Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 17

By J.K. Rowling

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.

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  • 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?!

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