Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Summary

Poor Harry Potter is stuck spending another summer with his odious relatives, the Dursleys, who really should've had Child Protective Services called on them years ago. After putting up with lots of rotten treatment, Harry finally loses his temper and blows up his Aunt Marge (like a balloon, not like a bomb). So Harry hightails it out of Number 4 Privet Drive and gets picked up by the Knight Bus, which takes him to Diagon Alley and thus back to the wizarding world.

(Click the map infographic to download.)

Harry isn't punished for his "crime" (he's not allowed to practice magic outside of school) and soon finds out why: turns out, a dangerous prisoner, Sirius Black, has escaped from Azkaban and is hunting down Harry. Given how many times he's faced off with homicidal maniacs, Harry isn't all that concerned about this development. The real problem is that he doesn't have permission to visit Hogsmeade, the wizarding village near Hogwarts, this school year. Now this is a serious bummer.

Harry reunites with his two BFFs, Ron and Hermione, and the three head back to Hogwarts with something new in tow: Hermione's adopted cat, Crookshanks (who is rather hideous and super smart). Crookshanks, of course, has it in for Ron's pathetic rat, Scabbers, which leads to a long series of arguments between Ron and Hermione. So what else is new?

On the way back to school, some Dementors, the scary guards of Azkaban, enter the train to look for Sirius Black. Being around the creepy Dementors makes Harry hear his parents' death at Voldemort's hand, and often makes him faint (not something that most teenaged boys hope for).

At Hogwarts, changes are afoot. Remus Lupin arrives as the awesome new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and Hagrid is the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. The year progresses and Harry is busy kicking butt in Quidditch, Hermione is swamped with her insane course load, Hagrid is eagerly (with Hermione's help) trying to prove that his hippogriff isn't dangerous before a tribunal, and Ron is consumed with worrying about Scabbers. Meanwhile, everyone is preoccupied with fear of Sirius Black, who breaks into Hogwarts twice during the school year.

Harry devotes most of his time to three things: Quidditch (which pays off since he and his team win the Quidditch Cup, finally), sneaking into Hogsmeade (courtesy of a magical map provided by Fred and George), and working with Professor Lupin on casting the Patronus spell, a defense against Dementors.

(Click the infographic to download.)

Midway through the year, the boys stop speaking to Hermione after her cat presumably kills Scabbers and after she turns Harry's anonymously gifted Firebolt broomstick to Professor McGonagall for inspection. The trio eventually reconcile in time to help Hagrid with his eleventh-hour appeal to save Buckbeak, his hippogriff. Harry gets a cryptic spoiler alert about the book's climactic moments from the Divination teacher, Professor Trelawney, who predicts that Voldemort's servant will return to his master. Yikes.

Hagrid loses the appeal. On the day of Buckbeak's execution, the Harry, Ron, and Hermione find Scabbers alive and well in Hagrid's cabin. Things get nuts after this. Scabbers runs off, a giant black dog attacks and drags Ron and Scabbers into the creepy Shrieking Shack, Ron's leg gets broken, and Harry and Hermione follow. Soon Lupin and Snape show up and we learn the shocking truths: Lupin is a werewolf, Sirius Black is an Animagus (meaning he turns into the giant black dog at will) and Scabbers the rat is really Peter Pettigrew, Voldemort's servant and the real criminal (Sirius was framed), hiding in his Animagus form. Crazy. As it turns out, Sirius Black is a good guy and Harry's godfather.

Pettigrew escapes and Sirius is captured by the Dementors. Before we can get too depressed, though, Dumbledore arrives and instructs Hermione to use her Time-Turner to fix everything. So Harry and Hermione travel back in time to that afternoon and manage to save both Buckbeak and Sirius. Harry saves Sirius by casting a super powerful Patronus against the creepy Dementors (he didn't even faint!).

The school year ends and everyone heads home for the summer. Lupin is forced to resign (because he's a werewolf); Sirius, who is now in hiding, writes Harry a letter; and the BFF trio parts ways for yet another summer.

  • Chapter 1

    Owl Post

    • Harry is being rebellious: it's midnight and he's up...writing an essay for his History of Magic class?
    • This really is rebellious, though, since Harry's Muggle relatives, the Dursleys, don't approve of magic and won't let Harry have access to his school books during the summer.
    • Harry actually had to sneak his magic books up to his room so he can do his homework.
    • Summers are a real bummer for Harry since he doesn't get to see or talk to his friends.
    • His friend Ron tried to call, but Ron didn't know how to use a telephone and ended up just shouting at Uncle Vernon.
    • It's Harry's thirteenth birthday and it's shaping up to be yet another bummer.
    • "Yet another unusual thing about Harry was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his life" (1.26).
    • But then Harry's owl Hedwig comes bearing gifts.
    • Harry gets a letter and a birthday gift from his three closest friends: Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid.
    • Ron's family won a drawing and took a vacation to Egypt – he sends Harry a picture of the Weasley clan that appeared in The Daily Prophet.
    • Ron sends Harry a Sneakoscope, which goes off like an alarm if something untrustworthy or shifty is going on in the vicinity.
    • Hermione sends Harry a Broomstick Servicing Kit and Hagrid gives Harry a monster of a book – literally. It's the Monster Book of Monsters and it tries to eat Harry's arm before he restrains it with a belt.
    • We'll never complain about our heavy textbooks again.
    • Harry also gets a letter from Professor McGonagall, though it's not about his birthday. Professor McGonagall just writes to give him his list of books for the new school year and a permission slip that a guardian needs to sign so that Harry can visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade this year.
    • Harry goes to bed happy on his birthday for the first time.
  • Chapter 2

    Aunt Marge's Big Mistake

    • The next day, Harry goes down to eat breakfast with the Dursleys.
    • The TV is on and a news report notifies people that a dangerous convict named Black is on the loose.
    • Harry then hears news that really ruins his day: Aunt Marge is coming to visit.
    • Marge hates Harry and makes his life even more miserable than usual at the Dursleys.
    • Vernon tells Harry to keep up the cover story that he goes to some school for "incurably criminal boys" (2.1.42) or else he'll get a knuckle sandwich.
    • Harry is crafty, though, and tells Uncle Vernon that he'll cooperate as long as Uncle Vernon signs Harry's Hogsmeade permission slip.
    • Well played, Harry.
    • Aunt Marge and her bulldog Ripper arrive and act like jerks.
    • She says charming things to Harry like, "You'd have gone straight to an orphanage if you'd been dumped on my doorstep" (2.1.74).
    • Aunt Marge continues to insult Harry and his parents throughout her stay and Harry tries to tune her out and just think of Hogwarts.
    • But when Marge insults his mom, he loses his temper and breaks her teacup with magic. Fortunately, Aunt Marge thinks she broke it herself with her super strong grip of steel.
    • But Uncle Vernon is suspicious.
    • Harry continues to daydream around Marge and manages to survive until her last night.
    • "This worked quite well, though it seemed to give him a glazed look, because Aunt Marge started voicing the opinion that he was mentally subnormal" (2.3.1).
    • But then Marge starts drinking and really goes to town insulting Harry's parents, and Harry finally snaps.
    • Aunt Marge starts inflating like a balloon, the Dursleys freak out, and a furious Harry gathers his stuff and leaves the house.
  • Chapter 3

    The Knight Bus

    • Harry gradually calms down and starts to panic – he just ran away from home after performing accidental, illegal magic.
    • He's convinced that he's going to be expelled from Hogwarts and starts planning his new life as a fugitive outcast.
    • But then he spies a giant black dog, which actually makes his situation worse because the darn dog is huge and scary.
    • But then he trips and throws his wand hand out (just wait, it really does get better) and a giant purple bus appears out of nowhere and nearly mows him down.
    • No, really, it gets better.
    • Turns out, this is "the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard" (3.14). Oh, but of course.
    • Stan and Ernie, the Knight Bus crew, welcome Harry aboard. Harry plays it cool and acts like he meant to summon the bus.
    • He also tells them his name is Neville Longbottom.
    • Harry requests transport to Diagon Alley in London and the bus takes off.

