Transcript – Episode 16

[Show music begins]

Noah Fried: This is Episode 16 of Alohomora! for November 18th, 2012.

[Show music continues]

Noah: Hey everybody! I’m Noah Fried.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris. And this is our special guest for the week, Terrance from Hogwarts Radio.

Terrance Pinkston: Hi guys! It’s great to be here.

Kat: Yeah, thanks for coming. We’re happy to have you.

Terrance: Thanks for the invite. I definitely appreciate it.

Noah: Of course. What kind of Harry Potter initiatives have you been taking part in recently?

Terrance: Recently, just Hogwarts Radio. We started up our podcast again. We kind of took a year off, and we needed it because we went for about three years just weekly, non-stop. And it was a lot of fun, so we just… we figured we needed a break. And now we’re back and podcasting. It’s a lot of fun.

Noah: That’s great. What kind of things do you guys do on the show?

Terrance: Well, now we’re going more from a movie-centric podcast over to a book-centric… we’re discussing different things… much as you guys do here on Alohomora!. We’re discussing different themes and sub-plots in the books, and just kind of picking apart different events that are happening and having a lot of fun with that.

Noah: That sounds awesome. Well, for all the listeners out there, we’ll be sure to put a link to your podcast in our show notes. And maybe we can have a little bit of a cross-advertising…

Terrance: Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Kat: We would like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors Audible. Exclusively for fans of Alohomora!, they are offering a free audio download. They have over 100,000 titles to choose from, so head over to to get yours now.

Rosie: Great! So, we’ll crack on with our discussion from last week’s podcast where we were discussing Chapters 11 and 12. And we’ve been looking through our site and getting your comments as normal. So, our…

Noah: Can I just say that there were some really exceptional comments for that last episode? I really loved getting in and I actually had a bit of a discussion on the thread for the last episode. It was really great fun. So, thanks for all the great comments you guys are submitting us every week.

Rosie: Definitely. We love reading them and we love getting involved with you guys. So, our first comment is from our main site, our archives, and it’s from TootsieNoodles453 and it’s about Serpensortia. And it says:

“I was listening to your podcast, and in the Dueling Club chapter Draco uses the spell ‘Serpensortia.’ I was astounded that you never touched on the fact Draco had just created an animal out of thin air! How do you guys think he did this? Is it similar to the deskpig?”

Kat and Noah: Oh!

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Noah, go.

Noah: Oh man, I wish I had zeroed in on that when we got it, but I didn’t. I don’t know why. But my immediate thought is, did he create the snake or did he summon the snake? I guess we have to look at the entomology of Serpensortia. But another question is, why did the snake immediately go for Justin Finch-Fletchley at all? How did it know to go after Muggle-borns if Harry wasn’t telling it to do so? That’s a whole bunch of questions regarding that snake. But no, I don’t know how it was created. [laughs]

Kat: Hmm. Maybe because it was created by a Slytherin, it just knows to go after Muggle-borns. I don’t know.

Noah: Yeah, but I don’t think Draco was controlling it. I mean, do you think presumably that was the spell that Snape had whispered in his ear to do, or did he just… did he go against Snape and do something that Snape hadn’t authorized?

Kat: No, I think judging by Snape’s smirk at that part, that yes, he definitely told Draco to do that spell.

Noah: Yeah.

Terrance: Maybe because of the fact that it was made out of complete magic, it knew to go and attack a Muggle-born or to try to create that kind of animosity between them.

Noah: Yeah, it just seems weird that it instantly knew. I was thinking that maybe when the snake came into the area, maybe it heard the Basilisk or it could sense the Basilisk’s motivations. Or maybe Tom Riddle from his diary was doing some whispering, and there was just so much of this voice around the school that it instantly knew what to do. But it’s still not really clear to me because Harry was trying to call it back. So, it didn’t seem like anyone was telling it to go after Justin, it just kind of did. It could have even been a coincidence.

Kat: Was Justin…

Rosie: I think it was just a coincidence. I think it just… if it was summoned, or if it was created, whatever, as soon as it kind of hit the ground, it went towards the first thing that it saw, which was probably Justin.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: Harry was just…

Kat: Was he…

Rosie: It was kind of just… because it’s a snake and because of the… everything going on at Hogwarts at the time, it was just an unfortunate coincidence.

Kat: Justin wasn’t speaking or anything, was he? He was just standing there, right?

Rosie: Yeah, he was just standing there like the rest of them.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: [as Justin] “What are you playing at?” [laughs]

Kat: Well, that’s after the fact, but yeah.

Noah: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: All the coincidences in this book. Steve Vander Ark is having a field day.

Kat: Yeah, probably. [laughs]

Noah: But yeah, I don’t know if that Snape… oh sorry, not Snape.

Kat: The Snape. [laughs]

Noah: That snake – who created that snake? Where did it come from? Is it a real snake? Would you eat that snake?

Kat: Eww.

Noah: I don’t know. Get in the comments later, and we’ll answer this question next week.

Terrance: I would not eat that snake.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I wouldn’t either. Gross.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: Anyway, we also have a comment also about the Dueling Club, from HufflepuffsKein on the forums, and it says:

“The Dueling Club scene was particularly interesting to me because I think it also harkens to another event in a future book. This is the first real dueling confrontation of Harry and Draco. Harry uses the ‘Rictumsempra’ spell to make Draco laugh uncontrollably. In Book 6, Harry uses the Half-Blood Prince’s spell ‘Sectumsempra’ to make Draco bleed uncontrollably. Perhaps I’m stretching but I think the parallels are interesting. And add the fact that Snape is influential in both cases (as a supervisor/ring leader of the Dueling Club chaos, and as the creator of the ‘Sectumsempra’ spell).”

That’s an interesting connection I hadn’t actually thought of before. They’re both sempras.

Noah: Yeah, sempra

Rosie: And they’re both…

Noah: …doesn’t that mean “always”? Or…

Kat: Does it? I don’t know.

Noah: I feel like it means “always” or “all the time” and that’s why Rictusempra is laugh uncontrollably.

Kat: Well, actually that’s the tickling spell, but…

Noah: Right, but in any case… oh, she was wrong. But sempra

[Kat laughs]

Noah: …just means “always” or “continuous,” and that’s cool. I mean, hasn’t it been argued that Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince are…

Kat: Parallels.

Noah: …very close.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah, there’s the circular book theory which I’m going to speak about in my chapter later on. We’ll see a lot of that, so…

Noah: Did John Granger invent that? Or did that previously…

Rosie: No, that’s a…

Kat: No.

Rosie: …theory that has been around since The Odyssey. [laughs]

Noah: Oh.

Rosie: It’s a really common writing kind of trope.

Noah: That’s pretty old.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: I was just looking at the word meaning you guys were just talking about it. I went ahead and looked on for sectum because rictus and sempra – I’m sorry, rictus and sectum – I wanted to establish the differences in that, and sectum, it’s really interesting:

“Sectum: The nominative singular of sectus which means cut off or divided.”

So, it’s always cut off, always divided, always…

Kat: Hmm.

Terrance: …bleeding. Something like that.

Rosie: Cutting. Yeah.

Noah: Whoa.

Terrance: So, that’s pretty interesting. Some of the etymology of the spells and different things Jo uses in the series is really awesome.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: She’s so darn smart that woman.

Rosie: Definitely.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: And remember Snape can… he invented that spell. So, he probably just took sempra and you put another root word before it and you just kind of see what happens. I guess that’s what happens when you invent spells. You just kind of give your wand a twirl and…

Rosie: Play around a bit.

Terrance: Wow.

Noah: Yeah.

Terrance: That seems kind of dangerous for…

Kat: [laughs] Yeah.

Terrance: Just creating words out of thin air [laughs] and seeing what they do.

Noah: It’s crazy though because it seems like if you have the right spell, it’s going to do something, it’s going to have some established effect.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: I don’t know, it has to be more than that. It has to have more than that because you have to have the right wand movement and the intention, so I think you have to have some sort of idea as to what it’s going to do.

Rosie: But they are dangerous…

Noah: Yeah, that’s true.

Rosie: …because we see Hermione say that untested spells are… they shouldn’t be used.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: And that the Ministry has some kind of testing system. So, for Snape to create something like this is a dangerous thing to do. It’s a spell to make someone cut and bleed, so…

Terrance: I wonder if they have any kind of tracking system on that.

Kat: Hmm. Doubtful. Wizards don’t care.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Yeah, that’s true.

Noah: The wizarding world is just so huge. I don’t know how they can keep track of all of this.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: No. How would you create a tracker to create… to track something that hasn’t been created yet?

Terrance: Well, it’s just like… I mean, I would say something along the lines of the Trace, maybe using that kind of magic to see if they could. But then again… I mean, they should be able to track, if we’re talking about being able to track spells. I mean, there are some spells out there that obviously shouldn’t even be used. The Cruciatus Curse and things like that.

Noah: Right.

Terrance: So, there’s really no way to track those, but how would you track… I mean, like I said, maybe some kind of hidden magic with having to do something with the Trace or something like that.

Noah: I mean, I think that’s true because you bring up the Trace. Didn’t the Ministry sense the Hover Charm that Dobby did because of Harry’s trace?

Kat: Mhm.

Terrance: And…

Noah: So…

Rosie: Yeah, the Trace isn’t infallible.

Terrance: Right, right. And they also did pretty much the same thing in Order of the Phoenix whenever Harry used Expecto Patronum against the Dementors in Little Whinging.

Noah: Right. So, maybe it doesn’t work inside Hogwarts because the castle is just so magical itself and there’s so much going on at the same time. But maybe in Muggle communities it’s… the Trace is heightened.

Terrance: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah, I doubt…

Noah: But yeah…

Kat: …there’s a trace at Hogwarts. There’s too many spells being said probably at any given time of the day.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: And it’s not illegal. They are allowed to use spells at Hogwarts.

Kat: Right.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Right. So, maybe it only interacts in places that aren’t magical already.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: Nice.

Rosie: Our next comment is from TheGreenFlameTorch, and it’s talking about our first mention of one of the most obscure Hogwarts professors: Professor Sinistra of the Astronomy department. The comment is probably a bit too long to read, but the user goes on to talk about astronomy and its importance in the Potter books. So, if you head over to our forums, you can look in the “Discuss the Podcast” thread and you can share your thoughts on this comment.

Kat: Yeah, I read that and I was the one that put that in there, and that comment is literally like four pages long, but it’s so interesting because it goes on to talk about how important astronomy is in the Potter series and how it relates to Muggles and stuff. It’s just… it’s unbelievable. Really good comment, TheGreenFlameTorch. So sorry that it was too long for us to read. But everyone should go to the forums and check it out.

Rosie: That’s what they’re there for…

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: …and that’s what our archives are there for as well, so make sure you are reading everything that’s out there. It’s not just a podcast.

Terrance: The awesome moment whenever your comment becomes too long to read on the show, but it’s more like an editorial. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Exactly, exactly, yeah.

Noah: Yeah, make it into an essay. We can publish it on MuggleNet.

Rosie: Definitely.

Kat: Yeah, exactly.

Noah: But does this Professor Sinistra pop up in any other moments of the book, do we know? Or is this the only mention?

Terrance: Oh my God, it’s…

Rosie: No, she’s mentioned a few times but she’s never kind of a character that talks or anything, I don’t think.

Kat: Right, we never officially meet her. We just hear of her.

Terrance: Right.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Hmm.

Kat: And she doesn’t even administer the exams, rights? During the OWLs because it’s an… no, it’s an OWL person doing it, so…

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Well, great comment. Sorry we couldn’t read it.

Kat: Yeah.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Ooh! Cool fact here. [laughs] Just real quick while we’re on the lines of Professor Sinistra. First name is Aurora.

Kat: Yeah.

Terrance: Ties into the whole astronomy thing. That’s really awesome.

Rosie: There’s a lot of appropriate names with teachers. I quite like them.

Terrance: Right, exactly.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: How lucky for them that they all ended up teaching what they… their names…

Rosie: I know, their subjects.

Kat: [laughs] I know.

Rosie: It’s strange, isn’t it? [laughs]

Kat: How serendipitous!

Rosie: But then it happens in real life, too. My real name is Rosalind which is from Shakespeare and I’m studying Shakespeare, so it works.

Kat: Huh.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: There you go.

Rosie: Okay, so our next comment in from KyKid942, from our forums, and it’s about Harry’s beatings that we’ve talked about a couple of times before. And it says:

“It’s metaphorical language, pure and simple. How many times have you heard people say (or said yourself) something tastes like dung (but you probably used a more colorful word for it), or that you’d just gotten hit over the head with a 2×4 or some other colorful exaggeration? I really think you’re reading what you want to see into the text, when there is really nothing there that would support this particular claim. I’m not saying that Harry was never struck (I know I got my share of spankings as a kid), but to take this one statement and say that it’s proof (even additional proof) that Harry was physically abused is going too far.”

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: This is something that I’ve always kind of said. I never personally thought that Harry was physically abused in that way. I can see how it could be read that way, and there was something in the chapters last episode that we were saying could have been seen as proof. But I do agree that reading all of these little statements could be seen as going too far. However, there are people who do say these statements are kind of clues to something bigger, that they shouldn’t be ignored. So, if you’re ever in a kind of child protection situation, you should try and pick up on things like this. But yes, it’s possible that we were going slightly too far there.

