Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 19

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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.

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