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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 80)

It's kind of funny to read comments from people that say that "the point of DH was mainly to see if your theories were correct and whip through it". It sounds like JK wrote the book based on the comments made by people! Don't they realize that all of them were made BECAUSE of the books? An that because thousands of people have been wondering for years about what would happen to HP that all of these theories came up? So, of course many of these theories had to be correct! From JK's point of view, she has probably thought that her readers are pretty smart and really into the whole story to be putting so much time thinking about all the new developments, and being able to get so close to her plot. Some people also think that it is weird that Harry was having a conversation with Dumbledore while he was naked. I guess they they missed the part when he got the clothes just by thinking that he needed them.

Ron didn't disappoint me. Made me laugh out loud as usual up until the epilogue. Made me upset also when he got mad at Harry and left him again.

I think we need to read the book a second time more slowly to be able to understand a lot of the things that happened. Lots of complaints about missing Tonks and Lupin getting ed not realizing it had not been told in detail. I would have liked it very much if either Lupin or Bill had ed Greyback, though.

The invisibility cloak being unbreachable, meaning nothing can happen to the cloak itself, nor spells can be put to it, but Madeye could see THROUGH it with his magical eye, and Dumbledore could still perform a spell on Harry who was under it.

For sometime, I had the feeling that Snape was one of the people that had to . I don't think he was "good" per se. I think he was mostly loyal, and he would also keep his word to the end. He was loyal to his love for Lily until his , and he was definitely not a coward, having put his life in danger for so many years acting as Dumbledore's spy, that's why he got so furious at Harry when he called him a coward, but I am not sure that he got fond of Harry. I think that whatever he did to keep him alive and to help him to be a better wizard was so Lily's was not in vain and because he knew that he was probably the only one that could have a slight chance of ing Voldemort and he wanted him destroyed for having ed Lily, nothing else. I do think he respected Dumbledore very much or he would not have continued doing what he had asked from him after he d. About the way Snape d, I really don't think he would have been so heroic as to take the AK curse to save Harry, as some of his fans would had loved him to do, but the way he d just gives us more insight on the selfishness and power-thirst of Voldemort's character, who did not think twice about ing someone he thought (even if he really wasn't) one of his most loyal followers.

Many people have asked how Dumbledore could have beaten Grindelwald if he had the Elder wand. It was because Grindelwald was not the master of the wand, since he had not beat the previous owner, but he had stolen it from him, so just as the wand did not perform well for Voldemort, it had neither performed well for Grindelwald during his duel with Dumbledore, and Draco could disarm Dumbledore because he got him off guard. Dumbledore was not attacking him.

Harry could have summoned Kreacher after they stopped going to Grimauld Place, but they were afraid that a eather could also come with him.

Some people are confused about the fact that Voldemort being a descendant of Slytherin and also from the Peverells that Harry also has to be a descendant from Slytherin. JK said he is not, and the reason is that the descendant from Slytherin entered the Peverell family at a later generation, either one of the brothers married her, or somebody else in another generation down the family tree did, so the descendants from each of the 3 brothers have ancestors that are not common to all of them.

Erika from LA: Harry and Lupin met again at Shell Cottage when he came to give them the news of Teddy's birth and asked Harry to be his godfather. There were no hard feelings between them anymore. Harry had been very angry at them because in Harry's eyes, Lupin was abandoning his son.

Lots of people are confused about Neville getting the sword when Griphook had taken it from Harry. This is a magical sword! Nobody is really its owner. It comes to a true Gryffindor who really needs it, like it came to Harry in CS, so it came to Neville since he needed it to the Basilisk. No rocket science, just Gryffindor magic!

