"Hello. My Name Is Harry Potter. You Killed My Father. Prepare To Die."
A few days back, the web reporter for the local newspaper asked readers to submit their ideas on what they think will happen in the seventh and last Harry Potter book when it comes out next month.
Our family got involved in Pottermania back when the third book came out, and we've all been hooked ever since -- buying multiple copies at midnight for the last three books, for example. Needless to say, we're all very excited about the conclusion of the series, and we have many different opinions on how the book will turn out.
In the past, I've been (somewhat jokingly) part of the "Dumbledore Lives!" crowd (using the assumption that Dumbledore = Aslan = Gandalf, and both Aslan and Gandalf came back to life). The truth is, I've accepted the fact that Dumbledore is dead (based on J. K. Rowling's explicit statement), but one thing I'm very sure of is that Dumbledore's plan is still playing out, and that Snape is actually still opposed to Voldemort. The theory I like best (I'm assuming here that those still reading have read the 6th book) is that Dumbledore's burned hand was actually due to a curse put on the horcrux he recovered prior to the book starting, and this curse actually "killed" him; somehow he was able to get back to Snape, who was able to "put a stopper in death" (like he said he could when he first met the students in the 1st book) -- but only for a short time. Since Dumbledore knew he was going to die, he and Snape came up with a new plan that would get Snape completely inside the Voldemort organization, and make Harry completely hate Snape -- this is important because Voldemort can read Harry's mind easily, and would suspect Snape if Harry didn't hate him.
I don't know how the "final battle" will turn out (I'm assuming it will end with Voldemort's death and Harry's survival -- these are children's books after all), but there's one thing I know -- if Neville isn't the one to give Bellatrix LeStrange her just desserts, then the whole series has no point.
J. K. Rowling has said that the last word in the last book will be "scar". One of the favorite activities my family enjoys is coming up with the worst possible last line for the series. An example: "As Hermione looked lovingly at Draco, she continued shoveling dirt into Harry's grave, with the last thing she covered being his scar." In the comments, feel free to contribute your own theories or favorite possible "last line".