However, if we could only pick a handful of locations to pay a fleeting visit to, these are the ones we’d be debating between.
What about the other common rooms, we hear you cry? Well, as we saw the most of Gryffindor’s during the books, we’ve opted for this one – plus Fred and George’s raucous parties could probably not be beaten by the other houses. Yes, this room full of squishy arm chairs and roaring log fires was the scene of scraps and snogs and of a hundred rambunctious all-nighters, and we want nothing more than to approach the Fat Lady, say something weird, and be admitted into that noisy, wonderful sanctuary. We’d even accept the possibility of being turned into a canary, sharing our room with a rat-shaped turncoat, or being visited by an escaped prisoner from Azkaban in the middle of the night. It’d be worth it for those squishy chairs.
First of all, Fang was there most of the time, and even if he was large and slobbery, we can all agree that a room with a dog in it is invariably better than a room without. Hagrid’s hut was something of a haven for Harry throughout his long years at Hogwarts; somewhere he could escape from the familiar flick of eyes to his forehead, and break his teeth on rock cakes in peace.
Sure, it was occasionally home to writhing barrels of mealworms, or dragons, but it was also home to Hagrid, the most soothing half-giant in all the land. Hagrid’s hut might have been a bit small and bit out of the way, but it was also more home to Harry than most of the places he rested his head, even if the trade-off was sometimes having to eat stoat sandwiches.
If a venue is sealed off by a secret password and a magically moving staircase, you know it has to be special, and Dumbledore’s secret abode was no exception. Tucked away up a tower, Dumbledore’s office was home to even more magic and mystery than the rest of Hogwarts.
Left to our devices in there, we’d be certain to have a cheeky dive inside his Pensieve, and hang out with Fawkes, of course. So perhaps it’s good that it was password protected. We’d have also relished the opportunity to have a word with the oil-renderings of past headmasters or convince the Sorting Hat to put us in another house, just for kicks.
One thing was certain: of all the teachers’ offices Harry had visited so far this year, Dumbledore’s was by far the most interesting. If he hadn’t been scared out of his wits that he was about to be thrown out of school, he would have been very pleased to have a chance to look around it. It was a large and beautiful circular room, full of funny little noises. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke. The walls were covered with portraits of old headmasters and headmistresses, all of whom were snoozing gently in their frames. There was also an enormous, claw-footed desk, and, sitting on a shelf behind it, a shabby, tattered wizard’s hat – the Sorting Hat.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Much of being a prefect sounds about as fun as a singalong with a Mandrake, but between the prefects’ carriage on the train and the prefects’ bathroom, the elite segregated spaces might just about have made it worth it. Hogwarts positions itself as a meritocracy, but there’s nothing fair about the comparison between the prefects’ bathroom and the one for the ordinary witches and wizards of the school. On the one hand, you have rainbow-hued bubbles, perfumed water and a bath the size of a classroom; on the other hand, dingy sodden spaces populated by trolls, spiders and giant, murderous snakes.
At least they both have Moaning Myrtle, though.
About a hundred golden taps stood all around the pool’s edges, each with a different-coloured jewel set into its handle. There was also a diving board. Long white linen curtains hung at the windows; a large pile of fluffy white towels sat in a corner, and there was a single golden-framed painting on the wall. It featured a blonde mermaid, who was fast asleep on a rock, her long hair fluttering over her face every time she snored.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
There’s no competition, really, since how could any other room possibly contest a space that becomes whatever you want it to? Pay the mere price of pacing backwards and forwards while thinking hard, and you’d be rewarded with the location of your wildest dreams: a safe space to practice magic, a place in which to hide a secret item or – in our case – a sunny beach on the shores of a sea made of Butterbeer, populated only by Dobby, serving treacle tart with a smile.
It was one aspect of the castle that we can’t help but feel was somewhat underused – because once you knew it was there, surely you’d never want to leave?
To explore the many states of the Room of Requirement, we've reimagined them all for you here.
‘Oh, I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts’ secrets, Igor,’ said Dumbledore amicably. ‘Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon – or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire