The following discussions contain a lot of 'spoilers' for HP6. Read this page with that in mind. Please note that none of the people who wrote these emails had advance copies of HP7, and the collection of emails is merely a discussion of HP6 and conjectures about what might be in HP7.
1. My Initial email|
2. My brother's reply
3. My reply
4. Sally's thoughts
5. My reply
6. My brother's reply
7. My reply
8. Brenda's thoughts
9. My reply
10. Debbie's reply
11. My reply
12. Greg's email|
13. My reply
14. Greg's reply
15. My reply to Greg
16. Debbie's reply
17. My reply to Debbie
18. Debbie's reply
19. My reply to Debbie
20. Another reply to Greg
21. Comments by Mike
22. My Comment on Mike's points
Why did Snape kill Dumbledore? (Or—is Snape evil?)
Further Observations about Snape
My Initial email
The book felt different than the previous 3 books. It felt kind of rushed. There weren't as many seriously dangerous events as the other books -- at least, that was my impression.
My brother's reply
I heard that Rowling said that she was going to use Book 6 as an opportunity to fill in all of the background material necessary for Book 7. It's a very transitional book. If taken from a broad view, the idea here was to bring Harry to the point where he could begin his quest to destroy Voldemort. Dumbledore was removed so Harry had no more crutches (a process that began with Sirius in Book 5).
I think that Hogwarts will be closed for all intents and purposes until maybe the end of #7 and Harry's eventual victory.
I also think that Snape was deceiving Dumbledore all along and there is no way that he will play a hand in the Order of the Phoenix anymore. I was certainly suspicious of Snape from the very start of the book after that meeting in the first chapter.
I really doubt Rowling will be able to produce this book within the next two years. I think we're looking at '08 or even '09 which probably also means that they will have to replace the trio in the movie side of things before Book 6 is filmed.
I was thinking about how much I really liked #6 as I read it since it was much more positive than #5. I thought the change in Harry's access to Dumbledore was a huge improvement since Dumbledore was always my favorite character. However, I was prepared for a weakened Dd, but not a dead one! Just before that I was thinking that I would restart the book after finishing it. Now, I am less likely to read it again for a while.
I guess I will have a hard time accepting that Rowling actually killed Dumbledore (though I'm not denying that it happened).
The end of book 4 and the whole Umbridge thing in book 5 are much darker than anything in book 6. I think that is why book 6 comes across as being more positive. And the climactic scene in book 6 is very short. That is one reason why book 6 felt rushed to me.
I agree with your comment about Sirius and Dumbledore being the crutches removed.
I agree with you about Snape. I don't think that Snape's taking the vow at the beginning (though I thought the vow was about Harry) and killing Dumbledore at the end can be taken any other way than that of a total betrayal of Dumbledore. If it turns out to be anything else, it will be really forced. Nobody would believe it anyway unless Dumbledore's portrait made that plain. Voldemort and Snape and the Death Eaters seem to think that Dumbledore was the last thing between them and killing Harry and taking over the whole magical community.
So book 7 will begin with Harry at the Dursleys with his 17th birthday approaching. He may even take his apparate license test. Then he will apparate to the Weasleys for the wedding. Then the three (and who knows who else) will start on the quest. That's all I can figure out.
Even though Harry at 16 seems to be able to stand up to some of the Death Eaters, the Death Eaters he overcame were ones who were running away and trying to hit him over their backs or under pressure from other members of the Order of the Phoenix. When he came face to face with Snape, Harry wasn't able to beat him -- though admittedly Snape is really good at defense. I think Harry has a long way to go before he can beat Snape or Voldemort. He has to face them one at a time, and he has to be lucky or he has to learn something that cannot be defended against. I will be very disappointed if the only way he can really destroy Voldemort is for Harry to die. That was the rumor before book 6. I wasn't sure that the prophecy really said that he had to die. It said that if Harry survived, Voldemort had to die. It was one or the other. But the rumor of Harry dying in book 7 was very strong. I think the idea of horcruxes removes the need for that to happen.
As I've said before, "Horcruxes are the crux."
If Harry survives, he would make a great new headmaster, though he would probably have to serve as a Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts first. Hermione is bound to be a professor. The current professors are all pretty old. Not sure what Ron will do. All the current professors are single -- I think. (Never thought of that before.) And of course, Neville would make a great replacement for Professor Sprout. But that would be stretching it to have Harry as an instructor or headmaster by the end of HP7.
Hogwarts will be the least of his worries then.
I wonder if Dumbledore's phoenix will attach itself to Harry somehow. He has the owl, but having the phoenix would be cool.
I am still trying to decide if everything is as it seems. Okay, it seems real that Dumbledore is truly dead (no Dallas shower scene here). But did Snape do it because he was bad, or did he know Dd was going to die anyway and put him out of his misery, or something like that. I just find it odd that they made such a big deal in the beginning of the book to make you think Snape was bad, and Dd made such a big deal about knowing something about Snape that made him trust him. If he really was bad all along, I would think the whole beginning part would be left out for a bigger shock value at the end. Plus, why did she spend so much time having him explain away all his perceived good actions. I sort of feel sorry now for Draco, maybe he can still be redeemed. And what part will Neville play from here on out. Also, I think Harry has to go back to Hogwarts for the series to end with the next book (Year 7 at Hogwarts). Is it true as people are telling me that she has already completed book 7, but it is under lock and key until publication?
My Reply to Sally
Your comments made me wonder how many people will die in HP7. Voldemort will certainly die. I think Snape will die -- either as a traitor to Voldemort or as a traitor to Dumbledore. I have real questions about Snape. There is still a microscopic chance that he is good. Dumbledore was acting weird through all of HP6, but he was especially weird in the death scene. But Snape's use of one of the evil curses is enough for him (even if he did as part of a scheme) is enough for him to get the wrath of good wizards. Back to deaths: I don't think any of the Weasleys will die or Hermione. Harry is an open question. I would be 10 times more disappointed by Harry's death than I was with Dumbledore's.
You should read the interview on mugglenet.com. I sent out the link before I read the interview. Well worth reading. It was interesting which questions she refused to answer. Of course, that doesn't mean anything. I'm sure she has all of the plot of HP7 worked out, so she has already worked out what questions to answer and which ones not to answer and which ones to throw readers a red herring. The one that was really interesting to me was the suggested identity of RAB -- Regulus Black, Sirius's brother. She very nearly confirmed it. Regulus is supposed to be dead, having been killed by Voldemort according to Sirius. I think it is possible that the necklace that he took (which Harry and Dumbledore were after) will be hidden somewhere at Grimmauld Place. The people at mugglenet.com said that 65% of the people surveyed expected Dumbledore to die, but most of them thought he would die in HP7. That's what I thought would happen. She also said that the quidditch match that Luna announced in HP6 is the last one she will ever have to write, so I was right about there being no quidditch. I think there will be some scenes at Hogwarts. I don't think there will be any classes. Harry has to have a scene with Dumbledore's portrait, but there could be two for Dumbledore like there are for several of the people in the paintings in Dumbledore's office. Not sure where the other would be. She could create a second one and explain it any way she wants.
In the interview, she made some comments about Dumbledore that related to whether Snape is good or bad. She said that Dumbledore is an example of someone who is too smart for his own good. All "wisdom" came down from Dumbledore to others. She said that people like that are vulnerable, because they refuse to accept advice from anyone.
Rowling tried to make the readers feel sorry for Draco. I never bought it. Sure he is young, and many people do things they later regret before they have any common sense, but there are others that do things and then try to justify them for the rest of their lives. I think that's Draco. He will never admit he was wrong. If she writes anything like that in HP7, I'll be surprised. Draco can never admit a mistake. It is interesting that when Snape has the conversation with Draco's mother at the beginning of the book Snape says that Voldemort wants to give Draco a chance to do it himself. Well, he failed, didn't he? He was instrumental in the plot being successful, but Snape had to step in and deliver the final coup de grace. Rowling could write that Draco has to be punished for lack of loyalty. Voldemort apparently is angry enough at Lucius Malfoy that he would take it out on Draco.
In the interview on mugglenet.com, Rowling said that she had the last chapter finished. I think she does that a lot. It wasn't clear whether she had any other parts done, but she did clearly say that she would be writing the rest of the book all of next year, so HP7 may be coming out in 2007.
Further comments by my Brother:
I had heard the part about Chapter 1 of Book 6 being moved. I think she has that on her website, jkrowling.com.
I was sure Dumbledore was dead when they buried him and Dumbledore appeared in a portrait. (When he appeared in the portrait I said to myself, "Well he's really dead then.") I don't think he would resort to splitting his soul like Voldemort did, so there is little chance of him coming back in any other form than the portrait.
We know that Voldemort dies in HP7. I'm sure Snape will die, no matter what. I think Draco dies. I think that Bellatrix will die. She has to because of what happened to Sirius. I wonder how many of the Death Eaters will survive -- people like Lucius, his wife (Bellatrix's sister), etc.. I don't think that any of them are redeemable, though I'm sure that Rowling would have Dumbledore argue against that. The Dementors are an interesting question -- as are the werewolves, vampires, and giants. There's the potential for a lot of loose ends. If book 7 is going to be shorter than HP5 and she's going to tie up all of those loose ends, then she's going to have to fix things quickly. I think you're right about the good ending because of the kids, but I'm sure it is going to look like "all hell is breaking loose".
You're probably right that the book will take 2-3 years to write, but she said that she will be spending next year writing it -- which could imply that she thinks she can finish it. She said that next year it will be 15 years she's been doing this -- if I remember right. I think she's looking forward to the time when she can just write her compilation/encyclopedia and deal with the movies and be with her family.
