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Harry Potter Lexicon Minute

Coincidence or Something More?

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Coincidence or Something More?

An idea came to me during a re-read of Deathly Hallows. I believe that there is evidence of a magical force in the Wizarding World that I am calling “convergence.” It’s a plot device, I know, but if we think within the story, it seems that there is something in the ancient/deep magic that affects items and humans in a particular way. It draws certain items together and pushes other items away. And it dramatically affects the behavior of the humans involved.

Take, for example, the extraordinary coincidences which set up the central conflicts of book two and especially three.

In book two, the Diary is actually left behind at the Burrow when the family is running very late and is rushing to get to King’s Cross by eleven. What ever possesses Arthur to turn around to go get it when they could have just as easily sent it by owl the next day? It’s as if the Diary refused to be left behind, refused to be ignored. And in book three, just think about the string of highly unlikely events which lead Sirius to escape from Azkaban. Arthur wins a 700 Galleon prize. The family travels to Egypt and happens to get their picture taken in Egypt for the Daily Prophet. The picture happens to include Scabbers. Scabbers happens to be positioned so that his missing toe was visible. Fudge happens to visit Azkaban carrying that particular out-of-date issue of the Prophet. Sirius Black happens to ask for it and subsequently sees the picture. The picture is what motivates him to escape.

It’s almost as if some secret power was working to make sure things happened the way they needed to. That’s what I mean by convergence. Things converge, often against logic, to nudge events toward a certain end. Maybe we’re seeing evidence of the kinds of movements in the stars so valued by the Centaurs. I think Dumbledore understood this concept a lot better than almost anyone else and used it to pull together all the bits and pieces of his master plan: the Horcruxes, the Hallows, wands, and humans.

I think the most elegant example of this convergence at work is the situation with the sword in the pool under the ice in Deathly Hallows. We have a lot of elements: Snape behind a tree, his Patronus, his love for Lily, his desire not to be known for who he was. We have Harry, who didn’t take off the Horcrux, even though he went out of his way to take off the Mokeskin pouch…what made him forget the Horcrux? We have Ron, who was drawn back to this moment in time, returning to the Horcrux and the people who loved him when they said his name … which they did for the first time in ages at just the right moment. The Horcrux recognized the danger that the sword posed. It tricked Harry leaving the deadly, dangerous, murderous thing around his neck. And then the sword presented itself to Ron, not Harry, because Harry was the “sacrifice”, the thing to be rescued for the sword to present itself to the true Gryffindor. The locket and the sword, the evil and the good, struggling against each other to force events their way.

All of these factors converging on that one moment of time.

Like the Diary. Like the Daily Prophet photo. All part of the deep underlying magic of the Wizarding World.

Commentary

Notes

In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, just a couple of minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.

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Music: "Winter Chimes" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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