Well, with a week to go, you’d think I would be way on top of this, but I’m not. Most of you who know anything about me know that I’m a raving Potterphile. And most of my friends and I spend a lot of time discussing our various theories about the conclusion of the series. Be warned that there are a lot of spoilers for books 1-6 in here, so you can’t blame me if you read this and get angry because you haven’t gotten caught up on your Potter books. So here’s what I’ve got…

Who will die?
Well, not Harry. Rowling hasn’t brought him all this way just to kill him off. Besides, I think Voldemort has learned enough about Harry that if he’s going to kill him, he’ll try to use magic, which will be quick. And Voldemort can only be killed by Harry – so…Harry’s going to at least be alive when this is all over.

Ron and Hermione will most likely also live. I only say this because Rowling has let some things slip in past interviews about who will still be alive. However, if one of them does bite it, it’s going to be Ron. There’s been so much foreshadowing of Ron almost dying or trying to sacrifice himself so that Harry can keep fighting that I’ll almost be surprised if he doesn’t die.

As for others, I think that if any well-known student dies, it will be Neville. Rowling has said that he still has a large part to play, and I do believe that Neville is quite powerful as a wizard but he lacks self-confidence. I think Rowling is going to let Neville take out Bellatrix as revenge for his parents’ suffering, but then she’s going to kill him off. And also, I agree with Thea that Snape is going to die, but more on him later…

Will Hogwarts re-open?
This is a given. Every book is subtitled “Year x at Hogwarts” so of course it’s going to re-open. It’s the center of activity for every book so far and it’d be way too much work for Rowling to develop a new one that’s as comfortable for every main character in one book. Plus, she’s stated that one of Harry’s classmates will become a teacher in the seventh year…so obviously Hogwarts has to be open for that to happen. It is not supposed to be Harry, or Ron, or “who we might think” so I think that also rules out Hermione. I would love it if one of the Weasley twins came back but I also doubt it will be one of them with their business being so lucrative. Since Rowling hasn’t stated which position it will be, I don’t have a clue who the professor will be…but the open positions are probably Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts. I’m fairly certain Slugworth will be back for Potions. If I had to give a guess, it’ll be Neville replacing Professor Sprout in Herbology for some reason.

Is Dumbledore/Sirius really dead?
Yes, but they’ll make an appearance at the end of the book.

What are the other Horcruxes?
There are six, right? Well, the locket (which I think has already been destroyed by Regulus Black and explains why Kreacher has it). The Ring, which has been destroyed, and the Diary, which is also gone. So that leaves three; Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, something of Ravenclaw, and Nagini the Snake. I don’t believe Harry’s scar is a Horcrux or else Voldemort would have always been aware of the mind connection between himself and Harry. I think, since Peter Pettigrew still owes a life debt to Harry from the third book, he will be the one to destroy Nagini and therefore – one of the Horcruxes. He will also be killed in doing so and come into play at the end.

As for the remaining two, I don’t know who will destroy them or if they’ve already been broken. The possibility of a Horcrux (something of Ravenclaw’s) being at Hogwarts is what will most likely bring Harry back to school.

Why did Voldemort give Lily so many chances to live?
I’m not really sure here…the only thing I can think of is that he was trying to recruit her for the Death Eaters or that he was invading her mind and showing her all the terrible things he was going to do to her son if she wasn’t around to protect him. It’s possible that Lily was another double agent – posing as a Death Eater but really part of the Order of the Phoenix…although that’s more an idle whim than a serious option.

The motorcycle, the two-way mirror?
Since the Potters’ house was hidden to protect it from Voldemort, and the secret-keeper was Pettigrew, I think Sirius’s flying motorcycle is the only way to find the house again. Hagrid is the last person we know of to have had it and this is the very beginning of book one. He brought Harry from the house to the Dursley’s on the motorcycle. But with the two-way mirror, we’ve never seen it used, so I’ve got nothing.

How will the other characters be important?
Ginny –
Ginny is enormously powerful. She is the first girl to be born in the Weasley line in several generations, and I think Rowling is doing a “seventh child in the seventh generation” sort of thing. She’s going to be fighting by Harry’s side no matter what he says and will probably be one of the most powerful warriors in Dumbledore’s Army.

Kreacher – I’m not exactly sure on this one. I know that Kreacher is in possession of one of the Horcruxes (or former Horcrux), the locket. And I also wonder it will be he who lets it slip to Harry and/or the Order of the Phoenix what Horcruxes are still out there, how to destroy them, or where they are.

Luna – I have no idea. Any guesses out there? She’s supposed to be important, but beyond being part of D.A. I’m not sure how…unless she knows where a Horcrux is that belonged to Ravenclaw.

Malfoy – Erm, I’m pretty sure he’s with the Death Eaters, but more because he’s a scared kid who doesn’t know how to get out of what he’s gotten himself into. And I’m fairly certain it’s just Snape whose keeping him from getting knocked off.

Snape – is a good guy. He will redeem himself by saving Harry’s life. Why? Harry’s eyes. Snape hates Harry because he hated James Potter. Harry looks exceedingly like James except that everyone always says he “has his mother’s eyes.” Rowling has stated this is important and this could be because Severus has always been in love with Lily. She seemed to be the one always defending him while they were in school together and that could have brought him to be romantically attached to her. That small bit of her in Harry will be what brings Snape to protect him in the end. And he’ll lose his life in the process.

Aunt Petunia – Rowling has said she’s not a squib, but she knows way too much about magic to be a simple muggle. Is there something in between? I think the promise exacted from Petunia is that she would protect Harry until he came of age by letting him consider the house on Privet Drive as his home.

Why the gleam in Dumbledore’s eye?
Voldemort using Harry’s blood to revive himself gives Harry an edge on Voldemort. He has part of Harry in him now, so I don’t think this goes in his favor. I even wonder if it will keep Voldemort from killing Harry with magic if the wand connection doesn’t stop him. I guess this is as good a question as any to lead into my theory on the end of the book…

All of the Horcruxes get destroyed some way or another and obviously, Harry and Voldemort are fighting each other. Since their wands can’t be used against each other without conflict, Harry and Voldemort are going to have to find another means to kill each other. The scene between them in book four at the end is enormously intriguing. I think that the reason Rowling killed off so many people who are important to Harry is not only to prepare him for the serious task of taking another life, but to provide powerful and necessary souls (hallows) to aid him in his fight against Voldemort. When the wands lock, the souls of those who Voldemort has killed can be released and attack him. Maybe not enough to kill him, but enough to give Harry a chance to do something non-magical but quite lethal in order to get rid of the Dark Lord. I think this is why Rowling has been so tight-lipped as to whether or not we will see Sirius or Dumbledore again, and as to the definition of “hallows.” Harry will win in the end not because he is more powerful magically, but because he is more powerful relationally. Luna told Harry that “the things we lost will come back to us, often in ways we don’t expect.” There are a great many more people out there who will protect Harry, who love him and will stand beside him and fight, than there are those who will stand with Voldemort against Harry. And this may be how Fawkes comes into play as well; he may be necessary to aid Dumbledore’s soul in supporting Harry.

There you have it. I have theories on other small things too, but nothing very developed. I also have some questions. What was Lily Potter’s occupation? How did the Potters get to be so wealthy? How will Rita Skeeter and Dolores Umbridge come back to play a part? (Rowling has said they will…) And what about Hagrid and Grawp? Will the showdown between good and evil be just Harry and Voldemort or will it be an all out war? Feel free to leave as many comments as you like until next Saturday!