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15 Things You Probably Don't Know About Diagon Alley

July 13, 2021 3.7k votes 509 voters 100.4k views15 items

List RulesVote up the details about Diagon Alley that make it even more magical.

Of all the enchanting and wondrous places detailed in the Wizarding World, the bustling shopping street known as Diagon Alley just may be the one that a majority of Harry Potter fans would most love to visit. While Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, and Hogsmeade would certainly be contenders, it would be difficult to pass up the chance to relax with a drink at the Leaky Cauldron, shop for spellbooks in Flourish and Blotts, and receive your very own hand-picked wand from Mr. Ollivander himself.

Diagon Alley maps show its dazzling array of shops, as well as the path toward the shadier side of the magical shopping arcade known as Knockturn Alley, where the makings of some of Voldemort's Horcruxes once stood hidden on the shelves. While we may only be able to imagine all the secrets an adventure to Diagon Alley might reveal, certain little-known details about the street and its history make it seem all the more vivid in the minds of fans. Here is a collection of obscure and interesting facts about Diagon Alley you most likely don't know about.

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    Ron Went On To Join George At Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes And Garnered Huge Success

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    In one of the biggest upsets in the Harry Potter series, Fred tragically loses his life during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving the dynamic duo of the Weasley twins permanently shattered. While devastated, George eventually goes back to work at their joke shop and keeps their shared dream alive. Ron, too, initially goes on to become an Auror beside his best friend, Harry, but he finds that the job isn't his true calling.

    After two years, Ron leaves the Aurors to join George at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. The brothers prove themselves to be a highly successful team, and together they lead the joke shop to new heights, becoming richer and more prosperous than they'd ever dared to dream.

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    Ollivander's Is The Oldest Shop In Diagon Alley By About 1,000 Years

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The original Ollivander's wand shop can trace its roots as far back as 382 BCE. The establishment's founder hailed from Rome and went by Ollivander, a surname that appears to mean "He who owns the olive wand." It is said that wands in Britain at this time were primitive, unwieldy, and poorly made as compared to the wands crafted in the Roman Republic. The original shop was little more than a stall that stood in the place where the store would one day be erected.

    The business survived for hundreds of years within the Ollivander family, with famous ancestors like Geraint Ollivander, born sometime in the Middle Ages, who kept up the reputation for producing work of the highest quality. This enduring history gives the famous wand shop bragging rights as the oldest store in Diagon Alley.

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    Fred And George Still Sold Pranks By Mail While Voldemort Was In Power

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    In 1997, Voldemort's followers forcibly take over the Ministry of Magic, which effectively allows them to seize control over all of the wizarding world in Britain. While this means they also take charge over areas like Diagon Alley, the Weasley twins are not so easily bullied out of providing laughs to a network of freedom fighters in desperate need of some mirth. Even with their shop closed down and their family in hiding, Fred and George went back to their clandestine ways of selling their products in secret and delivering them by owl post.

    Additionally, many of their products proved useful in resisting the Death Eaters, including the Peruvian darkness powder and hats that shielded the wearers from dark curses. They also defiantly made a mockery of the Dark Lord with their U-NO-POO product, a play on "you-know-who."

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    The Leaky Cauldron Sells A Drink So Disgusting, No One In History Has Ever Finished A Pint

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    After Minister Ulick Gamp took action to protect the Leaky Cauldron in 1692 by making it the permanent entranceway to Diagon Alley, the owner of the establishment decided to honor his legacy in a particularly strange way. He developed a beer called Gamp's Old Gregarious that tasted so foul and repulsive that, even in the entire history of the Leaky Cauldron, no one has ever been able to finish a full pint.

    There is a prize of 100 gold Galleons to anyone who can down the whole thing, but no one has been able to claim those riches in over 300 years. One cannot help but wonder how the recipe has stayed intact over 300 years, just how many magical folk have attempted the challenge, and what exactly the brew might taste like to garner such a reputation.

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