Last modified on 10 May 2014, at 23:10

Snape's Grudge

Chapter 14 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Snape's Grudge← Chapter 13 | Chapter 15 →

SynopsisEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

A sleepless night in Gryffindor Tower ensues. At dawn, Professor McGonagall reports that Sirius Black has escaped. Sir Cadogan is sacked and the Fat Lady returns as the guard to the Common room, although she demands extra protection in the form of a squad of security trolls. Every opening into the castle, even ones as small as a mouse hole, are boarded over except, Harry notices, the One-eyed Witch tunnel. Harry and Ron believe that the Dementors in Hogsmeade will prevent Sirius from entering the tunnel in Honeyduke's, and they decide not to report it.

Ron basks in the attention he receives over Black's break-in. But he wonders, when Sirius realized he was not Harry, why did he not permanently silence Ron and go to the next bed? Why did he run? Harry cannot answer.

Neville suffers the worst from the fallout. He is banned from future Hogsmeade visits, given detention, and forbidden to have any passwords. He also receives a Howler from his grandmother.

Hagrid invites Harry and Ron to tea. When they see Hagrid's best suit hanging out, they suddenly remember that Buckbeak's hearing is that Friday, and they are dismayed that they forgot their promise to help with his defense. Hagrid tells them that Hermione is very upset that no one is talking to her, and he reminds them that friends are more important than pet rats or new brooms. Chastised, they return to the castle.

A Hogsmeade visit is scheduled for that weekend, and Harry plans to sneak out, wearing his Invisibility Cloak. Neville and Professor Snape nearly prevent him from getting to the One-eyed Witch passage, but he evades them and meets Ron in Hogsmeade. They visit the Post Office and Zonko's Joke Shop, then head to the Shrieking Shack. While he and Ron are discussing the Shack's reputation as the most haunted building in Britain, Ron is approached by Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle. They start insulting Ron, but Harry attacks them. In the fracas, Harry's Invisibility Cloak slips down, revealing his head. Draco panics and runs off, and Harry rushes back to Hogwarts through the secret passage, discarding the Cloak in the tunnel just below the statue of the witch. He exits at the Hogwarts end and closes the passage, but is apprehended by Snape and taken to his office. Snape says Draco reported seeing Harry's head in Hogsmeade, and demands to know what Harry was doing there. Snape reveals that although Harry's father James, once saved his (Snape's) life, it was because he and his friends had played a potentially fatal trick on him. He claims James got cold feet and warned him at the last minute only to protect himself. When Snape orders Harry to turn out his pockets, he finds the Marauder's Map. He demands it reveal its contents, but the Map's four authors, Moony, Prongs, Padfoot, and Wormtail, each respond with an insult. Snape summons Professor Lupin and asks if the map contains Dark Magic. Although Lupin seems taken aback when he sees the map, he responds that it looks like a common joke scroll. Ron bursts in, claiming he bought it at Zonko's ages ago. Lupin says that settles it, and, collecting Ron, Harry, and the map, departs. Lupin sternly tells Harry he knows it is a map, he knew the creators, and that he will not return it to him—not after what happened when someone else left information lying about. He also says the creators would have wanted to lure Harry from the castle, and that risking his life is a poor way to repay his parents for their sacrifice.

As Harry and Ron approach the Gryffindor Common room, they meet Hermione who is almost in tears. She gives them Hagrid's message saying that the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures has ruled that Buckbeak is to be executed.

AnalysisEdit

Hermione reappears after being absent for the better part of two chapters, and readers can see how deeply affected she is by the rift with Ron and Harry. Her feelings are relayed to them through Hagrid, who attempts to patch things up; his efforts seem to produce some small change. However, immediately after Harry and Ron visit Hagrid, Ron savages Hermione after she dares to suggest that it would be irresponsible of Harry to visit Hogsmeade, and might get him into trouble.

Ron's belief that Black is unable to get into Hogwarts through Honeyduke's is likely incorrect. Harry and Ron, aware that Black must have evaded the Dementors earlier to escape Azkaban, and then at least twice more to enter Hogwarts, have apparently lulled themselves into a false sense of security, believing only they (and Hermione and the Twins) know about the tunnel's existence. They are obviously more concerned with keeping the tunnel secret, so Harry can continue to sneak into Hogsmeade, than protecting him from Black.

Lupin's reaction to seeing the Marauder's Map is telling, and it clearly indicates that he immediately knew what it is. He confirms this when he scolds Harry. Although Lupin told Snape it was only a joke shop item, he not only knows it is a map and how to use it, but that it can lead Sirius Black to Harry. Lupin also says he knew the creators, though he gives no additional information about this. While Lupin protects Harry from Snape, knowing Snape would unfairly punish Harry, he is equally angry that Harry's irresponsible behavior could put his own life at risk. Covering for Harry's actions also places Lupin in an awkward position. As a teacher, he must enforce school rules, but he also wants to make sure Harry is treated fairly. He does not completely resolve this, but by retaining the map, and by scolding Harry as he does after they leave Snape's office, he attempts to prevent future occurrences of this sort of rule breaking.

