An enormous crowd of wizardly types thronged Platform 9 ¾ at Sydney’s Central Station early this morning, as well as a few Muggles tagging along for the show. The Ministry of Magic provided entertainment by jugglers, fire-eaters and harpists, while sundry robed dignitaries greatly resembling Professors from Hogwarts took time from their busy schedule to be there.
The fire-twirlers and jugglers amuse the crowd (especially when they drop things for the news cameras). Watching bright shiny things is one way to wake up at 7am on a wet, grey morning.
The crowd was well-behaved while it waited, as we had been warned that anyone who pushed or shoved would be sent to write notes for Lockhart (on an endless basis!)
Gleebooks chose its shopfront trademark font for the signs, disappointing some picky picky HP purists (overheard muttering that it wasn’t like the movie). But the Glebe landmark bookshop did such a good job making so many kids excited and happy that they deserved to make it absolutely clear that Gleebooks was behind it all.
The Harry Potter merchandise display of earlier books by JK Rowling and other books on Pottermania tantalised those awaiting the lifting of the worldwide embargo at 9:01 Sydney time.
All Aboard! The 3801 Steam Train Society provided the train and carriage attendants for the trip.
… and off she goes at 7:30 am
The van arrives with the books while the train is on its journey. The Phoenix is uncaged! The boxes await 9:01 Sydney time.
Roger, proud Platform 9¾-guard, event manager and all-round ringmaster, takes a break while awaiting the mayhem when the train comes back.
8:40am The Gleewarts Express returns, full of happy kids replete with chocolate frogs and jelly beans, eager to sort into their Houses to await the uncrating of the books.
The wait gives the news crews a chance to talk to all the wizardly folk.
(With neckwear like this, you just know that turban belongs to someone in Slytherin.)
Our kids ended up in Ravenclaw.(Yes, it was rather windy on the platform)
The waiting dragged a bit, enlivened by the Gleebooks Green-cloaks and their HP quiz, but everybody was watching the clock …9:00 and all is well!… 9:01 at last!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – got it!