There are several stories and theories around Harry Potter and its origins. For the longest time, it was known that author JK Rowling conceptualized and wrote the Harry Potter series at Edinburgh. In fact, The Elephant House Cafe there is considered to be the hallowed place where the author started writing the first book of the series.
It turns out, that the entire story is a myth. A fact that Rowling recently revealed on Twitter. Answering an oft-asked query, she wrote, “I was thinking of putting a section on my website about all the alleged inspirations and birthplaces of Potter. I’d been writing Potter for several years before I ever set foot in this cafe, so it’s not the birthplace, but I *did* write in there so we’ll let them off!”
She further added, “For instance, I never visited this bookshop in Oporto. Never even knew of its existence! It’s beautiful and I wish I *had* visited it, but it has nothing to do with Hogwarts!”
The real birthplace of the popular series was not in Edinburgh but London. “This is the true birthplace of Harry Potter, if you define ‘birthplace’ as the spot where I put pen to paper for the first time.* I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction.”
The author also busted the myth behind the origin of Hogwarts School. “I sometimes hear Hogwarts was based on one or other of Edinburgh’s schools, but that’s 100% false, too. Hogwarts was created long before I clapped eyes on any of them! I did finish Hallows in the Balmoral, though, & I can’t lie, I’d rate it a smidge higher than the Bournville.”
She also gave a backstory on Severus Snape. It was a sign that made it in her book. “Real Harry Potter inspiration alert: I walked past this sign every day on my way to work when I was living in Clapham. Much later – post-publication – I revisited the area & suddenly realised THIS was why ‘Severus’ had leapt into my head when thinking of a 1st name for Snape.”