When Voldemort returns in Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore attempts to reorganize the Order of the Phoenix as soon as possible. In pursuit thereof he gives the following instructions to Sirius:

Sirius, I need you to set off at once. You are to alert Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher — the old crowd. Lie low at Lupin's for a while; I will contact you there.”

How exactly could Sirius accomplish this? Sirius was at the time the most wanted wizard criminal in the country (if not the world). The only ones who believed he was innocent were Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Lupin. How exactly could Sirius just show up to old Order members and tell them that Voldemort had returned and the Order was being restarted? In fact, in the beginning of Order of the Phoenix this very line of reasoning is given to explain why Sirius couldn't do anything for the Order:

“Well, as everyone thinks I’m a mad mass murderer and the Ministry’s put a ten-thousand-Galleon price on my head, I can hardly stroll up the street and start handing out leaflets, can I?” said Sirius restlessly.

What exactly was Dumbledore expecting Sirius to do at the end of Goblet of Fire?

3 Answers 3


Probably, Sirius would go to Lupin with the orders given by Dumbledore and Lupin would round up all the old order members. Then Sirius’ situation would be explained to them by him as well.


Lupin already knew, so that is one person checked off the list. As Mrs. Figg was a Squib, she couldn't have attacked him before he got the story out. And Mundungus also couldn't have put up much fight either, as two house elves captured him later. HN17 is possibly right, too.

  • 1
    Even if they weren’t capable of harming Sirius why would they be expected to believe him? Also, the words “the ild crowd” imply that there were others besides the three mentioned.
    – Alex
    Aug 26, 2018 at 21:17

When Sirius laments about his status as a fugitive, he means to say that he couldn't talk to the common citizens of magical Britain to try and convince them of Voldemort's return. The common people don't know that Sirius is innocent. Therefore, he couldn't approach them without exposing himself.

However, when Dumbledore tells him to alert the 'old crowd' he means to alert the remaining members of the original Order of the Phoenix who are still alive after the first war. These people would probably know that Sirius is innocent, because Dumbledore must have told them.

He just wants Sirius to inform them of Fudge's refusal to cooperate, and future plans such as reconvening the Order of the Phoenix. He can do this without exposing himself because his physical presence isn't required. He could simply send a patronus message, which is (supposedly) an exclusive method of communication restricted to the members of the Order of the Phoenix.

This answer has been modified based on comment input from 11684

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    Is there any external evidence that Dumbledore told them about Sirius?
    – Alex
    Aug 26, 2018 at 21:15
  • @Alex It’s been a year, I think it’s plausible enough. They fought a war together, alongside Sirius; they deserve to know, don’t they? Moreover, Sirius might have asked Dumbledore to clear his name with his friends – in his place I sure wouldn’t want my old friends to think I am a dangerous murderer!
    – 11684
    Aug 27, 2018 at 12:50
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    @Simpleton I see no reason to assume Sirius would go in person at all, from the quote in the question. In fact, Dumbledore seems to tell him to stay at Lupin’s. At the end of OOtP Dumbledore explains to Harry how Snape contacted him and Sirius after being shouted at by Harry in Umbridge’s office. In this conversation he hints heavily the Order has some specific way of internal communication. (Something like “the Order has better ways of communicating than Umbridge’s fireplace”). An owl is probably to slow, but I don’t see why he couldn’t use a Patronus or Order communication.
    – 11684
    Aug 27, 2018 at 12:59
  • @11684 I guess I failed to focus on the last line of that quote. You're right.
    – Simpleton
    Aug 27, 2018 at 13:34
  • 2
    @11684 If it was as simple as sending a Patronus, why involve Sirius at all? Dumbledore could do it himself.
    – Alex
    Aug 27, 2018 at 15:17

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