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Rescue of Sirius Black and Buckbeak

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Rescue of Sirius Black and Buckbeak
Event information
Location

Hogwarts Castle, Scotland

Date(s)

6 June, 1994[1]

Participant(s)
Description

Harry and Hermione used the Time-Turner travel in time to rescue Sirius and Buckbeak

"... more than one innocent life shall be spared."
Albus Dumbledore[src]

The rescue of Sirius Black and Buckbeak took place on 6 June, 1994, in which Albus Dumbledore allowed Hermione Granger and Harry Potter to use the Time-Turner to rescue the Animagus Sirius Black and Buckbeak the Hippogriff. Sirius and Buckbeak then hid out in an unknown area.

Background information

Earlier that evening, when Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger learned that the Hippogriff, Buckbeak, was to be executed they went to visit Rubeus Hagrid in order to console him.[1] During that visit, Hermione discovered Ron's lost rat Scabbers. They were hastily ushered out the back door by Hagrid when the trio realised that the executioner was on his way with the Minister for Magic and Albus Dumbledore. They departed the scene quickly after one last minute attempt to persuade Hagrid that they could tell the Minister what really happened.[1]

The Shrieking Shack

After the apparent execution of Buckbeak, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were headed back to the castle when Scabbers got loose. As he escaped, the trio were drawn into the Shrieking Shack when Sirius Black, who was in his Animagus form, dragged Ron into the tunnel underneath the Whomping Willow.[2] In the Shrieking Shack, the truth about Sirius came out.[3] Harry was forced to believe the truth when Scabbers was revealed to be Peter Pettigrew.[4] After deciding how best to remedy their situation, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Sirius, and Remus Lupin, who had joined them in the Shrieking Shack shortly after their arrival, left with Peter Pettigrew bound to Lupin and Ron while Sirius dealt with an unconscious Severus Snape who had followed them in an attempt to capture Sirius.

2003 harry potter and prisoner of azkaban 007

Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, and Sirius in The Shrieking Shack.

Pettigrew's escape

Upon leaving the tunnel, they headed for the castle where Pettigrew was to be turned over to the Dementors. When they were still on the grounds, Lupin transformed into a werewolf when the full moon came out. In the ensuing chaos, Pettigrew transformed back into Scabbers and escaped after cursing Ron. Sirius, after fighting with Lupin in his Animagus form, was left injured by the edge of the lake. He was attacked by the Dementors, who had been seeking him since his escape from Azkaban the previous summer. Harry tried to save him, but he was overwhelmed by the Dementors. A mysterious person drove the Dementors away with an exceptionally powerful Patronus.[5]

The rescue

When Harry Potter came to, he was informed that Sirius had been apprehended and that the Dementor's Kiss was to be performed as soon as possible.[6] He and Hermione attempted to convince Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, of the truth about Sirius and Peter Pettigrew, but he refused to believe them, believing himself that they were Confunded, based upon the testimony of Severus Snape. Dumbledore arrived and asked to speak to Harry and Hermione privately. They immediately burst into speech, explaining what really happened. Dumbledore told them that he believed them, but that he could not make other men see the truth and that the word of two thirteen year old wizards was unlikely to convince many people.[6] He informed Hermione that they need more time and that with any luck two innocent lives could be saved. On this perplexing note, he bade them good luck and told Hermione that three turns should do. Before leaving, he gave them the exact location of Sirius in Flitwick's office. Dumbledore also mentioned that it was five minutes to the hour and that they had better return before the final bell.[6]

Travelling back

Once Dumbledore had left, Hermione pulled a fine chain from around her neck and threw it around Harry's. Ron was incapacitated; therefore, he could not join them. She turned the small hourglass on the end of the chain three times. Ending up in a broom closet off the Entrance Hall, Hermione revealed to Harry that they had just gone back in time three hours.[6] She explained to him that she was given a Time-Turner by Professor McGonagall at the beginning of the school year; which explained all of her mysterious appearances and disappearances during the year.

Time-TurnerHarryHermione

Harry and Hermione using the Time-Turner.

While Hermione was quite sure the time to which she and Harry had travelled, she could not figure out why. Thinking back to what Dumbledore had told them about saving two innocent lives, Harry surmised that they were to save Buckbeak from execution and then fly him to the window where Sirius was being held.[6] Hermione fretted that this seemed impossible, but they had to try. Harry was all for taking off straight to Hagrid's house, but Hermione explained to Harry the laws governing time travel, most importantly that they must not be seen. They set off for Hagrid's house keeping to a path that would prevent them from being seen, going behind the greenhouses.

Rescuing Buckbeak

When Harry and Hermione reached Hagrid's house, Harry wanted to immediately free Buckbeak. Hermione had to hold him back, explaining that Fudge needed to see Buckbeak so that he would not think that Hagrid had set the hippogriff free. A little later, when the Hermione in Hagrid's house found Scabbers, Harry wanted to go in and retrieve him. Once again, Hermione held him back, explaining that it was incredibly dangerous to fiddle with the past. She asked Harry what he would think if he saw himself charging in through Hagrid's back door. Harry admitted that he would likely think himself mad or else bewitched.[6] Harry and Hermione continued to wait until they saw themselves emerge from Hagrid's house. After their past selves had donned Harry's Cloak of Invisibility and Fudge had seen Buckbeak in the pumpkin patch, Harry left the cover of the forest to untie Buckbeak. His initial tries to release the animal were unsuccessful and time was ticking away. After some seconds and with Hermione's aid, Harry led Buckbeak into the Forest.[6]

Harry and Hermione prepared themselves to wait once again. They watched their past selves disappear into the tunnel underneath the Whomping Willow. Harry expressed a want to fetch the Cloak of Invisibility that the trio had left at the base of the Whomping Willow, but Hermione convinced him that this action was ill-advised. This was fortuitous as Professor Lupin soon emerged from the castle heading for the Whomping Willow. He was soon followed by Professor Snape. They waited for the time when all of those who had gone down the to the Shrieking Shack came back. While they waited, Harry discussed the Patronus that drove the Dementors away with Hermione. He believed that his father had conjured the Patronus.[6] When Hermione reminded Harry that his father was dead, Harry became slightly defensive, and they went back to waiting. When their past selves had all returned from the Shrieking Shack, Harry and Hermione witnessed Lupin's transformation and Pettigrew's escape from afar. After Lupin transformed, Harry and Hermione made for the safety of Hagrid's cabin, since they had seen him departing for the castle earlier in the evening.

Rescuing Sirius

Harry and Hermione see Remus Lupin

Harry Potter and Hermione Granger seeing Remus Lupin

When Harry left Hagrid's cabin, he told Hermione that he was going to watch the progress of events.[6] He secretly wanted to see who cast the Patronus charm that drove away the Dementors. Harry travelled to the far side of the lake to watch. He saw the Dementors descending upon Sirius and his past self. Realising that no one was coming, Harry stepped forward and cast his Patronus. A stag erupted from his wand, and it drove off the Dementors. As it approached him, Harry realised that was "Prongs," his father's Animagus form. Harry returned to Hermione and Buckbeak. When she asked Harry what happened, Harry told her about the Patronus.[6] She claimed that none but a powerful wizard could have driven off that many Dementors.

They waited a few minutes longer until they were sure that Sirius was locked in the Tower. When Macnair, the Executioner, exited the castle to get the Dementors, Harry and Hermione knew it was their time. They flew Buckbeak up to the window of Flitwick's office where Sirius was being kept. Hermione opened the locked window and Sirius, who was shocked by their appearance, mounted Buckbeak as well. On the top of the tower, Sirius bade goodbye to Harry and Hermione, thanking them and telling Harry that he was truly his father's son.[6] As Sirius and Buckbeak flew off into hiding, Harry and Hermione realised that time was running out. They sprinted back to the hospital wing, ducking out of the way to hide from Peeves. They got back just as Dumbledore was locking them in. They reported their success to Dumbledore and returned to their beds in time for Madam Pomfrey to begin treating them.[7]

Aftermath

Soon after, Severus Snape, Cornelius Fudge, and Albus Dumbledore returned to the Hospital wing. Snape was fuming and certain that Harry had something to do with Sirius' escape. After being talked down by Dumbledore, the three of them left the hospital wing. Ron came around moments later, and Harry let Hermione tell him the story.[7]

Behind the scenes

  • Though Dumbledore states that the word of two thirteen year old wizards will convince no one, Hermione is in fact fourteen years old. She buys Crookshanks for her birthday in September. The point remains the same that two underage wizards will not convince anyone of the truth.
  • In the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione is shown punching Draco Malfoy on the trio's way to Hagrid's house, because of this Harry and Hermione have to hide from Malfoy when they go back in time. This event occurs under different circumstances in the book, eliminating this problem.

Appearances

Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 16 (Professor Trelawney's Prediction)
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat, and Dog)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs)
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 21 (Hermione's Secret)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 22 (Owl Post Again)

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