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This part of the website takes a look at J.K. Rowling's masterpiece Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

.: Book Three - Pisoner of Azkaban :: Chapter Summary :.


Chapter One - Owl Post

It is midnight when the story opens. Harry is lying quietly on his bed, trying to write an essay about witch-burning for his Hogwarts classes without waking up his aunt, uncle, and cousin, all of whom would be horrified to know that he was engaged in any form of magic while in their house. Harry realizes that it is now one o'clock, an hour past his thirteenth birthday. Since the Dursleys have never celebrated his birthday, Harry does not consider this event remarkable. Harry reminisces about his parents' death at the hands of Lord Voldemort, and on his own encounter with Voldemort the previous spring at Hogwarts. Harry feels relieved to have lived to see his thirteenth birthday.

Harry notices an odd flapping thing coming toward his window, and he soon sees that it is three owls, his own loyal, snowy Hedwig, a second unfamiliar owl, and held up by the first two, Errol, his friend Ron Weasley's feeble family owl. The owls deliver birthday cards and gifts from Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid, his three closest friends. From Ron, Harry receives a pocket Sneakoscope and a letter describing a family trip to Egypt. From Hermione, he receives a Broomstick Servicing Kit (which Harry greatly appreciates, since his favorite sport, Quidditch, is played on broomstick). From Hagrid, he receives a schoolbook entitled "The Monster Book of Monsters." Lastly, Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts requesting forms from guardians allowing the students to venture into the wizard village of Hogsmeade; Harry knows that he will not be able to persuade his uncle or aunt to sign the form. Nevertheless, Harry glances again at his cards and falls asleep that night feeling, for the first time ever, that his birthday was a special occasion.

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Chapter Two - Aunt Marge's Big Mistake

Harry walks down to breakfast the following morning to find his cousin Dudley, his uncle Vernon, and his aunt Petunia watching a television report about a dangerous escaped convict named Black. The Dursleys ignore Harry, as usual, and Vernon leaves to pick up his sister, Aunt Marge, at the train station, first warning Harry to pretend that he is "normal." Harry is horrified at the news, as Aunt Marge does nothing during her visits but cuddle her dangerous dogs and bark insults at Harry. Harry suddenly has an idea, and he bargains with Vernon that he will act normal and pretend he attends school at a center for incurably criminal boys, if afterwards Vernon will sign his Hogsmeade form. Vernon is not pleased, but he agrees.

Aunt Marge arrives, roaring praise at Dudley, sharing her tea with her dog, Ripper, and asking Harry whether he is being caned enough at his school. Harry answers the questions as carefully and politely as he can, but grows increasingly angry as Aunt Marge criticizes Harry's parents, saying of his mother, "If there is something wrong with the bitch, there'll be something wrong with the pup." Harry's anger causes her wine glass to break, and from that point on, Harry is even more cautious. Finally, one night at dinner Aunt Marge says flippantly that Harry's parents were irresponsible enough to get themselves killed in a car crash, and Harry is so livid that he causes her to expand and float. Chaos ensues, and in the middle of it Harry collects his things and leaves, threatening Uncle Vernon with his wand when his uncle tries to stop him.

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Chapter Three - The Knight Bus

Harry leaves the Dursleys and is not sure what to do next. He is certain that he will be expelled from Hogwarts for having practiced magic outside of school, and so he considers flying on his brookstick to London, where he could live as a wizard outcast. He feels himself being watched and he is alarmed to see a large outline of a dark creature staring at him. He falls into the gutter, and is suddenly rescued by the Knight Bus, a hitchhiking service for wizards in need. Harry boards the bus after some questioning from the nosey teenage conductor, Stan Shunpike, during which Harry gives a false name, Neville Longbottom, and flattens his hair over his famous scar. The bus flies through the city, managing not to hit anything, because obstacles jump out of its way. During the ride, Harry overhears a conversation between Stan and the driver, Ernie Prang, discussing the escape of Sirius Black, and Harry learns that Black was a follower of Voldemort. Black spent twelve years in Azkaban, the wizard prison, after murdering thirteen people with a single curse.

When the Knight Bus arrives at Diagon Alley, a wizard community in London, Harry gathers his things and gets off the bus, only to be greeted by Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. Fudge reveals Harry's identity to the eavesdropping Stan and Ernie, and then he takes Harry inside for dinner, expressing great relief that Harry is unharmed. Harry thinks this concern is a bit peculiar, and he thinks it even more peculiar that Fudge has no intention of punishing him for having inflated his aunt, who, since her inflation, has been returned to her normal size. Harry does not think too much about this, however, and he falls asleep, exhausted, in the room at the Leaky Cauldron where Fudge arranged that he would stay until school begins.

