An Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“Crystal gazing is a particularly refined art,” she [Professor Trelawney] said dreamily. “I do not expect any of you to See when first you peer into the Orb’s infinite depths. We shall start by practicing relaxing the conscious mind and external eyes” – Ron began to snigger uncontrollably and had to stuff his fist in his mouth to stifle the noise – “so as to clear the Inner Eye and the superconscious. Perhaps, if we are lucky, some of you will See before the end of the class.”

Professor Trelawney with her crystal ball.

And so they began. Harry, at least, felt extremely foolish, staring blankly at the crystal ball, trying to keep his mind empty when thoughts such as “This is stupid” kept drifting across it. It didn’t help that Ron kept breaking into silent giggles and Hermione kept tutting.

“Seen anything yet?” Harry asked them after a quarter of an hour’s quiet crystal gazing.

“Yeah, there’s a burn on this table,” said Ron, pointing. “Someone’s spilled their candle.”

“This is such a waste of time,” Hermione hissed. “I could be practicing something useful. I could be catching up on Cheering Charms -”

Professor Trelawney rustled past.

“Would anyone like me to help them interpret the shadowy portents within their Orb?” she murmured over the clinking of her bangles.

“I don’t need help,” Ron whispered. “It’s obvious what this means. There’s going to be loads of fog tonight.”

Both Harry and Hermione burst out laughing.

“Now, really!” said Professor Trelawney as everyone’s heads turned in their direction. Parvati and Lavender looked scandalized.

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