By Kitten Delacruz
Be it your first year, a foreign student, or just coming back from a Summer’s break, the Castle can be a hard place to find your way around in. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little bit of guidance? Ah, yes! Yes, it would. So without further adieu, let’s hit the high points (and a few low ones), shall we?
Starting at the Castle’s entrance, you have a choice. You can rush right inside the Castle or you can do an about face and walk through the Castle’s Courtyard. After which, you will have a bridge to cross. If you keep on the straight path, you will end up in Hogsmeade. If you make a right at the three stones and go on down the hill, you’ll find the Gamekeeper’s Hut.
Now, let’s get back to the Castle’s entrance, shall we? We shall! Facing towards the Castle, we can make a quick double left or double right. In either case, you will end up inside of the Clocktower with access to the upper floors 5 through 7 and the Hospital Wing. Or, if you take the usual left or right you will find yourself in the area of the Grand Staircase. It even says so on the doors, so it must be true!
You have three choices. The left steps will take you to the Great Hall & the outside courtyard. To the right leads you up the Grand Staircase. If you decide to be brave and walk forward to the door marked Dungeons, it might be a lot more fun!
The Dungeons it is! Another decision to go left or right. Travel to the left and all the way to the end of that hallway. Now, another left. Take the steps down. One door opens to the Cave and the other one opens to the Ghoul Studies classroom. Make your choices wisely. A side note, Professor Rask’s Offices are just up the steps and straight ahead.
Now, what happens if you take a right from the Dungeons’ starting point? Head down that hallway all the way to the end and to the left to find an alcove. This area is home to the Potions classroom, Lab and a passageway to the Viaduct. Of special note, the Viaduct can be used as a shortcut to other areas. But, you’ll have to explore that on your own time.
Back to the Grand Staircase!
Floor 1 and beyond. If you venture through the door you will find another door to the Quad Courtyard. This Courtyard is where you will find the Muggle Studies classroom and a lovely seating area. Another note of interest, if you explore the other doors you might find a few more shortcuts. If you do not take the door to the Quad Courtyard, you might just find out where the Detention Room is. Do you really want to spend time there?
Floor 2 is a very essential door to remember. I’d guess that most of our classrooms can be found through this one. The first door to your right is a bathroom. The door at the end of the hallway will land you in the same area as the Dungeon’s Viaduct door did. Once on the landing, take the first door that’s on your left. Let your eyes feast on this wonderful and colourful Tapestry Corridor. Follow the red carpeted path to just around the bend. Go on through the door to the Long Gallery. Down the stairs you go! To your left is the History of Magic classroom. Continue straight into the bulk of things and you’ll find two staircases. Upstairs and to the left are History of Magic Professor Oswalt A. Digby’s Offices and a passage to the Transfiguration Corridor. Upstairs and to the right will get you to Ancient Studies and Magical Theory.
From the Main Floor, take a left before the double doors to the Transfiguration Corridor. There are lots of gems to be found here! Be mindful that the double doors will lead you straight out and to the Herbology Greenhouses – but beware of Edna!
From the Transfiguration Corridor, is a passageway to the Middle Courtyard and the Astronomy Tower. The Transfiguration classroom is found behind the first door on your left in the Corridor. The Dark Alcove door leads to Classroom 22B, the Owl Post Office and the Long Gallery. The Grounds door will take you outside to a path that will steer you down to the Quidditch Pitch entrance. Keep following the hallway to find the doors to Mythology, Lost Wands and Turris Magnus (this is the way to the Defence Against Dark Arts classroom).
Floor 3 presents the Hospital Wing, Charms, Dueling Rooms and an unmarked door that leads to the Stone Bridge. Which ends up being another pathway to Turris Magnus and the Middle Courtyard.
Floor 4 is dedicated to our vast Library. Be sure to follow all the rules and pick up after yourself.
Floor 5 through 7 each have a path choice. In each case, on the left side, you find a Spiral Staircase to Divination and a Clocktower Door. However, on the right side each floor has various unique rooms to find.
Floor 5 and to the right will get you to Head Ravenclaw Juniper Green’s Office. A special note here, the next Floor 5 Door is going to take you to a maze of doors. Explore and have fun!
Floor 6 and to the right will take you to the Stone Bridge. Or, you will go through the Dark Alcove to the next Floor 6 Door. That area holds the Art Classroom, 6B Classroom, Homemaking Magic, the Deputy Headmistress’ Office and a doorway to the Stairs. Another special note, these stairs will take you up to the Floor 7 Door, down to the Caves and through to the Dungeons.
Floor 7 and to the right offers a Dark Alcove. This Alcove leads down to Floor 6, to another Floor 7 Door of exploration, the Offices of Gryffindor Fawn Riley and another Dark Alcove. This Dark Alcove leads to the spiral staircase that contains the Attic Classroom or back down to Floor 6 and the Cave. If you decide not to use the spiral staircase, there is one more door to the Clocktower.
Hopefully, you know how to get back to your own Common Room and Dorm. Because, now I’m lost! I wish that I would have taken notes…