Are the students at risk when using the moving stairs when traveling between floors at Hogwarts, or just inconvenienced? It seems fairly dangerous for the stairs to swing from one landing to next, especially between classes, but nobody seems too worried. What happens when somebody steps off between landings?


  • Dumbledore and Mad-eye are proof Wizards don't always land on their feet. – Major Stackings Jul 8 '12 at 5:48
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    I don't think that the staircases change as shown in the movie. I believe the book just says that paths change. – apoorv020 Jul 8 '12 at 6:56
  • @apoorv020 I'm pretty sure they do, as shown in the movie. It's how the trio end up at the locked door in the first book... – Izkata Jul 8 '12 at 14:08
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    @Izkata I disagree, the trio just didn't know their way around and, anyway, they were just running and probably didn't care whereto as long as they could hide from Filch. – Kevin Jul 8 '12 at 16:43

It never happens so we have no definitive answer but I would guess that a spell similar to the one we see in the order of the Phoenix in the ministry (where they fall and stop a few inches away from the floor) is in effect.


There's no evidence at all in the books that any of the staircases are open like that, and with between 300 and 1,000 (depending on whether you look at the math or JKR's statements) 11 to 17-year-olds running around there 10 months of the year, it'd be a fairly bad idea. They'd constantly be trying to push each other off or throw others' possessions down, etc. However, it makes for a much more dramatic shot than a simple large marble staircase and so they show it as that in the movie.

That said, there would have to be, at the least, a fairly strong, permanent cushioning charm at the bottom (and potentially various spots along the way). However, I bet the children would quickly figure out that it's great fun to jump off the highest staircase onto said charm, so I'd imagine there's also a wall-like charm to prevent people (and their possessions) from falling, being thrown, or themselves jumping over or through the railing.

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