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Thread: Changing of a Secret Keeper?

  1. #1

    Changing of a Secret Keeper?

    "An immensely complex spell involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find -- unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it" (PoA, Flitwick)
    So we all know only the Secret Keeper can give the whereabouts of the people/place they are protecting. We also know that if the Secret Keeper dies, anyone they told in turn becomes Secret Keeper. But how does a Secret Keeper change hands without the original Keeper's death?

    In case you haven't guessed, I'm working on a Sirius fic, and I need figure out a way that Sirius could make Peter Secret Keeper after the Fidelius Charm was cast.

    To clarify:
    The Potter's originally made Sirius keeper. Dumbledore knew, and he or Flitwick was probably the one to cast the spell to begin with. Sirius, James, Lily, and Peter (and Voldemort) were the only people who knew of the switch, since everyone later believed Sirius had still been secret keeper at the time of the Potter's death.

    If Sirius had simply told Peter the location, that wouldn't have been making him Secret Keeper, exactly. And Peter had to be Keeper in order to be able to tell Voldemort the Potter's location.

    So here's the options I came up with:

    a) They cast the Fidelius Charm all over again, this time making Peter Keeper
    (only this time Sirius or Lily or someone could do it without Dumbledore/Flitwicks help)

    b) Sirius goes to see Peter and they do some sort of transfering spell to change the Keeper, so Sirius is in on the Secret but can not give its information to anyone. (this was his whole reason for switching anyway, since he was afraid the Death Eaters could force it out of him and he was a more obvious target)

    or do you have another suggestion? (I know this is a complex spell, but the simpler the better as far as for my story... >_>)

  2. #2
    I actually like option number 2. That can get really good if you think through it properly. I love originality. I think you should make up a spell for it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by x_GinnyPotter_x
    The Potter's originally made Sirius keeper.
    I'm not sure that's accurate. In PoA, Sirius says, "Lily and James only made [Peter] Secret Keeper because I suggested it."

    I don't think that Sirius was ever the Potters' Secret Keeper -- they didn't switch Keepers after making Sirius the Keeper, but when it came time for the Fidelius Charm to be performed, they made Peter the Keeper but told everyone else (even Dumbledore and Remus) that the Keeper was Sirius. And since it was only a week later that Voldemort went after the Potters, probably there wasn't time for anyone to become suspicious.

    As to who performed the charm, I've always thought that it was Lily -- after all, she was supposed to be really good at Charms.

    Here's the link to the Harry Potter Lexicon's information on the Fidelius Charm.

    I don't know if that answers your question -- JKR hasn't told us the specifics of how the Fidelius Charm is performed -- but I'd always assumed that Sirius had never been the Secret Keeper. I hope all that makes sense!

    ~ Abigail

  4. #4
    joybelle423: Yes, I've heard several people say that Sirius was never the Secret Keeper and different pieces of information seem to keep changing how it could be interpreted. I'd always thought Sirius had been the original and then they switched once he realized it was too dangerous for him to have the secret (being a blood traitor with death eater family hating his guts and after his head and such). Plus, I think it would have been more devastating to him if he had taken the saftey of the Potters out of his own hands and delievered it directly to Peter - this would give him the unshakable feeling of guilt and responsability that would lead him to say "I as good as killed them." I can see how he could say this even if he was never actually secret keeper, but I think for emotional depth reasons I'm going to stick with him being keeper at one point.

    Maiamadness: That was actually my original plan, but I started second-guessing myself and thought I'd ask for opinion. Since this is such a vauge and conflicting topic to begin with, I may just stick with the creative way out.

  5. #5
    Canon doesn't say that the Fidelius Charm was performed with Sirius as the Secret Keeper, actually.

    The way that I've always seen the whole event as coming about is like this:

    a) Dumbledore tells Lily and James that Voldemort is after them, and suggests that they use the Fidelius Charm to go into hiding. Dumbledore offers to be the Secret Keeper himself.

    b) The Potters either decline outright and say that they'll choose Sirius or say that they'll think it over, and later on, after approaching Sirius about the whole matter, tell Dumbledore that they'll be going with Sirius.

    c) Sirius either initially accepts the proposal and so they tell Dumbledore and everyone else about this (the Charm has NOT been cast, but this is just preparation), and before the charm is cast (by someone within the select group -- Sirius, James, Lily, Peter), then the switch is made.

    d) A week passes, Peter goes and does his betrayal thing, and the world ends ... so to speak.

