Transcript – Episode 100

[Show music begins]

Caleb Graves: This is Episode 100 of Alohomora! for September 6, 2014.

[Show music continues]

Caleb: Hey guys, welcome to a really awesome episode of Alohomora! It is our 100th episode. How exciting is that? I’m Caleb Graves.

Kat Miller: Yay! I’m Kat Miller.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris. And it is my pleasure to introduce today’s guest, who is Madeline. Madeline, would you like to introduce yourself a little bit?

Madeline S.: Sure. My name is Madeline. I am from Jersey City, New Jersey. I am a Slytherclaw.

[Rosie laughs]

Madeline: I was a Hatstall between Slytherin and Ravenclaw. Kat, I did eventually go with Ravenclaw, but it was a hard choice.

Kat: Fair enough, fair enough. It would be hard for me too. I understand.

Madeline: And I am a food scientist.

Kat: Meaning?

Caleb: Oh. Tell us a little bit about that.

Madeline: I develop new food products. If you’ve been to a grocery store in America, and actually in the UK as well, you’ve probably at least walked past something that I have developed that’s in a grocery store.

Kat: That’s so cool.

Caleb: Wow. Thank you.

[Rosie laughs]

Madeline: It’s a really cool job. I play with my food all day.

Caleb: That’s very exciting.

Rosie: What kind of things have you made, then? Give us an example.

Madeline: So if you’re familiar with Progresso soups… it’s a US brand.

Caleb: Yeah, totally.

Madeline: I worked on a number of Progresso soups. I also do a lot of product improvement. If there’s an undesirable ingredient, I remove it or make it healthier, something like that, which is a lot of what I did on Progresso soups. So that was my big brand for a long time.

Caleb: Very cool.

Kat: Wow. So could you make the butterbeer Oreo happen?

[Caleb, Kat, and Rosie laugh]

Madeline: If I worked for Kraft, yes, but…

Kat: Shucks.

Caleb: This is a thing we would like.

Kat: Yes, shucks.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: It was worth a try, I guess, right?

Madeline: Yep.

Rosie: Definitely.

Caleb: Well, before we do get started, I just want to take another moment to remark on how awesome it is that we’ve hit 100 episodes.

Rosie: Episode 100!

Caleb: I can’t believe it’s been…

Kat: I know. Triple digits. It’s really exciting. Hard to believe but exciting.

Rosie: And to get it on a Hogwarts week as well, when everyone’s gone back to school, it’s just serendipity. [laughs]

Caleb: [laughs] Timing is everything.

Kat: That’s true.

Rosie: It really is.

Caleb: But we will get right down to it, but before we do that, we want to remind you to read Chapter 22 ofOrder of the Phoenix: “St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries” because that is what we will be discussing in just a moment.

Rosie: But as usual, before we get to that, we have to discuss the topics from last week. You guys have been sending in your comments, and we love reading them. So here are just a few examples of what you’ve been saying this week. Our first comment comes from LooneyLauren on the archives, and it says,

“You guys mentioned the fact that Harry is not having a reaction of his own while Umbridge is bullying Hagrid; he is simply observing the others. I also noticed this while reading it, and after hearing you guys discuss it on the podcast, I went back and reread the passage to get a better understanding of why. I noticed that Harry would describe his feelings before he found out about the [T]hestrals, how he was ‘relieved’ and ‘pleased’ that he was finally going to understand the mystery, but after Hermione stated that only people who have seen death can see the great winged horses, Harry did not have another comment or reference to his own personal feelings for quite a while. He watched as a spectator as Umbridge picked on Hagrid and saw how outraged Hermione got and how gleeful Pansy (pug-faced brat) got but did not say a word himself or react in any way that we saw. I think that perhaps Harry was too busy processing the fact that he has seen [a] death, and that is why he can see the [T]hestrals. Everything going on was merely a distraction from his thoughts. Harry does not comment again until Hermione brings up the [T]hestrals, saying that she wishes that she could see them, to which Harry replies in a quiet voice, ‘Do you?’ The fact that he does not reply until they are brought up again seems to me as if Harry has been caught in thought about these creatures and what it means for him to be able to see them.”

I just thought this was a really intellectual idea about why the narrator distances itself from Harry’s thoughts for a moment while Harry processes in his subconscious, and we get instead a view of the rest of the scene. Does this go with what you guys were saying last week?

Kat: Nobody had considered that, but I think that’s a brilliant consensus. I would agree. I mean, seeing the Thestrals, I guess, is all about processing death, right? And Harry is just processing it even further. I agree with this. It makes total sense.

Madeline: It feels very realistic that he wouldn’t just move on to the next thing after finding out about Thestrals. They’re taking a little bit of time to think about that.

Rosie: And it’s the first time that we’ve really seen something that is affected in such an almost primeval way. This is a very basic life-and-death thing that would affect your viewpoint, which is something that we haven’t really come across much in the magical world yet, the idea that seeing death will change how you see the world.

Caleb: Definitely. And you think about what Harry is facing here. Aside from the fact that he’s processed death, his journey to Hogwarts starts out with seeing these Thestrals and trying to convince other people that he is seeing these things, not knowing then what it meant, and when the lesson starts, he’s so relieved that finally he will be vindicated in his belief. And then to have it flipped on him that it’s really… it’s a horrible thing that he’s actually able to see them. That’s really hard to take in.

Rosie: Well, great. Next comment comes from Celestina is my homegirl. Someone’s obviously taking your phrase there, Caleb, and changing up who. Not Minerva this time.

Caleb: Ugh. I will take issue with the phrase.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Celestina is awesome, though, so I’ll be okay with it.

Rosie: Sure. This comment is actually about Umbridge, and it comes back to our discussion of colors and the fact that she’s wearing green. And it says,

“You brought up the fact that Umbridge is wearing green during her inspection of Hagrid’s lesson, and while I agree that this could be Jo hinting at Umbridge being a Slytherin, I think it might also have something to do with green being one of the colours wizards and witches wear in public to reveal themselves as magical. Since Umbridge’s whole aim with her inspection of Hagrid’s lesson is to totally undermine him, I think she might be wearing green to symbolize her superior status as a fully educated witch. Green is also associated with ‘[D]ark’ magic, which speaks perfectly to her intentions and behaviour in this scene. To my knowledge, this is the only time we ever see Umbridge wearing a different colour, and the choice of green as the variation seems pretty significant.”

Now, just add a little addendum that someone else later commented that she actually wore green at the Gryffindor-Ravenclaw, I think it was, Quidditch match as well. So it’s showing her nasty intentions in both of those scenes.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s a really good point to bring out, that the color that most witches and wizards wear out in public. I had never thought about that, but I totally buy it.

Kat: Yeah, it’s really clever. That’s… oh, our listeners, you’re all so smart!

Rosie: I think those colors are a detail that we only really hear about… is it in the first book? The idea that they wear these colors out in public. I think that’s at the very first chapter in the first book. Before even Harry makes it to the Dursleys, we get those little glimpses into when the magical world is celebrating.

Kat: And then the further comments about them on Pottermore.

Rosie: Yes, of course, yeah. But that would be why we don’t really pick up on that as a color thing, but maybe we should more. Maybe we should pay more attention to what people are wearing throughout these books.

Kat: Probably. [It] would give some good insight, most likely.

