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The camouflaged corners and secret spaces of Hogwarts

Hogwarts is big and mysterious and fabulous. It also has some impressive secrets that are only revealed to those in the know, or those who stumble upon them.

The moving staircases in Hogwarts
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

See how many of these hidden Hogwarts delights you spotted in the books.

Gregory the Smarmy

Fred and George Weasley know many of the secret places and pathways at Hogwarts and, in Philosopher’s Stone, they reveal one of them:

‘Anyway, we’ve got to go, Lee Jordan reckons he’s found a new secret passageway out of the school.’
‘Bet it’s that one behind the statue of Gregory the Smarmy that we found in our first week. See you.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Between the trophy room and the Charms classroom

When Ron and Harry nearly get caught by Filch on their way to duel Malfoy (who never showed up – classic Malfoy), they discovered a hidden passageway behind a tapestry near the trophy room.

They ripped through a tapestry and found themselves in a hidden passageway, hurtled along it and came out near their Charms classroom, which they knew was miles from the trophy room.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The girls’ bathroom on the first floor

Moaning Myrtle in her bathroom from the Chamber of Secrets
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Perhaps the most famous of the Hogwarts hidden spaces was the not-so-secret Chamber of Secrets. Although everyone at Hogwarts was definitely made aware of it, nobody knew where it was, who had opened it or how to get inside – until Harry, of course…

…at once the tap glowed with a brilliant white light and began to spin. Next second, the sink began to move. The sink, in fact, sank, right out of sight, leaving a large pipe exposed, a pipe wide enough for a man to slide into.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The Shrieking Shack

The Whomping Willow was planted in Remus Lupin’s first year at Hogwarts, giving him access to the Shrieking Shack and a space where he could recover from the effects of the full moon. Its origins long forgotten, it’s only in the third book that it’s rediscovered.

‘Peter, as the smallest, could slip beneath the Willow’s attacking branches and touch the knot that freezes it. They would then slip down the tunnel and join me.’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Absolutely everything on The Marauder’s Map

Created by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, the Marauder’s Map has almost every secret passageway and doorway marked for those who solemnly swear that they are up to no good.

This map showed a set of passages he had never entered. And many of them seemed to lead –
‘Right into Hogsmeade,’ said Fred, tracing one of them with his finger. ‘There are seven in all. Now, Filch knows about these four –’ he pointed them out, ‘– but we’re sure we’re the only ones who know about these… this one leads right into the cellar of Honeydukes.’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Hogwarts itself

So how exactly do Muggles never accidentally wander into the Hogwarts grounds?

‘It’s bewitched,’ said Hermione. ‘If a Muggle looks at it, all they see is a mouldering old ruin with a sign over the entrance saying DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry and Hermione deliver Norbert to Charlie Weasley at the tallest tower
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

A giant pear

There is one way of making sure that any midnight food craving is satisfied – tickle a pear. No, really. The entrance to the Hogwarts kitchen is behind a painting of a seemingly innocent painting of a fruit bowl; however one can find that if they tickle the pear in the bowl, it will turn into a door handle – allowing the tickler admission to a wealth of magical school dinners.

She seized his arm again, pulled him in front of the picture of the giant fruit-bowl, stretched out her forefinger and tickled the huge green pear. It began to squirm, chuckling, and suddenly turned into a large green door handle. Hermione seized it, pulled the door open, and pushed Harry hard in the back, forcing him inside.
He had one brief glimpse of an enormous, high-ceilinged room, large as the Great Hall above it, with mounds of glittering brass pots and pans heaped around the stone walls, and a great brick fireplace at the other end…
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Room of Requirement

Perhaps the best secret room in the entire school, the Room of Requirement can change itself to match any specific need. It helped Harry and Dumbledore’s Army and even gave refuge at the end to those who remained at Hogwarts in the final year.

‘Dobby knows the perfect place, sir!’ he said happily. ‘Dobby heard tell of it from the other house-elves when he came to Hogwarts, sir. It is known by us as the Come and Go Room, sir, or else as the Room of Requirement!’
‘Why?’ said Harry curiously.
‘Because it is a room that a person can only enter,’ said Dobby seriously, ‘when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker’s needs.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Vanishing Cabinet

While not technically an official Hogwarts secret passage, the Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement quickly became one when Draco Malfoy realised it was linked to another cabinet in Borgin and Burkes. When Montague was thrown inside the cabinet by Fred and George, he could hear voices between the two places, and this gave Draco the idea for bringing the Death Eaters into Hogwarts.

‘The other’s in Borgin and Burkes,’ said Malfoy, ‘and they make a kind of passage between them. Montague told me that when he was stuck in the Hogwarts one, he was trapped in limbo but sometimes he could hear what was going on at school, and sometimes what was going on in the shop, as if the Cabinet was travelling between them, but he couldn’t make anyone hear him…’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Hog’s Head and the Room of Requirement

Harry hides his copy of Advanced Potion-Making in the Room of Requirement
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

When Harry returned to Hogwarts to find Ravenclaw’s lost diadem and Aberforth rescued the three from the Death Eaters alerted by the Caterwauling Charm, Neville appeared from behind Ariana’s portrait in the Hog’s Head. A pub leading into a school: Hogwarts really is the best.

…Ariana was walking back towards them, growing bigger and bigger as she came. But there was somebody else with her now, someone taller than she was, who was limping along looking excited… Larger and larger the two figures grew, until only their heads and shoulders filled the portrait. Then the whole thing swung forwards on the wall like a little door, and the entrance to a real tunnel was revealed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows