Daniel comes of age

NEW YORK: The boy wizard of ‘Harry Potter’ is growing up - and so are his fans, many of whom have replaced their old capes and wands with declarations of undying love.

Daniel Radcliffe appeared stunned by the enthusiastic reception he received Sunday from hundreds of shrieking fans who lined up outside the US premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.

“It’s really amazing,” the 14-year-old said, trembling a bit as he paused to wave at swooning teenage girls, some holding signs saying “Marry us, Dan!” Even singer Rob Thomas of matchbox twenty - himself no stranger to screaming women - was taken aback. “When Harry Potter got out I think you could actually see his hair blow back from the screams,” Thomas said. “They’re very excited.” It was a happy development for Rupert Grint, who plays Harry’s friend Ron Weasley at the Hogwarts School and arrived at the premiere looking distinctively adolescent with a shaggy mop-top haircut. “It’s quite cool,” the 14-year-old said with a grin. —AP