raebird ([personal profile] raebird) wrote2007-07-06 12:47 pm
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Harry Potter: Thoughts from Books 4-6, Predictions for Book 7 (Eeeee!)

I've finished my most recent reread of Harry Potter books 4-6. And I have thoughts and predictions! So here they are. If you care to review, here are my previous thoughts and predictions after reading book 6 for the first time, and after rereading the whole series last year. In this post, my thoughts are arranged according to a few key questions I've been wondering about. I discuss some of my predictions for book 7 throughout. I've included a list of all my predictions at the end, arranged according to my level of confidence. Here goes.

Why doesn't Harry have any relatives other than the Dursleys?

I'm wondering why Harry doesn't have any grandparents. Lily and James were still fairly young when they died. Why were their parents already dead? On one level, they were obviously dead because there had to be some plot device for Harry to be raised by the most hateful and atrocious Muggles possible. But I still find it odd. I wonder if maybe Voldemort killed Mr. & Mrs. Evans and the senior Mr. & Mrs. Potter in an effort to get to Lily and James. If he did kill Mr. & Mrs. Evans, that would help explain some of the Dursleys' bias against the wizarding world; they blamed "all that dangerous nonsense" for the deaths of Petunia's parents. I hope there will at least be some mention of Harry's grandparents in the final book.

What exactly happened on the night that Lily and James died?
We know that Voldemort heard about part of the prophecy from Snape. We know that he got Wormtail to betray the Potters' location. We know that Voldemort went into the house. The house ended up rubble, Lily and James ended up dead, Harry ended up scarred, and Voldemort ended up weakened and disembodied. We know from Harry's memories and Voldemort's statements that Voldemort didn't intend to kill Lily that night but only did so because she was protecting Harry. We suspect that Voldemort intended to create his sixth and final Horcrux with the curse that should have killed Harry.

We don't really know exactly what went on inside the house, though.

Specifically, I'm questioning when and why Voldemort killed James. The assumption has been that Voldemort killed James first, fighting his way toward Harry, and then killed Lily because she stood in the way. But why would Voldemort kill James first but say later that he didn't intend to kill Lily (and not say anything about his intentions toward James)? There's also the issue of the Priori Incantatum thing that happened in the graveyard after Voldemort got his body back: James emerged from Voldemort's wand before Lily did. They were supposed to come out in reverse order of their deaths. Did James really die after Lily did? And if so, how and why did it happen that way?

Here's one scenario I'm thinking about. Voldemort went to the Potters' house, alone, and bringing some significant object with him because he intended to make it a Horcrux with Harry's death curse. Voldemort encountered James first and successfully Stunned or otherwise overpowered him to get him out of his way, but didn't kill him. Voldemort disarmed Lily and offered her the chance to give Harry up (because Voldemort has issues about his own mother abandoning him, yes?), but she still protected Harry, so Voldemort killed Lily. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry, the curse rebounded, and he was weakened. In desperation, as the life force drained from his body, Voldemort cast the Avada Kedavra and Horcrux-making spell upon James.

I'm not totally sure if that would work, since Voldemort might have lost his physical body very quickly and might not have been able to hold a wand anymore. But it sort of fits the evidence, if you assume that Harry's dementor-induced memories might not be totally accurate. And it's a pretty cool twist on the things we think we know. Plus, ow, this would hurt for Harry to find out. It would mean not just that his mother died only because she tried to save his life, but that his father died only because she succeeded.

I also have an idea of what the intended (possibly realized) object for the Horcrux curse was, as I'll discuss in the next section.

What and where are the remaining Horcruxes?
This is obviously a very important question for the plot of book 7.

To review, the six Horcruxes that Dumbledore knew and believed to exist are the following:
1.Tom Riddle's diary (Harry destroyed it in the Chamber of Secrets.)
2. Marvolo's ring (Dumbledore found it at the Gaunt house and destroyed the Horcrux.)
3. Slytherin's locket (Was probably the real Horcrux that once was in the cave, removed by R.A.B.)
4. Hufflepuff's Cup (location unknown)
5. Something of Ravenclaw's or Gryffindor's (location or locations unknown)
6. Would have been some object that Voldemort meant to make into a Horcrux when killing baby Harry; instead, Dumbledore thinks Nagini became the sixth Horcrux after Voldemort got his body back.

I think Dumbledore made a few mistakes in constructing this list. Here's the list as I see it, with details added based on informed speculation:

1. Tom Riddle's diary (Harry destroyed it in the Chamber of Secrets.)
2. Marvolo's ring (Dumbledore found it at the Gaunt house and destroyed the Horcrux.)

