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JK Rowling completes her new book

A collection of fairy stories titled "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" has been completed by J.K. Rowling.

Rowling said Thursday that only seven copies of the book are being printed. One will be auctioned next month to raise money for a children's charity, while the others have been given away as gifts.

The collection of five stories has been handwritten and illustrated by Rowling.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" is mentioned in the final Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," as a gift left by headmaster Albus Dumbledore to Harry's friend Hermione, and provides clues that help destroy evil Lord 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 have loved and lived in for 17 years," Rowling said.

The volume, bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with silver and semiprecious stones, will be auctioned at Sotheby's on Dec. 13 with a starting price of 30,000 pounds (US$62,000; EUR43,000). Proceeds will go to The Children's Voice, a charity that helps vulnerable children across Europe.

"Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final installment in Harry's adventures, was published in July. The seven books have sold nearly 400 million copies and have been translated into 64 languages.

On Wednesday, Rowling and the makers of the Harry Potter movies filed a lawsuit against RDR Books, a small U.S. publisher that plans to bring out a companion volume based on the Harry Potter Lexicon fan Web site.

Rowling has said she plans to produce her own encyclopedia of the wizarding world and says the book would infringe on her intellectual property rights.