"Happee Birthdae Harry". It’s July 31, which means the boy wizard Harry Potter would be turning a very adult 38 years old today.
It’s also one year since the Store of Requirement opened in Samford, Queensland, selling wizarding goods for muggles.
Today, a second store opened – right next door to the very magical Macca’s on Smith Street.
Waiting in line outside the new store are self-proclaimed “Harry Potter nerds” Pricilla and Tiffany. They’re kitted out in Ravenclaw and Gryffindor robes, and drove from Rowville to be here for opening day.
“We’ve been counting down the days,” they say in unison.
“I think I’m going to get the whole store,” 10-year-old Lily Rose Petito says from behind oversized round lenses.
“Definitely a wand,” adds her 14-year-old brother Harvey. “I think it’s a must have.”
“You have to have a wand and a robe,” Lily agrees. She’s wearing a tiny Gryffindor uniform.
“I could go for an owl,” says Harvey.
The Store of Requirement is a family-owned business, run by Sharon Hurley and her daughter Bryce. It offers a wide range of Harry Potter memorabilia and collectibles, stocking everything from niffler tote bags to “Noble Collection” premium wands.
“I’m super excited and very nervous,” says Hurley. “It just makes people happy and I love to see the smile on people’s faces as they walk in.”
The front of the store is fitted out like a typical Diagon Alley shopfront, complete with plush owls on shelves and a full-size Firebolt broomstick hanging from the wall. The floor is littered with letters from Hogwarts, and a shabby sorting hat sits perched on a stool by the golden change room curtains. Out the back is a Hogwarts-style common room with fireplace and couches.
Whether you have a few Bronze-Knuts lying around to throw at a key chain, or feel like dropping a bag of Gold-Galleons on a Quidditch-themed chess set, there’s something for everyone – including Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, and butterbeer.
The queue stretching the length of the block suggests there’s a serious appetite for both, even 21 years after the first Harry Potter book was released.
The Store of Requirement
6 Smith Street, Collingwood
Wed to Fri 12pm–7pm
Sat & Sun 10am–5pm