    Now, you CAN make a way (originally) for the Fidelius Charm to be switched post-casting on one person, but canon doesn't seem to go very well with this option. (At least, not concerning the situation with the Potters, Sirius, and Pettigrew.)

    ... Gah, I forgot what I was going to say next. Well, if I can remember it, I'll be back.

    EDIT: All right, I found part of what I was looking for. Canon definitely implies that there wasn't so much a "switch" from Sirius to Peter in the Charm as there was just a "change of plans".
    Quote Originally Posted by Prisoner of Azkaban, page 268, UK Hardback Edition
    'Harry ... I as good as killed them,' he croaked. 'I persuaded Lily and James to change to Peter at the last moment, persuaded them to use him as Secret-Keeper instead of me ... I'm to blame, I know it ...'
    So, there doesn't seem as much of a switch really, at least, not as far as this quote implies.

    Plus, I think it would have been more devastating to him if he had taken the saftey of the Potters out of his own hands and delievered it directly to Peter - this would give him the unshakable feeling of guilt and responsability
    Well, I can understand the reason for wanting to make the angst and emotional guilt strong for him, but there doesn't necessarily need to be reasons to INCREASE it ... the guilt is already VERY strong just by what canon implies.

    But, if you are wanting to go with them switching the spell AFTER it's been cast with Sirius as the SK, then I'm sure it can work out all right. If the Fidelius Charm is, as Flitwick describes it, an "immensely complex spell", then there's still bound to be ways to tinker with it. Nothing is completely invincible and whatnot, so you can have an equally "immensely complex spell" that could offer a method of switching.

    And DH has several problems with Fidelius Charm explanations that don't connect well AT ALL with previous explanations in the six other books (or even within Book 7 itself). But, since your situation here doesn't deal so much with the death of an SK, then the problems in DH shouldn't interfere with your plot.


    Fabulous post! 10 points.

  6. #6
    I think that you should go with the first option. The first option gives the readers an additonal view on the storyline.

  7. #7
    I agree that Sirius was never Secret-Keeper, though this quote might be the reason so many people thought the Secret Keepers had been switched:

    Quote Originally Posted by Remus Lupin, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Page 252, UK Edition
    '- unless he was the one... unless you switched... without telling me?'
    Still, this doesn't disagree with the fact that Sirius was never Secret Keeper - he was meant to be the one, but wasn't. What I think happened was that:

    James, Peter, Sirius, Remus and Lily have a long discussion about who should be Secret Keeper - definitely not a decision you make in one day - possibly also asking Dumbledore for his opinion. James turns down Dumbledore's offers to be Secret Keeper - possibly insulted that he doesn't think James's friends are trustworthy enough to be Secret Keeper. The Marauders and Lily eventually decide to make Sirius Secret Keeper, probably a unanimous decision, and at this point I can see Peter going to Voldemort with this information and perhaps a plan evolved here, that as soon as Peter was told the secret, Sirius would be killed, so making anyone who knew the secret, Secret Keeper. Things don't get that far, however, because soon, for reasons unknown (I think it was the fact that Remus was a werewolf and we know that werewolves were recruited by Voldemort), Sirius begins to suspect that Remus may be the traitor (we know that Dumbledore had warned them that someone close to James and Lily was passing information to Voldemort) and goes to James, insisting that he make Peter Secret Keeper instead of himself - James probably asked if Remus had agreed, and I'm positive Sirius said yes, because he didn't WANT Remus to know about the switch and James would have never agreed to it if Sirius had said no, or insinuated that Remus was a traitor. SO. Peter is finally made Secret Keeper and soon - it all ends. So, basically, point is, there was no switch after the charm was cast, IMHO.

    In my opinion, it is impossible to mess with the Fidelius Charm after it has been cast - if it were possible, there would have been a way to, after Dumbledore died, change things around, and make only one person Secret-Keeper.

  8. #8
    Alright, after the several convincing arguments I've heard, I'm going to change my story around so that Sirius was never actually Secret Keeper. You guys definatley have a point, and thinking about it, it would make more sense if Sirius was never actually secret keeper. I may even be easier to write now, in the long run.

    Thanks for all your help!


    P.S. Mods may LOCK & GRAVE

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