The Marauder’s Map

chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Things look up for Harry when Lupin promises to give him anti-dementor lessons, until he learns another Hogsmeade weekend is upcoming. Fred and George, though, give him the Marauder’s Map, and Harry sneaks into Hogsmeade – where he then learns that Sirius Black betrayed his parents.

Remus Lupin, by Jeni Malament

“Well… all right. I’ll try and help. But it’ll have to wait until next term, I’m afraid. I have a lot to do before the holidays. I chose a very inconvenient time to fall ill.”


Up to No Good, by TomScribble

“Psst – Harry!” He turned, halfway along the third-floor corridor, to see Fred and George peering out at him from behind a statue of a hump-backed, one-eyed witch.


The Marauder's Map, by somelatevisitor

He took out his wand, touched the parchment lightly, and said, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”


Honeydukes Candy Store, by Ditraveler

“Harry!” squealed Hermione. “What are you doing here? How- how did you-?”


First Hogsmeade Visit, by salamandersoup

“Are you going to report me?” Harry asked her, grinning.
“Oh – of course not – but honestly, Harry – “


A Single Curse, by MartinTenbones

“I will never forget it. I still dream about it sometimes. A crater in the middle of the street, so deep it had cracked the sewer below. Bodies everywhere. Muggles screaming. And Black standing there laughing, with what was left of Pettigrew in front of him….”


At the Three Broomsticks, by Ditraveler

Ron’s and Hermione’s faces appeared under the table. They were both staring at him, lost for words.


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

McGonagall casually mentions that Cornelius Fudge is dining with Dumbledore in the evening, but I have to wonder why. Is this a usual occurrence? Is Fudge simply trying to get help from Dumbledore, as we know he has in the past? Or is this a special occasion – and if so, what’s the cause? Given his frustration with Dumbledore’s refusal to allow the dementors into Hogwarts, I suspect he’s probably made a date to try to convince Dumbledore to bend on the issue. Of course, given the circumstances, it’s certainly also possible they’re merely discussing the best ways to continue protecting Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World

I absolutely love the drinks that Madam Rosmerta serves to the four adults: McGonagall gets a small gillywater, the essence of restraint; Flitwick a cherry soda with an umbrella, like a little kid; Fudge a red currant rum, a “serious” drink; and Hagrid orders four pints of mulled mead all at once. It’s a totally unnecessary detail for Rowling to include, but her world is so much richer for these kinds of details.

The Boy Who Lived

Harry’s sudden trip to Hogsmeade, sans Invisibility Cloak, strikes me as one of those things he’s known for that are “both very brave and very stupid.” It takes a certain amount of guts to do it, for sure, and Fred and George aren’t wrong in assuming that Harry’s willing to give it a go with the Marauder’s Map. But how easy would it have been for McGonagall to spot him in a crowd walking down the street?

Something to Remember

I can’t help but wonder why Lupin held Harry back after class, “for a word.” Harry seems to initiate the whole conversation about the dementors and Azkaban. It’s also interesting to pay very close attention to Lupin during the conversation – he’s rendered speechless at the thought of Harry’s hearing Lily’s death in his head, he knocks his briefcase off his desk when Harry mentions that Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban… in short, he displays lots of unexpected behavior that we don’t quite understand. Yet.

The Final Word

“The laughter – [Sirius] was absolutely unhinged by James’s death…. He was unhinged. Yes, he laughed. He knew what he’d lost. It was a humorless laugh. Pettigrew, who they, in a slightly patronizing way, James and Sirius at least, who they allowed to hang round with them, it turned out that he was a better wizard than they knew. Turned out he was better at hiding secrets than they knew.”–J.K. Rowling, July 2005

(When asked, “How did [Fred and George] figure out how to work the map?”)
“Don’t you think it would be quite a Fred and Georgeish thing to say in jest, and then see this thing transform? … The map helped… flickering into life here and there when they got closer and closer, and finally they hit upon the exact right word combination and it just erupt[ed].”
–J.K. Rowling, July 2005

23 Responses to “The Marauder’s Map”

  1. Wow, such detailed drawings by Ditraveler.

  2. I forgot about Flitwick’s drink…ha.

  3. I agree about the drinks – it’s a really wonderful detail that shows so much about these characters’ personalities in such an elegant way!

  4. Yes, I too agree about the drinks. Flitwick is pretty funny how he orders the kid soda. I love the drawings by Ditraveler, especially the one of the Three Broomsticks. They’re very detailed and have brilliant shading.

  5. I always thought that the Map actually helped Fred and George get the words right. Just like it recognized Snape, I think the Map could recognize “kindred souls” in Fred and George and it probably helped them find the right combination of words.

    Was it ever stated what spell Wormtail used on the street?