I don't have anything to add to the first two at this point.

3. Slytherin's locket.
Naturally, I believe this was the real Horcrux that was once in the cave, and that it was removed by Regulus Black with the help of Kreacher. I think it's probably still in Kreacher's possession. It might have been stolen and sold by Mundungus Fletcher, but I think Kreacher probably had it hidden in his little den, and Mundungus wouldn't have looked there.

4. Hufflepuff's Cup
I don't know where this one is located. One wild guess, though, is that Regulus also successfully retrieved this one, and had it at Grimmauld Place. Mundungus stole it and ended up attempting to sell it back to the Smith family, for whom it was a precious missing heirloom. Zacharias Smith will help Harry find it. Maybe Mundungus first tried to sell it to the Bones family, who might also be descended from Helga Hufflepuff, and Susan Bones knows about it and mentions it to Ginny. It's a little out there, but I know Mundungus's thievery has to be important somehow, and I just have a hunch that he didn't steal the locket. And it fits with the theme of inter-house cooperation and uniting against a common enemy.

5. Something of Ravenclaw's.
No clue on what this one might be, or where. But I do believe that Voldemort succeeded in finding something of Ravenclaw's even though Dumbledore wasn't aware of any known relics.

I do have some wild speculation about how Harry will find out, though! In HBP, after Ron is poisoned and recovering in the hospital wing, there is a random reference to a female ghost who seems to serve no purpose at all:
"Hagrid stopped talking as the ghost of a long-haired woman drifted serenely past, then resumed in a hoarse whisper..." (HBP, p. 404)
Could she be Roweena Ravenclaw? Or are any of the House ghosts female? Is she the Bloody Baron's girlfriend? (I feel like the Bloody Baron still has some story to tell.) Whoever she is, I think she'll turn up again. I think she was somehow involved, when Voldemort came to ask Dumbledore for the DADA teaching job, with Voldemort learning where to get a Ravenclaw relic.

6. Gryffindor's sword.
Yes, the sword that is currently located in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts. I think Dumbledore made a mistake with this one.
"I cannot answer for whether he ever managed to find anything of Ravenclaw's. I am confident, however, that the only known relic of Gyrffindor remains safe." Dumbledore pointed his blackened fingers to the wall behind him, where a ruby-encrusted sword reposed within a glass case.
I think Dumbledore found the sword in the wreckage of the Potter house at Godric Hollow and surmised, correctly, that Voldemort brought it to the house intending to make it into a Horcrux upon murdering Harry. But I think, as I described above, that Voldemort succeeded in making the sword a Horcrux when he killed James instead. Dumbledore believed the sword to have remained safe because it has remained in his possession for the sixteen years since that day.

7. Nagini.
Dumbledore believed that Voldemort made Nagini into a Horcrux as soon as he was strong and corporeal enough to hold a wand again because he had only successfully made five Horcruxes prior to losing power. I think he had already made six. But one of them, the diary, was destroyed. I think Voldemort made Nagini into a Horcrux only after he learned from Malfoy that the diary was gone. Then he knew that he had only five Horcruxes remaining, and needed another. If Voldemort didn't make a Horcrux on the night he tried to kill Harry, and Dumbledore was correct about when and why he made Nagini into a Horcrux, then I think Voldemort must have made yet another Horcrux after Nagini when he found out that the diary had been destroyed.



What is Snape's story?
Ah, Snape. The most interesting and complex character of the series. As I discussed after reading HBP the first time, I'm convinced that he's not evil, and his love for Lily Evans was what made him switch over to the good side.

In that post about Snape loving Lily, I linked to somebody else's post suggesting that Snape and Lily actually dated when they were at Hogwarts, and that most of the writing in the Prince's potions book was actually Lily's. I still think that theory is plausible, but I still don't totally buy it. I am thinking now that the potions tricks and instructions in Snape's book were Lily's tricks--but only because Snape was obsessed with Lily and watched and copied down everything that she did. It would explain why Slughorn talked so much about what an exceptional Potions student Lily was, and never said any such thing about Snape. At his Christmas party, he seemed to begin to say that even Snape wasn't as good as Lily, but he cut himself off because he saw Snape approaching. Snape had a one-sided obsession with Lily and watched everything she did; he wasn't naturally as good at Potions as she was, but he learned from her.