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Chapter Four - The Leaky Cauldron

Harry spends the next weeks happily wandering through Diagon Alley. He finishes his homework, eats ice cream sundaes in sidewalk cafes, admires a Firebolt broomstick in the window of a Quidditch supplies store, and buys his books for school. During his visit to the bookstore, he is alarmed to catch sight of a large black dog on the cover of a book about death omens; the dog reminds him of the dark shape he saw when leaving the Dursleys. Around this time, Harry reunites with Ron and Hermione, and while discussing their summers and coming classes, they stop by a pet store. While Ron buys rat tonic for his old and rather sickly-looking rat, Scabbers, a ginger cat leaps upon them and dashes after Scabbers. Ron is furious when Hermione emerges from the pet store having purchased the cat, Crookshanks.

The three friends join the Weasleys, where each of Ron's siblings is in his or her element. The twins, Fred and George, are busy making everybody laugh. Percy is looking stiffly annoyed, and Ginny, the youngest Weasley and the only daughter, is looking on shyly and giggling. They eat together, and after dinner Harry passes by the bedroom where Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are in a heated argument about whether or not to tell Harry that Sirius Black escaped Azbaban with the supposed intention of finding and killing Harry. Harry is not terribly frightened; he feels that Hogwarts is extremely safe, and besides, he has encountered Voldemort twice before.

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Chapter Five - The Dementor

The following morning, company cars from the Ministry of Magic drive Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the Weasley family to King's Cross Station; this special treatment is unusual. They all walk through the divider between platforms nine and ten, onto platform nine-and-three-quarters, where they catch the Hogwarts Express train to school. As the train is leaving, Mr. Weasley pulls Harry aside and warns him not to go looking for Black. On the train, Harry tells Ron and Hermione what he has learned about Black, while a shabby- looking man snoozes in their compartment near a briefcase that reads R.J. Lupin. The friends then change the subject to Hogsmeade, and Harry again feels distraught at not being allowed to go.

During the rest of the ride, Crookshanks attacks Scabbers, and Draco Malfoy, Harry's nemesis, begins to taunt Ron for his family poverty. He halts when he sees a teacher, Lupin, sleeping within hearing range. All of a sudden, the train stops and all the lights go out. A tall, robed creature enters Harry's compartment, and Harry feels a painful, intense, miserable cold feeling and hears screams. He passes out. He wakes to explanations that the creature is a Dementor, one of the guards of Azkaban, and that Lupin sent it away by sending something silvery in its direction. Lupin gives chocolate to him and to the other shaken students, and soon afterwards they all arrive at Hogwarts.

At Hogwarts, Harry and Hermione are pulled aside by Professor McGonagall, first to check up on Harry's state after his response to the Dementor, and then second to discuss something privately with Hermione. Harry and Hermione return to the Great Hall for dinner and to hear Dumbledore, the headmaster, announce grudgingly that the castle entrances will be guarded by Dementors as precautions against Black. Dumbledore proceeds to say that several new appointments have been made, Lupin as the new defense against the dark arts teacher, and Hagrid as the new care of magical creatures teacher. The feast then begins, and Harry feels warm and content being back at Hogwarts.

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Chapter Six - Talons and Tea Leaves

At breakfast the next morning, Malfoy and his cronies are still taunting Harry about the Dementor, and Harry ignores them while he, Ron, and Hermione prepare for class. Hermione is signed up for three classes that meet at nine o'clock, but when Ron questions her, she changes the subject. The three friends troop up toward the tower where Divination meets, and after many stairs and turns, they are led to the classroom by a short and belligerent knight named Sir Cadogan.

In Divination, Professor Trelawney makes a few misty predictions about the future before instructing the class to drink tea and interpret the leftover tealeaves. Ron and Harry amuse themselves with faulty readings until Professor Trelawney joins them and finds a Grim, the black dog who haunts churchyards and is seen as a death-omen, in Harry's cup. This finding alarms everyone except for Hermione, who is skeptical and somewhat flippant about the whole situation. The class silently leaves Divination and attends Transformation with Professor McGonagall, who reassures Harry by telling the class that each year Professor Trelawney has predicted one student's death, and so far none have come true. The next class is Care of Magical Creatures, and Hagrid introduces them to a collection of animals called Hippogriffs that are half-horse and half-eagle. Harry volunteers to approach one called Buckbeak, and follows Hagrid's instructions to bow respectfully to the beast before riding on its back. When Harry returns to the ground, Malfoy taunts Buckbeak, who attacks him. Hagrid carries the bleeding Malfoy to the hospital wing. Harry is quite distraught, mostly because Malfoy has been boasting to his friends how he could persuade his father to get Hagrid fired from his job. That night, Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit a drunk, teary-eyed Hagrid, who suddenly roars fearfully that Harry should not be wandering around the grounds at night, before escorting them all back to the castle.