  7. The map it’s genius. It tells you what sort of adolescents/people the creators were.
    About Lily’s voice, I think that we all recognize her before Harry, but it’s still a shock hearing him say it out loud (metaphorically speaking, of course, the book doesn’t speak :P )

  8. How long have Fred and George had the Map? If they had it in the first one, mightn’t they have been able to see Quirrel sneaking around? Would a troll or a basilisk show up on the map? And would Voldemort (possibly as Tom Riddle) have showed up right next to Quirrel?

  9. i wondered when i reread htis book, why did the twins give the map to harry? yeah they now know all the secret passages and stuff, but wouldn’t it also be useful to see where filch and mrs. norris are? that way they won’t get in trouble when they pull some prank? unless they want to be in trouble…

  10. Soraya, I wondered that too, and ultimately came to the same conclusion you did.
    The twins loved the thrill of being caught. Isn’t Filch’s office where most of their shenanigans take place? Besides, they think of Harry as a brother, and he is to be pitied, missing out on Hogsmeade all alone. Maybe they were feeling a little generous towards Harry, and were missing all the excitement of being in trouble.
    Also, towards yraM, I don’t think they had the patience to study the map as Harry does. After all, they are busy working on WWW jokes and other pranks.

  11. I absolutely love Jeni Malament’s drawing of Remus. He’s always been my favorite character, and I can totally take that drawing and picture him as a little kid at Hogwarts, laughing with the Marauders. <3

  12. Are you sure that picture by salamandersoup isn’t actually by Tealin Raintree? It just looks soooo much like her work.

  13. elizabethauthor, the two artists’ styles are very similar – more similar, I think, than any other two artists I have on this site. But this one is definitely by salamandersoup. You can look at their pages to see what I mean:

  14. Gillywater? Does anyone know what that is? It sounds an awful lot like gillyweed, which (spoiler alert?) is what Harry uses in the second challenge of the Triwizard Tournament to breathe under water. Why is gillywater so commonplace? Wouldn’t more witches and wizards be drinking it and exploring open waters? Wouldn’t everyone competing in the Triwizard Tournament think to drink large quantities of this water before the second challenge? I’d love to hear theories on this.

  15. We don’t know what gillywater is, but I suspect it’s made of gillyflower essence.

  16. yram, I believe the map works only off of the knowledge that the Marauders bestowed upon it. As they do not know about the Chamber of Secrets or where it is or what is in it, none of these would show up on the map at the time that was all occurring. I can definitely see them perusing the map, trying to figure out where it might be (as all the students are trying to figure it out) but to no avail. As for the events of the first book, they had no idea what was going on, unlike Harry and co. I don’t think they would notice Quirrell acting strange, as they would be using it for their own purposes. We must remember that Hogwarts is huge, so the map must cover a lot of ground. I find it hard to believe they’d be looking at it one night for whatever reason, and then focus on Quirrell for no reason, even if he was around the third floor corridor.

  17. Another example of JKR’s forward planning: “Not many people are aware that the Potters knew YKW was after them. Dumbledore, who was of course working tirelessly against YKW, had a number of useful spies. One of them tipped him off…” The identity of that spy has now of course been revealed.

  18. [spoiler alert]
    One thing about the map is pretty strange. I imagine Fred and George often seeing the Gryffindor tower on the map, yet never stopped to think about why someone called Peter Pettigrew was in the same bed as their younger brother?

  19. Amanda, I don’t suppose they checked out who was in the dormitories; they had more interesting areas to explore.

    They were only three when Peter Pettigrew faked his death, so they wouldn’t be familiar with his name from the newspaper reports. If they ever saw his name on the map, they probably assumed it was just another boy in Ron’s class.

  20. The scene where Harry first entered Honeydukes was also described in rich detail. “Chunks of creamy nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees…” It’s these descriptions that makes Jo’s world so much more real than it really is and entertaining to read. Her writing style really is exceptional.

    The map is brilliant! It makes me wonder how the four creators wrote it. Like what sort of magic or spells did they use to write a map that is never consistent (the dots are forever moving around). Did they place some sort of tracking spell over the entirety of Hogwarts? It’ll be interesting to find out…

    I just realized Draco has been wearing his arm in bandages ever since the start of the school year up to around November, just so he could get Hagrid into major trouble. How despicable can a person get?

  21. Some foreshadowing from this line: What if Black did know the passage was there?

    Also, Lupin says there are certain defenses one can use to ward off dementors. What are the other defenses besides the Patronus Charm?

  22. As a Lord of the Rings fan, I was pleasantly surprised at the description of the Hinkypunk in this chapter – it “lures travellers into bogs… people follow the light.” This is very similar to what happens in the Dead Marshes in Return of the King. Yay for the collision of two fantastic worlds!

    (Brilliant website by the way! I am enjoying this commentary as I reread HP – I’ve discovered so much here! Thanks!)

  23. I love the way this chapter links back to Sirius’s mention in The Boy Who Lived.

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