- "Harry felt Dumbledore's arm twist away from him and re-doubled his grip: the next thing he knew everything went black; he was pressed very hard from all directions; he could not breathe, there were iron bands tightening around his chest; his eyeballs were being forced back into his head; his ear-drums were being pushed deeper into his skull."
- —Harry Potter's first experience with Apparition[src]
Apparition is a magical method of transportation and is basically the magical action of travelling by having the user focus on a desired location in their mind, then disappear from their current location and instantly reappear at the desired location; in short, it is a form of teleportation. It is by far the fastest way to get to one's desired destination, but is tricky to pull off correctly and disastrous if botched up.
Apparition is a popular method of travel in the wizarding world, though it is stated that plenty of adult witches and wizards don't bother with it. They prefer brooms, Floo Powder or portkeys. Albus Dumbledore once noted that most people vomit the first time they successfully Apparate, and according to Harry Potter Apparition feels like being "forced through a very tight rubber tube."
According to Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic official and Apparition Instructor, one has but to recall The Three D's: Destination, Determination and Deliberation. One must be completely determined to reach one's destination, and move without haste, but with deliberation.
Apparition can cause an audible noise ranging from a small faint pop to a loud crack that may sound to Muggles like a car backfiring. House-elves may also Apparate but without some of the restrictions that wizards have. For example, they can Apparate inside of Hogwarts and even the Crystal Cave, where powerful enchantments prevent witches and wizards from doing the same. Also, when they Apparate, the sound is mostly a loud crack.
A witch or wizard ordinarily requires a wand in order to apparate, but like many other spells, it can be performed without one, but only by more skilled wizards or witches, such as Tom Marvolo Riddle, or Dumbledore.
Apparition is called Disapparition from the point of view of someone at the place being left, and Apparition from the point of view of someone at the destination, much like the words "disappear" and "appear".
Apparition may have a certain range. In 1998, Lord Voldemort was seen by Harry Potter as flying towards Malfoy Manor, thinking to himself that he would soon be near enough to Apparate. This could explain Voldemort's need to fly to places to check on his Horcruxes, as he may have been out of his range to Apparate. However it is more likely that there are anti-Apparition spells protecting those areas, such as Nurmengard, which would have these spells because it is a prison.
Apparition becomes increasingly difficult with the distance to be travelled. Inter-continental Apparition should only be attempted by the most highly skilled of wizards.
Some places that are blocked off from Apparition are Azkaban, Hogwarts and Nurmengard.
A variant of Apparition used to transport two or more individuals at once is called Side-Along Apparition. This method may be used by adults seeking to transport underage wizards, or in some cases a licenced individual may use this method to transport an injured party. To perform this version of Apparition, the more able party Apparates with the other party holding onto their arm. This method is recommended by the Ministry of Magic for parents with underage children to escape from danger quickly. For the party who is unable to Apparate, they must hold onto the other as tightly as possible. House-elves are capable of performing Side-Along Apparition as well.
Side-Along Apparition can also be forced, as when Death Eater Yaxley grabbed onto Hermione Granger's arm when she, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley escaped from the Ministry of Magic in 1997. He was transported with her when she Disapparated to 12 Grimmauld Place and she was only able to escape by shaking his grip with a Revulsion Jinx and Disapparating again. Later that year, Fenrir Greyback captured Harry and dragged him along when Disapparating towards the Malfoy Manor. Harry found it impossible to break free of this forced Side-Along Apparition.
House elves can also Apparate, and are able to even in places in which wizards are prevented from doing so, such as Hogwarts and 12 Grimmauld Place. Dobby apparated to and from the Hogwarts hospital wing to visit Harry in the Chamber of Secrets. In 1998, when Harry, Ron, Luna, Dean, Griphook and Ollivander were imprisoned in the Malfoy Manor cellar while Hermione was being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange, Dobby arrived to rescue them. He first took Luna, Dean and Ollivander to safety by Disapparating to Shell Cottage with them, then returned to rescue the others.
Phoenixes are capable of a form of Apparition, disappearing and reappearing by a flash of flames. Like the variant demonstrated by house-elves, phoenixes are not hampered by any restrictions that normally prevent wizards from doing so, and they can even carry other people with them.
