At the stroke of 12:01 a.m., “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comes out of hiding. Borders set the scene with Cauldrons of prizes.
As Harry Potter fanatics parked their brooms outside Border’s Bookstore in Valencia, they found flags hanging to represent the story’s four houses, an elevator morphed to medieval times and – yes – even a Moaning Myrtle in the women’s restroom. The transformation was part of the Harry Potter Midnight Magic Party on Friday night to celebrate the release of the sixth book in the series by J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Upon entering, fans of the wizard series lined up to receive their reserved numbers, which would be used to break the spell at 12:01 a.m., when the books would officially go on sale at Borders and bookstores nationwide. Before being released, the books were under high security to prevent any plot leaks. Ann Unger, corporate sales coordinator for the Valencia store, said the books came in under cover and were placed in a locked room. Never before, she said, had she seen such security for a book. Earlier in the week, pictures of the boxes holding the books were even forbidden, she said. Although Unger cannot say how many books were preordered, she assured an adequate amount for everyone. The Night’s festivities included Pottermainia trivia questions, opportunities to craft wizardly hats and wands and various raffles for cauldrons of prizes. One of the main prizes was a chance to be one of the first five who could purchase the book. The $29.99 Potter adventure is expected to set book sales records