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Fans gather in London for final Harry Potter premiere

British actor Emma Watson arrives Thursday in Trafalgar Square, London, for the world premiere of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the last film in the hit series.

Associated Press

British actor Emma Watson arrives Thursday in Trafalgar Square, London, for the world premiere of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the last film in the hit series.

LONDON — Harry Potter's saga is ending, but his magic spell remains.

Thousands of fans from around the world massed in London on Thursday for the premiere of the final film in the magical adventure series.

They thronged Trafalgar Square, where the stars walked a rain-sodden red carpet, and nearby Leicester Square, where the movie was being shown in a plush movie theater, braving the inevitable London rain with umbrellas, waterproofs and good cheer.

Sun broke out as cast members — including leads Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint — and Harry's creator J.K. Rowling began arriving on the red carpet, signing autographs and chatting with fans.

Speaking from a stage erected in Trafalgar Square, 21-year-old Radcliffe, who has played the boy wizard since he was 11, told fans that Harry's story would never end.

"Each and every person, not just here in this square but around the world who have watched these films for the last 10 years, they will always carry the films with them for the rest of their lives," he said.

Rowling wiped away tears as she thanked the actors for "the amazing things they did for my favorite characters."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 depicts Harry's final confrontation with the forces of evil Lord Voldemort — an epic showdown rendered, for the first time in the series, in 3-D. It opens around the United States on July 15.

The eighth and last film in the made-in-Britain franchise was getting a lavish premiere, with huge screens and banners in Trafalgar Square and a nearby street transformed into the magical shopping thoroughfare Diagon Alley.

Jason Isaacs, who plays villainous wizard Lucius Malfoy, said he was not surprised by the huge crowd in the square.

"The books are all about death and loss and mortality, so they are very emotional and they make people emotional," he said. "You find this wherever you go in the world. Harry Potter just seems to light up the world."

Fans gather in London for final Harry Potter premiere 07/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 10:23pm]

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