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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 76)

I think it wasnt the Elder Wand that saved Harry, but I think it was love. He gave Voldemort a choice to live.

Posted by Kendra from Alicante, Spain on August 13, 2007 10:47 AM

i completely agree with pamela sue! i would also like to have had a more detailed epilogue, ya know answer a few more questions on the characters lives! hopefully JK answer more of the fans questions in the encyclopedia!

Posted by NYMPHADORA TONKS from MIDLAND NC on August 13, 2007 3:36 PM

If the veil stops anyone from going back out, once they have been through, what would happen if someone stuck their hand through it? Would they be stuck? Could Sirius return in dog form since he fell through as Sirius?

If someone d while transforming into an Animagus, would they look like their animal if resurrected or themselves, same with werewolves?

Also, I dont really understand the whole ghost thing: Does one choose to come back and stay on earth forever, and never see the afterlife? Who becomes ghosts and who doesn't?

Posted by elantheconqueror on August 13, 2007 8:07 PM

I really liked the fact that Harry did not end up a er like he thought he was going to have to end up, and still being able to defeat Voldemort, who in reality, ended up ing himself with his own AK curse. Even after Lupin told Harry that he should stop using Expelliarmus because it had come to be known as his signature spell, Harry still trusted it because it had already helped him to save his life from Voldemort before. Harry is not a er, it devastated him to find out that he would either have to be ed, or he himself would have to Voldemort when he heard the prophecy. Even when he is facing , he does not see himself ing someone, and that makes him an even better character, not perfect, because he has his flaws, but who doesn't? And this is precisely what makes us all love him so much, that JK wrote him so well, we feel like he IS REAL, because he has reactions just like we do, even though sometimes he seems like a brat, just like any teenager!

On another token, I wish people would stop trying to "make sense" of a lot of things in the books. People: This is a fictional story! JK invented this whole HP World! She can come up with whatever explanation she wants, and things do not need to make sense. This is a book series! It is not real life, even if it's seemed real to us all these years! Just enjoy the whole thing, please.

Posted by mcm from germantown, md on August 13, 2007 8:52 PM

For the many out there that state that Regulus never knew the locket was a horcrux - The letter he left in the fake locket states quite plainly, "I have stolen the real horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can." So he did indeed know about horcruxes, and that it was one. He might not have suspected that there were any more, but he definitely knew the locket contained a piece of Voldemort's shattered soul.

Monica - That is a very good question. It's entirely possible - probable, actually - that Severus becoming Headmaster was part of Albus' plan, and thus the office recognized him straight away. Otherwise, how would Albus' portrait have been able to dictate the rest of the plan to him? Minerva would have gone home for the summer shortly after the , so, if there were sentries inside the castle that Severus could navigate around knowing the layout of the school after attending 7 years and working there 16, no one would have been in the Headmaster's office. Also keep in mind that the Eaters had infiltrated the Ministry long before Scrimgeour's , allowing the allowing the possibility that the Educational Board could have been as well. Not everyone believed that Severus had actually ed Albus - they only had Harry's word for it. It's possible that he was appointed a little while before it was announced. It would definitely be a detail that Voldemort would have already been working on. But you are right, it does seem curious and we can't really explain it with a simple answer.

Regarding how the Gaunts got the Stone passed down to them - one does not have to be married to have a child. It's also possible that the woman the second brother recalled was not the woman he ended up marrying, but after she d he married and perhaps divorced or became widowed to another woman, where his line came from.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando fl on August 14, 2007 04:56 AM

Herve has raised some interesting points. Here's some thinking about a few of those points:

* Dumbledore hiding in OoP and not trying to find horcruxes--Well, he WAS continuing to look for the horcruxes by scouting and interviewing. Then, he was ready to put it all together for Harry in HBP.

*Petunia--Petunia and Lily had been very close in young childhood before Lily realized she was a witch (and then Petunia envied Lily). I think she took Harry as Lily's child because of that early relationship and her fear of magic/magical repercussions--yet couldn't overcome her own envy and fear. Petunia and her family were going to be in jeopardy in DH once Harry became 17--not before.

* Slytherin not being represented at the end battle--Actually, Slughorn, Head of Slytherin, was with Charlie Weasley in bringing in reinforcements for the battle.

