Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 14 & 15, ‘Snape’s Grudge’ & ‘The Quidditch Final’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 14 & 15

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” I will post T/F Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts and my own thoughts. If you disagree with my answers tomorrow, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on “Chapter Quiz” for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. _____ Chapter Fourteen, Snape’s Grudge, begins with heightened security in the castle after a search for Sirius Black fails to find him. The Fat Lady returns but only with “a bunch of surly security trolls” to protect her.

2. _____ Hagrid has a meeting with Harry and Ron in his hut to talk about Hermione. “I gotta tell yeh,” he says, “I thought you two’d value yer friend more’n broomsticks or rats. That’s all.”

3. _____ The next time they meet, though, Hermione says to Ron, when she overhears him invite Harry into Hogsmeade again, “So now you’re trying to get Harry expelled! Haven’t you done enough damage this year?”.

4. _____ Harry hides under his invisibility cloak in Hogsmeade – and throws snowballs at Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle outside The Shrieking Shack. Unfortunately, his cloak slips and Draco sees Harry’s face.

5. _____ Professor Lupin saves Harry from the furious Professor Snape back in the castle after the Marauder’s Map insults Severus. He reminds Harry his parents died to save him as a child; Harry feels ashamed for going to Hogsmeade and destroys the Map.

6. _____ Chapter Fifteen, The Quidditch Final, begins with Hermione sharing Hagrid’s letter from London. Ron yells at Hermione for having “a good gloat” about Harry’s getting caught in Hogsmeade and refuses to help with Buckbeak’s defense. The Hippogriff is scheduled for execution.

7. _____ Hermione belts Malfoy when he insults Hagrid and mysteriously disappears before Charms. She misses Cheering Charms, something she could use. By day’s end, she has dropped Divinations after a row with Trelawney.

8. _____ Harry thinks he sees the Grim the morning of his the Quidditch final with Slytherin, “the dirtiest game Harry had ever played in.” He has to wait, though, until Gryffindor is up by fifty points before trying to catch the Snitch.

9. _____ Harry scatters the Slytherins attacking one of the Gryffindor chasers but the time he spends doing this allows Draco, the Slytherin Seeker, to catch the Snitch at the other end of the Quidditch field. Gryffindor loses.

10. _____ The chapter ends with the winners celebrating on the shoulders of their House-mates, being carried “toward the stands, where Dumbledore stood waiting with the enormous Quidditch Cup.”

Discussion Points: Please write out your thoughts about (a) echoes and differences with the previous books, Stone and Chamber, (b) the most interesting elements in this chapter when viewed in the Deathly Hallows rear-view mirror; and (c) the importance of these Prisoner of Azkaban chapter in understanding the meaning of Prisoner and the series as a whole.

Lupin hits Harry in a way that Severus never could in this chapter and it is an edifying and challenging correction for every reader who has identified with Harry in his leaving the castle. Ooomph. But there are some excellent Snape, trio, and Hogwarts moments here, especially in light of Deathly Hallows; please jump in with some comments below!


  1. 1.T, 2.T, 3.F, 4.F, 5.F,

    6.F, 7.T/F, 8.F, 9.F, 10.T/F

    #4 is False because it is mud not snowballs (movie…). #7 is T/F because Hermione slaps Malfoy which is a little different than “belts.” #8 is False because Gryffindor has to be ahead by more than 50 points. #10 is T/F because the winners at chapter’s very end have received the Cup.

    Any comments on the Discussion Points?

  2. (a) Echoes: Quidditch against Slytherin, anyone? Harry antipathy with Snape? Disobedience to rules? On the surface this is just a deepening of a rut we’ve already been down several times.

    The Differences? Real breakthrough for Hermione now that she is re-united with her friends; she has clearly decided that intelligence isn’t all there is to being “mercurial.” The face slap to Malfoy and the “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” moment with Trelawney are signposts pointing to the new Granger on deck. The Snape one-on-one with Harry, too, isn’t just the usual put-down and take-it exchange. Harry gets in his face and tells Severus to “SHUT UP!” That even Snape’s news about his dad, which, I’m guessing Harry assumes is a lie, doesn’t touch Harry the way Lupin does with his stiletto comment about gambling with his parents’ sacrifice.

