Apparently many people have found this room by accident.

The twins found it when they were looking for a place to hide from Filch; Dumbledore found it when he needed to go to the bathroom; hundreds of students found it when they were trying to hide something; Voldemort found it when he needed to hide a horcrux.

Books say that you open it by walking by it 3 times, but there's no way so many people would do so accidentally.

How does one find it in the first place, without being told about it?

  • 2
    Kind of feels like you've just answered your own question.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 15:26
  • 1
    walking by it in great need, is what opens it. the walking by it 3 times while concentrating on what you need seems to be a deliberate way to open it, different from the time of great need such as, running from a teacher and needing to hid a book. or dumbledoors looking for a toilet at 3 am.
    – Himarm
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


The way to get in is precisely as you described.

If you think it's unlikely, think it through. Someone walks by once initially trying to find something in one direction. The second occurs when they can't find it and try another part of the castle. Third is when they're doubling back and trying just one more time where they already were. Poof, the castle helps out.

It's designed as a reward for the persistent, and a helper for the desperate. The castle sees plenty of both.


The room answers those in great need. Therefore walking by three times is not a requirement.

In the story, Dobby specifies that Harry has to walk by the room three times to get the Room of Requirement to answer him. But this is when Harry is doing it deliberately. The students that found out about the room were in great need, and the room (called the Room of Requirement) answered. Harry's need was not a life-and-death or a safe-and-punishment, but rather a search-and-search-again need.

Below are a few scenarios, from the book.

Scenario 1 (automatic appearance)

Dumbledore has an unusually full bladder and walks by the Room of Requirement. The Room of Requirement senses that he really needs to go the bathroom and appears.

Dumbledore did not walk back and forth three times asking for a room of chamber pots (although is sounds like something Dumbledore would do -).

Scenario 2 (walking back and forth):

Harry needs to find a room for DA. He walks to the Room of Requirement. The Room of Requirement senses that he does not have a great enough need and that he will walk back and forth three times. Therefore, the room waits for him to do the walking and asking.

Scenario 3 (great need, but walking):

Harry needs to hide his potions book. He runs to the Room of Requirement with great need. The room senses his need but knows that he will do the walking and asking because Harry thinks that walking (or running, in this case) is the only way to open the Room of Requirement.

  • 1
    I don't think this is quite right. Where in the books did you find that the room treats questioners differently based on whether they know about it or not?
    – Righter
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 9:26
  • @Righter Educated assumptions from different scenes. All scenarios above are from the books, but the people asking used different methods. If all those students found out about the room - like Lumenwrites asks - how is it possible that they would all walk back and forth three times? It doesn't make sense to do so, and the probability is really low. Also, the room is enchanted. The room reads thoughts from the people walking back and forth. So if someone is running by and they are thinking really hard, the room will react. Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 17:23
  • Yes, the probability is low—but so is the number of students who discovered the room compared to the total number of students ever taught at Hogwarts. I don't really see any evidence that the Room reacts differently to different situations (unless specified by a user in the Room).
    – Righter
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 18:13
  • @Righter I don't think the possibility is high for someone to pass by the room if they desire something three times running around the castle . . . either that or the people finding the room are ultra smart. But 90% of the time, there is no user in the Room. Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 21:11

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