I received three identical emails from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) yesterday informing me that the order I placed back in June for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was being processed.

"We're working hard to make sure you get your order as quickly as possible," read the virtual letter. "However, please note that we can't guarantee that your book(s) will be delivered on July 16."

Oh, Slytherin snap!

Is it just me or is Jeff Bezos about to invoke the wrath of a horde of angry Muggles if Amazon botches this one? Back in April, Amazon.com issued a press release explaining how it was teaming up with UPS (NYSE:UPS) and the United States Postal Service to ensure that its pre-orders would be delivered on July 16. The press release even claimed that "delivery on July 16, 2005, is guaranteed or Amazon.com will refund the cost of the book."

Amazon is a prominent player these days. Domestic publisher Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) announced that it would be printing a record 10.8 million copies of the sixth installment in the Harry Potter series in its initial run and as of yesterday, the Harry Potter meter on Amazon.com indicated that it would be good for about 900,000 of those stateside. Amazon reported that over 500,000 more have been ordered through its international sites.

So how many of those 900,000 orders won't get to their destined porch steps tomorrow? A lot more than you think. See, Amazon's guarantee was provided only to those placing orders with standard or expedited shipping. But if you place a book order for $25 or more, you are entitled to "Free Super Saving Shipping" and while that's an awfully tempting option given just about any book tacked on will grant you free delivery, those are the orders that will arrive after July 16.

How many kids -- and their chagrined parents -- made that brutal mistake? I can't be the only one, right? How many will regret not going to that Harry Potter all-nighter at the local Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and securing the book at the stroke of midnight? How many will do just that and return the orders right back to Amazon later this month?

For many parents though, this weekend promises some welcome tranquility as their kids bury their faces in Harry's latest adventures. I'm guessing that Amazon -- a winning Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation by the way -- will be issuing a press release on Monday indicating how many delighted kids received their online orders. There's a pretty fair chance that those recipients will become Amazon fans for life thanks to the company's nearly instant gratification. J.K. Rowling's got them for one more book. Then they all belong to Bezos.

Some other Harry ordeals:

  • Amazon is set to move at least 1.4 million copies of the new Potter book.
  • Amazon teamed up with UPS and the U.S. Postal Service to assure that its orders will arrive at hundreds of thousands of homes on July 16.
  • See what other stocks are being singled out in Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a satisfied Amazon.com customer since the 1990s. However, he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy .