Gary Susman
October 08, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Harry Potter fans, because J.K. Rowling won’t tell you. According to the author, at least one more beloved Hogwarts witch or wizard will die in the upcoming sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, though she’s mum on which of Harry’s companions won’t survive to Book 7. In a set of recently posted questions from fans on her website, Rowling answered the question, ”Are you going to kill any more characters?” with a terse ”Yes. Sorry.”

At least Harry himself is safe for the moment; Rowling has said in earlier interviews that Harry will survive at least until the seventh and final book, though she’s hinted that the student wizard may not make it past the last page and safely into adulthood. Rowling has also not been afraid to kill off beloved characters in the past, as in the most recent novel, 2003’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which saw the death of [SPOILER ALERT!] Harry’s godfather and mentor, Sirius Black.

Fans will have to wait to find out until the publication of Half Blood Prince, which the Associated Press reports is due sometime next year, though Rowling and her publishers have not named a date.

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