Lupin's words, coming from someone Harry respects and who clearly likes Harry, deeply affect Harry, probably more than anyone else's could, save Dumbledore's. And while Harry realizes his actions were foolish, they are certainly typical for a 13-year-old boy craving a little adventure and wanting to have fun with his friends. Whether Harry is willing to change his behavior remains to be seen, but we can guess that Harry will find it much more difficult to get to Hogsmeade with the map in Lupin's hands. We can also guess that, though thwarted in this particular instance, Snape will continue to monitor Harry to see if Harry attempts to leave the school again.

While Harry could possibly have avoided being caught by Snape by judiciously using the Map and the Cloak when exiting the secret passage, he was panicked and in a rush to get back to his dormitory before Draco could report his appearance in Hogsmeade. Given what we have previously seen, this is a consistent reaction for Harry; at this age, he is still motivated by his immediate emotions, reacting linearly, rather than logically.

QuestionsEdit

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

ReviewEdit

  1. What finally ends Ron and Hermione's feud?
  2. What happens when Snape attempts to use the Marauder's Map?
  3. How could the Marauder's Map be dangerous to Harry?

Further StudyEdit

  1. How could Lupin know so much about the Marauder's Map and how to use it? Why did he cover for Harry?
  2. Why does Snape often seem to know what Harry has been up to?
  3. Snape admits James Potter once saved his life. Why is he still resentful towards him and, by extension, Harry?
  4. Why do Harry and Ron continue to believe that Sirius is not using the tunnel to Honeyduke's to get into the castle? Are they right or wrong?
  5. If Hermione reported the broom to McGonagall, believing there was a real danger to Harry, why does she say nothing about the tunnel?

Greater PictureEdit

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Snape summons Lupin to his office by throwing a handful of glittering powder into the fire. This powder is probably similar to Floo powder, though it reacts differently (Snape's fire does not burn green, for instance, nor does Snape have to stick his head into the fireplace to talk to Lupin, he merely has to speak), and it shows another communication method within the Wizarding world. We will see Floo powder used for communication by Amos Diggory and Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and by Sirius and Harry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; but this particular technique will not be shown again.

Snape's explanation of why he owes James Potter (and, by proxy, Harry) a life debt is offset by his beliefs about the specific events. We have already found out that Lupin, Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter were all at Hogwarts at the same time; we now also learn that Snape was also at school then. Sirius, knowing that Snape was curious about Lupin's periodic absences, had informed him of the way to enter the passage under the Whomping Willow. This would have left Snape facing a full-grown, transformed Werewolf. James was unaware of the prank until shortly before moonrise, and he rushed to intercept Snape, saving him from a certain death. Snape believes still that the prank was conceived by all four of the group, and remains convinced that James only saved him to protect himself from getting into trouble.

While in Snape's study, Harry suspects that Snape is reading his thoughts; this is the second time he has felt this sensation, and this has actually bothered Harry since his first year at Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry wonders whether Snape has this ability. Although Snape's close inspection of the One-eyed Witch statue earlier in this chapter hints that Snape might have glimpsed the secret tunnel in Harry's mind, Harry did not sense it then. This does tie in with Snape's Legilimency, which we will learn about in a later book.

We will find out later in this book that Lupin, James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew are the Marauders who created the Marauders' Map. It is a little surprising that Snape does not know this, though he seems to have some suspicion that there might be a connection between "Moony" and Lupin. Knowing of this connection, we see a contradiction in what Lupin says to Harry. Lupin tells Harry that the creators of the map would have wanted to lure Harry from the castle, knowing that Harry's father is one of the creators, and yet says that giving in to this temptation would be poor payback for James Potter's sacrifice (among others). This conflict, whilst never explicitly resolved, can be explained. As teenagers at Hogwarts, the four would certainly have delighted in the prospect of Harry using their map to leave the grounds, against school rules. As an adult, Lupin understands the potential consequences of this and therefore warns Harry against it. It is safe to assume the adult James would have agreed. Sirius Black later points out that Harry's refusing to leave the castle and meet up with him in Hogsmeade indicates that Harry has not inherited his father's daring, which leads us to believe that James Potter, as he was in Sirius' memory, would almost certainly expect Harry to use the Marauders' Map to leave the school. Sirius, it seems, does not have the same level of maturity as Remus, possibly from having spent a large part of his young adult life locked up in Azkaban.

ConnectionsEdit