Noah: Yeah. I mean, I think I was one of the people who was most forwarding this concept that the constant mentions of his being hit with the pan or his seeing Oliver Wood as first a piece of wood that McGonagall was going to beat him with after the Quidditch fiasco with Draco. But just thinking it over – I talked to some people in the forums about it including KyKid and Kris – I think it’s more interesting besides deciding whether or not Harry was beaten. I mean, we really can’t get to that. We can’t know that unless Jo herself said it happened or it didn’t happen. I mean, there’s substantial evidence that he was somewhat abused, but I think the more interesting thing here is to notice the pattern, and that’s really what I was doing and kind of what I’m taught in school with English majors, to note patterns. And especially in Harry’s language, it just seems like over and over again he’s talking about how some pain at Hogwarts is similar to some pain at home, like a frying pan hitting you in the head or something like that. So, I found that those images kind of relating to each other seemed to reflect some deeper theme of the book relating to childhood abuse and escaping into your imagination to cope with it, and the way that manifests in the series is every time there is some sort of physical action or he’s been seemingly abused it’s because of something magical or he’s somehow saved by something magical. So, that seems… if you kind of look at it mathematically, what’s really going on here, it seems like there is some sort of psychological trauma and then that character, that boy, child retreats into this magical world which we could say is his imagination. So, that’s one theory. So, ultimately I don’t really know why this pattern is here, but my schooling just teaches me to look for patterns in the books and once you can really do that you can really see how a book works. Kind of look at what level is the book trying to… at what level is Jo creating a structure for the reader to kind of understand the book in new ways, and the way to do that as a writer is to create these patterns, and this is just a pattern that I’ve observed. So, whether or not Harry was beaten, I don’t know. But I was just… I think it’s an interesting pattern that he keeps making these connections.

Kat: Well, I wasn’t on the last episode but I actually completely agree with you. I definitely think that he was abused whether or not you’re sticking to what you said last episode.

Noah: Well, I don’t know, is what I’m saying. But yeah.

Kat: Right. Well, I do believe because I feel like if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be using the metaphors he’s using. I’ve… I mean, usually when I describe something, I kind of… like if I have a headache I say, “Oh, I have a splitting headache.” I’ve never said that I feel like I got hit by a two by four. So, I just… I feel like what Harry is relating the pain to must be something that he’s experienced in his life because, I don’t know…

Rosie: Not really. He’s an imaginative kid.

Kat: I know…

Rosie: You can imagine that it would feel the same as being hit over the head with a frying pan if it hurts that much.

Kat: I mean, perhaps. I don’t know. I just… I guess I’m pulling from my experiences of… that I tend to relate things to things that I already know. I wouldn’t make something up out of thin air. Maybe I don’t have an imagination. I don’t know.

Noah: But I feel like everything we say, all the connections we make, speak to our unconscious minds and the way we work. So, we could say that Jo is potentially being a super genius here and really meticulous by giving each character phrases and just connections, especially Harry, that somehow tell us something about them as characters or as people. So, we could look at her putting all these different suggestions of beatings in his language there as a purposeful way to show the reader that he was abused or he has this deep abuse that he doesn’t really think about too much consciously but it’s there on some unconscious level. And whether she planned it or not, it seems to just be there by nature of the patterns. So, maybe it was just… it’s her own unconscious coming through that she’s just writing, and it just seems right for this character.

Rosie: It’s definitely an interesting idea or interesting theory, so maybe someone should look for all of these different references and maybe create an essay about it, and try and argue a point one way or the other.

Noah: Yeah, that would be awesome.

Rosie: It’s not something we can decide on in our podcast, so down to you guys. [laughs] So, moving on to something else that we said in the podcast last week, RebeccaTheRavenclaw says that she has just done some research on something I said in the last episode. I was wondering whether the Swelling Solution was a real potion because it seems like such an odd and kind of pointless thing to want to make, and Rebecca says that she agreed with me. So, she looked into it and says:

“I’ve actually discovered a recent (2010) study that was done where swelling seems to have been beneficial. For some injuries (mainly muscle related), we don’t want to decrease swelling because it seems that the swelling brought on naturally may help the injury heal more effectively over the long run than if you had reduced the swelling immediately. Who knows if this is actually why Jo made this up, though (especially since this study only came out two years ago). Personally, I think it was just for the humor factor of seeing Malfoy walking around with a nose like a melon because, hey, who wouldn’t want to see that?!”

[Kat, Noah, and Terrance laugh]

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: I feel like I knew that. I feel like if you… sometimes doctors will purposely swell stuff to get the… to treat you, get a poison out.

Kat: Really? Hmm.

Terrance: I don’t…

Noah: Yeah. Is that not true?

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: No, I mean, I’m not denying its credibility or anything like that, but I just… I kind of… because I’ve worked in the medical field before and I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff, but… I just don’t know. I feel like inflaming an area of your body, especially an injury, really wouldn’t be beneficial to it. [laughs]

Noah: That seems true. We have to do some further research.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Yeah, yeah.

Rosie: The research has just been done for us.

Kat: If there’s a doctor out there, send us… well, yeah.

Noah: Well, if any other fans out there are hearing this, and you’re a doctor, and you swell patients on occasion…

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: …either for fun or for science, let us know.

Terrance: Or you hit them over the head with a two by four, make them swell up.

Kat: Right. Especially if you’re a wizard or a witch, write in.

Noah: That would help.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Also, the Swelling Potion, since we made the podcast last… two weeks ago, is now actually up on Pottermore, so I hope you’ve all had fun making your Swelling Solutions to go and blow up Malfoy with.

[Kat, Rosie, and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Those potions take a long time.

Rosie: They do! So long.

Noah: I just don’t have the… I let them sit there, and then I come back, and for a while, early on in Pottermore, when it was having some bugs, you couldn’t brew potions because it kept… mine, at least, kept exploding. There was nothing I could do, and it was really sad because at first I thought it was me, I just was a bad potion maker. But then I realized, no, there’s something wrong here. I believe it’s better now, though.

Rosie: Yes.

Terrance: I gave up on Potions in Pottermore a long time ago. I’m kind of like Seamus. Everything that I made just really didn’t go together.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Blew up in your face.

Rosie: But that was the kind of slightly annoying thing about the Swelling Solution, was that you had to make it to progress.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: The Polyjuice Potion is slightly different. Thankfully, you can skip it because that would take a long time, but yeah.

Kat: I never had a problem with Potions. Maybe it’s just my Ravenclaw nature, I don’t know, but it came easily to me, even Polyjuice.

Terrance: Let’s just say if Potions was really a class that I had to take, I would be in detention all the time.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Okay, so we also…

Noah: Remedial Potions.

Rosie: We received an email this week from Dobby’sGirl!, and it says:

“In all the times the Basilisk has made an appearance, why hasn’t Myrtle seen it? It always exits through her bathroom.”

What do you guys think?

Kat: I thought that was so smart. I had never thought about the fact that, really, has Myrtle never seen the Basilisk? Even… because it’s only the eyes that do anything to the person, so… even as its tail is leaving the bathroom, she’s never noticed? I don’t know.

Terrance: She’s too busy spying on the boys in the prefects’ bathroom.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Doesn’t she tend to hide sometimes when girls go in there as well? She’ll go and sit in the U-bend so she’s not necessarily always present in the bathroom. So, if she knew that Ginny was going into the bathroom for whatever reason – to summon the Basilisk, we know now – maybe she would hide, and she just wouldn’t actually see the snake. Because otherwise, she would easily be able to put Ginny at fault as well because she would see her summoning it.

Kat: Hmm, right.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, I’m sure she doesn’t spend all of her time floating in the bathroom. I don’t know.

Noah: I just feel like as a ghost, she doesn’t generally care about things that are going on unless they relate to her. So, if she just saw a snake moving through the bathroom, she’d just be like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” [laughs]

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: But it does relate to her! It’s how she died. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Which is ironic and she should have put that together, but no…

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: …I don’t think she does. [laughs]

Kat: I was just thinking, she’s seen it before. She’s stared into its eyes. It killed her. And then she went back to that same bathroom. I don’t know.

Noah: [laughs] Yeah. Well, she notices when a book is thrown through her face, but I think that’s because she is mortally offended, but I don’t think the snake was offending her. So, in that way, it doesn’t seem of interest.

Kat: Wait, you think she’s mortally offended? Sorry, bad joke.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: Ooh, ooh. Nice one.

Kat: Thanks, man.

Rosie: So, our final comment on this at the moment is from Clare from our forums, and it says:

“Just wanted to put in my two cents about the Sorting Hat process. Having a background in psychology, I always thought of the Sorting Hat as a kind of personality test. Like Hogwarts, the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, created four types of people: phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholic. At that time, these were determined based on a person’s type of bodily fluids. Today, they are used to describe one’s personality. Phlegmatic is relaxed and quiet, sanguine is pleasure-seeking and sociable, choleric is ambitious and leader-like, and melancholic is introverted and thoughtful. After I took this test, I had high scores in both phlegmatic and melancholic. This reminded me of a Hatstall at Hogwarts. Not sure if JK Rowling knew about these types of personality traits as she created each house, but it’s fun to think about what each trait would be for each house. I think phlegmatic would be Hufflepuff, sanguine would be Slytherin, choleric would be Gryffindor, and melancholic would be Ravenclaw. What do you all think?”

Kat: Hmm. Well, as a…

Terrance: That’s interesting.

Kat: As a Ravenclaw, I definitely don’t feel melancholic. I’m definitely not introverted. I guess I’m thoughtful. I don’t know, I guess… this is a great comment.

Rosie: Yeah, I thought introverted would be a bit more like Hufflepuff, I guess. I wouldn’t see Ravenclaws as necessarily introverted either.

Kat: Yeah, I see melancholic as Hufflepuff. Not that you guys are introverted, but definitely more quiet.

Terrance: Wouldn’t…

Rosie: But then Hufflepuffs are also very ambitious, I think.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah, I don’t think the Hogwarts houses fit quite as neatly into Hippocrates’ four humors.

Noah: I feel as though Slytherins are pleasure-seeking and sociable, though.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Nah, I see that as Gryffindor.

Terrance: Pleasure-seeking and sociable?

Kat: Mhm.

Terrance: [laughs] Yeah, we are.

[Everyone laughs]

Terrance: I have to…

Rosie: But then Hufflepuff has also been described as a party house occasionally, so pleasure-seeking and sociable fits for everyone, really.

[Terrance laughs]

Kat: Hmm.

Terrance: I don’t know if I would agree with the personality trait of melancholic as being introverted and thoughtful. I tend to associate melancholic with sadness and misery. So, I don’t know if that really fits any of the Hogwarts houses at all.

Rosie: I think there are different uses of these words today than what they originally meant.

Terrance: I got you.

Rosie: The four humors and measuring them based on bodily fluids, which include things like black bile, lovely…

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: …it’s an idea that actually stayed for hundreds of years. It was the main idea of medieval medicine here in England, and across the rest of Europe as well, I think.

Terrance: Well, we all know how that turned out.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Kat, Rosie, and Terrance laugh]

Rosie: But it is interesting to think of those ideas in terms of Hogwarts, where they still use similar medieval practices in some things. You’ve got all the grand feasts, you’ve got all the history that Hogwarts has that would go back to medieval times.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: So, to consider if Godric Gryffindor and the rest of the founders created this school on a medieval basis, then those four houses fitting into something similar to those four humors would make a lot of sense.

Terrance: Yeah, that does make sense.

Kat: I just want to say thank goodness for the Sorting Hat because imagine if they didn’t do that, and they still sorted based on type of bodily fluids.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: That’s just pretty gross. Sorry.

Terrance: Yeah.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: It’s possible the Sorting Hat still does that.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Kind of like an X-ray.

Kat: [laughs] Eww.

Rosie: But it’s interesting, in terms of the medieval medicine thing – this is me going back into my scholarly youth, I’m sorry – but the ideal for a medieval person was to have all of these four humors in balance. If you had more of one than the other, then there was something wrong with you. So, if you were too melancholic, they would… I think it was they would bleed you or something until your blood level went down…

Kat: Ugh.

Rosie: …so that you would be more in balance with the rest of them. So, to split all of these four up and to group them is something that would not have been seen as a good thing. You want to be a mixture of all four.

Kat: Which I think most people are.

Rosie: Yeah, which would be why we have Hatstalls.

Kat: Right.

Noah: That’s really cool.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: Someone posted about the four-way Hatstall, by the way, on the forums. Apparently it is possible. I think that that’s kind of BS, personally.

Noah: Whoa.

Kat: I can’t see… well, I do.

Rosie: That’s a bit strong, Kat.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I can’t see… how awful would that be? Like…

Noah: Or how amazing?

Kat: No, awful. For me it would be awful because I don’t want to choose. I want to be told where I want to go.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Right.

Kat: Where I’m supposed to be.

Noah: But if you get sorted into all houses, you are like wizard God.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: You somehow encompass all of the houses in one person.

Kat: Or you have no strong personality whatsoever, and you are just like a limp paper towel lying on the floor.

Noah: There’s a listener of the show who is a four-house Hatstall…

[Kat laughs]

Noah: …and you just compared them to a piece of lint on the floor.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Sorry about that.

Terrance: But remember, Kat, [as Dumbledore] “It is our choices…”

Kat: [laughs] Right.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Kat: That’s true. That’s very true.

Noah: Yes, it’s our… Dumbledore says, “It’s our choices, Harry,” so the Sorting Hat doesn’t even do anything as far as I’m concerned. [laughs]

Kat: Let’s not get back into that discussion.

[Everyone laughs]

Terrance: Yeah, okay.

