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Harry Potter to work his magic at AAFES

At this rate, Harry Potter may soon need a shaving kit.

Later this month, the spectacled whiz kid of the literary kind stars in his fifth book, “Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix,” on sale June 21. The tome chronicles Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts School for wannabe wizards, and there he endures a poisonous professor, a cranky elf and the horrors of end-of-term exams.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service will debut the book across Europe, and its newly renovated Bookmark store in Hainerberg, Germany, is hosting a Potter-a-thon beforehand. Doors open at 8 a.m. on June 20, and will stay open until 2 a.m. the following day. At 1:01 a.m. June 21, the “Order of the Phoenix” hits the shelves. The exchange plans to begin a media blitz Monday.

In case staying up that late sounds like a supernatural feat, customers can fuel up on caffeine at the Bookmark’s new Cinnabon bakery and espresso stop.

The Cinnabon is the 11th to open under AAFES in Europe, but this one is unusual because it’s inside a bookstore and features reading space and comfy leather chairs. The idea mimics many bookstore chains in the United States.

“It’s really more of a community gathering place,” said Jeanne McDonald, a spokeswoman for AAFES Europe. “ … Of course, it smells great in there.”

Publishing company Scholastic says that “Phoenix” tackles some of the coming-of-age issues that plague both wizards and mere mortals.

“In the richest installment yet of J.K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter confronts the unreliability of the very government of the magical world, and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts,” Scholastic says.

Harry may be growing up, but he’s not ready to don his (pointy) cap and gown yet. According to Scholastic, Harry has two books to go.


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