Transcript – Episode 142

[Show music begins]

Kat Miller: This is Episode 142 of Alohomora! for June 20, 2015.

[Show music continues]

Kat: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Alohomora!, MuggleNet’s global reread of the Harry Potter series. I’m Kat Miller.

Elayna Darcy: I’m Elayna Darcy.

Kristen Keys: And I’m Kristen Keys. And with us we have our guest, Jeff. Say hello, Jeff.

Jeff Peyton: Hello!

Kat: Hi!

Elayna: Welcome, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you. Good to be here.

Kristen: Tell us which house you’re in, Jeff.

Jeff: I’m in Ravenclaw.

Kristen: Nice.

Kat: Yay!

Elayna: Woo-hoo!

Kat: Caw!

[Kristen laughs]

Kristen: How did you get into Harry Potter?

Jeff: Well, actually, a friend introduced me to the series, and I had a very long commute to work, so I just started listening to the books on CD. So I actually don’t think I even read a paper form of the books until maybe Deathly Hallows.

Kristen: Oh, wow.

Kat: Wow.

Kristen: That’s so cool.

Jeff: So I just listened to the CD, the Jim Dale American versions, loved it. The voices were amazing. So that’s how I got into it. And it was probably 1999, 2000, 2001, somewhere in that timeframe.

Kat: Wow.

Kristen: Awesome.

Kat: Good for you.

Elayna: Woo-hoo.

Kat: Wow, didn’t touch an actual book until Deathly Hallows.

Jeff: I think so.

Kat: That’s crazy.

Jeff: I know. No, I love reading, but I just loved the audio versions, to add up with that long commute. They really made that commute go really quickly.

Kristen: Oh yeah, definitely. I feel you.

Kat: Was it like an hour, two hours, three hours?

Jeff: Oh, like 45 minutes to an hour, yeah.

Kat: Yeah. That’s a long enough commute. You can get a couple [of] chapters in.

Elayna: It’s good for transportation purposes.

Kat: And speaking of chapters, I want to remind everybody that this week, we are going to be discussing Chapter 24 of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: “Sectumsempra.” Ooh.

Elayna: So before we get into that chapter, we’re going to go over some of the recap comments from last week, Chapter 23, which was “Horcruxes.” So one of our comments that we got here was by Yo Rufus On Fire, which is fabulous…

[Kat laughs]

Elayna: So their question was,

“Do you think [that] a Dark [w]izard could use Felix [Felicis]? One of the hosts mentioned how they couldn’t see Voldemort frolicking, saying that he knew how to kill Harry. I completely agree with this statement, and I wonder if [F]elix is kind of like [t]he Patronus Charm, where a [D]ark wizard can’t conjure one? Maybe if they drank the lucky potion then it would just cancel itself out? If your mission [were] to kill someone, do you think [F]elix [Felicis] would [just] let you do it? I really don’t think you could kill someone under the lucky potion but if Tom had used liquid luck to retrieve the Horcrux information, I don’t think Slughorn would have known about it. I just think [that] Slughorn feels very guilty for giving up that information in general. How would Slughorn have found out that Tom had used the potion to get the information?”

So I thought that was just a really interesting question to consider the fact that this lucky potion could stop you if it has this idea that you’re doing something wrong.

Kat: See, it is interesting, although this person is stating that a Dark wizard can’t conjure a Patronus Charm, and it’s not Dark wizards [who] can’t. It’s those [who] aren’t pure of heart, because we do see somebody like Umbridge who is definitely a “Dark wizard.” She’s a witch with a capital B. She can do a Patronus, which means she thinks she’s pure of heart, whatever, whatever. I don’t know if it would cancel itself out, though. I think you could still kill someone on Felix Felicis. I do. I think that the potion wouldn’t help you do that, but I still think you could kill somebody.

Jeff: Yeah. I think you could kill somebody if you’re using Felix Felicis. I know that there is an implication that it’s innocent and naïve, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t. It seems it’d be neutral, so it could be for good purposes or bad.

Kat: Yeah. Neutral, that is a good point. I’ve never thought about potions not being dark or light. I’ve always just seen them as a neutral thing that anybody could use them for any purpose. Like the Polyjuice, like Harry and Ron and Hermione – well, kind of Hermione – used it for “good” purposes in a bad way. Would that make sense? So but then Draco was still able to use it for deception, so that’s a good point. Neutral.

Elayna: Yeah, it just made me wonder because one of the things I know they were talking about last week was just if… where the Felix Felicis comes from and what caused Harry to go to Hagrid’s place, and they said that there’s just this inherent force that makes you do it, and it made me wonder if that same force could sense if you’re trying to do something bad.

Kat: But would you call what Harry was trying to do to Slughorn bad or good?

Elayna: No, I don’t think that what he was doing… I’m just saying, in the instance of if a Dark wizard [were] trying to use it, then… because I don’t think it negatively affected Harry because he was just trying to get information, but…

Kristen: But that’s still taking somebody’s memory from them.

Kat: Yeah, he was trying to coerce.

Elayna: True.

Kat: I mean, that’s not necessarily a “nice” thing.

Kristen: I mean, it’s a lot nicer than killing somebody, but…

[Kat laughs]

Kat: Touché, Kristen, touché.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m not sure that Slughorn feels guilty or… no, I’m sure that Slughorn feels guilty. I don’t think he knows if Tom could or didn’t use the potion. I’m not sure Tom did. I think Tom is just naturally very persuasive. And he’s handsome. Maybe Slughorn… wink, wink. Never know.

[Elayna laughs]

Kristen: Well, and Slughorn is not the only person [whom] he’s influenced, so that’s why I don’t think he used the potion at all.

Elayna: Yeah. Harry even talks in the thing before where he was saying he could see that he had this charm about him, and he was really good at getting people to do what he wanted them to do, so I don’t think he used the potion either.

Kat: Agreed.

Elayna: So we have another comment from Minerva’s Tartan Biscuit Tin…

[Kristen laughs]

Elayna: They were talking last week about the fact that Lily may have been copying from Snape and getting all the praise for it, and so she asks us,

“Who is to say it wasn’t Snape who copied Lily? Maybe he wrote the changes he saw her making [in] class down into the book. They weren’t friends in their sixth grade anymore, but seeing how obsessed he still is so many years after her death, I imagine he would have been aware of her doings in their shared classes. So to feel closer to her he might have written down some of the changes he saw Lily making. I am NOT saying everything he wrote into the book came from Lily, but maybe parts of it. I [don’t] doubt Snape’s abilities as a potion maker, but I consider this scenario more likely than Lily copying Snape after she ended their friendship.”

Kat: Oh. That’s interesting. Snape is obviously incredibly talented, and this implies that Lily was more talented. I’m going to say that I don’t buy it, [laughs] only because… well, okay, maybe Lily was more talented at Potions, but I think that Snape was probably the more accomplished wizard. I mean, look at the book. Look at the Half-Blood Prince’s book. That’s pretty epic.

Elayna: Yeah, I certainly… I think the comment… it definitely doesn’t discredit the fact that Snape is obviously great at what he does, but it was a thing that I never had considered before, that Lily could have been really great at this thing, and maybe it was even something that they shared, and they both had this love of doing Potions.

Kat: Maybe that’s what they bonded and fell in love over.

Kat and Kristen: Aww.

Elayna: Gross.

[Kristen laughs]

Elayna: Yuck.

Kristen: Love Snape.

