A scar is born. But where?
There’s so much misinformation when it comes to the “Harry Potter” backstory, you’d think Rita Skeeter was behind every headline. But on Thursday, author J.K. Rowling decided to put some long-standing rumors to rest, revealing the actual birthplace of the series, among other things.
Rowling first addressed the elephant in the room: Despite what some fans think, The Elephant House cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland, wasn’t the spot where she first put pen to paper (quill to parchment?).
I was thinking of putting a section on my website about all the alleged inspirations and birthplaces of Potter. I’d been writing Potter for several years before I ever set foot in this cafe, so it’s not the birthplace, but I *did* write in there so we’ll let them off! https://t.co/xDOsrbiZwu— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
Nope. The actual location is apparently a room she used to rent in London.
“I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction,” the author wrote.
This is the true birthplace of Harry Potter, if you define 'birthplace' as the spot where I put pen to paper for the first time.* I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction. pic.twitter.com/HVORnPVboK— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
(We’re guessing the rent just went up.)
But “Potter” truly started even before that. Rowling has already said that she came up with the initial idea for the story on a train, aka her own Hogwarts Express.
* If you define the birthplace of Harry Potter as the moment when I had the initial idea, then it was a Manchester-London train. But I'm perennially amused by the idea that Hogwarts was directly inspired by beautiful places I saw or visited, because it's so far from the truth.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
The author revealed other inspirational locations as well, including the birthplace of Quidditch and a pretty magical tree.
This building is in Manchester and used to be the Bourneville Hotel (Pretty sure it's this building. It might be the one along). Anyway, I spent a single night there in 1991, and when I left next morning, I'd invented Quidditch. pic.twitter.com/gNzAanTw20— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
I sometimes hear Hogwarts was based on one or other of Edinburgh’s schools, but that’s 100% false, too. Hogwarts was created long before I clapped eyes on any of them! I did finish Hallows in the Balmoral, though, & I can’t lie, I’d rate it a smidge higher than the Bournville. pic.twitter.com/Evt0ttqfYH— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
That one’s true! I used to write in Nicolsons all the time. I once wrote an entire chapter in there in one sitting and barely changed a word afterwards. Those are the days you remember. I think Nicolsons is now a Chinese Restaurant. pic.twitter.com/JNKDP0ywJK— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
I wrote the bit where Harry buys his wand sitting under a tree, appropriately enough. (I can't absolutely guarantee they haven't taken away the old tree & planted a new one in the same corner of the field. I haven't been there for nearly 30 years. But I think it's this one.) pic.twitter.com/29IA3eHHl9— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
Yes, both of these are untrue, I'm afraid. I can't remember ever going to the Old Firehouse when I was a student and Gandy Street is nothing like the Diagon Alley in my head. pic.twitter.com/6kR0EmGrLq— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
If it cheers up the people who're disappointed about the bookshop in Oporto, I wrote in here sometimes. This was probably the most beautiful café I ever wrote in, actually. The Majestic Cafe on Rua Santa Catarina. pic.twitter.com/xo2UUYzb0n— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
Well, looks like I've got a fight on my hands, because I've never seen or been to the Shambles... pic.twitter.com/txA98CK1hx— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
But if you were planning on feeding a special parking meter in Edinburgh, you might want to save your (nine-and-three) quarters.
My favourite bit of utter nonsense about Potter landmarks is still this one. I can't drive. pic.twitter.com/szugSAkIOA— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
As for the tweets, it’s mischief managed.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.