Rosie: It would. And finally in this section, our comment comes from Hufflepug, who always has some brilliant comments. And this time it’s on Harry and Cho’s kiss. And it says,

“Harry and Cho’s kiss was not at all the kind of satisfaction that those who shipped them were expecting, but that’s because from a literary standpoint it was meant to be as awkward and confusing as many first kisses are. You know when you’re in high school and you’re so excited about something, but then you just get let down because too many conflicting feelings are tangled up with it? Jo nailed that feeling, in my opinion. They were never meant to last, in the same way that very few people end up with their first crush or significant other. Harry needed Cho to teach him that he was seeking a girl who[m] he could feel comfortable around, who[m] we all know ended up [being] Ginny (by the way, I adore Ginny in the books, partly because she and Harry have such an energetic and joyful relationship).”

I agree. [laughs]

Madeline: I absolutely agree that those first kisses are very awkward, but I really hope most people’s first kisses didn’t have one person crying.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yes, yes, I agree.

Rosie: I do think that the movie kiss was even more awkward than the book kiss, though. It was just… there’s something just very odd about that scene.

Kat: Yeah. I would agree… yeah, it was… yeah. Forced, at best, I think.

Rosie: Yeah. Which is a shame. But nevermind. It is true that, yeah, this is meant to be awkward, and everyone’s reaction was like, “Ooh, awkward!” So it’s mission accomplished. [laughs]

Kat: Exactly. And we’ll get there.

Caleb: Which also, it’s interesting because we really don’t actually see the kiss – right? – in the book. Or “read,” I should say.

Rosie: No, yeah. It’s implied.

Caleb: But she’s able to draw out that awkward nature so well even though it’s told secondhand.

Kat: Yeah, conversations between Harry and Ron are good at awkward. So…

[Madeline and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Well, great, and I guess with that, we’ll jump into the Podcast Question of the Week responses from last week. Just to remind everybody of the question… This was one that I think was really polarizing. There [were] a ton of ideas from everybody, but let me read it first. It says, “In this chapter, J.K. Rowling confessed she originally intended to kill Arthur Weasley. Keeping in mind that Sirius Black probably still would have gotten it at the end of the book, and considering how important Arthur is, let’s ponder how the books would have been different should this death have happened in this place, at this time, in this way.” So as I mentioned, lots of polarizing views, a million good ideas. It took me forever to decide on these few comments, so definitely head over to Read all the opinions. It’s incredible; they’re amazing. But our first one here comes from ChocolateFrogRavenclaw. It says,

“I think that Arthur’s death would have deeply scarred – if not ended – Harry and Ron’s friendship. Harry feels guilty just ‘being’ the snake, and while Ron doesn’t blame him, it would be incredibly hard, every time you looked at your best friend, to know that he may have (even remotely) been involved in the death of your father. If the Harry/Ron friendship can’t survive, I don’t think Harry would have been able to track down all the [H]orcruxes and take down Voldemort. Most of his driving force is love – especially love for his friends – and I think a fair amount of that love would have been replaced by guilt.”

And in response to that, SnugglesWithNifflers – good username – [laughs] says,

“I think that Arthur’s death could have helped Ron better relate to Harry. With both of them losing their father figures within a few months of each other (assuming Sirius would still die in the veil), Ron would have had a whole new empathy for Harry’s struggles. I believe they would have grown closer in their shared grief, and Ron never would have left in Deathly Hallows. He would have had more of a personal reason to want Voldemort gone: to avenge his father’s death. Ron would have indeed lost some of his humor, but his character would have gained a lot of depth.”

So two conflicting viewpoints. What do you guys think?

Caleb: I’m definitely with SnugglesWithNifflers on this. I think it would have… how long it would have taken Ron to get to this point, that’s something we’d have to think about because it obviously it wouldn’t be immediate. Ron deals with things internally. We see it in this upcoming chapter, how he responds to it compared to the twins and Ginny. But yeah, I think it would have brought them closer together. I agree he would have lost some of his humor, and the personal vengeance would have been a very big factor for him.

Rosie: I think that ChocolateFrogRavenclaw’s point about Harry feeling guilty about being the snake is more of an issue than Ron’s reaction. I mean, obviously, he would be incredibly sad about his dad, but I don’t think he would blame Harry in the way that Harry is blaming himself. So if Arthur had died, I think that Harry wouldn’t even bother trying to find out what it meant about having that snake feeling inside him. He would have just completely closed up inside himself, and he would’ve cut himself off more, probably to protect his friends. He honestly believed that he was the snake in those moments after, so if Arthur had died, then he would feel like he had murdered his friend’s dad.

Kat: Yes, and a lot of listeners actually completely agree with that as well. That was another popular opinion on the responses this week.

Madeline: I think it could have gone either way. I mean, grief is so unpredictable. It’s really hard to say. I mean, for some people it pushes them together, makes their bonds stronger, but for some people it just absolutely drives them apart. There’s really no way to predict that because everybody reacts so differently.

Caleb: Especially when you haven’t had to deal with that kind of grief before. It’s near impossible to predict.

Kat: Yeah, Ron has had kind of a charmed life, while poor, but still…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: … a pretty easy life.

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: So yeah, I think there would have been… maybe somewhere in between this, because like Rosie said, Harry probably would have pulled away, Ron would have wanted somebody to talk to about it. And since Harry was really the only person who doesn’t have a father, he would have reached for him, but Harry was unavailable. Who knows, maybe eventually it would have come back, I would hope. I think Hermione would play an important part in this as well, as far as grief counseling goes, I suppose.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: But our next comment here comes from GinnyButNotTheWeasleyOne. It says,

“Another possibility that I considered was the Harry/Ginny dynamic. The grieving process does bring people together in a certain way, and I wondered if Harry would have interacted with Ginny more prior to Book 6 had Arthur died. Naturally, Harry would be grieving as well, and I’m sure that he would have wanted to be with the Weasleys during that time. It very well could have sparked the closeness with Ginny that later occurred, but in a different manner. I’m not sure how a lack of Ginny’s firey spirit would have affected Harry’s attraction to her, and it’s also interesting to consider things if death brought them together. Would the Battle of Hogwarts [have] been too much for them to handle? Or would Ginny be a different person altogether and become incompatible with Harry (her personality seems such a complement to his, and I don’t know that their relationship would work if they were TOO similar, both having lost important people in their lives)?”

So what do you think?

Caleb: Well, I think that Ginny is probably even more likely than Ron to respond in an “All right, I’m ready to fight to get revenge” sort of way. We’ve talked about this on episodes in the past. She and the twins are very similar in a lot of ways. So yeah, I don’t think that… I don’t know, I definitely think [that] she doesn’t lose her fiery spirit, but I can see where this person is going by being too similar in the way that… the reason why they’re fighting is very similar at this point if that were to happen. It would be tough.

Madeline: I do like the idea that from a plot standpoint, it would have given Harry and Ginny more of a reason to interact…

Kat: Mhm.

Madeline: … and more overall interaction, since that’s always been a complaint because it’s kind of like they see each other a few times, and now they’re the love of each other’s lives.

Kat: I wonder if Ginny would have been more involved in… say they got together sooner and the whole Horcrux hunt actually did happen. I wonder somehow if Ginny would have been more involved in that. Maybe she would know more, being with Harry.

