Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by

J. K. Rowling

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Harry first hears about Black on the muggle news, where they say that he's an escaped convict. Once Harry reenters the magical world, he learns that Sirius Black was one of Voldemort's closest supporters. He killed thirteen people with a single curse, one of whom was one of his best friends, Peter Pettigrew. After spending twelve years in the wizard prison Azkaban for this crime, Black escapes and is supposedly intent on killing Harry. The photos of Black that Harry sees make Harry think of vampires; he's sallow and thin, with long stringy hair. Right before Christmas, Harry learns that there's more to the story: Black was James Potter's best friend, is Harry's godfather, and, according to most wizards, is the one who gave Lily and James's whereabouts to Voldemort. This knowledge fills Harry with hatred and he realizes he'd like to kill Black since he's the reason Harry is an orphan. When Black sneaks into the castle, he does appear violent--he attacks the Fat Lady's painting and scares Ron by standing over him with a knife--but his actions also make little sense. Ron points out that Black could've easily killed every boy in the dormitory and deems it lucky that Black's first break-in happened during the Halloween feast, when nobody was in the common room for Black to kill. However, these strange actions take on new meaning when Ron, Harry, and Hermione end up in the Shrieking Shack with Black and Lupin. They learn that Black is an Animagus who can turn into a big, black dog and is actually after Peter Pettigrew, not Harry. Pettigrew is the one who betrayed the Potters and framed Black before going into hiding as a rat. Harry refuses to let Sirius kill Pettigrew, as he doesn't believe James would've wanted his friend to become a killer. This plan is foiled when Pettigrew escapes, but Harry and Hermione's trip back in time saves Sirius from the Dementor's Kiss. Though Sirius must stay in hiding, he does write a note for Dumbledore authorizing Harry to visit Hogsmeade.

Sirius Black Quotes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban quotes below are all either spoken by Sirius Black or refer to Sirius Black. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published in 2001.
Chapter One Quotes

Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever.

Related Characters: Harry Potter, Sirius Black
Related Symbols: Witch Hunts
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Two Quotes

"No need to tell us he's no good," snorted Uncle Vernon, staring over the top of his paper at the prisoner. "Look at the state of him, the filthy layabout! Look at his hair!"

Related Characters: Uncle Vernon (speaker), Harry Potter, Sirius Black
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Four Quotes

"The guards told Fudge that Black's been talking in his sleep for a while now. Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts.' Black is deranged, Molly, and he wants Harry's dead. If you ask me, he thinks murdering Harry will bring You-Know-Who back to power. Black lost everything the night Harry stopped You-Know-Who, and he's had twelve years alone in Azkaban to brood on that."

Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Nine Quotes

"It's very lucky he picked tonight, you know," said Hermione as they climbed fully dressed into their sleeping bags and propped themselves onto their elbows to talk. "The one night we weren't in the tower..."

"I reckon he's lost track of time, being on the run," said Ron. "Didn't realize it was Halloween. Otherwise he'd have come bursting in here."

Related Characters: Ron Weasley (speaker), Hermione Granger (speaker), Harry Potter, Sirius Black
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:

"Didn't they want to help, sir?" said Percy.

"Oh yes," said Dumbledore coldly. "But I'm afraid no dementor will cross the threshold of this castle while I am headmaster."

Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Sixteen Quotes

"THE DARK LORD LIES ALONE AND FRIENDLESS, ABANDONED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. HIS SERVANT HAS BEEN CHAINED THESE TWELVE YEARS. TONIGHT, BEFORE MIDNIGHT...THE SERVANT WILL BREAK FREE AND SET OUT TO REJOIN HIS MASTER. THE DARK LORD WILL RISE AGAIN WITH HIS SERVANT'S AID, GREATER AND MORE TERRIBLE THAN EVER BEFORE."

Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Seventeen Quotes

"Your father would have done the same for me. Brave of you, not to run for a teacher. I'm grateful... it will make everything much easier..."

The taunt about his father rang in Harry's ears as though Black had bellowed it.

Related Characters: Sirius Black (speaker), Harry Potter, James Potter
Page Number: 339
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eighteen Quotes

"I was terrified they would desert me the moment they found out what I was. But of course, they, like you, Hermione, worked out the truth...

