Harry Potter


Harry Potter
Harry Potter

HP Articles Archive-NO COMMENTS

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Posted: 11 July 2007 at 11:27am | IP Logged

Hey! We noticed that there are loads of articles on HP these days...

So this is the topic to post all articles about Harry Potter! This is a "NO COMMENTS" topic, so don't go around posting any comments!

Page 1::
Potter Star has a magical past
They read him, they read him not.
Rowling to write 8th book?
Rowling offers hints about 7th Harry Potter book
Danielle Radcliffe wants Harry Potter to die
Change of last word from 'scar'
Harry Potter Theme Park

Page 2::
Hermione in the driver's seat!
Rowling joins stars of Harry Potter film
Wax statue of Dan at Madame Tussauds in London
Evanna Lynch and Emma Watson interview
Open Casting for Lavender
Quibbler interview with Evanna Lynch
Danielle wore padded shorts for film
Richest teens in the world

Page 3::
10 Million security for Potter secret
Jim Dale knows how the series ends
Bonnie looks absolutely stunning tonight -- Radcliffe
Reinventing the Potter's wheel
Taylor's Potty about Film role
Harry Potter opens to mixed response from fans
Harry Potter Hermione turns to modelling
Some people will absolutely Loathe it

Page 4::
Phoenix breaks opening day record
Harry Potter's girl Katie Leung set to address climate rally

 -- Harry Potter Development Team --

Edited by Naughty_n_nice - 18 July 2007 at 10:27am

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Potter star has a magical past

Back to Section Stories Posted On Saturday, July 07, 2007
mumbai news
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Harry Potter actor Tom Felton has a witchcraft past - he is a descendent of convicts hanged at the notorious Salem witch trials of 1692.

The 19-year-old actor, who plays Draco Malfoy in the hit films, has had his family history scrutinised by American researchers studying the history of Salem witches.

Expert David Nelson says, "I have discovered concrete proof of a link between Tom and some of those who were executed. He is a distant relative of John Proctor - who was hanged on August 19, 1692."

Edited by xMarauderx - 11 July 2007 at 11:50am
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Edited by xMarauderx - 17 July 2007 at 12:55pm
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Rowling to write eighth Harry Potter book?

rediff Entertainment Bureau

July 10, 2007 12:21 IST

For Harry Potter [Images] fans, this one's as tantalising a teaser as Albus Dumbledore smiling when he learns that Lord Voldemort has used Harry's blood to regain his body.

Author J K Rowling has said 'never say never' in response to a global campaign launched by fans to 'Save Harry.'

'It's not saying that she definitely is [going to write another book] and it's not saying that she definitely isn't. I cannot comment further,' a spokesman for the author was quoted as saying in newspaper reports, including in London's [Images] Telegraph.

The Magic of Harry Potter

All over blogs, discussion groups and fan sites, debate has been raging on whether Harry Potter will die in the seventh -- and what was mentioned by Rowling as the final -- Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, which will be published on July 21.

Popular theories trying to second-guess Rowling include Harry being a Horcrux (magical pieces of an evil wizard's soul) himself, and the two characters who will die being Hagrid and Hermione. But then, Rowling has been rather good at second-guessing second-guessers so far.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix: Some magic at last!

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J K Rowling

T < = =text/> he Save Harry campaign has been launched by booksellers Waterstone's who are arguing that there is a literary precedent -- the case of Sherlock Holmes.

Previously, Rowling has said that the Harry Potter story will end with book 7 (Deathly Hallows) and that she might write a spin-off book like explaining magical spells and creatures mentioned in the Potter books.

But to BBC in a recent interview, she also said, 'Never say never.'

Source: http://www.rediff.com/movies/2007/jul/10rowling.htm

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Rowling offers hints about final Harry Potter book

Author J.K. Rowling drops a few hints about what's in store for fans in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'

In her six previous Harry Potter novels, author J.K. Rowling has conjured up some real toe-curlers: an evil wizard who takes up residence on the back of turbaned underlings' heads, cloaked figures drinking unicorn blood and robed dementors who extract their victims' happy memories like soul-sucking Electroluxes.

