Transcript – Episode 125

[Show music begins]

Eric Scull: This is Episode 125 of Alohomora! for February 21, 2015.

[Show music continues]

Eric: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of Alohomora! I’m Eric Scull.

Kristen Keys: I’m Kristen Keys.

Michael Harle: I’m Michael Harle.

Rosie Morris: And I’m Rosie Morris. A host show!

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Welcome back. Happy to have you.

Rosie: Thank you.

Michael: She’s not a guest, listeners. She’s a host.

Rosie: No, I am still here.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: New listeners who just joined us after Half-Blood Prince was begun…

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: … Rosie is a host of this show, since the beginning, and she let us know before the show that this is actually her first Half-Blood Prince to be on to discuss with us.

Rosie: It is. Yes. There’s no WiFi at Hogwarts, you see, so I just haven’t been around.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: You British people just visit Hogwarts whenever you want to. We’ve all gotten to weigh in on our feelings on Half-Blood Prince already, so what are your general feelings on Half-Blood?

Rosie: Ooh, good question. I like it as a book; I think there are some really interesting things that she does with this plot. But it is very much a filler between Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows. But it’s a book that needed to happen for the plot of Deathly Hallows to make sense. So there possibly could have been better ways of doing some of the events, but it is quite good. Probably better than the film. [laughs]

Michael: I love the Half-Blood Prince movie.

Eric: I am stunned. I like the book better than [Movies] 5 and 7 combined.

Michael: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Half-Blood, too.

Eric: Half-Blood Prince is great. And to those listeners who may be wondering, we do not have a listening special guest on this episode; it’s a host-only episode, myself, Kristen, Michael, and Rosie leading you through Chapter 7 of Half-Blood Prince, which is “The Slug Club.” Be sure to read that chapter before proceeding into our episode discussion.

Rosie: But as usual, before we get to this week’s chapter, we have to recap our comments from last week. And there’s a brilliant and very, very thoughtful discussion about love potions going on in the comments on the actual main site of Alohomora! And it’s thinking about love potions and the issues of consent, which is a bit of a heavy issue to go into, so we’re not really going to go into it now, but I just wanted to thank you all for your very mature and thought-provoking conversation on there.

Michael: Yeah, I saw that thread. That was an excellent thread, you guys are doing a really great job with the conversation there. I’m sure we’ll get to the effects and the consent around love potion a little f[u]rther along as we go through Half-Blood.

Rosie: Yeah, because I didn’t really want to pick out one or two comments from that discussion because it’s just a brilliant discussion to go […] read. So I do encourage you all to go […] do that yourselves. But our first comment is from Sharona Lumos, and it says,

“Bill gives Harry a full [bag of money] at the Burrow to spend in Diagon alley because ‘it’s taking about five hours for the public to [go] get […] their gold at the moment, the goblins have tightened security so much’. I don’t know if this was discussed in previous podcasts, but I believe [M]rs Weasley also takes money from Harry’s vault (for example, to pay for his dress robes in GoF). How are they able to take […] money from Harry’s vault without him even knowing? Have the Weasleys become some sort of financial guardian until he comes of age? Do they have his vault key, or are there two keys? I don’t know why, but I can’t quite wrap my [head] around it.”

And it’s a very good question.

Eric: It’s a great question.

Michael: That’s a thing we’ve been pondering, though, since Prisoner when Sirius was like, “Oh, I just strolled into Gringotts and got some money for your Firebolt, and then I went and bought you a Firebolt. And nobody cared that a dog was buying a Firebolt.” [laughs]

Rosie: There are some serious issues around money in this book series. It doesn’t really make sense.

Eric: I think we’re meant to believe… I mean, Bill, for instance, works there, so I assume he has a key. I mean, it does raise some very serious security implications because Harry was not informed. It’s when you try [to] log in even to your online banking account sometimes, and the bank might send you a text message to verify if you’re on a computer it doesn’t recognize. The wizarding equivalent of something like that might be helpful, but owls would take a couple [of] days. I just assume because that was Bill doing Harry a solid. I mean, that’s pretty amazing that he doesn’t have to wait in line and can actually spend his day shopping and keeping the economy going and all that. But for everybody else, it’s a shame that you don’t know somebody who knows somebody who works there.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: That’s the same amount of hours it took for me to get into Gringotts this summer.

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: I know, right?

Eric: Me, too. Me, too.

Kristen: That’s the experience.

Eric: Yeah, it’s true. It’s true to the real wizarding world.

Michael: Well, because I guess the legal caretaker of Harry’s money… I mean, I suppose it would have been Sirius or the Dursleys, but the Dursleys… I don’t know if they would’ve had the right to that with how the wizarding world works. But I was wondering if maybe if it had been Sirius who was in charge of it somehow if maybe he could’ve put in his will to make the Weasleys the financial bearers for Harry.

Eric: It might be Dumbledore, too.

Rosie: Then he wouldn’t have already died by Goblet of Fire.

Eric: What was that?

Rosie: When Mrs. Weasley got out money from his vault in Goblet of Fire, when Sirius was still alive. But I mean, Gringotts is meant to be the safest bank in the world, and the goblins are trying to say that…

[Eric laughs]

Michael: Well, apparently not! Because I’m just going to stroll in there and just take some money out of Eric’s account.

Eric: Tell them Harry sent you. They’ll let him in to the…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You’ve seen the first movie, so you know his vault number, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: “Six hundred and eighty-seven,” just so you know. You’re friends with Harry Potter, and he said it’s okay if you go […] grab some of his money.

Kristen: Take some gold.

Eric: The funny thing is that Harry is so… I wouldn’t say “careless,” but he’s so willing to give out his money – he doesn’t really want it – that you probably… maybe the goblins know that about him and are just like, “Oh, yeah! He gave consent. This makes sense.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: “He’s always giving away money…”

Rosie: He’s Harry Potter.

Kristen: “What else is new?”

Rosie: Well, on a related note, and definitely thinking about this security, Healer in Training says,

“While the ministry has a lot of influence over all the happenings in the [w]izarding world why is it taking five hours for the public to get their money? As we see in DH and we can infer from the earlier books, I assume the goblins like to operate independently of much [M]inistry regulation (my only reasoning against this is that they seem over whelmingly [sic] accommodating of the [D]ark side, when they infiltrate the [M]inistry in DH). Do they simply assume that [D]ark wizards would try to break in to top security vaults? Do they just generally not trust anyone anymore? It kind of reminds me of [a] post 9/11 flying [situation]. Although [I was] only 8 when this occurred, [I] vaguely remember highly tightened security to get through airports, increasing the ways that people were evaluated, identified and scanned to [go] through […] the terminal. This process took hours in the days following the attacks. So then, if security is tightened so much, how can Bill simply go […] get Harry’s money? I get that he works for Gringotts, but still, I would think that only very few people would have the clearance to get money from an unrelated person’s vault.”

Eric: Yeah. Another really good question about why exactly it’s taking so long. But I think we’re just meant to believe that there are extra measures being taken. The book says as much, that the goblins are just heightening security measures, so that’s really all it is, but Bill has access to the back room, has access to… I don’t know, a special mine cart of his own or something.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Yeah, well, because we don’t exactly know how far up at Gringotts Bill is, but he’s been working there for a while.

Rosie: Yeah, wasn’t he a Cursebreaker or something? So he was meant to be just going and finding money [unintelligible] for a while?

Eric: Yeah, he’s peripheral if you think about the books, but then of course at the Gringotts ride in Universal, he has his own very nice office, which is right across from the main queue.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Well, and I was going to say, too, the thing about the ride itself… and the ride obviously can’t be completely taken as canon, but what’s really clever about the queue, since you have to wait in it for five hours…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: … is that there’s so many things to look at, and there'[re] a lot of posters that detail security and how goblins operate Gringotts and how they’re going to keep your money safe, and there'[re] all these really excessive assurances that your money is very safe there. And since the ride takes place in Deathly Hallows, it’s during the war, so the posters reflect a wartime thinking about the safety of your finances. So I could definitely see that idea of upping security during war and elongating the process to get your money.

Rosie: I think people would also be rushing to try [to] get their money maybe out of Gringotts. With the dangerous situation, people wouldn’t want to be going to Diagon Alley as much, so if that’s the only place that they can go [to] get their money, they would perhaps want it to be more on their person than just hanging out in a vault for Death Eaters to break into.

Kristen: Yeah. Stock up.

Michael: Which of course, in turn…

Rosie: Would create a run on it.

Michael: … forces Gringotts to increase [its] value to the wizarding world because it’s a business.

Eric: And a higher volume in general. Higher volume traffic would mean longer wait times.

Rosie: The other major discussion point from last week’s episode was all about Draco, and again, this is a lengthy discussion going on in the comments, so do go […] read those, but just as a starter that just recaps a lot of what they are saying, PhoenixAsh says,

“Draco is only redeemable because he was given a chance to change without any dire consequences. Which is exactly why Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him. [Dumbledore] knew he was dying, so it wouldn’t have mattered who finished him off. At that point Draco had been (thankfully) unsuccessful in scaring [sic] is soul with death. He was a minor and acting out of fear, protection of his family, and the only thing he had been taught from his parents.”

“This differs from Snape because he [has] only decided to be good after causing the death of his one love. He did terrible things just to belong somewhere, despite the fact that [h]is love was fighting for the other side. This shows that his choice in who[m] to fight for is calculated rather than inherited as with Draco. Had Snape come around before causing any deaths, and not held a grudge against an innocent child (who’s [sic] parents are dead BECAUSE of his actions), he may have been redeemed. It’s just simply not the case.”

“Narcissa is complicated because we know very little of her story. If she is responsible for deaths, she is absolutely not redeemable. Her redemption is even questionable if she was simply a bystander to her familiy’s [sic] evil deeds. We do know that, like Draco, her beliefs are inherited and that given the choice between evil and true mother[‘]s love, she does the right thing. But that doesn’t make her honorable.”

So this is a very interesting ethical discussion about why we have decided, perhaps, that some characters who have been presented as evil or bad throughout the whole series… why some people choose to consider them as becoming good by the end of it and what, really, redemption does mean to these characters.

Michael: This discussion actually makes me think there’s… I feel like why this discussion is so important and why I can’t wait to keep examining it as we go on with the series is that this question of how we forgive and who deserves redemption and who doesn’t is, I think, a question that permeates humanity, and I’ve been thinking about, in terms of… if you guys are video gamers, there'[re] a lot of video games that capitalize on that. I just played a really great one, listeners. If you haven’t ever heard of it, it’s called The Wolf Among Us. It’s based on the comic series, Fables.

Eric: You would play a game called The Wolf Among Us.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: I would. And it was awesome. It had all the wolf things you would ever want. But it’s…

Eric: Such as?

Michael: Well, you play the big bad wolf from the fairytale stories.

Eric: Oh, no way!

Michael: The idea is that they’ve all ended up in America in New York because they got kicked out of their…

Eric: Are they baristas because I will…

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: No. No, they’re not.

Eric: Funny little pre-show discussion we were having.

Michael: But the game is constantly forcing you to make choices based on your own personal morals and then watch the consequences happen. And a lot of games like this now are… what they do is they remember your choices, and your choices affect events later down the road in the game.

Rosie: Yeah, the Fable games are really good at that, aren’t they? Where you can choose to be good or be evil, and [it] changes the general aspect of the game.

Michael: And I think just the thing that a lot of people… I personally found when I played it and when I’ve had discussions with other people who have played it, is that they think they’re doing the right thing, and then they are absolutely shocked at the consequences of their choices and just “Oh, snap, I can’t believe that happened” or “I didn’t mean for that to happen” or “I thought I was doing the right thing, or… not everybody can be happy with choices that are made. And there'[re] just so many factors that go into Draco’s behavior, Narcissa’s, Snape’s that while we happily bash Snape over the head on this show…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: … there'[re] definitely so many complicated layers to each of them that, I mean, I think for all of us who read the series, there were various points where we were not sure what to think of each of those characters, right?

Eric, Kristen, and Rosie: Mhm.

Rosie: And that’s the mark of good literature. It makes us think, and it makes us reassess what we do perceive as right and wrong and all of that thing. It’s formative; it makes us look at the world in a different way.

Michael: Well, yeah, because I’m always surprised because I think Malfoy actually does get a lot of passes for his behavior in Half-Blood, and I’m always shocked by that general attitude because Malfoy is very… he really just is very apathetic to the fact that he almost kills multiple students. Even though he didn’t kill them, and through no fault of his own did they survive, his disturbing reaction to that is what really takes me aback.

Eric: Yeah, I’m reminded, going through these comments, about the fall of Malfoy throughout this book that’s witnessed, where he eventually cannot perform his task, but right now, where we’re sitting at – from the beginning of the book – and getting into this chapter and what he does to Harry or this chapter and how he behaves, it’s really like he is relishing this task. He loves this assignment, and he’s proud and really confident that he can do this, and what this is, is at least one murder, so it’s going to be… I do want to say, regarding PhoenixAsh’s comment, that I don’t see murder as being the one and only no-turning-back after-this point like you can’t be redemptive if you’ve caused someone to die only because there'[re] characters like Dumbledore who probably caused his sister to die or who… I just don’t think that death is… I mean, there are accidental deaths, there are all sorts of other things, and I would be hesitant to say that even a murderer can’t have redemption just because they’re a murderer, so I think that that is sticky to say, “Oh yeah, once somebody kills somebody else, there’s no redemption there.” I can’t give an example of someone who I know or in the books who was redeemed…

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: That’s a good thing.

Eric: But I think it’s definitely… I hesitate to agree with that people can’t be redeemed after causing such a terrible thing to happen. In fact, I feel like it’s only when you cause terrible things to happen that you can be redeemed from them, so I don’t know.

Michael: No, that’s interesting, too, because my high school was Amy Biehl Charter High School, and the reason it was called that was because Amy Biehl did a lot of humanitarian work over in South Africa, and she was killed during Apartheid by a bunch of young boys. Well, I believe they were in their teens. Her parents forgave them, and they now work for the group that her parents have started in her name. So there is something to that.

Eric: Well, that’s an example of redemption. I mean, that would be something that I would seek for in these Harry Potter characters to say, “See, they’ve been redeemed.”

Michael: But that’s murder. That’s blood on their hands. And her parents found the strength to forgive them and actually see the good in them to the point that now they’re doing good work, and they’re contributing to society…

Eric: And helping others.

Michael: … in a positive way. Yeah. So it’s…

Eric: It’s all because of this terrible mistake they’ve made.

Michael: Yeah, yeah, like you said, Eric, it’s sticky… there'[re] not clear lines in these issues, especially with these characters that we’re discussing.

Rosie: I think with Draco, in particular, we tend to get a lot of retroactive sympathy, so when we reread the books, it’s interesting to know what’s going to happen and to be able to read it in a different light. So it’s definitely something that listeners and readers can carry on thinking about as we go on through these chapters chapter by chapter and really evaluate what we think of Draco as each of these subsequent events do happen both as we get them revealed through the book and also knowing what we now know that we wouldn’t have known in the first read, whether we can see it in two different ways, will be definitely interesting to look at.

Michael: Well, and speaking of Malfoy, he’s the focus as well of our Podcast Question of the Week, and we…

Eric: I love this question.

Michael: Yes, and we’re going to lighten the discussion up a bit with this particular question, possibly one of the best questions we have ever asked. It’s quite simple, but as a reminder for you listeners, the question is – it’s actually two questions – who is the true master of mystery, and also, what should Hermione really get Draco for his birthday? [laughs] These are, of course, in reference to the botched attempt of Hermione trying to see what Malfoy was looking for at Borgin and Burkes. So I actually decided to start with the presents because the master of mystery was just such a funny thing. I wanted to save that one for second, but the presents, I have… okay, so you guys gave a lot of really good responses, listeners. You were excellent this week on this question. So what I did, rather than label each of you individually with your contributions because there were so many, I actually tallied all of the contributions to see what got the most votes, and I put them in order.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: So… And a few of them have your quotations to explain them a bit better, but they start from one vote and… These ones all had one vote. The first one was a… Somebody said… Minerva Lupin suggested that Hermione get Malfoy a Chia Pet or a rubber duck…

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: … saying that… Minerva Lupin said,

“I definitely think she should go the Muggle route, just to tick him off a bit more.”

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Which was definitely a theme. SlytherinKnight suggested that Hermione get Malfoy some cunning.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Okay. Here, Malfoy. Here, have some cunning that I’ve bottled.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Hey, if you can bottle fame and brew glory, can you brew…?

Kristen: Yeah.

Michael: I bet you can brew cunning.

Eric: I don’t know. He would be pretty dangerous if he had that in this book.

Michael: Well…

Kristen: That’s true.

Rosie: He’s already a Slytherin. That’s fairly cunning.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: Well… And that’s the funny thing though, because SlytherinKnight said,

“You can make the argument that Hermione is more cunning a person than Draco throughout the entire series.”

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Rosie: That is true. Yeah.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: SnugglesWithNifflers suggested that Hermione get Malfoy an apple.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Oh-ho! There’s a hashtag here, isn’t there?

Michael: #drapple.

Eric: #drappleforever.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: There’s a hash… I did not know there was a hashtag for that, from the Prisoner of Azkaban

Eric: I have no idea. I’m going to search that up on Twitter later. Draco and the apple.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: #drappleforever.

Michael: There were other votes for Muggle items. There were a few suggestions by What the Hell Is a Hippogriff… It’s a sweet name.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: The Muggle item [that] Hippogriff said,

“I reckon Hermione would get Draco a really annoying Muggle contraption. By annoying I mean he wouldn’t know how to use it, and he would be disowned by his father for bringing it home.”

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Oh.

Michael: Hippogriff also suggested a fake Dark Mark tattoo so that Malfoy could be just like a real Death Eater.

[Eric and Kristen laugh]

Michael: Although he doesn’t need that anymore. And… Or a fake tan because whenever Harry notices him, he points out how pale his face is.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Wow.

Michael: So…

Eric: Yeah, I love the suggestion. Perhaps he would be a little less noticeable with a little fake tan.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: But then how would Harry follow him?

Michael: I know!

Kristen: That is true.

