Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, condensed

by Molly Ringle, with all the usual apologies, disclaimers, and gratitude in J.K. Rowling's direction.

August 15, 2007

READERS settle into their seats and gather up their Character Death Bingo cards.
READER A: I heard Rowling's going to kill off two major characters. I bet it's--
READER B: Shh! Don't say! 
READER C: Well, I bet Snape's not actually evil.
READER D: I bet Dumbledore is actually evil.
READER E: I bet Sirius comes back.
READER F: I bet Hermione marries Draco.
READER G: Shh! It's starting!
The clock strikes midnight. The audience hushes. UPS delivers a buttload of books. The final installment begins... 

CHAPTER ONE: MALFOY MANOR

SNAPE and YAXLEY stroll up to the front door. A sign is taped there: "Genocide meeting in the main dining room. Come on in! Free biscuits!!!"
VOLDEMORT: What's up, boys? 
YAXLEY: We're turning the Ministry evil.
SNAPE: And I know where Harry Potter's hiding. Ha ha. I win.
VOLDEMORT: Neat. Did you hear the latest joke? Malfoy's niece married a werewolf.
DEATH EATERS crack up. MALFOYS die of embarrassment.
VOLDEMORT: Anyhoo, time for Pin the Death Curse on the Mudblood-Lovin' Teacher!
VOLDEMORT kills their Hogwarts schoolmarm captive.
VOLDEMORT: Give me detention for text-messaging in class, will you. 
DEATH EATERS: What?
VOLDEMORT: Nothing. Everyone done with their biscuits? Good, because watching a snake swallow someone whole is really unappetizing.

CHAPTER TWO: DURSLEYS' HOUSE

HARRY does some room-cleanin', some bleedin', and some reminiscin'. He picks up the newspaper and gets a nasty shock.
RITA SKEETER: (in the interview) I've just completed a 900-page book on Dumbledore!
READERS: 900 pages? Jeez. She must have the same editors as Rowling.
RITA: I uncovered his family's involvement with the Genocide Glee Club. And his unnatural, unhealthy relationship with Harry Potter, of course.
HARRY splutters. 
CHAN-SLASHERS: (looking around nervously) Uh-oh. Rowling's on to us.
RITA: Also, I think I'll accuse Harry of killing Dumbledore, just for fun.
HARRY: Oh, next time I see you, I am so pulling out the caps lock of rage.

CHAPTER THREE: DURSLEYS' HOUSE

UNCLE VERNON: So we have to leave with some wizard weirdos for our own good?
HARRY: Or get tortured by Voldemort. Yeah.
UNCLE VERNON: Bye then. (leaves)
DUDLEY: (hesitating at door) Kthnxbye.
HARRY: Hang on--did you say "Thanks"?
DUDLEY: Almost.
HARRY: Wow. Just...wow. 

CHAPTER FOUR: DURSLEYS' HOUSE STILL

RON, HERMIONE, FRED, GEORGE, LUPIN, and really nearly EVERYONE IN THE BOOKS shows up.
MOODY: Okay, Harry, here's the plan for getting you out of here without getting hit by the baddies. Half of us turn into you!
They pass around Polyjuice Potion and we get six new Harrys, who go about changing into Harry-ish clothes in front of everyone.
HARRY: Hey! Less with the nudity when you're me, people!
READERS: Even those of us who don't read fanfic are coming up with kinky ideas here.
For instance, these things don't happen, but could:
HERMIONE-AS-HARRY: (squeezing own butt) Hmm, nice. Quite firm. Always did wonder.
RON-AS-HARRY: (peeking down own shorts, smiling in relief) Right, as I suspected. Nothing worth envying.
FRED-AS-HARRY and GEORGE-AS-HARRY tangle up in a big kiss, then separate and jot down notes, and take magical wax impressions of their Harry-ish mouths.
FRED-AS-HARRY: Not what you think, Harry, it's just--
GEORGE-AS-HARRY: We figure we can sell an awful lot of--
FRED-AS-HARRY: Charms that capture the experience of snogging Harry Potter so that--
GEORGE-AS-HARRY: Others can try it for themselves without having to molest you. 
FRED-AS-HARRY: Nice, right? We'll let you in on the profits. 
But anyway, none of that happens. Instead they all fly off in different directions to confuse the Death Eaters, which totally doesn't work. Everyone gets attacked, and HEDWIG gets killed. READERS jolt up in their chairs and fumble around for their Character Death Bingo cards.
READERS: Yikes! Death count starting already? Poor Hedwig. Hmm...does she count as a major character?

CHAPTER FIVE: THE BURROW

HAGRID and HARRY crash into the lawn.
HAGRID: Sorry about Hedwig, Harry. Well, life goes on!
READERS: An animal dies and Hagrid isn't bawling? What gives?
FRED: Guys! Mad-Eye Moody's dead!
READERS: (picking up Death Bingo card again) Jeebus. So does Mad-Eye count as a major character? Wait--we haven't seen a body. I'm not checking this one off yet. (They throw down Bingo card.)
LUPIN: Blast it, Harry, you limp-wanded puff, why didn't you kill anyone?
HARRY: Uh...sorry..? By the way, my wand moved and shot something all by itself.
HERMIONE: You're an adolescent. That's normal.
GEORGE: Urf. Missing an ear here.
READERS: (hesitantly picking Bingo card back up) Does George's ear count as a major character?

