The Pensieve #13: Half-Blood Prince Predictions

By Joshua Smith

Welcome to a special edition of the Pensieve. It’s been a long time since I’ve written, and I’ve been touched by my almost daily emails since I last wrote. Many of you have asked me to do a predictions column much like I did just before the release of OotP. Ask and you shall receive! On to the predictions…

We thought we were going to learn a lot about Lily Potter in Book 5, but we didn’t really get a whole lot. We still have a ton of burning questions about her. Why is it significant that she has green eyes, and that Harry has her eyes? Why is it important that her wand was good for charm work? Why did she marry James (who she seemed to hate in Book 5)? How did the Potters get their fortune, and why were they a target of Voldemort? I think we are going to get some of this info in the first chapter of the book, which J.K. said she considered using at the beginning of Book 1. This could very well be a death scene, only a lot more in depth than the one in Harry’s dreams. Some of these questions will be answered in HBP, but not all of them.

Harry gets to leave Privet Drive early this summer, and for a good reason. What is the reason? Well, I’m not sure, but I think it has to be some sort of event in the Wizarding world (like the World Cup, but obviously something different). I don’t think Dumbledore would let Harry leave Privet Drive just so he wouldn’t be miserable, as it would be too dangerous. He will have to be assured of Harry’s safety before he lets him go, whatever the reason ends up being.

In OotP, the wizarding world was not really at war. While Book 5 was a gathering of the storm clouds, HBP is going to be the torrential rain. There are going to be all sorts of casualties. Nobody in HBP (with the exception of Harry, who has to live until Book 7, where then he could potentially die) is safe, every single major character is fair game.

That brings me to my next prediction: the death. I’m not going to say who it is that is rumored to die. I will say this about the rumor, however. If you stole a copy of HBP and wanted to make money betting on who would die, you would actually make a TON of small bets on a character that is actually going to live. Then you could make one really large bet on the character that is actually going to die, and you would get a better payout. But as for whom I think it will be…it’s up in the air. I feel like it’s going to be a major member of the Order. That puts Dumbledore, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Remus Lupin, and Snape as my leading candidates. It could be Kingsley Shacklebolt, Tonks, or Mad-Eye Moody, but I don’t think so. My gut is actually leaning towards Snape being the victim.

Neville Longbottom is a character that I think we can expect some really big things from in HBP. You know he is motivated by what the Death Eaters did to his parents, and he was showing tremendous progress in the D.A. He also showed a lot of bravery charging into the Ministry of Magic with Harry and company. He breaks his wand in OotP, and we learn that he has been using his father’s wand since his first year at Hogwarts. As we know, a wizard gets best results when using their own wand. Not having his own wand could have been part of the reason why Neville was a substandard wizard before OotP. Now that he has his own wand, I think you’ll see him develop into a very powerful character.

There is going to be a new Minister of Magic, with Fudge getting the boot in HBP. Maybe it will be the half-blood prince himself! Other than that, I have no idea who it could be, other than I don’t think it will be a character we have already met.

The Harry/Draco rivalry is going to reach new heights in HBP. Harry busted Lucius, and Draco is going to be out for blood. Something big is brewing with Draco and his now-to-be-newly-active mother, Narcissa, but whatever it is, I don’t see them being able to cause Harry major damage while he is at Hogwarts, under Dumbledore’s watchful eye.

What an amazing jerk Percy Weasley was in OotP! Now he is going to be forced to see just how terribly wrong he was. He is going to have to lick his family’s boots for forgiveness. I’m not too keen on forgiving him, just as I’m sure Percy is not too keen on admitting to anyone, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, that he was wrong. But Molly Weasley is going to want to forgive her son, so look for an attempt on her part towards bringing him back to the family.

We certainly haven’t heard the last of Fred and George Weasley. In HBP, I think their role is going to be much more important than comic relief. They are out of school now, so it is possible that they will have been accepted into the Order. They are also more powerful than we give them credit for. Professor Flitwick saves the fake swamp they made for Umbridge not because it was funny, but because it was “a really good bit of magic.” I think they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming books.

Ah, the romance of Harry Potter. One of the most heatedly discussed areas of the books. In Book 6, I think we will see somebody linked romantically to Harry. It could be Ginny, or maybe a dark horse like Susan Bones (I don’t think Luna is coming into play in this aspect). How close is Harry going to let this person get to him, though, knowing that he could be putting them in danger, as he is the only person who can destroy Voldemort? I’m also going on record to say I think that this will be the book where Ron and Hermione finally get together (if they aren’t secretly dating already, as I mentioned in a previous column). With people dying and all the dark times around HBP, I think Ron will realize that life is short, and finally get the courage to tell Hermione how he feels.

There is going to be a new DADA teacher in HBP, only I have no idea who it could be. Again, it could be the HBP, but if it is, something horrible will happen to him. I’m almost 100% sure whoever is the DADA teacher in HBP will not be the DADA teacher in Book 7. We are destined to have 7 different teachers. That’s just the way it is.

Harry had a bit of an attitude problem in Book 5. I think that will be gone in Book 6, as he saw everybody was trying to help him out after all, and the world wasn’t out to get him. However, he is still bound to be emotional, just not cranky. He just lost his godfather, and now knows that he, and only he, can bring down Voldemort. Most kids his age are worrying about pimples. He is going to be a lot more contemplative as well. I don’t think he’ll rush into things the same way he used to, knowing that A) Voldemort knew he would rush to be the hero, and used that against him to kill his godfather, and B) if he rushes into anything and gets killed, the wizarding world is screwed.

Wormtail is up to no good. This little rat (pun intended) was conspicuously missing from all the dealings of OotP, and in HBP we will find what he has been up to, and whatever it was is bound to cause chaos. One thing to keep in mind, though; he owes Harry big time for saving his life. At some point in either Book 6 or 7, he is going to have a chance to re-pay Harry’s debt and help redeem the terrible travesties he has brought upon his former friends. This could end up being a huge moment in the series, perhaps helping Harry to bring about the demise of a certain dark lord…

Well, that’s all I have for you about HBP. Some of it might be accurate; most of it is probably way off the mark. But either way, I can’t wait for the book to come out, and I hope you all enjoy it. You’ll be hearing from me a week after it comes out with a follow up column as well. Take care all!

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