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Today, I was daydreaming about the (mis)adventures that Harry, Ron, and Hermione would have if the magical subject of Divination (predicting the future) was brought to our Histology classes at Hogwarts College of Medicine.

At the Hogwarts School of Pre-Medicine, third-year students learn to predict the future by gazing into a crystal ball. At Hogwarts College of Medicine, first-year students learn to identify various tissue types by gazing into a Slide. It seems almost natural to combine the two subjects…

Intent crystal-gazing and delving into the superconscious

“Tissue gazing is a particularly refined art,” Dr. Trelawney said dreamily. “I do not expect any of you to Identify when you first peer into the Slide’s infinite depths. We shall start by practicing relaxing the conscious mind and external eyes, so as to clear the Inner Intuition and the superconscious. Perhaps, if we are lucky, some of you will Identify before the end of the class.”

And so they began. Harry, at least, felt extremely foolish, staring blankly at the pink tissue specimens on his PowerPoint slides, trying to keep his mind focused when thoughts such as “They all look the same” kept drifting across it. It didn’t help that both Ron and Hermione, and everyone else in the lecture hall for that matter, seemed to recognize the difference between simple cuboidal epithelia and simple columnar epithelia.

“Identified anything yet?” Harry asked Ron and Hermione after a quarter of an hour’s quiet Slide gazing.

“Yeah, I see a Man on the Moon,” said Ron, pointing. “I wonder how he managed to Apparate into a bunch of connective tissue.”

histology face

“This is so frustrating,” Hermione sighed. “Where are the darkly stained nuclei? What type of collagen fibrils are we looking at? Is this dense irregular connective tissue, loose connective tissue, or something else entirely? What organ system is this from?”

Dr. Trelawney rustled past.

“Would anyone like me to help them interpret the shadowy pathologies within their Slides?” she murmured over the clinking of her stethoscope.

“I don’t need help,” Ron whispered. “It’s obvious what this means. This poor patient’s immune system is launching an inflammatory response against parasitic lunar aliens.”

“No, Ron,” Harry whispered back. “It means we’re having salami for dinner tonight. That’s all.”

Both Dr. Trelawney and Hermione looked scandalized.


For the original excerpt from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, please see this link.

If you enjoyed this entry and would like to read a prior post that is similar to this one, please direct yourself to A Summary of Our First Week with White Coats.