I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about what we thought the 7th book would bring. I make these predictions based on both being an avid fantasy genre reader and being a writer.
1. Harry will survive, along with Ron and Hermione
If she were writing for any other audience than a YA one, I might believe she would kill off one of these three. However, I believe they represent the future of the wizarding world.
2. Hagrid will sacrifice himself in some way for Harry.
From the very start, Rowling has isolated Harry from every parental figure he has had. His own wizard parents, Sirius Black, and Dumbledore. It would be in keeping with this story arc--Identify someone who has stood by Harry, who has loved him like a parent, and who Harry has received comfort and support from. Now, how can we torture Harry? Take away that person.
3. Neville Longbottom will die, but will kill Bellatrix, thus avenging his parents.
In some ways, Neville is the alter-hero. We've watched his growth and development from book one. In some ways, he and Harry have had parallel lives, both touched and changed forever by their parents' interactions with Voldemort.
4. I see a finale a la LOTR/Chronicles of Narnia in which all the characters bring their resources to a battle with the death eaters that acts as a distraction allowing Harry close access to Voldemort.
I see the dragons coming to fight on the side of good, perhaps to counter the dementors. Also, there may be a role for the other European wizarding schools to return. Rowling is the mistress of foreshadowing and I don't thing there is anything in these books that she didn't intend or will forget to tie back in. Look for a force of house elves.
5. I believe Snape will also die in this final battle, but will redeem himself in the eyes of the wizarding world, fulfilling the role Dumbledore crafted for him.
He is the one wizard that can gain the trust of Voldemort and he will ensure Harry can get close enough to destroy him.
6. Ginny Weasley might die.
I would hate it if she did and it would feel like one more way to torture Harry. The overriding theme of this book is that love and loyalty conquer evil. Harry has learned to rely on his friends, has learned to love and trust, overcoming his love-less childhood. If Ginny were to die, it would highlight the isolation that has always shadowed Harry, especially as Ron and Hermione become closer.
Now, all I have to do is wait for Saturday.