Harry Potter star Warwick Davis praised fans of the wizard for giving the books and films “life beyond the page and screen” as he joined them to celebrate a landmark date in the story.
The actor, who played Professor Flitwick in the big screen adaptations, joined Potter enthusiasts at Platform 9 3/4 in London’s King’s Cross station to mark 19 Years Later, the day Harry’s son Albus left for Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express.
The title is a reference to the epilogue in the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when the main characters all have children of their own.
Davis arrived at the station on a Segway and posed for photos with fans, many of whom had dressed up for the occasion.
He told the Press Association: “It’s great to celebrate with the fans. As well as being in the films, I’m a fan of them as well so it’s lovely to come down and celebrate. It’s become a Mecca, Kings Cross.
“People come and have their robes and their wands and we can do a little bit of a charms class, that is what is great. The fans have given these books and these films life beyond the page and the screen and that is a great thing.”
Fans counted down to 11am and cheered as the moment arrived, celebrating the moment the fictional train departed.
Davis said: “It’s such a rich environment. There are wonderful characters, there are the real-world environments, plus the fantasy environments, and that is why people are here, because this is one of the real-world environments where Harry Potter was set.
“You can come here and walk around this space for as long as you like, nobody is charging you to get in here and that is what it’s about, it’s about being able to touch a bit of Harry Potter, and people go all over the country to relive the experiences they saw in the films or read in the books.”
Davis’s role in the films means he is recognised everywhere he goes, but he says the franchise is most meaningful to him because of his children.
He said: “Harry Potter means so much to me because while we were making the films my kids were growing up, my son was born while we were making them, they spent a lot of their early years on set and in the studio with me and it was 11 years of my life and my career making these films and it doesn’t go away, as we’ve seen here today.”
Ruby Moon, from Tampa, Florida, came dressed as a Hufflepuff prefect and told the Press Association: “It’s 19 Years Later and I’ve been a huge Harry Potter fanatic since the books came out 20 years ago and I had the opportunity to come.”
She added: “Everyone has a different opinion on why today is such a big deal for themselves. The story has changed so many people’s lives, adults and children alike, so it’s just really amazing everyone could come here and join together for such a great fandom.
“There has never been a book series in my life I want to reread all the time, that’s pretty special.”
Chris Kaukonummi, who flew over from Finland with his friends for the day, “We came over just for the event. I’ve been a fan since the late 90s when I was much younger and it’s a big event to send Harry Potter’s kids to Hogwarts.”