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[Harry] was looking up at the starry sky, and Albus Dumbledore was crouched over him. The dark shadows of a crowd of people pressed in around them, pushing nearer; Harry felt the ground beneath his head reverberating with their footsteps. He had come back to the edge of the maze. He could see the stands rising above him, the shapes of people moving in them, the stars above.

Goblet of Fire - page 583 - Bloomsbury - chapter 35, Veritaserum

Harry and Cedric Diggory grabbed the Triwizard cup together and were transported from deep inside the maze to the cemetery in Little Hangleton where Voldemort was waiting. After Harry's confrontation with Voldemort, he takes the cup Portkey back to Hogwarts, but instead of taking him and Cedric back inside the maze, where the Portkey originated, it takes them outside the maze to the spectator stands.

My understanding of Portkeys is that they could take a person from point A to point B, and then bring them back from point B to point A. Is there any canon evidence suggesting that going from point A to point B, and then point B to point C is how a Portkey can normally operate? Why did the Triwizard Portkey return Harry to the outer edge of the maze instead of inside the maze?

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    The question isn't a duplicate per se, but the accepted answer to this question gives the most reasonable answer (IMO). – NominSim Sep 4 '12 at 15:40
  • @NominSim Agreed, that question is the first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of this one. – Anthony Grist Sep 4 '12 at 15:45
  • @NominSim -- Those are interesting theories re: Portkeys. :) – Slytherincess Sep 4 '12 at 22:33
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As Dylan Yaga said in his answer to Why was the Goblet of Fire Portkey two-way? the most reasonable answer seems to be that the Portkey maintained the originally desired location akin to an onion.

The Portkey was presumably originally charmed to bring the winner to the beginning of the maze (so that they could celebrate their victory with the crowd). Before he put it at the center of the maze, Barty Crouch Jr. then charmed the Portkey to bring the winner to the graveyard.

This is supported by what we know from canon of Portkey's, (we only ever see them traveling in one direction, and not back to the same location). So it seems like the Portkey, which was originally designed to travel to the beginning of the maze, was itself turned into a Portkey designed to travel to the graveyard. After the first teleportation happened, the original Portkey remained.

  • This answer makes perfect sense. +1 – Möoz May 26 '14 at 21:56
2

To my knowledge, there is no canonical answer to that question.

And that's my answer.


Bonus:

NominSim's hypothesis is great, but there is another possibility:

Portkeys are enchanted for a travel, not a destination: for instance, the Goblet of Fire portkey may have not been enchanted for the graveyard, but for 133,789 miles East, 87,7890 miles South. Since Harry moved in the cemetery, when he came back his destination was also different.

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    Eh - I highly doubt Harry moved a distance equal to that of how far it was from the start of the maze to where the cup was originally located. Especially since the cup was dropped relatively close to where they arrived when he entered the graveyard. – Dason Sep 4 '12 at 18:22
  • The maze was inside a quidditch statium which is 154 m long. So the distance between the center and the entrance was 77 m at most. – user8252 Sep 4 '12 at 18:26
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    So what you're suggesting is that Portkeys are programmed to transport someone a certain distance, not to a certain location? And there could be a "window" in that area where someone might land, like in the middle of the maze or outside it? That would be interesting. Devil's advocate -- how then was Dumbledore able to Portkey Harry from the Ministry of Magic exactly into his office at the end of OOTP? :) – Slytherincess Sep 4 '12 at 22:25
  • I'm not saying there is a window. Just that porkeys could be programmed for a distance, meaning that the point of arrival is not fixed. – user8252 Sep 5 '12 at 17:22

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