Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Chapter 18 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 18, we learn the truth about the Marauders and a new player enters the party at the Shrieking Shack. Let’s go!

Doubling up on Chapter-A-Longs today and all weekend so I can finish this one up. Which is just as well, since this is a pretty short chapter. Short in length, but it still packs a pretty big punch!

After the revelation at the end of Chapter 17, Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t really know what to believe. Peter Pettigrew is dead. Everyone knows that. But Black and Lupin keep saying that not only is he alive, but he is in fact hiding as Scabbers, an Animagus. Black is anxious to go ahead and kill Pettigrew, but Lupin wants to make sure they know the truth.

“They’ve – got – a – right – to – know – everything!” Lupin panted, still trying to restrain Black. “Ron’s kept him as a pet! There are parts of it even I don’t understand! And Harry – you owe Harry the truth, Sirius!”

Ron is taking this pretty hard. He thinks they’re all crazy. This is his pet rat. He complained about him, sure, but still – it was his pet! Now people are telling him it’s not really a rat, but a person? I’d be ticked off too. Meanwhile, Scabbers is freaking out, trying to get away, scratching and biting the heck out of Ron, who is only trying to hang onto him.

The explanations begin. Hermione first says that it’s impossible for Peter Pettigrew to be an Animagus at all. She did her homework (or extra homework, because it’s Hermione) after their lesson on Animagi and looked up Professor McGonagall on the registry with the Ministry. Pettigrew’s name isn’t listed.

“Right again, Hermione!” he (Lupin) said. “But the Ministry never knew that there used to be three unregistered Animagi running around Hogwarts.”

And so begins the sad tale of Remus Lupin. He got bitten and his parents thought that was it for him. However, when Dumbledore became Headmaster, he made arrangements for Lupin to be able to come to school.

Also, at this point, the door to the room they are in just opens by itself, all creepy-like.

So Lupin was at school, and every full moon, he would be smuggled out to the Shrieking Shack to hide out while he was a dangerous monster. His friends – James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew – noticed that he disappeared all the time and figured out what was going on. They worked really hard to become illegal Animagi to keep Lupin company while he was a wolf.

Lupin was afraid to tell Dumbledore, even when he suspected that Black might be using his Animagus form, to get into Hogwarts, because he didn’t want to admit that he had betrayed his trust. Lupin has had a rough life. No one wants to hang out with a werewolf because they can be dangerous. The potion Snape makes keeps Lupin tame during his transformations.

Speaking of Snape, we find out exactly how James Potter saved his life. Black decided to play a joke on Snape, to lead him to the Shrieking Shack while Lupin was transformed, since Snape was always sneaking around them trying to figure out what was going on. Snape came very close to getting attacked, but James Potter pulled him out of the tunnel just in time. Snape found out about Lupin’s situation at that time, but was sworn to secrecy.

“So that’s why Snape doesn’t like you,” said Harry slowly, “because he thought you were in on the joke?”

“That’s right,” sneered a cold voice from the wall behind Lupin.

Yeah, that door that mysteriously opened? Not a ghost or anything like that. It was Snape, under the Invisibility Cloak. And he’s not happy. At all.

See you next time for Chapter 19!


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Chapter 17 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 17, we learn the truth of the big black dog, the truth about Lupin, and the truth about Scabbers. Basically, we learn a lot of truths. Let’s go!

This is such a great chapter. So many reveals! And we’re not done yet!

After leaving Hagrid’s and hearing the swing of the executioner’s axe, the trio are heading back to the castle, but for some reason, Scabbers is still freaking out. He’s wiggling with all his might and actually bites Ron to get free. Ron runs after him, avoiding Crookshanks, when suddenly that huge black dog appears. Harry thinks the dog is after him, but he’s actually targeting Ron for some reason. Anyone else get really confused at that the first time you read it? I sure did! The dog drags Ron to the Whomping Willow through a tunnel at its roots, breaking Ron’s leg in the process. This sounds so painful!! Actually, this whole chapter with Ron and his leg makes me so uncomfortable. It just sounds so bad!

Harry and Hermione are determined to help Ron, but the whirling dervish that is the Whomping Willow will not let them. It’s Crookshanks to the . . . rescue? What’s going on with that cat anyway?

Crookshanks darted forward. He slithered between the battering branches like a snake and placed his front paws upon a knot on the trunk.

Abruptly, as though the tree had been turned to marble, it stopped moving. Not a leaf twitched or shook.

“Crookshanks!” Hermione whispered uncertainly. She now grasped Harry’s arm painfully hard. “How did he know -?”

I have always had loads of questions about Crookshanks. I know we’ve found out since that he is half-kneazle, which is a magical cat creature. This accounts for his abnormal intelligence, but still. I keep having a feeling there’s even more to it than that. Actually, check out this Pottermore page of Crookshanks must have been thinking throughout the book. It’s really funny.

