A one-of-a-kind piece of Harry Potter history has been stolen.
A burglary in Birmingham saw the loss of a short story set before the events of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,’ handwritten by JK Rowling on both sides of an A5 card. The item had been sold at auction nine years ago for £25,000.
Rowling has addressed the matter on Twitter, urging followers not to purchase the item if/when it is put up for sale:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 12, 2017
The owner of the manuscript (who gave the first name ‘Hira’) tells BBC News, “I don’t think whoever took it or stole it or who might purchase it will really understand the benefits to people out there, what it can do.
“If I can get it back, I’m over the moon, because I’m only going to be doing good stuff with it. If it’s destroyed, or if it’s lost, it’s a great loss.”
The item had been sold at a charity auction in 2008 to benefit writer’s association English PEN, where similar donations were sold from other authors including Doris Lessing and Sebastain Faulks.
Rowling’s story is said to be 800 words long, and centres on Harry’s father James Potter and future godfather Sirius Black as teenagers, getting into an altercation with Muggle policemen.
The as-yet untitled second movie in the Potter prequel series ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ written by Rowling, is due in UK cinemas on 16 November 2018.