6

Note the following exchange between Firenze and Bane.

"My name is Firenze," he added, as he lowered himself on to his front legs so that Harry could clamber on to his back.
There was suddenly a sound of more galloping from the other side of the clearing. Ronan and Bane came bursting through the trees, their flanks heaving and sweaty.
"Firenze!" Bane thundered. "What are you doing? You have a human on your back! Have you no shame? Are you a common mule?"
"Do you realise who this is?" said Firenze. "This is the Potter boy. The quicker he leaves this Forest, the better."
"What have you been telling him?" growled Bane. "Remember, Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?"
Ronan pawed the ground nervously.
"I'm sure Firenze thought he was acting for the best," he said, in his gloomy voice.
Bane kicked his back legs in anger.
"For the best! What is that to do with us? Centaurs are concerned with what has been foretold! It is not our business to run around like donkeys after stray humans in our Forest!"
Firenze suddenly reared on to his hind legs in anger, so that Harry had to grab his shoulders to stay on.
"Do you not see that unicorn?" Firenze bellowed at Bane. "Do you not understand why it was killed? Or have the planets not let you in on that secret? I set myself against what is lurking in this Forest, Bane, yes, with humans alongside me if I must."
(Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15, The Forbidden Forest).

I'm trying to decipher what exactly was the mystery in the heavens which Bane was worried Harry might have discovered. It seems to concern Voldemort, based on Firenze's final remarks. It seems to concern Harry somehow, based on how Firenze points Harry out, and on Bane's reaction to that.

When he comes to teach at Hogwarts Firenze says that he has read the breakout of a wizarding war in the stars.

"In the past decade, the indications have been that wizardkind is living through nothing more than a brief calm between two wars. Mars, bringer of battle, shines brightly above us, suggesting that the fight must soon break out again."
(Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27, The Centaur and the Sneak).

The divination referred to in The Philosopher's Stone appears to be more specific, however.

Could it be that

Firenze and Bane foresaw the death of Harry at the hand of Voldemort in their Forest at the end of Deathly Hallows?

That would explain Firenze's desire to protect Harry. It would also explain Bane's reluctance to get involved in the affairs of humans if he believes that resistance to Voldemort is futile.

What did the centaurs read in the stars?

  • 5
    Didn't you learn your lesson about paying attention to prophecies? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 24 '18 at 13:48
  • 2
    @dvk that's why he's asking on stackexchange, doesn't want to take any chances this time – user13267 Mar 28 '18 at 3:41
3

It seems like they did predict what would happen years later.

Firenze certainly seems to consider Harry staying in the forest unsafe, and he clearly showed that he knew what killed the unicorn and was lurking in the forest. Bane was upset that Firenze “set himself against the heavens, since they know “what is to come in the movements of the planets”.

Harry suspects that what was “written in the stars” was that Voldemort would kill him.

“Firenze saved me, but he shouldn’t have done … Bane was furious … he was talking about interfering with what the planets say is going to happen … They must show that Voldemort’s coming back … Bane thinks Firenze should have let Voldemort kill me … I suppose that’s written in the stars as well.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)

Firenze also had told Harry that the centaurs have been wrong sometimes, and he hopes this will be one of those times - meaning that Harry wasn’t out of danger after Firenze saved him. This seems to hint that they saw the Dark Lord would kill Harry.

However, it’s also possible that they saw another “bad” event yet to come, and it’s also possible whatever they saw actually didn’t end up happening and they indeed were wrong - it’s already known that they’re not infallible.

Something that bears noticing (though isn’t concrete proof) is that the other centaurs did join the battle, but only after Harry was shown to be dead.

“Chaos reigned. The charging centaurs were scattering the Death Eaters, everyone was fleeing the giants’ stamping feet, and nearer and nearer thundered the reinforcements that had come from who knew where; Harry saw great winged creatures soaring around the heads of Voldemort’s giants, Thestrals and Buckbeak the Hippogriff scratching at their eyes while Grawp punched and pummelled them; and now the wizards, defenders of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s Death Eaters alike, were being forced back into the castle.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Play)

After Harry was thought to be dead, even the most unwilling to interfere with the foretold events join in the action.

“The centaurs Bane, Ronan and Magorian burst into the Hall with a great clatter of hooves, as behind Harry the door that led to the kitchens was blasted off its hinges.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

This could simply be that once they saw the battle so close to their home they felt that they could no longer hold off on getting involved - or they could have thought the event as foretold had already happened, so it wouldn’t be “setting themselves against the heavens” to participate after that had already happened.

2

No one really knows what the centaurs read in the stars.

But all we know is that - the hooded creature that drank Unicorn's blood attacked Harry and that was supposed to be a life threat or a danger to Harry, and Firenze the Centaur tried to stop it from attacking Harry, and also got into a row for obstructing the laws of planetary motions. So Harry thinks that probably the Centaurs have foreseen his death and that it would be done by Lord Voldemort.

Yes, it could have been that they predicted Harry's death in the Deathly Hallows and that they also sensed the one drinking the Unicorn blood was Lord Voldemort/possessed Lord Voldemort in his body(See, that is why Harry's scar burnt).

But fate is fate, if it is told that Harry had to die in the hands of Voldemort, then it will be done. So then Harry was saved by Firenze, wasn't he? So probably the death the centaurs predicted was that of Harry's in the Deathly Hallows and not in the Forbidden Forest.

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