33

It appears that a sizeable number of Hogwarts students must be using King's Cross. So wizards are always traveling to and from the platform 9 3/4 at the start and end of the term of Hogwarts:

Harry's trip:

Harry's mouth went rather dry. What on earth was he going to do? He was starting to attract a lot of funny looks, because of Hedwig.

Also, the Weasleys are described:

The speaker was a plump woman who was talking to four boys, all with flaming red hair. Each of them was pushing a trunk like Harry's in front of him -- and they had an owl.

So how is it possible that no muggle ever notices the people 'disappearing' through the wall?

What's the probability that no one wonders about this 'weird' looking lot, with their trunks, owls, other pets, broom stick and where they disappear to?

  • 48
    This is the British railway system. It is just not done to comment upon the weird. Keep your upper lip stiff and pretend it never happened. – Chenmunka Aug 9 '15 at 15:21
  • 3
    In a world where this barely raises an eyebrow, having an owl doesn't even rate a second glance – Valorum Aug 9 '15 at 16:04
  • 2
    @Richard - yeah, but dude, that's Japan. That doesn't count, maaan. – Davor Aug 9 '15 at 23:08
  • 13
    The answer by Richard seems correct, but @Chenmunka's comment deserves its upvotes. As part of a friend's movie prosthetics project, I was made up in very realistic horror mask, flesh hanging off, even rotting, as if from a terrible accident. I wore it to work in London the next day, 1hr by train. NOBODY made any comment, looked at me directly, or spoke to me about my apparent seeping injuries, though I'm sure most were aware: most were positioned to keep me in line of peripheral sight. If I'd cried for help, they'd have been there; but since I sat quietly, they did not intrude. – Dewi Morgan Aug 10 '15 at 3:57
  • 1
    Them! Don' listen properly, do they? Don' look properly either. Never notice nuffink, they don'. – DavidS Aug 10 '15 at 8:27
35

You have to be discreet about it. If you're not discreet enough, nearby wizards will memory-spell any muggles who noticed you going through.

From the Pottermore article on Kings Cross Station;

On the whole, this has worked well, although there have been minor problems over the ensuing years, such as witches and wizards who have dropped suitcases full of biting spellbooks or newt spleens all over the polished station floor, or else disappeared through the solid barrier a little too loudly. There are usually a number of plain-clothed Ministry of Magic employees on hand to deal with any inconvenient Muggle memories that may need altering at the start and end of each Hogwarts term.

And

Harry had caught the Hogwarts Express the previous year. The tricky bit was getting onto platform nine and three-quarters, which wasn’t visible to the Muggle eye. What you had to do was walk through the solid barrier dividing platforms nine and ten. It didn’t hurt, but it had to be done carefully so that none of the Muggles noticed you vanishing.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 5 (The Whomping Willow)

  • I presume the barrier is only in use a few days a year too. No other trains go from there do they? – ThruGog Aug 9 '15 at 15:57
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    If this is the case, why didn't one of those plain clothed officers help Harry and Ron when they couldn't go through the barrier in Book 2? They dropped all their belongings quite loudly – user13267 Aug 10 '15 at 2:41
  • 1
    It's the same in the book – user13267 Aug 10 '15 at 3:11
  • 6
    @user13267 - Presumably Dobby distracted them. – Valorum Aug 10 '15 at 5:41
  • 2
    @user13267 wasn't the train leaving at that very moment? Those Ministry people were probably leaving as well, happy after another day of boredom. "These kids didn't make it.. oh well, my shift is over, I'm not paid to deal with their crap, GOODBYE" – Petersaber Aug 10 '15 at 11:18
2

Probably for the same reason they don't notice the Knight Bus, as explained by Stan Shunpike in Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter Three:

"How come the Muggles don't hear the bus?" said Harry.

"Them!" said Stan contemptuously. "Don' listen properly, do they? Don' look properly either. Never notice nuffink, the don'."

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