Jeff: This comment reminds me… I think… doesn’t it say in the book that someone was looking at the handwriting and someone thought it might’ve been a girl’s handwriting?

Kat: Yep.

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Jeff: So it’s like Lily had written it, but I don’t think Lily wrote it. But it’s just interesting that someone would look at that and think it was a woman’s handwriting.

Kat: You know what’s funny? This is just a little tidbit for all of you: In the movies, it is a woman’s handwriting.

Elayna: Really?

Kat: Because Miraphora Mina, from MinaLima, is the one who did Snape’s handwriting. Boom. So there you go.

[Jeff laughs]

Elayna: That’s amazing.

Kat: Yeah. A little tidbit for you.

Elayna: So our last comment comes from SilverDoe25, who said,

“Regarding Nagini, [e]ven Dumbledore states that Voldemort seems to exhibit unusual control over the animal, which is why he theorizes that Nagini is a Horcrux. But if she wasn’t made a Horcrux until the death of Frank Bryce, Nagini still showed a great deal of un-snake-like behavior even at the very start of Book 4. Frank is still very much alive, but here is Nagini reporting to Voldemort, allowing herself to be milked for meals'[…] I wonder if this is some random snake from Albania. Perhaps Voldemort inhabited Nagini prior to being found by Pettigrew. The sharing of their 2 minds [could] have been the catalyst for the bond between them.”

Kat: Ooh, I like that.

Kristen: Yeah. I could…

Kat: I feel like… wasn’t there some confirmation of the fact… okay, so before he came back to life in Book 4, wasn’t there some comment or something made by somebody about something somewhere about how he was inhabiting animals to stay alive? Am I wrong?

Elayna: I don’t know if I remember that, but I know that seeing this comment definitely made me have this “oh my gosh” moment because it had never occurred to me that that could’ve been what had happened. But it seems pretty likely that that could’ve been what caused their bond that they have, was that either he knew Nagini before he lost his body or had to have some kind of bond with her when he was gaining a body again, and what better connection than something like that?

Kat: Yeah, I have a feeling that it was sometime before he met Quirrell. I don’t know. I might be wrong. Somebody out there will correct me, I’m sure.

Kristen: I could see that, though, so…

Elayna: Yeah. I think it would be… yeah. I find it so hard to believe that they could’ve just had that connection formed around the time of Book 4 because for how protective he is of her, it just seems like it’s too soon?

Kristen: It’s longer, yeah.

Elayna: Yeah, he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who gets super attached to something really quickly. Doesn’t get attached to anything other than himself, so…

Kat: Right. Yeah, and I mean, the Parseltongue connection alone wouldn’t be enough, I don’t think. Because he could talk to any snake in the world. Why her?

Jeff: But they were best buds.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Aww, the fools.

Jeff: Because they had all these long chats by the fire.

[Elayna, Kat, and Kristen laugh]

Elayna: The two best friends that anyone can have.

Kat: Yeah. [laughs]

Jeff: So in the last episode, you guys were talking about the special powers that Harry had, and he’s downplaying it. He’s like, “What’s the big deal? I just have love.” But if you think about it, love is really powerful, and I thought about it in two aspects: One, love implies community and relationships, and [two], because Harry can love, he relies on other people, and this reliance actually enables him to enlist the help he needed in defeating Voldemort. He needed help from other people to destroy the Horcruxes.

Kat: So Voldemort loves nobody? Never? You think he’s never loved?

Jeff: That’s a tough call. We don’t really see any evidence of that in the books.

Kat: Would you say he loves Nagini or himself?

Jeff: Hmm… well, I wouldn’t say he loves Nagini. [laughs] I think it’s…

Elayna: I think he loves himself, and that’s about it.

Jeff: Yeah, he loves himself, and that’s about it.

Kat: You don’t think he loves Nagini?

Elayna: I think that he cares about Nagini in her relation to his keeping himself alive, but I don’t think that… if she w[ere]n’t harboring a piece of his soul, I don’t think he’d really care very much.

Kristen: He loves the way he can protect her. She can protect him.

Kat: We just talk about how strong their connection is. How can you not think that he loves her?

Kristen: I think he could love her.

Kat: I don’t think he loves her in the traditional sense of love.

Kristen: No.

Kat: I think that that is the closest thing to love Voldemort is ever going to get is Nagini.

Elayna: It’s definitely the closest he can get, I think, but he’s never… I mean, Dumbledore even says this, I think, in the chapter before, where Harry… because he knows love, he has a soul that’s whole, and that’s something that Voldemort can’t really understand, so I don’t think he can understand love in the way that Harry or anybody else could, but I mean, in his own twisted way, he could care and think it’s love.

Jeff: Yeah, I think it’s just like a treasured possession, how you would love a trophy on the wall or a family heirloom. I don’t think he loves it. It’s just a possession, and he needs Nagini. He needs it, but I don’t think it’s… I wouldn’t say it’s love.

Kat: So more like a fine appreciation?

Jeff: I think it’s just really survival. It’s a survival/protection thing.

Kat: Yeah, I get that.

Jeff: I think it’s like somebody would love a gun.

Kat: Oh, boy.

Elayna: Oh my.

Kat: [laughs] I’m sure there are people out there who love their guns.

Jeff: The fact that the greatest exhibition of love that you can do is lay down your life for your friends. I’m a Christian, and I come from that kind of worldview that the greatest thing… Jesus laid down his life for his friends, and it’s the ultimate sacrifice, laying down your life for your friends. So the fact that Harry had it in himself… he had to destroy that last Horcrux. It had to be destroyed, so he had that love within himself, to be able to sacrifice himself to kill that Horcrux. So that was necessary. Someone had to have love within themselves to take that ultimate sacrifice and destroy that Horcrux.

Kat: So yeah, because there was a discussion last week about if Dumbledore should have told Harry at that time that he suspected he was a Horcrux and that most – I think, if I remember correctly – of the hosts thought that if Harry had known, he would not have been able to make it to that moment to actually do the “ultimate sacrifice.”

Elayna: Yeah, I think that there’s something to be said about the way that you feel during a war, and if you think about this scenario when he’s in here with Dumbledore, it’s like the beginning of the battle. They’re just finding out what’s about to happen, but he wouldn’t have been prepared to handle it at that moment because he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, but when you get into Deathly Hallows, he’s there. People [whom] he loves are dying around him, and he sees the importance of it, and that’s the moment in which it’s crucial for him to find out because it’s actually going to mean something, and he knows what he’s laying his life down for.

Kristen: Well, speaking of Horcruxes, let’s review this week’s Podcast Question of the Week responses. Just a reminder, the question is,

“If Harry had died and Voldemort had made that sixth Horcrux, which item would the Harry Horcrux have been instead?”

Minerva’s tartan biscuit tin said,

“I think he would have taken something from Harry’s nursery. It would have been a symbol for Voldemort that that particular killing meant he didn’t just get closer to defeating death but also would ‘kill’ the prophecy. I actually picture him using a little stuffed animal (like a cute lion James had probably gotten for his son). He wouldn[‘]t even have to set up protections for that Horcru[x] because who could ever bear to destroy a stuffed animal that belongs to a dead [i]nfant?”

Elayna: I thought this comment was crazy, in a good way.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Kat: Continue.

Elayna: Yeah, I just really liked this one when I saw it because I liked how it said the lion for James. But I think what would be interesting because if he had destroyed Harry and killed this infant, the idea that he would take something that belonged to that infant as innocent as a stuffed animal…

Kristen: Mhm.

