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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."

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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?

Does it?

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.

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Is Harry a Horcrux?

If you haven't read The Half Blood Prince yet, then first, we're super sorry about those flagrant spoilers above, and second, you probably don't know about Horcruxes yet. Horcruxes are magical artifacts that supposedly contain fractions of Voldemort's soul. It's expected that the main narrative of The Deathly Hallows will be about Harry's hunt for the remaining Horcruxes before his final confrontation with Voldemort. If this is true, it means that the final Harry Potter Book will have the same plot as basically every RPG ever made, what with Harry having to "collect the Seven Important Things" to defeat the "loosely explained magic barrier" which will allow him to access the "final dungeon," and in the end he'll still be a "massive nerd."

The identity of all the Horcruxes isn't entirely known yet. Most are suspected to be mundane personal objects (lockets, diaries, body-grooming razors, etc.). However, one of the most popular theories floating around the Internet right now is that Harry himself is a Horcrux.

This fits somewhat with what's known about how Horcruxes are made. A Horcrux has to be made after a murder, it can be a living creature, and it's usually something that's meaningful to its creator in some way. All of these rules could be said to apply to Harry (or his scar). Further supporting this, Harry's scar does have a weird spooky connection with Voldemort, and Harry himself has said that Voldemort put a "piece of him inside me," before quickly adding "but not in a gay way."

But-and much like the one on Aunt Marge, this is a big but-since he was resurrected, Voldemort himself has tried to kill Harry at least twice. He wouldn't do that if Harry contained an important and irretrievable part of his soul. That's a little bit like banging your penis on a hot stovetop to get rid of crabs.

The only way this theory works is if Voldemort didn't know he'd made Harry his Horcrux... which would imply that Voldemort is pretty casual with pieces of his soul. The guy probably listens to Fall Out Boy by the ton.

Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: Harry's not a Horcrux. For Voldemort to have accidentally created a Horcrux after what was, for him, just a routine double-murder, implies that murderers could have been accidentally making Horcruxes (and thus becoming immortal) for centuries. That's absurd- not Quidditch-level absurd, but still pretty out there.

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Who's R.A.B?

R.A.B. was the author of the mysterious note in the locket/potential Horcrux that Harry and Dumbledore retrieved just prior to Dumbledore's death. The note, addressed to Voldemort, claimed that the author had stolen the original locket, which he knew to be a Horcrux, and would destroy it. The author didn't sign his name, instead choosing to sign the note with the initials R.A.B. because... well, because J.K. Rowling knows that screwing your readers out of vital information is a good way to sell books, we guess.

According to the Internet, the leading candidate for the true identity of R.A.B. is Regulus Black, brother of Sirius Black and former resident of The Order of the Phoenix's headquarters, 12 Grimmauld Place. He was a former ally of Voldemort, and large heavy lockets have been seen in his possession. In fact, Regulus Black is such an obvious choice to be R.A.B., that many fans theorize that he must therefore not be R.A.B. due to Rowling's well-known espousal of the Opposite-Land school of mystery plotting.

But let's step outside the confines of the Potterverse and into the real world for a second. Harry Potter is printed in dozens of different languages, many of which sometimes have slightly different names for the main characters, as dictated by whatever linguistic peculiarities that particular language has. For example, in Germany, "Harry Potter" is translated as "Brody Hasslehoff." All of the foreign editions of the books that have different names for Regulus Black would also have different corresponding initials in place of R.A.B.

Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: This one barely qualifies as a prediction. It's Regulus Black. End of story. This mystery will probably be "solved" in the first act of the book, shortly before Neville is sexually assaulted by a half snake/half hamster.

Now that's a prediction!

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Sex? (More specifically, will anyone have some?)

"Let's all just try and sit still and behave ourselves for this next section, Okay? Hopefully everyone here is mature enough to act like an adult as we go through this material."

Those are the lines which have been conspicuous by their absence in the preceding six Harry Potter books-the lines which precede every Sexual Health class given to junior high students. Now granted, the faculty at Hogwarts have been a little preoccupied with the marked increase in horrible murders of late, but that's no excuse for forgoing their state-mandated responsibility to teach children about the birds and the bees and how they get down to making sweet, sweet love. They're sending 17- and 18-year-old wizards out into the world with loaded weapons. Without the proper training, someone's going to lose an eye.

Obviously, left to their own devices, kids are going to figure that whole sex thing out on their own. The real question is: Will someone have sex in the last Harry Potter book? If so, who will it be? Will it be disturbing, or just incredibly uncomfortable? We've heard you might need a box of Kleenex nearby when reading the book. Is this why?

Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: J.K. Rowling has kept things fairly tame thus far, with almost all of the kissing and canoodling between our heroes and heroines occurring away from the reader's eyes. The next inevitable step will similarly be "off-camera" and only broadly hinted at. The only hint will be a scene where Ron is surprised one morning by the sight of Harry strolling out of his sister's bedroom wearing only a robe wrapped around his midsection and a knowing look.

"Today, Ron," Harry will say, with the newfound air of a man who has seen and done impossibly great things, "is a good day. You, who have been my friend through so much, are now my brother. And your sister is now a woman. Come, let us drink."

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Will Harry die at the end? How about Ron? Or Hermione? Please God, don't let it be Hermione. Take Ron instead.

J.K. Rowling stated in an interview that two characters will die during the course of The Deathly Hallows. The portion of Harry Potter fans capable of counting to two-over 90 percent of them-have gotten themselves into a furor debating which two characters will meet their fate during the final book.

This shouldn't come as a big shock: the Harry Potter series has been steadily getting darker as it's approached this conclusion. And there aren't many things darker than having one of the main characters killed off, short of a Deliverance-style anal rape ambush in the woods. (The many parallels between the HP series and Deliverance, of course, have already been well-documented elsewhere.)

From a writer's point of view, it makes a certain amount of sense to kill off your title character in the final chapter, if you seriously intend to never return to the universe again. It'd prohibit other authors from taking your characters and "fleshing out" your universe in their own "unique" and "horrible" ways. Just imagine: At the end of Return of the Jedi, during the celebration on Endor, a young Ewok, drunk on victory and bourbon, carelessly throws a thermal detonator into a bonfire, wiping out the entire main cast. A grateful galaxy is thus spared the pleasures of eighteen-hundred "Expanded Universe" novels and countless slashfic stories where Luke shows a bound and gagged Han Solo what "The Force" is all about.


Our "100% Lock, Money-in-the-Bank" Prediction: Snape will probably die, after redeeming himself somehow, possibly by washing his hair. Voldemort's also toast, and will likely meet his fate when Harry shoots him with his last bullet, fired from a wand taped to his back.

But we'll go out on a limb here and claim that the big three (Harry, Ron, Hermione) will make it out of The Deathly Hallows alive, and go on to live rich and fulfilling lives by discovering the pleasures of love, man-love, troll-love and man-troll-love a thousand times over on alt.harrypotter.fiction. See you there!


Chris Bucholz is a sensible man who knows how to use his fists. He is a frequent contributor to CRACKED and runs the hilarious blog Robotman!
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