26

Considering Bill Weasley was the Secret Keeper for Shell Cottage, how did Harry and Dobby Apparate to the cottage? Or, for that matter, Luna and Ollivander?

  • 4
    I love this question -- it's something I've wondered about for years. I personally think it's an author error, but so many people hate hearing me say that :) – Slytherincess Dec 18 '12 at 12:58
  • @Slytherincess I think it's fairly clear the (and the most consistent with everything else) that the charm was cast after the crew arrived. Is there any evidence against it? – Kevin Dec 18 '12 at 14:31
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    I'm correcting myself. Arthur is Secret Keeper for the Weasley Family; Bill is Secret Keeper for Shell Cottage: ‘How are they protected?’ asked Harry. ‘Fidelius Charm. Dad’s Secret Keeper. And we’ve done it on this cottage too; I’m Secret Keeper here. So ignore what I wrote about Arthur, but the Fidelius Charm is "an immensely complex spell" and we don't know how it's performed. I think if it had been done after Harry arrived, it would've been in the story. Also "protected" is past tense, suggesting the Fidelius Charms on the Weasleys and Shell Cottage had already been performed. My $.02. :) – Slytherincess Dec 18 '12 at 17:28
  • I just don't see that theory as plausible. It doesn't mean I'm right, but it makes absolutely no sense to me (being careful here to speak only for myself). Especially seeing as we don't know how the Fidelius charm works and it's described as very complex. If I were to pick one of the choices, I'd go with number three, although I still wonder if it's a canon error. :) – Slytherincess Dec 18 '12 at 18:44
  • Number two, that it was performed after they arrived, is completely consistent with everything else we know about the situation and charm, so there's no sense complicating it further. Occam's razor. – Kevin Dec 18 '12 at 18:47
17

There`s three theories going around for this:

1 - Ron has been made into an additional Secret-Keeper for Shell Cottage.

2 - The Fidelius charm wasn't cast until after the trio reached the cottage, since they didn`t know they were in immediate danger yet before that.

3 - Elf magic is beyond Wizard Magic so it didn`t affect Dobby.

The second theory is the most likely, but none are confirmed :)

  • 7
    The third is confirmed due to Dobby and Kreacher apparatting in and out of the Black home... – Izkata Dec 18 '12 at 11:53
  • @izkata its confirmed as possible but not confirmed that that is the only/actual reason – AncientSwordRage Dec 18 '12 at 12:27
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    IMO, the actual text around there is very clear that the charm wasn't cast until after they arrived. And it makes the most sense; the family was in no danger and not hiding, so there was no reason for a Fidelius and it would have raised eyebrows if there was one. – Kevin Dec 18 '12 at 14:28
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    The family was indeed in danger: ‘I’ve been getting them all out of The Burrow,’ [Bill] explained. ‘Moved them to Muriel’s. The Death Eaters know Ron’s with you now, they’re bound to target the family – don’t apologise,’ he added, at the sight of Harry’s expression. ‘It was always a matter of time, Dad’s been saying so for months. We’re the biggest blood traitor family there is.’ And they were in hiding. Raised eyebrows? Whose eyebrows? In the middle of a huge war it would've raised eyebrows to perform a protective charm? I don't feel the book supports this position. :) – Slytherincess Dec 18 '12 at 18:48
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    Definitely not #3. From my reading of the book, Ron, Hermione and Griphook apparated there together. Harry took Dobby. So, #3 can't explain how Harry was able to get in as Dobby didn't do the apparition. – mikeazo Dec 18 '14 at 12:19
10

I think Dobby didn't Apparate into the area protectd by the charm, but a little way off, in the beach. Even the death eaters could hang around the street outside Grimauld Place yeah?

And then when Dobby and the rest Apparated, Bill and Fleur came up didn't they? And then they were told to "come up to the house" weren't they? (Correct me if im wrong:-)). So that means that the Fidelius charm was cast before Harry arrived.

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    Everything you're saying is correct, from my memory. It's the interpretation I took when reading the book as well. Your answer could probably use a little editing so it contains statements rather than a series of (possibly rhetorical) questions. – Anthony Grist Sep 21 '13 at 17:34
  • He wouldn't be able to see it... > Harry squinted around through the darkness. There seemed to be a cottage a short way away under the wide starry sky, and he thought he saw movement outside it. – Apostolis Kennedy Jun 22 '17 at 8:14
  • All three of them glanced back at Shell Cottage, lying dark and silent under the fading stars, then turned and began to walk toward the point, just beyond the boundary wall, where the Fidelius Charm stopped working and they would be able to Disapparate. Implies that the entire property was under the Fidelius Charm. – Alex May 12 at 17:49
1

It's because they apparated to the space outside Shell Cottage.

'Hermione?' he said suddenly. 'Where is she?'

'Ron's taken her inside,' said Bill, 'She'll be all right.'

[...]

They were all sitting in the living room when he entered the little hall, their attention focused upon Bill, who was talking. The room was light-colored, pretty, with a small fire of driftwood burning brightly in the fireplace. Harry did not want to drop mud upon the carpet, so he stood in the doorway, listening.

Bill placed the Fidelius Charm on the Cottage itself.

“Fidelius Charm. Dad’s Secret-Keeper. And we’ve done it on this cottage too; I’m Secret-Keeper here."

So that didn't stop them from apparating there.

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    All three of them glanced back at Shell Cottage, lying dark and silent under the fading stars, then turned and began to walk toward the point, just beyond the boundary wall, where the Fidelius Charm stopped working and they would be able to Disapparate. – Alex Dec 23 '18 at 4:05
1

It's most likely a plot hole. Like the many others Rowling has. We try so hard to cover them but this one is pretty obvious. Bill is the secret keeper at Shell Cottage

“How are they protected?” asked Harry. “Fidelius Charm. Dad’s Secret-Keeper. And we’ve done it on this cottage too; I’m Secret-Keeper here.

Even if dobby apparated inside the Fidelius Charm they still wouldn't be able to see it! They would have to be told about it by Bill. The Fidelius Charm is used so many times as deux ex machina that it's ridiculous. When you see post after post discussing the plot holes around it, you know that there are many problems...

  • In my experience, crying “plot hole!” often indicates lack of thinking on the part of whoever is crying it. The answer by penelopecharmed nails it IMO. – chirlu Jun 22 '17 at 8:02
  • He wouldn't be able to see it... Based on the answer you mention > Harry squinted around through the darkness. There seemed to be a cottage a short way away under the wide starry sky, and he thought he saw movement outside it. – Apostolis Kennedy Jun 22 '17 at 8:08
0

I'm surprised that this is even a question--the third reason is clearly the best reason--Dobby is the one apparating in and out of Shell cottage, everyone else is just a tag-along. Dobby's ability to apparate to places where wizards can't is shown repeatedly throughout the series. The most important example is just before this, he goes to Malfoy Manor. The Malfoy's house is protected and no one can apparate in or out, but Dobby does so easily. He also is shown to apparate into and out of Hogwarts, where no one, not even Dumbledore (despite the 6th movie) can do so. He does this in Book 2 and both Kreacher and Dobby apparate within Hogwarts repeatedly in Book 6--again, Wizards cannot do this, house elves can. Also, Kreacher managed to apparate out of Voldemort's cave, which was heavily protected, and no wizard or witch would have been able to do so. Therefore, the Fidelius Charm obviously does not apply to house elves, as this has been proven over and over again in the Harry Potter universe. The answer is number 3, Dobby did it.

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    It's proven time and time again that House Elves can Apparate to locations that wizards can't, but only ever by themselves; there's no instance of a House Elf bringing along a wizard when they Apparate to a location protected by anti-Apparition defences. It makes sense that it's simply not possible otherwise the defences would be pretty meaningless, as anybody with a House Elf would be able to bypass them trivially. – Anthony Grist Jan 16 '14 at 12:57
  • @AnthonyGrist - keep in mind that most of wizardkind seem to see house elves as little more than servants; Voldemort himself, despite his great wisdom, neglects this fact when he takes Kreacher to the cave. I think it's quite possible that house elves could breach the defenses of anti-Apparition; it's just that so few humans want to see themselves indebted to (or otherwise reliant on) "lesser beings". – Adam V Jan 16 '14 at 19:09
  • @AdamV They already rely on them for cooking, cleaning, and other menial jobs, and there's zero issue of being indebted if you order something you own to do something for you. Voldemort is, as far as I'm concerned, an exceptional case - he's totally brilliant and that doesn't allow him to see the worth in "lesser" beings. Wizardkind as a whole, on the other hand, seems acutely aware of just how powerful House Elves are. If it were possible somebody would have used it. – Anthony Grist Jan 17 '14 at 9:28
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    Harry apparated there, not Dobby. – mikeazo Dec 18 '14 at 12:20
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    Except Dobby didn’t do it. He was busy having a knife thrown at him. Harry spun on the spot, Harry concentrated on the goal, Harry Apparated. Ron and Hermione also Apparated there with no house elf, so even if Dobby could Apparate there if he wanted to (and I'm sure he could), Ron would still have had to be Secret Keeper for that to be the answer in this particular case. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 4 '15 at 21:53
-3

If this was house elf magic, then how did Remus reach there. It must have been done before the trio reached, this is the most likely thing to happen.

And also we know that when Ron left the trio midway, he went to Shell Cottage so the greatest possibility of using the charm lies at that point. That is how Ron could say the name and tell Dobby about it. And maybe all Order members knew about the location or Bill told Remus himself at some point and that is how Remus knew it.

  • 3
    This isn't really an answer to the question asked, except in the most roundabout way. – Valorum Feb 27 '15 at 20:14

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