Harry has the Marauder's Map during the battle of Hogwarts, if he were to give this map to a senior, commanding mage it could have helped organise the defence of Hogwarts better.

Since knowing the arrangement of the forces arrayed against you is a big advantage.

Why did Harry choose to hide this fact and not let it be used to help during the battle?

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    Or if misplaced in the chaos of battle, it could have given the same advantage to your enemy who was so desperately trying to find you, the one person whose death would have effectively broken the resistence – Aegon Feb 17 '17 at 14:37
  • Gotta add however, not much of a big fan so I can't recall if Harry was carrying the map on his person during the battle or had put it somewhere safe to avoid it falling into wrong hands. +1 however for an interesting question. Eager to see where it goes – Aegon Feb 17 '17 at 14:37
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    @aegon Harry had it because he looked for Ron and Hermione but they were in the room of requirement so could not be found. – JamesD Feb 18 '17 at 22:15

The question isn't directly answered in the books or movies, but I see two possibilities.

Possibility 1: The Map Is Most Useful in Harry's Hands

What you have to remember is that the reason this whole battle is happening is because Harry has to look for the final Horcruxes hidden within Hogwarts before he can defeat Voldemort. The sequence of events leading up the Battle is basically:

  1. Harry enters Hogwarts through a secret passage because he has to search for the Rowena Ravenclaw Horcrux.

  2. Harry is caught by the Carrows who alert Voldemort to Harry's presence.

  3. Dumbledore's army sends out word to the Order of the Phoenix that something is about to go down and Order members start streaming into the school in preparation.

  4. Voldemort demands that the resistance give up Harry Potter by midnight or he will attack the school.

  5. When they don't give him up, the battle is on.

The battle isn't primarily about gaining back control of Hogwarts, although some students might think it is. The battle is about buying Harry enough time to find the Horcrux and destroy it. If the Horcrux wasn't at Hogwarts, then Harry could just leave through the secret passage and hide from Voldemort the way he's done all year.

Harry's mission is more important than anything else that is going on. So if he can use the Map to help him accomplish this mission then that is at least arguably a better use for it than directing troop movements. And it is pretty easy to see that the Map might be useful in helping the most wanted wizard in Britain sneak around Hogwarts in the midst of a battle in order to find a hidden magical object. I don't know if Harry actually uses the Map during the Battle, but in theory I can see how it might help him.

All that being said, I think the second possibility is more likely:

Possibility 2: It Never Occurred to Harry To Use the Map In This Way

Harry Potter just isn't the kind of kid who thinks "Gee, I better take all the information I have and present it to the most qualified adults and also give them my cool, magical objects so they can handle Voldemort and the Death Eaters." Harry Potter is the kind of a kid who tries to do everything on his own -- sometimes with the help of Ron and Hermione, only reluctantly with the help of others. If he trusts an adult a lot -- like Dumbledore or Sirius -- then he might take some of his worries to them, but only after much deliberation. His instinct is to try to do things on his own. When he arrives at Hogwarts on the night of the battle, he's reluctant to even let Dumbledore's Army help him search for the diadem.

Harry isn't focused on how he can lead his army to victory during the battle. He's focused on finding and destroying the Horcruxes ... on the mission that he's been carrying out with the help of Ron and Hermione. In fact, the one time when he really almost gets distracted by things like troop movements, McGonagall quickly gets him back on task:

But he broke off as Kingsley had stepped forward on the raised platform to address those who had remained behind.

"We've only got half an half an hour until midnight, so we need to act fast. A battle plan has been agreed between the teachers of Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix. Professors Flitwick, Sprout and McGonagall are going to take groups of fighters up to the three highest towers - Ravenclaw, Astronomy, and Gryffindor - where they'll have good overview, excellent positions from which to work spells. Meanwhile Remus" - he indicated Lupin - "Arthur" - he pointed toward Mr. Weasley, sitting at the Gryffindor table - "and I will take groups into the grounds. We'll need somebody to organize defense of the entrances or the passageways into the school - "

"Sounds like a job for us." called Fred, indicating himself and George, and Kingsley nodded his approval.

"All right, leaders up here and we'll divide up the troops!"

"Potter," said Professor McGonagall, hurrying up to him, as students flooded the platform, jostling for position, receiving instructions, "Aren't you supposed to be looking for something?"

"What? Oh," said Harry, "oh yeah!"

He had almost forgotten about the Horcrux, almost forgotten that the battle was being fought so that he could search for it.

Both because of Harry's personality and because his focus during the battle is on this very important side mission, I just don't think that giving the map to a commanding wizard would have occurred to him. He probably would have given it up if someone else had suggested it and it had seemed like a good plan -- I just don't think he would have come up with the idea on his own. And not that many other people knew about the Map -- I think just Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Remus.


The Marauder's Map was useful to students of Hogwarts for sneaking around and such, however, there was no need to sneak around, because there was a full scale battle going on. Also, even if at the beginning things were organized, much of the battle became a free for all, with every wizard just trying to keep themselves alive. They were not Aurors or Hit Wizards, or even Ministry Police, they were just students, some as young as thirteen, traditional military tactics wouldn't have worked, because in the heat of battle, many of them would forget their orders.

  • So regarding "they were just students", you're saying they were too inexperienced to consider it? – Thunderforge Feb 17 '17 at 17:12
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    Harry may have been too inexperienced to think of using the map, but more importantly, he's saying the bulk of the "wizards" doing the fighting were too inexperienced to follow orders in the heat of battle, and thus trying to use it wouldn't have helped that much, even if they had done so. Being told (by someone with the map) that you need to hold the line in location X and actually holding the line in location X are two very different things. – Steve-O Feb 17 '17 at 17:26
  • It's not a case of hold the line, it's more a case of oh they are going that way so we will do this instead of planning an ambush add you know they are going another way and you know they are coming.... – JamesD Feb 18 '17 at 22:16

The Battle of Hogwarts is fast-paced and chaotic. In many instances it simply breaks down into small, individual or group duels. In such an environment, where you constantly need to keep your wits about you to stay alive, there is not enough time to stop and study the Map. Remember, the Map has hundreds of names on it even on a good day (teachers and students). Distinguishing between all the names to discern some kind of tactical advantage, and furthermore, quickly and effectively communicating this tactic amongst your allies, would be near impossible in the heat of the Battle. It's likely your window of opportunity on the advantage would have been missed by the time you had gotten yourself organised.


It's been a while, but to use the Marauder's Map don't you have to solemnly swear that you are up to no good? The times the map was being used before rules were being broken, authority was being disobeyed. But defending Hogwarts against an all out attack does not really fall into "up to no good".

  • Remus used the map to find out that Sirius Black was innocent, which wasn't really "up to no good" either. Neither was Harry using it to watch Ginny. Besides, characters sometimes use joke spells and objects for serious purposes too - the muffliato charm was invented to allow people to talk in class, but they used it as a defensive spell in book 7. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Mar 4 '17 at 4:38

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