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Who was permitted to be in the Restricted Section? If the books were not to be read by students why not place the books in a more secure location, perhaps the headmaster's office etc. Or were certain students allowed to borrow books from the Restricted Section with the permission of a teacher?

So did certain students have access to the restricted section?

This is a different question to the one posed by 'silverpaw', asking what is highlighted in bold.

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    harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Restricted_Section - It is possible that after students reach a certain age, they no longer need a signed note to access the Restricted Section, as in her sixth year Hermione Granger says she's "been right through the restricted section" when looking for information on Horcruxes, and as it is unlikely any professor would give her a note to research a banned subject at Hogwarts, it is likely she didn't need one [nor did] Tom Riddle from roughly 50 years earlier, when he too was researching on Horcruxes in the same section at about the same age as Hermione." – Valorum Jul 27 '16 at 20:03
  • didn't we see evidence of needing instructor permission to get into the restricted section? The note allows you in the section. Does that not answer the question? Or are you asking if some students had a blanket, all access type pass? – NKCampbell Jul 27 '16 at 20:03
  • @Valorum, What you just commented would classify as an acceptable answer, if you had wished to post there. – Kronos Jul 27 '16 at 20:07
  • @LordSalizar - Nah. Copying and pasting from the wiki ain't my style. – Valorum Jul 27 '16 at 20:08
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    @LordSalizar he has, all of the reputation money can by – Himarm Jul 27 '16 at 20:12
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TL;DR; Students appear to be able to get permission to browse the restricted section at later years, not just to check out specific books. Permission does appear to be needed from a teacher even at later years. Idiotic teachers also appear to give permission to young students with no recourse.

Harry wandered over to the Restricted Section. He had been wondering for a while if Flamel wasn’t somewhere in there. Unfortunately, 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. - Philosopher stone(emphasis mine)

This quote heavy implies that has an older Student with permission can look at any book in the restricted section, and need not get note by note approval for each book.

This would fit in nicely for both Hermione and Riddle who were both top of their class and could easily have obtained such access in later years to further their studies.

As year 2 students attempting to get a restricted book, it was most likely better for Hermione to get said specific book listed on her note to not bring too much suspicion down on herself.

There was only one way to get out a book from the Restricted Section: You needed a signed note of permission from a teacher. - Chamber of Secrets

Again it never specifies the note need include the book title.

In year 4 Harry seems to get a note from Professor McGonagall that allowed him to browse in the restricted section

So Harry, thinking that he would soon have had enough of the library to last him a lifetime, buried himself once more among the dusty volumes, looking for any spell that might enable a human to survive without oxygen.However, though he, Ron and Hermione searched through their lunchtimes, evenings and whole weekends – though Harry asked Professor McGonagall for a note of permission to use the Restricted Section, and even asked the irritable, vulture-like librarian, Madam Pince, for help – they found nothing whatsoever that would enable Harry to spend an hour underwater and live to tell the tale. -Goblet of Fire

This shows he had no idea what book he needed, so it was most likely a blanket permission to browse.

  • Good answer. One nitpick "Again it never specifies the note need include the book title." It doesn't, but when Hermione asks Lockhart for permission, she says "I wanted to - to get this book out of the library" and then Ron exclaims "I don't believe it, he didn't even look at the book we wanted." Which heavily implies the usual process, and the note, specifies a specific book. When they give the note to Madam Pince she reads it. "'Moste Potente Potions?' she repeated suspiciously" – Au101 Jul 27 '16 at 21:04
  • Of course, Madam Pince needs to know the book in order to fetch it for them, but she certainly seems to care about the title, as well as the signature. – Au101 Jul 27 '16 at 21:04
  • @Au101 the restricted section does not appear to only be accessible via madam prince fetching it for you only, in year 4 harry appears to be actively searching the restricted section as does hermione jn year 6, only in year 2 did it appear she had to fetch it. Most likely because it was a specific note and book. In year one its simple just a small rope that seperates the restricted section from the rest of the books not behind her desk locked up. – Himarm Jul 27 '16 at 21:26
  • Years 2 are also prob never given permission so she's probably suspicous of a lockhart sig for a potions book – Himarm Jul 27 '16 at 21:27
  • Well I think that's it though, isn't it? In later years you can browse freely (presumably NEWT students only), we assume. Harry got permission to browse freely in 4 because he was a champion, so a special case was made. But before then, you need a signed note and it would usually be for a specific book, or some specific books, which Madam Pince will go and get for you. You're right that the barrier to the restricted section does not appear to be very substantial, but presumably you get in trouble if you're spotted in there as a younger student – Au101 Jul 27 '16 at 21:32
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http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Restricted_Section -

It is possible that after students reach a certain age, they no longer need a signed note to access the Restricted Section, as in her sixth year Hermione Granger says she's "been right through the restricted section" when looking for information on Horcruxes, and as it is unlikely any professor would give her a note to research a banned subject at Hogwarts, it is likely she didn't need one [nor did] Tom Riddle from roughly 50 years earlier, when he too was researching on Horcruxes in the same section at about the same age as Hermione."

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