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Last Updated: Monday July 18 2005 15:44 GMT

What to expect in book seven?

Harry Potter projected on Edinburgh castle
So you've finished the Half-Blood Prince already, and even though it's around two year's away, thoughts are already turning to the seventh and final book in the series.

Obviously, some huge questions need answering, so what will JK Rowling need to include in book seven.

***SPOILER WARNING: DON'T READ THIS PAGE UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED READING HALF-BLOOD PRINCE***

R.A.B.

Perhaps the most obvious unanswered question from the Half-Blood Prince.

Who is R.A.B.?, the mysterious figure that beat Harry and Dumbledore to the Horcrux in the cave.

Some fans are already convinced they know who the initials belong to - Sirius Black's brother Regulus, but is the former Death Eater, thought to be dead, the mystery person?

Dumbledore

It seems that Dumbledore has indeed been killed by Snape, after being buried and perhaps more importantly, getting a portrait on the wall in the headteacher's study in Hogwarts.

But is that the last we'll hear of maybe the only wizard that Lord Voldemort fears?

As perhaps the greatest wizard of them all Dumbledore may have powers that allow him to return in some way or another.

Maybe there is some kind of good Horcrux that we don't know about yet.

Snape

It doesn't seem like Harry will be calling Snape Professor or Sir anytime soon, but how will the Half-Blood Prince make his mark (dark or otherwise) in book seven.

He would seem to be positioned as the Dark Lord's most loyal servant, and after killing Dumbledore, looks like returning as a Death Eater.

But is that all part of a mysterious plan?

Dumbledore seemed prepared to sacrifice himself when getting hold of the Horcux in the cave, so maybe he gave his life to convince Voldemort that Snape was still evil.

Horcruxes

Lord Voldemort has split his soul into seven pieces, and spread it around a series of Horcruxes and himself of course.

One of these, the diary in Chamber of Secrets has already been destroyed as has Marvolo's ring that Dumbledore took from the Gaunt House.

It seems that Nagini the snake is one of them, as is the locket that was owned by Voldemort's mother and perhaps the cup belonging to Helga Hufflepuff.

Which leaves one Horcrux we don't know about, and all of them must be destroyed in book seven to give Harry a chance of stopping Voldemort for good.

Ron and Hermione

Finally Ron and Hermione seem to be getting together, after six years of neither of them realising how keen they were on each other.

And they look like joining the fight with Harry, as they seem certain to stick with him while he searches for Voldemort and the Horcruxes.

That's after the wedding of Bill and Fleur of course, when surely they'll be a proper couple at last - if they aren't already.

And don't forget about Harry and Ginny of course! Will the pair get back together if Harry survives his showdown with Voldemort?

Hogwarts

Will the ancient school feature in the final book at all, and will it even be open to students?

Without Dumbledore there to protect the students many parents may not want their children at the school, fearing for their safety.

But some may see it as the safest place, as long as all those magical protections put in place by Dumbledore are still there.

And in the Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore spoke of how much Lord Voldemort liked to be at the school when he was younger, so what are the chances of him trying to return?

Draco Malfoy

What's going on with the younger Malfoy?

He seems to have graduated from comedy bully to fully-fledged Death Eater since his father Lucius was locked up in Azkaban.

But his failure to kill Dumbledore may act against him, depending on what Lord Voldemort gets to hear about what happened.

He's already proven that he didn't have what it took to kill when it mattered, but does that mean he couldn't kill Dumbledore, or is there still some good in him that may be crucial.

The showdown

It's obvious that only Harry or Lord Voldemort can survive the final book, at some point in it they will have to battle.

And it's also likely the Death Eaters and the Order will get to draw wands too, and knowing JK Rowling's form up to this point, it seems unlikely they'll all survive...



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