Harry Potter Fans Brave Train Strikes to Celebrate Back to Hogwarts Day at London’s King’s Cross Station!
We were lucky enough to catch up with 10-year-old Arnav Paturkar, who won the Wizarding World’s competition, before the big day!
The Muggle rail service may have ground to a halt but that didn't stop thousands of Harry Potter fans who braved train strikes to celebrate Back to Hogwarts Day at London’s King’s Cross station.
In a morning packed with spellbinding activities, fans enjoyed a live discussion panel between celebrity host Sam Thompson and the cast members and creative team of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
And it was a particularly magical day for 10-year-old Arnav Paturkar, who won the Wizarding World’s competition to lead the live countdown of the legendary train’s departure from Platform 9 ¾.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Arnav before the big day to ask him to reveal some of the thinking behind Back to Hogwarts Day in an exclusive Q&A!
Hi, Arnav! Thanks for speaking to Beano! So what's Back To Hogwarts all about?
"Back to Hogwarts marks the return of young Wizards and Witches to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a new term, the date of Back to Hogwarts is always the 1st of September with the Hogwarts Express departing at 11.00am!"
How did you get involved in the competition?
"When I visited Wizarding World website to see my Patronus, the competition was in the headline and caught my attention immediately, I was so excited!"
What's your favourite thing about the Wizarding World?
"I have a few favourites but I am going to go for the wands!"
What Hogwarts House are you?
When did you first start reading Harry Potter?
"I got introduced to Harry Potter by my dad but when I saw Hagrid on TV when I was young, I got a bit scared :), then in 2019 my dad gave me the whole set of books!"
· What's the first thing you'd do if you were starting a new term at Hogwarts?
"I would go to the Gryffindor common room, sit in the squashy armchair near the fire and read my copy of Advanced Potion Making!"
What's your favourite spell?
"My favourite spell is ‘Expelliarmus’ because it can be used in lots of situations!"
Why would you recommend the Wizarding World to friends?
"I would recommend the Wizarding World to my friends as there are so many amazing experiences with the website, books and movies all transporting you to a magical world."
What's your Patronus?
"My Patronus is a nightjar"
If you had to make up a spell of your own, what would it do and what would it be called?
"My spell would be called ‘Protarmus’ and it would cast a shield (like Protego) around you so that no other spells affect you. And wherever your wand is pointing it would fire disarming spells. To stop ‘Protarmus’, you would need to say ‘P’Rox’!"
What class would you enrol in at Hogwarts?
"If I was at Hogwarts I would enrol in DADA (Defence Against the Dark Arts)"
What's the most magical thing about your own school?
"The most magical thing about my school is that class names are all animals and the outside of the classrooms are decorated just like these animals!"