Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw

chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ron and Hermione refuse to speak to each other, but Harry tries out his new Firebolt – and after a heartening practice, Gryffindor soundly defeats Ravenclaw despite several Slytherins dressing as dementors in an attempt to frighten Harry. After the party dies down, though, Sirius Black wakes Ron in the middle of the night, standing over his bed with an enormous knife.

Madam Hooch, by Heather Campbell

“Look at the balance on it! If the Nimbus series has a fault, it’s a slight list to the tail end – you often find they develop a drag after a few years. They’ve updated the handle too, a bit slimmer than the Cleansweeps, reminds me of the old Silver Arrows – a pity they’ve stopped making them. I learned to fly on one, and a very fine old broom it was too….”


Cho Chang, by Wacca

Their Seeker, Cho Chang, was the only girl on their team.

(by Wacca)


Cho Chang, by gerre

She smiled at Harry as the teams faced each other behind their captains, and he felt a slight lurch in the region of his stomach that he didn’t think had anything to do with nerves.

(by gerre)


Some Patronus, by Tealin Raintree

“That was quite some Patronus,” said a voice in Harry’s ear.


Convicted Mass Murderer, by Patilda

“Black! Sirius Black! With a knife!”

(by Patilda)


Wasn't a Nightmare, by Tealin Raintree



about the chapter


I always feel so bad for Neville at the end of this chapter. Clearly it’s a problem that he wrote the passwords down, but we’ll find out later it wasn’t really his fault they disappeared, and the real issue seems to stem from Sir Cadogan’s idiotic changing of the passwords several times a day so the students struggle to remember them. Of course, to be fair, nobody knows how Neville lost the passwords (including him), and Sir Cadogan does get in trouble too. Poor Neville.

Life at Hogwarts

I love that McGonagall shows up to the Gryffindor common room at one in the morning in her pajamas to send all the kids off to bed; clearly her bedroom is somewhere quite near Gryffindor Tower, so that she can keep an eye on her house. We soon find out why, too, as she’s also right there when there’s a disaster, and Sirius Black gets in. It won’t be the last time she comes to Gryffindor Tower in a hurry in the middle of the night. I wonder where exactly her room is (perhaps a passworded portrait down the hall from the Fat Lady?), and whether students know this in case of an emergency.

The Boy Who Lived

We’ve learned before that all the dormitories in Gryffindor Tower are labeled with the year of the students who sleep inside them. After Sirius Black makes it in, I’d be curious to know whether the teachers considered removing the signs and making the rooms anonymous as one more precaution for Harry’s safety. It might have helped Harry in his second year, too, when another student snuck into his room and searched his belongings.

21 Responses to “Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw”

  1. There is MAJOR foreshadowing too; in Harry’s dream that is interupted by Ron’s waking up — Harry is “dreaming” of chasing a silvery figure through the woods — a foreshadowing of DH and Snape’s patronus leading Harry to Gryffindor’s sword.

  2. to Gary: wow! I never noticed that! I always thought it had something to do with learning the patronus-spell and wanting to find out more about the figure it would make….:O
    I don’t think the non-labeling the doors would be considered. As much as Dumbledore and the teachers want to protect Harry, they assume Sirius is a mass-murderer and wouldn’t want the other kids exposed to him either.

  3. Seriously, were past years at Hogwarts this crazy? If you were a new student during Harry’s second year, the Heir of Slytherin was wandering around, Petrifying people, during Harry’s third, there was a supposed mass-murderer able to get into Hogwarts. And it just got worse each subsequent year. I’m surprised more parents didn’t pull their children from school before Harry’s sixth year.

  4. I think the students might know where McGonagall sleeps because in OOPT when Harry has the “snake-vision” Neville goes out to get help and comes back with McGonagall.
    So either she sleeps in her office (like, there’s a passworded portrait in her office that leads to her bedroom) and Neville went to get her there, or the students know where she sleeps, or Neville just went out into the corridor asking for help and McGonagall heard him.
    My favorite explanation is the office one, and it makes sense because in HBP Harry wakes up Slughorn by knocking at his office door with Ron after he’s taken the love potion, and the first time Harry gets into Dumbledore’s office he thinks something like “So this is were Dumbledore lives”.

  5. I agree with Natalia’s comment. I’d love to be able to go to Hogwarts, but I don’t think I’d would have liked to go when Harry was attending ;)

  6. I’ve always wondered where teachers slept. I think I read somewhere that McGonagall’s bedroom is actually in her office. Located in the corner somewhere…

  7. “It might have helped Harry in his second year, too, when the heir of Slytherin snuck into his room and searched his belongings.”

    I always thought Ginny snuck in and took the diary back from him!

  8. Sheri, sorry to be confusing – Ginny did sneak in, and when I wrote that I was thinking that she was possessed by the heir of Slytherin at the time. But I’m realizing in reading your comment that she did that of her own accord. So I’ll adjust the comments. :)

  9. What I’ve always wondered is if they change dormitories every year, or if they just change the signs. But then, what would they do, for new first years and old seventh years? Surely they only have seven dorms? and What if there’s more than five to a dorm? does the dorm simply get larger? So many questions…

  10. To Erica: It’s actually already stated in the books (book 2 in fact) that it is simply the sign that changes. “They hurried up it, right to the top, and at last reached the door of their old dormitory, which now had a sign on it saying SECOND YEARS.

  11. This way of course they wouldn’t have to keep changing the beds for every room

  12. And the new first years would simply get the dormatory just vacated by the graduating seventh years, which, if there were more first years than there were seventh years, would probably be internally expanded using the same magic Mr Weasley uses on the Ford Anglia and more beds added to it.