"And they didn't desert me at all. Instead, they did something for me that would make my transformations not only bearable, but the best times of my life. They became Animagi."

Page Number: 354
Explanation and Analysis:

"That was still really dangerous! Running around in the dark with a werewolf! What if you'd given the others the slip, and bitten somebody?"

"A thought that still haunts me," said Lupin heavily. "And there were near misses, many of them. We laughed about them afterwards. We were young, thoughtless--carried away with our own cleverness."

Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Nineteen Quotes

"But if--if there was a mistake--"

"KEEP QUIET, YOU STUPID GIRL!" Snape shouted, looking suddenly quite deranged. "DON'T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

Page Number: 360
Explanation and Analysis:

"Of course," Lupin breathed. "So simple...so brilliant...he cut if off himself?"

"Just before he transformed," said Black. "When I cornered him, he yelled for the whole street to hear that I'd betrayed Lily and James. Then, before I could curse him, he blew apart the street with the wand behind his back, killed everyone within twenty feet of himself--and sped down into the sewer with the other rats..."

Page Number: 363
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-One Quotes

"Yes, I do," said Dumbledore quietly. "But I have no power to make other men see the truth, or to overrule the Minister of Magic..."

Harry stared up into the grave face and felt as though the ground beneath him were falling sharply away. He had grown used to the idea that Dumbledore could solve anything. He had expected Dumbledore to pull some amazing solution out of thin air. But no...their last hope was gone."

Page Number: 393
Explanation and Analysis:

"Did anyone see you?"

"Yes, haven't you been listening? I saw me but I thought I was my dad! It's okay!"

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Hermione Granger (speaker), Sirius Black, James Potter
Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 393
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-Two Quotes

"It didn't make any difference," said Harry bitterly. "Pettigrew got away."

"Didn't make any difference?" said Dumbledore quietly. "It made all the difference in the world, Harry. You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate."

