You've reread the entire series in anticipation, wracked your brain about who R.A.B. is, and debated Snape's loyalty again and again.
Now, simply adjust your Invisibility Cloak, grab your wand, and prepare for the release of the last and final book of the literary phenomenon, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Don't miss this final chance to experience the enchanted excitement of a midnight book release. This Friday, be sure to Apparate or utilize the Floo Network (for those underage wizards) to reach any one of these magical events.
*Amherst Barnes and Noble, 1565 Niagara Falls Blvd. (837-7209, www.bn.com)
Though the store's activities, including the Sorting Hat and pictures with a Harry Potter standee, begin at 9 p.m., don't expect to arrive then and be able to receive a book. Numbered bracelets, used to reserve your place in line, will be given out starting at 7 p.m. However, Book Six's release saw people camping outside the store as early as 9 a.m. and this year's turnout is expected to be double that, so arriving early is very important. Those who reserve the book get a gold bracelet, allowing them to bypass the line and enjoy the activities immediately.
*Talking Leaves Books, 951 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo (884-9524).
Enter through the brick wall of Diagon Alley, and then follow the train tracks into Talking Leaves' celebration at 11:30 p.m. The party will have face-painting, and those who purchase the book will recieve a giftbag with jelly beans, a wand and other goodies, as well as an entry form for the "Independent Muggles for Harry Potter" contest to win a trip to four to London, sponsored by Scholastic to allow independent book stores to compete with national chain stores. Prepaying for the book will cost $27 for the store's book club members and $30 for non-members.
*Genesee Community College Barnes and Noble, One College Road, Batavia ((585) 345-6878, www.geneseecc.bkstore.com)
The college's bookstore will offer games, refreshments and prizes from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Order forms are available online and in the store to guarantee a discounted copy of "Deathly Hallows."
*Williamsville Barnes and Noble,7370 Transit Road (631-4755, www.bn.com)
The Midnight Magic Costume Party will feature crafts, a trivia scavenger hunt, a look-alike contest, and photos with a Harry Potter standee. In order to purchase a book, come to the store during the day, beginning at 9 a.m., to get a numbered bracelet which reserves you a place in line. Activities begin at 10 p.m.; arrival at 8 or 9 p.m. recommended.
*Cheektowaga Borders, 2015 Walden Ave., (685-2844, www.bordersstores.com) Orchard Park Borders, 3480 Amelia Drive (825-1755)
Beginning at 9:30 at both Borders stores, the "Grand Hallows Ball" will have craft stations, a costume contest, spelling bees, and a question and answer "Great Snape Debate" to determine whether the Potions Master is really a friend or foe. Everyone is welcome; reserving a book in advance will save you 40 percent off the cover price.
>Clarence Walmart, 5033 Transit Road (565-0250)
Starting at 8 p.m., attendees will be sorted into Houses upon arrival and will receive a wristband which is needed to buy the book. The store will have trivia questions and will be giving away bookmarks, posters, and other souvenirs.
*Springville Walmart, 317 South Cascade Drive (592-1460)
The store is planning activities for their book release, to take place from 8 p.m. to midnight. Customers can no longer pre-order books, so those who have not will receive the book on a first-come, first-served basis.
*Amherst Street Wegmans, 601 Amherst St. (877-0500)
From 9 p.m. to 12:30 am, the Market Cafe will have a costume contest with prizes and a cake celebration. No registration required.
*Dick Road Wegmans, 651 Dick Road, Depew (685-8100)
The cafe at Wegmans will be "transfigured" into Hogwarts from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., as customers enjoy snacks and games in their Harry Potter regalia. No registration required.
*Losson Road Wegmans, 4960 Transit Road, Depew (685-7300)
From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the Market Cafe at Wegmans will have crafts, trivia questions, showings of Harry Potter movies, cake and refreshments. Everyone who attends will be entered into a raffle for a free book and the winner of the costume contest will also get a free copy.
Standing in line at midnight doesn't exactly sound like the most appealing means of achieving your Harry Potter fix? These events are a great alternative:
*McKinley Wegmans, S3740 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell (824-7480)
The store's cafe will have readings of chapter excerpts from the new book and a cake celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
*Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square (858-8900, www.buffalolib.org/events/potterfest.asp)
Beginning at noon July 24, Potter Fest '07 will have free activities appealing to a wide variety of ages including a screening of "Sorcerer's Stone", Harry Potter bingo, a "Wizards Wheel" trivia contest, "Who's Who in Harry Potter" scavenger hunt, and "Potter's Owls" presented by Hawk Creek Wildlife Center (call to register for "Potter's Owls").
These all lead up to the main event, a concert featuring the national acts Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and The Whomping Willows at 6 p.m., featuring songs like "Save Ginny Weasley" and "The Human Hosepipe." Concert tickets can be purchased for $5 at Borrower Services at the library and benefit the libraries' Youth Programs and Services.
Carlene Miller will be a sophomore at Alden Central School.