- "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.
It is unclear whether a wizard or witch requires his/her wand to perform Apparition, but nobody is ever seen using a wand to do so.
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".
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 licensed 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 can also do Side-Along Apparition.
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. 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 help the others.
Licence to Apparate
- Harry Potter: "You have to pass a test to Apparate?"
- Arthur Weasley: "Oh, yes," said Mr. Weasley, tucking the ticket safely into the back pocket of his jeans. "The Department of Magical Transportation had to fine a couple of people the other day for Apparating without a license."
- — Harry's and Mr. Weasley's discussion regarding Apparition[src]
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, then the fatality is much more serious, as Ron Weasley suffered severe blood loss. 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 practice sessions in Hogsmeade.
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 locations 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.
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.
- Albus Dumbledore
- Elphias Doge
- Fred Weasley
- George Weasley
- Arthur Weasley
- Molly Weasley
- Nymphadora Tonks
- Bellatrix Lestrange
- Fenrir Greyback
- Narcissa Malfoy
- Pansy Parkinson
- Lord Voldemort
- Avery Jr.
- Walden Macnair
- Lucius Malfoy
- Severus Snape
- Draco Malfoy
- Ron Weasley
- Hermione Granger
- Wilkie Twycross
- Harry Potter
- Mundungus Fletcher
- Kingsley Shacklebolt
- Susan Bones (Splinched herself)
- Percy Weasley
- Bill Weasley
- Charlie Weasley
- Garrick Ollivander
- Graham Montague
- Bob Ogden
- Sirius Black III
- Remus Lupin
- Barty Crouch Sr.
- Amos Diggory
- Ludo Bagman
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 license 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 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 the 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-Apparation 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.
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.
- 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 into nothing with a loud rustling sound ending in a crack. 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 the 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.
- In the Chamber of Secrets film, Dobby the house-elf Apparates in the Dursleys' kitchen. There is a loud popping noise, and Dobby seems to fade away like a rush of slow wind.
- 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 is a faint flash of violet light shown in the place of the Ministry members before they appear.
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, used by Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter, 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 appears 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)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game