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The Aftermath: We were all correct

by David Haber

Sometime a week before Book 7 came out, someone commented that Harry would die, but then come back. I think most everyone on the site thought it was a silly idea. But I told several people at that time that I thought that just might be the perfect solution, although I couldn't figure out how J.K. could make it work. J.K. did, of course! So, the half of the Harry Potter fans in the world who thought Harry would die were right! And the other half who thought he would live were also right!

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Reader Comments: (Page 41)

Okay, well, where do i start!.

What an amazing, complex brilliant book!, never has any other Harry Potter book had me feeling nervous, sick, scared and made me laugh before!.

Snape, Has been one of my two favourites since day one!, Lupin being the other, i loved how he had such a big role in the book and was glad and sad that he was actually on the good side, might just be me but he did 'Evil' so well!. I loved how he was in the book so much, surprised when he was named headmaster of Hogwarts at first but then thought to myself, "He is good!". His was so needed but so unfair, We miss you Severus Snape! You Live On!

Remus Lupin was brilliant, i loved him and still do, always made me smile and i miss him greatly also, Yeah okay they're charecters in a book but so what!. Long Live Remus Lupin!.

The of Voldemort was, i thought pathetic, it could have been so much better, it could of been great!, but i think it was rather stupid and short. I think the nineteen years later was also really stupid, Eh Luna is doing what with her life?, Yes i complain alot but i am a big fan and think The ly Hallows was the best book by far, i thought nothing would replace OOTP but Wham!

J.K Rowling, You are amazing and we all love you!.

Posted by Peter from Northern Ireland on July 24, 2007 1:33 PM

Thank you JK, as always, you delivered! This was definitely a GREAT, GREAT book. Especially since this was the ending I wanted (except for de s of Doby, Lupin, Tonks and Fred, of course). And also thanks again, Dave Harber!

Posted by mcm from germantown, md on July 24, 2007 1:39 PM

Snape has always been my favorite character and I'm glad to say that i have always thought he was good and that he was in love with Lily. Snape is by far the true tragic hero of this story. Tears well up everytime i think of that Silver Doe...especially when Dumbledore says "After all this time?" and Snape replies "Always." I love that.

Snape is redeemed--Harry shows forgiveness. To Albus Severus he says that Snape was the probably bravest man he knew. To me that explains it all.

and Dumbledore--well i suppose if he couldn't come back (as the phoenix i so hoped for), i knew he had to have planned his with Snape ---so great how he asked Snape to help him with dignity. what i topic--i thought it was brilliant!

but what about Ron and Herione! yeah. Ron was raised up 100-fold in my mind this book. He was so romantic. Loved it. That kiss--couldn't have been done better. Ron finally showed concern for the house elves and Hermione realised she couldn't wait any longer.

And of course all the others! I'm very happy with the ending. Harry and Ginny, of course, and Neville as the Professor. the epiloque was a bit sappy, but i suppose for a children's book I'm glad the main kids survived. And that curt nod from Draco--i think that was his way of saying thanks.

Thank you JO! and many thanks to Dave Haber for helping me maintain my sanity for the past 2 years!

Posted by Heather from NJ on July 24, 2007 1:44 PM

So Harry goes back knowing he must end Voldemort. But he must know that he can't from Voldemort, so what would happen...would he just go back to the limbo and try again? Or, did Harry only have a choice to go back, because he CHOSE to , but this time, if Voldemort were to Harry, Harry WOULD , but so would Voldemort? So then, wait... I could be solving my own problem... that would make a lot of sense... it must be that Harry's attempt at going back was to END VOLDEMORT before Voldemort could end BOTH OF THEM! Right? Harry had the power to end Voldemort WITHOUT ending himself, but Voldemort would only finish them BOTH off!

This has been bothering me ever since I finished DH. Could Voldermort Harry, or would Lily's protection keep him alive. It was supposed to have expired when Harry turned 17, but maybe only the house charm ended at 17, Lord Voldermort still couldn't him. In the graveyard and at the ministry, if Voldermort did AK harry, would he simply have just been knocked out, and gone to "king's cross" like in DH? Harry's sacrafice protects neville, and we know lily saved harry when he was one. so, voldermort couldn't touch harry, until he took his blood. then, he could touch him, AND curse him (i assume). but then in the forest harry doesn't . since the blood in voldermort tethered him to life. i don't like that word, "tethered." too vague. anyway, it turns out by using the blood he coud touch harry, but the enchantment lives on. what does that mean, "lives on"? it's hard to reason this out. then, in the great hall, unlike the forest, harry put up a fight, and since he was in combat, the elder wand refused to its master. ah, the elder wand. more CONFUSION. how did grindelwald master it by stealing it. WAIT! Maybe, since he took it AGAINST the of gregorovitch or whatever his name was, he did master it, since he FORCEFULLY took it. I think gregorovitch gasped or groaned or something in the flashback, implying he was angry that happened. maybe i actually figured something out. still, the question remains. exactly what did the enchantment do, how did voldy taking the blood tether harry to life, and did the charm break etc; Great book though. i cried A LOT.

