Harry is back! No, this is not a drill. The fandom is very much still alive. Nine years may have passed since the last book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published, but the legions of fans of the boy wizard that we all grew to love, and whose story many of us have obsessively followed in the course of seven record-breaking international best selling books, remain loyal. And the number of people of all ages who lined up in the early hours of July 31st (Manila time) for the release of the much-awaited Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, is the biggest proof to that.
The book, dubbed as the eighth story, is actually not a novel but the rehearsal script of the two-part theatrical play in Palace Theatre, London, written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany, and broke the sales record set by, well, the last title in the series.
Harry in his younger years.
(No Spoilers) Harry Potter and The Cursed Child takes us 19 years later after the events of the seventh book, and focuses not only on the main trio that is Harry, Ron, and Hermione (who are grownups now), but also on a new generation of young witches and wizards, their kids.
Harry sure still has got the magic. During the official unboxing of the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in National Book Store last Sunday, fans young and young at heart, eagerly lined-up to get their hands on the earliest copy of the book. Michelle Alejandro, editor-in-chief of Metro Weddings magazine and a certified Potterhead, was among the early birds who came in full Harry Potter regalia complete with a time-turner necklace, “I went to another Harry Potter event last night and got home at 2AM, then I woke up at 5AM to iron my robe (Ravenclaw, in case you’re wondering).”
Potterheads in their Hogwarts uniform, gamely posed for a group photo during the unboxing.
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23-year-old Law student Annamarie Domingo, is another hardcore fan who didn't really mind waking up in the wee hours of Sunday to make it to Makati just in time for the launch. “I woke up 4:30am, I really can't sleep much because of too much excitement! It's a feat for someone who doesn't arrive on time most of the time but you know, priorities.” Which character she’s most looking forward to see (or read about) again? “Hermione! I wanted to know how she is as Minister.” And as one of the first to get her hands on a copy of the book, Annamarie was also one of the first to finish it. Her verdict? “It's too idealistic, like it's gone beyond what I knew of Hogwarts. Would be great on the big screen though!”
Aside from this book, Potterheads have another reason to celebrate as later this year, author J.K. Rowling will take us back to the Wizarding World with the movie adaption of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, set in a different era, with two sequels already in the works.
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Photographs are courtesy of National Book Store. Illustration by Jim Kay © 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.