"... and that's Bode and Croaker ... they're Unspeakables.... From the Department of Mysteries, top secret, no idea what they get up to...."
-- Arthur Weasley (GF7)
The Department of Mysteries is one of the departments of the Ministry of Magic. The witches and wizards who work there research the mysteries of life and living, and their relationship to magic.
Corridor leading to the department: bare walls, no windows or doors except a plain black door set at the end of the corridor (OP7).
Deep in the lowest level of the Ministry of Magic, on the ninth level, lies the Department of Mysteries. Here wizards who are called Unspeakables go about researching some of the deepest mysteries of existence. These wizards have discovered that there is magic that is inherent to the very fabric of existence which manifests itself in ways that are difficult to explain and even more difficult–if not impossible–to control. The Unspeakables explore and experiment with these mysterious forces in various chambers which are clustered around a circular room lined with doors.
Because of the secret nature of the work done in the Department of Mysteries, rumours arise about what goes on there. Luna Lovegood, believing The Quibbler, has stated that Cornelius Fudge “uses the Department of Mysteries to develop terrible poisons, which he secretly feeds to anybody who disagrees with him” (OP18). (There is no evidence that this is actually true.)
The Department of Mysteries is accessed via the lifts from the Atrium. A simple, bare corridor leads to a plain black door. This door opens into the circular room with twelve plain, black, handle-less doors all around it. The room is lit with candles burning blue. The floor is polished so that it almost looks like standing water. When the door to the circular room is closed, the walls of the room revolve rapidly, making it impossible to determine which door is which. The doors open easily with a push outwards.
It is impossible to determine which door is which after the walls revolve (OP34).
Rooms in the Department of Mysteries
The Brain Room
The Death Chamber, containing the Veil
The Hall of Prophecy
The Locked Room, containing “Love”
The door to Locked Room is firmly locked shut, and no spell or magical device appears to work to open it. Harry tried his magical penknife, which would open any lock, but the blade melted away and the door remained solidly locked (OP34). Inside this room, according to Albus Dumbledore, is the most powerful magic of all: love. It is this magic, generated by his mother’s sacrifice, that protects Harry. It is also this magic that drove Lord Voldemort out of Harry when the Dark Lord tried to possess him (OP37).
J K Rowling’s comments on the locked “Love Room”:
“What’s in the Love Room. It’s the place where they study what Love means. So that room, I believe, would have at its center, a kind of fountain or well containing a love potion, a very powerful love potion. You know that the first time they ever enter Slughorn’s Potions class, and he starts talking about Amortentia, the Love Potion, and he says it’s the most dangerous one in the room. That’s what they would’ve found in the Love Room. So you would see wizards and witches taking it, they would study the effects. The room, of course, has to be locked. And you know, again, there’s this thread running through the books, what Love does, and it raises people to the heights of absolute heroism, as in Lily, Harry, Neville. And it also leads them into acts of foolishness and even evil, which is Bellatrix and also Dumbledore. He became foolish. He lost his center, his moral center, when he became infatuated. So that’s what it does, that’s what makes it dangerous.” (TLC2)
The Planet Room
This is a dark room full of planets, which even Luna Lovegood calls “a very odd place”. Apparently something like the anti-gravity mist from the Triwizard maze is in operation at least part of the time, since people who have entered the room have reported that some of the time they were just floating in the dark (OP35).
The Time Room
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore): Time-Turner
Lexicon essay: The Battle of the Department of Mysteries: An Analysis of the Chase and Battle, June 1996 by Kendall Smiley
- The Twelve Doors of the Department of Mysteries
- Within the Department of Mysteries
- MuggleCast Episode #374: The Department of Mysteries
Harry Potter Wiki: Department of Mysteries
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) feature: The most mysterious things in the Department of Mysteries