Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Predictions for Book 7

I haven't read any of the "what-will-happen-next" books, in part because I have an axe to grind with them: if people weren't so obsessed with what's to happen next, maybe there would be room in the market for what I've done with the Hogwarts metaphor. But also, I just don't find that stuff very interesting. Blind, clueless speculation: it does nothing for me.

So naturally, here are my predictions for Book blind and clueless, I am sure, as the next man's.

Snape and Voldemort

Harry lives. Snape dies in the final battle, defending Harry and saving his life. Snape kills Voldemort and dies doing it.

Dumbledore does not return except as a painting in the Headmaster's office; he was truly killed on the astronomy tower, but not by Snape. Malfoy's wand, it turns out, was a horcrux: that's how he was able to stop Dumbledore back in the death scene from Book 6. The "Snape" who killed Dumbledore was someone else, maybe Voldemort himself, on Polyjuice potion. This will all be revealed in the course of the story to Harry, who will finally learn the truth about Snape and at last break his long delusion about him, and learn something about the consequences of hatred.

Hermione and Ron become lovers, and get married. Hermione becomes pregnant with Ron's baby.

Neville finally realizes vengeance against Bellatrix. But he cannot kill her. He is too strong, too human, for that. He obliviates her and she will spend the rest of her life in a pleasant dementia at St. Mungo's with Gilderoy Lockhart.

Ginny and Harry become a unit again, and are married. After Ginny's parents are killed in the final battle, Harry and his wife go to live at the Burrow. Harry, like his mentor, is offered the Minster for Magic job (Scrimgeour dies in the final battle); but refuses and accepts the position of Headmaster at Hogwarts instead.

The final battle takes place in the locked room at the Dept. of Mysteries, which contains the Mirror of Erised. The great old mirror now contains the glass from Sirius' mirror that Harry had received from him and broken at the end of Book 5. Sirius communicates to Harry from that mirror, exactly as he had promised. He reminds Harry that Kreacher is his elf, and that he can command Kreacher to kill Voldemort.

But Harry learns this as he knows that one last horcrux remains to be found and destroyed: this is the order he gives Kreacher. Kreacher dies attempting to do so, but fails because he cannot bring himself to kill a part of Voldemort, even under an order to do so from his "master," Harry. Kreacher commits suicide rather than go through with that task. The horcrux in question is the sword of Godric Gryffindor, which was given a slice of Voldemort's soul when Dumbledore was murdered. Kreacher himself had hidden the sword, on Voldemort's orders, in Harry's own trunk. Minerva McGonnigal, the head of Gryffindor House, has followed Kreacher to the boys' dorm and witnesses his lame effort to destroy the sword/horcrux. After watching Kreacher kill himself with it rather than destroy the sword, McGonnigal succeeds in doing so, and perishes in the effort, poisoned by the final object-fragment of Voldemortian soul, as she destroys it.

Dobby also joins the struggle, and organizes the house elves to take on (appropriately) the giants. The werewolves are defeated when Fenrir Greyback is killed by Harry. The dementors are defeated by the centaurs, who take them prisoner to the Forbidden Forest, where the black demons mutely learn divination by the stars from the hoofed astrologers, and find that star-gazing is just as nourishing to a dementor as soul-sucking.

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