We're about two days from knowing what Fate (aka JK Rowling) has in store for Harry Potter and crew... though, if you believe the Internet, you can find all of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows online already for your spoilage pleasure.
For a long while now, I've shared with family and friends-- well, basically, anyone who cares-- my theory about how it will end. It's not a complete narrative, just a handful of things I'm betting will happen, including the outcome:
- Voldemort dies (big surprise on that prediction, eh?)-- this is permanent, no returning, he is DEAD DEAD DEAD
- Most likely supporting character death: Severus Snape
- Second most likely: Ron
- Who else has a bullseye on their forehead? Ginny (a long shot), Hermione (also a long shot), Prof. McGonagle (even money), Neville (um, pretty good odds, actually), Draco Malfoy (probably not)
- Kreacher betrays the Order of the Phoenix to the Death Eaters
- Nearly all of the Death Eaters, especially Malfoy and Bellatrix, die in the last great battle
- Dumbledore returns briefly through a magical contrivance but does not stay in the land of the living for very long-- his role is pivotal but brief
- Snape betrays the Death Eaters and is killed by Voldemort, possibly after taking out the next-to-last Horcrux
- What happens to Harry? Well... Harry is the final Horcrux, the last piece of Voldemort's soul that resides outside his body. The manifestation is Harry's scar. Harry reaches a moment of decision, where he can defeat Voldemort and render him mortal--and thus killable. All he has to do is give up his magic-- permanently. No taking it back, no drinking a potion, no, this is FOR GOOD. No more Quidditch, no more flying on a broomstick, no more Diagon Alley or Hogwarts or hanging around the Weasley household or dragons or anything. HE MUST SACRIFICE EVERYTHING HE LOVES TO DEFEAT VOLDEMORT.
- He does.
- He makes the sacrifice, giving up everything that makes him special, and Voldemort is destroyed.
- Harry finds that he still has his friends (those who survive, anyway) who are astounded by what he's done. He may no longer be a wizard--he's now only a Muggle--but he's a hero.
- The book flash-forwards to when Harry and his wife (not a wizard, not Ginny) are proud grandparents... and find their latest grand-baby has magic powers. Here we go again.
Just my thoughts. I was intrigued that Keith Olbermann on Countdown came to the same conclusions regarding Harry's fate. I don't think JK Rowling came all that way just to kill Harry-- it's too easy, for one thing, and lacks the poignancy of sacrifice that has been a theme in the last few books especially. No, I think she has something more painful, more tragic and more heroic in mind for Harry.
I guess we'll see on July 21!