CHAPTER SIX: RON'S NEST O' LOVE, THE BURROW

HARRY: You two really should not come on the Horcrux expedition with me.
RON: Too late. I already put a ghoul in my pajamas.
HARRY: Well...what you do in your private time is your own business, but...
HERMIONE: And I already brainwashed my parents into becoming the next Crocodile Hunters, so it's not like I have a life anymore. 
HERMIONE bursts into tears. RON embraces her, magically cleans a handkerchief for her, somehow not turning it into a sharp-toothed small mammal, and glares at HARRY.
HARRY: Okay. Um. Guess you're coming.
MRS. WEASLEY: (busting in) You children and your secret meetings! You'll be the death of me! Have you no concern for the heart of a poor suffering mother? Please go stack canapes for Bill's wedding; there's a dear.

CHAPTER SEVEN: STILL AT THE BURROW

RON: Happy seventeenth, Harry. Time you learned some anatomy, nudge nudge, wink wink.
He gives HARRY a book about charming the pants off young witches.
HARRY: Thanks. Whooo, those are some nice illustrations!
RON: (and I quote) You'll be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either.
READERS: Well, that's good. Seventeen-year-old boys really do think with their wands too much.
GINNY: Psst. Come into my room a sec, Harry.
HARRY: Okay.
GINNY: Here's your gift. My tongue, for the next half hour.
HARRY: Sweet! Remind me to break up with you more often!
ROWLING tells us they kiss in a way they've never kissed before, which makes you wonder what exactly they were doing in all those precious stolen moments on the Hogwarts grounds that Harry keeps reminiscing about. Playing Scrabble, evidently. Unfortunately HARRY now only gets to enjoy this gift for about ten seconds, for then RON flings open the door.
RON: Till I'm getting some, no one gets any!
HARRY: Hermione? Work on that, will you?
HERMIONE: (cringing) Right. Sorry.
At dinner, SCRIMGEOUR shows up.
SCRIMGEOUR: Dumbledore left Ron a magic anti-flashlight. The question I ask you is: why??
RON: Dunno.
SCRIMGEOUR: Very well. He left Hermione a book of fairy tales. The question I ask you is: why??
HERMIONE: Dunno.
SCRIMGEOUR: A likely story. He left Harry a Snitch, and a sword that I'm not giving you. The question I--
HARRY: I. Don't. Bloody. Know.
SCRIMGEOUR: Wankers. I'm leaving.
SNITCH: Psst. I open at the close!
HARRY, HERMIONE, and RON: Well, how very bleeding useful.

CHAPTER EIGHT: BURROW GARDEN

HARRY: Hi. I'm Cousin Barny. Welcome to the wedding.
AUNTIE MURIEL: I'm a hundred and eighty! Get me a chair!
VIKTOR KRUM: I am here for the good-looking vitches. Vere are they? Ach! Vy is Luna's dad vearing a Grindevald Svastika?
AUNTIE MURIEL: Elphias, old boy! Good riddance to that creep Dumbledore, eh? (swigs champagne)
ELPHIAS DOGE: Creep? How dare--
AUNTIE MURIEL: Kept his sister locked up, didn't care when his mum died, gave his brother swirlies all the time, came to parties dressed as a Nazi...
ELPHIAS DOGE: He did not!
AUNTIE MURIEL: Oh, I guess that last was some royal. Still. Bathilda Bagshot sure told me some juicy Dumbledorian gossip about those Godric's Hollow days.
READERS: Bagshot...hmm, is that a Lord of the Rings shout-out?
HARRY: There's a connection between Dumbledore and Godric's Hollow and Bagshot? And therefore between Dumbledore, Voldemort, my parents, and Lord of the Rings? And therefore between Tolkien and me? No wonder Daniel Radcliffe sometimes signs autographs as Elijah Wood! It all makes sense now!
KINGSLEY'S PATRONUS: Hi folks. Scrimgeour's dead and the Ministry has fallen. Please fly into a panic.
EVERYONE complies.
READERS: (sighing and checking off SCRIMGEOUR on Bingo card) Okay, he really isn't a major character. I'm almost sure on this one.

CHAPTER NINE: LONDON

RON, HERMIONE, and HARRY pop themselves onto Tottenham Court Road and duck into a dark alley to change clothes. 
RON: Oof. Hermione, you packed my tightest jeans. I can barely get my wand out.
READERS: Trying not to comment...
Our heroes enter a café, get attacked by Death Eaters within 45 seconds, escape, and go to Grimmauld Place instead.
HARRY: My scar hurts again. And I'm sensing Voldemort getting upset and hurting people. Again.
HERMIONE: Oh my God Harry nooo! Stop letting it happen!
HARRY: Shut. Up.