But off the page, what Joanne Kathleen Rowling says gives her "cold shivers" is something far more prosaic: When someone on one of the umpteen Harry Potter fan sites "guesses at something that's very close" to the denouement of her wizarding epic, which culminates with the July 21 release of the seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Although the fate of boy wizard Harry Potter in his metaphysical battle with magical-meanie extraordinaire Lord Voldemort is a secret Rowling guards more closely than the goblin bank Gringotts does its gold, "I love the theories more than I can possibly say," she has admitted. "I take it as the highest compliment that people analyze the books so much and think about what might happen next so much."

Now, in the home stretch before the book's bow - as well as the debut of the fifth movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on July11 - the theorizing has reached a fevered pitch. "What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7?" derived from the endless rehashing of what fans reverently call "canon" on mugglenet.com, has sold some 300,000 copies. Even Rowling herself has been hard-pressed to stay silent over the years, dropping hints in cyberspace or squashing theories in the occasional BBC sitdown.

Here, then, are comments Rowling herself has made about what "Deathly Hallows" holds. Culled from media interviews, fan sites and her official Web site, they offer tantalizing clues - as well as some definitive debunkings.

Is Dumbledore really dead?

Yes. The genial magician and headmaster of Hogwarts wizarding school, who perished in the penultimate "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," will not "do a Gandalf" and come back to life, Rowling has said. (Even DumbledoreIsNotDead.com has given up - or is that embraced? - the ghost.)

But "wizards have ways of making sure their voices are heard from beyond the grave," Rowling added, hinting that his phoenix Fawkes may have a role in "Deathly Hallows."

Speaking of Dumbledore, Rowling has formally quashed rumors that he is Harry's grandfather. Nor is Dumbledore really Ron or Harry popping in from the future. Nor is Harry a time-traveling son of Ron and Hermione. In fact, Rowling has said none of her characters has returned from the future.

What's Voldemort's real connection to Harry?

It's not familial, despite rumors that Harry is Voldemort's son. "No, no, no, no, no," Rowling protested to fans. "You lot have been watching much too much 'Star Wars.'"

Though the bond between Harry and Voldemort is not "biological," Rowling has refused to elaborate, because it "goes right to the heart of the series" and "touches way too closely on book 7." What she has said is that the two morally opposed wizards will not "merge" to become a single entity. And you can forget about Voldie, as we insouciants like to call him, getting religion: Of all her main characters, Rowling has said, only Voldemort is beyond redemption.

What are the final Horcruxes?

For those who have been hiding under a whomping willow all this time, a Horcrux is a receptacle in which a dark wizard hides a fragment of his soul to gain immortality. Voldemort has six, two of which - Marvolo Gaunt's ring and Tom Riddle's diary - have already been destroyed. Harry's search for the remaining four - then his final showdown with Voldemort - is a big part of book 7.

Harry already knows about two Horcruxes - Slytherin's locket and Hufflepuff's cup - though not their whereabouts. (Some theorize the locket was stashed at 12 Grimmauld Place, which Harry inherited from his godfather, Sirius Black. A permutation of this: That pipe-puffing wizard Mundungus Fletcher nabbed it and passed it on to Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth.) As for the other two Horcruxes, take your pick: It could be something from the two Hogwarts founders Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. It could be Nagini the snake. It might even be Harry himself, or his scar.

What it definitely is not, according to Rowling, is the glib Sorting Hat that places Hogwarts students in their respective houses. "Horcruxes do not draw attention to themselves by singing songs in front of large audiences," she huffed.

What does the title of the final book mean?

Rowling has demurred on this, saying that "any clarification of the meaning of 'Hallows' would give away too much of the story." For what it's worth, the French translation is titled "Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort," or "Relics of Death."

In light of all the Horcrux talk, some fans see a parallel with the Four Hallows of the Holy Grail. Since Rowling has borrowed liberally from other medieval legends, why should King Arthur and the Round Table boys be exempt?

And because a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, consider deconstructing the covers of the book's various editions.

Who is R.A.B.?

