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Seventh and last Potter has a date with destiny

February 02, 2007|Hillel Italie | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Let it begin: the countdown, the party planning, the predictions, the meaning of it all.

The tears -- for the end of Harry Potter.

The world's most anticipated book finale, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will come out midnight, July 21, according to author J.K. Rowling and her British and U.S. publishers, Bloomsbury and Scholastic Inc. Ten years, and a few hundred million sales, after the first Potter book was released, Rowling will wrap up the magical adventures of the boy wizard.

The author posted a brief announcement on her website Thursday, followed soon by releases from her publishers.

The news landed like a silent meteor. "Deathly Hallows" almost instantly topped the bestseller lists on and Barnes &, displacing another industry titan, an Oprah Winfrey pick, Sidney Poitier's "The Measure of a Man."

Potter readers, who had speculated the book might be published July 7 (7/7/07 for the seventh book) or July 31 (Harry's birthday), posted dozens of ecstatic messages on the Potter fan site,, within minutes of the announcement.

"OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!!!" read one typical message.

"WAH!!! I think I'm going crazy!!!! We finally have a date!!!" added another fan.

Other comments were sadder, noting the series' conclusion.

"I can't wait to read the book, but at the same time, I'm afraid to read it," read a message from a fan named Christine, who identified herself as a "30-something" mom. "I can't stand the thought of anything happening to the characters that I've grown to love! What an odd feeling."

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