Caleb: Yeah, it would have been harder for Harry to say, “I can’t do this right now because I’m leaving school to go do the Horcruxes,” and leave her behind.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: I don’t see her letting it happen as much as she does in the books with the way it does actually happen.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: I don’t know if it would have brought Harry and Ginny closer in that first instance. I think she’s got… she had different boyfriends during this book, and I think she would have been closer to them still more within this kind of grieving process, so I don’t know if it would have changed very much how they came together. Especially if Harry did feel guilty over his role in the death, rather than Ginny’s.

Kat: Okay. Well, our last comment here comes from LeslieLovegood. It says,

“Because I love Lupin, who basically died in DH because of Jo’s choice to save Arthur, I have often wondered what it would have been like if Jo had given Arthur the axe in Order. The thing I can’t get past is that I can’t see how Harry would have survived Arthur’s death and still been prepared to do all he had to do to defeat Voldemort. The Weasleys are the only family that Harry has ever known, and he often thinks of the them as a model type family. With all their quirks, Harry longs to have what they have. When Harry sacrifices everything to stop Voldemort, he’s doing that for several reasons, one of which is to protect that idea of family, to stop Voldemort from ripping apart more of them. If the patriarch of the only family that Harry has left is taken from him, I’m not sure I see him having the strength to go on. Harry is also so self deprecating that I can see him really distancing himself from the rest of the family, whether that’s what they want or not.”

Caleb: Especially with also losing Sirius at the end of the book.

Kat: Ugh. Right.

Caleb: He loses Sirius is a very close personal relationship, and then like LeslieLovegood says, loses Arthur as that symbolic family that he is the only family he can really cling to.

Madeline: Yeah, I think killing Arthur, Sirius, and then, spoiler alert, Dumbledore…

[Kat and Madeline laugh]

Madeline: … would have been a little too heavy-handed in the hero’s journey sort of way, killing off all of the mentors.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Right. Because then… oh God, because then we get Lupin, too, who…

Madeline: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah. But Lupin’s death, while he’s certainly one of Harry’s mentors, it happens at the very end.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: It doesn’t affect his journey.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And then, in a way, it helps him with the Resurrection Stone.

Kat: Right. Oh, boy.

Rosie: Do you think it would have been even worse… do you think it would have been a different reaction if it had been Molly rather than Arthur?

Caleb: Oh, it would have been much worse.

Rosie: Yeah.

Madeline: Much, much, much worse.

Caleb: Yeah…

Rosie: But why?

Caleb: I don’t even want to think about Molly dying.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because that’s more of a maternal connection, which would have almost balanced out Sirius and made both of them even much worse…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: … because it would have been losing a mother and a father figure in the same book, whereas Arthur is a step above father or something. He’s more like an uncle at this point.

Caleb: Yeah, especially since Molly and Sirius argue with one another over Harry’s best interest in the book.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: It would have definitely – what’s the word I’m looking for? – further cemented the whole mother’s love theme, though, in this series for sure.

Caleb: I don’t know if I could have kept reading if Molly had died right now.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: I know. Oh, God.

Caleb: Oh my God. I just got emotional thinking about it.

Madeline: Yeah, I’m getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Kat: Yeah. Too much.

Rosie: It’s okay, she survives! We’re all right.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: As far as we know, she’s still alive this day – September 6, 2014. Anyway, so that wraps up our Podcast Question of the Week responses. Like I said, there [are] so many amazing comments this week, as always, so keep heading over to and keep the conversation going.

Caleb: All right, it is now time to move into our chapter discussion.

[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 22 intro begins]

Dumbledore: Chapter 22.

[Sound of Dumbledore tapping a magical instrument, which emits smoke]

Dumbledore: “St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.”

[Sound of hissing]

[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 22 intro ends]

Caleb: All right, so this is a really important chapter in that a lot of things happen. We learn a lot about… or we start to learn a lot about what is possibly going on with Harry, and we’re introduced to St. Mungo’s, which is really great. So basically the events of the chapter: McGonagall shows up after Harry has his dream; she leads Harry and Ron to Dumbledore’s office. There [are] a lot of things that happen in Dumbledore’s office: We meet a couple of the former headmasters and headmistresses, and Dumbledore uses them to find Arthur, whose injury is confirmed. Harry and the Weasleys Portkey to Grimmauld to wait for Molly, who shows up and says that Arthur is actually going to be okay and that he is in the hospital. And then we go visit Arthur in the hospital and get a little inside Order of the Phoenix chat. So the first big event is everything that happens inside Dumbledore’s office. I found it interesting that when Professor McGonagall and Ron and Harry go into the office, Dumbledore is in a nightshirt, so it seems like he is ready for bed, but it says that he is wide awake, sitting at his desk, which struck me as very strange. Because I don’t think Dumbledore usually just sits around his desk in his nightshirt. So it made me wonder: Did he somehow know something was going on? Did he expect Harry to be showing up somehow?

Kat: Doesn’t it say that Dumbledore had begun to suspect that this might happen when the twins… when they’re listening to the conversation in the hospital wing? Or at St. Mungo’s?

Madeline: Well, I thought he just was suspecting that Harry was going to start seeing Voldemort-y things.

Kat: Right. Right, so that’s what I mean. Maybe not exactly in this moment, but I do think that he was expecting it to come up.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s… it definitely does allude to that at the end.

Kat: It does.

Caleb: That’s why I’m just very curious about this particular moment.

Rosie: Yeah, but there’s enough going on out in the real world that there would be things to keep him up and discussing with his portraits…

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: … whether it was this or not.

Caleb: So the follow-up to that is, do you think Dumbledore has had a lot of sleepless nights as of late because so much is going on?

Kat: I’m sure. I’m not sure he ever sleeps anyway.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Maybe he’s one of those people that can sleep standing up. But yeah, I imagine…

Rosie: Sleep whilst at his desk talking… yeah. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Madeline: Well, if there [are] blood replacement potions, I assume there is some sort of wizard caffeine.

Caleb: Oh, I need that.

Rosie: Well, if there is, can I have some please?

[Caleb, Kat, and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: Seriously. Another interesting thing about this moment is how Professor McGonagall acts in this scene. We get several scenes, especially in this book, of her stepping outside of that typical professor role where we see her more as a person beyond that job, but this one I really enjoyed because as Harry recounts his dream to Dumbledore, she doesn’t scold Harry or find the dream ridiculous, as we’ve seen her react to some things in the past, but seems genuinely perplexed and concerned about what’s going on. And the meeting itself between the four of them, the two professors and the two students, almost seemed as if it was a meeting of peers in the Order of the Phoenix, which I found really fascinating.

Kat: Yeah, I think McGonagall has – I’m not sure how to say it – an odd level of respect for Harry.

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: Because obviously, she probably knows more about him in a sense than most people would because Dumbledore… oh, I guess with the exception of Snape. So I think in some ways she understands that he’s not crazy…

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: … I guess that’s where that’s coming from.

Rosie: Especially if Dumbledore has been expecting Harry to start seeing things.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: She’s been on the lookout for this as well as his Head of House.

Caleb: Right.

Madeline: And I think it’s also meant to be a contrast with Dumbledore who is kind of giving Harry the cold shoulder, to at least have Professor McGonagall there trusting him and believing in him verbally and showing him that she believes him so he’s not totally alone.

