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Potter weaves his spell

Nearly 1,000 people line up to get their hands on the last book in J.K. Rowling's wizard series.

July 21, 2007|By Rachel Kane

Wizards and witches descended Friday night upon the Burbank Barnes & Noble Bookstore for the release party of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the highly anticipated finale of the Harry Potter series.

Although the people in line waiting for reserved or standby copies of the book numbered close to 1,000, most of them were dressed in plain street clothes.

The line was dotted with a few adults and children wearing wizard gear, complete with wands and broomsticks. Snaking around the building and up a stairway to the parking lot, those waiting for their copy of the seventh book about an imperiled boy who practices magic were a wide range of ages.

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Glendale resident Kristin Donner, 31, had read every book in the series and was wearing the costume of a wizardry student from Hogwarts, the school where the main characters in the book hone their magic skills.

"This is from Halloween a couple of years ago," Donner said. She was dressed as a student of Gryffindor, Harry Potter's magical fraternity house at the school and the official good guys of the books.

"It's been recycled twice recently," she said, fanning out her black cowl a bit to reveal stockings and a gray schoolgirl skirt. "I went to the movie."

She's also read all the books and listened to all the audio books, but as much as she said she craves the series, news of leaked chapters of the final book to the Internet did not tempt her. She said she's made a point to stay away from the Web altogether.

Unlike the millions of fans who have publicly cried out against the end of the Potter books, Donner said she would be satisfied to see them go.

"I think it's good," she said. "Because I think it's a real tragedy when authors or producers draw out a series too long and the characters really suffer."

Still, younger fans of the book like Olivia Carlson, 10, and Skyler Wahl, 11, both of Los Angeles, said they were not ready to let Harry out of their lives.

Dressed head to toe in a homemade Quidditch uniform, Skyler wore proudly the robes of the broom-riding athletes in the world of Harry Potter.

She carried an old-fashioned broom and spoke in a British accent to sound more like the characters.

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