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 Post subject: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Use this space to discuss anything about the podcast episode, including content, questions, and general comments!

If you haven't listened to this episode, you can download it or listen online...

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:30 am 
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Really excited about the show moving weekly –great news! Some thoughts on the episode:

Hermione

All the talk of Hermione acting out this week got me thinking about unintended outcomes. If Hermione wasn’t so stressed and tired she would never, or at least I doubt she would, have walked out of Divination. Obviously the stress of having to do all the classes was a bad thing overall but it had the unexpected outcome of making Hermione more forthright here. I wonder if this gave her the taste for breaking the rules a little, and made her realise that bending the rules from time to time isn’t the worst thing in the world?

Hermione and the Time Turner
However that same incident makes me question the support Hermione was getting at the school. Surely a student who had an excellent behaviour record suddenly storming out of class should have been a huge red flag for the school? Maybe they spoke to her about this but I think that might be the point where you take away the TT for her own good.

I also got to thinking about just how much trust the school put in Hermione when it comes to exams. It would be really easy to cheat if you had a TT. Maybe they confiscated it for these days? But I imagine she’d need it to potentially do two exams at once? Just another example of the TT not making much sense. I know people can pick holes in those examples, but overall it just doesn’t work – as much as I love what playing with time does for this book.

Trelawney
Trelawney and Divination are, I think, one of the weaker aspects of JKR’s writing. The flipside to the obligatory genius moment, if you like. Divination just isn’t explained nearly enough in the books. My interpretation of the books is that there is something to Divination, some merit in watching the stars, understanding the history etc that Trelawney does teach and is taught in the wider wizarding world. Because if she is solely a fraud then it is nonsense that Dumbledore would allow her to teach a subject for so long. This subject takes kids away from actual subject when they choose what subjects to take in later years, so it must have some relevance. That said – all of this is my imagination, as there is little no actual evidence of this in the books.

I also don’t know how to take Trelawney. In part she is written as a cartoon, a silly old fraud. But then when she is drinking and interacts with McGonagoll we are to take her seriously as a sort of tragic character. I don’t think the two sides of her marry up particularly well based on the information we get in the books. At times she seems vindictive and mean, at others just plain mad and delusional. For me she doesn’t quite come together and I wonder if the character was written around the prophecy, rather than writing a character and giving her the role of imparting the prophecy.

Hogwarts Numbers
I know that the dormitory sizes etc don’t work – but I go with the number of students being close to 1000. Most secondary schools in my area in Scotland have around 1000 pupils are an awful lot smaller than Hogwarts. For me the dorm sizes and so on are the oversight, rather than the number of students. It makes more sense, to me anyway, that there are around 200 in each house. Otherwise the Great Hall would be smaller than I imagine, there would barely be a crowd at the Quidditch games etc etc etc

Dumbledore and his Portrait
I really disagree with Laura on Dumbledore and his portrait. I think he would want to teach it as much as possible. The point that no-one picked up on was his duty as a Hogwarts headmaster. I think he would take this very seriously, and part of that duty is in leaving a portrait behind to help future headmasters and the school as the years go on. Leaving a legacy does not need to be an egotistical exercise, it can be done quietly.

Also, if I could speak to my portrait I think I’d use it as a sort of diary. It would be quite a good exercise for people actually, a little therapy.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:57 pm 
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YAY! More Podcasts! THis is awesome!

Hermione gives Draco a slap
I love this moment too… This really is the crescendo of Hermione’s empowerment. Finding friends, discovering Voldemort’s secrets, growing in her rebel character, really becoming an integral part of the wizarding community, and overcoming her “mudblood” label given by those with prejudice …. And she gets to SLAP Draco Malfoy!!

And there might be a good circle theory parallel here in Hermione’s interest in and defense of magical creatures … Buckbeak/Hippogriffs in PoA and Dobby & Winky/House Elves in OoP