    (Click the map infographic to download.)

    • On the way, Stan and Ernie gossip to Harry and fill him in on the escaped convict Sirius Black, a lunatic murderer and Voldemort supporter who broke out of the wizarding prison Azkaban recently.
    • After Harry defeated Voldemort (as a baby), Sirius Black went nuts and blew up a street, killing thirteen people.
    • Finally, the bus arrives in London and Harry is welcomed to The Leaky Cauldron by Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.
    • Stan and Ernie are super excited to learn that "Neville" is actually Harry Potter.
    • Harry flips out, but Fudge just wanted to make sure he was safe and sound. Fudge assures Harry that he won't be punished for blowing up his aunt.
    • Harry finds all this really suspicious.
    • Fudge tells Harry that he can get a room at The Leaky Cauldron and can stay in Diagon Alley for the rest of the summer.
    • Hedwig shows up, proving how smart she is.
    • Fudge leaves finally and an exhausted Harry goes to bed.
  • Chapter 4

    The Leaky Cauldron

    • Harry is having the best summer ever in Diagon Alley. He's free to do whatever he likes and he spends his days wandering around, working on his homework, and eating free ice cream sundaes (being the defeater of Voldemort really pays off).
    • One day, Harry sees the coolest thing ever: a brand new broom called the Firebolt. It's super expensive, though, so Harry restrains himself from buying one.
    • Harry runs errands and starts buying his supplies for the school year.
    • At the bookstore, he picks up his books for a new subject, Divination, which is about predicting the future. He also learns that the Monster Book he got is a course book for Care of Magical Creatures.
    • The books are all eating each other in a display case, much to the store owner's horror.
    • Harry sees the large black dog on a book cover and gets nervous – turns out the black dog is a death omen.
    • Finally, Hermione, Ron, and the other Weasleys arrive in Diagon Alley.

    (Click the map infographic to download.)

    • Harry goes shopping with his friends and they all head to a magical pet shop so Hermione can get an owl.
    • Ron also takes Scabbers to get him checked out. Scabbers has been looking sick since the Weasleys returned from Egypt.
    • The trip to the shop is eventful since a giant orange cat jumps on Ron.
    • The boys wait outside and Hermione appears with her new pet: that ugly orange cat, whose name is Crookshanks.
    • The trio go back to The Leaky Cauldron and have an entertaining dinner with the Weasleys.
    • Fred and George ham it up and make fun of Percy, who acts more smug than usual since he was made Head Boy at Hogwarts.
    • Mr. Weasley tells the kids that they'll be taking Ministry cars to the train station tomorrow to catch the Hogwarts Express. Everyone finds this a bit odd.
    • Later that night, Harry walks in on a fight between Ron and Percy. Percy can't find his Head Boy badge and Ron has lost his rat tonic.
    • When Harry goes downstairs to get the tonic, he overhears Molly and Arthur Weasley discussing Sirius Black: "Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts [...] he's at Hogwarts.' Black is deranged, Molly, and he wants Harry dead" (4.3.34).
    • Turns out that Black is after Harry and Arthur wants to tell him; Molly disagrees.
    • Arthur tells Molly that some guards from Azkaban are coming to guard Hogwarts until Black is caught and Dumbledore isn't thrilled about it.
    • The couple goes off to bed and a stunned Harry returns the rat tonic to Ron.
    • He also encounters the twins, who reveal that they stole Percy's badge and charmed it to read "Bighead Boy" (4.3.46). Good one.
    • Harry goes to bed and realizes that he isn't all that afraid. He's faced Voldemort, after all, and he trusts Dumbledore to keep him safe at Hogwarts.
    • What really upsets Harry is that with Black on the loose, he probably can't go to Hogsmeade with his friends.
    • Well, that's one way to deal with learning that a homicidal maniac is after you.
  • Chapter 5

    The Dementor

    • After a hectic morning, the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione all set off for King's Cross Station.
    • Arthur sticks close to Harry at the station and takes him aside to talk before Harry boards the train.
    • Harry tells Mr. Weasley that he overheard him discussing Black and that he isn't afraid.
    • But Mr. Weasley is still concerned and he tells Harry something odd: "Harry, swear to me you won't go looking for Black" (5.41).
    • Harry thinks this is bizarre.
    • Once on the train, Harry, Ron, and Hermione find a compartment occupied by a sleeping adult named Professor R.J. Lupin.
    • The trio decide he's pretty conked out and Harry tells his BFFs about the whole Sirius Black thing.
    • Ron and Hermione are freaked out about a lunatic murderer coming after their friend, but Harry thinks they should chill out.
    • The conversation then turns to the awesomeness of Hogsmeade, and Ron and Hermione are completely bummed that Harry never got his permission form signed.
    • Hermione lets Crookshanks out of his cage and the cat makes another go at Scabbers before settling down to glare at Ron.
    • Later, Draco Malfoy and his goons Crabbe and Goyle stop by to stir up trouble (some things never change), but they shut up and leave when they spot the sleeping Professor Lupin.
    • The train then slows and comes to a stop, which is weird. Then all the lights go out, which is extra creepy.
    • Neville and Ginny come into the compartment and Lupin finally wakes up and tells them all to shut up.
    • Then it gets very cold and something horrible comes inside: "Standing in the doorway, illuminated by the shivering flames in Lupin's hand, was a cloaked figure that towered to the ceiling. It's face was completely hidden beneath its hood. [...] There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy looking, and scabbed" (5.164).
    • The entire compartment gets cold and Harry hears a roaring sound, then screams, and then he passes out.
    • When he comes to, the lights are on, the train is moving, and the Dementor is gone.
    • Lupin gives Harry chocolate and goes to talk with the conductor.
    • Harry's friends are all shaken and afraid, but no one passed out like Harry did. No one heard screaming either...
    • Finally, the train arrives at Hogwarts and everyone makes their way up to the school.
    • Unfortunately, the news of Harry passing out has already made the rounds and Draco pops up to make fun of him, like a punk.
    • Lupin comes back and shuts Draco down, though.
    • As they enter the school, Professor McGonagall pulls Hermione and Harry aside and takes them to her office.
    • Harry is there to get checked over by the school nurse, Madame Pomfrey. He's humiliated and escapes as soon as possible, worried that he'll never live down his little fainting spell.
    • Hermione stays behind a few more minutes and then emerges with Professor McGonagall. The three make their way down the Great Hall for the Welcome Feast. They've missed the sorting hat, unfortunately.
    • Dumbledore delivers his welcome back speech, though it's more serious this year since he spends time warning people about the Dementors that are lurking about: "It is not in the nature of a Dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you" (5.250).
    • Dumbledore moves on to happier matters and introduces two new professors. Professor Lupin will teach Defense Against the Dark Arts and Hagrid will teach Care of Magical Creatures.
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione are psyched about Hagrid's new gig.
    • At the end of the feast, they rush up to congratulate Hagrid and then make their way to the Gryffindor rooms along with the rest of their house.
    • Harry feels like he's back home at last.
  • Chapter 6

