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Who put one in Hogwarts and the other in the shop? They were both there since the beginning in H.P.C.S, probably even before then. One, Harry tried to hide inside when he's hidding from the Malfoys.

H.P.C.S Chapter 4 page 50

Harry looked quickly around and spotted a large black cabinet to his left; he shot inside it and pulled the doors closed, leaving a small crack to peer through. Seconds later, a bell clanged, and Malfoy stepped into the shop.

The other was inside Hogwarts as peeves smashes it

Filch was looking triumphant. “That vanishing cabinet was extremely valuable!” he was saying gleefully to Mrs. Norris. “We’ll have Peeves out this time, my sweet —”

H.P.C.S Chapter 8 page 28

Where they both in their respective places for years? Since Voldemort first gained power? Vanishing cabinets were very popular at that time. Was it there in case death eaters stormed the castle? So the staff or students could have a quick get away? But that doesn't make much sense, as that would take a long time to evacuate a large amount of people. Does anyone know when and why they were there in the first place?

  • No answers or thoughts? Did JKR ever comment on this? – Flitoangel Feb 11 '18 at 2:38
  • I'd guessed some kid brought it to school for shenanigans, that cabinet got broken and hid in (or moved to when tidying) the ROR, and the matching one sold on (perhaps repeatedly) till its origins were forgotten. But no proof, it was just my guess. – Megha Feb 11 '18 at 9:39
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Possibly for Contingencies

As you can see in book six, Vanishing Cabinets are extremely potent objects, as it rendered the Anti-Apparation wards of Hogwarts about as powerful as buttermilk. Therefore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts could have meant to use it in case of an unforeseen contingency during the First War. That means the other Cabinet should have been connected to a safehouse of the Order of the Phoenix or perhaps, even a public apparition point.

This is quite a stretch, but, if it was the latter, it follows that a Death Eater's son or daughter reported back info regarding the Cabinet. Thus, the Death Eaters found out, and sought to undo this escape route. But before that, Voldemort gets defeated by child Harry, and the Death Eaters run for their lives.

If it was the former, then Pettigrew could have found out about this and reported it back to the Death Eaters.

In both cases, the knowledge lay forgotten, until it was dug up when Voldemort comes back in Harry's fourth year. Either way, the Death Eaters somehow get their hands on the other Cabinet, bring it to B&B's and wreak their own brand of havoc.

This isn't canon, just reasoning and speculation.

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    This doesn't seem likely to me. Malfoy himself says that he was the first one to figure out that the cabinets were linked. – The Dark Lord Feb 11 '18 at 7:18
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    @Mr.Riddle Filch believes it to be valuable (as an ancient piece of furniture can be), not useful. – lfurini Feb 11 '18 at 7:53
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    @Ifurini What would be the point of buying a single Vanishing Cabinet without its pair? Only people who're interested in using it would be willing to buy it. It can only be used if other one of the pair is available. Can you think of any way by which a VC is valuable without its twin? – user88577 Feb 11 '18 at 7:56
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    Malfoy believes he is the first to figure out the vanishing cabinets the same way Riddle believes he is the only one to have figured out the Room of Requirement. This is their own arrogant beliefs that do not reflect reality. – Kevin Fee Feb 12 '18 at 19:32
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    There's a short mention on HP wikia about how Draco may have come to discover it's powers. "In 1996, Fred and George Weasley shoved Graham Montague headfirst into the broken cabinet on the first floor of Hogwarts when he tried to take points away from them. Montague eventually escaped (by Apparating) and was found in a toilet's u-bend by Draco Malfoy, who summoned Professor Snape for help. Montague revealed the previously unknown powers of the Cabinets to Draco." – doctordonna Feb 16 '18 at 0:09

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