Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 9-11
These three chapters set up a lot of threads that will be fully revealed at the end of the book. The smaller pieces (Lupin’s secret and the origins of the Marauder’s map) I will go ahead and talk about a bit more here since there will be so many other things to talk about when we get to the end, I want to make sure to do them justice.
Most Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers are not all they appear to be. In Sorcerer’s Stone, Quirrell is literally a host for a parasitic Voldemort. Lockhart was a fraud who only pretended to do all of the things he wrote about in his books. Neither of these teachers though seemed all that great to begin with. Lupin however has been a breath of fresh air. He is actually a good teacher and a good person. The students feel like they are actually learning something for once. But of course the position is cursed so something will have to drive Lupin out of the school by the end of the book. Lupin is very mysterious and definitely appears to be holding things back from Harry. He is also sick…. a lot.
One day when he is too sick to teach, Snape fills in for his classes (who is filling in for Snape?). Snape who openly despises Lupin uses this as an opportunity to expose Lupin’s big secret. Luckily most of the students are not that perceptive, but Hermione of course figures it out from this. Snape assigns them homework, even though he is only a substitute, to write an essay on identifying werewolves. Hermione being the overachiever that she is is the only who one actually does it and thus figures out that Lupin in a werewolf which is why he is “sick” so often. The reader doesn’t actually put this fully together yet, though there are a lot of heavy handed clues (including the fact that his name is Remus Lupin and he is afraid of a “silvery orb”). Though being a werewolf doesn’t seem to keep Lupin from doing his job too much, when parents find out they aren’t likely to be thrilled with a werewolf teaching their kids. This is another kind of prejudice that exists within the wizarding world that we haven’t encountered as much yet but will continue to get more examples of in later books. Wizards see themselves as superior to all other magical beings and werewolves are not considered acceptable in the magical society.
Semi Truths about Sirius Black
While sneaking off to Hogsmede, Harry once again overhears a conversation he wasn’t supposed to. Very conveniently, the Minister of Magic has a very public gossip session with some professors and Rosmerta, the owner/bartender of the Three Broomsticks, about the connection between Sirius Black and Harry. Harry learns that Sirius was best friends with his father while they were at Hogwarts. Sirius was also the best man at James’s wedding, and Harry’s godfather. Peter Pettigrew was also their friend. This part is all true, the rest of what Harry overhears is only semi-true. At some point Sirius turned to the dark side without his friends knowing (not true). Lily and James went into hiding when they found out that Voldemort was after them and they made Sirius their secret keeper (only half true). He betrayed them and turned them over to Voldemort (not true). Pettigrew tried to stand up to him and got blown apart in the spell that Sirius used to kill all those people (also not true). Harry is devastated to learn that Sirius was a friend of his father’s. Before this he had little interest in seeking out Sirius even though he knew Sirius was after him. Now he is finding it much harder to not want revenge.
The Marauder’s Map
Harry inherits the Marauder’s map, a most useful and important item, from Fred and George. It is a map of the school with everyone’s location in it so that they can always know who is where in the castle at any given time. It also has secret passageways labeled on it that can lead Harry to Hogsmede. Initially that his Harry’s primary use for the map but it will be invaluable to him throughout the rest of the series.
The twins don’t know who made it, they themselves found it in Filch’s office and assume that it was just some previous trouble making students like themselves. Which is definitely true. The authors of the the map are identified as Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew), Padfoot (Sirius Black), and Prongs (James Potter). By the end of the book it will be revealed that they were the authors and a close knit friend group while at school. Throughout the next few books, Harry will learn more about his father’s time at Hogwarts, as well as Lupin and Sirius’s. I will get into that stuff as it comes, but the Marauder’s are kind of a glimpse at what Harry’s life at Hogwarts might have been like if he hadn’t been burdened with being Harry Potter. Harry hasn’t really had a connection to his parents before, he knows almost nothing about them other than how they died. Meeting his dad’s best friends gives him that connection and we will learn much more about their generation in later books.
- Sir Cadogan is temporarily replacing the Fat Lady after Sirius’s attempted break in and everyone is very annoyed. He changes the password a lot.
- Ron has a crush on Madam Rosmerta, a long with a lot of other men.
- Cedric Diggory gets his first mention in Chapter 9 when Harry plays against him in a Quidditch match.
- During a very rainy, dangerous, Quidditch match Harry sees the large black dog in the stands and then gets attacked by dementors. During the attack he hears his mom pleading with Voldemort not to kill Harry.
- Harry loses a match for the first time and his broom is destroyed by the Whomping Willow.
- Harry gets a replacement broom, the new Firebolt, from an anonymous source for Christmas. Hermione is very concerned about who could have sent it. It is a very expensive broom and who does Harry know that would spend that much on him? She is concerned that Sirius sent it and cursed it. She tells McGonagall about it and gets the broom confiscated.
- At Christmas dinner, Trelawney shows up and says that when 13 dine together, the first to rise is the first to die. Dumbledore rises to greet her and is in fact the first to die in that group.