Hero's New Term at Snogwarts

By Mowling, Rebecca | The Evening Standard (London, England), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

Hero's New Term at Snogwarts


Mowling, Rebecca, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: REBECCA MOWLING

HARRY POTTER is to get his first girlfriend but JK Rowling has revealed there will be no sex in the new book which goes on sale at midnight.

On American television the multimillionaire author read a few paragraphs of the next instalment, and although she admitted that Potter will hit puberty, that is as far as it goes.

"Harry has a really hard time in this book," she said. "Certain adolescent rites of passage happen to him, but there will be no shagging.

Harry goes through absolute hell every time he returns to school. So I think that a bit of snogging would alleviate matters."

The content of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has been kept under wraps and this week Rowling launched a [pounds sterling]65 million lawsuit against an American newspaper after it printed unauthorised extracts from the book.

The 15-year-old wizard will be receiving some valuable dating advice from one of his best friends, Hermione.

Rowling said: "He is very much in puberty. I think it's a very confusing time. He doesn't yet understand how girls' minds work. Harry, for the first time, does have a relationship of sorts. The emphasis is very much on sorts."

Another twist will be the death of one of the characters, which the reclusive writer confirmed was "awful to write and I cried after doing it".

Despite being one of the richest people in Britain with an estimated [pounds sterling]280 million fortune, the mother of two says she feels guilty about her wealth.

But Rowling, 37, is expected to be [pounds sterling]30 million richer overnight when the book, the fifth in the series, goes on sale just after midnight.

Publisher Bloomsbury is already cashing in on the enthusiasm for the book, with pre-tax profits for the year to December set to be "not less than [pounds sterling]15 million", compared with forecasts of [pounds sterling]13.5 million.

The firm has a contract for two more books and chairman Nigel Newton said Rowling "has already started book six".

Bookshops across the world are bracing themselves for the weekend rush while the Royal Mail has laid on extra vans to deliver the 768-page magical tale.

At 1kg, it is too heavy for postal workers to carry.

At Waterstones in Piccadilly, the store has been transformed into Diagon Alley, the street in which Harry buys his wand, books and the latest Nimbus broomstick for the coming year at Hogwarts.

At one minute past midnight, the doors will open and hundreds of Harry Potter fans who have queued for hours will be able to get their hands on the book at last.

The great Harry Potter Quiz

AT one minute past midnight tonight Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix will finally go on sale. How well do you know the boy wizard and his previous escapades? Are you an expert on Hogwarts or a thoroughgoing Muggle? Here's the ultimate Harry Potter quiz ...

1. What is the motto of Hogwarts School?

Three bonus points for translating from Latin into English.

2. What school does Dudley Dursley attend?

3. Name the units of currency in the Magic World. (One extra point each if you identify the metals from which they are made. …

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