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We know that the Department of Mysteries is one of the most secretive and dangerous departments in the Ministry of Magic. People who work there are sworn to secrecy and known as Unspeakables. You'd have thought that the security of such an off-limits area would be fairly tight. Yet when Harry turns up he is able to simply walk inside.

Harry turned toward the plain black door. After months and months of dreaming about it, he was here at last...
[...]
He turned to face the door and walked forward. Just as it had in his dream, it swung open and he marched forward, leading the others over the threshold.
(Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 34, The Department of Mysteries).

Were there no defensive charms or security spells in place to protect the Department of Mysteries from unvetted outsiders? If not, the Gryffindor commonroom was better protected. At least that had a password! Or can it be assumed at there were defensive spells in place but that these had already been disabled or overridden by the Death Eaters?

Non-Ministry staff have to submit to an inspection at the security desk on arrival. However, it'd be easy to gain admission to the Ministry by claiming to be visiting another department but then actually go down to the Department of Mysteries. Another option would be to go the Ministry at night and simply evade the security personnel, as Nagini did. The rotating hallway offers some security by disorientating outsiders. This merely confuses people, though; it doesn't stop them from entering. Harry and co were able to find the room they were looking for after a while through trial and error. I'm interested in if there's any additional security that applies to the Department of Mysteries and its entrance beyond what's listed here.

The fact that the Order of the Phoenix spent a considerable amount of time trying to guard the DoM entrance may be suggestive. They clearly felt that the prophecy was vulnerable on some level.

Are there any security measures that protect the Department of Mysteries? If there are, why didn't Harry run into them? If there aren't, why did the Ministry not consider its secretive department worthy of any protection?

  • 6
    The Dark Lord asking for some tips!? :) – user68699 Mar 5 '17 at 18:57
  • LOL! Yes, he didn't go inside that day because he feared that he might lose his body again. If he knows, better... – Captain Cold Mar 5 '17 at 19:08
  • I think it may have been so deep within the MoM that they felt additional security was not needed as the higher levels would have caught any intruders, however they were clearing wrong... – Skooba May 5 '17 at 20:19
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Answering part two - If there aren't, why did the Ministry not consider its secretive department worthy of any protection?

Because most of the secrets are useless and dangerous.

The vast majority of things the DOM studies are not valuable but merely mysterious.

For example, say one secret, the Prophecies: First off:

"Only the people to whom they refer can lift [prophecies] from the shelves without suffering madness ..."

While it's unclear if this is a security charm or something inherent in the prophecy, this example illustrates well why charms aren't needed. A prophecy is inherently useless except for the one who its about. And if someone else needed it the charm would be enough to stop him.

Say another example: The veil of death. This is self-explanatory why protection isn't needed - you touch it, you die.

One more example: Time. Here, although Time-Turners are valuable, any wizard who messes with time will face severe consequences, both natural and legal. (And that's without bringing in Cursed Child.)

Thus, in most of these cases, although the subject matter is interesting, they are not inherently valuable, and those that are, are inherently dangerous, thus resulting in little to no need for security.

  • As you say, many of the things in the Department of Mysteries are dangerous. Surely that'd be a sound reason for the Ministry to have stringent security rather than allowing randomers to come in and put themselves in danger? – The Dark Lord Sep 11 '17 at 23:34
  • @TheDarkLord If you have a lion, you don't need that much security, particularly if you aren't that concerned with an intruders health. Same principle here. – TheAsh Sep 11 '17 at 23:39
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You would think that the Ministry of Magic would have complex enchantments and they probably do but these enchantments are not mentioned anywhere. The MoM does have a security department and guards in sensitive areas. And as all workers at the MoM have been to Hogwarts, they would all have basic combat skills to defend themselves if necessary.

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