Posted by mcm from germantown, md on September 1, 2007 2:28 PM

C.J. in P.o.A.: what if the reason the dementers came into the train compartment was because they had felt voldemort and scabbers' (aka wormtail) evil souls. lupin didn't know Voldemort's soul was in Harry and he didn't know wormtail was there, he just thought that the dementers were there looking for sirius. even i agree the reason harry is badly affected by the dementers is because of his mum and dad's , but their are other people around him who have had family members and other problems. like Ginny who wasn't affected as much as harry was and she did awful things under voldemort's orders in CoS. when harry asked if anyone else was affected by the dementers ron told harry that ginny was pretty shaken. no one passes out like harry does. Maybe when Harry hears his mother scream, maybe that is also the part of voldemort's soul reliving what he had done.

Posted by Pamela sue from ark on September 1, 2007 8:59 PM

mcm from Germantown:

If Grindelwald was never really master of the Elder Wand, then neither was Dumbledore, or Draco, and so Harry wasn't and Voldemort was! I think it was something other than magic that Dumbledore used during the duel, or perhaps Dumbledore fought Grindelwald, making him weak, and then Disarming him, like Draco did. And Grindelwald cast a jinx at Gregorovitch, as he left, therefore making him Master of the Elder Wand.

Posted by C.J. from Utah on September 1, 2007 10:34 PM

Mcm: I think that the invisibility cloak can't be affected by magic but the person using it can if the spellcaster or the "magic-eye user" know who is below it. This might not fit in everywhere in the story but it's the best theory I've got.

Posted by Moa from Varberg, Sweden on September 2, 2007 05:31 AM

Patty: Harry being the master of , through the three hallows, is a very nice answer. And also the fact that he didn't fight with his wand, so that he wasn't really defeated. I really buy those ones. Then, there is this Christian parallel: love triumphes over , and also Harry gave his life knowing he would lose it to save the world from Voldemort, and he was brought back to life (but not on the third day). In fact, it also refers somehow to Aslan in Narnia's world.

But I think it emphasizes two weaknesses in Jo's writing. First, as quoted before, the way Harry gets the mastership from Malfoy is pretty thin, not very convincing (Malfoy didn't really fight either, he was taken by surprise, and his wand was not the elder wand). Second, Jo never gave up the slightest hint about the ly hallows in the first six books (we were introduced to the three hallows as magical objects, nothing else). Maybe I'm exaggerating, but it looks to me like a homecook who has burnt the main dish and has to do something at last minute to replace it.

Of course, even it is was the case, Jo would never admit it.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on September 3, 2007 01:29 AM

How does Molly Bellatrix? On page 736, it's described as Molly's spell hitting Bellatrix directly in the chest, above her heart. Somehow, I can't picture "Mollywobbles" using Avada Kedavra. So what other spells ? I guess there must be some, otherwise how does the Order fight the Eaters? McGonagall told Slughorn (in the battle of Hogwarts) that they would duel to . Avada Kedavra is an unforgivable curse, and I don't think the Order members are considered above the law and therefore allowed to use it when fighting Voldemort and the gang are they? Although Harry did use the imperius curse and crucio come to think of it.

Posted by momr from log island, ny on September 3, 2007 06:42 AM

mcm from germantown:
You said that Dumbledore being able to cast a spell on Harry while he wore his cloak was a mistake, but remember what Dumbledore's wand was. The Elder Wand.

Posted by vinay from Bangalore India on September 3, 2007 09:50 AM

A big thanks to JKR for making our lives worth living. A great series indeed.
A big thanks to Dave for such a wonderful Website for us potter maniacs.
A few points I would like to share;
Whatever his fallacies, Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore Is and always be the greatest wizard ever.
We miss Severus Snape and ofcourse Alan Rickman too.
i hope an owl comes to my home tomorrow with an admission letter to Hogwarts!

Posted by Labeeb from Bangalore, India on September 3, 2007 12:57 PM

Wow it be sad never to read it again but at least we got a little info. at least we are not left just standing there wondering how it all end.

