Harry Potter King's Cross

To the Harry Potter fans at King’s Cross station: Can I suggest you get a life?

Stop waving around fake wands, guys – Hogwarts isn’t real


Look, at one point or another in our existences, we’ve all had a passing interest in Harry Potter. Potentially even more than a passing interest, some of us – me included, actually – have had times where we were pretty invested in the goings on of Harry P and co. But like the rest of people worth your time in the world, I grew out of the time of my life where I was begging my parents for Harry Potter action figure playlets and clambering to have a go of bashing out Lego Harry Potter on my Xbox. Why? Because I grew up, bestie. I got a life. I went on dates. I had sex. I didn’t decide to go and gather at King’s Cross station in London with a load of other Harry Potter fans, raising toy wands as the station announces a fictional Hogwarts Express service to a fictional school from a fictional platform. And if you did do this, might I ask why?

https://twitter.com/FKASerioJosh/status/1697597412112531695?s=20

The caption of the TikTok depicting a load of Potter fans gathered at one of the world’s busiest train stations declares that fans gather yearly on September 1st to listen to the announcement of the Hogwarts Express 11am train to Hogsmeade, from platform nine and three quarters. This happens yearly apparently, although I’ve never once in my life heard of or seen any videos of anyone doing this. Hopefully, this will be the last time I ever have the misfortune to do so.

It’s beyond belief trying to imagine a scenario where you’d be having to go and catch a train from King’s Cross station only to be greeted by a small army of socially awkward adults with “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” tattoos, but this is the sad reality. Picture the scene. You’re fresh off the tube, racing across the crowds to get into King’s Cross to make an overpriced train you need to catch for the upmost important reasons. You miss the train. Not because of any fault of your own, not because you took too long getting your pre-journey meal deal and coffee from Pret, but because a few kids and too many adults who should know better decided to collect in the station to wave some pretend wands in the air. All for a train that, I must stress, is not there. It will never be there. The platform quite LITERALLY does not exist.

What’s worse, and it’s the bombshell I’ve been hoarding close to my chest so far as I write this, but this happened on no normal day on the railway. It happened on a strike day. Yep. I know you just recoiled in horror, and that’s the correct reaction. Anyone who’s had to get literally anywhere within the last year has been affected at one point or another by the disruption caused by the strikes. I support the strikes and disruption is obviously the point of having one, but yes – it’s a stressful affair. Couple the stress of trying to get your train on a strike day with the fact you have to contend with a load of Harry Potter fans at King’s Cross and you’re left with what’s potentially the worst day of your life.

Allegedly, this is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the books. But some sources say it happens yearly? Either way, I hate both outcomes.

Look, I’m not a total crank. Whilst I bemoan any of us getting truly giddy about Wizarding World content and lore in the current JK Rowling climate we’re living through (which I’m hesitant to say more on lest I be sued*), I understand that this franchise means a lot to a lot of people in the generation I too am from. I can understand trips to the tour if you must, and I’d be pretty tempted to get on board the Potter rides at the Wizarding World themed areas at Universal should I find myself theme parking it up in Orlando. If you must make a pilgrimage to King’s Cross because your Harry Potter love is so deep, I can excuse the little picture everyone gets pretending to push a suitcase trolly through where the portal to nine and three quarters would be.

But I will not excuse the carnage, the cringe, and the pure irritant nonsense of whatever the hell went down at King’s Cross this weekend thanks to the mania of Harry Potter fanatics. It’s been over for years! When will we be a free elf a la Dobby to politely go about our day without the disruption of geeks? When. Will. It. End?

*To learn more about transgender rights or lend your support, please check out the charity Mermaids in the UK.

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