Posted by Wayne from LA on July 24, 2007 1:45 PM

I just had a talk about the whole ending with a friend, and he explained it like this:

It starts with Harry becoming a horcrux 16 years ago.

Then, in book 4, when Voldemort uses Harry's blood, he BASICALLY becomes HARRY'S "horcrux". We know this, for sure, after Dumbledore explains that Harry and Voldemort become double-bonded when Voldemort used Harry's blood, and more about that is all in the chapter with Dumbledore so you can always double-check.

So then, Voldemort s Harry, and by doing so, he also destroys his horcrux inside of Harry. However, Voldemort still had Harry's mother's blood and, thus, Lily's enchantment/protection. Once again, we'll view Voldemort as having, inside of him, Harry's 'horcrux', and we know that while a horcrux still exists, the person can't .

Now, I interjected at this point because I was remembering that, Dumbledore said Harry had a choice of whether he wanted to , or go back, and I thought this didn't make sense, then, because if he chose to STAY, then wouldn't Voldemort be stuck in some kind of limbo? Because, as we see in the next chapter, Voldemort appears to have been unconscious as well. But then, my friend reminded me that no, Harry would and then Voldemort would survive because he still had another horcrux.

So, if Harry DID choose to , he would also be CHOOSING to END Lily's enchantment. It would break, and that is why he would no longer survive. That is how he would no longer be 'tethered to life'. It's the only thing I can assume...that he had the power to end the enchantment by choosing to . Anyway...

Now Harry comes back. He has his WHOLE soul, this time. He is whole, and Voldemort is not. Voldemort still has Harry in him, and the last bit of his own, torn soul. So, it would seem, that Harry is more powerful than Voldemort. His existence is not only whole, in himself, but in Voldemort, too. Actually, I'm starting to think that the last part I just mentioned isn't significant... because I think the last part of the battle had to do with the wands, but I'll leave it in, just in case it would disprove something else I said.

Now, I do wonder one thing -- would the enchantment be broken once Harry came back as his own, whole soul? Because, you would think, that when Dumbledore claimed that Harry was whole, he must only be inside himself. Well, now I bring up the idea of Harry having a 'kind of horcrux' inside Voldemort. See, in reality, it's NOT a horcrux... I was simply saying that Harry's blood connection acted AS a horcrux, in a way... at this point, however, we must realize that the blood connection is NOT like a horcrux -- it is MUCH, much more. It's better. It's much more complex than the horcrux. That's my theory as to why Harry can exist as a whole self and also still have a connection with Voldemort, who, by the way, is now only what, 1/8th of a soul, plus Harry's blood?

Now, this leaves us with the wands. We already know why Harry and Voldemort are still alive, at least, I hope I explained that clearly. Okay, so, I'm just going to assume that we already understand that Harry is the master of the Elder Wand, because he was the master of Draco's wand... I know that other people had confusions about the wand connection itself, but my argument is for why Harry survived so, I apologize, but I'm not going to go into detail about the Draco thing.

But anyway, Harry is the true master of the Elder Wand. Remember when Voldemort performs the cruciatus curse and nothing happens? It must be because the Elder Wand not harm its true master. That is why Harry survives in the end. His spell works against Voldemort because Harry is in true possession of the wand, so that is why it backfired and hit Voldemort.

And by the way, I don't believe that the whole 'coming of age' thing ended up being true. Remember how much Dumbledore didn't tell Harry until the end? If Harry knew about the blood connection too early, it would mess everything up. Dumbledore definitely states that he didn't want Harry's desire for the hallows or other things to get in the way. I'm pretty sure Dumbledore only told Harry that so that Harry wouldn't go before destroying all the horcruxes.

Posted by Katie T from California on July 24, 2007 1:48 PM

How is it possible that dumbledore defeats grindelwald in a duel while grindelwald is using the wand that should be unbeatable (in a duel)?