Elayna: … I think would’ve been symbolic of the fact that on a very deep level, I feel like Voldemort probably felt robbed – or Tom Riddle felt robbed – of his childhood. He didn’t get to really grow up, he didn’t get to have a loving environment and clearly as he comes into Harry’s home, he sees he’s got parents who are willing to die for him and he’s surrounded by these stuffed animals in this happy place, so I think it could’ve been really interesting for him to have done something like that.

Kat: My only issue with that is that, as we’re learning throughout this book, Voldemort… the objects he chooses to place his soul into are incredibly meaningful.

Elayna and Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Not only to just himself, but are historical artifacts, so to say, with the exception of the diary and Nagini and, well, Harry, who isn’t even really a Horcrux; he’s just a convenient… anyway, and I’m not exactly sure what Voldemort would have used, but I’m not sure he would have just taken something random from the house or the nursery or whatever.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: I think… again, and this all depends on how the Horcrux process works; if you have to make it the minute you kill somebody or if the energy can be stored and can be made later because for all we know, maybe he wasn’t even going there to make a Horcrux. I mean, has Jo said that before? I don’t know if she has.

Elayna: Not sure.

Kristen: I don’t think so.

Jeff: I don’t think it’s clear.

Kat: Yeah, so for all we know, Voldemort was just going there to kill this kid and be done.

Jeff: Mhm.

Elayna and Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: I mean, I know she has said before – and I think they even mentioned this last week – that the process of making a Horcrux is so horrible that even her editor looked like they were going to throw up or something.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Yeah, someone on the site had posted the interview and the quotes from that and yeah, it just seemed a little vile. Good for you, Jo! I don’t know.

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Kat: But yeah, I don’t know.

Kristen: Yeah, I don’t see him taking a stuffed animal.

Elayna: It’s an interesting theory that I liked, but I don’t necessarily think that he would have.

Kat and Kristen: Mhm.

Elayna: But I really feel like if he had used anything – I think some other people were saying this – well, it probably would’ve been his wand.

Kat: His own wand?

Elayna: Yeah. Because if you think about it, wizards treat their wand with extreme reverence, and at that time – I think someone else was saying this in the comments – you don’t even really know…

Kristen: SnapesManyButtons actually has a comment just like that, so let me go ahead and read it. And they say,

“I believe Voldemort planned to make a Horcrux from Harry’s death and that he had to perform the spell at the time of the murder, so he would have needed to have the object with him. Nothing unusual was found at the house, and Rowling has said that Wormtail took Vold[e]mort’s wand from the scene while in his rat form, so the wand seems to be the only object Voldemort left behind. I think this implies that Voldemort intended to turn his wand into a Horcrux. This would be something he would always have with him, so he would believe it was safe. He didn’t know about the twin cores at that point, so he had no reason to think he’d end up having to replace that wand with the Elder Wand. If he planned to live forever, the Horcruxes needed to be things that would last forever, and I’m sure at the time he expected to always use that wand… I wonder, though, what it means as far as his giving Lily the chance to stand aside and not be killed, if he had to make the Horcrux right there at the time of the murder. He surely wouldn’t have expected Lily to stand around while he went through that process with her murdered baby. Did he expect that she’d flee if she did choose to save herself? It seems having her around would be an irritation he wouldn’t want or need. Though I guess he’d have no problem stupefying her or something, if he had to.”

Kat: Okay, so I’m going to say unequivocally that I completely disagree with this. I don’t think that Voldemort would use his wand to store something like that. Wands are just sticks of wood, when it comes down to it, and that was proven with Harry’s wand.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: I mean, sure, it – in the book, correctly – got fixed.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: But it’s still just a piece of wood. It can get stolen, it can get lost, it can get broken, it can malfunction…

Elayna: You ever wonder if wizards leave their wands around like we lose our cell phones?

Kristen: Like your keys? Yeah, and someone just takes it…

Kat: Yeah, absolutely they do because remember? James Potter; his wand was just sitting on the couch when Voldemort came into the house to kill them.

Elayna and Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: So yeah, I just think that the wand doesn’t make sense for me personally. While it’s something to be revered, it doesn’t seem like Voldemort would trust a piece of wood with his soul.

Elayna: I don’t know. I thought that was kind of… he would consider that to be a powerful object because it’s what he channels his power through.

Kat: Yeah.

Elayna: So it’s certainly personal to him. So that’s why I thought that that could be a really interesting theory.

Kat: Yeah, no, I think it’s interesting. I just don’t think it’s plausible, for me. It’s not for me.

Elayna: Yeah. That’s true.

Kristen: All right, and our last comment comes from ISeeThestrals, and they said,

“This would have definitely been the time for him to get his hands on the sword of Gryffindor in relation to Harry, even though he wouldn’t have known Harry would end up in Gryffindor. If not the sword, for some reason I imagine a broom. It’s a strong symbol of witchcraft and wizardry and has a strong connection with Harry. Though it’s something Harry would’ve owned and cherished had he survived in this scenario, I think it makes sense for Voldemort to use something Harry cherishes as a horcrux being he considers Harry to be such a strong opponent. But seeing as Harry [i]s just a baby here, there’s not much he would own and cherish just yet except for a few toys. But in this case, perhaps Voldemort would have used a broom to symbolize Harry, the wizard he would never be.”

I could see using the sword of Gryffindor but I’m not sure if he would use a broom.

Kat: Yeah, me, either. Again, I think there’s got to be an object that we aren’t aware of from his past. It just has to be something that… because there’s just no plausible explanation for something amazing that Voldemort would choose to put that in. Or, again, he didn’t go there to make a Horcrux.

Kristen: Yes.

Elayna: Well, when you also think about it, though, his whole thing with Horcruxes was trying to hit every house, so what better way to find something of Gryffindor’s than Godric’s Hollow?

Kat: Yeah, that’s true.

Elayna: So maybe he could have thought that he could have recovered something there that he was missing.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Right. Maybe he went and picked up the giant gravestone or something and was like, “Yep, this is the next Horcrux!”

Kristen: “Oh, yeah.”

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Kat: “Here it is.”

Elayna: Well, that would almost be Portkey-like, if he had just made the gravestone be the Horcrux.

Kat: Yeah.

Elayna: Who’s going to desecrate the gravestone?

Kristen: That’s true.

Kat: Right, exactly.

Kristen: I just always imagined, when I read this comment, she’s talking about toys and brooms as… remember that picture they find and it’s Harry zipping around on that toy broom?

Kat: Aww, yeah.

Elayna: I thought that, too.

Kristen: [laughs] Could you only imagine if Voldemort had that as a Horcrux?

Kat: If that was the Horcrux?

Elayna: That was what came to mind when I was reading this comment. I was just like, “Oh my gosh.”

Kristen: He’s like, “I’m too big to zip around!” [laughs]

Elayna: Exactly what Voldemort would sound like.

Kristen: Exactly. Yeah, duh.

Kat: Poor moldy Voldy.

Kristen: Well, thank you everybody for sending in your responses to this past week’s Podcast Question of the Week. I very much enjoyed reading all your comments.

Kat: There were 200 comments combined this week or something.

Elayna: Yeah, mhm.

Kat: You guys are crazy! I like it, though. I like it.

Kristen: Yeah, I love it.

Kat: All right, so I guess let’s move on to Chapter 24, yeah?

Kristen: Yeah!

