Well, I've spent the past 5 weeks rereading books 1-6 of the Harry Potter series and now I'm feeling a bit bereft and unsure of what to head to next while I await the release of book 7 in just over two weeks. For years I was told by friends whose reading tastes I generally admire that I would like the series, but I held off reading them thinking that there was no way they could live up the hype. I got suckered into the stories because Ron listened to them on audiobook while working in the studio. Since then, I have to admit, that I'm a bit of a Potter-head.
Anyhow, after this past read-through I've adjusted my opinion of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm not quite as disappointed with that particular book as I was in the first reading with two exceptions...there was way too little description of Harry and Ginny's relationship and Dumbledore's funeral was lacking in pomp in my opinion. But I'm hoping that more will be divulged about both in the final book.
My predictions (which could be revised at any point until Book 7 is released):
1. Snape is truly bad and did maliciously kill Dumbledore.
2. Dumbledore is really dead, but will continue to have a presence through his portrait in the headmaster's office.
3. The two main characters that die will be Harry and Voldemort - they will kill each other after Harry has managed to destroy all of the remaining Horcruxes (or after he finds them already destroyed by the mysterious R.A.B.)
4. Harry and Ginny will get back together before the end.
5. Ron and Hermione will end up together.
6. Neville will become even more heroic and will have a larger role.