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Harry Potter Casts a Spell in Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Benjamin Franco, 9, has read all seven Harry Potter books and has seen all the movies more times than he can count.

But the magic of J.K. Rowling’s young wizard still casts a spell on Benjamin, who resides in Manhattan but spends July and August with his family at a summer home in Westport.

With Thursday’s midnight release of the eighth and final movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” Benjamin couldn’t tear himself away from a giant Harry Potter display at the Barnes & Noble in Westport last week.

“I love the action and plot twists and Harry’s magic world,” said Benjamin, whose mother, Elizabeth Franco, bought him the full DVD series collection for his birthday in June. “He just watches the movies over and over,” she said.

“It was the best birthday present ever,” said Benjamin, who can’t wait for the final movie. “All the books and movies are great, but I think the last one will be the best of all.”

So does Abby Thompson, 10, of Fairfield, who loves Harry Potter so much she’s trying to talk her mother into taking her to Thursday’s midnight release.

“I’ll take her the next day, but I’m not going at midnight, with long lines and getting out at 3 in the morning,” Michelle Thompson said. Abby frowned, as only a Muggle can. (A Muggle is the series’ term for a nonmagical person.)

“I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies,” said Abby, adding that her favorite character is Harry’s friend, Hermione Granger.

“I like how she doesn’t let Harry and Ron [Weasley, who rounds out the close-knit trio] boss her around,” said Abby. “She’s so smart and I love when she uses her magic wand.”

Harry mania has cast a magic spell in book stores throughout Fairfield County, and many are already cashing in.

“Ever since we put up our big display, people have been buying the books in droves,” said John Mastrony, merchandise items manager at Barnes & Noble in Norwalk. “We expect that to intensify when the movie comes out.”

Do you plan to see the final Harry Potter movie? Have you read the books? Let us know if you’re a Harry fanatic in a comment below.

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