Brenda C's thoughts:
One thing that I thought of as well was that Fawkes had healed Harry in #2. Why couldn't he heal Dumbledore? Was it because they were internal injuries in comparison with Harry's external ones which the tears could flow into?
Dumbledore's death was very upsetting to me. I guess I always thought it was a possibility but never wanted to believe it would really happen. He always seemed immortal to me. I think he will be immortal though, in one way or another. I knew he was definitely dead (in a physical sense) when the spell was lifted on Harry and he could move again and when he showed up in the portrait in his office. She could do almost anything with him now at this point. He could be hooked up to numerous portraits in different places. I wonder if he could be a ghost? The ghosts are in the castle, some are even professors.
It didn't occur to me until a couple of days after finishing the book that Harry (as well as myself) shouldn't be SO upset because Dumbledore would be available for him to talk to. It did occur to me that there may be another plane of existence when Sirius died (although, I think there still may be a chance that he isn't dead), where the physically living could interact with the physically non-living.
I could NOT believe that Umbridge actually showed her face at the funeral. The part that really got me was Hagrid carrying Dumbledore's body. I can just visualize it in my head and it is a very sad scene.
Another thing: I know alot of people are wondering if Snape really was bad the whole time, why didn't he just do away with Harry. The answer being that Voldemort wanted Harry for himself. But then why did it seem to take so long for any action from Snape. He could have delivered him to Voldemort at any time, especially since the occlumency lessons (which by the way I think he may have used to his advantage and why he was so successful at blocking Harry at the end of #6). Snape always seemed to be playing a little bit dumb up until now. I still think there may be something going on. As someone said, it is a very weak line to have Dumbledore just trust him. There has to be something deeper than that.
I like the idea of a deserted Hogwarts. It could be like a HQ instead of Grimmauld Place. Harry would have access to Dumbledore, the library, the half-blood prince's book, etc. However, he wouldn't be able to apparate. Dumbledore put that spell on the grounds and with him gone, the only other one that I could foresee knowing how to lift it would be McGongall.
I love that Buckbeak is back with Hagrid.
I also was going to re-read. Either #5 then #6, or all the way through #1-#6. I also think I may wait a while now.
Another thing on the "books for kids" subject. I was glad I hadn't started reading this to Gryphon once we got to all the snogging scenes. I seemed a little inappropriate, but I think I feel that way only because I still see the 3 of them as little kids.
Someone brought up the 3 different kinds of wands. It would be cool if it was the combination of the 3 that wound up getting rid of Voldemort once and for all (kind of like in "Ghostbusters" where they had to cross the beams).
Wow - so much that could be discussed...
You make a good point about Fawkes. Dumbledore was injured during the whole book, and there isn't an attempt by Fawkes to heal it. He never goes to the infirmary or the hospital. He never gets it treated. It is like he knew his end was near. And he never explained how he was injured. He kept putting Harry off. All we know is that he was injured during another quest for a horcrux. Dumbledore was wearing the broken ring of Voldemort when he first visited Slughorn. Slughorn looked at it, and I'm sure he recognized it. Acquiring the ring or breaking it must be how Dumbledore's hand was injured.
Umbridge will be in Book 7. According to the interview of Rowling on mugglenet.com, she likes torturing Umbridge. So Umbridge will be getting into more trouble. Not sure what side she will be on. I always suspected she was with Voldemort.
Book 5 for me does not have any logic. What is so important about hearing that prophecy about Harry? Dumbledore, Rowling, and us readers know that there was more to the prophecy than Voldemort knew when he attacked Harry and his parents, but what made Voldemort think that it was important for him to find out the full text of the message. It would have been important for Voldemort to know the full prophecy before he attacked Harry as a baby, but now that the attack has taken place, the propecy can offer no information about how Voldemort can be victorious. Of course, he doesn't know that. The only thing I can figure out is that Dumbledore let it slip to Snape that there was more to the prophecy. But that isn't made clear in the book or at any other point or in any other book.
There will have to be certain residents at Hogwarts even if the students don't come back for a regular years worth of classes. Trelawney will be there. She doesn't have any place to go. Not sure about the others.
It still bothers me that at the end of HP6 she didn't have that wardrobe get destroyed.
Dumbledore will not be able to undo the spell about apparating from Hogwarts. Harry will have to use his broom. Or he will have to talk to Dumbledore in another portrait in another building.
[Snape may want revenge on Voldemort] for possibly killing Lilly Potter? Hmmmm.
My reply to Debbie:
That is a good possibility. Hadn't thought of that. Slughorn makes a reference to Lilly being liked by everyone. I think there were hints from him that Snape and Lilly had dated. It wasn't really clear. That would add another nuance to Snape's hatred for Harry. But having Snape tell Harry that he wants revenge on Voldemort because of Lilly's death might be the only thing that would make Harry listen to what Snape has to say (if indeed Snape is not as evil as he looks at the end of HP6).
