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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 60)

As far as the resurrection stone is concerned: it does leave a slight possibility/opening to a future quest, whether or not J.K. decides to go with it. Think about it: all three hallows are still around.
If Harry was ever to be defeated in the future, the elder wand would then go to the victor. The stone is laying in the forest for anyone (including Grawpe) to pick up (and we know it works!), and Harry still has the cloak. So, temptation does exist for a future overzealous wizard who is looking to become the master of . hmmmmmm.

Posted by Rich from New York, New York on July 26, 2007 10:21 PM

I have soo much to say, but it all boils down to the fact that I simply ADORE this book. It was draggy in the first part, because the trio were being a little reckless and restless, which made me anxious too! I was soo worried about Ron when he bailed out at one point.

But the rest of the book, except the unsatisfying epilogue, is amazing and once again proved J.K a genius. You could have guessed a lot of things, from Harry being a Horcrux to Snape/Lily affair, and Harry but coming back (okay, I didn't see that one coming), but J.K does it so sleekly that you don't feel cliche or spoiled by your own predictions. It makes sense!

I loved how she always emphasized the part on Harry having a choice to fight Voldemort or not, though it remained true that the only person who can defeat Voldemort (without really ) is Harry. And it started right from the beginning!

The moment Voldemort tried to Baby Harry, Harry has a part of Voldemort in him that served as a connection, and somehow a protection. It made Harry WANT (and not NEED) to defeat Voldemort himself, and Voldemort wanting to Harry himself too. Because of that, Voldemort chose to take Harry's blood (as a Horcrux), and resurrected. They continued this pursue, wanting to each other with their bare hands, and that is how Harry survived!

Did you guys realise, Harry could have d in other people's hands, had Voldemort not insist he wanted to Harry himself? You see, all the eaters were like, save Potter for the Dark Lord and all that, and that was what that saved Harry! It's just like Harry's wand, which could protect and defeat Voldemort, Harry's mortal enemy, but not when Hermione broke it?

There were people who said they wish Snape could tell Harry everything face to face. Well, my heart broke when Snape asked Harry to look at him for the one last time with Lily's eyes, and when I reread, I realised his desperate attempts to want to find Potter and tell him everything, but everyone, including McGonagall, kept thwarting his plans! While Snape may tell Harry the things Dumbledore told him to, he might never let Harry know about his feelings for Lily, if he were to say it face to face. Can you imagine him telling that to Harry?! And...Harry could have saved Snape. If he hadn't hated Snape soo much, he'd have jumped out of the hiding place and stopped Voldemort, but he didn't. Until the epilogue, I wasn't even sure how Harry felt about Snape. Heh.

On the whole, let's just say the final showdown with Vol made my day! People say Harry is the Master of by owning the three things and that's why he didn't . I thought he was a Master of , simply because of what he was inside. His ingness to face and sacrifice himself for others, saved himself in return and took away that part of Vol in him. That's what makes him the Master of , no? And if you can face like this, Voldemort is nothing, really.

Posted by Sinnie from Singapore on July 26, 2007 10:38 PM

About Moody-cloak comments, quote from the book:

'Moody limped around the table and bent down; Harry thought he was reading the S.P.E.W. notebook until he muttered, "Nice cloak, Potter."
Harry stared at him in amazement. The large chunk missing from Moody's nose was particularly obvious at a few inches distance. Moody grinned.
"Can your eye--I mean can you--?"
"Yeah it can see through Invisibility Cloaks," said Moody quietly.'

GoF, US verion pg 322.

Posted by Anonymous on July 26, 2007 11:34 PM

Krishna from chennai, if we go by your assumption that parseltongue is also like any other language, your answer is much convenient, thank you.

hi Laurie from Durham, your view about the epilogue and your description is very nice. but still i am confused about certain things, like we all think that any single event in the series has importance and JKR shouldn't use it without any importance, but what about the EYE of moody? Harry took the eye from umbridge's door and he buried it in the forest with a cross mark on the tree near to it, what is the importance of this? i think i have missed something.

if we check the context the of aragog, slughorn sang a song which tells that after the of any wizard his wand has snapped into two. but after of dumbledore why his wand was not snapped (voldemort found a wand in working condition from dumbledore's tomb).

we observed that while destroying the horcruxes, voldemort didn't experience any pain or anything (trying to harry in the woods is a different context and a friend has given the description for that one very nicely in the above comments), but when neville cut nagini's head with gryffindor sword, voldemort screamed hard. why only in this case voldy got pain by destroying his horcrux?

