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Cat, Rat, and Dog

- Chapter 17

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

PA17: Cat, Rat and Dog

Harry, Ron and Hermione 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 Sirius 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. Remus 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 (6th June) as that of the previous chapter.

  • Time Line: The End of PA - essay by Hollydaze
  • Chart showing the events of the evening of 6th June (NB the chart shows this date as 9th June in error):

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.

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.

Crookshanks protecting Sirius from being killed by Harry.

Lupin trying to explain that he had not been helping Black.

Hermione knowing that Lupin was a werewolf but not telling anyone.

Memorable lines

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

"Harry, don’t trust him, he’s been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too – he's a werewolf!"

"He set that essay hoping someone would realise what my symptoms meant. Did you check the lunar chart and realise that I was always ill at the full moon? Or did you realise that the Boggart changed into the moon when it saw me?"

"The map," said Lupin. "The Marauder's Map. I was in my office examining it –"
"You know how to work it?" Harry said suspiciously.
"Of course I know how to work it," said Lupin, waving his hand impatiently. "I helped write it. I'm Moony – that was my friends' nickname for me at school."


  Werewolf chapter in Fantastic Beasts.     

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):

Tumbler (jonsnowhite): Animagi by J K Rowling

Harry Potter Wiki:

Richard III: A Virtual Dramaturgical Casebook blog "The Cat, the Rat and Lovel our Dog"

MuggleNet: Animagus Forms of the New Generation

Dwelling on Dreams podcast blog: Animagus Forms, and The People Who Have Them

WizardingWorld (Pottermore) feature:

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

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