While watching (and loving) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, something occurred to me.

Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley and Gringott's Bank, which are clearly in the Wizarding World. However, when he takes Harry to King's Cross, there is no sign for Platform 9¾, and Harry needs the Weasleys to show him how to get there. We seem to have slipped back into the Muggle world again.

Is there a passage in the book explaining this, which the film has omitted?

2 Answers 2


After they went shopping, they left Diagon Alley (and the Wizarding World) via wall behind the Leaky Cauldron and then back into the Muggle world.

The late-afternoon sun hung low in the sky as Harry and Hagrid made their way back down Diagon Alley, back through the wall, back through the Leaky Cauldron, now empty.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - — CHAPTER FIVE — Diagon Alley

They traveled by Underground from the Cauldron to Paddington where Harry caught a train back to Little Whinging. In the film this journey is omitted but we do see them in the Cauldron, when Harry learns about his parent's fate at the hands of Voldemort.

Harry didn’t speak at all as they walked down the road; he didn’t even notice how much people were gawping at them on the Underground, laden as they were with all their funny-shaped packages, with the sleeping snowy owl on Harry’s lap. Up another escalator, out into Paddington station; Harry only realised where they were when Hagrid tapped him on the shoulder.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - — CHAPTER FIVE — Diagon Alley

Several weeks later Harry then traveled from Little Whinging to Kings Cross (meeting the Weasleys) where he then returned to the Wizard World via the gate at Platform 9 3/4

  • Why the Northern Line, Diagon Alley is off Charing Cross road, I'd take the Picadilly line from there. They may have used Leadenhall to film in the first film in our world but that's not where the location is in Harrys world.
    – Sarriesfan
    Aug 18, 2018 at 15:52
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    @Sarriesfan - In the book it mentions that they traveled via Paddington(?!).
    – Valorum
    Aug 18, 2018 at 16:37
  • Hagrid was obviously taking the Scenic route.
    – Sarriesfan
    Aug 18, 2018 at 16:39
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    Central line at Tottenham Court, change onto the Circle at White City, then all the way round to Kingscross, ;) completely unneeded. Unless there was planned engineering works on other lines that day.:)
    – Sarriesfan
    Aug 18, 2018 at 16:46
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    @Sarriesfan - Possibly worth its own question albeit the answer is "because JKR just looked at the tube map and drew a couple of lines without really thinking".
    – Valorum
    Aug 18, 2018 at 16:48

In the films there is so much missing, I had friends that don't know the books wonder why major things happen the way they do.

What is missing here is that Hagrid visits Harry on his birthday, which is July 31st. The train leaves on September 1st. So there is the whole month of August between those two scenes. This whole month Harry again lives with the Dursleys. They mysteriously managed to get off the island without the boat, that Hagrid had taken away.

Additionally, in the book it's not Hagrid who takes Harry to King's Cross, instead, Harry manages to persuade Vernon to take him.

"All right, we’ll take you to King’s Cross. We’re going up to London tomorrow anyway, or I wouldn’t bother."

"Why are you going to London?" Harry asked, trying to keep things friendly.

"Taking Dudley to hospital," growled Uncle Vernon. "Got to have that ruddy tail removed before he goes to Smeltings." (PS)

They even enter King’s Cross with Harry, mainly for their own amusement to show Harry that platform nine and three-quarters doesn't exist.

They reached King's Cross at half past ten. Uncle Vernon dumped Harry's trunk onto a cart and wheeled it into the station for him. Harry thought this was strangely kind until Uncle Vernon stopped dead, facing the platforms with a nasty grin on his face.

"Well, there you are, boy. Platform nine -- platform ten. Your platform should be somewhere in the middle, but they don't seem to have built it yet, do they?"

He was quite right, of course. There was a big plastic number nine over one platform and a big plastic number ten over the one next to it, and in the middle, nothing at all.

"Have a good term," said Uncle Vernon with an even nastier smile. He left without another word. Harry turned and saw the Dursleys drive away. All three of them were laughing.(PS)

It is already irresponsible of Hagrid not to tell Harry how to get there, but if in the film Hagrid takes him there and then leaves him alone to find the way, that is even more irresponsible.

Harry not finding the way is one of the key points, because there he meets Ron.

  • Uncle Vernon only agrees to take Harry because they’re going up to London anyway “to have that ruddy tail removed”. (And Hagrid doesn’t tell Harry anything about how to get there in the book either, so whichever way you look at it, he’s being more irresponsible in the film.) Aug 20, 2018 at 0:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I added that part. I know that Hagrid doesn't tell Harry in the book and in the film is more irresponsible, I thought I wrote that. Aug 20, 2018 at 5:30
  • Gah, now I wrote the wrong thing too! I meant to say that he’s more irresponsible in the book. At least in the film he makes sure Harry gets as far as the station. Aug 20, 2018 at 7:59
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Let's agree that he is irresponsible in both cases, and whoever sent him was also irresponsible, knowing Hagrid is not the right person for that job, just like Hagrid himself knows and admits. Aug 21, 2018 at 5:46
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    @11684 He didn’t actually leave him with the Dursleys as such, though. He left him on a train pulling out of the station in London bound, presumably, for the nearest train station to Little Whinging, knowing full well that the Dursleys had no idea where Harry was, that he was coming on the train, or when he’d arrive. Indeed, to Hagrid’s knowledge, the Dursleys were still trapped on a tiny island in the sea. He was sending an 11-year-old boy on a train to somewhere, with no one to pick him up and get him anywhere from the station. Quite irresponsible there, too, I’d say. Aug 27, 2018 at 14:33

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