Yesterday some of us got together at a friend's place for an evening of doing nothing. Three of us were at the said venue on time only to come to know that the rest of the gang would be late --- they being conscientious contributors to India's GDP.
No sweat. Some snacks were duly brought out, a few drinks distributed and we got down to the serious business of the evening -- talking. And with three Potter fans getting together the discussion quickly veered to the important and sensational (to Potter fans) news reports of a few days earlier: Will J. K. Rowling bump off Harry Potter in book 7? Who are the two important characters that she has promised will pay with their lives? If not Harry, then who? Why Harry has to die? Why Harry doesn't have to die? And in the event of Harry's death what will happen if a few years later Rowling feels the need for some extra small change and has to resurrect the series?
Opinions flew thick and fast.
"Yeah, but she said that she understood why some writers killed off their creations."
"It's only a red herring. She does that often."
"Well, then if not Harry, then who?"
"Voldemort is a sure."
"I think she meant apart from Voldemort, there will be two more deaths."
"She never said that."
"But that's what she meant."
"Who else will die?"
"Snape. He will sacrifice himself."
"Harry. She said . . ."
"Hagrid and Lupin."
"Don't be absurd. And she's hardly that important."
"Well Harry then. She did say that she wanted to leave no possibility of . . ."
"That's bull. Am sure she'll leave herself a back door that she can use to restart the series after a few years."
"Ginny. Ginny is a strong possibility. . ."
More along the same lines till, "Hang on guys. I have an idea." That was Ang.
"See our basic problem is we don't think Rowling will find it easy to give up writing Potter books, right?"
"Yet she might bump off Harry, because right now it looks like she wants to, right?"
"So it all boils down to how Rowling can bump off Harry to satisfy herself and yet leave open the possibility of a sequel, right? "
"Here's how she can achieve both her ends. . ."
Over the next few minutes, Ang proceeded to outline her idea. When she stopped Ro and I looked at each other.
"It's good, yup."
"Simple and beautiful."
The three of us then got down to polishing Ang's idea into a finished product. This is what we think will happen in Book 7:
Times are bad in the wizarding world as well as for the muggles. Members of the Order of Phoenix and aurors of the Ministry of Magic are out fighting the death eaters on the streets. Muggles are dying. The wizarding community is scared.
Meanwhile Harry along with Ron and Hermione sets out to find and destroy the other horcruxes of Voldemort. They find all the horcruxes but one. And though they search long and hard the three still don't locate the last horcrux. Throughout his "quest," Harry is worried about Ginny. He knows that Voldemort would have by now come to know that the two are more than just friends. The death of Lupin adds to his glum outlook. The three finally give up and return to Hogwarts. Harry is reunited with Ginny.
The danger is still growing. Fearing that Harry or possibly Ginny might be attacked in school, McGonagall and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix convince Harry to go underground. Harry and Ginny can't bear to be separated and so Ginny also accompanies Harry into hiding. Ron agrees to be their secret keeper and Hermione performs the complex Fidelius charm.
Much is well (for Harry and Ginny) after this. They are sequestered away from Voldemort and so well hidden that he can't find them. They also know that this peace in their lives is temporary and precious and make the most of it.
Voldemort, angry at being unable to find Harry or Ginny, guesses correctly that they have been hidden by using the Fidelius charm. His agents soon get him the name of the secret keeper. Ron is captured. Voldemort threatens to throw Ron in a pit full of spiders and that is enough leverage. Ron reveals Harry's and Ginny's hiding place.
Voldemort reaches it, blasts the door with a spell and comes face to face with Ginny. This time he doesn't spend time talking and unleashes the death curse on Ginny. Harry who is the next room comes running in and jumps in front of Ginny, meanwhile unleashing a curse of his own. Harry's curse kills Voldemort.
Harry is killed by the curse that Voldemort had unleashed on Ginny. In the process, he not only saves Ginny but also their unborn son ("Hang on, they are only kids. . .one's 17 and Ginny's 16." "So?" "But they are too young to have . . ." "Don't be squeamish. Anyways, don't wizards and witches come of age when they are 16?" "Do they?" "Doesn't matter. There are enough teenage pregnancies happening in the world, now its happening in the wizarding world too." "Gross." "Maybe Rowling can explain it away as artistic license." "Whatever."), but his sacrifice also leaves its indelible mark on the yet unborn child. This is ancient (and hence, inexplicable) magic at work.
With Voldemort's death the wizarding world can breath easy. A number of death eaters are captured or killed. The others are believed to have fled to the United States and lost themselves in that muggle dominated society. Members of the Order of the Phoenix and Harry's surviving friends start rebuilding their lives. Ron is forgiven, but he is so filled with remorse that he takes up the position of Assistant Gamekeeper at Hogwarts. Hermione, joins Hogwarts as a teacher, to be as near Ron as possible. A sad (and pregnant) Ginny returns to the Weasley household.
At the end of book 7, Harry Potter Jr. is born and, like his illustrious father, on his forehead is a lightning-shaped scar.
Now fast forward to the time when Rowling (or someone else) decides to renew the Potter series. Well, now it's easy.
Remember Voldemort is vanquished, but one of the horcruxes was never found. There are rumors that the dark forces are gaining in strength preparing for the coming of the dark lord. Other rumors contend that the dark lord has already back and that this time he is looking for world domination. The fight is assuming truly global proportions. A major fight between the still active members of the Order of the Phoenix and the Voldemort's death eaters in the city of Mumbai on July 26, was masked as a cloudburst by the Ministry of Magic. Thankfully there were very few muggle deaths. But the fight in New Orleans spiraled so much out of control that it had to be masked as a hurricane and a bad case of disaster management by the muggles (There are whispers that the horrific events of 9-11 in the muggle dominated United States were actually death eaters announcing their presence). In certain areas of the world skirmishes between the Phoenix members and the death eaters now are so frequent and so brutal that it is difficult to make out who are the good guys and who are evil. Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine are notable examples of the rising turmoil in the wizarding world. Harry potter Jr. is now 11 and ready to begin his training in Hogwarts.Times, indeed, are dark. The world is in need of a savior.
Book 8 of the Potter series begins with these lines, "He was born with a gift . . . he was special . . . like his father."