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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in the beginning of the movie, Harry is taken to the Weasley's house, which is protected by a magical barrier that we clearly see when Harry and Hagrid go through in Hagrid's motorcycle.

Later in the movie, in the wedding scene, the death eaters started attacking the place. How were they able to go through the barrier? In the part 2 film, they were vaporized if they tried to go through and they took a long time to destroy it, good ol'Voldy had to come with all his power and destroy the barrier himself.

How did they manage to go through this one?

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The protection spell around the Burrow just wasn't strong enough to withstand a concentrated effort by the Death Eaters. The book explicitly explains it:

the Death Eaters have got the full might of the Ministry on their side now. They've got the power to perform brutal spells without fear of identification or arrest. They managed to penetrate every defensive spell we'd cast against them, and once inside, they were completely open about why they'd come. -Remus Lupin

Once Voldy and the Death Eaters took control of the Ministry, they didn't have to hide and could use their full strength against all the protective spells around the Burrow.

We don't get details on how the Burrow spells were casted or by who, but we are told by George and Fred that most people, even Ministry of Magic agents, can't cast proper/good shield charms. It takes much skill to do so.

The Hogwarts shield charm was much stronger, being casted by multiple strong shield charm users. And Voldemort, the strongest of the Death Eaters still single handedly broke through it after claiming the elder wand.

  • I do wonder, though, if Voldemort COULD have broken the shield if hadn't had the elder wand at that point. If I recall correctly, when he did that they emphasized the stress it was doing on the wand. – DForck42 Dec 15 '16 at 21:56
  • @DForck42 I'd imagine that the combined forces of the Death Eaters attacking at the same time could do it. – cde Dec 16 '16 at 2:19
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There was no barrier at that point.

The protection spells surrounding The Burrow were due to the combined strength of both the Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry of Magic, although given the relative sizes of the two organisations, it's probably safe to assume that the Ministry did most of the heavy lifting here.

While the wedding was taking place Voldemort assumed control of the Ministry of Magic; the guests are warned of this fact (via Patronus messenger) moments before the Death Eaters arrive. Being in control of the Ministry of Magic provided him with everything he needed to remove the protections surrounding The Burrow, allowing his Death Eaters access to (attempt to) capture Harry.

  • That's what I thought too, but according to Snape (who at this point is suppsed to give Voldemort valid information), "The auror office no longer plays any part in the protection of Harry Potter. Those closest to him think that we have infiltrated the Ministry [which is true]." So it seems the Order protected the Burrow, not the Ministry. So the only reason I could think of is that the Ministry is simply a strong organization, and when you take over it, you have enough power to break any protection. – Walt Dec 15 '16 at 15:13
  • @Walt If we assume that Voldemort is incapable of removing the Ministry's protections until he controls all of it, then him infiltrating parts of the Ministry isn't a problem; those protections will still hold. On the other hand, Harry was at his most vulnerable while travelling between locations, so having even a single person informing him of the plans to transport Harry from Privet Drive to another location would be disastrous. I don't think it's necessarily a contradiction to not have the Auror office involved in Harry's protection, but rely on Ministry protection for locations. – Anthony Grist Dec 15 '16 at 15:19
  • I believe - though would have to check - that the book explicitly states that the Ministry was involved in protecting several locations; I don't know if that's also the case in the movie. Might see if I can get hold of a script later today. – Anthony Grist Dec 15 '16 at 15:23
  • Yeah, what I'm saying is that is seems the Ministry is not invloved in Harry's protection at all in the film. I don't remember anyone saying that it is, and the Order definitely doesn't trust it. (But like you, I think it was a different situation in the book.) – Walt Dec 15 '16 at 15:24
  • (See this answer to a very similar question about the book over at Sci-Fi.SE) – Walt Dec 16 '16 at 0:33

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