Question: How does Fawkes “Apparate” Inside Hogwarts?

Thoughtful Question from a Hogwarts Professor season-ticket holder:


Not sure where I could’ve asked this question, but I do have one. Have you done any writing on how Fawkes the Phoenix can “apparate” inside Hogwarts? What is it about Fawkes, and Dumbledore, that seem to transcend the “normal” rules for such things? I’m thinking here in reference to Dumbledore being able to become invisible without a cloak. Appreciate any insight.

Dn Kevin

I have a pretty involved answer about the special abilities of the Headmaster and his familiar but I hope someone has a clear and direct answer before I unload my suspicions and try way too hard to get at Dn Kevin’s question.

An official HogPro Best-Guess Prize will be emailed express to the Associate Hogwarts Professor who writes the most cogent response to this fascinating question.


  1. I do not belive that what Fawkes does is apparate. In the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by Newt Scammander (AKA. JK. Rowling) it says that a phoenix is like a Diricawl, “it can vanish to escape danger. It can vanish in a puff of feathers and reappear elsewhere (the phoenix shares the same ability).” A diricawl is another name for a Dodo bird. “The phoenix on the other hand, can live to an immense age as it can regenerate, by bursting into flames when it’s body begins to fail and rises again from the ashes as a chick.” Thus donning the alternate name of “ressurection bird”, a Christ symbol. “The phoenix does not kill to eat prey, but eats herbs instead. His song is magical, it is reputed to increase the courage of the pure of heart and to strike fear into the hearts of the impure. His tears even have healing power.” Now that I have the history behind the phoenix, I must ask this. Is it apparating he does in the castle or another brand of magic, more sacred and spiritual??? I vote for spiritual. She can’t really say that in her books, but we can read between the lines. If it is his soul job to strike fear into the hearts of the unpure, and come to the aid of those who are pure of heart(Harry in COS), do you think he would let a little rule like DD’s, “You cannot apparate inside the castle” get in the way. He belongs to DD for one thing and I think he would let that one slide for Fawkes, I mean, is he going to give a bird detention??? No, no. We know from JKR herself that house elves have to be able to apparate inside the castle to do their jobs unseen, like servants of huge mansions in the old Edwardian period. Also, students were able to practice apparating inside the castle, so I think the rule is loose and should not be taken too seriosly. Artistic liscense is at play, if you want to be less transparent as a writer. So we know it can happen. DD also said that “help will be given at Hogwarts to any that ask for it even when I am gone.” I think that was in COS when he said that and Harry did need help in the chamber. All because he said that “Dumbledore is the greatest wizard who ever lived” and because of his being pure of heart, and he showed great loyalty to DD in the chamber in the face of fear and before an unpure soul, Fawkes appears. Fawkes first sings his magical song first, then gives Harry a weapon, next he blinds the basilisk, then he heals Harry’s wounds and saves his life. In fact we should not even have to ask why Fawkes can apparate and no one else can. It seems plain to me.

  2. Actually, you need to go back a bit or go over Rowlings earlier interviews. //

    House Elves also “pop” in and out of existance in and around the castle. When asked, Rowling states that House Elves can do things that wizards can’t. (And that wizards, conversely, can do some things House Elves can’t.) //

    Both House Elves and Phoenixes are magical *species*, as human wizards really are not. Only a very small, statistically insignificant number of humans are able to express magic. The things that will block the magical abilities (or specific magical processes) of human wizards may not have a similar effect upon creatures who are *inherently* magical.

  3. JKR: “House-elves are different from wizards; they have their own brand of magic, and the ability to appear and disappear within the castle is necessary to them if they are to go about their work unseen, as house-elves traditionally do.”

    This is from accio quotes.
    My opinion, and she or no one else has confirmed this, is that they are more like servants or slaves.

  4. My best guess is that the Hogwart Security procautions, such as anti-apparation are controlled by the current headmaster/mistress. During apparation practice, the students were told that this block was temporarily lifted. Who would be authorized to do this other than the headmaster?

