Yeah. If you haven't read The Deathly Hallows yet, stop reading this. Now. You might consider reading the book instead.
Okay, so this is not going to be a review because, seriously, every book reviewer around the world has already done it. Better that I. And they got paid to do it.
Instead, I am going to list, as best as I can, what I got right and wrong (and somewhere in between) in the final book.
1. I knew a Weasley would die. I was a bit surprised that it was Fred, actually; I thought J.K. was going to pile on the agony and take Ron or Ginny away from us.
2. I knew there was no way Harry was getting all the way through the book with Ron and Hermione; this is why I thought we might lose Ron, actually. Instead, he just acted like a prat. (Or, as Hermione put it, a complete arse. Hey, she said it, not me.)
3. I knew Percy would come round. That was a great scene, and one reason I wish J.K. had given us a few more chapters. How much does it suck to be Percy, when Fred is the first one to offer forgiveness and then is dead a couple of hours later? Good thing you came back when you did, nimrod.
4. I knew Dumbledore was really dead. I was not convinced by all the speculation and "evidence" that he was still alive.
5. I knew that Professor McGonagall totally rocked. I mean, she was amazing. When I grow up, I want to be like her. (Pity she and Dumbledore never married, really.)
6. I knew that J.K. wouldn't kill Harry and leave Voldemort alive. Which leads us too...
1. I thought Harry and Voldemort would both be dead in the end. I was informed on Sunday what a silly conclusion that was, because of the prophecy. But, hey, even Dumbledore said not to put too much stock in the prophecy.
2. I thought the dynamic trio might reconsider their decision to drop out of Hogwarts. (Of course, they didn't plan on living through the search for the Horcruxes, so I suppose exam results didn't matter.)
3. I thought that, had they gone back, Hermione and Ron would be Head Girl and Boy. (I even made myself a head girl badge at the Barnes & Noble release party, I was so sure.)
4. I thought Neville would be killed. (See "half-and-half" for more on Neville.)
5. I never thought Tonks or Mad-Eye would be killed. (Lupin I wasn't sure about.)
6. I certainly didn't expect Kreacher to come round. (Kreacher totally rocked, by the way. Too bad for Sirius that he didn't realise what a bit of kindness would do for him.)
7. I didn't think Molly Weasley would be the one to kill Bellatrix, although it made perfect sense when I read it. I really didn't expect her to start swearing at her, though.
8. The Malfoys were the last people I expected to see sense. And while they didn't see a lot of it, at least they were on their way. Actually I think Narcissa just kept up appearances because she didn't want Draco to be killed; otherwise, I think she would have just left the Death Eaters and not have fought back when they killed her.
9. I didn't expect the book to be so darned short.
10. I didn't expect Snape to be killed. At least not by Voldemort. And so we go to...
1. Snape. I thought he was playing both sides, so he would be on the winning team no matter what. So I count myself as half right on that one, since he was entirely a good guy. Turns out Dumbledore put a lot more trust in him than we realised (although my respect for Snape went up by bounds at the end of Goblet of Fire, only to crash back down again in Order of the Phoenix.) And hasn't it been hinted at before that he was in love with Lily? That didn't surprise me at all.
2. Neville. I thought he would go down in a blaze of glory, probably face-to-face with Voldemort. He did all those things except the "go down" bit. Perhaps all he needed was for Harry and Ron to get out of his way all these years so he could prove himself a true Gryffindor, which he certainly did. And him being named Herbology professor was no suprise at all. (Do you suppose he was also Head of House? He absolutely earned it.)
WHAT I STILL WANT TO KNOW:
1. What did they do to Umbridge? If I had it my way, she would have her wand snapped and be sent to live as a Muggle. After all, technically all she did was obey orders: however, she showed entirely too much delight in the suffering of others the whole time we knew her. I bet she was the most-hated character in the series, even more than Snape or Malfoy. (Or Voldemort, who was really just a scary name for most of the time.) Don't send her to Azkaban, I say; send her out in the world without a wand. Put the Trace on her, even. Make sure she has no reason to feel superior to anyone again.
2. Will Percy ever be Minister for Magic? The fact that he was talking about broomstick regulations makes me think he carried on at the ministry, and why not? Pertsnickity people with sense are the ones most suited to government, anyway.
3. Did George carry on with Weasley's Wizard Wheezes? I can't imagine him doing anything else, of course.
4. What are Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione doing besides reproducing? Surely at least one of them has a job.
5. Where do Harry & Ginny live? Did they go back to Grimmald Place (presumably with Kreacher)? Did they go back to Godric's Hollow? Did they build their own four-storey, magical house in Ottery St. Catchpole? Or really decide to pay back the Dursleys for 16 years of torment, and find a nice house in Privet Drive? Hee-- I think that's what I'd choose.
6. Luna? Seamus? Dean? Other members of Dumbledore's Army? What are they up to, nineteen years later?
7. Was it really a Crumple-horned Snorkack horn? Or an Erumpet horn? Or are they the same thing?
8. Was Hagrid having a mind lapse when he said James and Lily were Head Boy and Girl at Hogwarts? We know now James was never a prefect.
9. And finally... How long do half-giants live, anyway? Not that I'm at all sad to hear that Hagrid is still at Hogwarts.
I have enough Harry-related speculation to fill another blog post, so I'll save it for later.