Turns out the Fat Lady has found an admirer in the Dark Lord.
If you’re a diehard Harry Potter fan, you may know exactly how many knuts make up a galleon (493) or be able to rattle off of the ingredients in Polyjuice Potion (looking at you, knotgrass and shredded Boomslang skin) at the drop of a Sorting Hat. However, you likely haven’t noticed one of the most hilarious Easter eggs ever inserted into the Harry Potter film franchise: an inexplicably placed Hogwarts portrait of The Dark Lord himself dancing in "The Prisoner of Azkaban."
Yes, Voldemort makes a cameo appearance in the third movie during an otherwise uneventful scene. About 25 minutes into the film, as students are making their way back to their dormitories after the start-of-term feast in the Great Hall, the shot widens to show the staircase and surrounding portraits near the Gryffindor Common Room. While students (and viewers) are distracted by the loud and obnoxious singing of The Fat Lady, who is refusing to let Gryffindors into their common room until they watch her performance, an unexpected bystander can actually be seen enjoying the music.
In the lower right-hand portion of the screen, a large, moving portrait of Voldemort graces the walls of Hogwarts, and the evil wizard himself appears to be swaying his body and arms to the sound of The Fat Lady’s singing. He might even be mouthing along with the music. He Who Must Not Be Named looks about as content as if he’d just cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry himself, and the entire effect is nothing short of hilarious.
While this comical cameo has been pointed out online in the past, Voldemort’s strange appearance in "Prisoner of Azkaban" seems to be far from common knowledge. Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be any plausible explanation for why he’s included in the Hogwarts scene, sans comedic effect. Hogwarts only displays portraits of dead witches and wizards, and Voldemort would still be considered alive at this time. And of course, the wizarding school would never deem the most evil wizard of our time a suitable addition to the castle’s decor.
We will note that a few fans online have hypothesized that the portrait in question could be that of Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin, whose appearance is somewhat similar to Voldemort's, and would more reasonably inhabit a painting hanging in the school. Still, we find the prospect of Slytherin dancing and singing along to the Fat Lady equally amusing.
Whether its Voldemort himself or a Slytherin appearance, we’ll chalk up this cameo to a bit of comedy on the part of the filmmakers. While we can’t accept it as cannon, we love seeing either wizard get their groove on.