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 24 intro begins]

[Sound of spells and shattering glass]

Harry: Chapter 24. “Sectumsempra!”

Draco: Agh!

[Sound of Draco falling to the floor and water splashing]

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 24 intro ends]

Kat: Okay, so Chapter 24. Guys, that’s my lucky number, first off. I know that has nothing to do with the chapter whatsoever.

Elayna: That’s my age.

Kristen: Congrats.

Kat: That’s your age?

Elayna: Yes!

Kat: Congratulations.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Lots of 24s in this episode. All the 24s. Okay, but this is a really good chapter. I’m really excited about it.

Elayna: I’m so hyped to talk about it.

Kat: I know. Harry dishes the details of his most recent private lesson with Dumbledore and finally realizes that he has blatant obvious feelings for Ginny Weasley. Katie Bell returns to Hogwarts healthy, but none the wiser. Quidditch is on everyone’s mind again – except Harry, who, of course his mind remains torn between two gingers: Ron and Ginny – as the final match of the year draws nearer. While stalking Draco, Harry performs a nearly Unforgivable Curse, and it is Snape to the rescue. Using quick thinking, Harry hides his Advanced Potion-Making copy in the Room of Requirement while Snape awaits to dish out some cruel and not so unusual punishment. Gryffindor wins the House Cup, and Harry wins his inner battle. Oohoohoo. So first thing I wanted to talk about here was the return of Katie Bell. Am I the only one who forgot she was gone?

[Everyone laughs]

Jeff: Me, too.

Kristen: Rereading this, I still was like, “Oh, yeah! Katie Bell.”

Kat: Yeah, yeah. Me, too.

Elayna: Aww, she’s a person.

Kat: I was like, “Oh, yeah! Katie! She comes back.”

Kristen: “Oh, she’s back! Yeah, that’s right!”

Jeff: “Welcome back!”

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Kat: Yeah, welcome back. Yeah, so that’s cool but she still has absolutely no idea what happened to her. Which is fine. I figured that when you were Imperiused – I always used to say “Imperused” but I got yelled at a lot, so it’s Imperiused, apparently – that you would remember something eventually, that the memory doesn’t go away forever. But I guess it’s like total memory loss, right?

Jeff: Mhm.

Kristen: Yeah, like amnesia.

Elayna: We don’t know that… oh, sorry.

Kristen: Oh, I just said I feel like it’s like amnesia for them.

Elayna: Yeah, I was going to say that we don’t necessarily know that she was just Imperiused. They could have cast some kind of memory blocking charm on her in addition.

Kat: Oh, touche. That’s true.

Jeff: Well, I think it’s like being hypnotized. You don’t remember what you did when you’re hypnotized.

Kat: Unless they tell you to remember, right?

Jeff: [laughs] Yeah, okay, Kat.

Kat: I’ve never been hypnotized, so I don’t know how it works!

Kristen: Yeah, I’ve never seen anybody hypnotized except on TV.

Kat: But she obviously mentions… she goes, “Oh, I can’t remember anything. What happened after I got Imperiused?” But the trio come to the conclusion that it was probably a woman or someone who looks like a woman, and Harry brings up the Polyjuice again. And it made me laugh, because here is this moment where we’re supposed to be thrown off the trail by the mention of the Polyjuice. And we’re supposed to think of Draco and like, “Ha-ha! Oh, we know, Jo, Draco didn’t do it.” But oh, ha-ha, guess what, he did do it. So it’s like she’s turning us off the trail by putting us on the trail. I don’t know.

Elayna: Oh, Jo.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: She’s so clever. It just struck me more than ever at this moment that Harry’s got this all figured out. I mean, obviously there’s no Polyjuice in this moment, but…

Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: Yeah, Harry’s a lot clever-er than people try to give him credit for, I think.

Kristen: Because he usually gets it wrong.

Kat: Sometimes.

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Kat: He does usually get it wrong, that’s true.

Jeff: Well, he’s getting better as he matures.

Kristen: Oh yeah, definitely. [laughs]

Kat: Ah, yes. Speaking of maturing, let’s talk about Ginny a little bit here.

Jeff and Kristen: Ooh!

Elayna: Oh, my goodness, Ginny.

Kat: I know! This is such a good chapter. Michael, we miss that you’re not on this chapter to give us… [thumps table] “Another!”

[Kristen laughs]

Elayna: Yeah. The thing that got me the most was at one point… especially with the movies, you never really get to see what a fleshed-out character she is. But there’s this paragraph where Harry’s talking about how they’ve been having all of these Quidditch practices and he says, “Ginny is the life and soul of the team.” And he talks about them walking back from practices, and it’s just all of these nuanced moments that they’re getting to experience together and where she’s getting to show what a strong character she is. And you never get to see that in the film.

Kristen: I know.

Kat: I know, it’s so cute! I love how close they grow in this chapter together. They’re talking together and they’re laughing together and they’re walking together…

Kristen: He’s watching her.

Kat: Yeah. He’s finally all growed up.

Elayna: And I had forgotten the moment where she sticks up for him against Hermione…

Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: … and she totally comes at Hermione’s throat.

Kristen: Because yeah, you really don’t see that in the movie, and when I was rereading that I always forget that she does sticks up for him and you can tell that she sticks up for him. I wish that was in the movie.

Kat: There’s lots of things that we wish were in the movie. But yeah, at the beginning of the whole Harry/Ginny thing as it comes about, Harry is having this inner fight with himself about… “Ginny or Ron”…

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: I’m sorry, but do you have to choose Ginny or Ron? You can only have one and not the other? Does he really think that Ron is going to be so against him dating Ginny?

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: I have never known a guy who had a friend date his sister that wasn’t like, “All right, cool. You’re my best friend. I think you’re the coolest guy I know. Sure, date my sister.”

Elayna: Yeah, that never made sense to me either. I was always just like, he knows that you’re a good person and that you’ll treat her well, so why would he not be all for that?

Kristen: Because that’s your best friend. I don’t know, I have four brothers, so it’s like that’s your best friend and you’re going to lose your best friend because now he’s hanging around with your sister all the time and it’s weird. I don’t know. I could totally see it.

Kat: I mean, I get that but Ginny’s legit and she hangs around with them sometimes anyway.

Kristen: But it changes the dynamic of it.

Jeff: Right, it’s a whole new relationship. I wonder if it would be different if he had met both of them at the same time and kind of developed this liking for Ginny at the same time that he met Ron. But they’re had this established relationship where they’re just friends, and so to switch over, to be boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s kind of odd.

Elayna: And I don’t know if Harry was necessarily thinking of it this way, but it is a possible consequence that Ron and Harry have this kind of friendship where Ron has always kind of felt overshadowed and Harry is his best friend.

Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: And they have this closeness and it’s kind of like Ron is someone who’s had to share everything else with his family and Harry is kind of something he gets to keep for himself almost. So I don’t know if Harry recognized that and thought maybe that could be a reason to cause some controversy between the two of them.

Kat: That’s giving Harry a lot of credit, but I like it.

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Elayna: Yeah.

Kat: That he put some thought into it, if that’s really what he thinks. But we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

[Elayna laughs]

Kat: I do like in here how it mentions that Harry ties his success or the win at the Quidditch match to his success with Ginny.

[Elayna laughs]

Kat: And it got me thinking about… it seems like a lot of good things happen to Harry after they win Quidditch matches, and I wonder if that’s just a thing. Can you guys think of any other times? Maybe I’m just remembering it wrong, but I feel like happy things always happen after Quidditch matches. Is that not true?

