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Pop culture obsessives all have dreams about their favorite fictional heroes coming to them in a time of need - whether it's Batman showing up at just the right time for a awesome save; or The Doctor whisking them away from a boring life to a far off point in time and space. We're not going to be talking about some fantasy scenario here, however, as this week saw some real magic happen when the Hogwarts Express rescued a stranded family in Scotland.
The Associated Press has published a fantastic story that will have Harry Potter fans everywhere both giddy and ridiculously envious. According to their report, the Cluett family - a family of six - was on a canoeing adventure when they found themselves in peril. They got caught in a storm and washed away, leading them to call the police in hopes of rescue. As they were apparently near a railway, a train was sent their way to pick them up - but it was no ordinary train that happened to be closest to the area. Said Cluett,
The policeman said, 'We've arranged for the next train passing to stop for you, and you're not going to believe this but it's the Hogwarts Express steam train.'
While there is no actual Hogwarts and therefore no actual Hogwarts Express (sorry to burst that bubble), the train that arrived to rescue the family is certainly the real-world equivalent. When the Harry Potter movies were still in production, it was the Jacobite steam train in the Scottish Highlands that was used as the Hogwarts Express, and it was this engine that arrived to rescue the Cluett family when they were desperate.
Fortunately, the awesomeness of this incident wasn't lost on the Cluett clan caught in their canoe conundrum. Not only did they recognize the train, but the kids among the group were "really excited," according to the father.
As amazing as all of this is, there is one part of the story that you almost wish wasn't part of the narrative. This would be a much cooler tale if the police officer didn't know that the train was the Hogwarts Express, and therefore didn't tell the family that it was coming. Can you imagine expecting an ordinary train coming for your rescue and then seeing Harry Potter's ride showing up on the tracks? The only downside is that the sight might convince you that you died in the storm and didn't actually wash up on shore.
I think it is my responsibility at this point to tell all of you not to purposefully get in canoe accidents in Scotland in hopes of being rescued by the Hogwarts Express. It really isn't worth it - so if you get the impulse, just throw on a Harry Potter Blu-ray instead.