Rosie: Yeah, and she also actually seems caring, which Dumbledore doesn’t at the moment. So that’s the contrast there as well.

Caleb: Mhm.

Rosie: And I would think… I mean, Harry is described as looking visibly sick so she’s taking him seriously in that respect as well. She is looking after him in every sense of the word, mental health wise, physical health wise, and also getting to the bottom of the problem and the issue by taking him to Dumbledore and getting it all sorted out. So she’s completely the person you want in a crisis. She is exactly the person who can take charge and make sure everything is sorted out, while also looking out for you personally as well.

Caleb: And this is why she is my home-girl.

Rosie: Exactly.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: But harkening back to Dumbledore expecting something, we definitely get evidence of this here because he seems to immediately believe Harry. His first question is, “What was Harry’s perspective during the attack?” And so he immediately knows it’s happening; he’s been expecting something of this sort. And then after he’s done recounting the attack, we see Dumbledore use the portraits, the former heads of Hogwarts, to get more information. Specifically, he uses Everard and Dilys to go to the Ministry and St. Mungo’s, and it made me wonder: Do all portraits follow the intentions so willingly of the current headmaster or headmistress? This is quickly answered as we meet Phineas Nigellus Black. We don’t figure out everything out about him here, how he is related to Sirius, but even though… so the other heads of house call out Phineas for not immediately following Dumbledore’s orders, so it seems to be that they do have to follow the head. But it makes you wonder the subjectivity of the headmaster or headmistress’ intentions and the former heads to follow them. Do they have to follow them blindly?

Kat: Hmm. That’s a good question. Well, because… hmm.

Madeline: But it didn’t seem like they were under any sort of magical impulse to do it. In fact, when he started turning it down, one of the other portraits threatened to beat him with her…

Caleb and Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: It’s more peer pressure via portraits.

Madeline: Yeah.

Rosie: [laughs] It’s more what they’re expected to do.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: The portraits are there to guide current headmasters and to help out in whatever way they can to continue the prosperity of the school. So they have the option of turning down an order; they can feign sleep as Phineas does and all that kind of thing but it’s just bad manners. [laughs] They should do what’s being asked.

Kat: Says the Brit.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: So how does…? I’m curious how this works into the information we know about how the portraits come to be and how when they’re alive, they spend time with their portrait, teaching them about themselves. And portraits aren’t supposed to be able to learn new information, so… hmm.

Rosie: I guess that depends on what you mean by “learn new information.”

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah, there is, to act on it.

Rosie: Because you’re still going to have to take in information to be able to respond to it.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: They learn where Arthur is, so that’s technically learning some information, but I don’t know. [laughs]

Kat: So that seems like an inconsistency, then.

Caleb: Well, it’s just that they’re acting on their environment. Obviously it’s not affecting their life because that life is over.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: But that’s just more interacting with their environment, making observances. It’s the same thing with the Fat Lady acknowledging that someone has the correct password and then opening her door.

Kat: Mmm. Okay. Sure, fair enough. Good comparison. Okay. Makes sense.

Rosie: Maybe it’s like they can’t increase their intelligence but they can respond from their current level.

Caleb: Yeah, respond to stimuli, at simplest. Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Okay. That makes sense.

Caleb: So Dumbledore tells Fawkes that they need a warning in case… and then later we find out specifically it’s for Umbridge. Fawkes disappears in a flash of fire, always in dramatic fashion…

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: … and later Fawkes returns and Dumbledore assumes Umbridge is coming and sends McGonagall to head her off, which she does without hesitation. I am wondering: What do you think McGonagall’s excuse might have been? Because seemingly Umbridge has found out that they’re out of their beds, so something is amiss. What could’ve been McGonagall’s excuse?

Kat: Hmm. Well, I’m operating under the assumption that eventually Umbridge would’ve found out, regardless, so… I don’t know; I can’t come up with a good one for this.

Caleb: Because she can’t give her too much information, like they’re worried about a family member that’s been hurt, because she can’t let on that they had figured out somehow.

Kat: Family emergency?

Madeline: Although by this point, Arthur would’ve been found and with the quick communication options that are available, somebody could’ve let Dumbledore know that Arthur was at St. Mungo’s.

Caleb: That’s fair. Maybe enough time has passed.

Rosie: Such as the portraits.

Madeline: Yeah.

Rosie: They could say that the portrait told Dumbledore rather than Dumbledore telling the portrait.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: It could work through that way.

Caleb: That’s fair.

Rosie: There are options.

Kat: I’m wondering where we are in… I was just thinking about Dumbledore asking Harry how he saw it. Where are we in the Horcrux journey for Dumbledore right now?

Rosie: That’s point two.

Caleb: Well, that’s interesting you ask because that’s the exact next point.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Oh, excellent. All right. Cool.

Caleb: So we get… and actually, I want to pull it up in the book because there was some dialogue that I wanted to bring, too…

Kat: That’s funny because I didn’t even read your points ahead of time because I wanted to be surprised.

Rosie: [laughs] This is one of the sections that has always confused me the most out of the books, but it’s also one of the chapters that I love the most. So it’s a tough moment for me, but we’ll try and battle it out together. [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah, so this is a really… and I had forgotten about this, and then… correct me if I’m wrong at the end, but I don’t think we ever get a firm answer on what this instrument is.

Rosie: No.

Caleb: Listeners, keep in mind, it’s harder for us to remember things when we go one chapter at a time…

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: … but after Fawkes leaves to go see if anyone is coming to be prepared for a warning, Dumbledore moves to one of the mysterious silver instruments upon his desk. And I’m just going to read it from the book because it’s much better that way. “The instrument tinkled into life at once with rhythmic clinking noises. Tiny puffs of pale green smoke issued from the minuscule silver tube at the top. Dumbledore watched the smoke closely, his brow furrowed. After a few seconds, the tiny puffs became a steady steam of smoke that thickened and coiled in the air… a serpent’s head grew out of the end of it, opening its mouth wide. Harry wondered whether the instrument was confirming his story. He looked eagerly at Dumbledore for a sign that he was right, but Dumbledore did not look up. ‘Naturally, naturally,’ murmured Dumbledore apparently to himself, still observing the stream of smoke without the slightest sign of surprise. ‘But in essence divided?’ Harry could make neither head nor tail of this question. The smoke serpent, however, split itself instantly into two snakes, both coiling and undulating in the dark air. With a look of grim satisfaction, Dumbledore gave the instrument another gentle tap with his wand. The clinking noise slowed and died, and the smoke serpents grew faint, became a formless haze, and vanished.”

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: So I don’t think we ever figure out what this instrument actually is, but I think now with our perspective of finishing the series, it’s pretty clear Dumbledore is contemplating Horcruxes here.

Rosie: Yeah, I’ve always taken this as the moment where Dumbledore solidifies his theory that the Horcruxes had been made, and that this is the point where he starts looking for them. So when we get to the whole Dumbledore’s Army being caught scene later on and he leaves, that’s the point in which he starts actually physically looking for Horcruxes and looking for clues that we will then see in the next book. But the whole “in essence divided” idea… that just screams of Horcruxes, doesn’t it?

