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Is Apparition wandless magic?

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Is Apparition wandless magic? Empty Is Apparition wandless magic?

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:17 pm

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Michael Franz - Oct 3, 2006 6:07 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Dec 20, 2006 2:31 pm

Is Apparition a form of wandless magic?

In Book 6, wands aren't mentioned in the chapter with the Apparition class. Indeed, no magic words are, either. So, it would seem that Apparition is both wandless AND nonverbal -- but that doesn't really make sense. Wizards require wands for all but the weakest of spells -- and even with a wand, nonverbal spells are more difficult. How is it possible for a powerful ability like Apparition to transcend these limitations?

Of course, we know that Harry spontaneously Apparated to the school roof before he even knew he was a wizard. It's possible that Apparition is a more "inherent" ability of wizards; that whatever alternate dimension they get squeezed through is inherently connected to a wizard's powers.

But before we speculate on that, I ask: can we be sure Apparition doesn't require a wand?
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Is Apparition wandless magic? Empty Is Apparition wandless magic? (posts #1 to #57)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:19 pm

Meoshimo - Oct 3, 2006 6:14 pm (#1 of 57)

We've seen no instances of a witch or wizard using a wand. Usually it just says they 'turn on the spot' or disappear with a loud popping noise or something to that effect. If it does require a wand, why didn't Wilkie Twycross instruct the apparition students to take their wands out?

Choices - Oct 4, 2006 5:32 am (#2 of 57)
Edited Oct 4, 2006 6:34 am

Apparition is magic, and it doesn't require a wand..... so yes, after much deliberation, I'd say it is wandless magic. Just my opinion though. :-)

Hoot Owl - Oct 4, 2006 11:13 am (#3 of 57)

Good point, Choices! I tend to think you are correct.

shadzar - Oct 4, 2006 11:30 am (#4 of 57)
Edited Oct 4, 2006 12:30 pm

But do you have to have a wand near or with you to do it? Could that be something to do with the relationship between wand and wizard. That after using the same wand over time if confers some things to you to be able to do without the wand-in-hand?

Finn BV - Oct 4, 2006 5:49 pm (#5 of 57)

I would guess that, like flying a broomstick, and Floo powder, and a magic carpet, and a Portkey, a wand is not needed. Then again, this is the only instance where nothing else is needed, magical or not. I would guess that it's just something that you think really hard about it. So, no, I'd say you don't need a wand; thus making it wandless magic.

S.E. Jones - Oct 4, 2006 6:42 pm (#6 of 57)

I wouldn't say there is nothing else needed (don't forget the 3 D's). You don't really have to do anything with those other forms of transport whereas with Apparition you have to force it to happen mentally. That being said, I agree it's a wandless form of magic.

Meoshimo - Oct 4, 2006 8:53 pm (#7 of 57)

I think by 'nothing', Finn was referring to magical objects, devices, anything external of the wizard.

Finn BV - Oct 5, 2006 4:23 am (#8 of 57)

Yes, I meant nothing concrete.

John Bumbledore - Oct 5, 2006 1:05 pm (#9 of 57)

Well, Finn, I think apparition with a load of concrete would be more difficult that with nothing other than one's robes.

<)B^Dò John Bumbledore

* Pause your mouse pointer over a smile to see it's quick-edit code:

juliebug - Oct 5, 2006 1:46 pm (#10 of 57)

What if it's just a little piece of concrete, that wouldn't be so bad

Seriously, it only seems fair to make a distinction between a kind of magic that's all up to the spell caster (apparition) and magic that allows the wizard to rely upon extrinsic forces (Floo powder.)

Michael Franz - Oct 5, 2006 6:30 pm (#11 of 57)

But do you have to have a wand near or with you to do it?

Ah, now this is a question. If a wizard's wand has been broken, can he still Apparate? I suspect so; otherwise Apparition would only be "semi-wandless", and that would make no sense at all.

But the other question still remains: why is this powerful ability uniquely wandless?

Finn BV - Oct 5, 2006 7:46 pm (#12 of 57)

Perhaps it's too complicated for a wand? And, what if you're in a tight situation, you don't have your wand, and you need to get away?

Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 6, 2006 6:22 am (#13 of 57)

There are similarities between Apparition and travelling by a portkey. I wonder if the nonverbal spell we see concerning a portkey is a form of the three Ds?

Mediwitch - Oct 6, 2006 4:57 pm (#14 of 57)
Edited Oct 6, 2006 5:57 pm

Dumbledore uses a verbal incantation "Portus" in OoP right in front of Fudge, to send Harry back to Hogwarts from the Ministry of Magic. (Fudge says something like "See here, Dumbledore. You don't have authorization for that Portkey.") However, that doesn't necessarily invalidate the rest of your theory.

Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 7, 2006 12:50 am (#15 of 57)

No Mediwitch. Yes I forgot the incantation "Portus" but Dumbledore must of somehow given the portkey the destination. So is the Portus spell used to give the Apparition aspect of travel to the portkey.

Also, in OoP why didn't they use side-along Apparition with Harry when the advanced guard took him to HQ?

sstabeler - Oct 8, 2006 12:47 pm (#16 of 57)
Edited by S.E. Jones Oct 8, 2006 2:03 pm

His trunk and Hedwig? i don't think you can take much with you when you Apparate. or maybe JKR just didn't want to reveal side-along Apparition just then.

-sstabeler, please try to use proper capitalization (i.e. capitalize names of people or places, at the beginning of a sentence, etc.) as we have members who do not speak English as a primary language and we want everyone to be able to read and understand everything that is written. Thank you.- SE Jones

Die Zimtzicke - Oct 8, 2006 3:53 pm (#17 of 57)

It's one of those things where we can't really say, because we don't know if they have their wands on them when they Apparate or not. I can't imagine any wizard going anywhere without a wand, though.

Meoshimo - Oct 8, 2006 8:11 pm (#18 of 57)

Wandless magic would imply that you need not hold or use a wand for a magical spell to work. Where does it say that having a wand nearby or on your person would make you more powerful?

Die Zimtzicke - Oct 9, 2006 7:33 am (#19 of 57)

The only comment I ever saw from Jo about wandless magic was in a copy of Movie Magic magazine I have. It's the February, 2003 issue. When asked, "Do you need a wand to do magic?" she said:

"You can do unfocused and uncontrolled magic without a wand, but to do really good spells, you need a wand"

I don't know where that's listed in the Quotes on this forum. I just have the magazine itself.

legolas returns - Oct 9, 2006 11:36 am (#20 of 57)

When you are doing the 3d you have to be really determined, know your destination and think about it. If you don’t do these things you get splinched. I would say that it is wandless, very focused magic. Most magic requires some concentration but not as much as Apparating.

Die Zimtzicke - Oct 10, 2006 8:49 am (#21 of 57)

But as I pointed out, Jo said you need a wand to do very focused magic. She specifically said wandless magic was unfocused.

legolas returns - Oct 10, 2006 11:07 am (#22 of 57)

Well turning yourself into an Animagus does not require a wand. Sirius did it in Azkaban when things go too much. I don’t think that is unfocused magic. I think she was talking about 99% of cases.

S.E. Jones - Oct 10, 2006 11:19 am (#23 of 57)

I agree, legolas returns. We've seen how important the mental aspect is to Apparition (3D's). I think when it comes to things like the Animagus transformation and Apparition, the mind has to learn to do what the wand normally does for you, i.e. focus your magic in a controlled way.

Die Zimtzicke - Oct 11, 2006 6:19 am (#24 of 57)
Edited Oct 11, 2006 7:19 am

Does anyone want to speculate on why Jo worded her statement the way she did then?

haymoni - Oct 11, 2006 8:06 am (#25 of 57)

Maybe she means the average wizard would need a wand, but someone like Voldy or Dumbledore or Snape and possibly someday, Harry - would be just as focused with or without a wand.

Die Zimtzicke - Oct 11, 2006 1:31 pm (#26 of 57)

Or she screwed up! LOL!

