5 December, 2022

Book Endings We’d Like to Change

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By JK Rowling

When I imagine the possibility of dropping through time and space and into an editor’s chair, grabbing the pen, and making a big red x through an entire last chapter, the first thing that pops into my mind is the epilogue at the end of the last Harry Potter novel. Something about those final few pages struck me as being more fan fiction than anything else, like someone had won a contest to write the grown up Harry scene. Maybe it was that the occupations Rowling chose for her characters felt too much like what the youngsters said they wanted to do, instead of the aptitudes they showed? Maybe it was the fact that the three main characters end up with their junior high sweethearts? Maybe I’m just a bitter old man. At any rate, if it were up to me, Harry’s life would have looked a bit more like this:

The scene opens with Harry, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, on his lunch break. Think of the awesome teacher’s lounge stuff that could have been in there. So, he’s checking his email, or wizmail, or e-owl, or whatever, worried about his wife, Ginny, who’s off on an Auror assignment with Neville. He gets a message from Ron, who works for the Ministry and is the wizard chess coach at Hogwarts, but whose real passion is his volunteer work as a mentor for under privileged wizarding families. Then he checks Hermoine’s blog. She has a research position in “speculative magics” as an inventor of new spells and such, but is also the spokesperson for a growing “wizard/muggle relations” civil rights movement. The bell rings, and he gathers his stuff, thinking about life and his kids and how much he owes Dumbledore, how he feels a bit more like him every day.

That’s the heroic ending that I imagine for Harry, for a kind-hearted young man forced to fight great evil and carry burdens beyond his years. Not fighting evil throughout his life, but preventing it. Nurturing the minds of his students, as his mentor did for him.

-Bryan Camp


  • TS Tate

    Tee received a Master of Arts in English in 2008 from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has studied under Edgar nominee Tim Gautreaux, Booksense Pick novelist Bev Marshall and Clarion West graduate and World Fantasy nominee, Cat Rambo. She has more than ten years of documentation and editing experience and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at LitStack.com.   She has spent the past nine years in the corporate environment as a Technical Editor and has previously edited for Christine Rose, Phoebe North, Heather McCorkle, Laura Pauling, Anne Riley, Christine Fonseca and UF writer Carolyn Crane. With Heather McCorkle, Tee co-founded the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter.  In addition, she is working on several creative projects, including her second novel and various short stories. Her flash fiction, "Street Noises," was included in the Pill Hill Press anthology "Daily Frights 2012: 366 Days of Dark Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition)" and her short "Til Hunt Be Done," was included in the Winter Wonders anthology from Compass Press.  A diehard New Orleans Saints fan, Tee lives with her family in Southeast Louisiana.

3 thoughts on “Book Endings We’d Like to Change

  1. I think that for me, it would be The Time Traveler's Wife. In case someone hasn't read it, I won't say what I would change…but I suspect most who've read it know what I would change.

  2. I would change that one too, aliceisforever.
    And I totally agree with "IT". I was GLUED to that book (except that night a friend decided to raise a balloon right outside my bedroom window) and when I came to the end, I was poised for something equally dramatic and spellbinding and I got — a spider???? Pah-lu-heeze.

  3. On Friday Night Knitting Club–It was a total letdown when the protagonist kicked the bucket. Didn't even bother to read the others in the series.

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