Around nine years back, an awkward, bushy-haired, introverted young girl stepped into a world of magic. She watched wide-eyed as a young wizard, with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, waltzed into her life and changed it forever.
The characters were her friends, she laughed and cried with them. She went on adventures with them. She longed for their world, the world of Harry Potter.
Although that wish never came true, the series was an essential part of my angst-filled teen years, mainly because it helped me put aside a fair bit of my insecurities and grow up a fair bit.
It will always be something special for me, which is why the trip to the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden was something I would forever cherish.
Last Friday, I decided to make the trip down to London, stopping by the studios on the way there.
The tour started off with a little clip telling the story of the waves one little British book and movie series created around the world.
The gates to Hogwarts were then opened, and people of all age groups united by the fandom streamed into the Great Hall like excited 11-year olds entering the world of magic for the first time.
The sets and displays were perfect, to say the least. Every single moment of the series was depicted and pictured exactly how one expects it to be. From Hogwarts castle, the Forbidden Forest, to Privet Drive, Godric’s Hollow and the Burrow.
For a fan, it was beautiful to walk through all the sets and play the game where one guesses the exact moment something featured in one of the movies.
And that fascination, aka borderline obsession, was what made me buy butterbeer and butterbeer ice-cream from the cafe. Slight disappointments did occur when the butterbeer turned out to be sweet soda with a cream-cheese topping and the ice-cream was a tad bit too sweet.
December is the best time of the year to experience most things in and around the UK (if you can handle the cold :P) and this wasn’t any different. The theme of Hogwarts in snow was running through the entire studios. This involved a lot of Christmas-y decor, the Great Hall with the Yule Ball set.
But, the most unexpected and magical surprise for me was when it really started snowing when we stepped out into the outdoor sets, the Knight Bus and Godric’s Hollow. For someone who had only seen snow once, about two weeks back (when it faintly snowed around the North-Eastern parts of England) in her 20 years of existence before this, it was indeed pure magic.
The snow made me happy, despite not carrying an umbrella or a hoodie. It was almost like the part when Harry and Hermione go down to Godric’s Hollow right before Christmas, in the last book.
Through it all, it was definitely a magical experience that I will forever remember, considering all the happy crying that I did at the end of the tour. As someone I know mentioned, I might have grown out of the “fandom”, but I will forever be a fan of the series. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
Until next time,