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: That you’ve got one person’s soul divided into bits. But the two snakes thing… it doesn’t make sense to me. Why would it be two snakes and not Voldemort head that has been split into several pieces? Why is it that the serpent is in essence divided? Is it something about possession? Is it something about having two bits of Voldemort inside the snake if he’s a Horcrux and possession? It’s very confusing.

Caleb So I actually thought that the snakes don’t represent Nagini, but it actually represents Voldemort and Harry, and it’s showing that his Horcrux has been split into another live human.

Madeline: I did actually find a quote from Rowling about the “in essence divided” concept.

Caleb: Mhm?

Kat: Huh.

Madeline: “Dumbledore suspected that the snake’s essence was divided – that it contained part of Voldemort’s soul, and that was why it was so very adept at doing his bidding. That also explained why Harry, the last and unintended Horcrux, could see so clearly through the snake’s eyes, just as he regularly sees through Voldemort’s. Dumbledore is thinking aloud here, edging towards the truth with the help of the Pensieve.”

Kat: Wait.

Caleb: Oh, so this is the Pensieve?

Madeline: That’s the one part I don’t understand. The question was specifically, “What does ‘in essence divided’ mean?” And that was Jo’s answer to it…

Kat: Hmm.

Madeline: … so it is saying that he was looking for the essence of the snake, but the snake’s essence was divided and that’s why it’s…

Caleb: Okay. See, my thought… so I think there’s two things there to talk about: First, the fact that she says that he was looking into the Pensieve. But see, I considered, “Maybe this just is the Pensieve,” but I felt like Harry would have acknowledged that because he obviously knows at this point what the Pensieve is, and he never does. So that’s what confused me.

Kat: Well, and also it says that there’s a minuscule silver tube at the top, and that doesn’t…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: And it’s described as an instrument; it doesn’t have spindly legs or something. I don’t think this is described in any way similar.

Caleb and Kat: Right.

Rosie: I think that’s probably just Jo mistaking what she’s talking about in the quote…

Caleb: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Kat: Yeah, that’s probably true.

Rosie: … which does happen occasionally. We’ll forgive her that.

Madeline: It does seem like it would have to be a very specific device to test whether or not there were multiple souls in one body.

Caleb: Yeah.

Madeline: That seems like a very specific device, but I can’t imagine what else it would be doing.

Kat: I wonder if it’s, yeah, just something to do with souls and life and ghosts or something of that nature. I don’t know exactly what. But that’s… hmm.

Rosie: Let’s hope for Pottermore.

Kat: Yes, this is confusing, Har… I almost called you Harry, Rosie. [laughs]

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: This is confusing. Sorry.

Rosie: But I think we’re all agreed that this is him deciding about Horcruxes…

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: … and the fact that Nagini does have a bit of Dumbledore… no.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: We’re all getting names confused today…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: … a bit of Voldemort already. Although I thought we also decide later on that Nagini doesn’t become a Horcrux until… or maybe it’s until after Voldemort got his body back, so it’s already a Horcrux by this point.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Yeah, I think she became a Horcrux at the end of the last book.

Rosie: Yeah. Okay.

Kat: Yep. Because he intended to use Harry when he killed him as the last one.

Rosie: Sure.

Kat: And since he didn’t kill him…

Rosie: He’s a mess. I think he used Frank Bryce or someone.

Kat: Huh. Wouldn’t that have been funny if he had used Cedric…? But oh, he didn’t kill… well, technically…

Rosie: No, that’s not funny! [laughs]

Kat: No, no, I don’t mean funny “ha ha,” I just mean…

Rosie: That’s sad.

Kat: … he did technically kill him because it was his wand. But Pettigrew did it… I don’t know. Anyway…

Caleb: Yeah, he would have… Voldemort would have wanted to use his own hand as killing for a Horcrux.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: He wouldn’t want to use someone else as a vessel.

Kat: Right, plus you probably have to do it immediately after…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … or close to, and he didn’t have a body yet.

Rosie: But we know that there have been people disappearing over the summer as well, so he would have had plenty of opportunity to kill someone and make a Horcrux.

Kat: Right, exactly.

Caleb: So this instrument is interesting. We could talk about the symbolism for a long time, but we’ll just let you guys hash it out on the site in the forums because we definitely want to hear what you guys have to say.

Rosie: Yes, tell us your “in essence divided” theories.

Caleb: Right. Another thing is we see Dumbledore make a Portkey here to get Harry and the Weasleys out of Hogwarts and into Grimmauld Place, and he says he can’t use the Floo Network because it’s being watched. So it begs the question, what’s the regulation on Portkeys if any? It doesn’t seem from what we’ve seen in the series that there is much of a regulation on Portkeys. Obviously they are sometimes officially created, such as for the World Cup, but instances like these don’t seem to be regulated. So that makes me wonder if it’s extremely difficult to make Portkeys that that would be enough of a deterrent of everyone just making them all the time.

Rosie: At the end of the book after the battle and when Dumbledore is sending Harry back to school, he makes a Portkey in front of Fudge. And Fudge says, “You can’t just go making an un-…

Kat: Authorized.

Rosie: … unauthorized Portkey in front of the Minister of Magic.”

Caleb: Okay.

Rosie: So that suggests that there is a lot of authorization needed for Portkeys…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: … and only the Ministry can create them legally… perhaps.

Caleb: Okay, yeah. Let me rephrase what… I said that poorly, but I’m glad you pointed that out…

Rosie: Mhm.

Caleb: … because I forgot that that had happened. It does make sense that there is regulation, but how well can the Ministry monitor it?

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Compared to the Floo Network, I think is what is the question is.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Clearly not very well.

Rosie: No.

Caleb: Right.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Madeline: Well, the Floo Network doesn’t take up physical space necessarily, but it does almost take up bandwidth.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Madeline: There is some…

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Madeline: … and it is the government that’s setting those up, whereas a Portkey is just a spell.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Madeline: It’s very temporary.

Kat: It’s like Apparating with an object.

Rosie: Yes.

Kat: In a way, right?

Rosie: Yeah, I agree. It’s like side-along Apparition where it’s the object itself that is the Apparating party.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: And it’s bringing whoever’s holding it along for the ride. So it’s very hard to tell when that’s happening, in the same way that it’s hard to know when someone is Apparating.

Kat: That seems silly then that they would have such regulations on them.

Madeline: A lot of the regulations are silly.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Well, I know.

Caleb: British bureaucracy.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yay! Yeah.

Caleb: But when they do use the Portkey as they’re getting ready to be sent away, Harry and Dumbledore lock eyes for the first time in this book and the effect is instantaneous. The text is: “At once, Harry’s scar burned white-hot, as though the old wound had burst open again – and unbidden, unwanted, but terrifyingly strong, there rose within Harry a hatred so powerful he felt, for that instant, he would like nothing better than to strike – to bite – to sink his fangs into the man before him.”

Rosie: What a run-on sentence.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But it’s a brilliant one. And I love Jo’s writing here.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: So it affirms why Dumbledore… I guess at this point upon first read, we still don’t know that Dumbledore has been intentionally avoiding Harry for this reason. Harry doesn’t have the time to fully reconsider it because of what’s happening with Arthur, but this gives us upon review evidence why Dumbledore has been avoiding Harry’s eyes.

Kat: I wonder what Dumbledore saw.

Caleb: He probably would have seen a change in Harry’s eyes.

