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A '''Secret-Keeper''' is a person designated to keep the location of a place a secret by means of the [[Fidelius Charm]]: the secret is kept in their very [[soul]]. The Secret-Keeper is the only person who is capable of revealing the protected information to others, either by informing them orally or by writing it down. This individual will become bound by the Fidelius Charm as well. If a Secret-Keeper dies, all the people already aware of the secret information become Secret-Keepers; this would unfortunately dilute the effect greatly; should all the people who knew of the secret die, then the secret would die with them.
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{{Pottermoreold}}
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The '''Secret Keeper''' is the [[Wizardkind|witch or wizard]] designated to hide a secret by means of the [[Fidelius Charm]]; the secret is embedded in their very [[soul]]. Once a Secret Keeper is selected, the person who told them the secret will find themselves unable to pass the information on again, as the Secret Keeper is the only one capable of revealing the secret, whether orally or written<ref name="PM">''[[Pottermore]]'' - [http://www.pottermore.com/en/book3/chapter17/moment2/secret-keeper New from J.K. Rowling: "Secret Keeper"]</ref>. The Secret Keeper can tell as many people as they like, but they must do so voluntarily and the secret cannot be blackmailed, bewitched or tortured out of them.
   
==Known Secret-Keepers==
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Being a Secret Keeper is a very dangerous position to be in; although it is impossible to bewitch or torture the information out of the Secret Keeper, many have in the past been subjected to the [[Imperius Curse|Imperius]] and [[Cruciatus Curse]]s in attempts to find the secret<ref name="PM"/>.
[[File:Peter-pettigrew.jpg|thumb|[[Peter Pettigrew]], the Secret-Keeper for the [[Potter family]] who betrayed them to [[Tom Riddle|Voldemort]].]]
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*[[Sirius Black]] was the original secret keeper for James and Lily Potter, but Sirius thought Voldemort was on to him (there was a spy), therefore passing on the Secret Keeper to [[Peter Pettigrew]]. [[Albus Dumbledore]] originally offered to be the Potters' secret keeper, but the couple refused on trust of their friends. Pettigrew was then the new Secret-Keeper for [[James Potter I|James]] and [[Lily Evans|Lily Potter]] after they went into hiding during the [[First Wizarding War]] with their infant son [[Harry Potter|Harry]], keeping their whereabouts in [[Godric's Hollow]] a secret. However, Pettigrew was secretly a traitor to the [[Order of the Phoenix]]. He informed [[Tom Riddle|Lord Voldemort]] of the Potters' location, resulting in the murders of James and Lily and Voldemort's first defeat when the [[Killing Curse]] rebounded from Harry. Sirius Black was later believed to have murdered 12 muggles and a wizard in front of more than 50 eyewitnesses, when really Peter Pettigrew had killed them .himself and went into his animagus form (Scabbers) and fled the scene with a missing finger. Sirius Black, however, caught at the scene of the crime, was blamed for the betrayal of Lily and James Potter (not knowing that Peter Pettigrew had really been the betrayer) and imprisoned in [[Azkaban]] for it without a trial.<ref name="POA">''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''</ref>
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If a Secret Keeper dies, all the people already aware of the secret information become Secret Keepers; this would unfortunately dilute the effect greatly; should all the people who knew of the secret die, then the secret would die with them.
*[[Albus Dumbledore]] was the Secret-Keeper for [[12 Grimmauld Place]], the Headquarters of the [[Order of the Phoenix]], until he died in [[1997]]<ref name="HBP">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>, thus making all the members of the Order, along with [[Harry Potter]], [[Ronald Weasley]] and [[Hermione Granger]] the succeeding Secret-Keepers. This forced the Order to abandon it, as they erroneously believed [[Severus Snape]] to be a traitor and he knew the location.<ref name="DH">''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''</ref>
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[[File:DumbledoreCropped.JPG|thumb|[[Albus Dumbledore]], Secret-Keeper for [[12 Grimmauld Place]].]]
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==Known Secret Keepers==
*In [[1997]], after [[Harry Potter]], [[Ronald Weasley|Ron Weasley]], and [[Hermione Granger]] [[Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic|infiltrated]] the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]], they escaped to 12 Grimmauld Place, but [[Yaxley]] grabbed Hermione as the trio [[Apparition|Apparated]] to the house, thus revealing it to him.<ref name="DH"/>