    Talons and Tea Leaves

    • Harry's first day of school gets off to a bad start when a bunch of Slytherins make fun of him for passing out on the train.
    • Fred and George tell Harry to cheer up as they hand out class schedules.
    • Ron and Harry are confused over how jam-packed Hermione's schedule is. It looks like she'll be taking three classes at once, but Hermione dismisses Ron and Harry's questions saying, "Don't be silly" and "Pass the marmalade" (6.1.21; 6.1.23).
    • Well, OK, then.
    • The three friends head off to Divination, which is a long way off in the castle.
    • On the way, they meet a portrait of a demented knight named Sir Cadogan, who acts like he's starring in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • He does get the gang to the elusive North Tower, at least.
    • Everyone heads inside the Divination classroom, which looks like "a cross between someone's attic and an old-fashioned tea shop" (6.1.57).
    • Professor Sibyll Trelawney proves to be a bit of a mystical nut.
    • She makes vague predictions, has everyone practice reading tea leaves, and then predicts Harry's imminent death, since there's a "grim" in his tea leaves.
    • On that note, class is dismissed. Everyone is freaked out by Trelawney, except for Hermione, who thinks Trelawney is a total quack.
    • Next, the Gryffindors head to Transfiguration, taught by Professor McGonagall.
    • McGonagall is an Animagus, which means she can transform into an animal – a cat, in her case.
    • The class doesn't react much to her transformation and she wants to know what's up.
    • Upon finding out, McGonagall has this to say: "Then you should know, Potter, that Sibyll Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year since she arrived at this school. [...] Seeing death omens is her favorite way of greeting a new class" (6.1.125).
    • Finally, the Gryffindors and Slytherins meet up for Care of Magical Creatures.
    • Hagrid is nervous and has a setback when everyone complains about his crazy textbook, The Monster Books of Monsters, which has already tried to eat everyone.
    • We'll never complain about our heavy textbooks again.
    • Things are looking up when Hagrid presents his lesson: a Hippogriff, which is half-bird half-horse.
    • Hagrid describes Hippogriffs as "Easily offended […]. Don't never insult one, 'cause it might be the last thing yeh do" (6.2.30).
    • Harry volunteers to approach a Hippogriff first, out of loyalty to Hagrid. He bows to one named Buckbeak, who eventually bows right back.
    • Then Hagrid plops Harry on Buckbeak, who takes Harry for a bumpy flight around the paddock.
    • Harry is glad when it's over.
    • The class begins bowing to the Hippogriffs, but Malfoy and his friends act like punks. Malfoy's Hippogriff gets insulted and slashes Malfoy's arm.
    • Everyone freaks out and Hagrid rushes Malfoy to the infirmary.
    • That evening, the trio visits Hagrid to cheer him up. Hagrid is grateful, but then yells at them for letting Harry wander around after dark. He escorts them back to the castle.
  • Chapter 7

    The Boggart in the Wardrobe

    • Malfoy milks his injury for all it's worth and doesn't go to class for a few days.
    • The Gryffindors and Slytherins are in Potions today, with the dreaded Professor Snape.
    • Snape forces Ron and Harry to help Malfoy prepare his potion.
    • Meanwhile, Neville is botching yet another assignment due to his fear of Snape.
    • Snape threatens to try Neville's Shrinking potion out on his toad, Trevor.
    • Neville begs Hermione to help him, since his potion will likely kill poor Trevor.
    • Meanwhile, the class begin to discuss Sirius Black.
    • Malfoy goads Harry and drops hints about Sirius Black, which only confuse and annoy Harry: "But if it was me, I'd want revenge. I'd hunt him down myself" (7.1.51).
    • Finally class is over and Snape tries Neville's potion out on the poor toad Trevor, which is some sort of animal rights violation. Watch your back, Snape, PETA might be coming for you.
    • The potion works, and Snape docks points from Gryffindor since Hermione helped Neville after he told her not to.
    • Ron is furious.
    • Hermione suddenly disappears and then reappears at the bottom of the stairs. Huh? Ron and Harry are confused too.
    • Hermione is vague about everything and then they're all distracted when Hermione's overloaded book bag busts open.
    • The Gryffindors head to Defense Against the Dark Arts, with Professor Lupin.
    • He tells them to put their books away and takes everyone to the staff room, where a boggart is lurking in a closet.
    • Snape is in there and snarkily insults the entire class on his way out, especially poor Neville.
    • Lupin tells Snape that Neville is going to help him out with the lesson. So there, Snape.
    • During the class Q&A session, we learn that boggarts are shape-shifters that appear as the thing a person fears most.
    • The spell to defeat a boggart is "Riddikulus." Basically, you have to think of something funny and force the boggart to change into something non-threatening.
    • Lupin asks Neville what scares him most, and poor Neville answers Professor Snape.
    • But Lupin instructs Neville to picture what his grandmother wears; he wants Neville to force the Snape-boggart to appear wearing Grandma Longbottom's clothes.
    • We wish we had a camera.
    • Neville manages to do it and the class laughs loudly, confusing the boggart.
    • Lupin asks everyone to line up and have a turn at the boggart.
    • Harry gets increasingly nervous, though, since he knows his boggart is going to turn into a Dementor. And how do you make a Dementor not scary?
    • But Lupin jumps in front of Harry at the last minute and takes care of the boggart himself.
    • Lupin's boggart appears as a silver orb. Curious.
    • The class is psyched after the exciting lesson. "Harry, however, wasn't feeling cheerful. Professor Lupin had deliberately stopped him from tackling the boggart. Why?" (7.2.100).
  • Chapter 8

    Flight of the Fat Lady

    • Defense Against the Dark Arts becomes everyone's favorite class.
    • Lupin does lots of practical lessons, which are fun.
    • However, Potions become worse than usual: "Snape was in a particularly vindictive mood these days, and no one was in any doubt why. The story of the boggart assuming Snape's shape, and the way that Neville had dressed it in his grandmother's clothes, had traveled through the school like wildfire. Snape didn't seem to find it funny" (8.1.4).
    • Trelawney continues to act deranged and manages to make a dire prediction about Harry every class.
    • Hagrid lost his confidence after the Buckbeak debacle and his class becomes the most boring thing ever.
    • Harry is happy about the kick-off of Quidditch season, at least.
    • Team captain Oliver Wood is determined to win the Quidditch Cup, especially since this is his last year at Hogwarts.
    • But Harry is bummed out when the first Hogsmeade trip approaches, since he doesn't have a signed permission form.
    • In other news, Crookshanks continues to chase Scabbers around, prompting a series of shouting matches between Hermione and Ron.
    • And speaking of pets, Lavender hears that her pet rabbit died and she's rather upset by the news.
    • She insists that Trelawney predicted that this would happen. Hermione tries to use logic to convince everyone otherwise, but no one listens to her.
    • Hermione makes like Agent Brennan on Bones here, and annoys everyone with her skepticism and her blunt delivery.
    • Harry goes to see McGonagall about his permission form, but she refuses to let him go to Hogsmeade without one.
    • So on Halloween morning, every third year except Harry heads off to Hogsmeade.
    • Harry wanders around and ends up in Lupin's classroom.
    • The two chat for a while and Harry confesses his concern over the boggart.
    • Lupin says that he assumed Harry's boggart would turn into Voldemort and would scare everyone else too badly.
    • But Harry says he thought of the Dementors instead. Lupin is impressed since a fear of Dementors implies that Harry is most afraid of fear.
    • Snape appears and instantly ruins the mood. The man's like a permanent wet-blanket.
    • He gives Lupin some sort of potion and the two have a cryptic conversation.
    • Harry instantly assumes that Snape is trying to poison Lupin.
    • Later, Ron and Hermione return with tons of candy and stuff for Harry from Hogsmeade. Sigh.
    • The Halloween feast is awesome as usual.
    • But afterwards, everyone heads to the common rooms and encounter a traffic jam on the stairs.
    • Turns out, the Fat Lady portrait is gone and her canvas has been ripped to shreds.
    • The Professors quickly appear and Peeves, the school poltergeist, tells everyone that the Fat Lady was cut up by Sirius Black after she refused to let him inside.
    • Hogwarts needs a new security system, pronto.
  • Chapter 9