Trelawney Prophecizing
I don't necessarily think she is so incompetent as was mentioned in the podcast. She makes correct predictions (even apart from the "demented moments" as Caleb said). Despite the JKR quote that was discussed, it might also be that Trelawney's problem is that she misinterprets her visions. She sees the big black dog and interprets it as the grim but it really is Sirius as animagus. She sees someone will be leaving the class and she interprets it as a death but it really is just Hermione storming out. I think that she definitely has the "gift" to see but the gift to correctly interpret visions, i.e. to make predictions, just isn't there (other than those demented moments). Based on that distinction.... it seems like two different things - the seeing of future events and the detailed predictions of future happenings (if that makes sense). It’s like she gets short snippet visions (someone leaving the class) in normal life and then misinterprets them. At the other end of the spectrum, she gets these fully formed, body numbing, subconscious visions that are formal predictions. Her ineptitude at interpreting is sidestepped by her “demented moments.”
You guys also discussed her awareness of her inabilities. But I think she is frustrated that she continually misinterprets her visions... she would have figured out that what she was interpreting as a death among the students really just was Hermione's rebellion from Divination. She is frustrated that she continually misinterprets and eventually probably just makes the more dramatic proclamations to cover her lack of self-confidence.

The Prophecy and Barty Crouch
The PoA Prophecy:
Quote:
The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight … the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight … before midnight … the servant … will set out … to rejoin … his master….

OBLIGATORY GENIUS MOMENT …. This prophecy could have really been meant to describe THREE different people or scenarios. #1: Harry thinks it is about Sirius, then after the events at the end of PoA, #2: Harry thinks it is about Pettigrew, and then after Crouch’s brain dump at the end of GoF, #3: it could have also meant Barty Crouch Jr. Just like the prophecy in the Dept. of Mysteries that could have applied to both Harry and Neville …. And eventually it settled on Harry. So these predictions are ambiguous and not necessarily set in stone and have dual or TRIPLE meanings!! It just goes to show how tightly and magically JKR spun this tale!!
However, when thinking more about the actual words of the prophecy, while it might imply what Barty Jr. would eventually do, I think it specifically references Pettigrew. "Twelve years" could apply to either Pettigrew or Crouch (even Sirius) because Crouch and Bellatrix were rounded up for Azkaban around the time that Sirius was (and Pettigrew disappeared) because they were torturing the Longbottoms for info. So Crouch could have been chucked in Azkaban the same year as Sirius. The “Tonight before midnight” bit is the real kicker … this is definitely referring to Peter. But interestingly … in GoF (pg. 688 US) During Crouch’s brain dump and speaking of VOldemort arriving at the Crouch home and overtaking Barty Sr.:
Quote:
He arrived at our house near midnight. My father answered the door.

While the midnight reference is scarily similar, it is certainly not the same night referenced in the prophecy (unless when Pettigrew re-transforms and runs for it, he immediately apparates to Albania, finds VOldy, finds Bertha Jorkins, they do the memory stuff and set off straight away for the Crouch home … Not likely). The actual timeline involves the World Cup and so Voldemort reaches the Crouch house after the events of the World cup. So unfortunately the prophecy is not actually a triple trick but does generally foreshadow what will eventually happen with Barty Jr.

P.S. I have long been a serious Jim Dale fan but I think I will break out and try the Stephen Fry versions .... MORE POTTER PLEASE!

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Quote:
She makes correct predictions (even apart from the "demented moments" as Caleb said). Despite the JKR quote that was discussed, it might also be that Trelawney's problem is that she misinterprets her visions.


This is what I was getting at with Divination being underwritten. My reading of the books is that her only true predictions are the ones where her voice changes. As others on the podcast suggested, I think the misinterpretation of the dog is not Trelawney getting close but rather just making so many predictions, often about death, that some of them seem correct after the fact. I took the 'correct' decisions to be a sort of fun irony for us later; it makes it all the more tragic that she is most correct when she is most wrong, if that makes sense.

BUT - as I type all of this, I could be completely wrong, because the books don't tell us enough about what divination is and how it works. Is there a difference between a 'seer' and a 'true seer'? Can a seer turn it on and off, as it were, or do real prophecies only come in the scary voice? I'd have really loved more centaur input in this - perhaps more chapters with Firenze teaching about what is 'real' prediction, and the differences between types of divination.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:29 pm 

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This is a long one--sorry about that!

Firstly, Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup is one of the few scenes in Harry Potter that still brings tears to my eyes. It’s so joyful and pure and wonderful. <3

Umbridge

Umbridge is a sadist--it's impossible to excuse her intentions and gloss over her torture in order to entertain an arbitrary moral stance about "intentions". I think the guest host was spot-on regarding how Umbridge can still create and maintain a Patronus despite her rotten soul--she is determined to survive and be powerful and in control.

