The day the last Harry Potter book comes out _Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows_. The end of a lot of speculation. I can remember when they announced the date for this -- thinking would I be reading the book in the hospital? well... I don't think so. I honestly think we'll end up inducing on August 17th at this point.
(though one of my buddies over at Ovusoft might. I just heard that Mrs. Valgal's water has broken so her baby could very well be born tomorrow! How exciting!)
Things I'm expecting out of Harry Potter:
A good story.
Redemption -- I don't even think it will be Harry himself that kills Voldemort. He'll vanquish him, sure. But not kill. there's been too much made of his innocence, I don't think Dumbledore would want Harry to kill Voldie anymore than he wanted Draco to have murder on HIS conscience.
Snape will be as much Dumbledore's man as Harry is. (And maybe we'll be shown this because he'll end up with Fawkes.)Janet Batchelor
has an interesting theory that we will see someone else that has lost their magic/changed a patronus due to their emotions, paying off Tonx in book 6. Maybe Snape?
I think the Red Hen
has about convinced me that Harry's scar IS a horcrux. Though not quite sure how he'll get it out. Obliviate? Exorcism? The neatest idea Red Hen has is Harry voluntarily letting a Dementor take it from him -- with that being what Harry fears... it seems to resonate somewhat. And will take a LOT of trust that the dementor won't take more than what is offered. (And maybe Lord Voldemort will bring a dementor to their final battle, and thus the very tool Harry needs) One of the things that brought me here was realizing that I certainly agree that Harry has NOT survived the unsurviveable AK. Instead, he survived the Horcrux-creating curse (which would also have killed him, but has never been called un-counterable). Why? Because his mother through herself between him and Voldemort, taking the curse instead of her baby... and since mother did not meet the "conditions" of the curse, the curse rebounded. (Basically, Red Hen postulates that the way you cut off a portion of your soul to create a horcrux is that you possess a victim, and then kill them, and the process of killing them also cuts off the part of your soul that was within the victim. Then that now-detached part of soul can be sealed into an item.) When the curse hits a victim that is NOT possessed by Voldemort, then it kills the victim (Lily) but also rebounds back to Voldemort, not finding any part of soul to put into the item. In the search for the soul, the house is destroyed.
And somehow, because Harry has this part of Voldemort's soul inside of him, it is going to make it possible for him to destroy Voldemort's horcruxes -- the soul inside them acknowledging the soul inside of Harry... which is why Harry was not affected so severely with the diary he destroyed versus Dumbledore and the Ring.
Oh and I don't know if Harry will find out or not, but I fully expect we will discover that Dumbledore was already dying from the potion that Harry forcefed him before he met Snape at the top of the tower.
Other horcrux possibilities? Perhaps Tom Riddle's trophy (though I don't know how it would have been made into a horcrux) and I do think we'll see Zechariah Smith again in trying to track down the Hepibah (sp?) items.
Who will die? One of the twins, but not both.
Maybe Percy :( (hopefully after he redeems his behavior in previous books!)
Of course Voldemort (Though maybe after he reclaims his humanity as Tom Riddle?)
I hope we discover that Emmeline Vance has been in hiding and is not really dead.
I am eager to see what role Grawp will have -- I really didn't like that plot in book 5 and am just begging Jo to pay it off in such a way that I can enjoy Book 5 better.
I'd like to see more of Harry and Ginny, but I just don't see how that is going to work since these are more schoolboy tales than about them as adults... But if Harry marries Ginny, he will have the Weasely's, the family he has always wanted, and maybe he'll be okay then. (I do think, in HP terms, I would be a Hufflepuff so the whole family thing resonates with me) And I'm sure we'll see something about Ron and Hermione in the epilogue as well (will we see any "emergency marriages" in this book, like Arthur and Molly's in the 1st War? Maybe not time for any more after Bill and Fleur's)
ETA: One other thing that is weird. I think Hagrid knows what is up with Snape... He hasn't badmouthed Snape and normally you'd expect him to be on Harry's side, right? But he doesn't vilify snape even after Harry's side of the story gets out.
ETA2: I think in Book 7 we are going to learn that Harry's parents are dead because of Dumbledore. Snape was already D's man when he "overheard" that prophecy. D and Snape together decided this was their chance to bring down Lord Voldemort, and deliberately had Snape take back just a partial prophecy to Lord V -- and he took that information and went after Harry's parents. D expected that no one would really die, he expected to be the Secret Keeper for H's parents... but he made a mistake. and as he said, when he makes mistakes, they are huge. And Harry Potter's parents died because of it.