Harry Potter and the Unqualified Professor

By now, most have heard about the unauthorized postings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Count me among those who think that this copyright infringement won’t damage sales of the book. It’s only more free advertising. I hope that people don’t use the unauthorized posting problem to argue for more draconian copyright laws. The problem here isn’t the law. The unauthorized postings are clearly infringement, and the penalties/damages are plenty stiff. The problem is old-fashioned possession. As in Harper and Row, none of this would have happened if those with access to the manuscript had “followed the rules.” I’m curious if the publishers of the book will hunt for the person who leaked the manuscript. They’ve already sent the takedown notice to the poster’s ISP. Next, they could file an action against the poster, serve a discovery request for the source of the manuscript, and then go after the person who provided it.

Anyway, in the sprit of Harry Potter fun, here are my 10 “plot spoilers.” Mind you now, I am unqualified to render these opinions. I haven’t read a single one of these books. I’ve only seen a couple of the movies (including the most recent one, which is pretty good). Everything else I know about the stories is from conversation with Potter fans. So, in no particular order, here they are:

1. Harry will live. I’d originally thought he’d die, but I’m persuaded by the argument that these are, in the end, children’s books.

2. Harry will lose a dear personal friend, as opposed to a mentor (e.g. Sirius, Dumbledore). The theme has been father figures…so look out, Mr. Weasley. He was almost killed in Order of the Phoenix, so I’m guessing this time Voldemort gets him.

3. Snape ends up on the side of good.

4. Neville does something amazing and heroic.

5. Harry’s final confrontation with Voldemort will be precipitated by Voldemort’s actions against Harry’s friends.

6. Harry will “fail,” only to be redeemed by Ron and Hermione. Of course, Ron and Hermione will also encounter grave danger, and Harry will sacrifice something of great personal value to save them. If Harry dies, it will be to save them.

7. I don’t have a good feeling about Hagrid’s survival.

8. House elves will play a role in fighting Voldemort. All those issues raised by their slavery are in the book for a reason.

9. Dumbledore was a horcrux. Or perhaps he suspected he was one. That’s why he asked Snape to kill him. What a clever place for a piece of Voldemort’s soul – mixed in with the most virtuous of wizards.

10. Voldemort lives. No way evil can be killed. It can only be fought.