Hogwarts

As far as Hogwarts' magical furnishings, I'm pretty sure the magical environment of the school is out of the teachers' control a lot of the time. Hogwarts' atmosphere has probably magnified in the thousand years it's been building and warping within it's protective confines. In fact, some of the magic is probably so old, the teachers can't sort it out!

The Marauders

Regarding Lupin, the night Snape came to explore the Shrieking Shack: Lupin was a teenage werewolf with limited control over his werewolf form. As Remus himself said, he only felt more in control when he was wandering with his friends in their animal forms. The night Snape came along, Remus was alone (which is an odd thing, and adds to the idea that Sirius set it up to purposefully hurt Snape). Thus, if Remus sensed a threat, he would attack, presumably to kill.

Sirius didn't have a wand in order to change his appearance--it was taken when he went to Azkaban. Plus he can transform into a dog (we can presume it's wandless magic based on the fact that they snap your wand when you go to jail, and presumably Peter doesn't carry a rat-sized wand with him to transform into Scabbers). Thus, Sirius didn't need to take a potion/transfigure his face.

Lupin and Hermione are often compared based on their "intellect". Ironically, McGonagall only refers to James and Sirius as excellent and intelligent wizards, even though they never applied themselves. Lupin might have been the better student (in terms of not disrupting class, finishing his homework, etc.), but we have no indications that he's of anything but average intelligence. However, He and Hermione do act as the voice of reason in order rein in their friends.

I must disagree wholeheartedly that Pettigrew resented Sirius for being James’ friend. Peter’s framing of Sirius began and ended with Peter’s desire to protect himself. (And I can’t imagine it felt good to have Sirius suggest him as Secret Keeper based on the idea that Peter would never be suspected because he was somehow “less”.)

Death Eaters

I also have to disagree re: the competence of the Death Eaters (brought up during the Crabbe/Goyle discussion). Because of Voldemort's own magical skill, charisma, and ability to identify other with the appropriate skill sets to help him (and that means competent politicians, spies, and--yes--brutes), Voldemort was going to win. He didn't lose the war because of the Order. He lost because of Harry. And to be honest, the Order was full of talented wizards, but there were only about 20 of them, and they were largely underground. They were not operating with the approval of the ministry--if they had been, they would've been much larger and probably more effective. The Death Eaters were selected for a reason--their ideology above all, in many cases, paired with their ability to follow instructions, infiltrate government, and think on their feet. You can't do that and be a dummy.

Hermione's Slap and the "Feminist" Narrative

To enter into the “feminist” discussion about the slap v. the punch—well, honestly, it’s a pointless comparison. Hermione struck Draco, which is said to be empowering. (Although, if you wanted to compare the traditional “meanings” of each, a slap is associated with shaming the receiver, and a punch—or backhand—is punishment) Being someone who values justice, I don’t think Hermione was out of line to slap Draco. However, one must consider the inverse. If Draco has slapped or punched Hermione, he would be considered even more of a monster, even if Hermione (for whatever reason) said something bad enough to warrant her own slap. I recall Laura mentioning that a slap is reserved for “a crappy boyfriend”, but what about a crappy girlfriend? Would people consider it “justice” then? Or just abuse? Just challenging a few viewpoints here to establish what equality truly means.

Headcanon Confirmed (Unsurprisingly)

I postulated that Gideon and Fabian were twins months ago—and that they were meant to parallel to Fred and George. I’m glad that the hosts agree and see the literary tool that Rowling was applying, even when many other posters were vehemently against it (for some reason). Thanks for confirming my observation!

Some thoughts on time travel

Time travel and why it’s confusing: in the books, we learn that time travel is essentially a loop—the events that the “present” trio experience are coinciding with the events that the “future”/time-traveling Harry and Hermione experience. That is to say, a past version of Harry and Hermione have already time-traveled, even as they prepare to do it for what we readers see as the first time. Confused yet? :P This is cleverly done by Rowling, and suggests that there are many overlapping time loops that all affect each other.

Thoughts? Anything to add/dispute?


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:49 pm 

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Listening to this episode, I found myself wondering: How does Crookshanks get in and out of the castle seemingly on his own? Where DO all the cats poo? Is there a cat flap on the front door? How many doors are there that go straight outside?

