15

Lily and James were immensely powerful wizards; they had escaped Voldemort himself three times. They might have survived You-Know-Who if they had their wands. They also knew the Dark Lord was after them. So why did they leave their wands in another room?

  • 4
    I don’t think they were “immensely powerful” wizards and they definitely couldn’t survive the attack, while also trying to protect the baby – atayenel Sep 1 '18 at 16:09
  • they escaped Voldemort 3 times! they were powerful! – user103390 Sep 1 '18 at 17:31
  • 3
    But is it said that they escaped through power? If they were lucky or tricky, and then one day the luck and tricks ran out... – Cadence Sep 2 '18 at 1:26
30

James threw his wand aside to rest.

When the Dark Lord went to kill the Potters, he saw James throw his wand aside and yawn. James was probably about to take a nap, until the Dark Lord broke into the house.

“A door opened and the mother entered, saying words he could not hear, her long, dark red hair falling over her face. Now the father scooped up the son and handed him to the mother. He threw his wand down upon the sofa and stretched, yawning …”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda’s Secret)

James didn’t remember to pick it back up when he heard someone broke in.

“He was over the threshold as James came sprinting into the hall. It was easy, too easy, he had not even picked up his wand …”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda’s Secret)

James just ran to see what happened, and didn’t pick up his wand.

It’s unclear why Lily didn’t have a wand, but they didn’t always.

It’s not said why exactly Lily didn’t have a wand, just that she didn’t. The Dark Lord thought it was foolish of her to trust they were safe enough to ever not carry a wand, but presumably she felt safe enough, knowing that they were protected by the Fidelius Charm.

“He could hear her screaming from the upper floor, trapped, but as long as she was sensible she, at least, had nothing to fear … he climbed the steps, listening with faint amusement to her attempts to barricade herself in … she had no wand upon her either … how stupid they were, and how trusting, thinking that their safety lay in friends, that weapons could be discarded even for moments …”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda’s Secret)

They’d been in hiding for a while without incident, so it’s likely that the Potters got complacent enough where they didn’t feel like they needed to carry their wands at all times in their house.

“James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell – also, Dumbledore’s still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions. If you could visit, it would cheer him up so much.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher’s Tale)

However, why she hadn’t been carrying her wand when the Dark Lord broke in isn’t clear, we just know she didn’t have it. Once he did, though, it was likely too late for her to retrieve it from wherever she’d left it last, as her priority then became to attempt to flee with Harry.

15

James had his wand in the room, but the Potters didn't know the Fidelius Charm had broken.

Now the father scooped up the son and handed him to the mother. He threw his wand down upon the sofa and stretched, yawning....

And James either didn't have enough time to pick up his wand and defend himself or he forgot about it.

He was over the threshold as James came sprinting into the hall. It was easy, too easy, he had not even picked up his wand....

Here is a quote that can enforce that they thought they were still safe through the protection of the Fidelius Charm.

And along a new and darker streer he moved, and now his destination was in sight at last, the Fidelius Charm broken, though they did not know it yet....

We cant be sure why Lily didn't have her wand at the moment it could've been that it was in another room and she didn't have time to grab it if she was rushing to hide/protect Harry

"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"

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