Harry Potter Book Club: Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 8-9

Before I do anything else: GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Now that I've got that out of the way, I should apologize for playing hooky last week (who plays hooky from Hogwarts?) I was sick. But here I am, ready for some football. I mean, Quidditch. Bah! Dean Thomas and his West Ham soccer team poster know how I feel right about now.

Meanwhile, from my cohostesses: Masha posted briefly about fear and the contrasts between Snape and Lupin as teachers
Snape never should have become a teacher..people who hate people are the worst teachers in the world. But at least his students learn, I mean, once they get past the emotional trauma.. Lupin (in this book) is ideal! He's capable, kind, knowledgeable..a real teacher. I like him..I wish they'd cast someone who didn't look like a grungy drunk in the movie...
...but my favorite part of her post was this meme, which is so hilarious that I'm stealing it:

Alan Rickman: close to Augusta Longbottom's age,
and still a fan favorite.
Masha's source.

Christie posted about dementors, Trelawney, and Sir Cadogan, and since Christie's an M.A. in Arthurian literature, I was interested in her (albeit brief) take on the latter:
The minor character Sir Cadogan was such a nice treat for me—Rowling's clearly familiar with the Arthurian, chivalric tradition, from the Welsh-originating name to the fat knight's dated speech.
Not being an Arthurian scholar myself, I was glad to know it rang true for the pros and not just for the know-nothings. :)

Now, onto this week's reading, wherein we get to turn to page 394. Honestly. I've read all the books, seen all the movies, hung out in fandom, and read Know Your Meme on the subject, and I still do not get why this is a meme. Maybe just because Alan Rickman said it.

* * *
This Week in Reading Harry

Read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, chapters 8-9

Of course, this week we come to yet another meme:

This one's for Masha. Source.

I suppose that's why I'll never be in Slytherin.

Potential Discussion Points:

Art by bbcchu
1. The death of Lavender's rabbit. Which, despite Rowling's love for cornball wordplay, doesn't seem to have anything to do with the phrase "the rabbit died." Anyhow, I always enjoy Hermione's logical battle with the weeping and credulous Lavender, even if Hermione's unsympathetic timing is liable to ensure Lavender's rejection of logic rather than to clear up her mind.

2. "That suggests that what you fear most of all is—fear. Very wise, Harry." I'm not sure what to make of this statement; to me, it sounds a little bit like "Seize the day" and other bits of popular aphoristic wisdom: helpful enough for certain people under certain circumstances, but not necessarily true in the transcendental sense. I'm afraid of fear, all right, but not more than I'm afraid of becoming evil. Though those two fears are admittedly related.

3. Sirius Black breaks into school. And the mystery thickens. Most of us know how all this ends, but SO MANY SPOILERS, so I'll wait a little while longer to talk much about Sirius.

4. Cedric Diggory. He gets more stage time in book four, but here he's introduced as quiet and talented and handsome and honorable. If he never did anything else in the story, I'd still have thought highly of him for wanting a rematch when he caught the Snitch just as Harry passed out and fell off his broom.

And he was definitely nicer-looking as Cedric than as Edward, I've got to admit.

Fellow Hufflepuff—yay!!

Smile, Ed. You look so angry.

5. "He's only silent because he's too thick to string two words together." Sheesh, Fred. I love you, but COME ON. Some of my favorite people are "the silent type". Including me, some days.

6. Quidditch, dementors, Dumbledore, the Gryffindor team, and the Nimbus Two Thousand. A lot of the best scenes in Harry Potter are the funny ones, especially in these early books, but there are some fantastic poignant ones, too—and I love this one, with the sopping and muddy Quidditch team, sans Wood and avec Hermione, clustered around Harry's hospital bed, shaking and whispering. They've just lost a game, but they put that aside for their teammate. I love the image Hermione gives us of angry Dumbledore; I love the feeling the teenagers show for Harry; and I love that Professor Flitwick and Hermione and Ron bring back the bits of Harry's broomstick. It's a good scene.

Read and discuss!


  1. Yay! Harry's back!!! I missed him last week...I mean..
    I'm having way too much fun with these books...and Yarrow's running around pointing out "Mama's Harry Potter" to everyone, which is kind of embarrassing..

    I <3 <3 <3 that meme!!!! And I'm stealing it this week ;)

    Poor, poor Wood..I love him and his desperation - he's always in the background, but he's one of the few characters in the series who ALWAYS seems to go on living when he's not in direct contact with Harry..I imagine him prodding little quidditch figures under his desk in charms, trying desperately to impress girls with tales of his wins and losses on the field, and doing all sorts of exercises off-season, like those skiers do in summer with their roller-skates or whatever it is they use..I like him so much!

    The whole "you fear FEAR, Harry, and that's great.." is sort of off to me too..wouldn't it be better to fear demons pouring out of a box, or astrally projecting and then coming back to a possessed body, or the wiles of Satan and your own predilection to sin, or The sucking out of your soul by creepy soul-vampires..not fear. AND I thought the dementors were depression and soul-eaters..not images of fear..so, what's up with that? Maybe Lupin was just trying to make Harry feel better, maybe his mind was on Other Things..like Sirius, or the coming full moon???

    1. Ha, yeah, sorry about last week. My bad!

      Steal away! ;)

      Ooh, good question about the dementors representing fear. I hadn't thought of that. On the other hand, I drank a Mike's Harder lemonade tonight, so I really can't think very clearly about anything. I might have to come back to that. :P

      Aw, Yarrow, that's so cute!!!

    2. Wood is the best! He's so hilariously passionate and single-minded! Though my favorite Wood moment was in the last book, where his idea of "good news" during the height of the basilisk's reign of terror was "quidditch matches are back on!"

      Hermione really can be pretty insensitive sometimes: she's so eager to be correct that she doesn't always stop to consider how her words will be perceived (not that I can relate or anything). It's one of her more notable flaws.

      Yay, Yarrow!

  2. You know, I really like Professor Flitwick. I want him to become a real person someday but he seems to constantly be overly-excitable and diminutive. For all of the Powers-That-Be Characters' (Dumbledore and the like) talks of kindness and goodness being the real assets (as opposed to magical prowess) Flitwick seems to be passed over as a sort of comical afterthought. While I know that every character can't be as fleshed out in awesomness as, oh I don't know, Joss Whedon's Firefly ensemble (yeah, that's right, you know it), it still makes me kind of sad that he never seems to rise to the level of importance that seems should be his destiny. But maybe that's a SPOILER (I just love using that as a fail-proof).
    -The Neglected Husband


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