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Cat, Rat, and Dog

- Chapter 17
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“He’s the dog . . . he’s an Animagus. . . ."
-- Ron Weasley

PA 17 — Cat, Rat, and Dog
Author
Publication
Abbreviation PA17
Canonicity Primary Canon
PA17

HRH start back to the castle, Crookshanks chases Scabbers, and a big black dog drags Ron into a tunnel under the Whomping Willow. Crookshanks stops the tree from attacking Harry and Hermione, and they follow the cat down the tunnel to emerge in the Shrieking Shack outside Hogsmeade. They find Ron a captive of Black, who disarms them. Harry attacks Black, and with Ron and Hermione overpowers him, but Crookshanks stands between Harry and Black when Harry threatens to kill him. Lupin arrives and admits that he’s Black’s friend and a werewolf. It is revealed that Scabbers is an Animagus named Peter Pettigrew.

 

Calendar and Dates

The entire action of this chapter takes place later on the same evening as that of the previous chapter.

  • The End of PA
  • The End of PA: Chart Showing the Events of the Evening of June 6

Interesting facts and notes

The chapter title on one level is an obvious reference to, respectively, Crookshanks (the cat), Scabbers / Pettigrew (the rat), and Sirius Black (the dog).

On another level, the title is a quotation from an old, old political jingle about Richard III: The cat, the rat, and Lovell our dog/ Rule all England under a hog. In the rhyme, as in this chapter, the animals referred to are actually people (Catesby, Ratscliff, and Lovell were all high-ranking political figures of Richard III's reign, while Richard's own badge featured a boar.)

This chapter is a beautiful piece of work, when we consider what Harry - and we - thought was going on upon a first reading, and what was really going on when one re-reads Sirius' and Remus' dialogue with fuller knowledge of the situation.

Something was bounding toward them, quiet as a shadow - an enormous, pale-eyed, jet-black dog.

This is one of the few hints as to the colour of Sirius' eyes, something that is not unequivocally specified in PA, GF, or OP. However, we do not know whether the colour of Padfoot's eyes in his Animagus form corresponds to the colour of his eyes in human form.

Note that Sirius' hair colour is the same as that of his fur, just as Wormtail's hair matches his fur in colour. Suggestive, although not proof of the colour of Sirius' human eyes.

"The point is, even if you're wearing an Invisibility Cloak, you still show up on the Marauder's Map."

Since James owned the cloak when he helped write the map, he and his friends would have been able to verify this feature of the map.

Hermione, Harry, and Ron in the Shrieking Shack by Marta T.

Exceptional character moments

Harry is shown thinking of Sirius Black as 'Black' throughout this chapter. Only two chapters later, after he has been convinced of Sirius' innocence, does he begin thinking of his godfather by his given name.

Without exchanging a word, Ron and Hermione grabbed Harry simultaneously to keep him from throwing himself at Black.

Ron, standing despite his broken leg, and saying that if Black wants to kill Harry, he'll have to kill all three of the trio.

Memorable lines

"He's the dog...he's an Animagus..."

Other Canon Notes

Characters (notes and unnamed):

  • Sirius Black's first appearance on stage in human form

Commentary

Tags: attacks black captive chase crack darkness jet black murder pale screaming threat tunnel

The Harry Potter Canon