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!

Categories: Chapter-A-Long

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