Kristen: It could be.

Elayna: Well, I feel like the Quidditch matches… whether it’s happy or sad, the Quidditch reflects what’s going on. It’s almost kind of like… there’s a movie one time where it said, “Whatever you’re reading in class is going to reflect what’s happening in your real life.” And Quidditch kind of has that relationship to the storyline.

Kat: Ah.

Kristen: Because if you think about in the third [book] when they’ve got Dementors flying around, the darkness that’s coming with that ends up making them lose the match and things go badly.

Elayna: Mhm.

Kat: I guess I was just thinking about… well, I guess Grawp’s not really a happy thing.

[Elayna laughs]

Kat: I mean, he is for Hagrid.

Elayna: Mhm.

Kat: That happens during a Quidditch match. Maybe I’m wrong.

Jeff: Maybe you’re just thinking of the general euphoria that follows after a great win where everybody seems to be in a good mood. They’re having fun in the common room, slapping each other on the back, laughing… maybe it’s just that general good feeling that everyone has after a big win.

Kristen: Yeah. Because even in Goblet of Fire after the first tournament – I mean, the first whatever trial – once he got that egg and everything, then everybody was super excited because it was just all the excitement of he had gotten it and everything.

Kat: Yeah. He didn’t die. Yay!

Kristen: Yeah. He passed the dragon, he got the egg. Now we’re all on your side. [laughs]

Kat: Right.

Elayna: But did anybody else feel like you really wanted to see that Quidditch match? [laughs]

Kat: This one?

Elayna: They talk about it as being such a sweeping fantastic victory…

Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: … and you miss the whole thing. I felt kind of cheated. I was like, oh!

Kat: I like where Harry talks about Ginny playing seeker against Cho.

Kristen: Yes. Mhm.

Elayna: Mhm.

Kat: And I was just like, whoa! Hello!

Kristen: [unintelligible]

Elayna: Strong females. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, right? I just love that Jo put that in there.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: New relationship, old relationship. Strong versus weak.

Kristen: Who’s going to win? [laughs]

Elayna: Oh, I didn’t even think of it like that. Oh!

Kat: Yeah.

Elayna: That makes it even… Jo.

Kat: [laughs] Yeah. Exactly. Jo.

Elayna: OGM.

Kat: OGM. There’s so many of those.

Elayna: Yeah.

Kat: She’s such a smartypants. But you brought this up earlier, Elayna, about the moment where Ginny sticks up for Harry after the whole thing with Draco goes down.

Elayna: Love that moment.

Kat: Which we’ll get to in a minute. On page 530 of the US edition they’re all fighting about it. And Ginny yells at Hermione, which never happens.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: She’s like, “Give it a rest, Hermione! By the sound of it, Malfoy was trying to use an Unforgiveable Curse. You should be glad that Harry had something good up his sleeve.” And do you think that that’s true? That she thinks that the way Harry retaliated is okay?

Kristen: Yes.

Kat: Really?

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Why?

Kristen: I mean, just like she said, he was about to do an Unforgiveable Curse on him, [and] he thought of something quickly. Of course, it was that spell.

Kat: But Draco wasn’t going to kill him. I know Harry didn’t know what this spell was, but – again, we’ll get to in a minute – but this could have killed Draco.

Kristen: Yeah. But I mean, look at Neville’s parents.

Kat: Yeah?

Kristen: That curse was placed on them…

Kat: Draco…

Elayna: They’re suffering something that was apparently worse than death.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah. Draco is not Bellatrix.

Kristen: That’s true.

Kat: I don’t think he would have the guts or the balls that she has to do what she did to Alice and Frank, quite honestly. But I mean, just in general, what’s with this fiery reaction? I know that it’s Ginny, but is this really just from defending Harry, or is there some kind of underlying thing with Hermione going on here that we just don’t see between her and Ginny?

Kristen: I don’t… I never saw it that way.

Elayna: Yeah. I think it more has to do with Harry.

Kat: Mhm.

Elayna: And I mean, she’s very… Ginny never seems cutthroat to me, but the comment that she makes to her just seems really harsh.

Kat: Mhm.

Elayna: She’s doing something… she’s coming at Hermione’s intelligence, which is something that you just don’t do. You know?

Kat: Yeah, you mean when she’s talking about “You don’t understand Quidditch”?

Elayna: Yeah, she says, “You’ll just embarrass yourself.” Yeah, I think that she just… when you get caught up in a moment, you say things that are harsher than you normally would, and I feel like how she feels about Harry and just the severity of the fact that he could have killed him. She doesn’t know that that couldn’t have happened.

Kristen: Now, are you thinking of underline between Hermione and Ginny, Ginny is jealous of Harry and Hermione’s relationship or no?

Kat: No, because I think Ginny and Hermione are close enough to know who likes who and…

Kristen: Yeah, definitely. I just didn’t know… what do you mean “underline”?

Kat: No, I just mean that sometimes you can be friends with somebody for a long time. You don’t ever fight with them, but there are things about each other that really piss you off, and so then something like this comes about where there’s this guy [who] you’ve liked for a long time, and you’re defending them, but instead, you take out your anger on your friend that you’ve never taken out on your friend before.

Jeff: I think that’s exactly what’s happening. I think Ginny is finally starting to really be comfortable around Harry, and maybe she’s even thinking that “this could be my chance,” this could be when you really start having a serious relationship, or at least closer to that, and so she’s starting to feel protective of Harry, and I think this outburst from Ginny is like an accumulation of frustration. Because Hermione is really giving Harry a hard time here. She’s letter of the law: “You shouldn’t have done this! You’ve stolen that book,” and Ginny is like, “Back off. We’re talking about Harry’s life here, and you’re being all precise and letter of the law,” and Ginny’s like, “Let’s not lose focus here because Harry was really in danger.”

Kat: So Ginny is more upset about the fact that Hermione is being a little too insensitive to the fact that it’s one of her best friends [who] is in this problem.

Elayna: I think because they mention even in this chapter that Hermione has this knowing thing where she’s telling Harry, “Oh, by the way, they broke up,” so I feel like Ginny and Hermione had to have talked about this, and Hermione knows, so I think that it’s also… Ginny probably has already told Hermione, and here Hermione is trying to yell at Harry at this really pivotal time, and all of those emotions just fire up, and she’s also probably just upset about the Quidditch match too.

Kat: All right, so let’s move on to the namesake of this chapter, which is, of course, Sectumsempra. We have lots to talk about here. Obviously, since this is the title of this chapter, and for once, it actually is a significant event in this chapter… I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest event in the chapter. I guess it depends on which storyline you think is bigger. Anyway, so the quote for Sectumsempra is on page 518 of the US edition, and it says,

“Harry was about to put his book away again when he noticed the corner of a page folded down; turning to it, he saw the ‘Sectumsempra’ spell, captioned ‘For Enemies,’ that he had marked a few weeks previously. He had still not found out what it did, mainly because he did not want to test it around Hermione, but he was considering trying it out on McLaggen next time he came up behind him unawares.”

So first off, okay, McLaggen?

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Is McLaggen an enemy?

Kristen: Well, he did make him lose.

Kat: That jumped out at me so hardcore.

Jeff: I think he’s a bully. I think he thinks he’s everything, and he’s prideful and arrogant, and I think it’s the No. 1 person that Harry is irritated by right at this point.

