September the 1st (aka today) marks the day that young witches and wizards across England converge upon Kings Cross Station in London to take the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 3/4 at 11 AM, which shuttles them toward another year of magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
To celebrate "Back to Hogwarts Day," tons of Harry Potter fans gathered at the station this morning and were met with quite the surprise, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald stars Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) and Jude Law (a young Albus Dumbledore).
Standing with fans, the two actors helped count down from eight, marking the time until the train would finally "depart" from the station. Once they reached zero, an announcer came on the speaker to say: "The Hogwarts Express is now departing from Platform 9 3/4."
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry and Ron are unable to get onto the platform due to the machinations of Dobby the House Elf, who (aware of the Chamber's imminent re-opening) seeks to prevent Harry from going to school and facing a teenage iteration of Lord Voldermort and full-grown Basilisk.
Since the explosion of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, Kings Cross has become a major tourist destination for Potterheads, who, thanks to a permanent prop, can pretend to push an owl-laden trolly through the magical barrier that leads onto Platform 9 3/4. To complete the illusion, a full-time attendant will pull your scarf just out of frame of the camera, so that it looks like you're actually taking the barrier at a run.
Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will feature scenes at Hogwarts, arrives in theaters Nov. 16. In it, Dumbledore must recruit his former student, Scamander, to help defeat the dark wizard (and his old friend) Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who is amassing power and support throughout Europe.