I don't have any exact quotes, but I remember that in the Goblet of Fire, Mr. Weasley and the younger children have to wake up really early to walk to catch a portkey to the Quidditch World Cup. They meet Cedric Diggory and his father there, and Mr. Diggory says that he can't wait until Cedric is old enough to Apparate so they wouldn't have to go through the bother of a portkey. Mrs. Weasley also says that Percy, Bill and Charlie were going to Apparate later.

Why didn't they just use Side-Along Apparition and take the kids with them?

  • perhaps it's more difficult to side-along a person and luggage Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:13
  • I conjecture it's much harder (but not impossible) to Apparate if you are unfamiliar with the destination localion. This is how Apparation works in Michael Ende's Zauberschule, and is consistent with Twycross's instructions in HBP 18: ‘Step one: fix your mind firmly upon the desired destination,’
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 8:59
  • See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/82568/4918 Why did Amos Diggory not use Side-Along Apparation?
    – b_jonas
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 9:49

4 Answers 4


Side-along apparition is rarely used in the books, implying that it is difficult and possibly dangerous. Dumbledore, being one of the premiere wizards of the time, could undoubtedly do it easily. Ordinary folks, such as Mr. and Mrs. Weasly were undoubtedly much more reluctant to use it - especially if it put their children at risk (parents are weird that way).

Or possibly, J.K. Rowling didn't come up with the idea for side-along apparition until she started writing The Half Blood Prince.

  • 3
    +1. BUT, the last comment is not necessarily correct. JKR is known to have many facts AND details fleshed out well in advance of following books. Never mind that in HBP case, we know that large swaths of HBP were witten to be in Book 2 (Chamber of Secrets) and then cut out and postponed till Book 6 :) Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:36
  • 2
    @DVK I'm curious, can you elaborate on the COS comment?
    – TGnat
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:39
  • 1
    @TGnat - I can but frankly, don't wish to bother looking up references at the moment - no rep in comments :) Feel free to ask as a question and I or someone else will post details. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:56
  • @DVK Ping
    – Izkata
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 22:55

Fred Weasley actually asked that very question:

"So they're still in bed?" said Fred grumpily, pulling his bowl of porridge toward him. "Why can't we Apparate too?"

"Because you're not of age and you haven't passed your test," snapped Mrs. Weasley. "And where have those girls got to?"

She bustled out of the kitchen and they heard her climbing the stairs. "You have to pass a test to Apparate?" Harry asked.

The Weasley's are adhering to Wizarding Law which apparently prohibits even Side-Along Apparition.

Additionally, Apparition itself is fairly difficult and dangerous even alone:

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.

They had a safe, legal way of getting to the World Cup, so they took that way instead of performing a dangerous, illegal bit of magic.

  • 2
    Are you sure Fred and Mrs Weasley were discussing side-along apparation as being illegal, and not self-apparation? I would think the latter based on later eagerness of F&G to apparate all over Grimmauld. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 15:09
  • @DVK Grimmauld is after they have been taught, learned, and passed their licensing tests. Judging from the books they wouldn't have known how to Apparate themselves at this point, so Side-Along would have been the only option. Additionally, I feel like Side-Along Apparition would have the same legality status as regular Apparition, since they have the same possibly dire consequences (splinching).
    – NominSim
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 15:23
  • 5
    If it's illegal, why would Dumbledore use it to take Harry to the Burrow in HBP?
    – chama
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 16:22
  • 2
    @chama Dumbledore does illegal things a lot, especially with Harry.
    – NominSim
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 14:18
  • 2
    It's definitely not illegal to bring underage people along by Side-Along Apparition. From HBP chapter 3, quoting from the Ministry leaflet: "Review the security arrangements around your house, making sure that all family members are aware of emergency measures such as Shield and Disillusionment Charms, and, in the case of underage family members, Side-Along-Apparition."
    – Joe White
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 3:37

I think it was important to the plot for them to at least arrive at the Quidditch World Cup via Portkey because, as we know, a Portkey plays an important role later in the story and JKR had to introduce the concept so the reader wouldn't be confused by a sudden new magical object affecting the story in such a major way. But I was definitely wondering why they didn't leave the World Cup via side-along Apparition.

  • 1
    This idea definitely makes sense as far as exposition goes, but unfortunately makes no difference in-story.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 17:57

Also, in addition to Donald McLean's main point, it'a possible that side-along apparating multiple persons (and luggage :) ) is a lot harder than one person.

Mr. Weasley had what, 4-5 kids to do? We know it's possible from Dobby's example in DH, but whether it's harder for wizards is not known.

  • why did it only have to be Mr. Weasley? If they'd Apparate, Bill, Charlie and Percy could help as well. Maybe even Mrs. Weasley could bring someone (and then go home).
    – chama
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:59
  • 2
    @chama - I'm not sure Mrs Weasley would trust those 3 to be experienced enough to side-along apparate the smaller kids. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 15:08

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