Tom: "The usual, Hagrid?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Can't, Tom, I'm on Hogwarts business."
Tom: "Good Lord, is this — can this be —? Bless my soul. Harry Potter… what an honour. Welcome back, Mr Potter, welcome back."
— Tom meets Harry Potter in 1991[src]

Tom (fl. 19381990s) was a British wizard, who was the landlord, innkeeper, and barman of the Leaky Cauldron. He was very friendly with many wizards and witches that passed through the pub to get to Diagon Alley. He had run the Leaky Cauldron for a long time, and had had the pleasure of meeting Harry Potter and former Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge on more than one occasion. It is likely he had met other celebrities and political figures in the wizarding world, such as Albus Dumbledore, since his pub leads directly into Diagon Alley. He was very old by the time Harry Potter knew him, as he was mentioned by Dumbledore in the late 1930s to Tom Riddle.


Early life

Tom was likely a pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and studied there from the age of eleven until he left, and eventually became barman/landlord of the Leaky Cauldron some time before 1938. It is possible that Tom encountered Tom Marvolo Riddle (later to be known as Lord Voldemort) on his way to Diagon Alley for the first time, as Albus Dumbledore had told Tom Riddle to ask for him to get there. Riddle's profound distaste for his given name was, in part, due to it being so common, and meeting the landlord would not have negated this opinion in any way.[citation needed]


Tom the Barman

Tom in 1991

In 1991, when Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid passed through the Leaky Cauldron on their way to Diagon Alley, Tom greeted Hagrid like an old friend, or, at the very least, a regular. Other witches and wizards who were there at the time (including Doris Crockford, Dedalus Diggle, and Quirinus Quirrell) began introducing themselves to Harry, before Hagrid managed to get him away from all of them.[2]

In 1993, Cornelius Fudge (then Minister for Magic) asked Tom to keep an eye on Harry Potter while Sirius Black was on the loose until he was due to return to Hogwarts.[3]

In 1997, Tom attended the funeral of Albus Dumbledore and watched as his body was encased in the White Tomb.[4]

In 1998, Tom was greeted by Bellatrix Lestrange (who was really Hermione Granger using Polyjuice Potion) while on her way to Gringotts in Diagon Alley, and was surprised by how polite she was towards him.[5]

Post-Second Wizarding War

Tom passed away or retired during the next 19 years, since Hannah Abbott eventually took over as landlady and lived at the inn with her husband, Neville Longbottom.[6]

Physical appearance

Tom was described by Harry Potter upon sight as old, "quite bald" and that he resembled a toothless walnut.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Nonverbal and Wandless magic: Tom was capable of casting simple wandless spells, such as lighting a fireplace.[3] On 7 August, 1993, Tom was able to turn off a car alarm using non-verbal magic.[7] This implies Tom was a rather powerful and skilled wizard in his own right, as casting spells nonverbally and wandlessly is immensely difficult.
  • Charms: Tom was capable of producing a non-corporeal Patronus,[1] a highly advanced and powerful piece of magic, implying Tom was highly proficient in charms given the immense difficulty of conjuring a Patronus.


Tom is diminutive of the name "Thomas" which means infidel or unfaithful. It was used as a formal male given name. It also means "twin."

It is also quite likely that J. K. Rowling intentionally gave him the same first name as Tom Riddle, as the fact was commented on by Albus Dumbledore. While it is unknown if Riddle ever met the Tom who managed the Leaky Cauldron, he was annoyed by being pointed out they had the same forename. Tom Riddle disliked the fact that "Tom" was a common men's name, being those of of his father, and his grandfather, and desired to be known more independently.[citation needed]

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Wiki has 9 images related to Tom.

Notes and references

The Leaky Cauldron
Founder Daisy Dodderidge Leakycauldronsym
Owners Tom (formerly) · Hannah Abbott Residents Neville Longbottom
Maids Day maid · Night maid · Young maid Others Bartender · Cleaner · Cook · Male toilet fixer
1 Diagon Alley, England, Great Britain
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