The Order Of The Phoenix tried Polyjuice Potion to trick the Death Eaters and started their voyage with slow speed, only to fall into The Battle of Seven Potters. Battle comes at cost and there was always a chance that the original Harry would be killed in the battle. Why didn't they avoid it (or, at least shorten its length) by apparating to a safe place? One more advantage of apparation was that Death Eaters couldn't see who Harry was even if Polyjuice Potion wasn't used.

  • this part has bothered me extremely too...its as if rowling was too keen to have hedwig and mad eye murdered thats y she brought in the battle..because how did it matter that apparating in and out of that house was imprisonable when they would have captured harry for no reason at all anyways!as for others..there was no need for so many ppl to come moody and harry cud hv got out of the area of the house under an invisibility cloak and apparated seperately!also the fact that harry did huge amount of magic in the battle anyways so he might as well hv done it before to get back safely
    – user13270
    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


Harry would have been Traced

Mad-Eye Moody tells Harry that they can't use magic around him (Harry) because there is still the Trace on him (Harry). The Trace would allow the DE's to know about where Harry is.

... “Second problem: You’re underage, which means you’ve still got the Trace on you.”

“I don’t —”

“The Trace, the Trace!” said Mad-Eye impatiently. “The charm that detects magical activity around under-seventeens, the way the Ministry finds out about underage magic! If you, or anyone around you, casts a spell to get you out of here, Thicknesse is going to know about it, and so will the Death Eaters." ...

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (The Seven Potters).

[Emphasis added is mine]

So if they had Apparated anywhere near (or with) Harry, then the Death Eaters would find out where Harry is.

Why didn't they just wait until the Trace wore off, you may ask?

Good question; Harry was to turn seventeen within the hour next few days, so the Trace would have worn off at that time, and they would have been free to Apparate, conjure a birthday cake, cast Tarantallegra on each other and have a merry old time, or any magic they liked. But so would have all of Lily's protection:

... “We can’t wait for the Trace to break, because the moment you turn seventeen you’ll lose all the protection your mother gave you. In short: Pius Thicknesse thinks he’s got you cornered good and proper.”

Harry could not help but agree with the unknown Thicknesse. ...

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (The Seven Potters).

They also couldn't wait since the agreement between Harry and the Dursley's was that they were separating and Harry had no intention of coming back (not calling Privet Drive his home anymore); this would immediately void all of the protections:

“Now, your mother’s charm will only break under two conditions: when you come of age, or” — Moody gestured around the pristine kitchen — “you no longer call this place home. You and your aunt and uncle are going your separate ways tonight, in the full understanding that you’re never going to live together again, correct?”

Harry nodded.

“So this time, when you leave, there’ll be no going back, and the charm will break the moment you get outside its range. We’re choosing to break it early, because the alternative is waiting for You-Know- Who to come and seize you the moment you turn seventeen.

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (The Seven Potters).

  • 2
    "Harry was to turn seventeen within the hour" No he wasn't, his birthday wasn't for another few days when they left Privet Drive. Apr 23, 2014 at 12:27
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    All well and good for them not to use Apparition originally, but once the battle started all of them--including Harry--were using plenty of magic. Aug 5, 2014 at 16:42
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    If the DeathEaters can detect magic near underage wizards, could wouldn't detect the 7 Potters using magic the moment their brooms zoomed into the sky? That was seconds after Harry left his house and therefore seconds after he broke his mother's protective charm. Voldemort should have been on Harry seconds after that.
    – RichS
    Apr 19, 2020 at 23:59
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    @thumbtackthief Plenty of magic was being used around Harry, but the Trace works near underage wizards. If I remember correctly, Harry was the only underage person in the entire battle. The DeathEaters should have been to use the Trace to identify him easily.
    – RichS
    Apr 20, 2020 at 0:04
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    Isn't that the limitation of the Trace, though? Set off a warning alarm without showing exactly who did the spell? Wouldn't that just tell them Harry (or some underage wizard) was nearby, without showing exactly who or where outside a general vicinity? As for the brooms, using magical objects does not seem to count as using magic, i.e., casting a spell. Apr 20, 2020 at 2:07

The Order couldn't have immediately Apparated out of Harry's house because, as Moody explains, the Imperiused Pius Thicknesse has "made it an imprisonable offence to connect this house to the Floo Network, place a Portkey here, or Apparate in or out."

Once they were already on their way, it would have been very difficult to coordinate mass Apparition. Unless they were all able to do it at once, there was a chance that one of the fake Harry pairs would Apparate while the real Harry would still be flying, leaving him in danger. Nobody wanted to leave Harry (except Mundungus), and Harry didn't want to leave his friends, so unless they could communicate with each other in the middle of the battle (they couldn't) they wouldn't Apparate because of that catch-22.

  • 1
    They could apparate after exiting the house like they did before flying.
    – user931
    Jan 27, 2013 at 20:03
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    I did wonder why they were so worried about breaking that one law. It seemed to be the least of their worries! And surely someone could have been smart enough to say, "ok, we'll put a Portkey at the nearby playground" or ... almost any other plan than flying into a certain battle!
    – NiceOrc
    Jan 28, 2013 at 2:35

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