U.S. News article

Dec 15, 2002

Posted by: Melissa Anelli


This was the very first interview I did after the auction, and you can probably tell from the quotes how wound up I still was – but I still think this is a great piece and thank the writer, Vicky Hallett, and the editor (and ubercool person) Holly Morris for doing it. I can’t tell you all how bizarre it was to be on the other side of an interview for once (or four, or five, or forty-five times…). It should also be noted that we don’t think of the buyer as a Voldy-type – at least, muah ha ha, not yet, you rich person who has yet to share. 🙂 Anyway, here is the piece from U.S. News & World Report:

As any well-read muggle knows, evil Lord Voldemort will terrorize the denizens of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the delayed fifth installment of the J. K. Rowling series. But “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” may have competition for his nickname from the anonymous American who snagged a card with 93 assorted words from the book (like “dies” and “sacked”) at a Sotheby’s auction in London last week. The display card – composed by Rowling as a fundraiser for literacy charity Book Aid International – went for nearly $38,000 (before tax), surprising even Sotheby’s, which posited $9,300 as the top price. Fans feared the card would fall into the hands of a spoiled rich kid who wouldn’t share. So Melissa Anelli, the 22-year-old managing editor of Web log www.the-leaky-cauldron.org, incorporated as nonprofit Leaky Inc. so fans could raise enough cash to buy the card and reveal its cryptic contents to all. Over 1,500 donors pooled $24,000, but Anelli never even had a chance to bid. “Oh my lord, it happened so fast,” she says. Leaky Inc. is donating its card-buying fund to Book Aid, and Potter-philes are hoping that if the mystery buyer loves his (or her) card, he’ll set it free. If not, says Anelli, “we’ll suck it up and wait for the book to come out.”

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.