Michael: Malfoy could be the Master of Mystery if he got a tan. That’s all…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Healer in Training suggested new robes.

“Based on his shopping at Madam Malkin’s, he’s in the market for new dress robes, so maybe regifting Ron’s old robes from Goblet of Fire would be a nice option.”

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Aww. I like that. That’s very thoughtful.

Rosie: Thrifty.

Michael: IGotTransfiguredIntoaRhubarb suggested a Permanent Sticking Charm because Malfoy is always getting hit with the Bat-Bogey Hex.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: And so maybe that Sticking Charm could stick the bogeys to his face so that…

Eric: Eh.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: That wasn’t very nice. There were suggestions of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, Polyjuice Potion, a Pygmy Puff by keep calm and eat red vines because,

“I doubt he has ever had anything soft and cuddly in his life, and something that small…”

Rosie: Aww.

Michael: [continues]

“… might just bring a little bit of happiness to the dreary life he has grown up in.”


Rosie: Aww. That’s a nice one.

Eric: All he’s ever needed is a tiny little bunny or something.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Let’s see. There was a suggestion to re-gift Harry’s awful gifts from the Dursleys.

[Eric, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: His clothes hangers and napkins. Tissues for the endless amount of Bat-Bogey Hexes that are shot at him.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Oh.

Michael: A short-sleeved top.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: As SwishySycamore says,

“So he can proudly show off that amazing tattoo he has on his left arm.”

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Wow, really jumping the gun here.

Michael: Yep.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: U-No-Poo from DolphinPatronus saying that,

“[Hermione] can make it a surprise gift and slip it into his [morning] pumpkin juice.”

Eric: Oh.

Michael: Two people suggested that she get him a ferret.

Eric: That’s funny.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: That’s funny.

Michael: As well as candy from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Six people suggested that she get him a book either on… And all of those six said either books on wizard genealogy or Muggle topics just to tick him off once more.

Rosie: Oh.

Kristen: Hmm.

Eric: Edumacate yourself.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: And the overwhelming winner of this…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Yeah, I’m going to support this one too.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Nine votes. A punch or a slap to the face.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: So she should get the Wizarding Wheezes telescope.

Kristen: Oh, yes. It would punch him right in the face. [laughs]

Eric: The telescope! Yes! Yes!

Michael: Yeah. That actually was… The votes for that were incorporated into the punch or slap.

Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: Nice.

Michael: Because a lot of people said that she should pay him back for his mean comment to her in the last chapter about her eye.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: [laughs] So which present did you guys think was the best out of that list?

Eric: Hmm.

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: Hmm. I like…

Rosie: I really like the Pygmy Puff. [laughs]

Kristen: Yeah.

Michael: The Pygmy Puff. [laughs]

Kristen: Or the Muggle item of a Chinese finger trap or something. I think that would be pretty funny.

Michael: Ooh. I like that, that’s a good one. That makes me think of that episode of Star Trek where Data is playing with the Chinese finger trap.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah. He rocks it, doesn’t he?

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: No, he doesn’t. He gets stuck in it.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Michael: So now let’s examine your votes for who the true master of mystery of the series is.

Eric: Why? Because Ron gives Hermione the advice about how to better…?

Michael: Yes. [laughs]

Eric: … conceal her true intentions to Borgin.

Michael: Yes, that’s…

Eric: She says, “Well, aren’t you a master of mystery?”

Michael: [as Hermione] “The master of mystery.”

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: So obviously, it’s not Ron or Hermione, and there were no votes for either of them.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Great. Okay.

Michael: Interestingly, there were a lot of conflicted votes about Barty Crouch, Jr. He only ended up with one because a few people retracted their votes.

Eric: What?!

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Don’t retract. He fooled everybody.

Michael: I actually thought he was a really good choice.

Eric: He’s awesome.

Michael: So he only blew his cover right at the end.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: But he managed it for a year. That was pretty impressive. [laughs]

Kristen: I love the second one, though. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] There were a few votes for, as Hufflepug put it,

“That random student in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie [who] says, ‘[I]t’s like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands.’ Seriously, where did that guy come from?”

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Oh, God.

Michael: Well, funny enough, as I answered on the site, there is an answer to that. The character’s name is Bem, apparently. B-E-M. He’s credited as Boy 1. The real mystery is how he got so many lines.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: So Bem was on the list. Gilderoy Lockhart got one vote. As Sharona Lewis said,

“Every day is a mystery to him.”

Kristen: Aww.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: I love it. That’s awesome.

Michael: There was also one vote for Luna Lovegood. daveybjones999 said,

“It’s impossible to tell what she’s thinking.”

Eric: That’s true until she tells you.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Until she tells you. Which she always will. Because she always says what’s on her mind. One vote for Molly Weasley. Laughing with Fred, which is a very sad username…

Eric and Kristen: Aww.

Michael: … said,

“We always got the feeling that she was a very formidable witch, but [we] were never truly expecting what we see during her duel with her cousin Bellatrix.”

Kristen: That’s true.

Michael: Surprise!

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: One vote for Stan Shunpike…

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: … by Florish&Blotts Shopgirl. Now, there was a really good explanation for this, though. Florish&Blotts Shopgirl said,

“I’ve always wondered why he was made a Death Eater in any sense. Wasn’t the rank of Death Eater reserved for Voldemort’s inner circle? If Stan was merely meant to be some sort of bait for Harry, some sort of strategy to trip him up, why him? He must have offered some other sort of value to the Death Eaters, right?”

Rosie: I thought that it was just that he was bragging about it.

Eric: He offered to drive to him home after [unintelligible].

Michael: Well, yeah, as far as know in summary, he was bragging.

Rosie: Yeah. So he wasn’t actually ever a Death Eater. He was just lying.

Michael: Oh. Oh, okay, I see what you mean. So they Imperiused him to brag about being a Death Eater?

Rosie: No, he was just trying to seem powerful to who[m]ever he was talking to, and then people overheard what he was saying and arrested him. He was never actually involved with the Death Eaters.

Eric: Oh. He was trying to impress the ladies.

Rosie: Yeah. Like when he said he was Minister [of] Magic or something as well. At the World Cup.

Michael: God, what ladies was he trying to impress that he said he was a Death Eater? Stan Shunpike, you idiot.

Kristen: It’s those Knockturn Alley ladies.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: They’re super sexy.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: Now we go into the larger number of votes. Sybill Trelawney got two votes. From ChocolateFrogRavenclaw,

“[W]hat is mysterious are her [true] predictions. She unknowingly predicts the future – how mysterious is that??”

Eric: It’s pretty mysterious.

Michael: Albus Dumbledore got three votes. A lot of people hesitated to vote for Dumbledore, instead voting for somebody else on this list.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: And most people said that Dumbledore is a great strategizer but perhaps not the true master of mystery. [laughs] She doesn’t necessarily count, but J.K. Rowling got three votes.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Yeah, there you go. J.K. Rowling is all of these characters.

Rosie: Obligatory genius moment.

Michael: I like that she got the same amount of votes as Dumbledore, then.

Eric: Yeah, she is Dumbledore the most, I guess.

Michael: They do the same thing in the series. They pull the strings. But of course, not very surprisingly, with an overwhelming six votes, Severus Snape, everybody. Severus Snape is officially, by Alohomora! listeners, deemed the true master of mystery.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: He sustained the mystery of his true intent for much longer than Barty Crouch.

Michael: Who knows who will replace him, so…?

Rosie: He definitely kept us guessing.

Michael: Yes, he did. Yeah, I think a lot of people were really good about remembering how Snape made us feel throughout the series when we first read it. Since obviously, he’s not quite a mystery anymore. I wanted to sure [to] shout-out to a few of you other listeners who contributed. I liked some of these usernames that I cam across: ComeonguysI’mbeingSirius…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: DoctorAnimargous, EmeraldSilver, The Half-Blood Princess, Hufflepuffskein, ISeeThestrals, loony_lauren, MrsSlrKls… [laughs]

Eric: Okay. [laughs]

Michael: I’m pretty sure that is how you say it. [laughs] Skyler White, spellephant, They’ve Taken My Wheezy!, Toasted the Phoenix, and Wokanshutiduo. That’s how I’m going to say your username from now on, sir or madam.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: You all contributed some really great suggestions to this hilarious Podcast Question. And if you guys would like to check out more of the Podcast Question of the Week responses, make sure [to] visit the main Alohomora! website,

Eric: Well, we’ll try [to] come up with an equally funny Podcast Question of the Week for this time.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Eric: But of course, before we do that, we have to talk about the chapter itself. So here we go.

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 7 intro starts]

Slughorn: Chapter 7.

Malfoy: Petrificus Totalus!

[Sound of a spell whooshing]

Slughorn: “The Slug Club.”

[Sound of Harry falling down and hitting the ground]

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 7 intro ends]

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: Okay, everybody. Here we are at Chapter 7: “The Slug Club.” So Harry has spent the remainder of his vacation obsessing over Malfoy’s actions in Knockturn Alley. He believes that Draco is a Death Eater, but Ron and Hermione do not. They make their way to platform nine and three-quarters with special protection, where Harry chats with Mr. Weasley. Getting a compartment with Neville and Luna, Harry and Neville are eventually invited to the first-ever meeting of the Slug Club, with Professor Slughorn at its head. Afterward, Harry seizes an opportunity to spy on Draco, but Draco gets him good.

