Friday night, the Hogwarts Express will leave King's Cross platform 9 3/4 to take Harry Potter and his friends to their final year of wizard training. At 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Scholastic, Inc. will release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the much-anticipated seventh and final volume in the series that has captivated readers of all ages since its debut 10 years ago.
Potter fans like me will be both happy and sad this weekend--happy to continue the story of the wizard boy whose birthright forces him to continually battle the bloodthirsty Lord Voldemort, but sad to know that this is the last chapter. However the seventh volume ends--and speculation is at fever pitch--there's no doubt that this series has been a major literary phenomenon, not likely to be repeated on such a grand scale. Something about Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Dumbledore, Hagrid, and even Snape and Malfoy has struck a chord with readers around the world, and we will be waiting with bated breath for the stroke of midnight Friday.
The magic hour will find me dressed as a witch (hold the smart remarks, please) at the Derry Public Library, which will be transformed into Hogwarts School for the evening. Two hundred costumed Derry youngsters will attend the library's sold-out Harry Potter party to have their palm read by Madame Trelawney, visit the dragon "hatchery," be placed in the proper house by the Sorting Hat, and sample butterbeer, chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and other treats. (No, I'm not disloyal to Merrimack. We were unable to stage an event of this complexity in our building, and I was once Director of the DPL, so a piece of my heart still lives there.)
And when my morning shift at the Merrimack Library is finished on Saturday, you'll find me on the porch with my nose in my own copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I hope my husband is prepared to do the cooking, cleaning, and laundry this weekend. I'll be too busy. I'm spending the weekend with Harry.