I keep hearing people say that killing Fred was the meanest thing J.K. Rowling could have done.
This is the meanest thing she could have done. Replace “Nineteen Years Later” with this:
It was at that moment that Harry was startled by Aunt Petunia rapping on the cupboard door, sounding frenzied and beyond excitement.
“Get up you lazy dog, get up, it’s Duddy’s birthday! I’ll be damned if you’re going to sleep through it! Now go start the bacon!” she cried, her voice high with anticipation.
Harry thought back to his strange dream, but all he could remember now was a strange, eerie apprehension about it all. He could not, however, even remember any of the people’s names he had dreamed of. He dismissed it soon and was up to make breakfast.
It is regretful to say that Harry, truly the son of Lily and James Potter, who had died in a car wreck, had obtained his scar when a bit of glass flew into his head during the moment when he lost his parents. During the trip to the zoo, the glass stayed quite intact before the serpent, and no post arrived for him for a number of years. Harry was, if the outcome of a sad story, a quite non-magical boy with a wild dream imagination.
Some years later he moved out of the Dursley’s home to become an accountant at an old firm and married twice. Not once was he aware of the dream he had had so many years ago, and what wonderful sorrow he had left in his sleepy cupboard.
Harry Potter was, in all truth, an ordinary boy, and victim of an unfortunate event.