Probably another plot-hole? They were pretty close, given that they could hear Voldemort and Snape talk. Nagini sensed Harry (and maybe the Slytherin locket) when they were in Godric's Hollow from a range of... well a whole town. Even if she was strolling around the town disguised as Bathilda Bagshot she sensed Harry under the cloak and disguised by the polyjuice potion. The reason behind it is probably because Horcruxes can feel that they are close to each other (as the locket for example knew that it was near the snake).

So why didn't Nagini feel that Harry was close? I don't believe the protective cage would have to do anything with it because there is no reason to make it so that it blocks this. Voldemort knows that Nagini can find Harry even disguised or invisible since she had done it again so he would use it for his benefit.

  • Yes! I don't even remember what happens in the movies. I didn't like most of them Jun 21, 2017 at 9:57
  • Anything else you'd like me to clarify in my answer?
    – Voronwé
    Jun 21, 2017 at 10:04
  • 1
    No... I think the third part of your answer is the most probable. Jun 21, 2017 at 13:58
  • If this answers your question, feel free to accept it. :-)
    – Voronwé
    Jun 22, 2017 at 4:06
  • @ApostolisKennedy I was going to up vote your comment but then I saw it wasn't all of them' but rather 'most of them'.... But actually it's not (as the other answer says) relevant the Invisibility Cloak. Snakes don't sense that way. Rowling actually points this out in an Q/A thing I think but it's definitely not a plot hole here.
    – Pryftan
    Aug 2, 2019 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


We know that she couldn't see them due to the Cloak, but snakes have other senses other than sight. Snakes can sense the vibrations on the ground made by their prey's movements, have infrared sensors that detect body heat and an acute sense of smell. Nagini couldn't sense this. Why?

She was floating above the ground.

The room beyond was dimly lit, but he could see Nagini, swirling and coiling like a serpent underwater, safe in her enchanted, starry sphere, which floated unsupported in mid-air.

Hence she doesn't feel the vibrations made by their movements - because she wasn't on the ground.

The sphere is the reason Nagini didn't sense them using her infrared detectors and sense of smell.

This is the tricky and speculative part. One can only assume that Nagini's enchanted cage also "dulled" her senses. The cage served to "protect" Nagini from outside attacks, it may have served to "prevent" Nagini from smelling or sensing others while inside the cage. Here's a description of the sphere:

"It is the only way, Nagini," he whispered, and he looked round, and there was the great, thick snake, now suspended in mid-air, twisting gracefully within the enchanted, protected space he had made for her, a starry, transparent sphere somewhere between glittering cage and tank.

Also, with Voldemort and Snape being in the same room, she might not have been able to differentiate their smell and the Trio's.

Nagini's emotions were clouded by Voldemort's.

Answered excellently in this question which states that Nagini could sense Voldemort's emotions. As such, Voldemort's control state of fury and anger at Snape affected Nagini as well, and thus she too was focusing only on Snape, and didn't discern the Trio who were there.

Voldemort's tone was musing, calm, but Harry's scar had begun to throb and pulse: pain was building in his forehead and he could feel that controlled sense of fury building inside Voldemort.

The stab of rage felt like a spike driven through Harry's head: he forced his own fist into his mouth to stop himself from crying out in pain.

Nagini felt these emotions too, and hence was too preoccupied in being "angry" with Snape to notice that the Trio were present.

So what's the big diff. between the events of Godric's Hollow and the Shrieking Shack?

In the Shrieking Shack, Nagini was just too preoccupied to notice the Trio, whereas in Godric's Hollow, she could focus all her attention on studying ("smelling") Harry and Hermione.

  • 3
    The third makes sense.. The other 2 are not what I asked at all, because at Godric's she didn't use smell or anything else to find them. They had taken the polyjuice potion, so they didn't smell like themselves Jun 20, 2017 at 11:42
  • I actually based my answer on the main question, not on your example on the Godric's Hollow incident. I'll edit my answer if you like.
    – Voronwé
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:44
  • Actually, @ApostolisKennedy your "secondary" question is answered here.
    – Voronwé
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:47
  • In Godric's hollow, Harry and Hermione were fooled by Nagini's disguise and reacted, so she did not to rely on any senses, but wisdom
    – TimSparrow
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:52
  • what is this "Trio" that you keep mentioning? surely you don't mean Harry, Ron, and Hermione because only Harry was present for Snape's death.
    – BlackThorn
    Jun 20, 2017 at 15:12

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