Elayna: Especially over Quidditch.

Kat: Yeah, I mean, I’m not sure that qualifies a badass spell. I mean, obviously, we don’t know what it means yet. Harry has no idea what it means.

Elayna: The notion of him doing it in front of Hermione just really freaked me out when I was reading it.

Kat: Yeah, could you imagine him standing there if he did that to somebody? I think she’d disown him. [laughs] At least momentarily.

Elayna: Yeah, I can’t imagine that. That just… when reading that, for some reason that was the mental image I got, and it just thoroughly upset me.

Kat: And Jeff, you looked up the definition of the word, too, which I thought was really cool.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. So sectum means “to cut or wound,” and sempra means “always,” so you put them two together. It’s “to cut or wound always or continuously.” That’s pretty bad.

Elayna: Disturbing.

Jeff: So I just… this made me think of the fact that all these spells are in Latin. Don’t you think by the sixth year, they would have learned some Latin?

[Elayna laughs]

Jeff: Or at least knew where to find the information? Especially Hermione; why didn’t she put that together? She’s… you’d think she would be the one [who] would look up the definitions of these spells. I think they should have a course. They probably should have a course in Latin, so when you’re making up your spells… or so you can know what these spells do.

Kat: Yeah, I mean…

Elayna: The truth.

Jeff: If Harry had looked up the Latin root for this, he would have known how serious this spell was.

Kat: That’s true.

Kristen: That’s not Harry. [laughs]

Kat: No, it’s not, but the Latin class… that’s not a bad point. I mean, Snape invented the spell seemingly, right? So I mean, he says he did, right? At the end?

Kristen: Yeah.

Elayna: I always wondered how it is you could create a spell. Because, obviously, every spell had an origin point, but I would really love it to know from Jo what actually goes into the process of making a spell.

Kat: Well, we’ll add it to the list of things we’re going to ask her someday.

Kristen: That’s great to hear.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Kat: But I mean, Snape obviousy knows Latin somehow. I mean, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to come up with this. It’s not like he was just like, “Hmm, what am I going to call this spell? Oh, yeah. Sectemsempra. That’s a very simple word that I just thought of out of thin air.” Yeah, so… hmm.

Elayna: Yeah, and if the books show us anything, it’s that the words you use have power, so…

Kat: We’ve touched on this a little before, but do you think that, in this moment, Harry’s use of this spell is warranted? I mean, it does seem like Draco was going to say “Crucio,” but does that really make it okay? I mean, they both did try other spells first; we don’t know what Draco was shooting at Harry because Harry was blocking them, and we’re only in Harry’s head. But that spell wasn’t necessarily [the Cruciatus Curse] just because it started out as “Crucio“; maybe it was something else. I don’t know. Just… it seems Harry jumped to this a little bit quickly.

Elayna: I think it was a panic move, really, because it’s something that was fresh in his mind from having just seen it. And if you’re… he’s getting one of the Unforgivable Curses fired at him. So I feel like he’s going to go for whatever the first thing in his arsenal is, and that just happened to be it, and he didn’t know what it was going to do either.

Kat: So my question is “Why not [the Disarming Charm]?” Because that is Harry’s go-to spell.

Kristen: Maybe because he’s up against his enemy, and like Elayna said, he had just had that fresh in his mind. He’s like, “Well, here’s my No. 1 enemy right now who’s coming at me with these Unforgivable Curses. I’m going to use this. Try it out. We’ll see what happens.

Jeff: Yeah, and he had great success with the other advice that the Half-Blood Prince had given him. So it’s like, “You know what? He hasn’t let me down yet. Let me try this.”

Kat: I mean… but that’s not necessarily true because the other advice he was taking was how to make potions, not spells. The only other spell he got out of the book was Levicorpus, which, if you remember, hung Ron upside down by his ankle over his bed. So I think if he had taken that memory into account, he would say, “Oh, this is probably more serious than I think it is. Maybe I shouldn’t try it.”

Kristen: Well, it is for an enemy, so I would have assumed he would have known it was serious.

Kat: I, personally, still don’t think that it’s okay. I mean…

Kristen: Well, I don’t think about okay, but… [laughs]

Jeff: I think we have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight because we know what it’s going to do. But he really had no idea. Here’s a 16-year-old boy who’s basicially in a fist fight, and he’s going to use whatever he has in his arsenal: kicking, punching, and this is what came to mind. And he didn’t know what it was going to do. He’s just like, “Oh, it’s my enemy. Yeah, I’m going to use it.” He didn’t know what it was going to do, and we have the hindsight of 20/20 vision. So it seemed… it actually seems really reasonable that he would use it to me.

Kristen: I agree.

Kat: But also, why did Malfoy jump straight to the attack instead of his usual sass? Usually, they have a couple of lines of, “Haha, Potter, you stink.” But this time, Draco turns around and just boom! Done.

Elayna: I feel like it was because Draco didn’t… if you think about all those other times where he’s being super sassy, he isn’t in a vulnerable place.

Kat: Exactly.

Elayna: But Harry has just come in on him at this very scared moment where he feels like, “If I don’t do this, I’m going to die,” and he’s crying. And it prompts him to have a much more emotional reaction than he would normally have.

Kristen: And he’s, yeah, already emotional. He’s crying.

Jeff: I think the keyword here is “desperation.” Draco is really in a desperate state right now. He’s not thinking clearly.

Kat: Yeah, I mean, he’s talking to Moaning Myrtle, of all people, so to be honest…

[Kristen laughs]

Elayna and Kristen: Oh, Myrtle.

Kat: I mean, she does have one of my favorite lines in this chapter: “Murder! Murder in the bathroom! Murder!” I don’t know, it’s just…

Jeff: I’m surprised Peeves didn’t jump in here and start squawking too.

Elayna: Yeah, singing a song about it. [laughs]

Kat: I know. I try not to laugh with that part, but I can’t help it. It’s just…

Elayna: Oh, I laughed. [laughs]

Kat: Myrtle is funny.

Elayna: I don’t know… I always felt like this chapter in particular is such a rollercoaster because you start off chill, and then it has this moment where… I remember the first time I read this, I felt emotionally scarred because it just came out of nowhere. It’s like blood everywhere and all this stuff, and then it goes back to fluff by the end.

Kristin: Yeah, then we end with the kiss. [laughs] It’s great.

Kat: Yeah. I mean, Jo is good at that, though. She’s a web weaver, as they say. I mean, look at all the connections that there are between the books.

Jeff: So we all are aware of the ring theory between the books. There'[re] echoes of [Book] 1 in [Book] 7 and [Book] 2 in [Book] 6 and [Book] 3 in [Book] 5, but actually, John Granger said that there is… ring theory is actually within the books themselves, within each of the books themselves. And he proposes that the first and last chapters of the book will have parallels and mirrors of images of each other, and so the second and next to last chapter would also, and so in this case, with Half-Blood Prince, we’re doing Chapter 24, so I decided to put the theory to the test, and so I went back to Chapter 7, which would be its mirror image. Because you have [Chapter] 2 and [Chapter] 29, [Chapter] 3 and [Chapter] 28, [Chapter] 4 and [Chapter] 27, [Chapter] 5 and [Chapter] 26, [Chapter] 6 and [Chapter] 25, and then [Chapter] 7 and [Chapter] 24. So I read through them, and in Chapter 24, here we have Draco on the ground, covered in blood with Harry standing over him, right? You go back to Chapter 7, which is The Slug Club, and Harry and Neville and Ginny are in the Slug Club, and then he leaves, and he’s following Blaise Zabini, and then he goes into the Slytherin compartment, and what happens at the end of that scene? Harry is on the ground, covered with blood, having just been cursed by Draco, and Draco is standing over him. So I just thought that was an amazing. I just couldn’t believe that was a coincidence that you’d have that mirror image of Harry on the ground covered in blood and then Chapter 24, Draco on the ground covered in blood.

