In the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Lupin severely reprimands Harry Potter after saving him from Severus Snape.

-- I haven't the faintest idea how this map came to be in your possession but quite frankly, I am astounded that you didn't hand it in. Did it never occur to you that this, in the hands of Sirius Black, is a map to you?

-- No, sir.

-- Your father never set much store by the rules either. But he and your mother gave their lives to save yours. Gambling their sacrifice by wandering the castle unprotected with a killer on the loose seems to me a poor way to repay them! Now, I will not cover up for you again.

It seems natural that Lupin was angry with Harry, as there is a murderer at large and Harry walks at night without any protection. But why did he think that the Marauder's Map makes the matter worse?

For me, the chance that Sirius Black will ever lay his hands on the map is very small, while the protection that the map gives Harry by allowing him to see who is around him is considerable.

  • 3
    Since you cite the film and not the book, are you aware of who made the Marauders' Map? (I don't know if this answers your question, but it seems a relevant detail.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 24, 2019 at 7:34
  • @Randal'Thor, yes, I know. Thanks for the idea to look into the book: unfortunately, I can not see any explanation there either.
    – se0808
    Jan 24, 2019 at 8:06
  • 10
    This sentence of Lupin is simply nonsense: HARRY has the marauders map (and normally always carries it around). Black can only get it by taking it from him. But if he takes the map from him, he already found him and does not need the map anymore...
    – Tode
    Jan 24, 2019 at 9:34
  • 1
    Why do you downvote the question?
    – se0808
    Jan 24, 2019 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


The equivalent scene in the book is as follows, and sheds a bit more light on Lupin's thinking.

"I don't want to know how it fell into your possession. I am, however, astounded that you didn't hand it in. Particularly after what happened the last time a student left information about the castle lying around. And I can't let you have it back, Harry."

Harry had expected that, and was too keen for explanations to protest.

"Why did Snape think I'd got it from the manufacturers?"

"Because...," Lupin hesitated, "because these mapmakers would have wanted to lure you out of school. They'd think it extremely entertaining."

Lupin's primary concern is not Sirius getting his hands on the map (Sirius has no real need of it, he knows all of Hogwarts and can stalk Harry in dog form, and Lupin should know this), but that the map will draw Harry out of Hogwarts, where Harry would be unprotected. Worse, Sirius knows all these routes and is likely using them.

While Lupin isn't (or shouldn't be) concerned about Sirius getting the map, he's also not happy that Harry didn't consider it a possibility - as Jenayah points out in the comment, Sirius had previously gained access to the Gryffindor dorm because Neville left a list of the passwords out. Harry really should have learned from this, but kept freely using the map regardless, despite knowing that it listed several hidden passages in/out of the castle.

Interestingly, the film seems to be combining two different sets of dialogue here (Lupin and Snape, of all unlikely pairs!). The scene continues as follows:

"Do you know them?" said Harry, impressed.

"We've met," he said shortly. He was looking at Harry more seriously than ever before.

"Don't expect me to cover up for you again, Harry. I cannot make you take Sirius Black seriously. But I would have thought that what you have heard when the dementors draw near you would have had more of an effect on you. Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry. A poor way to repay them, gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks."

And earlier in the book Snape tells Harry

"Your father didn't set much store by rules either," Snape went on, pressing his advantage, his thin face full of malice.

Totally reasonable and in-character, Snape's dialogue coming from Lupin. Absolutely fine.

  • 3
    Doesn't "what happened the last time a student left information about the castle lying around" reference Neville losing the paper with Griffyndor passwords rather than Riddle's diary? (although that could also mean that, granted)
    – Jenayah
    Jan 24, 2019 at 10:17

As was mentioned in the comment by DavidS, Lupin was angry that Harry was using the map for roaming around, knowing it will put him in more danger.

The reason he was angry that Harry had not hand the map in though (the main focus of the question) is because the map clearly could be used for extra security to protect the castle.

So in short, Lupin was angry that Harry found a tool that could be used by Dumbledore to protect the castle and instead was using in to put himself in danger just for fun.


Well. As I see it, the answer is in the exact piece of dialogue you quoted.

Did it never occur to you that this, in the hands of Sirius Black, is a map to you?

Lupin is worried that Sirius gets hold of the map. Which is far more likely when Harry uses it in or even outside of Hogwarts than if it's locked away in a teacher's safe or something.

Since Sirius is one of the people who created the map, he would recognize its value in finding Harry and know how to use it, in contrast to Snape.

  • 1
    I'd also add that with Harry having the Marauder's map, Lupin just got the confirmation that Harry was exactly like his father - no interest in authority and a love for wandering inside the castle at night. With the map, Harry becomes completely oblivious to the danger: he sees someone supposed to be dead, and goes check by himself, at night, without informing anyone. With a supposed-to-be-killer in loose that has the ability to shapeshift (did they ever realized that animagi were put on the map?), Harry becomes a threat for himself.
    – Lyzvaleska
    Jan 24, 2019 at 8:34

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