Posted by Venkat from Ongole,India on July 27, 2007 12:24 AM

Something others mentioned here makes me want to say something.

Well Jo was on about "Why not Harry off so no sequels" etc etc.
Now the last chapter almost begs for a sequel series.... If such a series does happen to come out, i hope itll be by her hand and not anyone elses.

Posted by Vinay from Bangalore India on July 27, 2007 03:44 AM

I always suspected Ginny would be revealed to be an Animagus - a cat - based on all the references in previous books. "curled up like a cat" "made a sound like an angry cat", plus more.

The ending I had 'guessed' was Harry would end up as the DADA teacher and Ginny teaching transfiguration - maybe because of Professor McGonagall's .

Posted by Donna King from Leesburg, Georgia on July 27, 2007 04:23 AM

There are several plausible theories that have been presented that say that Harry did not . The book is so well written that the different points of view all have merit. I believe that Harry did and that his was essential for the destruction of Voldemort.

The key to solving the puzzle of his and return is the understanding both Horcrux and the ly Hollows lore. Destruction of a Horcrux requires unusually strong magic that destroys both the Voldemort fragment and the container.
Harry is not merely a body with a Horcrux embedded in it, Harry is a living Horcrux. Destruction of the Harry Horcrux is no different than the destruction of the other Horcrux�s, it requires the destruction of both the Voldemort soul fragment and the vessel by very powerful magic. Dumbledore, Snape and Harry understood this and all understood that Harry had to .
One of the toughest challenges in the book was finding magical tools strong enough to destroy a Horcrux. When one looks at the scorecard not for who destroyed Horcrux�s (or Voldemort soul fragments) but what did, it works out 3 for Gryffindor�s sword, 2 for the Basilisk fangs, one for the Fire curse and one for the Elder Wand (two if you count Voldemort). However all of those tools caused great destruction to the Horcrux vessel. In Harry�s case the Magical tool had to be powerful but controllable.
Dumbledore reasoned that there was a way out of the problem of Harry�s using ly Hollows lore. Just as a surgeon sometimes cause temporary clinical in a patient in order to perform delicate surgery, Harry needed to without damage (which the AK curse does) so that the Elder Wand could perform soul surgery and separate Voldemort�s soul fragment from Harry�s soul. Dumbledore gambled that Harry�s ownership of the ly Hollows could provide Harry an opportunity to return from the .
Dumbledore alone set into motion the joining of the three ly Hollows at the right time and place. Dumbledore told Harry to keep cloak at all times. He ed the resurrection stone to him (but kept it hidden until the proper moment). He provided Hermione the key to the ly Hollows lore. Dumbledore probably had a good plan for the Elder Wand but that plan went wrong when Draco not Snape disarmed him. My guess is that Dumbledore's intent would probably have been for Snape to take possession when he ed Dumbledore and then at the right time have Snape to lose the wand to Harry�s signature Expelliarmus. It did not work out that way but fortune or providence allowed Harry to gain ownership (but not possession) of the wand, while having Voldemort who had possession (but not ownership) bring it to the forest. The Elder Wand was key because it possess the rare power to destroy a Horcrux (container and soul) and was part of the ly Hollows trio.

This theory requires a belief that magically the Elder Wand and the blood protection know that Harry's only salvation from a fate worse than (Voldemort's soul residing and growing in Harry) was for Harry to . Dumbledore gambled that Harry�s ownership of the ly Hollows while not using them for personal gain would provide an opportunity for Harry to return from and his gamble paid off.

As for the effect on Voldemort, Voldemort had never ed one of his soul fragments before. His collapse after the AK curse may have been a reaction to him ing part of his own soul. Or it may be the Elder Wand may have reacted to having to its master by giving Voldemort a kick.

J.K. Rowling did a masterful job integrating the Horcrux�s and the ly Hollows into a tale that is able to keep in line with classic "hero/quest mythology" by allowing Harry to visit the (the afterlife, underworld, limbo etc) using Kings Crossing as a fantastic metaphor. In the end Dumbledore's gamble with Harry succeeds, the boy who d, lived.