So many questions, but I don't think they are so unreasonable. Students are supposed to be in their dormitories by 9, and in their beds by midnight (seems to be the general rule, though 1st and 2nd years might have earlier dorm curfews?) So Hermione can't be going to let Crookshanks out after 9. Out of the common room, sure, but out of the castle... And in Prisoner of Azkaban, we have all kinds of security measures going on. I don't know if even Filch would open the front door for the Hogwart's students cats... The only cats we ever meet are Crookshanks and Mrs Norris, though we do know that Millicent Bulstrode has a cat. I can understand why we don't meet very many cats in Hogwarts, but we just don't know how or where they go when they need the little kitties room. It makes the most sense that they can get outside somehow. So my theory is, there must be a cat flap or two on the ground floor of the castle. Maybe only cats can find it, and it's spelled against all other creatures. Or maybe all Hogwarts students pets are registered when they come in each year, and for the cats they are charmed so they can find the cat flaps, and no outside cat can.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Great episode! I'm so excited you guys are coming to us every week now :)

First off, I wanted to make a quick comment about the Malfoys. I don't think Draco is quite as weak as he has been portrayed in various episodes and by commenters on the forums. I see Draco as a smart, capable student and wizard. He rarely has trouble in his classes; I think he got a better grade than Harry on his Potions OWL since he was supposed to be in Snape's NEWT level class, and Snape only takes Outstanding grades for his class. Draco is also incredibly proficient at curses and jinxes, as we have seen a number of times. The only time we see Draco have any trouble is when is family becomes threatened in his 6th year. Voldemort has forced him to do something no school-aged child should have to do, and he is not expected to succeed. Failure will only result in further destruction of his family, and that scares him. The Malfoys are true Slytherins - glory and greatness are important, but I think it's been discussed that loyalty is also important. When greatness and glory fail the Malfoys, they are not clambering over each other to win greatness back; they do what must be done to protect the family. I don't think Draco is a weak character, and I don't think he's quite as innocent as has been projected onto him. It is often discussed that Draco is a product of his environment, which to an extent he is, but I don't think he deserves this "poor Draco" mantra that has been going on. You can't forget that when Lucius and Narcissa stop caring about the war and only about protecting their family, Draco is the one still fighting. When his parents give up at the end of DH, Draco still attempts to foil Harry's plans to beat Voldemort. He is acting on his own accord, and is perhaps doing this because he thinks it will help elevate his family so they are all safe again.

Sorry if this seems like a bit of a brain dump! I have just caught up on episodes and this is a response to episodes throughout, particularly when you talk about Patronuses, as well as a response to the discussion about Draco at the beginning of the podcast.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Ok, now onto the podcast.

Hermione's sudden outburst of rebellion
I think Hermione's rebellion may be directly related to Buckbeak's conviction. Hermione plays by the rules and depends on justice to help Hagrid acquit Buckbeak. Playing into the “justice” theme for the week, what if Hermione has started to realize that playing by the rules doesn’t always bring justice? Of course, her continued strain of her classes is the main contributor, but Hermione is always stressed out about school. I think Buckbeak’s conviction is a turning point for her character. In many cases when justice fails, such as in OoP, Hermione abandons her fondness for the rules so that justice can be found. This is also seen in CoS when they believe Malfoy is setting the basilisk on students and he is not brought to justice. Additionally, when they find out that Malfoy is not the Heir of Slytherin, Hermione is much slower to jump to conclusions about Malfoy. I think, then, that Hermione learned at a very early age the dangers of skipping over justice and jumping to conclusions. As continued injustice at the Ministry is revealed throughout the series, Hermione is bothered the most out of the trio, and she generally sets out to do something about it (S.P.E.W.). I think the injustice toward Buckbeak is too much for her to handle, so she starts side-stepping rules.

Quick comment on Harry and Ron’s blindness to Hermione – the downfall of Harry and Ron is that they are both very slow on the uptake. Harry, throughout the series, is very thick and stubborn, so it doesn’t surprise me that they didn’t put the pieces together. Intelligence is not Harry’s strong suit.

I am pretty sure Hagrid's hut is on the map. In GoF, when Mr. Crouch appears from out of the forest, "Professor Moody" sees it all happen on the map. We know that this also happens near Hagrid's hut, because he comes running over quickly. Based on this, I think Hagrid's hut is on the map.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Another awesome show! I'm so excited about the weekly episodes: I have a severe Alohomora! addiction and it kills me having to wait two weeks!

About the 1,000 figure for Hogwarts: I really can't see how that's possible. I've spent ages thinking about this, and it doesn't add up.
Obviously there's the common argument that there are five boys in Harry's dormitory, and so if we use that as a basis then we get 10 students per year per house, which adds up to 70 per house, and so only about 280 students (Right? I’m tired..). However, that is easily overruled by the fact that we have no idea how many students are in the other dormitories, and it is very unlikely that the Sorting Hat splits the students into quarters exactly.
But, I can't get past the fact that Jo also told us there are only 3,000 Witches and Wizards in the UK... (That is, of course, assuming she was including underage Witches and Wizards in her 3,000 figure). So, that means that a third of the UK's magical population are between the ages of 11 and 18.
... Uh-huh.. Whatever you say, Queen Jo!

As for the Hermione slap, I think it was just Hermione’s anger at Trelawney, the stress of classes, the madness of Buckbeak’s unjust execution being let out at Malfoy, not to mention the fact that Malfoy himself caused the situation with Buckbeak and was bragging about it. I think we all have moments (even just split-second thoughts?) where we want to take a leaf out of Hermione’s book when someone really gets on our nerves. I guess, what with Hermione being insanely tired, it would have been pretty difficult to restrain herself.
I honestly don’t think the punch in the movie is really that out of character. In fact, I don’t think the slap was even harsh enough on Malfoy, after everything he’d been saying. And besides, Prisoner is SO the best movie! ;D

Quote:
I see Draco as a smart, capable student and wizard. He rarely has trouble in his classes; I think he got a better grade than Harry on his Potions OWL since he was supposed to be in Snape's NEWT level class, and Snape only takes Outstanding grades for his class. Draco is also incredibly proficient at curses and jinxes, as we have seen a number of times.

You took the words right out of my mouth (or my fingers, seeing as I’m typing this).
I think Draco is very intelligent, and in cases where he isn't as intelligent, he has cunning and ambition to see him through. He actually did a very good job of attempting to kill Dumbledore in book 6, even if it was a little cruel, to say the least. Really, he only failed because of annoying coincidences.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 27, PoA 15-16: Witch Slap
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:06 am 
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Hufflepuffskein wrote:
YAY!
Trelawney Prophecizing
I don't necessarily think she is so incompetent as was mentioned in the podcast. She makes correct predictions (even apart from the "demented moments" as Caleb said). Despite the JKR quote that was discussed, it might also be that Trelawney's problem is that she misinterprets her visions. She sees the big black dog and interprets it as the grim but it really is Sirius as animagus. She sees someone will be leaving the class and she interprets it as a death but it really is just Hermione storming out. I think that she definitely has the "gift" to see but the gift to correctly interpret visions, i.e. to make predictions, just isn't there (other than those demented moments). Based on that distinction.... it seems like two different things - the seeing of future events and the detailed predictions of future happenings (if that makes sense). It’s like she gets short snippet visions (someone leaving the class) in normal life and then misinterprets them. At the other end of the spectrum, she gets these fully formed, body numbing, subconscious visions that are formal predictions. Her ineptitude at interpreting is sidestepped by her “demented moments.”

You guys also discussed her awareness of her inabilities. But I think she is frustrated that she continually misinterprets her visions... she would have figured out that what she was interpreting as a death among the students really just was Hermione's rebellion from Divination. She is frustrated that she continually misinterprets and eventually probably just makes the more dramatic proclamations to cover her lack of self-confidence.


I agree Hufflepuffskein. Specifically, for me, the best example is Harry's examination where he describes future events with Buckbeak. Both Trelawney and Harry are correct in their predictions. Trelawney sees Buckbeak's death by beheading, which had time travel not been used would have happened. Harry, in this scene, is oddly adamant about what he's seeing. After he begins his prediction with a lie, the narrator never again points out Harry lying, only that the perfumes are getting to his head. I propose that Harry is having a true vision of what's happening to Buckbeak. Harry sees what actually happens to Buckbeak. Is he willing it or is he seeing it? That's the fine line in Divination.