CHAPTER TEN: GRIMMAULD PLACE

HARRY pokes around in SIRIUS's old room.
HARRY: Look, half a letter from my mum!
LETTER: Dear Sirius: Thanks for the broomstick! As you know it's always a great idea to put a one-year-old on a flying object. Man, can you believe what Bathilda tells us about Dumbledore? I'm especially intrigued at that part about-- (paper ends there)
HARRY: Hm. I should investigate that.
HERMIONE: Oh, Harry. You're just sentimental. A letter that talks about Dumbledore's mysterious doings could simply have no relevance at all to the mysterious doings Dumbledore sentyou to do. 
HARRY: Hey, I just had a brain wave! Regulus Arcturus Black is the R.A.B. in the fake Horcrux locket!
HERMIONE: The fans figured that out about a day after the last book was published. Didn't you know?
HARRY: Kreacher, what's the story with all this?
KREACHER: Master Regulus died and Kreacher was supposed to destroy the real locket! But Mundungus Fletcher stole it. Kreacher failed!
KREACHER tries to maim himself with numerous household objects. 
HARRY: Kreacher, I command you to stop smacking your head with the colander. Now go find us the real locket. 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: GRIMMAULD PLACE

LUPIN: Hello, children. Bad news: there's a price on Harry's head for involvement in Dumbledore's death, and the Ministry is requiring all Muggle-borns to show up for voluntary torture. So, mind if I come with you on the mysterious journey? 
HERMIONE: Shouldn't you stay with your wife?
LUPIN: No. She's pregnant.
HARRY: Then...shouldn't you definitely stay with her?
LUPIN: No! I should never have married her, all right? It was a gigantic mistake!
READERS: Wow. The slashers are right. He really is gay.
LUPIN: My kid's going to be a werewolf and I will have ruined my dear family's lives!
READERS: Oh. Never mind.
HARRY: Grow a spine, you git. Go home this instant and be a proper man.
LUPIN storms out.
KREACHER: Kreacher is back with the thief Mundungus!
MUNDUNGUS: Don't 'urt me. I gave the locket to some Ministry slag 'oo looks like a toad.
HARRY: Thank goodness. I was so worried I'd die without seeing Dolores Umbridge again.

CHAPTER TWELVE: GRIMMAULD PLACE, A MONTH LATER

HARRY: Good God I'm bored. Let's break into the Ministry of Magic.
KREACHER: But Kreacher is not done licking Master Harry's shoes clean!
HARRY: Whoa, I just had another Voldemort mind-meld.
HERMIONE: Oh my God Harry nooo! Stop letting it happen!
HARRY: Shut up. He's looking for the wandmaker Gregorovitch. He's having wand performance issues.
RON: There's some stuff we don't need to know, all right? 
They lurk outside the Ministry, knock someone out, and send two more to the hospital in order to take their places. Apparently HARRY will only do harm to random cube workers, not actual Death Eaters.
YAXLEY: Good morning, comrades! Don't you just love coming to work, and caressing the new wallpaper made of Mudblood skins?
HARRY: There, see? At least one or two of the people we hurt were bad guys.
READERS: So are you going to start shooting to kill?
HARRY: No.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: MINISTRY OF MAGIC

HARRY discovers MAD-EYE's magic eye being used as door decor on UMBRIDGE's office. 
SOME READERS: Ew. Well, that's reason enough to check off Moody on the Death list.
OTHER READERS: Still haven't seen a body. I'm not convinced yet.
UMBRIDGE: Let's see, how many Mudbloods are we sending to Azkaban today? 
HARRY: You ain't sending nobody! Run! Run free, little people! (*smacks Umbridge down* *takes Horcrux locket* *barely escapes*)

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: SOME FOREST

RON: Ouch. I left part of my arm on the front step in London.
HARRY: Look, I got Moody's eye!
RON and HERMIONE: Eeeek!
HARRY: Oh, and the Horcrux too.
RON: Can we destroy it?
HARRY: Can't see how. Let's take turns wearing it. 
HERMIONE: Okay. I'm sure nothing evil will happen with that plan.
HARRY: Whoa! Another Voldemort glimpse in my head just there.
HERMIONE: Oh my God Harry nooo! Stop let-
HARRY: Shut up. Hm, he's looking for some fancy German wand.
HARRY drifts off to sleep thinking dreamily about a blond-haired merry-faced youth who stole something once. SEVERAL READERS start plotting time-travel slash involving HARRY and said THIEF.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: VARIOUS CAMPSITES AROUND BRITAIN

RON: This sucks. We have no plan, no ideas; we're supposed to defeat a bunch of dark wizards, and we can't even scrape together enough magic to obtain food.
HERMIONE: Are you bringing any skills to our quest other than complaining?
HARRY: Shush! Someone's outside!
GRIPHOOK: Tell you guys something funny. The real sword of Gryffindor isn't in the vault where Snape thinks it is.
DEAN THOMAS and TED TONKS: Neat. That makes me feel so much better about being on the run for my life.
HERMIONE: (pulling a picture frame out of her bag) Yo, Phineas Nigellus! Did you ever see Dumbledore doing anything odd with the sword of Gryffindor?
PHINEAS NIGELLUS: Other than his occasional nude tai chi? No. Oh, but I guess he stabbed a ring with it once. 
HERMIONE: Kaythanks, that'll do, bye! (shoves picture frame away)
HARRY: Woohoo! We finally have one single possible fragment of a clue!
RON: Pfft. Hardly. You suck, so does Dumbledore, and so does this whole trip.
HARRY: Fine. Go home, then.
RON: Fine, I will. You coming, woman?
HERMIONE: Um...no, but...
RON: You suck too.
RON storms out. HERMIONE starts crying and doesn't stop for a week.
HARRY: Dear Dumbledore: Wherever you are, I just want to say I kind of hate you. Sincerely, Harry.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE TENT OF GLOOM