The only thing that makes it hard for me to completely believe the alternate reading of the incidents below is that Snape is described as hating Dumbledore and then when he is fighting Harry he is described as hating Harry. But that can be explained by saying that Snape wasn't really showing hatred for Dumbledore. That's just how Harry interpreted it. The hatred for Harry and James Potter was probably real hatred. And there could be levels of hatred just like there could be different levels of love (parents, children, spouse, friends). I say that, because Snape could hate Harry but hate Voldemort more.
I think it is so consistent with how the books have been written to anticipate a big twist. What we think we know at the end of HP6 may not be what is really happening. I think the info about the horcruxes is pretty much accurate within the whole story, but what is happening with Snape may not be. I think it is a distinct possibility that Snape will end up as kind of a hero, sacrificing himself for the good of community -- a thankless job.
Greg's initial email
Wow Gary. I finally had some time to wade through both documents last night. That interview is long! After reading the email exchanges and the interviews, there is little I can say about HP6 and guesses at what is going to happen in HP7. I borrowed HP6 from a friend, so I cannot go back and reference parts of the book. I found while reading your (very good) comments and the interview that there were obviously parts of the books I no longer remember. Perhaps I need to go back and read them all a second time back to back and take notes. I will make the following comments:
I think Dumbledore is dead. I was about to say I wasn't sure if it was planned that way with Snape or if it was circumstance and Snape was a traitor, but something just clicked in my mind, see #2 below. At the moment, I think Snape turned traitor.
What was it about Snape that made Dumbledore trust him so? In the Rowlings interview, she mentioned that in HP7 we'll learn more about Dumbledore and HIS FAMILY. What clicked with me above is that Snape and Dumbledore are somehow related (uncle/nephew or something like that). The family tie might be the strongest factor in Dumbledore's trust.
I agree that for good or bad, Snape will die.
Regarding Hogwarts in HP7, it must play some kind of role. I wonder what 7th year students learn? Maybe Harry will go to Hogwarts for at least a brief time for an intense training period to learn the final bits of wizardly tools he may need to face Snape/Voldemort.
Regarding an attack on the Dursley's, I just had another thought pop into my head while writing this. An attack seems likely and I wonder if somehow Aunt Petunia intervenes and gives Harry the time he needs to escape. Do we know if Aunt Petunia has any wizardly powers? I can remember, but I don't think so. That would be a final Dursley twist - Petunia has been suppressing (in denial of) her magic powers all these years. She may die like her sister, but she'll give Harry a chance to get away.
About the Dumbledore portrait, I don't know how useful this will be. There may be some comfort factor for Harry at the very least. Wasn't it mentioned in an earlier book that Dumbledore consults the portraits? However, from what we've seen, the portraits have done very little in helping to solve any unknowns. The only action I can recall any portrait doing is to go fetch someone to Dumbledore's office. So I'm wondering how much the Dumbledore portrait will be able to help Harry.
I agree with the comment one of you made about the Ministry of Magic - I don't see it helping too much in HP7. I wonder how much interference or influence it will have in things at Hogwarts. McGonagle too over the headmaster's position at the end of HP6 right? I wonder she will remain as such. Dumbledore had a fiercely defiant strength of personality to defy the Ministry in the past, but I don't see the same coming from McGonagle.
I think Neville is going to play a big role in HP7 somehow. Something is going to make him breakout of his bumbling incompetent self.
That about covers it for me at the moment. I'm amazed at how much you all are able to put together from the various parts of the 6 books. I'll have to re-read them to even hope to come close to the level you are on.
My reply to Greg:
I have the same suspicion about Dumbledore and Snape. I think Dumbledore is dead, and Snape is bad. I think Snape has to die whether he is good or bad.
You don't mention it here, but I think that the horcruxes make it unnecessary for Harry to die, which was what a big rumor was up to book 6.
I think that the Dumbledore portrait will be useful, and it might be possible that there is a second one at Grimauld Place, so Dumbledore can travel back and forth. Several of the other former heads of school have two portraits. That will make it unnecessary for Harry to be at school. Harry is determined not to go back to Hogwarts until the horcrux hunt and killing of Voldemort and Snape are complete. So, if he lives after that quest, he would be eligible to go back to school for his 7th year (something I never thought of before). Rowling said there wouldn't be a sequel, so even if he completed his education there would really be no story or suspense, unless there was some other evil in Slytherin that he had to deal with.
Rowling says there will be no quidditch in book 7. I think that indicates that Hogwarts will be in the book, but there probably won't be any school. I guess it's possible that Harry and his friends will not be at Hogwarts but classes will occur. Not sure. She could do any combination.
Anyway, the wizards in their portraits can't do any magic, but they have the same knowledge which can be advice for Harry. It is possible that Dumbledore had a suspicion of where the other horcruxes are, and his portrait can then relay that to Harry and give him a head start on the search.