Michael: Ugh! Stupid Harry! So stupid!

[Eric, Kristen, and Michael laugh]

Eric: He had to. He just had to. If you had spent weeks and weeks and weeks obsessing with no new information over what you had just seen during “Draco’s Detour,” would you too not also have seized this opportunity, as Harry does in this chapter? And it’s my first…

Michael: I would have, but I would have been a better master of mystery than Harry.

Kristen: I was going to say, “I would have done it better.”

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Done it better? How?

Rosie: Probably wouldn’t have climbed into the luggage rack. Not a good choice.

Eric: Oh yeah. There is that.

Kristen: I’m not going to let the Invisibility Cloak slip away from my legs.

Michael: [groans] So stupid!

Eric: Okay, so he’s tall, okay? He’s really tall, and that has been a point. Jo has said that, like, three or four times. Even when they were in Knockturn Alley [in the] last chapter, all of their ankles were visible. They all felt that somebody looking just would have seen a lot of feet.

[Michael laughs]

Kristen: It’s called hunching over.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: I still think to… Where Harry lost me with his little Mission Impossible moment here…

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: I couldn’t believe he actually thought… When Malfoy was like, “I need to check something,” I was like, “He knows! He knows, he knows, he knows!”

[Eric laughs]

Michael: “Get out now! At least put your wand in your hand and aim it at him!”

Kristen: Yeah, exactly. I agree.

Eric: If it [were] in his hand… Look, Draco, to his credit… And of course, we’re talking about the end of the chapter first.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: That sometimes happens. But Draco actually opened his trunk and leaned in. Okay? That was brilliant.

Rosie: He was sneaky.

Michael: Too bad Harry isn’t a better master of mystery.

Eric: Super, super brilliant. Just to make sure that Harry was extra not counting on what ended up happening.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: That he actually took the time to open his trunk. So Draco does get all the smart points. But speaking of smart points, okay, ladies and gentlemen of this podcast and those listening at home, Harry is right.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: That’s true. That never happens.

Eric: We have encountered a situation [that] does not always happen, which is that Harry is unequivocally, 100% correct in a theory that he has, which is that Draco is a Death Eater.

Rosie: It’s very “Boy Who Cried Wolf,” isn’t it? No one believes him this time because he’s said it so often before.

Eric: Yeah, I guess. It’s just like when they keep going on about Snape, and nobody points out that Snape every single time turned out to be good.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: But with Malfoy, Ron and Hermione just don’t seem to believe that it is the case. I mean, Harry is dead on. He says, “We didn’t see what he showed Borgin. It was probably the Dark Mark. Just imagine. You saw how terrified he was. It’s got to be this. It’s got to be this.” And they just don’t… I guess they don’t think it’s realistic because Draco is 16.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Just his age that Voldemort wouldn’t want anything to do with him. But Harry is just like… When he first says it to them, they’re at the Burrow and it’s like the umpteenth time that he’s brought this up. He says, “I think he’s become a Death Eater in replacement of his father!” And there’s something… There’s a logic there that just kind of makes sense that you would go and fill the shoes of your dad if you’re in this family organization of family crime. It’s like the Mafia.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: Yeah.

Michael: I’m really surprised and I still… I always am when I read this. I’m not surprised at Hermione’s reaction. Her reaction is totally what you’d expect of her and is a very good setup for how she’s going to take the Deathly Hallows news in the next book. But Ron surprised me because at this point, as far as we know, Ron is not actively trying to get on Hermione’s good side.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Michael: I mean, he certainly doesn’t show it. Because throughout the books, Ron, out of all of them, is the best at conspiracy theories. He comes up with the craziest conspiracy theories out of all three of them. So I’m really surprised he doesn’t believe this and that he takes Hermione’s view that is like, “Oh Harry, Voldemort would never make a 16-year-old a Death Eater. That would be very inappropriate!”

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Yes it would, wouldn’t it? Because Voldemort has always played by the books.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: I’m surprised that… I guess their argument is that Voldemort wouldn’t put his trust in somebody like Draco because he’s not capable enough.

Eric: Right? Maybe. I don’t know, it doesn’t really get fleshed out. My whole thing is, too, we know Voldemort from the previous chapter or a couple of chapters ago when Dumbledore said that he’s now using Occlumency against him. Even though Harry is blocked from Voldemort actually having had those chats with Draco, it still happens to be exactly the truth. Everything that he divines, everything that Harry comes up with. Even when he talks to Mr. Weasley at platform nine and three-quarters, he’s right about the Vanishing Cabinet. He says, “Oh, it’s an object. He made it sound like there was a pair of them that needed to be mended.”

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Eric: And Mr. Weasley doesn’t know what to do with it. I’m just like, “This is super spot on. This is almost like too perfectly observant of Harry.”

Rosie: He’s gotten a lot better at actually putting clues together.

Eric: Mhm.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: The Triwizard Tournament and things gave him some good training in that.

Eric: Right?

Rosie: And he is starting to get how Voldemort thinks and the things that he probably will do. And he knows that Voldemort is desperate to get into Hogwarts, and the best way of getting into Hogwarts would be to use a Hogwarts student, so it makes total sense to use Draco, really, if you were thinking about it. But I guess Hermione just thinks Draco is… It’s that kind of “They’re our age” thing [laughs] where you just can’t really picture other people of your own age doing things that you would never consider doing.

Eric: But just like they’re ignoring what they have been able to accomplish. I mean, just this year they broke into the highest level of government and caused a ruckus.

Michael: Well, and I think that event is actually… Some people in our comments section this week talked about that, but I think that finale from last year is actually part of what is coloring Hermione and Ron’s views because Harry has never been completely wrong before until last year. That was the most catastrophically wrong thing he hashed out, and it ended up having serious…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: No pun intended. That was not intended.

Eric: Oh, God.

Michael: Serious consequences.

Eric: Okay, that’s good insight. So now I get why Ron and Hermione don’t believe him. He is actually able to tell…

Rosie: Yeah, the trust is gone.

Eric: He does take Arthur aside, though – we talked about this a moment ago. But Arthur also doesn’t seem to believe him, presumably because of Draco’s age. But he does offer a little bit [of] extra information. He says that when Lucius was arrested they sacked the house and took possession of all the Dark objects or whatever that they found. It doesn’t say what they found. That would be pretty cool information to have.

Rosie: Yeah. But character growth as well with Harry. He’s actively going and seeking out the help…

Eric: Yeah.

Kristen: That’s very true.

Michael: Harry is so on it this year.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Harry is really on it and nobody is really around to care. [laughs]

Michael: Well, it’s funny, examining how this has all been set up for us. I never really thought about that until these last few chapters, but that too is what sets Half-Blood Prince apart, I think, from a lot of the other books and how its mystery is constructed.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: Actually… It’s so weird for me to be comparing this in my head because this is my least favorite of the films, but the way it’s set up is very similar to Goblet of Fire the film because it takes you out of Harry’s view for quite a while at the beginning, and it gives you pretty much all the information of the mystery right off the bat. There’s not much mystery to figure out here. I mean, I still didn’t figure it out.

Eric: Oh yeah, no, me neither. Yeah.

Michael: But it’s definitely… Rowling is trying something different in her mystery construction this time than previous ones. We’re getting a lot more information, I think, in the first two or three chapters.

Eric: I think that’s quite spot on. I will say… so this is a related topic for our next point here, which is that since Harry is confiding in Mr. Weasley, he actually goes all the way to say that he thinks Draco is a Death Eater and tells Arthur that. So I’m thinking, “Clearly this information will be getting back to Dumbledore.” And because it’s been a little while since I read, I wonder what the repercussions will be once Dumbledore knows that Harry is accusing Draco of this. But then I realize that Dumbledore already knows this for a fact, presumably because of what conversations he has had with Snape at this point regarding the Unbreakable Vow that was made and literally everything else. So I feel like Dumbledore already knows about Draco and the fact that he is certainly a Death Eater, and it’s to punish Lucius or whatever. But do you guys agree with that?

Rosie: Definitely. Yeah, definitely. I think Snape would have told as soon as that vow was made.

Eric: Right, so I mean, I was feeling very warm when I was rereading the last couple of chapters with Dumbledore and Harry off on an adventure, but now I’m back to thinking that Dumbledore is just manipulating Harry now, again, because he’s not able… Dumbledore isn’t going to come out and say, “Yes, you’re right.” Because it’s a very delicate situation that basically can’t be interrupted because if Harry stops Draco, if Harry found out the truth, really found out that Draco was a Death Eater, before the very last possible minute, then Snape would be contractually obligated to jump in and [laughs] kill Dumbledore right in the middle of the school year or sooner, so it’s a weird position that everybody’s in here.

Rosie: Yeah. So this whole year is basically just saving Snape’s life, really. And I mean, the whole situation… Draco could have been saved, never had to get to the point of being redeemed right at the beginning of this year, but because of this Unbreakable Vow that Snape has made, things have to play out the way that they play out. Otherwise, he would end up being killed.