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Chapter Seven - The Boggart in the Wardrobe

Malfoy, his arm bandaged dramatically, returns to class several days later. During Potions class with Professor Snape, Malfoy sits idly watching other students do his cutting and mixing, while he gossips to his fellow Slytherins about his father's influence on Hagrid's job status. Harry is furious, but is also puzzled by something Malfoy says about how he should want revenge on Sirius Black. Harry ignores him and class progresses as usual: Snape picks first on Neville Longbottom for confusing his potion instructions, and then on Hermione for helping Neville. Harry, Ron, and Hermione walk upstairs to the defense against the dark arts class. Hermione suddenly disappears from sight and is seen, hurrying behind them back at the base of the stairs.

Professor Lupin leads them all into an empty classroom to combat a Boggart that had lodged itself in a wardrobe. As the students file into the classroom, they encounter Snape, who makes a nasty comment about Neville. In response to this comment, Lupin says that he wants Neville to be the first to fight the Boggart. Neville is terrified but manages quite competently to perform the "Riddikulus" spell, in which he transforms the Boggart from the shape that terrifies him most into something that makes him laugh. The students take turns, watching the Boggart try to frighten them but finally fall victim to their laughter as they transform it. When it is Lupin's turn, the Boggart takes the shape of an orb, and when it is Ron's, a giant spider. The class defeats the Boggart successfully, although Harry himself does not get a turn.

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Chapter Eight - The Flight of the Fat Lady

From this point on, defense against the dark arts becomes everybody's favorite class. Nobody dislikes it except for Malfoy, who enjoys gossiping about the shabby state of Professor Lupin's robes. Gryffindor House begins practicing Quidditch in the hope of winning the Quidditch House Cup. Halloween nears, signifying the first visit to Hogsmeade. Harry is still distraught at being unable to go, so his friends promise to bring him back lots of sweets. Ron and Hermione agree in their sympathy for Harry, although the rest of the time they argue venomously about their pets, especially one evening when Crookshanks makes another attack on Scabbers.

During the Hogsmeade visit, Professor Lupin invites Harry for tea in his office. At one point, Harry asks why he was not given the chance to fight the Boggart, and Lupin answers that he didn't want Voldemort to appear in the classroom. This is a surprise to Harry, who explains that he was more concerned about the Dementors. Lupin looks thoughtful and says, "That suggests that what you fear most of all is fear. Very wise, Harry." They are interrupted by Snape, who enters the room bearing a steaming goblet, whose contents Lupin promptly drinks. Harry worries that Snape is poisoning Lupin in order to get his teaching position, but the subtle hints he makes are left unheeded by Lupin.

When the students return from Hogsmeade, Harry receives a bundle of candy from Ron and Hermione. He informs them of what he saw with Lupin. They attend the Halloween feast, and on their walk back to Gryffindor Tower, they are horrified to see that the portrait of the Fat Lady, who guards the entrance to Gryffindor, has been slashed, the Fat Lady herself missing. Peeves the Poltergeist is cackling midair during the commotion as he informs them that Sirius Black had attacked the portrait.

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Chapter Nine - Grim Defeat

The night after Black's break-in, all the students sleep in the Great Hall, while the professors, led by Dumbledore, search the castle for Black. They find nothing. Sir Cadogan replaces the Fat Lady as the Gryffindor entrance portrait, and he spends the days making up complicated passwords and challenging students to duels.

The weather takes a turn for the worse, and Gryffindor House approaches its first game against Hufflepuff, who has always been an unformidable opponent; still, Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor captain, warns his team to take Hufflepuff seriously. The day of the match, Harry enters his Defense Against the Dark Arts class to find Snape substituting, snarling at students, and scrapping Lupin's lesson plans in order to teach the class about werewolves.

