Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Places/Hogsmeade

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Place
Hogsmeade
Location Scotland, near Hogwarts
Permanent Residents None
First Appearance Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

General Overview[edit]

Hogsmeade is the wizarding village near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Hogwarts Express stops at Hogsmeade village. It is the only purely Wizard occupied town in Britain.

Extended Description[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

While we first hear of Hogsmeade in the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, at that point it is simply a passing reference to Hogsmeade Station, the terminus of the Hogwarts Express. The fact that there is an actual town there, and the significance of that town, is not explored until the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Located near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogsmeade is "the only non-Muggle settlement in Britain", and the northern terminus of the Hogwarts Express train line from London. It was founded by Hengist of Woodcroft, who was fleeing because of the Muggles' oppression, at about the same time as Hogwarts was founded. Hogwarts students that attend the third year or above may, on selected weekends (so-called Hogsmeade weekends) and with parental permission, visit the town and patronize its many shops.

A memorable feature of Hogsmeade is the Shrieking Shack, infamous as the "most severely haunted building in Britain".

Hogsmeade merchants[edit]

  • Dervish and Banges, selling and repairing magical items or equipment
  • Gladrags Wizardwear, clothes shops
    • with shops in London
  • a post office
    • has three hundred owls, including some very small Scops owls for "Local Deliveries Only"
  • Madam Puddifoot's tea shop
    • owned by Madam Puddifoot
    • couples of Hogwarts students are drawn to this shop for an idyllic tête-à-tête
  • Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop, selling quills and stationery
  • The Shrieking Shack, the "most severely haunted building in Britain"
  • The Three Broomsticks, a pub that also caters to the under-age students
    • owned by Madam Rosmerta
    • A favorite drink among the students is butterbeer. Other drinks include gillywater, mulled mead, red currant rum, cherry syrup and soda with ice and an umbrella, and firewhisky for the mature drinkers.
  • Zonko's Joke Shop, selling items that can be used for jokes and tricks
    • favorite shop of Fred and George Weasley
    • the items sold include Dungbombs, Hiccup Sweets, Frog Spawn Soap, and Nose-Biting Teacups, among other things
    • in book 6, this shop closes for lack of business when Hogwarts cancels further Hogsmeade weekends

Analysis[edit]

As mentioned, Hogwarts students in their third year and later, with parental permission, may visit Hogsmeade on selected weekends. These Hogsmeade weekends, occurring every month or two, are eagerly anticipated by all eligible students, and the school is practically vacant on those days. Harry is particularly dismayed when he is unable to secure permission from Uncle Vernon, Cornelius Fudge, or Professor McGonagall, and must remain behind while Ron and Hermione head off to sample the joys of the village. Harry does eventually get to the village with assistance from Fred and George, and later is granted permission by his godfather, Sirius Black.

In the article on Prefects, it is noted that Hogwarts is run on a fairly typical boarding school model. In a boarding school situation, the Town visits typified by the Hogsmeade weekend are used as a way of relieving pressure on the students. The school, acting in loco parentis for the students, is responsible for them, and therefore must be able to control them at all times. However, keeping them entirely on the school grounds makes school feel like a prison to the students. Thus, allowing the occasional visit off the school property is a release of tension for the students, and likely for the teachers as well. In the series, it allows the introduction of characters from outside the walls of the school, such as Madam Rosmerta, and to a certain extent also allows stories from outside the school to reach the students. Additionally, it provides a place where students can meet outside the confines of the school buildings, and thus supposedly away from observation by teachers.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the town seems to be falling on hard times; in particular, following Katie Bell being injured by a cursed necklace she apparently got in Hogsmeade, all Hogsmeade weekends are canceled. Apparently, Zonko's joke shop closes for lack of business, causing Fred and George to re-think their idea of opening a branch there. The lack of student visits is bound to cause hardship for many other shops in the village as well, including the Three Broomsticks, Honeyduke's, and Madam Puddifoot's, all of which are usually filled to capacity on Hogsmeade weekends.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the town has been placed under a sunset-to-sunrise curfew by Death Eaters. Anyone on the streets after sunset will trigger an alarm, the Caterwaul, which will summon Death Eaters from where they stand watch, apparently The Three Broomsticks. The Hog's Head, it transpires, is suffered to remain operating as a place where business can be transacted without being watched; while the Death Eaters are not happy about not being in control there, they still have business that they prefer to carry out unmonitored by their fellow wizards, Dark or otherwise. The owner of The Hog's Head is able to face down a squad of Death Eaters by offering to close up shop and leave.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

One less-obvious factor in the development of the story is the fact that Hogsmeade allows students to meet with characters who are, if not entirely in the underworld of the Wizarding world, at least somewhat more shady than you would expect to find at the school. In particular, we spend some time within the confines of the seedy Hog's Head Inn pub, and meet with Mundungus Fletcher. Fletcher, and the areas of the Wizarding world in which he dwells, are necessary to make the story universe complete, and given that they have been introduced, will be vital also for Harry to complete his quest.

It is, in fact, this attention to detail that to a large extent makes the Wizarding world seem so complete. It would be a simpler story if there were only those wizards aligned with Voldemort, and those arrayed against him, but the world would seem to be missing something. Additionally, by painting the world as all either black or white, the author would be diluting her own message. While we see him in many other places, it is in Hogsmeade that we see Fletcher, the opportunist, and how he maneuvers through the world, whether it is the Ministry or Voldemort who is in charge of it; and it is here also that we see the Hog's Head, that survives, not by breaking rules itself, but by turning a blind eye on those who choose to.