    Grim Defeat

    • Dumbledore sends all the students to the Great Hall to spend the night.
    • The Professors spend the night searching the school for Black and making sure that things are secure.
    • No one can sleep and everyone stays up late at the world's largest slumber party, talking about Black.
    • Much later that night, the trio overhear Snape, Percy, and Dumbledore talking about Black too.
    • No one knows how Black got in, but Snape hints that he has a theory. Dumbledore seems to shut him down, though.
    • Things slowly go back to normal. But while the Fat Lady gets restored, the Gryffindors have to put up with her replacement: Sir Cadogan.
    • Percy begins following Harry around and McGonagall informs Harry about Black being after him, which he already knows, of course.
    • She tries to get Harry to stop going to Quidditch practice but he protests, and she finally agrees to let him practice as long as he has teacher supervision.
    • The Quidditch team faces a setback when they learn that they'll be playing Hufflepuff rather than Slytherin in their first match of the year. Malfoy claims that his arm is still busted and that he can't play. Right.
    • It's the day before the match, and Harry is late to Defense Against the Dark Arts due to Oliver Wood, who waylays him in the hall with last-minute Quidditch advice.
    • Unfortunately for Harry, Snape is the substitute teacher that day.
    • Snape proceeds to insult and infuriate the entire class, and then assigns them a crazy essay on werewolves.
    • Ron loses his temper, as usual, and ends up with detention.
    • The day of the match is very stormy and windy. Quidditch is so hard core that they play in any weather.
    • Harry's day gets off to a crappy start too, when Peeves wakes him up at the crack of dawn.
    • The team is nervous and miserable in the rain. Oliver shakes hands with the Hufflepuff team captain and Seeker, Cedric Diggory.
    • And the game begins.
    • Harry can't see on account of all the rain on his glasses, but Hermione puts a water-repelling spell on them during a time-out.
    • The game is intense and Harry and Cedric spy the snitch at the same time.
    • But as Harry goes to grab it, he feels cold and starts hearing his mother's murder again.
    • He starts to fall and blacks out.
    • When Harry comes to, he's in the infirmary, surrounded by his friends and teammates.
    • He learns that the Dementors crashed the game and caused him to pass out again.
    • Dumbledore saved Harry and ran the Dementors off. He was furious, which seems to freak everyone out nearly as much as the Dementors do.
    • The bad news is that the Gryffindors lost the game since Diggory grabbed the snitch before he realized Harry had fallen.
    • And it gets worse: Harry's broom flew over into the Whomping Willow, which ate it for lunch.
    • Harry might just be the unluckiest person alive.
  • Chapter 10

    The Marauder's Map

    • Harry stays in the hospital for the rest of the weekend and gets lots of visits from his friends.
    • But he can't stop thinking about hearing his mother's murder, something he doesn't tell anyone: "Harry felt sick and humiliated every time he thought of them. Everyone said the Dementors were horrible, but no one else collapsed every time they went near one. No one else heard echoes in their head of their dying parents" (10.1.4).
    • Thankfully, Lupin returns to class and ensures everyone that they don't need to do Snape's unfair werewolf essay.
    • Lupin pulls Harry aside to discuss the Quidditch match.
    • Harry tells Lupin everything: what happens when he's around the Dementors, and that he's really worried about them. Lupin tells Harry that he can teach him a way to fight them after the holidays.
    • Christmas approaches and it's time for another Hogsmeade trip.
    • Harry resigns himself to a boring Saturday, but he's suddenly yanked aside by Fred and George.
    • The twins let Harry in on their greatest secret: the Marauder's Map.
    • They found the map their first year and discovered that it lists all the secret passages in and out of the school. Plus, the map shows everyone inside the castle, making it easy to monitor things and to skirt professors.
    • Harry is amazed.
    • The twins show him a passage that leads directly to Hogsmeade and wish him good luck.
    • So Harry sets off and manages to successfully sneak into Hogsmeade.
    • Ron and Hermione are thrilled to see their friend. Well, Hermione is worried about all the rule-breaking at first, but she comes around.
    • The three head to the Three Broomsticks for some Butterbeers.
    • But then a group of adults tromp in, consisting of McGonagall, Hagrid, Flitwick, and Fudge.
    • Whoops.
    • Harry ducks under the table and the trio have to sit and wait for the grown-ups to leave.
    • Madam Rosmerta, the manager of the Three Broomsticks, joins the adults for a drink and they all discuss the Sirius Black situation.
    • And, boy, do they talk about it.
    • Harry, Hermione, and Ron learn all about what Sirius Black did – he was a traitor who murdered thirteen people.
    • But Black was also James Potter's BFF in school and was Harry's godfather.
    • Black betrayed the Potters to Voldemort!
    • Hagrid is enraged when he recalls that Black was at the Potters' house after Voldemort was there. Black tried to take Harry, but Hagrid insisted that Dumbledore wanted Harry to go live with the Dursleys.
    • Black gave Hagrid his flying motorcycle to use and then left, only to encounter Peter Pettigrew later that day.
    • Peter chased after Sirius in a grief-stricken rage and Black killed Peter.
    • Black apparently just laughed as he was hauled off to Azkaban. And, years later, Fudge was astonished by how normal Black appeared in jail.
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione are completely stunned and horrified to learn all of this.
  • Chapter 11

    The Firebolt

    • Harry returns to the castle in shock over what he's heard.
    • He's angry that no one ever told him the full story.
    • Harry goes up to his room to look at the photo album Hagrid made for him, full of old pictures of his parents.
    • He searches through it until he finds his parents' wedding photo. And standing next to his dad is none other than a young and happy Sirius Back.
    • Harry has nightmares all night about Black.
    • The next day is the start of the holiday break and the three friends go visit Hagrid.
    • Harry plans to angrily confront Hagrid about Black.
    • But Hagrid is so upset when they arrive that Harry doesn't have the heart to do it.
    • Turns out, Buckbeak has to go on trial for his attack on Malfoy, and Hagrid is really upset.
    • They agree to help Hagrid with his case, and the project helps distract Harry.
    • On Christmas morning, the gang check out their presents.
    • Harry has an anonymous gift that turns out to be a Firebolt broomstick.
    • The boys flip out in excitement, but Hermione finds the whole thing shifty.
    • That night, they head down for Christmas dinner with the few other students still at the castle and the professors.
    • Professor Trelawney decides to join them, after having a vision where she did just that. How convenient.
    • McGonagall and Trelawney provide the dinner entertainment as they proceed to bicker.
    • Snape glares at everyone and Dumbledore acts cheerfully oblivious to everyone.
    • Finally, the world's most awkward dinner ends and Hermione stays behind to chat with McGonagall.
    • The boys go back to the common room to gaze at the Firebolt some more.
    • They're about a few minutes away from composing sonnets to it.
    • But then McGonagall arrives to break up the love fest. She's come to confiscate the Firebolt.
    • The boys are furious with Hermione and McGonagall.
    • Hermione defends herself: "Because I thought – and Professor McGonagall agrees with me – that the broom was probably sent to Harry by Sirius Black!" (11.2.204).
  • Chapter 12

    The Patronus

    • The boys are furious with Hermione and refuse to talk to her.
    • They're all relieved when the holidays end and the other students arrive back at school.
    • Oliver Wood flips when he hears about the Firebolt and starts stalking McGonagall to get it back.
    • Harry is happy to begin his Dementor fighting lessons with Lupin.
    • They meet one night to practice the anti-Dementor spell on a boggart.
    • The spell is called a Patronus charm and to produce it you have to concentrate on a powerful, happy memory.
    • Harry tries it out, using the memory of the first time he rode a broomstick.
    • But it doesn't work and he passes out.
    • So he tries again, thinking of the time Gryffindor won the House Cup last year, but that doesn't work either.
    • This time, he hears his dad when the Dementor-boggart approaches. Lupin pauses at this and reveals that he knew James in school.
    • But he quickly changes the subject and has Harry try one more time.
    • Harry uses the memory of when he found out he was a wizard and could leave the Dursleys.
    • This time it works and he produces a silvery light that keeps the Dementors at bay.