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Albus Dumbledore (speaker), Sirius Black, Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew
Page Number: 425
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sirius Black Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The timeline below shows where the character Sirius Black appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Two
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...helps himself to toast as a newscaster warns viewers to be on the lookout for Sirius Black, an escaped criminal. Vernon snorts that Black is a "filthy layabout" and looks at... (full context)
Chapter Three
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Stan opens up a copy of the Daily Prophet and Harry notices Sirius Black, the man from the muggle news, on the front page. When Harry shares this... (full context)
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Harry apologizes and asks Stan to tell him more about Black. Stan says that after Harry Potter bested Voldemort, the government tracked down Voldemort’s supporters. Ministry... (full context)
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Harry feels horrendous. He thinks that he broke the law just like Sirius Black did and wonders if inflating Aunt Marge is enough to land him in Azkaban.... (full context)
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...he packs up to leave, but seems to slip a little when Harry asks about Sirius Black. As the two shake hands, Harry asks if Fudge can sign his Hogsmeade permission... (full context)
Chapter Four
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...and Hermione find Mr. Weasley in the bar at the Leaky Cauldron. Harry asks about Sirius Black when he notices a photo in the paper again. Mr. Weasley sighs that all... (full context)
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...but Mr. Weasley says it's for Harry and Ron's own safety. He points out that Sirius Black is mad and before he escaped, he was muttering "he's at Hogwarts" in his... (full context)
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...and then shuts himself in his room. Everything makes sense now—Fudge was so lenient because Black is after Harry. Harry wonders why he doesn't feel more scared, but he does agree... (full context)
Chapter Five
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...with him. Before Mr. Weasley can say anything, Harry says that he already knows about Sirius Black and isn't afraid. Mr. Weasley leads Harry back to the train and then asks... (full context)
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...horrified, while Ron insists that Harry would have to be stupid to go looking for Black. As they worry, Ron hears a tinny whistle. He pulls out Harry's Pocket Sneakoscope, explains... (full context)
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...and George probably know a secret passage to sneak Harry out. He also says that Black wouldn't dare attack Harry if he and Hermione were around. Hermione scoffs. (full context)
Chapter Seven
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Seamus asks Harry if he's heard—there's been a sighting of Sirius Black nearby. Malfoy gives Harry a mean look, asks Harry if he's planning on catching... (full context)
Chapter Eight
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...delight. He says that the Fat Lady is hiding on the fourth floor and that Sirius Black destroyed her portrait when she wouldn't let him in. (full context)
Chapter Nine
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...and Hermione drag sleeping bags into a corner. Hermione and Ron note that they're lucky Sirius Black tried to break in tonight, since nobody was in the tower for him to... (full context)
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...he's found a temporary guardian for the portrait hole, and Snape arrives to say that Sirius Black is nowhere to be found. Snape asks if Dumbledore has any theories as to... (full context)
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Over the next few days, the rumors about Sirius Black get wilder and wilder. Sir Cadogan replaces the Fat Lady, which annoys all the... (full context)
Chapter Ten
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...or water to keep prisoners in—most of them go mad. Harry and Lupin briefly discuss Sirius Black’s escape, and then Harry remembers that Lupin was able to deter the dementor on... (full context)
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...it to him, while Hermione insists that Harry hand the map in. She thinks that Sirius Black might be using the passages and Harry wonders if Black knows about the passage... (full context)
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...the table and Fudge invites her to join them. Fudge is in town because of Sirius Black and assures Rosmerta that the dementors are a necessary precaution. McGonagall and Flitwick both... (full context)
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McGonagall, Flitwick, and Fudge tell Rosmerta that James trusted SiriusSirius was his best man and is Harry's godfather. Fudge says that when the Potters went... (full context)
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...this, Hagrid begins to shout and says that he was the last person to see Sirius, at the Potters' house when he went to fetch Harry. Sirius had asked for Harry... (full context)
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Rosmerta asks if Sirius Black is actually mad, and Fudge says he's not sure. The last time he was... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
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...that Hagrid made him. Harry finds a photo of Lily and James's wedding and notices Black as their best man. Harry thinks that Black doesn't have to hear Lily screaming whenever... (full context)
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...and Harry jumps at the idea, as he can ask Hagrid why he never mentioned Black. Hagrid doesn't answer when they knock and Ron hears a strange noise inside. When they... (full context)
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...Malfoy's cronies and Dumbledore is too busy to help. Harry can't bring himself to mention Black, so he suggests that he can help Hagrid prepare for the case. After Ron makes... (full context)
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...turns on Hermione and asks why she told. Hermione defiantly says that she believes that Sirius Black sent the broomstick. (full context)
Chapter Twelve
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...he learns that McGonagall confiscated Harry's brand new Firebolt, Oliver isn't at all concerned that Black is out to get Harry and promises to talk to McGonagall. (full context)
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...to come again next week. Before Harry leaves, he asks Lupin if he also knew Sirius Black. Lupin looks suspicious, but just says that he didn't know Black as well as... (full context)
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...the soul out of a victim and leaves them an empty shell. Lupin says that Sirius Black will suffer this fate if the dementors catch him. Harry spits that Black deserves... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
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...so he sits up, opens his curtains, and sees Ron looking terrified. Ron says that Sirius Black was above him with a knife. Doors start to open and people tell Ron... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
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...the statue of the witch that leads to Hogsmeade remains unguarded, but Ron insists that Sirius Black can't be getting in through Honeydukes. Ron becomes a celebrity overnight, though he doesn't... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
