And just like that, another Hogwarts year begins!
Yes, as today is the 1st September, we were back at King's Cross station for a triumphant reunion, with a lot of Wizarding World friends and fans along with us to countdown to 11 o' clock. Here's a rundown of how things went.
Is it us, or are these Harry Potter books a little bigger than we remember them? Our friends at Bloomsbury contributed these positively huge tomes to King's Cross station, celebrating 25 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released in the UK.
We have so missed seeing fans dressed up to the nines as their favourite Harry Potter characters, and today at King's Cross, we met everybody, from an Autumn-ready Mrs Weasley to a truly charming Knight Bus conductor. We even met a gentleman interpreting the lesser-known Hogwarts class, Ancient Runes, and a Fleur Delacour cosplayer with her Gryffindor fiancé (who bonded through their mutual love of Harry Potter!).
The Hogwarts portraits are an integral part of what makes the castle so exciting, so today, we invited the fans to pose for your own! And our friends over at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child even contributed the ultimate Hogwarts portrait: Albus Dumbledore to inspire us.
We appreciate the little details in life - and nothing brings us more joy than Hogsmeade popping up on the train platform screens alongside all the more Muggle trains. It never gets old, please never stop, King's Cross!
Wand choreographer Paul Harris invited the fans to engage in a short wand workshop, accompanied by some very dexterous Death Eaters from Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. Paul showed the crowd some classic moves, the very moves that you would've seen in the Harry Potter films. It turns out casting spells requires quite a bit of grace.
But of course, with all the frivolity going on, we must not forget to actually count down to 11 o' clock, for this is the time the Hogwarts Express sets off for Hogwarts, after all. And our gracious hosts (and big Harry Potter fans) Vick Hope and Sam Thompson led the cause galliantly. Keep your Happy New Year countdowns! This is the only one for us.
The cast of Cursed Child helped round off the festivities, entertaining the crowds with their famous wand dance, a key set-piece from the award-winning play. We particularly enjoyed the cloak-choreography (cloakeography?) and will be practicing our own versions at home immediately.
And so, with that, we waved goodbye to the Hogwarts Express for another year. But keep visiting our Back to Hogwarts page to see more excitement throughout the day or visit the BacktoHogwarts hashtag to see what other fans are up to all over the world.