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I-Reporters show their love for all things Harry Potter

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  • Seventh and final book in Harry Potter series hit stores July 21
  • Potter fans share their thoughts, photos with CNN.com
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(CNN) -- With a new Harry Potter movie and book coming out, CNN.com asked readers to send in their photos of the witches and wizards they love. We received a number of photos and stories from creative readers.

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Michelle Hillison of Cary, North Carolina, says her daughter Hayley loves the character Hermione.

Gina Grudier of Garner, North Carolina, said her sons, Nikki, 8 and Charlie, 6, have dressed up as Harry Potter characters for Halloween for the past three years. In 2006, Nikki was Harry and Charlie was Ron Weasley. They even have cloaks brought to them from England by the Easter bunny. The Easter bunny has also brought them Harry Potter Easter baskets in the past, complete with "cockroach clusters" candy and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor jelly beans.

The boys' older sister, Stephanie, has dressed as Hermione in the past, Grudier said, adding that the 16-year-old has mostly outgrown playing dress-up and prefers to focus her imagination on the Internet fan-fiction universe.

When the family buys Harry Potter books, multiple books are needed to avoid jealousy rippling through the household. The Grudiers attend book release parties in costume, like the parties scheduled for the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The family pre-purchased tickets to see the new film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," during opening week. Grudier said they try to see the films on IMAX screens for the full effect.

Ivy S. is a big fan of the books and says she is getting her son, Alec, 6, interested in them as well. Alec dressed up as Harry Potter for a showing of the past four films at a local college, she said.

Michelle Hillison of Cary, North Carolina, compares the books' current popularity to the timeless appeal of author Roald Dahl's classics like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." She said she enjoys seeing her daughter interested in reading these books, adding that with all of the distractions available to today's kids, Harry Potter stands out from movies and other forms of entertainment they are exposed to.

"You just don't see a lot of dark mystery in movies these days," Hillison said. "It's all animated and chipper. It's all so sanitized. ... You don't inspire imagination if you lay everything down in front of kids."

Ken Johnston Sr., a former test pilot for NASA who said he helped train astronauts during the Apollo era, has now found a new calling in dressing as Dumbledore. The Belen, New Mexico, resident put his alter ego to use when he helped auction a signed copy of a Harry Potter book on his eBay store to benefit a local library. The buyers came down from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Belen to claim their book, and they were greeted by Johnston in full costume. He was accompanied by a local cub scout dressed as Harry Potter.

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He said he has attended past film openings wearing his outfit and was making plans to attend the latest film opening in character.

Louis Bohannan of Salt Lake City, Utah, named his dog Hairy Putter out of devotion to the books. He said he became the dog's guardian last year. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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