| Quote #16
They watched the four men climb the steps and disappear from view. For a few minutes the scene was deserted. Then –" (21.218)
The diction here emphasizes how the time travel adventure is sort of like watching a play. Words like "scene" and even "then" let us know how a story is unfolding before Harry and Hermione, who are basically watching from the woods like an audience.
| Quote #17
"Hermione – what'll happen – if we don't get back inside – before Dumbledore locks the door?" Harry panted.
As Back to the Future taught us, messing around with time can be very dangerous. Here, Harry and Hermione risk screwing up their own time loop.
| Quote #18
"Hasn't your experience with the Time-Turner taught you anything, Harry? The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed [...]" (22.3.42)
This book definitely focuses a ton on the past, but there's also a lot about the future here. Hence, a thematic focus on time itself. Most of our forays into the future are also journeys into the ridiculous, courtesy of quack Professor Trelawney. But Dumbledore, who acts like he's guest-starring on The Universe or an episode of Fringe, points out that Trelawney's profession is actually a tough one. Predicting the future is very hard since it requires accurately reading human behavior. Oddly enough, Hermione is a better predictor of future events, given her intelligence and her perceptiveness, than Trelawney is.