The wizard returns
Turning July into Halloween, The Book Seller’s Harry Potter release party shut down Mill Street in Grass Valley.
About 450 costumed fans eagerly anticipated buying a copy of J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final volume in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Transforming The Book Seller into “The Department of Mysteries,” staff and volunteers were in character, keeping the crowd at bay until exactly 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the official release date. Potter fans had been waiting since 10 p.m. Friday to enter the store.
“When we ordered the book, we had to sign a 20-page document before we even received it,” said The Book Seller owner Kit Hattem, who was also the Daily Prophet journalist for the event. “When the delivery men brought it, no one from the bookstore could even touch it until we had signed for all of the copies. No one (employees) could take a book out of the store or look at its pages until 12:01 a.m. today (Saturday).”
Anticipating a sellout of the 600 ordered books, Hattem and her employees purchased another 100 to be delivered on Sunday and 70 to be delivered today.
“I don’t think we’re going to sell out this weekend,” said Children’s Manager Angie Kelsey, dressed as head mistress Professor McGonigal. “We’re always trying to keep the books in people’s hands.”
“We’ve been decorating all week,” said 27-year-old Sunny Ostrom in a prim British accent. “All tonight (Friday) we’ve been scurrying around since 5 p.m. We did change the sign, and the entrance is now an enigmatic veil. We also changed the children’s grotto to the magical cave in the sixth book.”
Featuring pumpkin pasties, cookies, face painting, “Sorting Hat” drawings and raffles, the event drew a festive crowd of all ages.
“I love seeing how everyone interprets everything,” said 40-year-old Darla Landroth, dressed as absent-minded Sybill Trelawney, the professor of divination. “The ideas come to life.”
“I’m Mad-Eye Moody,” 7-year-old Kendahl Landroth added, her replica of Moody’s magical, rotating eye bobbing up and down.
Like many families and die-hard followers, Landroth and her two young daughters came disguised as their favorite characters from the series, waiting to discover the secret of the boy wizard’s fate.
“I don’t think Harry is going to die because it’s a horrible ending,” 14-year-old Madison Landroth said, predicting her ending to the saga.
“I don’t think Harry or Voldemort will die,” Kendahl Landroth added. “It’d be sorta sad if Harry died, and Voldemort is so powerful, I don’t think he can die.”
Others gathered in hopes of obtaining a sense of closure.
“I kinda resisted it (the series) for awhile because I thought it was a silly fad,” 58-year-old Eileen Hale said. “All of a sudden I wanted to find out about it. I’m hoping that this last book will answer some of my questions.”
To contact Staff Writer Lindsey Croft, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4247.
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