Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Friendship

By J.K. Rowling

Friendship

Knowing Hermione, he was sure it would be a large book full of very difficult spells – but it wasn't. His heart gave a huge bound as he ripped back the paper and saw a sleek black leather case, with silver words stamped across it, reading Broomstick Servicing Kit.

"Wow, Hermione!" Harry whispered, unzipping the case to look inside. (1.63-4)

Hermione may spend most of the book ticking off Harry (with her logic and her responsible behavior), but she is definitely a considerate friend.

"– or we can ask Fred and George, they know every secret passage out of the castle –"

"Ron!" said Hermione sharply. "I don't think Harry should be sneaking out of school with Black on the loose –." (5.93-4)

Yet another great example of how Ron and Hermione approach the world in very different ways.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione, however, were eager for it to finish so that they could talk to Hagrid. They knew how much being made a teacher would mean to him. (5.263)

Friendships can span generation gaps. We love the image of Harry, Ron, and Hermione impatiently eating and waiting for the chance to run up and talk to Hagrid.

"You need your Inner Eye tested, if you ask me," said Ron, and they both had to stifle their laughs as Professor Trelawney gazed in their direction. (6.1.85)

Azkaban has lots of drama and excitement, but it also features lots of little scenes between friends, where they're laughing together or sharing a fun moment.

"It's all Malfoy's fault,, Hagrid!" said Hermione earnestly.

"We're witnesses," said Harry. [...] "We'll tell Dumbledore what really happened."

"Yeah, don't worry Hagrid, we'll back you up," said Ron.

Tears leaked out of the crinkled corners of Hagrid's beetle-black eyes. He grabbed both Harry and Ron and pulled them into a bone-breaking hug. (6.2.95-98)

Even while supporting Hagrid, we can see the unique personalities of each member of the trio coming through here – Hermione is earnest, Harry is decisive, and Ron is reassuring.

Crabbe and Goyle laughed openly, watching Neville sweat as he stirred his potion feverishly. Hermione was muttering instructions to him out of the corner of her mouth, so that Snape wouldn't see. (7.1.53)

Neville doesn't play a huge role in this book, but his friendship with Hermione is a long-standing thing (since the first book, really) so it's nice to see a scene where she's got his back.

"Excellent," said Fred, who had followed Harry through the portrait hole. "I need to visit Zonko's, I'm nearly out of Stink Pellets."

Harry threw himself into a chair beside Ron, his spirits ebbing away. Hermione seemed to read his mind.

"Harry, I'm sure you'll be able to go next time," she said. (8.1.29-31)

Hermione's compassionate and perceptive nature comes out yet again here, as she quickly zeros in on Harry's sudden mopey attitude after hearing about Hogsmeade.

Hermione went very red, put down her hand, and stared at the floor with her eyes full of tears. It was a mark of how much the class loathed Snape that they were all glaring at him, because every one of them had called Hermione a know-it-all at least once [...] (9.4.33)

The Gryffindors function like a big family here, looking out for one of their own against the ultimate, bullying outsider, Snape.

"Come on, Hermione, it's Christmas. Harry deserves a break."

Hermione bit her lip, looking extremely worried.

"Are you going to report me?" Harry asked her, grinning.

"Oh – of course not – but honestly, Harry –" (10.3.89-92)

We love the details about Hermione here – biting her lip, pausing between her words. She's such a worrywart.

"Naturally," said Madame Rosmerta, with a small laugh. "Never saw one without the other, did you? The number of times I had them in here – ooh, how they used to make me laugh. Quite the double act, Sirius Black and James Potter!" (10.3.140)

Rosmerta's description of Sirius and James as a "double act" make them sound an awful lot like Fred and George Weasley.

"I gotta tell yeh, I thought you two'd value yer friend more'n broomsticks or rats. That's all."

Harry and Ron exchanged uncomfortable looks. (14.1.40-41)

Hagrid pretty much sums up the theme of friendship in this novel and in a way that teaches Ron and Harry a lesson without sounding like an after-school special. Well-played, Hagrid.

"THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black. "DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!" (19.165)

OK, we take it back. Hagrid ties with Sirius Black for best summation of the book's friendship theme, though Sirius expresses a darker and more adult take on the theme.

Without knowing what he was doing, he started forward, but there was a sudden movement on either side of him and two pairs of hands grabbed him and held him back [...] "No, Harry!" Hermione gasped in a petrified whisper; Ron, however, spoke to Black. "If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!" he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of still more color [...] (19.79-80)

Hermione and Ron's actions in this scene speak volumes about their friendship with Harry and about their own characters. Hermione, scared as she is, helps yank Harry back from danger while Ron, despite the pain he's in, manages to speak up boldly to Black.