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In the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a scene where Professor McGonagall and Cornelius Fudge meet with Rosmerta, the bartender at The Three Broomsticks, to talk about Sirius Black. Scene 80 - 82

This brought up a few questions:

Why was Rosmerta privy to this conversation? It seems telling a bartender information they are trying to keep from Harry is a very poor decision (regardless of if he's hiding in the room).

Was she the only one at the meeting that did not know about what Sirius had done and his relation to Harry? Why would they need to meet with her to tell her?

Was this a deliberate meeting or a chance encounter? My initial thought was that it was a deliberate meeting; but after putting together this question, I think it may have been intended to be a chance encounter and I interpreted it incorrectly.

Finally, How did this specific scene play out in the book? I recall that Harry had to sneak into The Three Broomsticks, but were the circumstances the same (i.e. same people, same reason for discussing Sirius)?

  • All the setting is strange. 1. Hagrid walking into a tavern with Fudge for a friendly drink. The minister is the same guy that had him thrown into Azkaban the previous time they'd met. 2. Rosmerta is the owner of a tavern in Hogsmead and had know the marauders when they were kids. She apperently loves to gossip and a tavern is a perfect place to get info. Yet she knows nothing about why the dementors were placed in her village. 3. The teachers openly talk before students in a tavern room about something they want to keep secret from Harry. – user68762 Jul 30 '16 at 19:19
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In the book, Harry had snuck into Hogsmeade as you said, because his guardians had not signed the paperwork necessary for him to be allowed to go. While in the Three Broomsticks, Hagrid, Prof. McGonagall, Prof. Flitwick, and Cornelius Fudge discuss Black and his relationship with James Potter as well as the Fidelius Charm. Because of the fact that they do not go into hiding, but rather speak openly in the bar area (even Hermione and Ron overhear it) as well as Hagrid included in the conversation, it is not presumed to be a hidden secret in the book.

It seems that in the movie, her inclusion is only because they are trying to keep it a secret and she is there in the room with them. I can't see any reason as to why they needed her there in the movie other than a person to move the conversation along.

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In the Prisoner of Azkaban novel, this scene is just the result of a casual coffee-table discussion. It isn't an organized meeting. Cornelius Fudge and Professors McGonagall, Flitwick and Hagrid (yep, he's a Professor by this point) stroll into the The Three Broomsticks whilst Harry is sitting at a table with Ron and Hermione. Hermione quickly levitates a Christmas tree to one side, blocking them from view, while Harry ducks down under the table. Madam Rosmerta takes a seat with the teachers and Fudge after the latter politely asks her to sit and join them. Harry, Ron and Hermione can't help but overhear the conversation, which really is somewhat like a gossip circle - except it wasn't mean, I suppose.

The topic of why Dementors have to keep patrolling Rosmerta's pub crops up, like in the movie, and Rosmerta becomes a sort of fish-out-water character who wants to be filled in on all the information Fudge and the teachers already seem to know: That Sirius and James Potter were as close as brothers in school, that Sirius was made Harry's Godfather, that James trusted Sirius to be their Secret Keeper, that Sirius then betrayed the Potters to Voldemort and then was cornered by the stout-hearted Peter Pettigrew, who was blown to bits along with another twelve Muggles in the street by the madman Black. Not many people knew these details (even though several were wrong), apparently, but it wasn't some kind of government secret, just a story that hadn't been shared with the Wizarding community at large.

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As a side note: Madame Rosmerta is not merely a bartender, she owns the tavern. Owners have a greater right than employees, to be privy to conversations in their establishments, even with important patrons such as Fudge.

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The book and movie scenes happen fairly similarly, In the book after serving them drinks

‘So, what brings you to this neck of the woods, Minister?’ came

Madam Rosmerta’s voice. ‘What else, m’dear, but Sirius Black? I daresay you heard what happened up at the school at Hallowe’en?’

‘You know that the Dementors have searched my pub twice?’ said Madam Rosmerta, a slight edge to her voice. ‘Scared all my customers away ... it’s very bad for business, Minister.’

‘Rosmerta, m’dear, I don’t like them any more than you do,’ said Fudge uncomfortably. ‘Necessary precaution ... unfortunate,

In the book we see a casual conversation start where Madam Rosmerta complains about the Dementors, and Fudge responding with why, Sirius Black, here for Harry Potter. They then go into the backstory about Sirius being James best friend, Godfather etc.

In the movie it goes down practically the same.

CORNELIUS FUDGE

I trust business is good?

MADAM ROSMERTA

It'd be a right sight better if the Ministry wasn't sending Dementors into my pub every other night. CORNELIUS FUDGE

We have a killer on the loose.

MADAM ROSMERTA

Sirius Black? In Hogsmeade! And what would bring him here?

CORNELIUS FUDGE

Harry Potter.

MADAM ROSMERTA

Harry Potter!

Again Madam Rosmerta expresses her distaste with the Dementors, and Fudge again explains why.

Both conversations happened fairly naturally and as an acquaintance/friend not to mention shes serving everyone alcohol its not weird that more gossipy content would come up in conversation.

Its not a huge secret and Rosmerta was familiar with both James, Sirius, and Peter when they were at school. But telling her that Sirius was Harry's Godfather was really just a throw away piece of info, to further enhance how "depraved" he was.

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