The final chapter of the Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is set to be released on July 21st at the stroke of midnight. Desperate for clues about what will happen in the final book, fans have been scouring the Internet and rhythmically caressing their imitation Firebolts as they build themselves up to a fever pitch. Big questions about Harry's final year have yet to be answered: What electives will Harry take? Will he get a part time job, to try and save money for a wizard-car? Will he confide in Principal Belding with his concerns about Jesse's drug addiction?
All of those are good guesses, but here at Cracked, we suspect that the final book will probably be about the dozens of dangling plot threads left over from the previous six books. That, and sex. Lot's of clumsy, clutching, adolescent wizard sex. If these bold predictions arouse and astound you, and you're interested in finding out exactly which ball-shatteringly important questions need answering, continue reading...
Is Dumbledore really dead?
The first rule of thumb when reading a pulp mystery-which, if you hadn't noticed, is what the Harry Potter books are-is that a murder isn't a murder if you lose track of the body. When Snape "killed" Dumbledore, Dumbledore's corpse was conveniently propelled backwards off the castle walls and out of sight. You don't have to be Angela Lansbury to realize that's pretty fishy. Is it possible that Dumbledore negated the curse while in free fall, miraculously survived the 100 foot drop, regained his feet, fed Polyjuice potion to a carefully pre-positioned bear, killed the bear, then slunk into the shadows to let it take his place?
Yes, quite frankly, that could happen-and it wouldn't even be the stupidest thing to happen in the Harry Potter universe. That would be Quidditch.
Still, there are a lot of clues to suggest that poor old Dumbledore really has been flushed down the toilet of the Potter-verse. His phoenix Fawke singing that sad-sad song of sorrow was a pretty conclusive-looking sign. Also, there was the host of witnesses who saw Dumbledore's body up close. And there was Dumbledore's portrait suddenly appearing in the headmaster's office at school. And perhaps most definitively, J.K. Rowling has confirmed this herself in an interview, saying "Dumbledore is definitely dead," before obnoxiously adding, "but it's complex."
What does "complex" mean? Does it mean he'll live on in the hearts and minds of those who loved him? That he'll reappear in a vaguely shimmery way and advise Harry to seek further training on the planet Dagobah? That he's enlisted the aid of top Muggle scientists to transfer his consciousness into a talking car? Or will it be something stupid?
Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: Dumbledore's dead, but still around via the talking portrait. Harry will consult it for advice throughout the concluding novel, and at a critical juncture, remove it from the wall of the headmaster's office, using it to club Draco in the back of the head before dryly stating "The head-master's office hours are over, bitch."
What is Snape's true allegiance?
The true allegiance of Professor Snape has been one of the great mysteries of the whole series: is he evil or just greasy? At this point, the volume of evidence stacked against him is overwhelming. He was formerly an evil Death Eater. He was the head of the evil Slytherin household. He has evil black hair. He is played by actor Alan Rickman, who is himself evil. This is some pretty damning stuff.
On the other hand, Dumbledore trusted him, and Dumbledore seemed to know most things about most things. Dumbledore was pretty old though, and old people do crazy things all the time. I once had an elderly relative who stood up and started applauding at the television. He was watching The Muppet Show. That was pretty weird.
Temporarily setting aside the possibility that Dumbledore was senile, one unavoidable fact remains: Dumbledore was murdered by Snape. That pretty much proves Snape is evil, right?
In the opening passages of The Half Blood Prince, Snape agrees to an Unbreakable Vow to "aid Draco on his mission, and complete it should he fail." A careful reading of this chapter reveals that Snape may have been fishing for information during this whole passage, possibly acting in his role as a spy for Dumbledore. As such, he may not have fully known what Draco's mission was when he was trapped into making the Unbreakable Vow. Thus when he smote Dumbledore off the balcony that fateful evening, he may have literally had no choice.
Or, and we're not discounting this, maybe he's just a huge evil dick.
Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest explanation-Snape is evil-is likely the correct one. But for Snape to be truly evil, that means that Dumbledore would have been wrong about something. And until we see proof of that, we're going to stick with our needlessly convoluted conspiracy theory. In other words, fuck you, Occam's razor. You're one smug principle we can live without.