The Homes of “Harry Potter”
The homes in Harry Potter come in all shapes and sizes and question the very idea of what makes a home. The idea of the house versus the home is a theme that we see from the very beginning of the series with Harry’s neglected upbringing in the Dursleys’ house, which lacks any sense of belonging or acceptance. Throughout the series, the various homes and sanctuaries Harry finds show us all that a home can be found in the most unexpected of places and that there is always somebody to turn to in times of strife.
1. The Burrow: The One That Was Found
The Burrow is perhaps the most perfect of homes in the Harry Potter series. Warm, inviting, and a little eccentric, the Burrow represents what a family home should look like, in contrast to the cold rigidity of 4 Privet Drive. Although the Weasley family may struggle to make ends meet, their home is one of vibrancy and a loving aura, and they invite Harry to be a part of that with no question. Apart from Hogwarts and the necessity of revisiting Privet Drive, the Burrow is the home that Harry continually returns to – each time finding the warmth and belonging that his semi-adopted family offers.
2. Shell Cottage: The One in the Most Desperate of Times
Another Weasley home, Shell Cottage, is an important sanctuary in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A place to turn to after shocking and devastating events, Harry and his friends find a quiet place of refuge in Bill and Fleur’s home. Here they can rest and regroup, comforted in the knowledge that they are safe and welcomed in a world that is constantly pursuing them. Sometimes a home is just that – a place of shelter from the dangers of the outside world.
3. No. 12 Grimmauld Place: The One in Disguise
Grimmauld Place may be dank, miserable, and full of the remnants of Dark magic and pure-blood mania, but for Harry, it’s a place where he can escape – and a place where he can play family with Sirius and his friends. As the seat of resistance for the Order of the Phoenix, Grimmauld Place shows us that it is not the appearance of a home that makes it so – it’s the people inside. Just as the Burrow may be a wobbling mess of rooms, Grimmauld Place becomes a home for Harry in spite of its dark past. Some homes just need a little fixing, as we see in the transformation of Kreacher and Grimmauld Place in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, this home’s shadowy past also tells us that what may be a home for one person may be a prison for another, as we see from Sirius’s experience of being trapped inside the house he grew up in.
4. Andromeda and Ted Tonks’ Place: The One That Came Up out of the Blue
Never discount the power of kindness – as we see in the bravery of Ted and Andromeda Tonks, providing their home as a refuge during Harry’s disastrous transportation out of Privet Drive during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Although it merely acts as a waystation, it comes at a pivotal time for Harry and shows us that we always have more friends and people that we can rely on than we know.
I’ll tell Tonks – Dora – to send word, when she… Thanks for patching us up, thanks for everything.” (DH 66)
5. Hogwarts: The One That Will Always Be There
Ah, Hogwarts. Hogwarts is where Harry first finds his sense of belonging, a place that arguably marks the center of the wizarding world. It’s here that he finds his friends, his mentors, and his own identity. And for us fans, Hogwarts represents home for us as well – not only as the heart of the series but also as a symbol of magic and this amazing world we’ve all found a place in. Hogwarts will always be home.
When it comes to the idea of a “home,” the Harry Potter series is sending us a very clear message. It’s not the roof or walls that make a house a home but the people inside. We find our homes within those bonds of family and friendship, and these connections can transform any space into one that is truly magical.