An Unexpected Harry Potter Character Kicked Off Prisoner of Azkaban

The Harry Potter franchise contains a rich world of unique and special supporting characters that expand the story and help to bring together various storylines. And a perfect example of this appears in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie adaptation. The film sees the infamous murderer Sirius Black escape from Azkaban prison and terrorize the students of Hogwarts while on the run. However, in the film, Sirius wouldn’t have gone to Hogwarts if it wasn’t for Molly Weasley.

It comes to light that Sirius returned to Hogwarts for the purpose of murdering Peter Pettigrew, who had framed him for murder after betraying their mutual friends, James and Lily Potter. Peter had been hiding out with the Weasley family ever since, disguised in his rat animagus form. He was originally the pet of Percy Weasley until Percy became a prefect and was gifted an owl for his success. At that point, he handed down his pet rat to his younger brother, Ron.

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When Harry and Ron first met and became friends, Scabbers was there to witness the beginning of their friendship. But in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron accidentally leaves Scabbers behind at the train station as he is on his way to school. That prompts his mother, Molly Weasley, to chase after the moving train and hand off the rat.

In the book and film, the summer between Ron’s second and third year at Hogwarts gets spent in Egypt with his family. They can afford the trip because they won the lottery, which is why their family portrait, which includes Scabbers, appeared in the paper. Sirius received a copy of that newspaper and recognized his old friend Peter. That is what sent him to Hogwarts. But in the book, Ron doesn’t almost forget Scabbers and instead is actually attached to his pet and brings him with him onto the train. However, that changed in the movie to briefly give the spotlight to the rat before the eventual twist.

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Regardless, Ron forgetting his pet would’ve meant that Scabbers wouldn’t have been at Hogwarts when Sirius showed up to seek revenge. And it would also mean that Harry would never learn the truth about who betrayed his parents and why he became an orphan. It would have been a great tragedy had Ron actually forgotten to bring his pet rat to school that year, as it would have changed the whole trajectory of the series. In that sense, Molly is the unexpected character that ensures the story plays out and brings all the characters together.

Molly’s small gesture results in Harry learning the truth about his godfather and creating a relationship with the closest thing he’s ever known to a father. But if she wasn’t such a committed mother, the whole franchise could have played out much differently. It just goes to show that characters in the Harry Potter franchise, even the secondary ones, contribute to the story in massive ways.

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