Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

HP:DH Final Paragraph

Posted by Patrick on 11 Mar 2007

A couple of ladies who moderate the two witches blog had a great idea in drafting fan fiction endings for HP:DH. I’m giving them credit for the idea, but I’d like to solicit ideas and submissions for what would make the best, or worst, last paragraph for the final chapter in the Harry Potter series. Cheers to Lady Rose and Mama Kelly. I prognosticate about HP a lot, but I usually dwell more in theory than in prose — here’s a golden opportunity to show my “other” side

If you want to submit, you are welcome to do so, but please do so in a comment that either contains or links your submission. The only requirements are 1) 10 sentences or less excluding dialogue 2) be realistic and let your ideas about HP:DH weigh in and 3) the last word must be “scar”. Here is my first submission:

“I suppose you’ll be ’round the Burrow, then” started Ron, and he messed up his face in a way that said “Mum can’t hardly wait to see you”. “Of course I will — it’s still the best house in all England” replied Harry instantly, bringing a faint crimson to Ron’s cheeks as if he’d just been caught sneaking chocolate frogs. “You really are the boy who lived, Harry” said Hermione, her voice crackling, and she placed her hand on the side of his face then ran her fingers through his hair until she was cupping the back of his head, “It was always you who protected us, wasn’t it?” Harry’s hand met Hermione’s and they hugged tightly, now releasing seven years’ of emotions as if bottled away for this exact moment. Ron slowly joined them in a group hug, and suddenly, here on this bridge where so many lives have been changed, there was a three-tone chorus of uncontrolled sobbing which continued for at least a minute, when they each heard footsteps approaching quickly and loudly. “Of course he’ll be ’round, Ronald. We’ve got preparations to make, after all” scolded Ginny. The three of them battled for composure; Ginny swarmed into Harry’s grasp and pecked him once on the lips before acknowledging Hermione, “You won’t be docking me house points for that will you, Professor?” Hermione’s face flushed slightly, and in her stiffest possible voice replied, “I’ll pretend I didn’t see that, Miss Weasley.” Laughter broke the thickened air, and Harry found himself half listening and half drifting into thoughts of Dumbledore, of his parents, of Snape, and back to Ginny who was now peering into him with a gentle, genuine curiosity. “You all right then, Harry?” she asked, and Harry, realizing he’d been daydreaming slightly, gained focus and smirked lovingly as his eyes met Ginny’s, then replied, “I am now.” Their hands joined as they met in a hug, and Harry repeated softly into Ginny’s ear, “I am now” as he slowly massaged the spot above his right eye where once had been a lightning-bolt shaped scar.

update: 12 March 07 I bumped timestamp on this post. My 4th swag at an ending is posted below and in the hpfanfiction blog across the street.


15 Responses to “HP:DH Final Paragraph”

  1. :::wah!::

    A lovely bit of prose and it got me all weepy —- of course I’m also sleep deprived but still ….

    Its the kind of ending I, and probably most HP fans want …. that happy bittersweet ending that makes you feel many things at once.


    Mama Kelly

    PS thanks for giving us (read Lady Rose) credit for the idea

  2. Diana said

    That would be a great ending. I love it. I wanted to give this a try, but once I got going, things got a bit out of hand and it’s quite a bit longer than I expected. I’ve posted the whole thing on my blog, but here’s the very last bit of it.

    The stag walked slowly towards Harry until it stood mere feet from him. Mesmerized, Harry stared at the noble beast. For only a second, Harry thought he could see his parents gazing back at him in the stag’s eyes. But that was ridiculous. His parents were dead. He was just imagining things. It was just a stag, wasn’t it?

    Imagination or not, Harry could feel the his mother and father’s presence emanating from the animal. The stag took a few more steps towards him until they were nose to nose. It raised its head slightly, and gently touched Harry’s forehead with its mouth. The stag gave Harry a final look, turned and galloped back into the woods.

    Baffled, Harry put his hand on his head where the stag had touched him. And then he realized that the stag had been telling him to leave the past behind and start his new life. The kiss had cleansed from him that final reminder: his scar.


  3. Patrick said

    update: 1 March 2007 Here is my second offering of “the end”. I know the final thought is not very likely, but it was fun to conjure this up:

    As Harry arrived at his desk and assumed his seat, memos and letters whizzing past towards their intended recipients, he observed a neatly-wrapped package placed precisely where his photo of Ron, Hermione and he normally situated itself. The covering was completely blank — appearing as though it were packaged for shipment via the Muggle post system to the Dursleys — except for a delicately scrawled address on the outside which read, in a formal, slender handwriting that Harry thought much like his own, Harold James Potter, Auror’s Department, Ministry of Magic, London. Opening it almost cautiously, Harry recognized at once what was inside. Speechless, he began fumbling with the heavy cover and binding which held this book together, turning page after page, his face expressionless; it was a photo album, but much more than that, it was an Evans family album, and Harry found himself peering into page after page of his mother and aunt as children, then teenagers. He recognized his adolescent mother instantly, she was exactly as he’d seen her in the Pensieve, and as he continued to fumble through the album, out fell a handwritten note which Harry picked up at once. It read, “Harry, your mother would have you keep this rather than I. If for nothing else, use it to educate your own children about her. Come by with your wife for tea at your leisure — she quite favors your mother, you know. Vernon would be pleased to see you both. Love, Petunia”. Harry smirked at that last bit, but only briefly, as memos and post began swirling around him much like a swarm of angry bees; he grabbed the first memo and began to read it — his portrait of Dumbledore finally spoke, “Fascinating, aren’t they?” evidently speaking of the memos, which were now jostling and fighting for their places in the inbox. He recognized the author at once, “Harry, need your assistance at Hogwarts straight away. Will explain later. –Hermione” With a resounding CRACK, he found himself standing at the door of the castle which he had once called home, and he located Hermione who was awaiting his arrival. “What is it Professor Weasley?” he asked coyly. Exasperated, Hermione replied, “Harry, you don’t have to call me Professor, you know? Anyway, I was doing research for next semester’s offerings in the library and I came across something I thought you’d ought to see.” She handed him a small scroll containing only the words, “I am not dead just yet, Potter.” and Harry swore he felt a faint prickling sensation stirring beneath his scar.

  4. toshspice said

    It was snowing that winter, the Potters decided to go the Burrow for Christmas. It had been so long since they had been back.

    “Do you think Percy has arrived,” asked Harry lugging the basket which held his gleaming baby.

    Ginny smiled,” I hope so, it’s been too long. We should move closer.”

    “Yes,” Harry hesitated. “It’s just this place brings back so many memories.”

    “Yeah.” They had both stopped at this point and looked at the Burrow. “It doesn’t look the same.”

    “I know what you mean.” Harry responded. “The old Burrow felt more like home.”

    She grasped his hands and led him to the door. Ginny had caught a glimpse of her mother in the window. Miss Weasley was excited to see them and the baby. Before Ginny and Harry could get through the door she rushed and grabbed the basket.

    Ginny and Harry smiled at each other. They could hear Bill and Percy arguing about politics and could see Percy decorating what seemed to be a Christmas tree.

    Harry was glad to see that everyone had made it for Christmas, maybe the Burrow had been rebuilt but it could be home. Everything was on its way to being back to normal. There was only one thing burning, his scar.

  5. Patrick said

    nice post. What’s the baby’s name? boy/girl?

  6. Diana said

    Patrick, I like your second version very much. I enjoyed the description of the memos flying around. Is Harry’s full name Harold? I thought it was just Harry.

    Toshspice, your post leaves me wanting to know just what happened to the Burrow. Nicely done. And I’m very curious to know the baby’s name, too. I pondered a version with Ginny giving birth to twins, and Harry naming them James and Lily.

  7. Patrick said

    it’s probably just Harry and I made a typo. I’m working on ending #3

  8. toshspice said

    The baby is a girl. Fleur, after the person who protected Ginny from a fate greater than death. Luna is her godmother and Neville is the godfather.

  9. Patrick said

    I’m exploring other possibilities with how the story may play out. Most people agree that Snape dies protecting Harry, Hermione and Ron (mostly Harry) from Voldemort. And let’s face it, this is a children’s fantasy story, so it’s incredibly rare for the evil side to win at the end of a children’s story; we’re not reading Poe, Conrad or Hardy here. But, what if Snape isn’t a casualty, and it’s someone else like Neville or Lupin (is he truly a main character, though). Let’s explore the option briefly and conclude our story as such:

    The wind scampered playfully through the stone breezeway, taking spare scraps of collected parchment with it — the bits of paper and dirt circling from the draft before scattering again even more randomly than before; Harry propped himself in a porticullus facing leeward, elbows perched on the ledge, his shoulders slinking deeply as the casual wind blew his hair at its leisure. “All these years… it was quite a put-on. Well played, Severus; well played, indeed.” Snape propped on the stone wall next to Harry, his back against it so that indirectly they faced one another, then responded, “Were it not for a somewhat regular draught of my own thoughtlessness potion, I may have compromised the goal many years ago by showing you sympathy. You do understand, Harry, that you are the sole link to the one person who cared for me, and every day for the past seven years I nearly gave my own life to protect you, yes?” Harry’s expression revealed that the idea was still attempting to register with his mind as a logical thought, but he replied, “Yeah — I’m starting to see how special my mum was to you. It really was her, then –” he broke off. Snape, for the first time that Harry could remember, was smiling at him — beaming, in fact — and Harry didn’t know if Snape had gone mad or… he stood completely upright in amazement, streaming along the sides of Snape’s cheeks were what Harry understood to be trails paved by the first delicate drops of happiness that he’d felt in nearly 20 years, and at this very moment, he hugged Severus. His voice shaking as if he spoke only to avoid some painful torture, Snape started, “Some things… are more important than… spells and potions… Harry” and he would not let go of Harry just yet — along the breezeway Harry heard footfalls hastily approaching. “We must… never… release… the.. love.. we receive.. from. others,” he continued. Overhearing, Ron stopped dead as he rounded the corner, the opened width of his mouth expanding the longer he stood there; Hermione and Ginny elbowed him back to sense, and they walked up to the pair, still clutched together largely because Severus was softly wailing and quite squeezing Harry’s back. “He’s right, you know, Harry,” started Ginny, “When you are truly loved, you shouldn’t just let go of it to protect me.” Finally, Snape released Harry slowly — Harry instinctively inhaled deeply as if completely reinflating his lungs — and he responded to the four of them, “Right. I couldn’t have known it at the time, but as I stood there at the last, I realized that it’s truly a powerful weapon, isn’t it? I mean, which of us would be standing here now were it not for someone else’s caring that we continue on? What’s more powerful than that, I wonder?” Among the now speechless group, heads nodded and friendly embraces circulated — Hermione half opened her mouth as if responding, then thought better of it; she understood a deeper wisdom in what Harry said, and instead pulled Ron into her and embossed a thick, relieved kiss upon his lips before speaking to Harry, who was supporting Ginny’s weight against his as he leaned on a stone column, “Harry, what will you do now?” and everyone was interested to hear Harry curtly reply, “I guess first I’ll be working to restore Severus’ name within the Ministry. After that, well, I think I’m…” and he stopped there — for the majority of his adolescent life he’d been working against Voldemort, but now that it was done, what would he do? In thought, he stroked instinctively a spot above his right eye where once had been his quest — a lightning-bolt shaped scar.

  10. Diana said

    Well played, Patrick!

    You very nicely used themes that JKR has been dealing with since the first book. I love the description in the first few sentences.

    This is a very interesting take on the series. I’m really starting to wonder if any of us will come close to the real ending.

  11. leslie r said

    That’s really good! Thanks for visiting my blog and helping me work out my issues. I don’t know that I will be able to write a final chapter, don’t know that I have it in me…. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s!

  12. Patrick said

    Diana – thanks. I’m working on #4. I figure if I write 100, 1 of them will get at least 1 thing right.

    Leslie – yes you can. Just imagine what you want to happen and create a scene around it that ties a few of them together.

    edit: The one thing I think we can be certain of, unless we are all thrown for a loop because it’s the final story, is that the last scene will be somewhere on the Hogwarts landscape. Every last scene so far has been like this (I hope I’m right about that — I’ll be verifying later today). Understanding that if there’s an epilogue, which I hope there is, it doesn’t count in the “story”

  13. Patrick said

    This ending is decidedly longer than the first three, and it plays on theories which circulate the HP universe today. However, I did it this way on purpose and will beg forgiveness for breaking my own rule later. I hope you enjoy the ideas brought out in this possible ending. I didn’t edit it much, so it may sound a little run together.

    Ginny fastened herself to Harry’s elbow and leaned into him as she beamed a sisterly Cheshire smile at Ron – it was the first time Harry could remember seeing them act amiably towards one another. “Harry, mate, from anyone else…” “It’s the first one of its kind; beats the Firebolt by 11 seconds over a kilometer – fastest in the world, that is,” said Harry, almost cautiously, seeing Ron’s face flush into a volcanic eruption of red and pale blotches which Harry recognized as a precursor to Ron fainting. Ron found himself suddenly incapable of speech, or conscious thought for that matter. For what he knew, the Firebolt was the fastest broom in the world, and here he stood holding its successor. After half a minute, he finally cleared his throat enough to say, “Harry… what are these called, then?” “Thought it’d be a tribute to its creator,” and Harry paused to Ron’s confusion– he’d not considered this poignant moment until it arrived just now, that Ron was completely unaware – “Ron, I’m really sorry, mate; I would’ve… well I couldn’t ruin…” and straightening himself, continued, “Ron, this is the very first Granger One-Thousand.”

