Madam Puddifoot’s: A Different Kind of Ship: A NO Ship
I developed this theory a while ago, maybe even before OotP, and it is definitely not one seen in many shipping editorials. In my humble opinion, Harry Potter will not have a romantic partner at the end of Book 7, or even the end of his life (I’m beginning to believe that Harry will die in the final installment, but that is not the point here). The first reason that came to mind as I began to develop this theory was that Harry would be so dedicated to becoming an Auror and immersed in his quest to kill Voldemort that love (or even a girlfriend, for that matter) would slip by unnoticed, and that Harry wouldn’t miss it- or even want it.
Then, after HBP, my faith in this theory was greatly enhanced by one realization: Harry is a loner.
Let’s start with the facts.
1. First of all, Harry is meant to kill Voldemort by himself; I think that this is well shown by the prophecy in OotP (…neither can live while the other survives…). Harry has learnt well that no matter how much help he may have, he will be alone in the final battle. To crush whatever hope we had for the contrary, in HBP we witnessed the death of Dumbledore, the only one whom we could be sure would stay with Harry through the end. Dumbledore’s murder only makes things more complicated for Harry- although I’m a true believer that Dumbledore’s death was well planned between himself and Snape. But again, that’s another theory.
2. A second thing to note is Harry’s history. He was always alone. An orphan at the age of one, he never knew love or family until he arrived at Hogwarts. Even here, though, his worst battles were fought alone. Take, for example, the Tri-Wizard Tournament in GoF. Its dreadful third task ultimately led to a confrontation with Voldemort, in which Harry had no help from anyone (living) whatsoever. Despite his growing up with his cousin (really despite- Dudley was never a friend, let alone a substitute for a brother, to Harry), Harry is an only child, and being an only child myself, I speak from experience when I say that he won’t suffer much from solitude while on this journey. I’m not saying, of course, that Harry won’t have help; in the end, though, it will be between Harry and Voldemort.
3. Harry has suffered many losses, the first and possibly the most impactful being the loss of his parents. Then, in OotP, he lost the only father figure he had ever known when Sirius died in battle with Bellatrix Lestrange. (Though, obviously, Sirius was not the only surrogate parent for Harry; Mrs. Weasley has always cared for Harry as her son. If there’s any family an orphan could wish for, I think the Weasleys are it.) Then in Book 6 came the death of Dumbledore. At this point, I believe that Harry has grown tired of inadvertently putting those he loves in harm’s way; since they are close to Harry, they’re certainly targets of Voldemort, who knows that Harry would go to great lengths to save them. (We saw this in OotP when Harry goes off to save Sirius, playing into the hand of Voldemort himself.) This power the Dark Lord knows not, Harry’s capacity to love, led to his heart-touching speech to Ginny at the end of HBP, in which he states that he must go on alone; he can’t bear to see another person he loves die because of him.
Now, on to the love part- Harry will end up alone because he needs to fight. He gives Ginny up because he doesn’t want to have her or anyone else taken from him. He will have the help of his friends and the Order, but in the end, it is he who will face Voldemort. I was thrilled when Harry kissed Ginny; I even hoped that I was wrong, that he was going to be with her till the end. But this is not a love story; the romance inHarry Potter, I think, should be thought of as similar to the role romance plays in our lives- a necessary part of life which essentially makes us human. Maybe after Book 7, when the story ends for us, Harry will marry (hopefully Ginny!) and live a long and happy life. But, since we will only witness a limited part of the life of Harry Potter, I say Harry will walk alone toward the sunset.