Fans spell intention to be first script owners
Hundreds of Potter-heads donned cloaks and broomsticks with the hope of becoming some of the first fans to get their hands on a copy of the script of the new play, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.
Around 700 witches, wizards and magical creatures queued outside Waterstones in Piccadilly, central London, ahead of the midnight launch, which also marks the birthday of JK Rowling and her boy wizard hero Harry.
Four floors of the bookstore were transformed into a Harry Potter haven, with interactive activities on each level and a 10ft winged nest welcoming fans at the entrance.
Younger guests took part in several competitive quidditch matches, while others browsed the shops in a makeshift magic village on the first floor.
Hagrid's motorbike was on display, loaned from Warner Bros, and there was also a cupboard under the stairs - Harry Potter's dismal bedroom at the Dursley's house - to pose in.
The midnight release will come just hours after the opening gala premiere at the Palace Theatre in London's West End. As the play opened following nearly eight weeks of previews, it drew whoops, applause and gasps of shock from the audience as magic appeared to unfold on-stage.
Featuring plenty of twists and surprises, audience members were handed #KeepTheSecrets badges on their way out.
JK Rowling, wearing winged high heels on the red carpet, said she was delighted fans who had seen previews had kept the details of the new instalment under wraps.
Set 19 years after the events of the seventh and final book, The Cursed Child brings back Harry Potter, now grown up and an employee at the Ministry of Magic.
Harry and his wife Ginny Weasley wave their youngest son Albus Severus, named after former Hogwarts headmaster Professors Dumbledore and Potions guru Professor Snape, off to their old wizarding school.
Once there, Albus struggles with the weight of his family legacy and goes to extreme and dangerous lengths to right the wrongs of the past.