The stations Harry uses actually provide good clues to the geography of wizarding London.
The underground railway system in London – what in the U.S. would be referred to as a subway – is commonly referred to as the Underground, or occasionally the “tube.” Though the names of the stations are never specified, Harry has taken the Underground three times:
- On Harry’s first trip to London, he and Hagrid took the underground from an unknown surface train station (likely Paddington, though there are several other possibilities) to the stop nearest Diagon Alley – almost certainly the Charing Cross stop. On this trip, Hagrid got stuck in the ticket barrier and drew attention from the Muggles for knitting a huge yellow something or other, crammed into a seat much too small for him. After shopping, they made the return trip as well (PS5).
- Harry and Arthur Weasley took the underground from Grimmauld Place (at a “miserable little Underground station”) to the Ministry of Magic – at a “station in the very heart of London” – for his hearing in 1995. This was Mr. Weasley’s first time on the Underground, and the automatic ticket machines were out of order (OP7). How Harry got back to Grimmauld Place was never mentioned.
- Harry again took the Underground from Grimmauld Place – this time with Tonks, Moody, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny – to visit Arthur in St. Mungo’s (OP22). Again their stop was described as being “in the very heart of London.” They returned by underground as well (OP23).
For more information on Harry’s second and third trips, see the essay In Search of… Grimmauld Place. [Photo courtesy www.artofthestate.co.uk]
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