We've had a few questions about this and, as someone pointed out on my question about Apparating to Platform 9 3/4, Apparition is tricky and there are many talented magical people who don't use it.

Which still leaves us with many, many magical people walking through King's Cross Station every September 1st, and again at the end of the school year, with people walking into the magical wall, or out of the same wall. This creates a high risk of a slip of the tongue or other mistakes that could reveal the magical world to Muggles.

Specifically, why isn't Platform 9 3/4 on the Floo Network, and more generally, why isn't there an easier way to get to the platform without going through Muggle-land?

  • 2
    ... how do you know it isn't? Just because the main characters never floo'd there (or portkey'd, one would imagine) doesn't mean nobody ever does. Presumably kids who live further away from London might use one of those methods.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 0:23
  • Well, if it is, @Tacroy, give me evidence and that could be a good answer.
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 0:39
  • If you're willing to use Floo powder to travel, then you would never need to visit a train station again. If you want to get to Hogwarts via Floo powder, floo to Hog's Head or Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, then walk the short distance to the school. So the question should be: why the Hogwarts Express at all? (Answer: Because it's awesome).
    – browly
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 3:08
  • @browly - A short walk carrying a shopping bag with stuff bought in Hogsmeade is quite different from a short walk carting around a trunk and a couple of suitcases.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 21:08

4 Answers 4


There could be a few possibilities as to why Platform 9¾ is not on the Floo Network.

First, it is located in King's Cross station, which may not have any fireplaces built into it. When wizards connect a Muggle structure to the Floo Network, they use an already-existing fireplace (think when the Weasleys came to get Harry at the Dursleys and Arthur connected the Dursleys' fireplace to the Floo Network, but it was boarded up and like five Weasleys piled up behind the boarded up hearth; it's in Goblet of Fire, when the twins give Dudley the Tongue-Tonne Toffee). If King's Cross has no fireplaces, then it would be impossible to connect it to the Floo Network.

Second, JKR may have wanted to show a stark distinction between the Muggle world and the magical world, and having a physical barrier that only witches and wizards can cross via magic is a very significant way to cross. JKR has made it clear that the Wizarding world is Harry's refuge, his home, where his soul lives, and to show a tangible, physical barrier between the Muggle World and Harry's home is rather poignant.

Third, as far as Platform 9¾ being in the midst of Muggles, Stan Shunpike summed this issue up pretty nicely: "[Muggles]!" said Stan contemptuously. "Don' listen properly, do they? Don' look properly either. Never notice nuffink, they don'." (Prisoner of Azkaban - page 29 - US Hardcover)

Finally, as the Hogwarts Express is a train and needs to leave from a train station, it makes sense to house it (however magically hidden) at a large station where it might blend more easily, or simply go unnoticed. It would seem it likely has its own track that it doesn't share with any other train.

ETA: It's against the law, apparently, for Muggle fireplaces to be hooked up to the Floo Network, as Arthur Weasley tells it in Goblet of Fire:

"Er - yes - sorry about that," said Mr. Weasley, lowering his hand and looking over his shoulder at the blasted fireplace. "It's all my fault. It just didn't occur to me that we wouldn't be able to get out at the other end. I had your fireplace connected to the Floo Network, you see - just for an afternoon, you know, so we could get Harry. Muggle fireplaces aren't supposed to be connected, strictly speaking - but I've got a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel and he fixed it for me. I can put it right in a jiffy, though, don't worry. I'll light a fire to send the boys back, and then I can repair your fireplace before I Disapparate."

Goblet of Fire - chapter 4 - Back to the Burrow

  • 4
    But could you really consider a fireplace past the barrier of Platform 9¾ to be a muggle fireplace since this would be an area entirely for wizards?
    – Dason
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 16:18
  • @Dason - No, but someone might wonder where all the smoke comes from (or goes to)...
    – Robotnik
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 4:04
  • @Robotnik Fireplaces don’t necessarily require fires (cf. the Dursleys’ blocked-up one). Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 1:53

Well there wouldn't be much evidence on how other characters traveled to King's Cross because the focus of the books was on Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I saw someone else say on another question that they thought there may be a room where wizards can apparate to on the platform. Instead of that, perhaps there is a room with multiple fireplaces that are connected to the floo network. And since not everyone would use this (as shown by Harry, Ron, and Hermione) maybe the Ministry decides who is eligible to use the network based on how far away the family lives from King's Cross. It's like how in the U.S. schools decide who is eligible to ride the bus; where I live I think you have to live more than a mile away from school. Obviously it would be a much greater distance to decide who gets to use the floo network, but maybe this could be how the people who live in places like Scotland and Ireland get there.


There would have to be a fireplace at the station for it to be connected to the floo network, which there isn't, but really, if you could floo to the station, you may as well just floo to the school because there's plenty of fireplaces. So what's the point in the Hogwarts Express then? JUST FLOO TO SCHOOL!!

  • 2
    Even if there isn't a fireplace now, it can be added. Your point about Floo-Networking to Hogwarts is wrong - Hogwarts is not connected to it because of security concerns. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 16:12
  • @Gallifreyan - Isn't it though? Sirius was able to get his head through. I'm pretty sure that requires the Floo network.
    – amflare
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 16:14
  • @amflare Must be a one-off. Per Pottermore: "A return to the unregulated travel of the past was impossible, and yet a more secure route into the school (for instance, permitting a fireplace that might be officially entered by Floo powder) was strongly resisted by successive Headmasters, who did not wish the security of the castle to be breached." Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 16:15
  • @hufflepuffunicorn - This isn't really a good answer. Do you have some source that says Platform 9 3/4 doesn't have a fireplace already? Given that fireplaces are a reasonably common addition to any magical building (think of the ministry and its rows and rows of fireplaces), we can't just assume there isn't one on/near the platform.
    – amflare
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 16:16

Only children going to and from school use this means of transportation (or like we see Mr. Lupin used this once). Maybe its just a nice relaxing way to travel, since using magic out of school is not allowed.
Just like when they use the boats to get to the school or when they use the magical drawn carriages to get to school.
You can ask why doesn't anyone notice the weird bus that picks up Harry or why no Muggles ever go into certain building, its maybe a magical blind.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.