Getting Around

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Calling all Muggles: If you find yourself boarding the train at Platform 9 ¾ this summer, here's a guide to what to do next.

Most magical travelers rely on Apparition or a broomstick to get them from place to place. The Floo Network and the Knight Bus connect many locations as well. Non-magical beings do not have these options, however, and must rely on more traditional methods of travel such as railroad, automobile, or airplane. Most wizarding world destinations themselves are quite small and can be easily explored on foot.

Platform 9 ¾:Nestled magically between Platforms 9 and 10 in King's Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾ provides a jumping-off point for adventures in the north. The Hogwarts Express leaves from this platform every September 1 at 11 A.M. on the dot and chugs along to Hogsmeade. Non-magical travelers run the risk of painful injury--not to mention acute embarrassment--if they attempt to access the platform in the usual way: running into the apparently solid wall at high speed. Since there's no other way through, however, this is a risk one will have to take.

St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries: If the attempt to get onto Platform 9 ¾ fails, a side trip to St. Mungo's Hospital might be in order. Bruises and broken bones are easily dealt with by the Healers here. In fact, they're used to far more interesting illnesses and injuries, including dragon pox and werewolf bites. St. Mungo's is housed in a disused department store called Purge and Dowse Ltd. Entrance to the hospital is through the plate-glass display window and past the dilapidated mannequin.

Remember that non-magical visitors are quite likely to be treated with a Memory Charm along with a healing potion or two, in which case they won't remember anything at all. The tearoom and hospital shop are located on the fifth floor. Visitors taking the stairs will do well to avoid talking to the portraits of ancient healers hanging there, as they tend to diagnose wildly and without warning.

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