Private Homes

Copyright Warner Bros./Photo by Murray Close
The Dursleys, who mistreated Harry for 10 years, in their home on Privet Drive.

Calling all Muggles: If you find yourself boarding the train at Platform 9 ¾ this summer, here's a guide to what to do next.

The Burrow: Nestled in the rolling hills of Devon near the town of Ottery St. Catchpole is the magical homestead of the Weasley family. Molly Weasley welcomes all comers into her home with smiles and bread fresh from the oven. The Burrow stands four or five stories tall in the midst of a wild and magical garden infested with gnomes. The exact height is a bit difficult to determine, since the entire structure is held together by magic. One gets the impression that originally the Burrow may have been a single-story barn or shed, but many rooms and levels have been added that now jut out at interesting and improbable angles. No one feels like a stranger for long at the Burrow, but there is a ghoul in the attic and Molly does occasionally insist that everyone join her listening to long Celestina Warbeck concerts on the Wizarding Wireless. Be that as it may, the Burrow is easily one of the most inviting homes in the wizarding community.

Spinner's End: The same cannot be said for the home of Severus Snape. Snape's is a small, nondescript row house lost in the crooked streets of a bleak mill town. Why this dreary destination has become such a favorite of female tourists is a mystery. Do not expect to be welcomed by this home's inhabitants or even acknowledged at all should you choose to knock. Travelers are advised to move on to happier locales as soon as possible.

Number four, Privet Drive: This neat and tidy house in Little Whinging, Surrey, is famous as the home where Harry Potter grew up. However, as a tourist destination it leaves much to be desired. Number four looks pretty much like number three and number five. In fact, it looks pretty much like all the other neat and tidy houses up and down the entire street. It is difficult to imagine that The Boy Who Lived could have survived for 10 years in this decidedly mundane, non-magical home. Magical travelers will quickly find themselves yearning for more enchanting surroundings and mount their brooms, fling out their arms for the Knight Bus, or simply Apparate away in search of adventure.

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