    (Click the infographic to download.)

    • Harry can still hear his parents, but at least now they sound very distant.
    • Lupin and Harry are thrilled with his success and Lupin tells him that's enough for one day.
    • The two chat over some Butterbeer and Harry asks Lupin if he knew Sirius Black, which freaks Lupin out.
    • Lupin answers that he knew Sirius, and then abruptly sends Harry on his way.
    • That night, Harry thinks about how part of him wants to hear his parents, but he realizes that he'll never be able to fight off the Dementors until he accepts that they're dead and gone.
    • Between Harry's Dementor classes and Quidditch practice, he barely has any time for school work.
    • Ron and Harry are still not speaking to Hermione, but they notice how insanely stressed and overworked she appears.
    • Wood strikes out with McGonagall, who gets infuriated with him when he says that he doesn't care if Black did tamper with the broom, so long as Harry gets the snitch.
    • Oliver's people skills could use some work.
    • Harry's Dementor lessons start to stall and he has trouble making more progress with his Patronus charm.
    • After one of his lessons, Harry chats with Lupin about the Dementors.
    • Lupin explains about the Dementor's Kiss, which involves a Dementor sucking out your soul. This is the punishment Sirius Black will receive when he's caught.
    • Those Dementors are starting to sound worse than Voldemort at this point.
    • Finally, McGonagall returns the Firebolt to Harry after finding nothing wrong with it.
    • The boys head back to the Common Room and discover poor Neville outside – he forgot the passwords and lost the list of passwords he wrote down.
    • A party breaks out when everyone sees the Firebolt.
    • Harry approaches Hermione, who's studying in a corner, and tries to make up with her.
    • But then Ron storms in screaming about how Scabbers is missing. At the scene of the crime were two things: blood and ginger cat hairs.
    • Call in the CSIs!
  • Chapter 13

    Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw

    • Ron and Hermione's friendship has effectively come to an end over the seeming murder of Scabbers.
    • Ron is furious and upset. Harry makes like Jimmy Carter and tries to play mediator, but unlike Jimmy Carter, Harry sucks at it.
    • Hermione is upset that Harry acts like he's taking Ron's side and refuses to talk to either of them.
    • Fred and George proceed to make fun of Ron for being so upset over his stupid rat.
    • Harry takes his Firebolt to a team practice and it really energizes everyone.
    • As they head in from an awesome practice, Harry spots a huge black dog again and gets super nervous.
    • It's the day of the match against Ravenclaw and everyone is really excited.
    • Harry notices that the Ravenclaw Seeker, Cho Chang, is pretty cute.
    • Since the weather is nice, we can hear the commentary of Lee Jordan during the match. Lee seems better suited for stand-up comedy than ESPN, though, and McGonagall keeps yelling at him for his inappropriate comments.
    • After doing a lengthy product placement for the Firebolt, Lee gets down to actually covering the match.
    • The match is going well, but then Harry spies some pesky Dementors.
    • But he whips out his wand, casts a Patronus, and then catches the snitch. Go, Harry!
    • After the match, Harry learns that the Dementors weren't actually Dementors – it was Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.
    • McGonagall is furious and starts shouting at them.
    • Harry finds this hilarious and he heads back to the tower for a victory party.
    • Harry tries to talk to Hermione, who's doing homework in a corner during the party, but Ron makes a loud comment about Scabbers and Hermione runs off crying.
    • Harry tells Ron to lay off, but Ron stubbornly refuses to apologize to her.
    • That night, Ron wakes everyone up by screaming.
    • Turns out Sirius Black was hovering over Ron with a knife.
    • No one knows how to respond to that (other than "Aaaahhhh!") but McGonagall barges in and starts questioning Ron.
    • She doesn't believe him either, but then Sir Cadogan reveals that he let Black in since he had the password written down.
    • McGonagall is furious and Neville confesses that he was the one who wrote the password down initially.
  • Chapter 14

    Snape's Grudge

    • After Ron's close call, the school tightens up security even more.
    • Ron becomes a celebrity for his near-death experience and he milks it for all it's worth, just like Tai in Clueless after her near-death experience at the mall.
    • Sir Cadogan is fired.
    • Neville receives a Howler from his grandmother, who rants about how he's shamed the family.
    • Harry and Ron get a note from Hagrid and they go visit him.
    • Hagrid shuts Ron down quickly and proceeds to talk to them about their treatment of Hermione.
    • He basically lets them know that he's disappointed by their behavior towards a friend.
    • Hagrid also tells them that Hermione is crazy stressed and busy yet still found time to help him with Buckbeak's upcoming trial, which the boys forgot about.
    • But later that night, Hermione overhears the boys discussing how Harry's going to sneak out for the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend.
    • She threatens to tell McGonagall and they get mad at her all over again.
    • It's Hogsmeade day and Harry is interrupted by Neville as he tries to sneak out of the castle.
    • Neville has been banned from the Hogsmeade trip and no one is allowed to tell him the password either; McGonagall was pretty pissed, apparently.
    • Then Snape shows up and rudely questions Neville and Harry over why they're loitering in the halls.
    • Snape is always rude, though, so that sort of goes without saying.
    • Finally Harry shakes off Neville and sneaks out to Hogsmeade, wearing his Invisibility Cloak.
    • He follows Ron around and the entire thing is less fun than they thought it would be since Harry is invisible.
    • But then they encounter Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle and Harry decides to get some revenge.
    • He throws mud at them and they flip out.
    • But then the Invisibility Cloak slips and Malfoy sees Harry's head floating there.
    • Malfoy runs for it, and Harry bolts back to the castle, trying to get there before Malfoy reaches Snape.
    • Harry flies back out of the secret passage, but Snape quickly finds him and drags him to his office for an interrogation.
    • Harry tries to lie and say that he's been in the castle the whole time, but Snape isn't buying it.
    • Snape does his patented bad-cop routine and also insults Harry's dad, which sets Harry off.
    • But Snape reveals that Dumbledore hasn't really told Harry the entire truth about his dad and his connection to Snape.
    • To make matters worse, Snape then finds the Marauder's Map, which starts displaying insults towards him.
    • But Lupin suddenly appears and breaks up the interrogation.
    • Ron also comes flying in to corroborate Harry's story and Lupin leads them off.
    • Harry's relief is very short-lived, though.
    • Lupin confiscates the Map, saying that he knows what it is, and he shames Harry about his reckless behavior.
    • The boys are chastened and head back to the Common Room, where they find a tearful Hermione.
    • Hagrid lost his case and Buckbeak is going to be executed.
  • Chapter 15

