I don't think I slept that much last night - I was laying awake mentally rewriting my WiPs that are not sequels to contain HBP canon. At least one is a total loss so I may just finish it with OotP canon instead, or rewrite it completely, but there are a couple that have distinct potential. I do like school based fic, but anything post HBP will have to start elsewhere, although it can be brought back to Hogwarts eventually. I sincerely believe the final battle/confontation will be at Hogwarts no matter what else happens in book 7.
First off - I don't see how this has killed any ships, and I mean any. Fanfic is wonderful like that. So there are ships that are unlikely and anyone writing them will have to work hard to bring their ship about, but that just makes it more interesting.
Obsticals to fic and solutions (and I'm not saying these are likely to happen in canon, just that there is never anything cut and dried):
Problem: Dumbledore is dead so he can't be in a fic.
Solution: His hand was burned, he was looking old and worn, he was weakening, he died and his body vanished in a flash of flame - can we say' burning day' and 'phoenix born again from the ashes'?
Problem: Hermione/Ron is so completely there how could either of them be paired with another.
Solution: Kill one, pair the other off. Put one in St Mugo's as a vegitable, give the other a comfort pairing (and there are so many more solutions to this one that I'm not even going to bother to go on).
Problem: Snape is evil, he killed Dumbledore
Solution: Um yeah, and then failed to damage Harry even when he had the opertunity, because I'm sure Voldemort would have so minded a slightly bruised Harry, because he's been so careful with him before. Between the lines; the whole book is from Harry's PoV and Harry has been known to get it wrong from time to time. There is so much that went on between Snape and Dumbledore that we did not see. Dumbledore is Obi Wan or any other aged mentor; he had to be out of the way for his protege to shine and he has planned for everything. I just cannot see him being so wrong about Snape. Snape is a spy who Dumbledore asked to kill him to help his cover and for reasons that have yet to be revealed.
Problem: Draco has gone to Voldemort, H/D is dead.
Solution: Yeah right, and for the first time Harry feels something for Draco that is not dislike or hatred. It's the first indication in canon that a relationship between them is even remotely possible. Draco could not kill. There were witnesses to the fact that he could not kill. He will be punished for this. He's only doing this to stay alive and protect his family. He will hate Voldemort almost as much as Harry by the time this is over. All that needs to happen is for his mother to be put somewhere safe and Draco can swap sides - Dumbledore showed him this. There is so much potential here that my brain will not shut up about it.
Problem: Bill is marrying Fleur, Bill with anyone else is impossible.
Solution: *points up at Ron/Hermione entry* same goes for this one, and since I have a threesome kink, I wouldn't mind adding to their number as well :).
Problem: I love school fic and it looks as if Hogwarts is going to close
Solution: Personally I think Hogwarts will be open in the seventh book, and it was left open to go either way. If you want school fic, then let Harry find clues that mean what he's looking for is at Hogwarts. He could even come back as a normal pupil to hide what he's doing at the beginning of the seventh year. Or, close Hogwarts for a year, let Harry quest and then open it again so they can complete their education once the war is over.
Problem: Sirius is still dead and she didn't even mention him.
Solution: Big deal - she mentioned his name in the first book and not again until the third; this woman knows how to wait. We have possessed dead bodies wandering around now and all sorts of stuff like that; bringing Sirius back is still just a matter of deciding how to do it. Remus/Sirius/Tonks anyone?
What I like to think is really going on:
Okay, so to what I actually think is going on in the book. This is purely my opinion and is probably totally wrong, but this is where I am at thanks to a sleepless night of digesting the plot and what other people have pointed out that I was not originally thinking about.
Dumbledore is dead and will remain so, but he planned it that way and will still have influence on Harry's life - probably when he comes of age. It will be to do with power or knowledge. I believe he knew what was in the cave before they went and was intending to die anyway. He needed to know what Malfoy's plan was so that he could stop it from happening again and it was his set up as much as Draco's.
Snape is not a traitor to the Light, he is working to a very specific plan and someone else other than Dumbledore knows what it is. I have a feeling that either Moody or someone else in the Order knows the truth. Harry will confront Snape at some point, ready to kill him and find out what is really going on. Snape will help Harry defeat Voldemort by feeding him clues to where the Horcruxes are how to get to them.
Draco will change sides. Narcissa will be kept safe by the order and Draco will spy with Snape, or join Harry in his quest for the Horcruxes. Lucius will get out of Azkaban and at some point will sacrifice himself to save his son.
I think Snape and Draco are both part of Dumbledore's plan to make sure the Slytherins aren't all takem by Voldemort.
Regulus was the one who stole the locket. It is somewhere in Grimauld Place and retreiving it will have something to do with Sirius. I still believe the way Sirius died was too strange to be throw away.
Harry will spend his summer looking for the Horcruxes, he will go to Grimauld Place at least once and will end up back at Hogwarts at some point - ROn and Hermione will be helping him. I think there is a good chance he is related to the Horcruxes in some way, possibly his scar indicating that he is partially one or that Voldemort was trying to make one with his death, but it backfired and he is now something else. Possibly, because he is pure he became a vessel for part of Voldemort's soul which is now lost to the Dark Lord completely and Voldemort does not even realise that Harry has it. I would not be surprised if Harry dies in the final battle, sacrificing himself so that Voldemort will die, but will be reborn like all the phoenix imagery we have seen through the books.
I also think all the pairings shown in HBP will remain and Harry will end up with Ginny. As much as I am a slasher at heart and will continue to write H/D, that's never going to happen in canon I think the lines have been drawn in the sand.
I think Remus will end up facing Peter and Peter will be about to kill him with his silver hand when Harry will call in his wizard's debt. Peter will end up dead, Remus will survive.
I have other things floating around in my head, but I will not bore you with them. Others have been far more articulate than me, but I had to share before I went nuts ::g::. Now I must get back to a fic I was supposed to have finished by Friday, but I was somewhat distracted by a certain book and all the chat about it ::g::.