Your comment about Snape and Dumbledore being related by blood is really interesting. I think you may have hit on something. I somehow missed that comment she made.
The idea that Mrs. Dursley has secret magic abilities is also very interesting. The possibility of her dying is dramatic enough for Rowling.
And everyone has concluded that Neville will be a bigger part of Book 7 but in a non-nerd way. He made great progress in book 5. I don't think that he will be the one to kill Voldemort or Snape. Harry will be involved in one or both of them. It is possible that Snape will somehow have a hand in Voldemort's demise.
Since I don't have the HP6, what do we know about horcruxes? How are they made? Is it necessary to destroy them to kill part of Voldemort? My memory is really fuzzy on them. I ask because your statement: "You don't mention it here, but I think that the horcruxes make it unnecessary for Harry to die, which was what a big rumor was up to book 6." got me thinking again. I'm wondering if Harry could be an accidental horcrux when Voldemort attacked him as a baby. It might also explain the mental link between Harry and Voldemort, though I'm probably way off base with this one.
As far as Snape having a hand in Voldemort's eventual defeat, in either your emails or the interview it was mentioned about the Snape/Lilly connection. That Snape would want revenge on Voldemort due to his love of Lilly could be a powerful motivator. Whether true or not, it is an interesting angle.
My reply to Greg:
Gosh. That thing about Harry being an accidental horcrux is inspired. It might be possible. So if Harry is a horcrux, he would have to make sure he died. Wow. All I know about horcruxes is that they are caused by the splitting of Voldemort's soul.
There is some kind of reference either in HP6 or in her interview that Snape may have dated Lilly. That is the other possibility of why Dumbledore knew that Snape wouldn't have wanted to reveal anything to Voldemort that would have endangered her. He probably still loved Lilly. Not knowing how Voldemort would interpret that half prophecy that he (Snape) passed on to him (Voldemort), he must have been devastated that Lilly died. The possibility of Snape being related to Dumbledore is great, too.
I am not sure Dumbledore and Snape are related. Dumbledore has a brother, Alberfore or something like that. He may come into play.
Harry et al may not need a portrait to converse with Dumbledore, what about the chocolate frog cards? His picture. Dumbledore will want to continue Harry's training. Harry has to become an accomplished occlumens and (legilimancer?) to beat Snape and Voldemort. Snape has become adept at reading Harry's thoughts as shown in the escape from Hogwarts scene. I think that in HP6 when he was training Harry in occlumency, he used it to his advantage. Harry no longer has access to Vodemort's thoughts, his scar doesn't hurt anymore?
As for Petunia, she was jealous of Lily and described her as a perfect sister in HP1, Petunia may have magical powers, but may not have been able to attend Hogwart's for some reason, or maybe she did and dropped out? I think she will help Harry in the end. Her powers may be strong, I get the impression that Lily was more powerful and clever than James.
I am not sure about Snape, I believe he is drawn to the dark side because he is a loner, like Voldemort, and also because of the ridicule he endured. I am re-reading HP4 to prep for the movie and Sirius tells Harry, Ron and Hermione that Snape came to Hogwart's knowing dark curses. Snape is very powerful, as you can guess from his potions book, although I believe it is no coincidence that Snape's potions book was not in his possession -with all the notes in that book, I find it hard to believe Harry got that book by chance.
My reply to Debbie:
Only the "painted" portraits have any sound. The pictures move in the paper and on the frog cards, but there never was any sound. In the first book, Ron acts like it is natural for the frog card pictures to move, but he never attempts to communicate. I guess there could be sign language. That would be kind of interesting.
Occlumens is closing off one's mind, and legilimens is the ability to view another person's thoughts. I agree that Harry has to become better at occlumency, but he only needs to do that for Snape. In book HP6, it comes out that the link between Harry and Voldemort is one way only. Voldemort cannot read Harry's thoughts.
I agree about Lilly and James (and Mrs. Dursley). Lilly strikes me as someone kind of like Hermione who would have been very serious in her studies. James was mostly a wastrel until he connected up with Lilly and was challenged by her to reach his potential.
I agree about the book. That part is a mystery. Why was that book in the stack that Slughorn took from? And why was that book on top of the stack? Odd. Almost like it was planned. But by whom? Dumbledore through Slughorn? Snape seems angry that Potter has it.
Debbie's reply to me:
Everyone in the portraits that move and talk are dead. I am not sure about the folks on the cards.
I think that Harry and his team, including collegues from the DA-Luna and Neville, all have to become accomplished occlumens and legilimens -- Draco is mastering that technique already.
My reply to Debbie:
I don't think the frog portraits or portraits in the paper are exclusively those that are alive. Not sure that they would have sound only if the person on the card or in the paper is dead. Also, There are characters that talk in the portraits at the school who never really existed. I think it is related to just the paintings. But she hasn't really detailed how all of that works. If the frog card picture of Dumbledore starts talking, then she'll explain why it wasn't in the first 6 books.