* Finally, about the ownership of the elder wand that Herve mentioned--I also struggle with the issue of Harry wresting away the 3 wands Draco holds at Malfoy Manor as truly causing ownership of the wand; it wasn't even a magical action. That's made me review other times Harry and Draco were together when Harry could have defeated Draco and gained magical ownership of his wand subsequent to Dumbledore's loss of his wand by Draco's spell before Dumbledore's . During the episode in the Room of Requirement of Hidden Things (p. 630 US version), Harry shoots a Stunning Spell at Crabbe who then knocks Draco's want out of his hand. Could Harry's spell actually have hit Draco's wand? Or, could it be that, because the wand chooses the wizard, when Voldemort tried to wandless Harry in the Hidden Forest with the AV, ing only his own horcrux within Harry, perhaps the elder wand recognized Harry then as its true owner despite Draco's ownership. Harry's explanation to Voldemort during their dual about overpowering Draco weeks earlier may have been wrong (JKR has given us red herrings before!). Harry's explanation served, though, to weaken Voldemort's confidence in his ability. The wand certainly did recognize Harry as its true owner, flying over to Harry from Voldemort's hadn.

* About red herrings--All good mystery writers use red herrings, plausible clues that go nowhere. In real life, not all fact or suppositions become meaningful either. The fun is choosing the ones that matter.

Posted by Alice from Milton, DE on August 14, 2007 06:54 AM


You become the true master of a wand by taking it from someone with out them wanting you to have it. Gregorvich did not want anyone to have it. but when Girindelwald stole it, he took it against gregorvich's . That is how he became the true master.

See the wand that Ron gave Harry was freely given Harry did not force it from Ron. That is why the true master of the snatcher's wand was ron. And that is why Bellatrix's wand did not work for Hermione but it did for harry.

Posted by Megan on August 14, 2007 09:07 AM

Since dementors feed on peoples souls, and a Horcrux is a piece of ones soul, couldn't Harry have just thrown a Horcrux to the dementors and let them destroy the soul, because if the Horcrux had a curse (the ring), it probably wouldnt harm them. Maybe.

Posted by Elantheconqueror on August 14, 2007 09:22 AM

Elan: That's what J.K. WANTED us to think! All of this going on with soul fragments in horcruxes and creatures that could suck souls. She was leading us down that path to misdirect us. Turns out, horcruxes were more powerfully protected than even a dementor could affect, only the most ly magic would do...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on August 14, 2007 09:23 AM

A question: the seven horcruxes were destroyed by seven different people:
1) Riddle's diary: by Harry
2) Marvolo's Ring: by Dumbledore
3) Slytherin locket: by Ron (Why did he had to destroy it?)
4) Hufflepuff's cup: by Hermione
5) Ravenclaw's tiara: by the "cursed" fire
6) Nagini: by Neville
7) Harry's scar: by Voldemort himself
Why? Perhaps Rowling wanted to "share" glory among others than only Harry? Or perhaps not to load Harry with that heavy burden by himself?

Posted by Go Snape Go from buenos aires on August 14, 2007 11:20 AM

The issue of the Elder Wand is very complicated, but it makes a certain kind of sense, bearing in mind the wand chooses the wizard.

When Draco disarmed Dumbledore, he defeated him in that instant. The wand chose the young strong wizard versus the old wizard. After this, no one challenged Draco until Harry disarmed him (non magically).

When Harry gave himself up to Voldemort in the Forest, he did it without defending himself. The Elder wand faced no challenge at that time.

At this point I need some corroboration as I lent my copy of DH to a friend and cannot verify this last point. Did Harry use Draco's wand against Voldemort in the last showdown? If so, the Elder Wand did not work against the him who was holding the wand (Harry) of the previously vanquished owner (Draco). The wands themselves are key to understanding ownership of the the Elder Wand, not the wizards, as we wish to assume.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on August 14, 2007 3:22 PM

To Amanda from Malmo, Sweden:

Terrific question! As Dave Haber, our host and webmaster, pointed out a few days back, Harry was not a horcrux, but he was LIKE a horcrux. To make a true horcrux required a and complicated spell. The best explanation I can come up with is Harry was unintentionally made a "storage jar" for a piece of Voldemort's soul, without the spell, so the dynamics of destroying that part of the soul would be different, that is, only Voldemort himself could destroy it. Also, and this is speculation on my part, the diary (Riddle) was a horcrux as well was the indirect perpetrator of the wound. Maybe one piece of the soul couldn't harm another in that manner?

Posted by et from the wild west on August 15, 2007 08:58 AM

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