At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
- Jacob's sibling: "Who created the Cursed Vaults? And why?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "There are many theories. Some say they were crafted by one of the Founders, others say they were built by a paranoid Headmaster… As far as why, most of the speculation is too dangerous and implausible to indulge until we know the truth."
- — Jacob's sibling talks to Albus Dumbledore about the Cursed Vaults[src]
The Cursed Vaults were five hidden rooms at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Whereas some alleged that they housed priceless treasures such as gold, prophecies and various other powerful magical artefacts dating back to before the school were founded, there were others who believed they contained Dark Magic. Every vault was shielded by a different curse placed on it. Their origin is uncertain, and it is possible that they dated back to before the founding of the school. Before Jacob proving that they truly existed, most believed them to be just a legend.
According to Albus Dumbledore, whose research into the the vaults revealed that a terrible amount of work had gone into their construction, and that one could only guess that whatever they were built to hold, it followed that it was even more incredibly dangerous and complex than the magic used to make the vaults themselves, not to mention that whatever they contained would be likely to be far more terrible. The origins of the vaults, however, have been forgotten, although many theories have been circulated over the centuries. According to Professor Dumbledore, (who might have been intentionally vague to discourage Jacob's sibling from getting further involved with the vaults) theories would have it that they were created by the Hogwarts founders themselves or a Headmaster who suffered from paranoia. The house ghost of Gryffindor House, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, however, later explained to the same student that since Hogwarts Castle was always meant to be a safe place, the school came to shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting that which was dangerous from falling into the wrong hands, and carrying the burden of the job remarkably well despite the fact that subsequent heads of the school and members of the faculty came to recognise how it to some extent compromised the security of the castle.
The knighted ghost believed that while there was a general consensus among those who believed that the Cursed Vaults were real that they were most likely originally made to protect something dangerous by people wanting to take advantage of the school's ever-changing floorplan to make their locations more difficult to find, it was also possible that the vaults were created around something dangerous that could not be moved. Over the centuries, numerous individuals had been overheard discussing the Vaults by Sir Nicholas throughout his time as a spectral resident at the castle. Among them were the Professors Fortinbras and Bartholomew, who were involved in the creation of a 'circle of trust' consisting of a group of teachers and students who all worked together researching the vaults with the intent of putting an end to the threat they posed to the safety of the school. Ultimately unsuccessful, both of the aforementioned teachers left behind the fruits of their work for those who came after, hoping that they might succeed where they failed and solve the mystery.
The vaults are connected to the cursed ice found in the school. During the 1984–1985 school year, the ice that had been securely contained within a locked room in the fifth floor of the castle, which once nearly spread throughout the school, broke free from the room and began to not only spread once more, but also turned out to have become impervious to the Knockback Jinx, which previously had been sufficient to shatter it. Minerva McGonagall believed this was because someone tampered with the vaults.
According to an unknown person believed to be Jacob by his sibling, the final vault is the real one, with the prior four vaults being traps or decoys.
Vault of Ice
One of the vaults was located at the end of the Vanished Stairs hidden by a wall on the fifth floor. The magical door was covered in ice, and attacked those who touched it or tried to use the Fire-Making Spell on it. After Jacob's Sibling, Bill Weasley, and a friend made their way into the vault using the Fire-Making Spell and defeated the Ice Knight, they found a broken wand and a book inside.
Jacob's Sibling heard a warning from their brother which was spoken through the vaults, which the other two could not hear, telling them not to let "her" find the other four vaults. The book only contained drawings and scribblings.
Vault of Fear
Another one of the vaults, the Vault of Fear, was found by Jacob's Sibling and their friends in the 1986–1987 school year. It was hidden behind a bookcase in the Restricted Section in the library. There were three bogarts inside that defended the Vault of Fear that looked the same as the Vault of Ice but as described by Jacob's sibling "way more scarier." To open the vault you had to touch a broken wand. Inside it was a map of the Forbidden Forest and a broken arrow.
Another one of the vaults, the Forest Vault, was found by Jacob's Sibling and their friends in the 1987–1988 school year. It was hidden in a grove of the Forbidden Forest. Its entrance was defended by an Acromantula, which put its lair there to feed on sleepwalking students. Torvus described the inside of it as "incredible". To open the vault you had to touch the Centaur colony's arrow. Inside it was the portrait of a dragon and a small sweater.
Inside the vault, Jacob's Sibling received a warning from their brother which was spoken through the vaults, which the other could not hear, telling them that only the final vault was real, that the others were traps and decoys but also that he was trapped in the next one.
Vaults and locations
- Vault of Ice: Behind the Vanished Stairs on the Icy Corridor, Fifth Floor
- Vault of Fear: Behind the Restricted Section in the Hogwarts Library
- Forest Vault: In a Forest Grove of the Forbidden Forest
Behind the scenes
- When venturing into the Vault of Ice, the player can choose between Rowan Khanna, Ben Copper and Penny Haywood to bring along with them and Bill Weasley.
- When venturing into the Vault of Fear, the player can choose between Rowan Khanna, Nymphadora Tonks, and Bill Weasley to bring along with them, Tulip Karasu, and Barnaby Lee.
- When venturing into the Forest Vault, the player can choose between Penny Haywood, Bill Weasley, and Rowan Khanna to bring along with them, Charles Weasley, Torvus and Rubeus Hagrid.
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (First appearance)