Kat: Let’s move into our special feature from last week, which was What If?, and we talked about a lot of things, but one of the main things that you guys talked about was, what if Harry really was the Heir of Slytherin? And Kris, again from our forums, KyKid942, one of our moderators, came up with a bunch of different points. The first one was that Hagrid tells us that he’s not and Hagrid we tend to believe more, especially over Sirius or someone like that. The second point was about genetics. You should go to the forums and read the comment. Way too complicated, I didn’t get it. [laughs] But the third one I thought was really great, so I put it in here. It says:

“Since it’s been ‘over a thousand years’ since Salazar Slytherin was walking the face of the earth, the potential number of his descendants is absolutely huge. Given that wizards and witches reach sexual maturity at the same age as Muggles, so even assuming a twenty-year generational cycle, and a stretch of only 1,000 years, that gives us fifty generations of descendants. Even assuming only two offspring in each generation, that gives [2^50] possible descendants in the last generation, or 1.12 quadrillion, which is over 150 times greater than the current population of the entire planet.”

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Yeah, so…

Noah: Oh my!

Kat: I guess this point is saying that yes, it’s very possible that Harry is a descendant of Salazar Slytherin.

Noah: I’m pretty sure we all are descendants of Salazar Slytherin.

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Kat: Everyone on the planet.

Terrance: My head hurts from looking at that number.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I know. It’s, what, sixteen places?

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: But it has to be said that all of this depends on Slytherin actually having children. If he never had children…

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: …then no one is! [laughs]

Kat: That’s true, but we know that he must have because Tom Riddle is obviously a descendant.

Rosie: This is true.

Noah: How ironic would that be if he didn’t, though?

[Kat, Noah, and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Then all of…

Noah: And that was just a story?

Rosie: That’s true. We couldn’t say for sure that Riddle is actually a descendant. It’s thought to be through the…

Noah: Peverells?

Rosie: Peverells. Is it Peverells, or is it someone else?

Noah: I believe it’s through the Peverells to Slytherin.

Kat: No.

Noah: I mean, that’s his…

Rosie: Well yeah, the House of Gaunt and all those. It’s all kind of hearsay, so Marvolo could have made it up.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: Equally the Malfoys might be closer descendants to Slytherin than Riddle was by that point.

Noah: Well, I think they really claim it on the value of knowing Parseltongue, or being a Parselmouth, because that seems to be the most legitimate connection. So, maybe that just went throughout the lines, and at one point there was a large community of Parselmouths who just lived together.

Rosie: Maybe.

Kat: It’s possible.

Rosie: Who knows.

Noah: Because that’s got to be transferred over, right? Or does that just pop up?

Kat: I think it’s one of those – what do they call it? – suppressive traits – is that it? – that comes up randomly. Is that the right word? Like a redhead.

Noah: Suppressive. Carrier or something?

Kat: Maybe. I don’t know, like my niece is fifteen and she’s the only redhead in our family. The only redhead for, I don’t know, ten generations.

Noah: Can she talk to snakes, too?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, she’s a Hufflepuff and not happy about it, might I add.

Noah: Wow. Okay.

Rosie: There’s nothing wrong with being a redhead or a Huflepuff. It’s fine.

Kat: [laughs] That’s right.

Terrance: You know what strikes me about…

Noah: Though if you’re both, you’re in trouble.

Terrance: What strikes me about this comment is that there’s got to be some sort of huge, huge population control on this because as he was saying, 1.12 quadrillion people. I mean, that’s a lot of people.

Rosie: That’s only counting births, not deaths. [laughs]

Terrance: Right, exactly, but I mean, I don’t think even in the history of the world there has been that many people. Even we’re sitting at… the comment says 6.9 billion as of last year, so how many wizards in the wizarding world… wizards and witches are there in the wizarding world? I don’t think that’s ever been estimated, but I doubt it’s anywhere near 1.12 quadrillion people.

Kat: Yeah, I always assumed that the population or the ratio of wizards to Muggles was, I don’t know, maybe one to 3,000 or some big number like that. One wizard for every 3,000 Muggles. I don’t know.

Terrance: Right, right, because there have been studies about how many students were at Hogwarts, and I guess the general consensus with that is around 1,000 students, so that’s a very, very small number for that. But I guess we recently learned as well that there are more wizarding schools than just Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang.

Kat: Mhm.

Terrance: So, it’d be interesting to know.

Rosie: I have to say, I’m not entirely sure of the maths on this. If there’s fifty generations and there’s only two offspring in each generation, then surely that should only be a hundred people.

Noah: Hmm.

Rosie: Where did we get…

Kat: Well, no, because I think it becomes a… like, say the first generation has two, and then those both have two…

Rosie: Oh, okay.

Kat: Maybe that’s what he’s thinking?

Rosie: But that’s not what it says. It says assuming only two offspring in each generation.

Kat: Ooh, Kris, Rosie is calling you out!

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Uh oh.

Kat: [laughs] Well, good. Everyone, just head over to the forums, get in that conversation because it is huge. It’s huge, just like…

Noah: It’s a lot of people.

Kat: Just like that number. Right.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: And our next What If? question comes from the main site, from PygmyPuff94. The user says:

“Do you think Snape was actually a Hatstall between Slytherin and Gryffindor just like Harry but he chose Slytherin?”

Noah: I doubt it.

Terrance: No.

[Kat laughs]

Terrance: Yeah, no. [laughs] That’s a hard pill to swallow there because he always looked forward to being in Slytherin. I mean, he even discussed that with Lily whenever they were kids.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: So, I don’t think…

Rosie: I mean, it would have been an interesting “What if Snape was a Gryffindor?” That would be interesting to kind of trace through how much it would change subsequent events.

Terrance: Can you imagine the dialogue between the Sorting Hat and Snape whenever he got Sorted? He’s sitting there thinking, “Not Gryffindor, not Gryffindor, not Gryffindor!”

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: And then the Sorting Hat is like, “Are you sure? Gryffindor could help you on your way to greatness!”

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Which is true. I mean, it’s a true statement. [laughs] But he said, “But if you’re sure, better be Slytherin!”

Noah: Or maybe he was sitting on Snape’s head just like, “You’re dark. You’re a freak. You’re really dark. Just go in Slytherin.”

[Terrance laughs]

Kat: Well, that’s a mean Sorting Hat.

Rosie: He’s not that dark.

Noah: It was just so scared of Snape’s head that he was…

Terrance: Right, exactly.

Rosie: But Snape is so full of love, even from an early age. He’s really not a dark person at all. [laughs]

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: So, what if he was in Gryffindor? How would the story be different?

Rosie: Well, for one, Lily would be closer to him.

Noah: He’d be best friends with James.

Terrance: I think it would have been Lily and Snape. I don’t think it would have been James and Lily.

Rosie: Harry would never have been born.

Kat: Aww.

Terrance: No, Harry would have been born, all right.

[Everyone laughs]

Terrance: Just a little bit earlier! No.

Noah: [laughs] Oh man. But yeah, I mean, Snape only seemed to be a fit for Gryffindor because Dumbledore has that line, “Maybe we sort too soon.” But that seems to imply that Snape changes over time his virtues or beliefs. I mean, we don’t even know if he would agree with that statement because why can’t Slytherins also be brave? Maybe Snape believed that you could be brave in all houses.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: It just seems to be a matter of values. And I think at the end of the day, does he really value bravery more than…

Kat: Ambition?

Noah: …cunningness?

Rosie: I think a lot of Snape’s character progression while he’s at school depends on his friends who are all Slytherins and their opinions and kind of being surrounded by that all the time. If he was in Gryffindor and he had Lily’s opinions shaping him all the time, I do think he would be a very different person.

Kat: True.

Terrance: Well, the fact that… I think Snape is one of those characters, especially at the early age that he could have… he was shaped very differently and was very easy to shape because, if you remember, him and Lily used to sit on the grass all the time and talk about Hogwarts, and Snape says, “Oh yes, whenever we get there, we’ll be in Slytherin and it’s going to be great.” And then Lily would kind of… she had her own agenda with that and whenever she ended up in Gryffindor, it was kind of like, “Uhh.” I don’t think that Lily was that easy to shape and Snape was kind of this character that you could just… that was molded, he was kind of… I don’t know what the word is for it. Like kind of… I don’t want to say fickle or anything like that because he was very smart, but I think he was just one of those characters that was very easy to be coerced. I mean, he joined the Death Eaters and things like that. I mean, peer pressure really got to him it seemed like. And Lily was just kind of this girl who had her head grounded, and did this and this and this.

Kat: Snape was eager. He was eager to fit in, eager to be loved, eager to be needed, wanted, all of that.

Terrance: Right. Right.

Kat: Yeah. Makes sense. Our last comment here is from MartinMiggs on the forums. Okay, so this isn’t a What If? question, but I thought it was hilarious so I had to bring it up. It says:

“When Harry and Ron try to partner up…”

And this is in the Dueling Club scene.

“…Snape says, ‘Time to split up the dream team, I think.’ Is this a reference to the 1998 USA Olympic Dream Team, and if so, is Severus Snape secretly an avid Michael Jordan fan? The book takes place around the time of the Barcelona Olympics, the year of the 1992 dream team.”

I just thought it was really funny.

Terrance: That is hilarious. I never thought of it like that before because you read some of these things in the books and it’s like, “Oh, I think it’s time we split the dream team up,” and you kind of think, “Haha, that’s kind of funny because it’s a little reference and…”

Noah: I’m going to say no because this is 1992 and Michael Jordan isn’t going to form the dream team for another seven… oh wait, no.

Terrance: It’s the ’92 dream team.

Noah: Oh. Oh my. Okay, nevermind.

[Noah and Terrance laugh]

Rosie: Also, this is a book written by a UK writer, not a USA writer.

Kat: [laughs] Right.

Rosie: And although Michael Jordan does a lot of our Olympic coverage here now, it doesn’t necessarily have to do anything to do with his dream team. Dream team is a common phrase.

Kat: Right.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I just thought it was a funny comment thinking about Snape being a secret Michael Jordan fan. I don’t know, it seems pretty hilarious to me.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Maybe Jo watches basketball.

Terrance: Yeah, yeah. Snape was totally a Jordan fan. He had his autograph and…

Kat: The jersey on under his robes.

Terrance: Exactly.

Kat: Yeah.

Terrance: Exactly.

Rosie: Maybe we should ask why Lee Jordan is called Lee Jordan then.

Kat: Oh! [laughs]

Terrance: Oh! [laughs]

Kat: Nice one, Rosie.

Rosie: Maybe it’s Jo who is the Michael Jordan fan. [laughs]

Kat: There you go. Could be. [laughs]

Noah: Who knew. Now we’re going to jump into our Posed Question of the Week from last week, our discussion. I posed a question last week about Polyjuice Potion. It occurred to me that potions were a lot like spells in the sense that each potion is produced from a combination of ingredients. For potions, these materials range from lacewing flies to rat tails to newt eyes. For spells, they kind of have their own ingredients. A single spell is usually produced from a combination of Latin words. We already talked a little bit about this earlier on in the episode. So, the thing about words within spells, can spells be compared to potions as another form of magic that are composed of many parts? Given this connection between potions and spells, what does this reveal about magic in general? In the same way that there exists a certain language of spell work, one Latin word corresponding to an equivalent magical effect, is there a language of potion making such that each ingredient represents a word or theme or essence which when combined with another produces the appropriate potion? So, that is the end of that question, so potion and spells both having ingredients in a way. One with language, one with actual things. So, our first comment comes from The Ravenclaw Authoress:

“In the first book, Snape describes potion making as [as Snape] ‘the subtle science and exact art of potion making.'”

Sorry, I just changed there. Trying to get in my Snape voice.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: [continues]

“This is a somewhat contradictory statement. Science is not subtle, nor is art exact. So, in this way, Snape is almost saying that potions is contradictory to [what we think they are].”

Well, Snape does go on and on about how it is a subtle science but also an art.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: So, that kind of means there is a layer of subjectiveness when you’re making a potion as if some sort of feeling goes into it and then informs what that potion will do, and may not necessarily rely on the ingredients. What do you guys think about that comment, just the question in general?

Terrance: It is kind of like a painting. You could describe potion making… you could compare potion making to painting. The subtle science and exact art of painting. You have to have certain ingredients that go on your canvas – which, in this case, is your cauldron – you have to have them go in a certain order, you can’t just throw all the colors together and hope for the best. You have to have certain brushstrokes, certain mixtures, certain designs in the way that you put these all together on the canvas, it makes everything come together better.

Noah: Yeah.

Terrance: I don’t know where I was going with that.

Noah: I would normally agree with that, but I feel like with potions there is kind of this subjective way you are supposed to do it. I know Snape has… well then again, Snape invents his own ways, but isn’t the final product kind of this similar thing and everyone is aiming to get this perfect final product? It sounds like there is very little ability to diversify your potion or make it an art because as soon as you go away from what its purpose is, you do something negative to it.

Kat: Well, if you don’t mind there is a comment here from FawkesFan that I’m going to read. This is from the main site. It says:

“I see potion making to be a lot like cooking or baking which is basically a bunch of ingredients that react with each other when heated. If I am going to make a cake and I add all of the correct ingredients but don’t stir it or bake it long enough, my cake will not turn out right. Same goes for making potions. Just like there are great cooks, there are going to be wizards that are great potion makers like Snape. You can give two people the same recipe for chocolate chip cookies but one person’s cookies may turn out way better or worse than the other person’s cookies.”

So, it seems like this person agrees with what you were just saying, Noah.

Noah: Right. You can use the same recipe and make two different kinds of cookies, but…

Kat: Right.

Noah: …doesn’t it inform though that there is an objective form of perfect cookie? Like there is a perfect cookie and a worse cookie you could make. Or is it more of a line, a range?

Rosie: I think it is more of a range. You can have an ideal cookie, but it would never… achieving the ideal would be harder to do and you can put your own spin on them as well. You can have a chocolate chip cookie with nutmeg in it or with cinnamon in it. It’s essentially the same cookie but with different flares. [laughs] I think it is really interesting that we asked this question the week before Jo released all of her information on Pottermore about the Polyjuice Potion.