HERMIONE: This one fairy tale has the Grindewald Swastika on top of it. Weird. Oh well.
HARRY: Want to spend Christmas in Godric's Hollow with a bunch of gravestones?
HERMIONE: Gosh, more than anything.
In the Godric's Hollow graveyard they find the Dumbledores, another Grindewald Swastika, a number of other famous names, and Harry's parents; and the latter makes HARRY get all teary, which is actually a sweet but depressing moment that I can't think of a good way to parody. So let's move on! 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: GODRIC'S HOLLOW

HARRY: Look, a strange old woman beckoning to us! Let's follow!
READERS: Trap.
HERMIONE: Um, I'm not sure we should...
HARRY: You're Bathilda Bagshot, ma'am, right? There, see? She nodded! It's okay.
READERS: Trap!
BATHILDA lures HARRY upstairs and promptly turns into NAGINI THE GIANT EVIL SNAKE. Furthermore, VOLDEMORT shows up.
HARRY: Oh. Trap.
VOLDEMORT: You know what it's time for? A long italicized interruption in the form of a redundant flashback! Muhahaha!
HARRY: Noooooo!!
HERMIONE: Harry, wake up!
HARRY: Wuh? Where am I?
HERMIONE: In the tent. We barely escaped. And I, er...kinda killed your wand.
HARRY: My life just gets better and better.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: LATEST CAMPSITE OF TEEN ANGST

HERMIONE: Here, let's read Rita Skeeter's book.
BOOK: (goes on for six pages about how Dumbledore was a raging twat; uses the word "shocking" more often than strictly necessary)
HARRY: God, I hate Dumbledore even more now. Oh well. Let's get some sleep and continue risking our lives for his quest.

CHAPTER NINETEEN: SNOWY FOREST

HARRY spots a silver doe Patronus in the woods at night and, naturally, jumps up to follow it without telling HERMIONE.
READERS: Heaven's sake, Harry. Trap, already.
HARRY: Dude. The sword of Gryffindor is frozen under a pond.
READERS: Oh. Well...trap, still...?
HARRY: I shall strip and get it! 
LOCKET HORCRUX: I shall strangle you underwater!
RON: (pulling HARRY out) Now is not the time to play "Frodo and Sam in the River Anduin," mate.
HARRY: Ron! You're back! Whose Patronus was that?
RON: Dunno. I wouldn't worry about it.
HARRY: Here--you smash the locket. It'll give you something manly to tell Hermione.
LOCKET: Hey Ron, your mummy doesn't love you and your girl lusts after your roommate! Hahah! (plays a little movie in which HARRY and HERMIONE make out)
READERS: Hmm, is that on YouTube yet?
RON: (sob) Stop it stop it stop it! (kills Horcrux)
HARRY: Hey, um, it isn't true. She's like a sister to me. Our love is only a sibling-like love. Always has been. Never will be otherwise. I want to make this perfectly clear. We are now on record about the sibling-only nature of our love. Everyone got that? 
HARRY/HERMIONE SHIPPERS: (sulking) Meanie.
HARRY and RON return to the tent.
RON: Hermione, guess what? I've found my special purpose! It's to flake out and come crawling back. Dumbledore knew all along.
HERMIONE: Neato. How would a black eye and a few broken ribs look with your new special purpose?
HERMIONE starts whaling on RON until HARRY throws a magical Plexiglass wall between them.
HARRY: Remind me again why I should take your advice on women, Ron.

CHAPTER TWENTY: RANDOM CAMPSITE OF THE DAY

HERMIONE: Let's go see Luna's dad. He knows something about that Grindewald mark thingy, and he adores Harry.
They Apparate to the right general area. Nobody is surprised to learn that the LOVEGOODS live in a gigantic stovepipe with hideous decor.
XENOPHILIUS: Eeek!! Not you! Out!
HARRY: Aw, come on. You adore me.
XENOPHILIUS: Um...okay...yes. Come in, and don't look at my newspaper! 
HARRY: Okey doke. So, tell us about that symbol thingy.
XENOPHILIUS: Ah, the sign of the Deathly Hallows?
ROWLING ends chapter there to give appropriate weight to the Deathly Hallows finally being mentioned after 400 pages in a book called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE LOVEGOOD CRIB

XENOPHILIUS: Once upon a time...uh, Hermione, why don't you just read it from your book? Everyone loves those long passages of italics.
HERMIONE: There were three brothers whom Death owed a favor to. One chose the invincible Elder Wand. He got killed anyway. The next chose a stone to kinda-sorta bring back the dead. This turned out way emo and he killed himself. The last had a totally sweet Invisibility Cloak and lived a long happy life.
XENOPHILIUS: Those three things are the Deathly Hallows. Put 'em all together and you rule the world.
HERMIONE: But those first two things can't possibly exist! Even though the third totally does!
XENOPHILIUS: You're a stubborn little wench, aren't you? Well, I'll go make us dinner.
HARRY: I can't help having the strangest feeling that he's hiding something.
DEATH EATERS knock on door.
DEATH EATERS: Hellooo? Here to pick up the Potter kid you called about.
HARRY: Like that, maybe.
XENOPHILIUS: Sorry, children, but they took Luna! Selling you is my only shot at getting her back.
HERMIONE: You're a twerp. But I'll let the Death Eaters glimpse us before we Disapparate. Maybe they'll only break one of your limbs.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: YE OLDE TENT AGAIN