    Realizing where Ron’s emotional balance was heading, Ginny quickly tried to steady him. “Ron, she worked on this for two years straight and wanted to surprise you with it for graduation, you see? This was Hermione’s way of telling you how she felt, Ron. It’s only proper for you to have it now, and since you’re England’s Keeper it’ll be of good use to you I’m sure.” It didn’t matter what was said – Ron had heard enough, and clutching the broom, he surveyed it carefully and whispered hoarsely, “Hermione…” then his eyes slowly met Ginny’s, then Harry’s, then back to the broom which he was now gripping so tightly his knuckles were bone-white, and finally down to the shining marble stone which sparkled intermittently in the clouded sunset. Without looking at him, Ron held out the broom for Harry to hold, and then knelt down, placed both hands atop the stone before him, and kissed it with a light, complete focus before whimpering softly, “I always knew, Hermione, but I never knew.” Clearing himself enough to stand, Harry gave the broom back to Ron and started, “Ron, Ginny and I will be by the Burrow in a few days to talk to your parents about some things. Please tell your mum.” “Right,” began Ron, “I’m sure mum will be glad to see you. What’re you discussing with them, anyway?” “Just an old Muggle custom,” Ginny said, refastening herself to Harry, this time more tightly, and she peered into Ron with an informative stare. Ron understood at once, and began soaring as much as his thoughts of Hermione would allow. “Really?! Ginny, I’d no idea! When’d you find out, I reckon?” Ginny continued, “Just this morning, in fact. You have to swear not to tell mum – she’ll be ecstatic – the first Weasley grandchild. Ron, we visited the hospital just now; it’s a girl, Ron, with red hair like mine, almond shaped green eyes like Harry.” Ginny slowed down and collected herself as if preparing to face a boggart. “Ron, Harry and I need to ask you something, of course.” “Well, go on then, uncle Ron is listening.” “Ron,” this time it was Harry speaking with decided nervousness, “we want to name the girl Hermione. Ginny and I are asking for your blessing, Ron, because we don’t…” Ron interjected at once to indicate he didn’t need any convincing, “Harry. Ginny,” and he nodded silently. The threesome drew their wands – Harry went first: “Ronald Bilius Weasley is named the godfather of my daughter, Hermione Lillian Weasley Potter, from the moment of her birth until the moment of her death.” Then Ginny, who uttered the exact same phrase as Harry, and finally Ron: “Ronald Bilius Weasley accepts the responsibility for care and overwatch of Hermione Lillian Weasley Potter as godfather“. A pale, golden circle came from Ron’s wand and grew to such a size that it encompassed the three of them, then came together as a single pinhead-sized ball and floated whimsically into Ginny’s womb, making her entire body glow for a moment. The mood had shifted from the despair of loss into a muffled sobbing of promise for the future. None of them spoke again for several minutes, each individually reflecting on the moment, until finally Ron spoke up, “I’d better get going, you two. I’m practicing tonight and can’t be late. I’ll tell mum you will be calling soon, ” and with that, Ron disapparated. Harry and Ginny looked down at Hermione’s burial site, and Ginny rubbed on her stomach gently before saying, “We miss you, Hermione, more than you can know. I promise that our daughter will continue your name honorably.” Harry welled up to bid farewell to Hermione, but chose not to speak; he swore that he could sense Hermione’s presence, and lightly rubbed the spot on his forehead where once had been a famous lightning-bolt shaped scar.

  14. Diana said

    Nicely done, Patrick! I love the bittersweet tone of it. Very well thought out.

  15. Patrick said

    Thanks Diana. When I had the idea for this scene I thought the part with Hermione’s broom was so good I almost got emotional about it.

    I have a brainstorming diagram that I’ve conjured up to help plan some fiction endings. On there, I get this piece of story arc from lines drawn like this:

    Hermione -> Ron (dotted line)
    Hermione -> genius
    Ron -> Quidditch
    Quidditch -> broom
    genius -> broom

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