With fans still mourning the death of a minor character in J K Rowling's fifth novel, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix', it would appear there are further shocks in store for fans young and old alike. Granting a rare interview to The Brains Trust, she let it be known that Harry Potter himself is to die in the next book in the series.
"When I started out on the first book, with my head full of ideas about magic and the power of love, I adored the boy," said Ms Rowling, speaking exclusively to our correspondent, Dr Hugo Z Hackenbush. "But now, after over six years of writing about him and that f***ing scar of his, I've had enough of the self-righteous little sh*t."
Pouring herself a large gin from the crystal decanter by her side, she continued, "I'm sure people will point out the fundamental dichotomy of hating a character I created and moulded myself, but as the phenomenal success of the series took off I found myself moving along on invisible rails, obliged to write ever more heroic and honourable plotlines for him and his squeaky-clean friends. Inevitably, I came to hate him." She paused, briefly. "And Ron and Hermione too, of course. B*stards, the lot of them."
Allowing our reporter to read extracts from the first draft of the new book, The Brains Trust can confirm that the author has gone into lengthy - and graphic - detail on the nature of Harry's death. "It was a hugely cathartic experience," said Rowling, breathlessly, "it was such a huge release to pen an entire chapter dedicated to his grisly demise. I'm particularly fond of the section that details how he gets stabbed repeatedly in the eye with his own wand, while a Nimbus 2000 is used to beat his buttocks until they glow in the dark."
Further indications that the author doesn't care anymore came with the disclosure that the final, seventh, book will be a 2000-page tome dedicated to detailing the funeral of Harry and his friends whilst the lead villain 'Voldemort' cackles in the background, doing a little dance. "I've already named it," she said, smiling bitterly as she drained the dregs from her glass. "Harry Potter and the Onset of Rigor-mortis."
When it was put to Mrs Rowling that her young fans might find such graphic depictions of mutilation and torture deeply disturbing, she was unmoved. "I've always tackled the difficult subject of death in my books," she said. "I've just gone into a bit more detail this time. And you know what? F*** them. I didn't intend to write books for children you know - all I really wanted to do was write erotic fiction for the airport bookshop market."
The chances of these books seeing the light of day appear quite high, as the publishers of the Harry Potter novels are apparently not worried about the proposed violent end to the franchise. "This is the sort of twist that will have them queuing around the block to buy the book," said Bloomsbury spokesman Derek Gadd, excitedly, "And the associated 'Maim Harry Yourself!' merchandising opportunities are bound to make us another stack of cash. Hurrah for J K!"