Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:03 am

Yes, I’m stubborn, I’m doing it again.

Actually, I’m doing the simultaneous re-read of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban" for the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]), and I will let you know when there are special observations. But of course you are all invited to read with me and to comment as you like.

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Chapter 1: Owl Post

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:09 am

In which Harry gets the first real birthday presents of his life.

At least, he thinks so. He doesn’t remember the toy broomstick.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:42 am

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:Yes, I’m stubborn, I’m doing it again.
HG, you're not stubborn. You're perseverant, an admirable quality.

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Chapter 2: Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:19 pm

In which Harry gets the worst birthday present ever and runs away.

How trustworthy is Uncle Vernon? Harry never doubts that the permission will be signed if he keeps his part of the bargain. Is Harry naive or has he had at least one positive experience with the Dursley’s: Whatever you may say about Vernon, he keeps his promises?

Also, making Vernon promise while never actually threatening to intentionally betray family secrets is a skill we would expect from a Slytherin rather than a Gryffindor.

(Thanks for teaching me a new word, Potteraholic)

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Chapter 3: The Knight Bus

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:35 am

In wich Harry travels to London and we learn more about Sirius Black.

Nothing to say here.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:16 am

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:(Thanks for teaching me a new word, Potteraholic)
Sure thing, HG.

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Chapter 4: The Leaky Cauldron

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:22 pm

In which Crookshanks has a grand entrance and Harry learns whom he should (but doesn’t really) fear.

Arthur Weasley: “... we’re no nearer catching Black then inventing self-spelling wands.”

LOL. Just wait some years and we will see a self-spelling wand.

Time Turner observation Nr. 2

Ron needs only one large bag for his four books: Unfogging the Future, The Monster Book of Monsters, Intermediate Transfiguration and The Standard Book of Spells. How does Hermione need two more bulging bags for only three more topics? Okay, there is probably a textbook and a kind of dictionary for Ancient Runes, but together with textbooks for Arithmancy and Muggle Studies this would still fill only one bag. Maybe Hermione bought some extra robes and stuff at Madam Malkin’s? Girls!

Then we get this:

“Those are my books for Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies – “

“What are you doing Muggle Studies for ?”

This is such a common trope. It’s nearly a given that there is at least one more topic [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. (Since Hermione apparently goes by alphabet, it should start with one of the letters N through Z, but not even JKR could come up with something sufficiently plausible.)

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Chapter 5: The Dementor

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:38 pm

In which we see at last one of the fearsome guards of Azkaban we already heard so much about.

Shocked affraid Shocked

No special observations here.

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Chapter 6: Talons and Tea Leaves

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:50 am

In which the lack of observations in previous chapters is overcompensated.

Time Turner observation Nr. 3

We never see Hermione’s timetable for the full week. Ron should have seen more, but he doesn’t talk about it, so Hermione may study any number of topics we don’t know about.

Slytherin observation Nr. 17: ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.])

When Harry, Ron and Hermione entered the Great Hall for breakfast next day, the first thing they saw was Draco Malfoy, who seemed to be entertaining a large group of Slytherins with a very funny story.
Having no clear memories of this chapter, I was relieved to see that these are neither "all Slytherins" nor "everybody at the Slytherin table".

Also, ghastly Pansy Parkinson taunts Harry. But then we get a real surprise.

Slytherins cheer for Harry! Don’t believe me?

The class broke into applause, all except for Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, who were looking deeply disappointed.

"Good work, Harry!" roared Hagrid, as everyone except Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle cheered.
Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle are not the only Slytherins in this class. Just look, Pansy Parkinson is right there on the next page, and I’m sure we will see more Slytherins in Care for Magical Creatures (Theodore Nott at least).


Harry was watching the Slytherin table. A large group including Crabbe and Goyle were huddled together, deep in conversation.


There are only ten Slytherin students in Harry’s year, and Malfoy is still in the hospital wing, otherwise he would be seen surrounded by this group. I wouldn’t call a group of less than ten people "large", so this must be some (not necessarily all) eyewitnesses telling others what happened.

Harry suspects them to be "cooking up their own version of how Malfoy had got injured", and yes, they are many, but neither are they "everybody at the Slytherin table" nor is there an implication of "all Slytherins who had been at the paddock".

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Chapter 7: The Boggart in the Wardrobe

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:12 pm

In which Neville Longbottoms gets a chance to shine and Harry Potter is frustrated.

Ron apparently knows Hermione’s timetable by heart already. But I don’t understand what happened here. If Hermione didn’t need all these books for lessons she had to take at the same time as Potions, she may have spent some time in the Common Room doing homework, but why didn’t she leave the books there?

