Time once again for the speculation about Book 7: Harry Potter and the Best-Selling Conclusion.
Naturally, we presume that most of Book 7 will be taken up with Harry and/or friends pursuing the Horcruxes left behind by Voldemort. There are, reputedly, four remaining. (Riddle’s diary and Marvolo’s ring have already been destroyed.)
We have reason to suspect one item was the mysterious R.A.B locket which may once have been located in the Black household.
I personally believe that most of the other locations where the Horcruxes are hidden will be locations we know, or locations we know of, because there isn’t time in one book to explore four wholly new locations and still leave room for Harry’s seventh year at school.
Yes, I think Harry is going back to Hogwarts during Book 7.
The R.A.B. locket should be found at the Black household, I’m thinking — though I can’t quite recall if Mundungus Fletcher sold off that locket or if it’s still there. It (the house) is full of mysterious old magic and it’d be a good place to start looking.
Another item is going to be at Hogwarts. It had already been referred to as “the only place Riddle ever thought of as home,” which means Voldemort might at some point try to hide there with the Secret-Keeper charm thingy (as Harry’s parents were once hidden). It also sets up the dramatic climax at the end of the story, tying all the loose ends together at once.
This item, whatever it is, is going to be at Gringott’s. Voldemort has already demonstrated an ability to break into the bank — or maybe that was Quirrell, which suggests Voldemort could do it too — and there would be few places safer. I’m re-reading book 1 and a great deal is made of how secure the place is. (That partly sets up the theft of the Whositz’s Stone, but I’m betting it’s significant for later too.)
The last item would be in the mysterious other location. I’m torn, at the moment, between thinking it’ll be at Snape’s house (or Malfoy’s, or Lestrange’s), and that it’d be somewhere else. I somehow doubt it’d be at the Malfoys’ place, since they were in possession of Riddle’s Diary and squandered it; if ever they had a second Horcrux, Voldemort would have seized it back upon learning of Lucius’s casual disposal of the diary. Snape’s house… tempting, but anticlimactic unless Snape really is eeeeeeeevil.
In re-examining my four-part Horcrux theory, I’m slowly coming to another conclusion, here: there were four parts to the wizard unity statue at Ministry HQ: humans, centaurs, elves, and … uh, goblins? (Who was the fourth?) Four Horcruxes remaining: four races to call upon for help. House-elves can help retrieve the amulet from Kreacher; centaurs can help with the item at Hogwarts; goblins could help at the bank… am I getting warmer?
The only thing I think my theory is missing is that Greyback has been set up as this evil werewolfy guy, and there doesn’t seem to be much room in my solution for him.
A book 7 thread wouldn’t be complete without another guess at whether Snape was really evil or not. I recently was thumbing through “Half-Blood Prince” and found a part roundabout page 441 where Hagrid tells Harry he’d overheard Snape and Dumbledore arguing; Snape said he didn’t want to do it, and Hagrid reported that Dumbledore’s response was stern and that Snape had already agreed to it. To what, exactly? Anybody else notice this passage, or has it already been discussed to death? (I just noticed it recently and wondered about its significance.)