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What if there was a penalty for revealing a Fidelius Charms?

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Anarchy, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Anarchy

    Anarchy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    So, I had a shower thought this morning. We see in canon that some pieces of magic have a deeper complexity that is not always apparent.

    Case in point - Lily's sacrifice. Millions of words have been written about this, Lily wanted to trade her life for Harry's, Voldemort says nah, gets rekt. Obscure corner-case magic stuff that no one thinks about. Sacrifice is a powerful thing.

    Then, there's the unbreakable vow. Breaking the vow has a sever penalty, which is death. Breaking your word is a powerful thing, and this exemplifies that. There's a million sayings about not being able to trust a man's word.

    So, what if the Fidelius Charm operated on the same sort of idea? The act of trusting someone is a very powerful thing, trusting someone explicitly, even more so. Perhaps the magic only works at it's full potential when the person casting the spell, and the secret keeper aren't the people being protected by the spell, thus, the whole trusting someone thing. This really isn't an exploration into the beaten topic of "blah blah, why don't they just cast the Fidelius on themselves". So, instead, in fanon, what would the imbedded magical punishment be for someone breaking their trust with the Fidelius Charm. Voldemort likely would have died from the rebounded spell if it hadn't been for his horcruxes. Breaking the unbreakable vow allegedly kills you.

    Would the backlash from giving the secret away be death as well? This is ignoring any physical backlash, since obviously when people found out you spilled the secret, they'll go after you (Sirius). Or perhaps the person would be cursed in some fashion? I feel like it adds an interesting dynamic. Say that it's known that something bad will happen. Wormtail knows that revealing the secret will be very painful, perhaps even deadly for him, but he still tells voldemort, because death is less scary than what he'll do to you to try and extract the information, and what he'll do with your body after he kills you.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  2. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Auror DLP Supporter

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    Yeah. In a world where Hermione managed to (possibly) permanently scar someone for revealing a secret about an underground school club, you'd think there would be a way to maybe stop a secret-keeper from maliciously revealing it.

    Unbreakable vow not to reveal the secret with intent to harm the Potter family, and bob's your uncle.
     
  3. Paranoid Android

    Paranoid Android Groundskeeper

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    It's not really trust if you've ensorcelled someone to be unable to betray you. We've got canon examples of spells require powerful emotions to cast correctly, the Patronus charm, perhaps the Fidelius requires the trust in order to be cast.
     
  4. TRH

    TRH Seventh Year

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    Then if someone else arranged an Unbreakable Vow behind your back and kept you in the dark about it, that might work.
     
  5. Verovir

    Verovir Disappeared

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    If I understand this right, it would kill wormtail, because he was the secret keeper. Voldemort didn't betray anybody, he just acquired information and went to kill Potters. You phrased it strangely there.

    I don't think it works like that. Unbreakable vow kills person after doing the thing he swore not to do, so he would betray a secret and then died, not before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  6. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Minister of Magic

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    I know I've seen the idea in fanon before, but I like the idea that the fidelius REQUIRES trust.

    You can't force someone into being your secret keeper - you don't trust them. You can't have an elf be a secret keeper - you don't view them as your equal, so it isn't trust. Nested fidelius charms, or reciprocating one also don't work, because it's not trust - you're trying to wiggle your way through loopholes.

    Much like the patronus requires happy thoughts, the fidelius requires trust. If the trust isn't present, then you can't make it a secret. It would also be why you can't keep your own secret - it's not really trust, but more self-interest.

    I also really like the idea that the secret can't be forced out of someone, or passed on by accident - veritaserum, the imperius, legilimency, or saying it in your sleep don't count. Torture might count, as you're still willingly giving it up, although you're being forced into being willing. Once again, it adds to the fact that the whole charm is about trust, and the potential to break that trust.

    --

    Originally, I saw this idea in an evil Dumbledore story, so it's a bit tainted, but I liked the idea behind it:
    Passing on a secret is fine, but deliberately passing the spell on to someone your truster wouldn't want is breaking their trust. And breaking a fidelius links you with the secret, like breaking the Laws in the Dresdenverse, it taints your soul.

    Basically, casting the fidelius removes the knowledge from other people - nobody knew the Potters were staying in Godric's Hollow, even if they'd known before the spell was cast. But anyone who recovers that knowledge once the spell is broken also recovers the knowledge of who broke it.

    Everyone who had forgotten the Potters were in Godric's Hollow now, instead, know "the Potters were in Godric's Hollow, until Peter Pettigrew sold them out".

    It makes breaking the fidelius a more serious business, although I'm not overly sure of whether I like the idea or not. Adding in a penalty for breaking trust sort of makes it less about trust, and (again) more about avoiding punishment.
     
  7. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Auror DLP Supporter

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    Well, unless you're a wizard version of a suicide bomber, I guess that would stop most people.

    It's really just another thing in a long list that works as long as you don't ask a lot of questions about it. Then it's all just how you interpret theory, and it's all fun and games until Taure pops in. :)
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    I was a little rambly in my first post, so I just want to clarify that I was just examining Dumbledore's idea of how there's power in certain acts.

    There's power in sacrifice (Lily and Voldemort's killing curse)

    There's power in keeping your word (unbreakable vow)

    There's power in keeping someone's trust (fidelius charm)

    I see where you're coming from Thaumologist and I kind of agree. You don't want someone only keeping a secret under threat of punishment. You'd almost be able to make it into a psychological weapon, were it the case. I think it should be treated more like the unbreakable vow. There are lesser vows that might suffice, but if you need the heavy weapons, you need to get serious. And giving someone your word under penalty of death is as serious as it comes.

    Similarly with the Fidelius, giving someone the secret is a powerful act, and since (theoretically with this post) it has a disastrous effect if you break that person's trust, it should only be used in the most dire of circumstances, both because of how serious the spell is, and also because of (theoretically) how difficult the spell is. So, you wouldn't use the spell if there wasn't anyone you could absolutely trust, and if the situation didn't absolutely warrant it. On a similar tangent, I think the spell also works because there really isn't any positive effects on the secret keeper themselves. They're not getting a powerboost or anything. They have all this trust placed in them, they're a giant target potentially (like Sirius would have had). There's no upside, but they're trusted so implicitly that that is sort of where the power comes from. (no, I won't make a friendship is magic joke).
     
  9. TheTycat

    TheTycat First Year

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    Could the effect of giving or breaking such deep trust be in a person's soul? As we know murder (a powerful act) damages a soul, and regret (a symbolic/emotional reversal) can heal that damage. The Fidelius' foundation of trust is very personal, and breaking it would be an act of betrayal that shakes a person's opinion of themselves and damages them emotionally/spiritually. I prefer this explanation as it's more subtle and doesn't really force a person to keep the secret but still carries consequence.