Harry and the Gryffindor team take the field, and through the rain and wind it is impossible to see anything. Harry and Cedric Diggory, the Hufflepuff seeker, circle around each other looking for the Snitch, but with no avail. All of a sudden, Harry catches sight of a large black dog silhouetted against the bleachers; the next moment he spies the Snitch, and finally, as he pursues it on his trusty Nimbus 2000 broomstick, he looks down to see hundreds of Dementors milling around alongside the field. Harry feels intensely cold, hears the scream of his mother as Voldemort murdered her, and falls out of the sky. He wakes in the hospital wing to find that Cedric caught the Snitch, the Hufflepuffs won the game. Harry's Nimbus had landed in the Whomping Willow, an angry thrashing tree in the Forbidden Forest, and had been ruined.

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Chapter Ten - The Marauder's Map

After the fall from his broomstick, Harry is miserable, not only about the loss of his Nimbus or the game, but also about the strange effect of the Dementors on him, and his continued sightings of the Grimm right before disaster strikes. Lupin returns to teach around this time, excuses them from Snape's overload of werewolf homework, and after class explains to Harry that the Dementors affect him because his past is more horrible than other people's pasts, and the Dementors are creatures designed to drown humans in misery and despair. Finally, Lupin promises to teach Harry an anti-Dementor spell after Christmas, so Harry's spirits lift.

Around this time, a second Hogsmeade visit rolls around, and Harry is approached by Fred and George Weasley, who surreptitiously introduce him to a map that locates all Hogwarts' rooms, passages, and even people. It is called The Marauder's Map. It is invisible on parchment until the viewer taps it and says "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." It is signed by four names: Padfoot, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail. Harry uses the map to navigate his way under the school and into the basement of Honeydukes, a sweetshop in Hogsmeade, where he encounters Ron and Hermione. Ron is delighted to see Harry, but Hermione is worried that Black might have access to Harry, or to the tunnels through which Harry came. Together they load their arms with wizard treats and then walk to the Three Broomsticks Pub, where they drink hot butterbeer served by Madam Rosmerta. All of a sudden, Cornelius Fudge enters the pub with several Hogwarts teachers, including Hagrid, McGonagall, and Professor Flitwick. Harry hides underneath a table and overhears as they discuss Black's role not only in killing thirteen people, a dozen innocent Muggles and a wizard named Peter Pettigrew, but also in betraying Harry's parents. Fudge explains to Rosmerta and the teachers that Black had been Harry's parents' best friend Secret-Keeper, under a charm that is impervious if the Secret-Keeper is faithful. Black had given away the secret of Harry's parents whereabouts to Voldemort, who in turn found and killed them. Thus, Black is the cause of the death of Lily and James Potter.

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Chapter Eleven - The Firebolt

Harry is miserable about the conversation he overheard, and dangerously angry at Sirius Black. Ron and Hermione try to talk him out of doing anything risky, such as pursuing Black for revenge, and as a change of topic and scenery, they decide to visit Hagrid. The visit is not a happy one, as Hagrid has just received note that Buckbeak, the hippogriff that attacked the Malfoy, is going to be put to trial in April and potentially executed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione comfort Hagrid and then head back to the library to research historical cases in which magical creatures won trials. They find nothing hopeful.

On Christmas day, Harry wakes up to find a Firebolt broomstick in his pile of presents. Although there is no card, he is thrilled. Hermione is wary, and after the Christmas dinner, during which Professor Trelawney predicts several more deaths, Hermione reports the broomstick to Professor McGonagall, who comes into the common room that night to take it away for examination, in case it had been sent by Sirius Black. Ron and Harry are furious at Hermione.

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Chapter Twelve - The Patronous

Classes resume, and Oliver Wood promises to persuade Professor McGonagall to give back Harry's Firebolt. In the meantime, Harry begins meeting weekly with Lupin to practice the anti-Dementor spell, which is intended to conjure up a Patronus, a silvery protective charm. Lupin tells Harry to focus on his happiest thought before saying "Expecto Patronum" and repelling the Dementor, or in this case, a Boggart that takes the shape of a Dementor around Harry. Harry tries this complicated spell several times with varying happy thoughts—flying on a broomstick, winning the House Championship, and leaving Privet Drive for Hogwarts. The last thought brings him some success, but he is still weak after the encounter. Each time the lesson ends, Lupin gives him chocolate and sends him on his way. Harry senses, however, that one reason he is unable to conjure a proper Patronus is that he secretly does not want to do away with hearing his parents' voices ever again.