Licence to Apparate
A Licence to Apparate is required to practise Apparition legally; this can be gained from the Department of Magical Transportation. One must be at least seventeen years old to obtain such a licence. Lessons in Apparition are available, for an additional charge, to students who are or will be of legal age when the next test is administered. This is similar to Muggle schools where road instruction for driving licences is available, but at an additional charge.
While it is physically possible to Apparate without a licence, it is not advisable, because injury could result. Splinching can occur when one has insufficient determination to reach one's goal, causing certain body parts to fail to arrive at the destination with the wizard. For example, Susan Bones's leg when she accidentally Splinched herself during an Apparition lesson; although it was successfully reattached, she was left shaken by the incident. Splinching also occurred in 1997 to Ron Weasley after Disapparating from 12 Grimmauld Place. Ron Weasley also failed his first Apparition test because his examiner saw he had lost half of his eyebrow at the last minute. In cases of unlicenced Apparition when injury results, the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad can level heavy fines. In cases where splinching occurs, if the victim has not been treated properly, the injury can be much more serious, such as when Ron Weasley suffered severe blood loss after splinching away part of his upper arm while escaping from 12 Grimmauld Place in 1997. However, Harry Potter successfully Apparated multiple times without a licence between June 1997 when he brought Albus Dumbledore back to Hogsmeade village by Side-Along Apparition and the end of the Second Wizarding War.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, students in their sixth year can sign up for Ministry of Magic Apparition lessons. Those who turn seventeen before the first Apparition Test date have the opportunity to take additional practise sessions in Hogsmeade. Those who's birthday is not before the original date have the option of taking the test at a latter period. In order to acquire the licence, one must prove they are able to apparate flawlessly, and even the slightest mistake (whether splinching even the slightest or missing the target location) will result in failure for the test.
An Anti-Disapparition Jinx can be used to prevent a wizard from Disapparating from a location. Hogwarts has an Anti-Disapparition Jinx cast upon it for most occasions, and when Harry, Ron, and Hermione Apparated into Hogsmeade shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts, an Anti-Disapparition Jinx was placed on the wizarding village by the Death Eaters to keep the trio trapped there.
There is a method of teleportation used by house-elves which is not influenced by the jinx, as they are bound by more powerful magic requiring them to appear whenever their master calls. However, it may be the case that all known Anti-Disapparition Jinxes work only on humans, for it has been bypassed by creatures such as house-elves and phoenixes. Portkeys can also be used to access or depart from locations bound by an Anti-Disapparition Jinx.
Apparition is derived from the word "Appareo" which is Latin for "appear" or "I become visible".
Behind the scenes
- One of the many reasons the Ministry of Magic requires that witches or wizards hoping to Apparate have a licence is so that they cannot Apparate into a muggle bank and steal all the money therein.
- Charles Weasley took his Apparition test twice, having Apparated on top of an old lady doing her shopping five miles south of his intended destination the first time.
- Ron Weasley failed his first Apparition Licence Exam when he splinched half his eyebrow off.
- Albus Dumbledore took Harry Potter to Horace Slughorn's hideout by means of Side-Along Apparition. Harry later returned the favour by Apparating to escape a seaside cave with an injured Dumbledore on his arm.
- Harry technically broke the law during Deathly Hallows since he had not taken the test. However the nature of the situation means he likely would not have faced charges. At the same time, he was the most wanted wizard in Britain after the Ministry of Magic fell to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, so if he had been caught Apparating, it wouldn't have been the worst of his troubles.
- In the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 game, Harry is given the ability to Apparate, yet he never passed his tests. But, as explained above, given the events of him being the most wanted wizard, it would not be the worst of his troubles.
- In some translations The Three Ds have been translated to non-canonical words (meaning it's not the correct translation), e.g. 'Deliberation' has been translated to 'Dimension' for the Danish version, despite meaning a whole other thing. This is done to keep The Three Ds.
