I’ve reached the point in The Prisoner of Azkaban where I find it difficult to put the book down. There’s a slow roll at the beginning but once stuff starts happening at Hogwarts it happens quickly. In chapters 10-13 we learn about Sirius Black’s relationship with Harry’s father, we see Harry’s attempt to defeat the Dementors and we witness a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
As with every other section of the book so far, I’m excited to see what happens next. Before looking forward, though, here are some thoughts from chapters 10-13 of The Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Dark Side
In the conversation Harry hears about Sirius Black and his father, there is a lot said about the Dark Side. The adults confess they had a hard time believing that Black could go to the Dark Side and go so completely. I’m not Sirius Black or Darth Vader, but I worry that I’ll go off the deep end some day and fall headlong into the Dark Side. God loves us and he wants to see us live transformed lives. There are a lot of Christians, though, who loved God but, like Black, wandered to the Dark Side. I don’t know how that happens but I don’t want it to happen to me. If we want to avoid going to the Dark Side, we just need to make sure we’re constantly moving towards God. It’s hard to fall to the Dark Side if we’re actively moving away from it.
When I read The Sorcerer’s Stone I was excited to see that life even at Hogwarts slowed down for Christmas. Even in a world of wizards, witches and warlocks, the birth of Christ still has some influence and meaning. I liked the intimate Christmas dinner in The Prisoner of Azkaban. There were only 13 people at the table and it was a mix of students and teachers, young and old, Gryffindor and Slytherin. The Christmas dinner table often brings different people together, people who haven’t seen each other for many years and even people who don’t like each other that much. It’s nice to see that even in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, people from all walks of life can come together and find community and camaraderie around a meal. And if we have been looking for a little more community and camaraderie, maybe we just need to invite someone over for dinner.
Harry’s broom was destroyed and an anonymous giver sent him the Firebolt for Christmas. The Firebolt is the state-of-the-art broom and it definitely was the envy of everyone at Hogwarts. The scene when Harry walks into the dining hall with the Firebolt reminded me of the Israelites and the golden calf. All the students at Hogwarts were fawning over the Firebolt, oohing and ahhing, just hoping to get a glimpse. The Firebolt was placed on a pedestal. When Moses was so long in coming back down the mountain, the Israelites created their own god, oohed and ahhed over it and set it on a pedestal. Not many of us are going to make an idol and bow down to it, but we will wrestle with idolizing our possessions. Everyone at Hogwarts idolized the Firebolt. We might idolize a car, a computer or comic book collection. Possessions aren’t bad; we just need to make sure they do not possess us.
As I said before, I really am excited to see what happens next and if Sirius Black really was standing at Ron’s bed. Also, I hope that Scabbers isn’t dead and that Crookshanks is a bad guy and ends up dead. I like cats but he’s just mean.
What thoughts do you have about chapters 10-13 of The Prisoner of Azkaban?