Posted by Chris from Leavenworth on July 27, 2007 05:09 AM

Well, if one thing is certain after book 7 then it is that JK Rowling is truly a literary genius. The final installment was gripping, fast paced and extremely well written. I'm still not sure about whether it's my favourite, but it's definately a great book. Personally I found the chapter King's Cross rather confusing initially, but I still loved the book. The final Battle at Hogwarts was truly awesome. Thank you Jo, for providing us with one of the best stories ever written, and while we respect your decision to not write anymore books, the knowledge that there are no more books to look forward feel like a large hole in our lives. Nevertheless thank you and congratulations.

Posted by Abhay Doshi from India Mumbai on July 27, 2007 05:19 AM

Did I miss something regarding Petunia? When Dumbledore sent the Howler with "Remember my last" etc - I thought that may be answered in this book - or did I read too fast?

Also, Sinnie from Singapore - do you really think that Snape wanted to tell Harry everything when he asked him to look at him - or did he just want to looking into Lily's eyes - I prefer the latter. I don't think Snape had any feelings towards Harry except to protect him for being Lily's son and his promise.

Posted by jemmi from Melbourne, Australia on July 27, 2007 05:36 AM

"I was also confused by the Elder wand ownership thing. In book six (I re-read it to be sure) Draco DOES take the wand from Dumbledore when he first comes on him at the top of thr tower. So Draco DID have it but no explanation is given as to how it was taken back from Draco and placed with Dumbledore in his tomb."

Actually, no. I've just gone and had a look at the relevant passage and Dumbledore's wand flies out of his hand over the battlement.

Other people have been wondering why the Elder Wand didn't Harry the first time around. I believe the answer is that it did. Otherwise he could not have been in the "King's Cross" place with the mutilated fragment of Voldemort's soul, having that conversation with Dumbledore. The thing is that the part of Harry in Voldemort is like a tether stretching through the veil (of ) holding Harry to our world. Dumbledore tells Harry that he has the choice, either to "go on" or go back and keep trying to finish Voldemort. Remember, Harry is actually tempted to keep going and truly . So the curse must have worked as far as it could with Harry's blood in Voldemort. By then Harry is the Master of the Wand, as well as the Stone and Cloak, which makes him Master of . The Elder Wand worked because Harry made no attempt to defend himself. The second time, in the Great Hall, Harry did defend himself and the spells collided. The Elder Wand recognised Harry when he cast a spell against it. That is why the Voldemort's second attempt backfired. I think. I've probably missed something. One thing I am sure of is that all this worked because Harry had absolutely no idea that it would. His sacrifice was genuine. He believed that he was going to . (And so did I for that matter!) It wasn't calculated, and this is why Dumbledore couldn't tell him anything about it in advance. In the end the decision had to be Harry's, made without any promises or guarantees. Dumbledore taught him enough for him to do what had to be done, regardless of the consequences to himself.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on July 27, 2007 05:46 AM

"I thought he was a Master of , simply because of what he was inside. His ingness to face and sacrifice himself for others, saved himself in return and took away that part of Vol in him. That's what makes him the Master of , no? And if you can face like this, Voldemort is nothing, really."

That is a really good way to put it, Sinnie. Because of what Harry was he was able to unite the Hallows briefly to help him do what had to be done, and then renounce the Wand and the Stone. They were all part of his journey to self-knowledge, but he saw rightly that the Wand and Stone were dangerous. A bit like the decision in Lord of the Rings, to destroy the One Ring rather than attempt to use it to destroy Sauron. It symbolises the renouncing of the sort of improper power that leads to corruption. Harry of course sees it in much simpler terms when he refuses to keep the Elder Wand and just uses it to repair his old holly and phoenix wand - "I was much happier with mine."

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on July 27, 2007 05:54 AM

I've got an answer to the question why Teddy Lupin was on Platform 9�. He's 19, but he doesn't come there to go to school. It says (James says it, I believe) that "he's come to see her off", her being Victoire. So he has already left school, but came back to the Hogwarts Express to say goodbye to Victoire.

I'm a bit more satisfied about the ending now I've read JK's comments on it. This morning I had written everything I could deduct from the last chapter of the book down on a paper. I've been busy with it pretty long, and then I found out she'd already given us some info... Still, one thing I found out is that Hermione's parents do return and the spell is lifted(as expected). This because Ron says "Granddad Weasley would never forgiv you if you married a pure-blood". "Granddad WEASLEY". I don't know what it's like in other countries, but here in Holland we call our grandfamily "Granddad/ma...(mother's surname) and Granddad/ma...(father's surname). So Granddad Granger must be back, the children have at least met him, I think.

Posted by Diantha from Noord-Holland on July 27, 2007 05:57 AM

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