S.E. Jones - Oct 11, 2006 1:40 pm (#27 of 57)

You know, haymoni, I remember he making a comment along those lines somewhere before, does anyone know what quote I'm referring to?

valuereflection - Oct 12, 2006 9:07 am (#28 of 57)
Edited Oct 12, 2006 10:10 am

Phelim Mcintyre asked in Post #15: "...in OoP why didn't they use side long Apparition with Harry when the advanced guard took him to HQ?"

I assume the Advance Guard didn't use side-along apparition because if they had, then Harry would be with only one person to protect him in case of danger. Because they used broomsticks, Harry was surrounded by nine Order members. Still more Order members were part of the Rear Guard, assigned to take over the job of escorting Harry in case something happened to the original nine in the Advance Guard.

It is possible that due to "the severity of (Harry's) breach of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery" by his Patronus charm in OotP, the paranoid Ministry of Magic placed an enchantment afterward upon Privet Drive in order to prevent Apparition there (similar to the enchantment which is upon Hogwarts).

JKR has said there are also other ways of stopping Apparition from happening, in her interview on July 16, 2005:

"Why don’t witches and wizards Disapparate when they’re in danger?

JKR: Well. This is like all of these things. It’s tedious to stop and tell the reader when you’re writing an action scene but there would be ways of stopping that happening. Sometimes they do Disapparate, but very often, when you’re watching that kind of scene, it’s within a place that you can’t Disapparate from, like Hogwarts. So, that’s not an option when Harry’s at school. There would be other reasons why you wouldn’t Disapparate. You might want to stand your ground and fight. But they do Disapparate sometimes. There has to be an equal and opposite action."

juliebug - Oct 12, 2006 9:28 am (#29 of 57)

Harry also had a lot of stuff to take with him when the Advance Guard came, big bulky stuff. I have no proof, but I'm under the impression that you can't really bring a lot of stuff along with you when you Apparate. Harry went along with Dumbledore, but only because he was able to hold on tightly. My guess is that large, inanimate objects don't fare as well. Just a guess.

haymoni - Oct 12, 2006 10:06 am (#30 of 57)

Dumbledore sent his trunk on, didn't he?

juliebug - Oct 12, 2006 10:08 am (#31 of 57)
Edited Oct 12, 2006 11:09 am

Dumbledore's way cooler than anyone else?

valuereflection - Oct 12, 2006 10:55 am (#32 of 57)
Edited Oct 12, 2006 12:01 pm

I've wondered about how Dumbledore sent that trunk to the Weasley house. I speculated about this on the HBP read-along threads -- the only guess anyone offered was that Dumbledore used some form of Apparition spell. I still wonder why don't we see this used anywhere else in the books to transport bulky items. It would come in handy for parents to send their children's stuff ahead to the school, or to send Norbert away... But wait, no form of Apparition is allowed at Hogwarts, so maybe I've answered my own question.

Perhaps this is why Dumbledore was able to send Harry's things to the Burrow during HBP:

"...while you stay here, the Burrow has been given the highest security the Ministry of Magic can provide. These measures have caused a certain amount of inconvenience to Arthur and Molly -- all their post, for instance, is being searched at the Ministry before being sent on. They do not mind in the slightest, if their only concern is your safety. However, it would be poor repayment if you risked your neck while staying with them." (HBP chapter 4)

During HBP, the Ministry of Magic gave Harry "top-grade security status." They provided Harry with a special MoM car to both Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, additional security at the Leaky Cauldron pub, and a personal escort by two Aurors through the train station. They allowed a substitute of Hagrid for the Auror escort in Diagon Alley. They arranged a Gringotts bank withdrawal for him so he wouldn't need to leave the safety of the Burrow. They arranged with Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of the age, to personally escort Harry between two secure locations, Privet Drive and the Burrow. They probably also made special arrangements for the transport of Harry's luggage.

So maybe Dumbledore's spell was rarely seen magic because Harry was a special security case for the MoM. (Or perhaps DD non-verbally cast "Portus" :-) )

haymoni - Oct 12, 2006 11:10 am (#33 of 57)

You would think parents would be able to send items to Platform 9 3/4, but it doesn't seem as though you can Apparate there either.