But I digress. Sorry. I just love that squashy ginger cat!

They make it down the tunnel under the tree and it leads to the Shrieking Shack, where they find Ron, his leg very much broken. Ron tells them that it is a trap. The dog isn’t a dog.

He’s the dog . . . he’s an Animagus . . .”

Dun dun DUUUUUN!!! It’s Sirius Black! Another name that I should have connected with the black dog at the beginning the first time I read this. But I didn’t. I was shocked.

Harry is not doing well. This is the man who he believes to be responsible for leading Voldemort to his parents. He is furious, but his two friends are terrified. Ron is determined to stand in front of Harry, despite his BROKEN LEG! Also, I am so mad that they gave that line to Hermione in the movie. It’s such a great Ron moment! Harry isn’t having it though. This isn’t a time for thinking things through. He tackles Black down to the ground, holds him down, and points his wand right at Black’s heart.

Black tries to argue, tries to get Harry to listen to the “whole story,” but Harry is just not willing to listen. Black gets a slight reprieve when Crookshanks curls up on his chest right where Harry was aiming his wand. It makes Harry pause slightly, which gives another person time to get there.

Lupin to the rescue! OR IS HE!!!

Lupin asks Sirius where “he” is. He babbles about someone switching something without telling him. And then he gives Sirius a big hug.

What the heck dude!

Hermione is furious. She has been covering for Lupin. She has trusted him this whole time. Even though . . .

“Harry, don’t trust him, he’s been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too – he’s a werewolf!”

Yep. Hermione is smarter than I am and figured out what Lupin was ever since Snape assigned them the essay. The clues: Lupin is always sick during the full moon, and the boggart turns into the moon when it sees him. Hermione wishes she had told the teachers, but Lupin tells her that they already know. They brought him on regardless. That’s right, Dumbledore willing hired a werewolf. As well he should have! Lupin is a great teacher! But . . . there is this little issue of him seeming to be in league with a convicted murderer.

Lupin tells them that he was watching the Marauder’s Map to see if Harry and his friends would leave the castle to see Hagrid that night, but he saw another name on it – a name that couldn’t possibly be there. He mentions that he helped write the map – he’s Mr. Moony, as that was his nickname when he was at Hogwarts. Can I also just say that I was very disappointed in how the movie addressed this. They barely explained the Marauders at all! It makes the whole ending of the movie very confusing for someone who hasn’t read the book.

In the final bit of this chapter, we get one more big revelation. Lupin convinces the trio to listen to them. Turns out Sirius was not after Harry – he was after Scabbers. Lupin saw on the map that Scabbers isn’t actually a rat at all. He’s an Animagus . . . names Peter Pettigrew. Yep, the same Peter Pettigrew who Black supposedly killed all those years ago in the infamous attack that killed thirteen Muggles.

So if Peter Pettigrew is actually alive . . . what does that mean for Sirius Black?

See you next time for Chapter 18!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 3/29/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind this week, not gonna lie. Work has been really busy. My daughter has had a lot to do at school, which is always busy, but the year is starting to wind down finally, which adds to it. The Spring Festival is in full swing on LOTRO. So yeah, lots of things.

Plus, I think this past week has been one of the busiest weeks on the blog that I’ve had so far. I posted 14 posts since last Friday. That’s a lot for me! It will continue to be a lot too, as I wrap up March with the #PotterheadReadAlong19 – I’ll need to double up Prisoner of Azkaban posts if I want to be ready to start Goblet of Fire on April 1st. I fell way behind in that during the middle of this month, but it can still be done! I’ll make it!

Let’s take a look at my reading progress this week:

  • First and foremost, as I mentioned on WWW Wednesday, I finally finished Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey. Review will be coming in the next few weeks. I’m holding off on starting the last book in the trilogy, Kushiel’s Avatar, just to catch up on a few other things.
  • I read and blogged about Chapters 11 through 16 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. You’ll be seeing a lot more of those posts this weekend.
  • The Wrythe and the Reckoning by Yvonthia Leland – I am trying to figure out what the author is doing with this story. It’s . . . not really going anywhere? I read chapters 3 through 12 this week, so it’s not like I’m not making progress. This one is going to be really hard to review.
  • I started and finished Secrets by Francine Pascal and Kate William this week. It’s the second Sweet Valley High book for my Nostalgic Reads feature. I will probably post it over the weekend sometime.
  • I started over reading Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)reading the Prologue through Chapter 13. Even though I don’t think I forgot much of the story, I’m glad that I started over, just so I’d have that nice, fresh perspective. It makes me excited to keep going.

So yeah, it’s been a pretty successful reading week this week! After having a reading slump that lasted for over a year, this makes me so happy.

Hope you all have a great weekend, if I don’t see you back here for all the Prisoner of Azkaban posts!