He wanted it to be true.
He read all seven books. He watched all eight movies. He needed Hogwarts to be so.
He got his parents to take him to the train station in Chicago. It was the closest one to Detroit. But there weren’t any platforms. That didn’t stop him from running headlong into the wall. He ran and hit and fell. He ran and hit and fell. He ran and hit and fell until his dad told him he must stop.
He pulled out his wand, his exact replica of Harry Potter’s wand, in the same box that Olivander pulled from the shelf that first time in Diagon alley. He took his wand and said “Expecto Patronum!” at his father, but nothing. Just like every time.
He needed it to be true and it wasn’t true. He knew that. He sort of knew that. He thought he did. He didn’t know that at all.
He thought maybe he should crack his wand in half.
He told his mother that and she asked him not to. She told him his wand had cost them a lot of money and she’d prefer if it remained in one piece.
But if there is a Phoenix feather inside, mom, if there is a feather in here, then I’ll know it’s real. I’ll still have a chance of getting to Hogwarts, mom.
She sighed and looked at the small brown boy beside her. This boy of hers that wanted to be a wizard and for the wizarding world to be true like nothing else mattered. She thought it through, if she allowed him to crack the wand in half that would be the end of it. The revelation of no Santa Claus. It would be over, just that much closer to ending and he’d have no wand to wave around.
But if she said no.
Fine she said. Fine. Go ahead and crack it in half if you want to.
And he hadn’t expected that. He didn’t have the feel of deciding bigger matters for one’s self quite down yet. But he saw that she was serious and that he was allowed to give it a crack if he wanted to. He wondered why she’d said yes. He looked at the beloved wand, last year’s Christmas present. He thought of its inability to produce even the simplest charm.
He wanted to know, didn’t he? He took its weight and balanced it between two hands. He felt it give and before he could over think it, he snapped it hard over his knee right in half.
It all happened so quickly. His parents felt the shock of the act like violence in a loved one they’d never thought possible. They moved to console him but then they stopped.
Slowly, he drew it out like a message in a bottle. Slow and steady the barbs fanned as he withdrew the feather from the wand. His eyes were smiling and his face was smiling and it was true.
It was true!
He looked at their astonished faces and laughed. He stood then and looked again at the grey stone walls holding up the station and got up and ran like he never ran before. They called to him; afraid he would really be hurt this time. And they were right.
He hit the wall and he was gone.