The One

by Ann

After frequenting this site (MuggleNet) for quite a time and reading various editorials and columns, I started thinking about the Harry Potter books in a more serious way. I have my ideas on many Potterverse issues, and here is a most concise idea that came to my mind after an intense consideration.

The idea is as follows: the prophesy may not be about Harry Potter, it may be about someone else…, even about Draco Malfoy.

I know many of you will sniff indignantly at the thought. But wait a minute. The thing is, even if Harry is not the One from the prophesy, he is still our hero. So, relax and read on. I’m just saying, suppose this supposition.

First of all, the prophesy itself (as Dumbledore told Harry on page 741 of the OotP) goes like so:

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….

Is Harry really the One?

At first it seems that the prophesy suits Harry perfectly. Dumbledore explained that with enough verisimilitude; though, he said that Harry was not the unique candidate, there was also Neville.

Here, I’’m not trying to rule out the possibility of Harry being the One. I just want to prove that the prophesy is so ambiguous that the list of candidates, as put by Dumbledore, seems ridiculously short: Harry and Neville. Were they the only two born in July that year? Of course, in naming only two Dumbledore had his reasons. And, JKR had her reasons in making the prophesy so ambiguous and in choosing the wording (as she admitted). I have my reasons in doubting the most obvious explanation that comes to mind when we first read the prophesy. Why should JKR be ACCURATE in choosing the words for it, if it’’s meant to point to Harry? You see, Harry is the natural candidate, he is the main character, he has fought the Dark Lord, he’s the One-Who-Lived, etc. Why take ANY precautions in writing the prophesy about Harry? Maybe, because there is more to it. What if Harry is NOT the one? What if we all got it wrong? What if we should search somewhere else?

I know, you would say here: re-read the prophesy yourself! It’’s about Harry, he fits in. He’s born in July, parents were in the Order (meaning they did defy Voldy), he’s marked, and love (as believed by many on Mugglenet) is the power The Dark Lord knows not (or, better say, knew not before the Re-Incarnation). Harry MUST be the One. And I say, this interpretation of the prophesy is possible, even probable, but NOT UNIQUE, and not 100% sure.

As it happens, Harry is in fact born in July. The most concrete part of the prophesy is the part about the month when the child is born (when it comes to the YEAR, let’s rely on Dumbledore’s interpretation, for otherwise the possibilities would be uncountable). It seems impossible to speculate about the MONTH, it can only be July, the seventh month of the year. Oh, what? Just one little remark: the month is not named. Why shouldn’’t the prophesy say “July”? Of course, the prophesies MUST be ambiguous. It’’s their style. By the way, “seventh month” may mean “September”. Because, there was a time when the New Year was in March, thus making September the 7th month, the root of the word “sept” actually meaning “seven” in Latin. Of course, Trelawney lives in contemporary Britain, where the year starts in January, but prophesies and supernatural forces that talk to the Seer like to quote ancient frames of references. It’s their style, also. Besides, how do we know that it’s the seventh month of the year, it can be seventh month counting from the day when the Prophesy was made, or the seventh month after the date of Voldy’s birthday, etc. Anything can be the reference point. I must say, though, I tend to believe that it’s July (Trelawney made the prophesy in January, read “Back to the Prophecy” by Esther Kleinig with Bob Sindeldecker), which points to July both as the “seventh month of the year” and “seventh month from the date of the prophesy”. But I just wanted to demonstrate that (bearing in mind that the wording was chosen very accurately by JKR) even the most concrete part of the prophesy can be interpreted and treated quite in different ways.

Now, you would say: it’s OK, but Harry is MARKED, Voldy chose HIM, right? On the one hand, yes, on the other hand, maybe not. Let’’s try to reconstruct what happed shortly before and after the prophesy was made. So, Voldy led a relatively happy life in trying to achieve his goal – supreme world power. Suddenly he is told about the prophesy, actually about a PART of the Prophesy, but he doesn’’t know it’’s only a part. The prophesy is about a boy, who might threaten his (Voldy’’s) life and do some nasty things to him. So, what would a sensible Dark Lord do in the face of this problem? Would he just seat around, thinking: who is the One? Potter? Longbottom? Who? Actually, any sensible Dark Lord wouldn’’t do that. To be on the safe side he will just kill EVERY boy who might fit in with the prophesy. He will not hesitate and risk his life by relying on logic or instinct. He will make a list of candidates and start solving the problem (by the way, they have pretty much the same story in the Bible). This, in fact, means that Harry was not, just couldn’’t be, the ONLY one on Voldy’’s Hit List. And it’’s not my mere speculation (though well based on Dark Lord’s’ psychology), I can prove that his Hit List comprised of AT LEAST two names: Harry and Neville.

