"Now look here, Peter," Sirius repeated in a somewhat exasperated voice, "There are two possibilities: Either this parchment with your potions essay is still there in your drawer, or it isn't. And the only way to find out is to open that drawer. Is this so hard to get?" "I'm not stupid, you know," Peter replied petulantly. "Of course I know that to find out I have to open the drawer. But I just don't agree with that first part. That bloody parchment does exist, I clearly remember writing it and spending hours on doing so. So it stands to reason that it must be SOMEWHERE, can you follow me so far?" "I think I can," Sirius muttered, "though I'm beginning to doubt it." "Ok, so if it's SOMEWHERE, and I can't find it although I've looked EVERYWHERE, it follows clearly that it can be ANYWHERE. Get me?" "Oh dear, I think I'm getting a headache." "You're just too lazy-minded. Listen. If it can be ANYWHERE, - only, of course except the places I've already looked, then it's obvious that it's entirely MY decision where it is. So it's a simple question of will-power. I just need to be perfectly sure it's in that stupid drawer, and then it will be." "Good for you, then why for heaven's sake don't you just open the fucking drawer and take it out if you're so sure, and leave me alone?" "You are no real friend. The point is, I'm not sure whether I'm sure enough. What if the parchment in the meantime has made up its mind differently? If I open that drawer, it might just have disappeared for good. As long as I don't open it, there's still the chance it is in there, but once I have, ..." "That's enough!" Sirius shouted, jumping up from his bed. "If you're too much of a wimp, I'll do it for you, to get the thing over with!" Peter went pale and was just going to get in Sirius' way, when the door suddenly opened. "I believe this is your potions essay, Peter," James said brightly, waving a roll of parchment. "I found it behind the big chair in the common room. Really, you'll forget your head somewhere some day." * "What do you want with this cat?" Sirius inquired as Peter entered their dormitory carrying a large orange cat in a basket. "You know I'm allergic to cats." The cat sneezed. "And it seems cats are allergic to you," Peter replied, putting the basket down. "Anyway, I need this one for my experiment." "What experiment?" Sirius asked, amazed. "My experiment on uncertainty. Remember when we were looking for my parchment the other day?" "Oh yes,I most certainly do," Sirius sighed, a hunted look creeping into his eyes. "You were laughing at me when I said as long as I didn't look, it might be in the drawer. Now then we had still several choices where to look for it. So the fact that Jim brought it into the room BEFORE you could open the drawer doesn't prove anything. If you had opened the drawer FIRST, the parchment may very well have been in it, or it may have disappeared completely; at any rate, it is very probable that Jim wouldn't have found it in the common room. We simply don't know where things are when we don't see them." "You remind me of that Muggle who went crazy trying to find out whether the light in the fridge went out when you closed the door, ..." James remarked with a smile. "A fridge?" Peter looked puzzled. "Well, never mind, what I was going to say is this..." He waved his wand and conjured up a wooden box with a lid to one side. "I'm putting this cat in the box, see..." He grabbed the cat which had been sleeping quietly in the basket and put it in the box. The cat stretched, turned around and went on sleeping. "Now we know for sure there is a cat in the box," Peter went on. "No question about that. Next, I'll put this vial into the box, too..." "What is it?" inquired Sirius, interested in spite of himself. "A Petrificus potion," Peter replied, "you know, the kind that evaporates on air contact, and petrifies anyone who breathes it in." "And then what?" "The last thing is this tiny silver hammer," Peter went on, producing a hammer the size of a matchbox from his pocket. "I've jinxed it to fly around randomly. Now if it hits the vial it will break, and the cat will be petrified. But as we don't see inside the box, we don't know whether this has happened. Now my theory is that as long as we don't actually verify the cat's status, it will be in an ambiguous state that is neither alive nor petrified. Get it?" "What a load of rubbish!" Sirius exclaimed impatiently. You have no way to PROVE this so called theory of yours, have you?" "That's why it's a theory," Peter replied smugly. "But I have thought of this, too. The hammer goes into the box, I close the lid, and the hammer starts zooming around inside the box, listen to the sound ... And now, I'm charming this side of the box to be transparent ..." He never got to finish his sentence. There was a mighty crash, the lid burst open, and a furry orange streak flew at Peter spitting and howling. Peter lost his balance in the ferocity of the attack, the cat scratched his face right and left and disappeared through the open window like lightning. "Now you see there are actually three possible states of that cat of yours," James said quietly, but with laughter in his voice, "Alive, Petrified, or Bloody Furious."
Books » Harry Potter Rated: K, English, Humor, Words: 1k+, Favs: 1, Published: 5-15-02