J.K. Rowling cast a spell over the world with her Harry Potter series, and when she released the final book in the series in July of 2007 diehard fans of the boy wizard were desperate for more. The British author has appeased fans over the years with related releases, but there is one piece of writing she is imploring fans not to buy: an 800-word prequel that was written on a notecard for a charity auction in 2008 — and was recently stolen.
As fans hope for the stolen prequel’s safe return, read on to learn more about what we know about it, and the other stories Rowling wrote to supplement the iconic series and more recent hit play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Written for the Waterstone’s What’s Your Story? auction in 2008 on an A5 notecard, the short story is a quick snapshot of the friendship between Sirius Black and James Potter (Harry’s dad’s). Set three years before Harry’s birth, the two wizards are speeding on a motorbike when Muggle police officers attempt to stop them. They escape with a magical flair that any Potterhead would appreciate. Wrote Rowling at the bottom of the now-missing card, which sold for£25,000: “From the prequel I am not working on – but that was fun!”
On Friday, Rowling turned to social media to plead for the card’s safe return: “PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS IF YOU’RE OFFERED IT. Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it.”
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Though a mass market edition has been available to the public since Dec. 2007, that same year Rowling handwrote seven copies of the collection of fairytales that made an important appearance in the series. Six of those copies were reportedly given “to those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books,” while a seventh was bejeweled and sold at another auction for £1.95m to raise money for her charity, Lumos. In 2016, publisher Barry Cunningham sold the copy he’d been gifted at an auction for £368,750. Inside, Rowling had written this dedication: “To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell … THANK YOU.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Before it was a hit film, Rowling wrote magizoologist Newt Scamander’s guide to all of the Potter universe’s magical creatures. “Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl,” reads the description of the book, which was originally released to the public in 2001.
Quidditch Through The Ages
It may be played by witches and wizards, but Quidditch teams have also formed across the real-life Muggle world. Rowling’s book is the perfect guide to everything you need to know about the history of the broomstick-riding sport. Though it was published at the same time as the original Harry Potter series (in 2001), new editions are still being published with better graphics and cooler covers.
The Pottermore Website
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Nothing will serve the hardcore Potterhead better than Rowling’s official website, which features an ever-growing source of new Harry Potter content. From insight into the Magical Congress of the United States and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (the American version of Hogwarts) to the history of the Potter family and information on magical transportation and places, there’s almost no question left unanswered … except precisely what else that prequel reveals.