Time moves on, and Hermione is still overworked with classes; Oliver Wood returns defeated from his visit with Professor McGonagall, who refused to give back the broomstick yet. During another lesson with Lupin, Harry inquires what is below a Dementor's cloak. Lupin answers that the only people who truly know are not in the state to report it, as the Dementor will only lower its cloak when it is preparing to administer the "kiss," which essentially sucks the soul out of the person who is kissed. Lupin adds that the Ministry of Magic has given the Dementors permission to administer the kiss to Black if they find him. Harry is a bit shaken by these thoughts as he leaves, and runs into Professor McGonagall, who returns to him the Firebolt. That night, the Gryffindor common room is alight with astonishment at Harry's broomstick, and even Hermione looks up from her books to talk with Harry. All is well, until Ron returns from his dormitory to report furiously that Scabbers is missing, that his sheets are slightly bloodied and strewn with orange cat hairs.

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Chapter Thirteen - Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw

Animosity between Ron and Hermione has reached an all-time high, after the apparent death of Scabbers at the claws of Crookshanks. To cheer Ron up, Harry offers him a ride on the new Firebolt after Quidditch practice, and Ron happily accepts. The Gryffindor team is busily preparing for the game against Ravenclaw. As Harry's confidence on the new broomstick soars, the rest of the team's confidence rises as well, and the game prospects seem grand. Everybody, especially Oliver Wood, and even Percy Weasley and his girlfriend Penelope, is excited about the coming game. When the players mount their broomsticks and begin the game, the announcer, Lee Jordan, is so focused on Harry's new broomstick that he forgets to comment on many of the basic plays between the teams. Harry is playing seeker against Cho Chang, a pretty and athletic Ravenclaw fourth-year girl on whom Harry seems to be developing somewhat of a crush. Once, Oliver Wood has to yell at Harry for being too much of a gentleman and not pushing her out of the way to get to the Snitch.

Finally, Harry spies the Snitch, but as he speeds to catch it, his attention is drawn down toward three Dementors walking alongside the field. Without thinking, Harry casts a Patronus in their direction, and he catches the Snitch easily, winning the game. Only afterwards does he discover that the Dementors were, in fact, several Slytherins, including Malfoy, dressed in cloaks with the intention of unseating Harry. They are punished severely by McGonagall, much to everyone's delight, and Harry and his friends head to the Gryffindor common room to celebrate for the rest of the day and into the night. When Harry finally returns to his dormitory to sleep, he is woken before dawn to a scream from Ron, who claims that Sirius Black had slashed open the curtain around his bed. Everybody panics, and when McGonagall asks Sir Cadogan if he let anyone into Gryffindor Tower, the knight answers yes, that the intruder had all of the passwords written on a slip of paper, which Neville Longbottom, it is soon discovered, had accidentally left in one of the corridors.

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Chapter Fourteen - Snape's Grudge

After the second Black break-in, Hogwarts tightens its security measures. Doors are taught to recognize Black's face, and the Fat Lady's portrait is returned and guarded by several trolls. Neville is not given Gryffindor's password. One afternoon Harry and Ron receive an invitation to visit Hagrid for tea, and when they do, Hagrid lectures them on shunning Hermione, who he says has been heartsick at the loss of their friendship. "I thought you two'd value yer friend more'n broomsticks or rats," he finally says.

Another Hogsmeade visit comes around, and this time Harry goes through the tunnels with his invisibility cloak. In Hogsmeade, he and Ron visit the Shrieking Shack, the most severely haunted house in Britain, and when they (or really just Ron, because Harry is invisible) are taunted by Malfoy and his cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, Harry throws mud at them from under his cloak, providing both Ron and himself great amusement until the cloak slips off and reveals his head. Harry runs back to Hogwarts, but not before Malfoy has reported to Snape what had happened. Harry hides his cloak in the tunnel just in time, because Snape greets him in the hallway soon after he has emerged and summons him into his office, where Snape insults Harry's troublemaking tendencies and compares his arrogance to that of his father. Harry is furious and yells at Snape to shut up. Snape is furious, and demands that Harry empty his pockets. He finds the map, which insults Snape rather than revealing its secrets. Snape summons Lupin through his fireplace, and Lupin arrives, looks at the map and excuses it as a trick from Zonko's joke-shop. At that moment, Ron arrives and assures them all that he had bought it for Harry months ago. Snape is forced to let the boys go, but Lupin calls them into his office and scolds them gravely for having the map in their possession when Black was on the loose, and he notes that the map-makers may be trying to lure them out of the castle. "Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry," he tells them. "A poor way to repay them—gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks." As Harry and Ron walk away, they are accosted by Hermione, who informs them that Buckbeak lost the case and is going to be executed.

