Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 3

By J.K. Rowling

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.

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