Potter Pandemonium

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    BYRAM-It was almost midnight on Friday, July 15, and did you know where the children were? They were at a book store. It was there that Potter pandemonium prevailed and Muggles mania met with wandering wizards! The Book Center at Byram Shop-Rite Plaza was the scene for more than 150 Harry Potter fans anxiously awaiting the minute-after-midnight release of the sixth and latest in the series of children's books that has swept the entire globe. Copies of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" were delivered to the store under strict security marked, "Do Not Open Before Midnight." Advance sales guaranteed readers of getting a copy of the adventures of Harry, Hermione, and Ron before they could be sold out. Owners Daryl and Ann Zinn served snacks of ice mice, slugs, cockroach clusters, and Bertie Bott's every-flavor-jelly-beans, while a real live wizard performed magic tricks. Harry Potter trivia contests were repeated throughout the night, and the "sorting hat" selected young readers to enter either the house of Gryffindor or Slytherin. "They've been jumping out of their skins for weeks," said one of the mothers in attendance. "We've been marking the calendar and counting down the days," added another parent. Dan Greco, 13, said he loves the books because, "They take you one way, and then you find you're going another way! They're great mysteries." As the hour drew near, the excitement swelled, and at last the time arrived. The shoulder-high pile of books dwindled as the impatient readers waited their turn in line before they would be able to leave the store with their prized possessions. Some as they stood waiting, they began to read: "It was nearing midnight, and the Prime Minister was sitting alone is his office…"