Author JK Rowling has urged fans of her Harry Potter novels to ignore supposed leaks regarding the final book in the magical series.
With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows now just two days away and various reports claiming that copies of the novel have already been posted on the internet, the writer has pleaded with readers to help ensure the book's plot remains a secret until its publication.
"As launch night looms, let's all, please, ignore the misinformation popping up on the web and in the press on the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Rowling wrote in a message posted on her official website yesterday.
"I'd like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day," she added.
The author's plea comes after photographs appeared on the internet appearing to show each page of the seventh Potter book.
Bloomsbury has not commented on whether or not the images are genuine, but reports of the supposed leak will not be welcomed by the publisher. It has tried to ensure that the ending of the last Potter novel remains a secret until it is officially released at midnight on Saturday.
Meanwhile the US publisher of the novel said yesterday that it was taking legal action after accusing a book distributor of sending copies out to fans in America too soon.
Scholastic confirmed that some Potter followers in the US had already received their copies of the book as a result, although the company stressed that the number of copies already shipped only amounted to "around one one-hundredth of one percent" of the total number due to go on sale in the country.
Nonetheless the blunder will mean that those who wish to keep the plot of the final Potter book a secret will have to work even more magic to ensure that the ending of the novel is not leaked ahead of its publication.