I'm sure you're right about legilimens and occlumens. When I said that Harry would only need to learn it for Snape, I was thinking of the final confrontations between Harry and Snape-Voldemort (not implying that these two will be together at the time -- just a grammatical construct here). I had forgotten that Draco was learning occlumens from his mother, and I'm sure she's teaching him legilimens, too. I'm sure that Draco will be in HP7.
I get the feeling that if she put in it everything we thought was necessary, the book would be 2-3 volumes.
Another reply to Greg:
I was reading your email where you asked about horcruxes. I'm not sure if I answered you. You said your memory was a little fuzzy about horcruxes, so I'm not sure whether you were saying that you were a little fuzzy about what horcruxes are or how they were created or what your question was. Horcruxes are created when someone kills someone else, splits his soul, and uses an incantation to place that portion of his soul in an item. That doesn't mean that your suggestion of Harry being an accidental horcrux isn't possible. Voldemort had already killed Lilly and James, so his soul was probably split already. What might have happened was that one part of the soul left in Voldemort died, and the other attached itself (without the usual incantation) to little Harry. When I think about it, the idea of Harry having a part of Voldemort inside him explains a lot. By the end of HP6 we know most of the items that are probably horcruxes. In fact, if I remember right, we have an idea of all but one. Also, you may remember the conversation that Dumbledore had with Harry at the end of HP2. Dumbledore says that it looks like when Voldemort tried to kill Harry when Harry was a baby, a small part of Voldemort ended up in Harry. The story of the Harry Potter books has always been that Rowling worked out the details of each book before she even started writing the first one. This statement by Dumbledore in HP2 may be a cloaked clue of what is really going on. We just won't know for sure until HP7 comes out.
Voldemort planned 7 pieces of his soul (see the chapter "Horcrux" in HP6), so that would mean that he was planning on 6 horcruxes. That would mean that 6 people would have to die. The seventh part of his soul would have been created after his soul was split after killing Harry. (There is the possibility that he hadn't gotten very far in his plan and there are less than 6 horcruxes, but I think we can assume that he completed his plan -- except for what happened during his attempted murder of Harry.) One was the diary (1). Then there was the Slytherin ring that Dumbledore destroyed (2). Then there is the necklace that wasn't in the cave and is hid somewhere or destroyed by RAB (3). Then Nagini is possibly one (4?). And Dumbledore thinks that he used something from some of the heads of the Hogwarts houses. Voldemort was able to create one with Slytherin's ring, and he was able to acquire a Hufflepuff's cup. So the other item could be something from Griffindor or Ravenclaw -- or it could be Harry himself. But if Harry was a horcrux, it would allow Rowling to have Harry die, and the calls for a sequel would be cut off. Just what she would want. It just wouldn't be consistent with the prophecy, which plainly states that one or the other has to die, not both. But that wouldn't stop her from doing what you are suggesting. I would have a hard time accepting Harry's death if it was simply because of a twisting of the prophecy, but if he was one of the horcruxes, it would make enough sense (and be enough of a twist) that it would somehow be more acceptable.
Mike D. made some comments:
My comments on Mike's points:
I think Mike's point was that he thought that Snape couldn't reveal to other death eaters about it's existence while Dumbledore lived. Now that Dumbledore is dead, Snape can tell Voldemort about #12 GP and where it is and how to get into it. Mike said that the way Harry found out in HP5 was through a note from Dumbledore.
I was just remembering about the secret keeper. Harry's first or second secret visit to that village. He was under the cloak at the bar, and there were teachers nearby. He heard them talking about the effect of being a secret keeper. I think he said that James and Lily could have been in the village, and Voldemort could have searched it without finding them. If the secret keeper gave the secret to a friend they could find them, but if he revealed the secret to an enemy, then the enemy could find them. So #12 GP may be unmappable, but it is findable now. I think.
I had thought that there was an inconsistency about Dumbledore's hand being injured throughout the book. Fawkes the Phoenix's tears are supposed to heal just about anything. In chapter 8 of "The Half-Blood Prince" Hermione says that there are some injuries that nothing can heal.
Just read the part again where Harry met Mundungus on the street, and Harry found out that Mundungus had been stealing from 12 Grimmauld Place. If RAB is Regulus Black, and Regulus had stashed the necklace he got from that bowl at 12 Grimmauld Place, then it is possible that Mundungus had stolen it. Part of book 7 may be where Harry tracks down Mundungus and then finds out what Mundungus did with the necklace.
The question is: How did RAB get that necklace and leave the locket? Dumbledore told Harry after they got the locket that the challenge had been well designed, since it required two people to carry out. Was there a second person helping RAB? If not, how did he survive the inferii (sp?) after drinking the potion and taking the necklace? If there was a second person, who was it?