Posted by Jerry from rotterdam, zuid-holland on July 24, 2007 2:04 PM

One thing I've failed to understand throughout the Harry Potter books and films is the dueling. When Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix duel they just end up seeming to wave their wands at each other. Are they doing the whole silent cursing thing in their minds? And what's the point when Bellatrix could just cast the unblockable ing curse?

Posted by Jeremy from Watford, London on July 24, 2007 2:09 PM

don't know if this has been answered yet but the reason that Teddy was at the station even though he is 19 was because he had promised to see Victoire (Bill and Fleurs daughter?) onto the train. we are told this by James who is excited by the fact they could end married and then be a proper part of the Potter/Weasley family

Posted by carl from birmingham, england on July 24, 2007 2:18 PM

Thanks to Katie T. from California and Wayne from LA for helping to sort out the "did he or not and how did that work" part at the end of the book.

DH was brilliant in some ways but did not answer the questions I was waiting for: what was the significance of Lily's eyes; what did she do for a living; who was going to do magic late in life; and in the epilogue (which seemed to have been written in a much simpler style--maybe 17 years ago with little revision?) what did happen to the teachers we loved, to Filch, to Peeves. Were any of these questions answered; did I miss them? I'll have to go back and reread it but, was Harry the true heir of Gryffindor or was he a Peverll heir? Is there a connection? It seems there are more questions to answer which makes me sad as there be no way to get those answers. I did enjoy the book--overall, but I feel strangely bereaved.

Posted by Hannah from Los Angeles on July 24, 2007 2:44 PM

The unanswered question that I would most like to have answered is about the chamber of the veil in the Ministry. My personal theory is that it is a relic from centuries past, when the wizarding world had the penalty for certain crimes. It would be used as a humane method of execution, with the condemned merely pushed through the archway. Pretty well handled in the the recent movie, I thought.

Posted by et from the wild west on July 24, 2007 2:48 PM

ly Hallows succeeds, I think, in being the thrilling denoument to Harry's exciting adolescence.

A few points:

1. I'm pretty sure it's a mistake when Rowling says Slughorn is being overtaken by a few of the Weasleys, because it came in a series of showing that the bad guys were losing/on the run. Later, Slughorn is battling Voldemort, apparently having had an enormous change of heart.

2. After all their efforts, Harry's success came down to pure luck. Without Snape's thoughts, they were screwed and the truth about everything would be lost forever. However, Snape doesn't immediately and the trio is there to collect his thoughts.

3. How did Wormtail ? I was a bit confused, it seemed like his hand came alive and ed him.

4. Ron and Hermione fall off the map with about five chapters to go. Rowling dedicates about a sentence to Harry explaining everything that happened to him in the pensieve and the forest to Ron and Hermione, but doesn't mention their reactions other than that. It does not even mention that he told that about talking to Dumbledore at King's Cross. After so many books, you'd think we'd at least get what Ron and Hermione thought about what turned out to be the entirety of the plot. (For instance, maybe a bit of dialogue where they all felt remorse for hating Snape?)

5. Dumbledore makes Snape promise that if the school ever falls to Voldemort that Snape protect the students as much as he can. As far as Neville explains, the crucio curse was used on students as detentions. Didn't really keep his word to Dumbledore, did he?

6. The whole thing was Harry's fault anyways, for letting Wormtail live at the end of the 3rd book. If Wormtail wouldn't have lived, Voldemort wouldn't have returned. Harry's sacrificing himself was just making up for that.

7. Harry and Ginny's relationship lacks closure. Sure we know they get married, but the book is lacking in text on the rekindling of their relationship since they broke apart at the burrow.

Posted by Philip from Hilliard, Ohio on July 24, 2007 2:52 PM

I need to comment that I wasn't impressed with the ending either. There were a few loose ends anyway and it probably would have been more effective by having a last chapter, 19 years ago, than to have written the '19 years later' part. Having Harry give Ginny a kiss and tell her he loved her, and the same with Ron and Hermione would have helped to wrap up that storyline a bit better.
Did Harry get to 'graduate' anyway because he did 'special service' or did he return for his last year at Hogwarts when he was 18? I can't imagine Hermione not wanting to finish her education! Yet he left his uniforms and books at the Dursley's.
A lot of little things that could have been completed somehow.

Posted by Pamela Clayfield from Waterloo, ON. Canada on July 24, 2007 2:57 PM

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