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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Bets reopen on Dumbledore death
Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore in The Prisoner of Azkaban
Michael Gambon took over the role of Dumbledore from Richard Harris
Betting has reopened on the possible death of Dumbledore in the latest Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due out in July.

Bets on which protagonist dies in the novel opened eight months ago, after author JK Rowling confirmed that a key character would be killed.

But betting was suspended on Tuesday after a flurry of bets on Dumbledore aroused suspicion of a possible leak.

Potter publishers Bloomsbury urged fans to take rumours "with a pinch of salt".

"There was a huge amount of speculation about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it was wide of the mark," a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury said.

Internet betting website Blue Square suspended betting on Tuesday following suspicions that the manuscript could have been read.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling has called the new book "one of her favourites"

The raft of bets on Hogwarts' headmaster Dumbledore's death came from the town of Bungay in Suffolk, where it is believed the latest book is being printed.

The site has since re-introduced betting with "prohibitive" odds of 1-5 on Dumbledore's death.

The sixth instalment in the series about the boy wizard will be unveiled at Edinburgh Castle on 16 July.

JK Rowling has been careful not to give away any details regarding the latest adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron.

"Book six does what I wanted it to do and even if nobody else likes it (and some won't), I know it will remain one of my favourites," the author recently wrote on her website.

Some 250 million Harry Potter books have been sold around the world, with 13.5 million copies sold in the UK.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix became one of the fastest-selling books in publishing history in 2003.

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