Die Zimtzicke - Oct 12, 2006 1:47 pm (#34 of 57)

Was Dumbledore, do you think, the only one who could Apparate things onto the Weasley property, which was under such stringent safeguards?

That seems really odd to me. If he could do it, you'd think someone else could eventually with enough effort figure out how to do it, and then it would not be as safe.

valuereflection - Oct 12, 2006 2:19 pm (#35 of 57)
Edited Oct 12, 2006 4:48 pm

My guess is that Dumbledore's method only worked because the Weasley family was expecting Harry's trunk (and Hedwig's cage also) to arrive in their home. The Weasleys were home waiting for it, and they had prepared to watch over it when it would arrive. It was a scheduled delivery. The Ministry of Magic monitored that special delivery; they probably assigned someone to watch and make certain the delivery was carried out as arranged with no unforeseen problems. (Maybe in a similar manner to how they policed the fires at Hogwarts during OotP -- there's a creepy thought.)

But I would sure like more information from JKR about this! :-)

EDIT: Maybe it happened something like this incident below, where the MoM arranged a one-off delivery. Except the arrangement wasn't with the Floo Network, but instead with the Department of Magical Transport. Yes, I am still just guessing.

Late in the afternoon, a few days after New Year, Harry, Ron, and Ginny lined up beside the kitchen fire to return to Hogwarts. The Ministry had arranged this one-off connection to the Floo Network to return students quickly and safely to the school...

Harry...caught blurred glimpses of other Wizarding rooms...finally stopping squarely in the fireplace in McGonagall's office. She barely glanced up... (HBP chapter 17)

By the way, please would someone explain to me what is the exact meaning of the phrase "one-off"? JKR used it on another occasion, during an interview, when she said that Gilderoy Lockhart was a one-off character. What did she mean? I couldn't find this in the dictionary.

P.S. I just wondered -- how did the Ministry arrange for Hermione and other Muggle-borns to return to Hogwarts after the Christmas break in HBP? They obviously felt that the Hogwarts Express wasn't safe enough. All Hermione said about this subject was, "I got back a few hours ago (meaning a few hours before Harry and the Weasleys arrived)." I wish Harry had asked.

And if the Hogwarts Express was not a safe enough way for the students to travel at Christmastime, then it was not a safe way for them to travel after Dumbledore's funeral, either. HBP ended before the students left Hogwarts (except for the few whose parents hurried them away from Hogwarts). How do you think all the students will get home?

Laura W - Oct 13, 2006 12:29 am (#36 of 57)
Edited Oct 13, 2006 1:33 am

"By the way, please would someone explain to me what is the exact meaning of the phrase "one-off"? JKR used it on another occasion, during an interview, when she said that Gilderoy Lockhart was a one-off character. What did she mean? I couldn't find this in the dictionary."

From The Collins Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition --

"one-off: n. Brit. a. something that is carried out or made only once."

valuereflection - Oct 13, 2006 6:48 am (#37 of 57)

Thanks, Laura W!

timrew - Oct 13, 2006 3:42 pm (#38 of 57)

To cast in my two knuts’ worth, DD was the ultimate magician - he could Apparate, make himself invisible, in fact, do anything without a wand...........

Laura W - Oct 13, 2006 11:36 pm (#39 of 57)
Edited Oct 14, 2006 12:37 am

In fact I think that is worth more than two knuts, tim. Quite often on the Forum, people bring up a particular piece of magic that Jo has DD perform and assume that Harry or Hagrid or whomever can do it, can learn to do it, or will be doing it.

There is no doubt that different wizards have different degrees of talent and ability - as Muggles do -, and Jo has made it perfectly clear in canon that Dumbledore is an exceptional wizard; maybe even *the* exceptional wizard. I really think she meant for us to take for granted that there are things he can do that few, if any, others can.

PS, p.14 (Raincoast) --

" 'You flatter me,' said Dumbledore calmly. 'Voldemort had powers I will never have.'

(McGonagall): 'Only because you're too - well - *noble* to use them.' "

PS, p.77 (Raincoast) --

From the chocolate frog card: "Albus Dumbledore, currently Headmaster of Hogwarts. Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, ..."