RON: Jeez, I hope Luna's not getting tortured by dementors as we speak.
HARRY: Nah, she's fine. Hey, I bet that Horcrux ring was the stone that kinda-sorta brings back the dead! It's probably in the stupid Snitch, not that it'll open. Dumbledore must have been collecting Hallows!
HERMIONE: Oh, for heaven's sake, Harry. They're completely not real. Even though we know one of them is.
HARRY sits around and broods about Hallows, especially the one he doesn't have, the Elder Wand. The Deathstick. The Wand of Destiny.
HUSBANDS AROUND THE WORLD: Hey, honey? I want my new bedroom nickname to be "The Wand of Destiny."
RON: Dudes! Potterwatch is on the radio! 
HARRY: I'm so delighted I'll say "Voldemort" out loud!
FENRIR GREYBACK AND ASSOCIATES: Gotcha.


CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: OUTSIDE THE NOT-SO-SECRET-ANYMORE TENT


FENRIR: Who are you?

RON: Bob.
HERMIONE: Jenny.
HARRY: Mel.
FENRIR: Who are you really?
RON: Jim.
HERMIONE: Doreen.
HARRY: Vern.
FENRIR: Now that I look closely, you appear to be Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and hey, Harry Potter!
HARRY: Crap.
They get taken to Malfoy Manor.
NARCISSA: Draco, is this Harry, Ron, and Hermione?
DRACO: (and I quote) I...maybe...yeah.
READERS: Draco's wavering! He's going to bust out and join the good side! It'll be awesome!
ROWLING: Um...*cough*...anyway.
BELLATRIX: Rock on! I'll call our Big Daddy, and torture the girl in the meantime. Throw the other two in the dungeon.
In the dungeon, RON and HARRY are somewhat surprised to find LUNA, OLLIVANDER, DEAN, and GRIPHOOK.
HARRY: Wow. Who'd have thought the Malfoys only had one dungeon cell? And that they'd be so stupid as to put us all together in it?
DOBBY appears out of nowhere.
DOBBY: Shall Dobby Apparate the captives out of here and help you escape, Harry Potter?
HARRY: Yeah! Deus-Ex-House-Elf. That sure was lucky.
They break out, rescue HERMIONE, do some juggling of wands with the Malfoy crowd, and wind up at Shell Cottage, where DOBBY falls over dead, having taken a bullet for HARRY. Well, a knife, actually.
READERS: Aw. He was always seriously annoying, but I feel sorry for the little guy.
By the way, READERS can also check off WORMTAIL, who succumbed to not-so-erotic auto-asphyxiation.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: SHELL COTTAGE (B & B, 4 ROOMS, ONLY 120 QUID PER NIGHT MAY-OCT!)

HARRY: Yo, Griphook. Think you can break us into Gringotts?
GRIPHOOK: I'll think it over.
HARRY: Swell. Now, Ollivander. Tell me a little about how my wand measures up, in precise inches, with that of You-Know-Who and the Malfoy men.
HERMIONE: Harry, don't worry about that. It's the wizard behind the wand who counts. And you're a huge wizard.
RON: Hey!
HERMIONE: (quickly) So are you of course, Ron. I imagine. Not that I spend a lot of time imagining--um, anyway...
OLLIVANDER: You kids aren't thinking You-Know-Who's trying to get the Elder Wand, are you? Because it would probably only work if he won it by force.
HARRY: I won Draco's wand by force. (flexes)
HARRY/DRACO SHIPPERS: (swoon)
VOLDEMORT: (via sudden mind-meld moment) Time to play Indiana Jones!
VOLDEMORT knocks open DUMBLEDORE's tomb and takes the Elder Wand out from his dead, rotting hands.
VOLDEMORT: And later I'll come back and make an ashtray from his skull! 
HARRY: Okay, so, I know where the Elder Wand is now.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: SHELL COTTAGE 

GRIPHOOK: I agree to help you rob the bank, but only if you give me the sword of Gryffindor, which isn't yours by right anyway, filthy wizard boy.
HARRY: Sure. I definitely will. *cough*AfterI'mdonewithit*cough*
LUPIN: Hey everyone! I'm no longer a prat! I'm a daddy! And Harry, we want you to be little Teddy's godfather.
HARRY: Wow, I'd be honored! I feel no foreboding at all at this partial assignment of child custody right before a large battle.
READERS: Sadly, neither did we on the first read.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: GRINGOTTS

HARRY, RON, and HERMIONE pack up again and get into disguise, which in HERMIONE's case means turning into Bellatrix. This undoubtedly sends certain TWISTED FEMSLASH FANS into ecstasies.
HERMIONE-AS-BELLATRIX: Ahem, I'm very rude and mean! Take me to the family vault! Pay no attention to these companions under an Invisibility Cloak.
GRINGOTTS EMPLOYEES: Okay, go on in! 
HARRY: Sweet, we got away with it!
GRINGOTTS EMPLOYEES: (blink) Hey, waaait a second.
HARRY: Oops. Let's grab that Horcrux, folks.
GRIPHOOK: I'll be keeping the sword. So long, suckers!
HARRY, RON, HERMIONE, with the HUFFLEPUFF HORCRUX, jump on a mad half-blind dragon, and smash a hole in the roof on their exit.
READERS: I think Rowling is out to vandalize every major landmark of the series before this book ends.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: SOME PRETTY LAKE

To their credit, RON, HARRY, and HERMIONE laugh their butts off at how totally ungraceful their escape was.
HARRY: Ah well. If only we had an accurate list of where the Horcruxes were and whether You-Know-Who knows about our progress in finding them.
VOLDEMORT: (via mind-meld moment) Here you go. 