Kat: Yeah, that is a little bit more than convenience, isn’t it?

Elayna: Yeah, that’s crazy. Completely brilliant.

Jeff: Kat, I think that qualifies as the OGM.

Kat: I think so. I think this might be the OGM of the episode. I mean, I think this whole chapter has, like, 20 OGMs in it.

Kristin: Yeah. [laughs]

Elayna: That was just mind-blowing, though.

Kristin: That’s pretty cool.

Kat: I know. I’m going to have to go back and look at all the other ones now.

Jeff: I know, it makes you want to, doesn’t it?

Kat: Before we finish, and speaking of the Half-Blood Prince, let’s talk a little bit about Snape and the Advanced Potion-Making book in this chapter. So as we all know, after this exact moment where Draco is lying in a pool of blood and water, Snape comes to rescue Malfoy and performs the counter curse three times and then takes him off to the hospital wing. And he’s like, “Do not move” and Harry is like, “Yep. I’m staying right here.”

[Elayna laughs]

Kat: Didn’t even think to go anywhere else, which is so unlike Harry because he knew. He knew this time he was in some deep, deep phoenix poop.

[Kristin laughs]

Jeff: Wow, phoenix poop.

Kat: Well, I couldn’t say the other word.

[Kristin laughs]

Kat: It’s a family show.

Jeff: But why a phoenix? I mean, you could have chosen a basilisk.

Kat: I could have, but that’s disgusting.

[Jeff laughs]

Kat: The phoenix poop is little, probably. Basilisk poop is big.

Jeff: I think this qualifies as basilisk poop, then.

Kat: I mean, maybe, but it would cover Harry. There’s just too much of it.

Elayna: This escalated so quickly.

Kat: [laughs] Anyway, so Snape comes back to the bathroom, and Harry is like, “He knew it was going to happen before he could even stop it.” Snape does Legilimency, “reads his mind,” and demands to see Harry’s books, okay? So this whole section of the chapter is amazing. It’s so great. Harry runs upstairs – covered in blood and water – and everybody in the hall is just like, “Woah, dude, what’s wrong with you?” But I guess you’d be used to seeing Harry Potter run through the halls of Hogwarts with blood all over him.

Kristin: Nothing new here.

Elayna: Another normal day at Hogwarts.

Jeff: There goes Harry again… bloody Harry.

Kat: Yeah, it’s okay. I mean, maybe that’s his nickname: Bloody Harry. Instead of Bloody Mary. Get it? Bloody Mary?

Kristin: Oh, Bloody Harry. I’m going to order that next time.

Elayna: There’s an episode title for you.

[Kristin laughs]

Kat: Yeah. So Harry gets upstairs and is like, “Ron, give me your book, give me your book.” And so Ron gives him the book, and Harry, of course, as we know, goes down to hide his in the Room of Requirement. And this part is brill. A million times brill. There [are] mountains of hidden things in here, and the first thing I thought of is “Wouldn’t somebody want to go in there?” because there has to be something extra cool hidden in that room.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: I’m just saying. And my other thought was, what if there are other relics from the founders in there that could be hidden? And maybe… we know that Voldemort had come back before for the diadem. What if he wanted to peruse that room for other things too?

Elayna: Could it be his Gryffindor artifact?

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah. There could be something in there, for all we know.

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Kat: There is a lot of stuff in that room.

Kristen: And some good history.

Kat: A lot of stuff. Yep.

Elayna: I think that was my favorite brilliant moment of this chapter, is just the fact that it’s “Oh, there’s a tarnished tiara…”

Jeff: Mhm.

Elayna: … and it ends up being one of the most important objects of the last book.

Kat: I know! So that’s the part I was just going to read. It’s on page 526 of the US edition…

Kristen: I completely missed it. [laughs]

Kat: … and it’s a good paragraph long, so maybe I’ll get Michael to put this in for me. If not, I apologize. You’ll have to listen to my crappy voice…

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: … for a minute or two. It says,

“Harry hurried forward into one of the many alleyways between all this hidden treasure. He turned right past an enormous stuffed troll, ran on a short way, took a left at the broken Vanishing Cabinet in which Montague had got lost the previous year, finally pausing beside a large cupboard that seemed to have had acid thrown at its blistered surface. He opened one of the cupboard’s creaking doors: It had already been used as a hiding place for something in a cage that had long since died; its skeleton had five legs. He stuffed the Half-Blood Prince’s book behind the cage and slammed the door. He paused for a moment, his heart thumping horribly, gazing around at all the clutter…. Would he be able to find this spot again amidst all this junk? Seizing the chipped bust of an ugly old warlock from on top of a nearby crate, he stood it on top of the cupboard where the book was now hidden, perched a dusty old wig and a tarnished tiara on the statue’s head to make it more distinctive, then sprinted back through the alleyways of hidden junk as fast as he could go, back to the door, back out onto the corridor, where he slammed the door behind him, and it turned at once back into stone.”

So two major drops…

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: … in ten sentences.

Elayna: Huge.

Kristen: Crazy.

Kat: I know!

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: I know. She’s amazing. This book… it’s funny because I feel like Michael has brought this up before, I think, about… sometimes the books follow this kind of formula about how we’re given information, how Harry is usually wrong most of the way through and then something happens at the end and he’s like, “Click! Figured it out!”

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: This book is kind of the opposite…

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: … where he knows something is going on, he knows who it is and kind of why he’s doing it, he knows [where] the influence is coming from…

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: … and then we’re just given these little “boop, boop, boop”… I’ll just stick with the theme – little turds…

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: … throughout the book that…

Kristen: Oh no.

[Kat laughs]

Kristen: Dropped along the way. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, exactly. That just fit the whole story together for us, and this is just one of those lovely moments.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Which also leads into another really funny part of this chapter, [laughs] when Harry brings the book back to Snape…

[Jeff and Kristen laugh]

Kat: … and Snape is like, “This is your copy of the book?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” And he’s like, “You’re sure of that?” “Yep.” He goes, “This is the copy of Advanced Potion-Making that you purchased at Flourish and Blotts?” “‘Yes,’ said Harry firmly. ‘Then why,’ asked Snape, ‘does it have the name “Roonil Wazlib” written inside the front cover?’ Harry’s heart missed a beat. ‘That’s my nickname,’ he said.”

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Kat: And “‘Your nickname,’ repeated Snape. ‘Yeah… that’s what my friends call me.'”

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: And I could just keep reading. But it’s so funny. This is…

Kristen: “Yeah, that’s what my friends call me.” [laughs]

Kat: This is Harry at his best.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: I love this Harry.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: It’s just brilliant. And any interaction like this with Snape and Harry, I’m down.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: This is like the “No need to call me sir” line.

Kristen: Yes. I love that part.

[Elayna and Kristen laugh]

Kat: It’s brilliant.

Elayna: Sass Harry is my favorite Harry.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Yeah, absolutely. So then, of course, Snape, having absolutely none of that, gives Harry detention every Saturday for the remainder of the term, which is only about four weeks, so really not that hard of a detention.

