Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Our beloved bespectacled boy wizard
Speaking on a strictly personal basis, working with all of the Harry Potter I-Reports that have been coming in has been a literally life-altering experience.

Our submitters' unbridled enthusiasm for the books and movies has turned at least one staunch nonfiction lover -- who will remain unnamed -- into a big fan. Granted, it's still hard to tell a Gryffindor from a Ravenclaw, but that will all come in time. (View a compilation of Harry Potter devotion)

Take Ken Johnston Sr. of Belen, New Mexico, a NASA veteran who used to train Apollo astronauts. He currently holds the title of "solar system ambassador," and when he's not representing the nearest eight or nine planets, he's dressing like Dumbledore at Harry Potter-related events. For the fifth movie's opening night, he said he wore the robes and mask during the entire film. Spirit gum made the mask easier to wear. At one point, he used his eBay store to auction off a signed copy of a Harry Potter book to benefit a local library. During the ceremony to hand the book to the winners, he was there once again with his costume on.

The Grudier family is also quite enthusiastic. They attend IMAX 3-D showings. They read the books. Even the easter bunny gets in on the act by bringing themed easter baskets featuring sweets seen in Harry Potter stories. For example, baskets include Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, a thinly veiled parody of the jelly beans that come in every flavor under the sun. But these beans, manufactured by one of those same bean companies in the Muggle world, include earwax and boogers and other appetizing flavors. The "cockroach clusters," chocolate candy in the appropriate shape, don't seem much safer.

And don't even get Lauren Mendelson of New York started on her love of Harry Potter. She's a frequent attender of the "midnight magic" book release parties and the Diagon Alley replica constructed in the SoHo district. She has a shirt that reads "I solemly swear that I am up to no good" on one side and "Mischief managed" on the other, alluding to words that reveal and hide a map that appears in the stories.

This doesn't even include Hairy Putter, an aptly named dog who bears an uncanny resemblance to Harry when dressed properly, or Reggie, a Jack Russell Terrier who only goes by Hairy Potter on a part-time basis. These are just a tiny sampling of the many ways I-Reporters have shown their devotion to the Harry Potter series, and it's pretty contagious. What about you? What's the craziest thing you've ever done in the name of Harry Potter? What do you think about the future of the series, including the final book and the movies? Comment below, or send us a Harry Potter I-Report of your very own.
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