No matter how many times I read the Harry Potter series, I always have the same favorite — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The third book introduces my favorite character (Remus Lupin, obviously), spills the beans on some serious backstory, and is the start of the books getting a little more sinister and a whole lot darker. I also think it has the greatest plot twist in the series, which is why the thoughts you have when you re-read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban are so fun.
It's funny because I usually don't like to re-read mysteries or books that had some kind of epic plot. I like the surprise and the shock value, but of course, Harry Potter is not your typical series. The amount of foreshadowing J.K. Rowling includes in these books is exceptional, but especially in Prisoner of Azkaban. You're meeting some of the most loved characters for the first time and catching glimpses of their back story. Even small things, like when Ron mentions at the end of the book that he hopes to invite Harry to the Quidditch World Cup over the summer are huge. You meet Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang for a few split seconds in the novel, and you also start to see Percy Weasley head up the ladder of success on his way to becoming a total jerk.
So many subtle references and so many things you thought were forgettable are hidden in the pages of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that I will be seriously surprised if you don't have a few of these 49 thoughts while you're re-reading it.
1. I Wouldn't Mind Summer Work From Hogwarts
Way more interesting than reading The Once and Future King. Plus hi, Bathilda Bagshot. We're going to have a thing later.
2. Why The Hell Did Ron Take Scabbers To Egypt?
I mean, fine. Bring your favorite book or blankie or whatever, but leave the rat at home, Ron. It's not like the Weasleys' owl Errol got to go — what's so special about this stupid rat? Except that I guess Sirius had to see it in the papers, so whatever.
3. Totally Forgot About The Pocket Sneakoscope
I could've used that little gadget in quite a few relationships is all I'm saying.
4. Also Totally Forgot They Reported Sirius On Muggle News
That's kind of cool. I guess this was one of those instances where the Minister of Magic had to talk to the Prime Minister because muggles could've been in danger.
5. Aunt Marge Was There For A Week?!
Dude, I'd have totally inflated her, too.
6. Why Do The Durselys Make Up Such Elaborate Lies?
OK, fine, you can't mention Hogwarts, but seriously? St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys? No details, Dursleys. Just chill, geez.
7. Harry Has The Patience Of A Saint
I'd have blown her up within ten minutes of her visit.
8. Hi, Sirius!
Man, it's weird reading this and knowing the truth. That's no ordinary black dog, Harry. That's your godfather! Go say hi and take him a sandwich for crying out loud.
9. Hi, Stan Shunpike!
Enjoy this conductor job on the Knight Bus while you can because one day you're going to be under the Imperius Curse and acting as a Death Eater.
10. Just Sign The Permission Slip, Fudge
It's like no one remembers that Harry Potter's guardians are total *ssholes. Just sign the Hogsmead form, Fudge. You're the Minister of Magic!
11. Eat Scabbers, Crookshanks!
Stupid rat. I want a Crookshanks of my own.
12. Black Is Innocent, You Guys!
He's not after Harry, Weasleys. He's after that stupid rat you've been keeping alive!
13. Poor Harry Never Catches A Break
He probably heard that stuff about Sirius and was like, damn it, can I not have one school year where someone isn't trying to kill me? (No, you can't. And you can't go to Hogsmeade either, sorry about that.)
14. Harry, You Should Look For Sirius
I love that Mr. Weasley has to tell Harry not to look for Sirius and that Harry is confused. Harry, you're always going after things you shouldn't and people who could kill you. It's solid advice.
15. Lupin With A Silent Patronus
I think the patronus is my favorite charm of them all.
16. Also, Lupin, I Love You
I will never forgive Rowling for killing Lupin. Never.
17. Does Dumbledore Believe Sirius Really Is A Murderer?
Or are the dementors there just because the Ministry of Magic insisted? Surely the entire wizarding world didn't think Sirius would do this kind of thing.
18. Or Maybe That's Just Sirius
Shh, Harry, don't worry. That's not a Grim in your cup, it's your godfather. And Professor Trelawney is kind of cuckoo. Except for deciding yours and Voldemort's fate — she got that right.
19. Oh, Buckbeak!
God, Malfoy is such a little sh*t. Don't piss off the hippogriffs and they won't have to attack you. UGH.
20. Seriously, Someone Sign Harry's Permission Slip Already
You know he's going to go anyway, he might as well be safe about it. And Sirius isn't going to kill him — it's that stupid rat of Ron's! Why is no one listening to me?
21. Sirius, Why Are You Being A Jerk?
Look, Dumbledore is a remarkably understanding person and always listens. Why is Sirius on a path to find Harry so bad that he rips apart the Fat Lady portrait? Why doesn't he just go talk to Dumbledore and explain everything? And if he wants to speak to Harry himself, why didn't he talk to him while he was waiting for the Knight Bus instead of staring at him like some creepy omen. UGH.
