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"Crystal-gazing is a particularly refined art."
Professor Trelawney describing the art of reading crystal balls[src]

A crystal ball (or, as Seers prefer to call it, the Orb) is a crystal sphere which Seers gaze into for the purpose of Divination.

Because of their condensed thickness, they can serve as makeshift blunt weapons, as Trelawney managed to knock out the werewolf Fenrir Greyback by throwing one at his head, and then used her wand to launch more as projectiles.

History

Sybill Trelawney introduced all third year students to this device and its proper use in 1994. However, most students, Harry Potter and his friends in general, saw nothing more than the white blank swirl in it, and Ron joked about how that night would be very foggy. In their end of year exam, the third years had to look into a crystal ball and predict the future. Harry lied and said that he saw Buckbeak getting off his trial that night. Professor Trelawney then made a prediction, one of the two proper ones she had ever made.

In 1996, crystal gazing was part of the Divination O.W.L. exams, and while Harry failed to see anything in his, Ron embarrassed himself by describing at length the ugly man with a wart on his nose that he saw in his crystal ball, before realising that he was describing his examiner's reflection.[1]

"And with a move like a tennis serve, she heaved another enormous crystal sphere from her bag, waved her wand through the air, and caused the ball to speed across the hall and smash through a window."
—Trelawney weaponising crystal balls during the Battle of Hogwarts.[src]

These objects were used by Professor Sybill Trelawney in the Battle of Hogwarts, against the Death Eaters; she threw one at Fenrir Greyback as he attempted to fiercely maul Lavender Brown, knocking the werewolf out. She then used her wand to launch more crystal balls as projectiles.

There was a Healer in Diagon Alley that kept what appeared to be a crystal ball on her desk.

Behind the scenes

Appearances

Divination class

The crystal balls as used by the students in Divination class

Notes and references


Divination
Professors: Sybill Trelawney · Firenze
Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Inigo Imago · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer
Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future
Methods: Astrology · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Ichthyomancy · Palmistry · Ornithomancy · Tarot cards · Tessomancy
Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom 11