Kat: She’s obviously listening.

Rosie: Yeah, she’s definitely listening.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: She answered exactly our question. In the right week as well.

Noah: What are the odds?

Rosie: [laughs] So, I’m going to read out the bit that she said on the Polyjuice Potion. She says:

“I remember creating the full list of ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion. Each one was carefully selected. Lacewing flies (the first part of the name suggested an intertwining or binding together of two identities); leeches (to suck the essence out of one and into the other); horn of a Bicorn (the idea of duality); knotgrass (another hint of being tied to another person); fluxweed (the mutability of the body as it changed into another) and Boomslang skin (a shedded outer body and a new inner).”

So, going back to your original question, Noah, you were saying that there is a language of potion making just as there is a language of spells. So, this proves that, at least in Jo’s thinking, the actual ingredients have a certain language that all of their essence and meaning kind of influence the potion itself. But she later goes on to say about Hermione making the potion and the fact that Hermione as a second year, being able to create a Polyjuice Potion that lasts as long as it does, is a really impressive achievement, whereas it should… at her age, she should only be able to make a Polyjuice Potion that would last say ten minutes rather than the full… what is it, three hours that they actually manage?

Kat: One hour.

Rosie: One hour. Fair enough.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: But yeah, there’s… so, to put Hermione’s potion skills on our cookie scale, she’s not the ideal chocolate chip cookie which would be a ten hour Polyjuice Potion, but she’s not something that you wouldn’t want to eat either.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: So, she’s a decent cookie. [laughs]

Kat: So, she’s like the kind with the burnt bottom that still tastes pretty good but it’s a little burnt?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: So, it’s not perfect.

Terrance: Yeah, she didn’t burn it but she’s no Rachael Ray.

Kat: Right.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Exactly. Yeah.

Noah: Well, in any case, I want to eat these cookies because I’m starving.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: I’m starving right now.

Terrance: That sounds good. I’m in the mood for cookies.

Kat: I know. I have animal crackers if anyone wants one.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: Just reach through the computer. But yeah, that’s really interesting, Rosie. It’s great that we got that Pottermore information. It’s just crazy to think that these ingredients within themselves hold these meanings within them. It’s kind of crazy, but I guess with the ingredients they already do this. They already have some magical… either they change you or they… especially with the Bicorn and the symbol of duality in that. Obviously a lot of complex stuff goes into it, but clearly there is some kind of language and maybe we could create a dictionary of all the ingredients. Maybe Jo will come out with it later on, but if we had it we could take each ingredient and look to the meaning that corresponds to.

Kat: We could make our own spells!

Noah: You could do it with spells, too.

Terrance: Ooh.

Kat: Oh, not just cookies? Okay.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: And with cookies. It could be a book! Books of spells and potions. I mean cookies, spells…

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: …and don’t mix them. [laughs]

Kat: That sounds great. [laughs] Guys, I know we talked about this briefly a couple of episodes ago, but did you finally finish The Casual Vacancy?

Noah: Actually no, Kat. But I am thoroughly enjoying it. I have decided to give it a listen instead of reading, actually. Just because it is a much quicker form. You know I travel so much between school and home that audiobooks are really the most convenient thing for me. I just load them on my iPad and I go.

Kat: Oh, that’s true, Noah. They are pretty convenient. And did you know that Audible is the best place for all your audio downloading needs? Plus Audible has a really great special offer for our US and Canadian listeners. They can visit our unique link created specifically for them and get a free audio download today, right now. They just have to go to

Noah: That’s really awesome. A friend of mine actually downloaded the book using Audible’s Listener Program. Basically you just purchase the book for credit at a super low monthly rate and you can use that at any time for any product that Audible offers.

Kat: Oh, wow! That’s so cool. I didn’t know they did that. So, every one of our listeners should take a minute to visit the site and start downloading directly to their computer – for easy listening on burn CDs, MP3 players, and even your iPad, iPhones, or Androids. Again, the website made just for you is Audible – A-U-D-I-B-L-E – Podcast – P-O-D-C-A-S-T – dot com slash Open – O-P-E-N. So, visit for your free download today. And with that, we’re going to jump right into the chapters we’re discussing this week, which are Chapters 13 and 14 of Chamber of Secrets, “The Very Secret Diary” and “Cornelius Fudge.”

Noah: Very secret.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Muhahaha.

Noah: Did she really have to write “very secret”? I mean, it could have just been “secret,” but why “very secret”?

Kat: Well because, I don’t know, it’s more intriguing if it’s “very”?

Rosie: A secret diary is just a bit more private.

Terrance: Because it’s the secret to opening the Chamber of Secrets.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: So, it’s very secret.

Kat: It’s an uber secret.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: It’s secret squared.

Noah: It’s a secret within a secret.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: But yes, we start Chapter 13: “The Very Secret Diary” and it’s Chapter 13 as well, so it’s unlucky for some, with Hermione in the hospital wing because her Polyjuice Potion went wrong last week. So, we start off the chapter by seeing Ron and Harry bringing her homework every day and filling her in on the day’s news. How sweet is it that Ron and Harry actually bring her this homework? Would your friends bring you homework every single day if you were in the hospital?

Kat: If I had a cat face on, I sure as heck hope they would.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Kat: I’m just saying.

Noah: It’s probably the best present Hermione has gotten in a while though, homework. She doesn’t really want treats or anything else like the others would want. She just wants to get the homework. Even though she’s not in class, she already has memorized the books.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: I wouldn’t want to see anyone though, if I had a cat face. I would be like, “No, just send it with Hedwig.”

Kat: Not even your best friends?

Rosie: Probably not. It’s too embarrassing.

Terrance: I’d be scared if she tried to eat Hedwig.

Kat: [laughs] Oh my God.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Well, I wonder if the cat appearance goes along with some cat instincts?

Terrance: Tendencies? Yeah.

Kat: Hairballs and such?

Rosie: Nice.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: The books don’t go into that, strangely.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Why didn’t Madam… I know Madam Pomfrey doesn’t ask questions, but doesn’t she have to ask a little bit so that she knows how to treat the condition?

Kat: I would imagine.

Rosie: Yeah, why didn’t none of her… if her teachers are giving her this homework every single day, why did none of them seem to mind that she’s in the hospital wing for no real reason? Surely someone should ask questions.

Noah: Actually, Snape is probably enjoying the fact that she’s not raising her hand.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: But yeah, it’s interesting. They don’t really talk about that in the book series. How long is she out? Like three weeks?

Kat: No, she doesn’t get back to classes until mid-February. Just before Valentine’s Day.

Noah: Hmm.

Kat: So, she’s out a good eight or nine weeks since it’s over Christmas that they take the Polyjuice.

Noah: And then when she gets Petrified, she’s out again.

Terrance: For like the rest of the year, yeah. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. Poor Hermione. She does not have a good second year at Hogwarts. [laughs]

Noah: So, I wouldn’t be surprised if that…

Rosie: But it’s fine because she’s already working on like fourth year level anyway. [laughs]

Terrance: Right, right.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: But I guess that might have influenced her why she… when they’re picking classes for next year, she goes for all of them because she just wants to…

Rosie: Catch up.

Noah: …make up for all of her lost work.

Rosie: Sure.

Kat: And she’s an overachiever, let’s be honest.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: Interesting thoughts. So, when Ron and Harry are visiting her, they spot a gold card underneath her pillow, which has been sent by Lockhart. Slightly inappropriate, your teacher sending you a get well card, but still. [laughs] At this point, I’d just like to say congratulations to Kenneth Branagh on his knighthood being given by the Queen just this week. It’s definitely more impressive than a Third Class Order of Merlin.

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Kat: I would say so. Yeah, a lot of people are saying it’s about time, so…

Rosie: Definitely.

Noah: Did you notice that on his… on Lockhart’s get well card, it’s like one line of “I hope you get better” and then the rest of the card is all of his…

Rosie: All about him. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Yeah.

Terrance: Yeah, yeah.

Noah: …honors, which are actually longer than his get well message.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Maybe it’s just a generic card that he sends out whenever anyone writes to him to say that they’re ill.

Noah: Oh, I’m sure that he writes every line though, word for word every time.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Do you think he went and hand-delivered it himself, or do you think he just has somebody else…

Kat: Oh, Hermione would die if Lockhart showed up in the hospital wing.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: Especially when she had a cat face.

Kat: Yeah.

Terrance: Right, right.

Kat: Oh, I hope…

Rosie: She wouldn’t want him to see that. [laughs]

Noah: I feel like they have a weird… they have a weird relationship. It’s actually scrutinized more closely in A Very Potter Musical Senior Year, if you know…

Rosie: This is true.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Rosie: I hope that manages to come out eventually for everyone else.

Noah: It’s not on YouTube, right?

Terrance: No, not yet.

Rosie: Senior Year is not there yet, no. But then it was a five hour show, [laughs] so it’s going to take forever…

Kat: Oh my God, that was the longest show ever.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Not that I…

Noah: For Rosie and I, that was the greatest… one of the grandest times of our lives.

Kat: I was going to say, not that I was there, but you know…

Terrance: Yeah, I wasn’t there either. [laughs] We got invited, but kind of…

Kat: We were at the table.

Terrance: Yeah, we had to man the table.

Kat: Anyway, off… yeah. [laughs]

Rosie: That’s off topic.

Noah: They invited me to be on the show, but I couldn’t.

Kat: Oh, I’m sure they did, Noah.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Anyway, Ron has an epic reaction to this card, really, where he’s pointing out how kind of slightly creepy it is that she’s sleeping with this under her pillow, but Harry’s opinion is never mentioned so I’ve wondered whether this is… Ron’s reaction is one of the first signs of his crush on Hermione. He’s a bit jealous that she’s giving Kenneth Branagh’s character all of this attention.

Kat: Maybe subconsciously, yeah. He probably doesn’t know that he likes her yet, but boys have this weird way of insulting people that they like, so…

Rosie: This is true.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: I never did that. I think that’s a load of… a load of gum.

Kat: Let’s go ask your mom. I bet you did.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: That’s not true. I didn’t even talk to girls until I was like fifteen.

Kat: That I see, but…

Rosie: But would you have been jealous if someone that you liked had been getting get well soon cards from other people and you hadn’t sent one yourself?

Kat: Especially a famous handsome witch.

Noah: Wizard.

Kat: Wizard, sorry.

Noah: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. I can see that. I know they kind of played it up in the Chamber of Secrets movie. They had the awkward hug at the end, but I didn’t really feel it as much in the book.

Rosie: Maybe not, but maybe this is one of the subtle signs that it was there.

Noah: Perhaps.

Terrance: [singing] “There’s something there that wasn’t there before.”

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: There’s a line in the description that says, “Snape had given them so much homework, Harry thought he was likely to be in the sixth year before he finished it.” And I just… picking up on what we were saying earlier, I thought it was so interesting that they used sixth year here and not seventh. After all, Harry doesn’t actually get a seventh year at Hogwarts. But it’s a bit… it’s nice and circular that they’re using the Book 2 and Book 6 book references, so you’ve got this whole idea of the circular tale where Book 1 corresponds to Book 7, Book 2 to Book 6, Book 3 to Book 5, and then Book 4 is the center.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: And there is so much in this chapter that does actually correspond to Book 6, so I’ll continue pointing them out as we go.

Kat: Yeah, I can’t wait… I mean, this is so far off, but once we finish all the books and we can go back and look at all the things that connect between them… oh, it’s going to be incredible. I can’t wait.

Rosie: It’s going to be…

Terrance: And you guys kind of made this connection earlier with the circular tale, with the Dueling Club. Sectumsempra and Rictusempra

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: Good stuff.

Rosie: So, we see that Filch has been manning the corridor where Mrs. Norris has been attacked, but why hasn’t… we’ve spoken about Myrtle earlier, but why hasn’t Filch spotted the Basilisk if he’s always there? Also, again, it’s slightly inappropriate that he’s hanging around outside the girls’ bathroom.

[Terrance laughs]

Kat: Yeah. Well, I mean…

Terrance: I never thought of that.

Kat: It’s obviously working, kind of like you put down here, that Ginny isn’t going into the bathroom to get the Basilisk because, well, Filch is standing guard.

Terrance: Mhm.

Kat: So, it’s his own fault that he’s not catching anyone.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: He’s not very subtle.

Noah: Yeah, and it seems like the snake is purposely picking times when the students are not around to go out.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Like especially during… later in the Quidditch scene, everybody is outside, so… but that said, it is a pretty big snake. It’s weird that nobody seems to see it.

Terrance: [in a bad British accent] Well, he’s in the pipes, Noah.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: [in a bad British accent] I know. I know he’s in the pipes.

Rosie: But it has to be out of the pipes at some points.

Noah: Unless there are like secret holes around Hogwarts and he’s just kind of peeping out.

Terrance: That’s what I would like to know! I mean, how does this huge snake end up in the hallway and then, poof, kind of disappear?

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: I mean, does it get out in an invisibility cloak or what?

Rosie: See, now I’ve got the image of like… you know all those comedy things where you’ve got the portraits with eyes that move because there’s somebody standing behind it?

Kat: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: Now I’ve just got the image of Basilisk eyes being in those portraits.

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Yeah, the portraits. They haven’t seen anything either.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Oh, yeah!

Rosie: Can you actually petrify a portrait? That would be interesting.

Terrance: That would be cool. No, it would just…

Noah: It would just be a still frame.

Terrance: …be like a regular painting. Yeah.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Everyone would be really confused.

Kat: [laughs] That is funny…

Rosie: Can you imagine that happening to something like the Fat Lady, where you wouldn’t be able to get into Gryffindor House because the Fat Lady has been petrified?

