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Lexicon Sources
J.K.Rowling - Official Site

The Secret Door

page editor: Belinda Hobbs
with special thanks and recognition to Michael Young aka "roonwit" for his amazing work providing us with the files for the past door openings.

Do Not Disturb sign on the Door

Clicking on the pink rubber eraser ("?") portkey (formerly the hair elastic) brings you to "The Door", which had a Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the handle.
Sometimes referred to as the Room of Requirement (from a clue on the Extra Stuff bulletin board during the second puzzle) Jo also referred to it as her "study" in her Christmastime announcement.

The portkey lands on the table under the window. Click on it to return to the desktop.
The table also held a vase of daffodils (holly at Christmastime) until replaced with the current plant and potion bottles. Use these items to obtain a Scrapbook extra. (Instructions here)

The scene outside the window shows a hillside and a windchime blowing in the breeze.
Birds fly in the distance (the same birds as in the paintings in the Links bookcase).
The sky is overcast and clouds float by.
It changes from daylight into darkness and the moon appears at 8pm (according to your system's clock).
Notice the tiny lights in the village on the hill after dark. See the Day to Night Changes page for more.
At night watch for shooting stars!

The fly is ticklish.
The light switch works.

The door at the end of the hall reflected in the mirror is open. The other two doors are closed. The candle flickers.

On Dec 1, 2004 and Dec 19,2005 the scene outside the window changed to winter, and it was snowing. There was a Christmas tree in the open door reflected in the mirror. The daffodils were replaced with holly.
On Jan 6, 2005 & 2006 the holly branches were replaced again by the daffodils, the little tree in the mirror was gone, and there was no snow outside the window.
On Mar 9, 2006 the daffodils were replaced with the sickly plant, red and green potion bottles. The wallpaper has also changed.
On Mar 31, 2006 the red potion bottle was shifted and a rock was behind the plant.  When the door closed on Apr 4 the rock was gone and the bottles back in place.

PEEVES: after about 5 minutes he graffiti’s the mirror and knocks over the vase. He doesn't seem to heckle anything in the secret room.
Before Oct. 31, 2004 he knocked over the vase of daffodils, making it fall to the left. While the door was open (during the puzzle) it fell to the right. It continued to fall to the right even after Nov.15, 2004 (when the DND sign reappeared) until Dec. 1, 2004 (when Christmas decorations appeared) it fell to the left again. After March 9, 2006 he doesn't bother the new plant.

The Do Not Disturb sign was removed 10 times. The first 8 times visitors were faced with puzzles to get to the secret behind the door. With the release date of the final book, the sign was gone.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

and now an Archive of all the puzzles is available by Time Turner!

Notice the shrinking candle flame.

June 2004April 2006Dec. 21, 2006June 14, 2007July 20,2007
Candle June 2004 Candle April 2006 Candle Dec 21, 2006 Candle June 2007 Candle June 2007

First Door opening: June 28 - July 2

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

The title of book six was revealed.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (there was no hyphen)


Second Door opening: August 16th -August 26

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

A small excerpt from book six was revealed.

                                                                                                                                          (He)^ looked 
rather like an old lion. There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his
bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles
and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp.


Third Door opening - October 31 (Halloween) - November 15

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

Revealed were three chapter titles from HBP.





Fourth Door opening - December 20 - December 26

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

The following message appeared in a Christmas card, from Jo.

Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year

20th December 2004
I know you all expected this to happen on Christmas Day, but I was sure that those of you who
celebrate Christmas have better things to do on the day itself than fight your way into my study,
whereas those of you who DON'T celebrate Christmas would definitely prefer not to wait until the
twenty fifth - so...

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' is COMPLETED and has been delivered to my English language publishers, who hope to announce the publication date within 24 hours.

Although I have joked about HP&THBP racing my third baby into the world, I have in fact had all
the time I needed to tinker with the manuscript to my satisfaction and I am as happy as I have ever
been with the end result. I only hope you feel that it was worth the wait when you finally read it!

