to Hogwarts. Once they were there they could have just walked. The cabinet also gave the element of surprise as it meant no one would see them coming and raise the alarm.

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