Eric: Right, and I mean, Draco has to realize over the course of the year… this is the year that he changes. It hasn’t happened yet. Everybody knows the events of this chapter – he’s as mean as he ever has been and glad for it – but this is the year that he finds out that he’s not made of hot stuff or all of the hot stuff that he thought he was and that he’s not up to the task of actually plotting and committing a murder.

Rosie: Yeah. And just Tom Felton’s portrayal of that in the movie is amazing. Just the complete deterioration of the character is amazing.

Kristen: Oh yes, I agree.

Eric: But I was just thinking, I mean, “Why can’t Dumbledore…?” I kind of answered my own question, but I was just like, “Why can’t…?” I mean, Dumbledore already knows, so Mr. Weasley… this is going to get back to Dumbledore that Harry thinks… but Dumbledore almost has to work against Harry. He just has to make sure Harry doesn’t find out, in a way. So I’m going to be looking for that throughout the book as evidence of Harry’s path being blocked because Harry is so obsessed with Draco, and that’s why it hurts to see somebody like Dumbledore not come out and say, “Yeah, you’re actually spot on here, kid.”

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Nobody believes him, and even Draco’s own friends don’t know, but Dumbledore does, and he doesn’t tell Harry.

Michael: Yeah, maybe that’s why the mystery is constructed so differently. Because that’s the real mystery, which is the overarching question of the books – or one of them anyway – is about Snape and then Dumbledore and their plans. So perhaps we’re getting this information so early and that Harry knows everything correctly right away because then we’ve got a bigger conspiracy plot that we’re dealing with for the rest of the book.

Rosie: Yeah, the problem isn’t “What is actually happening?” It’s the reasons why no one can prevent it. Yeah.

Eric: Interesting. So there’s a bit of Harry and Ginny in this chapter.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Just a bit!

Eric: Little bit, little bit.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: They’re on the Hogwarts Express, and he asks her to get a compartment with them.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Ah!

Eric: And she says… can you hear my glee? Can you just hear the joy that’s coming out of my mouth?

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: But she says no, that she’s got to meet Dean Thomas.

Rosie: Sad times.

Eric: And Harry is like, “Oh yeah, I forgot she doesn’t usually hang out with us. I’ve been so used to her presence at the Burrow.”

Rosie: Isn’t that so nice, though? That’s such a change from what we’re used to, with Ginny being so confident now that she can actually be…

Eric: Her own person?

Rosie: Part of their friendship.

Eric: And say no to Harry?

Kristen: Yeah, say no to Harry.

Eric: Yeah, she turned him down real hard.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: But he manages to notice her “long red hair dancing as she walked away.” And I thought that that was really sweet.

Kristen: Sure that wasn’t all he was noticing.

Michael: I’m not going to actually smash my teacup here, but I’m smashing my Thor cup and screaming “another!”

Eric: Another!

Michael: Another! Yes!

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: I want more! This isn’t enough.

Eric: I’m so glad you’re with me on this.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Every single half-mention or allusion to the budding romance between those two, I just can’t get enough of. So there’s that.

Michael: Another!

Eric: But Neville ends up… actually, when Ginny leaves, Harry finds himself surrounded by these other girls who[m] he doesn’t know.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Pretty much everybody is trying to get a look at Harry, which is fine, but it’s because of all that Daily Prophet news. But these girls are here…

Michael: And he’s super sexy this year now.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: He’s suddenly very interesting again.

Michael: My God, have you seen that Potter boy?

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Oh, yeah. He’s the Chosen One; he can be my Chosen One.

Kristen: [dreamily] The Chosen One.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: But anyway, he is quickly rescued by Neville, or he spots Neville and then decides to go get a compartment with Neville and Luna. And so much really happens in this chapter; of course, we haven’t even gotten to the chapter’s namesake yet, but there’s a bit of interesting discussion while they’re in the compartment between Neville and Harry. And Neville… there’s this interesting moment where Harry reflects that the prophecy could have easily meant Neville; we’ve heard this before, of course, but he goes so far… it’s almost like a It’s a Wonderful Life scenario, where he imagines if the roles had been reversed, how would things be different, and would he be sitting across from a boy with a scar on his forehead instead of being the boy with the scar on his forehead, or would things have not worked out with Neville’s mom sacrificing herself the way that his mom sacrificed herself and would there just be an empty space sitting where Harry currently is? He gets really existential in this discussion.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: But the reason I ask is, there’s actually a little bit of a reveal, which is that Neville, who[m] I still like to think of as having special powers because of this whole prophecy thing… I know that’s kind of not canon, but I still think that it’s… there’s something to be said about Neville in this whole book, the fact that he’s continually in the scene and shares a dormitory with Harry and all this, that, the other thing. Neville actually got one of the last Ollivander wands before Ollivander was, whatever, taken from Diagon Alley. And he tells Harry…

Michael: Oh, he got taken? Where’s Liam Neeson?

[Eric, Kristen, and Michael laugh]

Eric: [as Liam Neeson] “I have a particular set of skills.”

Michael: [as Liam Neeson] “I will find you.”

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah. But Neville’s wand – his new wand – is cherry and unicorn hair, I think. And I had to ask our lovely Pottermore correspondent, Michael Harle…

[Eric, Kristen, and Michael laugh]

Eric: … who saved this information to his computer, as he told us before, what does Neville’s new wand say about him? Because again, I’m very interested in this idea of Neville still being just special.

Michael: Okay. So I guess I have to read this in Ollivander’s voice because he’s supposed to be the one who’s writing all of the wand information.

Eric: Oh, please do, please do.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: All right. [clears throat] [as Ollivander] So here we go.

Eric: First about the wood, right? Or the core?

Michael: [as Ollivander] Yes, we’ll read about the wand wood, which is cherry:

“This very rare wand wood creates a wand of strange power, most highly prized by the wizarding students of the school of Mahoutokoro in Japan, where those who own cherry wands have special prestige. The Western wand-purchaser should dispel from their minds any notion that the pink blossom of the living tree makes for a frivolous or merely ornamental wand, for cherry wood often makes a wand that possesses truly lethal power, whatever the core, but if teamed with dragon heartstring, the wand ought never to be teamed with a wizard without exceptional self-control and strength of mind.”

So that’s your information on the cherry.

Eric: So Neville dodged a bullet.

Kristen: Yeah.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: He got unicorn. I know we just said that Neville is special, but it’s a good thing that his wand is not as temperamental as it could be.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: He should transfer to Japan because apparently he’d be revered there.

Kristen: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: He’d be revered, yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Oh, man, there was a shirt I remember either owning or seeing before. It’s like, “I’m big in Europe.” Neville is just big in Japan.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: For his cherry wand.

Michael: [laughs] Let’s see. And the wand core is… I can look that up too. Here we go. Listeners, pro tip, if you’re ever on Pottermore, at the top of all of the pages, you can favorite all of the pages with Rowling’s new writing, and then it’ll go into your favorites bank, so you can look at them whenever you want, and you don’t have to go back to the chapters to find them. Just letting you know.

Kristen: Yay.

Rosie: Very useful.

Michael: Let’s see, unicorn hair.

[as Ollivander] “Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard.

“Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may ‘die’ and need replacing.”

Eric: Huh. That’s interesting.

Rosie: So overall, not a very strong wand.

Michael: Yeah, he did… yeah, because actually, I believe Malfoy has unicorn hair as his core, doesn’t he?

Eric: I think that’s true.

Michael: Oh. So there’s… I guess that speaks to the goodness in him. But yeah, I think Neville got a wand that definitely reflects him better.

Kristen: Oh, definitely.

Michael: He’s got the second most unbeatable wand…

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Rosie: I think it’s quite interesting in comparison to Harry, just thinking about the magical creatures. So you’ve got a phoenix and a unicorn. The phoenix is all about redemption, rebirth, and all of that kind of thing. So Harry has to literally die several times…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: … in these books, too, and then come back to life, and through these several stages, he becomes greater. But… so Neville and to an extent, Draco as well if he does have a unicorn hair wand as well… they very much come of age. So we see that unicorns graduate from gold to silver and then to white. And I think that Neville’s personality – and his magic – does the same. We see him really struggle at the very beginning of these books, when he doesn’t have the right wand. He hasn’t got a wand that chose him; he’s got his father’s wand. And we see him learning and stumbling around on his little gold unicorn hooves.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: And eventually, he becomes this great wizard, this grand unicorn creature as he gets his wand and he becomes the leader of what remains of Dumbledore’s Army and things in the next book. And it’s really nice to see him in this transition stage, where he’s gaining power, and he’s gaining his own personality and his own responsibilities and coming of age, just like the unicorn.

Michael: I think Rosie just cracked why Malfoy is so appealing to girls.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Just like girls have good relationships with unicorns, and if Malfoy is really a unicorn… [laughs]

Rosie: In terms of… he comes of age as well.

Kristen: Yeah, I agree.

Rosie: He grows out of his father’s shadow and becomes his own man.

Michael: Yeah, I think that’s a really good…

Eric: Plus, his hair.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: I know he was 11, but in Movie 1, Movie 2? I always wanted that hair, and I was blond at the time. So…

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: I [was] personally offended [by] my parents…

Rosie: It’s like Jason Isaacs when the last movie finished, and Jason Isaacs had to give up his wig.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: He cried.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah. Yeah, Jason Isaacs is the best.

