The Underground Lake #32: Hogwarts: Year Seven – Why Go Back?

by Brandon

Ahoy, all! Happy Chrismahanakwaanzakuh and New Year to you all. I trust everyone spent their respective breaks doing what they do best: poring over the vast tomes of Mrs. J.K. Rowling. I, for one, have been deeply immersed in my own artistic endeavors of late, waiting for some new angle in which to attack the HP universe to strike me. And as usual, when doing something completely unrelated (in this case, watching “Malcolm in the Middle”), I hit upon a notion that immediately rose to the top of my list of topics to talk about.

As JKR has been so wonderful to remind us, Book 7 is approaching. It is the new mission of the UGL, of course, to pore over the previous installments to see if perhaps we can get one step ahead of JKR and figure out what precisely is going to happen in this last (*sigh*) installment. I hit upon one of the founding principles of the HP universe: SEVEN BOOKS, SEVEN YEARS AT HOGWARTS! This has been one of the guiding principles of the books since we first discovered them. However, due to statements said by a certain Mr. Harry Potter, many believe that we may not be returning to Hogwarts for the seventh and final year. I disagree. Therefore, I submit for your entertainment and consideration: HOGWARTS – YEAR Seven!

WHY GO BACK?

Harry made his plans for his seventh year perfectly clear:

  • – Go back to the Dursleys’ home until his birthday
  • – Go to Godric’s Hollow
  • – Hunt down the remaining Horcruxes
  • – Kill Bill… I mean Voldemort

However, there are wheels in motion and forces at work that will compel Harry, Ron and Hermione to return to Hogwarts. Make no mistake: I believe Harry will obviously do the four things on his list; however, he will need a base of operations. Enter Hogwarts. I believe Ron is finally going to be right about something. For the most part, Hogwarts is still, essentially, the safest place to be. But what forces will compel Harry and his crew to return to Hogwarts? That’s easy: DUMBLEDORE.

Let me say it once again: DUMBLEDORE IS QUITE AND IRREVERSIBLY DEAD! However, Dumbledore has always had this annoying habit of knowing exactly what Harry is going to do before he does it. Recall “The Lightning-Struck Tower.” Dumbledore has Harry pinned against the wall under the invisibility cloak. Now we know, of the two, Harry is a MUCH better duelist than Malfoy, and he had the element of surprise. This line of thinking compounds and supports even more so the argument that Dumbledore wanted to die. Dumbledore could have easily and silently removed the Petrificus Totalus and Wingardium Leviosa he used to pin Harry to the wall. Subsequently, Harry could have hexed the heck out of Draco, and he and Dumbledore could then have planned their next move. This does not happen. Instead, Dumbledore leaves Harry pinned. Why? TO HEAR THE WHOLE STORY! The entire book, Harry has been screaming, “IT’S MALFOY! IT’S MALFOY!! THE BAD GUY IS MALFOY!” but no one listens. Dumbledore is giving Harry the satisfaction of knowing he was right, but also teaching Harry the art of subtlety. Had Dumbledore instantly acted on Harry’s warning, the Malfoys (all three of them) would be dead, and TFPWWNBN would have lost his best, if not only, link to discovering Voldemort’s secret plot. To call upon one of my earlier metaphors, Dumbledore is showing Harry ‘how to play chess with time.’ Sometimes, it pays to watch and wait (not to mention, JKR had to explain to us how all this stuff went down).

It is my contention that prior to his death, Dumbledore wrote or created a message to be received by Harry in the event that he (Dumbledore) died. I think this message will arrive at the Dursleys’ or, more likely, at Godric’s Hollow. Harry has an annoying habit of not finding messages until it’s too late (see the two-way mirror in OOTP – *tear* for Sirius). I think knowing Harry as he does, Dumbledore at some point suspected that should he die, Harry would start planning his next move. I think he has left clues in places for Harry to find – the first and most important of which will be located at Godric’s Hollow. When Harry arrives, he will find a message from Dumbledore. I will not speculate on the contents of the message, but I think it might have something to do with the night the Potters were killed.