    Though Ron behaves obnoxiously at times in this book, I have to back him on the whole Scabbers and Crookshanks issue. Whether or not Hermione believed that Crookshanks was after Scabbers specifically, she said herself that it’s his instinct to chase rats and yet she never made any real effort to prevent it. After Crookshanks attacks Ron’s bag where Scabbers is hiding you wouldn’t think she would actually bring Crookshanks into the boy’s dormatory on Christmas morning, would you? And her attempts to defend him after he apparently ate Scabbers were kind of pitiful.

  13. I love how ethnically diverse couples are. Of course, the races in the wizard world are of magical blood, but still: Harry and Cedric fall for Asian Cho Chang, Dean and Ginny, Hermione and Krum, Angelina and the twins (separately, of course), Bill and Fleur, Remus and Tonks =)!!

  14. In response to Natalie’s comment about students being pulled out of Hogwarts, none do get pulled out probably because ots considered one of the best schools in Europe but I think all of the trouble that effects Harry does contribute to the willingness of the wizarding public to believe all the stories in the news about him being mad etc. in his fifth and later his seventh year, although Skeeter contributes to this too. Can you imagine all the kids going home: ‘You’ll never guess what happened to Harry Potter this year mum/dad!’

  15. Ive always wondered what someone in Harry’s year went through during school. One of those not mentioned classmates. I think a fanfic from the POV of an outsider in Harry’s would be extremely interesting if there’s not already one or some out there. They would have their own drama and problems around Harry and co’s.

  16. Gary, I just noticed that bit of foreshadowing as well! I really hope JKR meant for this to happen. I would hate for it to be a coincidence. And Kim, I agree. I don’t think Dumbledore or any other administrators would put other students in danger like that. After all, they have to see the big picture, not just concern themselves with Harry’s safety.

    Maggie, are you crazy?! I would love to go to school when Harry was there! It would be much more exciting than a typical school year (if such things exist at Hogwarts). And then to be able to say you went to Hogwarts while this legend of a story was happening. It would just be an incredible experience and story to tell the kids.

    elizabethauthor, I half agree with you. I think Hermione knows she’s being ridiculous, but she’s also stressed out, and isn’t thinking too clearly about the Crookshanks/Scabbers situation. Even Hermione’s brain gets overtaxed. She doesn’t necessarily get up on Christmas morning and thinks “I should keep Crookshanks away from Ron at all times” because the cat makes her happy (I know my cats do that for me) and didn’t want to leave him on Christmas. And it’s not like Hermione’s loudly yelling about reasons why Crookshanks wouldn’t kill Scabbers or something. I mean, yea she knows he would, but still, she isn’t being awful about it. And Ron is definitely being a jerk to her about the whole situation. I think we all know if either one apologized to the other, they’d both break down their defenses and remain friends. It’s also hard for me to be sympathetic about Scabbers, knowing what he is.

    (Moderated to remove some language references)

  17. I always thought the people underestimated the importance of Cho Chang. I mean, despite being thirteen and a half by this point, her appearance was the first time Harry ever exhibited any feelings, or even attraction, towards a girl. She is often referred to as his first-ever crush, and J.K. Rowling once said that Harry’s destiny sort of blighted him of most of the things most boys his age have already experienced.

  18. I just love gerre’s style, all the little details she puts in her drawings, like the shoes of Cho Chang here :) She captures the details and humour of the Harry Potter world extremely well.

    Also, I feel sorry for Neville, too – and Hermione, who is under so much pressure here, studying like a maniac, trying to save Buckbeak from being executed, staying up for more hours a day than there even is in a day, and at the same time have her two best friends not talking to her. She must be so very unhappy during these weeks.

  19. Gary, I noticed that too! Harry’s dreams really are something, aren’t they? :)

    I only recently noticed that Harry successfully conjures his first Patronus in this chapter. In front of a huge crowd of people watching. How on earth did the question about Harry’s Patronus form become something that only he could answer? I bet loads of spectators already saw his Patronus here! I’m talking about Lupin’s secret question to Harry in OoTP.

    Re: About the chapter. In a way, Neville is also pretty courageous. It takes a certain amount of courage to immediately confess to a very grave fault (even one you didn’t actually commit). :)

  20. It might be a bit late but @May: was it really a full patrounus? I always thought that it was something like a big shadowy thing. No one else knew what his Patronus form was, so I guess it was just the same sort-of Patronus he conjured in Lupins office.
    In Lupins office it was “a huge, silver shadow” and on the quidditch field it says “something silver white, something enormous”

  21. Sorry if this is a repeated post – my previous effort has vanished..

    (Spoilers below)
    Is there a parallel between Neville giving up the passwords to give Black access to Potter’s dorm, and the Secret Keeper giving up the secrets of the Fidelius Charm to give Voldemort access to the Potter’s hiding place?

    After all, Harry di picture Pettigrew as Neville, when re-enacting in his head the scene of Black murdering Pettigew and the muggles. Is this foreshadowing as to who the real traitor was?

    As is so often the case in the Harry Potter books, this connection between characters is really useful in illuminating the differences between them.

    Neville, after (unwittingly) giving Black access to the dorms shows the moral courage to own up to his awful folly. Pettigrew not only commits the betrayal but fits up another friend to take the blame. He is a coward who submits to Voldemort even if it means the death of his friends. Neville on the other hand shows astonishing bravery and loyalty to Harry even in the most horrific and despairing of circumstances, and acts to carry out Harry’s last request (taking down Nagini) rather than submitting to Voldemort.

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