Hogwarts Is Home

27

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That morning, I woke up super early to finish my packing and after saying goodbye to Grandma and Sapphire, Aunty Sue, Sa Pek and I left for London where I would be going to HOGWARTS aka the Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter Studio Tours in Leavesden, London. It was a two hour drive there and not even gonna lie, I was giddy with excitement as we approached the studio.

My tour time was 12 noon but because we got there early, at around 10AM, Aunty Sue and Sa Pek dropped me off and I whiled the time away at the merchandise shop which was already so GREAT before I’d even experienced the tour itself. They had literally everything from shirts and scarves and robes of every house to wands (cough cough) and badges and diaries and coffee mugs and Firebolt broomsticks and Marauder’s Maps. In the end, I got a wand, Harry’s wand (laughs all the way to the sun), house badges and a magnet because I always get magnets from everywhere I’ve been to.

And then I started queuing for the tour and the first part was a mini introduction of the studios on screen panels on the wall and then the second part was a slightly longer introduction video by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson themselves. Before the show began, the tour guide said, “And now enjoy all eight films back to back.” Which everyone laughed at but to be honest, wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

And then the screen rolled up and the giant doors to the Great Hall appeared. By then I was so excited and wanted the tour guide to just open them and let us in!!! But she explained a little bit about what the doors were to people who didn’t know and asked whose birthday it was today and a girl raised her hand and she was invited to the front to open the doors together with her. (But like how did they know it was her birthday and how did they know it was anyone’s birthday today?) When we got inside, I heard her say to her boyfriend, “This is the best day of my life.” Same girl, same.

And then the doors open and HOLY SCHMOLY!!!!?????? I????? Wow?????? Literally that was all I could think of because IT WAS THE GREAT HALL and there were the long tables with the golden goblets and plates and cutleries and there were uniforms of all four houses on the side and the Hogwarts fireplace and the TEACHERS’ TABLE and it was all so magical. It was like my favourite universe coming to life??? Like a dream come true?????

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I’m blogging according to these photos so feel free to do a photo-by-blog tour if you want.

And then the tour guide said it was a self-guided tour from there and I started to explore. The place was filled with sets and costumes and props from the movie like the Boys’ Dorm, Gryffindor common room, Potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office…everything.

At one point that was a booth that allowed you to drive in the flying car and mount a broomstick in front of a green screen and get your photos taken. These (1 / 2) were my photos which cost 16 quid for both of them.

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Onto the next part of the tour, it was out in the open- and there was a Butterbeer booth! There was a long queue in front of the booth which I joined but when I was the second person from the booth, it suddenly closed. Apparently the Butterbeer machine had broken down and they didn’t know when it was going to be up and running again. How ironic right? A machine that produces a beverage from a magical world breaks down.

So I decided to continue with the tour and took photos in Hagrid’s flying motorbike and Arthur Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. At the Hogwarts Bridge, I requested the person in charge to help me take a photo and it turned out to be three photos as she became a photographer and suggested several other poses. English people are so lovely I constantly have the :3 face whenever they do things like that.

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The tour resumed inside the building where creature masks were displayed such as the goblins, mermaids, giants etc and then I rounded a bend and I WAS AT DIAGON ALLEY!!!!! It was so cool that I got to see all the shops in the movie and also Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes and it really felt like I was actually there, which I was, right???

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The next part were the sketches and designs for the movies, as well as the cardboard models of the buildings and also concept drawings of the scenes and characters of the movies.

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The moment I walked into the next room, I was so emotional I cried a bit. IT WAS THE FULL SIZED MODEL OF THE ENTIRE HOGWARTS BUILDING!!! Full-sized in this sense was a rather big model and it was so emotional, honestly. I was at Hogwarts. This was really happening to me.

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The next room was the last room, and it was a room made to look like Ollivander’s shop which was full of wands. But instead of boxes containing wands, it bore the names of every single person who contributed to the movies. I found the names the likes of James Phelps, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, Nat Tena, JK Rowling and even Bertie Gilbert (who is currently 16 years old and played Scorpious Malfoy and is also a youtuber)!

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And then I realised after the wand room, it was the exit and once I exited, I wouldn’t be able to head back inside but I hadn’t forgotten about Butterbeer so I went back to the booth and thank goodness it was opened again. By then, I’d already run out of money because I’d forgotten to top up my purse before leaving the house and I only had enough money to buy the cheapest Butterbeer. But that also meant I didn’t get to buy the one in a cup that says “Butterbeer” on the outside which I was able to keep. But the Butterbeer was pretty good and it tasted like root beer with caramel foam as the topping. By then my stomach was already empty and I had no money left to get anything to eat so it probably wasn’t the wisest thing for me to drink root beer on an empty stomach. Oh well, yolo right? (I had to use that horrible meme at least once on this blog right? Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming.)

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I left the studios at around 3PM and with Aunty Sue and Sa Pek, we went to a place called Seven Sisters (I think!!!) where Sa Pek had to pick up some stock for his shop. After that, we went to Kenzie’s place where we dropped off my luggage and picked up Kenzie’s parents to go to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Kenzie turned up a few minutes after we did from work and it was one of the best dinners I’ve had for a while. One does get sick of Western food after three weeks…unless one isn’t Asian then I guess not.

After that we were all dropped back at Kenzie’s place and I said my farewells to Aunty Sue and Sa Pek before heading back into the flat.

Note: I know I’ve already come back to Malaysia but I still owe Careful Confessions four posts (now three) so I will get to that as soon as possible.

I miss England already.

😦

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Author: Michelle Teoh

23-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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