Moving from the subject of teenage Snape at Hogwarts to Death Eater Snape, I want to consider exactly how and when he switched sides, over to the Order of the Phoenix. He must have switched sides some time before Voldemort attacked the Potters and lost his powers. For one thing, Dumbledore said that Snape had worked as a double agent when Voldemort was in power. For another, a lot of Death Eaters claimed to switch allegiances, or pretended to have been under the Imperius Curse, after Voldemort lost power. Snape must have had a more convincing claim.

So he switched sides well before Halloween of 1981, the night when the Potters died. And he switched sides after overhearing part of Trelawney's prophecy in the Hog's Head and delivering the information to Voldemort. I haven't been able to find specific reference to the date of the prophecy, other than the fact that it was shortly before Harry was born (July 31, 1980). It makes sense that it was probably over the summer, as that would be a reasonable time for Dumbledore to be interviewing potential new teachers (and to be pondering canceling the subject of Divination altogether). That potentially gives Snape a little bit more than a year to work as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix, after Voldemort had been in power for a decade and was still gaining strength. That's a pretty substantial length of time. And it's at a time when the scrappy little Order of the Phoenix needed a spy against Voldemort much more than Voldemort needed a spy against the Order.

So that's another piece of why I'm convinced that Snape was working for the Order. Add that to the fact that I think he loved Lily, and to the fact that I'm sure he killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore planned for that to happen.

Jumping ahead to the future, I want to think about what happens to Snape next. How will Harry ever learn that Snape was really on the Order's side, and that Dumbledore planned for Snape to kill him? It could be something as simple as Veritaserum, but that's not very elegant. I think, since it's a question of proving loyalty to Dumbledore and to the Order of the Phoenix, the proof will be in the phoenix himself--Fawkes. Fawkes will help Snape or try to protect him or mourn for him if he dies, or something. And Harry will believe Fawkes. He'd probably still doubt Veritaserum, as he'd think that Snape would be able to create some kind of antiserum.

I think it's very likely that Snape will die. He's not much of a happily-ever-after character. And if he dies fighting against Voldemort, as I think he will, that will also vouch for his true loyalties and redeem his misdeeds.



My Predictions:
(I'm pretty damn certain of this first group. I'll be shocked if I'm wrong.)
Snape is not evil. He killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore wanted him to do it.
Hermione and Ron will finally admit they're attracted to one another.
Kreacher helped Regulus Black get the locket Horcrux.
Voldemort did find something of Ravenclaw's and turned it into a Horcrux.
At least one Horcrux is at Hogwarts.
Voldemort made another Horcrux after he learned that the diary had been destroyed.
Harry won't die.

(I'm moderately confident with this second group. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.)
Kreacher still has the locket.
Gryffindor's sword is a Horcrux.
Snape loved Lily.
Snape watched what Lily did in Potions and copied her tricks into his textbook.
Neville and Luna will be a couple.
We'll learn something about Harry's grandparents. (Yay for incredibly vague predictions!)
Fawkes will help prove that Snape was loyal to Dumbledore all along.

(This group devolves into hunches and wild speculation. But they're still moderately informed hunches and evidence-based wild speculation! So they could happen.)
Voldemort killed Lily before he killed James.
Voldemort made a Horcrux when he killed James.
A ghost at Hogwarts will be instrumental in Harry's finding one of the remaining Horcruxes.
Zacharias Smith will somehow be involved in locating the Hufflepuff Cup Horcrux that once belonged to Hepzibah Smith.
Mundungus stole the Hufflepuff Cup.
Snape will die in the effort to defeat Voldemort.
Fred Weasley will die. Or George. But my money's on Fred because he's the more outgoing one.


Okay. Is it July 21 yet?

[identity profile] aw-lemongirl.livejournal.com 2007-07-11 12:42 am (UTC)(link)
My brother ran his HP theory by me tonight and I don't know enough, even though I've read the books, to have an opinion so I thought I'd run it by you!

He thinks that Harry, in defeating Voldemort, will survive but will loose his scar and his magical ability. Lame? Is that even possible?

[identity profile] raebird.livejournal.com 2007-07-15 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
I've heard the prediction before that Harry will lose his magical powers (by way of [livejournal.com profile] jheaton), but I don't really think that's going to happen. There's no precedent of a witch or wizard losing magical abilities, as far as we've seen in the earlier books--though that doesn't rule it out, since canonically there was no precedent of anybody surviving the killing curse, until Harry did as a baby.

It just doesn't make much sense, story-wise, for Harry to lose his magical abilities. He'd be cut off from the whole wizarding world, which is the only real home he's ever known. And what kind of ending is that?