In "Half-Blood Prince," Harry and Dumbledore travel to a cave in the hopes of finding a Horcrux; instead, they recover a locket and a note to Voldemort indicating that the real Horcrux has been stolen and will be destroyed. It is signed, "R.A.B.," which many think is Regulus Alphard Black, brother of Harry's godfather, Sirius - an interpretation that Rowling has called "a fine guess." Whoever he is, R.A.B. is a character we have already met; Rowling has promised not to introduce any major new players in the final book.

Does Sirius' mirror still work?

Rowling has been coy about the two-way mirror that Harry got as a gift from Sirius, who used it to speak to Harry's late father James when the two were in detention at Hogwarts. "The mirror that Harry got from Sirius might not have helped as much as you think but, on the other hand, will help more than you think," she told fans on her Web site.

"Neither can live while the other survives" - does that prophecy mean Nelville Longbottom has to die?


Careful readers of the Potter plot know that Voldemort had a choice of two infant wizards to kill to defy the prophecy, which foretold the July birth of a boy whose parents had defied Voldemort three times. The choice, Rowling has said, was entirely arbitrary, and, like Macbeth, Voldemort sealed his fate by believing it was decided in the first place.

Harry and nerdy Neville have no mystic connection, according to Rowling. "Of course, none of this should be taken to mean that Neville does not have a significant part to play in the last two novels, or the fight against Voldemort," Rowling has said. "As for the prophecy itself, it remains ambiguous, not only to readers, but to my characters."

Indeed, the final words of the prophecy could very well be taken to mean that both Harry and Voldemort are fated to die together. On that score, Rowling will only say both she and divination teacher Madam Trelawney, who uttered the prophecy, worded it "extremely carefully."

Is Snape good or evil?

Fans have speculated wildly about whether headmaster Dumbledore's death at the hands of skeevy professor Severus Snape in "Half-Blood Prince" was pre-arranged between the two. The closest Rowling has come to commenting is to endorse Salman Rushdie's opinion (you never know who reads her books) that the question of whether Snape is on the side of good or evil is pivotal, and that "everything follows from it."

If Hogwarts reopens in the new book, who is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?

One recurring feature of each Potter installment has been the non-recurrence of its "DADA" teacher, who's replaced each year.

Although Rowling has not said who the new instructor will be, she has been clear about who it won't be: Former instructor Remus Lupin will not return, "prejudice against werewolves" being what it is. You can also forget Snape reupping.

What's up with Aunt Petunia?

Potterphiles might be inclined to dismiss Harry's non-magical aunt, Petunia Dursley, whose role in the books so far is to treat him like an alley cat. Although Rowling has confirmed her muggle status - "Aunt Petunia has never performed magic, and will never be able to do so" - Aunt Petunia clearly knows more than she lets on, from her being "oddly flushed" when hearing that Harry would be returning to her home at Privet Drive only once more, and her knowledge of dementors and other things wizardly. "There is a little more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye," Rowling has winked.

Are there going to be love connections?

"Shippers" - short for "relationshippers" - have wasted obscene amounts of Internet bandwidth conjecturing about the romantic liaisons that will be cemented in "Deathly Hallows."

One that Rowling has nixed outright is Neville and dotty Luna Lovegood. While both are misfits, it's not enough to base a relationship on, Rowling has pointed out.

As for Hermione and Ron, or Harry and Ron's sister, Ginny, Rowling has all but said, "Duh." If, that is, they survive, which brings us to ...

Who dies?

Spend enough time on fan sites, and you will find a theory for the demise of virtually every one of the book's characters, from Ron (was his death foreshadowed in the chess scene in the first book?) to Snape (even if he is a good guy, nobody likes him anyway) to Harry himself (probably not likely, though Rowling has gone out of her way to fuel speculation).

Rowling has said that in "Deathly Hallows," "a couple of characters I expected to survive have died and one character got a reprieve," though - natch - she's not specifying.

She has said, though, that she understands the temptation to kill off Harry before the end of the final book, to forestall others from writing sequels.

What's the significance of Lily Potter?