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[[File:Peter_Pettigrew_at_Spinner's_End_03.JPG|thumb|[[Peter Pettigrew]], the Secret Keeper for the [[Potter family]] who betrayed them to [[Tom Riddle|Voldemort]].]]
*In [[1997]] and [[1998]], the Order of the Phoenix used many safe houses, including [[the Burrow]], [[Shell Cottage]], and the [[Tonks house]], all of which were under the Fidelius Charm and maintained by various Secret-Keepers.<ref name="DH"/>
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* [[Sirius Black]] was originally meant to be the Secret Keeper for [[James Potter I|James]] and [[Lily Evans|Lily Potter]], but Sirius thought Voldemort was on to him (he thought that [[Remus Lupin]] was a spy), therefore passing on the Secret Keeper to [[Peter Pettigrew]]. [[Albus Dumbledore]] originally offered to be the Potters' Secret Keeper, but the couple refused on trust of their friends. Pettigrew was then the new Secret Keeper for [[James Potter I|James]] and [[Lily Evans|Lily Potter]] after they went into hiding during the [[First Wizarding War]] with their infant son [[Harry Potter|Harry]], keeping their whereabouts in [[Godric's Hollow]] a secret. However, Pettigrew was secretly a traitor to the [[Order of the Phoenix]]. He informed [[Tom Riddle|Lord Voldemort]] of the Potters' location, resulting in the murders of James and Lily and Voldemort's first defeat when the [[Killing Curse]] rebounded from Harry. Sirius Black was later believed to have murdered twelve [[Muggle]]s and a wizard in front of more than fifty eyewitnesses, when really Pettigrew had killed them himself and went into his [[Animagus]] form and fled the scene with a missing finger. Sirius Black, however, caught at the scene of the crime, was blamed for the betrayal of Lily and James Potter (not knowing that Peter Pettigrew had really been the betrayer) and imprisoned in [[Azkaban]] for it without a trial.<ref name="POA">''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''</ref>
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[[File:Dumbledoree.PNG|thumb|[[Albus Dumbledore]], Secret Keeper for [[12 Grimmauld Place]].]]
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* [[Albus Dumbledore]] was the Secret Keeper for [[12 Grimmauld Place]], the Headquarters of the [[Order of the Phoenix]], until he died in [[1997]]<ref name="HBP">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>, thus making all the members of the Order, along with [[Harry Potter]], [[Ronald Weasley]] and [[Hermione Granger]] the succeeding Secret Keepers. This forced the Order to abandon it, as they erroneously believed [[Severus Snape]] to be a traitor and he knew the location.<ref name="DH">''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''</ref>
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* In [[1997]], after [[Harry Potter]], [[Ronald Weasley|Ron Weasley]], and [[Hermione Granger]] [[Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic|infiltrated]] the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]], they escaped to 12 Grimmauld Place, but [[Yaxley]] grabbed Hermione as the trio [[Apparition|Apparated]] to the house, thus revealing it to him.<ref name="DH"/>
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* In [[1997]] and [[1998]], the Order of the Phoenix used many safe houses, including [[the Burrow]], [[Shell Cottage]], and the [[Tonks house]], all of which were under the Fidelius Charm and maintained by various Secret Keepers.<ref name="DH"/>
   
 
==Behind the scenes==
 
==Behind the scenes==
* [[Severus Snape]] once said that when a Secret-Keeper tells someone the secret, this person is bound by the [[Fidelius Charm]] and cannot tell anyone else.<ref name="HBP"/> However, [[Ronald Weasley|Ron Weasley]] was able to tell [[Dobby]] where [[Shell Cottage]] was, despite the fact that it was under the Fidelius Charm, with [[William Weasley|Bill Weasley]] as the Secret-Keeper<ref name="DH"/>. Possible explanations for the discrepancy are that Ron himself was also a Secret-Keeper, that house-elves such as Dobby have ways around magic protection and concealment, or that the Fidelius Charm was not yet in effect at that time. It is also possible that since an elf's highest law is its master's bidding, Dobby was not bound by the charm.
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*If the Secret Keeper divulges their secret, those he or she informs are also bound by the [[Fidelius Charm]] and therefore cannot tell anyone else<ref name="PM"/><ref name="HBP"/>. Despite this, [[Ronald Weasley]] was able to tell [[Dobby]] the [[house-elf]] where [[Shell Cottage]] was, despite the fact that it was under the Fidelius Charm, with [[William Weasley]] as Secret Keeper<ref name="DH"/>. It is possible that Ron himself was also a Secret Keeper, or that house-elves have ways around such ancient charms that are, after all, without their flaws, and that he was not bound by the charm since it was his master's bidding for him to go there.
* It is unknown if coercion such as [[Veritaserum]] or the [[Imperius Curse]] would reveal the location that the Secret-Keeper is holding, or if the Keeper has to reveal it willingly.
 