Rosie: I love that story.

Eric: The absolute best.

Michael: Jason Isaacs is awesome.

Eric: Hearing him talk about that wig, they had… there was a very tumultous love affair between that actor and his wig.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: There was.

Michael: What’s nice about this scene in the train compartment, though – it’s one of my favorite things, actually, about this chapter – is that Luna says that sitting with them is like sitting with friends, and Harry says, “We are friends.”

Eric: Well, they are her friends.

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: “We are friends!”

Michael: And I thought that was beautiful because I just, a few nights ago, read… Charlie and I are rereading Order of the Phoenix, and I read the chapter where they’re in the train compartment and Harry is with Neville and Luna and Ginny, and he’s just horribly uncomfortable and he actually says that he wishes he could be sitting with cooler people.

Eric: I remember that.

Kristen and Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: So this is a nice change.

Eric: Oh, in this chapter he actually says to them, “You’re cool.”

Michael: Yeah. “You guys are cool.”

Kristen: Yeah, when those girls come around.

Eric: Yeah, when those girls come around; more girls come around.

Kristen: Oh, girls.

Michael: Ugh, those girls.

Eric: Let’s skip over those girls. We’re going to the Slug Club.

Michael: [laughs] Those girls will be back later.

Eric: They’ll be back later. There’s more interesting stuff to… although we do meet Romilda Vane. But anyway, they get an invitation… Neville and Harry both get an invitation. Talk about Neville standing up and growing; a little personal growth.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: Though apparently Neville sucks it up. At least Harry is uncomfortable. But they get to the Slug Club and they go around and see who this is… now, Slughorn is, I believe, the first teacher who we’ve heard about riding the train to school since Lupin.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: And we loved Lupin and we’re not quite ready to bestow the same affection on Slughorn. Slughorn is actually really interesting. The two chapters that he’s appeared in, and from what… I think Molly talked about him a little bit…

Kristen: Yeah.

Eric: … he’s a good wizard’s dark wizard in a way. He’s clearly got some… like when they get to Harry at the Slug Club, he’s just like, “I remember people talking about how you must have really amazing powers because you defeated a dark wizard that was so powerful that you, too, must have great power.” And you’re just like, “Oh, he’s coveting Harry’s magnificence.” And the same with everybody else there; he just likes these connections. But at the same time he’s not… there’s this hesitation; I think it’s Blaise who says to Draco later on that Slughorn has stayed away from kids of Death Eaters, and is no longer wanting to be as closely associated with them in particular. So I don’t know; this whole… you guys can talk about who your favorite people are that are here, but actually, Ginny is there for the best reason ever…

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: … which is that poor Zacharias Smith got the Bat-Bogey Hex put on him. And can I just say, there’s probably an entire compartment… were we all here when we had that lovely author on the show when the Bat-Bogey Hex; we talked about it for half an hour?

Michael: Yeah, I was here for that.

Eric: How terrifying it was? How absolutely terrifying the Bat-Bogey Hex is? There’s probably a compartment on the train where nobody can enter right now…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: … and Zacharias has both hands against the glass and boogers are just flying out of his nose with wings and attacking him. Because it’s the most terrifying thing ever. But Slughorn just happened upon her. I’m not even sure he knows her name because even at the very, very end when they’re saying goodbye, he’s like, “Goodbye to you, Miss.”

Kristen: That’s true.

Michael: He doesn’t say, “Miss Weasley,” this, that, and the other thing. So she’s there for a good reason. But who were you guys…? What did you like and dislike about Slughorn as a character and this first meeting of the Slug Club?

Michael: I’ve already said my piece on Slughorn; you ladies go.

Rosie: [laughs] I think this is an interesting view of the Slug Club because in the past and what we know of the Slug Club, it’s very much powerful figures who will go on to have some influence. And this collection of Slug Clubbers, other than Ginny, is very much kids of people who were powerful and had influence. So the merits of these children are not actually proven yet, so whether all of these people will remain in the Slug Club is debatable. And I think it does say something about Cormac and Neville even, that they do get subsequent invitations to come back and that Slughorn does believe that they can be as great as their parental figures. But Ginny is my favorite from this, so… the other guys are just not that interesting.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: Yeah, I think that Ginny is probably my favorite as well. I think Slughorn is just testing the waters with all these kids who he knows have relations with important people. But I like how he does invite Ginny because he sees the potential she has and he invites her and that’s why she’s probably my favorite.

Eric: I guess, with the Bat-Bogey Hex, too, he says it was, “An exceptional Bat-Bogey Hex.”

Kristen: Yeah.

Eric: I’d like to not ever see that curse go bad, too…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: What’s a bad…? [laughs]

Eric: … because a good curse is terrifying.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Yeah, a good curse is terrifying, but what about if that hex…? If somebody fumbles and doesn’t do it correctly?

Kristen: [laughs] Geez…

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: That’s not good.

Eric: Like a botched hex. My favorite is Blaise Zabini, actually…

Rosie: Okay.

Eric: … whose mother is “famously beautiful” and…

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Kristen: Oh, yes.

Eric: “… famously widowed” six or seven times. She is said to be married seven times.

Rosie: It’s a magical number.

Kristen: Ah, yes.

Eric: It’s a magical number, after all. And all of her husbands were rich and after their death, by mysterious circumstances, she has inherited all of their money and their wealth and things. So I wonder…

Kristen: And he doesn’t seem phased by it at all. [laughs]

Eric: He doesn’t, yeah. And I wonder… if he is willing to talk about it, I really wonder who his dad is?

Kristen: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: If it’s the seventh because that’s lucky.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: That’s lucky but also probably improbable. For the last sixteen years or whatever, has his mom just not killed off her current husband because she maybe had a change of heart? Or what?

Kristen and Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: I feel like it’s happening through his childhood. [laughs]

Michael: Got to give props to Blaise Zabini because he hacked the fandom like no secondary character ever did.

Eric and Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: He stormed fan fiction and it was probably because, for pretty much up until this book, nobody knew what his gender was… [laughs]

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: … so there are a lot of fan fictions out there with Blaise as a girl unintentionally.

Eric: Oh! Huh.

Rosie: That is true. Yep.

Kristen: I didn’t know that.

Eric: Just because the name appeared on lists as being in Harry’s year or whatever?

Michael and Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: So people didn’t know what to think of Blaise but yes, he made it… he/she made it into a lot of fan fiction.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: But she finally answered that question, I think. She probably put him in here because so many people had wondered about him.

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s interesting, this backstory of his with his mother as a black widow…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … who kills all her husbands and gets away with it for some reason.

Rosie: It’s definitely not an easy childhood.

Kristen: Uh-uh. Geez.

Eric: Yeah! I want to know more about this Blaise Zabini and then…

Michael: Whatever. I’m going to sit next to Cormac McLaggen. I know he’s…

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: You’re going to sit next to Cormac? Why? You’re going to…?

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: I haven’t gotten a chance to test out his intellect yet so I’m just going purely based on looks.

Kristen: Looks.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Because I’m shallow today. [laughs]

Eric: All right.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Well, we’ll see.

Rosie: Michael likes his Quidditch players.

Michael: [laughs] Yes, I do. I would have sat by Harry but I’m intimidated by him so…

Kristen: Okay. [laughs]

Eric: “His uncle knows the Minister for Magic.”

Michael: Yes. [laughs] There’s connections there.

Eric: So anyway, Slug Club does go on. I wonder, though… it’s not specifically stated again. When they get to Neville, Harry is very uncomfortable because he obviously knows the story and it’s recounted here in interior monologue about how Neville’s parents were tortured to insanity by Bellatrix and cronies. I wonder how much is actually said out loud because the only thing that we know is that Neville talks for ten minutes. But I feel like… would the whole compartment necessarily have walked away knowing about what happened to Frank and Alice Longbottom? Or what exactly do you guys envision the conversation went if it wasn’t about that?

Rosie: I don’t know. I think Neville probably would have talked more about himself than this parents, which is a definite change from earlier books. He would never have done that beforehand. But he is very confident about Herbology and things as well now.

Kristen: That’s true.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: I think he would probably talk about his interests.

Kristen: I don’t think he would confide in them about his parents at all.

Rosie: No.

Eric: Yeah. Okay, so they probably don’t know what Harry knows, then.

Kristen: I don’t think so.

Michael: Well, and then Harry, of course, knows the extended knowledge that Neville was, possibly, a potential candidate for the Prophecy, so…

Eric: Yeah, the Prophecy, yeah. And then, I know there’s one guy who’s at the Slug Club – before we move on – who wasn’t mentioned yet. Sorry, Belby.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: But this Belby kid gets blacklisted right away.

Kristen: Yes!

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Why bother inviting him?

Eric: He really… as soon as Slughorn finds out that he doesn’t actually know his famous uncle that well…

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: … and it’s not Belby’s fault. It’s that his dad and his brother don’t get along. Belby nearly chokes to death on Slughorn’s pheasant sandwich.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: He offers the kid his own packed lunch and then the second he finds out that he doesn’t actually speak to his uncle, stops talking to him, gives him a cold smile, and doesn’t give him a chocolate when he passes them out to everybody else.