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: HOGSMEADE

ABERFORTH: I'm more than just a surly barman. I'm Dumbledore's brother and the means for saving your stupid backsides this chapter and a couple others. You really could not do this alone, could you, Potter?
HARRY: Evidently not. So is it all true about your brother? Was he a git?
ABERFORTH: Yeah, kind of, but he meant well. I grudgingly stick around and help his former students, which in this case means telling you to get the hell out of the country.
HARRY: No can do. Help us get into Hogwarts.
ABERFORTH: If you must.
ABERFORTH futzes with a picture frame, and out steps NEVILLE.

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE: HOGWARTS, ROOM OF REQUIREMENT

NEVILLE: Don't worry, Harry, we've kept hope alive. We're all absolute commandos now. Check out my shiv scars!
DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY MEMBERS: Harry! Squeee!
HARRY: Look, I'm only here to pick up a mysterious Thing and then skedaddle. By no means are you people allowed to help.
DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY MEMBERS: Harry, have you been listening through the last seven books? By yourself you're a hopeless case. You must lean heavily on others or perish.
HARRY: Yeah, I guess that's true. Okay--Luna, lead me to the nearest facsimile of the Dusty Tiara of Ravenclaw.
They slip into the Ravenclaw Common Room after playing Say The Type Of Deep Things Pot Smokers Might Say with the portrait outside.
HARRY: (examining a statue) All right, so that's what the diadem looks li--
ALECTO CARROW: You dumb-ass. (pages VOLDEMORT)

CHAPTER THIRTY: RAVENCLAW LOUNGE

LUNA stuns ALECTO. AMYCUS rushes in, and so does MCGONAGALL in her tartan jammies.
AMYCUS: Crap, someone paged the Dark Lord. Let's blame the kids!
MCGONAGALL: I think not.
AMYCUS spits at her. HARRY leaps into view.
HARRY: Crucio!
MCGONAGALL: My goodness. Does this mean you'll be using Unforgivable spells in the final battle?
HARRY: Actually, no. Think you can rustle up a small army and hold the castle while I rummage around in the closets for an old headpiece?
MCGONAGALL: Happily! 
SNAPE: What's going on?
MCGONAGALL, FLITWICK, LUNA, and SPROUT: Back off! (magical smackdown)
SNAPE performs his Gothiest move yet by leaping from a window and flying bat-like out into the night. MCGONAGALL wakes up the castle and starts rallying the forces. EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG is showing up to fight the good fight, including LUPIN and TONKS fresh from the maternity ward, and even PERCY THE PRODIGAL WEASLEY.
HARRY: I'm really touched, folks. I hope at least some of you don't die.
READERS: Me too, but on the other hand, I need a couple more before I get Bingo. 

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: BATTLEFIELD HOGWARTS

VOICE OF VOLDEMORT: Good evening, everyone! How do you like this magical P.A. system I got going? Anyhow--as you may have heard, I'm invading with my posse. Hand over Harry Potter and nobody will get hurt. Well, except him, of course.
HOGWARTS KIDS AND TEACHERS: Eat me, Dork Lord!
HARRY: (sprinting around aimlessly in the corridors) Well, Miss Ravenclaw Ghost's story only helped a little with my search for the dusty tiara, but luckily I remembered that I've already seen it and stuck it on top of a statue!
ROWLING: Good thing I came up with a use for that previously pointless little detail.
RON: Hey, Harry! I found a new way to smash Horcruxes--the basilisk fangs from the dead one in the basement! Remember, when we were like twelve?
ROWLING: Ditto my last line.
RON: By the way, I now think house elves should be freed.
HERMIONE drops everything and snogs him rotten.
READERS: That's how the kiss finally happens? Well, I suppose if he can accept her absolutely most annoying quality, they're definitely meant to be.
HARRY: Stop it this instant. Till I'm getting some, no one's getting any. Hah. How's it feel now, Ronnykins? 
HARRY, RON, and HERMIONE get into the Room of Requirement in search of the diadem Horcrux. They encounter DRACO, CRABBE, and GOYLE.
DRACO: So, Potter, we catch you at last. Won't the Dork Lord be pleased. Dark. I mean Dark. Argh. Gad, I'm so confused.
HARRY: Sure...(inching over and taking down the diadem casually)...uh, just after I do this one thing...
CRABBE: Rawr fire yarr!
A really nasty magical fire sweeps through the room. Our heroes round up broomsticks and save GOYLE and DRACO, but CRABBE burns up. (Check him off. Thank you.)
HARRY/DRACO SHIPPERS: OMG that was a totally romantic rescue! Draco's gonna thank him and they'll hug and--
DRACO: (wheeze)
HARRY: Well, bye. (runs off)
HERMIONE: Wow! Crabbe's spell destroyed the Horcrux! Vegas odds of that happening were at about 7000-to-1.
SOMEONE IN VEGAS: Yippeeee!!
FRED: Heehee, dueling Death Eaters with my brothers is fun! I-- (dies)
READERS: No. No no no. Not a twin. You would not dare. That's too horrible.
ROWLING: Oh, wouldn't I? (cackles)

