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Sybill Trelawney's predictions

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"I must warn you at the outset that if you do not have the Sight, there is very little I will be able to teach you. Books can take you only so far in this field..."
Sybill Trelawney's introduction to new Divination students in 1993

Sybill Trelawney's predictions refer to the two prophecies and the many predictions Sybill made over the course of her life. Both of these prophecies and many of her predictions came true, however big and small. Her most famous prophecy was the one she made about the defeat of Lord Voldemort by Harry Potter's hand.

Background

1Безымянный

Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney was a Seer who taught Divination at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Sybill was a descendant of the renowned Seer Cassandra Trelawney, and was the first in her family to possess the gift of the Inner Eye since Cassandra. Sybill struggled to find work based on her ancestry because she believed her employers did not treat her right as a true Seer. Eventually, Sybill started to make false predictions and in 1980, she arranged a meeting with Albus Dumbledore at the Hog's Head in the hope of acquiring the position of the Divination professor at Hogwarts School. Dumbledore agreed to meet with her because of the ancestry, but was left disappointed when she showed no sign of Cassandra's skills. Dumbledore kindly declined Sybill's offer, but reconsidered after she went into a trance and gave her first prophecy.[1]

Prophecies

A prophecy is usually given by a Seer involuntarily in a trance-like state. They speak in a different voice and do not seem to remember the event taking place. They will be left exhausted, with Sybill Trelawney merely thinking that she had dozed off. A prophecy may be placed into spun-glass objects such as a ball which is known as a Prophecy Record. They should then be put in the Hall of Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries, which is a room in the Ministry of Magic. They would be named and protected with a number of anti-theft spells to keep them safe. One of these spells induces madness. Only those who the prophecy refers to have the authority to move them, but once they have, the prophecy can be stolen without any consequences. Sybill Trelawney made two prophecies, both of which came true.

The first prophecy

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
— Sybill Trelawney goes into a trance and gives her first prophecy to Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape
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The Prophecy Record containing the first prophecy

In 1980, Sybill Trelawney gave her first prophecy. She spoke of the defeat of Lord Voldemort. She made her prophecy in the presence of both Albus Dumbledore and the Death Eater Severus Snape, who was eavesdropping at the door. Knowing he would tell Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore then hired Trelawney in the hope of protecting her.[1] This prediction came true after Voldemort marked Harry Potter as his equal and this ultimately led to his defeat twice. The first in October 1981 and the second in May 1998.

The second prophecy

"It will happen tonight. 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..."
—Sybil Trelawney’s prediction to Harry Potter
Sybilltrelawneysprophecy

Sybill Trelawney giving her prophecy to Harry Potter

The second prophecy was the second prophecy Sybill made in a trance about Lord Voldemort, shortly after Harry Potter completed his Divination exam. She made this one in 1994 and everything she said came to be. When the prophecy was made, Harry assumed that the servant who had been chained for twelve years was Sirius Black. However, it actually referred to Peter Pettigrew, who, after faking his death, remained in hiding in his Animagus form for twelve years. Later that day, Harry, Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley discovered the truth and in a series of events, Peter broke free and set out to find Lord Voldemort. The following year, Pettigrew helped Voldemort rise again when he brewed the potion which gave Voldemort a corporeal form again.

Ironically, when Sybill was told by Harry that she had made this prophecy, she did not remember it and said she would never have made up something as "far fetched" as that. She merely thought that she dozed off.[2]

Predictions

Sybill's predictions were different from her prophecies. She was aware she was making them and they were smaller in consequence and quite vague. She often deduced them from a medium such as palmistry or tasseography. Sybill made many predictions and a lot of them did come true. However, many of them could have easily been deduced without the “Inner Eye”.

The deaths of students

"Then you should know, Potter, that Sybill Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year since she arrived at this school. None of them has died yet. Seeing death omens is her favourite way of greeting a new class. If it were not for the fact that I never speak ill of my colleagues –"
Professor McGonagall about Sybill Trelawney

While teaching at Hogwarts, Sybill predicted the deaths of many students every year. It bemused her students who never took her very seriously. It also became something the other professors thought was ridiculous, such as Professor McGonagall who told the students there was nothing to worry about. In particular, she predicted the death of Harry Potter several times.

However, Sybill later took back her predictions of Harry's death when Harry gave an interview to The Quibbler in 1995. She instead said that Harry would have a long life, would have twelve children and that he would become Minister for Magic. This prediction can be considered made up. She probably changed it because readers of the interview may have thought it wrong of her to tell a child he was going to die. Even though Sybill wasn't being serious, Harry did go on to have a long life but he does not have twelve children and is unlikely too. Whether he becomes Minster for Magic remains to be seen.[3]

The Grim

"The Grim, my dear, the Grim!’ cried Professor Trelawney, who looked shocked that Harry hadn’t understood. ‘The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear boy, it is an omen – the worst omen – of death!"
—Sybill explains the meaning of The Grim to Harry Potter
Tea leaves 1

The Grim in Harry's teacup during Divination

The Grim refers to both the death of Harry Potter and the return of Sirius Black. It is mentioned several times throughout the 1993-1994 school.

In his first Divination lesson, Sybill has Harry and her other students read tea leaves. When Sybill looks into Harry's cup, she deduces many things. The first thing she sees is a falcon which she says means he has deadly enemy. This obviously means Lord Voldemort. Hermione Granger points out everyone knows that. She then sees a club which means he will be attacked. This can be seen as true, since he is obviously attacked many times. Later in that same year alone, he is attacked by Dementors and a werewolf. Sybill then sees a skull which she says means there is great danger in his path. This is true for the same reason as the club. The Death Eaters symbol is also a skull. She then screams and says she now sees The Grim, which is an omen of death. The Grim is the form of a spectral dog. She then predicts Harry's death for the first time. Harry did face his death in the Battle of Hogwarts.

However, Sybill did not see at the time the connection to Sirius Black. Sirius Black's Patronus was a big, black dog. Spectral could also be used to describe Sirius' appearance. Perhaps The Grim was also a foreshadowing of Harry meeting Sirius by the end of the school year. Closer to this meeting, Trelawney says in another lesson "it is here, plainer than ever before... my dear, stalking towards you, growing ever closer... the (Grim)". This is further proof that The Grim also meant Sirius Black himself. These predictions can be counted as true.[3]

Neville's grandmother

"You, boy,’ she said suddenly to Neville, who almost toppled off his pouffe, ‘is your grandmother well?’ ‘I think so,’ said Neville tremulously. ‘I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you, dear,’ said Professor Trelawney, the firelight glinting on her long emerald earrings."
—Sybill’s warning to Neville about Augusta Longbottom

Sybill told Neville Longbottom in a Divination lesson that he shouldn't be so sure that his grandmother is well. However, Augusta seemed well the day before when she was mentioned at King's Cross and no further comment is made about her health so it is unknown whether this was true.[3]

Parvati's warning

"By the way, my dear,’ she shot suddenly at Parvati Patil, ‘beware a red-haired man."
—Sybill’s warning to Parvati Patil

Sybill told Parvati Patil in a Divination lesson that she should beware of a red haired man. It is possible that she was referring to the way Ronald Weasley treated her sister when he invited her to the Yule Ball in 1994.[3]

The flu

" Unfortunately, classes will be disrupted in February by a nasty bout of flu. I myself will lose my voice."
—Sybill's warning to her students in their first lesson

Sybill predicted in a Divination lesson that her classes would be disrupted by the flu in February and that she would lose her voice. This is never confirmed to have happened.[3]

The loss of a student

"And around Easter, one of our number will leave us for ever."
—Sybill says she thinks someone will leave by the end of spring

It was said by Sybill in a Divination lesson that one of her students would be leaving the class forever at Easter 1994. Easter takes place in spring which is when Hermione Granger stormed out her lesson and never returned. When this happened, Lavender remembered the prediction and was deeply impressed. Sybill then claimed that she even knew back then it would be Hermione who would leave but that she had hoped she might have mistaken the Signs. She tells everyone how the Inner Eye can be a burden.[3]

The sixteenth of October

"Thank you, my dear. Incidentally, that thing you are dreading – it will happen on Friday the sixteenth of October."
—Sybill's warning to Lavender Brown

Sybill told Lavender Brown that the thing she was dreading would happen on 16 October. This came true because on that date, Lavender received a letter telling her that her Binky


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