Ask yourself, why did the Lestranges and Crouch Jr. go to the Longbottoms, when they were searching for Voldemort? Naturally, because they knew Voldy’’s plan: visit the Potters, then the Longbottoms, then, maybe some other family. On the Scar Day (I will call “the Scar Day” the day when the Potters were killed, Voldy disappeared, and Harry got his scar) or later, when the Lestranges and Crouch Jr. learned that something had happened to their dear master, they went to search for him and to help him. They (or some other DEs) must have started at the Potters’, no matter when they got there or what they saw, what matters is that they found out that the Potters were dead. So they assumed, that Voldy’’s visit there was a success. It never occurred to them that baby-Harry was to blame (or to bless) for Voldy’’s sudden disappearance (they may not have known about the Prophesy altogether, anyway, Voldy knew only a part of it). SO they went to another place of the Hit List. The Longbottoms. When they found the Longbottoms safe and sound, they took it for granted that the Longbottoms are responsible for Voldy’’s disappearance. Those mad sadists were so sure about that, that they tortured the Longbottoms into insanity, never checking other possibilities. It means, the Lestranges and Crouch Jr. knew Voldy’’s plan, knew he would go to the Longbottoms’ after paying a visit to the Godric’’s Hollow.

You may say, “OK, he had a plan, so what?” He went to the Potters’ first. It was his choice. And my answer is: yes, he went to the Potters’ first (actually, we don’’t know, if it was really “first”, we may only assume that it was “first Potters, then Longbottoms”), but why? Because that dirty rat of a man, Peter Pettigrew, revealed to Voldy the secret hiding place of the Potters. Voldy just seized the opportunity. He didn’’t want to take chances. The Potters could have learned that Wormtail is a traitor, they could have changed the Secret Keeper and the hiding place. Voldy decided not to linger about, but started the operation right away, naturally with the Potters, as others were not hiding, at least not in the same way as the Potters. It DOESN’’T look like COMPLETELY FREE choice, it looks kind of like circumstances FORCED Voldy to act as he did, i.e. start with the Potters.

But Harry is marked, no matter what! Yes, quite conspicuously marked. He bears the scar on his forehead. Isn’’t it strange? The whole prophesy is such a mess, such a riddle, so imprecise and vague. And suddenly – we have this mark of Harry’’s: his Scar, such a material and corporeal mark. Against the ambiguity on the rest of the prophesy it looks like a set up. But there it is, Harry’’s scar.

……and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal……

The phrase is ultimately interesting. The verb “will” as we know from grammar books and dictionaries, even in expressing future events, usually implies “the speaker’s intention” and “wish or desire”, as it is a modal verb. JKR could have easily avoided this connotation, by using passive voice or something like “is to be marked”, which would imply “is destined to be marked”. Such wording would eliminate Voldy’’s INTENTION, WISH or DESIRE from the sentence, but it remains. And the sentence actually means: the act of marking is instigated by Voldy’’s intention, i.e. Voldy WANTED to mark Harry, MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL. That is NONSENSE. Never on earth would Voldy admit to have an equal, let alone intentionally mark him! Voldy didn’’t go to the Potters with the intention to mark, he went there with the intention to KILL. He says so himself when addressing his DEs on his Re-Incarnation Day (GoF, p. 566): “”You all know that on the night I lost my powers and my body, I tried to kill him [Harry].”” Moreover, Voldy never thought Harry to be his equal, if he did, he would have thought twice before attacking him with a usual curse.

