In 2008, Rowling wrote an 800-word manuscript — on two sides of an A5 postcard — for a charity auction. At some point between April 13 and 24, the manuscript was stolen, alongside jewelry, from a property in Kings Heath, Birmingham, according to reports. The West Midlands Police Department turned to Twitter when they realized they could use the series’ rabid fanbase to find the thief.
“The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans,” investigating officer Paul Jauncey told NBC News. “We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police.”
Rowling also took to Twitter to enlist her fans’ help. “Please don’t buy this if you’re offered it. Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it.”
The untitled story — which originally sold for 25,000 pounds in benefit of both the Dyslexia Action and English Pen charities — told a tale of a young James Potter, Harry’s dad, and his friend Sirius Black as they are pursued by two muggle policeman for speeding and not wearing helmets. According to local authorities, the story saw them escaping thanks to a bit of magic and broomsticks.