According to Dobby, some folks knew it as the ‘Come and Go Room’, or the ‘place where everything is hidden’.
It wasn’t long before we came to know the most mysterious place in Hogwarts as The Room of Requirement: a very useful nook as it turned out. Here’s everything we ever learned about this secret Hogwarts chamber.
During the Triwizard Tournament, Dumbledore offhandedly mentioned a time he came across a huge bathroom filled with every imaginable size and shape of chamber pot when he needed the loo in the early hours of the morning. In Order of the Phoenix, it was this remark that Harry remembered when Dobby was explaining the Room of Requirement to him for the first time. Could it be that Dumbledore accidentally stumbled upon one of the most exciting parts of Hogwarts castle?
After all, the room only appeared when a person had real need of it – and always came equipped for the seeker’s purpose. Any purpose…
Harry first learned of the ‘most amazing room’ from Dobby, who had used it himself when his house-elf friend Winky was very drunk and needed a place to recover (the room provided antidotes to Butterbeer and an elf-sized bed), and this knowledge proved invaluable to our hero when he used it to assemble Dumbledore’s Army right under the suspicious Professor Umbridge’s nose.
Yes, who could forget when Harry enjoyed a rather tear-stained kiss with Cho Chang after a Dumbledore’s Army meet-up in the Room of Requirement. Well, if there’s anything a teenage boy requires, it’s a bit of affection from a crush.
The beauty of the Room of Requirement was that it adjusted to nuances. Even the Marauder’s Map couldn’t tell you who was inside it. But the room was quite specific in how it responded to the requiree, and those using it must be sure to close all loopholes. For example…
Because the Room of Requirement can turn into pretty much anything, it could be assumed that the room is always different for every user. Of course, sometimes people need the same thing.
For instance, Harry, Draco and even Lord Voldemort all once used the Room of Requirement to hide something; it was later dubbed the place ‘where everything is hidden’. Even more surprisingly, Harry once hid something very close to where Voldemort once did, which brings us neatly on to our next point…
Tom Riddle arrogantly believed he was the only person to have worked the room out, and decided upon it as an excellent place to stow the Horcrux he made of Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost diadem. Oddly enough, Harry came across this very diadem a year before he knew it was a Horcrux, while hiding his copy of Advanced Potion-Making from Snape in Half-Blood Prince incredibly close by. Harry only realised during the Battle of Hogwarts. He probably would’ve kicked himself if he hadn’t been a bit busy.
His breath was loud in his ears, and then his very soul seemed to shiver: there it was, right ahead, the blistered old cupboard in which he had hidden his old Potions book, and on top of it, the pock-marked stone warlock wearing a dusty, old wig and what looked like an ancient, discoloured tiara.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Draco spent most of his sixth year in the Room as part of a plan concocted on Voldemort’s orders to murder Dumbledore, as we all too tragically know.
Using the Vanishing Cabinet, which languished in there for some years before Malfoy discovered it, he created a path between one cabinet and its twin that dwelled in Borgin and Burkes to give Death Eaters unfettered access to Hogwarts.
Draco’s discovery of the room began the domino effect that would eventually lead to Death Eaters storming the castle and the Headmaster meeting his maker.
But it wasn’t until Neville Longbottom needed it that the Room of Requirement truly excelled itself. With Hogwarts under Death Eater control and Neville leading the students in revolt against the Carrows, the room became a safe place for the resistance, providing places to sleep and access to a tunnel out of Hogwarts that could be used to acquire food (if you know your five Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law, you’ll remember the Room itself can’t produce food) and ultimately allowed Harry, D.A. and Order of the Phoenix members into the school to fight Voldemort.
Once Harry had retrieved the diadem Horcrux, the room was overrun by Fiendfyre started by Malfoy’s crony Vincent Crabbe. The flames killed the foolish Crabbe, but Ron suspected the Fiendfyre was so powerful, it might have damaged forever the room that wizards need most.
‘Where’s Ginny?’ he said sharply. ‘She was here. She was supposed to be going back into the Room of Requirement.’
‘Blimey, d’you reckon it’ll still work after that fire?’ asked Ron.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows