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It was a sentimental occasion. Everyone, magic or muggle, paid tribute to their colleagues. Several spoke of the Potter “family” and rejected the idea of the films as a “franchise.”

Yates, who has directed the last four Potter movies, said the cast and crew had a strong bond.

“We’ve all been to the moon together, as it were, and I think that’s special,” he said.

Evanna Lynch, the Irish actress and Harry Potter fan who was cast, aged 14, as flighty Hogwarts pupil Luna Lovegood, said she had no idea what she would do next.

“I’m distraught that this is over,” said 19-year-old Lynch. “I’ve been obsessed with this book since I was eight, so I don’t really know what I was before that or what will come next.

“Apparently they are opening a Harry Potter Experience thing where Leavesden (Studios) was. I am available as a tour guide.”

The “Harry Potter” films have been big box office hits, but largely overlooked by the Academy Awards and other major prizes.

Yates said he said he was more proud of the approval of fans, like those camped out in London’s Trafalgar Square before Thursday’s premiere in “a mini-Glastonbury of people from all over the world who have been camping out in the rain for the last three nights.”

“That’s more of a compensation than lots of trophies,” he said.