The Harry Potter series ends with Albus Potter, Harry’s second son, beginning school 19 years after Voldemort is defeated. The date that the next generation returns to classes is September 1, 2017, and in a unique merger of fantasy and reality, fans gathered at Kings Cross Station to countdown their departure. The majority of the crowd wore cloaks and carried wands as a tribute to the stories, and surrounded King’s Cross dedicated Platform 9 3/4. Cheers went at 11:00am when the Hogwarts train was scheduled to leave, signifying the final event in the Harry Potter stories that have changed the world.
Many of those present were from outside the UK, and had been planning to attend this event since the final book had been released. Warwick Davis, who acted as Charms teacher Professor Flitwick in the movie series, attended the sendoff. He posed with fans for pictures and expressed his delight at seeing the books played out in real life. Many of those in attendance grew up with Harry and can relate to the characters and their experiences at school, and feel a bitter sweet finality now that the Hogwarts departure has taken place. J.K. Rowling’s books will continue their influence, regardless, as other events have been planned based on her story.
The British Library will have an exhibition from October 2017 – February 2018, to mark the 20th anniversary of the books, entitled Harry Potter: A History of Magic. The exhibition is aimed at exploring the timeless aspects of magic, both in fiction and non-fictional aspects of the world, and is a collaboration with J.K. Rowling. Her original manuscripts, as well as other items from her publisher’s archives, will be on display. It also focuses on the history and mythology that lie behind modern traditions, that are based in magical beginnings. The Harry Potter’s books include both aspects of good and dark magic, as a reflection of the forces in the real world.
J.K. Rowling was inspired by events that happened throughout history, many times related to magic.The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, is inspired by the Art of Alchemy. This knowledge has been revered since the height of the Ancient Egyptian society, and is the art of turning base metals into precious, more long lasting ones. In the book, the Philosopher’s stone can grant the user immortality and the creator, Nicholas Flamel, is based on a 15th century French scribe rumoured to have discovered the secret to everlasting life. The phoenix is also a magical, mythological creature, whose origins will be included in the display, and features often in Rowling’s world.