Sarasota, FL (APE) – A crestfallen artist and illustrator, Mary GrandPre, renowned for her cover and inside illustrations for the first six Harry Potter books, today vouched for the authenticity for an original concept cover for the seventh book which was apparently stolen from her Sarasota, Florida studio and has been circulating the Internet. The original piece, declined by Arthur J. K. Rowling, was judged as too revealing of the surprise ending, and was later modified by GrandPre to the cover which will be released on books worldwide Friday.
Sarasota police are investigating the break-in which apparently occurred last week. A spokesperson for the department claimed that they had no clues as yet and stated that the artwork appeared to have almost vanished as if by magic.
Rather than the cover released on the final book which depicts Harry in a final death match with Lord Voldemort, the original concept piece shows Potter reaching out to his evil arch nemesis. The illustration seems to confirm the reported surprise ending that Harry Potter is in fact a “horcrux” and the illegitimate child of Tom Marvolo Riddle and Lily Potter, a devastating truth that is withheld from Harry throughout the series by his mother and loving stepfather James Potter.
Spokespersons for both author Rowling, and her publishing company have refused to either confirm or deny the rumors. Evidence suggests, however, that this may indeed be the ending that Rowling settled upon after notable celebrity pleas from author Stephen King, and movie maker George Lucas.