Besides, Harry is NOT HIS EQUAL. At least, not in the sense that his magical powers and abilities equal to those of Voldy. I like Harry, he’’s nice, he’’s kind, brave, generally good, and a real hero, BUT as far as his magical powers and abilities are concerned, he is an ordinary teen-age wizard, with the exception that he can conjure a corporeal Patronus. I bet Voldy can do better. Notwithstanding, Harry lived. Why? We all know that, thanks to Dumbledore (Voldy, by the way, thinks the same on the matter). Lily’’s love protected Harry and still does protect him (though after Voldy’’s Re-Incarnation this protection faded). And Lily’’s love couldn’’t have made Harry equal to Voldy.

……and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not……

It means that the One is equal to Voldy, plus he has some extra power. Love? Maybe. But the love we are talking about, the one, that saved Harry, was not HIS power. It was Lily’’s. Get the point? Perhaps, the prophesy meant some other kind of equality and some other power. The synonyms of the word “equal” are “equivalent, identical, alike”. Can we speak of something like this in case of Voldy and Harry? I doubt that. They are not alike or identical, at least (I know the theory about “Voldy’s soul in Harry’’s body” and like it immensely) they were not alike before the Scar Day, and the prophesy says nothing about “becoming alike”.

As for the “power the Dark Lord knows not…”, based on Dumbledore’’s explanation in Book 5, we (practically) all think that it’s love. Voldy may have never known love, that’s true, but Harry is said to have this power in such (immense) quantities, that the Dark Lord can’’t even possess him. Tell me, whom does Harry love? He has the ABILITY to love all right, but has he ever experienced a real strong love? So strong and focused that it can save life? Whom does he love? The Dursleys? Of course, not. His parents? Harry nourishes his memories, he’’s proud of his parents, and he’’s parents-sick, that’’s not love, can’’t be love, for he never actually knew Lily and James, it’s only shadow of love. Dumbledore? Harry respects him, likes him, but nothing to do with love. Cho? It’s out of the question, only hormones. Ron, Hermione and Hagrid? Yes, they are Harry’’s friends, best friends. He would do anything for them, risk his life to save them. As, actually, he would do for any human being in the world (Voldy’’s not human, folks!), even for Draco (I think). To tell the truth, when it comes to friends, we rarely use the word “love” (at any rate, in its usual meaning) because love implies something else than friendship. Harry has the ability to love, that’s for sure, but it looks like he doesn’’t use it, yet. Voldy, of course, may lack such an ability altogether. The question is: is this the only ability or power that Voldy lacks? And is Harry the only one with the ability to love? See, it’’s not an exceptional characteristic (I wonder, by the way, how they manage to keep love, if it is it, in the Room in the Dept. of Mysteries?). And we’’ve no proof it’s love. Maybe it is and maybe not. I, for one, believe that this is quite another power, but I’’ll talk about it later on.

…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives……

That’’s kind of clear. And Harry fits in. Particularly, if the theories, described by Bob Sindeldecker in “You’’re dead, Potter” and Voldy’’s-soul-inside-Harry theory hold true. Yet again, it’’s not an exceptional characteristic. Not only Harry, but practically anyone can fit in (as I’’ll show further on).

……neither can live……

As both Voldy and Harry can be described as “living”, it suggests that the word “to live” here has some special meaning, I reckon it means “enjoy life to the full”, as opposed to the word “ to exist”, which means “live with no pleasure, lead a miserable life”.

Note, by the way, that if Voldy embitters Harry’’s life, Harry continues to be a pawn in his play. Of course, Harry represents a potential threat to Voldy, as any who is The One, would.

……born to those who have thrice defied him……

Harry, again, fits in perfectly. Or better say, his parents did as well as the Longbottoms. But are those two sets of parents the only people who have defied Voldy thrice?

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches……

This one also looks clear. Notice there’s “Vanquish” because there’s “not much human is left in him [Voldemort] to die”. Besides, we all know that Voldy’’s and Harry’’s wands have problems in fighting each other. I reckon, if these two have final confrontation, they will have to do it without their wands.

Conclusion

Harry can be the One. He fits in, but VERY STRAIGHTFORWARDLY. The Seer didn’’t have to have said all that stuff, only some words would be enough: Potter boy will have the power to vanquish Voldemort. That’’s it.

The thing that all that wording was used (carefully picked up by JKR) proves that there’’s more to it. Harry is the first idea that comes to mind, too obvious. That is the surface of the prophesy, but what lies beneath?

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