I was scrolling through some old documents in one of my Word folders the other day, and came across one entitled this: "My Harry Potter Ending." I got a sudden gleam in my eye and opened it up right away.
It had been a while since I thought of this little piece, which I wrote a few years ago after first reading Order of the Phoenix. This is the only piece of fan-fiction I have ever written about Harry, unless you count the two not-very-good poems I wrote a year or so ago, trying to get into Snape's mind during the scene on the tower. I shared those with some friends, but I'm not sure anyone (but my husband, bless him) has ever read this piece.
This particular piece was my attempt to write the final book 7 confrontation between Harry and Voldemort, years before it would actually take place. I was driven to the creative exercise out of sheer worry over our good friend Harry (yes, it's funny to admit that I can worry about fictional characters, but there you go) in light of the prophecy we'd all just learned about. What was specifically on my mind, as I can tell as I re-read the piece, is the concern that Harry, in fulfilling his calling, would have to kill. What would it look like for Harry to defeat Voldemort with love, or the power of love? In what way could Harry win the victory and still be Harry, the boy we know and love, and not give into the temptation to use tactics similar to Voldemort's?
I'm not sure how well I succeeded in answering/portraying an answer to that question, but I certainly had fun trying, and the exercise was quite cathartic. It also gave me a deeper appreciation for Rowling's writing prowess, both in providing a glimpse of the enormous task she'd set herself for the finale, and in helping me realize how absurdly easy it felt to step into her created world and write out of it with ease -- we really know her settings, her characters, the trappings of this fictional world she's created.
With all that said, I also got some good chuckles over the places in the story where I was obviously wide of the mark -- not at all on the same "wavelength" as Rowling. Since this story of mine was written before the events of Half-Blood Prince, some of the things I posit could not possibly happen in the finale because the events of HBP make them impossible. As the biggest "for instance" -- in my finale, Dumbledore is still alive, or at least was alive up until the final battle. I have him missing in action (and possibly presumed dead) as the action heats up in the final battle at Hogwarts. Yes, I placed the final battle at Hogwarts, with the penultimate meeting between Harry and Voldemort on the astronomy tower (now that's kind of interesting, isn't it?) and the ultimate match-up, of all places, in the Gryffindor Common Room.
I allude to Snape, and it's clear from my allusion that he's on the right side, and that Harry now recognizes he's on the right side. Hmmm. Interesting...
Ginny and Fawkes both have major roles in my ending. The Ginny sub-plot, which I actually think I handled pretty well, is now totally moot given the fact that Harry and Ginny have already declared their feelings to each other in Half-Blood Prince. In my version, that doesn't happen until right before Harry's final battle with Voldemort.
Well, so much for my smarts as an HP prognosticator. Still, I'm glad to have found this story as we approach the end of our wait for the actual, final book. It gives me hope that, although I obviously had the details wrong, the general contours for a victory of love over the powers of death and darkness has been set-up for us for a long time (witness my longing to think that through even a few years ago) and will likely come in a deeply satisfying and cathartic way as Rowling at last completes her creative vision for this story. 19 days to go!