A new hope for Harry

JK won't rule out a Potter revival

Harry Potter may not be finished after all. Author JK Rowling, pictured by Frank McGrath, in Dublin last night, hinted there could be more of the child wizard's adventures in coming years

Maybe the story of Harry Potter isn't finished after all.

Author JK Rowling, the so-called Mrs Harry Potter, gave a glimmer of hope to the millions of fans of the phenomenally successful books last night.

Speaking to a rapturous audience in UCD, the author opened the possibility for more of the child wizard's adventures in coming years.

With the seventh book in the series, the story of Harry was presumed finished.

But last night Ms Rowling said she would "never say never" to another in the series.

However, for a series that was her life for 17 years, it would be another decade before she could ever revisit the adventures of the wizard, she said.

And judging by the reaction of 600 students, children and adult fans of the book last night, it is just as well.

"I do feel that the Harry story is now done," she said to a disappointed sigh which verged on tears.

Encyclopaedia

In addition, Ms Rowling said an encyclopaedia of the series would also be written, with funds going to charity.

The author was in Dublin to receive the James Joyce Award from UCD's literary and historical society for her services to the written word.

"Ms Rowling's work has fostered an appreciation of literature in millions of readers worldwide, and her imagination and creativity have captivated an entire generation," said a statement from the debating society.

"She receives the award for her tremendous contribution to the field of literature, both in terms of the quality of her work and the impact that it has made over the last decade."

In receiving the award Ms Rowling joined in the prestigious company of UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, actor Ralph Fiennes and author Bill Bryson.

Arriving to rapturous standing applause, Ms Rowling read an extract from 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows'.

It was an ideal audience for the author, who has sold some 400 million books; many of those present would have been young, avid readers when the first of the series came out.

Screamed

When the applause finally ended and the author took her seat, a screamed "I love you" from the crowd illustrated that it was a friendly bunch.

That and the numerous children dressed as wizards dotted through the crowd.

Following the reading, Ms Rowling took 10 questions from the hundreds which had been submitted in advance.

And it was here that everyone in attendance got an insight into the worldwide publishing phenomenon which has gripped children and adults in recent years.

She admitted that she had the thought of Harry dying in the early books but had changed her mind. However, when the final book was finished it was "like saying goodbye to an old boyfriend".

And who was the character she would most like to meet?

"Dumbledore -- to apologise for outing him," she replied to applause.

To finish off the evening, Ms Rowling signed books for the adoring masses, who left with hope in their hearts of more Harry Potter in the future.

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