Journey to the Castle: Memories Revisited

There is something special about September 1.

Nostalgia sweeps in, and just a few minutes before 11:00 am, we find ourselves standing on a train platform, cocooned in the sound of hissing steam, joyful reunions between friends, and even some tearful goodbyes.

We board the train, find our seats, and wave goodbye to loved ones — feeling nervous, but excited for what’s to come in the year ahead. Some of us settle in for the long ride by catching up with friends, and some get lost in a good book to pass the time. Others are simply content to watch through the window, as the London streets and suburbs eventually fade into the breathtaking, rolling, green countryside of the Scottish Highlands.

As we round the bend, the castle comes into full view, the lights illuminated through its numerous windows, inviting and warm. The platform slowly comes into view, right at the edge of the village, and we see Hagrid, waiting to take the first years across the lake in a small fleet of boats. We clamber into carriages that seemingly pull themselves, though some of us know better. The castle grows closer and larger, the towers welcoming us home.

Upon entering the Great Hall, the enchanted ceiling shows a perfectly clear, star-filled sky, while  an old, tattered hat sits atop a wooden stool. The new year begins with a sorting and a feast, and settling into our respective common rooms. The rest of the evening passes quickly as we laugh with friends, old and new, before drifting off in the four posters of our dormitories.

There is something special about September 1.

I hope you have all had a lovely journey home!  I can’t wait to make so many new and wonderful memories with you all, this year. 🖤



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