The Patronus (PA)

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The Patronus is the twelfth chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

No Firebolt

Despite knowing that Hermione had good intentions, Harry cannot help being angry with her for handing his Firebolt to Minerva McGonagall. Ron is also furious. She starts avoiding the Gryffindor common room, and spends most of the time in the library instead.

When their house mates return, after New Year's, Oliver Wood corners Harry, clearly preoccupied with the effect that the Dementors have on the boy. Harry says that Lupin will train him to ward off the creatures. Ron interjects and mentions the Firebolt; Oliver is flabbergasted, and disregards the mention of Sirius Black with the point that the man could not have walked into Quality Quidditch Supplies and bought a Firebolt while on the run. He promises to talk to McGonagall.

Classes start the following day. Hagrid teaches them about salamanders, bringing a bonfire full of them. Trelawney is now teaching palmistry—she points out that Harry has the shortest life line she's ever seen. After the first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson of the term, Harry reminds Remus of the promised lessons; they schedule it for eight o'clock on Thursday evening, in the History of Magic classroom.

They walk down the corridor, and Ron notes that Lupin still looks ill. He wonders what's wrong with the man. Hermione, rearranging her book bag on the ground, makes an impatient sound. "Isn't it obvious?" she asks before stalking off.


Harry practices how to denfed himself against a Dementor, fanart by Mudblood428.

On Thursday, Harry goes to the appointed classroom and lights the lamps with his wand. Remus arrives carrying a Boggart in a large case—he's searched the castle for the last two days, and found one in Filch's filing cabinet. Lupin will store it in a cupboard under his desk in between lessons.

Remus announces that he will teach Harry a spell that is far beyond OWL-level (several qualified wizards have difficulties with it): the Patronus Charm, which conjures a Patronus, a guardian that acts as a shield between the caster and the Dementor. This guardian is a positive force, a projection of hope and happiness, but it cannot feel despair.

The Patronus is conjured with the use of an incantation (Expecto patronum), but it will work only if the caster concentrates on a single, happy memory.

Harry first tries the memory of his first ride on a broomstick, and a wisp of silvery gas whooshes out the tip of his wand. When Remus lets loose the Boggart, however, the boy's mind wanders to the possibility of hearing his mother's voice again. The lights flicker and go out; Harry does not succeed.

He hears Lily screaming, "Not Harry! Not Harry! Please — I'll do anything!"

"Stand aside — stand aside, girl —"

Remus calls him out of the memory, which was more vivid than ever. The teacher hands him a Chocolate Frog. Harry confides in him that Lily's voice is stronger now; Lupin becomes paler than usual.

Harry quickly finishes the Frog and says that he wants to try again. Remus advises him to focus on a happier memory: Harry picks winning the House Championship the previous year (CS18). He fails again. This time, he hears even more. James orders, "Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off—" and someone stumbles from a room, a door bursts open; there is a high-pitched laughter... and suddenly Remus is waking Harry up again.

The boy tells him what he heard. There are tears on Harry's face as well as cold sweat. Remus says, in a strange tone, "You heard James?" Harry realises what the question implies, and asks whether the two men knew each other. Lupin replies that they were friends at Hogwarts, and suggests that they give up on trying the spell—the charm is far too advanced.

Harry decides to try again, thinking of a stronger memory: the day he found out that he was a wizard (PS4).

Remus, against his will, releases the Boggart for the third time. Harry yells the charm with all his might; a huge silver shadow bursts from his wand, and stands between him and the Dementor. Remus moves to stand in front of Harry, and the Boggart becomes a silvery orb again; he uses Riddikulus against it, and forces it back to the case.

Harry sinks into a chair; his legs are shaking. He asks for another go. Remus praises what's just happened, but refuses to allow him one more try. Instead, he hands Harry a large bar of Honeydukes chocolate ("Eat the lot, or Madam Pomfrey will be after my blood.").

Harry asks Remus if he knew Sirius Black; fanart by LadyBelial.

They schedule another lesson for the same time the following week.

Something then occurs to Harry: "Professor Lupin? If you knew my dad, you must've known Sirius Black as well."

Remus turns quickly and asks in a sharp tone, "What gives you that idea?"

"Nothing — I mean, I just knew they were friends at Hogwarts too..."

The teacher's face looks less tense. "Yes, I knew him. Or I thought I did. You'd better be off, Harry, it's getting late."


This chapter summary is not done yet. Please be patient.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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