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Chapter Fifteen - The Quidditch Final

Harry, Ron, and Hermione stare at Hagrid's note explaining Buckbeak's verdict, and Hermione takes the opportunity to apologize for Scabbers's death. Things return to normal between Ron and her. During the next care of magical creatures lesson, Hagrid speaks sadly about Buckbeak. When Malfoy taunts his tears, Hermione slaps him. Soon after, Hermione misses charms class, and Harry and Ron find her asleep in the Gryffindor common room. She looks exhausted and stressed, and she arrives at Divination late, entering while the class is gazing into crystal balls. Professor Trelawney makes a few misty comments about her predictions for their final exam and then finds yet another Grim in Harry's crystal ball, to which Hermione responds, "Not that ridiculous Grim again!" Hermione leaves the class, much to Harry's astonishment.

Tension escalates as exams and the final Quidditch match approach; Gryffindor and Slytherin are competing for the Cup. In order to win, Gryffindor must defeat Slytherin by at least two hundred points. Harry cannot sleep the night before the game. When he does finally sleep, he has a series of nightmares. Once, he wakes up and sees the large black dog out the window. By the time he can point it out to Ron, it has disappeared. The game day arrives, and the Slytherins play a game ridden with fouls, as usual, but they are still no match for Harry on his Firebolt, as he zooms around, parting crowds, protecting his teammates, and searching for the Snitch. He and Malfoy, the Slytherin Seeker, spy it near the ground and race for it; Harry catches it, winning both the game and the Quidditch Cup. The team is jubilant and teary-eyed. As the chapter closes, Harry thinks to himself that with all the happiness he is currently feeling, he could conjure up a very impressive Patronus.

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Chapter Sixteen - Professor Trelawney's Prediction

After the Quidditch victory, final exams come around. Everybody is hard at work preparing. The care of magical creatures exam is easy, as Hagrid has become fearful of another injury and so will teach the class only boring, harmless creatures, like flobberworms. Harry receives full marks on the defense against the dark arts exam, which requires that he combat several of the creatures studied over the term. In Divination, Professor Trelawney asks Harry to find signs of the future inside a crystal ball, an assignment that he fictionalizes dutifully. Suddenly, Professor Trelawney's voice changes, her eyes look hypnotized, and she predicts that the Dark Lord's servant will rejoin him tonight before midnight. She snaps out of the trance and has no recollection of the prediction. Harry dashes out to tell Ron, but before he can say anything, Ron and Hermione inform him that Buckbeak lost the appeal and will be executed at sunset.

The three friends set out to comfort Hagrid, but only after Hermione has slipped downstairs to retrieve Harry's invisibility cloak from the secret tunnel. At Hagrid's cabin, they find Hagrid shaky but not hysterical as he explains that Lucius Malfoy must have threatened the Committee for Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. Hagrid accidentally drops a milk jug while attempting to serve them tea, and when Hermione begins to fill a replacement jug, she discovers Scabbers inside it. Ron grabs the rat, who is flailing in all directions, refusing to hold still in Ron's hands. Around this time, the executioners arrive and Hagrid shoos Harry, Ron, and Hermione back under the invisibility cloak and out of his cabin. As they walk away, they hear the thud of an axe.

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Chapter Seventeen - Cat, Rat, and Dog

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione walk sadly away from Hagrid's cabin, they have difficulties staying hidden under Harry's cloak because Scabbers will not stay still. Harry sees the reason for Scabbers' uneasiness once he spies Crookshanks slinking out of the Forbidden Forest, followed closely by the large black dog, who first tackles Harry and then Ron, ultimately dragging Ron away into the forest. Harry and Hermione dart after them and watch as the dog pulls Ron down inside the Whomping Willow, breaking his leg in the process. They follow him, but only after Crookshanks surprises them by pressing a hidden knot on the tree, causing it to quiet its branches. The path beneath the tree leads them into a boarded-up house that they instantly recognize as Hogsmeade's Shrieking Shack. In an upstairs room they find Ron, seated by Crookshanks, and guarded by Sirius Black, who the black dog has transformed into. Black disarms Harry and Hermione through the expelliarmus spell, and Harry, insane with fury at finally facing the man who caused his parents' death, leaps onto Black, reclaiming his wand with the help of Ron and Hermione, and ultimately forcing the unarmed Black into a corner, where he remains, at Harry's mercy. Crookshanks sits protectively on top of Black's chest.

