Okay, next week brings the very last Harry Potter novel; time for some predictions.
I won’t speculate about who lives and who dies (even though the words
StoNe chAmber Prisoner goblEt
orDer prIncE hallowS
have been appearing in fiery letters on my wall with alarming regularity).
But I will predict that a) Snape has not betrayed Dumbledore, but instead killed him on Dumbledore’s own instructions, and b) Snape’s mixed attitude toward Harry is explained by Snape’s having been in love with Harry’s mother – hence Snape resents Harry for the father’s sake but protects Harry for the mother’s sake.
Yeah, I know; I claim no pathbreaking originality for either of these theories; they’re widely popular in Potterdom (though I did think of them independently). But if I had to bet for or agin ’em, I’d bet for.
Another theory that’s out there (though it also occurred to me independently) is that Snape might turn out to be Harry’s real father. I don’t reject it out of hand (“Search your feelings, Harry, you know it to be true ….”), but I’m inclined to bet against it at present.