I'm reading a story and stumbled upon this expression.

What does it mean? And does "pattern" here relate to design or decoration? Thanks a lot.

Harry blinked. “What?” he said out loud, glancing around, startled, as if wondering who had put that traitorous thought into his head. No one was there.

He wasn’t blind to patterns. Even if he was, Harry had to be a complete and mindless idiot to miss the way things were resolving themselves into patterns. These last few days, all the accidents, and then Draco Malfoy suddenly appearing each time Harry was in trouble and accidentally saving his life. Of course, not all patterns have a point. He was quite sure crop circles were pointless, as were the designs on sea shells and the way knots on planks of wood sometimes arranged themselves to look like faces. But still, a pattern was useful when it was understood, then it could be manipulated. And Harry understood this one. Somehow, Draco Malfoy had become some sort of protector. Like something had decided it was time for Harry to die and something else beyond his comprehension had decided that Draco Malfoy was the one to ensure that it didn’t happen.

  • Can you provide more context? Without knowing how these three words are used in the story, it's hard to give a definitive answer as to what it means...
    – mike
    Dec 2, 2016 at 7:32
  • this text is quite long, so I have to break it to sections.
    – Sylvia
    Dec 2, 2016 at 7:46
  • Hi, Sylvia - you can go back and edit your original question and put the context in there, I think. (You may not have enough history here to do that yet, so I did it for you.)
    – stangdon
    Dec 2, 2016 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


One definition of the word 'pattern' is, as you said, a design or decoration. However, another definition of 'pattern' is an action or situation that recurs in a predictable way, and this is how the word is used here.

In your text, the pattern in question is one of cause and effect - Harry would find himself in trouble, and then Lily would appear each time. The fact that the outcome is so predictable (Lily appearing when Harry is in trouble) is what makes it a pattern.

'blind' in this case has to do with awareness, rather than a problem with vision. Therefore 'he wasn't blind to patterns' in the context of your story means that Harry was aware of the fact that each time he would get into trouble, Lily would appear. And reading on, not only was he aware of it, it was useful when it was understood, and could be manipulated, presumably to his advantage.


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