Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Hi fellow bookworms! Thank you for clicking on the second to last Prisoner of Azkaban post. We are so close to the exciting finale that I pretty much know by heart (the movie version anyway). I decided to cut the final 130 pages into two posts, since it would otherwise become way too long. Let’s get started!

We left off at Gryffindor finally winning the Quidditch Cup. Wood and McGonagall are over the moon and so is pretty much everyone except Slytherin house. By now it’s June and everyone is getting ready to take their exams. The Astronomy exam is being held at midnight and how cool is that? I wish I had a class like Astronomy when I was in school, but no, it was all maths and geography for me. During History of Magic, Harry writes down pretty much everything that Florean Fortescue had ever told him about medieval witch hunts. That seems about right, I remember learning more French in one week of Duolingo than I did in 6 years at school. It seems like Hogwarts, sadly, has the same problem. Is this a dig at the school system? I don’t know about the school system in the UK, but the Dutch one could definitely use an upgrade.

The Divination exam with Professor Trelawney is next. She tests every student individually. When Harry is finished with his exam, Trelawney suddenly starts predicting the rise of the Dark Lord with the help of his servant’s aid, who will be freed TONIGHT. Boy, are we in for an eventful evening. The events from here on out have always been one of my favourites from the entire series. I’m so excited!

‘My boy, you may well be seeing the outcome of poor Hagrid’s trouble with the Ministry of Magic! Look closer… does the Hippogriff appear to… have its head?’

Professor Trelawney, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban

Meanwhile, Buckbeak’s appeal has taken place and sadly, Hagrid has lost, which means that Buckbeak will be executed at sunset. Despite the fact that Hagrid told them not to come, they decide to retrieve the Invisibility Cloak from the secret passage (or rather, send Hermione, because Snape will be ready to give them detention the minute they come near that statue) and go see Hagrid anyway. They find Scabbers in one of the pots at Hagrid’s house and Ron apologises to Hermione. Fudge, Dumbledore and the executioner arrive at Hagrid’s hut, so the golden trio slip on their Invisibility Cloak and start making their way back to the castle. When they’re halfway to the castle, they hear the swish and thud of an axe from the direction of Hagrid’s hut, which means that Buckbeak must have been executed.. Even though I know that it was just a pumpkin that lost its head, because naturally they are going to rescue Buckbeak (or going to have rescued or whatever), this moment still gets me every time!

Then Scabbers makes a run for it in the direction of the Whomping Willow. Enter Crookshanks and the Grim, two seemingly unlikely bff’s and also a very cool name for a pet store. The big black dog drags Ron into a tunnel at the base of the Whomping Willow. Crookshanks touches a knot at the base of the trunk, which makes the Whomping Willow relax all of its branches, so that Harry and Hermione can cross safely. They enter the tunnel and follow it all the way to a dark landing with an open door. They enter the room and find Ron, with Scabbers in his lap. But where is the dog? Plot twist! There is no dog! The dog is in fact Sirius Black!

Harry wants to kill Sirius asap, but Sirius makes him listen to the whole story of the betrayal of his parents first. Lupin barges in and interrupts Sirius, though (rude). He was looking at the Marauder’s Map and suddenly saw Peter Pettigrew appear, which was naturally a little odd, since he’s supposed to be dead and everything. I can’t help but wonder, is Hagrid’s hut on the map? Do you think Pettigrew was hiding in there because it isn’t on the map? Could be.. Lupin reveals that Scabbers is indeed not a rat, but a wizard by the name of Peter Pettigrew. How scarred do you think Ron is after finding out he has been sharing a bed with a middle-aged wizard for 12 years?

Meanwhile, Hermione proves yet again that she’s the brightest witch of her age by deducing that they must be in the Shrieking Shack and also, Lupin is a Werewolf. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that she is the only one who figured out that Lupin is a werewolf, with Lupin getting sick every full moon and his boggart changing into full moon and everything. Lupin’s friends became Animagi to be there for him during a full moon, when he went up to the Shrieking Shack to sit out his transformation. If they went with him as humans, they would’ve probably died, but as animals, Lupin would not harm them. The Whomping Willow and the tunnels that lead to the Shrieking Shack were all put there for Lupin’s use, so that he could safely go to Hogwarts and not, you know, kill anyone.

Snape joins the party too, hidden under the Invisibility Cloak that the golden trio had left lying around. Earlier in the book, Snape told Harry that his father did indeed save Snape’s life, but only because he had put his life at risk in the first place. Lupin tells them the whole story: Snape had always been curious about what the four of them were up to and one day Sirius tricked him into going up to the Whomping Willow during a full moon. James stopped him from meeting his maker by the hands (claws) of a fully grown werewolf.

Snape tries to hand Sirius over to the Dementors, but Harry takes him out in stead so that Sirius and Lupin can finally finish their explanation. It is revealed that Sirius was in fact not the Secret Keeper, but had made Peter the Secret Keeper, because they would never go after him. With a flash of blue light, they make Scabbers transform back into Peter Pettigrew.

That’s it for this week! Next week will be the grand finale to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m looking forward to it so much, the ending to this book is one of my favourites from the entire series. Subscribe if you want to be kept up to date on the rest of the series! I’ll see you all next week!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 11

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 11

Hi my fellow bookworms! Thank you so much for clicking and reading again for week 11 of Rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I had so much fun this week with all of Harry’s new classes, Hermione’s crazy full timetable and meeting professor Trelawney. Perhaps not the most eventful time for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but definitely a lot of fun for me.

The last thing we talked about last week was the Gryffindors walking back from the feast to their common room and being told their new password. The next morning, it’s time for everyone’s first classes of the year. Draco Malfoy has made it his new hobby to pretend to faint in front of Harry and pretend there’s a dementor behind them. Also some Slytherin girl named Pansy Parkinson whom I’d never heard off before, is suddenly EVERYWHERE Malfoy is. Fred tells Harry that Draco won’t be smiling anymore after the first Quidditch match of the season, which just so happens to be Gryffindor versus Slytherin. It just occurred to me that every team literally only plays 3 games per year. They practice all year for literally three games. The average football team plays 30 to 40 matches a year. Either Rowling does not really know her sports or she doesn’t care, but it doesn’t really make sense to practice all year to play 3 games.

After breakfast, it’s time for the first class of the year, Divination with Sybill Trelawney. The trio has a bit of trouble finding the classroom, which is located in one of the highest towers, so they ask one of the portraits. I’ve always loved the Hogwarts portraits. The way that the inhabitants can move through each others portraits and talk to each other and the way that the they each have their own personalities. Some are probably made-up (technically they’re all made-up of course, but you know what I mean) and some are old Hogwarts headmasters and other important people.

It’s no secret that professor Trelawney and Hermione will never become best friends. Trelawney is such an interesting character, though. Even more so in the book than in the movie (but I guess that goes without saying). I love the predictions she makes during their first class about how there will be a nasty flu going around in February that will interrupt classes and around Easter someone will leave them forever (my guess right now is that she means Hermione, who is going to quit Divination after working with the crystal ball and being told that she has no gift whatsoever). The movie really portrays professor Trelawney as some lunatic who has no idea what she’s talking about, but she obviously has some idea. Fun fact: Trelawneys first name, Sybil, comes from ancient Greek mythology. A Sybil was a priestess of Apollo who told prophecies.

As we know, Harry sees the Grim in the tea leaves from his cup and professor Trelawney predicts that Harry is going to die. Maybe Rowling wasn’t feeling it anymore and was looking for an out. Anyway, McGonagall tries to ease his mind a little bit by telling him that professor Trelawney predicts the death of a student at least once a year and nobody has died so far. Of course considering a murdering lunatic is supposedly looking for Harry, she might actually have been right this year.

After Divination and Transfiguration, it is time for the trio’s first lesson in Care of Magical Creatures, taught by Hagrid himself. I think we all remember the beautiful little Hippogriff called Buckbeak. I don’t really remember all the other Hippogriffs, though. I guess they left them out of the movie for practical reasons. After all, I’m sure that making one fictional creature move around and interact with Harry is already difficult enough.

Malfoy gets injured in Hagrid’s first class, because he disrespects Buckbeak and she decides that he needs to be put in his place. I think we can all agree on that, although of course Malfoy told his daddy and gets Hagrid and Buckbeak in trouble (spoiler alert). Malfoy drags out his “injury” as long as humanly possible, making Ron cut up all his ingredients during potions class. Every time there is an interaction with Snape and Malfoy against the golden trio, I kind of want to punch both of them in the face. What is happening in those next few books that will make me love those characters so much? What is it??

During their first DADA class of the year, the third years get to defeat a Boggart. I guess pretty much everyone knows what a Boggart is by now, but just in case: a Boggart is a shape-shifter that will turn into whatever frightens you the most. In Rons case, it turns into a giant spider, in Harry’s case, a dementor (though he doesn’t get to defeat one yet) and in Lupins case, it turns into a crystal ball, or as we later figure out: a full moon. Everyone gets to face the Boggart except for Harry and Hermione, which means that we don’t know Hermiones biggest fear (yet). I’m not sure if we will ever know what the Boggart shape-shifts into for her, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bad grade or something.

A few weeks after Harry’s first DADA class with Lupin, Harry runs into him while everyone is in Hogsmeade (Harry didn’t turn in his permission slip plus Sirius Black is still on the loose, so he’s not allowed to go). Harry asks Lupin why he wasn’t allowed to face the Boggart and Lupin lets him know that he was afraid that Voldemort would be appearing in front of them. Harry tells him that he wasn’t thinking of Voldemort, he was thinking of the Dementors. According to Lupin, “That suggests that what you fear most of all is – fear”. Apparently that is very wise. I wouldn’t exactly call it wise, though. Being afraid of fearing something? I would call that anxiety. Especially with the knowledge that Rowling created the Dementors to portray the feeling of depression. While Lupin and Harry are having their conversation, Snape walks in with a potion for Lupin. Lupins excuse for the potion is that he’s been feeling “a bit under the weather” but we all know what’s really going on, don’t we?

When Ron and Hermione return from Hogsmeade, it’s time for the Halloween feast. After the feast, the Gryffindors walk to their common room together. Except, to get into the common room, they need to tell the Fat Lady the password and the Fat Lady.. is gone.

Cliffhanger! We’ll find out next week where the Fat Lady has gone and what has happened. I’m going to be in Nottingham for the weekend, so I’ll try to make sure the next post is done before then. Have a great week and I’ll see you next week for part 12!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 10

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 10

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to week 10(!) of Rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I guess we made it to our first milestone! I never would have dreamed that so many people would actually want to read what I have to say about books and this book in particular, so thank you so much for that and keep reading!

We left off with Harry arriving at the Leaky Cauldron by Knight Bus. Fudge was there to receive him and tell him to stay in the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley for the next few weeks until school starts. Harry complies, for once in his life. He roams through Diagon Alley and does the remainder of his homework (isn’t it a little cruel to give children homework during summer vacation?) at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. I stumbled across a page on Florean Fortescue on the Wizarding World Website and apparently Rowling had originally intended Florean to be Harry’s source of information on a couple of the Horcruxes. He was supposed to be kidnapped by Voldemort and rescued by the golden trio, but Rowling finally decided that it would be much more fun to get the information they needed straight from the Grey Lady and Phineas Nigelus Black, so she had Florean kidnapped and killed. He is the descendant of a former Hogwarts headmaster, so he just knew too much..

Harry goes to Flourish and Blotts to collect the rest of his books (the Monster Book of Monsters is already in his possession, to the manager’s relief) and sees a book about Death Omens with a large black dog on the front cover. I feel like the whole grim omen is a lot less prominently present than it is in the movie. But then again, it isn’t really an omen anymore in the movies, more of a flashing neon sign yelling “DANGER DANGER”. Speaking of omens and warnings, Harry’s room in the Leaky Cauldron has a talking mirror.. I mean if that isn’t a red flag for your privacy, I don’t know what is.

Harry finally meets up with Hermione and the Weasleys on the last day before they have to leave for school. Ron is telling Harry and Hermione that Scabbers is looking funny, so they walk to the Magical Menagerie to get it looked at. While they’re inside the shop, the trio is attacked by a huge orange cat named Crookshanks. Crookshanks made such a great first impression, that Hermione decides to buy him. After all, no one wanted him. Poor thing.

