Warning: Excessively long with excessive spoilers.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Told in Art:
Harry sat down on his bed and grabbed Errol’s package, ripped off the brown paper, and discovered a present wrapped in gold, and his first ever birthday card.
Harry scanned the moving photograph, and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the Weasleys waving furiously at him, standing in front of a large pyramid.
He bent over his trunk again, but almost immediately stood up once more, his hand clenched on his wand. He had sensed rather than heard it: someone or something was standing in the narrow gap between the garage and the fence behind him.
With a yell, he rolled back onto the pavement, just in time. A second later, a gigantic pair of wheels and headlights screeched to a halt exactly where Harry had just been lying. They belonged, as Harry saw when he raised his head, to a triple-decker, violently purple bus, which had appeared out of thin air.
“It’s my rat,” he told the witch. “He’s been a bit off-color ever since I brought him back from Egypt.”
“And what about Scabbers?” said Ron, pointing at the lump in his chest pocket. “He needs rest and relaxation! How’s he going to get it with that thing around?”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione set off down the corridor, looking for an empty compartment, but all were full except for the one at the very end of the train. This had only one occupant, a man sitting fast asleep next to the window.
And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it was, drew a long, slow, rattling breath, as though it were trying to suck something more than air from its surroundings.
“Really, what has got into you all today?” said Professor McGonagall, turning back into herself with a faint pop, and staring around at them all. “Not that it matters, but that’s the first time my transformation’s not got applause from a class.”
A few cauldrons away, Neville was in trouble. Neville regularly went to pieces in Potions lessons; it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse. His potion, which was supposed to be a bright, acid green, hand turned–
“Orange, Longbottom,” said Snape, ladling some up and allowing it to splash back into the cauldron, so that everyone could see. “Orange. Tell me, boy, does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours?”
[Professor Lupin] raised the wand to shoulder height, said, “Waddiwasi!” and pointed it at Peeves.
With the force of a bullet, the wad of chewing gum shot out of the keyhole and straight down Peeves’s left nostril; he whirled upright and zoomed away, cursing.
“When the boggart bursts out of this wardrobe, Neville, and sees you, it will assume the form of Professor Snape,” said Lupin. “And you will raise your want — thus — and cry ‘Riddikulus‘ — and concentrate hard on your grandmother’s clothes. If all goes well, Professor Boggart Snape will be forced into that vulture-topped hat, and that green dress, with that big red handbag.”
“George caused a diversion by dropping another Dungbomb, I whipped the drawer open, and grabbed — this.” …
“Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs,” sighed George, patting the heading of the map. “We owe them so much.
It was a Firebolt, identical to the dream broom Harry had gone to see every day in Diagon Alley. Its handle glittered as he picked it up. He could feel it vibrating and let go; it hung in midair, unsupported, at exactly the right height for him to mount it.
“My dears! which of you left his seat first? Which?”
“Dunno,” said Ron, looking uneasily at Harry.
“I doubt it will make much difference,” said Professor McGonagall coldly, “unless a mad axe-man is waiting outside the doors to slaughter the first into the entrance hall.”
“Malfoy is not having hallucinations,” snarled Snape, and he bent down, a hand on each arm of Harry’s chair, so that their faces were a foot apart. “If your head was in Hogsmeade, so was the rest of you.”
“Go! Go! Go!” Harry urged his broom. He was gaining on Malfoy — Harry flattened himself to the broom handle as Bole sent a Bludger at him — he was at Malfoy’s ankles — he was level —
“Hermione!” said Lupin, startled. “What’s the matter?”
“P — P — Professor McGonagall!” Hermione gasped, pointing into the trunk. “Sh — she said I’d failed everything!”
“Not a dog,” Ron moaned. His teeth were gritted with pain. “Harry, it’s a trap –”
“He’s the dog … he’s an Animagus …”
“Going to kill me, Harry?” he whispered.
“What?” Ron said again, holding Scabbers close to him, looking scared. “What’s my rat got to do with anything?”
“That’s not a rat,” croaked Sirius Black suddenly.
“What d’you mean — of course he’s a rat — ”
“No, he’s not,” said Lupin quietly. “He’s a wizard.”
“An Animagus,” said Black, “by the name of Peter Pettigrew.”
A cloud shifted. There were suddenly dim shadows on the ground. Their party was bathed in moonlight … Harry could see Lupin’s silhouette. He had gone rigid. Then his limbs began to shake.
The dark ward dissolved. Harry had the sensation that he was flying very fast, backward. A blur of colors and shapes rushed past him, his ears were pounding, he tried to yell but couldn’t hear his own voice–
And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist ,but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal. He screwed up his eyes, trying to see what it was. It looked like a horse. It was galloping silently away from him, across the black surface of the lake. He saw it lower its head and charge at the swarming dementors…
“He’s there!” Harry said, spotting Sirius as they rose up beside the window He reached out, and as Buckbeak’s wings fell, was able to tap sharply on the glass.
“We did it!” said Harry breathlessly. “Sirius has gone, on Buckbeak…”
Dumbledore beamed at them.
“Well done. I think –” He listened intently for any sound within the hospital wing. “Yes, I think you’ve gone too — get inside — I’ll lock you in –”
He and Hermione were waiting, listening, their nerves jangling … And then, as they both took a fourth pieces of chocolate from Madam Pomfrey, they heard a distant roar of fury echoing from somewhere above them…
Dumbledore alone looked calm. Indeed, he looked as though he was quite enjoying himself. Fudge appeared angry. But Snape was beside himself.
“OUT WITH IT, POTTER!” he bellowed. “WHAT DID YOU DO?”
Snape stood there, seething, staring from Fudge, who looked thoroughly shocked at his behavior, to Dumbledore, whose eyes were twinkling behind his glasses.
“Why so miserable, Harry?” [Dumbledore] said quietly. “You should be very proud of yourself after last night.”
“It didn’t make any difference,” said Harry bitterly. “Pettigrew got away.”
“Didn’t make an difference?” said Dumbledore quietly. “It made all the difference in the world, Harry.”
Harry quickly pulled down the window, stretched out his arm, and caught it. … The owl dropped its letter onto Harry’s seat and began zooming around their compartment, apparently very pleased with itself for accomplishing its task.
“What do’you reckon?” Ron asked the cat. “Definitely an owl?”
Harry read and reread the letter from Sirius all the way back into King’s Cross station.