Debbie B. said that she thinks it is significant that Rowling didn't have the cabinet destroyed – the one that Malfoy and the Death Eaters used. She thinks that Harry will utilize the cabinet. In fact, it would be appropriate if everything that was used for evil in HP6 will be used for good – in a significant way. That includes one or more items from Fred and George's store.
I just read about how horcruxes are made. I guess I had skimmed over that part. It has to do with murdering people. It would be interesting to count how many people came out of Voldemort's wand during the prior incantatum in the cemetary. Some of them were killed after the attempt to murder Harry, so they wouldn't count. So there had to be at least 6 people he murdered before he killed Harry's father, James.
Dumbledore makes the point that Voldemort would have celebrated the killing of an "important person" with the creating of a horcrux. He says that Harry was the final planned killing that would have resulted in a horcrux. (Apparently, he stored his split soul temporarily in Nagini, and then he would transfer the portion of the soul to the horcrux item. That's why Dumbledore thought there was still one in Nagini, and it also explains what happened when Arthur Weasley was attacked at the Department of Mysteries in HP5.) So there were definitely more people killed than the number of horcruxes. Not all of the dead were important. Now that I think of it though, the problem is that HP4 is not specific about all the people who came out of that wand. After a few, names, the book just describes the fact that other people came out. I'll have to read it again.
The other significant question is whether Voldemort had ripped his soul too many times by the time he got to Harry. I know that Harry was protected by Harry's mother somehow. However, he had ripped his soul into at least 7 parts (6 horcruxes and the one part that was in Voldemort when Voldemort died trying to kill Harry) before he killed James. So he had at the most one-seventh of his original soul when he arrived at Harry's house. Then he killed James, and his soul split one more time. Then he killed Harry's mother, and his soul split again. Then he tried to kill Harry. Maybe that was just too much for what was left. ???
So there were 7 parts of Voldemort's soul. One resides in the Voldemort that was restored in the cemetary (1). Another was in the diary in HP2 (2). Another was in the Slytherin ring that Dumbledore found and destroyed (3). And another is that necklace that was taken by RAB (4). (In the note inside the necklace that Harry found next to Dumbledore's body, RAB says that he knew he was going to die, but he wanted to destroy one of Voldemort's horcruxes. He promised that he would destroy it, so the horcrux of the necklace of the cave could be destroyed -- though I doubt it.) So there are three left. One is probably Hufflepuff's cup (5). Dumbledore says that the snake Nagini may be a horcrux (6). The last one one would be something from Griffindore or Ravenclaw. So Harry has to kill Nagini (if Nagini is a horcrux), and he might still have to confirm that the necklace is destroyed. He also needs to find out where the cup is and what the other one is. And he needs to destroy them all without too much injury.
I think that when Voldemort came back to life in the cemetery, he claimed that after he attempted to kill Harry that he went away and made friends of animals, etc. Something like that. That could have been Nagini. Also, I think that another reference is in HP1 where Quirrel describes how he met Voldemort.
Until HP7 comes out, the people who feel that Snape is not really bad (but killed Dumbledore because of some master plot of Dumbledore's) will have some passages to point to that can be interpreted in a different way. At one point Hagrid tells Harry that Snape and Dumbledore argued very loud, and Snape said that he didn't want to do it anymore. That could refer to his spying on Voldemort, or it could refer to Dumbledore's plan to die in front of Harry. Then when Dumbledore was laying there, he pleaded with Snape, but those people who still hold hope that Dumbledore is alive will say that he was pleading for Snape to follow through with their plan. They also point out that Dumbledore's body is described as being in the position he would be in if he went to sleep, and no one really saw Dumbledore's body when he was being buried. He is shrouded or in a coffin. Personally, I think that Dumbledore is dead. As soon as I read about the portrait, I knew he was dead. (One woman pointed out that he was asleep in the portrait. Don't know the significance of that.
Dumbledore's portrait did not exist until his death. It would be really stretching it for her to write that Dumbledore's portrait isn't the same as those of the other former school heads or some other way of making it so that the portrait is there but Dumbledore is alive.) When Snape used the avarda kadarva (sp?) curse, he used it with extreme force. Avarda kadarva is avarda kadarva. I don't know how Dumbledore could have worked it so that he would not be affected by the curse but only look like he was affected by it and then hide in the portrait. If Dumbledore knew how to escape the avarda kadarva curse, wouldn't he have passed that knowledge on to Harry and others? I think it's all wishful thinking. Besides this dynamic of wishful thinking, the whole thing stems, I think, from the idea Harry only barely scraped by every time he came into contact with Voldemort. He doesn't seem to be at a point where he could stand up to Voldemort. He couldn't even stand up to Snape. They think that Harry is going to need the help of Dumbledore.
