Thursday 1st Sept 2016
It’s the first day of a new term at Hogwarts. To celebrate this important date, fans flocked from far and wide to Kings Cross station, where a certain trolley fused to the wall has become an iconic place to visit.
1 September is a date that many Harry Potter fans hold dear. On this day Harry Potter arrived at Kings Cross station and nervously ran through the wall between platforms 9 and 10 to discover platform nine and three-quarters for the first time.
It was a moment so special, fans have held it within their hearts and imaginations forever. This was the moment that Harry finally saw the enormous, scarlet Hogwarts Express, and was transported to a new and magical world.
At the real Kings Cross station in London today, the joy of this scene was brought to life as fans queued to get their picture taken pushing the now famous luggage trolley that stands between platforms nine and 10.
You can even pick your Hogwarts house scarf to wear as you go.
As the clock struck 11am – the time that the Hogwarts Express sets off – fans arrived in their scores.
In the queue for the trolley we spoke to Danielle, who was visiting the UK from Los Angeles with her boyfriend Spencer. We asked how she felt about this homing beacon for the Harry Potter community.
‘I’m here today specifically for this. I’ve never been to Kings Cross before,’ she said. ‘I’ve always wanted to do this, ever since I started reading [the books] in second grade.’
As well as becoming a popular photo spot, the Kings Cross trolley also holds many personal memories for fans.
LJ and Laura are fellow Hufflepuffs, who met at this spot three years ago. Today they’re here again to commemorate not just going back to Hogwarts, but the anniversary of when they first met.
‘The story was so funny,’ LJ explained. ‘I posted a picture on Twitter with the hashtag for Kings Cross, and she found it. We then found out we had six friends in common who all knew each other. We found out we had so much in common: we’re both Hufflepuffs. We even knew the same friends.’
The pair try to come back on this date every year to commemorate the moment.
‘I must have six or seven photos on that platform!’ Laura confessed.
Finally, we met Caspian Cunningham, who was dressed in proud Slytherin colours, and said she knew all about the significance of the day thanks to her time working at The Harry Potter shop for three years.
‘I think it’s the prospect of being able to go to Hogwarts for the first day,’ Caspian mused. ‘It’s the day where you can connect with the characters and really feel like you’re a part of it.’
‘[The trolley queue] is constantly full of people,’ she added. ‘People travel from literally every single country, America, Australia, all over Europe… And people get so emotional when they get here, because for a lot of people it’s the highlight of London for them. They get really teary. It’s really exciting.’
Platform nine and three-quarters may not actually exist, but the excitement and love from all the fans is more than enough to make this day truly magical.