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...warmly and explains he's here to witness a hippogriff's execution and to check on the Sirius Black situation. Ron interrupts and asks if the appeal has already happened. It hasn't, but... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
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...Harry and Hermione and they turn to see a sallow, stringy man behind them. It's Sirius Black. (full context)
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Black disarms Harry and Hermione and, eyes locked on Harry, says that he knew Harry would... (full context)
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Black is too surprised to fight Harry in time. The two scrabble on the floor until... (full context)
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...through the door, takes in the scene, and disarms Harry and Hermione. Then, he asks Black where "he" is. Black points at Ron and Lupin, confused, mutters that "he hasn't shown... (full context)
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...her telling anyone wouldn't have done anything. Harry yells again that Lupin has been helping Black. Exasperated, Lupin throws Harry, Ron, and Hermione their wands and asks them to listen. He... (full context)
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...and Hermione left Hagrid's, he saw that a fourth person was with them. He watched Sirius pull two people into the Whomping Willow. Ron insists that it was just him, and... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
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After a moment of silence Ron says that Black and Lupin are crazy, and Harry points out that Black killed Peter Pettigrew twelve years... (full context)
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Lupin says that his transformations were awful, but he had three friends—Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter—all of whom eventually figured out where he went every... (full context)
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...when he nearly bit someone. He feels extremely guilty now, as he's been inadvertently helping Sirius all along. He says that he never told Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus, as... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
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...he found the Marauder's Map. Snape says that it's evidence that Lupin has been helping Black into the castle, and refuses to listen to Lupin trying to explain. He binds Lupin... (full context)
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...which sends him flying back into the wall and knocks him out. Hermione whimpers as Black unties Lupin. (full context)
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Lupin tells Harry that it's time to provide proof that his story is true. Black asks for Peter, but Ron weakly asks how Black is sure that Scabbers is Peter.... (full context)
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...awful now, and he and Ron argue about whether Scabbers's health started going downhill after Sirius escaped or after Crookshanks came on the scene. Black says that Crookshanks is a smart... (full context)
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Black says that in a way, he did kill Lily and James: he persuaded them to... (full context)
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Black laughs at the thought of Voldemort teaching him tricks, notices that Pettigrew flinches, and says... (full context)
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...tried to kill Harry already, since he's been sleeping in the same room for years. Black says that Pettigrew doesn't do anything unless there's something in it for him. With Voldemort... (full context)
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At this, Pettigrew falls to his knees and pleads with Black and Lupin. They decide to kill Pettigrew together, so Pettigrew turns to Ron. Ron, however,... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
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As the party makes its way back through the tunnel, Sirius notes that turning in Pettigrew will clear his name, and he tells Harry that he's... (full context)
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Lupin and Sirius rip at each other violently and Harry only stops watching when Hermione screams. He sees... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
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...asks about the retreating dementors, but Snape doesn't know why they left Harry, Hermione, and Black alone. At this, Harry opens his eyes and sees Hermione. Madam Pomfrey comes over with... (full context)
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Harry and Hermione try to tell Fudge that Sirius is innocent and that Peter Pettigrew is an Animagus, but Madam Pomfrey shoves chocolate in... (full context)
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...what they know, but he stops them. He reminds them that there's no proof of Sirius's innocence, and Lupin's testimony will count for little given that he's a werewolf. Dumbledore says... (full context)
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...three hours ago and Harry realizes that Dumbledore wants them to save Buckbeak so that Sirius can escape on him. He and Hermione run into the forest and sneak around to... (full context)
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Hermione says that now they'll need to hide until they can fly Buckbeak up to Sirius's window in a few hours. They creep around the edge of the forest until the... (full context)
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As they wait, Hermione asks why the dementors didn't get Sirius. Harry explains what he saw and says that he knows someone conjured a real, powerful... (full context)
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...back outside to keep tabs on events. He hears the dementors swarming himself, Hermione, and Sirius, and decides that he needs to see if James is going to appear. Harry hides... (full context)
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...get the dementors, she and Harry get on Buckbeak and fly to the appropriate window. Sirius looks surprised to see them as Hermione unlocks the window. He climbs on behind them... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
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...minute, they hear Snape's voice getting closer, shouting that Harry has something to do with Sirius's escape. Dumbledore looks calm as Snape tells Harry to reveal what he did, but Dumbledore... (full context)
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...Trelawney's prediction. Dumbledore seems impressed, but Harry is distraught. He says that since he stopped Sirius and Lupin from killing Pettigrew, it'll be his fault if Voldemort returns. Dumbledore tells Harry... (full context)
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Over the next few days, rumors fly about how Sirius and Buckbeak escaped. Malfoy is furious, while Percy spouts off about what he'll do once... (full context)
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...Harry grabs it out of the air and takes its letter. The letter is from Sirius. He writes that he's in hiding, admits to sending the Firebolt, and apologizes for scaring... (full context)
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Harry holds onto Sirius's letter until he arrives in King's Cross and greets Uncle Vernon. Vernon asks about the... (full context)