The Department of Mysteries: Eroor On Page

by Bob Sindeldecker

Mea Culpa.

For those who don’t speak Latin, it means “I am wrong.” If you read the previous column you know I just made a most embarrassing blunder. I wrote an entire article on why Trelawney gave her second Prophecy to Ron Weasley. It was actually quite sharp, as far as it went.

Trouble was, it went too far. She DIDN’T give that Prophecy to Ron, but to Harry.

I must admit, I wrote that column without the book in front of me. Indeed, I haven’t read Prisoner Of Azkaban in over a year. I thought for sure that both Ron and Harry had been in Trelawney’s loft when she went into her trance and started talking like Tom Waits. I remembered it very clearly.

Too bad I didn’t have a Pensieve.

But justice is swift. I just transmitted that column today (Wednesday Dec.8), it was posted, and no later than this morning (still Dec.8!) I have received plenty of posts setting me straight. Argh. At least they’ve been polite. So far.

Now, what to do? I thought about having MuggleNet pull the column, but the damage was done. It was better to just leave it up as a lesson, not just to you but to me: check your work before you submit it!

I hope none of you are mad at MuggleNet. They work very hard, and they cannot be expected to catch everything. Me, you can be mad at. I really should re-read everything before I start putting things in that I only imagined.

Let this also teach you a lesson about the failures and limits of memory. After all, I am still fairly young, not going senile, and I could have sworn both Ron and Harry were present when the Prophetess spoke. I would have bet real money on it, in fact. This really makes me wonder about so-called “eye- witness” reports of things in the news. Sure, they saw something, but do they even know what they saw?

Me, I’ll be reading VERY carefully from now on.