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Fridge / Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Warning: Marked and Unmarked spoilers ahead. Read at your own discretion.

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     Fridge Brilliance 

  • In Harry's Divination lesson, Trelawney predicts that Harry was born around Midwinter. Only, he was born on July 31st. Midwinter could have been referring to at or around the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the 22nd of December, far from Harry's birthday, but nearer the birthday of Tom Riddle. Trelawney wasn't reading Harry's mind, but the piece of Voldemort's soul within him.
  • Lupin regularly hands Harry chocolate after a Dementor attack, insisting it will make him feel better. Chocolate contains amino acids that encourage the production of dopamine, a chemical that in very simple terms makes you happier. It's a known anti-depressant. Probably the best way to help recover from creatures thematically based on depression that literally suck the happiness out of you.
  • At first, Voldemort offering to spare Lily's life seems unimportant. Then Deathly Hallows rolls around and Snape admits he begged Voldemort to spare her. Voldemort agreed to spare Lily if she let him kill Harry, but she refused and offered herself in place. Voldemort essentially accepted the bargain and then went back on it, which was why the spell backfired. Because Snape asked for Lily to live, Harry became the Chosen One. It could never have been anyone else.
  • Why was the Dementor's Kiss used as punishment instead of death? It prevents people from just coming back as ghosts.
  • When Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Ginny are confronted by the Dementor on the Hogwarts Express, Harry passes out because, as Lupin later states to him: "There are horrors in your past that others don't have." Of the other four kids, the one most affected is Ginny, "who was huddled in her corner looking nearly as bad as Harry felt". Not much emphasis is put on this because she's only two months removed from having been Mind Raped by Diary Horcrux-Voldemort. Lastly, Neville was very pale and had a higher voice than normal, which foreshadows the reveal of his parents having been tortured into insanity by Voldemort and no longer recognising him.
  • Sirius's nickname, Padfoot, seems a pun like the rest of the Marauders, because dogs have padded feet. But after looking into the mythology of the British Isles, the black dog is a death avatar that goes by many different names, one of which is Padfoot. This gives more credence to Trelawney's prediction. Sirius is a death avatar; his friends from school all die rather violent deaths, as does Harry and his cousin Tonks.
  • The Marauders are first mentioned in the order "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs". This just happens to be the reverse of the order in which they die - firstly James, then Sirius fourteen years later, then Peter two years later at Malfoy Manor, and lastly Remus a few weeks later during the final battle.
  • Harry's dad was the genius behind the three animagi — an incredibly difficult transfiguration to pull off which he pulled off as a teen (as did Rita Skeeter). Back in Philosopher's Stone, Ollivander described James Potter's wand as "good for transfiguration". Wand and wizard were more than just good; they were exceptional. Exceptional enough that with James' and Sirius' help, mediocre Peter, whom McGonagall was often harsh with, managed to pull it off by 4th or 5th year.
  • Several people mention that Dumbledore dislikes Dementors. He lets them guard the school, but bars them from entering the grounds. This seems perfectly reasonable. Dementors are, after all, nasty creatures. But there is also a personal reason: Everytime the Dementors are near Dumbledore, he has to relive Ariana's death.
  • Every animagus turns into an animal indicative of their true personality: James became a stag and was a proud leader; Sirius became a dog and was very loyal, and Peter became a rat, suspicious and parasitic animals that steal food and spread disease. Also, to "rat on" someone is to betray them by informing the authorities of a crime or misdeed they committed. Rita Skeeter, the life-ruining Intrepid Reporter, became a beetle, which are often seen as pests. As for McGonagall, cats are often regarded as proud, aloof, austere and intelligent, which certainly fits her as a Stern Teacher and Iron Lady. Also, cats are often connected to magic, and McGonagall is the Hogwarts professor that introduces Muggle-borns to magic.
  • Hermione's Boggart is Professor McGonagall telling her she's failed everything. She's not just afraid of academic underachievement, but also general failure and being inadequate. As a young Muggle-born, she's terrified of being expelled from Hogwarts. On top of that, the Boggart takes the form of McGonagall, Hermione's favourite teacher.
  • After Snape confiscates and attempts to read the Marauders Map, he calls Lupin and asks if he believes Harry may have gotten the map from the makers. It's not obvious at the time, but he's directly accusing Lupin of giving Harry the map.
  • When Harry and Hermione return to the Hospital Wing after rescuing Sirius from the tower, they hear Peeves "bouncing along the corridor in boisterous good spirits, laughing his head off". Hermione assumes that Peeves is "all excited because the Dementors are going to finish off Sirius". However, Order of the Phoenix reveals that Peeves likes school troublemakers, like Fred and George. He was celebrating Sirius' escape.
  • Fudge remarks that Snape seems unbalanced after his attempted tirade against Harry, and tells Dumbledore to "watch out for him", but Dumbledore is unfazed. Three years later, Snape will prove to indeed be somebody Dumbledore apparently should have been watching out for, but in the end we learn Dumbledore was right to trust him.
  • When Harry wakes up in the hospital wing after being attacked by Dementors in a Quidditch game against Hufflepuff, he hears someone comment that he didn't even break his glasses. Hermione put an Impervious charm on them during the game, which not only kept water off of them but also probably made them temporarily unbreakable!
  • Why does Harry have such a negative reaction to the Dementors? He's not just hearing his mother’s voice as she was protecting him, but the Dementors are also forcing the piece of Voldemort to relive its worst memory as well: the memory of being ripped apart by the curse that backfired. This also becomes Fridge Horror when you realise that both memories are Voldemort's.
  • Lupin is one of the few whom deliberately perform wandless magic when he conjures fire on the train, so it seems to be either a rare skill or just not something most people bother with. Why would he have learned how to do it? Without the Wolfsbane Potion, he transforms and probably can't have his wand with him. So doing basic spells without an expensive, breakable, and gnawable wand would be really useful.
  • Trelawney's prophecy contains a subtle hint of Sirius' innocence. She says that "tonight, before midnight...the servant will break free." However, Sirius is already free, having broken out of Azkaban months ago. Pettigrew, on the other hand, is still in his self-inflicted rat body and finally returns to human form that night.
  • The first time Harry and Ron notice Hermione has briefly stepped away from them between classes, she changes the subject by voicing her hope that there's something good for lunch. She's starving: she's just used the Time Turner to live through twice as many hours since breakfast as they did!
  • While on the Knight Bus in the film, Harry voices his concern about Muggles being able to see them, to which the Shrunken Head says "No [they don't see anything], but if you jab 'em with a fork, they feel." It's basically their way of saying that the Knight Bus isn't seen by any Muggles but it can still cause damage, hence why it has to stop to let an old lady cross, why it has to squeeze itself to fit between two other vehicles, and how it set off a car alarm from bumping it.
  • When Vernon is talking to Marge about James, he says he was unemployed. He was right, as Jo said: after graduation, the Marauders and Lily became "full-time fighters" - mostly because James (who Marge was trying to cast as a drunk vagrant) had so much money for everyone to live off that he didn't need a full-time job.
  • Why does Hermione struggle at Divination, despite being skilled at every other subject? Because she is narrow-minded and logical, and Divination requires predicting the future by considering many possible outcomes of a situation (even unlikely ones), and accept that all of them have a chance of happening. As Dumbledore says, "The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed."
  • Trelawney making a big panic about 'when thirteen dine together, the first to rise shall be the first to die' is played for laughs, as Trelawney sits down, and later Harry and Ron get up at the same time. However, there were actually fourteen people sitting around the table before Trelawney arrived. The thirteenth was Pettigrew, in his Scabbers disguise. Dumbledore gets up to greet Trelawney as she enters.
  • During the first Divination class, Ron's prediction for Harry boils down to: "You're gonna suffer, but you're gonna be happy about it." It's actually subtle foreshadowing for Harry's confrontation with the Dementor swarm: They cause him great suffering, but he defeats them by thinking happy thoughts.
  • Snape always desired to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, so he probably only agreed to brew the Wolfsbane Potion every month for Lupin in exchange for substituting for Lupin on full moons.
  • It has been implied that Hogwarts itself has some level of awareness, refusing to let Umbridge into Dumbledore's office for instance. If so, Sirus being able to make it to the Gryffindor dorm entrance before anyone stopped him makes sense. The school deduced that he was innocent and trying to remove a legitimate threat, and so allowed him to proceed.
  • Sirius explains that the main reason that he was able to survive the effects of Azkaban was that as a dog, his emotions aren't as complex, indicating perhaps that nonhumans hold up against Dementor proximity better than humans do - or even maybe that Dementors don't register emotions from nonhumans as strongly as they do from humans.

