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Stamford Makes Magical Harry Potter Countdown

STAMFORD, Conn. – Harry Potter has cast a magic spell over 11-year-old friends Zionna Todd and Kyle Aurello, both of Stamford. Zionna has read all seven books and seen just a couple of the movies. Kyle has seen the movies but read none of the books.

Both are looking forward to Thursday's midnight release of the eighth and final movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." The two friends were at Barnes & Noble in the Stamford Town Center on Saturday, looking over a large Harry Potter display that included books, audio books, puzzles, games, pop-up books and replicas of the young wizards' magic wands.

"Wow, look at these wands, they look just like in the movies," said Kyle. "I can't wait to see how it all ends up." Zionna knows the ending, having finished the book last year. But she's not about to tell her friend what happens.

"It's a big surprise, but I won't tell him," Zionna said. "Since he hasn't read the book, I don't want to spoil it for him. But it's really exciting and magical. Even though I haven't seen many of the movies, this one I've got to see."

Nine-year-old Byron Menendez of Norwalk said he can't wait to see it, too. "I love Harry Potter, I can't wait for the last movie," Byron said as he showed his 4-year-old brother a Harry pop-up book. "He's too little to understand it, but he likes the magic. I like that, too, but also all the twists and surprises. You never know what's going to happen next."

Nearby, 20-year-old Barnes & Noble bookseller James Arness, who said he grew up on the Harry Potter series, has read all the J.K Rowling books and seen all the movies. Arness said all the Harry merchandise is "flying out of the store."

"I was only about 9 or 10 when the first book came out, and I've been a big fan ever since," Arness said. "It's the kind of classic series that will be viewed someday the way the 'Wizard of Oz' is today. I'll be at the midnight show to see it ... and I wouldn't be surprised if I shed a couple of tears."

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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