The Department of Mysteries, located on Level Nine is a department in the Ministry of Magic which studies particular enigmas (death, time, space, thought, and love) and stores copies of prophecies made in the Harry Potter universe. During Voldemort's discriminatory regime, he forces the department to lie and claim that Muggle-borns actually steal magic from Pure-bloods, making them "illegal magicals" and allowing their arrest.
Because of the covert nature surrounding this particular branch of the Wizarding government, the Department of Mysteries can be likened to real-world intelligence agencies like the CIA or MI6, in that most of their operations are kept in total secrecy from the general wizard populace. However, the primary operations of the department seem to be more like those of scientists, the department attempting to uncover the sources and rules that govern magic.
The rooms at the Department each seem (although not spelled out directly) to refer to various mysteries of life. These rooms include:
|Brain Room||This long, rectangular room is lit by lamps hanging low on golden chains from the ceiling. It is quite empty except for a few desks.||A glass tank of deep green liquid. In this tank a number of pearly-white brains drift around. When removed from the potion in the tank, the brains fling out streamers of thoughts which can seriously injure someone if they wrap themselves around them. Other doors open off this room.|
|Entrance Room||Large, circular room – everything black. Identical, unmarked, handle-less black doors are set at intervals around in walls. Dimly lit by blue flamed branches of candles.||Whenever one of its doors is shut, the room's walls rotate, disorienting its occupants for several seconds. This is presumably a security device to keep non-employees of the department from reaching a desired room. Responds to a verbal request for an exit by opening the correct door.|
|Space Chamber||A dark room possibly simulating outer space. Visitors find themselves floating as well.||Floating solar system.|
|Death Chamber||A large, dimly lit, rectangular room with stone tiers (as benches) leading down to a pit in the centre. It is similar to an amphitheatre. Called the Death Chamber by Dumbledore.||In the pit is a raised, stone dais, on which stands an ancient arch with an ancient, tattered black curtain hanging from it. Despite an absence of wind, it continuously flutters slightly, and entrances its viewers. Harry Potter hears faint voices from beyond the veil when he comes near it in the books. It was through this archway that Sirius Black fell and died in Order of the Phoenix. It is implied that the veil somehow leads to the afterlife, as some (perhaps those who have seen someone die) are able to hear voices whispering from behind it.|
|Time Chamber||A room lit by "beautiful, dancing diamond-sparkling light".||A room in which various time-related devices are kept, such as clocks of every description and Time-Turners (necklaces with hourglass pendants, which will send the wearer back in time when the pendant is turned over). It also contains a mysterious bell jar, inside which anything will grow steadily younger and younger, and then slowly return to its original age in a never-ending cycle. Hermione mentions that the department's entire stock of smashed Time-Turners were not even replaced by September 1996.|
|Hall of Prophecy||A cathedral-sized room, dark and very cold, illuminated by the dim blue fire emitted from more candle brackets.||Vertical to the door are towering shelves holding thousands of orbs (recordings of prophecies). To the left of the door are row Nos.1 – 53, while on the right of the door are rows Nos.54 and beyond. They are magically protected, so that the only people who can lift them off their shelf are the Keeper of the Hall of Prophecies and the subject(s) of the prophecies; all others are afflicted with instant madness. Whenever an orb breaks, the recorded prophecy it contains is repeated aloud once, after which the recording is useless. Sybill Trelawney's 1980 prophecy of "the boy who would defeat the Dark Lord" is kept in here until the events of Order of the Phoenix in which it was smashed.|
|The Ever-Locked Room (Love Chamber)||A room behind a door that remains locked at all times and which neither the “Alohomora” spell nor magical unlocking knives can unlock.||According to Dumbledore, behind that door is the most mysterious subject of study in the department: a force "that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature...... It is the power held within that room that Harry possesses in such quantities and which Voldemort has none at all." In Half-Blood Prince, this power was confirmed through a dialogue between Harry and Dumbledore to be love.|
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