Viewpoints: Rob Jenkins
The final installment of the popular Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will soon be landing on shelves at a Wal-Mart, Target or Kroger near you. Rumor has it the volume may also be available in bookstores.
I don't know about your kids, but mine are practically beside themselves with anticipation. It's been almost two years since they've been tempted to hex anyone or join a witches' coven.
Somehow an advance copy of the manuscript has found its way into my wretched, ink-stained hands, and I'm sorry but I can't wait to tell everyone how it turns out. (SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want me to ruin the story, stop reading now.)
Chapter one finds our hero once again at No. 4 Privet Drive, the home of his much-despised Muggle relatives, the Dursleys. Their treatment of Harry in this book makes us hate them even more than we have come to hate them in the previous six books, if possible. Unlike actual people, the Dursleys have absolutely no redeeming qualities.
Late in the summer, mysterious magical beings visit Harry with vague and enigmatic warnings concerning what awaits him back at Hogwarts School of Witchraft and Wizardry. Bravely, Harry resolves nevertheless to return to Hogwarts, lead Gryffindor to another House Cup, and give his rival, Draco Malfoy, a wedgie.
Ultimately, the Dursleys - who have forgotten his birthday yet again - so enrage Harry that he performs a bit of forbidden magic, causing those rotten Muggles no small discomfort, let me tell you.
Then, fearing retribution, Harry flees the Dursleys' house with nothing but the clothes on his back, his broomstick, his wand, three sacks of schoolbooks, a 200-pound trunk and an owl in a cage.
The young wizard makes his way to a secret magical location, where he is reunited with fellow adventurer Ron Weasley, erstwhile romantic interest Hermione Granger and Hagrid, Hogwarts' gamekeeper, who once played left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams.
The real trouble begins on the train to Hogwarts - a mysterious occurrence that frightens everyone aboard. But only Harry makes the connection to the strange warning he received at the Dursleys. He of course shares this information with Ron and Hermione, who in turn assure him that everything will be just fine. And that they're just friends.
Back at Hogwarts, the new school year gets off without a hitch. In Quidditch, Harry leads the Gryffindor side to a miraculous come-from-behind victory. He, Ron and Hermione break numerous Hogwarts rules but are seldom caught. When they are caught, they're rarely punished, nor are the incidents reported to the Georgia Department of Education.
Then, one dark and stormy night, something really terrible happens ... But I probably shouldn't say anymore. In fact, I've already said way too much.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
E-mail Lawrenceville resident Rob Jenkins at email@example.com.