Whilst rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, I came across this curious passage:

The people hurrying by didn't glance at it. Their eyes slid from the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if they couldn't see the Leaky Cauldron at all. In fact, Harry had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it. Before he could mention this, Hagrid had steered him inside.

To me, this suggests that, like Hogwarts, the Leaky Cauldron is magically concealed to look uninviting to muggles, perhaps even a closed down pub. It certainly would make sense that it would be concealed to Muggles, but is there any evidence to support this theory?

  • 7
    Doesn't that quote make it very clear? No offense, but this question feels like 'can we believe what this says in this books'? I feel that the quote that you provided does not leave room for any doubt.
    – Mithical
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 22:03
  • 3
    Not really. It's purposely ambiguous. It could be that the Leaky Cauldron is invisible to Muggles, or, it could simply be that the leaky Cauldron appears so uninteresting, when compared with everything surrounding it, that it's as if Muggles can't see it.
    – Recelica
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


No, they can't.

Dumbledore explicitly tells Tom Riddle that he will be able to see the Leaky Cauldron, but Muggles around him won't see it.

Dumbledore handed Riddle the envelope containing his list of equipment, and, after telling Riddle exactly how to get to the Leaky Cauldron from the orphanage, he said, ‘You will be able to see it, although Muggles around you – non-magical people, that is – will not. Ask for Tom the barman – easy enough to remember, as he shares your name –’ - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)

  • 3
    If that's the case, what's the point of hiding Diagonal Alley further behind the magic brick wall? Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:02
  • 7
    It's been around for awhile, I'm sure it has a rich history. City planning back in the day wasn't quite the same as it is now.
    – user87732
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:07
  • 4
    @alex.common Pottermore has an article on the Leaky Cauldron that says it used to be visible to Muggles before the Statute of Secrecy was created, and hidden only after the Statute became wizarding law.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:20
  • 4
    @RobP.: What difference do you think there is between "not see it" and "not be able to see it"? You think Dumbledore is predicting that they will coincidentally not happen to see it, even though they would be able to?
    – wyvern
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 0:24
  • 1
    @sumelic, ever read HGttG and its sequels? Sounds like Rob is talking about something like the "Somebody Else's Problem" field. :)
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 3:51

I'm going to use an another approach. Muggles can only see the Leaky Cauldron when they are invited to it.

In the second or the third book, Hermione is visiting Diagon Alley with her parents. As far as we know there is no way into the Diagon Alley other than Leaky cauldron. (You can not expect muggles to use the teleportation dust). So Hermione sees the LC , drags her parents to it and then they will be able to see the place.

So yes they won't see it unless they are supposed to.

  • So, a fidelus charm, basically. Would Hermione's parents be able to see/find it from then on? Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 11:21
  • 1
    @marcellothearcane They have been obliviated by her in seventh book so no. But in between I'm not sure. Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 16:03
  • so a "somebody else's problem"
    – WendyG
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 16:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.