Does the fidelius charm protect secrets across pensieves? If a person who is "in" on a secret observes, say 12 Grimmauld Place, for example and then gives a memory to someone who does not know the secret, would the other person be able to see it? Does it constitute "divulging" the secret? Do they become a new secret keeper?

Conversely, if the above two people were inverted, would the secret holder be able to see 12 Grimmauld Place in the memory of the non secret holder?

  • Related, possibly somewhat of a duplicate: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/169368/…
    – Alex
    Jan 22, 2019 at 19:51
  • 3
    @NeoDarwin The problem is that the books conveniently ignored how the charm prevents someone from divulging the secret.
    – Alex
    Jan 22, 2019 at 20:05
  • 1
    It's also not quite clear whether it prevents people who know the secret from saying the secret, or whether it prevents other people from comprehending what is said. Jan 22, 2019 at 22:38
  • 1
    @Pomonoli I think that part of the question is "if the non-secret-holder shares a memory of walking around Grimmauld Place, looking at the outsides of all the houses, would the secret-holder be able to see Number 12 in the memory?" Jan 23, 2019 at 9:49
  • 2
    @Pomonoli It's a visual representation thing: the "unfolding" in the movie is when Harry and the audience become able to see Number 12, but Moody, etc, will have been able to see it the whole time, since they already knew the secret. It's more cinematic than just having the camera pan from 11 to 13 and back a couple of times, with number 12 suddenly being added to the last pan. Jan 23, 2019 at 10:02

2 Answers 2



I would guess that if the secret-keeper is giving up the information willingly and aware that they are giving it to the recipient of the memory then they should become aware.

The Fidelius Charm is not without its weaknesses. If the Secret Keeper wishes to do so, they may divulge the information at any time (although the secret cannot be forced, bewitched or tortured out of a Secret Keeper who does not wish to give up their secret; it must be given voluntarily). If the Secret Keeper dies, anyone to whom he or she has confided the information will become a Secret Keeper. This could involve many people, any of whom might be more willing to share the secret.
- Secret Keeper - Pottermore

To me this implies that the secret keeper may pass on the secret at any time in any way that they find fitting (whether this be a letter a Pensieve face to face etc.) Since charms exist where it cant be given involuntarily, my best guess is that this applies to accidents as well, so, I think the Secret-Keeper would have to be aware and willing to divulge the information but if they were both of these things than I believe that yes, if someone wanted to they could pass on the secret via Pensieve but if it was an accident then the secret would not appear in the memory. This is all pretty cryptic magic though and I cant be sure of this.
Update: I also believe that it would be impossible for a non-secret-keeper to create a memory of the secret.

If the Secret Keeper shares the hidden information, the person to whom he or she has confided it will be bound by the Fidelius Charm and find it impossible to pass the information on.
- Secret Keeper - Pottermore

To me the most straightforward way to prevent sharing a memory of the secret would be that the secret would either be unextractable (by some means of magic) or that if someone did manage to get a hold of it that it would blot itself out (like how memories can be tampered with by wizards but this would be simply by the rules of the Fidelius Charm).

  • 1
    But the question is if the pensieve can outsmart the Fidelius Charm.
    – Alex
    Jan 23, 2019 at 0:18
  • i think impossible is pretty difinitive. @Alex
    – Niffler
    Jan 23, 2019 at 0:32
  • I think it would be impossible for someone who knows the secret but isn't the secret-keeper to create a memory of the secret, so the pensieve wouldn't even have the chance to outsmart the Fidelius Charm.
    – Pomonoli
    Jan 23, 2019 at 9:42
  • 1
    Also - if the memory is of the inside of 12 Grimmauld Place, but does not specify the location (just "inside a house, somewhere") then that might be viewable by anyone: The fact that the Order of the Phoenix have a headquarters is not the secret, just where it is located. Jan 23, 2019 at 10:03
  • @chronocidal unless the viewer has been to the Black's house often enough to be able to recognize it. Jan 23, 2019 at 18:05

It is unlikely that a pensieve can be used to reveal the Fidelius secret, unless the question is about the Secret Keeper, who wouldn't need a pensieve anyway.

It's not that people other than the Secret Keeper don't know the secret, the magic of the Fidelius prevents them from passing this knowledge to anybody else. Without a pensieve, they could try to tell the secret, or write it down. But the magic of the Fidelius either prevents the talking or writing, or more likely it prevents the unauthorized person from gaining the knowledge by listening or reading. So the Fidelius would either prevent the extraction of the memory, or it would prevent other persons from understanding what they see.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.