Birdcage HBP

The birdcage

On the Seventh Floor of Hogwarts is a birdcage that contained two birds, one white and one black. During the 1996–1997 school year, Draco Malfoy took each bird from their cage and used them to test out the Vanishing Cabinet that he was attempting to repair in the Room of Requirement. The white one was used first, and died when the test was unsuccessful. The black one was used next, and successfully travelled to the other Vanishing Cabinet in Borgin and Burkes and back again. The birdcage was visible on the Marauder's Map.

A boy named James Tuckett observed Malfoy stealing these birds. He informed Harry Potter of what he saw, though Harry was unable to act on the information because he couldn't get into the Room of Requirement.

Behind the scenes

  • The inscription encircling the band on the bottom of the cage is a line from Horace's Satires, the first words and last letters of which can be seen: "Deus inde ego furum aviumque maxima formido." ("A god thus I am - to thieves and birds the greatest fear.") In original context, in the preceding and following passages Horace has an idol of the god Priapus standing by the garden pool -- speaking of being made a god by a carpenter from some fig wood -- after it was deemed useless for anything else. The text is a classical warning against idolatry of man-made things, and adopted by medieval Christian apologetics for that purpose.