Hermione is notorious for quoting Hogwarts, a History regarding protective enchantments, magic that makes Hogwarts Unplottable, and Muggle-repelling charms that hide Hogwarts from Muggle eyes and make the castle and grounds appear as an ancient ruin with "Danger" signs.

Are there circumstances under which a Muggle-repelling charm can be broken, such as with a charm or spell, Dark Magic, or a potion? What about a specific number of Muggles, Aurors, or beasts bearing down on the protected area?

ETA: I should have made triple sure to stress when asking my question that I'm talking about Muggle-repelling charms being broken, not lifted at will to allow the parents of Muggleborns to help their children shop for books at Flourish and Blotts, to see them off on the Hogwarts Express, or to visit their child at a time of need (or just if they want to visit their child in general at Hogwarts and make arrangements to do so). So I've emphasized "broken" in my question -- is there anything that can break a Muggle-repelling charm?

Here are some questions and answers that already deal with Muggles in the Wizarding world and/or Muggle-repelling charms and the issue of the families of Muggleborns having access to the Wizarding world:

Do Muggle parents visit their Muggleborn children at Hogwarts?
Who gets Muggleborn children onto Platform 93/4?
Why are some Muggles allowed to know about the Magical world?
Does the Invisibility Cloak work on Muggles?
Is a Squib a Muggle?
Can a Muggle become a potions-maker?
Are Muggleborn wizards automatically subject to Wizarding law?

I'm not interested in these above cases of the charm being lifted, but broken.

I'm looking for an answer based in canon -- the Harry Potter novels and the supplemental books, JKR interviews, or Pottermore information. I do not prefer an answer from the HP Wikia or the Wikipedia.

  • Wasn't the one for the Goblet of Fire Quidditch match temporary?
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 2:08
  • @Izkata -- I don't know, to be honest. I don't recall that, but if you check it out and find that that's so, then please do leave an answer :) Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 2:52
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    Re: your update: as I stated in my answer, in Potterverse, there doesn't seem to be a functional difference between "breaking" and "lifting" a charm - merely the intent, unless the charm is somehow uniquely complicated and not known to "breaker", like Voldemort's Horcurx protextions. But Muggle Repellant doesn't count into that as it's well known. You're welcome to disagree of course :) Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 11:40
  • I'm interested in intent, or the lack of intent, or whatever might be strong enough to break the charm whether intentionally or unintentionally. It seems, though, that the intentional breaking of a Muggle-repelling charm has been pretty thoroughly examined in other questions, so that's why "break" and "lift" have a different feel to me. :) Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 15:00
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    Does Muggle Repellent contain DDT? Will Muggle repellent cause thin eggshells in the various bird species native to Great Britain? Should it be regulated, and perhaps kept from small children and/or pregnant women? Is it humane to use muggle repellent, could they perhaps use some sort of live trap or pheromone lures, or even cultivate plants whose odor causes muggles to stay away?
    – John O
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 0:22

2 Answers 2


Dragons have such magical powers that they can sometimes cancel out Muggle-Repelling Charms:

Some of these safe areas must be kept under constant wizarding supervision; for example, dragon reservations. While unicorns and merpeople are only too happy to stay within the territories designated for their use, dragons will seek any opportunity to set forth in search of prey beyond the reservation borders. In some cases Muggle-Repelling Charms will not work, as the beast’s own powers will cancel them.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - page xix - Scholastic - Magical Beasts in Hiding


Yes, they can be temporarily lifted.

One example was Muggle parents arriving at Hogwarts. For example, Moaning Myrtle's parents came to pick up her body (it's mentioned in the diary's memory of Tom Riddle talking to Hagrid). Myrtle was a Muggleborn.

I'm not aware of canon example where they were broken by a hostile force, but for "stock" Muggle-Repelling Charm this is not relevant. Why?

  • Unlike some other magical universes, magic in Harry Potter is "impersonal" and doesn't have weird quirks like "only a caster can affect the spell the cast afterwards", assuming it is a standard well known charm.

  • In other words, if Dumbledore or a prior headmaster could lift the "stock" Muggle-repelling charm on Hogwarts, so could Voldemort or any other wizard of equal power and knowledge.

  • Please note that this only applies to charms themselves, NOT their effects. E.g. a muggle-repelling charm can be lifted, BUT the results of obviate done by Lockhart on himself can not be.

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    Regarding your second point, that doesn't hold. Dippet was Headmaster of Hogwarts at the time the Muggle repelling charm would've been lifted. Headmasters have power over the protective spells on Hogwarts simply by virtue of being Headmaster (recall McGonagall's control of Hogwarts defenses during the final battle after Snape left the post). Voldemort would have to become Headmaster, and have Hogwarts recognize his Headmastery (we see with Dolores Umbridge that isn't a given), in order to lift the Muggle repelling charm. Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 18:39
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    @GabeWillard - Are you sure that only Headmaster is able to lift the Anti-Apparation charm (as opposed to allowed)? I don't have the quote on me Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 19:52
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    The quote says, "‘As you may know, it is usually impossible to Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts. The Headmaster has lifted this enchantment, purely within the Great Hall, for one hour, so as to enable you to practise. May I emphasise that you will not be able to Apparate outside the walls of this Hall, and that you would be unwise to try." It does not say if anyone else can or not. However, would Voldemort not lift the charm if it were within his power to do so? I think that itself is compelling evidence it may be impossible. Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:47
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    After all, breaking a charm sounds like an easier plan than having a student fix a pair of Vanishing Cabinets up. Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:51
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    "Unlike some other magical universes, magic in Harry Potter is "impersonal" and doesn't have weird quirks like "only a caster can affect the spell the cast afterwards", assuming it is a standard well known charm. " - I think what @GabeWillard was trying to get at is, Dolores Umbridge wasn't able to enter the Headmaster's office even though she officially held the position, so it seems like there's something special going on there
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 23:07

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