Noah: [laughs] Then you’d have Hogwarts students on their own podcast trying to reason why the pictures aren’t moving and what happened to those characters.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: It is pretty convenient, though, that no portrait has seen it either. I never thought of that before.

Rosie: Maybe it’s just… where are all of these students attacked? Are they all attacked in that same stretch of corridor? Because then surely you’d just block off that corridor.

Kat: Well, no. Hermione and Penelope were found in the library, or just outside the library, right?

Terrance: Are there portraits right outside the library, though? Or are they only in the main hall?

Kat: I don’t know. Let me call up my wizard friend and I’ll ask.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Oh, okay.

Rosie: But anyway, we know that Filch was outside this bathroom because he is complaining that there is water all over the floor, and when Harry and Ron hear him yell, they rush upstairs quickly and find that while Filch has just left, Myrtle is in her bathroom crying her eyes out. So, being the nice friends that they are, whilst everyone else always avoids her, they go and check on Myrtle, which, I think, definitely points to Harry and Ron at this moment. It’s very nice of them to go and see her. And she says the classic line, “Someone threw a book at my head and ten points if you get it through her head, fifty for getting it through her stomach,” or whatever it is, which was brilliant in the movie. I loved that scene, it was perfect. But Ron stops Harry from picking up the book, and I was just wondering, is Ron always the more careful of the two? Because I always thought of him as a more outgoing character. I thought he was more up for everything, but I think that’s just me reading the wrong things into moments, really. It’s interesting, to me, that he would hold Harry back and try to protect him at this moment.

Kat: I think Ron is a bit of a scaredy cat, quite honestly.

Terrance: Yeah, yeah. I would have to agree with Kat. I mean, he… even in future chapters, which I’m sure you guys are going to discuss, he’s like, [in a high-pitched voice] “The Forest? We’re going into the Dark Forest?”

Rosie: That’s true.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: I don’t even know if it’s necessarily scaredy cat, though. I think he just has… besides Harry and Hermione, he has more interactions with wizarding stuff, like in the magical world, and his dad is like head of the… Artifact Inspecting Unit? What does he call…

Kat: Misuse of Muggle Artifacts.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: Misuse of Muggle Artifacts. So, he knows about artifacts that can go out of wack, and especially dark magical things. And on top of that, I think he’s somewhat superstitious, in a way, throughout the books, and he also has a sense of dark objects. Like, he seems to be being pretty reasonable. But I think it goes to the fact that he’s so virtued, he’s got this good virtue within him. He can just sense when dark objects are around, to some degree, and maybe he just… he was spot on here and he could see it in the diary.

Rosie: Sure.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: It just seemed a bit odd to me that he would be so suspicious of what is essentially just a small book in a bathroom. There’s no real reason for him to be afraid of this book at this point, other than that someone has tried to flush it away.

Noah: Well, at the same time the author is building up our expectations that…

Rosie: This is true.

[Noah laughs]

Terrance: Well, just dealing with the stuff that he has or this stuff that he’s heard in the past with possible dark objects, just as you were saying, Noah. And his dad working with the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office. He knows that there’s objects out there that can hurt. Especially books. I mean, he went into this whole spiel about books, saying that there’s some that can…

Kat: Burn out your eyes.

Terrance: …burn out your eyes, and some that you can’t stop reading, and things like that. So, he’s just… I think he’s being…

Rosie: So, the message of this scene is that books are dangerous. [laughs]

Terrance: [laughs] Book are dangerous.

Noah: This must be why he hates homework, why he hates reading.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Possibly.

Noah: He’s frightened.

Rosie: Maybe.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: But thinking about those books, like reading those scenes, I thought that was crazy. You can read it and then you’ll be citing sonnets for your entire life…

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: …or you can’t… those are just kind of funny. I believe that obviously it’s true in the wizarding world, or maybe he’s just heard these stories, but those are pretty funny.

Terrance: You know what I thought about whenever… what was it? There was a line in the chapter saying, “And everyone who read Sonnets of a Sorcerer spoke in limericks for the rest of their lives.” Doesn’t Peeves speak in limericks? So, is it possible that he could have gotten hold of a book or something?

Kat: Huh. He does, that’s true.

Terrance: That’s what I thought about. I mean, an example might be like, “There once was a wizard named Harry whose childhood was far from being merry,” or something like that. But Peeves automatically comes to mind whenever I think of something like that.

Kat: So, he read a cursed book at some point.

Terrance: That’s what I’m thinking, yeah.

Rosie: Maybe.

Noah: I feel like you couldn’t be as affected… I think that just goes to his playful spirit. It automatically translates into a poetic language. Or at least that was my take.

Rosie: I’m fairly sure he says some shorter things as well, that aren’t limericks.

Noah: Yeah, he definitely has.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: Oh well. So, the first thing that Harry concludes about TM Riddle when he picks up this book is that he’s Muggle-born, all based on the fact that this book was bought in the Muggle world. So, it got me thinking, did Riddle hide his blood status from his friends at school, being a Slytherin and being surrounded by purebloods like the Malfoys?

Terrance: Hmm.

Rosie: And if so, how did others not make connections like Harry if they could see things that had obviously been bought in the Muggle world? Or is it simply that we’re told this because it’s an important plot point later on in the books, again, where in Book 6 we found out a lot more about Riddle’s early life?

Kat: I mean, isn’t it said that he told them, told his classmates, that he was a pureblood? Because doesn’t Bellatrix think that he’s a pureblood?

Terrance: Right. I think of lot of his followers do. I think if any of his followers knew that he wasn’t, I don’t know, they would question him. They wouldn’t be as faithful to him.

Kat: Right.

Terrance: They would think he’s tainted in some sort of way.

Kat: Do you think…

Noah: Isn’t…

Rosie: I always thought that Bellatrix was younger. Was Bellatrix part of his school group?

Kat: No, she…

Noah: I feel like she was. In the sixth book.

Rosie: Maybe.

Terrance: Hmm.

Rosie: I know that Malfoy was, but he was meant to be a lot younger.

Kat: I don’t think so.

Terrance: I don’t think so.

Kat: I think she’s younger.

Terrance: Because if we think about it, Moaning Myrtle died fifty years ago at this particular point in the story. And Bellatrix, I don’t think Bellatrix is anywhere near that age.

Kat: Sixty.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: Approximately.

Terrance: Yeah. I think she was more along the lines of at school with Remus, Tonks, and the rest of the Order. Well, most of the Order, rather.

Kat: Yeah, I agree.

Rosie: Yeah, she’s Sirius’s cousin, so that would be his generation. So yeah, she could be older than Sirius, for sure…

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: …but not by that much.

Noah: Hmm. I just feel like I remembered from the book. That’s interesting, though.

Rosie: I think Malfoy is meant to be a first year when Riddle is leaving – Riddle is in seventh year – so I think that’s the connection.

Noah: The age difference.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Yeah. More to the fact that this is a book that was bought in the Muggle world, isn’t it interesting that, I guess, his first Horcrux is just a Muggle book he bought, just on a street, and he made it magical?

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Because all of the other objects are deeply rooted with the other founders, so they’re essentially magic. But this one…

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: …he actually transformed it – conceivably, a normal diary – into a Horcrux.

Kat: But then he gave it away and didn’t bother trying to hide it anywhere, so I think that says a lot about how little he cared about his Muggle life.

Rosie: Do you think that Riddle actually wrote the diary when he was younger? Or was it just a book that he put into use as this Horcrux?

Noah: I think it was…

Rosie: Because everything else he’s picked has meant something to him in some way.

Noah: Right.

Rosie: So, if it had been his personal diary, which had his whole life story in it for that year, then it would be an incredibly personal thing that he would be creating.

Noah: Yeah. I mean, he put his soul into it because it was a Horcrux. I don’t think he’d have done that with an object that wasn’t personal. So, maybe creating the Horcrux was a process of really legitimately writing out those memories in the diary.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: And pouring his soul into it that way, and when a wizard does that, maybe all you have to do is kill someone and that imprint of your memories in journal form maybe became the consciousness of the Tom Riddle that’s there. Maybe it didn’t form the character that eventually tried to rise out of the diary.

Terrance: Well, I…

Rosie: I don’t necessarily think the two things are linked. I think that the part of his soul that resides in the diary is just a part of his soul. Not like a written word part, but the same as every other part – a piece of soul that is put into other Horcruxes.

Noah: Right.

Rosie: But I think that he could have easily wiped a diary or created a magical diary that would hide all of his thoughts from other people.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: So yeah, it can be a personal diary without it having to contain the words that he wrote at that time.

Kat: See, I don’t see the diary as a traditional Horcrux. I mean, do we learn that he actually murdered somebody to make this? I don’t think he did.

Terrance: Moaning Myrtle. He murdered…

Noah: Yeah, Moaning Myrtle.

Terrance: Yeah, he killed everybody to make each and every Horcrux, and I forget everything…

Noah: You can’t make a Horcrux without killing somebody.

Terrance: Right.

Kat: But he didn’t kill her. The Basilisk did.

Noah: But he ordered the Basilisk to and I think he… I think it’s been said that he used that death, that energy of that death, to create the Horcrux of the diary. I feel like that’s…

Kat: But then you could use the energy of any death to make a Horcrux, if that were the case. I think Tom would actually, physically have to kill her.

Rosie: I don’t think Tom is in seventh year during this, either. I don’t think… all of his conversations with Dumbledore and with Slughorn that we see later on in later books, they haven’t taken place when Myrtle is killed.

Kat: Right. He is a prefect, so he’s got to be fifth year…

Rosie: Fifth year.

Kat: …at least. Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: But he’s not Head Boy yet, which we know…

Kat: Wait, so this is 1992. They said fifty years ago. So, it would have been 1942. So…

Terrance: Wow, that’s even before Dumbledore got really big.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Well, yeah. Dumbledore isn’t the headmaster at this point. He’s just a…

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: …Transfiguration teacher.

Noah: And hasn’t fought Grindelwald yet.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: No.

Kat: Right.

Noah: But I still feel like Moaning Myrtle’s death was his fault because he definitely controls the Basilisk.

Kat: Well, no. It was definitely his fault.

Rosie: It’s his fault, but I think he murders someone else later on to create the diary.

Noah: To make the diary Horcrux.

Kat: Or the diary, like I said, isn’t a traditional Horcrux. It’s… he figured out some other way to put a piece of him in there. Because it’s not like… it doesn’t act like any of the other Horcruxes.

Noah: Well, yeah.

Rosie: But I think that’s because it’s a bigger part of his soul.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Because it was the first one?

Rosie: Yeah, it’s essentially fifty percent of his soul. Whereas later on, it gets smaller and smaller.

Kat: The most untainted part.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Ooh. Okay.

Rosie: It’s literally his childhood within a Horcrux, within a diary.

Kat: So, it’s like he ripped the Muggle piece out of him, or the Muggle part, and stuck it in the book.

Rosie: All of his teenage angst. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Fifty percent of him. But don’t you think that the other Horcruxes, if given the same opportunities, could have also risen up out of themselves and become new Tom Riddles? Clones?

Rosie: I don’t think they’re as powerful, no.

Kat: No.

Noah: Interesting.

Terrance: I don’t think on their own they could have done that, but I think with a bit of magic that they could have.

Kat: Yeah. If the trio had kept wearing the locket, I think it definitely, eventually would have affected them far worse than it did.

Terrance: Right.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: Yeah. So, I feel like any of those smaller Horcruxes, given the right circumstances, could have potentially become more and more powerful, to the extent of maybe one or two of them being powerful enough to suck out a soul.

Terrance: Mhm.

Kat: Hmm.

Rosie: I’m not convinced. But anyway…

Noah: This is a big question, all of these. So, if any fans are listening, definitely comment in the forums and we’ll be talking about this next episode.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah. So, Hermione is intrigued by the ideas of hidden powers rather than being afraid of the book. So, she doesn’t have the same fears that Ron did, which I thought was surprising. I thought Hermione would always be more careful. But they all cleverly make the links between all of the events of fifty years ago and the diary and Riddle and the Chamber being opened. They haven’t yet thought of Hagrid, but we’ll get onto that more later. When Hermione tries to find out if there are hidden words within the book, all of her magical solutions fail her. So, her spells and her magical artifacts won’t reveal anything. And I thought, it would have been nice to see her reaction at this point, to see how she would handle all of her brand new magical skills failing her, because I think she would be quite upset. But my thought is, if they’ve got this link that everything happened fifty years ago and they know that the ghosts have been at Hogwarts school for longer than fifty years, why don’t they go and ask? Why do they never think to ask the ghosts who must have seen a lot of things?

Terrance: Well, I think…

Kat: It seems like they… oh, go ahead, Terrance.

Terrance: I’m sorry. Go ahead, no.

Kat: You go.

Terrance: Okay. I don’t… I think they’ve tried to ask the ghosts questions before, but the ghosts really kind of gave vague answers. As we discussed earlier, they really don’t pay attention or cares to what’s going on.

Noah: Yeah.

Terrance: I mean, anything that’s not directly affecting them.

Noah: I completely agree. They seem entirely self-occupied and that just goes to the nature of ghosts in general because these are beings… they have stayed on earth because they have their own issues and…

Terrance: They have their own personal agenda, yeah.

Noah: So, that’s why. In the seventh book, it works out for Harry. But with Helena Ravenclaw, that was in regards to something that was deeply personal, maybe even deeply connected to why she’s still on earth. So, I think unless you’re asking them something direct about their own lives, they really just give you these vague answers.

Kat: Well, and the only ghost that might give him any sort of real answer is petrified. So…

Rosie: That’s true.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: Right, yeah.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: They don’t really talk to any other ghosts, do they?

Kat: Nope.

