In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and the DA practice in the Room of Requirement. The room has the ability to change even while you're inside it - for example, there was an instance in which Harry suddenly thought I could really use a whistle, and then he looked and there was a whistle nearby.

At one point, the DA is practicing spells and we get this little note:

After ten minutes on the Impediment Jinx, they laid out cushions all over the floor and started practising Stunning again. Space was really too confined to allow them all to work this spell at once; half the group observed the others for a while, then swapped over.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - p.401 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 21, The Eye of the Snake

My question is, if the room has the ability to change even while you're inside it, why wasn't there enough room? Why didn't it just expand or something? I'm pretty sure we know it can expand since in Deathly Hallows, it expands as more students come to stay there and the restrooms expanded etc.

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    Because having half practise at once was all that was required. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:41
  • I've edited in the quote for you :)
    – Au101
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 20:10
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    @Mithrandir not to a Brit. In British English (and I was using the Bloomsbury edition) practice is the noun (you need more practice, choir practice, dental practice, practice makes perfect, etc. etc.) and practise is the verb (you need to practise, go and practise the piano, I was up all night practising, I practise dentistry in my dental practice, etc. etc.)
    – Au101
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 20:14
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    It was probably better that the students got to watch the spell be performed. Not only could you pick up techniques from your peers, but also if you were doing something wrong they'd more easily notice. Not to mention it's nice to take a break every once in a while. The Room was probably doing them a favor. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 20:27
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    the room cannot change while you're inside of it, or at least there is a limit to how much it can change, as seen in the last book when Harry makes Ginny leave so that the room could change to the location where Voldemort hid the tiara
    – user13267
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


It's a really good question.

The magic of the room is a little ill-defined, so I don't think it's possible to get a more satisfying answer than this canon quote from Seamus Finnigan:

'It's a proper hideout, as long as one of us stays in here, they can't get at us, the door won't open. It's all down to Neville. He really gets this Room. You've got to ask it for exactly what you need - like, ''I don't want any Carrow supporters to be able to get in'' - and it'll do it for you! You've just got to make sure you close the loopholes! Neville's the man!'

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.465 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 29, The Lost Diadem

So it seems it's not a pure mind-reader, there's a bit of an art to getting the best out of the Room.

We see in Order of the Phoenix Harry wants a whistle and spots one, we see later in The Deathly Hallows that they needed brooms and then there were brooms. So it's clear that the Room can help you out on the fly, yes. But I think the thing is, the Room was good enough as it was. To get more out of it, you have to have that intuition about how to ask for it.

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