In Deathly Hallows, why couldn’t Harry drink the polyjuice and turn into any Muggle?

Surely it would have been much easier than seven people turning into Harry Potter.


4 Answers 4


Spoiler Alert:

The idea of the 7 Harry Potters was planted into Mundungus' head by Snape (on Dumbledore's orders). He had to give the real date of Harry's relocation to Voldemort in order go gain his trust (even more), but he confunded Mundungus so they had a good chance of getting Harry out succesfully. (Voldemort wasn't expecting 7 Harry's).

The following is the relevant excerpt from Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

“You will have to give Voldemort the correct date of Harry’s departure from his aunt and uncle’s,” said Dumbledore.
“Not to do so will raise suspicion, when Voldemort believes you so well informed. However, you must plant the idea of decoys; that, I think, ought to ensure Harry’s safety.
Try Confunding Mundungus Fletcher. And Severus, if you are forced to take part in the chase, be sure to act your part convincingly. . . . I am counting upon you to remain in Lord Voldemort’s good books as long as possible, or Hogwarts will be left to the mercy of the Carrows. . . .”

Now Snape was head to head with Mundungus in an unfamiliar tavern, Mundungus’s face looking curiously blank, Snape frowning in concentration.
“You will suggest to the Order of the Phoenix,” Snape murmured, “that they use decoys. Polyjuice Potion. Identical Potters. It is the only thing that might work. You will forget that I have suggested this. You will present it as your own idea. You understand?”
“I understand,” murmured Mundungus, his eyes unfocused. . . .


The main idea behind transforming everyone into Harry was that Voldemort gave orders to not kill Harry. If none of the death eaters knew which Harry was the real one they wouldn't be able to use killing curses on any of them. Well they wouldn't be able to fatally endanger them at all.

So by turning everyone into Harry we got the same confusion as with transforming everyone into Hermione or Harry into George with more safety for the involved parties.

This was the case until Harry revealed himself when he use Expelliarmus on Stan Shunpike. Expelliarmus was regarded as his signature spell by Death Eaters as he used it against Voldemort in the graveyard scene.

  • 1
    Frankly, I don't see much sense in disambiguing Harry only by his use of Expelliarmus. This should be one of the most common spells (Ron/Hermione could use it, leaving aurors aside). Moreover, this spell is very effective during the flight (disabling a wizard so that he has to go down, search for a wand), even aurors could've used it.
    – madfriend
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 19:47
  • @madfriend That's the reason JKR gave for it not me. Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 8:10

The entire point was to confuse the Death Eaters so they don't know where Harry is headed, though he does give himself away in the end by using his signature spell, Expelliarmus. If you know that fourteen people are going to leave and that Harry will be among them, and it turns out that none of them are Harry, you can quite safely assume that the one who looks like a random Muggle (i.e. the one who doesn't look like one of Harry Potter's known associates/protectors) is, in fact, Harry Potter.


Well, it would still be the same problem, how to get all of them out of Privet Drive. And if all of them looked the same except for Harry, who would be disguised as a "Muggle", it would be very easy for the Death Eaters to tell which one is he.

As you said - it would be easier, but that does not mean safer, the whole point was to get Harry safely out of the Privet Drive:

“But don’t be so silly!” said Mrs. Weasley. “The whole point of tonight was to get you here safely, and thank goodness it worked.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 5, Fallen Warrior

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