ORDER OF OPERATIONS

I’m now putting myself in Harry’s shoes. How do we get from the Dursleys’ home back to Hogwarts? Here’s how:

On his birthday, Harry comes of age, and Ron and Hermione (perhaps accompanied by the Advance Guard) will escort him to the Burrow for the wedding. Harry sees Ginny, and after a tearful and passionate reunion, the trio becomes a foursome. Afterwards, it’s off to Godric’s Hollow. I am SO excited about the Hollow, it’s not even funny. Many of my readers recall that I have been predicting a return to the Hollow for ages. In fact, before Book Six, I predicted that “Spinner’s End” and/or “Draco’s Detour” would somehow get us to the Hollow. Finally, we are truly going to see where it “all went down.” I have neither the time nor inclination to go too deeply into the Hollow, as that is the subject of a future editorial. Needless to say, Harry and company will arrive and do some snooping. Harry will find something. Part of me thinks he might run into some Death Eater action, but in any case, when he gets there, he will find something he didn’t expect.

At this point, we are in mid-August. Harry needs a place to rest and recoup. Enter 12 Grimmauld Place. It belongs to Harry. He owns it. Harry will look at the Black family tree (or Hermione, most likely, though for once I’d like Harry to figure something out before Hermione does), see Regulus Augustus Black, put 2 + 2 together and turn the house upside down for the locket. However, I think he won’t find it. I think Mundungus has already stolen it. We are given that little tidbit in Book Six that Dung has been robbing Number 12. I think they are going to have to track Dung down and get it back. Not knowing how to destroy the Horcrux, there is only one place where they might be able to find out: HOGWARTS!

THE IMPORTANCE OF ANCIENT RUNES

Getting back to Hogwarts with the locket is crucial. That is the only place where they might figure out how to destroy it. Hermione, in her usual cleverness, will ask Harry what the previously destroyed ones were: the diary and ring. She will tell him that he already destroyed one Horcrux, and he will remind her that he needed a basilisk fang to do that. Then it might dawn on them: you don’t suppose that dead basilisk is still in the Chamber, do you? What exactly happens to the poison of a basilisk after four and a half years? It’s worth a shot…

Nevertheless, I feel that’s a dead end. However, I think Harry is going to be spending a little time in the headmistress’ office talking to a certain portrait. I think (and hope!) he will find an old friend of mine: THE PENSIEVE! Harry has seen Dumbledore use that darn Pensieve a million times, but he doesn’t know how to use it himself. He will then study “the runes and symbols [he does] not recognize” on the side and realize they are ancient runes (583, GOF). Too bad Harry doesn’t know anyone who got an “O” on their Ancient Runes exam… OH SNAP!!! I think Dumbledore might have left a nice memory in the Pensieve – something along the lines of how he destroyed the ring Horcrux. That, my friends, is how I think the wheels will be set in motion.

THE UNFORGIVABLE JOKE

As most HP readers will attest, certain events in the HP universe are so hard to handle (namely the deaths of Sirius and Dumbledore) that many psychological effects take place. For many, denial is the way to go. These are the nutters who think that Sirius and Dumbledore are still alive. The saddest scenario I have heard is that TFPWWNBN did not, in fact, use Avada Kedavra to kill Dumbledore. He said Avada Kedavra, but he was really using a nonverbal spell that was also green; that Dumbledore is faking his death. Ha! In either case, I have my own coping mechanism to deal with these events: I focus on the humorous side things (see Harry and His Women for a more detailed account). As I have said previously, I knew that Dumbledore was going to die so I was preparing myself for it the whole time. To aid in this coping, I focused on other bits. When I reached “Flight of the Prince” and TFPWWNBN’s escape, I fell out laughing. Why did I laugh? I could only think of one thing: after all of this death and destruction, after everything that has happened, on top of everything else… THEY STILL HAVE TO FIND A NEW DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS TEACHER!

Many have speculated that Harry will teach the class. I think that’s ludicrous. (Though McGonagall could do worse…) But no – once again, I think it’ll be someone we haven’t heard of. Unless it’s Krum, which I think would be funny. No, I have no idea who the new DA will be, nor do I really care (at this point, anyway). All I know is, they better know something about Horcruxes or they will be completely useless to me Harry.

That is all for now. Remember… THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION!

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