Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17

This is another chapter that I’ll always remember reading for the first time; in fact, the whole scene in the Shrieking Shack is one of the favorites (if not the favorite) of a huge number of Harry Potter fans. I say more about it on the page, but suffice it to say that the revelations made in this chapter were, for the most part, the first realization I had as to just how much is going on behind the scenes in these books. And even more so, that we always needed to be on the lookout for something that we least expect to return and become a major plot point.

So what should we start keeping an eye on? If you were a fan of the books when they were still being released, you probably were watching out for everything – I remember months-long discussions of what would become of the Draught of Living Death, or the enormous chess match, or Trevor the toad? But more often than not it was things we weren’t paying attention to that would pop back up – Mrs. Figg; the Put-Outer; Griphook; Harry’s Invisibility Cloak; Professor Trelawney; Borgin & Burkes; Mundungus Fletcher. And of course, one of the first and biggest: Scabbers.

So next time you re-read this chapter, think back not just to all we didn’t know, but all we didn’t suspect – if you’re like me, it’ll make a different kind of re-reading experience. And remind you again of why these books each sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter seventeen: ‘Cat, Rat, and Dog’

~ by Josie on July 6, 2009.

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