ROCKVILLE – More than 100 Harry Potter fans braved the rain on the evening of July 25 to attend a midnight release party for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which officially went on sale the following day.
Local residents flocked to the Barnes and Noble bookstore along MD-355 for the midnight release.
Jonathan Gruber, a longtime fan, was one of the first in line.
“I got here at 8:10 (p.m.); drove all the way from Wheaton in the torrential downpour,” Gruber said. “I don’t know if I’ll read the whole book tonight, but I’m definitely going to start it.”
The book written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany is a script of a stage play running on London’s West End. It is based on a story by J.K. Rowling, the author of the original series.
While not a novel, “Cursed Child” is considered the eighth book in the series, and concerns the children of the main characters attending Hogwarts Academy, the school of wizardry featured in the earlier books.
The pre-release party featured a trivia quiz in which attendees were presented with quotes from the series and asked to name the characters who said them, face painting, and other arts and crafts activities.
Several attendees dressed as favorite characters.
Mirroring the plot of the new book, several longtime fans of the series attended with their children.
“I grew up with the series,” said Sarah Cooper of Rockville. “I was the same age as the characters when each book came out.”
Cooper attended with her husband Noah and eight-year-old son Kjonaas, who she said began reading the series after a family visit to the Harry Potter studios in London last month.
“I love how in the books, there’s something you would usually do, but then there’s magic,” Kjonaas said.
He and his mother both dressed as Harry Potter, wearing cloaks, his iconic large-rimmed glasses, and lighting bolt–shaped scars drawn on their foreheads.
Amanda Brown and her husband Chris attended dressed as members of the Ravenclaw and Slytherin Houses.
“We’re high school sweethearts; we’ve been dating for 12 years, and we attended the ‘Deathly Hollows’ release party at this store nine years ago,” Amanda said. “Our first child is on the way, and we hope to do for him what Harry did for us.”
The Browns won a prize for their costumes.