chapter nine of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The students spend a night in the Great Hall as the teachers search for Sirius Black; Snape takes over Lupin’s class for a day and is more intolerable than ever; and in a Quidditch match amidst a thunderstorm, Harry is overtaken by dementors and loses the match.
Percy… had been prowling between the sleeping bags, telling people off for talking.
“Have you any theory as to how he got in, Professor?”
(by Tealin Raintree)
“Detention, Weasley,” Snape said silkily…. “And if I ever hear you criticize the way I teach a class again, you will be very sorry indeed.”
But at that moment, another flash of lightning illuminated the stands, and Harry saw something that distracted him completely – the silhouette of an enormous shaggy black dog, clearly imprinted against the sky, motionless in the topmost, empty row of seats.
(by Tealin Raintree)
And then a horribly familiar wave of cold swept over him, inside him, just as he became aware of something moving on the field below….
(by Helene Sirois)
about the chapter
Something You May Not Have Noticed
In Harry’s first year, the students considered it a really big deal when Dumbledore showed up for a Quidditch match, as though it were an uncommon occurrence. Now, however, it’s not even noted that the headmaster is present until he runs out on the field to save Harry from falling to his death. It’s possible he still doesn’t attend often, came to this one because he was nervous about the conditions and dementors, and that the team simply didn’t see him because of the storm. But I think it’s more likely that ever since Harry’s near-catastrophe in his first match (when Quirrell tried to buck him off his broom), Dumbledore has been a faithful attendee of at least the Gryffindor matches. That way he can keep an eye on Harry – and after all, we know he is a fan of professional Quidditch, so why not his house’s team as well?
The Wizarding World
I know wizards are substantially hardier than your average Muggle, but it still seems a bit excessive to me that they would allow the students to play a Quidditch match in a torrential thunderstorm. With only six matches a year, would it really be that big of a deal to postpone it a week? At while the players are flying around and not on the ground (and therefore can’t get electrocuted by lightning), what about the spectators? Are there anti-lightning charms on the stands?
Life at Hogwarts
The Gryffindor team is outraged when Slytherin gets out of their match, but I can’t help but wonder how the Hufflepuff locker room responded when they were suddenly assigned to play. The conditions may favor Hufflepuff because their Seeker is bigger, but they certainly haven’t been training for the match the way the Gryffindors have, as we consistently see the teams stepping up their training when a match is approaching. So wouldn’t that be a huge advantage for Gryffindor? And as a result, wouldn’t it also be a matchup that Slytherin wouldn’t particularly want to see happen either? Gryffindor’s Chasers certainly outscore Hufflepuff’s by a wide margin….