Wishing everybody a wonderful holiday and a happy and peaceful 2005,
With love from,
{her signature writes onto the page}


Fifth Door opening - March 31, 2006 - April 4, 2006

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

The Do Not Disturb sign was removed from the door for a short 4 days, offering an opportunity to sit the W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 1. (Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude test)
The test consisted of 25 questions in four parts. At the end of the test the sitter was issued a Student Identification Code which could be copied or printed.  Printing resulted in a W.O.M.B.A.T. Student Identification Card. The code must be saved and entered at a future time to retrieve your score.  (Note that the code is case sensitive, and pasting it into some word processing programs may result in the first letter being capitalized automatically. Beware.)

Click here to read the test with our commentary.

Click here to learn about the test results.


Sixth Door opening - September 29, 2006 - October 4, 2006

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

Once again the door was opened for a short 4 days, this time with the W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 2 .
This test consisted of 18 questions in four parts.
If you had a Student ID code from W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 1 you could enter the code before sitting grade 2 presumably to have your scores combined.
As last time, at the end of the test the sitter was issued a Student Identification Code which could be copied or printed.  Printing resulted in a W.O.M.B.A.T. Student Identification Card.

Click here to read the test with our commentary.

Click here to learn about the test results.


Seventh Door opening - December 21 - 28, 2006

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

The title of book seven was revealed.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Eighth Door opening - June 13, 2007 - June 18, 2007

Click here for a description of how the puzzle worked.

The Door was open for 5 days for W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 3 .

This test consisted of 35 questions in four parts.
If you had a Student ID code from W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 1 or 2 you could enter the code before sitting grade 3.

Click here to read the test with our commentary.

Click here to learn about the test results.


Do Not Disturb sign removed - July 21, 2007

The Door is now unlocked and no puzzle or magic is needed to open it. Simply click the handle, and you will find a tidy desk with a letter of Acknowledgements to the people who have helped her along Harry's journey.

Since the text of this letter is not available on the Text Only version of the site, we'll repost it here:


Within hours you will know what happens to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest in their final adventure.  All the secrets I have been carrying around for so long will be yours, too, and those who guessed correctly will be vindicated, and those who guessed wrongly will not, I hope, be too disappointed!  As for me, I feel a heady mixture of excitement, nerves and relief.  'Deathly Hallows' remains my favourite of the series, even after several re-reads; I cannot wait to share it with the readers who have stuck with me through six previous books.

There is only one thing left to do: acknowledgements!  Here are the people who have joined me at various stages of the seventeen year journey I have taken with Harry, who (if you laid their brains end to end) could tell a story much stranger than fiction, of how weird and wonderful the world of Harry Potter became as it expanded way beyond all of our wildest dreams.

I am, firstly, deeply indebted to my agent, Christopher Little, who has been with me from the beginning and who took a chance on an unknown author whom he sweetly advised not to give up the day job, before working tirelessly to make sure that I never needed to teach French irregular verbs again.  I bless the day his name caught my eye in the Writers' and Artists' Year Book; thank God he wasn't christened Vernon.  Everyone at his (now considerably expanded) agency deserves my deepest thanks, but in particular Emma Schlesinger, who has become an irreplaceable walking encyclopaedia of Potterania, and Neil Blair, who has fought so many battles on Harry's and my behalf, and will, hopefully, get his weekends back now.
My eternal gratitude goes to Barry Cunningham, the editor at Bloomsbury Children's books who accepted Philosopher's Stone for publication, but who did not remain at the company long enough to garner all the plaudits that were rightfully his.  I had been turned down by a fairly long list of publishers before Barry discerned some merit in Harry; he is a great editor and I will never forget his patience with a writer who was simultaneously struggling to be a teacher and a single mother.

Barry was succeeded by Emma Matthewson, who has been my editor and friend for the subsequent six Harrys, whose arbitration I have awaited with bated breath every time I delivered a manuscript, and without whose calmness, honesty and sound judgement I would have been lost.  The editing of 'Deathly Hallows' was, in particular, hugely emotional for me, and I cannot think of anyone I would rather have shared it with.

Everyone at Bloomsbury Children's Books has been fantastic to me and worked so hard for Harry, but Rosamund de la Hey and Sarah Odenina were with me from the start and have been staunch friends throughout.  Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, has been hugely supportive from the very beginning, long before Harry began to sell in vast numbers, because his children were fans of the books; he has been a constant source of enthusiasm and generosity.