Kristen: [laughs] Yep. Blatantly bypasses him. On to the next.

Eric: Slughorn is not a good guy. No, Slughorn is not a good guy.

Michael: I’ve actually been in a situation exactly like this back in college because I was on a scholarship from the university and we had to go to dinners with our donors. I only went to one for all my years there. [laughs] And we were all sitting at this circular table and they were in turn turning to each of us and asking us what our majors were and what we were planning to do with them and they got to me and I was like, “Oh, I’m not really sure. I think I’m going to go into the writing department but I’m not completely sure yet. I want to look into the film department.” And they just were like, “That’s nice.” And then I was ignored for the rest of the dinner. That was me done.

Rosie: [laughs] Oh, dear.

Michael: But it was that same kind of… but it was like being in a room full of Slughorns. Very well-off people who just…

Eric: Yeah. Really elitist?

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Very defensive of their chosen…

Kristen: Judgmental.

Michael: Sorry, UNM. I owe you nothing. I’m done with university.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I got my degree.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: I have my slip of paper, my debt… my crumbling, crippling college dept.

Michael: But I didn’t have the benefit of eating pheasant while I was turned down.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yes, pheasant is pretty rich. For a packed lunch, that’s pretty good.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: I don’t think I’ve ever had a pheasant sandwich.

Kristen: Me neither.

Eric: Okay, well, after the Slug Club Harry gets his opportunity. He follows Blaise Zabini, who is definitely a boy, into this compartment.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: You made me choke on my own spit again. I inhaled it.

Eric: Oh, geez. Take a minute. Take a minute. I’m sorry.

Michael: It’s all good. That was really funny.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Now, Harry botches this from the second that he tries. Actually, this is where Harry is wrong about being right again. Harry is right in that he thinks he let his feet show when he climbs up onto the luggage rack. First of all, he stops the door because he can’t get in fast enough.

[Michael laughs]

Kristen: Yeah. He’s too slow.

Eric: Not as lithe as he was hoping for.

Kristen: [laughs] No, he sucks!

[Michael laughs]

Eric: So he just stops the door with his foot then throws it open. Blaise is thrown on top of Crabbe – or is it Goyle – and there’s this distraction. But Harry basically thinks that his ankles were showing when he climbs up and he thinks that he sees Malfoy’s eyes follow his legs up to the rack. Okay, well, that can’t be good. Malfoy has his little conversation with everybody about how Hogwarts and schooling might be a little beyond him; this, that, the other thing. Then he thinks that Malfoy looks up after the luggage hits him in the face.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: God.

Rosie: [laughs] It’s just a bad plan.

Eric: Malfoy chooses to ignore it. And then, of course, we get to that scene where Draco stays behind, Petrificus Totalifies him, and stomps on his nose.

Rosie: Ouch.

Michael: Kristen and I could have done a better job at this together under the Cloak.

Kristen: Oh, yeah. Oh my gosh.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: Teamwork. We would have had it.

Michael: [laughs] Like bosses. No, I think how you summarized the chapter, Eric, and Harry’s behavior, is that he is so obsessed with Malfoy that it has become detrimental to his stealth skills.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Because Harry has been stealthy in the past.

Eric: Has he?

Michael: Yeah, sure.

Eric: No, the Invisibility Cloak has just fit him before. He needs to Engorgify the Invisibility Cloak. Dumbledore gave that back to him a couple chapters ago. You couldn’t think he could have hemmed it for Harry?

Kristen: Yeah, let’s add a couple more inches, please.

Eric: Let the seam out a little bit. Clearly Dumbledore gave him the Cloak so that he would use it, in much the way that he is seen doing this whole entire book.

Michael: This is the worst situtation since the staircase of lies scenario in Goblet of Fire with the egg screaming and Filch showing up. But this had such earlier warning signs and Harry is just choosing to ignore them because he’s so desperate for one little shred of proof that he can take back.

Eric: Yeah, let’s talk more about the streak of things.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: It’s like you all got so quiet. I thought I got cut off.

Eric: Do we have in it us to talk about Draco some more? [laughs]

Rosie: I think it’s a very brutal attack as well once he is completely Petrificus Totalis-ed and lying on the floor unable to move. And Draco doesn’t do any kind of wizard dueling type techniques. He doesn’t do the Bat-Bogey Hex or something, which would be equally embarrassing. He decides to stamp on his face…

Eric: Yeah. It’s pretty personal.

Rosie: Like what?! Seriously?!

Kristen: Yeah, very brutal.

Eric: It’s about as personal as it gets.

Rosie: Yeah, very personal. This is Malfoy saying he is done with your “whatever, Mr. Potter,” and he will not take anymore. He will do what he wants from now on and he is not a good guy.

Eric: Yeah.

Kristen: I agree.

Eric: When I first read this… of course there’s nothing like that shock…

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: … when you first read about the hero’s face getting smashed.

Kristen: Smashed… yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: Blood is spurting everywhere – if Harry’s facing up, you could actually choke on your own blood…

Kristen: Gosh. Yeah.

Eric: … if left there frozen not able to cough it out or anything. It’s amazing Harry doesn’t…

Kristen: And then he stomps on his fingers when he walks out! [laughs]

Eric: Yeah… he does step on his fingers, too.

Kristen: Kick him while he’s down.

Rosie: But it does set the tone for this year as well. This is not going to be an easy year for Harry.

Kristen: True.

Rosie: This is going to be a difficult and painful…

Eric: Welcome back to Hogwarts, Harry.

Kristen: Yeah. School sucks. [laughs]

Rosie: He’s not even made it off the train. [laughs]

Kristen: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, he hasn’t made it off the train and he’s nearly choking on his own blood.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Yeah, the thing I was thinking too is… I remember when I first read this and I was like, wow, Harry’s actually going to be taken all the way back to London.[laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: Yeah, I thought nobody was ever going to find him.

Eric: I wonder what London looks like after hours…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: … when the Hogwarts train comes back.

Kristen: Yeah.

Eric: Who is still on it? Does the conductor go to have a cup of something at the Leaky Cauldron?

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Or what happens? I kind of wanted to know, but…

Rosie: What is the point of the train going back to London though? Why not just stay at Hogsmeade?

Eric: I wonder, right? Good question.

Kristen: Yeah, I don’t know.

Michael: It doesn’t do anything else.

Rosie: Where does it go? What does it do?

Kristen: Sit there. [laughs]

Rosie: It’s only used twice a year.

Eric: Yeah, only twice a year. I felt like it would be another magical train for other magical series. Maybe it’s the one all the Narnia kids… oh wait, I can’t say that.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Whoops.

Eric: But anyway… what was I going to say? I feel like maybe it’s just housed in London. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be.

Michael: Rowling kind of confirmed through Pottermore that there’s other trains on other platforms, so it’s not used for other stuff…

Eric: Yeah.

Kristen: Mhm.

Michael: … because there’s other platforms for that.

Eric: But you can also take the train from Hogsmeade back to London for Christmas, for…

Kristen: That’s true. Maybe just for the holidays?

Rosie: That’s true.

Eric: Hogsmeade is a functioning village, right?

Michael, Kristen, and Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: It just doesn’t exist for Hogwarts students to traipse around.

Rosie: But then the train is called the Hogwarts Express.

Eric: The train is the Hogwarts Express.

Rosie: But maybe that’s just that one particular journey. Maybe the train itself is used other times other than Hogwarts.

Kristen: Mhm.

Eric: Maybe they’d call it the Hogsmeade Express or whatever.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: True.

Eric: Any signage can be changed with magic fairly easily.

Kristen: That’s true.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: It does seem like… I don’t know, that was some insight that we didn’t know before – oh yeah, the train just goes straight back to London.

Michael: [laughs] Yeah. That was it.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: But it seems not very green to just have an empty train go all the way back to where it came.

Michael: Wizards are not very green. [laughs] They don’t care about things like that.

Eric: Environmentally conscious.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: That’s why there’s global warming – wizards are why we have global warming.

Eric: Waste all of that smoke or pollution or whatever it is… coal.

Michael: And you would hope that this whole debacle would be a warning to Harry to stop underestimating Malfoy this year.

Rosie and Eric: Yeah.

Michael: [laughs] But that’s not quite how it ends up going.

Eric: For God’s sake, get a bigger cloak.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I mean, this is like the fourth time that somebody has seen something underneath the cloak…

Kristen: Mhm.

Eric: … that they shouldn’t have seen because he’s too tall.

Michael: Could you have at least taken a lesser, more common invisibility cloak and just cut some up and sew it on?

Kristen: Put them together. [laughs]

Eric: No, because then there would be a blur.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: It would still be a slightly more invisible…

Kristen: Yes. [laughs]

Rosie: Just do an Engorgio Charm on it.

Eric: I don’t know, maybe all the Peverell brothers were really short.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Because Rosie suggested an Engorgio Charm, but I’m wondering since it’s a Deathly Hallow if that would work.

Eric: Well, Petrificus Totalus works through it, so there’s that.

Kristen: That’s true.

Michael: That’s true. What good is this cloak anymore?

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Make like the Elder Wand from the movie…

Rosie: It can hide from Death and nothing else.

Kristen: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: … and just tear it in half.

