Despite being an orphan, the boy who lived found homes in many. Albeit, one may not be as welcoming (*cough* Privet Drive *cough*).
Potters’ Cottage at Godric’s Hollow
Though seen and mentioned only a few times throughout the series, the Potters’ Cottage is poignant reminder of where it all began. To refresh your memory (spoilers ahead, of course): Snape was eavesdropping on Trelawney’s first prophecy (that was supposed to be witnessed by Dumbledore only) about a boy who can destroy the Dark Lord, a boy born at the end of July. Snape hurriedly told Voldemort and so the search began, narrowing it down between Neville and Harry. It could’ve been pure-blooded Neville but Riddle chose Harry, a half-blood like him. As we all know, Snape’s one true love has always been Lily and upon learning that the Potters were targeted, Snape seeked for Dumbledore’s help, who then asked the Potters to go into hiding.
Sirius was the Potters’ secret keeper, meaning, only he and the Potters know where they are hiding. However, as he thought Voldemort was onto him, he selected Pettigrew as the next secret keeper. Unbeknownst to him, Pettigrew was already a blind follower to the Dark Lord, who then sold his friends, James and Lily, to Lord Voldemort.
The big bad wolf came, he puffed and puffed, and down James went. Harry was next but Lily protected him with all her might and so Avada Kedavra backfired for the first time in history, defeating Voldemort in the process… and that’s how Harry became the boy who lived.
You may also remember the Potters’ cottage on Hermione and Harry’s visit during their search for Horcruxes. It was here where they met the undead Bathilda Bagshot.
The cottage, unfortunately, can only be seen from the outside at the Warner Bros. Studio. Good enough for me!
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging
Following the death of his parents, Harry, through Hagrid, Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, was sent to 4 Privet Drive to be taken cared of the obnoxious Dursleys.
For ten years, the cupboard under the stairs was Harry’s abode. This is exhibited during your queue at the start of the tour. The whole Privet Drive is on another area but with the cupboard closed, so go ahead and take pictures while on queue.
The insides of the Privet Drive can be seen, though limited. However, it was impressive and nostalgic how they chose to freeze the moment when all those letters went rushing down the chimney and burst in the Dursley’s living room. Don’t forget to take a close look on the small details inside the house, especially the family portraits and framed awards Dudley got, one of which was for always eating up his lunch. Of course! Haha
This same set up was the one used in the films except for one piece which is the house number since Ron Weasley in real life, took it as a personal memento after the films ended.
Gryffindor Common Room and the Boys’ Dormitory
After learning ‘yer a wizard, Harry’, our young hero set foot at Hogwarts who was sorted in Gryffindor. Expectedly, he’d be spending his nights and lazy days at the Gryffindor Tower. I’d like to believe this is the second place (after Godric’s Hollow) where Harry is (or felt) at home, I mean, he got his own bed! It was always an important detail to me how he never thought twice of spending his holidays at Hogwarts instead of going back to 4 Privet Drive. The dread, frustration and anxiety he must’ve felt during summer breaks!
A little anecdote I read at the tour, “Although the cast outgrew the dormitory, they stayed the same size in the later films. The boys’ legs hung off the ends of the 5′9″ long beds, although due to the position of the camera, this wasn’t seen on screen.”
I’m sure you can name each of the owners of the luggages by the initials! Write in the comment below, if you do!
As this year is the Sorcerer’s Stone 15th anniversary, the scene of the trio and Neville was shown at the Gryffindor Common Room. That moment made the Gryffindor win the house cup during their first year at Hogwarts.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom.” – Albus Dumbledore
“It’s not much, but it’s home.” … “I think it’s brilliant.” – Ron and Harry
You could say that this was another home for Harry. A place where he is always welcome. Well, especially now that he’s spending the eternity with Ginny.
The Burrow was also the first magical residence Harry’s been to, quite evident with how it’s standing up in the way that only magic can. Only a floor is reproduced at the tour but it’s complete with the magical knit knitting itself, dishes washing themselves and everyone’s favorite Grandfather clock showing the whereabouts of the Weasley family. There’s a palm sensor in front of The Burrow display that you can play with to make these magical details move.
Though not quite a home like the ones I’ve mentioned. A lot of learned lessons and private conversations happened in this one. To me, Dumbledore has always seemed to be Harry’s second father. Harry spent a lot of time here during Half-Blood Prince. And even after Dumbledore’s death (spoiler!!!), he still managed to guide Snape, then Headmaster, how to help Harry during Horcrux-searching. Remember how that Gryffindor’s sword happen to be at the forest where Harry and Hermione was staying? Yep, because the office is filled with moving portraits of the previous Headmasters and Headmistresses of Hogwarts. Our brilliant Hermione, though I’m not sure if she knew exactly what she did, brought along a portrait of Phineas Nigellus. With that, Dumbledore was able to keep tabs on the whereabouts of the trio.
“One thing was certain: of all the teachers’ offices Harry had visited so far this year, Dumbledore’s was by far the most interesting… It was a large and beautiful circular room, full of funny little noises. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke. The walls were covered with portraits of old headmasters and headmistresses, all of whom were snoozing gently in their frames. There was also an enormous, claw-footed desk, and, sitting on a shelf behind it, a shabby, tainted wizard’s hat — the Sorting Hat.“—Harry Potter views the office for the first time, An excerpt from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
3 Privet Drive
Haha, this isn’t at all part of the homes of Harry Potter. But I took photos in front of it because 4 Privet Drive was always filled with people and no one was at 3. So I thought, maybe I could trick you all into thinking that this was 4 Privet Drive and I was lucky enough to take photos sans tourists. But you can see the house number, so that’s fail. No more tricking you guys. LOL!
That’s the end of our little tour of the places where Harry Potter sought comfort at some point in his life. I hope you enjoyed the photos and I hope more that you’ll be with me for the next Harry Potter feature! What do you want to see next?