Will Harry die?
That's the question on everyone's mind this week as Potter fans count down the hours till they get their hands on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final volume in the tale of the boy wizard.
But if J.K. Rowling answers just that question and doesn't tie up other story lines in her 10-years-in-the-making tale of good vs. evil, many readers will be disappointed. (How did you feel about the conclusion of "A Series of Unfortunate Events"?)
So KidsPost's came up with seven questions that Rowling needs to answer in Book 7. Grant took them to Megan Linehan, of Silver Spring, Md., who wrote her senior paper at American University last year on the role of politics in the later Harry Potter books. Linehan, 23, whose favorite book in the series is "Prisoner of Azkaban," has what she thinks are the answers. But, of course, none of us will even start to know for sure until 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
Is Snape good or evil?
"I'm definitely on the side that he's good. The books are told from Harry's point of view, so kids see things the way Harry does. Older readers are able to recognize the bias Harry brings (to his relationship with Snape).
"A lot of the evidence for Snape being good comes from 'Half-Blood Prince.' In the tower scene, Dumbledore pleads with Snape. Here's a wizard who has faced down Voldemort. Dumbledore just wouldn't plead for his life from Snape. Rowling has done a great job of disguising Snape's real feelings. But I really think he's a reluctant good guy."
Is Harry a Horcrux? What are the other Horcruxes?
"I go back and forth on Harry as a Horcrux. On the night that Voldemort killed James and Lily, everything really backfired for Voldemort. So I think it's hard to believe that the killing curse, when it didn't work, actually turned Harry into a Horcrux.
"There needs to be a Horcrux for Godric Gryffindor. That's either the sword or the Sorting Hat, and I can't see the Sorting Hat as a Horcrux. I think ... Nagini makes a lot of sense (as a Horcrux)."
Who is RAB?
"I definitely think it's Regulus Black, and I think there's more to him than we ever expected. I think there will be a nice conclusion to the Black story line knowing that the two brothers were really on the same side."
What will Neville's role be?
"I think he's going to play a really large part in this book. He's got some family business of his own to take care of; he's got to take care of Bellatrix Lestrange. I would really like to see him in the final battle. I think he'll be standing right there with Harry, Ron and Hermione."
What has Aunt Petunia known all along?
"She certainly has this odd sense of protectiveness over Harry &
even though she never treated him humanely. She was clearly fond of her sister before (Lily) went away to Hogwarts. Petunia also kept Harry for 11 years, knowing how dangerous that was. She must have lived in fear that Voldemort might come into her home and come after Harry, and still she kept him. She was brave in her own way."
What happens to Hogwarts?
"I'm assuming it reopens. I can't see McGonagall backing down. She has very much been trained by Dumbledore not just as a fighter but as an educator. Education would be such a huge part in making changes in the witch and wizard society for future generations even after Voldemort is defeated."
Do you think Harry dies?
"I really hope not. (In my paper, I say) that just killing Voldemort doesn't solve most of the problems that the wizarding society has. With Voldemort's eventual death or defeat ... Harry could do a lot of good for the society. He'd have a great future as he grows older.
"Harry has always been very good at surviving. Look at the first book where he, as an 11-year-old, fights off the weakened Voldemort. The fact is this 11-year-old kid survives because of his quick thinking. You just have to think his quick thinking will come in handy in the end."
Will book 7 be lucky for Harry Potter?
Will Harry die?