Slytherin observation Nr. 18:

I hate (Note to self: remember the lesson you learned from “Mark reads the Hunger Games”, Hieronymus: Don’t Hate!)

I don’t like to admit that J. K. Rowling can make a mistake, but this must be a glitch. Being excited (Well, looking excited) about the potential poisoning of a beloved pet is inexcusable, and there is no way to pretend that the fearfull Gryffindors aren’t all ten Gryffindors or the excited Slytherins aren’t all ten Slytherins in this class.

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Chapter 8: The Flight of the Fat Lady

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:16 am

In which Harry can not go to Hogsmeade, but learns why Prof. Lupin didn’t allow him to fight the Boggart.

Slytherin observation Nr. 19:

Draco Malfoy and his gang of Slytherins: Crabbe, Goyle, Parkinson? Did we ever see somebody else in this gang?

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Pets and Gangsters

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 18.2:

doesn’t think other people’s pets matter very much
isn’t a trait specific to Slytherin, we also find it with Hermione. (Ah, this is such a well woven web.)

It also isn’t specific to Hermione, of course. It seems to depend on whose pets are involved.
Neville is a kind of friend, although he is not part of the trio.
Lavender, being female, is a potential thread to upcoming romances, so she can't be a friend?
Ron is a very good friend and a potential romantic interest, but presently Hermione is in love with the bandy-legged, ginger-furred monster, so Crookshanks can’t be wrong.

Slytherin observation Nr. 19.2:

Ignoring future events, at this time we cannot even be sure about Parkinson. What should be wrong with caring for an injured fellow student?

On the other hand, there may be some faceless gangsters in their first or second year, whose names Harry never noticed. Would elder students follow Draco?

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Chapter 9: Grim Defeat

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:09 am

In which Snape teaches DADA and Dementors invade Hogwarts.

Slytherin observation Nr. 20:

The Slytherin team doesn’t like to play Quidditch in a thunderstorm. At least that’s what the Gryffindors suspect.

But maybe it’s just that their only trained seeker is injured? So what could be done about this?

Find another seeker? We don’t know the details of the sponsoring contract. Would they loose their superfast brooms if Draco doesn’t play?

Postpone the match until Draco can play? This is difficult. All activities already planned for this other day would to have been rescheduled. BTW it would have been even more difficult with the match at the end of Harry’s first year, when only few days were left to postpone the match to, so this is probably the reason why postponing didn’t happen then.

But since "everybody" planned to be at the Quidditch pitch anyway, and it doesn’t really matter much if they are there to watch or to play, just changing the order in which the teams will play is easy to do. Especially since this is the first match and Lucius Malfoy has the connections to convince the right people that this is what should be done.

Who wouldn’t enjoy a smart fellow using a disaster to his advantage? The Gryffindor’s suspect that it’s all faked (and are most probably right), but Wood admits that it is impossible to know because it can not be proved. (Why not let Madame Pomfrey have another look on this "injury"? Because there is a thing called "human rights" and you can not enforce a medical examination.)

So how would the Slytherins know it is faked if Draco didn’t tell them? Would Draco tell them because it’s even more fun this way? Would Draco really trust his fellows never to use this knowledge against him and not to talk about it while they might be overheard by the last person who should know? It’s much more save to keep this secret.

Again, we can blame the Malfoys for everything, but we don’t have points against other Slytherins.

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Chapter 10: The Marauders Map

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:34 pm

In which Harry visits Hogsmeade and learns more about Sirius Black.

Fidelius observation Nr. 1:

I don’t know if there will be more Fidelius observations, but this is what I will try to remember:

The Fidelius Charme is
a) ’An immensely complex spell,’
b) ’involving the magical concealment of a secret ...’
c) ’The information is ... impossible to find – unless ... the Secret Keeper chooses to divulge it.’
d) You-Know-Who could search ... for years and never find them (Lily and James)
e) not even if he had his nose pressed against their sitting-room window!’

a) Only very few wizards can do it and we shouldn’t expect to see it ever again? Oh yes, we see it again, but I wonder if JKR had planned this in advance or if she felt obliged to react to the fandom hype and tell us more, although she hadn’t really thaught it through?

b) It isn’t an invisibility charme designed specificall to hide a place or person; the secret to be concealed may be the amount of my monthly salary or the name of my girl friend (don’t tell my wife ). Also, it isn’t a shield charme designed to protect persons or places.

c) If I already know this information, it isn’t a secret to me and I don’t need to find it. Would casting the spell hide this information from me, purging my memory?. To conceal the secret from everybody who doesn’t know it already, it would be sufficient if I couldn’t talk about it as long as somebody in hearing range doesn’t already know the secret. (I should also be unable to show it or to write about it unless I’m the Secret Keeper. Also, the Fidelius Charme should conceal memories of the secret even from a legillimens, otherwise nobody, not even the Secret Keeper, should be allowed to remember the secret.) Since Hagrid at least has to know(*), but nobody at the Three Broomsticks actually tells, where the Potters were hiding, the Fidelius Charme may still be working, although Lily and James are dead and Harry is no longer hiding at this place.

