The Room Of Requirement (Harry Potter)

It is interesting that Rowling includes this door thing on her site. Usually when the door opens, it leads to a bit of information on the book she’s currently working on; this time it led to a rather difficult test.

I won’t go through the whole process of getting the door open. If you want to know how that worked (although getting through the door the next time will likely involve an entirely different process, if there is a next time). I will say though that the mirror was interesting. I’ve always thought that the mirror perhaps represented the mirror of Erised. And the fact that you had to break it and that the note behind it spoke of “seven years of bad luck” didn’t escape me. Seven years. The story of Harry Potter, if the last book sticks to a one year time frame, takes place in seven years. You might even say seven years of exceedingly bad luck, depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist.

Once you got in the door, you were treated to an aerial view of Jo’s desk. This in itself was interesting, since we usually only see a partial view of the desk, on the entrance page of the site. The full aerial view revealed her computer, a very messy floor, and interestingly enough a graduation cap. It was when you moved the tassel on the cap to point directly north that it moved aside to reveal the WOMBAT test. First the graduation cap. Maybe this represents that the seventh year for Harry, Hermione, and Ron is supposed to hold their graduation from Hogwarts. However, book 6 indicates that neither Harry or his friends intend to return to school, and there’s even some question as to whether Hogwarts will be open following the death of Dumbledore (oh please, if you haven’t read it by now…). Maybe Rowling is trying to tell us that the trio will graduate after all? Or maybe the “graduation” is for us, if we pass the WOMBAT.

Which brings me to the test itself. As Jo herself said in the beginning of the test, it was no ordinary test of Harry Potter trivia. It was a test on Wizarding law and custom, but it was subtle. It felt like a test about ethics. Most of the questions asked what you should do in a certain situation when a fellow wizard was breaking the law, some even involved asking which crime was worse than the other. For some of the questions it seemed that there was a clear “right” answer, but it didn’t feel right. It was indeed a very strange test. One of those tests where you get done and have no idea whether you passed or not. The kind of test Hermione Granger would hate, I think.

After you finished the test and submitted your answers, you received a Student ID code, and it said that your answers would be available soon. I can only assume that the door will open again sometime in the near future and that entering your code will get you the results and if you passed, perhaps some sort of reward. Usually rewards on J.K.R.’s site consist of either information or Harry Potter artifacts (drawings she’s done of the characters, snippets of her first drafts, etc.).

So, there it is. The door, deconstructed.