OoP, p.24 --

(Mrs. Figg): "Of course I know Dumbledore, who doesn't know Dumbledore?"

Detail Seeker - Oct 14, 2006 10:33 am (#40 of 57)

My 2 Knuts on wand use during Apparating:

Apparating is considered to be a very complicated piece of magic. So only strong magicians are allowed to do it - after a test, that some magicians fail outright or do not even try. Due to the danger, the spell caster imposes on himself, it would be logical, that only such wizards should be allowed to use it, who give some probability to it, that they will be able to Apparate unharmed in any situation. the ability to do this complicated spell wandless would indicate this power. So, I think, it is deliberately taught wandless to sort out risky candidates.

Meoshimo - Oct 25, 2006 8:48 am (#41 of 57)

With regards to Dumbledore's sending Harry's trunk to the Weasley’s, it makes me think back to Bill disappearing the scrolls that the Order were discussing. They must have disappeared to somewhere, the same way that you can conjure something from somewhere. I think that's what Dumbledore did with Harry's trunk. It wasn't Apparition, per se, but (I can't think of the term) dis-conjuring .

valuereflection - Oct 25, 2006 3:58 pm (#42 of 57)
Edited Oct 25, 2006 4:59 pm

Meoshimo, thanks for that alternate explanation of Harry's trunk. But I don't think it works in this instance, because Harry needed to use his trunk for the next two years instead of a couple of hours.

From the Lexicon: "Conjuring spells are advanced magic; they are N.E.W.T. level at Hogwarts, taught in sixth and seventh years. There is legislation about what you can conjure and what you can't. Most things conjured out of thin air will disappear after a couple of hours."

I assume that dis-conjuring would also be temporary magic. It's too bad Harry couldn't have conjured himself an Aqua-lung for the second task in Goblet of Fire.

Madame Pomfrey - Nov 21, 2006 3:41 am (#43 of 57)

I definitely think apparition is wandless magic that cannot be achieved by everyone, which is why there are other methods of transportation. Harry, at a very young age, Apparated to the top of a school building when Dudley and gang were after him. He stated to Vernon that he was trying to jump behind a trashcan. His destination was off a bit.

shepherdess - Oct 25, 2008 6:57 pm (#44 of 57)

I wonder what happens when a wizard attempts to Apparate to a place that can't be Apparated to? Do they just not move from the spot where they are? Do they just end up outside of their destination? Do they hit a wall or barrier--and then what? Do they bounce back to their original location?

Whatever the effect, why would it be different for wizards than house-elves?

We know that LV placed a spell or enchantment that hid the door to the cave, but how did both Dumbledore and Regulus know that they couldn't Apparate into the cave? Did they try and fail, or is it just common knowledge that you can't Apparate inside a mountain? Surely there are times when a wizard wants to go somewhere and doesn't know that he can't Apparate into it, and he might try.

If a room is locked, surely you couldn't Apparate into it, or no one would ever have any privacy. But how can simply locking a door block apparition?

Swedish Short-Snout - Oct 26, 2008 1:08 am (#45 of 57)

I don't think locking the doors blocks apparition (Amelia Bones was killed in a room locked from the inside, so I suppose her murderer Disapparated from there). I think you have to use a charm, like Dumbledore did in the Ministry in OotP.

Solitaire - Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am (#46 of 57)

Then again, couldn't the murderer have simply walked out the door and locked it from the outside? He or she was, after all, a wizard or witch. Making a door appear locked from the inside shouldn't be too hard ... should it?

shepherdess - Oct 26, 2008 10:32 am (#47 of 57)

So if you just wanted to bathe in private you'd have to put a charm on the door to keep people from Apparating in? Then that would have to be a pretty basic charm. And I'm sure it would be commonly used for things like keeping people out of a place so you could have a private conversation, etc. There are plenty of times in the books when that would have been useful to the trio, but we never see them use it or even hear of it.