Before Harry can gather his courage to kill Black, Professor Lupin bursts through the door, disarming Harry. Lupin quietly asks, "Where is he?" and Black points to Ron. The two men nod in silent agreement over something, and then they embrace. Hermione shrieks at Lupin that he is a traitor, and that she should have exposed him as a werewolf long ago. She says that she deduced his nature as a werewolf from seeing his Boggart turn into the moon, and from noting that he was out sick during each month's full moon. Lupin commends her cleverness, and begins to speak, only to be interrupted again and again by the accusations of Harry, Ron and Hermione. An exasperated Lupin gives each one of them back their wands, and explains that he was examining the Marauder's Map, watching Ron, Harry and Hermione exit Hagrid's cabin, when he saw the name Peter Pettigrew alongside Ron's. At that point, he realized that Peter must alive and disguised as Scabbers.

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Chapter Eighteen - Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs

Ron is unwilling to believe that his faithful pet rat is really an animagus, a transformed version of a man named Peter Pettigrew. Black is furious and expresses his desire to kill Peter. Lupin stops him and demands that he explain everything first. Lupin begins saying that when he came to Hogwarts, a young werewolf, Dumbledore devised a way for him to leave Hogwarts secretly and safely through the Whomping Willow and remain, during the full moon, in the Shrieking Shack (thus explaining the name—the Shack was never haunted; just inhabited by a noisy werewolf). Lupin's good friends, James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew, noticed his monthly absence and figured out his true identity. They then worked toward becoming animagi so they could assume animal form and keep Lupin company without placing themselves in danger. The four friends roamed everywhere and learned every part of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, and they ultimately used this information to create the Marauder's Map.

Hermione points out that there have been only seven registered animagi over the century, and Lupin admits ruefully that they were unregistered; he then expresses his guilt for never having told Dumbledore that Black was an animagus and could have entered the castle in another form, but explained that he felt deeply grateful to Dumbledore for giving him an education and a job, that he didn't want to let him down. Lupin then explains that Snape, who now makes the revolutionary potion Wolfsbane that allows Lupin to keep his mind, thus remaining harmless during his transformation, as a student was always curious about the monthly disappearance. Once evening, Black played a prank by encouraging Snape to follow Lupin down the Whomping Willow, and James Potter ran after him and rescued him before he encountered the fully-grown werewolf at the other end of the tunnel. This trick is one of the reasons for Snape's grudge against Lupin, Black, James Potter and his son Harry. As Lupin finishes explaining this, Snape suddenly appears in the corner of the room, shedding Harry's invisibility cloak.

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Chapter Nineteen - The Servant of Lord Voldemort

Snape sneers and says that he found the invisibility cloak where Harry had dropped it, at the base of the Whomping Willow. He proceeds to tie up Lupin and point his wand at Black, threatening to kill him. Snape refuses to hear the full story because he is set on vengeance. Finally Harry, Ron and Hermione all disarm him at once, knocking him out. Black then explains that he recognized Scabbers as Peter Pettigrew in a photo in the newspaper Cornelius Fudge gave him during a visit, and he set out to Hogwarts after him. He explains Scabbers' missing toe by saying that Peter must have cut off his own finger before blowing up the street and disappearing into the gutter. Black adds that Hermione's cat Crookshanks had collaborated with him in pursuit of Peter.

Even with these explanations, Harry is frightened and skeptical, and so, to clarify things once and for all, Lupin reverses Scabbes' form into that of a short, balding man—Peter Pettigrew. Peter is squirmy and nervous and pleads with each of the people in the room to believe his innocence and let him go, and only after many more facts are clarified does Harry believe that Sirius Black is innocent, and that Peter Pettigrew did in fact support Voldemort and turn Harry's parents over to him. Peter finally admits, after much evasion, that he is and was the servant of Lord Voldemort. Lupin and Black prepare to kill Peter, when Harry stops them by saying that his dad probably wouldn't have wanted his two best friends to become murderers. They all tie up Peter and secure him between Lupin and Ron, and they bring with them the unconscious Snape as together they troop back to Hogwarts.

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Chapter Twenty - The Dementor's Kiss

As the group returns through the tunnels, Black informs Harry of his role as his godfather. He invites Harry to live with him, once his name is cleared. Harry is thrilled at the idea of leaving the Dursleys. Once they emerge from the ground into the forest, the clouds above them shift, revealing a full moon. Lupin turns into a werewolf, wrangling out of the chain binding him to Peter, and Black transforms into a dog and fights the werewolf away, into the woods. During the commotion, Peter grabs Lupin's wand, casts some stupefying spell on Ron, and turns himself back into a rat. He escapes, and Black then tears back into the woods after Scabbers.

