In Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (movie), when Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, Dumbledore started to list all of Malfoy's plans such as the cursed locket, etc. He also talked about the vanishing cabinet in the Room of Requirement whose twin was in Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley.

If he knew about this secret passage to Hogwarts, why didn't he remove the vanishing cabinet from Hogwarts? In the beginning of the movie, Hogwarts was shown to have a high level of security, which I suppose was enforced after the official discovery of Voldemort.

Maybe Dumbledore had a great interest in himself dying,

but why did he put students' lives in danger? Using that secret passage, Voldemort could easily attack Hogwarts.

  • By the title and the answer I was thinking that it makes no sense...and then I see you're talking about the film. Well who knows what goes wrong in the heads of those responsible for it? The only ways I can think of is that Severus told him and/or after each incident (which he heard about) and knowing that Draco was ordered by Voldemort he put together that the only one who would have done it Draco. But he hadn't been given any evidence about the cabinet. Whether he put others at risk for letting those things slide is certainly arguably true though...
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


I haven't seen the movie, but in the Book, he wasn't aware that the Cabinet was how they got in, nor, necessarily, the full nature of the Room of Requirement.

He mentions the room in GoF -

"...I took a wrong turn on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I had never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon - or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder."

It's possible he knew more about it (Pottermore indicates he got the Mirror of Erised there).. but not certain. He doesn't seem surprised by the reference to it, tho, when Malfoy explains how he got Death Eaters into Hogwarts. He DOES however reveal that he didn't know about the cabinet.

“But why? I don’t think you will kill me, Draco. Killing is not nearly as easy as the innocent believe… so tell me, while we wait for your friends… how did you smuggle them in here? It seems to have taken you a long time to work out how to do it.”


Then, as though he could not help himself, he said, “I had to mend that broken Vanishing Cabinet that no one’s used for years. The one Montague got lost in last year.”

Dumbledore’s sigh was half a groan. He closed his eyes for a moment.

“That was clever… there is a pair, I take it?”


“Very good,” murmured Dumbledore. “So the Death Eaters were able to pass from Borgin and Burkes into the school to help you… a clever plan, a very clever plan… and, as you say, right under my nose…”

  • So perhaps this was a continuity error in the movie? Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 1:28
  • 5
    Could well be; I haven't seen it, but it would be consistent with them trying to keep Dumbledore having the 'Wise old wizard who secretly knows everything, but pretends not to' image.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 1:31
  • 1
    @NateEldredge It would not be the first time the movie scenarist seems not to have read the book more than once.
    – Orlahm
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 9:56

Dumbledore did not want Malfoy to get killed for failing Lord Voldemort. He was waiting for the right time to have Snape kill him, after he was finished writing his will and teaching Harry about the horcruxes.

  • 2
    Save Malfoy's life and put lives of hundreds others in danger?
    – user931
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:18
  • @TheWasp Do the words For the Greater Good not mean anything to you? Dumbledore even says as much in OotP when explaining the prophecy to Harry after the battle: 'What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands. [...]' So yes actually that's more than in character for Dumbledore.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 19:35
  • @TheWasp That being said this certainly doesn't answer the question; my comment on the question itself has a theory that I think is quite sound but the other answer also suggests the fact that - well films. That's enough to set off alarm bells for anyone who cares about canon...
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 19:37

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