I just thought of something that I had never considered before in Harry Potter (actually it was my wife's idea, so if you find this interesting I give her full credit).

Was Scabbers in Ron's pocket during the Christmas feast in the 3rd book? If so, then 13 were dining together when Trelawney entered the room and Dumbledore rose to greet her, and thus she foreshadowed his death three books ahead of time.

This is the case, because Trelawney of course says (I'll paraphrase, because I don't have the book on me) "When thirteen dine, the first to rise is the first to die". Trelawney said this, because she thought that only twelve were dining at her arrival and didn't want to make the total thirteen. However, if Pettigrew were there then thirteen would have already been at the dining table when Dumbledore rose to greet her.

I think this is plausible and interesting because actually, quite a few things that Trelawney says comes true in the books even if it's not how the reader would expect. Except for her ridiculous things she predicts about Harry's death every class, she says almost entirely true predictions.

For example, she predicts correctly twice with her cards in the sixth book, once with Harry hiding behind a statue of armor, once with the lightning struck tower. Not to mention the several at the beginning of the third book that spooks the students.

Rowling also uses "fake" divination to foreshadow events. For instance, Harry and Ron's dream diary starts off foreshadowing the three Triwizard tasks. I thought this might have been another one of those times that I didn't pick up on before.

Since Ron carries Scabbers around most of the time, I figured it was likely. Is there any evidence in the book(s) about this?

  • 5
    I think it's fair to say that Trelawney is a loony and her (normal) predictions are basically bilge.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:25
  • 12
    @Richard - Isn't there a theory somewhere that all of her predictions actually do work out (in obscure ways)?
    – ThruGog
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:35
  • 8
    @ThruGog There's also a (debunked by JKR) theory that Ron is actually Dumbledore, so... Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:38
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    @Anthony Grist - I'm going to need to see the interview in which she debunks that before I can just take your word for it. Long live Ronbledore!
    – ThruGog
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:40
  • 4
    @Anthony Grist - I will believe a tweet, but not sure I can ever accept this truth. Heart. Broken.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:52

3 Answers 3


There's no direct confirmation in the books, and I haven't been able to find an interview where Rowling confirms one way or the other.

You could make a decent case either way, but I'd be inclined to suggest he probably was in Ron's pocket.

The important piece of information is that there had been an altercation with Crookshanks earlier that morning:

[B]efore Hermione could answer, Crookshanks sprang from Seamus’s bed, right at Ron's chest.

"GET — HIM — OUT — OF — HERE!" Ron bellowed as Crookshanks's claws ripped his pajamas and Scabbers attempted a wild escape over his shoulder. Ron seized Scabbers by the tail and aimed a misjudged kick at Crookshanks that hit the trunk at the end of Harry’s bed, knocking it over and causing Ron to hop up and down, howling with pain.


Christmas spirit was definitely thin on the ground in the Gryffindor common room that morning. Hermione had shut Crookshanks in her dormitory, but was furious with Ron for trying to kick him; Ron was still fuming about Crookshanks’s fresh attempt to eat Scabbers.


At lunchtime they went down to the Great Hall, to find that the House tables had been moved against the walls again, and that a single table, set for twelve, stood in the middle of the room.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 11: "The Firebolt"

Since Crookshanks is locked in the dormitory at this point, it's possible Ron judged it safe enough to leave Scabbers behind; we know from earlier in the chapter that Ron does, on occasion, do this:

"How's Scabbers?" Hermione asked timidly as they stripped fat pink pods from the plants and emptied the shining beans into a wooden pail.

"He's hiding at the bottom of my bed, shaking," said Ron angrily, missing the pail and scattering beans over the greenhouse floor.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 8: "Flight of the Fat Lady"

For my money, though, it seems unlikely that Ron would let the rat out of his sight mere hours after an attack.

Of course, that's just my headcanon; it could go either way.


It doesn't matter. I hate to be snarky (actually, I love being snarky) but if Scabbers was, as you suggest, in Ron's pocket during the Christmas feast, he was not dining at the time. He would have been sitting in Ron's pocket, probably asleep or worrying about Sirius. Also, whoever had risen to greet her would be an accurate predictions, as all of them would at some point die.

To give a more thorough answer, Crookshanks had recently made another attempt to, as Ron interpreted it, eat Scabbers.

All he could hear now were Ron's stifled moans of pain and rage. Scabbers was huddled in Ron's hands. It had been a while since Harry had seen him out of Ron's pocket...

(Emphasis mine)

After such a fresh attempt, it is highly unlikely that Ron would let him out of his pocket for once.

It doesn't matter, but Scabbers probably was in the pocket, although not dining.

  • 18
    « Also, whoever had risen to greet her would be an accurate predictions, as all of them would at some point die » — Not quite. The ‘prediction’ is that the first to rise is the first to die. The first to die of the people at the feast was undeniably Dumbledore; predicting anyone else would have been false. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:04
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    Well, at least twice. And quite a few phoney ones that happen to come true anyway, probably because JKR uses Trelawney as a kind of Easter egg. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:10
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    I will do my best to ignore your scar answer, as I really like the theory. In my book all of Trelawney's prophecies will come true. Harry will get promoted to Minister of Magic, have his remaining nine kids and then die his horrible gruesome death.
    – ibid
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:31
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    @ibid Yes, he will be mauled to death by a large black mound of tea leaves that looks like a sheep, drown twice, get trampled by a hippogriff, lose a bet, lose a fight, and defeat Voldemort.
    – CHEESE
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:44
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    @ibid I know, she really messed up on that one prophecy. :-(
    – CHEESE
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 23:00

If we rule out Scabbers being with Ron at the table, even then, there is a chance that there were indeed thirteen people at the table. Harry always had the piece of Voldemort's soul inside him. So even if Scabbers being there at the table is ruled out (it is indeed not mentioned in the book), still there would be 13 souls sitting at the table. Dumbledore did get up to greet Trelawney, so he was the first one to get up among the thirteen souls sitting there. This makes more sense to me than Scabbers being there.

  • 2
    Welcome to the site! I’m not sure this makes too much sense (Voldemort’s soul can’t dine etc.) but it is well reasoned. You might want to take the tour and read How to Answer if you haven’t already to learn a little about how the site works as it is a question and answer site; a bit different to a typical discussion forum.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 19:07

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