After the battle in the Ministry, Professor Dumbledore sends Harry to Hogwarts using a Portkey. The Portkey is a part of the statue in the "Fountain of magical brethern" in the atrium of the Ministry of Magic, and sends Harry to the Hogwarts headmaster's office. Quoting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix chapter 36.

He [Dumbledore] walked away from the pool to the place where the golden wizard's head lay on the floor. He pointed his wand at it and the muttered, ‘Portus.’ The head glowed blue and trembled noisily against the wooden floor for a few seconds, then became still once more.

‘Now see here, Dumbledore!’ said Fudge, as Dumbledore picked up the head and walked back to Harry carrying it. ‘You haven't got authorization for that Portkey! You can't do things like that right in front of the Minister for Magic, you – you –’

Did Professor Dumbledore set up the Portkey then and there? Or was it instead a Portkey set up previously, and he merely activated it with that “Portus” incantation?

Hogwarts had magical protection set up so you can't easily enter using a Portkey. If Professor Dumbledore quickly set up the Portkey right there and then, how did he get past the protection? If the Portkey had been set up previously, did they make sure it couldn't be misused to breach the security of Hogwarts?

See also Who can make a portkey that goes into Hogwarts? and In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix it seems Dumbledore makes a portkey that only Harry can use. Am I interpreting this correctly?

  • 1
    [question missing, don't post yet] ?
    – phantom42
    Aug 18, 2014 at 16:38
  • The answer to your question is in the question itself. There is no further canon information on that particular Portkey. I really think this is an unnecessary question, as there are already two questions addressing the issue. Aug 18, 2014 at 16:56
  • pahntom42: ARGH! sorry, fixed.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:13
  • @Slytherincess: in the comments for those questions, two people thought Dumbledore set up the Portkey right there, whereas I think the text implies it had been set up earlier. The two questions don't address that particular issue.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


When did Dumbledore set up the Portkey?

It seems that the Portus charm creates a Portkey at the point of casting. We see Dumbledore use it earlier in the same book:

Dumbledore was now rummaging in a cupboard behind Harry and Ron. He emerged from it carrying a blackened old kettle, which he placed carefully upon his desk. He raised his wand and murmured “Portus”; for a moment the kettle trembled, glowing with an odd blue light, then it quivered to a rest, as solidly black as ever.

Order of the Phoenix, chapter 22 (St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)

Unless Dumbledore was extraordinarily prescient and negligent, there’s no way that he could have foreseen the need for this Portkey. It follows that Portus is creating a Portkey.

Thus, Dumbledore must be turning the head into a Portkey at the point of casting Portus; he wasn’t activating a pre-existing Portkey.

Also note that the statue was only decapitated when Harry was fighting Bellatrix. Once Dumbledore arrives, he’s engaged with fighting Bellatrix and Voldemort. When would he have turned the head into a Portkey? He certainly wouldn’t stop mid-duel to do it.

How did he set it up?

Using the Portus charm.

(The HP Wiki has a screenshot from the Charms O.W.L. in the Order of the Phoenix movie which identifies this as a charm.)

How did Dumbledore get past the Hogwarts protections?

Dumbledore is the school headmaster, and set up many of the protections around the school. It seems logical that he can likewise undo them. As he says in the Half-Blood Prince film, “Being me has its privileges”. There are other canon examples of Dumbledore undoing the school protections:

  • Creating a Portkey for Harry and the Weasleys in Order of the Phoenix, during the incident quoted above. This has to leave Hogwarts.
  • Raising the anti-disapparation jinx from the Great Hall so that students can practice.
  • Undoing the protective enchantments as he flies over the boundary with Harry at the end of Half-Blood Prince.

So presumably Dumbledore can create a Portkey to penetrate the Hogwarts defenses, but nobody else can.

  • we also see that there is alot of moving in and out of specifically his office during the books. He may even have a hole in the protection inside of his office, or some other types of protection, that make it easier for him to get people in and out of his office even from 100s of miles away.
    – Himarm
    Aug 18, 2014 at 18:07
  • Nice answer. However, undoing the enchantments as he flies took time, and I don't think Professor Dumbledore had time to do that at the Ministry battle. If the Portkey was set up earlier, that would mean years earlier, back when the Ministry was in a better standing with Professor Dumbledore. The Minister of Magic would use that Portkey in an emergency if he needs to consult Dumbledore.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 18, 2014 at 19:23
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    @b_jonas: He was also severely weakened at the time. As for the idea that the Portkey was set up years earlier, I find that very difficult to believe. The Ministry has better ways to communicate with Dumbledore than a convoluted and concealed Portkey in a statue’s head.
    – alexwlchan
    Aug 18, 2014 at 19:30

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