Monday, June 1, 2015

The Magic of Platform 9 3/4

Platform 9 3/4
King's Cross Station
London, 2006

Back in 2006 I went to England and Scotland for the first time.  I got a chance to see the homelands of my ancestors as well as meet some LiveJournal friends in real life.  I spent two weeks alternately trying to not look too much like a tourist and spending far too much time with a camera in front of my face.

One evening we were in King's Cross station.  As we walked into the platform area where we were to catch our train, I had one of those not-quite-deja-vu experiences where I knew I had seen this place before, but not exactly the way I was seeing it. 

Looking up, I saw a huge clock above the platform.  "That clock!" I called out to Bonn. "I know that clock!  This is where part of the first Harry Potter film was shot!"

I felt a tap at my shoulder.  Turning around, a woman wearing a King's Cross Station uniform gave me a bemused smile and pointed off to our left. 

I had walked right past half-a-cart in the brick wall with the sign "Platform 9 3/4" above it.

It takes a lot for me to become the squeeling fanboy, but (much to Bonn's embarrasment) that was one of those moments.

Almost ten years later, the most lasting part of that moment is the sense of amazement that came with a piece of visceral, important fiction coming to life.  Even if only for a moment, that platform and the disappearing cart was real.  And as one of the millions who read the Harry Potter series and longed for it to be real, there is something truly magical about that.

-- Tom