Summary of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A Novel by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Summary

Harry’s summer before his third year at Hogwarts turns nightmarish when he accidentally blows up his Aunt Mage. It was not really his fault; it was another bad summer with the Dursleys and things were bound to get downhill real quick especially when the evil Aunt Mage decided to pay them all a visit. Insults to his mom and dad at the hands of Aunt Mage proved to be the last nail in the coffin to Harry’s patience and up she went like a balloon; she deserved it very much. 

After the incident, Harry, nervous about being expelled from the school (as using magic outside the school is not allowed), leaves the Dursleys house and is picked up by the Knight Bus; he disembarks at the Leaky Cauldron and meets the Minister of Magic, Mr. Cornelius Fudge. Harry is advised to stay in Diagon Alley for his own safety; he meets Ron, Ron’s father Arthur Weasley, and Hermione there. Arthur informs Harry about the reason to keep him in Diagon Alley until the start of the term. He tells Harry about Sirius Black, a murderer who has escaped from the Prison of Azkaban, who is after Harry’s life. 

On the train to Hogwarts, Harry encounters a dementor for the very first time and relieves the death of his parents. Dementors feed on positive thoughts and the experience leads him to unconsciousness. Remus Lupin (the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher) helps Harry, Ron, and Hermionie. Later they learn that Dementors are the guards of the prison Azkaban and from now on will patrol the Castle to catch Sirius Black. 

Remus Lupin proves to be a fine teacher, but to everyone’s confusion, Snape (the potion teacher) doesn’t seem to like him at all. 

Harry takes part in the Quidditch match, but falls off the sky after another encounter with Dementors and loses his Nimbus 2000, which is crushed to shreds by a violent tree, the Whomping Willow. Dumbledore saves Harry and later on Professor Remus Lupin teaches Harry to ward off Dementors. 

Harry is not authorized to visit the magical village of Hogsmeade, but he uses the Marauder's Map, a map created by Fred and George Weasly, and the invisibility cloak to visit the village secretly. The map marks all the secrets of Hogwarts and its inhabitants. 

Harry overhears his teachers' conversation with Fudge that Sirius Black was once friends of his parents. When his parents went into hiding to escape Voldermort, only he knew about their whereabouts. He betrayed them and was later sent to Azkaban for killing twelve Muggles and Peter Pettigrew, a former friend. 

Ron’s rat vanishes all of a sudden and he suspects that Hermionie’s cat, Crookshanks, has hunted it down and eaten it. As a result, their relationship starts to suffer. 

Someone sends Harry a new Firebolt broomstick, which Hermionie gets confiscated as she is afraid that it might be cursed by Sirius. This makes things between friends really dicey. Moreover, Hermione faces a lot of stress because of her classes, most of which clash with each other (she is allowed to use the time-turner so that she can manage all her classes and homework, however, other students don’t know that, not even Ron and Harry). 

During the term, Harry is stalked by a really big black dog, which according to his Divination teacher, Professor Trelawney, is an omen of death as it signifies the Grim. During his Divination exam (Ron & Harry’s last exam) Harry witnesses Professor Trelawney going into trance. She predicts that the Dark Lord will rise again through the aid of his servant that very night before midnight. 

Sometime during the term, Hagrid shows the third-year students a magical creature, a hippogriff named Buckbeak. During the class, Hagrid tells Harry how to approach Buckbeak, and Harry succeeds in earning the faith of the hippogriff & flies with it for some time. Malfoy tries to do the same and in the process provokes Buckbeak. Malfoy gets severely injured and the Ministry of Magic decides to execute Buckbeak on the last day of the exams. Hermonie and Ron try their level best to save the hippogriff but their every effort goes in vain. 

They visit Hagrid’s hut on the day of the execution under the invisibility cloak and on their way out they hear the thud of an ax. While in Hagrid’s cabin, Hermionie finds Scrabbers, Ron’s rat. 

Within hours everything goes berserk. Scrabbers escapes again and Ron is attacked by the large black dog. The dog drags Ron into a hole under the Whooping Willow. Hermionie, Harry and Crookshanks, follow them and find a tunnel that leads to a haunted house in Hogsmeade, called the Shrieking Shack. In the house, they find Sirius black. Harry disarms him and intends to kill him, but finds that he couldn’t; actually, he doesn’t want to. 

Later, Professor Lupin appears and embraces Black. He informs everyone that though he initially held Sirius responsible for betraying the Potters, he was wrong. Sirius was not the culprit, the ones who gave away his parents' whereabouts were, in fact, Peter Pettigrew. 

Lupin explains that he was a werewolf and to keep him company during his transformations his friends, James Potter, Sirius and Pettigrew learned to transform themselves into animals. He informs them that Pettigrew is Scrabbers in the animal form, and is also the reason that Sirius was held prisoner at Azkaban. He faked his death and Sirius was held responsible for his murder. 

Snape arrives at the scene and before he could arrest Black, Harry, Ron, and Hermionie knock him down. Lupin and Sirius bring Pettigrew back to human form to kill him, but Harry stops them by saying that it is something his father wouldn’t have wanted. He tells them to send him to Azkaban and prove Sirius's innocence. 

On their way to Hogwarts, to hand over Pettigrew, the full moon transforms Lupin into a werewolf and he, having no control over his animal instincts, attacks them all. Pettigrew escapes in his rat form. Hermione, Harry, and Black reach the lakeshore where they are attacked by the dementors. Before fainting Harry sees a Patronus cast by someone (which Harry thinks is his father) on the other side of the lake which saves them all. 

Hermionie and Harry wake up in the Hospital Wing to the news that Sirius has been captured and is destined to die at the hands of the dementors sucking out his soul. 

Professor Dumbledore tells Hermionie and Harry to use the time turner, go back in time to save Sirius and Buckbeak. 

They go back in time; they first rescue Buckbeak and later see themselves on the other shore of the lake, being attacked by dementors. Harry casts the Patronus to save his past self and realizes that the figure he saw was not his father, but himself. They ride Buckbeak to the tower where Sirius is held captive. They break him out of the prison and he flies away to his freedom on Buckbeak. 

Harry and Hermionie come back to the hospital wing before the close of the timeline. 

On Sirius’ escape, Snape in his anger accidentally tells everyone that Lupin is a werewolf, which forces him to resign. 

On his way back to the Dursleys, on the Kings Cross Station, Harry receives a letter from Sirius. He informs him that his parents made him his Godfather, and gives him permission to visit Hogsmeade next year.