I've seen rumblings that JKR doesn't have a handle on Divination, but I think it's her most fully formed subject. To quote Yoda, "The future, always in motion it is. Difficult to see, it is." Go back to Dumbledore discussing the Prophecy with Harry at the end of Book 5. Yoda's principle applies in the Hogwarts saga also. Accurate predictions can be made, but only when every possible variable is no longer a variable. For example in THE Prophecy, Voldemort was at the height of his power, now only fearing Dumbledore. He trusted no one. And luckily for him, Peter Pettigrew, a traitor, became the Potter's Secret Keeper. Therefore, when THE Prophecy is made, in the Hog's Head, with Snape present, the outcome is unchangeable. Upon receiving the information there's only one course Voldemort would take (killing the boy). There's no alternate action Voldmort could have taken, given his psychology. There's no way for him to be stopped by anyone. There's no way he wouldn't do it himself. So the prediction is possible because there's no other possibility. It is inevitable. That is how a true prophecy comes into being. There's no true prophecies for something like, "On May 21, 2015, John Doe will eat toast at 3:45 A.M." because the variables for that prediction are far too many.

This is why its an "inexact" form of magic. Reading the signs (and the stars) has so many variables that you can rarely be sure. But if you study the subject hard, you could predict certain broad issues. Like, "Mars is bright tonight." AKA "War is coming." And occasionally you could get things one hundred percent right, like Trelawney. (I know in the Hall of Prophecies, Dumbledore says there are many prophecies that are not fulfilled, but I'll bet that there were only two possibilities with regards to the said prophecies. Unlike other predictions, which have unlimited possibilities.)

However, the point JKR makes with Divination and with Harry's painful past, is that you have to live in the present. There's only fate on the surface. (If you're in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 there's nothing you can do.) However, There is no emotional fate. Do you either accept defeat or walk into the arena with you held high. (Dumbledore said it better, but I can't find the quote).

Time Travel

Now on to time travel, another one of JKR's genius moments that many readers don't like. Do you know how in Back to the Future it's explained that if you change something in the past it creates a tangent? Your time is one line, and then an alternate time is created on a different line. There could be two separate versions of time, of your life.

Present time: -------------------------

Tangent time: ----------\____________

Well, that doesn't happen in the Hogwarts saga. There's only one timeline and if you mess with it you can find yourself in an unappealing predicament. The basics. No one can see you meddle with time. Harry and Hermione can't be seen at the end of POA because everyone who would see them would realize something wasn't right and would change there actions accordingly. However, Hermione is able to attend separate classes at the exact same time because all of those people are in different places at the same time and therefore wouldn't realize that something is wrong.

Now that's just for other people. For yourself, when you change time, there's another rule. Your self in the present can't be seen by yourself from the "future". The reason being is, that if you see yourself, then you'd know that you'd already changed time and therefore you wouldn't need to go back and change time. Perhaps, you've noticed the paradox already. If not think about this. What if Dumbledore had walked into the hospital ward and told Harry and Hermione, "Your time-turner worked. You saved Sirius and Buckbeak and everything's alright. (Hermione) Well Harry, that's great. I guess there's no need to go back and fix everything because we've already done it." See the problem? You would already know that you've done it, so there would be no motivation for you to do it.

In order to change time, you have to have the understanding that time needs to be changed
. That's key.

Another point: The Present and time-turning to the past at that moment are the same thing. When Harry and Hermione are changing time, that happens at the same time as them not changing time. Your not in two different timelines, your in the same present even if you yourself go "back in time." When Harry and Hermione are in the hospital wing, Fudge knows that Buckbeak has escaped. Thank God he didn't mention that to Snape because he knows that Buckbeak wasn't beheaded. Remember, JKR's Golden Rule, when you die you die. If Harry and Hermione had failed to save Buckbeak in time they couldn't go back to save him. Death is irreparable. Since Buckbeak is being saved in the present when Harry and Hermione go back to save him it was imperative that they not see Buckbeak's beheading. They had to see just enough to think that he did die. Otherwise, there would be no need to save him.

Some have described this as a loop. I like to think of it as a circle. A circle has no beginning and no end. If your on the right side of the circle and you go back in time to the left side, the circle remains the same no matter what you do. But when you zoom in to that miniscule bit of time, it seems like your altering time itself. On the grand scheme of things, though, your just making choices that effect the future, no different then choosing to go to lunch at noon instead of eleven.

Wow, JKR is smart! I tried to make that as simple as possible and that's as short as I could make it. Also, I made a similarly long-winded description of the Marauder's map on Episode 25's discussion forum that give my answer to the map discussion on this episode for anyone interested.

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"They were cold and empty and made you think of dark tunnels."


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