050508vanderark.jpgWhile a judge deliberates on whether Harry Potter superfan Steve Vander Ark and his publisher violated copyright law by producing a lexicon based on J.K. Rowling’s hit novels, the 50-year-old librarian has simply been trying to keep it together. This week he told the New Yorker all about the trauma caused by the recent trial, during which he broke down in tears.

Hoping for acknowledgment from his idol, Vander Ark would look at Rowling during his testimony, "but she slowly shook her head. And then there was his snubbing from the Harry Potter community:

One of his former cohorts, Melissa Anelli, sat at the back of the courtroom for much of the testimony. A 28-year-old Gryffindor from Brooklyn, she is the Webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, a leading Potter Web site… She was not at the trial to cheer him on but, as she said, “to support Jo. It’s her world. She lets us play.” As for Vander Ark, “he is vilified now. He has ruined his good standing.”

The deepest cut for Vander Ark is that Annelli has Rowling’s blessing to publish her own Potter book, and during the trial the two embraced warmly in the courtroom – right in front of the Vander Ark, a self-described Ravenclaw. “Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling,” he told the New Yorker. “I can’t blame her for liking her status. [Rowling] is God and Melissa is her prophet. I am an outcast now. But I still consider myself a Harry Potter fan.”

Courage, Vander Ark – the trial could still wind up with a victory for the Ravenclaws; a ruling is expected sometime after today. Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu wrote in Slate, "She has confused the adaptations of a work, which she does own, with discussion of her work, which she doesn't," and thinks Rowling should lose the suit.

Photo courtesy Getty Images.