Readers of Carlton match reports with more than usually retentive memories will recall suggestions of JK Rowling picking up the word processor again. These were dismissed by most readers as 'just another example of that usual made-up rubbish that we have to put up with every week'.
But truth is stranger than fiction - as it were - and Fantasy Bob has noted with a slight sense of self-satisfaction recent real press reports that Ms Rowling is finding the character of Haris Aslam hard to put down and further volumes seem likely to appear in the series.
Interest in our hero's latest adventure will be intense, but Fantasy Bob has managed to find a discarded draft of a critical section of the new volume. In true spirit of public service he shares it with you now.
This extract comes at a point in the story when Haris has been taken under the wing of Hagrid Drummond. He has been told he is not a mere muggle seam up pie chucker but a leg spin wizard born of illustrious cricketing parents. Hagrid is taking him to shop for the equipment he will need to complete his education. They visit Diagon Alley where the long forgotten mythical store Cow Corner suddenly reappears. Now read on............
'A wand', said Hagrid, 'A wand, you'll need a wand.'
'Er..........don't you mean a bat.' said Haris tentatively, looking at the selection on the racks.
'Yes! Yes! Of course a bat, a bat, a........bat. Now what do they look like?' Hagrid looked vaguely round the store. His eye lighted on the rack of hockey sticks. 'There they are - a bit thinner and curvier than the last time I bought one, but things move on.'
'Er........aren't those hockey sticks?' said Haris
'Hockey sticks. Yes! Well spotted. Just testing you. Now, what's your shoe size?'
'Well we'd better get a size 9 just to allow for some growth.'
'I don't think they come in sizes like that. I think I need a Harrow.'
'A Harrow? A Harrow? What do you mean Harrow? It's Hogwarts for you m'boy.'