The Deathly Hallows — The Ending

(Prior to the arrival this week of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the Boston Globe asked me and three other writers to offer our thoughts on how the book might end. This was my response — the last page of the last novel.)
Hermione motioned toward the portkey, a cupcake the size of a quaffle, and murmured quietly, “It’s time to go.”
Harry thought about this, and wondered why almost everything he and Ron and Hermione had ever said was modified by an adverb. Was this a spell left upon Hogwarts by an ancient Slytherin professor?
He noticed now that the crowd around the tombstones was finally starting to thin, though it was clear the large brood of Weasleys was going to remain there well after the rest of the mourners had left. Harry wasn’t surprised that so many more people had come to say good-bye to Ron than to Snape, but he still wished there had been more people there for the potions master in the end. After all, they would never have trapped Voldemort were it not for him.
“You know,” Hermione continued softly, a little ruefully, “everyone was sure it was going to be you. Everyone was sure it was you who was going to die.”
He shook his head. Certainly he’d heard the rumors. “No, not me,” said Harry determinedly. “I think I knew all along it would be Ron.”
“But Harry, how?”
“My name’s on the title of everything,” Harry shrugged. “And you’re a girl.”
“Harry, that’s sexist!” said Hermione indignantly.
“No, that’s literature. My story may be over, but what of my children – what Professor Dumbledore saw in the Progeny-Scope? Ron and I could have done may remarkable things together. . .but conceive a child? I think not.”
Harry felt the professor’s hand on his shoulder through his robes, and turned. The aging headmaster had been comforting Ron’s parents, but in his free hand he still held the clear sack with the glittering, brain-shaped Cere-Brawl. The Cere-Brawl would forever imprison Voldemort’s violent, fighting urges. Harry understood that the Dark Lord would be no less evil, because – as Dumbledore had taught him – you can’t root out evil; now, however, that evil would be at once banal and benign. It would be evil without power, because there was no spell that could unlock a Cere-Brawl once it was sealed.
“Professor Dumbledore?”
“Yes, Harry?”
“Will you ever tell us who the wizard was who was working with you and Professor Snape – the one who was there when Snape pretended to throw the killing curse?”
“I could.”
“But you won’t.”
“That’s right,” said Dumbledore sagely. “Voldemort may be harmless, but there will always be Death Eaters just waiting to take his place. That, too, is the nature of evil. But I will give you a clue.”
“His name is in the Detritus-Arium, isn’t it?” volunteered Hermione brightly.
The professor shook his head. “No. But Harry, he has been with you as you’ve grown up. . .and he will be with you as you grow old.” Then, almost imperceptibly, he motioned with his chin and long beard toward Dudley Dursley. When Harry looked over at him, it appeared as if his obese cousin were actually trying to eat the cupcake portkey.
“Him?” asked Harry incredulously.
Dumbledore shrugged and turned away, and Harry felt Hermione taking his hand. “Come along, Harry,” she said, and somehow she found it within her to smile. “We have a new series to start.”

Chris Bohjalian
Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of eighteen books, including his forthcoming novel, The Guest Room. His other novels include the New York Times bestsellers Midwives, The Sandcastle Girls, and The Double Bind.

One thought on “The Deathly Hallows — The Ending

  1. It's Over (At Last) says:

    Here’s my ending (please take it as being offered without rancor): “It’s over. My god, it’s finally over! This series is now done! Thankyou, God! Thankyou! Praise be, there Is a god, after all!!! And now, please god, let all those movies be over soon, too! Thankyou, God! Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou!!!

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