Rowling has said emphatically that the reason Harry survived Voldemort's Avada Kedavra killing curse is because his mother, Lily, would not step aside. But she has refused to elaborate on why Voldemort, not known for his fits of compassion, gave her multiple chances to do so. (Theory alert: Maybe a smitten Snape interceded for her.) Finally, Rowling has said that the fact that Harry "has his mother's eyes" will be important to the plot.

What about the "gleam of triumph"?

At the end of "Goblet of Fire," Dumbledore has a "gleam of triumph" in his eyes when he learns that Voldemort used Harry's blood to regenerate himself. This fact is "enormously significant," Rowling has said, leading fans to suspect that Voldemort made a fatal error in using Harry as a blood donor.

What's in the final chapter?

Rowling has said she wrote it in 1990, with some "small tweaks to it in the intervening years." Before she embarked on writing "Deathly Hallows," the final chapter ended in the word "scar," though she said that could change.

"The final chapter ... really relates to what happens to the people who survive the story, after the end of the story," she said, though she will "probably leave some loose ends hanging."

How about a Book 8?

No, "even though I get a lot of really big puppy-dog eyes," Rowling has insisted.

Rowling has said she might write an encyclopedia that includes the definitive biographies of the Harry Potter characters, with proceeds benefiting charity. Rowling did this in 2001 when she published two Hogwarts "schoolbooks": "Quidditch Through the Ages" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Harry Potter fans wield their questions like some aurors do their wands, and over the years Rowling has dropped hints about what's in store -- or not -- in the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Among her revelations:

Quidditch matches

They are over, much to Rowling's relief. "To be honest with you, Quidditch matches have been the bane of my life in the Harry Potter books," she has said. "They are necessary in that people expect Harry to play Quidditch, but there is a limit to how many ways you can have them play Quidditch together and for something new to happen."

Dumbledore's relatives

Rowling has hinted that perusing the great wizard's family tree might be "fruitful." Lots of fans take this to be a reference to his brother Aberforth. The bartender at the Hog's Head Tavern, where he presumably overhears lots of tidbits that he passes on to his sibling, Aberforth was once prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. Ahem.

Speaking of Dumbledore, Rowling has said that the scar on his knee, which is in the shape of the London Underground, might make an appearance in book 7.

The candy connection

Every detail does not a plot device make. To that end, Rowling has scuttled "out there" theories that insane, institutionalized Alice Longbottom has been passing secret messages to her son, Neville, on discarded bubble-gum wrappers.

Instead, Rowling said, the bittersweet gesture was inspired by a story she heard about someone whose Alzheimer-stricken mother no longer recognized him; he nonetheless visited faithfully and brought her sweets. "That was their point of connection; she had a sweet tooth, she recognized him as the sweet-giver," Rowling has said. "That was very poignant to me."

No comment

There have been numerous questions that Rowling has demurred in answering, and the refusals alone should make fans sit up and take notice. Among the unanswered: What were the professions of the late Lily and James Potter? Other than oven cleaner, what are the 12 uses of dragon's blood? And who was at Godric's Hollow besides Voldemort?

Rowling also said she will likely continue to answer questions about her novels on her Web site, even after the final book's publication.

And - move over, Mouse - a 20-acre Harry Potter theme park is expected to bow at Florida's Universal Orlando Resort in 2009.

Source: http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ny-ffhar5272175jul01,0, 2478870.story?coll=ny-entertainment-promo
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Daniel Radcliffe wants Harry Potter to die

HARRY Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is convinced his alter ego will be one of the two characters to be killed off in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Radcliffe, like the rest of the world, is waiting for all to be revealed when J.K. Rowling's final Harry Potter book is published on July 21.

But he says: "I think Harry will die. It's the only appropriate way of ending it.

"How else will J.K. Rowling be able to resist the deafening calls for her to continue (with the books) if Harry is still alive?

"And, on a selfish level, every actor wants to do a death scene ... I'm going to milk it."

Contrary to reports, Radcliffe said he was yet to agree to star in the final Harry Potter film.

"It all depends on the script and who's going to direct it," he said.

"It would be foolish to make it for the sake of it."

