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Potter-mania strikes with 'Half-Blood Prince'

'Harry Potter' fans excited for new flick
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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The game room at the Boys & Girls Club Downtown Clubhouse felt more like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Thursday morning. “This potion is going to give us super energy all day,” Stephanie Dufour, a Boys & Girls Club youth development specialist dressed like Harry Potter, told a group of kids gathered around a black cauldron. With magic wands in hand and aimed at the pot, the young wizards and witches conjured up their best spells, and before long a mysterious mist rose out of the cauldron. A couple minutes later, everyone was trying out cups of the “potion.” “It tastes good — kind of like lemonade,” Sydney Rossoz, 7, said after taking a sip. The swishing and flicking of wands, the casting of spells the lightning bolts drawn on foreheads were all signs of a sort of magic on the minds and in the hearts of youngsters anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth installment of the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, which follows a young wizard during his seven years studying at the aforementioned Hogwarts. Axel Aceves, 9, claims to have read five of the seven “Harry Potter” books and to have seen all the movies. “They’re interesting, and they’re very detailed,” he said. Needless to say, Axel is excited to see “Half-Blood Prince.” “I asked my dad if we could go at midnight, but he said ‘no,’” Axel said. Regal Auburn Stadium 10 is among countless theaters celebrating the film’s release with 12:01 a.m. showings Wednesday. Sarah Rossiter, 10, is also excited to see the newest “Harry Potter” film. She loves the otherworldly style of Rowling’s stories. “‘Harry Potter’ has lots of witches and magic, so it makes us believe there’s a lot of warlocks and wizards and spells,” she said. Sydney Rossoz, 7, wants to see the new movie “so bad,” and is a big fan of all things “Potter.” Who’s her favorite character? “Harry Potter, ‘cause he has great courage and he survived a deadly wizard,” she said. Sydney, of course, was speaking of Harry Potter’s nemesis, Voldemort, who makes multiple attempts at Harry’s life throughout the series. Hannah Harris, 8, also cites Harry as her favorite character, “because I think he’s cute,” she said with a smile. Dufour, 20, the youth development specialist leading Thursday’s Harry Potter activities, describes herself as a “huge fan” of all things Harry. “Ever since the books came out, I’ve been obsessed,” she said. The third book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” is Dufour’s favorite, because this is where Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, is introduced. Black is Dufour’s favorite character. “He’s very noble and wise and he’s very heroic, and he’s just a very strong person,” she said. Dufour said there’s a lot for kids to like about the “Harry Potter” series. “I think kids don’t use their imagination enough today,” she said. “They can fall into these books and the world (J.K. Rowling) created.” It’s also quite easy for young readers and viewers to relate to Harry. “He was an underdog, and I think the kids love it because they want to root for him,” Dufour said. It would be an understatement to say Dufour looks forward to seeing “Half-Blood Prince.” “I’ve already bought my midnight showing, and I will be dressed up for that,” she said. __________ “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” opens in theaters Wednesday. Regal Auburn Stadium 10, 500 Nevada St., has a “midnight” showing scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and only a limited amount of tickets remained for that showing as of Thursday afternoon. Contact the box office for more information at (530) 745-0156 for further information.