Oh, you guys. YOU GUYS. My love for this chapter almost has no words. Notice I said almost, because I’m about to sling a bunch of words at you that are all about my love for this chapter. The reason I love it so much comes in the form of a certain scruffy, unassuming new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Read on!
CHAPTER 5: THE DEMENTORS
We begin with breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron and preparations for the journey to Hogwarts (Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts YAY I’M SO EXCITED). Before the kids board the train for another year at my favorite magical locale, Arthur Weasley takes Harry aside to tell him that Sirius Black escaped Azkaban for the sole purpose of hunting Harry down, which Harry admits he already knows because of eavesdropping. Arthur then very ominously warns Harry not to go looking for Black. Harry doesn’t understand why Arthur thinks he would actively look for someone who wants to kill him. Obviously, Arthur knows Harry better than Harry knows himself.
On the train, the Trio go in search of an empty compartment and find all of them full except for the one at the very end. I’ll let Rowling introduce you to its sole occupant:
The stranger was wearing an extremely shabby set of wizard’s robes that had been darned in several places. He looked ill and exhausted. Though quite young, his light brown hair was flecked with grey.
…and he’s fast asleep. Hermione, ever the observant one, points out that his luggage reads Professor R. J. Lupin, so they have a name and an occupation to attach to the mysterious stranger. Hermione also points out that the Defense Against the Dark Arts position is the only one that’s vacant. DUN DUN DUNNN. It’s time to legitimately start worrying about this dude, considering the position’s previous two occupants.