    Apparation appears to be a skill that a wizard need to practice to aquire, and even needs a license to apparate. This implies that apparation is dangerous and NOT an innate ability to human wizards. There are likely to be plenty of magical species that have an innate ability to disappear/reappear, including the ones names above, a phoenix and house elves. It is unlikely that they acheive this by the same mechanism human wizards use to apparate. In the muggle world, airplanes are restricted from flight in certain places (although not PHYSICALLY blocked). These restrictions do not apply to birds, for instance, which are using a completely different INNATE mechanism to achieve flight. These creatures may not even be PERFORMING magic at all. It is unlikely that the security measures at Hogwarts block the actual ability to appear/disappear, but rather block the specific magic required of a human wizard to apparate. These measures apparently do NOT block a wizard’s ability to disappear via portkey, even an unauthorized portkey will apparently work.

    In summary, I think that the Hogwarts Security measures are in place against specific types of magic. I also fully believe that these measure, inlcuding anti-apparation, are at the discretion of the current headmaster/headmistress.

    As for Dumbledore’s ability to be invisible, I’m going to take a wild guess that it is either his ability to preform a wandless disillusion charm OR that he is an animagus and the creature form he assumes is one that can become invisible. I don’t have my copy of Fantastic Beasts available to check at the moment though…

    Happy New Years!

  5. JKR:Dumbledore’s patronus is a phoenix. [Read the exact quote from the Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004] from “accio quotes.”

    If this is true, then could this be the reason Fawkes is owned by DD and can vanish and re-appear at will?

    Maybe I should go back to what John says the word Patronus means. “I long for my savior and deliverer.” If this is so, then Harry’s patronus is a stag, another Christ symbol and DD’s a phoenix, the ultimate Christ symbol. We know that Fawkes, DD and James as the form of a stag have helped Harry in the face of evil, as in “deliver me from evil.” It is so similar to the Lord’s prayer and must have Christian symbolism. If you are pure of heart and you call for Me I will deliver you from evil. That would be his motto. There is so much I could say and I could go on. Just like when Harry or DD said, do not worry “I am with you” that is the same thing Christ said
    to us.

    I could be wrong, but it seems that DD has a lot more going on than just being a headmaster if you ask me. That is why he can vanish in the castle as well, he is a Christ figure. If Harry calls for him he will be there. Even if he can’t he will send Fawkes.

  6. tnorthodox says

    This makes sense to me especially considering Harry calling out for help while in the CoS, and who should appear but Fawkes the Phoenix? There is also DD saying something to the effect of, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask.

    I did look through Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, but it did not give me any insight into a spiritual connection with Fawkes and DD and their ability to transcend the laws of “normal” wizards. Could this be some sort of pointer to Christ-like qualities?

    Appreciate any further thoughts.

    In peace,
    Dn Kevin

  7. DN Kevin, you will have to read John’s book “Looking For God In Harry Potter”, since that is where I got this information.

    Like I said I could go on, but in most symbolism books, I use the one from Barnes and Noble by Cirlot, it will tell you the Christian symbolism of certain beings, objects or whatever to understand literature, art, songs, poems and such. Christianity has it’s own symbolism, whether it is used in art or poetry or literature.

    The phoenix is definitly a “resurrection” symbol of the purest form. If Fawkes belongs to DD and his patronus is a phoenix, all you have to do is put two and two together and it makes sense.

    Even if you are not a Christian, the historical symbolism is the same whether you read Blake, Shakespear or Dante.

  8. Dear Mr. Granger,

    I’m a Christian and Harry Potter Fan in Hong Kong of China. I enjoy reading your book “Looking For God In Harry Potter”(edition 2004) as it helps me to discover how the Christian truths imply in these great stories.

    But so far, there are some meanings/sentences in the book I don’t understand and really want to ask you for clarification.

    First, what is the implied meaning of “Planet Zeno” in Chapter 1 page 1?
    Second, would you clearly explain your view of “Gryffindor/Slytherin matchup is a lot bigger than a Cubs/Red Sox slugfest.” in Chapter 2 page 17?
    Lastly, in Chapter 3 page 21, when you take The A-Team as an example for explaining the mechanical formula, what do you mean by “Same show every week with a different machine at the end to save the day”? “A different machine” carries special meaning??

    Hope you would answer my questions.
    Many thanks!!!

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