“Expecto patronum”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 12-14

Casting a patronus

With the dementors making Harry lose quidditch games, he gets Lupin to teach him how to fight them off. Since dementors are basically darkness manifested it makes sense that the spell to drive them out is light. The patronus charm protects the caster by providing a shell of light and happiness around them. In order to cast one you have to think of an extremely happy memory. Harry being Harry doesn’t have a lot to choose from. At first he chooses to think of riding a broom and winning the house cup but those are not the kinds of things that will protect you from a dementor. The memory that finally works for him is when he learned that he was a wizard and would be leaving the Dursleys for good.

Learning the truth about himself was certainly a moment that changed Harry’s life for the better so it is fitting that that is what he would choose. However, I actually like the change they do in the movie better (not a sentence I will be saying a lot). In the movie version Harry thinks of talking to his parents. It isn’t really a memory because he could never have talked to them, but just the idea of having family and loved ones around him is all he needs. That I think gets to the core of who Harry is much better so I actually like that particular change.

What the movie doesn’t include though is Harry’s inner monologue where he admits he kind of likes hearing his parents death because it is the only way he can hear their voices. Even if it is a painful thing, he has never heard their voices sounded like before. Wizards don’t have home movies. This desire to hear his parents voices makes it kind of tempting to give into the dementors, a.k.a. the darkness. A lot of good people are led to the dark side with the promise of keeping their loved ones safe, or bringing them back.

Trio Infighting

Every Harry Potter has to feature a rift, or separation, within the trio that lasts for at least a few chapters. In the first book Harry and Ron don’t really accept Hermione into the group until late in the book. In the second Hermione is side-lined for a lot of the climax when she is petrified. In this one it is Hermione’s concern over the Firebolt and then Crookshank’s alleged murder of Scabbers. Ron is much more mad at her than Harry is but he kind of just takes Ron’s side by default. They may be a tight knit trio but Harry and Ron are kind of the core of it.

Ron is definitely being immature in this instance. When it comes to the Firebolt, Hermione is doing what she feels is right in keeping her friend safe, even if it means he is mad at her. She also threatens to turn Harry in if he tries to sneak off to Hogsmede after Sirius breaks into the Gryffindor dorms. She knows Harry will hate her for it, but she would rather him be mad than dead. Harry is certainly annoyed about the Firebolt but Ron seems particularly upset. Ron will never own a Firebolt, the only way he will ever get to ride one is if Harry owns one. However, once they get the Firebolt back he is ready to forgive her pretty quickly. Until the Scabbers/Crookshanks debacle.

The Scabbers/Crookshanks situation doesn’t make Hermione look quite as good. She isn’t particularly apologetic about her cat and again, Ron doesn’t get nice things. Scabbers may be a crappy pet but he is what he’s got. Ron has gotten nothing but hand-me-downs his whole life and he is probably sensitive to the idea that his things don’t matter as much as other people’s do. Ron may complain about his pet a lot, but that doesn’t mean others can shit on him too. It’s like when your friend says something negative about your sibling. You may have said the same things, but it is only ok for you to say them.


  • Lupin tells Harry that he knew both James and Sirius but doesn’t really expand on it.
  • Cho Chang gets her first mention, as well as the first time Harry’s hormones are acknowledged.
  • Harry is already learning not to get in the middle of Ron and Hermione’s fights.
  • Sirius breaks into Gryffindor dormitories and slashes Ron’s curtains with a knife while they are sleeping, but he runs off when Ron wakes up. It is assumed that Sirius got the bed wrong and he was looking for Harry.
  • After the incident Ron enjoys having the schools’ attention on him for a change.
  • While in Hogsmede under the invisibility cloak, Harry and Ron have too much fun playing a joke on Malfoy and Harry narrowly makes it back to the castle in time. Snape KNOWS Harry snuck off but can’t prove it. Both Ron and Lupin show up to bail Harry out.
  • Lupin obviously knows about the Marauder’s map but covers for Harry with Snape. However he does confiscate it from him. Lupin does that thing where he keeps you from getting in trouble but he lets you know he is disappointed.

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