For Harry Potter fans, new movie Wednesday is big event

Among all the bouncing tween Harry Potter fans, 63-year-old Rita Hoffmann stands out.

At a recent Johnson County library event, she sports a vest covered in Potter-themed badges and buttons ("Weasley is our king!" and "Muggles for Harry Potter"). She’s brought a small suitcase — actually her "Hogwarts trunk," complete with a crest and cloak.

"I run around being the evangelist for Harry, and there's a lot of skepticism on the part of adults," said Hoffmann, an Overland Park, Kansas, grandmother. "It may be about children, but it's not childish."

It's been two years since J.K. Rowling's book series came to a close, but fans are still mobilizing.

Movie No. 6, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," opens Wednesday, and anticipation is soaring.

The movie, the darkest yet, was supposed to hit theaters last November, but Warner Bros. delayed the opening to attract big summertime audiences.

Adding to the suspense is the ultimate Scene-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, the climactic death of a key character.

And in the last few days, early reviews have called the movie the “best so far” and “worth the wait.” For many, the series means much more than characters on a screen or words on a page.

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Review from the Kansas City Star and Review from Movie Mom: an evaluation for parents and children.

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Read the complete story "Older Potter fans still under the spell" at Wichita Eagle's