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Harry's all-night book party

Lost in the crowd at big blowout party for final Potter book

Lost in the crowd at big blowout party for final Potter book

July 24, 2007|By CHRISTINE BRUGH

It's 11:45 p.m. Friday, July 20, and I'm in Borders at the Centre at Hagerstown. There are hundreds of other fans, ranging from a young boy dressed as Hedwig, Harry's owl, to excited teen fans to parents of young readers to eager adult readers. Everyone is awaiting the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in the seven-book Harry Potter series.

Putting my knees on a CD rack, I manage to see over the heads of the excited crowd in front of me. Straining my eyes, I can see into the back room of the store where there are hundreds of copies of "Deathly Hallows" waiting to be distributed and take readers into a world of magic once more.

At Borders, the excitement starting building at 9 that evening. Borders hosted a costume contest and a debate over Snape's position, asked Harry Potter trivia questions, and presented readings from previous books. A correct answer to one of the trivia questions earned you a raffle ticket; raffle winners earned a signed poster or the privilege to be the first in line at midnight.

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The Snape debate was interesting to listen to. I have thought Snape could be trusted, but I missed the instructions and found myself wedged with the crowd on the against-Snape side. A Borders employee read questions over a microphone and invited fans in the crowd to raise their hands and share their opinions. While trying to make my way over to the "Snape is good" side, I ran into a group of my friends.

The responses from the crowd were hard to hear, so we gave up on that and had our own personal Snape debate.

As fun as the party was, the grueling wait to get a book stole some of the excitement. Upon entering Borders, you were given a colored wrist band with numbers on it. People were called in groups of 50, with orange wrist bands called up first. Silver wrist bands were second, then blue. I was fortunate to have been in the third group of silver to be called.

I watched as people filed past with their books, knowing my turn had to come soon. Around 1 in the morning my group was called to get our books. After waiting in another line for 15 minutes to pay for it, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was mine.

The party at Borders was nice, but there were just too many people. I'd rather have gone somewhere with a shorter waiting line for the book, even if it meant there were fewer activities.

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