Category Archives: The Prisoner of Azkaban

Final Thoughts

New Harry Potter

Note from Ashley: My post about the Epilogue is still to come next week, which is why I’ve abstained from writing final notes, myself. I get an entire post to wax poetic about the end of this series and the end of this project, so it’s only fair everyone else gets a space, too.

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JENNIE

I’ve had so much fun with this, not only writing my own posts, but getting to read what everyone else thinks about Harry Potter (SPOILER ALERT: you all love it). I’ve enjoyed all the insights everyone has had that I’ve never, ever had in all of my rereads, and the discussions that followed, but my very most favorite thing was getting to see new GIFs I’d never seen before. You guys are good at GIFs, is what I’m saying.

Also, I can’t believe it’s over. Again. Sads. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be over here in the corner, rereading all the books and pretending Harry Potter is never going to end ever ever. Continue reading

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 21-22: What we need is more time.

CHAPTER 21: HERMIONE’S SECRET

The chapter begins in media res, with Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic, commending Professor Severus Snape on a job well done and promising him the Order of Merlin, First Class for rescuing the Confunded children and single-handedly capturing mass murderer Sirius Black.

Wait, what?

I think this chapter begins so brilliantly; we, as readers, are confused by this sudden re-write of recent history because Harry is confused, overhearing snippets of conversation as he slowly regains consciousness in the Hogwarts hospital wing.  But once fully awake he and Hermione jump immediately to Sirius’s defense, their pleas falling on deaf ears, for “[t]here is not a shred of proof to support Black’s story, except [their] word–and the word of two thirteen-year-old wizards will not convince anybody.”

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So many of the stories we read and watch concern The Truth and the search for it as a life’s ultimate goal, that no matter the result it’s important to us as humans that it is revealed.  The two that come most immediately to mind, for reasons of I JUST WATCHED/READ THEM, are The X-Files and Mulder’s obsessive need to learn what’s out there, and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and Tris’s quest to discover and disseminate the truth about her community.  No matter what ultimately happened to Mulder and Tris, they’re deemed heroic characters for their value of the truth above all else, even though securing the evidence of their respective truths didn’t really help either of them all that much.

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The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 19-20: The Strange Case of Sirius Black

CHAPTER 19: THE SERVANT OF LORD VOLDEMORT

I rapped my knuckles on the door of the office suite that I’d become all too familiar with over the past few weeks. I thought I heard a voice say, “Come in.” I couldn’t be sure, but I took the chance anyway. I turned the brass knob and entered. Stacks of paperwork rested on the filing cabinets that occupied every spare inch of the office. Shadows spilled over the space, backlit from the streetlight that kept vigil outside the window. Some might call it cluttered, but I knew there was a method to this madness.

I took my usual place in the wooden chair by the desk. The arm rests had been worn down to a shiny, smooth patina. Other clients had sat in this chair and clutched the sides, fidgeting for lack of a better place to put their worry and concern.

“Well? What do you have for me?” I couldn’t wait any longer.

The detective spun her chair around and placed her feet up on the desk, leaning back precariously. A proper fedora tipped over her eyes. She clasped her hands together and sighed.

“He’s innocent, just as you expected.”

I exhaled, unaware that I’d been holding onto my breath.

“So what happened that night?” I’d come for answers, and I wasn’t going to leave without them.

“The Secret-Keeper was transferred at the last minute. It was a foolhardy choice; one bred out of desperation and misplaced trust. Black handed the responsibility over to Pettigrew. Pettigrew betrayed the Potters and killed all those bystanders.”

“That rat bastard!” I exclaimed. “But…but why would Black do such a thing?”

“I believe he thought he was making the right decision for the Potters’ safety. Which raises the question–does a person who believes that they are truly making the right choice, even if it ends up being the wrong choice, still end up in the clear?”

I had no answer, other than feeling sorry for Black, who had suffered for so long being unfortunately framed. I’m sure not a moment went by when he didn’t feel the sting of what took place that night. The light from outside hit the detective’s strawberry blonde hair–the color stood out against the black-and-white saturation of her sharp outfit.

Something else had occurred to me. “I’m a bit surprised that Snape didn’t intervene more. He had so much vehemence in him.”

“That’s a story for another day,” she replied. I’d have to be satisfied with that, I supposed.

“Did you figure out how Pettrigrew managed the crime?” I asked.

“Of course I did.” I saw the curve of a smirk hidden under the brim of her hat, like she had thought of everything. She probably had. “He changed into his animagus form and slipped away to his master. Rather cowardly, not that it comes as a surprise. Black noticed him in the paper.”

“I don’t know why Black didn’t take care of him right there and then. Twelve years in that hellhole…” Oh, the tales I’d heard about Azkaban.

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The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 17-18: Marauders’ Reunion

I feel very fortunate that my Prisoner of Azkaban chapters were these two. These chapters give Harry (and us) so many pieces of the puzzle he’s been agonizing over all year. It’s not all the pieces, but enough of the important pieces that you can start to tell what the picture might be and you know that maybe someday it will actually make sense. I was going to get creative/funny with these chapters until I realized what they were and that there’s no room for messing about. We need to be Sirius, if you will. (That pun will never get old.)

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The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 16: It’s All Finally Happening

No gifs or pictures or captions for me today. This is not a chapter that lends itself to humor. This is a chapter that explodes, illuminating the final act of the book and setting that act into motion. It is the chapter where shit gets real.

It’s also a chapter of lovely little character moments. JKR is a smart lady and she shows the way Ron and Hermione are all a little bit different after this, not just Harry. Ron and Hermione and Harry are 13 and they are growing up. Time carries on, whether you have a Time Turner or not.

Side note: I’ve loved time travel stories since I was a kid and I love what this story is doing and where it’s going. It’s complex and sophisticated and helps launch the series into a new direction. And I’m so glad that Hermione gets to have this adventure – unlike Rachel McAdams who is about to appear in her third time travel movie without ever being allowed to travel through time.

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