Harry broke the Trio's protective enchantments when he said "Voldemort", do you think the same could have happened in Hogwarts?

  • "Could have" happened? Harry did say Voldemort's name inside Hogwarts. And of course, Voldemort was perfectly able to set up camp in the Forbidden Forest after that, and even to make his way into the Great Hall at the end (although the teachers had been casting new protective enchantments, and the Death Eaters had been breaking through them, for quite some time before that, so it's really hard to tell whether the Taboo was relevant).
    – Joe White
    Sep 30, 2012 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


You-Know-Who had a spell put up so that he would know whenever and whoever said his name. The protective enchantment for Harry focused on You-Know-Who not finding out where Harry was, and not so much on disabling any physical contact.

Basically, if anyone mentions You-Know-Who's name in Hogwarts, even if his spell is strong enough for him to detect the invocation, the defenses of Hogwarts are adequate to keep him out.

In a real world parallel: If my friend checks in on Forsquare in a nearby pub, I can go to him and beat him up for owing me 20 bucks. However, if he checks in at Area 51 military base, I can't, even if I know exactly where he is.

  • 3
    The Taboo didn't allow Voldemort, or his supporters, to know who had said his name, only that somebody had and where they were. When Harry, Ron and Hermione were captured they didn't immediately know that it was Harry, after all. Sep 18, 2012 at 11:12
  • 5
    Yes, it was basically a pling on the minimap.
    – SWeko
    Sep 18, 2012 at 11:25
  • 4
    It's not just a locator. From DH chapter 20: "...the name's been jinxed, Harry, that's how they track people! Using his name breaks protective enchantments, it causes some kind of magical disturbance..." So it's not just a problem because it's showing where they are, it also undoes the protective enchantments they cast around their campsite every night. Hence "we can't say it anymore -- we've got to put the protection back around us" (end of chapter 22).
    – Joe White
    Sep 19, 2012 at 3:18
  • Thank you, Joe White! The bold quote in particular is the reason why I asked this question in the first place. I guess it was just lucky that noone in Hogwarts dared to say his name - or the protective enchantments were really, really much stronger than the Trio's - which could be considering they weren't put up my kids.
    – Yurippe
    Sep 21, 2012 at 11:31
  • It's worth noting that the protections of Hogwartz didn't prevent Quirrel from carrying Voldemort in. ISTR they got beefed up after that point...
    – aramis
    Sep 21, 2012 at 20:23

TL;DR No, I don't think so.

This is too long to fit as comment so I'm extending a little and making it an answer.

The magic protecting Hogwarts is a very different kind of magic. For the following reasons:

  1. First of all the protective charms seem to hold even after the casters die. a) There is no mention of redoing Hogwart's protective spells after Dumbledores death, while the Fidelius charm protecting Grimauldplace did (sort of) fail. b) Having killed Dumbledore the Death Eaters still have to leave the Hogwarts grounds before they can disapparate. c) And the Chamber of Secrets also keeps its magic (e.g. need to speak parsel to enter) a round 1000 years after Slytherin died.

  2. Also, in The Half Blood Prince Dumbledore mumbles in an odd/old tounge to let him and Harry fly over the walls. IIRC he doesn't even use a wand for that. Both is rather untypical for "contemporary" magic.

  3. Further, if we are willing to accept the movies as cannon, McGonagall say in DH Part 2 (something along the lines of) "His name is Voldemort. There is no need to call him you-know-who". I believe we can trust her to know if that had any serious consequences.

From that I would deduct there is a more solid kind of magic, one that endures more and longer than your ordinary swish and flick and there you go magic. If we can establish that such a stronger magic exists then it is safe to assume that over the centuries Hogwarts headmasters who have always been concerned with the safety and conceilment of their pupils have developed very sturdy protective charms. And to round it off: Voldemort was only able to put up the taboo once he had "the full power of the ministry" (whatever that is) at hand and given that at least Dumbledore has always been very eager about keeping the ministry, its powers, influences and even juristiction (e.g. unforgivable curses in HP4) away from Hogwarts, it is also safe to assume that the Ministry's powers do not reach that far into Hogwarts. Just count the educational decrees in HP5 that were necessary to impeach the headmaster after the fact.

Now, one may argue that all of this could have changed after Voldemort took over, but after Snape, an alleged Death Eater, had taken over Hogwarts it may not have been/appeared necessary to magically (as in physically) extend the Ministry's power to Hogwarts. Especially Voldemort, who (like Harry and Snape) felt very strong about Hogwarts (lost boys, first real home, etc., cf. HP7), probably never saw the necessity to change anything about Hogwart's foundations and may even have felt the need to preserve Hogwarts.

In that regard Snape and Voldemort may very well feel the same and since Voldemort knows about Snape's past he very like trusted Snape with about everything that has to do with Hogwarts. And there, Snape swore to Dumbledore to do everything in his powers to protect the students of Hogwarts, cf. another one of Snape's left behind memories. In that case Snape would have seen to it that the Ministry's magical (as in physical) power was kept away from Hogwarts, as it always had been with the previous headmaster(s).


No, otherwise he would have done it a dozen times over whenever his supporters were in there.

The protective enchantments at Hogwarts were designed by resource experts to prevent exactly this type of thing.

It is like the big bad wolf blowing down a house of straw and then coming to a house made of iron, in a mine field, with several military trained piggies sitting at machine gun towers waiting to call in flying pig aerial support.

  • 1
    While I agree the answer is no, I don't think "otherwise he would have done it a dozen times over whenever his supporters were in there." is relevant at all. At the point the Taboo was in place, Voldemort was in charge of the Ministry and, during the school year, the Headmaster and several of the staff were Death Eaters. He could walk in the front gates whenever he liked, he wouldn't need to make use of it to get in to the school. Sep 18, 2012 at 11:10
  • But if the taboo could get him in then wouldn't he have done it previously?
    – Stefan
    Sep 18, 2012 at 11:32
  • When previously? The Taboo only existed in the seventh book, when Voldemort was in control of the Ministry, and by extension Hogwarts, and Harry had chosen not to return for his final year to hunt down horcruxes instead. Sep 18, 2012 at 11:52
  • Sorry, I did not mean at a specific previous point in one of the books. I meant that if the taboo (or whichever component of the taboo spell allows him to teleport to the desired location) allowed him to appear in Hogwarts then surely he would have done it previously - the fact that he never did this and no one ever worried about it being a potential issue imply that he could not do it.
    – Stefan
    Sep 18, 2012 at 13:10
  • I don't think the fact that he didn't do so is adequate proof that he wasn't able to, mainly because I don't see any reason why he would have done so even if he were able to. Sep 18, 2012 at 13:28

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