Britain's richest teenager will gain access to a reported $40 million when he turns 18 on July 23, but Radcliffe will not start flashing around his cash. 

"I don't plan to be one of these people who suddenly buy themselves a sports car collection or something," he said.

"I don't think I'll be particularly extravagant at all."

Source: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21997192-2,00.html

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LONDON (Reuters) - Best-selling author J.K. Rowling revealed how she broke down in tears during the completion of her final book in the Harry Potter series.

She also tells interviewer Jonathan Ross how she changed the last word in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at the eleventh hour.

"When I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled," she told the BBC television presenter.

She finished the book alone in a hotel room.

"I was sobbing my heart out -- I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face. That was really tough."

The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book about the schoolboy wizard Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends.

The plots have taken a darker turn and Rowling has in the past revealed that she would kill off at least two of the main characters.

When asked by the chat show host whether the word "scar" was still the last word in the book, as had been reported, she said: "Scar? It was for ages, and now it's not.

"Scar is quite near the end, but it's not the last word."

Harry Potter has a lightning bolt scar on his forehead as a result of a failed curse by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort.

Rowling also revealed that the character Harry Potter was "totally imaginary" and not based on anyone.

His red-haired pal Ron Weasley was a lot like her oldest friend Sean though, she confessed.

More than 325 million copies of the first six books have been sold worldwide, helping to turn Rowling into the first dollar-billionaire author.

An all-British cast seemed to be a point of pride for her as she admitted it had been a "hell of an achievement."

Stars who have appeared in the five films, including the latest "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," include Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Richard Harris, Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes.

The film had its premiere in London this week.

The Deathly Hallows appears on the bookshelves on July 21, but 1.6 million copies have been pre-ordered online.

 this pic. is of jk rowling at the london premiere of the new movie harry potter and the order of the phoenix

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A Harry Potter theme park wouldn't be nearly as much fun without Harry. Sophie Gee examines the signs and prophecies relating to the teen wizard's final adventure.

HARRY POTTER FANS around the globe are preparing at once to celebrate and to mourn. In the space of less than a month, we will have a new Harry Potter film, The Order of the Phoenix, and a new Harry Potter book. But on July 22, the adventure will be over. Book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is the last Potter volume Rowling will write.

Last month, somebody tried to spoil the fun. A hacker calling himself Gabriel claimed to have broken into a computer at Bloomsbury publishing in London and read The Deathly Hallows, the purported ending of which he posted on the web. Gabriel's prose style and spelling are such that it's hard to believe him capable of reading the book he claims to be spoiling, but here's what he says:

"At the end of the story Hagrid was killed by Snape in the attempt of ambush Hermione and Ron. Ron and Hermione flees in privet drive but Voldermort, surprising them, engaged a magical duel with Ron and Hermione."

If that really is the ending, no wonder Bloomsbury declined to comment. It doesn't come much lamer than a magical duel with Ron in Privet Drive.

People can think up hilarious joke endings to Harry Potter. But nobody will ever, ever come up with an ending more incredible, more outlandish, than the one that's really happened.

J. K. Rowling has sold 320 million books, the films have brought in $3.5 billion in global ticket sales, and a Harry Potter theme park is under way.

The books have spawned a cottage industry, itself the size of the Potter theme park, devoted to debate and discussion of the stories so far. The pre-eminent resource here is http://www.mugglenet.com, a website that tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the Rowling world, earning its own creator a six-figure income in advertising revenue.

It long ago became tedious and recherche to ask: why so much fuss about Harry Potter? The question brands you as the kind of person who claims not to get what's great about the internet, or who declares piously that they don't have a mobile phone. Harry Potter is the Bill Gates of contemporary literature. He used to be beyond the pale, and now he's cool.

So. Let's not pretend it doesn't matter. What will happen in Rowling's final book?

Many loose ends and ambiguities need to get squared away. Will Severus Snape turn out a goodie or a baddie? Who is R. A. B., the mysterious new figure who turned up in book six? Is Harry a horcrux for Lord Voldemort? Why did Harry's mum go from hating his father to falling in love with him?