Hypothetical situation: Fred goes to the kitchen to get a snack. Ron goes into Fred and George's room, and puts a charm on the door so he can talk to George without interruption. Fred, having gotten his food, tries to Apparate back to his room. What happens to Fred?

Orion - Oct 26, 2008 10:57 am (#48 of 57)

The same problem occurs with "Alohomora". Whoever locks a door with a charm is unsuccessful if someone comes along with "Alohomora". Unless the charm is stronger because the wizard is a better wizard with more magical power.

Maybe an extremely powerful wizard can overcome even an anti-Apparition-jinx like that in DH.

Fred might go *Splat* on the door. Oh, I don't want to be in Ron's shoes.

Anna L. Black - Oct 26, 2008 11:00 am (#49 of 57)


I think Fred wouldn't be able to Apparate, just as the trio couldn't in DH, when the DEs set a charm in Hogsmeade. (Though that charm was kind of the opposite to what we're talking about...)

Solitaire - Oct 26, 2008 11:03 am (#50 of 57)

Concerning Amelia Bones, wasn't it the Muggle police who reported having found her in a room locked from the inside? The Wizarding world does not seem to have had any trouble believing she was probably killed by Voldy himself. Wouldn't he be able to make a door appear as though it had been locked from the inside ... or even kill her and then Apparate out, especially since the lock seems to have been a normal one?

As to taking a bath in private, perhaps the same rules of etiquette and privacy apply in the Wizarding world as in ours: Don't walk in on someone without first knocking and being granted admittance. I don't know what to think about Fred & George, and my mom is here to take me to lunch, so I'll have to mull that one over a bit!


Orion - Oct 26, 2008 11:08 am (#51 of 57)

This is such an interesting discussion because it has been going round and round in my head - unless wizards and witches put up special protections around their houses their property isn't safe at all because everybody can just Apparate in and go stealing. And the safety charms are only ever as good as the wizard or witch and if a more powerful wizard or witch (isn't there a neutral expression for these folks?) comes along they are useless.

Julia H. - Oct 26, 2008 11:20 am (#52 of 57)
Edited Oct 26, 2008 12:12 pm

Yes, it seems the question of privacy is just left to the discretion of wizards / witches although you can try various charms to lock your door magically - I find it especially amazing that Hermione's (a first years student's) Alohomora should open the door leading to Fluffy. Who locked that door?

Another privacy problem I see is with Moody's magical eye. Remember how Fake-Moody commented on Harry's socks at the Yule Ball? I mean they must have been covered by other clothes (robes or something). Anyway, that eye can see through the Invisibility Cloak and through doors, too - I wonder how much more it can see. Who wants to be near a person with that eye?

Orion - Oct 26, 2008 11:27 am (#53 of 57)

Aaargh - it's like these scan machines at airports which show you naked! I've never thought of that, but now that you say that...

And you're perfectly right about Hermione. She is a genius, but the person who locked that door must have expected the trio to break through. Just like the other protections - they were difficult to overcome, but it was possible to get through them. Just the right level of difficulty for resourceful and determined children.

shepherdess - Oct 26, 2008 6:13 pm (#54 of 57)

So if the trio were older (and trained), would they have been able to Apparate into the room with Fluffy? Or into the room with the Mirror?

Solitaire - Oct 26, 2008 8:50 pm (#55 of 57)

I do not think so, Shepherdess. Hermione has said dozens of times over the years that one can't Apparate at Hogwarts ... not just into or out of it, but even within it. Remember that special spells had to be performed, just so the students could practice their Apparating in the Great Hall (I think that is where it was).


shepherdess - Oct 26, 2008 10:46 pm (#56 of 57)

Well that's true. I guess I was concentrating more on people being able to Apparate into a locked room (in a generic way), without thinking about the fact that these rooms were located in Hogwarts.

Solitaire - Oct 27, 2008 6:10 am (#57 of 57)

We know that Fred and George can Apparate within 12GP--because they are constantly doing it--even though one can't Apparate into it from outside. I guess it must depend on the particular spells used.

I can understand not wanting students to be able to Apparate around inside the castle on a regular basis. Can you imagine the even greater mayhem they could cause for poor old Filch? hehe

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