The Prisoner of Azkaban, Part Two

June 20, 2011

Been busy for the past several days, so I’m only covering two chapters this time.

Chapter Four:¬†In Diagon alley, Harry revels in the feeling of independence away from school and Privet drive, both of which, in different ways, full of people telling him where not to go, what to eat, and when to wake up. He does Hogwarts homework in the ice cream shop patio, he people-watches the witches and wizards, and he manages enough willpower not to spend his parent’s inheritance on a new professional-grade Quidditch broom.

He gets his school books, and finds out that Hagrid’s birthday present, the impracticably monstrous ‘Monster book’, is the textbook for ‘Care of Magical Creatures. He also has a strange premonition among the divination books, that could be interpreted as a death omen.

Hermione and the entire Weasley clan show up the day before Harry’s to leave with Hogwarts, and he’s excited to be reunited with his best friends. Hermione goes looking for an early birthday present at the pet shop, and ends up with a big ginger cat, who likes Ron’s rat Scabbers rather too much. Ron isn’t happy about that and worries that Scabbers will get eaten before long.

That night at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry goes back downstairs to look for Ron’s rat tonic that he dropped, and overhears Mister and Missus Weasley talking about Sirius Black and why the Ministry of Magic are convinced that he’s out to kill Harry. Harry immediately connects all the dots about why Fudge was acting so relieved to see him, how this means that he won’t be let out of Hogwarts until Sirius is back in Azkaban prison, and tries to keep himself from entirely panicking.

Chapter Five:¬†Everybody heads out to King’s Cross station for the Hogwarts express, and on the platform, Mister Weasley tries to warn Harry about Sirius. Harry admits to having overheard, and Mister Weasley tries to get Harry to promise that he won’t go looking for Sirius. Harry is startled at the thought, but he has to run for the train and doesn’t actually promise. On the train, he tells Hermione and Ron about the connection to Sirius and ‘You-know-who’.

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The Prisoner of Azkaban, Part One

June 12, 2011

Okay, so, I’m going to start my new blog series on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ today, and thanks to everybody who voted in the poll. Since it’s a fairly short book with a lot of small chapters, I’ll try to cover 2-3 chapters a week, and maybe finish in eight installments or so.

I’ll try to avoid going through the plot details in as much depth as I did with ‘A Wizard of Mars’, and try to spend a bit more time looking at plot structure, interesting use of language, and my own reactions. So, let’s get started!

Chapter 1: Harry starts off, as always, at the Dursley’s, completely miserable for the summer, and sneaking around doing Hogwarts homework under the covers in the middle of the night.

In the wee hours of the morning on Harry’s thirteenth birthday, he gets a bunch of deliveries and letters from wizardly owls, even though he didn’t send his own owl, Hedwig, out with any letters. The Weasley family won a bunch of gold in a Wizard’s lottery, and went off to visit Ron’s big brother Bill in Egypt. Ron sent Harry a pocket Sneakoscope which can tell him if someone around is untrustworthy. Hermione’s on holiday too, in France, and sent him a broomstick care kit for his Quidditch broom. Hagrid sent him a ‘Book of Monsters’ (which acts like a living monster itself,)

And there’s an official letter from Hogwarts about the train to catch for next year’s classes, the required reading – and a permission form to be signed by a parent or guardian for a third-year student to go off to the village on select weekends. Harry really wants to be able to go, of course, but he doesn’t kow how he’ll be able to convince his uncle or aunt to sign off.

But he feels glad that it’s his birthday for the first time in his life.

Chapter 2: There’s something on the Muggle news about a dangerous escaped convict, named Black. (Foreshadowing!)

Uncle Vernon’s sister, Aunt Marge, is coming, and though she hasn’t been to visit since the first book proper started, (leaving aside the prolog from when Harry was a baby,) she’s apparently as bad as all the other Dursleys put together when she does pop up in Harry’s life. Uncle Vernon has a big list of ways that Harry’s supposed to stick with his program and not let Marge know that he’s a wizard or other than the loser that Marge always thought he was, and Harry agrees, on the condition that Vernon sign the permission slip. Vernon isn’t happy, but agrees to sign if he thinks Harry’s behaved perfectly.
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