Harry and Hermione examine the unconscious Ron, declaring him alive; they are interrupted by the yowl of a dog, and they turn to see Black in human form, cowering at the approach of over a hundred Dementors. Harry and Hermione run to help, but none of Harry's patroni are strong enough to hold back the throng. Hermione drops next to him, depressed and exhausted, and Harry feels himself weakening. Suddenly one of the Dementors lowers its hood, revealing gray skin and empty eye sockets and a shapeless sucking hole of a mouth, and the Dementor grasps Harry's head and prepares to administer the soul-sucking kiss to him. Harry feels himself drowning in cold and misery, when all of a sudden a bright shape begins to drive the Dementors away. The air is warm again as they retreat, and Harry looks across the lake to see a large shimmering animal galloping away to a man who looks oddly familiar, like Harry's father. Exhaustion then overtakes Harry, and he faints.

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Chapter Twenty-One - Hermione's Secret

Harry awakens in the hospital ward to hear Snape boasting about his heroic act of saving the three students from both a werewolf and Sirius Black. Cornelius Fudge's voice sounds, promising Snape an award for his courage. Ron is still unconscious, but Harry and Hermione leap out of bed and begin explaining what they saw and heard, and about Pettigrew's appearance and Black's innocence. Snape waves this away, saying that Black must have confounded their minds. Harry and Hermione are still heatedly defending Black when Dumbledore enters the room and says that he must speak with the two of them alone. Once the others have left, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that he has heard Black's story and that he believes it, but that not one shred of evidence exists to back it up. He says meaningfully that they need more time to save two lives that night, and Hermione nods. When Dumbledore leaves, Hermione turns an hourglass on a chain backwards three times, taking Harry and her into the Forbidden Forest, where they hear themselves and Ron visiting Hagrid. Hermione explains in a whisper how she was given this time- turning device so that she could take more than once class at the same time, and how it is of utmost importance that nobody, especially not their past selves, sees them while the are in the form of their future selves.

The second life to which Dumbledore refers, Harry determines, is Buckbeak's; so Harry and Hermione wait quietly by Hagrid's cabin, untying the hippogriff once the executioners have gone inside the cabin to deal with some paperwork. Harry, Hermione, and Buckbeak hide in the forest as they hear the thud of an axe swung in frustration at having lost the victim, as well as Hagrid's howl of joy at the surprise escape. They wait in the woods, watching themselves go down the Whomping Willow and back up, and while Hermione and Buckbeak hide in Hagrid's empty cabin from the werewolf, Harry slips out to see who conjured the patronus. He watches the Dementors approach and attempt to kiss him, and nothing happens- no patronus is conjured. At this moment, Harry realizes that it was he who had conjured it, not his father, as he had suspected, and so he conjures it again, saving his, Hermione's, and Black's life, and finally understanding that the form of his patronus is a stag, Prongs, his father's animagi form. Father and son regard each other, then the shape disappears. Harry rejoins Hermione, and together they fly on Buckbeak's back up to the tower room where Black is being held, and they send Black and Buckbeak flying away together to their freedom.

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Chapter Twenty-Two - Owl Post Again

Harry and Hermione make it back into the hospital ward only minutes before Dumbledore leaves, exactly when they turned the time back. They confide their feat to Dumbledore, who naturally is very pleased. Snape however, is most displeased when word gets out that Black escaped. Snape rages into the hospital wing, madly accusing Harry of setting him free until the other teachers force Snape to leave; we soon discover that Fudge retracted the award that he had promised to Snape. That night, Fudge removes all of the Dementors from the school grounds.

The next day is calm, until Hagrid informs Harry, Ron, and Hermione that Buckbeak escaped, and then that Lupin has resigned from the school. Harry runs to visit him as he is leaving the castle, and he listens as Lupin explains in his usual good-natured manner that after the events of last night, he really shouldn't be allowed near students during his transformations. Dumbledore catches Harry leaving Lupin's office and talks with him for a bit, explaining that it is no coincidence that his patronus takes his father's animagus shape, and that Harry has done a wise thing by setting Pettigrew free. Harry is confused and a bit sad as he boards the train back to London.

On the train, Hermione announces that she will drop down to a normal course load for the next semester, and Ron begins planning for Harry to stay with him for the summer. All of a sudden, a small, fluffy owl bumps against Harry's window, and he discovers in its beak a note from Sirius Black, saying that he is safe, that he did in fact send the Firebolt, and that Ron is to keep the owl as a replacement for his lost rat. In addition, Black has enclosed a note giving Harry permission to visit Hogsmeade the following year. Harry returns to the Dursleys anticipating a better summer than the last one.

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