The next morning, wizarding workmen arrived to make Olton better. They tried hard, but nothing seemed to work. Gordon felt sad that his new acquaintance was ill.
"Olton, if you aren't ready in time, I'll pull the Hogwarts Express for you", said Gordon sympathetically.
"Thank you, Gordon. It looks like you'll have to after all, because the train leaves soon, and you're the only other magical engine here."
Their crews and the workmen agreed, as did Sir Topham Hatt, who got the call a little while later from Gordon's driver. The workmen put a spell on Gordon's tender, so that there would be enough coal and water to last the journey. Soon, Gordon was steaming nicely.
"Now Gordon, you must go to Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters to be coupled up to my coaches," explained Olton. "It's behind these magic buffers between Platforms Nine and Ten."
Gordon now believed in magic, but he couldn't help but think that Olton's directions were somewhat foolish.
"I know what you're thinking, Gordon. It's all true," reassured Olton. "I've done this for years, and was just as skeptical as you that first time."
Gordon felt a bit better. He started out of the shed and went to the front of King's Cross Station. The points switched, and he backed down onto the siding, between Platforms Nine and Ten. A large wall stood behind the buffers.
"Take a deep breath Gordon, and take it slowly," soothed his driver.
Gordon sucked in a big breath, closed his eyes, and backed towards the buffers. He expected to feel a hard jolt, but nothing happened. He kept rolling backwards towards five bright red coaches, under a stain-glass roof. Gordon was impressed.
He was coupled to the coaches, and had to let off steam. He was anxious to leave, but he knew he had to wait for more passengers.
The platform was hustling and bustling with children and their parents, who were there for the send-off. Many of the children wore black robes, while carrying cats, toads, and even owls in cages on the trolleys. Several children and teenagers also carried broomsticks with them onboard. Gordon presumed they were for Quidditch intramurals at their school.
A few wizarding reporters took pictures of Gordon, but he didn't care much. He was too distracted with his passengers.
A family of gingers stood by the coach right behind Gordon. The father was tall, thin, and had a receding hairline, while the mother was short and plump. Their eldest son was strapping young man, and they were scolding their two younger twin boys. All five of them had red hair.
"I don't want any trouble from you this year boys," they said.
"Don't worry, Mum," said one of the twins, who winked at his brother.
"I'm dead serious, Fred. You and George have to set a good example for Ron and Ginny," the mother scolded, as she pointed to her two youngest children beside her.
"They're not even coming this year, Mum!" whined the other twin.
"That doesn't matter!" You're both older, and they look up to you!" scolded their mother. "Do you need me to send another Howler?!"
"No, Mum!" said the twins, now scared.
"Alright boys, you heard Mum," interrupted the older boy. "Let's say our goodbyes and join Percy on board."
The three brothers hugged their parents and younger siblings, then got on the train. Gordon chuckled. The twins reminded him of Bill and Ben and their prankster ways. Only Edward could get them in line, like the boy's mother.
As he started to ponder what a Howler was, everything seemed to happen at once. The clock struck eleven, the station master banged the last door, and the guard blew his whistle and waved his green flag. Gordon blew his whistle long and loud as he started off.
"Poop, poop, poop!" he whistled. "Come along, come along," he called. He started slowly, but gained speed as the train left downtown London.
Gordon thundered up the line. Green pastures flanked the tracks on either side.
"Now this is what every express engine needs: a nice long run out in the open countryside!" he though, and sped up.
By mid-afternoon though, Gordon started to feel tired.
"How long before we reach Hogwarts?" he asked his driver.
"A few more hours, ol' boy," came the reply.
Gordon pressed on at high sped. The proud engine whistled loudly, determined to focus on his journey, instead of his slight fatigue. Soon, a lake appeared on the side of the tracks.
"We're close now, Gordon," noted his driver. "Hogwarts is on the bank of this lake."
"Now I know how Flying Scotsman felt like, traveling from London to Scotland non-stop…" groaned Gordon.
Finally, Gordon arrived at Hogsmeade Station, just outside of Hogwarts. The baggage was unloaded, and the children piled out noisily.
A large man walked onto the platform, waving a large lamp and calling the youngest students over.
"Bust my buffers!" exclaimed Gordon. "That man is so large, he makes the Fat Controller look tiny!"
"Good one, Gordon!" laughed his driver and fireman. "That's the groundskeeper. We'll ask him where we can stay the night."
They walked over to the groundskeeper, and were told they could spend the night at a nearby hotel. They damped down Gordon's fire, and left. Gordon fell asleep in the station soon afterward, listening the owls calling each other in the night.
Gordon and his crew left for London early next morning, with the coaches. Then, he made his way back to Sodor, but not before telling Olton about the trip, and thanking him.
When he arrived back to the shed that night, the engines were still awake, despite it being very late.
"How was your trip to the mainland, Gordon?" asked Thomas.
"Well, little Thomas, it was…magical." And Gordon told everyone about his adventure.