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The Secrets of the Fidelius Charm

by Christine Kendrick

The Fidelius Charm is a powerful charm that is central to the Harry Potter tale. The house at Godric's Hollow, 12 Grimmauld Place, and Shell Cottage are three properties that are protected by the Fidelius Charm, three properties that have been secured against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. But within each property we see differences in the way the Fidelius Charm works.

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Reader Comments: (Page 11)

i just cant make the connection that how can one disapparate when the fidelius charm is working. . James and Lily would have done the same,They wouldn't have d,would they?

Posted by Abhishek Kaulgud from Pune,Maharashtra on March 26, 2008 04:28 AM

you see, towards the end of the description, it explains all the possibilities that could've happened with Bathilda Bagshot, and it says she was under the Imperious curse when Lilly and James were still alive...i don't understand that, because when Rita Skeeter interviewed her, (i guess she must've used Legimency) she wasn't under the Imperious curse, because, if she was indeed "gaga" and wouldn't have realized she had given information, she couldn't have been under the Imperious curse, otherwise she wouldn't have been able to remember all the information, would she? Of course, im just assuming that, when it says she was under the Imperious curse, it was meaning when Nagini was supposedly controlling her...:D

Posted by andrew from cedar city, utah on March 26, 2008 5:01 PM

I noticed two flaws with the Charm,

1. In the Malfoy's basement; Ron says: SHELL COTTAGE, BILL AND FLUERS PLACE.
But later Harry said: How are they protected?
Bill: Fidelius Charm; I'm secret keeper.
If Bill was secret keeper how could of Ron told the secret?

2. In Prisoner of Azkaban it says: YOU-KNOW-WHO wouldnt even know they are there! Even if he had his nose (not that he has one) pressed against their living room Window.

How does the Charm work? is the house invisible to the people who don't know the secret? Or Just The People.
Rowling should have gone further in explaining it.

Posted by Callum from australia on April 16, 2008 10:11 PM

I think that the idea that being inside the premises (or being in sight of it) when the spell is cast lets you in on the secret is false... It's entirely possible that Dobby could have found a place protected by the Fidelius charm, because like Rowling told us so many times, elf magic is different from wizard magic.

Posted by HP-Fan from Kokomo, IN on April 23, 2008 2:33 PM

In the 'ly Hallows', aren't we told that Ron went to stay with Bill and Fleur when he left the others? Therefore he already knows the secret. He told Harry, who then told Dobby. Therefore, the fidelius charm may have been in place, but Dobby knew the secret so it didn't matter.

(correct me if I'm wrong)

Posted by Will from London on May 2, 2008 1:09 PM

If Hermione was right about Yaxley being able to circumvent the Fidelius Charm and bring DEs inside by Side-Along Apparition, then why did they hide there? They should have thought that Snape would bring DEs there!

Posted by Simone from Italy on May 17, 2008 05:37 AM

Will from London.

I don't think the Fidelius Charm was in place when Ron went to stay with them, however - if it had been, Ron is not/was not Secret Keeper and therefore would have been unable to tell Dobby or anyone else for that matter where his brother lived.

Posted by Orlando from England on May 26, 2008 08:57 AM

Abhishek Kaulgud

very good point, about apparating. but youre forgetting that these are the potters. for one thing, they are members of the order of the phoenix, so they would feel obliged to fight. and lily probably wouldnt have disapparated for a few reasons:

1. she was terrified because her husband d too, and she wasnt thinking clearly. im sure you can imagine the emotions.

2. harry was a baby. remember how uncomfortable apparation is? imagine that on a baby. it might have ed harry

3. she didnt have a wand on her, remember? and you cant apparate without a wand, as far as we know.

Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2008 05:27 AM


yea good point about shell cottage. but i think your missing something here.

for one thing, elves can apparate and disapparate pretty much anywhere, so thats a problem solved.

for another thing, we must remember that every spell work according to how the perpretator of the spell wishes it to work, when possible. i think this is one of the things the room of reqirement has taught me.

the OotP headquarters was meant to be untraceble to people who knew the place personally, like bellatrix lestrange and malfoys and other pro-voldemort Black relatives and friends.

so whoever the caster of the fidelius charm [whether dumby or snape] had made it that way, so that unless the caster personally passed the message on, the OotP HQ would be unplottable and invisible.

on shell cottage, on the other hand, i think the spell would have been cast slightly diferently. Bill and fleur were newly married, so they would have made it so that Bill could let anyone he knew personally and trusted to be in the secret.

i know that sounds confusing, so think of it this way. Bill, when casting the charm, would have done so intending to let it be open to his family members. if this isnt the case, how the heck would ron have even known about shell cottage?

Posted by Ayoub from Kuwait on June 2, 2008 05:48 AM

also, and i meant to write this before, but i didnt want to mix this i the same post as the previous one, but i want to draw everone's focus on that sentence quoted of harry and hermione at Godric's Hollow in the article.

"Harry --" "Look... Look at it, Hermione..." "I don't... oh!" He could see it; the Fidelius Charm must have d with James and Lily. (DH 331/271)

i have a different theory to Daves, although his one is very deailed and probably more liekly to be correct.

i think harry was a secret keeper of his house at godrics hollow. it was the atention to the above quote that made me thnk that. hermione doesnt see the house until harry personally points towards it and tells her to look there.

Is this to far-fetched? let us examine this. i thnk one thing we can agree on when it comes to the HP novels, is that 'far-fethed' is non-existant in Jo's world.

now, you may wonder if i have any base for this theory. yes i do, but it may sound feeble, but here goes...

harry was a baby but he was living in the potter residence, and this is definitely while the fidilius charm was cast and present over ther residence.

for those of you saying that since harry was a baby, him living there when he was at such a young age would have meant it was pretty much impossible for his memory to hold him as secret keeper. but then, with that said, we must wonder how, before he even knew he was a wizard, how was he able to recall the green flash?

Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2008 05:57 AM

there are 2 points which do not support harry being secret keeper theory. how could have voldy got in the house of potters if harry was the secret keeper and we know for sure that wortail was the secret keeper.

Posted by swati from India on June 2, 2008 9:14 PM


Harry cannot have been Secret Keeper for Godrics Hollow - for if he had then Voldemort would not have been able to find the Potter's. I am afraid that it is canon that Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper for Godrics Hollow.
With regards to the 'green flash', it is not so amazing that he remembers it. Children who suffer a trauma in their younger years often say (once they are older) 'Oh all I remember is...' such as a loud noise, a flash of light etc. So all Harry can remember of the terrible event is a flash of green light - which he assumes is from lights on a car.

Posted by Orlando from England on June 4, 2008 05:57 AM

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