Harry Potter brings some magic to Ames High

64 days. No, not until Bergman’s Birthday Bash (that’s tonight!). Few Ames High students probably realize what life-altering event will occur in such a short amount of time, but for those who do, the anticipation is almost too much to bear. After more than two years of keeping readers on edge, J.K. Rowling will finally release the seventh and final novel of the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Initially scheduled to be released July 7, 2007, the current release date is July 21, conveniently only eight days after the release of the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. While the book’s hype is greater than the film’s, both releases ensure an eventful summer for Harry fans. After Dumbledore’s death in the sixth novel, it seems as though Harry really has no one left to protect him in the battle against Voldemort (unless you count his friends Ron and Hermione, neither of whom is destined to kill or be killed by the greatest wizard of all time). While there’s still hope for Harry’s survival, most fans seem to believe otherwise. “The fact is, Harry Potter WILL die,” senior Zach Borg said. “Facts are stubborn things. They never change, and you can’t ignore them.” Harry’s possible death is only one of many questions book seven must answer. The next, maybe even more important question lies in Professor Snape’s loyalty. Until the last book, it was for certain that Snape had turned to “the good side.” After all, Dumbledore trusted him, didn’t he? However, after Snape murdered Dumbledore, it has become impossible to figure out what he really believes. Was Snape simply tricking Dumbledore all along? Though the prospect seems highly unlikely, we won’t be able to fully understand Snape’s motives until the final novel is released. To celebrate this commemorative event, many Ames High students are attending the midnight release of the novel at major bookstores around Ames, such as Hastings and Borders. One group of students is going all out for Harry Potter this summer, however. Known as “Northside” to many, this group of senior boys is planning on camping outside of Borders for a full week (which is, ironically, exactly seven days) until the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. “We’re thinking of dividing into houses and playing inter-house games based on Harry Potter,” senior Rohan Agarwal said. “Who knows, we might even analyze a book each day. We’ll have 168 hours to do things.” Though the novel carries most of the attention, many students, both fans and non-fans alike, are looking forward to the fifth Harry Potter film, which looks better than the first four combined. Like the fourth film, there is reason to believe the next addition in the Potter series will also be given a PG-13 rating, indicating its “dark nature.” “I think I’m most looking forward to the film,” biology teacher Craig Walter said. “And with the PG-13 rating, I’m especially excited to see what my favorite character, Hermoine, will do.” While the release of the seventh Harry Potter novel on 07/07/07 would have delighted the hearts of many enthusiasts, July 21 will have to do. Perhaps the later date was to prevent any backlash against the film if the seventh book did not meet readers’ expectations, or simply a way to increase the Harry Potter hype and earn more money. Either way, the release of both the film and novel this summer is sure to meet any fan’s Harry Potter needs.