Kat: Yeah, that’s what I was wondering, if he saw his normal eyes or…

Rosie: I think he says that he sees a shadow of the snake behind it.

Kat: Oh, does he say that?

Rosie: In the chapter after the one I was just talking about, when he’s talking about everything that’s happened over the last year, in that one…

Kat: “The Lost Prophecy”.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: That’s my favorite chapter of the whole series. How did I not remember that bit? Okay.

Rosie: [laughs] I’m fairly sure he says he saw a shadow and he knew that his theory was correct. Voldemort had become aware of the connection between them, and it was at this point that he would then start to develop his new plan.

Kat: Right, and that’s why they start Occlumency.

Rosie: Yes.

Kat: Oc-clu-men-cy.

[Caleb laughs]

Rosie: But in that way it’s interesting because if this is the first time that Voldemort is aware of the connection and has started looking the other way – Harry has always been looking through his eyes and now Voldemort is looking through Harry’s – can he choose when to create that connection? Because Harry certainly can’t. And if so, how much of this scene did he see? Is it just this point he started looking and then suddenly this eye connection happened and rose up? Or has he been eavesdropping on this entire scene?

Kat: Huh.

Caleb: I don’t think he can choose – Voldemort, I mean – because I think there’s enough evidence in the rest of the series that Harry only experiences this whenever there are strong outbursts of emotion on Voldemort’s side.

Rosie: But then would that mean that Voldemort would see it when there are strong bursts of emotion on Harry’s side?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s the question that’s opened up. Right.

Kat: Yeah, that’s what I was just thinking, and I think that… yeah, probably. I’m not sure he heard the whole thing, but Harry’s definitely pretty distraught and emotional…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: … at this point. That would make sense. They didn’t really talk about anything super sensitive, I suppose.

Rosie: No, no.

Kat: So even if Voldemort was watching / listening / whatever…

Rosie: What would Voldemort make of the “in essence divided” speech? [laughs]

Kat: Hmm… maybe he didn’t see that part.

Caleb: Conveniently not.

Kat: [laughs] Right.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I mean, he thinks Dumbledore is a wacky old man anyway, so…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Who knows?

Caleb: But a formidable one, all the same.

Kat: Nonetheless, right. Exactly.

Caleb: All right. Well, after they spend some time in Grimmauld Place with Sirius, and this – through the end of the chapter when they finally do get to Arthur – the big theme is how Harry is both the messenger of Arthur’s injury, and he was the snake itself in the dream, and how people are responding to that. So obviously the big one is how the Weasley children, and later Molly and Arthur, might be taking this – specifically internally. When they get back to Grimmauld Place, Harry and all the Weasley children… it says that, “Ron, [who] was still very white, gave him a fleeting look but did not speak. When Harry had finished…” This is talking about telling about the dream, but he does leave out the part about being the snake. “Fred, George, and Ginny continued to stare at him for a moment. Harry did not know whether he was imagining it or not, but he fancied there was something accusatory in their looks.”

Rosie: He was imagining it. [laughs]

Madeline: Yeah, one hundred percent imagining it.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: I mean, it would be really hard to be a Weasley right now and not be looking at Harry like, “What the hell is going on?” Not necessarily blaming him, but definitely wondering… “Why are you involved in this?” I guess, is the question I personally would be asking. “Why? Why you?”

Caleb: And to give Ron a lot of credit… I give Ron a lot of trouble because of him leaving in Deathly Hallows, but I think here… it’s very subtle, but I think it really shows his commitment to Harry. Because while Fred, George, and Ginny are more outwardly expressing their feelings in different ways, how they’re channeling it – understandably so – Ron is very quiet. He doesn’t seem to be looking at Harry with some accusatory look; he’s trying to hold it all in, probably processing all of this. But he doesn’t immediately snap and blame Harry, even though he knows at this point the whole story because he was in Dumbledore’s office. So I think that really speaks to Ron’s commitment to Harry here.

Rosie: I think it’s also that Ron knows about Harry’s previous dreams, whereas none of the others do.

Caleb: Hmm, that’s a good point.

Rosie: Because those dreams are always a secret that Harry, Ron, and Hermione keep between themselves. They don’t want other people thinking he’s crazy. So it’s very much built on the trust between the trio at that point, that Fred, George, and Ginny – even though we see them so often – aren’t aware of a lot of what’s going on that the trio are.

Kat: That’s exactly what I was going to say. So…

Rosie: Okay. [laughs]

Kat: Very good. [laughs]

Caleb: Fair enough. And as the scene continues, Fred and George, who were so desiring to be part of the Order earlier in the book, suddenly don’t care about the Order. They just want to see their dad because no one is giving them a lot of information because Arthur was guarding something for the Order. Ginny tries to come up with a reason – we see how resourceful she is – as to how they would know about what happened because that’s why they can’t go see Arthur right now. Ron is still being quiet. Sirius does not handle the twins being upset well at all. Regarding how Arthur… he tells them Arthur knew what he was getting himself into. Which is true, but maybe not what you say to the children of a man who is…

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: … possibly dying at that moment.

Rosie: Sirius doesn’t have a lot of social skills.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: He’s not been around people for a very long time.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: But he does in just a moment, right? Because Fred has not such a great moment by saying “It’s easy for Sirius to say that, stuck there in Grimmauld Place, not risking his neck.” But obviously in heated moments like this, it’s very common for people to say things they don’t mean; they’re running on emotions. But surprisingly, when Fred does make this really horrible comment to Sirius, Sirius responds calmly and diplomatically and just tries to get everyone very calm. Which I think is a really big moment for Sirius.

Kat: Mhm. He’s finally grown up.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: The little pup is a full grown dog now.

[Rosie laughs]

Madeline: This is probably one of my favorite scenes in this book. I actually lost my mom when I was 20 and a year or two before this book came out. And so reading this, I had that night where I sat up all night waiting for information, wondering what the outcome was going to be, just worried sick. And watching them go through this, I went through everything. I was Fred, I was Ginny, I was Ron, all of those emotions… I had all of those that night. So it really just resonated with me to read this scene, and it was just very meaningful for me.

Rosie: Of course. And we know of course Jo obviously lost her mom as well. So she’s got that personal experience as well.

Caleb: Mhm.

Rosie: Obviously it’s why she can write this so well. It really does strike to the heart of people who have experienced this.

Kat: It’s like… I was just thinking when you were talking about your personal experience, that they are kind of like, each individually, the five stages of grief.

Madeline: Yep, absolutely. I saw that as well.

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: That’s funny.

Madeline: Because you don’t go through them in sequence. A lot of times you go through them all at once.

Caleb: Right. Repeat some of them. Yeah, definitely.

Madeline: Right.

Kat: Right, back and forth.

Caleb: So Molly finally shows up and tells them that Arthur is going to be okay. She graciously thanks Harry, and she even thanks Sirius for holding them all there at Grimmauld Place. One thing I want to say before we move on to this: I don’t necessarily think Fred and George acted in the most mature manner. Not to take anything away – because I think it’s totally understandable – but this is one of the first moments that I saw Fred and George as men rather than boys because they seemed to really stand up, wanting to know what’s wrong with their father. They almost… they don’t… it’s not explicit, but they seem to be taking on this role as taking care of their family because they want to know the answers, and they want to deal with it. It’s just… we haven’t seen the twins act out in this sort of manner before because they’re just such secondary characters.