    The Quidditch Final

    • Hermione shows them Hagrid's note, which thanks Hermione for her help.
    • Harry and Ron are upset and the they finally make up and become friends with Hermione again.
    • They get to work on Buckbeak's appeal.
    • They talk with Hagrid just outside the castle and Hagrid starts crying.
    • Malfoy is there and starts making fun of Hagrid.
    • So Hermione marches up to him and slaps him.
    • Everyone is stunned and Malfoy stomps off.
    • Later that day, Hermione misses Charms class, and the boys find her asleep upstairs in Gryffindor Tower.
    • Hermione freaks out and rushes off to apologize to Professor Flitwick.
    • The boys can't figure out how in the world she forgot to go to Charms.
    • That afternoon they head to Divination and Hermione finally loses it over how stupid the class is.
    • She storms out in a huff, stunning everyone.
    • Trelawney says that she knew that was going to happen. Of course.
    • "Some day Hermione's having, eh? Ron muttered to Harry, looking awed" (15.2.76).
    • Easter break is filled with homework and stress over the upcoming Quidditch final.
    • The night before the match, Harry spies Crookshanks wandering around outside with a big black dog. Mysterious.
    • It's game day and the school is excited. It's like the World Cup and the Super Bowl rolled into one.
    • The match is a furious one, and the Slytherins play dirty.
    • Lee Jordan yells a lot during his commentary and emotions run very high.
    • The entire match hinges on Harry, who has to let Gryffindor rack up enough points before he gets the snitch, to ensure that his team wins the cup.
    • Harry and Malfoy race for the snitch and Harry grabs it at the last second.
    • Everyone freaks out and the entire team screams and cries and tackles Harry in a giant group hug.
    • Harry lifts up the Quidditch Cup alongside Wood and feels like he could make the best Patronus ever right now.
  • Chapter 16

    Professor Trelawney's Prediction

    • It's everyone's favorite time of year: finals!
    • Hermione is completely stressed out due to the huge number of finals she has.
    • On top of all their school work, Buckbeak's appeal is approaching.
    • Hagrid sends a note that says the Ministry is sending an executioner to the appeal.
    • We think the Ministry is trying to tell us something.
    • So finals begin and everyone's anxious and tired from all the work they have.
    • Finally, the day of Buckbeak's appeal arrives.
    • But first, the boys have their last final: Divination.
    • Hermione heads off to her Arithmancy final.
    • All the kids have to go in separately and read the future from a crystal ball for their exam.
    • Harry ends up being the last one to go in.
    • He makes up a story about seeing Buckbeak flying away and Trelawney seems bummed out – she was hoping for more blood and gore, clearly.
    • Harry thinks the exam is over, but then Trelawney starts acting weirder than usual.
    • She goes into a sot of trance and starts talking in a very harsh voice.
    • She says that "The servant will break free and set out to rejoin his Master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than before" (16.2.68).
    • Harry is stunned.
    • Trelawney snaps out of it and has no memory of what she just said.
    • So Harry makes a run for it, but he doesn't have time to tell Ron and Hermione about what Trelawney said.
    • Hagrid lost his appeal and Buckbeak is going to be executed at sunset.
    • The trio want to sneak out to be with Hagrid, but Harry doesn't have his Invisibility Cloak.
    • He left it in the passageway after he dashed back from Hogsmeade during his last disastrous visit – you know, the one in which he threw some mud at Malfoy.
    • So Hermione sets off and gets it, impressing both the boys.
    • The trio gather under the cloak and sneak off to Hagrid's, just like the good old days.
    • They go inside Hagrid's cabin and try to console him.
    • Buckbeak is tied up outside so he can get some fresh air in his final moments.
    • Hagrid is devastated.
    • Hermione starts to make him some tea, when suddenly she finds a rat in Hagrid's milk bottle.
    • Oh no, Hagrid's going to get slapped with a citation from the Health Department!
    • But this isn't just any old rat: it's Scabbers.
    • Consider our minds blown.
    • The gang doesn't have time to stand around looking shocked, though; the executioner approaches and Hagrid hustles the trio, plus Ron's rat, out of the cabin.
    • They set off slowly and make little progress because Scabbers keeps trying to get away.
    • Finally the three hear an ominous thud and they're horrified to realize that Buckbeak is now dead.
  • Chapter 17

    Cat, Rat, and Dog

    • They all stand still in shock.
    • But then Scabbers starts squirming even more and he finally breaks free from Ron's grasp and makes a run for it.
    • We didn't think Ron was that bad of a pet owner. Come on, Scabbers.
    • Suddenly Crookshanks appears and chases after Scabbers.
    • If you were wondering when the "Dog" part of the chapter title was coming into play, wonder no more.
    • A gigantic black dog rushes out and jumps, knocking over Harry.
    • Then the dog grabs Ron, who's holding Scabbers, and drags them off.
    • The group is next to the Whomping Willow, which begins to live up to its name and wallops Harry and Hermione.
    • The giant dog and Ron disappear through a hole in the tree's roots.
    • Hermione and Harry try to follow, with no success.
    • But then Crookshanks darts out and hits a knob, which makes the tree freeze.
    • Harry and Hermione gather their courage and race down the tunnel after Ron.
    • They finally emerge in a creepy old house, which Hermione identifies as the Shrieking Shack.
    • They creep upstairs, where they hear voices.
    • The two grab their wands and burst into the room.
    • Ron is lying there with a broken leg, and Crookshanks, and chilling out on a bed.

    (Click the infographic to download.)

    • Ron has some disturbing news for his rescue party, though: "He's the dog [...] he's an Animagus [....]" (17.72). What?
    • Just then a filthy man emerges from the shadows: it's either a vampire or Sirius Black.
    • OK, it's totally Sirius Black (who's doing a fantastic impression of a vampire. And not one of those sparkling, hot Twilight vampires either).
    • "The waxy skin was stretched so tightly over the bones of his face, it looked like a skull" (17.74). Yikes.
    • Black disarms Hermione and Harry with Ron's wand and thanks them for stopping by. No, really.
    • Harry loses it and goes for Black, but Hermione and Ron yank him back.
    • Ron yells that Black will have to kill all three of them.
    • Harry snaps, though, and jumps Black, who fights Harry off and starts to choke him.
    • Hermione then kicks Black and Ron joins in, too, forming a sort of dog pile.
    • Harry gets their wands back and he aims his at Black – it's a moment of truth.
    • Harry wants to kills him, but he freezes.
    • Black tells Harry to listen to the whole story.
    • Suddenly, they hear footsteps and Hermione screams for help.
    • Professor Lupin bursts into the room and stares at Black.
    • Lupin starts speaking, but he makes no sense at all.
    • He asks Sirius where "he" is and then says "unless you switched [...] without telling me?" (17.128).
    • Lupin then helps Black up and gives him a huge hug.
    • This time, Hermione loses it and starts screaming at Lupin.
    • She shouts that she trusted him and has covered for him, when he's been in league with Black this whole time.
    • Lupin asks her to calm down but she shouts that Lupin is a werewolf.
    • And not like Jacob in Twilight, either. Just saying.
    • Hermione figured out the truth after Snape assigned the werewolf essay. Oh that Snape, so sneaky.
    • Now all the kids start yelling at the two adults, who beg the lot to shut up so they can explain things.
    • Lupin insists that he only learned the truth about Sirius tonight, when he saw someone who shouldn't be alive on the Marauder's Map.
    • Sirius and Lupin then drop the bombshell: Ron's rat Scabbers is really Peter Pettigrew.
    • What?!
  • Chapter 18

    Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs

    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide that Black and Lupin are insane.
    • Black doesn't seem to care much about that verdict and lunges for Scabbers/Peter to finish the job. Of killing him. In case that wasn't clear.
    • Lupin tells him to hold up, and says they need to explain things to the kids, especially Harry.
    • Ron just yells that they're all crazy.
    • But Hermione channels her inner Jack McCoy and starts up a cross-examination of Lupin, using the power of logic.
    • Hermione may have found her true calling here.
    • Lupin tells everyone to gather round for story time and starts to explain everything.
    • Peter, along with Sirius and James, all became unregistered Animagi while they were attending Hogwarts.
    • That's one heck of an extra credit assignment.
    • Lupin explains that the Shack and the Whomping Willow were installed the year he started at Hogwarts. He was secreted out of the castle for his monthly werewolf transformations and hidden away in the Shack so that he couldn't hurt anyone.
    • The "shrieks" everyone heard were Lupin himself during his painful transformations.
    • Poor guy.
    • His friends eventually learned the truth and decided to become Animagi to help Lupin. Lupin could be around other animals while he was a werewolf.
    • Peter became a rat, Sirius became a dog, and James became a stag.
    • The gang started wandering around in their animal forms and ended up writing the Marauder's Map based on their explorations of Hogwarts.
    • Hermione calls Lupin out on his group's reckless behavior; wandering around with a werewolf was probably not the best idea.
    • Lupin admits it was super dumb and says he felt guilty about betraying Dumbledore's trust like that.
    • And he debated all year whether or not to tell Dumbledore that Sirius Black is an Animagus.
    • He admits that Snape was right to not trust him.
    • Sirius perks up at the mention of Snape, and not in a good way. He hates the guy's guts.
    • Lupin explains to the kids that Sirius played a joke on Snape one time and lured him to the Shrieking Shack while Lupin was in his werewolf form. James pulled Snape back at the last second, or else Lupin would have bitten Snape.
    • Dumbledore forbade Snape from telling anyone the truth about Lupin. We can see why the guy held a grudge.
    • And speak of the devil, Snape suddenly appears in the room, holding Harry's Invisibility Cloak.
    • The cliffhangers don't stop!
  • Chapter 19

    The Servant of Lord Voldemort

    • Sirius and Snape instantly resume their years-old grudge match and start threatening and insulting one another.
    • The kids try to calm Snape down but he finally loses his cool and starts shouting at them all to shut up.
    • "But there was a mad glint in Snape's eyes that Harry had never seen before. He seemed beyond reason" (19.20).
    • Back away slowly, Harry.
    • Instead, Harry opts to yell back at Snape and calls him out for being a pathetic loser who can't get over a grade school prank.
    • Snape yells back and insults Harry's family.
    • So Harry goes to disarm Snape, but Ron and Hermione had the same thought and Snape gets slammed with a triple dose of Expelliarmus. Whoops.
    • He's down for the count, and everyone returns to Story Time with Professor Lupin.
    • They finally get down to the business of Peter.
    • Black takes over the story and says that he saw the picture of Peter in the newspaper, from when Ron's family took their trip to Egypt.
    • He noticed that Ron's rat was missing a toe.
    • Lupin says, "Didn't you ever hear, Ron? […] The biggest piece of Peter they found was his finger" (19.51).
    • Conspiracy alert.
    • Black explains that Peter faked his own death, that he was the Potters' Secret-Keeper and the one who betrayed them, and that Sirius chased after Peter, not the other way around.
    • Harry yells at Sirius some more.
    • Sirius explains that it's his fault, that he encouraged James to switch to Peter at the last minute, thinking that no one would ever suspect Peter.
    • Finally, Ron hands over Scabbers and Lupin casts a spell alongside Sirius to make Peter reveal himself.
    • And Scabbers transforms into a short, balding man who sounds like George Costanza.
    • Peter stutters out a series of increasingly lame and unbelievable excuses as Sirius and Lupin do a tag-team interrogation on him with their patented mild-mannered-cop, insane-cop routine.
    • Hermione does her District Attorney routine again and asks both Lupin and Sirius questions about Peter's story, and asks how Sirius escaped Azkaban.
    • Sirius thinks Hermione is a bit nuts (um, that's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, Sirius, but carry on), but he does answer her.
    • He says he held on to the fact that he was innocent and that when he saw Peter's picture he just wanted revenge. So he slipped through the bars of his cell in his dog form and swam to shore.
    • Eventually, the kids believe Sirius's story.
    • So Lupin and Black prepare to kill Peter.
    • Peter, of course, starts begging everyone to spare him.
    • Black delivers a damning verdict against Peter, accusing him of being a coward and a traitor and an overall despicable human being.
    • Peter breaks down and admits everything, but says he was scared and that Voldemort was powerful, so what was a guy to do?
    • Sirius has an answer to that: "THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" (19.165).
    • So, not what Peter did, basically.
    • But, at the last second, Harry yells for the men to stop and to spare Peter.
    • He says that his dad wouldn't want his old friends to become murderers and that Peter deserves to go to nasty old Azkaban instead.
    • So the gang all head back out the passageway with an unconscious Snape and a tied-up Peter in tow.
    • Lupin and Ron tie themselves to Peter so he can't escape.
  • Chapter 20

    The Dementor's Kiss

    • On the way out of the passage, Black tells Harry that he's his godfather and invites Harry to live with him once his name gets cleared.
    • Harry is thrilled and accepts immediately.
    • Black smiles and Harry is struck by how much younger he looks.
    • As they emerge outside, a cloud moves and reveals a full moon shining brightly.
    • Hermione realizes that Lupin didn't take his potion tonight and Lupin starts to transform.
    • Black transforms into a dog again and jumps at werewolf Lupin to keep him away from Harry and Hermione.
    • Meanwhile, Peter grabs Lupin's wand, knocks out Ron, and turns back into a rat and runs away.
    • Black runs after rat-Peter and Harry and Hermione follow him.
    • But then a group of Dementors surround the group.
    • Hermione tries to help Harry cast a Patronus charm at his prompting but the Dementors overwhelm her and she passes out (finally, not just Harry!).
    • Sirius is out as well and Harry is the last one standing.
    • The Dementor near him lowers his hood.
    • "Where there should have been eyes, there was only thin, gray, scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets. But there was a mouth [...] a gaping , shapeless hole, sucking the air with the sound of a death rattle" (20.67).
    • Pardon us while we run away screaming.
    • The Dementor leans down to suck out Harry's soul.
    • But then a bright while light appears and drives the Dementors back.
    • As Harry passes out, he sees a familiar looking figure reaching out to pat a silvery animal.
    • But then he loses consciousness.

    (Click the infographic to download.)