Harry and Hermione have dinner with the (almost) complete Weasley family that night. They are leaving for Hogwarts in the morning. The Ministry has arranged for cars to take the whole gang to King’s Cross. Mr. Weasley tells them that it’s because they don’t have a car anymore, but we know better, don’t we? Late that night, Harry overhears Mr. and Mrs Weasley arguing about telling him that Harry is Sirius Black’s target. Nobody has said anything about Sirius being Harry’s godfather, I think, but I don’t think he will find out about that until he slips into the Three Broomsticks with his invisibility cloak. A little piece of information you don’t get from the movies: apparently Sirius has been whispering “he’s at Hogwarts, he’s at Hogwarts” in his sleep, which everyone of course assumed meant that he was going to kill Harry.

The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione are getting ready for the Hogwarts Express the next morning. Ron is having another argument with Percy, probably caused by some prank of Fred and George’s. I always hated Percy in the movies, he is so shallow and flat. Don’t get me wrong, book-Percy is still a Humungous Bighead (Fred and George’s words, not mine), but there is just so much more to the character than there is in the movies. He even has a girlfriend! That’s a big deal for a Humungous Bighead like Percy.

Just before the train leaves, Mr. Weasley makes Harry swear that he will not go looking for Sirius Black. Harry is confused as to why he would go looking for someone who wants to kill him. I was also a little confused, until I realised that Mr. Weasley probably knows that Sirius is Harry’s godfather, so he is afraid that when Harry finds out, he will go looking for him.

“I don’t go looking for trouble,’ said Harry, nettled. ‘Trouble usually finds me.”

When Harry, Ron and Hermione get on the Hogwarts Express, there is only one compartment left with room for them, the compartment with Professor Lupin in it. Hemione, being the misses smartypants that she is, quickly guesses that Lupin is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He is also the world’s deepest sleeper, seeing that three 13-year-olds are yapping away for hours next to him and he doesn’t wake up. Only when the Hogwarts Express stops, all of the lights go out and Ginny and Neville stumble into the compartment, does Lupin wake up. Before he can reach the door, it opens and the Dementor enters. Harry faints like a big wuss after hearing someone scream (his mother, obviously). Lupin gives him a large chunk of chocolate, so that he will feel better. I love that Rowling thought of chocolate as a remedy after a Dementor attack, since Dementors suck all of the happiness out of you and chocolate does actually trigger the production of endorphines, one of the hormones that makes you happy. So the chocolate makes actual scientific sense (if you leave out the Dementor part, because luckily they are still fictional).

When they arrive at Hogwarts, there are at least a hundred stagecoaches waiting for them. I love how Rowling describes Harry thinking they are probably being pulled by some invisible horse or something. We all know it’s a Thestral, of course. It just goes to show how much thought was put into building this entire world and every creature in it.

“They are stationed at every entrance to the grounds and while they are with us, I must make it plain that nobody is to leave school without permission. Dementors are not to be fooled by tricks or disguises – or even Invisibility Cloaks. It is not in the nature of a Dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

At the beginning-of-the-year feast, Dumbledore gives another one of his epic speeches (I typed it out above). I always loved this speech in the movie, until right now. Turns out, 80% of this speech was made up. Even the WORLD FAMOUS quote and one of my favourite quotes ever, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” was made up. It doesn’t appear anywhere in the books. I am so disappointed. Anyway, Dumbledore also announces two new additions to the teaching staff: Remus Lupin and Hagrid. When Lupin is announced as the new DADA teacher, Snape is apparently looking at him like he wants him dead. The trio assumes that this is because Snape wants the DADA job, but we know better, right? I just can’t really imagine a young Lupin bullying Snape.

The feast ends and Percy, as new Head Boy, leads the Gryffindors to their common room and tells them the new password. Not many of you may know this, but I have a degree in Safety and Security and AS a security expert, I have to say that using passwords doesn’t really seem like a watertight security method.. especially with people like Neville Longbottom walking around Hogwarts, oh and of course Sirius Black..

That’s it for this week! We’re picking up next week with Harry’s first classes of the year, including Professor Trelawney’s class, divination. Spoiler alert: he finds out he’s soon going to die. Oh well, plenty of other great books out there. Thank you all so much for reading and I’ll see you guys next week for week 11!

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