Fidelius Charm question
This question has no actual answer. I have some ideas of my own, but I want input from others. Can the Fidelius Charm be used to protect a secret that is less...tangible than a location? For example, if a time-traveler wishes to protect the secret that he is from the future, could the Fidelius be used for this? And if it is possible, how would it work?
Obviously, the Secret Keeper would have to know, so our intrepid time-traveler would have to tell at least one person, and they would be the only one able to reveal the secret to anyone. But what if this secret consisting of only knowledge, and not a physical tangible thing, were discovered through good old detective work?
Someone with an exceptionally keen intellect like Hermione might put clues together through observation. Would the charm prevent her from making that final leap of intuition, keeping her perpetually on the cusp of realization (how frustrating for her), or perhaps make her forget the moment she comes to that conclusion? Or would she know the secret, but be unable to tell, because she is not the Secret Keeper?
I'm writing a time-travel story, but I started without adequate planning. I haven't posted a chapter in months. I now have pages and pages of notes, and have started writing again, but I still need to sort a couple of things out. This being one of them.
I would appreciate any ideas/analysis that you may have to throw my way.
Interesting question, and as you say, there is no definitive canon answer.
I used the Fidelius Charm as a crucial plot device in my story, Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle, in a manner very much as you describe.
First of all, I had the Fidelius Charm protecting not a location, but a group. (Specifically, the identities of the group's membership.)
Secondly, I noted that nowhere in canon does it actually say that the Secret Keeper must know the secret! This is generally assumed, and I suspect it's a hole that Rowling would plug if ever asked about it, but since she hasn't, I took advantage of it. I had a Secret Keeper who was unaware of the secret that had been embedded in her.
Yes, I would assume that the Fidelius Charm can be used to protect something less tangible than something like the Potters' cottage or Number 12, Grimmauld Place. I don't think it would keep someone from figuring the secret out, but they wouldn't be able to tell anyone. I think the Fidelius Charm is mostly a means of protecting a secret, and if it were something tangible you were trying to hide, it would make it invisible to those who the Secret-Keeper hadn't told.
But as you said, this isn't addressed in canon, so I could be wrong. Interesting question, I never thought about it before. =-]