- “Tell you what, use the prefects’ bathroom. Fourth door to the left of that statue of Boris the Bewildered on the fifth floor. Password’s ‘pine fresh.’ Gotta go… want to say good night —“
- —Cedric Diggory to Harry Potter about the Prefects’ Bathroom[src]
The Prefects’ Bathroom is a special bathroom on the fifth floor of Hogwarts restricted to use by school Prefects, Head Boys, Head Girls and Quidditch captains. It is located on the fifth floor behind the fourth door to the left of a statue of Boris the Bewildered, which only opens when given the correct password.
- “His immediate reaction was that it would be worth becoming a prefect just to be able to use this bathroom. It was softly lit by a splendid candle-filled chandelier, and everything was made of white marble, including what looked like an empty, rectangular swimming pool sunk into the middle of the floor.“
- —Harry Potter’s amazement at the Prefect’s Bathroom[src]
In one side of the room there are the stalls with toilets inside. Opposite the toilets there is a large, swimming pool-like tub with bath taps surrounding it. The pool-like bath is sunk into the ground and is not above ground. The bath taps all run different-coloured bath water, soap bubbles, foam, towels, and bathrobes. There are around a hundred golden bath taps surrounding the whole pool-like tub, with a different jewel set in each tap. There are most likely bath supplies on one side of the pool, such as soap, bath oil, bath powder, bath salts, shampoo, hair spray, and conditioner. Looking at the tub, one would imagine it would take quite some time to fill, but it actually fills remarkably fast, considering its size. Under the bathroom there are sewers that can be entered by blasting one section of the wall. These sewers may or may not be a part of the passages and tunnels of the Chamber of Secrets. There is a portrait of a Mermaid on the wall.
In the 1988–1989 school year, new prefect Charlie Weasley got access to this bathroom and was given a tour of it by his older brother Bill Weasley. If they became a prefect, Jacob’s sibling was on that tour as well.
Later in the school year, Jacob’s sibling entered the bathroom with the older two Weasley brothers in order to talk to Duncan Ashe in order to find out more about Jacob’s time at Hogwarts, and later to get the Vault Portrait from Peeves.
As part of their attempt to impress Peeves, Jacob’s sibling put Frog Spawn Soap in the bath. Not long afterwards, Charlie entered the bath and was horrified to see frogs everywhere. Charlie forgave Jacob’s sibling, but could not see taking baths the same way again and only took showers instead.
- “Well … anyway … I’d try the egg in the water. That’s what Cedric Diggory did.“
- —Myrtle Warren telling Harry how to understand the golden egg[src]
After the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Barty Crouch Jnr, disguised as Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody, told Cedric Diggory to open the golden egg that contained the clue for the second task under water. Cedric took the egg to the prefects’ bathroom and followed Crouch’s advice. Underwater, he could hear the merpeople’s song, but it took him some time to deduce that it was sung by merpeople, despite the fact that the mermaid in a nearby painting was wide awake. Myrtle Warren, who visited this bathroom sometimes to spy on the prefects, witnessed the scene. Cedric then told Harry, in return for telling him about the first task (dragons).
After the Yule Ball, Cedric Diggory told Harry Potter to try to solve the riddle of the golden egg while taking a bath in the prefects’ bathroom. He also gave him the current password, which was “pine fresh“. Harry followed his advice in the night of 21 January, 1995. Awed as he was by the bathroom, he had no idea at first how a bath was going to help him solve the egg’s clue. He filled the pool with water and bubble bath from several taps, took a short swim and opened the egg. As usual, it emitted a loud, wailing noise and he closed it quickly. Moaning Myrtle revealed her presence and told him to open the egg under water, like Cedric had done. To Myrtle’s delight, Harry solved the clue much faster than Cedric.
- “That gives you equal status with Prefects! You can use our special bathroom now and everything!“
- —Hermione Granger regarding Harry Potter’s Quidditch captaincy[src]
One of the first things Hermione Granger mentioned when she congratulated Harry for becoming Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team in 1996 was that he could now use the prefects’ bathroom. Ron Weasley also mentioned it while congratulating Harry. It is unknown whether Harry ever used the bathroom in his sixth year.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Portrait of a mermaid is a stained glass window depiction of a Mermaid rather than being a portrait.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there is a very long level in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione trek through the bathroom’s plumbing areas in search of the golden egg, which Ron has dropped into one of the pipes.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the bathroom can be freely visited by the trio. The golden egg still sits in the tub, and screeches its noise unless the tub is filled enough that the egg is covered by water, which can be achieved by casting Banishing Charm on the taps. The mermaid’s song can then be understood. The tub can be emptied again by pulling the plug with the Summoning Charm. A rubber duck sits on the tub’s edge. However, the bathroom is no longer accessible in the next video game adaptation.
- There is a short level in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, where Harry must find the entrance to The Prefects’ Bathroom (which is now in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom) and then persuade the mermaid on the window to throw the egg to him.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Harry wears his underwear to go in the giant bathtub instead of being naked.
- It is unclear whether the bathroom locks itself automatically when someone is using it. Harry worries he might be caught by Argus Filch when he is mulling over the egg clue in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so the person going in does not lock the door.
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
- Pottermore – Book 4, Chapter 25, Moment 1: “The Prefects’ Bathroom”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Side Quest “Yer a Prefect!”
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 22 (Agent of Chaos)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 23 (Mischief Masterpiece)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco’s Detour)