Important questions, to be sure. But the key question is this: will Harry survive?

Rowling has told us at least two main characters will be killed, and there is widespread speculation that Harry will be one of them.

Readers know that Harry and Voldemort are the subjects of a prophecy, recovered in book five, which states: "Either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives."

Dumbledore, Harry's mentor and the former headmaster of Hogwarts School, has explained what it means: either Harry must die by Voldemort's hand, or Voldemort by Harry's.

Harry's prognosis is not good, mythologically speaking. Rowling has established him as a heroic deliverer - one who feels the pains and pleasures of ordinary mortals, but who exists slightly outside, or beyond, their world. Such figures are born to save, not to live like ordinary people, and they do not traditionally outlast their own epic narratives.

Take Christ, for example. Or if he seems a little rich for the blood, take Aeneas, King Arthur, Frodo, or the Pevensie children from the Narnia chronicles. For each of these, death is not a cessation but a passing - a saviour's passing into another, better world. Is this what Rowling has in mind for Harry?

The death of the hero is a heavy mythological inheritance for a children's book to bear. Particularly one that has been absorbed into mainstream popular culture, giving so much hope and pleasure to children throughout the world.

If Harry dies in Deathly Hallows, won't Rowling's readers rise up in rebellion? How fun can a theme park be if Harry is dead?

More importantly, according to the prophesy, if Harry dies, then Voldemort lives - a possibility nobody wants to countenance. But suppose Dumbledore's prophecy means something other than what Harry thinks.

What if it means neither Harry nor Voldemort can remain alive once the other has died? Harry will defeat Voldemort, but it will cost his life.

Rowling has said repeatedly that the deep theme of the Harry Potter books is death. Certainly, it is a central motif, and some people think the body count makes the books too dark for most children. So far, Harry has lost his parents, his godfather, Sirius, and his beloved mentor, Dumbledore, as well as witnessing several violent deaths. How can Harry bear to go on living if he loses anyone else?

But Rowling's interest in death goes deeper than the plot alone, explaining the sadness and sense of loss that runs through all the books.

The contest between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort - and between Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort's Death Eaters - is not merely a fight to the death. It is a struggle over the meaning of death itself.

In many ways, Harry and Voldemort are similar. They are both orphans, both "half-bloods", meaning that they each have one wizard-born and one Muggle (non-magical) parent. Each is brave, with what we might call good leadership potential. Each has known great suffering, and suffering has made each strive for greatness.

Voldemort's experience of suffering has made him aspire to immortality. He and the Death Eaters are waging war against death itself, hoping to vanquish the Order of the Phoenix so that they can co-opt magic to their own dark purposes - granting Voldemort everlasting life.

The Death Eaters' power comes from the fear they feel, and consequently inflict, and Voldemort's signature trait is his fear of dying. His name means something like "flight from death". Harry is different because affliction does not frighten him. On the contrary, great loss teaches Harry love and loyalty, and the enduring strength such emotions have when they are born out of suffering.

This is not to say heroism comes easily or naturally to Harry. Through the books we watch him struggle with anger, resentment, even hatred, as he attempts to understand the deaths of those he loves. But in the end, Harry is heroic because his suffering has made him unafraid of life, and - I'm taking a gamble here - it will make him unafraid of death.

THERE IS A VERY important scene in The Order of the Phoenix when Harry finds a mysterious archway in the basement of the Ministry of Magic. He and his friends stumble upon it accidentally, and are puzzled. It stands unsupported in the middle of a room, a veil hanging across it.

Harry is fascinated by the veil, sensing a figure behind it, but when he looks, nothing is there. He believes he hears voices coming from within, and longs to walk through the arch. But Hermione calls Harry back - she can hear nothing.

The arch turns out to be a gateway out of life. To pass beyond the veil is to enter into the world of the dead, as Sirius will do a few pages later.

And yet Harry is oddly drawn to it. He can hear voices beyond the veil; he hears them because they are the voices of people he loves. At the climax of each book, when death is closest to Harry, he feels the dead around him, and they bring comfort. If Harry does step through the arch at the end of The Deathly Hallows, he will do so willingly. He has waited a long time to meet those who are beyond it.

