Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 8 & 9, ‘Flight of the Fat Lady’ & ‘Grim Defeat’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 8 & 9

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 there aren’t any of yours to which I can respond! If you disagree with my answers tomorrow, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on the Category “Chapter Quiz” in the right column for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. _____ Chapter Eight, Flight of the Fat Lady, begins with a description of how everyone hates Defense Against the Dark Arts classes except the Slytherins.

2. _____ Crookshanks attacks Scabbers in Ron’s bag in the common room – and Ron thinks Hermione needs to restrain her crazy cat.

3. _____ Professor McGonagall reluctantly signs Harry’s permission slip to go into Hogsmeade because Uncle Vernon wasn’t able to when Harry blew up Aunt Marge.

4. _____ Professor Lupin tells Harry he thought Harry’s boggart would become Lord Voldemort before drinking down a potion brought by Severus Snape.

5. _____ The Fat Lady tells Dumbledore that she was attacked by Sirius Black because she wouldn’t let him into the Gryffindor common room.

6. _____ Chapter Nine, Grim Defeat, begins with the search of the castle to find Sirius Black. All students spend the night in the Great Hall sleeping in Dumbledore created purple sleeping bags.

7. _____ Professor Snape gives a Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson about telling the difference between a vampire and a werewolf, complete with slides projected on a screen.

8. _____ The Quidditch match with Ravenclaw takes place in a fierce thunderstorm but the game goes on despite the weather. Harry sees the Grim watching the game.

9. _____ The Dementors come into the stadium just as Harry and Cedric are closing on the Snitch and Harry falls off his broom. Only some quick spellwork by Dumbledore saves his life. The Headmaster drives the Dementors out of the stadium.

10. _____ The chapter ends with Ron and Hermione visiting Harry in the Hospital Wing. They tell him his prized broom was destroyed in the crash when he fell during the Quidditch Game. Harry is very upset about losing his first Quidditch match.

Discussion Points: Please write out your thoughts concerning (a) echoes and differences noted in these chapters compared with the two 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 chapters in understanding the meaning of Prisonerand the series as a whole.

And some great chapters these are! Black’s first appearance in the Castle, Severus’ class on werewolves, and the unforgettable Dementor attack at the Gryffindor/Hufflepuff Quidditch match. All hail Cedric Diggory! It doesn’t take a genius to see who’s the better flyer!


  1. JohnABaptist says

    Those who look for signs of Dante in Rowling’s writings may wish to read Canto 19 of Purgatory at this point. The one wherein the Siren tries to block Dante and Virgil until Virgil rips open her costume. All this done with Fortuna Major approaching (lines 4 ff. Sayers has “Greater Fortune”, Mandelbaum “Fortuna Major”). After Virgil rips the costume of the siren, they can pass. Virgil later in line 58 tells Dante that Dante now knows the way to banish the “old witch”–rip her costume and expose her flesh [look on her as she really is]–and thus to gain entrance to the next level, the level of the Avaricious [Pettigrew] and the Prodigal [Sirius].

    As we all know, Fat Lady’s are famous for singing, and in the movie, Griffyndor’s Fat Lady actually does sing, if I remember correctly, claiming to have broken a glass with an operatic high C (although in fact she smashed it on the picture frame)…so a good model for the Siren, and she was blocking the way, and Fortuna Major was involved, and Sirius did try ripping her costume.

    But Sirius was not as fortunate as Virgil and Dante…he didn’t get past. Sirius remained on the 4th level…that of the Slothful (Sirius shirked the duty of Secret Keeper, for what he thought was a good reason, but shirked nonetheless) where the penance is running, which Sirius had to continue to do at this point.

    John, You’ve made me paranoid. I’m seeing Dante everywhere!

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

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

    Discussion Point (a): The echoes and differences in these chapters are both in the masterful way Ms. Rowling advances her story-line and mystery in set-pieces like the classrooms and Quidditch matches. We get more of the Lupin/Snape antipathy in the Potions Master’s appearance as a substitute teacher (which gives Hermione all the instruction she needs to connect the dots about the lupine Lupin) than we do anywhere else, and, in the Gryffindor/Huffelpuff match we see the Grim, the Dementors, Dumbledore’s saving role, and witness the nobility of Cedric Diggory. We seem to be treading water here in the Hogwarts events that define each year when Ms. Rowling is feeding us information through a firehose.

    (b) In the DH rear-view mirror, SDeverus’ desire to “out” Lupin and the reason why is especially vivid. Lupin is a living reminder of Severus’ adolescent nightmare, a nightmare in which he is still living. Think of why he hates Black and Lupin; Black betrayed the Potters and it resulted in the death of Severus’ Beatrice — and Severus believes Lupin is in league with Black. Imagine his frustration with Dumbledore! Snape’s two-faced brewing of the Wolfsbane Potion to serve Lupin and trying to reveal his secret to students reflects his inner division that is the agony of this character out of Gothic melodrama.

    (c) As Harry flies into the storm, hears the murder of his mother, and loses his most valuable possession (and token of his identity as a “high flyer”), not to mention suffering his first Quidditch loss, we enter the hearts of the nigredo. The worst is yet to come as Hermione and Ron’s spat becomes actual division in the trio because of the Firebolt but the darkness of the Grim Defeat is the agony necessary for Harry’s transformation.

Speak Your Mind