- The ability of Yaxley in Deathly Hallows being able to force Side-Along Apparition by merely holding Hermione's arm, suggests that Apparition may use the same form of magic utilised in Portkeys, as the only requirement for travel via a Portkey is to touch the Key itself. This may be incorrect however, as Portkeys are not affected by Anti-Apparition Jinxes, though this could be because the jinx is set to only work on the specific spell used when Apparating, and is not attuned to the Portus spell.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry and Dumbledore Apparated at the Astronomy Tower, seemingly contradicting the fact that no one can Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts. Harry mentioned it to Dumbledore, to which Dumbledore replied, "Well, being me has its privileges". The original script explains this further, having Dumbledore perform a spell upon re-arrival at Hogwarts, explaining to Harry that he is "closing the window" that allowed them to Apparate. Furthermore it is also said that the Headmaster was able to lift and put back the Anti-Apparition Charm and the Anti-Disapparition Jinx.
- Although it is seen, the term "Apparition" is not mentioned in the films until film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it is possible that Inter-country Apparition has been outlawed due to extreme Splinching.
- It may be possible there are different variations of Apparition, like flying or randomly appearing out of nowhere.
- The instance of some variations of Apparition appearing to effectively be flying (Death Eaters and Order of the Phoenix members), contradicts the magical law that a wizard cannot fly without a charmed vehicle such as a Broomstick.
- In the final film, Voldemort can Apparate during the Battle of Hogwarts but it can be explained showing the fact that he and his Death Eaters broke all the protections, because Harry, Ron and Hermione couldn't Apparate into the castle earlier.
- Draco Malfoy appeared to have been able to Apparate inside of Hogwarts as well, as he apparently apparated in one of the corridors, grabbed Gregory Goyle and Blaise Zabini, then Disapparated again. Again, this could be because the Anti-Apparition Jinx had been broken.
- While Apparition is mentioned by Ron in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before making its first appearance later in the series, the concept of Side-Along Apparition is never mentioned before its introduction in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It is possible that it is not normally allowed, as the Ministry's pamphlets describe it as an emergency measure that is in place in light of the dark events of the time.
- According to Albus Dumbledore, Apparating directly into somebody's home is "as rude as kicking down the front door", implying that there is a societal code of conduct regarding Apparition. It is, however, unknown whether this is Dumbledore's personal opinion or the collective view of the wizarding society. Furthermore, the point is generally moot as most wizarding dwellings have magical protection against unwanted Apparitions.
In the films
In the film adaptations of the series, Apparition differs greatly in deployment from the book series. The appearance of Apparition is also inconsistent between characters and uses.
- Death Eaters are shown physically collapsing into thick black plumes of smoke, shooting off into the sky, and being able to go wherever they want to, while doing this. Even though many people think this is apparition, it is not. It is just an ability that was given to the Death Eaters in the movie series. Voldemort, for example, can fly this way, and also really apparating in the standard way. That shows that flying (black smoke) and Apparating are different things in the movies. In the Order of the Phoenix film, they are also capable of partially turning to black gas, allowing them to emanate it perpetually. Other times, Members of the Order of The Phoenix are seen transforming into thick pillars of white smoke in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries just as Death Eaters did, so this fact either proves or hints at the likelihood that unsupported flight was duplicated. Both Order of the Phoenix members and Death Eaters were able to grab, hold and otherwise physically interact with the world while in their gaseous form, especially while only partially transformed into smoke. In fact, they where shown to physically fight while in their cloud like form, being able to collide with each other hard enough to launch humans several yards or even break through wooden or stone walls. Also, in every film with the Dark Mark in the sky, Death Eaters are shown to be able to use it as a means of fast travel by Apparating inside of its mouth in smoke form and then shooting out of it. This allows them to appear wherever it appears and use it a portal.
- Voldemort performed a combination of this method and unsupported flight in the films. as he and Harry were falling off a cliff in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, resulting in Harry being inside the smoke pillar with Voldemort. This caused the pillar to fly out of control and repeatedly crash through several structures, while inside, it was shown that Harry and Voldemort were in a tiny tube being repeatedly twisted and swirled and even briefly merged, similar to how the inside of Side Along Apparition has been portrayed since the Half-Blood Prince film. In the film version of Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort could teleport in a large whirlwind, which caused the sand on the ground left by Dumbledore's glass to sand spell to fly and circle around inside the whirlwind. He also seemed to feign doing so, both in the book and film, while in the film it is portrayed by him seemingly becoming like wind. This is shown when he vanished in the whirlwind only to possess Harry. He also appeared to do so by turning to black smoke, which he could thin himself out on to become like wind and be invisible, while he was shown talking to Harry telepathically while in this disembodied state. He is also capable of floating and levitating while emanating black gas, as he did during the Deathly Hallows films, while when he was seemingly still physical and tangible, as he could be trapped in electrical wiring, as he did during the film portrayal of the Battle of the Seven Potters.