[Elayna laughs]

Kat: Harry is getting off a little easy.

Kristen: Mhm.

Jeff: Except having to miss the last Quidditch match.

Kristen: Mhm.

Jeff: That’s a huge trigger, and Snape knows that.

Kat: Yeah, that’s true.

Kristen: And there’s not that much school left.

Elayna: [unintelligible] injure him that way.

Jeff: Yeah, but for attempted murder, it’s not a bad punishment.

Kat: No, I feel like he has gotten off easy on this. I mean, this was an irresponsible move, to say the least, and I feel like he probably should have been in bigger trouble.

Jeff: Mhm. I was thinking about this before, is this the biggest trouble Harry has ever been in? I mean, this is like… he almost killed somebody. This is really serious. He could totally have been expelled for this. It’s the irresponsible nature, I think of it, that is the worst. He did something… he didn’t even know what it was going to do. Just really irresponsible.

Kat: Think about it this way: If this [was] a Muggle school and a teacher walked in to see a student on the ground with this much blood on him as Draco had on him, yeah, that student would be expelled in a heartbeat. So… but then Snape’s detention, his big punishment for Harry is to go through these boxes of cards that Filch had, and it’s like discipline cards. It says the “records of other Hogwarts wrongdoers and their punishments.” Is this light reading for Filch?

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Why does Hogwarts have these? What is the point of keeping these records?

Kristen: For punishment like this. [laughs]

Kat: But it’s dumb. I don’t know.

Kristen: That’s fair.

Kat: It just seems silly.

Elayna: It’s like in high schools when they threaten you. “This will go on your permanent record.”

Jeff: I think this is more of a Filch thing. That’s how I read this. It’s not a Hogwarts thing, it’s Filch. He just… being the Squib that he is…

[Kristen laughs]

Jeff: … this is like his little power trip. [as Filch] “I’ll keep tabs on all these little wizards. Yeah.”

Kat: I’d love to know what some of those things said. But yeah, we already talked about the kiss but that’s how the chapter ends.

Elayna: Brilliantly.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Brilliantly, yeah.

Elayna: “Several sunlit days” is one of my favorite lines in the whole book.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, so with that, guys, that is Chapter 24, “Sectumsempra.” It’s just funny that by the end of the chapter, you kind of forget what happened to Draco. You forget that Katie Bell came back.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: The kiss kind of overshadows those things. Isn’t it weird?

Jeff: Yeah, but J.K. does that. She does these amazing dark things, and then she’ll turn around and somebody will fall off a chair. She juxtaposes those dark and light moments.

Elayna: Yeah, it was funny, when going back to read it… it’s been a while since I’ve read it, and I actually forgot that this was the same chapter, where you have this thing that happens to Draco and then it’s also the kiss chapter. And it was kind of a pleasant reminder of what a good writer she is and how she can give you so many emotions in such a short amount of time.

Kristen: That’s why I like this chapter so much. That’s why I was like, “I definitely want to be down for this one.” [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, it’s funny, most of her chapters are between 18 and 24 pages, and this happened to be kind of one of the longer ones.

Kristen: Mhm, I noticed that.

Kat: But yeah, roller coaster all the way through.

Kristen: All right, let’s go into this week’s Podcast Question of the Week, and my question to you all is,

“In this chapter we know Snape uses Legilimency to discover that Harry has been using the Half-Blood Prince’s book. Once Snape discovers this information, what does he do with it? Does he tell Dumbledore? How does Snape having this information influence the rest of this book and his overall story arc?”

I can’t wait to read what you all put down for this question, and don’t forget you can leave your responses over on the main page, which is

Kat: We want to thank you, Jeff, again so much for joining us. We hope you had a really fun time.

Jeff: It was a blast. Thank you so much for having me on.

Kat: Good, absolutely. Thank you so much for pointing out the circle theory thing. That is so freakin’ cool.

Kristen: Mhm, definitely.

Jeff: I’m anxious to see the comments on that and see how people feel about that.

Kat: Oh, there [are] going to be comments on that. Do you comment on the main site?

Jeff: Not often.

Kat: What name do you use when you do?

Jeff: colossians3man.

Kat: All right, cool. So we will look out for you, and everybody send Jeff your comments. [makes computer noises] There you go.

Elayna: So if you guys would like to be on the show, you can always visit our main page, which as Kristen said is All you really need is a set of Apple headphones or some good headphones that have a speaker with them. [You] don’t really need any fancy equipment or anything. And while you’re there, you can also download a ringtone for free, which is super exciting and magical.

Kat: Yeah, the ringtones are pretty.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: They’re so fetch.

Kristen: Dope.

Kat: Okay.

Kristen: They’re on flik. [laughs]

Elayna: Stop trying to make “fetch” a thing, Kat.

Kat: Did you just say “on flik”?

Kristen: Yep.

Kat: Isn’t it “on fleek”?

Elayna: It is.

Kristen: Oh!

Kat: [laughs] I thought so.

Elayna: On Flitwick?

Kat: Yeah, on Flitwick. There you go. We’re going to start a new trend. All right. In the meantime, if you guys all just want to stay in touch with us, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, our Tumblr is mnalohomorapodcast, and our phone number is 206-GO-ALBUS – of course, that’s 206-462-5287. And don’t forget, you can always leave us an Audioboom. It is free – all you need is an Internet connection and a microphone. Go over to That little sidebar on the right, there’s a little green button that says “Leave us a message.” Click it, record, keep it under sixty seconds, and you just might hear it on the show.

Kristen: And while you’re there leaving a message, don’t forget to check out our wonderful store where you can find house shirts like Desk!Pig, the Mandrake Liberation Front, Minerva is my homegirl, and so much more.

Kat: And of course, don’t forget about our smartphone app. It has changed a little bit in the recent weeks. I think it’s Podcast Source now instead of Podcast Box. And we are getting a standalone app, so it’s going to change again in the next few weeks, so just keep paying attention to the show; we’ll let you know when it changes, how to change, and all of that. But at the moment, it is available seemingly worldwide, or as Eric likes to say, on this side of the pond and the other. Prices vary depending on your location. You can find things on there like transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and more. Generally it’s really pretty funny or very insightful things, so definitely go ahead and check it out. But for now, that’s the end of our episode…

[Show music begins]

Kat: … so I think we’re going to sign off. I’m Kat Miller.

Elayna: I’m Elayna Darcy.

Kristen: And I’m Kristen Keys. Thank you for listening to Episode 142 of Alohomora!

Elayna: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Kat: Wait, did I say Snape? I meant Dumbledore…

Kristen: Voldemort.

Kat: I mean, I meant Voldemort.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Jeff: Oh, you know what? No, you did.

Kristen: Okay. I was confused.

Jeff: Yeah, you’re right.

Kristen: I was like, “Wait, what? Voldemort loved Lily?” [laughs]

Jeff: Sorry, I was thinking Snape.

Kat: No, he was just reading fan fiction before the episode…

[Jeff laughs]

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat:[laughs] so he’s a little backwards.

Elayna: Yeah, I was going to be like “I somehow have missed that ship in all my years.”

[Jeff and Kat laugh]

Kristen: Voldy and Lily.

Kat: Oh, boy.

Jeff: Oh, man.

Elayna: Vlily?

Kristen: Vlily! [laughs]

Kat: Vlily!

[Jeff laughs]