‘HARRY POTTER is a wizard! Along with Ron and Hermione, his best friends, Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Who knows what will happen this year? Read on to immerse yourself in the magical world of Hogwarts…’
I have to be brutally honest, ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’ has always been my favourite Harry Potter book. In fact, it’s just one of my favourite books, period. This might be because the third installment of Rowling’s magical series was actually my first foray into the world of Hogwarts. My brother was given this book for his birthday from a girl in his class who had a crush on him and, since he wasn’t interested in reading it, he gave it to my dad to read to me. I was only about 4, but I always loved sitting in the kitchen in the afternoon while my dad read me books in silly voices as he prepared the dinner. Once he’d finished ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’ and I’d fallen madly in love with Remus Lupin and Sirius Black (I still have a particularly large crush on Remus and adore Sirius’s flair for dramatics) I insisted on him buying me the first two books so we could read through them all in the right order. After weeks of nagging he finally caved and that was how my love affair with the world of Harry Potter really began. After that, I remember we bought every book as it came out and even attended the midnight releases of the final two books in the series. Hogwarts has always felt like home to me, and it all started with ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’.
The main thing I love about this book is the history of the characters. I love the idea of the Marauders and their escapades around Hogwarts and have had dreams ever since I first heard about them of writing a TV show based on their adventures. For me, the Marauders era at Hogwarts has always seemed so full of intrigue, love and magic that it couldn’t help but capture my attention. In fact, my first ever attempt at fanfiction (years before I even knew fanfiction was a thing) was a story about the Marauders. The characters of Lupin and Sirius are by far my favourites in the series and I spent a ridiculous chunk of time during my childhood daydreaming about them and their antics.
The overall spirit of this book is something that has always captivated me. No matter how awful things got for Sirius, and for how long, he fought for what was right and remained loyal to the people he loved. No matter how difficult and lonely life was for Remus, he never showed anyone anything less than the love and respect he felt they deserved. No matter how much they argued and how complicated things seemed, Harry, Ron and Hermione remained true to each other and supported each other no matter what. And, as a kid who went through some fairly tough times, there was nothing more comforting than knowing that no matter what was going on I could open up ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’ and these amazing characters would be there to show me how to keep on fighting.
Since this is the only book in the series that doesn’t directly involve Voldemort, some people are sometimes quick to disregard its importance. For me, this book is about so much more than the overarching storyline. The message of this book, for me, is that sometimes its ok to be worried about something a lot closer to home. You don’t have to constantly be fighting to save the world, just helping one or two people is enough. You’re still a hero.
I genuinely cannot express just how much I love this book, but here are a few of my favourite moments that never fail to cheer me up:
- Sirius being a drama queen- “only one will die tonight”- like Sirius really you couldn’t just say “hey can I take a look at that rat for a sec?”
- The Marauder’s Map insulting Snape (literally this is the main reason I love the boys so much)
- Black and Snape hating each other (I hate Snape so much so having one of my favourites detest him too actually makes me so happy)
- Snape having a hissy fit and Fudge calling him unbalanced
- Wood winning the Quidditch Cup (a. he deserved to win it every year and b. he’s so amazing like his love of the game is the sweetest thing)
- Sirius smiling because Harry wants to live with him
- Gryffindor’s sticking up for Hermione when Snape calls her a know it all
- Hermione having NONE of Trelawney’s crap
- Remus and Sirius reuniting and not being alone for the first time in twelve years (I’m not crying you are)
- HERMIONE SLAPPING MALFOY (you have no idea how much I loved this moment ok)