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Harry Potter and the Educated Guesses

Okay. Now that my wife has read the entire series thus far, I can add my own theories to the cacophony of speculation surrounding Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

If you haven't read all the books thru #6, STOP READING NOW.

Still here? Okay.

Dumbledore: really dead. As in doornail. This must be understood, or nothing wonderful can come of book seven. His portrait might give Harry a hint or two, but there's no faked death, no phoenix-like comeback, nothing like that. No ghost, either. You have seen the last of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

Snape: There has been a lot of speculation about this one, but I don't think it's all that difficult. Snape is on Snape's side. That's all.

Yes, he had a crush on Lily Evans. That's why he hates Harry so much; he has to see the face of his old bully framing the eyes of his old crush. It would be enough to put anyone in a foul mood. But that's as far as that goes. And it's also why he has never been openly aggressive towards Harry; he would want to protect Lily's son, even if he also happens to be James's son.

Dumbledore thought Snape was trustworthy because Voldemort (or some other Death Eater) killed his mother. At least, that's my guess. That sort of tragic loss would be enough in Dumbledore's mind to place Snape's motives beyond question.

And Voldemort thinks he can trust Snape because he delivered (at least part of) that prophecy to him, even though it likely meant the death of the girl he loved. This sort of "sacrifice" shows the kind of blind "loyalty" that Voldemort values.

Now, having lost both of the women he loved to Voldemort's cause, I think there can be no question that he would love to see the downfall of Voldemort, and that he is willing to work with the people he thinks can bring that about, but there's nothing altruistic in his motives. Severus Snape is too petty for that. He just wants revenge.

Dead folks: We've heard that a few major characters get the axe in Book 7, but who? Here are my guesses:

Hagrid, accidentally killed by Grawp or killed defending him. Hagrid just loves horrible monsters too much to not fall victim to one of them.

Arthur Weasley and one of the twins, as much as I hate to say it. I can't see the story ending without Ginny or Ron, but a Weasley or two is going down.

Snape and Wormtail, who will be instrumental in helping Harry defeat Voldemort. Remember, there's a life debt to repay there, and Harry and Voldemort can't really attack each other directly, because of the brother-wand problem. They'll need to fight by proxy, and I think the two betrayers of Harry's parents (Wormtail and Snape) will end up dying to help Harry win.

Bellatrix Lestrange, killed by Neville Longbottom. (Okay, maybe this is just what I'm hoping will happen to her.)

Horcruxes: What, and where? We already know about the diary and the locket (it's in 12 Grimmauld Place, hidden there by Regulus A. Black), but what else?

Helga Hufflepuff's cup, which will probably be in somewhere in the Riddle house.

Rowena Ravenclaw's wand, which was in the front window of Ollivander's. When we find out what happend to Ollivander, we'll find the wand.

Tom Riddle's Award for Special Services to the School, which he would see as his only real accomplishment during his time at Hogwarts. This would be in lieu of Gryffindor's sword, which Dumbledore kept him from getting his hands on.

Nagini, the snake, who will be killed while she is on a spying mission for Voldemort. She will probably be the last Horcrux to be destroyed, which will finally alert Voldemort to what is going on.

Other Stuff:

Harry will learn of the friendship (or was it more?) between Snape and his mother through something he finds at Godric's Hollow, which will be confirmed by his Aunt Petunia. It will be up to Ginny to calm him down after this revelation.

On, or slightly after, Harry's seventeenth birthday, when the protection of 4 Privet Drive has expired, Harry will be attacked there. The attack will fail, but it will be the event that sets the book in motion.

And that's it. That's all the speculating I'm going to do. It will be what it will be, and we'll know shortly. And whatever happens, it's gonna be good. She hasn't let us down yet.
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