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The term Prophecy is used to refer to two different objects. The first and more expected for Muggles is the actual utterance, the description of things yet to come. The second is the glass sphere which is used to contain a record, a memory of that prophecy, in order that it may be acted upon or checked for validity at a later time.
While Divination, as a means of predicting the future, tries to achieve the same validity as Prophecy, its methods remain laughable to those who care to analyze them. However, the one person we see in the series who is capable of Prophecy is the Divination teacher, [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Sibyll Trelawney|Professor Trelawney]]. It is possible that the mysticism inherent in Divination does make the mind more open to Prophecy, but it is equally possible that a family history of Prophecy impels one towards a career in Divination.
During the course of the story, we actually see only two Prophecies, both provided by Professor Trelawney. The first concerns the escape of [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Peter Pettigrew|Peter Pettigrew]], and his return to [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Lord Voldemort|"the Dark Lord"]], and is couched in terms that [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Harry Potter|Harry]] cannot understand until after the named events have taken place. Part of the perceived ambiguity in the prophecy is the use of the term "his greatest servant" to refer to Pettigrew; at this point, all of the characters in the story believe Voldemort's greatest servant to be [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Sirius Black|Sirius Black]].
The second prophecy that we hear was actually made prior to Harry's birth, and concerns Harry and his interaction with Voldemort. We see this prophecy in [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Albus Dumbledore|Dumbledore's]] memories, near the end of [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Books/Order of the Phoenix|''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'']]. However, we are told of this prophecy much earlier, and it is the prophecy that drives much of the action in the book, as Voldemort seems to be blindly reacting to it.
== Analysis ==
A clear distinction must be drawn between Divination, which is taught as an academic subject but which is clearly little better than Muggle fortune-telling, involving the same artifacts and equipment, and Prophecy, which has a basis in reality but is apparently innate and unteachable.
Prophecies, stored in crystal spheres, are kept in the Department of Mysteries, in a store-room associated with the areas used for the study of the mystery of Time.
== Questions ==