- Fred and George Weasley, near the beginning of the Order of the Phoenix film, show Apparition as it is shown in the books, by merely appearing out of thin air with a loud noise, usually startling the people around them like Molly Weasley,
- Starting with the Half-Blood Prince movie, Disapparition is portrayed as the subject(s) being twisted and swirled into nothing within a swirling clear haze, accompanied with a loud rustling or rushing sound, while usually ending in a crack, as if the subject(s)t is being sucked into a vortex. Apparition is portrayed in the same manner but in the reverse order, with the subject(s) twisting out of nothing with the same sound and crack. This could be due to the fact since most viewers know how Apparition works, by being twisted about through a tiny tube, that it is portrayed at its beginning and end from that point forward. Inside the tube effect, the subjects are shown to be twisted, swirled and otherwise distorted, which is also shown in one instance of Voldemort collapsing into smoke with Harry in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. This version of Apparition not only is loud, but also sometimes manifests with a gust of wind and thunderous force around the spot the user was.
- In the Chamber of Secrets film, Dobby the house-elf Apparates in the Dursleys' kitchen. There is a loud popping noise (actually Dobby snapping), and Dobby seems to fade away like a rush of slow wind. However, as of the The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, even house-elves, such as Dobby and Kreacher, apparate the same way as humans have done since the Half-Blood Prince film. However, they are able to do so with much less restrictions on distance, focus and are notably immune to the effects on Anti Apparition based magic.
- In the Goblet of Fire film, Arthur Weasley and other members of the Ministry of Magic Apparate quickly after the disturbance caused by the Death Eaters at the Quidditch World Cup match. There are are multiple large, but brief plumes of black smoke shown in the places of each of the Ministry members before they appear. The moment they do appear, they have their wands drawn on Harry, Ron and Hermione and are casting Stupefy at them all at once before Arthur intervenes.
- Similar to the previous instance, during the film portrayal of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, as Lucius takes the prophecy from Harry, a sudden white flash appears behind Lucius, surprising and confusing them both, while Sirius is suddenly behind Lucius and punches him in the face. The white light is similar to that of the glowing white smoke pillars that the Order of the Phoenix members turn into in the film, suggesting that Sirius apparated there in a similar manner to the Ministry of Magic members did in the Goblet of Fire film.
- In the film version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Apparition and Disapparition are again portrayed as being distorted and twisted within a clear haze accompanied by a rustling or rushing sound, as well their usually being a cracking sound. However, Percival Graves is shown slowly walking out of a hazy, distorted vortex as if walking through a portal or door, with the distorted blurred lines of the vortex materialising into the parts of his body. In addition, when Newt Scamander Apparates while leaping off a building, though it is accompanied by a bright flash of bluish-white light.
Somewhat deviating from the books, the way Apparition is portrayed in the films is most likely a stylistic choice made to better suit the visual medium of a film. It could also be explained that the style differs by distance. Short range and/or without needing to change locations immediately, the less intense, black smoke form of the Death Eaters is used. Long range and/or needing to change locations immediately, the more intense twisting into and out of nothingness, the kind which was first used by Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter in the Half , is then used.
In the games
- In the video games, Apparition appears like it does in most of the films; black and white clouds of smoke, and people appear like they are flying to their destination.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 when Dobby Apparates away from Privet Drive, neither the pop, the plop, the sucking-in, the fading away, or the smoke is used. He simply disappears.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Apparition appears like in most of the films and the video games; white and black smoke.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Ron tries Disapparating in the Malfoy's cellar, but fails. Luna mentions Ron's missing wand at this.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 9 (The Development of the Racing Broom)
- ↑ Scholastic Glossary
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Scholastic interview with J. K. Rowling
- ↑ Half-Blood Prince script on the Internet Movie Script Database (archived here)