    (b) Deathly Hallows rear view mirror: The reunion of the trio marks the end of the black stage and the bleed into the white much as it does in The Silver Doe aftermath of Deathly Hallows. Hermione and Ron seem a happy if still quarreling couple with Hermione determined to take on some sulfuric qualities to resolve their contraries. All the “just barely” “last second reversals” that put Gryffindor ahead of Slytherin, too, now seem to be compass directions for the ultimate Parthian deception and ul;timate victory of Into the Forest Again/King’s Cross.

    (c) These chapters are important for the book because we have the necessary setting of Snape’s teeth in a grind about Harry, his dad, and Remus Lupin to make the Shrieking Shack scene what it is at book’s end. Reading it and not remembering Snape’s memory in The Prince’s Tale is a struggle. We know now what this hatred and agony and loathing is really about. “Turn out your pockets, Potter!” and the story of James the non-hero are some of Severus’ most revealing moments.

  3. rosesandthorns says

    (a) A definite echo is the broken friendship that will get repaired. While Harry and Ron stay steady, as they did through book one, for example, the trio was broken apart again (and this will not be the last time, either). In book one, it took facing the troll and Hermione’s deception to the teachers to bring the group together … showing how much shared dangers and experiences (and more important things, as Hagrid points out) can bring broken friendships back together. “More important things” help reunite the trio at last again in book three.

    (b) The more things change, the more things stay the same … or not

    – Snape cannot truly “let go” of his antipathy toward Lupin since childhood, though Lupin “lets go” of any hatred he might have toward Snape for revealing his werewolf nature at the end of this book.
    – Harry and Snape and the Marauders and Snape … a perpetuating cycle of prejudice and hatred and unthinking actions that needs an end, and gets one, only many, many, years later.

    In hindsight, I also like Lupin here. This Lupin has grown up since he did not prevent James’ bullying of Severus when they were teens. This Lupin reminds Harry that what Harry did by going into Hogsmeade with Sirius Black on the loose was foolish and selfish, something Lupin would have had trouble doing with James, Harry’s look-a-alike father, when they were kids. I can only assume that James grew up in much the same way as well before his death and this got the notice of Lily.

    I also really like the quote of Hagrids, “I thought you’d value yer friend more than broomsticks and pets,” and a wisdom he has that the reader rarely gets to see. He is right, people can be foolish about their pets and possessions, as he very well knows, even if he rarely admits to himself that he has an almost fatal addiction to dangerous pets – in book seven he doesn’t even want the Hogwarts defenders to hurt the huge spiders, “don’t hurt em”! he says and the spiders carry him away. Good advice to Harry and Ron, and advice that Hagrid himself should have taken on more than one occasion (not the least of which was allowing Harry and Hermione to get in trouble for the dragon in book one, as Hagrid really should have admitted that he was the reason for them having to get rid of the dragon in the first place … it always made me mad when he is the one who takes Harry on that detention in the forbidden forest, and Hagrid was the one really responsible for the detention in the first place and didn’t say anything to Dumbledore.)

    (c) A definite argument as to why the Snape of the final books and the Snape of the first books is the same! (Remember, Rowling knew from the beginning that Harry would even name his son after Snape, as she wrote that epilogue back in 1990. I don’t think this character ever “got away from her.”). In book three, Harry (and the reader) assumes what Snape says is a lie or at least a justified action on James’ part … that is, until Harry sees the pensieve memory, twice as it happens, once in book five, which shows him his father really was a bully, and again in book seven, which shows him the true reason for it being Snape’s worst memory.)

    Definitely a “you cannot judge until you know the whole story” moment! Which is seen at the end of this book with Sirius Black … look at someone’s life through different eyes and knowing different things and you get a bigger picture of the true person. The man thought to be Voldemort’s servant was really set up by Voldemort’s servant! Misdirection and limited information truly lead to an engaging mystery to solve, whether the identity of the real betrayer of Lily and James (Peter, a true denier), or the identity of an unjustly accused man (Sirius).

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