Kristen: Snip it with scissors.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Make it a… oh, I guess it’s already a quilt sort of thing.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Make a quilt out of your cloak.

Rosie: That’s a new part of paper, scissors, stone – paper, scissors, stone, Invisibility Cloak.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It’s just at one point the entire trio fit under it comfortably, and now not even Harry…

Kristen: Oh yeah.

Eric: I mean, maybe it’s just that he…

Rosie: It does seem to have shrunk. Maybe he put it in the wash.

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: He left it in his pocket… [laughs]

Eric: Mrs. Weasley washed it.

Michael: Well, yeah. They wouldn’t know.

Kristen: He left it in his pocket.

Eric: He wouldn’t know that she was washing it. You’re right, you’re right.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: She put it in the wash, that’s exactly what happened.

[Michael laughs]

Kristen: 100% cotton.

Michael: Shrunk in the wash.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Before we wrap up, there is the minor issue of Draco’s dialogue that he mentions to his friends. Of course, he’s not… oh, there’s a train…

Michael: It’s taking Harry back to London.

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: Yeah, there it goes.

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: Bye!

Eric: Draco is not open to his friends about having become a Death Eater, even though we know that is what has happened to him, and Harry has been right all along about the presence of the Dark Mark on his arm and everything like it. Draco, maybe because he did in fact see ankles flying in front of his face…

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: … has chosen to, and quite expertly, talk about related things but never comes out and says it.

Kristen: Yeah.

Eric: So he brags to Pansy and Blaise and Crabbe and Goyle about having a higher calling.

Michael: You know, I will give those points later on to Hermione because I can see why she would have held up her argument that Malfoy would have bragged.

Kristen: Mhm.

Michael: I think that’s…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: Yet again, not only is Harry now underestimating Malfoy, but Hermione is too.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: To think that he would openly boast – especially like you said, Eric – if Malfoy was being tactical enough to recognize that Harry was in the room…

Kristen: Yeah.

Michael: But that was very… because I was surprised… I’m still surprised looking back on it that Malfoy managed to restrain that, because Malfoy’s awful at that. He gloats and brags and drops hints all the time in previous books.

Eric: “My father” this, “my father”…

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: But this is a very serious thing as well and Voldemort isn’t something to joke about.

Eric: Right.

Rosie: So, when he was given his Dark Mark, I can’t imagine that it was a particularly happy summer for him.

Michael: Hmm…

Rosie: So I think there is a change in his character that has happened over the summer as well. He’s a harder character already…

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: … even before the hardships of this coming year. So I think something will have happened already to make him not want to brag about being a Death Eater. He knows not to by this point.

Eric: Yeah. Especially if the Dark Mark hurts him…

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: That’s another one of Harry’s theories at the beginning of the chapter – Madam Malkin wasn’t even actually sticking him with a pin! If you look closely enough – and I just happened to be – she wasn’t anywhere near his specific left arm during that time.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Eric: But his specific left arm where Death Eaters are specifically branded really hurt him that day.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: But my point is if it really hurt Draco, then again that’s a constant reminder of your mission and your duty, your responsibility.

Kristen: He’s being watched.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: That’s true.

Eric: So… well, thus concludes the chapter where Malfoy gets Harry good. We just don’t know when Harry will be rescued.

Michael: Malfoy, Malfoy, Malfoy…

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: If only there were some kind of multi-colored haired Auror somewhere.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Michael: To help us out.

Eric: She’s not multi-colored haired anymore.

Kristen: Mhm.

Eric: She’s too depressed with Sirius Black’s death.

Rosie: That’s true… as she should be, poor Tonks.

Michael: Or if we’re in movie canon… if only Wrackspurts were real, which they apparently are in the movies.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Whoa!

[Michael laughs]

Eric: There’s that. I forgot about that in the movie.

Kristen: That’s true, yeah.

Eric: But we’ll get there.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: [imitating Luna] “Hi Harry.”

[Kristen laughs]

[Michael laughs]

Michael: [imitating Luna] “Hi Harry.”

Eric: Yeah, there you go.

Michael: [as Luna] Yeah. I know.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kristen: Well, that was a great discussion, but let’s go into this week’s Podcast Question of the Week: “Molly said in a previous chapter that Arthur was passed up for the Slug Club. Which other characters might have been overlooked by Slughorn’s selction process? Has having the Slug Club ever backfired on Professor Slughorn?” I’m really interested in what you guys will put, so don’t forget to go over to our main site and let us know what you think about this question.

Eric: Yeah.

Rosie: And if you guys would like to be on the show… obviously today was a host show with just four main Alohomora! hosts, but we do love having you guys on to chat with us and to stop us having five minute conversations about how to make a Harry Potter Emoji.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Eric: Why, you’re really upset about that.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: I’m very tired. If you would like to be on the show, you can go to the Be on the Show page at You don’t have to have any fancy equipment really – a set of Apple headphones would do. While you’re there, you can also download a ringtone for free.

Kristen: Whoo!

Michael: And listeners, I felt like I should stress this week – I’ve seen a lot of comments of you guys enthusiastically commenting but frequently saying, “I can’t believe the hosts said this,” or “I completely disagree with the hosts. Please stop bashing Snape.”

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Which we’re never going to stop.

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: But that’s a good reason…

Eric: Angry snaps.

Rosie: Come on the show and say your…

Michael: Yes. That’s a good reason to come on the show. We want you to come and be that extra different voice that’ll add to our conversation.

Eric: Yes. Be Snape’s best friend.

Michael: Yes. Be Snape’s best friend. Send in an audition for us.

Kristen: Because I won’t.

[Kristen and Michael laugh]

Michael: Because it ain’t gonna be any of us.

Kristen: Yes.

Michael: And in the meantime, if you just want to get in touch with us, there are a lot of ways to do that. You can check us out on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, on Facebook at, our Tumblr account, mnalohomorapodcast. We have a phone number, 206-GO-ALBUS (206-462-5287) where you can call and leave us messages. You can also leave us shorter messages on audioBoom – that’s audioBoom with an “M” now. The app for that is actually on and it’s free – you just need a microphone. We do ask that you try to keep your messages on audioBoom to under 60 seconds please so that we can actually share them with our listeners on the show.

Eric: And of course, there is also the Alohomora! store where you can find a ton of merchandise that has to do with running jokes and other really cool stuff for any average Harry Potter fan. You can check that out by going to the Alohomora! website,, and clicking “Store.” We have House shirts, Desk!Pig stuff, Mandrake Liberation Front paraphernalia – “Minerva Is My Homegirl” is a popular catchphrase – and so many more. Also flip-flops for those of you in the southern hemisphere.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: I feel like we should be making a “Detrimental To My Stealth” T-shirt now…

[Eric, Kristen, and Michael laugh]

Rosie: … with ankles showing underneath. We have to make that t-shirt.

Eric: Always washing is detrimental to my…

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: And don’t forget about our smartphone app, which is available on this side of the pond and the other – prices may vary. You can find transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and more. So really go out there and get that smartphone app – I love it.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: I love it, too. You know, there’s been a lot of footage, Kristen of us in Florida…

[Kristen laughs]

Eric: … as special bonus content.

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Eric: This episode will be no different.

Kristen: Mhm.

Eric: There will be more Florida content from when Kristen, Kat, and I were at the HP celebration, and that video is exclusively available on the app.

Kristen: Its magical moments, you don’t want to miss them. [laughs]

Eric: Many magical dancing moments.

Kristen: Oh yeah, water dancing…

Eric: Yes!

Kristen: On point. [laughs]

Eric: Yes. Well guys, this has been a lot of fun.

[Show music begins]

Eric: Once again, I am Eric Scull.

Kristen: I’m Kristen Keys.

Michael: I’m Michael Harle.

Rosie: And I’m Rosie Morris. Thank you for listening to Episode 125 of Alohomora!

Michael: Open the – Patrificus Totalus! – Dumbledore.

[Eric, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Nice.

[Show music continues]

Michael: Look, look, look, you guys. Look. Wait. Here we go. Doo, doo. Wait, no. Yeah. And then… and then…

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Wait.

Kristen: #DrappleForever?

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Look! It’s Harry!

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: That’s it. Oh, yeah. Harry Potter.

Eric and Kristen: Wait, what’s the hashtag?

Rosie: Lightning bolt, then the hair be the other way around?

Michael: Yeah, yeah. There we go.

Eric: That’s his hair? His jet-black hair is the pound key?

Michael: Yes.

Kristen: Shouldn’t it be his magical wizard hat?

Rosie: This is a very interesting [unintelligible].

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Oh, you put his hat on.

Eric: His Book!Canon hat.

[Kristen, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: His Book 1!Canon hat.

Michael: Wait, you can give it a brim. Oh no, somebody put his hair on top of his hat!

[Kristen laughs]

Michael: Oh no!

Rosie: Guys, it’s currently 20 [minutes] to 1 [o’clock] in the morning.

Kristen: Okay, sorry, sorry, sorry.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: There’s a halo. That’s his halo. Don’t remove the halo!

Michael: [laughs] Okay, Kristen. Take it away.

Eric: Now it looks like he’s wearing a party hat.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Ooh, Santa hat!

Kristen: [laughs] Okay. Can I go?