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Don't Miss! Part II
The Lord Of The Rings may have ruled this year's Oscars, but Harry Potter's charm still steals zillions of hearts across the globe.
Thousands of fans welcomed Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, the third instalment in the Harry Potter movie series, at the premiere in London on May 31. The city's famed Leicester Square saw countless youngsters dress up like their favourite wizard.
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron (the very sexy, Oscar-nominated Y Tu Mama Tambien and A Little Princess), took over the reins from Chris Columbus, director of the first two Potter films (Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets).
The fourth Potter film, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, will be directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Mona Lisa Smile).
The hugely successful series has made 14-year-old Daniel Radcliffe (who plays Harry Potter), the second richest teenager in Britain. He replaced singer Charlotte Church and is second only to Prince Harry. J K Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter novels (she is well underway with the sixth), is arguably the most famous writer on the planet and the richest woman in Britain after Queen Elizabeth II.
How well do you know the characters in The Prisoner Of Azkaban?
rediff.com takes you on a magical mystery tour:
For 11 years, Harry Potter slaved hard for his aunt, uncle and cousin Dudley Dursley, living under the staircase in their house.
At 13, Harry has found his calling and is one of the most popular wizards at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry was responsible for the near destruction of the most-feared, powerful and evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. Now, Voldemort wants revenge!
The clash between the two have formed the climax of all the Potter books so far.
Ron Weasley and Harry are always together, whether it is chasing clues at Hogwarts or doing their homework.
Ron's father Arthur works in the Ministry of Magic and cannot afford luxuries for his family. Ron -- one of the seven Weasley children -- has to make do with hand-me-down robes; Pigwidgeon, a tiny brown owl, and sometimes forgo his favourite Chocolate frogs.
Miss Know-It All Hermoine is muggle-born, which means her parents are non-magical people. The worst insult would be to call her a Mudblood.
The endearing Hermoine knows all the magic charms, spells and curses well before term starts.
Draco, with his gang of Crabbe and Goyle, detests Harry. He belongs to the Slytherin house (one of the school houses at Hogwarts), and wants nothing more than to harm Harry and defeat his house, Gryffindor. Slytherin's Professor Snape adores Draco and vice versa.
Draco's father Lucius Malfoy is a former Death Eater (Voldemort's followers are called Death Eaters), and was once Voldemort's close associate.
Forgetful Neville can never get his magic portions right or remember his spells. Even a Howler (a letter which, when opened, yells at him), cannot cure him of his forgetfulness.
The reason behind Neville's parents' disappearance is explained only in the fifth book. He now lives with his grandmother.
The headmaster of Hogwarts is one of the most respected, even feared, wizards around. The white-haired Dumbledore's powers equal that of Lord Voldemort in his prime.
Dumbledore has taken it upon himself to keep Harry safe from all evil. From time to time, he reveals information about Harry's tragic past. It was he who revealed that Voldemort had killed Harry's parents, James and Lily Potter, when they tried to shield their son against the evil wizard.
The half-giant Hagrid is the keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. One of Harry's close friends, it was he who rescued Harry from the Dursleys and brought him to Hogwarts.
A former Hogwarts student, Hagrid has a weakness for dangerous creatures and dreams of owning a dragon. In the third book, Hagrid starts teaching the Care of Magical Creatures and introduces the dangerous creatures called hippogriffs to his students. Buckbeak, a hippogriff, eventually befriends Harry and plays an important role in this film.
Professor Minerva McGonagall
Transfiguration teacher McGonagall is an Animagus, someone who can change into an animal at will. She can change into a cat.
McGonagall is also head of Gryffindor house. She recognised Harry's talent as a seeker and recommended him to Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.