J.K. Rowling: Jeff J. Mitchell/Reuters/Newscom
Gary Susman
June 30, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Harry Potter has two years of schooling left (and two more books) until he graduates from Hogwarts, but he may not live long enough to pick up his diploma. That was the shocker revealed by Potter author J.K. Rowling on Thursday in a chat before 4,000 schoolchildren in London — and millions more worldwide, watching and submitting questions via the Web.

During the chat at the Royal Albert Hall, held in lieu of a book tour to promote the new best-seller ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” a reader from Australia asked Rowling if she planned to write any novels about Harry’s adult years. ”You have to wait and see whether he survives to be a grown-up,” she replied. ”I’m not saying he won’t, but I don’t want to give anything away.”

Rowling also warned readers that they shouldn’t become too attached to some of Hogwarts’ love-to-hate characters. ”You shouldn’t think [Professor Snape] is too nice. He’s worth keeping an eye on,” Rowling said. She also said readers ”are all getting too fond of Draco,” Harry’s snobbish classmate. ”The dark forces are indeed rising.”

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