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO: HOGWARTS UNDER SIEGE

WEASLEYS, HARRY, HERMIONE, and READERS are in a state of panic and shock. Making matters worse, GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS have also joined the battle. ROWLING is probably still cackling.
HARRY: Suppose I'll check in on Voldemort's mind. Ah-ha. Hey, guys? He's in the Shrieking Shack, waiting to rendezvous with Snape.
They run through the chaos of the castle. NEVILLE streaks by, throwing poisonous plants and animals at Death Eaters. MCGONAGALL sends furniture flying. TRELAWNEY does the same with crystal balls and empty vodka bottles. Everyone's shooting to injure and kill--except of course HARRY, who flings spells like Remembering You Had A Dentist Appointment Just Now, Developing An Itch On Your Left Butt Cheek, and Feeling Like You Just Walked Through A Spiderweb At Face Level.
HAGRID: Oh now, 'ey folks, don't hurt the poor little spiders!
SPIDERS engulf HAGRID and carry him off.
READERS: Ordinarily I wouldn't worry, but after the Fred thing I don't trust you anymore, Miz Author Lady. (thumb ahead to check that HAGRID lives)
HARRY, RON, and HERMIONE creep through the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack and peer through a hole in the wall.
VOLDEMORT: Hi Snape, what's happening? Yeeeah. Say listen, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and die for me.
SNAPE: Er, how come?
VOLDEMORT: Thing is, you killed the Elder Wand's last master--Dumbledore--so in order for the Wand to work right for me, I'll have to kill you. So if you'd just go ahead and let the snake do that, that would be great.
SNAPE: But--but--you never even took me sailing on your yacht like you promised! 
VOLDEMORT: Yeeeah, got to go. Later.
NAGINI gives SNAPE the bite o' death. She and VOLDEMORT traipse out. HARRY goes in and looks down at SNAPE.
HARRY: I hate you, but...ouch. That had to hurt in a lot of ways.
SNAPE: Totally...sucked.
SNAPE whisks his memories out and bequeaths them to HARRY in a little jar. 
READERS: Major character. That one I'm sure of. Jeez, how many more must die before your bloodlust is satisfied, woman?
ROWLING: (cackles even louder)
READERS: I wish I hadn't asked.

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE: HOGWARTS, STILL ON FIRE

VOICE OF VOLDEMORT: Hi again, Hogwartsians! All right, there's already been a lot of killing and nobody wants that. But look on the bright side: if you surrender and survive, you'll be able to see thestrals from now on. Anyhow, the offer still stands: turn in Harry and you can live. I'll be in the Forbidden Forest. Cheers!
HARRY: Jerk. Well, let's go see how things are going.
They walk back into the castle and find, as a sort of footnote, that LUPIN and TONKS are now dead too.
READERS: Good God, madam!!
ROWLING: Heheh. Hear me roar.
HARRY: I just cannot deal with that right now. Into the Pensieve I go.
TEEN SNAPE: I showed you your special powers and I heart you big time!
TEEN LILY: I know, and you're nice and all, Sev, but the Death Eater thing's a big "ick" factor, 'kay?
TWENTY-SOMETHING SNAPE: Dumbledore--the prophecy--please don't let the Dark Lord kill my Lilycrushywuv, please please please!
DUMBLEDORE: You're pathetic slime. Well, be my double agent for life and I'll see what I can do.
DUMBLEDORE, LATER: So, yeah, she died. But her son's got her eyes. Surely that gives you a reason to live?
TWENTY-SOMETHING SNAPE: You are a sick, sick puppy.
PROFESSOR SNAPE AS WE KNEW HIM: Harry's as annoying as his father. Being your double agent sucks.
DUMBLEDORE: Then maybe you'll find it easier to kill me as we planned, since I'm dying of this Horcrux curse anyway.
READERS: I knew it!
SNAPE: It will be my pleasure. Or it would be, if I were capable of pleasure.
DUMBLEDORE: We've been over the hiding of the sword, and how you'll guide Harry to it with your girly Patronus?
SNAPE: That's her girly Patronus which I use for reasons of deep true stalkerific love, thank you very much. And yes, we've been over that.
DUMBLEDORE: Great. Also, right before everything falls apart--like, say, when Hogwarts is on fire and under attack--tell Harry he has to die in order for Voldemort to live. There's a piece of Voldemort lodged in him, like an evil, evil splinter.
HARRY: Oh holy hell. I'm a Horcrux?
READERS: Yeah, we kind of guessed that too. Rowling, you're not actually going to...are you? Never mind. Don't answer.

