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Did someone create the tunnel a very long time ago, or did the Room of Requirement create it as soon as Neville and co got hungry?

And how did he get into a tunnel while being in a room starting on the 5th floor or is it just rearranging all the time?

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    Everything's easier when you thinking with portals... – Valorum Apr 1 '16 at 21:16
  • @Richard while this sound great, I don't get why they need a tunnel then? Wouldn't it be easier to wish a portal to Hogsmead instead? – Amabile Scientius Apr 1 '16 at 21:17
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    @AmabileScientius Maybe they didn't think of that – CHEESE Apr 1 '16 at 21:18
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Here's what Neville says to explain the appearance.

"It's quite straightforward, really," said Neville modestly. "I'd been in here about a day and a half, and getting really hungry, and wishing I could get something to eat, and that's when the passage to the Hog's Head opened up. I went through it and met Aberforth. He's been providing us with food, because for some reason, that's the one thing the room doesn't do.

Everything he says seems to point towards the fact that the passage appeared after, when Neville was getting hungry.

As for your secondary question, it is simply logic. One would assume that the passage from the seventh floor would be visible from outside the castle, and Harry and Ron would have noticed it, as the Death Eaters would. The passage jumped right from the 7th floor to Ariana's portrait, like a portal, as @Richard said in his coment above. In answer to your comment in response, they did get a portal to Hogsmeade. Ariana's portrait was the optimal place for the exit of such a portal.

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    Which rather beggars the question of why Draco had to spend an entire year sodding around with a vanishing cabinet when he could have just wished up a tunnel to the outside world. – Valorum Apr 1 '16 at 21:41
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    @Richard Searching on the internet, I can't find any reliable source that says it is, though a few unreliable ones such as comments on blog posts or articles. Might turn this into an ELU question... – Rand al'Thor Apr 1 '16 at 21:55
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    @Richard: never heard it as "beggars the question", but in any case, you're using it to mean "raises the question", which is not what "begs the question" means. Well, originally, in any case. (More and more people are using it as a more forceful expression of "raises the question", so it will inevitably come to mean that, eventually, but meantime, curmudgeons like me will rant and rave.) – Martha Apr 1 '16 at 22:00
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    @Martha begs beggars and raises the question actually all mean the same thing. It's a turn of phrase with slight cultural difference. Begs the question is the same as raises the question. It brings it to the forefront and therefore is begging to be asked. Colloquially speaking. – Escoce Apr 1 '16 at 23:54
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    @Escoce: no, actually, "begs the question" means something like "assumes the question", as in, uses circular reasoning. It's the name of a specific logical error. Using it as a synonym of "raises the question" is, strictly speaking, wrong. – Martha Apr 2 '16 at 1:55
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I think the magical appearance theory is little suspicious. Why Hogsmeade? Why not other shops like Three Broomsticks? Besides, if ROR can make a tunnel up to Hogsmeade on its own, it can make tunnels to anywhere possible. Why then, it did not help Harry escape during HP5, Umbridge's ambush?

I have an alternate theory. I think the passageway was created by Dumbledore during HP3.

You remember the story Dumbledore told the group of 13 during Christmas? That he found the ROR while going to the bathroom? Well, he did not elaborate on that. But I think a curious man like Dumbledore is unlikely to just flush and leave the toilet. He surely discovered the full secret of ROR then.

Now during the events of HP3, Dumlbedore was furious about Dementors guarding every entrances of Hogwarts. I think he understood how vulnerable Hogwarts is at that point. I am not saying he foresaw the exact future of HP7 that time. But Dumbledore obviously is a man who does not like to be trapped. Besides, he made plans for every possibilities. After discovery of ROR, I think he formed a plan to make an escape route in case Demantors go out of hand. Whether he dug the tunnel or asked Abeforth to dig it, cannot say.

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    Technically, the room was full of chamber pots, not toilets - so he didn't flush at all... In order to "discover the secret", he would need to find the room again - and we already know (from the first book) that certain passages and doors only open on certain days of the week, or require tickling. From that "certain days of the year", or "when you have a full bladder" are conditions that don't stretch things too much further, so he may not think there is a secret to discover. Plus, in terms of escape routes, he could just make a Portkey. – Chronocidal May 26 at 14:26
  • I agree Dumbledore did not elaborate on ROR in the books. But just think about how many students already knew about its existence (the hugh pile of hidden things in HP7). I doubt if Dumbledore never got the wind of it. And for the portkey .. its a one time thing not a permanent solution. Also, a portkey is not sufficient for transporting so many students. The only problem is why he did not ask any order members to help dig the tunnel. Well, he is Dumbledore afterall ... secrets and plans ... – Projesh Kumar Roy May 26 at 20:29

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