I predicted that Harry would find out that he is the descendant of Godric Gryffindor — close, but he’s the last living descendant of Ignotus Peverell.
Snape — no prediction, but I thought he would turn out to be just as evil as he seemed to be in earlier books. Wrong on that one. He (Snape) did hate Harry, because of Harry’s physical resemblance to James Potter. It turns out that Snape loved Lily Potter, Harry’s mom and James’ wife, ever since he was a child, before he went to Hogwarts. After Snape let Voldemort know about the prophecy that Sybil Trelawney had made at the Hogs Head Inn, he realized the wrong he had done to the woman he loved so much, and he went to Albus Dumbledore and admitted to what he had done. He begged Dumbledore to protect the Potters, but Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew) was the Potter family’s Secret Keeper. Voldemort found out about where the Potters were living (from Wormtail, who had become a Death Eater). After Voldemort killed James and Lily with the Avada Kedavra curse, and tried to kill Harry, of course, we all know what happened. What was revealed in the last book was that Snape promised Dumbledore he would do everything he could to protect Harry when Voldemore inevitably returned, because of his (Snape’s) love for Lily.
Harry was a Horcrux, even if an unintentional one. That bit of destroyed soul that resided in Harry gave him the ability to enter into Voldemort’s mind and see what he was doing, thinking, saying and feeling. He had the ability to see what Voldemort was seeing, as if he was Voldemort. Dumbledore called the fragment of soul “parasitic”, and it was. As good as Harry is, he struggled with temptation.
Talking about temptation, he did use the Unforgivable curses (Cruciatius and Imperius). However, he was not doing so to harm anyone; he was using the curses so that he could get to more Horcruxes, destroy them and, eventually, kill Voldemort.
That is the biggest difference between Harry and Voldemort – Harry was afraid, but willing to die, if it meant that one more Horcrux was destroyed, which would make it impossible for Voldemort to live. Voldemort, who feared death, was not, at all willing to die (or even feel remorse for what he had done to so many people in his path to ultimate power).
Harry kept on loving Ginny, even though they could not be together. He was rightfully afraid of what the Deatheaters or Voldemort would do to her or to the Weasley family if they learned of his feelings for her. (Ironically, because of how painful it was for Voldemort to possess Harry, he did everything he could to stay out of Harry’s mind.)
Ron and Hermione fell more deeply in love as they worked with Harry and traveled throughout England to search for and destroy the Horcruxes that Voldemort had created and hidden.
One big surprise for me was that the Dursleys agreed to listen to Harry (for once) and go into hiding so that Voldemort could not torture (or kill) them to find out where Harry might be. Even bigger was the fact that Dudley took the initiative in agreeing, and so got Vernon and Petunia to agree to go into hiding, with a witch and wizard helping them to disappear.
Viewing Snape’s earliest recorded memories, I learned that Petunia envied Lily her magical abilities, even though she called Lily a freak for having magical abilities.
About those Horcruxes . . . I was right in guessing that Nagini would be a Horcrux (Voldemort not letting her out of his sight to do things he wanted her to do). I fell completely short of the mark when I said that Harry would not be a Horcrux. From reading Half-Blood Prince, I guessed about the Hufflepuff cup and Ravenclaw’s diadem. I knew Dumbledore had destroyed the ring (which also turned out to be the Resurrection Stone) and Harry destroyed the Riddle diary in Chamber of Secrets.
What, dear readers, did you think of the ending scene when Harry repeatedly addressed Voldemort as Tom Riddle? This was after Voldemort had Hagrid carry Harry’s “dead” body back to the castle after the one sided duel where Harry didn’t try to defend himself. (Harry was hit again with the Avada Kedavra curse, but it didn’t kill him.) It rebounded again onto Voldemort and both men were knocked unconscious. After Voldemort was unsuccessful, yet again, in killing Harry, we learned that all of the curses cast by Voldemort and his followers were weak; everyone was able to overcome them, time and time again. Why did this happen? Because Lily’s sacrifice still lived on in Harry, that protection was extended to all who resisted Voldemort and the Death Eaters. So, this meant that when Harry and Voldemort dueled in earnest, Voldemort’s power was not as strong as Harry’s. Which takes us to the Elder wand. Harry’s wand was broken at Godric’s Hollow; he used a wand from one of the Death Eaters, and it wasn’t as strong as his wand had been. Harry took Draco’s wand from Draco and the wand performed well for him. Voldemort thought the Elder wand would be more powerful than Harry’s wand, but he had not taken it in a duel from Dumbledore, so the wand was not going to do his bidding. During that last Harry/Voldemort duel, Harry’s “Draco” wand overpowered the Elder wand and Harry obtained it; Voldemort was hit by a rebounding Avada Dedavra curse (again!), but because all of his Horcruxes had been destroyed, he died. He really died. Harry buried the Elder wand with Dumbledore and left the Resurrection Stone where he had dropped it, in the Forbidden Forest. The only Hallow remaining was . . . his Invisibility Cloak. That was another secret — Dumbledore knew about the Hallows, but did not tell Harry the full story; he didn’t want Harry to be sidetracked. Instead, Hermione got the book which opened that door to the Hallows. As they traveled and learned more, they found out the Hallows were real, even though Hermione thought they were just a myth. When Harry finally figured everything out (and found that Resurrection Stone in the Snitch he had been bequeathed by Dumbledore), he did not want those items to benefit only himself. He wanted to find them so that he could end Voldemort’s reign of terror. His loved ones appeared, courtesy of the Stone; Harry had had the true Invisibility Cloak, courtesy of Dumbledore. The only Hallow Harry kept was the Cloak because of its connection to his dad and long-gone relative, Ignotus Peverell.
When Voldemort took blood from Harry in the Little Hangleton graveyard, he goofed. He got some of Lily’s protection and goodness. He had the opportunity to express remorse, but didn’t. He also made it easier for Harry to penetrate his mind.
Harry and Ginny married; Ron and Hermione married. They had children, who, 19 years after Voldemort’s death, went to Hogwarts.