     Fridge Horror 
  • Percy and Ron Weasley handled Peter Pettigrew's poop for 12 years and were likely naked in front of him.
    Ron: I let you sleep in my bed!
  • On the way to Hogwarts, at least one Dementor searches the train. A creature that feeds on happiness and souls was in confined quarters with a few hundred emotional children and teenagers. Even worse, it's implied that there wasn't an Auror or official around keeping an eye on it. What if Lupin didn't drive it off with a Patronus? This might be a bit of Fridge Brilliance itself. What if the reason Lupin came on the train was because Dumbledore asked him to so he could keep an eye on the students in case a Dementor (or even Sirius Black) showed up?
  • Azkaban. Outside of school, they have fines, permanent loss of magical power, and soul torturing imprisonment that often drives people mad within weeks, making even the shortest sentence horrifying. What do they do to petty criminals? A fine? Permanent loss of their wands? Torturing them into madness?
  • The scene where Sirius and Lupin interrogate Pettigrew and give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech starts out as well-deserved but gets scary after the two openly admit to planning to kill Pettigrew, especially when we have every reason to believe that they would have done it, had Harry not intervened (admittedly, just to have Pettigrew submitted to a Fate Worse than Death in Azkaban and probably to clear Sirius' name by showing everyone the very person Sirius was supposed to have killed. This is hammered home by the Ministry of Magic song "Marauder's Map".) The casual way they discuss killing Pettigrew is very disturbing as well as the fact that they had no problem trying to do it in front of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Sure, he may had deserved it but that doesn't change the fact that three kids would've had to see two adults (one of whom they'd considered a mass murderer a while ago and the other, a respected and trusted teacher) murder someone in cold blood. Plus there's no guarantee that producing Pettigrew's body would've cleared Sirius's name since as Pettigrew mentioned, the officials could claim that Pettigrew had chosen to hide himself from Voldemort spy and mass murderer Sirius
  • Sirius has been living off rats. Peter's animagus form is a rat.
  • Professor Lupin steps in before Harry can face the Boggart, so we see his own, instead: the full moon, which the students mistake for a crystal ball. It's all pretty harmless. But return to this chapter later, having read Order of the Phoenix where Molly's Boggart takes the form of her children and husband, murdered, you realise how very lucky this class of thirteen-year-olds was that their teacher's greatest fear was so inoffensive.


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