Book 7 Buzz*
For all us impatient Muggles waiting for J. K. Rowling to announce the issue date - or at least the title - of the 7th and final installment of the Harry Potter series... well, we will have to keep waiting a bit longer! But Rowling, in a recent interview, did puncture at least one of the most persistent theories about what is to come, when she confirmed that Professor Dumbledore, who appeared to die at the end of book six, is really, definitely... well, dead. This seemingly self-evident declaration came as an enormous surprise to many who had built up incredibly intricate, ingenious, but ultimately incorrect theories about D.'s death being a ruse.
For the record, I felt from the start that D.'s death was genuine and permanent, although I do think that his apparent murderer, Prof Snape, is still one of the good guys, and his killing of Dumbledore thus indeed part of a grand plan. But I'll go out on a bit of a limb and side with those who feel that Sirius Black, who seemed to leave the world of the living in book 5, is not dead. At least not yet. And while I'm making bold predictions, Harry, Ron, and Hermione will not die in Book 7. But Hagrid, the elder Weasleys, and other beloved characters well might. This is no victory over evil without sacrifice - as those in the besieged West would well remember these days.
*My friend Soccer Dad pointed out to me that "Dumbledore" is a synonym for "bumblebee". Whether this will have any significance in Book 7 is questionable. But it does mean that this post could have well been titled "Book 7 - No Buzz".