(*) How could Hagrid know the hiding place and find Harry, although he didn’t know who was (supposed to be) the Secret Keeper when he met Sirius?
If Hagrid didn’t even know there was a Fidelius Charme (he may have learned this only later, when he learned that Sirius was supposed to be the Secret Keeper), the Secret Keeper may have told him the secret casuylly, never mentioning that this was a secret and that nobody else would have been able to tell it.
Or maybe Hagrid always knew the Potter’s hiding place and didn’t forget it when the Fidelius Charme was performed.

d) We don’t know the exact wording of the secret concealed by the Fidelius Charme, but if it wasn’t worded very carefully, Voldemort could have found Harry by searching for him rather than for Lily and James. Since this was actually what Voldemort did, this is probably just Prof. Flitwick not knowing that Voldemort intended to kill Harry rather than Harry’s parents in the first place.

e) So the Potters would have been invisible? But invisibility isn’t really a good protection. Just destroying every suspicious house (whose inhabitants seem to be invisible) would probably kill the Potters, and Voldemort wouldn’t even need to know the secret. Obviously there should be better ways to conceal this secret, like Voldemort seeing but not recognizing them.
Maybe the house would have been invisible? But if Voldemort could press his nose against their sitting-room window he would still have felt that there is something, and blowing all big invisible objects into smitherings would still have solved his problems. Voldemort may even have considered to destroy every suspicious village where somebody still can tell that their next door neighbours should actually be their second to next door neighbours.
Concealing a secret hiding place has to be much more sophisticated than just making it invisible.


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Chapter 11: The Firebolt

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:30 pm

In which the yule break isn’t a time of happiness.

Nothing else to say here.

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Chapter 12: The Patronus

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:40 pm

In which the Firebolt reappears and Scabbers vanishes.

This is becoming more and more Sad .

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Chapter 13: Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:54 pm

In which Harry’s Patronus wards some fake dementors off and Sir Cadogan lets a suspected murderer in.

‘An unworthy trick! A low and cowardly attempt to sabotage the Gryffindor Seeker!’

Slytherin observation Nr. 21:

I couldn’t have said it better than Professor McGonagall. Is Marcus Flint already on my list of Slytherins to be disliked? ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]) Now he is, Number five.


Last edited by Potteraholic on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:33 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edited in a label, Slytherin observation Nr. 21:, that Hieronymus Graubart forgot to include, and gave me permission to insert.)

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Chapter 14: Snape’s Grudge

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:01 am

In which Harry’s head is seen in Hogsmeade.

Neville didn’t need telling twice. He seized the envelope and, holding it before him like a bomb, sprinted out of the Hall, while the Slytherin table exploded with laughter at the sight of him.

Slytherin observation Nr. 22:

Is it necessary to find an excuse? The sight of a boy who tries to escape the embarrassment, although everybody can see why he is running, and the howler will be loud enough to be heard anyway, is laughable. Slapstick writers could use it if they trusted their audience to know what a Howler is.

Yes, we suppress the laughter because we know and like Neville. But I wonder why the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws and even some Gryffindors didn’t laugh. Were they all so full of pity for poor Neville, or was Harry just too occupied to notice? (He didn’t even notice that he had a letter.)


Last edited by Potteraholic on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:35 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edited in a label, Slytherin observation Nr. 22:, that Hieronymus Graubart forgot to include, and gave me permission to insert.))

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Solitaire on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:01 pm

I think Harry feels an affinity for Neville. Nevile may be from a pureblood wizarding family, but he doesn't appear to have been any better prepared to join the magical world than Harry. Snape rides Neville about as much as he does Harry, and he is a Slytherin target almost as often as Harry. In some ways, Harry seems to fare better than Neville when it comes to Slytherin harassment, possibly because of his years of experience in dodging Dudley and his goons.

