"Harry wandered over to the Restricted Section... you needed a specially signed note from one of the teachers to look in any of the restricted books, and he knew he'd never get one. These were the books containing powerful Dark Magic never taught at Hogwarts, and only read by older students studying advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts."

The Restricted Section is an area in the Hogwarts Library, closed off by a rope. Books in this section may be rare, valuable, and/or considered inappropriate for younger students, thus why it is restricted.

The entrance to the Vault of Fear, one of the five Cursed Vaults, was located in the Restricted Section.[1]

Students may only check out a book from this section if they have a note of permission from a teacher.[2][3] The librarian would then retrieve the book for the student.[4]



Tom Riddle, obsessed with immortality even as a student, went into the Restricted Section to research any possibility of acquiring this method. He eventually found the Secrets of the Darkest Art, a book filled with terrifying dark magic, from which he learned the concept and creation of Horcruxes. However, he could not find any documents on the possibility of creating more than one Horcrux, as no wizard in history before him have even thought of such a feat, and feigned his lack of understanding of Horcruxes when he asked Horace Slughorn for an opinion on the matter. It was because of this event that Albus Dumbledore removed all the books with information on Horcruxes from the Restricted Section, ensuring that no future students would be able to walk the same path as Riddle did. He did not, however, destroy these books, instead keeping them in his office, which, about half-a-century later, prevented Hermione Granger from finding the books during the year Harry Potter was trying to retrieve a memory from Slughorn regarding Riddle's questioning of the subject, but was able to acquire said books when she tried a simple Summoning Charm a year later.[citation needed]


During the 1986–1987 school year, Jacob's sibling, along with Tulip Karasu, Barnaby Lee and a third friend, made a plan to get to the Restricted Section to locate the Vault of Fear. The third friend, either Rowan Khanna, Bill Weasley or Nymphadora Tonks made sure to distract Madam Pince. Once Pince was out of the way, the four went to enter the Restricted Section. Before they could, however, they were spotted by Merula Snyde and Ismelda Murk, the former of whom was also attempting to locate the Vault. Jacob's sibling beat Merula in a duel, and they and their friends entered the Restricted Section. The four looked for an entrance to the Vault. Jacob's sibling noticed one book was missing, and inserted the book they had found from the previous Vault there, causing some of the bookshelves to rise and open the entrance to the Vault of Fear.[1]

In the 1987–1988 school year, Rita Skeeter and Jacob's sibling entered the Restricted Section. During the meeting, Rita shared her view towards the Restricted Section, believing it was nothing less than a repository for Dark Magic, going as far as saying that it might as well just have been called an armoury, given the number of tomes that would have potentially catastrophic consequences should they fall into the wrong hands.[5]


"The Restricted Section was right at the back of the library. Stepping carefully over the rope that separated these books from the rest of the library, he held up his lamp to read the titles."
—Harry wanders into the Restricted Section[src]
Library book PS

Harry searching the Restricted Section at night

During the 1991–1992 school year, Harry Potter used his newly-acquired Invisibility cloak to sneak into the Restricted Section during the Christmas holidays. He went at night in order to look for information on Nicolas Flamel, in order to discover Flamel's connection to the Philosopher's Stone. Unfortunately, he picked up a large black book near the bottom of the shelf that began screaming when he opened it. Worried that he would attract unwanted attention, Harry closed the book and ran out of the library.[2]

During the 1992–1993 school year, Hermione Granger entered the Restricted Section using an autograph from Gilderoy Lockhart, who was the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor that year, though the librarian Madam Pince made extra sure of the note, as though suspecting forgery. Inside, she found Moste Potente Potions,[3] which contained instructions on brewing Polyjuice Potion.[4] Hermione subsequently made the advanced Potion, facilitating Harry and Ron Weasley disguising themselves as Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe and entering the Slytherin Dungeon to question Draco Malfoy about the Heir of Slytherin.

During 1994–1995 school year, Harry Potter received Minerva McGonagall's permission to enter the Restricted Section so he could research a way about being able to breathe underwater for an hour to compete in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, but was unable to find anything useful from any of the books.[6]

By the 1996–1997 school year, according to Hermione Granger, she had "been right through the restricted section" in the hopes of looking for information on Horcruxes, but not finding much on the subject matter.[7]

Known books

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 9 (The Vault of Fear)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10 (The Rogue Bludger)
  5. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Side Quest "Rita Returns"
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  8. Rowling Official Website Announcement Regarding Wonderbookdead link, 2018-01-05

Hogwarts Castle
Locations on the fourth floor

Class 67 · Cuthbert Binns's office · Fourth Floor balcony · Fourth Floor Corridor · Fourth Floor hospital tower corridor · Hogwarts Library · Disused classroom · Restricted Section · Study Area

Portraits, statues and other artwork located on the fourth floor

Barking Mad Male Gargoyle · Brutus Scrimgeour · Edward Rabnott · Hengist of Woodcroft · Landscape with trees · Temeritus Shanks