The Secrets of the First Smashed Prophecy
This essay explores the idea that the prophecy that was smashed in the Order of the Phoenix when Bellatrix tried to stupefy Harry was yet another prophecy about Voldemort and the future of the Wizarding world.
Harry and his five friends are standing inside the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic, Harry clutching the prophecy that was made about him and Voldemort and that the latter wants so desperately. It’s their only playing card to getting out alive. Then Harry insults Voldemort in front of the deranged Bellatrix who attempts to stupefy him. The spell is deflected and instead hits another prophecy, which falls to the ground and shatters.
They don’t pay much attention to this prophecy, but the little that they do, it happens to reveal these enigmatic lines: “…at the Solstice will come a new… and none will come after…” (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, pg. 785, US hardback edition)
They seem like pretty unimportant lines, but a closer look may reveal something about the future of the Wizarding world.
Let’s focus on the first part of the prophecy: “at the solstice will come a new” There are only two solstices in a year, the summer and winter solstices. So we have two definitive times of the year that a “new” something of something will come.
A new what? Well, let’s assume that the prophecy was most likely made from 1900- present day. Around 1900 (there is no definitive year), Grindelwald began his rise to power. He conquered many countries in Europe, and was the greatest dark wizard of his day, but stayed away from England because of his apprehension of taking on Dumbledore who had gone on to gain fame, power, and prestige in his own country. Grindelwald continued ravaging other countries and even constructed his own wizarding jail, Nuremgard, to keep his enemies in. This follows the same pattern of Voldemort’s rise to power.
During all of the international wizarding chaos, Merope Gaunt, the descendant of Salazar Slytherin and ultimately the mother of Lord Voldemort, managed to find love. She hankered after the good-looking Muggle Tom Riddle, the son of the owner of Little Hangleton, and bewitched him to run off with her so they could be married.
After a while, Merope Gaunt became pregnant with Tom Riddle’s baby and took him out of bewitchment. Horrified, he ran off, saying he had been “taken in”, leaving Merope destitute and depressed.
On the night of December 31st, 1926, Merope Gaunt went into labor at an orphanage and gave birth to the most terrible wizard who ever lived, Tom Marvolo Riddle, AKA Lord Voldemort.
This is oddly close to the winter solstice of 1926, which had happened only nine days before on December 22nd.
So “at the Solstice” there came a “new” dark wizard, just like Grindelwald. We don’t know that the prophecy was talking about Grindelwald because of the muted parts of the smashed prophecy, but given the time period there is a good chance that the prophecy was foretelling another powerful dark wizard.
Now let’s focus on the second part of the prophecy: “and none will come after.” Could this mean that there won’t be another dark wizard in the foreseeable future, or even at all in the coming years? This seems plausible, given that almost twenty years after Voldemort’s vanquishing there have been no more uprisings or other wizards trying to scramble to the top to gain power. And Rowling hints at the end of the book of the beginning of the blending of races at the end of book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Draco “[catches] sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny staring at him, [and] nodded curtly” at the train station. (pg 756, US Hardback edition)
This could foretell the integration of races and the hope of a less “racist” Wizarding world. Through this possibly international new outlook, there is hope that no other Dark Lord will rise to power and terrorize other witches and wizards based on their blood status. Now, it could only be saying that there will be no other Dark Lord determined to rid the world of “unworthy” blood or no other Dark Lord ever. What you want to decide is up to you.