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR: FORBIDDEN FOREST

HARRY walks into the Forest in a daze. He remembers the Snitch, takes it out, kisses it, and behold, gets the Resurrection Stone. Pretty soon the kinda-sorta ghosts of JAMES, LILY, LUPIN, and SIRIUS walk up to join him.
READERS: So I guess this is one way of telling us that Sirius is really, truly dead.
ROWLING: Yup.
READERS sigh and finally, after holding out hope all these years, check off SIRIUS BLACK on the Death list.
HARRY: Hi, mum. Guys.
LILY: Almost done, sweetie! Shall we walk you to the gallows?
HARRY: Please. If you're not too busy.
They do so. Then he drops the stone, they disappear, and HARRY steps out into the firelight at VOLDEMORT's s'mores-roasting party. HAGRID is there too, tied up. How many people had to die to successfully tie up HAGRID is not mentioned.
HARRY: Okay, Voldy. Kill me.
HAGRID: Harry, no!!
VOLDEMORT: Surprisingly, I'm just going to do this without giving a speech. 
VOLDEMORT kills HARRY. Or so it kind of appears, but READERS have not entirely given up hope despite ROWLING's recent massacre.

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE: THE SWIRLY LIMBO STATE BETWEEN LIVING AND DEAD, SOON TO BE A STOP ON THE TUBE'S VICTORIA LINE

HARRY: Professor Dumbledore! It's you! So am I dead too?
DUMBLEDORE: Nope. Voldemort took your blood into his veins, which keeps your mum's sacrifice active, which actually keeps you alive! 
HARRY: That makes no sense.
DUMBLEDORE: It's magic. Be quiet.
HARRY: So I just had to be willing to die?
DUMBLEDORE: Basically.
HARRY: What about all that stuff regarding you being a git when you were younger?
DUMBLEDORE: It's true. And I'm so sorry! (bawls for a second)
HARRY: Hey, um, cheer up. I liked you and stuff.
DUMBLEDORE: (collects himself) Thank you. Well, you better go back and keep fighting.
HARRY: Will I win?
DUMBLEDORE: Hell if I know. Good luck!

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX: FORBIDDEN FOREST

VOLDEMORT: Ooof. No, it's okay, everyone; I just had a sudden cramp. It's a hernia from way back. You--go check that Potter's dead. I'm just going to stand over here for a second. At a distance.
NARCISSA: (whispers to HARRY) Is Draco alive?
HARRY: (whispering back) Yes.
NARCISSA: Success, o Dark Lord! This kid's dead!
READERS: There, Draco's mom is doing a good turn. It's only a matter of time before Draco does too.
ROWLING: Uh-huh...anyway...
VOLDEMORT: Yay! Here, this'll be funny. You, Hagrimibob. Carry his body back to the castle!
HAGRID does so, sobbing, and yells at the cowardly centaurs on his way past, which is actually touching.
VOLDEMORT: Let's turn the P.A. system back on for a second. Ahem. There. Hey-ho, Hogwarts! Harry's dead now, so no need to fight further. Just come forward and surrender, or get tortured and killed. Also, a little announcement. We've got a green Porsche blocking the main gates. Could the owner please move it to let us out more easily? It's got a Slytherin bumper sticker and it's a really sweet little machine and we'd rather not hurt it, so please just come out and repark. Thanks a bundle!
They bring HARRY to the front steps of Hogwarts, where all his friends rush out and start wailing and tearing their hair.
HARRY: (in his head) Aww, listen to that. I am so going to get some resurrection sex from Ginny later on.
VOLDEMORT: See, folks? Your little hero's just a limp piece of meat now. 
NEVILLE: Oi, you! Bite me!
VOLDEMORT flicks the Sorting Hat onto NEVILLE's head with a few nasty curses attached. Big mistake. NEVILLE pulls the Sword of Gryffindor out of it.
READERS: Hey, how did it end up in there?
OTHER READERS: True Gryffindor, time of dire need, goblin rules of ownership null and void, blah blah blah.
READERS: All right, all right. Onward.
NEVILLE: Enough is enough! I have had it with this m-----f---ing snake!
NEVILLE chops off NAGINI's head, and gets himself a few million new fangirls and fanboys. Chaos erupts again. HARRY jumps up and gets into the fray. 
BELLATRIX: Ooh, I think I'll kill the little Weasley wench!
MOLLY WEASLEY: Nuh-uh, bitch.
MOLLY kills BELLATRIX. And, yes, absolutely earns herself a few million new fans.
HARRY: Down to you and me, boy-o.
VOLDEMORT: You're alive? Huh. Merely another weird coincidence. I'm just having an "off" couple decades.
HARRY: You sure are. Guess what? The Elder Wand isn't going to work for you, because Dumbledore instructed Snape to kill him, because Snape was our double agent! And a few other strange details involving Draco, which apparently some people can actually follow, but--
VOLDEMORT: Avada Kedavra!
The spell bounces back on him. VOLDEMORT dies. 
HARRY: There. Accidental suicide. Neat, I never had to kill anyone!
DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY: Yeah, thanks for leaving that to the rest of us.

EPILOGUE: NINETEEN YEARS LATER

They've all intermarried, named their kids after dead people, still stick out their tongues at Slytherins, and still use the word "snog." That's about all.

READERS: So were Snape and Voldemort the two "major" characters? Are the others just minor in your classification?
ROWLING: Well, I did get a little carried away and killed more than I expected to.
READERS: So Moody is really dead? 
ROWLING: Yes.
READERS: Don't we get heart-rending funerals for him, Fred, Tonks, and Lupin? And don't we get to hear what happens to everyone else?
ROWLING: No. And no.
READERS grumble and finish filling out their Character Death cards.
SOME READER: Oh! Oooh! Bingo! I got Bingo!!


THE END

 

© Molly Ringle 2012