Harry Potter Exhibition Reveals J.K. Rowling's Original Pitch

Author J.K. Rowling once said, 'No story lives unless someone wants to listen," at the final premiere of the Harry Potter film franchise. Turn time back almost twenty years, and it's impossible to imagine that the story of a young boy who discovers he's a wizard and goes to wizarding school was declined more than once. But that's exactly what happened - twelve publishers turned down the original pitch.

As part of celebrating Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 20th birthday, Harry Potter: A History Of Magic exhibition at London’s British Library has now shared Rowling's initial synopsis.

Thanks to Seventeen and Mashable, we've gotten an official look:
Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin because his parents died in a car-crash — or so he has been told. The Dursleys don't like Harry asking questions; in fact, they don't seem to like anything about him, especially the very odd things that keep happening around him (which Harry himself can't explain).

The Dursleys' greatest fear is that Harry will discover the truth about himself, so when letters start arriving for him near his eleventh birthday, he isn't allowed to read them. However, the Dursleys aren't dealing with an ordinary postman, and at midnight on Harry's birthday the gigantic Rubeus Hagrid breaks down the door to make sure Harry gets to read his post at last. Ignoring the horrified Dursleys, Hagrid informs Harry that he is a wizard, and the letter he gives Harry explains that he is expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a month's time.

“To the Dursleys' fury, Hagrid also reveals the truth about Harry's past. Harry did not receive the scar on his forehead in a car-crash; it is really the mark of the great dark sorcerer Voldemort, who killed Harry's mother and father but mysteriously couldn't kill him, even though he was a baby at the time. Harry is famous among the witches and wizards who live in secret all over the country because Harry's miraculous survival marked Voldemort's downfall.

So Harry, who has never had friends or family worth the name, sets off for a new life in the wizarding world. He takes a trip to London with Hagrid to buy his Hogwarts equipment (robes, wand, cauldron, beginners' draft and potion kit) and shortly afterwards, sets off for Hogwarts from Kings Cross Station (platform nine and three quarters) to follow in his parents' footsteps.

Harry makes friends with Ronald Weasley (sixth in his family to go to Hogwarts and tired of having to use second-hand spellbooks) and Hermione Granger (cleverest girl in the year and the only person in the class to know all the uses of dragon's blood). Together, they have their first lessons in magic — astronomy up on the tallest tower at two in the morning, herbology out in the greenhouses where the...

The official exhibition, open until Wednesday February, 28th, showcases more than 100 artefacts that donated by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and other exhibitors, to show the inspiration her wizarding world. From the origins of Nicholas Flamel to the creatures and plantlife in herbology, Harry Potter: A History of Magic in London lets the magic unfold of its phenomenal origins. It's open from Friday 20th October to Wednesday 28th February. Tickets cost £16 adults, £8 students.

If you can't see the exhibition in person, a documentary will also air on BBC 2, on October 29th at 9pm. Also, Harry Potter: A History of Magic will be landing in New York next October.

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