'Beedle the Bard' Goes Under the Hammer

A handwritten book by JK Rowling, mentioned in "Harry Potter," is up for sale.

ByABC News
February 19, 2009, 3:50 AM

LONDON, Dec. 10, 2007 — -- If you are a die-hard "Harry Potter" fan and don't live in the United Kingdom, get on a plane, find some floo powder, or use a port key, but get to the Sotheby's auction in London.

The collection of five wizarding fairy tales, "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," handwritten and illustrated by JK Rowling, is on display until Thursday.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" were left to Harry's friend Hermione Granger by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Only one "The Tale of the Three Brothers" is recounted there and contained clues that were crucial to Harry's mission to destroy the evil Voldemort.

"'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is really a distillation of the themes found in the 'Harry Potter' books, and writing it has been the most wonderful way to say goodbye to a world I loved and lived in for 17 years," said Rowling. "I didn't expect it to be, but it's been therapeutic in a way."

The author handwritten and illustrated seven unique copies. She gave six of them to the people most closely connected to the "Harry Potter" books.

The seventh copy will be auctioned at Sotheby's and the money will go to The Children's Voice Charity that campaigns for child rights across Europe. Rowling is the co-founder of Children's High Level Group that runs The Children's Voice campaign.

"I think that I've got a real terror of being powerless and I could not think of any person with less of a voice, more disenfranchised, than a child with mental health issues who has been taken from their family or given by their family to a mental institution and then placed in a cage. I couldn't think of anyone more vulnerable and anyone more in need of an articulate voice," she said in an interview with the BBC.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" has 160 pages bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with hand-chased silver and moonstones.

"Moonstones have got the association of nurturing, which is why it was decided that moonstones are appropriate for this copy," Philip W. Errington, a specialist for this auction, told ABC News.