"They were standing in a large, circular room. Everything in here was black including the floor and ceiling; identical, unmarked, handleless black doors were set at intervals all around the black walls, interspersed with branches of candles whose flames burned blue; their cool, shimmering light reflected in the shining marble floor made it look as though there was dark water underfoot."

The Room of Doors[1] was a circular room in the Department of Mysteries. It was located on the ninth level of the Ministry of Magic in Whitehall, London. Many doors led off of this room to other places within the Department.


Department of Mysteries

The corridor leading to the Department of Mysteries; through that door was the circular Entrance Room

This chamber was a large, circular room where everything was black. There were twelve identical, unmarked, handleless black doors set at intervals around in the walls. It had a highly polished black floor that looked almost like standing water. Whenever a door closed, the walls would rotate, making it impossible to determine which door was which.[2]

The room was dimly lit by blue flamed branches of candles that hung on the walls. Whenever one of its doors was shut, the room's walls would rotate, disorienting its occupants for several seconds. This was presumably a security device to keep non-employees of the department from reaching a desired room. The room responded to a verbal request for an exit by opening the correct door.[3]

There were twelve doors leading off the Entrance Room, and some of the chambers that the doors led to included:


Early History

Not much was known about this room before 1996, but it was presumably where the Unspeakables (employees of the Department of Mysteries) would enter before entering the room in which they worked.

Search for Sirius

In 1996, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood arrived in the Department of Mysteries in search of Sirius Black. They entered a door at the end of the corridor Harry had been dreaming about for months, and the six Dumbledore's Army members found themselves in the Department of Mysteries's entrance room, a circular room with twelve identical doors. Harry was unsure of which door to choose, and as soon as the door behind them closed, the walls of the room rotated. When the doors came to a standstill, the group entered through one them, but this turned out to be the Brain Room, a room with a large tank full of floating brains, and so they went back into the Entrance Room.

"She drew with her wand in midair and a fiery X appeared on the door. No sooner had the door clicked shut behind them than there was a great rumbling, and once again the wall began to revolve very fast, but now there was a great red-gold blur in amongst the fait blue, and when all became still again, the fiery cross still burned, showing the door they had already tried"
Hermione Granger's clever idea to use the Flagrate spell[src]
Veil - Death Chamber

The veil in the Death Chamber

Intelligently, Hermione cast the Flagrate spell on the door they came out and labelled it with a fiery X, so that they would know they had already looked through that door when the room span once more. The next room they tried was the Death Chamber, a large stone amphitheatre with an ancient stone archway on a raised dais at the centre. On the archway was a tattered veil fluttering in some unseen wind. Hermione, in particular, seemed frightened, and called Harry back to the circular room.
Prophecy copy

Harry holding the prophecy about him and Voldemort

The next doorway refused to open; Harry used Sirius' knife that would "open any door", but the door remained shut and the knife's blade melted away. Going through the next door they chose, Harry recognised the sparkling, shimmering light from his dreams: the Time Chamber. Passing through this room, they reached the huge chamber containing the shelves loaded with glass orbs that Harry recognised from his dream: the Hall of Prophecy. The students were ambushed by Death Eaters in this room, and ended up fleeing through multiple chambers in the Department.

Battle of the Department of Mysteries

"Very good, Potter. Now tun around, nice and slowly, and give that to me"
Lucius Malfoy announces his presence as the Death Eaters ambush the students[src]
Harry, Neville, and Hermione were separated from Luna, Ron, and Ginny as they went into the Time Room. They sealed the door behind them and hid under the desks. Two Death Eaters, Rabastan Lestrange and Crabbe entered the hall; Harry stunned Crabbe and Lestrange tried to kill Hermione. Harry knocked Rabastan down, and Neville, while disarming the Death Eater, disarmed Harry as well. Neville, attempting to stun the Death Eater, hit a rack full of Time Turners. Lestrange first found his wand and tried to stun Harry, but Hermione stunned him. As they tried to get into the circular entrance room, two more Death Eaters appeared and they veered into a side office, where the battle recommenced.

Antonin Dolohov firing curses alongside Lucius Malfoy at Harry and Sirius for during the battle

Harry and Neville (dragging Hermione, who had become incapacitated by a curse by Dolohov) entered the circular room, where they found Luna, Ginny with a broken ankle, and Ron hit by a curse that made him act drunkenly. As they searched for an exit (Hermione's fiery Xs having faded away) several Death Eaters entered, including Bellatrix Lestrange, and started attacking them. During the ensuing fight, Harry found himself in the Brain Room and then back in the room with the Veiled Arch, and a few moments later the Order of the Phoenix arrived to help in the fight. In the ensuing conflict, Bellatrix killed Sirius by hitting him with a spell that knocked him through the Veil.
"He wrenched upon the door into the circular black hall and saw Bellatrix disappearing through a door on the other side of the room; beyond her was the corridor leading back to the lifts. He ran, but she had slammed the door behind her and the walls had begun to rotate again. Once more he was surrounded by streaks of blue light from the whirling candelabra. "Where's the exit?" he shouted desperately, as the wall rumbled to a halt again. "Where's the way out?" The room seemed to have been waiting for him to ask. The door right behind him flew open, and the corridor toward the lifts stretched ahead of him, torch-lit and empty. He ran..."
—Harry pursuing Bellatrix through the Department of Mysteries[src]

Enraged because Bellatrix killed his godfather, he ran after her through the Brain Room, ducking her curses. Bellatrix ran through the circular chamber into the hallway with the lifts. Harry followed, but the door slammed behind her and the room's walls were already spinning. In desperation, he asked the room "Where's the way out?" and a door behind Harry popped open, revealing the hallway. Hearing a lift clattering upwards, Harry pressed a call button for another lift. He then took a lift to the Atrium and witnessed the Duel in the Ministry Atrium between Lord Voldemort and Albus Dumbledore themselves.

Behind the scenes

  • The Entrance Room, as well as the Brain Room, the Love Chamber, the Space Chamber, and the Time Chamber, were omitted from the film version.


Notes and references

  1. See this early script of the fifth film.
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 34 (The Department of Mysteries)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)

Department of Mysteries
Level 9, Ministry of Magic
Hall of Prophecy · Death Chamber · Brain Room · Time Room · Space Chamber · Love Chamber
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