Rubeus Hagrid raised his pink umbrella and touched a brick above a trash can. (July 31, 1991)
About this creation
(If you like this, please rate 4-5 or leave a message.)
The wall turned into an arch big enough for even Hagrid to enter.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley," said Hagrid.
So on his 11th birthday, Harry Potter entered Diagon Alley.
He looked back, but found the archway had turned back to a wall.
There were so many things to see, he looked left and right, while trying to keep up with Hagrid's long strides. Meanwhile, the cobblestone street curved ahead.
(A boy his age, Neville Longbottom, was eating ice cream with his Uncle Algie, while another his age, Draco Malfoy, was with his father outside the bookstore.)
Outside an apothecary, Harry heard a woman say, "17 sickles for dragon liver, they must be mad!"
Then he saw a couple boys looking at a broomstick in a shop window, (Quality Quidditch Supplies).
"The Nimbus 2000, fastest broom ever!" one said to the other.
As they approached the white marble steps, Harry looked up and saw...
"Yeh, that's a goblin, Harry," said Hagrid.
(They passed a family with a 13-year old boy with dreadlocks, who bought a tarantula at the Magical Menagerie.)
Other angles of Diagon Alley:
When Harry Potter visited Diagon Alley, he first went to Gringotts to get his gold. Sometime after that, Professor Quirrel wearing a purple turban, whom they met in The Leaky Cauldron, also went to Gringotts.
Despite its bad smell, Harry found the Apothecary to be quite interesting. He bought his potions ingredients kit here.
Despite his protests, Hagrid went to Eyelops Owl Emporium and bought Harry a snowy-white owl. Meanwhile, Neville Longbottom's Great Uncle Algie bought Neville a toad from the Magical Menagerie, which he named Trevor.
Their last stop would be Ollivander's Wand Shop.
That's what Harry really wanted: a wand.
"Good morning," said a soft voice. Both Harry and Hagrid jumped.
Mr. Ollivander came close to Harry and pointed at his scar. He told them he sold the wand that did it.
After measuring Harry with his tape measure, Ollivander had Harry wave wand after wand, but didn't seem upset as the wands piled up.
"Tricky customer, eh?" he said. "Holly and Phoenix feather, an unusual combination, but perhaps..."
Harry lifted the wand and felt a warmth. As he moved it down, red and gold sparks shot out.
"Strange that that wand should choose you," said Ollivander, "as its brother gave you that scar."
Harry wasn't sure how much he liked Mr. Ollivander. He was quiet as he accompanied Hagrid through the arch and out the now empty Leaky Cauldron.
-from HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S/PHILOSOPHER'S STONE (Year 1)
After the Malfoys left, Harry got out of his hiding place and left Borgin and Burke's [not built].
He saw a sign saying Knockturn Alley, which didn't help him.
He passed a shop selling shrunken heads [not built] and another selling giant spiders [not built].
Hagrid found Harry in Knockturn Alley and guided him back to Diagon Alley. Hermione saw Harry and ran down the Gringotts stairs, and immediately the Weasleys came running up the street from the other direction. Mr. Weasley used his wand to fix Harry's glasses. After thanking Hagrid, he left and they all headed for Gringotts.
"Guess who I saw in Borgin and Burke's? The Malfoys," said Harry.
"Was he buying?" asked Mr. Weasley.
"Oh, I'd like to get something on Lucius Malfoy," said Mr. Weasley.
"You be careful," said Mrs. Weasley, "That family's trouble."
They split up for an hour, Mr. Weasley taking the Grangers to the Leaky Cauldron, [not built] the twins meeting up with their friend, Lee Jordan, Mrs. Weasley taking Ginny to a used robes shop [not built] and Harry buying ice creams for his friends.
Walking through Diagon Alley they met the twins a joke shop [not built], and found Percy in a junk shop [not built].
Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys met up an hour later near the bookshop, Flourish and Blotts. A crowd of witches (about Mrs. Weasley's age) were congregating outside, while a shopkeeper was blocking the door. Harry saw the notice of a book-signing by Gilderoy Lockhart. A photographer was let inside.
-from HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (Year 2)
After blowing up Aunt Marge, and fleeing on the Knight Bus, Harry had two weeks before school started to enjoy Diagon Alley. He slept and ate at the Leaky Cauldron [not built].
He was able to do his summer homework outside Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, helped by Florean himself, who knew a lot of History of Magic, and provided him free sundaes every hour.
He saw witches from the country up for a days shopping, raucous dwarfs, and several of his schoolmates. He didn't talk to Neville Longbottom, who was being told-off for losing his school list by an elderly witch with a stuffed bird on her hat. [See my Staffroom for Snape in her outfit.]
-from HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (Year 3)
[Year 6 to follow.]
Although not in the story, I thought it would be nice if the day after Neville's 11th birthday, Uncle Algie took him to Diagon Alley to get his equipment and toad.
We don't know when and where Lee Jordan got his tarantula, but I thought it would be fun to have him with his Mum this day.
The cauldron shop is next to the entrance from the Leaky Cauldron; [check].
The connection to Knockturn Alley is near the Apothecary; [check].
Quality Quidditch Supplies is next door to the stationery shop; [didn't build it].
The Magical Menagerie is across the street from Florean's Ice Cream Parlor; [need revision].
NUTS & BOLTS:
I started working on this about 30 months previously. I posted some scenes after each building (see links above). I built 2 or 3 buildings before looking to see if anyone else had done scenes for Diagon Alley. There weren't many and I'll post some links to their efforts. I wasn't sure I'd finish this project. A few people said they were going to do Hogwarts, but didn't and never returned.
I bought the set, Diagon Alley (10217), and used Ollivanders Wand Shop. I changed the bottom plates of Ollivanders to fit my Diagon Alley and replaced a window and its wall with sand green bricks having the masonry pattern. I discovered I'd used Ollivander's face for Fortescue, the ice cream man, so came up with a substitute. I used pieces from the other two buildings, but built my own version of Gringotts as well as 8 other buildings. I wanted to make the other buildings compatible with Ollivanders, yet distinctive.
Diagon Alley is described as curving out of sight. Once I started, I decided that the buildings should be staggered like a lightning bolt. A real curving street would have the face of each building at an angle from its neighbor, but this wouldn't work too well with LEGOs. The width of each building was to match one on the other side of the street, but this made the path pinch, so I had to change it.
I could use another couple hundred dark-bluish-gray round plates for the cobblestones, but might wait to see if they make round tiles in that color. I didn't make a joke shop or the parchment shop, though I have room on the table if I decide to do it.
People on this site don't care much for minifigures; which I can understand since they are bought, not made. Still I'm enjoying posing some of my figures, and plan on using different ones for different years. Harry meets Draco here (saying his parents are nearby). Harry sees more people we know the next two summers.
Besides using small legs for dwarfs, elves and goblins, I also use them for 2nd-years (12-year olds) and younger.
After I built my first three buildings, I looked to see what others had made of Diagon Alley.
Geertos13 created and posted a big scene in 2010, before the premier Diagon Alley set #10217 was released. You can see it at www.eurobricks.com. A few shots are posted here on www.moc-pages.com.
D.T. Howard built four buildings, including Weasley Wizard Wheezes, adding them to the Diagon Alley set. You can see it at www.flickr.com