At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells.
- "All he could tell was that he was standing in the stone fireplace of what looked like a large, dimly lit wizard's shop — but nothing in here was ever likely to be on a Hogwarts school list. A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a blood-stained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley."
- — Harry's first experience in Borgin and Burkes[src]
Borgin and Burkes was an antique shop located at 13B, Knockturn Alley, owned by Mr Borgin and Mr Burke, who were known to deal with unusual and ancient wizarding artefacts. It had a shady reputation due to the fact that it was frequented by those with sinister intents, whom were considered dodgy, as well as the greedy and money-minded nature of its founders.
At some point, Borgin and Burkes was used to carry out otherwise shady business and to sell objects of Dark magic and other dangerous magical items. These items included: the Hand of Glory, an assortment of human bones, a pack of bloody cards, a glass eye, spiked instruments, a hangman's rope, a cursed necklace, and an array of leering masks that line the walls.
Some way down Knockturn Alley at number 13B lies Borgin and Burkes, the most notorious of the alley’s shops, which specialised in “objects with unusual and powerful properties”, and particularly items that were both “unusual and ancient”. Many of the wizarding communities' children were instructed by their parents not to venture inside. Molly Weasley banned her twin sons Fred and George from setting even one foot down Knockturn Alley, due to the dangers present.
The shop was quite large, dusty, and dimly lit, with a large stone fireplace, and was known to be frequented by families like the Malfoys. Its proprietors, Mr Borgin and Caractacus Burke, were smooth talkers known to buy magical objects for much less than they were actually worth, and sell them for far more. One dangerous item that the shop carries was the Opal Necklace, that was once on display in the front window. This necklace had a read the label, "Do not Touch! Cursed. Has claimed the lives of nineteen Muggle owners to date".
Established in 1863 by Messrs. Caractacus Burke and Borgin, the shop offers "confidential valuation service for unusual and ancient wizarding artefacts, such as may have been inherited by the best wizarding families".
When Merope Gaunt eloped with Tom Riddle Snr, probably in late 1925 or early 1926, Tom abandoned her and their unborn son a short while later, leaving Merope alone and destitute. Her only possession of worth was a heavy golden locket engraved with a serpentine 'S', which was once the property of Salazar Slytherin, her direct ancestor. Mr Burke was a shrewd businessman, but not exactly a kind human being.
According to Hepzibah Smith, Burke purchased the necklace from Merope for "a pittance"; meaning he bought the necklace sometime in 1926, before Voldemort's birth, for a very small amount of money or something equally as worthless. Burke admitted to purchasing the necklace for a mere ten Galleons, taking advantage of Merope's ignorance and desperation. Sometime later, Burke sold the necklace to Hepzibah Smith. She paid "an arm and a leg for it", claiming that she could not let a "real treasure" like that pass. Burke turned a tidy profit on the necklace at Merope's expense, but he could not have imagined the importance of that particular heirloom, or how it would impact his business years later.
Roughly eighteen years after purchasing Slytherin's locket, Burke, without realising it, hired the son of the woman he had bought it from. Tom Marvolo Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort, started working at Borgin and Burkes directly after graduating from Hogwarts in 1945. Riddle, who graduated Hogwarts with flying colors, had surprised others with his career choice. Promising witches and wizards with similar standing as Riddle had often been a catch to the Ministry of Magic, so Riddle's choice to make application to such a disreputable establishment in Knockturn Alley was seen as odd . Many of Tom's former teachers were surprised and disappointed at his choice of career at the shop, believing it was a waste of his exceptional talents. What they failed to unearth was that Tom was using the shop's connections to the Dark Arts to further his independent studies in the branch. A handsome and charismatic young man, it was his job to persuade people to part with their wizardly artefacts. Riddle did a very good job at carrying out this intent.
- "However, Voldemort was no mere assistant. Polite and handsome and clever, he was soon given particular jobs of the type that only exist in a place like Borgin and Burkes, which specialises, as you know, Harry, in objects with unusual and powerful properties. Voldemort was sent to persuade people to part with their treasures for sale by the partners, and he was, by all accounts, unusually gifted at doing this."
- — Tom Riddle during his time at Borgin and Burkes[src]
Sometime between 1955 and 1961. Lord Voldemort was sent to visit Hepzibah Smith, charming her with his pleasant demeanour and good looks. She trusted him enough to show him Slytherin's locket, the locket that should have rightfully been his. Soon after seeing this locket, Voldemort killed Hepzibah, framing Smith's house-elf Hokey for the murder and taking the locket. Once the locket was in his possession, Riddle disappeared from wizard life completely, taking it and a cup once owned by Helga Hufflepuff with him. Riddle also left Caractacus Burke perplexed, as he failed to show up to work from then on. A previously responsible employee, Riddle abruptly deserted his position in Borgin & Burke's without giving due notice of resignation to his superiors.
On occasion, Mr Borgin would purchase items of interest from others; Lucius Malfoy had on numerous occasions sold things to Mr Borgin to avoid trouble before a Ministry raid on his mansion. In 1992, just before starting his second year at Hogwarts, Harry found himself in the shop, after accidentally exiting the Floo Network one stop beyond his intended destination of Diagon Alley.
When Mr Malfoy entered the shop to sell "some poisons", Harry hid in a Crushing Cabinet. Upon seeing Tom Riddle's Diary, Borgin wanted to buy it because of its "magical qualities". Malfoy, however refrained from selling it, having other plans for it. He planned to use it in an attempt to discredit Arthur Weasley after he conducted raids on his manor home.
Draco Malfoy visited this shop again in early August of 1996 to force Borgin to help him repair a broken Vanishing Cabinet, the partner of which was in the shop. Draco also bought the Hand of Glory and a cursed Opal Necklace. When Draco left, Borgin was visibly shaken, though when Hermione Granger entered minutes later with a poor attempt to investigate Draco's doings, Borgin angrily expelled her from the store. The Vanishing Cabinet Draco wanted to repair was located at Hogwarts Castle. A group of Death Eaters used the Vanishing Cabinet at Borgin and Burkes to enter Hogwarts Castle at the end of the same school year.
During the Calamity which affected the Wizarding World in the late 2010s, volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force were able to make visits to Borgin and Burkes through the use of various Portkeys in order to collect Wrackspurts scattered throughout the shop.
- Mr Borgin (owner)
- Caractacus Burke (owner)
- Tom Riddle (former shop assistant, collector of items to be sold at the shop)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Nintendo DS version only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: The Wand Collection (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Notes and references
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)>Hepzibah died ten years before Voldemort met with Dumbledore. Lupin's quote in the PoA tells us Dumbledore became Headteacher between 1965 and 1971, meaning Hepzibah died befween 1955 and 1961
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
13B Knockturn Alley · Beard Trimming · Betting shop · Borgin and Burkes · Chimney Sweep Elf · Cobb & Webb's · E.L.M and Wizards Undertakers & Embalmers · The Coffin House · Dystyl Phaelanges · Markus Scarrs Indelible Tattoos · Moribund's · McHavelock's Wizarding Headgear · Mr. Mulpepper's Apothecary · Noggin and Bonce · Potage's Cauldron Shop · The Spiny Serpent · The Starry Prophesier · Wizarding Supplies · Ye Olde Curiosity Shop · Msaw Ætare · The White Wyvern · Trackleshanks Locksmith