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JK Rowling reveals heartbreaking story behind this beloved Harry Potter character

Professor Pomona Sprout is the herbology teacher and head of Hufflepuff

Sharnaz Shahid

It's the phenomenon which catapulted JK Rowling to worldwide fame, and while everyone can relate to one or more characters in Harry Potter, the beloved author has explained why Professor Pomona Sprout is particularly poignant to her. In a new BBC documentary, the 52-year-old revealed she sketched Professor Sprout the same night her mother, Anne, passed away. Her mum died aged 45 after losing a ten year battle with multiple sclerosis. The picture of Pomona Sprout, who was played by Miriam Margolyes in the films, now features in an exhibition at the British Library.

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JK Rowling has revealed why Professor Sprout is particularly poignant to her

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"I drew this picture on December 30, 1990, and I can be very precise," the acclaimed writer shared. "I was staying at a friend's house and I had been writing Potter for six months and I stayed up when everyone else had gone to bed because I was watching the film, The Man Who Would Be King." She added: "The reason I can be incredibly precise about when I drew this was because at some point during watching that movie and drawing this picture, my mother died, 250 miles away, and I got the phone call the next day to say she had died." JK Rowling also described the character as the "most maternal or parental" of the four heads of houses at Hogwarts.

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Professor Sprout is played by Miriam Margolyes in the films

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The sketch of Professor Sprout, along with other original notes and memorabilia by JK Rowling, are on display at the 'History Of Magic' exhibition at the British Library to celebrate 20 years since the first book: The Philosopher's Stone was released. Potter-mania is still going strong around the world; a new shop dedicated to the popular franchise has recently opened in Edinburgh, on the street that is said to have inspired Diagon Alley. The documentary, A History of Magic, will air on BBC Two on Saturday at 9pm.

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