As to why Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws were not reported as having laughed ... perhaps Ravenclaws are more well-mannered and Hufflepuffs are more sympathetic and caring. Other Gryffindors? Maybe they were sufficiently used to the Twins receiving Howlers that they didn't pay much attention anymore.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:38 pm

Probably some individual Gryffindors, Ravenclaws and maybe even Hufflepuffs did laugh as well. The distinction is that the majority of Slytherins were laughing, as exemplified by the use of the word 'table.'

Why wasn't it mentioned that anybody else laughed? Because we, the readers, are supposed to loathe Slytherin as much as Harry does. Although the story appears to be being told by an omniscient narrator, it's not. Our narrator is firmly perched on Harry's shoulder. We only see what Harry sees, know what Harry knows, feel what Harry feels.

Soli, good points about Neville and Harry. I agree that Neville had as hard a time as Harry did, though without the 'benefit' of his fame.

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Re: Solitaire and Verity

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:24 pm

Soli, I agree concerning Neville and Harry.

I can see how being more sympathetic and caring would fit the Hufflepuffs’ humility and sense of justice. But being well-mannered was never mentioned as a specific Ravenclaw trait, and I’m not sure if it combines well with nerdyness

Since Howlers are received in the Great Hall, not the Common Room, not only Gryffindors should be sufficiently used to the Twins receiving Howlers, if they really did receive a lot of Howlers (as they pointed out in OotP, the Twins knew where to draw the line).

Verity, I do understand the limited point of view, but I don’t think we are supposed to loathe Slytherin as much as Harry does, at least not on a second read or when we are growing up and looking back to our younger selfs, knowing what was revealed in the course of time.

I’m trying to see what could be seen if we weren’t as partial as Harry still is. In some situations this may be as fruitless as gazing into Trelawney’s crystal sphere, but I think this is what JKR expected us to do. These books are written to grow up with and reread and reconsider every year.

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Chapter 15: The Quidditch Final

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:23 pm

In which Hermione Granger leaves Divination forever and Gryffindor wins the Quidditch cup.

Time Turner observation Nr. 4

If Hermione plans in advance to take two lessons at the same time, or to do some homework while also taking a lesson, she can make this impossible future become true and nobody will ever notice that she couldn’t have been in the Arithmancy classroom before she used the Time-Turner after the end of the Divination lesson. But as soon as somebody tells Hermione that her absence has been noticed, going back to the lesson she had planned, but forgotten to take, would cause a time paradox, so she doesn’t dare to do it? The science (or magic) of time travel is weird. (Ooops, I just realized that it’s Time-Turner, not Time Turner, but for consistency’s sake I will keep the term "Time Turner observation".)

Slytherin observation Nr. 23: (Sorry, I forgot to label [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.])

A Gryffindor fourth-year and a Slytherin sixth-year end up in the hospital wing (but we don’t know who started the fighting, and since we don’t know who else may have been involved, 'the smaller boy wouldn’t attack the bigger boy' may not be a valid argument.

Slytherin’s try to trip Harry, and they may try to put him out of action. (Didn’t the Weasly Twins try to do something similar to a member of the Slytherin team during their last year? I have to keep this in mind for a reread of OotP, but this seems to be far in the future.)

Like [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs cheer for Gryffindor, but this may still be the bystanders joining the underdogs against the overperformers who won all the cups rather than everybody hating Slytherin.

This is the dirtiest game Harry has ever played in, but Harry has never played in or even seen an end game where both teams had a chance to win the cup. Nevertheless, an omniscient narrator(?) dropped in just to tell us that nobody could remember such a highly charged atmosphere, so should we trust her? Or should we wonder how many people Harry had actually asked?

Anyway, Marcus Flint gathered the biggest and most brutal Slytherins he could find for his team. This doesn’t tell us much about other Slytherins, except that they are either less evil or less skilled in playing Quidditch.

Montague, Bole and Derrick go to my list of Slytherins to be disliked (eight out of at least 250), but I can’t say anything against Warrington or the nameless Keeper (is it still Bletchley?).

Doing the Maths: There are 200 spectators (students from seven years) cheering for Slytherin, but students who had been in their sixth or seventh year during Harry’s first year are no longer present. By now we should have met students from nine years, which would be
200 / 7 * 9 = roughly 250 Slytherins.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:10 pm

HG, if you'd like, I can edit in the labels for Slytherin observations Nr. 21 and Nr. 22 in the posts you linked. Just let me know.

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Re: Potteraholic

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:20 pm

Yes, this would be appreciated. Thank you!

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Re: Hieronymus Graubart :)

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:38 pm

HG, you're welcome, and done! Let me know if I need to make any changes to where I placed the labels.

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