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Order of the Stork

J.K. Rowling is expecting another Muggle. She says the impending arrival of her third child won't slow her progress on ''Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince''

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Order of the Stork

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J.K. Rowling will deliver her latest creation early next year, but it's not the much-anticipated sixth ''Harry Potter'' novel. The author announced Saturday on her website that she's expecting her third child. ''I always wanted three children so I could not be happier,'' wrote the 38-year-old author, who gave birth to a son, David, last year (dad is Rowling's husband of three years, Neil Murray) and has a daughter, Jessica, from her first marriage.

Anticipating that fans' immediate reaction would be to wonder if her pregnancy would make the wait for the next Potter tome even longer than usual, Rowling wrote, ''Book six remains well on track and, fingers crossed of course, I don't foresee any baby-related delays or interruptions.'' Of the delivery date for the upcoming book, whose title she announced last month would be ''Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,'' Rowling wrote, ''I still can't say for sure when it will be finished, but I have written a lot and I really like it.'' Then she joked, ''A reckless challenge to fate, that; I bet the next chapter goes horribly wrong now.''

Originally posted Jul 26, 2004