Rosie: Okay. So, there’s a line that says, “Harry couldn’t explain, even to himself, why he didn’t just throw Riddle’s diary away.” And I was thinking, could this be the magnetic link between the Horcruxes being drawn to each other? He can’t explain it even to himself, but it’s there…

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: …that’s drawn to…

Noah: I definitely felt that when I was reading.

Kat: Agreed, completely.

Terrance: Yeah, definitely.

Rosie: Cool. Well, that one’s answered quickly. Well done.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: [in a high-pitched voice] I disagree. [returns to normal voice] Who was that?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Was that our ghost host again?

Noah: Our ghost host disagreed with us…

Rosie: Damn you, Peeves!

Noah: …just to keep the conversation…

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Noah: But no, I think we all felt that because even when Ron was saying it’s bad, he kept trying to toy with it. And I think Harry has such a… he’s so active in the community, I think he would have got bored if there wasn’t something drawing him to it.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Sure.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: So, Ron makes the link. The trio go to see the trophy room to try and find out more about Riddle, and Ron makes the link between Riddle and Percy because he’s Head Boy, he’s Prefect, he’s got these awards. He seems like he’s kind of a goody two-shoes, top of all the classes, that kind of character. And Hermione responds saying, “You say that like it’s a bad thing,” in a slightly hurt voice. I just thought it was interesting that the villain of the novels holds many similarities to all of the trio, not just Harry. So, it’s Ron and Hermione who become the prefects and Hermione and Harry who are top of every class, thinking of Defense Against the Dark Arts for Harry. So, it’s not just Harry that he shares all of these traits with, but he is most different from Ron, who is the pureblood ideal. He is… he may be a blood traitor, but he’s got most of the things that Voldemort always wanted. But Ron is also seen as the biggest champion of both familial and romantic love, so maybe that’s why he’s got this biggest difference. What do you guys think?

Kat: I think Ron is actually a lot like Tom Riddle. I think that he’s… okay, not a lot. But he definitely shares, I think, the jealous side of Tom Riddle and…

Rosie: Sure.

Kat: …I guess that’s part of the reason why the locket affects him so. I think that Tom was a very jealous boy. He was jealous of everybody, of their possessions, of their family, their life, their friends, everything. So, I don’t know. That’s a good… I never thought about that before, though.

Rosie: It kind of…

Noah: I mean, that seems to be how Horcruxes work, especially the locket with Ron.

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: There’s like one personality trait that allows Voldemort to get in.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: But it does add to the idea that Harry, Ron, and Hermione need each other to be the full hero, whereas Voldemort is the full villain all on his own.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Hmm.

Rosie: So, the Mandrakes are becoming moody teenagers, which is just… I love that description of them where they’re… I can’t even remember what the actual line is now, unfortunately, but it’s brilliant.

Kat: It says, “The Mandrakes were becoming moody and secretive, meaning they were fast leaving childhood.”

Rosie: Yeah. I love that idea that… the readership age of this book you’re supposed to think is something along the same lines as the age of Harry and Hermione. So, they are twelve going on thirteen at this moment, so they’re becoming teenagers themselves. So, to recognize the humor of Mandrakes becoming moody teenagers within the books when your readers are also on the brink of becoming these moody teenagers is a brilliant piece of writing.

Noah: I mean, the Mandrakes really capture life for kids.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: I mean, you grow up and then you start moving into each other’s pots and then you get killed with a knife.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Terribly, even though you might be semi-conscious. I am so… this whole section freaks me out because Mandrakes are so like us, though they… they’re very human obviously. But at the end of the day, they’re just going to be killed and used for anti-freezing cream.

Kat: [laughs] What?

Noah: Which is obviously important, but we have to think about…

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: …are these Mandrakes being hurt? I ask you all.

Kat: We don’t have to think about that. Not right now.

Terrance: [laughs] I know. I don’t think anybody really cares.

Noah: That’s true, Terrance.

Terrance: The people…

Noah: Nobody cares about the poor Mandrakes.

Terrance: Right. I mean, they’re there for a purpose and they’re going to serve their purpose and once they’re done, they’re done. I mean, that’s what they’re there for. It’s not like you’re going to have advocacy groups for Mandrake rights or anything like that. [laughs]

Noah: I know. I just… whenever I think about the Mandrakes though, I just think of Pomona with her chainsaw or whatever she uses.

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Noah: She’s seeing them get into each other’s pots and she’s like, “All right, guys. Party’s over.” [makes chainsaw noises]

[Kat, Noah, and Terrance laugh]

Noah: She puts her mask on. She…

[Terrance laughs]

Kat: Oh my gosh.

Rosie: I was saying that, why is there not a Mandrake’s Liberation Front? Why is Hermione not worried about all of these Mandrakes?

Noah: Yeah!

Rosie: They have personalities. How can we kill something that has its own little human life going on, just for our own use? We don’t kill house-elves.

Terrance: Because a Mandrake Liberation Front would be like MILF and…

[Everyone laughs]

Terrance: …that wouldn’t be good.

Noah: Aww yeah.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: Sorry.

Rosie: Anyway…

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Noah: I’ll start MILF.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: You know what? I’m going to start it because I’m an activist.

Kat: How about we just call it MLF?

Rosie: MLF.

Noah: All right.

Kat: Because it’s not spew, it’s S-P-E-W. Remember that.

Rosie: This is true. So, MLF. Mandrakes Liberation Front. We should create a T-shirt!

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Anyway…

Noah: All right, fans. If you would like to join MLF…

[Kat laughs]

Noah: …I’m going to make a thread in my forums. Just put your name down there and you can be on a secret email where we think about fighting back to save Mandrakes.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Meetings are every Tuesday.

Noah: It’ll be…

Kat: And you can stand outside like the Salvation Army people and get money for them. All of that.

Rosie: And we’ll all be wearing really fetching ear muffs. It’s fun.

Terrance: We could have MLF Day.

Kat: [laughs] Oh, yes.

[Terrance laugh]

Kat: Like MLK day, but different.

Terrance: Yes, exactly. We march for Mandrakes!

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Is it really different, Kat?

Kat: What? Is it…

Noah: Is it really different from MLK, civil rights? I mean, we’re talking about civil rights for Mandrakes.

Kat: Maybe. Yes, I think it’s very different. [laughs]

Noah: All right, yeah. You’re right, it’s really different. [laughs]

Rosie: Anyway, meanwhile the attacks have stopped.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Getting back onto our discussion.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: So, the attacks have stopped, and it is Valentine’s Day, and Lockhart has unleashed these card-carrying cupids, which are violent, embarrassing dwarves. I would hate to receive or to send… or, just, secondhand embarrassment is horrible. I would just not want to see these card-carrying cupids anywhere. Unfortunately, Ginny decides to send one to Harry, and it attacks him in the middle of this really crowded corridor, says that he has to sing this song to him, which I think Noah must want to sing by now, surely.

Kat: Right, Noah? Yeah?

Noah: Yeah, of course.

Kat: Okay.

Rosie: Go ahead.

Noah: Let me just bring it up on my iPad.

Kat: It’s on page 238.

Noah: “His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, his hair is as dark as a blackboard. I wish he was mine, he’s really divine, the hero who conquered the Dark Lord.”

Kat: [laughs] It’s brilliant.

Rosie: Which, you know, is a nice rhyme for a first year little girl. It’s good.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: But it’s horribly embarrassing, and, unfortunately, in this scuffle that this card-carrying cupid has caused, Harry’s bag has split, and the contents have gone all over the floor, including an ink pot that has cracked and gotten on everything and, of course, the diary, which Ginny now sees that Harry has. So again, this is another clue that is so obvious on a reread, but on the first read it just looks like Ginny is being scared.

Noah: I know. It was perfect.

Rosie: It’s really good, isn’t it? You think that she’s just afraid of how Harry and Malfoy will react. But no, it’s because of the diary.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: It’s a brilliant bit of writing. But I thought it was quite interesting that it’s Draco that causes this issue when it’s kind of going against his dad’s plans, ultimately. It would have been right up Riddle’s street if Harry had kept the diary and if Riddle had been able to possess Harry rather than Ginny. But we see Harry’s first use of Expelliarmus! And he uses it against Draco just like he later will to win the Elder Wand.

Noah: Yeah. Draco is just dumbfounded. I didn’t know it works on books, too. I thought it just worked on… it’s supposed to un-arm someone, but can it really un-book you as well?

Rosie: It seems to just get anything that you’re holding out of your hand.

Terrance: Maybe if it has a magical quality, and that could be something that Harry didn’t even know. I mean, he just threw up a spell really quick and didn’t expect anything to come of it, but it did.

Kat: Although…

Noah: Wait, guys. Crazy idea.

Kat: What?

Noah: What if he beat Draco for the book, so now the book answers to Harry? So, Tom Riddle…

Rosie: [laughs] But the book was never in Draco’s…

Noah: Possession.

Rosie: …control.

Terrance: He took it. [laughs]

Noah: He took it, though, with Expelliarmus. That means he won Voldemort.

Rosie: [laughs] So technically, he now possesses two parts of Voldemort’s soul.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Anyway…

Terrance: It’s like one of those necklaces that you have to… one of those half-heart necklaces.

Kat: Aww.

Terrance: Half of Voldemort’s soul necklace.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Technically you could be armed with a book, though. I mean, if you hit someone around the head with a book, it’s fairly hard and will cause pain.

Terrance: Smack somebody upside the head with a book and yell Expelliarmus. Yeah. [laughs]

Kat: I just wanted to comment on the fact that if it works for anything magical, then it shouldn’t have worked when Snape shot it at Lockhart.

Terrance: True story.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: It just hits him. Well, I guess when there’s nothing to disarm, it just kind of nails you.

[Terrance laughs]

Kat: No, I was making a bad joke about Lockhart not being magical. Anyway…

Terrance: Yeah, I got it.

Noah: Oh.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: I got it!

Noah: Sorry.

Rosie: But yes, later on Harry notices that the diary has absorbed all of the ink that had spilt in this accident. Everything else is covered in ink, but the diary is perfectly clean, so he decides to write in it, and then we see the diary that talks back. Is this dream-come-true or nightmare? Not entirely sure. Eventually we find out that it’s Voldemort that talks back, so it really is a nightmare. But I thought it’s interesting considering this is a while back, now, but instant chat messaging was around. You had this brand new modern technology that allows people to talk to people on the Internet without knowing who they are.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: Could Riddle’s diary be used as a parallel for Internet safety? You should never trust someone you don’t know.

Noah: Oh.

Terrance: Wow.

Noah: That is so good.

Rosie: I shouldn’t be talking to you guys. [laughs]

Terrance: That’s good.

Kat: But we’ve met, Rosie!

Rosie: This is true.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Yeah, you can talk to me.

Rosie: You’re much nicer than Voldemort.

Kat: Aww, thanks!

Terrance: And I don’t know anything about the Chamber of Secrets, so…

Kat: [laughs] I don’t either.

[Rosie and Terrance laugh]

Noah: If you go to an anonymous chat room online, though, in 1992, people would tell you, though.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: You should go into a random chat room and type in, “Does anybody know anything about the Chamber of Secrets?”

Kat: [laughs] Oh, that would be hilarious.

Terrance: You’ll have somebody say, “No, but I can show you.”

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: And that’s, in fact, what he says, doesn’t he?

Kat: It is.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: But this is our first time exploring a memory. So yet again, we have a such important circular story where [in] Book 2 we are introduced to the idea that we can actually go into memories, look around, and explore them.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: Oh.

Rosie: Book 6, it’s the entire plot of the book.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: We’re reading the same book.

Rosie: We really are. And Hogwarts hasn’t really changed much in fifty years. Dumbledore is even still there, but he’s being a normal teacher rather than a headmaster. And we see that Riddle’s main wish is to stay at Hogwarts over the summer, which is… Harry would die for that wish. He would love to stay at Hogwarts over the summer rather than going back to stay with the Dursleys.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: Yup. Harry immediately connects with him over that…

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: …and the jet black hair.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Definitely. But we see that the only reason that Riddle stops the attacks is that he doesn’t have to return to the Muggle world, which makes it interesting to think about what’s more important to him: his own personal life and fears of being stranded in this Muggle orphanage again, or his idea that he wants to cleanse the world of Mudbloods?

Kat: Oh, definitely his own personal world. I think that he is far more concerned about himself at this time.

Noah: But really it’s Mudbloods, though.

Kat: I don’t know. I disagree.

Rosie: But why can’t he just… does he actually have no friends at this point? Could he not go and stay with someone else over the summer?

Kat: I mean, he must have friends.

Rosie: Sirius stays with the Potters…

Noah: He doesn’t really have any friends.

Kat: Well, not – quote, unquote – friends, as Dumbledore says, because he doesn’t think he ever really had friends, but definitely he has people.

Rosie: But he is manipulative.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: So, why can’t he manipulate someone into inviting him to stay? That way he would have been able to carry on his attacks for many more.

Terrance: I don’t think… I think he was just content with being by himself. I don’t think that he really wanted or needed anybody that he would have to depend on. He’s always been that kind of person to where he doesn’t like to depend on people. Like even at the orphanage, he didn’t like to depend on any of his friends or any of the people that were there, rather. I mean, I wouldn’t even say that he had friends at the orphanage. He’s just always been that kind of cool cat doing his own thing.

Noah: Not so cool. He killed people, Terrance.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Terrance: I get that. And he doesn’t have friends. I mean, he has followers. That’s why he’s on Twitter and not on Facebook.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Nice!

Rosie: [laughs] Fair enough.

Noah: Wow.

