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Just like the question indicates — can Legilimency detect invisibility or camouflage? We know that Legilimency detects someone's thoughts. So, if a Legilimens were to look into the eyes of an invisible or camouflaged person and perform Legilimency, would the Legilimens be able to know where the invisible or camouflaged person is?

3 Answers 3

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Legilimency seems unable to find the invisible.

Though it is never explicitly stated that Legilimency cannot detect the location of someone invisible, from what is shown in the books, it can be reasoned that it likely is not possible. Snape, a known Legilimens, searches for Harry in his Invisibility Cloak solely by feeling around for him. If he could have used Legilimency to find Harry, he presumably would have known this, done it, and succeeded. He knew he was looking for Harry, so he knew whose mind he was seeking, and Harry was indeed present. However, Snape instead attempts to physically find Harry by feeling around where Harry might be.

“Potter!’ Snape snarled, and he actually turned his head and stared right at the place where Harry was, as though he could suddenly see him. ‘That egg is Potter’s egg. That piece of parchment belongs to Potter. I have seen it before, I recognise it! Potter is here! Potter, in his Invisibility Cloak!’

Snape stretched out his hands like a blind man, and began to move up the stairs; Harry could have sworn his overlarge nostrils were dilating, trying to sniff Harry out – trapped, Harry leant backwards, trying to avoid Snape’s fingertips, but any moment now –

‘There’s nothing there, Snape!’ barked Moody. ‘But I’ll be happy to tell the Headmaster how quickly your mind jumped to Harry Potter!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)

Presumably if Legilimency would have worked, Snape would have attempted to use it to find Harry then - that he did not implies that this is likely not possible. Additionally, although Dumbledore could see Harry under the Invisibility Cloak at times, he did this using Homenum Revelio, not Legilimency, despite being a Legilimens.

Angela Morrissey: Why is it that albus dumbledore can see harry under his invisibility cloak at certain moments? (during the series is the cloak only infallible to those who do not own a deathly hallow).

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore, who could perform magic without needing to say the incantation aloud, was using ˜homenum revelio’ –

J.K. Rowling: the human-presence-revealing spell Hermione makes use of in Deathly Hallows.
- J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript (July 30, 2007)

As he tells Harry, Dumbledore is indeed skilled at Legilimency. Yet, the times when he sees Harry under the Invisibility Cloak, it is through using Homenum Revelio.

“Yes, but it took a great deal of skilled Legilimency to coax it out of him,’ said Dumbledore, ‘and why should anybody delve further into Morfin’s mind when he had already confessed to the crime? However, I was able to secure a visit to Morfin in the last weeks of his life, by which time I was attempting to discover as much as I could about Voldemort’s past. I extracted this memory with difficulty.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)

Since both Snape and Dumbledore are intelligent wizards skilled at Legilimency, both know that Harry has an Invisibility Cloak, and both have had reason to want to find Harry when he was invisible, it seems likely that at least one of them would have found Harry this way at some point. It seems highly unlikely that it would be successful but it simply never occurred to either of them to try - both Dumbledore and Snape are intelligent and logical thinkers.

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  • I'd argue that Dumbledore would rather use a simple spell (like Homenum Revelio) than using an highly advanced spell (like Legilimens). And Snape might be capable of detecting (or at the very least sensing something amiss) Harry using Legilimency. After all, he started going upstairs right at where Harry was, until Moody stopped him.
    – IloneSP
    Jun 12, 2020 at 18:16
  • But Harry's invisibilty cloak isnt the run of the mill one any muggle can buy from Poundland. May be Snape couldn't legilimense through it
    – user13267
    Jun 29, 2020 at 12:28
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It might be possible, you'd be able to detect someone who is invisible or camouflaged, if you're skilled enough in Legilimency and you happen to casually be casting Legilimens into nothing or someone else in the room.

While Severus Snape states in The Order of the Phoenix that "eye contact is often essential to Legilimency", that doesn't make it mandatory.

‘Time and space matter in magic, Potter. Eye contact is often essential to Legilimency.’

Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (pp. 490-491). Pottermore Publishing. Edición de Kindle.

For instance, in Fantasic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Queenie Goldstein is capable of the mind of people without needing to watch them in the eye, and although she's naturally skilled in Legilimency, there's nothing hinting that a talented mage couldn't reach her skill by training.

Voldemort also seems to be capable of using Legilimency without making eye contact. For example:

‘Do not lie to me!’ hissed the second voice. ‘I can always tell, Wormtail! You are regretting that you ever returned to me. I revolt you. I see you flinch when you look at me, feel you shudder when you touch me …’

Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (p. 8). Pottermore Publishing. Edición de Kindle.

It seems unlikely that Pettigrew is looking Voldemort in the eye in that scene, since he's a coward and Voldemort scolds him because he "flinchs when he looks at him". And yet, Voldemort could read Pettigrew's mind.

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  • But surely Albus Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard of the twentieth century and very possibly in history, would have been up to Queenie's standards in Legilimency? Also, for Voldemort saying that he knows that Pettigrew is regretting that he has returned to him, I think he was judging on Pettigrew flinching every time he looked at Voldemort, or the fact that he was shuddering when he touched Voldemort. And even if it is true that Voldemort did read Pettigrew's mind, Voldemort says so himself that Pettigrew flinches when he looks at him, suggesting that Pettigrew did, at some point, look...
    – LionQueen
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:41
  • ...at Voldemort straight in the eyes.
    – LionQueen
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:42
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To perform Legilimency you need eye contact.

How do you know where the eyes of an invisible person are ?

It would be impossible to do Legilimency on an invisible person.

Because there isn't an eye to look at! ( the eye is there but you can't see it ) . It is said that Eye Contact is essential for Legilimency.

I think it might be possible ( though extremely difficult ) to perform Legilimency on a Camouflaged person ( eg Disillusionment Charm ) , if you locate the eyes of the person in the question.

Conclusion

Legilimency can't detect invisibility ( Hello - Mad Eye Moody ! ).

Because Legilimency is designed to only detect thought and memories and not matter.

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  • But just because the eyes are invisible/camouflaged, doesn't mean the eyes don't exist anymore. You can still make eye contact, even if the eyes aren't visible, I'd think. Even if you can't see where the eyes are, it's entirely possible to still make eye contact if the Legilimens happens to catch the invisible/camouflaged person's eyes, right?
    – LionQueen
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:33
  • @Krumione and Dembridge I agree. Can you see the air ? Just because you can't see the air doesn't mean that the air isn't there ! I clearly mention this in my answer Jun 13, 2020 at 1:50
  • PS - What does Dembridge mean anyway ? Jun 13, 2020 at 1:50
  • Eye contact is “often needed”, not “always needed” - See the quite in the other answer.
    – Longshanks
    Jun 13, 2020 at 8:35

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