As Ron Weasley would say, bloody hell! A rare, untitled Harry Potter prequel story, handwritten by J.K. Rowling, has been stolen by burglars in London’s Howard Road, Kings Heath, West Midlands police announced on Friday.
The never-published, 800-word story that Rowling scribbled on both sides of a cream-colored A5 postcard was purchased at a Sotheby’s auction in 2008 for £25,000 (roughly $19,449.12). Proceeds went to the writers’ association English PEN and the British charity Dyslexia Action.
“PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS IF YOU’RE OFFERED IT,” Rowling tweeted after news of the incident became public. “Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it.”
The story, one of several works from various authors donated at the auction, was reportedly set three years before Harry’s birth when his father, James Potter, and godfather, Sirius Black, were confronted by muggle policemen after a motorcycle chase.
According to authorities, the story and jewelry were stolen from the Howard Road property at some point between April 13 and 24. Paul Jauncey, the investigating officer, said in a statement, “The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans. We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police.”
Those in London with information can contact West Midlands police at 101 or anonymously at 0800 555 111.