In the Chamber of Secrets Fawkes appears in the chamber through Apparition while Harry is fighting the Basilisk.

We also know he can side-along Apparate others with him and, at least with wizard Apparition, multi-person side along Apparition is possible .

Why then did Fawkes decide to fly not just one person, but Harry, Ron, Ginny and Prof. Lockhart collectively out of the chamber through the pipes, which is presumably riskier?

Ginny was weakened by Riddle, Harry was tired after fighting the Basilisk, Ron was tired of moving the rocks and Prof. Lockhart had his memory erased. Moreover, Ron might not even have been able to remove enough rocks to create the hole by the time Harry was done with the Basilisk and the diary. Apparating them out would have been faster and safer but he didn't.

Why didn't Fawkes Apparate out of the chamber along with Harry and others instead of flying? Is it due to limitations with phoenix Apparition?

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    Does Fawkes apparate in? I assumed he flew in as a bird. I am not sure that a phoenix can apparate without a wizard. Also, the trio had to be aware they are going to apparate, again I am not sure what happens if someone apparates along with an unaware unconscious or weakened child.
    – TimSparrow
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:32
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    Not an answer, because clearly the question wants an in-universe explanation, this is however about the most likely out-of-universe one: Probably because explaining apparition to the readers at this point in the story would have been dragging the post-boss-battle/post-climax exposition cavalcade even more. The main story of this particular book is told at this point. To bring in an entirely novel concept and mechanic this late in the game would not be good writing. So apparition gets shoved forwards into a few mentions in PoA before being flashed out further in GoF.
    – BMWurm
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:33
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    @TimSparrow The way in was blocked so he sort of apparated in but I believe he apparates differently to wizards. Pretty sure it is mentioned that phoenixes can only go to those loyal to their masters and the apparate by burning themselves. Jun 20, 2017 at 12:34
  • @Bellerophon I also thought that phoenix's apparition, if exists, is different and may be incompatible with that of the wizards
    – TimSparrow
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:36
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    Simple, Rowling hadnt decided fawkes could even do that yet, its never a good idea to ask why plot devices revealed in later books wernt used earlier.
    – Himarm
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


Why then did Fawkes decide to fly not just one person, but all Harry, Ron, Ginny and Prof. Lochart out of the chamber through the pipes, which is presumably riskier?

I think this is a flawed assumption. Quoting from an answer to Why didn't Mr. Weasley use Side-Along Apparition to get to the Quidditch World Cup?:

It's not easy, Apparition, and when it's not done property it can lead to nasty complications...

You don't mess around with Apparition. There are plenty of adult wizards who don't bother with it.

In Deathly Hallows, we see a case where Apparition goes wrong, and nearly kills Ron. Both Side-Along Apparition and Apparition within Hogwarts grounds are the kinds of things we only see people like Dumbledore do. Based on this, I think it's plausible that Fawkes thought flying out was the safer bet, rather than attempting powerful and dangerous magic on a bunch of kids.

Plus, consider the fact that at least half the group doesn't even know about Apparition yet: Harry grew up with Muggles and Lockhart had just erased his own memory. These aren't the kinds of people you want to suddenly try to Apparate with; they could get scared and let go, or distract Fawkes enough to throw off the whole spell. Compare that with what actually happened in the book:

An extraordinary lightness seemed to spread through his whole body and the next second, in a rush of wings, they were flying upward through the pipe...The chill air was whipping through Harry's hair, and before he'd stopped enjoying the ride, it was over...

As you can see, this isn't a desperate struggle for weakened students to cling to a straining bird; instead, it's a quick, easy, and fun end to what had been a pretty terrible day so far.

Which brings up another point, maybe Fawkes just wanted to fly instead of Apparating. Keep in mind he's just recently resurrected, the last time Harry saw him he was like this:

a decrepit-looking bird that resembled a half-plucked turkey...its eyes were dull and, even as Harry watched, a couple more feathers fell out of its tail.

Now that Fawkes is back to full strength, in the prime of his re-youth, it seems likely that he'll enjoy any chance to spread his wings. Plus, he's Dumbledore's pet, so he's got to have a little bit of style.

TL;DR: Apparition is dangerous, especially with people who don't know what it is, and flying everyone out was a simple and fun alternative.


This is most likely because, as BMWurm states in the comments, it would have been really hard (and confusing) to explain the concept of Apparition to readers at the time. Why? The concept of Apparition was only introduced later in the series, so introducing it at the end of Chamber of Secrets would have been confusing.

This is entirely similar to the "Harry seeing Thestrals" incident at the start of Order of the Phoenix. It would have been a "cheat" to the readers to mention about the concept of Apparition then, but not delve into it before the book ends.

Stephen Fry: […] Harry saw his parents die, so why hasn't he been able to see the Thestrals before?

JK Rowling: At the end of Goblet of Fire, we sent Harry home more depressed than he had ever been leaving Hogwarts. Now I knew that the Thestrals were coming and I can prove that because they are in the book that I produced for Comic Relief, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, these unlucky black winged horses.

However, if Harry had seen them then and we hadn't explained them then, I thought that would be rather a cheat on the reader in that Harry suddenly sees these monsters but we don't go anywhere with them, so to explain to myself I said that you had to have seen the death and allowed it to sink in a little bit before slowly these creatures became solid in front of you, so that's how I am going to sneak past that one.

So basically, it's JK Rowling's fault for the inconsistency (and plot-hole!).

If that isn't a satisfactory theory, then, as you have said; Phoenix apparition had limitations. Fawkes is the only phoenix we're introduced to in the series, and he only apparated a few times.

  1. As this answer says, he apparated into the Chamber (alone) to rescue Harry
  2. He apparates (alone, again) twice and presumably more to send messages between the Order
  3. He apparates Dumbledore out of Hogwarts when Fudge arrives to arrest him

We thus have no idea whether Fawkes could apparate multiple people at one go, nor do we know whether or not he needed to "recharge and recuperate" if he had to apparate all 4 of them out of the Chamber.


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