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The power of Potter

"Harry Potter" fans pose in costumes of their favorite characters from the popular book series. Clockwise from left, are, Sravya Saladi, 18, Jacob Goldberg, 11, Lisa Miska, Erin Lyons, 13, Emma Mogavero, 13 and Cassandra Miska, 11. (July 6, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

As Harry Potter mania once again sweeps the nation, eager fans on Long Island are getting ready to unite for the seventh and final film in the Harry Potter franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," opening in theaters Friday.

Newsday caught up with some hard-core fans of all ages who love to dress up as their favorite characters and share their passion for all things Potter. Meet Long Island's very own Harry, Hermione, Ron, Professor Severus Snape, Professor McGonagall, Lord Voldemort and friends.


Age: 11

Town: Bellmore

Favorite Character: "Professor Severus Snape. I liked him because you never know if he's good or bad."

Favorite magic spell: "Avada Kedavra. This is known as the 'Killing Curse.' It kills your opponent instantly. If the spell was real I don't think I would use it in real life, because it means to murder your opponent. But I would use the spell if someone were attacking my family or me."

Favorite book/film: " 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.' You get to see into Voldemort's past. You get to see why he is the way he is."

Lesson learned: "Watching the Harry Potter movies taught me that people can be both good and evil. Everyone has both forces inside of them."

What he'll miss most: "I will miss the wickedness and the imagination of J.K. Rowling. I hope she writes many other books."


Age: 18

Town: Old Westbury

Favorite character: "Hermione. She is very strong and determined to do whatever she wants. I can see myself being friends with someone like her."

Favorite magic spell: "Oculus Reparo. I love this spell and wish it were real, since my camera and phone always break, and if I could fix them with a spell that would be awesome!"

Favorite book/film: " 'The Sorcerer's Stone.' I like how Harry Potter at the end was the savior and became such a mature character.. . .He sets a good example for Ron and Hermione."

Lesson learned: "J.K. Rowling taught me that writing is limitless. She was able to create a whole new world"

What she'll miss most: "Looking forward to the next book or movie."


Age: 11

Town: Mount Sinai

Favorite character: Hermione

Favorite magic spell: "Oculus Reparo. Hermione used this spell in the first movie to fix Harry Potter's glasses. I wear glasses so it is pretty cool that Hermione can just fix them in a matter of seconds. To me that is Girl Power!"

Favorite book/film: " 'The Sorcerer's Stone' was my favorite movie and book because you got to meet everyone and Harry Potter is just learning how to be a wizard. I'd say I liked the book better because it had more details than the movie. I was able to use my imagination more."

Lesson learned: "I learned how to stand up for myself and how to be strong like Harry."

What she's going to miss most: "You don't get to see Harry Potter grow up. Each movie you knew you were going to see him, but now it is over and it makes me feel sad."


Age: 35

Town: Mount Sinai

Favorite character: "Professor McGonagall. She is very tough but she kept an eye on Harry, Hermione, Ron and all the young wizards in the Gryffindor House. She had their best interests at heart and acted like a surrogate mother to them. Also Professor M. is very sarcastic, so I can relate to that as a mom."

Favorite book/film: "There were good parts in all of the Harry Potter books, but 'The Sorcerer's Stone' was an entrance to a different world."

What she liked most about the series: "You can experience and share it with your child. My daughter and I both really enjoyed watching the movies and reading the books together."


Age: 13

Town: Jericho

Favorite character: "I like them all -- except for the bad ones."

Favorite magic spell: "If you can't find something all you have to say is 'Accio.' I often misplace things, so this spell would really help me."

Lesson learned: "It teaches you about the power of friendships and how the best of friends will stick with you in your time of need, no matter what!"

What she'll miss most: "Even though they won't be making any new books or movies, I can still read about Harry and his friends in the books I have or watch one of the movies I own. I am excited about Pottermore, a website about Harry Potter that J.K. Rowling is making."


Age: 13

Town: Point Lookout

Favorite character: "Hermione. I like how she is smart, clever and interesting."

Favorite magic spell: "Wingardium Leviosa. If I had magic powers I'd love to use the spell on myself so I could fly. I'd also use it to help do chores like clearing the table."

Favorite book/film: " 'The Deathly Hallows' was my favorite book. It kept me on the edge of my seat."

Lesson learned: "I learned that anything is possible as long as you work for it. In the beginning Harry did not really know anything about wizardry, but in the end he became a very powerful wizard."


Age: 18

Town: Floral Park

Favorite character: "Voldemort. While almost all the main characters in the series have some sort of back story that explains their motives or traits, Voldemort has been evil from the beginning. He's just plain bad, and he loves it."

Favorite magic spell: "Legilimency, or the ability to read others minds. It would be interesting to find out what anyone is thinking at a given time and I would probably use it to see if the people in my life truly say what they mean and mean what they say, as this is not always the case."

Favorite book/film: " 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.' J.K. Rowling has an amazing ability to make her characters and story grow with her readers, and I think that was most evident in the conclusion of the series."

Lesson learned: "I guess Rowling's message to her readers is to constantly question the status quo and not to blindly accept what authority figures tell you."

What he'll miss the most: "While I can always reread the books or re-watch a movie, the feeling of suspense -- wondering what will happen to Harry in the next book, or how a scene will play out in the next film -- will never be there again."


Age: 5

Town: Floral Park

Favorite character: "Harry Potter. I like that he can become invisible anytime he wants."

Favorite magic spell: "Invisibility Spell. I wish I could use that spell so I can go the toy store and play with all the toys without anybody seeing me."

Favorite book/film: " 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' because it was scary."

Lesson learned: "I learned how to be a good friend."

What he'll miss most: "The excitement. I want to see more magic!"


Age: unknown

Town: Merrick

Favorite Character: "Sirius Black, aka Padfoot. He turns into a dog. I just think he is a cool character."

Favorite Book/Film: "The Sorcerer's Stone," because it is where we are introduced to all the characters before we know all about the evil that is going on. And the unfolding of the story is really wonderful."

What he'll miss most: "I will miss the rooms in Hogwarts more than anything else. There are so many neat rooms in that place. They are so interestingly decorated."


Age: 6

Town: Merrick

Favorite Character: "Aragog, because I think the big spider is really cool!"

Favorite Book/Film: "'The Chamber of Secrets,' because I like the giant spider."

Lesson learned: "I learned that you should be careful what eggs you open because they might contain a baby dragon!"


Age: 8

Town: Westbury

Favorite Character: "I like Harry because he is smart and gets to do all these cool things that I'd like to do."

Favorite Spell: "Stupefy, the Stunning Spell. I like the spell because it is funny. It locks you up so you can't move. I wish I could use that spell when I see a bug so it won't bite me."

Favorite Book or Film: " 'The Sorcerer's Stone,' because it was fun to watch Harry be a wizard-in-training."

Lesson learned: "Harry was lucky to have two best friends, Ron and Hermione. I learned the importance of friendship."

What you will miss most: "I will miss going to see Harry Potter in the movies with my mom and dad."


Age: 6

Town: Westbury

Favorite Character: "I like Ron because he is funny and a good friend to Harry."

Favorite Spell: "The Babbling Curse. I like it because it is cool and funny to see people talking a lot."

Favorite Book/Film: " 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.' I liked this film because it had a lot of action."

Lesson learned: "I learned to be more adventurous."

What he'll miss most: "I will miss seeing Harry and his friends doing magic."


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