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R-JENERATION: Harry Potter club casting spells on Green Valley High School

Walking down the hallways of Green Valley High School, there are no talking portraits or ghosts that will give you directions to Transfigurations. However, on Friday afternoons, students may stumble upon the Harry Potter club.

In the fall of 2008, senior Nicco Marcus decided to start a Harry Potter club as a place where students could get together and discuss the Potter world.

"I was really into a podcast called Mugglecast in which they analyzed each chapter separately and discussed literary devices and links to mythology," Marcus says. "There was no book club at the school, and I realized no one would stop us from having one, even if it did focus on Harry Potter."

Each meeting is set up the same way — it starts at 2:30 p.m. and lasts an hour. The meeting begins with an update of events in the Potter community. Students then move on to the main discussion and end the meeting with a wizard wrock song that relates to the topic.

"We will look into current events, (including) some of the lawsuits that J.K. Rowling is going through," Marcus says.

She says the group also is talking about the new movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," which is based on the final novel in the seven-book series. The book was broken into two films. The first half was released earlier this month, and the second half is scheduled to hit theaters in July.

The Harry Potter series, written by Rowling, began in Britain in 1997 with "The Philosopher’s Stone," which was released a year later in the United States under the name "The Sorcerer’s Stone." The book, and its subsequent installments, were instant best-sellers.

The final novel, "The Deathly Hallows," was released in July 2007. The seven-book series sold at least 400 million copies worldwide and were sold in 69 languages.

The movie franchise has generated nearly $6 billion at theaters worldwide. Billions more have been generated through DVD, TV and merchandise sales.

"The Deathly Hallows" scored big domestically during its opening weekend, raking in a record $125.1 million, according to The Associated Press.

Junior Rachel Young is the embodiment of what the club hopes to accomplish. When she joined the club, she had not read the books and was not even a fan but quickly fell in love with the series.

"I started going because I was looking for something to do, but after a few weeks I had decided to read the books and became obsessed," Young says.

Marcus says she likes using the wizard wrock music because it allows her to teach actual life lessons through them, as well as viewing the story from different points of view.

"The songs allow people to experience the events of the story from different characters’ viewpoint," Marcus says. "It also makes people look at two sides of an event and see where the other is coming from."

Even though she is graduating next year, Marcus says she does not see the club ending anytime soon. She has been training junior Alyssa Caplain, who joined the club by chance, to take over next year.

"A couple of friends and I who all love Harry Potter were going to join but the day we were supposed to go to the meeting they were busy and so I went by myself," Caplain says. "I started to become friends with Nicco and it really just went from there."

The goal for the upcoming year is to get more people who love Harry Potter to come because they are the ones who can help the discussions move along.

"We want the fans to come because so many people love it and just won’t show up," Caplain says. "Those that have read the books really make the discussions interesting."

Even with the last Potter movie scheduled to come out next summer, the members are not worried about any lack of interest or material to work with for the club to continue.

"Harry Potter will never die and so I don’t see this club ever ending," Marcus says.

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