Reaction to No Plot for Potter
Hi, I just read your comments regarding the prophecy at the end of Book
5. I just wanted to add my own thoughts to your argument. Originally,
I was disappointed by the ending, as well. Then the more I thought about
it, the more brilliant it became. Now, I don't deny that more people would
have enjoyed it if she would've made it a more spectacular revelation,
but JKR is always subtle, if nothing else (she tells us this through Snape,
who is known to go on about the subtleties in potion making, occlumency,
"You have no subtlety, Potter!, etc.).
So, about the prophecy itself. I don't think what is revealed to us is
as important as what is not revealed to Voldemort. Knowledge is power,
after all. For all that Voldemort knows, the end of the prophecy could
say _anything_. No doubt this will make him much more cautious in the
future. Notice how after Harry defeated him in his 'real' form, the very
next thing he did was to go after the prophesy. He's scared to act without
it. He doesn't understand why this boy keeps defeating him and thinks
the answer is in the prophecy. Again, I think not knowing will make him
very, very cautious in going after Harry again.
Also, I interpret it as saying that only Harry can destroy Voldemort and
vice versa. If Voldemort knew that I believe he would go no-holds-barred
against Dumbledore. Dumbledore would no longer be "the only one he
ever feared." I think Voldemort would go so far as to attack Hogwarts
if he thought he was safe from everyone except Harry.
The prophecy is also important because it reiterates the point that JKR
has hit us over the head with, time and time again: its our choices that
shape who we are, not our birth. Dumbledore tells us that it could've
been Neville , not Harry, the prophesy was talking about, until Voldemort
_chose_ to kill Harry, for no outstanding reason. Just unlucky chance.
If JKR had decided to make a big revelation in the prophesy (for example:
Voldemort was after Harry b/c he was the Heir of Gryffindor) it would
have been exciting, but it also would have underminded her theme of choices,
not heritage/birthright makes a person.
Regarding why the Order would risk lives in order to 'protect' the prophesy...
I'm not convinced they were 'protecting' the prophesy. I think they were
there because of the prophesy, but most likely just to watch and see who
came to try and steal it. The Order knew, through Sturgis Podmore, that
no one could touch the prophecy except Harry & Voldemort. So, they
would know that even if someone did get to the prophecy they wouldn't
be able to hear it, and go crazy as an added bonus. They weren't planning
on fighting/dueling w/ those who came to steal it. It was just a fluke
that Arthur was even seen. No one could predict that Voldemort was going
to possess a snake (who could see through invisibility cloaks ) and
come to spy that way. Also, I think Arthur was sitting in the corridor
leading into the Dept of Mysteries-- most likely the only way in. There
was no reason for him to go all the way into the Department to sit next
to the prophesy.
snake couldn't see through invisibility cloaks, but Voldemort can, he
was possessing the snake so they saw Mr Weasley. It is too possible that
the order was on guard, to stop Harry taking the prophecy, but where was
the guard, when Harry and his friends came to the Ministery? Allyson is
quite right, that Voldemort not-knowing the end of the prophecy is better
for Harry, but now that Harry know the prophecy, he is in more danger
to be taken by Voldemort, as they are sharing thoughts, it is in Harry'
s interest to learn to shut his mind. (Astride Hoffman)
So, we have unlucky chance that Harry was 'chosen', unlucky chance that
Arthur was attacked, unlucky chance that Sirius fell through the Veil
of Death. I think she's trying to make a point that life is sometimes
unfair, sometimes does not make sense, but is always unpredictable.
As an aside, we see now why Dumbledore has kept Trelawney around all these
years. For one thing, she had given at least one powerful prophesy. For
another, it was for her own protection against Voldemort (who would have
stripped her mind to get to the prophesy if he could-- and may still).
 Neville is *NOT* going to turn out to be the one the prophesy talks
about. Dumbledore says right out that it is definitely Harry, and we all
know that JKR speaks through Dumbledore. Also, if he was, the series would
be called, "Neville Longbottom and the...".
Speaking of Neville: I believe he is forgetful b/c his memory was wiped.
I think he saw something he shouldn't have when his parents were tortured
(like a Ministry official with the Lestranges). I also think that this
mimbulus mimbletonia is behind his turnaround in Book 5. In 'real life'
there is a plant called a mimulus that folk healers used to help people
fight their fears, overcome shyness, uneasiness, anxiety, etc.
 If a snake can see through invisibility cloaks, can other animals?
Like Mrs. Norris? Harry has always wondered this; I'm betting she can.