It’s been 10 years since J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
On 11 January 2007 the author stepped out of Edinburgh’s Balmoral hotel having completed the last novel in the Harry Potter series — the culmination of 17 years of writing.
But that wasn’t all J.K. Rowling wrote while she was there…
Finished Hallows 9 yrs ago today. Celebrated by graffiti-ing a bust in my hotel room. Never do this. It's wrong. pic.twitter.com/HsqQKydY68— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) 11 January 2016
Before she checked out, J.K. Rowling signed the bust of Hermes in her room with the message: ‘J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007’.
So why did J.K. Rowling come to finish her novel in this particular place? The story goes that while finishing Deathly Hallows, the author struggled to find some peace and quiet to write.
As she told Oprah Winfrey in 2010, ‘For years and years and years I would just go to a café and sit in a different kind of noise and work. I thought, I can go to a quiet place; so I came to this hotel because it’s a beautiful hotel but I didn’t intend to stay here. But they were so nice to me here, and I think writers can be a little bit superstitious, and the first day of writing went well, so I kept coming back to this hotel and I ended up finishing the last of the Harry Potter books in this hotel.’
In August 2006, J.K. Rowling discreetly ‘moved in’ to finish the final Harry Potter novel. The room where she stayed is now called the J.K. Rowling Suite.
The desk in the right-hand corner is the very same one used by J.K. Rowling to write those crucial last chapters, and the bookshelves behind it hold two complete sets of Harry Potter books.
The decision was made to preserve the signed bust, so it now sits within a glass cabinet. J.K. Rowling’s graffiti has faded over the years but there’s a framed copy on the wall behind the bust of Hermes.
There’s even an adorable owl knocker on the outside of the door. We’re sure Hedwig would be proud.