That Sotheby's auction begins in less than ten minutes; The Leaky Cauldron point out that lot 517, the OotP card, is expected to come up at some point between 5pm and 6pm. (I shall have to check to see whether Sotheby's broadcast the proceedings of their auctions in real time over the Internet. Doubt it, else we'd know by now, but it would be nice.) I estimate that the Leaky, Inc. appeal will permit them to bid up to about US $17,000 (or about GBP 11,000) and I wouldn't be too surprised if there is a bizarre twist in the tale and Lizo Mzimba and the BBC crew in attendance madly add another GBP 5,000 or so to the bid. However, I would expect the actual auction price to be at least GBP 20,000-25,000 and so I would bet against Leaky, Inc. winning the card. We shall see. (Probably on Newsround at 5:25pm tonight, which you should be able to watch on the web.)
What happens next? Bidders' identities are secret, but we might get some well-placed leaks concerning the winners' identity in a few days and I dare say that at least half of the 93 words will become known eventually. I also expect nice letters to Leaky, Inc. from Book Aid International and JKR herself, probably with some words or facts in. For now, we just get on with the rest of our lives. Only another three hours or so to go. Tum-te-tum...
As ever, I would be dearly happy to be proved wrong on this one and hope that we're bathing in OotP-related speculation very soon. Humble pie on standby.
Would have been more fun if the OotP card had been lot number 713, wouldn't it?