#355 – The Prisoner of Azkaban: 6-9

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So far The Prisoner of Azkaban has followed a similar trajectory to the first two Harry Potter novels. There’s been some drama in the classrooms, Harry’s hearing strange voices and Draco Malfoy is still the worst. Things have picked up with Sirius Black allegedly making his way into Hogwarts and Harry taking a tumble off of his broomstick.

Below are some reflections from chapters 6-9 of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Professor Sybil Trelawney

The professor of Divination is a little nutty. As I wrote in my reflection on chapters 1-5, I can understand Christians taking issue with the divination class. Using tea leaves and crystal balls to tell the future definitely falls outside of God’s intentions for a good life. In spite of her witch of Endor vibe, Trelawney had a very interesting line.

“Broaden your minds, my dears, and allow your eyes to see past the mundane!”

That statement reminds me a lot of something Paul had to say.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Both Trelawney and Paul understand that there is something more to this life than what we can see. The difference is that Trelawney wants her students to look for something that doesn’t exist while Paul wants the Corinthians to look at the deeper reality of the universe. The unseen things of God are eternal and should be the focus of our lives. They also provide a stronger foundation for our lives than palm reading and fire omens.

The Boggart

Professor Lupin is the new teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts. In his first class he has the students combat a boggart. A boggart is a creature that takes the form of its victim’s greatest fears. The boggart turned into a spider, a mummy and Professor Snape, among other fears. Even though I have an unfounded fear of zombies and vampires, I wish for the days that my greatest fears could take a physical form. As we get older our greatest fears are no longer monsters or insects but ideas like insecurity, insignificance and ineptitude. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of ways to laugh at insecurity and insignificance. To face down fears like those, we need to trust that our futures and our identities are firmly planted in who we are in Christ. Even Neville faced down his fears; with Christ’s love and grace we should be able to do the same thing.

Severus Snape

I don’t think I should like Severus Snape as much as I do. Even though I haven’t seen any of the movies, I know that Alan Rickman plays the character of Snape. I’ve really liked Alan Rickman since he played Sherriff Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Snape is unfair and treats Harry, Ron and Hermione unjustly. In The Sorcerer’s Stone Snape tries protecting Harry from Quirinus Quirrell and in The Prisoner of Azkaban he seems genuinely concerned for the safety of the students. For all of the good things he’s done, I mostly like Snape because I picture Alan Rickman in my mind when I read about him.

I hope Sirius Black lives up to the hype. I’m excited for him to finally make his grand appearance. The Prisoner of Azkaban has been good so far and, as things pick up, I may have a hard time sticking to my reading schedule.

What thoughts do you have from chapters 6-9 of The Prisoner of Azkaban?

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