Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’: Chapter 16
In the sixteenth chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the students at Hogwarts do their best to make it through finals week. But it sort of doesn’t matter because the end of the chapter is the most miserable thing imaginable. Ever. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.
CHAPTER 16: PROFESSOR TRELAWNEY’S PREDICTION
It’s almost like…damn. I feel like just skipping to the end to talk about that, but I can’t. Because then I would just do this:
Pretty much. So let’s just delay that for now.
We’re at a point where we know Hermione is doing something totally bogus. Her final exam schedule for the first day shows her attending two separate exams at the same time–twice. And even when Ron calls her on it, she’s still reluctant to share anything.
I’m kind of at a loss as to why they don’t press the issue. It’s so painfully obvious that Hermione is up to shenanigans that it confuses me how her two friends are able to sort of…leave her be? Does that make sense?
Good news for me, though. I still have not even remotely figured out what’s going on with her. Like…not the slightest idea.
I am excite?
I was also glad and slightly weirded out by the narrative moving towards exams. To be honest, so much had happened throughout the book that I completely forgot they were going to school. To learn. Seriously! I’m glad Rowling had the foresight to drop her characters back into reality and make them realize that, despite that the world around them might be slipping into chaos, real world responsibilities don’t necessarily go away.
That being said: OH GOD THERE ARE SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN EXAMS GOING ON OMG WHERE IS SIRIUS BLACK WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON
It’s ok. I’m ok.
The focus on exams for the beginning of the chapter does allow us to wallow some more in Hagrid’s oppressive depression.
- Hagrid presided over the Care of Magical Creatures exam the following morning with a very preoccupied air indeed; his heart didn’t seem to be in it at all. He had provided a large tub of fresh flobberworms for the class, and told them that to pass the test, their flobberworms had to still be alive at the end of one hour. As flobberworms flourished best if left to their own devices, it was the easiest exam any of them had ever taken, and also gave Harry, Ron, and Hermione plenty of opportunity to speak to Hagrid.
JESUS. Poor Hagrid. 🙁
I also like how Hermione, during Defense Against the Dark Arts, turns her boggart into Professor McGonagall, who tells her that she’s failed everything. It’s kind of sad, but it made me laugh.
There is a strange moment during Divination, though, that made me think that perhaps Professor Trelawney wasn’t totally full of bull. Which is interesting, because Professor Trelawney is largely portrayed as being completely nuts by Rowling, especially when you see the way Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Professor McGonagall treat her.
During Harry’s final, in which he’s supposed to divine the future from a crystal ball, Professor Trelawney insists she sees something different than Harry in his orb:
- “Indeed!” whispered Professor Trelawney, scribbling keenly on the parchment perched upon her knees. “My boy, you may well be seeing the outcome of poor Hagrid’s trouble with the Ministry of Magic! Look closer….Does the hippogriff appear to..have its head?”
“Yes,” said Harry firmly.
“Are you sure?” Professor Trelawney urged him. “Are you quite sure, dear? You don’t see it writhing on the ground, perhaps, and a shadowy figure raising an axe behind it?”
“No!” said Harry, starting to feel slight sick.
“No blood? No weeping Hagrid?”
“No!” said Harry again, wanting more than ever to leave the room and the heat. “It looks fine, it’s–flying away….”
Professor Trelawney sighed.
“Well, dear, I think we’ll leave it there….A little disappointing…but I’m sure you did your best.”
What??? WHY ARE YOU FULL OF DOOM, TRELAWNEY?
That’s because…uh….she becomes possessed almost immediately after this.
- “THE DARK LORD LIES ALONE AND FRIENDLESS, ABANDONED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. HIS SERVANT HAD BEEN CHAINED THESE TWELVE YEARS. TONIGHT, BEFORE MIDNIGHT…THE SERVANT WILL BREAK FREE AND SET OUT TO REJOIN HIS MASTER. THE DARK LORD WILL RISE AGAIN WITH HIS SERVANT’S AID, GREATER AND MORE TERRIBLE THAN HE EVER WAS. TONIGHT…BEFORE MIDNIGHT…THE SERVANT…WILL SET OUT…TO REJOIN…HIS MASTER….”
yeah WHAT THE HELL. As if Harry didn’t need any more stress about Sirius Black, now Professor Trelawney just predicted that Black is going to help Voldemort return to power.
I don’t like this.
But it only gets worse. When Harry finally makes it back to Gryffindor Tower, he comes upon Ron, who was just informed that Hagrid lost his appeal. Buckbeak is going to be executed.
I didn’t want to believe that this was actually going to happen. I mean…it’s just too sad, right?
Hermione, upon learning the news, take initiative on herself to help them visit Hagrid to see what they can to do for him. Without a moment’s hesitation, she immediately goes and retrieves Harry’s Invisibility Cloak from the passage behind the one-eyed witch.
I’m liking this new Hermione. So is Ron:
- “Hermione, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately!” said Ron, astounded. “First you hit Malfoy, then you walk out on Professor Trelawney–”
Hermione looked rather flattered.
OMG HERMIONE <3
But when they go visit Hagrid, things are much worse than they expected.
- Hagrid was not crying, nor did he throw himself upon their necks. He looked like a man who did not know where he was or what to do. This helplessness was worse to watch than tears.
“Wan’ some tea?” he said. His great hands were shaking as he reached for the kettle.
“Where’s Buckbeak, Hagrid?” said Hermione hesitantly.
“I–I took him outside,” said Hagrid, spilling milk all over the table as he filled the jug. “He’s tethered in me pumpkin patch. Thought he oughta see the trees an’–an’ smell fresh air–before–“
Hagrid’s hand trembled so violently that the milk jug slipped from his grasp and shattered all over the floor.
Heartbroken, guys. I’m heartbroken.
- Hermione, who had been rummaging in Hagrid’s cupboard for another milk jug, let out a small, quickly stifled sob. She straightened up with the new jug in her hand, fighting back tears.
Please stop crying. 🙁
Except…a bit of good luck! Because inside the empty milk jug, she finds Scabbers!
YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK!
Right at the moment that Ron happily claims Scabbers, Hagrid is forced to shuffle the three of them out of his hut, as the moment of Buckbeak’s execution has now arrived. They rush out of the hut, covered in the cloak; Hermione is desperate to get as far away as possible, because she doesn’t want to know what happens. But Scabbers makes things difficult.
- Ron was bent over, trying to keep Scabbers in his pocket, but the rat was going berserk; squeaking madly, twisting and flailing, trying to sink his teeth into Ron’s hand.
Perhaps this is the distraction that will stop Buckbeaks exectution! I thought.
- The rat was squealing wildly, but not loudly enough to cover up the sounds drifting from Hagrid’s garden. There was a jumble of indistinct male voices, a silence, and then, without warning, the unmistakable swish and thud of an axe.
Hermione swayed on the spot.
“They did it!” she whispered to Harry. “I d–don’t believe it–they did it!”
Devastated. Completely devastated.