Rosie: And they’re looking after Ginny as well in a way that we really haven’t seen them do so far throughout the books. Even when she was taken in the second book, they didn’t seem to care as much. [laughs]

Caleb: Right. Yeah.

Rosie: But yeah, there’s definitely that element, that this is the moment where they can finally become the kind of of-age wizards that they’ve been since the beginning of the book, which allows their leaving later on to be acceptable a bit more.

Caleb: Mhm. Yeah. So then on the other hand, Harry… this was talking about Harry being the messenger of the dream, but now there’s also this level of Harry actually was the snake in the dream, and because we’re still dealing with this fact that Arthur is really in critical condition, no one is considering what it means for Harry to have been the snake until maybe the last couple lines of the chapter. And we’ll get to that in just a second, but we’re still left with the burning question: What does it mean that Harry is able to see as the snake? Obviously, we know the answer, having read the series, but at the time we certainly don’t. Harry has to reason with himself internally that he doesn’t have fangs because he’s so worried about this experience that he’s had, and he tries to talk to Sirius about his concerns, but Sirius doesn’t really help him out too much; he kind of just plays it off. I think this is a contrast to how McGonagall handled it earlier in the chapter. Sirius tells him that he’s just in shock and needs rest.

Kat: Yeah. It… I can’t even imagine going through something like that, physically feeling like you’re in the body of something that attacked somebody thousands of miles away. The emotional grief that you would… oh. Yeah.

Caleb: Especially since this has been building, right? I mean – going back to Goblet of Fire – Harry saw the death of Frank Bryce, so this is something that has been building for a while.

Kat: Has Harry…? He hasn’t connected the two at this point.

Caleb: No.

Kat: I didn’t think so.

Caleb: I just don’t think he has the space or time to right now.

Kat: Right. Just refresh my memory. Did they discuss the Frank Bryce thing? They did a little bit, right? He and Dumbledore.

Caleb: I can’t remember, honestly.

Rosie: I think so. And we see that Frank Bryce comes out of Voldemort’s wand in the resurrection.

Kat: Right. Right.

Rosie: He definitely knows that that was a Voldemort-connected death.

Caleb: Right. So the last piece of the chapter is finally getting to St. Mungo’s. We find that the entrance is through Purge and Dowse Ltd., an old abandoned store. So it’s another interesting local entrance to the wizarding world from the Muggle world that we get. We don’t have enough time to appreciate it fully because again, the situation…

Rosie: This is my Doctor Who moment in the book as well. The mannequin is just…

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: That’s totally British. Yeah. Good.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: They should have put this… I know it’s not in Diagon Alley or any place around there, but how cool would it have been if they had put…?

Caleb: Yeah, in Muggle London at Universal.

Kat: Yeah, just a sign or something that said “Purge and Dowse this way.”

Caleb and Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: I don’t know. That would be pretty cheeky.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: That would be funny.

Caleb: So just some quick notes on St. Mungo’s itself aside from Arthur’s situation: There are some really clever posters at the front desk. Even in dire moments Jo shows her creativity and wonderful spin. One of the posters says, “A clean cauldron keeps potions from becoming poisons.”

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: And another says, “Antidotes are anti-don’ts unless approved by a qualified Healer.”

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Very clever, very wonderful.

Rosie: I think they’re so important as well because this could be an extremely dark chapter, but it’s just these little moments of humor that bring it out and make it acceptable for you to carry on reading. You’ve got these pauses in between the grief.

Caleb: Right. And it makes me really wish we had more time to explore [St.] Mungo’s. I mean, we see some of it here, we some of it when Harry finds out that Lockhart is there, but there’s obviously much more to be discovered. And I guess that’s kind of dark because it’s a hospital, but I still feel like Jo has this really elaborate scheme of [St.] Mungo’s like she does everything else. That would be interesting just to know more.

Kat: Well, clearly, I mean, because she spells out – haha, “spells” – what’s on every floor of the hospital.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: So she’s clearly, yeah, thought about it in-depth.

Caleb: Yeah. And it…

Rosie: And it’s further proof that she’s really fleshed out the entire wizarding world, even if we’re only going to see it with two chapters of the book.

Caleb: Right. Yeah, exactly.

Rosie: It’s all there.

Kat: I bet we’ll see it in Fantastic Beasts at some point, St. Mungo’s.

Rosie: Probably.

Caleb: I hope so.

Kat: That would make sense. Right?

Caleb: That would be good.

Kat: Some kind of injury.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Who knows?

Caleb: And also, I imagined how interesting it would be to be the person at the front desk [who] directs all of these wild and zany magical maladies and injuries to which floor.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: It’s funny. Sometimes she just sees it and directs them to the floor immediately, but what an interesting job.

Madeline: Well, we think it would be interesting, but to me that character came across as being a typical American DMV employee.

Caleb: Oh, yeah.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Totally. It seemed very… yeah, it just… cold, almost.

Kat: DMV. Good comparison.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Caleb: Because I also thought of people just [lining up] with all of these things going on, waiting to talk to the front desk.

[Kat laugh]

Rosie: Holding on to the ankle of the little girl flying above his head. Yep, it’s just perfect.

[Caleb, Kat, and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: But then we do finally get to see Arthur, who… he seems pretty well. He’s up reading the Daily Prophet. But the venom from Nagini’s bite… his wounds are still bleeding out, and so he has to keep taking a Blood-Replenishing Potion every hour. And we get to meet his two [room]mates in that particular area. One is one bit by a werewolf. I thought about if this is a little bit of foreshadowing because it’s so close to Arthur here physically here, and obviously he has his son who gets bitten by a werewolf. And then we see that this woman is also there who has had a chunk of her leg bitten out but won’t talk about what happened.

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: Did you guys think about the foreshadowing possibility?

Kat: I feel like werewolves are such an undercurrent [in] the entire series. They’re mentioned so often with Lupin and the Weasleys. I don’t know if it’s foreshadowing, but I definitely think that there’s some understrain.

Rosie: Do we know if Fenrir Greyback is out there at the moment? I think he’s in Azkaban.

Kat: I think he’s in Azkaban, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: But he had… yeah. So he’ll be breaking out eventually but not quite yet. So at the end of this book.

Madeline: I do think it was important to see how Molly reacted to the werewolf.

Kat and Rosie: Yes.

strong>Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Mm.

Madeline: Her immediate “Should he be here? Shouldn’t he be in his own ward?” sort of thing. I don’t know if that was foreshadowing, but it definitely shows some character growth as to how she reacts later on.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat That’s true.

Rosie: It’s reaffirming to us as well that we still see people have these prejudices, and we also know that they’re there for a reason. There are bad werewolves out there that are biting people, so it’s not like “Trust all werewolves,” even though we trust Lupin.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: But also, the fact that Lupin goes to talk to that werewolf… that could be foreshadowing of Lupin talking to werewolves in general in the future.

Kat: That’s true.

Rosie: So yeah. There'[re] lots of little bits that you could read into that.

