It's another HP exclusive from Scharlach Towers...
HARRY POTTER QUITS! Boy Who Lived Becomes Boy Who Walked
The literary world was in uproar today at the news that Harry Potter, star of the best-selling fantasy novels, is to leave the series before its end. With the story almost over, most fans expected Harry to stay for the final instalment, but today's press release confirmed their worst fears. The battle against Lord Voldemort will now continue without him.
Potter was diplomatic in his official statement, claiming that his working relationship with J.K. Rowling was still excellent. "We've did some great work together and I can't thank her enough for putting me where I am today. But now it's time for a change, and I want to go out on a high."
Insiders, however, claim that author and star were riven by creative differences and longer had the same vision for the character. The teen heart-throb was cagey when asked whether growing suspicions that he would be killed off in the final book had contributed to his shock decision: "Not really, it's just that there are so many other opportunities I'd like to explore now. Investment banking, management consultancy, maybe the civil service. Plenty of careers don't involve dying a horrible and protracted death at the hands of a psychotic megalomaniac, I'm told."
Potter's nemesis, Lord Voldemort, was sanguine when told the news, and denied being the direct cause of Harry's departure. "I'm surprised, certainly, but we're both professionals and I understand he's under a lot of pressure. I'll still be battling against the forces of good in Book Seven: I just don't know who they are yet!"
Neville Longbottom's agent is said to be negociating a huge pay rise for his client to take over the lead role, but Rowling's representatives refuse to be drawn on what her strategy for the final volume will now be. "Nothing has been decided yet. She may go for a straightforward replacement, but she could also choose to play several characters up front for an ensemble feel. Yes, a certain amount of rewriting will be unavoidable, but she's looking forward to this new challenge."
Rumours that Rowling has been seen roaming the streets of Edinburgh, swigging from a bottle of tequila and shouting "That ungrateful little s***! What the f*** am I supposed to do now??" have been denounced as "exaggerated".