  • Chapter 21

    Hermione's Secret

    • When Harry comes around, he's back in the hospital wing (again).
    • He overhears Fudge and Snape talking.
    • Fudge says Snape will likely get an Order of Merlin award for his "heroics" in rescuing the kids from an escaped convict and a werewolf and a gang of Dementors.
    • Snape modestly says it was nothing. Which is somewhat true, at least – Snape didn't actually do anything at all.
    • He then explains that the kids were clearly under the influence of a Confundus charm, which means they were confused into attacking him.
    • Harry looks over and sees Hermione awake and listening like he is.
    • Ron is still out cold.
    • Harry and Hermione try to talk to Madame Pomfrey, but she just tells them to calm down.
    • Fudge and Snape come in and agitate Harry and Hermione further since neither man will listen to them.
    • Fudge is rather taken aback when Snape up and yells at Hermione.
    • Dumbledore finally arrives and shoos them all out so he can talk to Harry and Hermione.
    • Dumbledore says that he spoke with Sirius and that he believes him, but there's no proof and no time to prove Sirius's innocence before the Dementors perform the Kiss on him.
    • Dumbledore emphasizes the time part and Hermione picks up on something.
    • The headmaster then gives them very weird directions: he tells them exactly where Sirius is locked up, notes that they can save more than one innocent life, and warns them that they must not be seen. (Simple.)
    • Then he leaves and locks them in the infirmary.
    • Hermione whips out a tiny hourglass on a gold chain and throws part of the chain around Harry's neck. She turns it three times and everything blurs.
    • "He was standing next to Hermione in the deserted entrance hall and a stream of golden sunlight was falling across the paved floor from the open front doors" (21.96).
    • Hermione drags Harry into a storage room and drops a bombshell: they just traveled back in time courtesy of Hermione's Time-Turner, which she's been using to take extra classes all year.
    • Harry has hit his quota of startling revelations for the day.
    • But Hermione then admits that she doesn't get what Dumbledore wants them to do.
    • Harry figures it out, though: they need to rescue Buckbeak and use him to save Sirius.
    • So the two make a run for the forest.
    • They sneak over to Hagrid's house and watch themselves enter it.
    • "This is the weirdest thing we've ever done," Harry says (20.134).
    • Dr. Who, Marty McFly, Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse-Five, and the casts of A Wrinkle in Time and Lost fervently agree with you, Harry.
    • Harry asks why they don't just run in there and kill Peter in his rat form after they found him in Hagrid's milk jar.
    • Writing that was probably the weirdest thing we've ever done.
    • Hermione says no way and explains that messing around with time is a bad, bad idea and that if he burst in there and his past self saw him, he's probably attack [...] himself. Our heads hurt.
    • Harry also experiences a time travel headache and says he gets the point, they'll let the evening play out like it already did.
    • Finally the window of opportunity arrives and Harry and Hermione untie Buckbeak and sneak him into the forest.
    • This time they hear what happens (happened?) after their other, past selves leave Hagrid's house.
    • Ow, ow, our brains.
    • At any rate, the adults are astonished to find Buckbeak gone and the executioner swings his axe into the fence in frustration.
    • Hey, that explains the noise the kids heard as they walked away from Hagrid's hut! There seems to be a time loop in play here.
    • So the adults all leave and Harry and Hermione then watch the odd spectacle of everyone heading into the passage to the Shrieking Shack.
    • They settle down in the woods to wait for everyone (and themselves) to come back out.
    • Harry is still upset that they can't rush in there and stop Peter and he tries to rush out, but Hermione grabs his robes and yanks him back just as a drunk Hagrid appears, heading towards the castle.
    • Close call there.
    • Harry agrees to sit and wait.
    • The two friends sit and talk. Harry explains what he saw when they were with the Dementors and confesses that he thinks his dad was the one who cast the Patronus.
    • Hermione doesn't see how that's possible, but Harry insists it looks like him.
    • Finally everyone emerges from the Shack and Harry wants to do something to stop Peter, but Hermione insists that they should just focus on saving Sirius, and Harry reluctantly agrees.
    • But then Harry realizes that werewolf Lupin is about to come rushing into the forest.
    • So he and Hermione drag Buckbeak and run to Hagrid's now-empty hut.
    • Harry then casually goes back outside to check out the situation.
    • He runs over to where the Dementors have gathered so he can hopefully catch his dad.
    • And he watches as they surround Hermione, and Sirius, and himself.
    • "And then it hit him – he understood. He hadn't seen his father – he has seen himself –" (21.295).
    • So Harry steps out and confidently casts a super powerful Patronus charm, which takes the form of a stag.
    • He rushes back to the hut to find a furious Hermione, but Harry explains what happened.
    • She's not sure what to be more shocked about: the fact that Harry saw himself and saved the day, or the fact that Harry cast some seriously advanced magic.
    • The two watch some more and then spy McNair the executioner leaving to get the Dementors.
    • So the two hop on Buckbeak and fly to the tower where Sirius is being held.
    • Hermione doesn't like flying.
    • Sirius is stunned to see them hovering outside his window. Hermione unlocks the window and Sirius climbs aboard Buckbeak.
    • Buckbeak lands on the castle and lets Harry and Hermione off.
    • Sirius tearfully thanks them and then flies off into the night.
    • Harry and Hermione watch until they can't see Sirius and Buckbeak anymore.
  • Chapter 22

    Owl Post Again

    • Harry and Hermione run like crazy to get back to the infirmary.
    • They hide as Fudge and Snape walk past, discussing Sirius's punishment.
    • Then they have to hide again when Peeves goes by.
    • With only three minutes left, they sprint and manage to arrive just as Dumbledore is exiting the infirmary.
    • Dumbledore beams when he hears about their success and he lets them back in the infirmary after he hears that the other Harry and Hermione have left.
    • And the time travel shenanigans come to an end.
    • Madam Pomfrey storms back in and Harry and Hermione quietly go back to bed.
    • Just when things quiet down, they hear Snape approaching in a rage, bellowing about how Potter has done something.
    • Fudge and Dumbledore try to calm Snape down but he's pretty much manic.
    • He finally storms out.
    • Fudge is stressed over Black escaping, but he agrees to remove the Dementors from Hogwarts immediately, given that they tried to perform the Kiss on a schoolboy.
    • Ron finally wakes up and asks what he missed.
    • Harry and Hermione just look at each other and Harry tells Hermione to explain.
    • The next day the three friends discuss their adventures and speculate as to where Sirius and Buckbeak are.
    • They go visit Hagrid, who's still thrilled about Buckbeak's escape.
    • But then he fills them in on some bad news: Snape told everyone that Lupin is a werewolf at breakfast and Lupin immediately resigned his post.
    • Harry rushes off to see Lupin before he goes.
    • The two talk and Lupin says that his leaving is the right thing to do. Lupin confessed everything to Dumbledore.
    • After Snape's "slip," no parent will want Lupin teaching their kids, unfortunately.
    • Before he leaves, Lupin gives Harry the Marauder's Map back.
    • Dumbledore comes in and Lupin leaves quickly.
    • So Harry and Dumbledore sit down to chat about everything.
    • Dumbledore is surprised to learn about Trelawney's other prediction, which he says brings her grand total to two now.
    • Two?? We're curious now.
    • Harry is upset that Peter got away, but Dumbledore says that sparing Peter was significant: "But trust me [...] the time may come that you will be very glad that you spared Pettigrew's life" (22.3.46).
    • Harry also tells Dumbledore about thinking he saw his dad and Dumbledore says that his dad lives on in him.
    • So the school year ends and everyone is still discussing that crazy Sirius Black.
    • Most kids are upset to learn that Professor Lupin is leaving.
    • Exam results come back and Harry, Ron, and Hermione passed everything and – surprise, surprise – Percy got top marks in his exams.
    • Hermione drops Muggle Studies so that she can have a normal schedule next year, and she returns her Time-Turner.
    • Ron still can't believe she kept it a secret all year.
    • The three board the train to head home and spend the trip talking.
    • Suddenly a tiny owl appears by the window of the train.
    • The owl brings a letter from Sirius, who says he's safe.
    • Sirius also says he sent Harry the Firebolt and that the owl is for Ron to keep, given what happened to his old pet.
    • Sirius also includes a statement that gives Harry permission to go to Hogsmeade on the weekends, which will be good enough for Dumbledore.
    • The gang arrive at King's Cross Station and Harry bids his friends good-bye.
    • Upon meeting Uncle Vernon again, Harry mentions that his escaped convict godfather just sent him a letter.
    • "And, grinning broadly at the look of horror on Uncle Vernon's face, Harry set off toward the station exit" (22.5.48).
    • Way to go, Harry.
    • And thus ends another normal year at Hogwarts.