It seemed like the day would never come, but then it did.
Harry Potter finally arrived in Arlington and the teenaged wizard’s disciples — both young and less-young — greeted his arrival with relief, anxiety and unbridled excitement.
The release of "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows," the latest installment in the wildly successful Harry Potter series — which, according to its publisher, sold more than eight million copies nationwide in its first 24 hours of availability — attracted more than 200 people to Aladdin’s Lamp bookstore in North Arlington on Friday night.
Parents and children dressed up in costumes and played Potter-related games while they waited for the clock to strike midnight, signaling the legally approved release time for the new book. The chaotic scene was supervised by Alina Gavlik, the owner of the children’s bookstore.
Gavlik said that she was one of the only bookstores in the country that was not open at midnight for the release of the last Harry Potter book last year. So this year she and the parents of some of her most loyal customers organized an all-night Potter party.
"This was only possible because of my customers," Gavlik said.
One of those customers was Kathi Kotellos whose son Zak Gordon claimed to have read all the books four times.
Prior to the release of the book, Gordon said that he was "pretty excited" and noted that he had spent months coming up with more than 350 trivia questions that were asked to patrons throughout the evening.
Sarah Norman, 10, was in Arlington on vacation from her home in Montana. Her relatives brought her to Aladdin’s Lamp to pick up the new book, which she said she would read "all the way through."
"I’m a fast reader," she said,
One of the more extravagantly-dressed attendees of the event was World Bank employee Mark Cackler. He was dressed up as Potter character Professor Dumbledore, complete with a pointy wizard’s hat and a genuine white beard.
Cackler, along with his son Joe, surprised his daughter Rachel, a Potter super-fan, who had no idea her father and brother would be attending the party in full costume.
"I’m so happy I could Apparate," Cackler said.