22. Why Doesn't Harry Talk To Dumbledore?
Every year Harry's like, "I'll be safe because of Dumbledore." Yet he refuses to tell the headmaster anything. How about telling him there's a giant black dog following you?
23. Seriously, Dementors Sound Awful
Pulling forth the horrors from your past? Sucking out your soul and making you feel depressed? Rowling really nailed it with these creepy guys. They may be worse than Voldemort.
24. Fred & George Are The Worst Brothers To Ron
Look, it's nice that they share the Marauder's Map with Harry, but poor Ron!
25. Why Wasn't The Marauder's Map Kept By A Powerful Wizard?
Has no one else ever been able to make it work? And if that's the case, then why did Filch think it was something to hold on to? I feel like Dumbledore should've had this squared away in his own desk.
26. Also, The Marauder Map Is Cool As Hell
Seriously, how smart were James, Sirius, Lupin, and stupid Pettigrew? So smart.
27. Speaking Of Lupin, Why Is He Just Now Professor?
Is it because they know Sirius is after Harry and they needed someone who knew the backstory to be at Hogwarts? He should've always been the professor. Stupid prejudices against werewolves.
28. The Potters Should've Made Dumbledore Their Secret-Keeper
Seriously. That story about being betrayed by their friend is so sad. Dumbledore is always your safest bet.
29. Lupin Is So Obviously A Werewolf
Who's scared of the moon? I'm surprised it took Hermione as long as it did to figure it out, but I can't believe none of the other students had any guesses.
30. Why Doesn't Anyone Tell Harry Anything?
I mean, my God. Hasn't the boy been through enough? Why does he have to keep finding out stories about his parents and his past through that d*mn invisibility cloak?
31. Why Isn't Harry Concerned About This Firebolt?
Dude, no one's saying you can't have it, but let's make sure it's not going to kill you, OK? Geez. You act like people aren't constantly trying to end your life.
32. How Does A Patronus Work On A Boggart?
I mean, it's not a real Dementor. So how would it actually make the boggart pretending to be a Dementor go away? Also, this is a poor lesson. Harry needs the handicap of actually dealing with the Dementor in order to successfully execute a patronus. He's not going to have a nice calm atmosphere to work with.
33. Seriously, No One Is Wondering About This Firebolt?
It's safe so they just give it back to Harry? How did Sirius pay for this? Did he steal it? Was there a giant black dog walking down Diagon Alley with this broomstick in its mouth?
34. Only Fifty Points From Slytherin Is Dumb
Come on, Professor McGonagall, fifty points away is not enough for four Slytherins to dress up like dementors and sabotage Harry. How about 50 each?
35. OK, Sirius, Stop Ripping Up Sh*t
I get that you want to kill that rat, I really do, but dude. Let's be a little more subtle here and stop looking like a maniac. Also, I may have mentioned this but TALK TO DUMBLEDORE.
36. Fist Pump For Lupin
It's about time someone told Harry to quit acting like an idiot. Stop putting yourself in dangerous situations! Your parents died for you, ya jerk.
37. Hermione Is All Of Us When We're Stressed
Seriously, home girl has had a lot on her plate. I'm glad she finally snapped.
38. This Is The Most Epic Twist Of Any Story
Black is the dog, Pettigrew is the rat, Lupin is a werewolf, and Scabbers is actually the one who had James and Lily Potter killed? MIND. BLOWN. I forgot how fun this was to read the first time.
39. OK, How Were Those Guys So Smart?
Sirius, Pettigrew, and James just all became Animagi to help their friend? That takes some serious skill, right? These guys were geniuses.
40. This Is Why You Should Always Trust Animals
Crookshanks knew what was up. I'll never ignore my cat again for hating someone.
41. He Just Met You, And This Is Crazy . . .
But Harry do you want to live with Sirius maybe? Dude, that's a little much to ask all of a sudden.
42. Lupin, You Knew There Was Going To Be A Full Moon
You should've brought your d*mn potion with you! Now everything is RUINED.
43. Also, Why Didn't Black Pass The Secret-Keeper Thing To Lupin?
Or Dumbledore? Pettigrew does not sound like he was ever worthy.
44. I Want A Time-Turner
Greatest invention ever? Or greatest invention ever?
45. Bye Sirius!
It was nice for Harry to have some kind of happy future and father-figure while it lasted! Take care of Buckbeak!
46. Snape Is A Douche In This
Look, I know you don't like Lupin or Black, but they are members of the order, they could've helped in your fight against Voldemort, and Lily would've wanted them around. Shameful.
47. Does Pettigrew's Life-Debt To Harry Prove Useful?
It does, right? In Malfoy Manor in the seventh book? Foreshadowing!