Harry went through occlumency training in HP5 with Snape. Each time, Snape would say "legilimens" out loud. Harry never got the hang of occlumenency. When Harry faced off with Snape, Snape was able to anticipate Harry's next curse, because he could read Harry's mind (I'm using this term even though Snape says legilimens isn't really mind-reading) -- but Snape never says the word legilimens out loud. He must have been doing a silent casting of a spell, or maybe he doesn't need to actually say it since he is such an expert legilimens/occlumens. That is quite a gift when you are entering into a one-on-one fight. (But Snape was not prepared when he entered the Shack in HP3, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron were able to cast expeliarmus and disarm Snape and knock him out. I won't go into the various reasons for this right now.) It is interesting that Snape (and anyone else who uses legilimens) has to be near the target person, but Harry is able to enter Voldemort's thoughts remotely. I don't think that Snape will be able to continue to read Harry's mind when he is with Voldemort -- that is, remotely. He would have to be near Harry. So Harry's ability, which is probably due to the incident when he was attacked as an infant, is higher than anyone else's ability, and it is only linked (probably) to Voldemort. He probably cannot use this ability by reading other people's minds remotely. There is the possibility that just as Snape was able to know what Harry was going to do next, Harry will be able to know what Voldemort is going to do next.
When Harry hides the Potions book in the Room of Requirement, he has to go past the cabinet that Draco Malfoy has been trying to fix. If he had been forced to hide the book (or anything else) earlier, he might have run into Malfoy.
Dumbledore is portrayed in many of the books as someone who is almost all knowing. In HP2 he knew that Harry was hiding under the invisibility cloak when he said that help will be given to the one who asks for it. When Harry was being attacked by Riddle and the basilisk, he called out for help and the phoenix and the sword of Gryffendor both appeared. In HP3 Dumbledore knew exactly what Hermione needed to do in order to correct the situation of Sirius and the hippogryph. Over and over again, Dumbledore seems to have information about the future or extra information. Yet in HP6 we are led to believe that, just on the face of it, he fell into a trap of the Death Eaters and was killed. Some people in HP6 begin to feel that Dumbledore is losing it and getting too old. I'm not so sure that's how Rowling is going to leave the legacy of Dumbledore when all is said and done.
Why did Snape kill Dumbledore?
The events in HP6 can be interpreted in two ways (maybe more). Here are the events that are not clearly explained:
1. Dumbledore completely trusts Snape. The question is, Why does Dumbledore trust Snape so much? What did Snape do that made Dumbledore trust him so much? There are several possible reasons that have been suggested to me for the trust Dumbledore has in Snape.
2. Hagrid overhears Snape and Dumbledore argue, and Snape says he no longer wants to do what Dumbledore wants him to do.
There are two possibilities for the argument that Snape and Dumbledore had. Snape could be refusing to be a spy among the Death Eaters for Dumbledore. I don't see this as a strong possibility. Snape would have needed to be seen as a spy by both sides in order for him to function. If he really was a Death Eater on Voldemort's side, he would have needed the ruse of being a spy as an excuse for going to meet with Voldemort and the Death Eaters. So why would he refuse to remain as a spy?
The second possibility is that Dumbledore knew (as he admitted) that Draco was attempting to murder him. Dumbledore also may have come to the point that the only way that Harry could be guaranteed success in a battle with Voldemort was for Dumbledore to be out of the way. Therefore, Dumbledore planned with Snape for Snape to kill Dumbledore. That way, Snape would be the most trusted person among the Death Eaters. He could then undermine Voldemort with false counsel.
3. Dumbledore pleads with Snape.
Either Dumbledore pleads with Snape to help him against the Death Eaters that were standing there, or Dumbledore is pleading with Snape to follow through on the plan that he and Snape had argued about.
4. Snape stops Death Eaters from torturing and killing Harry Potter.
Either Snape is protecting Harry, or Snape really wants obey Voldemort's command to leave Harry to him.
The other argument for Snape being good is that Rowling is known to hold things back, to retain some major final twist in her story. The twist may be that Snape is out for revenge for some event that happened for which Voldemort is responsible.
5. Snape doesn't kill Harry in the final confrontation. Why?
Aside from the fact that all readers know that Harry cannot die so that there is a book 7 with Harry Potter in the title, why did Snape not kill Harry in that confrontation when Snape was fleeing? Was it just that old cliche where villains always talk too long, and then something happens that stops them from killing the hero? Or did he have a motive for leaving Harry alive? Your guess is as good as mine. If you think that Snape is truly good, then you would believe that he had a motive. If you think Snape is evil, you will think that Snape was just toying with Harry, that Snape couldn't kill Harry because he knew that Voldemort wanted to, and Snape had to flee when there were other wizards arriving on the scene. Only book 7 will reveal the true answer.
Other observations on Snape
In book 5, Harry was assigned to be trained in occlumency by Snape. The reason was that Snape was an expert in occlumency, since he was able to guard his mind against Voldemort. However, before each session of Harry's private training, Snape would remove his embarrassing memories and place them in the Pensive that he borrowed from Dumbledore. This brings up some questions: