Anyway, PoA quickly cemented itself as my favorite. It opens up the wider wizarding world. It introduces us to a deeper mystery in Harry's past - sure, his parents died, but it was always a bit removed from him. Now we learn what happened, it gets personal to Harry, and thus to us. Plus it introduces us to some downright cool characters, some of which will play a hugely important part later.
One of which... yeah. *points at screenname* I cannot describe the influence Remus Freaking Lupin had on me. He was pretty much the first fictional character I really truly identified with. Even people around me agreed I resembled him. For a time, I had Moony as my nickname (which was weird when I recently had someone call me that again, except it was the ex-husband of a good friend of mine; he'd been an absolute asshole to her, they're in the middle of a very nasty divorce, and he pretty clearly only called me Moony as a sort of 'look how buddy buddy we're being, we go way back, aren't we such good friends' signalling. Ew). I've written pages and pages of fanfiction about him (I indirectly have 'him' to thank me for flexing my writing muscles). Lupos is my internet last name. For a while during the 3 Year Summer I was thisclose to crossing over to the Snape camp, but eventually it was all about the bloody werewolf.
Needless to say, TDH was.... not fun. Not just the fact that my favorite character died (the third one that year! 2007 was a bad year to be one of my favorite characters) but it was sort of a rough wake-up call, in hindsight. If *I* was Remus, what did it say about me that he was being a huge arse in TDH? The downside of identifying yourself with a character, so to say. Looking at it with ten year's distance, I can sort of see where he was coming from, and rereading PoA now I can see some seeding of his later development - although I still think Jo botched that storyline.
TDH hit me so hard that I don't think I read a HP book in total in the ten years since - I read bits and pieces of TDH again and I think I once picked up PoA again but never finished it? (I read The Cursed Child but that doesn't count.) So this is the first time in ten years I read PoA - more than ten, really, since I don't think I reread it before TDH came out. And, again, I did not expect my emotional reaction to this. I emailed my friend Amy, even, venting:
ANYWAY. WEREWOLF FEELS. I HAVE THEM. Let's move on. We'll revisit this topic with OotP, HBP and TDH anyway.
Warning: this is stupidly long, I shout at people a lot, and the arc words of this recap are 'I forgot' because good grief, I forgot A LOT..
Prisoner of Azkaban
It’s thicker than the first two! (About 60 pages more than CoS) It’s also less kiddy. There’s a scary dog/wolf on the back. No children’s review (well, one letter on the back flap), just newspaper ones and awards. There are only two other books available, no WB trademark, just 1999.
It’s dedicated to Jill PREWETT!
1 – Owl Post
“And he also happened to be a wizard.” Way to bury the lede here, Jo.
Oh right, this is the under-the-blanket-Lumos scene in the movie. Which makes 0 sense.
Wendelyn the weird! Also I’m wondering when the Muggle nickname started? How old is that word? Was it originally spelled differently? I want the etymology of Muggle please.
Do the Dursleys know that if he doesn’t do his homework he might get kicked out and be THEIR responsibility again?
I like that the narration is already more sophisticated. Something in the word usage. And the Dursleys aren’t just cartoonishly bad for no reason anymore, they have motivations (albeit nasty ones).
Harry picked a lock to get his stuff – did he learn that skill from Fred in the last book?
Heh, Ron on the phone.
I basically forgot this entire chapter! “Wait, Harry gets birthday presents?” The three owls delivering them. Poor Errol!
The Weasleys are going to Egypt AGAIN (also again confirmation that Bill is the eldest. How did I ever forget??) Oh, Charlie is there too, that makes it better (apart from them being redheads in Egypt in the summer.)
The Weasleys spend most of the 700 galleons on the holiday but at least they also bought Ron a new wand. No offence but… I kind of get why they’re poor.
There’s so much recap infodumping. Although it’s sort of elegantly done.
I forgot Harry gets a new broomstick in this one… and the Monster book of Monsters. And Hogsmeade.
Aw, he’s a happy birthday boy.
2 – Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake
Ugh the tv in the kitchen. Dudley is a fat-joke.
Hi Sirius hi. Bet Petunia forgot he was James’s BFF (if she ever knew? How much contact did she have with James anyway?)
Aaaand the Dursleys are being Dickensian again. Although Harry’s talking back now – he’s become a teenager! (It only gets annoying in OotP, right now it’s still fun and hilarious because he’s doing it to people we hate.)
“Uncle Vernon was pulling on his car coat.” What?
Of course Marge has a moustache. Sigh.
Movie dialogue! (Back in the movie theatre I could talk along with the screen because they literally quoted the book.)
Wait, if Vernon OWNS Drunnings, why does he have a company car? He’s giving himself a car?
It’s interesting that Marge badmouths the Potters in the book where we find out more about them. It triggers our interest and curiosity – ‘wait, what were the Potters like?’
Somehow Marge makes Vernon seem nice and sane…
3 – The Knight Bus
NOW Harry stops to think. And gets superdramatic about being an ~outcast. Oh 13 year olds...
Hi Stan Shunpike hi. So this is one of the things you can do after Hogwarts. Gah his accent though. “Wachoo fell over for?”
How can anyone SLEEP on the Knight Bus?! Although admittedly it’s genius that the surrounding objects jump out of the way instead of the bus driving around them. Just a tiny reversal that has a great effect.
Sirius is more infamous than Bellatrix, that’s gotta sting for her. Her cousin who didn’t even want to be a Death Eater is now known as Voldemort’s most famous supporter.
“The magical community lives in fear of a massacre like that of twelve years ago, when Black murdered 13 people with a single curse.” This has not quite the same impact anymore, 18 years later. L
Gosh, Stan was BORN during Voldemort’s reign. He was like six years old when YKW disappeared. No wonder he’s freaked when ‘Neville’ says Voldemort.
“Harry had broken wizard laws just like Sirius Black.” Hahaha cute, teenagers.
Fudge wears a bottle-green suit and he waves Harry’s abuse away with the excuse that “they’re family”…
“We don’t send people to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts!” Like, it happens more often?
Is there literally no one who can take Harry in? Sure, just let the 13 year old stay on his own with a mass murderer after him, what could go wrong.
TELL HIM STUFF. Does Dumbledore know Harry shouldn’t know anything? Does he agree?
4 – The Leaky Cauldron
Great worldbuilding of Diagon Alley here. And Florean Fortescue!
The Irish are favorites for the world cup! I love how suddenly things show up that will come back later. PS and CoS were much more standalone (well, not in hindsight, but anyway).
The bookshop’s manager suddenly turns into an assistant.
Couldn’t Harry have written Ron and Hermione to meet up, instead of all this wandering around hoping to run into them business?
Smart that the Weasleys are staying in London already, no repeat of last year. :p
I forgot this is the book Ron gets Pigwidgeon.
Aw, Peter is feeling poorly. I feel so sorry for him. Ahem.
“Funny custard-coloured furrball.” Puffskeins! And Crookshanks!
“Would we get an award if we caught him,” says Ron. No, but you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling when you help him get away (well, Harry and Hermione will, Ron will just get a broken leg. Sorry Ron).
Mr Weasley: “Black’s not going to get caught by a thirteen-year old wizard.” Well. Has he MET the Trio?
“He’s at Hogwarts, he’s at Hogwarts.” Nice misdirection.
“Why shouldn’t Dumbledore be happy with Dementors at Hogwarts?” Um.
“The safest place on earth was wherever Dumbledore happened to be.” Sure.
5 – The Dementor
“Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?” Have you MET yourself?
Did Arthur know about James/Sirius (not like that) before or did Fudge tell him? How well-known was the whole thing? Draco knows, but he’s related to the Blacks, whereas Madam Rosmerta, an actual adult living in a 100% wizard village, has no idea about the whole betrayal.
Why is Remus in the last compartment? Why is he on the train at all? No pre-schoolyear staff meeting to attend? I have a friend who teaches and her last week of the summer holidays are always crammed with preparations. Wait, maybe it was a full moon lately (Edit: in my fic this is the case). Still, there’s Floo Powder?
Does he darn his own robes? Can’t he use magic?
“Though quite young” – literally my own age – “his lightbrown hair was flecked with grey.”
Professor RJ Lupin. I remember how upset people (uh, me) were when his middle name turned out to be stupidly boring John, heh. Good times. Although I guess maybe his parents were like "so we're naming him Wolfy McWolfface, that's just asking for it, maybe if we name him the most boring name ever he won't get bitten". :p
Suitcase with string – no magic? “He looks like one good hex would finish him off.” Well, it takes the right person. Give it four years (five-ish).
“Don’t go looking for trouble, Harry.”
'I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds ME.”
Peter set the Sneakoscope off – is it because they were talking about Sirius and he felt guilty?
Heh why they want to go to Hogsmeade. Ron: “sweetshop!” Hermione: “history!”
The Shrieking Shack is the most haunted building in England – quite a feat when you consider it wasn’t even inhabited before 1971. Also, Hogwarts is in Scotland so how is it the most haunted building in ENGLAND. :p
Lol Lupin sleeps with his mouth open – that’s gonna be a nasty feeling when he wakes up. Also, is he in in a coma? He sleeps unnaturally deeply for like ten hours.
Get out your wands and use Lumos, you idiots.
“Professor Lupin appeared to have woken up at last.” Yeah no wonder.
He’s a firebender! :p Also has alert and wary eyes.
DEMENTOR. *grabs some chocolate herself*
Poor Ginny and Neville. L
“I need to speak to the driver.” I’d shout at him if I were you.
“I haven’t poisoned that chocolate, you know.”
Heh, the coaches with ‘invisible’ horses. And Remus FINALLY stops a bully (ok it’s only Malfoy).
Wait, the marble staircase does NOT lead to the Great Hall? Oxford lied to me! (I visited the ‘real’ Great Hall years ago, at Christ Church College in Oxford. And I could have sworn even in the books the staircase leads to the Great Hall, I have no idea how I missed it. Probably the movies influencing my mental images.)
Professor Flitwick, a tiny little wizard with a shock of white hair. Ahem.
“Dumbledore, though very old, always gave the impression of great energy.” That's because he's been recast as Michael Gambon. (Which I maintain was a good thing; Richard Harris was good for PS and CoS Dumbledore but I think he would have been too sedate for the later Dumbledore.)
Professor Lupin has CONSENTED to fill the DADA post – Dumbledore asked him? Snape is pissed of course – “the look Snape wore every time he set eyes on Harry.”
6 – Talons and Tea Leaves
Does Quidditch ALWAYS start with Gryffindor vs Slytherin?
“There isn’t enough TIME” for Hermione’s class schedule. Just wait.
Sir Cadogan! This is adorable. His little fat pony.
Hi Trelawney hi. You’ll be important later. And heh, Hermione is startled that books won’t help her here.
I should try reading tea leaves for shits and giggles one day. See if I get THE GRIM (caps are essential when talking about THE GRIM).
Ron spots a blob like a bowler hat in Harry’s teacup, predicts he’s going to work for the Ministry of Magic. He’s not wrong.
THE GRIM. D:
Animagi in McGonagall’s class! Also the one time they get mentioned until the end. Pay attention, kids.
“True seers are very rare, and professor Trelawney…” Actually does McGonagall know of that one prediction Trelawney did? Hm.
“You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in.” I love McGonagall.
Hermione’s being a bit insufferable here.
Hagrid’s class! You have to STROKE the books. Duh. OK I do feel sorry for him now, his intentions were good.
Hippogriffs! Silly movie scene but it’s fun in the book. Also Malfoy is a childish idiot but what else is new.
7 – The Boggart in the Wardrobe
We start with Draco being childish and Snape… likewise. Sigh. Also what the crap is a Shrivelfig.
Nice setup that Snape is Neville’s worst fear. Also Snape is such a BULLY here. He’s worse than in previous books!
Does Malfoy know Sirius is his cousin? He does know more than Harry (obviously). Actually, now I'm wondering how the Malfoys are talking about Sirius. Is he their disgraced cousin for not joining Voldemort or do they have some grudging respect for him now since he apparently joined after all? Sirius mentions the inmates at Azkaban being angry with Peter so the true story WAS known among the Death Eaters? Ugh, I'm confused now.
“D’you get the feeling Hermione’s not telling us something?” Ron asks. Yup.
DADA classroom! Ugh I’m seeing the movie set in my head. Thankfully without movie Remus. My mental image still resembles Tealin's, mostly.
“Lupin looked shabby as ever but as If he had had a few square meals.” Aw.
OH right, Peeves. Loony loopy Lupin. Waddiwasi! A useful little spell that never comes up again and I seriously doubt Hogwarts has a frequent gum-in-keyhole problem, but hey.
I forgot Snape was here, and also that it was in the staff room instead of the classroom. Stupid movie. Snape ‘warns’ Remus about Neville, who is the son of friends Remus lost in the war (in arguably a worse way than James and Lily). This just makes him asking Neville to help more poignant, honestly.
I am the one hiding under the stairs… “I once met one that had lodged itself in a grandfather clock.” That sounds really annoying when you want to wind the clock.
Boggart’s are Schroedinger’s Fear.
Ew I am hearing Thewlis’s voice now.
I bet Remus knows how Neville’s gran is and what she looks like, but anyway. Do love how much of a natural teacher he is.
Yay Alan Rickman boggart. Good thing for Neville that the real Snape left though, I cannot even imagine his reaction to seeing the Boggart. He’ll probably have an aneurism or something. Explode. Little bits of Snape everywhere.
How the crap is a cockroach better than the full moon? Honestly, Remus.
Of course Harry’s pride is hurt that he didn’t get to have a go. Little Gryffindor.
8 – Flight of the Fat Lady
Page 108, Halloween chapter.
Of course Draco is badmouthing Lupin. “Look at the state of his robes, he dresses like our old house elf.” Excuse you, Remus doesn’t wear a pillowcase.
Oh dear, Snape found out about the Boggart, and since he’s mentally still stuck at Hogwarts… poor Neville. L
Suddenly the common room is buzzing with Hogsmeade excitement, as if the village didn’t exist before now. Was the Trio deaf and blind that they had no idea the third-years and higher went away for the day every so often? Guess they ‘unlocked’ this part of the game map now. :p
Surely Crookshanks isn’t the first cat at Hogwarts to go after someone’s rat.
Hermione, stop being logical and show some empathy.
I FORGOT HARRY WAS GOING TO HAVE TEA WITH LUPIN. Curse the movie for cutting scenes!
“What are you doing,” said Lupin in a very different voice from Filch’s.” I should hope so.
“A what?” said Harry. Yer a Grindylow, Harry. I mean, it’s a Grindylow, he just said, pay attention.
I want to make teawater boil magically. L Saves me waiting one whole minute for the electric kettle. “I’ve only got teabags I’m afraid.” Nothing wrong with that.
The teachers gossip about the students! (This is an actual thing of course.)
“Harry thought for a moment of telling Lupin about the dog he’d seen in Magnolia Crescent, but decided not to.” What if he had though.
Lupin just casually saying Voldemort as if it ain’t no thing. “I imagined people would panic.” That… yeah, that’s certainly one thing they’d do.
“Harry didn’t know what to say to that so he drank some more tea.” Is this kid British or what.
“The door opened and in came Snape.” Buzzkill.
Remus is being annoyingly pleasant, calling him Severus. Snape calls him Lupin. This is verbal warfare, staking out the hierarchy here (comparable to Dumbledore calling Voldemort Tom). Snape is keeping Lupin at a distance while Remus is trying to come off all chummy with Severus. Actually, comparable to that one guy calling me Moony I mentioned above. Huh.
Ooo mysterious potion. “Harry had the urge to knock it out of his hand.” Let’s do it and see who gets eaten tonight. That'll be Halloweeny. (OK it's not tonight as Lupin's around at the feast; tomorrow then.)
“Professor Snape is very interested in the dark arts.”
“Really,” said Lupin, looking only mildly interested.” ‘Did you see the guy? OF COURSE HE IS.’
Hogsmeade does sound awesome, as does the Halloween feast.
Oh dear, the Fat Lady. L
“Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.” Dundundunnnnn.
9 – Grim Defeat
Wait is there only one Head Boy and Girl? That seems… inconvenient?
Great Hall sleepover!
Hermione: “Honestly, am I the ONLY person who’s ever bothered to read Hogwarts: A History?”
“Probably,” said Ron.
Snape is gossiping about Lupin, Dumbledore is not having any of it. “I did express my concerns when you appointed – “ AKA he had a whine and sulk fest about it.
Ooo first mention of Cedric!
Aaaand it’s the Snape DADA lesson. “He says he’s feeling too ill to teach today.” Eh, he just didn’t feel like a practical lessons on werewolves. “Nothing life-threatening,” [Snape] said, looking as though he wished it was.”
“Today we shall discuss… werewolves. Turn to page 394.” This seems a really dangerous subject to teach for a werewolf teacher. ‘Let’s see how much attention you guys really pay.’
Ugh poor Hermione. L And poor Neville! Ack, imagine, he was probably anticipating another fun lesson with his favorite teacher who makes a point of boosting his self-confidence, and then he gets… Snape.
“Why couldn’t Black have hidden in Snape’s office, eh. He could have finished him off for us!” Yeah Sirius, why didn’t you finish what you started 18 years ago?
Why the hell are they even letting students play Quidditch in a THUNDERSTORM?!
THE GRIM! D: Also, Dementors!
Aw, Cedric offered a rematch. Nice character moment, good set-up for Goblet. Hufflepuffs rule.
“For the first time ever he’d lost a Quidditch match.” On the upside it’s only like his fifth match ever? Plus he missed one because he was in the hospital wing.
Aw, the Nimbus. L
10 – The Marauder’s Map. :D
“No one else heard echoes in their head of their dying parents.” I should bloody hope not!
WTF Draco though, Harry could have DIED.
“Two rolls of parchment!” I love that one student who is so indignant about that.
“Don’t worry, I’ll speak [=shout] to Professor Snape, you don’t have to do the essay.” Hermione’s bummed. Admittedly, I would be too because I would totally at least try to do the essay just in case it was legitimate homework. But then I’m a Ravenclaw, so.
“They planted the Willow the same year that I arrived at Hogwarts.” What a crazy coincidence, I’m sure that won’t come up again later. Also he’s being so NICE here. “Lupin made a sudden movement with his arm as though he had made to grasp Harry’s shoulder, but thought better of it.” Parental feelings triggered. (Aw sorry for making fun of you Remus, you really are being nice.)
“Black must have found a way to fight [the Dementor’s powers].” YOU KNOW HOW. Or actually, does he? Do people know Animagi are less susceptible? I guess maybe not because they aren’t that many of them and it’s not exactly a science experiment you do for fun. ‘Let’s stick McGonagall in Azkaban for two weeks and see what happens.’
“I chose a very inconvenient time to fall ill.” You don’t say. You also chose a rubbish replacement.
“Young, carefree and innocent – “
“ – well, more innocent than we are now.”
The Map is so cool.
Hey he’s not wearing his Cloak here (that’s because the movie combined the two Hogsmeades trip into one). Oooh this is the Three Broomsticks scene! I forgot about that. Somehow.
Is this the best place to discuss this? At least in the movie they had a private room.
“Quite the double act, Sirius Black and James Potter!” Plottwist!
“Dumbledore had a number of useful spies.” Hi Snape. But there was a traitor in their midst, who could it be… This is actually a pretty damning story for Sirius, all things considered. Peter DID manage to fool Dumbledore, of all people. (Speaking of, is Scabbers with Ron now? Is he listening?)
“I met him!” growled Hagrid. Yes you did. Apparently Sirius said he wouldn’t need his bike anymore, interesting. He probably knew what it looked like and he just needed to find Peter before the MoM found him. (Plus easier to find a rat on (pad)foot than on a huge-ass motorbike.)
“Trained Hit Wizards from the Magical Law Enforcement Squad.” Not Aurors? Is that a name she came up with later?
“Said he missed doing the crossword.” Right. Did Sirius ever do the crossword before in his life?
“Give You Know Who back his most devoted servant, and I shudder to think how quickly he’ll rise again.” Give it a year. And that’s mostly because he has to be dramatic so he HAS to do it at the end of the school year.
11 – The Firebolt. Oh right.
“Why hadn’t anyone mentioned the fact that Harry’s parents had died because their best friend had betrayed them.” Because that’s a really depressing story?
Ooo the photo album of course. Wait, wouldn’t there be any pictures of Lupin? :p (Eh this can be handwaved away as the focus being on J&L so there's only pictures of them, and maybe they had a tiny wedding.)
Lol Harry is in angry give-no-fucks mode.
“There didn’t seem to be any particular harm in Buckbeak. In fact, by Hagrid’s usual standards, he was positively cute.”
Are the Trio literally the only Gryffindors left at Christmas?
The Firebolt! Dundundunnn… HA at the idea that Lupin gave it though (close, though!).
Ron theorizes that Lupin wasn’t ill because he wasn’t in the hospital wing. Would teachers even stay there though? I can imagine they’d be more comfortable in their own bedrooms.
“This is supposed to be quite a good broom, isn’t it?” Oh Hermione.
Dumbledore is the only one enjoying himself at the feast. Also where are the rest of the teachers? Gone home?
Heh Trelawney has to sit between Snape and McGonagall. I don’t know who I feel more sorry for.
“But where is dear professor Lupin?” “He positively fled when I offered to crystal gaze for him.” That spawned a minor ship and a few fics, I’m sure.
Oh Hermione, telling McGonagall about the broom… I love you but sometimes…
12 – The Patronus
“Waving aside the information that a famous murderer was after his Seeker.” Oh Wood, never change.
“Isn’t it OBVIOUS” what’s wrong with Lupin? This is why you do homework, Ron.
Expecto Patronum! “Something whoosed suddenly out of the end of his wand.” Just leaving that there.
Very realistic Dementor effects, Mr Boggart.
Harry wants to continue because Quidditch. OK then.
“We were friends at Hogwarts.” Dundundunn.
Hang on, Harry has had two and a half years of Astronomy and he still doesn’t recognize the moon??
“Yes I knew him. Or I thought I did.”
Harry’s temptations to hear their voices is like his draw to the Mirror of Erised. Poignant.
Hermione’s nearing a burnout at the age of 14.
“Not that I’m supposed to take sides as a teacher.” Eh, Snape and Dumbledore do.
This is actually such a nice image, them drinking Butterbeer together. Nice parental moment. The man with the son he never had and the boy with the dad he never had, kind of thing.
Does Sirius deserve the Kiss? That’s a good question…
“He knew Lupin wouldn’t be very impressed” by Harry sneaking into Hogsmeade using the map.
Oops, Neville forgot his list of passwords. I’m sure that’s not going to come back later.
“Hermione looked almost as tired as Lupin.” Ouch.
“LOOK SCABBERS LOOK SCABBERS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT WAS ON THE FLOOR??”
13 – Gryffindor Vs Ravenclaw.
“It looked like the end of Ron and Hermione’s friendship.” They’ll get better. Although Hermione is being quite obnoxious about all this.
Cho Chang is mentioned for the first time.
“The Dementors won’t turn up again Oliver, Dumbledore’d do his nut.” ?????? What?
Cedric congratulates Harry on his Firebolt. I love that Hufflepuff. Also Percy bet ten galleons on the outcome of the match – that’s more than a new wand costs!
“He wondered suddenly whether professor Lupin was in the crowd, watching.” Me too. (For god’s sake what is with my memory.) Oh right, Malfoy pretending to be a Dementor.
“Harry couldn’t help but notice that [Cho Chang] was extremely pretty.” I like that it’s mentioned that yes, she’s pretty, but the focus is on that she is also a damn good Seeker.
“JORDAN. ARE YOU BEING PAID TO ADVERTISE FIREBOLTS? GET ON WITH THE COMMENTARY.” So weird that that actor popped up in Galavant later on. (And holy shit I JUST found out he's also in Community?? I completely didn't recognise him with those glasses and that hairdo)
So the whole school sees Harry conjure a Patronus. Nice.
“Lupin looked both shaken and pleased.” (Shaken and stirred.) Why? James flashbacks?
Poor Hermione, so overworked.
Ooo the break-in by Sirius. “Black! Sirius Black! With a knife!” In the conservatory!
Where on earth does McGonagall sleep that she can hear the commotion in the common room?
Poor Neville. L
14 – Snape’s Grudge. Oh goodie. (What is it again? Besides everything ever. Oh right, Hogsmeade, map.)
“Professor Flitwick could be seen teaching the front doors to recognize a large picture of Sirius Black.” Plus the security trolls guarding the Fat Lady and comparing the size of their clubs. Love Jo’s minor descriptions.
Poor Neville, total disgrace ánd a Howler from his grandma. “Neville’s grandmother’s voice shrieking about how he had brought shame on the family.” Ouch. Then again, 'your forgetfulness caused someone like the people who tortured your parents into insanity into the castle' isn't exactly a good look.
Buckbeak’s hearing is on Friday so it’s near April 20 now (as mentioned earlier). Hagrid is also bringing on the guilt that they should be nicer to Hermione.
Oh huh, DADA covers vampire so werewolves make sense. What do the older students get though? Something worse?
“Even the Hogwarts ghosts avoid the Shrieking Shack.” Do they know what it really is? Also how far can they travel??? Can they leave the UK?
Oh right, Draco & Co spot Harry ‘haunting’ them.
“Snape’s eyes were boring into Harry’s.” Stop reading his mind, it’s rude. “Famous Harry Potter.” Oh god he IS actually still 12 years old. He’s still hung up on James too. It’s almost sad. “Rules were for lesser mortals, not Quidditch Cup winners.” SHUT UP AND GROW UP.
“Snape’s sallow skin had gone the colour of sour milk.” He must be so pissed at Dumbledore, too, always sheltering the Potters. “There was nothing brave about what [James] did. He was saving his own skin as much as mine. Had the joke succeeded, he would have been expelled from Hogwarts.” Actually, did Sirius even get reprimanded or anything?
Of course Snape has yellow, uneven teeth.
“Or – instructions to get into Hogsmeade without passing the Dementors?” Legilimency says yes.
Oh God, the words on the Map. Peter giving the final kick. They’re bullying him from beyond the grave. (Well. Sort of?)
“An odd, closed expression appeared on Lupin’s face.” I bet it did. I like that he’s not looking at Snape, too, giving him no chance to read his mind.
“You mean, from Mr Wormtail or any of these people?” Note how he mentions the one person who is safe to mention without any (emotional) fallout. Also note that he mentions the one person who is ACTUALLY evil.
Poor Snape. He is actually right that Harry is up to something but he can’t prove it.
This is probably the angriest Remus ever gets (apart from the Shrieking Shack scene) and it’s the classic “I’m not mad, just disappointed”.
“Do you KNOW [the Mapmakers]?”
“We’ve met.” Once or twice.
Aaand the hippogriff is condemned. Gosh this is a fun chapter.
15 – the Quidditch final. Does something interesting happen in this chapter? I forgot.
Hey, first time Ron and Hermione make up because Ron does care for her causes after all.
SMACK HIM, HERMIONE. Yay Draco facepunch.
Oooh the first Quidditch Cup win, of course. Oh and also when Hermione leaves Divination. She is so sarcastic! She suits Ron.
“It’s obvious what this means. There’s going to be loads of fog tonight.” Heh Ron.
Funnily Trelawney is sort of right with THE GRIM coming closer.
Preparations for Quidditch. It’s such a big deal, why? (Yes I am not a sports person.)
Crookshanks and GRIM, BFFs. Mysterious mystery…
“Behind the Slytherin goalposts however, 200 people were wearing green.” Do they invite people from outside? Otherwise the numbers don’t add up.
“The dirtiest match Harry had ever seen.” I dunno, wasn’t there historically one with over 700 fouls?
Yay Firebolt. They won. Yay. And aw Wood all emotional.
16 – Professor Trelawney’s prediction
“Even Fred and George had been spotted working.” Gasp!
Aw, Buckbeak’s going to die. (This is less impressive when you know he’s not. Plus the cover basically gives it away.)
Yay DADA obstacle course! Fun! Although I’m missing the practical lesson on vampires and werewolves. :p LOL @ Hermione’s Boggart, too. If that’s your worst fear…
Thursday, shit is about to go down. Lucky for Remus that the last exam day was today, really. (Page 234 now, about 80 left to go.)
This scene with Trelawney’s prediction is interesting when you consider Harry’s ‘vision’ of Sirius in OotP (wasn’t that at Divination too? I remember that it was stupidly hot, too.) But hey, his prediction of Buckbeak flying away was right!
OI, spoilers, Trelawney.
I have the PoA soundtrack in my head now.
“The executioner McNair, he’s an old pal o’ Malfoy’s.” Gosh I wonder how they met.
SCABBERS. IN THE MILK JUG. Why the heck is he still on Hogwarts grounds?? Also stop trying to get away you idiot. Ironically you’re safer the closer you are to Harry right now since he still thinks you’re a rat.
Aaaand CHOP. No threesomely hug here.
17 – Cat, Rat and Dog (and wolf!)
Uh if it’s sunset isn’t it like 11PM? Since it’s June and all.
Aaand it’s THE GRIM. Or not. Oh right, the Willow. And augh Ron’s leg. D:
“Harry. I think we’re in the Shrieking Shack.” Dundundunn. This whole description is quite atmospheric.
“He’s the dog… He’s an animagus…” There was literally ONE mention of animagi, 150 pages ago. Subtle seeding, Jo.
Filthy hair, waxy skin, yellow teeth, sounds like Snape. But no: “it was Sirius Black.”
Harry is about to explode with anger at Sirius. Interesting parallel with OotP where he wants to beat up Dumbledore (and does wreck his office) over his anger over Sirius.
“Lie down, you will damage that leg even more.” Hint of Sirius not being as evil as everyone thinks.
“All Harry knew was that he wanted to hurt Black as badly as he could.” Again, end of OotP. This is such a tense scene. Is Harry going to kill him??
And then, someone on the stairs. It’s… Snape? I think? I forgot the sequence.
Oh right now it’s Remus of course. Snape is invisible, he’ll show up later.
“And embraced Black like a brother.”
(No honestly, I was surprised how much this hit me.) Also get a room you guys.
“I DON’T BELIEVE IT,” Hermione screamed. “You – you – you and him –“ Gaaaay.
It’s almost bizarre how… unsubtle this is. I mean, if you want to read it a certain way of course. But honestly. Also wow Hermione, jumping to conclusions much. “He’s been helping Black to get into the castle.” “HE’S A WEREWOLF.” Well gee thanks. Wait to out someone against their will.
“Not at all up to your usual standards, Hermione. Only one out of three, I’m afraid.” “An odd shiver passed over his face. ‘But I won’t deny that I am a werewolf.’” Oh god and then Ron’s reaction.
(it’s actually interesting how Hermione freaks out about this so much and is beating herself up that she should have told someone. Being Muggleborn she shouldn’t have the anti-werewolf prejudice Ron has (apart from ‘wait werewolves are REAL?’) and Remus has been nothing but nice and awesome to everyone who isn’t Snape, teaching Harry to fight the Dementors and whatever. But I guess this is part of Hermione’s black and white thinking which she sometimes falls into? I dunno. It’s kind of weird.)
“Snape’ll be delighted.” Ugh. Who asked him to substitute anyways, or who allowed him to when he offered. (Is it bad that I can see Dumbledore go “LOL SURE” without at all thinking about what a loose cannon Snape is when it comes to Remus? “No it’ll be fun and Severus always wanted to teach DADA, now’s his chance, he’ll be happy!”) Then again, they were going to cover werewolves anyway! Or maybe Remus was like “Hey, it’s at the end of the textbook, the DADA position is cursed anyway, so by the time they can figure it out I’ll be gone.” I dunno.
“Dumbledore had to work very hard to convince certain teachers that I’m trustworthy.” GEE.
“Of course I know how to work [the Map]. I helped write it. I’m Moony.” I love how he just casually drops that in there, and when Harry is all WTF he’s basically like “so getting back to the main point now.”
Aaand he starts monologuing.
Actually, if Hermione tracked his (period, heh) chart, wouldn’t she know tonight is a full moon?
“How d’you know about the Cloak?” Harry, we established a couple of chapters ago that he was friends with your dad. Do the math.
“That’s not a rat.” Dundundunnnn.
18 – Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Needs more Prongs though.
“You’re both mental!”
Remus is being the sensible teacher here. “We’ve got to explain.”
Poor Ron, bitten by a dog, leg broken, getting scratched and bitten by a rat, and in half an hour or so he’ll almost get eaten by a werewolf. Today is not his day.
“I want to commit the murder I was imprisoned for.” Geez.
Ominous creaks and the bedroom door opens. Sure, this place is haunted… REMUS YOU SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT THE MAP, YOU DUMBASS. Actually, if he had Snape wouldn’t have realized where he’d gone off to and none of this would even have happened. GDI.
“That’s where all of this starts, with my becoming a werewolf. None of this could have happened if I hadn’t been bitten – and if I hadn’t been so foolhardy.” Here’s a stick to beat yourself up with, Remus. And actually, really, honestly? Yes, they wouldn’t have become animagi, but Peter would still have betrayed the Potters and Sirius would still have ended up in Azkaban. And if he HADN’T been an animagus he wouldn’t have stayed sane enough to escape (or been able to escape at all) and we wouldn’t be here, yeah, but things would be worse. So shut up.
“But then Dumbledore became Headmaster and he was sympathetic.” So DD’s been headmaster for 25-ish years. Interesting that he did so when Voldemort was starting to gain power.
“For the first time ever, I had friends.” Actually, how DID they become friends? James and Sirius, sure, even Remus I could see, but Peter? What did he bring to the group? Remus mentions “Peter needed all the help he could get” from James and Sirius.
“What if you’d given others the slip!”
“A thought that still haunts me.” Sure. “Lupin’s face had hardened and there was self-disgust in his voice.” Would he feel better if I kicked him a bit?
“Snape? What’s Snape got to do with it?”
“He’s here, Sirius. He’s teaching here as well.” I never realized that of course Sirius wouldn’t know Snape was a teacher. Although Hermione did mention his name just now, although I guess Sirius wasn’t 100% there, mentally. :p
“It served him right” that he nearly DIED? Also ouch that Snape hears all this.
“We – er – didn’t like each other very much. He especially disliked James. Jealous, I think, of James’s talent on the Quidditch pitch.” OH REALLY, I had no idea, Snape never mentioned that ever. “Sirius thought [the ‘prank’] would be amusing.” Yeah, haha, he nearly died, hilarious. I mean, I get that he was sixteen, but…
19 – The Servant of Lord Voldemort
I like how the one person everybody thinks is the servant of Lord Voldemort actually really isn’t.
My first thought was why does Snape keep LUPIN at wand-point? But of course he knows it’s a full moon and right now Lupin is a more immediate danger. Also Snape doesn’t want to get eaten again. Actually, he should have brought the Wolfsbane along in a flask or something, forced it down Remus's throat, THEN taken them back to the castle.
“A TAME werewolf.” Aslan? Also oi, no wrapping up Lupin in vines! (Again I forgot this happened?)
“Give me a reason. Give me a reason and I swear I will.” Hey, Sirius didn’t even need a reason except “lol, funny”.
Why is he so VICIOUS. (OK I know why.) “Don’t ask me to fathom the way a werewolf’s mind works.” He’s completely had it with everything.
Dudes that was harsh. “We attacked a teacher!”
You know, once again, it’d be useful if any of the teachers (i.e. Lupin) knew a basic healing spell for Ron. Wizard first aid.
“This cat isn’t mad.” Or a cat. ALSO HE STOLE THE PASSWORDS AND BOUGHT A BROOM??
Oooh Sirius was checking on Peter and that’s how he knew stuff was wrong and he should go to Godric’s Hollow ASAP. Poor guy.
“Enough of this,” said Lupin, and there was a steely note in his voice Harry had never heard before.” This is me when I’ve finally had enough. I’m told I get scary then. :p
“Well, hello, Peter. Long time, no see.” And Peter immediately starts trying to trigger Remus’s guilt.
“I must admit, Peter, I have difficulty in understanding why an innocent man would want to spend twelve years as a rat.” Fair enough.
Sirius is insulted at the insinuation he worked for YKW. Now I’m wondering whether Bellatrix made any comments at Azkaban. (Do they even socialize there? They do have SOME means of communicating, as they apparently talked about Peter. Also Barty Jr has escaped by now, huh.)
Hermione’s asking the important questions (and calling Sirius “Mr Black”, aw).
So the way to get out of a depression is to get obsessed with murdering someone. Noted. Also Sirius and Remus are making up over Peter begging for his life.
God, what a paranoid time the late 1970s must have been.
“I let you sleep in my BED.”
“James would have understood,” Peter claims. Really?
“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED. DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU.”
“You should have realized. If Voldemort didn’t kill you, we would. Goodbye, Peter.”
Thank God Harry has some sense. (Although, in hindsight…)
“Black and Lupin looked at each other. Then, with one movement, they lowered their wands.”
NOW Remus splints Ron’s leg?!
Snape’s still out cold. Is no one worried about brain damage? (Wait, with these people, obviously not.)
20 – The Dementor’s Kiss
Page 277. Still got all the time travel to go. And I already feel emotionally exhausted. Kind of want to stop reading here while things are still good.
Yay living with Sirius! Great plan!
How does Remus STILL not remember the moon??
Aaaand he’s wolfing out. Great. Thankfully without Gary Oldman reminding David Thewlis that "this heart is where you truly live". What even WAS that line.
You know, this is more DUMB than tragic. Actually, wait. Stop. Stop the narrative.
THIS IS THE STUPIDEST SHIT EVER. I LITERALLY CANNOT BELIEVE HOW FREAKING STUPID AND IRRESPONSIBLE HE'S BEING HERE. I have TWO period trackers (admittedly not intentionally; I had one on my phone and then I bought a health tracker that also tracks your period) and that's just to keep track of something that DOESN'T MAKE ME WANT TO EAT PEOPLE. And the full moon is literally the easiest thing to keep track of. THEY SELL ACTUAL CALENDARS AND AGENDAS WITH THAT SHIT IN IT. With one simple google search I can find a calendar for 2017, and I bet if you looked a little better (or IF YOU HAD A PROFESSIONAL ASTRONOMER FOR A COLLEAGUE) you could find one for the next, oh, hundred years. THAT SHIT IS PREDICTABLE.
HE'S BEEN A WEREWOLF FOR THIRTY BLOODY YEARS. THIS SHIT SHOULD BE INGRAINED BY NOW. IT SHOULD BE THE FIRST THING HE THINKS OF WHEN HE MAKES PLANS. I mean, I have a chronic condition. It doesn't make me want to eat people or anything but it's always there. I cannot just *forget* about it. And it's not even like he couldn't have been reminded of it this evening! HE LITERALLY TALKS ABOUT IT FOR LIKE AN HOUR AND MENTIONS IT APPROXIMATELY 87 BILLION TIMES THAT HE'S A WEREWOLF. Even SNAPE is like 'hey so I came to your office to bring you your special potion' AND THEN HE EVEN EXPLAINS WHAT THE STUFF DOES. 'IT KEEPS ME SAFE.' HELLO. EARTH TO REMUS.
'This is where all of this starts, with my becoming a werewolf.' Actually, I take it back that he shouldn't be beating himself up just earlier. Because honestly? This is the moment where the rest of the books started.
And it would have been SO EASY for things to go different. Even if he hadn't had the potion yet. it would have been so easy to go "oh shit. Guys, leave me here in the Shrieking Shack. Get out of here, leave Snape in the tunnel (IN THE TUNNEL, THAT'S NOT THE HOUSE, SIRIUS) so he can't interfere, get back to the castle under the Cloak or with Sirius as a dog, get to Dumbledore ASAP, explain the whole thing, get a few bottles of Veritaserum in Peter, I'll be able to corroborate your story tomorrow.'
FUUUUUUU I was so angry when I reread this. It's the dumbest scene in the series. Like I said, it kicks off the rest of the plot. Peter gets away, helps resurrect Voldemort, the Second War start, people die AND LEAVE BEHIND MONTH-OLD BABIES, REMUS, YOU FUCKING M O R O N. GDI. It's even worse now I'm the same age because, like... YOU IDIOT. Irresponsible doesn't even BEGIN to cover it. ARGH.
... I think I just hit the Anger stage of mourning again.
And, sure, he doesn't deserve to get kicked out of Hogwarts exactly for being a werewolf, but he deserves a hard kick up his arse for this. Bloody hell.
OK done. Sort of. I think.
And Peter’s gone too. Great. Also Remus’s wand flew away and out of sight. What about his robes? This is going to be awkward tomorrow.
Dementors… This is actually less impressive now I know what’s going to happen. And now I'm still angry.
Ugh. Sirius is now of course extra vulnerable to the Dementors since he just finally got some happy thoughts, the first ones in twelve years. :(
Jo needs to cut down on the ellipses…
Thank God for timey wimey Harry.
21 – Hermione’s secret
Ugh Snape and his potential Order of Merlin, and Fudge falling for it hook, line and sinker.
Snape: “Personally, I try to treat [Harry] like any other student.” HAHAHAHA.
“Consorting with a werewolf and a murderer.” Oi. “I bound and gagged Black, naturally.” That’s another few hundred fics.
You know, I feel sorry for Snape a bit here. Trying so hard to keep the upper hand, now he finally has it (even though he’s completely wrong about what’s really going on of course, but he doesn't know that - or doesn't believe it). Dumbledore isn’t on his side – Dumbledore never is. Snape will never win, not really. Even when he finally gets the DADA job, he knows he only got it because he has to put down Dumbledore eventually (I mean, it basically is him putting Dumbledore out of his misery), and what with the DADA curse he knows it’s only for one year. Every time he gets some honor (eventually becoming Headmaster, even) it's with some side of shittyness that negates the whole joy. Poor guy.
“Professor Lupin is currently unable to say anything.” Ugh, and I bet a werewolf’s testimony would only make things WORSE for Sirius.
“[Snape] hates Sirius. All because of some stupid trick Sirius played on him.” Yes, what a funny joke, I have no idea why Snape is still upset about that.
Hey this is the first time Dumbledore doesn’t solve anything (well, unless you count him relying on Harry to fix stuff, then it’s the third).
Yay Hermione and the Time Turner. And we get confirmed that today is Thurday, June 6th.
Timey wimey! “We need to keep out of sight of Hagrid’s front door, or we’ll see us! We must be nearly at Hagrid’s now!” Yeah this IS confusing. “This is the weirdest thing we’ve ever done,” says Harry, and I quite agree.
“How extraordinary,” says Dumbledore the troll, who I bet knows Harry & Co managed to save Buckbeak somehow.
“Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, Prongs. Had all of them been out on the grounds tonight?” Well, sort of? Although would James REALLY have faked his death for twelve years though? While his best friend was in freaking Azkaban and his kid was being tortured by his relatives?
Harry thinks he’s his own dad. In two years, Sirius will think so too (well, in the movie for a splitsecond, which I still think was an ingenious bit of character work).
“It looked like a horse.” Uh, sure. Or a stag. Hi Prongs.
At least Snape carried them back. When did Sirius wake up? In jail? Poor guy. Actually, he’s being surprisingly unfased about the whole ‘we’re busting you out with a hippogriff’ thing. He’s even worried about Ron, aw.
Bye Sirius, go get some sun for god’s sake.
22 – Owl Post, Again. Sob.
Heh this must be so weird for Dumbledore. “Bye. Hi.”
“Harry heard a distant roar of fury echoing from somewhere above them.” Hi Snape.
“Dumbledore alone looked calm. Indeed, he looked as though he was quite enjoying himself.” Poor Snape, really. Heh Fudge though: “I’d watch out for him, if I were you, Dumbledore.” You have no idea, Minister. (And you won’t because isn’t Fudge like, dead by then?)
“Lupin says he never ate anything last night.” Ouch. “Snape told all the Slytherins this morning.” I bet he did. I bet he did it gleefully, too. (I have literally zero recollection of how I wrote this in my fic, wtf.) “He’s packing now o’ course.” Sob.
“I see their point. I could have bitten any of you. This must never happen again.” Duh. MAYBE IT WOULD HAVE HELPED IF YOU HAD HAD A LITTLE MORE SENSE LAST NIGHT.
Oh he gives the Cloak back. So his werewolf form does keep his clothes on? I’m confused. Or maybe he found the Cloak in the forest (somehow not torn to shreds) and that’s how he got back to the Castle. Actually, I’m going with that, the mental images of a wolf in wizard robes are too weird.
DUMBLEDORE, DON’T LET HIM LEAVE. ADOPT HIM LIKE YOU DID TRELAWNEY. COME ON.
“I’m sure we’ll meet again some time.” Who knows, you might even make Harry godfather to your kid! After begging him to take you along on his suicide mission!
“That brings her total of real predictions up to two.” Did anyone of us ever go like “so her first real prediction was about Harry and Voldemort”?
Life debts are serious business in the wizarding world. “The time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.” I’m somehow hearing Gandalf’s voice in my hear now. “It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand…”
“You think the death we have loved ever really leave us?” Can I amend that to “the (dead) fictional characters?” Cause that’s also true.
“Sirius told me all about how they became animagi last night.” First point: so Sirius woke up quickly enough that he had time to explain all this. Second point: does Snape know about that? Third point: oh to be a fly in that room.
Snape needs therapy, like, twenty years ago. Sheesh.
“It’s the Quidditch World Cup this summer!” Sequel hook!
Aw Pigwidgeon. ^^
Oh right, Sirius send the Firebolt. Hermione can crow “I told you so!” And Harry’s got Hogsmeade permission! And a murderous Godfather to threaten his family with, uh, nice?*Hedwig’s Theme as we go into the closing credits*.