A betting website has been inundated with bets on the death of Hogwarts' head teacher Dumbledore - all from the town where the book is being printed. The bets were refused by one chain of bookmakers which claimed it was "obvious" the manuscript had been read. Claims that Dumbledore would die were sparked when author JK Rowling hinted about a death in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Now a mysterious series of events in Suffolk suggests the secret may be out. A cluster of ?50 bets have been placed on Dumbledore being the victim - and it would not take the powers of the boy wizard to deduce what has happened. Most of the bets have been placed in the town of Bungay - which just happens to be where the new Harry Potter adventure is being printed.
Ed Pownall, of the internet betting site Blue Square told The Sun: "We have taken nearly ?6,000 worth of bets on Dumbledore in the past seven days. All have been played in Bungay or nearby Beccles. A lot of punters have opened new accounts and placed a maximum bet of ?50 each on what is an obscure market. That made us sit up and take note."
As a result Blue Square slashed the odds for Dumbledore - played by Sir Michael Gambon after the death of Richard Harris - from 2/1 a week ago to 4/6 before they suspended betting last night. And Warren Lush of Ladbrokes said: "We weren't foolish enough to take the bets. There are obviously people out there who have read the manuscripts."
Printers Clay of Bungay are believed to be helping with the printing of the new book - due to be published on 16 July - although publishers Bloomsbury moved some of the printing to Germany.