* It is unknown how Harry Potter and Hermione Granger found the [[Potters' Cottage]], as Pettigrew was still the Secret Keeper, and he did not tell either of them the house's whereabouts. However, as it was uninhabited and became a memorial, it is likely that Dumbledore lifted the Fidelius Charm after the deaths of the Potters. It could also be assumed that even though he was to young to remember it he may have still become a Secret Keeper because he lived there as a child.
 
   
 
==Appearances==
 
==Appearances==
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*''[[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''
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*''[[Pottermore]]''
   
 
==Notes and references==
 
==Notes and references==
{{reflist}}
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{{Reflist}}
   
 
[[de:Geheimniswahrer]]
 
[[de:Geheimniswahrer]]
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[[Category:Magical contracts]]
 
[[Category:Magical contracts]]
 
[[Category:Secret-Keepers]]
 
[[Category:Secret-Keepers]]
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[[Category:Attack at Godric's Hollow (1981)]]

Latest revision as of 11:57, March 26, 2014

The Secret Keeper is the witch or wizard designated to hide a secret by means of the Fidelius Charm; the secret is embedded in their very soul. Once a Secret Keeper is selected, the person who told them the secret will find themselves unable to pass the information on again, as the Secret Keeper is the only one capable of revealing the secret, whether orally or written[1]. The Secret Keeper can tell as many people as they like, but they must do so voluntarily and the secret cannot be blackmailed, bewitched or tortured out of them.

Being a Secret Keeper is a very dangerous position to be in; although it is impossible to bewitch or torture the information out of the Secret Keeper, many have in the past been subjected to the Imperius and Cruciatus Curses in attempts to find the secret[1].

If a Secret Keeper dies, all the people already aware of the secret information become Secret Keepers; this would unfortunately dilute the effect greatly; should all the people who knew of the secret die, then the secret would die with them.

Known Secret KeepersEdit

Peter Pettigrew at Spinner's End 03

Peter Pettigrew, the Secret Keeper for the Potter family who betrayed them to Voldemort.

  • Sirius Black was originally meant to be the Secret Keeper for James and Lily Potter, but Sirius thought Voldemort was on to him (he thought that Remus Lupin was a spy), therefore passing on the Secret Keeper to Peter Pettigrew. Albus Dumbledore originally offered to be the Potters' Secret Keeper, but the couple refused on trust of their friends. Pettigrew was then the new Secret Keeper for James and Lily Potter after they went into hiding during the First Wizarding War with their infant son Harry, keeping their whereabouts in Godric's Hollow a secret. However, Pettigrew was secretly a traitor to the Order of the Phoenix. He informed Lord Voldemort of the Potters' location, resulting in the murders of James and Lily and Voldemort's first defeat when the Killing Curse rebounded from Harry. Sirius Black was later believed to have murdered twelve Muggles and a wizard in front of more than fifty eyewitnesses, when really Pettigrew had killed them himself and went into his Animagus form and fled the scene with a missing finger. Sirius Black, however, caught at the scene of the crime, was blamed for the betrayal of Lily and James Potter (not knowing that Peter Pettigrew had really been the betrayer) and imprisoned in Azkaban for it without a trial.[2]
Dumbledoree

Albus Dumbledore, Secret Keeper for 12 Grimmauld Place.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • If the Secret Keeper divulges their secret, those he or she informs are also bound by the Fidelius Charm and therefore cannot tell anyone else[1][3]. Despite this, Ronald Weasley was able to tell Dobby the house-elf where Shell Cottage was, despite the fact that it was under the Fidelius Charm, with William Weasley as Secret Keeper[4]. It is possible that Ron himself was also a Secret Keeper, or that house-elves have ways around such ancient charms that are, after all, without their flaws, and that he was not bound by the charm since it was his master's bidding for him to go there.

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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