Rosie: So, Harry follows Riddle down into the dungeons, and we see him hiding in the place that would later become Snape’s classroom, which I thought was an interesting point that… it doesn’t really seem to have much significance, but it’s interesting that Snape would choose that particular dungeon later on if it is a hiding place that Riddle used fairly often.

Noah: Mhm.

Terrance: Huh.

Rosie: And so we wait, and we see Hagrid come down finally, and Riddle addresses him as a friend. We see that Harry and Draco never address each other with their first names. It’s always “Malfoy” and “Potter,” but Tom Riddle refers to Hagrid as “Rubeus.”

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Do you think that’s important at all? Was Hagrid perhaps a friend of Riddle as an outcast?

Terrance: I mean, both were kind of outcasts, really, in their own ways, but I don’t think that they were so much outcasts that they came together and were friends or anything like that. I think they just knew each other by association with classes and different things like that.

Noah: Yeah, I just feel like they wouldn’t really get on as friends.

Rosie: So, to me, it’s just really interesting that they use first names for pretty much every time. Tom is referred to as Tom during this…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: …scene…

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: …where I would have thought that the use of surnames within schools was more of an old-fashioned thing. So, why is it picked up later on when it’s not present at this time? Are we just trying to kind of humanize Tom Riddle a bit more and get that bit more of a personal attachment to him that would later be destroyed?

Kat: Well, because Dippet says he… when Tom first walks into the room, he says, “Ah, Riddle,” but then the next page he says, “You can go, Tom,” so maybe it’s just a less casual thing. I don’t know. I never thought of that.

Terrance: Yeah, it had to be something casual. I mean, because at this point the readers don’t even know that… the connection between Tom Riddle and Voldemort.

Rosie: No.

Terrance: So, I think it’s just something casual. I don’t know. It’s…

Rosie: I think just the overuse of his first name makes him more likeable as a character.

Kat: Agreed. Yeah.

Rosie: So, I think…

Terrance: Yeah, yeah.

Rosie: Yeah. It’s just an interesting stylistic choice at this point.

Terrance: And I think that’s what Jo is trying to create here – I’m just going to finish up this thought – but I think that’s the illusion that Jo is trying to create here, is that she’s… in this story it’s trying to create the reader to be able to trust Tom Riddle, and… I mean, because we’re reading everything from Harry’s point of view, obviously, so I think, at this point, it’s getting… it’s trying to convince Harry and show that little personable thing like you guys were just talking about.

Kat: Make him more relateable. Yeah.

Terrance: Right, exactly.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: It’s creating a world. From a purely writing standpoint, she called Hagrid “Rubeus,” I think, to set up that… let it dawn on the reader that it’s Hagrid so that she could end the chapter with the final, “It was Hagrid.”

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: Because it’s not immediately clear when you’re first reading the Rubeus scenes, for those who don’t know that he’s Rubeus Hagrid or remember that from the first… “Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”

Kat: Right, that’s true. That’s true.

Noah: So, I think it was to set up this… his revelation that it was Hagrid.

Rosie: Okay. And that is the end of Chapter 13.

Noah: Was there anything unlucky in that chapter?

Rosie: Well, I was, but…

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: It was unlucky that Hagrid got caught. [laughs]

Noah: For something he didn’t do? Yeah.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: Hmm. Oh, and Harry’s… and the love poem. In front of everyone.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: Right, exactly.

Kat: I don’t know, but that ended up in a lucky thing, so I don’t know.

Rosie: It was unlucky that Ginny saw that Harry had the diary.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: So that she could get it. Yup. Chapter 14: “Cornelius Fudge.” All right, so this chapter goes right into Harry explaining to Ron and Hermione what he learned through Tom Riddle’s diary, and he almost wishes that he didn’t know how to work the diary because now he can’t stop thinking about it. And they start worrying about Hagrid, and they don’t really know how they’re going to talk to him because they all mutually believe that he wouldn’t be the sort of person to open the Chamber of Secrets and allow people to be killed, but at the same time, they kind of want to bring it up because they know that he’s been expelled. So, while they’re thinking about that, there’s a line in the books, on page 251, that once again we’re looking at the Mandrakes. Pomona Sprout seeing that they are going to maturity, and at the moment they start hopping into each other’s pots will be the time when they’re fully mature and ready to be grounded into dust for the potion…

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: … that’s going to save those who are Petrified. So, what I wanted to say is, is the fact that they are hopping into each other’s pots a subtle sex reference in here that she’s just kind of putting in there? Because that seems to be the way that they populate, make more Mandrakes.

Rosie: I don’t think so, necessarily. I mean, it depends if you see “hopping into each other’s pots” as “getting into each other’s beds” or “moving in with each other.” Because they are different things.

Terrance: Well, either way there’s going to be a little bit of sexual contact going on.

Rosie: Yeah, it’s showing that they are… they have reached an adult relationship, so they’re commiting to each other by moving into the same pot.

Noah: [laughs] Yeah.

Rosie: In some way, whether it’s sex or whether it’s just them kind of living together.

Kat: And then they get murdered! Aww.

Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]

Noah: And then they get murdered. So, is Jo having them be murdered because they’re moving in together before marriage, or… [laughs]

Kat: Oh my God!

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: No.

Kat: No.

Rosie: Don’t make that… no. [laughs]

Kat: Doubtful.

Noah: Well, it just seems to be some check on their maturity in the form of…

Rosie: It’s just saying that they are now… they’re not teenagers anymore, they are adults, therefore they have reached the right age to be…

Noah: Right.

Rosie: …as mature as they are needed to be for this particular potion.

Noah: Yeah. In any case, just the idea that they are hopping into each other’s pots and having parties and stuff. It again seems to imply that they have this weird consciousness, so…

Rosie: Yes.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: Once again, if anyone would like to join MLF…

Rosie: MLF! [laughs]

Noah: …Mandrake Liberation Front, I’m going to actually take this pretty seriously…

Rosie: Me, too!

Noah: …and create it. [laughs]

Terrance: [laughs] Can you guys imagine that the Mandrakes are getting married, and then somebody up there at the altar is going, “Do you take blah, blah, blah,” and then…

[Kat laughs]

Terrance: …the Mandrake going, “Wahhh!”…

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Terrance: …and killing half of the people in the room? Oh my God.

Noah: And guess what? Somebody runs right through the front doors, “I object!” says Pomona Sprout with garden shears in her hands.

Kat: This sounds like a B movie waiting to happen.

[Terrance laughs]

Rosie: Or a bad one.

Kat: Yes, a bad fanfic.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: Oh my goodness.

Noah: I’m telling you, though, it’s… there’s something weird there.

Kat: Sure, Noah. Okay. [laughs]

Noah: Anyway, a little bit later on in the chapter, page 252, we start learning that it’s time to pick classes for next year, and Harry really doesn’t know what he wants to do. He’s thinking about just taking his wand and kind of poking randomly on the schedule and deciding he will take those classes, but he inevitably just goes along with what Ron is taking because if he’s going to be taking something, he wants to make sure he’s doing it with a friend. But I was just thinking about it as I was reading. It seems like the students weren’t getting a lot of attention or guidance as far as it goes, so shouldn’t Muggle-borns get a little bit more guidance in choosing their courses throughout the years? Since they just don’t know a lot of stuff?

Kat: That’s favoritism, no?

Rosie: Doesn’t Hermione read pamphlets? I swear there’s something… there is information available, but I don’t think Harry and Ron particularly are the kind of people that would go seeking for it.

Kat: I think that’s in their fifth year that there’s pamphlets.

Rosie: Okay. Yeah, that’s their jobs.

Kat: When they get career advice. Yeah.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: Sure. But I think…

Noah: It seems it’s just kind of limited.

Rosie: I’m sure there is actually that information out there, but they just don’t go and look at it.

Kat: I’m sure.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: In any case, Hermione decides she’s going to take all the classes, and, as we know, that’s going to give her a pretty hectic schedule, but I wonder if she knew something about Time-Turners here. If she knew that she was going to take all the classes and there was a way to potentially do that.

Kat: Probably.

Rosie: Or maybe she just thought that she would do kind of summer school and things or working after hours, or… we don’t necessarily know about Time-Turners yet, but she wants to take as many as possible.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: That’s true. And as we’ve said, given the fact that she’s not going to be taking many classes this year…

Kat: [laughs] Right.

Noah: …she’ll fail. She’s actually going to be trying to catch up for lost time. So, then we move to Quidditch. There’s going to be a game against Hufflepuff and Harry is pretty excited, but just when he’s about to go outside he hears the disembodied voice again, “I’m going to kill this time. Rip. Tear.” And he’s like, “Oh no, not this again.” [laughs]

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: And of course it’s when everybody is leaving the school, so this is a potentially great moment for the Basilisk to come out, especially because no one is seeing it. But I just had a general question about this Basilisk. We know it’s being ordered by Ginny or Tom Riddle to act, but what is the Basilisk’s motivation here? Is it just trying to eat or feed, or does it really just want to kill by staring Muggle-borns in the eyes and then it’s just satisfied? I mean, does the snake have its own prejudice against Muggle-borns? Or is it just Tom Riddle telling it to do this?

Kat: I think… yes, I think it is Tom Riddle and Tom Riddle in snake form basically. The Basilisk is taking on Tom Riddle’s values and wanting to kill the Muggle-borns, I think.

Rosie: Yeah. Basilisks themselves wouldn’t necessarily have a pureblood attitude. They are just creatures that are fairly evil and like to kill things.

Noah: Right, and it seems to have this weird desperation about it, too, because it’s been cooped up for so long. And it says “rip” or “tear,” but it doesn’t rip or tear anything. It just stares at people. So, what kind of…

Rosie: Yeah, that is quite strange that it wouldn’t actually attack.

Noah: Yeah, or eat the person. I don’t know, it’s got to be hungry. I know it’s feeding on rats, getting rid of Hogwarts’ rat problem but I mean, is that all it is? It’s a desire to kill something and then it just sneaks or snakes back into its pipes?

Kat: I was just thinking about something. What if… just for sake of argument, what if there was a Hufflepuff out there that was a Parselmouth and could talk to the Basilisk? What would they make it do? I’m trying to get at what you’re saying, Noah. Is the Basilisk – I can never say that – really wanting to kill people or is it just listening to Tom?

Noah: Right.

Kat: So…

Noah: Well, I like what you said. I like the idea that it takes on Tom’s values or wants.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: But then again it is… isn’t it the same snake that Salazar had?

Kat: No, I don’t think it was like his pet snake, but I think he put it there.

Noah: If he put it there, then it probably has the same… I mean, it’s a Parselmouth. So, we know that snakes have a language so they have some sort of brains… they have their own affinities. So, maybe this is a snake that’s been brainwashed by Tom Riddle/Salazar Slytherin and it has the same beliefs.

Kat: Right. And I’m wondering, is that why it’s a dangerous creature? How many Basilisks have there been in the history of the wizarding world? Were they all bad?

Rosie: What does it say in Fantastic Beasts? Because I swear it says that they are dangerous creatures.

Kat: Yeah. Well, I assume a giant snake is pretty…

Rosie: You can’t look at it without dying. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: And yet it often fails.

Rosie: It’s the equivalent of Medusa.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: It turns you to stone if you look at it.

Noah: Oh, right! Oh yeah, that’s true. It’s got to be a complete riff on Medusa.

Kat: Right.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: But Basilisks themselves are a medieval mythological creature, so it’s not Jo that’s making this link between Medusa and the Basilisk.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: But yeah, you do have the idea that she has snake hair and if you look at her you turn to stone, and so do the people who look at the Basilisk.

Noah: Which is weird. It seems to be weird because does the snake have any control over that? Or is it just that’s just the way it is?

Terrance: That’s just the way it is.

Noah: So, is it almost essentially evil in a way?

Kat: If a Hufflepuff was a Parselmouth, would it be as…

Noah: Would it be a better or happier snake?

Kat: Maybe. It would be fatter, probably.

Rosie: I’d like to remind you that Zacharias Smith is a Hufflepuff and he is not a nice character.

Noah: I love Zacharias Smith. I have great plans for him.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: I cannot say anything more than that, but… [laughs]

Kat: Did you dress up as him for Halloween?

Noah: No, I just think he’s so underrated. I think there is… but we can talk about him in Book 5. [laughs] All right, so Harry hears the voice but he is kind of unbothered about it. He just goes right up to his dormitory, gets his broom, and then goes outside, at which point the game is immediately cancelled by Professor McGonagall. Before this, Hermione didn’t come to the game because she had this idea and she needed to prove it, so she went up to the library which actually was to her own peril. So, this is teaching you more and more that we shouldn’t be reading…

Rosie: Books are dangerous!

Noah: …which is the message that I’m getting.

Kat: Books are dangerous.

Noah: Books are dangerous. This is a common thread throughout the Harry Potter books. The Christian right were right about something when they got angry at Harry Potter.

Kat: Whoa! Let’s not validate that, okay?

[Noah and Terrance laugh]

Noah: That must be what they saw.

Terrance: You could support the claim with the… oh God, what’s the book called? The book that tries to eat…

Kat: Monster Book of Monsters?

Terrance: Yes! There you go!

Noah: Monster Book of Monsters!

Kat: Yeah.

Terrance: That book is dangerous.

Rosie: Books are dangerous. [laughs]

Noah: Books are dangerous. They’ll consume you. It’s just terrible.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: So…

Kat: Laura Mallory is smiling at you right now. Just saying.

Noah: [laughs] Right. So, McGonagall leads Harry and Ron to the very unfortunate site: Hermione has been petrified alongside a Ravenclaw student, the previous student that Harry and Ron noted that they had passed when they were going towards the Slytherin common room. And it’s proven that it’s Penelope Clearwater, so we do know that it was Percy and Penelope down there in the dungeons before, and hence why…

Terrance: I wonder what they were doing.