The battle between Harry and Voldemort pits the power of love against the fear of death. Which will prove the stronger? But if, as we hope, Harry is the victor, and the fear of death is vanquished, what will be left to keep Harry alive?

Nobody wants Harry to die. We want to see him slay Voldemort, and live happily ever after with Ginny Weasley. For this to happen, however, Harry must destroy all of Voldemort's horcruxes - relics that contain fragments of Voldemort's soul, created to secure his immortality. Once there were seven of them; we know two have been destroyed, so there are five to go.

Which brings us to a crucial question: is Harry himself a horcrux? Those in favour would make some or all of the following claims: Harry's scar is the relic of Voldemort, which explains why it is able to register the Dark Lord's pain and pleasure.

Therefore, if he is to vanquish Voldemort, Harry must lose a part of himself, his scar - the very thing that marks him as special. This would be a mythologically satisfying outcome - heroes and anti-heroes are almost always inextricably linked, so that the vanquishing of evil must exact a sacrifice from the hero. The price Harry will pay for victory will be the loss of his special power.

Opponents of the horcrux theory argue that it's logistically impossible for Harry to be one (see mugglenet.com for details), and that Voldemort wouldn't be so foolish as to plant a bit of himself in the very person he most wants to destroy. Either way, the Harry-Voldemort interdependence is psychoanalytically fascinating, and we wait with bated breath for Rowling to explain the precise nature of their connection.

Fingers crossed, then, that Harry survives his final battle with Voldemort. But even if he does, it's still crucial that the worlds of the living and the dead are bound tightly together. Important because it explains Rowling's perverse insistence that her books are about Death, when we know that they are really about magical japes, wizard wheezes, boarding school and who-loves-who. The vision of a magical world, and Rowling's interest in death are two sides of the coin.

THE WIZARDING WORLD exists right beside the world of the Muggles, but Muggles just don't know it's there. Magic is all around, though Muggles give it other names - bad luck, good luck, coincidence - because they can't see things the way that Harry and his friends do.

What interests Rowling about the worlds of magic and Muggledom is not that they are far apart but uncannily close - which is a very frightening discovery if you're a Muggle, but consoling if you're a wizard.

It is the very same discovery that Harry is destined to make about death. The dead are all around, Harry can hear them whispering from the other side of the veil. Periodically they come to visit, and Harry glimpses them, knowing that one day he will join them. Signs that the dead are close by bring Harry comfort, though they frighten Hermione and Ron, who do not yet understand their meaning.

The worlds of the magical and the familiar, the worlds of the living and the dead. Rowling wants us to remember that the distance between them is short, and that it can be easily travelled.

Divining the future for Harry Potter

And what about the fun stuff? Which of Rowling's characters will hook-up in the last instalment? Ron and Hermione, of course. My bet is that both of these characters survive the ordeals of the final volume and come together at long last. Ron and Hermione will be the happy couple of the Potter books and they deserve to be.

Which leaves Harry and Ginny. Harry broke up with Ginny at the end of The Half-Blood Prince, knowing that he would put her in danger by being with her. But will Ginny take that lying down?

I couldn't help but notice that she cast a longing look at the arch of death in Order of the Phoenix, (along with Neville), so perhaps, like other heroines before her, Ginny is willing to go all the way to stay at Harry's side.

But Harry doesn't seem to feel desire like ordinary people, and as long as he is marked as Rowling's messiah, I think Ginny will be sitting out an awful lot of dances.

Poor old Ginny will either be following Harry under that arch, or hoping that he loses his status as the chosen one.

Surely Neville won't be left high and dry - I bet heroics are in store for him, whether romantic or martial. Hagrid will stomp off into the sunset with Maxine.

On the subject of that arch of death, my guess is that we'll be seeing it again in the last book. I'm pretty sure some wizards know how to step through it and come back again.

I wonder if Snape went through at some point and whatever he saw on the other side made him join Dumbledore's team for good? Yes, I do think Snape's a goodie.

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