Caleb: So when they actually talk to Arthur, the Weasleys try to get him to reveal what happened, what he was guarding… one of the twins even says, “You were guarding something for the Order, weren’t you?” and Molly keeps trying to redirect him. Arthur is very causal in his conversation, but I think it was very important that Molly almost immediately, now she knows that Arthur is giong to be okay, shifts her concern to the Order buisiness. She’s the one [who] keeps stopping Arthur from saying too much, redirecting the conversation, and it’s strictly about the Order now that he’s okay.

Kat: Yep. They still have the conversation. They kick the kids out of the room…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: … and they still have the conversation even though Arthur is not in a private room.

Caleb: Right, yeah, I didn’t think about that. But those other people were there.

Kat: Whoops. Yep.

Caleb: That’s probably just a slight oversight by Jo.

Kat: Probably.

Caleb: So… but as you mentioned, the kids are ordered out, and Moody and Tonks, and I think that’s it at this moment – yeah – go in to join Arthur and Molly. Is that everyone [who]’s there right now? I think so.

Rosie: Yeah, I think so.

Caleb: Okay, there’s no one else.

Kat: I think so.

Caleb: Yeah. And so they talk about the attack, and Fred and George pull out some Extendable Ears, and everyone listens in, even though Harry hesitates for a moment. They think that Voldemort was using Nagini to scope out the place. We still don’t know what the place is, what the object is, but they seem, at least, relieved that Nagini didn’t find out too much information. And Molly seems to think that Dumbledore – as we talked about earlier – has been waiting for this to happen to Harry. And Moody – obviously incorrect, but in a way it’s a degree, I guess – seems to think that Voldemort is possessing Harry. And that is when the… all of the Weasleys and Harry break off the Extendable Ears, and Harry has this moment of like, “Oh my God,” and everyone is just staring at him. And that’s how the chapter ends.

Rosie: On to “Christmas at the Closed Ward,” which is one of my favorite chapter ever! [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, that is a good chapter.

Rosie: It’s interesting that Mad-Eye is so careless, I think, in this scene to be discussing Order business so openly. From everything that we know about him, it just doesn’t seem to strike true.

Kat: And he doesn’t really show much care for Harry either, which, obviously, is a contrast to Barty Crouch, Jr. Moody, who actually cared for Harry a lot.

Caleb: In a twisted way, yeah.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Yeah, exactly. So shows the contrast between the two, I suppose.

Caleb: Also, just amazing to look back and realize how far Jo takes us along and makes us guess at things, and we still, with no inkling of anything, as to what a Horcrux is. She really just strings us along until we figure that… what it actually is explicitly.

Madeline: When I was doing some research on the “in essence divided” question, I definitely ran across some conversations from before the next book came out – before Half-Blood Prince came out – of people just speculating wildly as to what that meant.

Caleb and Rosie: Yeah.

Madeline: It was… people were just crazy about what that could possibly mean without knowing about the Horcruxes.

Caleb: I miss those days passionately.

Rosie: Yeah. I remember after Order of the Phoenix came out, there was so much fan fiction that came out between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. And just… I mean, St. Mungo’s, in particular, really captured people’s attention because it was only in there for two chapters and then mentioned sporadically throughout the rest of the book. But the scene with Neville in the next chapter and just having all of this detail in such a short amount of time was just a playground for people to just go […] play with. But the amount detail in there that we think, “Oh, okay, this is interesting. This is just kind of fleshing out the world,” but it’s actually relevant. It’s just incredible. And yeah, just… I love Jo. She’s brilliant. [laughs]

Kat: OGM.

Rosie: OGM, definitely.

Kat: So now we’ll move on to our Podcast Question of the Week for this week. So in this chapter, as… we just talked a lot about St. Mungo’s and the Order and Harry and the Horcruxes and the Portkeys and all that. So we’re seeing a lot. It’s a one-sided story, obviously. We’re seeing this from Harry’s point of view. We are wondering about the other half of the story. So the question this week is “During the scene at St. Mungo’s, we clearly see how the Order is responding to the attack on Arthur. Assuming that Lord Voldemort and Dolores Umbridge know everything that happened, what are the Ministry and Lord Voldemort doing at this moment? Also, the Ministry never publicly, or privately as far as know, acknowledged the attack on Arthur. Why not? What was the official internal story of the attack?” So if someone noticed Arthur wasn’t at work, what did they say? So we want to know your answers, your theories, your thoughts. As usual, you can go to and share them with us, and we might just read them on next week’s show.

Rosie: And all that remains to be done on this very special, jam-packed, hundredth episode of Alohomora! is to thank our fabulous guest. So Madeline, I hope you had a good time.

Madeline: I had a fantastic time. Thank you for having me on.

Rosie: Thank you very much for being here.

Caleb: And if you would like to join the show as a guest, just like Madeline did, we would love to have you. So just head over to, where you can find more information on the “Be on the Show” page. If you have a set of Apple headphones, you’re all set. That’s enough equipment. If not, nothing fancy. Just something that will allow you to have a really great and clear recording.

Kat: And in the meantime, if you just want to stay in touch with us, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, we’re on Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast. Of course, our phone number is 206-GO-ALBUS (206-462-5287). Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes, and also, follow us on Snapchat at mn_alohomora. And of course, our Audioboo. It’s free, and all you need is an Internet connection and a microphone. You can record us a message directly at, and we might just play it on the show. So it can be a reaction to something we said, a question for a future episode, a general comment… whatever you want. Let’s hear it.

Rosie: And also, remember, that we have our store. We have our fabulous new House shirts on there. Thank you so much for sending in your pictures. We love seeing you wearing them. And we also have everything else that we normally do, as well as ringtones that are free and available on our website.

Caleb: Also, make sure to check out our smartphone app, which is available seemingly worldwide, and prices vary, depending on location. The app includes things like transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and more. And that is going to do it for this century mark…

Kat: Oh.

Caleb: … of Alohomora!, our 100th episode. I’m Caleb Graves.

Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris.

[Show music begins]

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 100 of Alohomora!

Caleb: [as Nagini] Open the Dumbledore. [hisses]

[Show music continues]

Harry, Hermione, and Ron: Hello, Alohomora!

Harry: This is Harry.

Ron: Ron.

Hermione: And Hermione.

Ron: And we just rang in to say…

Harry, Hermione, and Ron: Happy 100th…

Harry and Hermione: … episode!

Ron: … anniversary! Oh, I thought it was their 100th anniversary.

Hermione: No, Ron, don’t be silly. It’s their 100th show. If it was their anniversary, they would be about as old as Celestina Warbeck.

Ron: Well, I think she looks good for her age.

Harry: Well, Alohomora! is still looking good, too. Keep inspecting the wzarding world closely, you guys. You’re doing great.

Hermione: We wish we could answer some of your questions, but due to the International Statute of Secrecy, combined with Harry signing many of his life story rights away to J.K. Rowling, we are forbidden from doing so.

Ron: But we can tell her what you’d like to see on Pottermore. I still don’t see why a web full of stuff about Harry is so great. I hate anything with spiders.

Hermione: “Website,” Ron. “Website.” I’ve told you: The internet doesn’t actually have anything to do with spiders.

Ron: No, thanks. I’ll keep my distance.

Harry: Hey, you two. They only want these things to last 60 seconds. Let’s wrap it up.

Hermione: Right.

Ron: Right. Yeah, sorry.

Harry: Happy 100th show, Alohomora!

Harry, Hermione, and Ron: Open the Dumbledore!

Ron: Still don’t get what that means.