A turning point in my life was the day I spoke to Arthur Levine for the first time.  He was the American editor who had just out-bid three other publishers for the first Harry book.   I felt terrified as I picked up the telephone to speak to him; the first thing he said was, 'are you terrified?'  I think I loved him from that moment.  He, too, has become a real friend and confidant, and the memories I have of seeing San Francisco with Arthur on my first American tour are among my happiest of the whole Potter experience.

The other person at Scholastic whom I must thank is the preternaturally efficient and completely lovely Kris Moran, who has shepherded me through two American tours, and sundry other press events, and whom I adore for her loyalty, her ability to locate coffee in an apparently moisture-free environment and her corner-of-the-mouth-while-opening-books-for-signing quips.

I also want to thank booksellers everywhere, but particularly in the UK, because they were crucial to Harry's initial success, which was built, not on clever marketing, but on word-of-mouth recommendations by the highly knowledgeable people who staff our bookshops.  Harry has become hard work for booksellers in later years, with embargoes and crowds making the whole business much more fraught, and much less intimate, than it used to be (though many still throw themselves into the spirit of midnight openings); I am deeply grateful. 

Harry Potter is now published in 64 different languages.  I am constantly mindful of the fact that so many people are involved in the production of the books across the globe, from China to Canada and most places in between.  The arrival of foreign editions is always a real thrill, and I am so grateful to all the people involved, some of whom I have met, but most of whom I have not. I would like to send a little cyber-wave and my warmest thanks to Christine, Yuko, Allan, all the Klauses, Pedro and Sigrid.  To list everybody would take up twelve pages, so please forgive me...

Dotti Irving, Mark Hutchinson, Rebecca Salt and Nicky Stonehill at Colman Getty PR have made my life so much easier it makes me wince to remember how it was BCG.  Bizarre Potter press stories will fade out of our lives now, and we'll probably miss them once they're gone...

Here in my office at home are Christine and Angela, who have dealt expertly and sensitively with my Harry-mail for years, making sure I see the letters I ought to, bringing calm where once there was chaos.  I am so glad I found both of them, and that they are still hanging in there.

It is hard to know what to say about my indefatigable, invaluable, indispensable PA, Fiddy, whose job has swollen beyond recognition since I first had lunch with her and told her it would probably fill an afternoon a week.  She has stood valiantly between me and a tidal wave of demands for years now, enabling me to write books and look after my children, and barely a day goes by when I don't thank God I have her.

And so to my family.  For a long time, my sister Di was the only one who really saw what it was like at the eye of the storm, and on at least one occasion she picked me up, dusted me down, and talked me back to sanity.  She understood that, for all the incredible benefits Harry brought me, there came a time when the pressure and the attention I had not sought became a little overwhelming, and she was the one who saw me through that period, and enabled me to find some perspective.

No writer ever had a better spouse than my husband.  I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have married Neil; I don't think writers are supposed to be this happy.  His support has made the writing of the sixth and seventh books, in particular, a complete joy.

As for my children, my two youngest do not really know what Harry Potter is all about yet.  Looking forward to sharing the books with them when they are old enough keeps me from feeling too sad at having finished.

The very last person to be thanked is the most important person of all, the one to whom I owe the greatest debt of gratitude.  I wrote the final draft of the first three chapters of 'Philosopher's Stone' while pregnant with my eldest daughter, Jessica.  She has never known what it is like to live without Harry Potter; even before he was published, he was a presence in our house as I typed away frantically in the evenings or broke off conversations with her to scribble on bits of paper.  Jessica has never once complained about the attention I devoted to her fictional brother, never reproached me for the fact that Harry Potter has sometimes been a bane rather than a boon in her life.  It has not always been easy to be J K Rowling's daughter, yet if I had decided to stop before the seventh book it would have been Jessica's disappointment that I would have feared the most.  The fact that 'Deathly Hallows' will sit beside Jessica's bed until it becomes dog-eared and falls apart means more to me than anything else, more than the huge print run, more than all the publicity in the world.  So thank you, Decca.  (And tidy your room.  It's disgusting. Mum X)


Past Door Archives - October 31, 2007

The Do Not Disturb sign has returned, but with a twist! A Time Turner now sets next to the Door allowing you to access the past puzzles. Click on the handle to set it back one opening at a time, until the proper date is displayed, then click on the hour glass. It will glow and spin, and take you back.


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