Want to know what happens in the next ''Harry Potter'' book? It'll cost you, as you'll have to bid for J.K. Rowling's 93-word teaser about the plot of the long-awaited, still-unfinished volume at a benefit auction

By Gary Susman
Updated November 20, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Harry Potter and theChamer of Secrets: Warner Bros

J.K. Rowling still isn’t finished writing the fifth Harry Potter novel, and there’s still no publication date in sight, her spokesperson tells Reuters. But the author will offer some details about the plot of ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” — for a price. Reuters reports that she’s auctioning off a plot outline at a charity auction next month in London. The outline is just a scant 93 words, enough to fit on a card that Sotheby’s, which is handling the sale, expects will fetch as much as $9,500.

The Dec. 12 auction is to benefit Book Aid International, which sends books to Third World countries. Offering a sneak preview of Rowling’s sneak preview, Sotheby’s leaked a handful of the 93 words, which EW.com will let you read for free: ”Thirty-eight chapters … might change … longest volume … Ron … broom … sacked … house-elf … new teacher … dies … sorry.”

Rowling has hinted in interviews that a major character dies in book 5, and that the painful difficulty of writing that character’s demise is partly to blame for the manuscript’s delay. At this point, Rowling’s publishers would probably pay $9,500 just to know when she’ll deliver the book.

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