What object is Harry holding in this scene from Prisoner of Azkaban the film?

This is the scene where the Fat Lady disappears after Sirius Black tries to break into Gryffindor Tower and gouges her portrait. The scene takes place following a Hogsmeade trip, but Harry didn't sneak into Hogsmeade on this particular day. So I'm assuming the object is something that either Ron or Hermione brought back for Harry.

*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban* 2003

My guess is that it's either a Sneakoscope or a Remembrall. It's the same shape as the Remembrall from Philosopher's Stone (film), but it looks like it's clear and has a black stone rolling around at the bottom while a Remembrall is filled with white smoke that turns red.

In the books the Remembrall is described as marble-sized and the Sneakoscope as being the shape of a top.

It's definitely not one of the Quidditch balls.

Ron does give Harry a Sneakoscope in the book Prisoner of Azkaban:

Harry now turned to his present and unwrapped it. Inside was what looked like a miniature glass spinning top. There was another note from Ron beneath it.

Harry – this is a Pocket Sneakoscope. If there’s someone untrustworthy around, it’s supposed to light up and spin. Bill says it’s rubbish sold for wizard tourists and isn’t reliable, because it kept lighting up at dinner last night. But he didn’t realise Fred and George had put beetles in his soup.

Bye – Ron

Prisoner of Azkaban - page 13 - Bloomsbury - chapter 1, Owl Post

What is this object?

  • 2
    Looks like a toy top..
    – user939
    Dec 27, 2012 at 18:00
  • 1
    Does the timing fit? Does Harry get the Pocket Sneakoscope somewhere shortly before the Fat Lady disappears? If yes then I'd bet it's a Sneakoscope but that scene was taken out later and someday in some bonus-track it'll be "because it didn't help the film along", or (in this case more likely) "the Sneakoscope doesn't end up doing anything later on". Actually, as far as the Harry movies are concerned and the bonus material I watched so far, I always agreed with the directors. Highly unusual for me ... :D
    – user1129682
    Dec 27, 2012 at 20:34
  • 6
    @user1129682 -- Well, yes, it does definitely fit with the story line in the book -- Ron sends the Sneakoscope to Harry for Harry's birthday while he's still at the Dursleys during the summer holiday. That's in the first chapter. But as far as the movie goes, it's just there. It's out of context. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut a scene with a Sneakoscope, maybe even two scenes. I agree with you that it would be obvious material to cut, as it could be considered extraneous. :) Dec 27, 2012 at 20:52
  • @SachinShekhar - Possibly. The tops that I've always seen, though, have at least one pointed end. Otherwise, if it's perfectly round, it's a ball. :) Dec 27, 2012 at 20:56
  • 1
    @ASlytherin, actually, it looks like it is possible the end nearest the camera is conical in shape - which would come to a point. It is hard to tell since it is clear, but if you look at the way the light reflections are appearing you might see you can almost make out a point in the center of the golden circle at its widest margin. The black ball inside makes it difficult to tell for sure. Between that possibility and the coincident timeline congruence, I'm going to guess you answered your own question and it is a sneakoscope.
    – balanced mama
    Jan 4, 2013 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


It is the sneakoscope that Ron gives to Harry; the angle in the image you display makes it look like a ball, but it's a poor perspective. It actually is a top, with the silver portion being the top's point and the clear sides tapering down towards it. The scene where Harry initially receives it from Ron was cut from the theatrical release but included on the DVD as an extra; here it is on Youtube:

  • Yes, it is a Sneakascope, as verified by the extra shared above. It is a pocket Sneakoscope that Ron bought Harry at Dervish and Bangs in Hogsmeade. I picked up the Harry Potter Hogwarts BD/DVD collection with extras and this is confirmed on the Prisoner of Azkaban extras. Apr 24, 2018 at 21:50

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