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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 11:02 GMT
Potter fans bid for story clues
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Die-hard Potter fans are trying to raise at least 5,000
Some 600 Harry Potter fans worldwide have donated money to a website to get a sneak preview of the next JK Rowling novel.

The fan site - www.the-leaky-cauldron.org - is organising a 5,000 worldwide whip-round to buy a teaser written by Rowling.

The teaser, 93 words written on a piece of card, reveals clues about the long-awaited next book - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The card is set to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on Thursday.

JK Rowling
The site's organisers want JK Rowling's permission to post the words

It has a 5,000 reserve price and fans are worried it will be snapped up by a private collector, leaving them in the dark about the next book's plot.

But the internet fan site has promised to put the plot clues on its site if its bid wins.

The site's organisers say the response to their appeal has been "utterly staggering".

"The letters have warmed our hearts, the stories of kids giving parents their pocket change for this effort have made us cry," the site says.

Managing editor Melissa Anelli said: "We were worried that a wealthy fan would win it and keep its contents private from the millions of fans eagerly waiting for more than two and a half years to find out about the next book."

Records

She said the non-profit site would use the money only for the auction, with extra funds going to Book Aid International, the charity also chosen to receive the proceeds of the Sotheby's auction.

The site hopes to have attracted donations from 1,500 people by Thursday in order to make the bid.

The second Harry Potter film took a number of records in the UK.

It had the highest opening weekend, taking 18.9m including previews, and was the only film to break through the 10m barrier with three days' box office receipts.

The adventure also became the fastest grossing UK film - beating its predecessor to set a new UK record.

The Chamber of Secrets is the only UK film to have taken more than 30m by its second weekend on release.


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