Most of the differences between the US and UK editions are very minor, simply changes to phrasing or terms to make the text easier to understand for American readers. However, a few differences are a little bigger than that. In a couple of cases, one version gives a nugget of canon information that the other misses entirely. Since canon facts are what the Lexicon is all about, we’ve been tracking these differences over the years. Here are a few interesting ones:
Sirius’s vault at Gringotts
In the US version of book three, Sirius explains to Harry how he purchased the Firebolt like this: “Crookshanks took the order to the Owl Office for me. I used your name but told them to take the gold from my own Gringotts vault.”
But in the UK version, Sirius tells the number of his vault as well: “Crookshanks took the order to the Owl Office for me. I used your name but told them to take the gold from Gringotts vault number seven hundred and eleven — my own.”
Why is the vault number missing from the US version? No idea.
Description of Dean Thomas
The Sorting in book one includes this sentence in the British version: “… three people left to be sorted. ‘Turpin, Lisa’ became …”
In the US version, however, we are given quite a bit more information: “… three people left to be sorted. ‘Thomas, Dean,’ a Black boy even taller than Ron, joined Harry at the Gryffindor table. ‘Turpin, Lisa’ became …”
What do you call the Headmaster?
Interestingly, in the chapter 4 of the first book, Hagrid writes a note to Dumbledore. In the US version he addresses it to ‘Professor Dumbledore,’ while in the UK version it’s ‘Mr Dumbledore’! That’s the only time Dumbledore is addressed that way, which is good because it sounds weird to my American ears. Well, okay, Hermione calls Aberforth ‘Mr. Dumbledore’ after he rescues them from Death Eaters in Hogsmeade in book seven, but that’s different. And it sounds weird to me then, too.
In the US version of book five, Harry rides in car “borrowed” by Mundungus Fletcher. Harry assume that the car “had had a similar Enlarging Spell put upon it as the Weasley’s old Ford Anglia …”
In the UK version, the spell name is missing. Harry assumes that the car “… had been enlarged with a spell like the Weasley’s old Ford Anglia had once been.” So is the spell name canon or not? It’s not mentioned anywhere else. Sounds a lot like the Undetectable Extension Charm to me.
The Mysterious and terrible Mr. Rookwood
In book five, this Ministry official turned Death Eater is named either Algernon (UK edition) or Augustus (US edition). He fights in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Does it matter? Well, if he’s Algernon, he’s just a bad guy. If it’s really Augustus, he’s the bloke who murdered Fred Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts. So I hate him.
Later UK editions of book five have the name changed to Augustus, so … yeah.
It is indeed Augustus Rookwood … once friends with Ludo Bagman’s father at the Ministry, turned Death Eater and murderer, and eventually killed by Aberforth. Good riddance.