Louise A. Barile And Bryan Alexander
June 27, 2003 08:53 AM

Live fast and die young, the saying goes. But will that be the case for Harry Potter?

Author J.K. Rowling stunned an audience at London’s Royal Albert Hall Friday by hinting that the boy wizard may not survive to see adulthood, PEOPLE reports.

“You have to wait and see whether he survives to be a grownup,” she said, before then adding, “I’m not saying he won’t.”

It was one of several revelations that Rowling, 37, had for more than 4,000 British schoolchildren — and a worldwide Internet audience — participating in a Q&A with the author of the hugely successful “Harry Potter” franchise.

Rowling’s latest installment, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” has been quickly disappearing from store shelves since its release last weekend, and the author was greeted with loud cheers as she appeared onstage.

“This is the closest I’ll get to being a Beatle,” she said.

During the Q&A, Rowling admitted that she doesn’t believe in magic, but if she could have any magic power it would be the ability to become invisible. “This is sad, but if I had it, I would sneak off to the cafe and write all day,” she said.

And if she had her own magic mirror? “I would see what Harry sees — my mother alive again, a scientist inventing a healthy cigarette and a particular journalist boiled in oil.” (No immediate word on who that might be.)

Rowling, who’s currently at work on the sixth book in the series, didn’t give many detailed hints on the future of Harry Potter and his friends. Of the character Severus Snape, she did note, “He’s worth keeping an eye on. You shouldn’t think he’s too nice.”

As for the children — who listened breathlessly as Rowling read a passage from the new tome — they were spellbound. “She’s better than the Beatles,” gushed Conor Brundish, 10, who traveled to London with his school group.

You May Like