In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, chapter 10, we have Harry

keeping a firm hold on Dobby's wrist to stop him from hitting himself with the water jug again.…

There was a loud crack, and Harry's fist was suddenly clenched on thin air.

The loud crack, we know from elsewhere in the series, is due to Dobby's disapparition. Now, a house-elf (like Dobby) can bring a human along when he disapparates: we see this in another of the books in the series, when Dobby brings humans from Malfoy's house to the Burrow (if I recall correctly: or something like that, anyway). Moreover, such side-along apparition can work even without the consent of the one apparating: we see this in another book also, when someone lands with an Order of the Phoenix member on the step of the Order's headquarters through such apparition.

In that case, why didn't Harry go with Dobby?

  • This question was based on my assumption that the restriction on apparition in Hogwarts, which we know does not apply to house-elves, also doesn't bar side-along apparition with house-elf even by a human. This last point has now been raised as a separate question, and, pending the answer to that question, this question may be moot.
    – msh210
    Aug 21, 2012 at 21:54
  • 2
    Correction: it was to Bill's cottage, NOT to Burrow. Aug 22, 2012 at 0:46

3 Answers 3


I think this is simply a matter of Dobby not wanting to take Harry along with him, just as Harry was not ready for it. Nor did Harry particularly want to be taken along. Also keep in mind that while Dobby can Apparate within Hogwarts, Harry cannot. So it seems that Dobby would have to choose to bring Harry along with him, which again, he did not want.

  • 1
    Since as you pointed out humans can't Apparate on Hogwarts grounds (which we all know from reading Hogwarts: A History multiple times), I bet Dobby couldn't have brought Harry with him even if he'd wanted to.
    – hairboat
    Aug 21, 2012 at 21:03
  • @AbbyT.Miller Your comment made me question whether he could or could not, feel free to answer (as I am not sure).
    – NominSim
    Aug 21, 2012 at 21:33
  • @AbbyT.Miller They can Apparate in Hogwarts when the Headmaster lifts the restriction, such as when he does in the Great Hall for the Sixth Years. Aug 21, 2012 at 21:43
  • 1
    @AbbyT.Miller Phoenixes can bring people with them (e.g. Fawkes taking Dumbledore in book 5), so I would think other creatures, including House Elves, could.
    – Kevin
    Aug 22, 2012 at 0:30
  • 1
    @hairboat I was under the impression that's only in the film. Do you have a reason to suggest it was actually Dumbledore lifting that restriction at the time in the book? Of course they can Apparate a slight distance during training but maybe that's under a different mechanism than leaving Hogwarts itself. And also if enchantments are lifted when the person dies why didn't the Death Eaters Apparate after Dumbledore's death? They had to leave the grounds first, didn't they?
    – Pryftan
    Mar 16, 2018 at 0:27

I disagree slightly with NominSim's answer.

As OP noted in the question, you can side-along apparate with someone against your will, as evidenced when a Death Eater (Yaxley?) grabs onto Hermione and apparates from Ministry to Grimauld place in Deathly Hallows.

However, what we never see happening is "accidental" side along apparation.

In other words, unlike with Portkeys (which transport you even if you touch it by accident as mentioned 2 times in GoF); it is possible - though not proven canonically - that side-along apparation requires an effort by at least one of two sides.

In this case Dobby didn't want to take Harry; and obviously by Chamber (year 2) Harry didn't know he could hang on and apparate since he didn't know anything about apparation even existing, never mind side-along part. So neither side made an effort to make the side-along happen.

  • If Harry had wanted to could he have? (That's sort of the same as the question I recently asked.) Basically, being human could Harry have side-along Apparated with Dobby against his will, since alone Harry could not have Apparated at all?
    – NominSim
    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:29
  • @NominSim - aye, that's the rub. See my answer to that new question of yours. NOT very satisfactory, I admit, but there's not enough canon info. Feel free to post that new question of yours onto my Meta thread of HP questions that have poor canon support. Aug 22, 2012 at 1:37
  • Elf magic also works slightly different from wizard magic... which is probably why Dobby can apparate but no wizard can.
    – Chad
    Aug 22, 2012 at 13:24
  • @Chad - the issue isn't Dobby's apparation per se, it is him side-alonging a wizard who can NOT apparate on their own Aug 22, 2012 at 13:50
  • Yes it was Yaxley.
    – Pryftan
    Mar 16, 2018 at 0:28

I think if Dobby had been expecting it, he would probably be able to dodge it. But either way, Harry, then, simply did not know that it was possible, or how to do it.

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