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JK Rowling admits to nerves on eve of final Harry Potter release

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

Story by Jack Foley

HARRY Potter author JK Rowling confessed to feeling a “heady mixture of excitement, nerves and relief” as the midnight launch of the final book neared.

In a message to expectant fans on her website, Rowling wrote: “Within hours you will know what happens to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest. All the secrets I have been carrying around for so long will be yours, too.”

The message was posted as Potter-mania swept the globe in advance of the final revelations in seventh book, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

In London, fans braved heavy rain as they queued to buy the book when it goes on sale at midnight, while all-night parties and Hogwarts Express-style train trips have been put on around the world to mark the release.

A street party is taking place in New York, complete with face painting and magicians for kids, while in Bangladesh, customs offices are continuing to work on a Friday – traditionally a holiday – to ensure novels are delivered on time.

Further events are planned in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and in Bangkok, where an outdoor movie screen will show all the Potter films throughout the night.

However, while Potter fans seem to be lining themselves up for plenty to celebrate, Rowling has issued a word of caution as she prepares to face the reaction to her final chapters.

Speaking on BBC’s Blue Peter programme on Friday (July 20), she warned that the book could be upsetting for some readers and predicted that many readers might cry (especially if they cried at key events in previous book The Half-Blood Prince).

In what is proving to be an exceptionally busy period for the usually reclusive author, Rowling will also be reading excerpts from the new novel to 500 lucky fans at midnight and signing books at the Natural History Museum in London.

Harry Potter sensation

Since first being published a decade ago, the Harry Potter has become a global phenomenon, selling 325 million books and prompting five films and counting.

The final chapter is being released simultaneously in 93 countries with a print run of 12 million in America and more than 2.2 million ordered in advance from internet retailer Amazon.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows is expected to feature a final devastating confrontation between the young boy wizard and his evil nemesis, Lord Voldemort, which has been looming throughout the series.

Rowling has confirmed that not every character will survive.

However, in spite of placing an embargo on review copies, some were sent out early by mistake and reviews have appeared in some newspapers, including the New York Times, which prompted an angry backlash from the author.

She said she “staggered” that some papers had printed plot details in reviews, even though those reviews were positive.

The New York Times, which has defended its actions, described the book as a “monumental, spellbinding epic” and revealed it ended with a “big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation”.

In readiness for this, child helpline Childline has asked volunteers to take on extra shifts to cope with an anticipated surge of calls from distraught youngsters after reading the book.

The much-anticipated death of a key character could spark feelings of loss and bereavement among young readers, it has warned.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows will be released around the world at 0001 BST on Saturday.