Posted by Esther on September 4, 2007 5:06 PM

I am sorry for your disappointment in the ending of the septology after your obvious enjoyment of the first 6 books. I loved the final book, although I am confused as to why Harry spent so much time hiding out in the tent throughout the book.
I don't see that JKR had to substantially change her plan for book 7. I believe it is was all planned from the beginning, as she says it was. There are still unanswered questions, but such is life. The complexity and uncertainties in the books keep us coming back to read them again and again. In every book, she introduces something so new and creative we could never guess it ahead of time. Book 7 is no different.
I love the "twist" in book 6 on top of the tower. Everyone was so taken aback by the apparent of Dumbledore by Snape, when all along, the significant event was the simple disarming by Draco. If Dumbledore had not first put the Freezing spell on Harry, Draco would not have become to master of the Elder wand, but then, Harry would not be the master of , and would not have returned in "King's Cross" and would not have defeated Voldemort.
JKR put a parallel situation in the beginning and end of each book. In HBP, Draco put a Freezing Spell on Harry on the train while Harry wore the Cloak, similar to Dumbledore freezing Harry just before the arrival of Draco at the end of the book. In COS, Lucius tricked Ginny into taking Riddle's diary and at the end Lucius was tricked into giving Dobby a sock in the same diary.
I see a similar setup in the scene where Lucius' wand did not work for Voldemort against Harry's wand. Harry did nothing, his wand worked of its own volition. At the end of the book, the wand in Voldemort's hand did not work against the wand in Harry's hand (the wand belonging to Lucius' son).
The parallel is also present between book 1 and book 7. The AK curse rebounded from Harry to Voldemort. The flying motorbike delivered Harry and rescued Harry. I am sure there are others, but off the top of my head, I can't think of them.
Can anyone else see the parallels I mentioned?

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on September 4, 2007 5:41 PM

About why Harry not defending himself has made all the difference, I totally agree that the fact, that Harry didn't defend himself kept Voldemort from gaining the elder wand and thus Harry united the three hallows.

I was thinking about the prophecy of OOTP... neither can live, while the other survives... Harry and Dumbledore agree that it means that Harry has to (chooses to) confront Voldemort in the end and one of them . But wouldn't it be more reasonable to say that neither can DIE, while the other survives, since Harry cannot as long as Voldemort lives (Lily's blood) and Voldemort cannot as long as Harry lives (horcrux)?

So is this whole issue of the two-fold connection just not included in the prophecy? Or am I misinterpreting the prophecy? Is the fact that they are connected in this way included in the prophecy?

Posted by pigwidgeon28 from Austria on September 4, 2007 11:37 PM

Yes, I too have noticed these parallels...a seemingly insignificant event at the beginning of the story is mirrored with a twist at the end and becomes very significant. (Actually it is part of what makes the structure of the books similar to that of traditional oral ballads! and part of what makes them so very good I think).

I have been rereading books 1-6 after reading book seven a number of times...A fascinating exercise. There are clues from the very beginning for the events in book seven. I often wondered why Dumbledore says Harry is so amazing when he seems to be fairly average as far as magical ability is concerned...there was quite a lot of debate about this before book seven came out...but he's actually amazing in terms of his human abilities rather than his magical ones. His complete selflessness and ingness to sacrifice himself for others for example and this comes out right in the beginning in PS when he looks in the mirror of erised and sees only his family and later himself getting the stone but not using it. This is what makes him remarkable...though he does have some excellent magical abilities as well. And it is this selflessness that enables Harry to triumph in the end.

As for having to spend a lot of time camping this not a metaphor for having to find faith before you can move on perhaps? It is only when Harry realises that Dumbledore gave Ron the deluminator because he knew that Ron would want to come back that he begins to have faith in Dumbledore's plan or rather to have faith that Dumbledore knew what he was doing. If he knew what he was doing with Ron, he must have known what he was doing with Harry. It's only when Harry accepts this that things start to move again in the story.

I too love the twist at the end of HBP...the most important event was the disarming of Dumbledore by Draco...witnessed ONLY by Harry (unknown to anyone), Draco and Dumbledore...but if this was the flaw in the plan, what was the original? Was Snape supposed to gain the elder wand and later lose it to Harry? What was Dumbledore's original plan? Any ideas?

Posted by Joe from England on September 5, 2007 02:38 AM

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