Kat: Hookin’ up.

Terrance: Giggity.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Giggity giggity.

[Noah and Terrance laugh]

Noah: But that explains why George tells Harry later in the common room why Percy suddenly was really upset because… well, at least George thinks it’s because Penelope Clearwater was a prefect and if she could get petrified then it means that Percy must also in danger. But as we know, that’s actually not right what George was saying. He was clearly upset because Penelope is his girlfriend, petrified.

Kat: Mhm.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: So, yet another one of these amazing sections where it’s just misdirection. We get one line and we think it’s explained to us, but because it’s through Harry’s limited consciousness and from random quotes, it actually ends up being a different reason that he’s upset.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: Definitely.

Noah: Which speaks to the power of her writing style anyway.

Rosie: Brilliant bias.

Noah: Right. So, later on page 259, now getting further into the chapter, Harry and Ron can’t take it. Now that Hermione is in danger, they know they have to figure this out and they decide to go to Hagrid’s. So, they don the Invisibility Cloak once again and they sneak out to the Hogwarts halls, and they find them much more crowded than they ever have been before, with prefects and teachers, just because they’re guarding against this monster. So, Ron actually stubs his toe, but thankfully, Snape sneezes at almost the same moment that Ron swore.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: And I was wondering, wait a second, did Snape just help Harry and Ron? Did he know that they were there? Because he somehow knew that they had to go through? Or was it Dumbledore underneath Snape’s nose putting some pepper there…

[Kat laughs]

Noah: …so that he would sneeze, controlling everything so that Ron wouldn’t be heard? [laughs]

Kat: Well, I don’t…

Rosie: Maybe there’s a sneezing spell.

Kat: Maybe.

Noah: I like the image of a Disillusioned Dumbledore right under Snape’s nose though, with some pepper.

[Rosie laughs]

Terrance: I think it was just a great coincidence. But yeah, those are good theories.

Rosie: Mhm.

Noah: Great coincidence but a potential crazy theory that I’m just throwing out. You never know.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: So, they get to Hagrid’s hut and they are met with a… he’s got a…

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Not a bow and arrow. What does he have?

Terrance: Like a crossbow.

Kat: A crossbow. Yeah.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: Right, he’s got a crossbow in his hands. And was Hagrid really going to meet the Minister of Magic with a crossbow?

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Or whoever was coming to get him? That just seems like a bad idea.

Rosie: He’s afraid of being taken to Azkaban though.

Noah: I mean that’s true, but do you think it was going to work? Maybe Dumbledore sensed this and that’s why he went through the door first?

Kat: Maybe.

Terrance: I don’t know. We’ve seen… maybe he was expecting something more powerful? I don’t know.

Noah: Maybe the monster was coming for him.

Kat: I think it just speaks to his wild-man nature, so to say.

Rosie: Mhm.

Noah: Yeah, I know what you mean. I think we talked on an earlier podcast about how Hagrid often reflects the peasant, is that right? Or just kind of the outside… the folk who believe in myth.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: So, he would go for the crossbow immediately.

Rosie: But it also adds to our opinion of him. We are going to see Hagrid to see if he’s dangerous and here he is facing us with a crossbow. So, I think it adds to that moment of whether or not we trust Hagrid.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Oh, that’s very true. I agree with that. So then, Harry and Ron get inside and they talk to Hagrid briefly until, as I was saying, the Minister of Magic and Dumbledore come into the hut. And they basically… Dumbledore says he supports Hagrid with full confidence, but Fudge says – the Minister of Magic – “I’m under a lot of pressure. Got to be seen to be doing something.” And that really just… that really got me. That just really spoke to the corruption of Fudge and the Ministy of Magic because they just had to do something or anything to quell the parents and the wizarding community. And all the while, Dumbledore…

Rosie: Which sounds awfully like British government. Sorry.

Noah: Would you compare that to British government?

Rosie: Yes, unfortunately. They like to make statements and look like they are doing something whether or not they’ve thought it through or not.

Kat: I think that sounds like all politicians. Just saying.

Terrance: Yeah, I was just thinking about that.

Rosie: It’s integral.

Terrance: Because… yeah, saying that they had to do something and then acting on it is kind of like… I don’t know, they’re saying, “Okay, we’re on top of it. We know what’s going on. We know exactly what’s going on and we’re going to deal with it.”

Rosie: I’m not a fan of politics. [laughs]

Noah: Yeah, I think it speaks… it definitely speaks to all government. I think the British specifically are very skeptical or… I don’t want to stereotype.

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: And I feel like Americans tend to be more stable with our values and ideas so that if our governments do come out with great statements about good they’re doing in the world, it’s usually a happy thing that we’re not… I’m sure there are skeptics among us, but we have a great patriotism in our country as well that…

Terrance: Yeah.

Noah: …makes us not question as much sometimes.

Terrance: Right, right.

Rosie: Which is not necessarily a good thing, but anyway… [laughs]

Noah: Right. So then, as they’re speaking, Lucius Malfoy actually walks in and he has a bit of a tiff with Hagrid, but then he hands Dumbledore the order that he must leave because he’s been… the councillors have agreed that he is not fit to lead Hogwarts anymore, even though Hagrid suggests pretty loudly that Malfoy has threatened all the other… what’s the word?

Kat: Governors.

Terrance: Governors.

Noah: Governors, right. So, he actually leaves pretty coolly. There’s a fire in his eyes throughout the whole scene, but he doesn’t act rashly, Dumbledore. In fact, there is this whole scene where it’s back and forth between Fudge, Hagrid, and Malfoy. He doesn’t say anything, and I think that silence is great. I was thinking, what was Dumbledore doing there? And he was just thinking. He was plotting and planning. And then his next line… his next line is not even directed at them but at Harry and Ron because he seems to know that they are there. He just says, “I’ll never be gone as long as there are those at Hogwarts who are loyal to me, and I will always offer help.” Or he says something to that degree…

Terrance: [as Dumbledore] “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”

Noah: That’s better. That’s what he says.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: Thank you, Terrance.

Terrance: You’re welcome. [laughs]

Noah: That’s just what I needed. But yeah, so he does that and it… he’s thought everything through. He knows exactly what to do. And my final question on this chapter is: How did he know that Harry and Ron were there? Can he actually see through the Invisibility Cloak, as some have suggested, or has he had so much interaction with it that he can somehow sense that the Cloak is there? Or maybe he just heard the gasps that Harry and Ron were making or saw the tea on the table, and he’s a very smart man and made the connection. What do you guys think?

Kat: I definitely think he’s observant. Can he see through the Cloak? I don’t know, but if anyone were to figure out how to see through it, it would be Dumbledore. But no, I think he’s just observant.

Terrance: I think that…

Rosie: You have to remember that the Cloak is the Hallows cloak as well.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: It can’t be seen through.

Kat: Yeah.

Terrance: I think that his fascination with the Hallows even whenever he was younger, and him studying them for years and years, I think he’s just sensing the Cloak there – the magic in the Cloak there. And knowing that, “Well, there’s only really one Invisibility Cloak here at this school and Harry must be under it. And I’m willing to bet that Ron is, too.”

Rosie: Yeah, I don’t think that he necessarily senses the magic or anything, but I think, like Kat said, he is incredibly observant. So, maybe he spotted tracks, maybe he saw Harry leaving the castle earlier, or whatever.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: Maybe the fact that there are cups of tea and the fact that Hagrid was the way he was when he answered the door, or whatever, I think he would have been able to read the scene very easily, just like when Harry was seeing the Mirror of Erised in Book 1. I think he’s able to understand a situation. Whether he can see the people that are there or not, he would guess that Harry has gone to see his friend.

Terrance: Right.

Noah: I mean, is it possible that he used Legilimens on Hagrid, maybe unconsciously, or maybe a Homenum Revelio wordlessly?

Terrance: Would a Homenum Revelio

Rosie: I don’t think he needs to.

Terrance: …work on the Cloak?

Noah: Doesn’t it in Deathly Hallows?

Kat: No.

Noah: I feel like it does, when those two Death Eaters come to…

Kat: They’re not wearing the Cloak at that point. They’re not wearing the Cloak.

Noah: Oh, okay. Right, and it’s…

Rosie: I don’t think that Dumbledore would be able to see through the Cloak when the Cloak is meant to hide…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: …people from Death.

Kat: And it blocks spells and all that other stuff, yeah.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: Yeah. One last thought on it is that Steve Vander Ark on his episode, when he came to be on our show, he talked about how some powerful magical objects have a certain connection with each other, and that maybe Dumbledore somehow was… could tap into that power of magical objects connecting. Because otherwise, there are just too many coincidences. That’s another theory, that’s his theory…

Kat: I mean, he does have the Elder Wand, so…

Noah: Right, he does have that…

Rosie: That’s true.

Noah: …so maybe he could sense some kind of connection. I don’t know, I just feel that he studied those objects so deeply that maybe he just had a sense about it. But that about wraps up the chapter for me.

Kat: Great, so let’s move into our special feature which is Pottermore, In Depth, of course. We’re going to start out with a little bit from Chapter 12. We’re going to cover this obviously because these chapters were not open for the last episode. So, the bit of new information we got was about Polyjuice Potion – it was in Chapter 12, Moment 2 – and I thought that this… I mean, we touched on this briefly earlier, but the Pottermore information says:

“The effect of the potion is only temporary, and depending on how well it has been brewed, may last anything from between ten minutes and twelve hours. You can change age, sex, and race by taking the Polyjuice Potion, but not species.

The fact that Hermione is able to make a competent Polyjuice Potion at the age of twelve is testimony to her outstanding magical ability because it is a potion that many adult witches and wizards fear to attempt.”

So, like I said, I know we talked about this briefly before, but what do we think that this says about exactly how well Hermione made the potion, since it only lasted an hour?

Noah: Well, clearly she made it great, but she does kind of transfer into a different species, or at least in part. What do you think of that? It seems like even if you’re going to make the human potion…

Rosie: She stays human but she kind of gets feline characteristics. So, she doesn’t actually change species. She kind of mutates within the human species.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Like a bad transfiguration.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: I just think it’s cool that it’s even possible.

Kat: Well, I don’t… this is saying that it’s not possible, that she screwed it up, that that was a mistake.

Noah: No, but even that it’s possible with a cat hair that taking this potion allows you to mutate.

Rosie: But it’s dangerous because it doesn’t wear off, as we see by the fact that Hermione is in hospital for two months.

Noah: Right.

Rosie: It’s not a general Polyjuice Potion if you use the wrong species.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: But it does answer your question from last time, Noah, the idea of changing age, sex and race, but never personality. So, you can change your appearance but you can’t change anything else.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: But it begs the idea of transgender people would be able to change…

Kat: Oh.

Rosie: …their sex using this potion.

Kat: Cheaper than surgery.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Well, that’s the idea. It seems like if you…

Rosie: But they would have to constantly use it, like, twice a day.

Terrance: Carry a flask with you all the time. Yeah.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: We’ll see Barty Crouch, Jr. do that, but it seems if you perpetually just drink it you could just legitimately be another person. But you wouldn’t be your own person. You would be the physicality of another existing person.

Terrance: Right.

Rosie: True.

Noah: A clone.

Terrance: Exactly.

Kat: Yeah, just your appearance. It doesn’t change your thoughts or your heart or any of that.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: No.

Kat: What was I going to say? Oh, so there’s been a lot of talk about Hermione’s kind of inability to make a perfect potion, and I feel like this kind of speaks to that again. Because later, again in Book 6, when Harry is making the potions with the Half-Blood Prince’s book and Hermione’s just never come out quite as well. So, there was a lot of talk about that on the forums. What do you guys think?

Terrance: Do you think she bites off more than what she can chew? I mean, because of the fact that she’s twelve years old and trying to brew this Polyjuice Potion, this very, very advanced potion brewing – potion making – and I think that it’s just… as we were saying earlier, she’s an overachiever. She wants to overachieve everything and she wants to go for the hard stuff whenever it comes to school. I mean, she takes all these classes and things like that, but…

Rosie: It highlights both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: Because her greatest strength is her intelligence and her kind of willingness to learn all of these things, but her greatest weakness is not having the natural skill to adapt them.

Terrance: Mhm.

Rosie: We see that Lily Potter is a natural… well, Lily Evans, even at that point… is a natural potions mistress. She can adapt things. Is it potions or is it something else?

Kat: Charms.

Rosie: Charms. She can invent her own charms. She can adapt them in ways that suit her own personality and she can bring her own kind of magic to her skill. Whereas Hermione follows everything by the book and cannot use her own flair with these things.

Noah: Exactly.

Terrance: Yeah.

Kat: But she’s very good at making blue fires.

Rosie: This is true.

Kat: I remember reading this on the forums. Somebody commented about how certain wizards have kind of specialties, something that they do really, really well, and they were asking about, do they think it kind of speaks about that person’s personality as to what they lean towards.

Rosie: Yeah, we discussed Hermione’s fires last time.

Kat: Right, and Lockhart with his memory charms and all of that. So…

Rosie: Sure.

Kat: Yeah, I just think that this is an area where she’s kind of lacking, unfortunately. Poor Hermione. [laughs] The next bit of information we get is in Chapter 14, Moment 1. This was really the only bit of new information in the last couple of chapters – which I was disappointed about – but it’s about ghosts. It says:

“Muggles cannot come back as ghosts, and the wisest witches and wizards choose not to. It is those with ‘unfinished business,’ whether in the form of fear, guilt, regrets, or overt attachment to the material world, who refuse to move on to the next dimension.”

And this, again, made me think about the nun witches at the Deathday Party, and did they perhaps have some regrets in their lifetime or maybe guilt? Maybe they hid the fact that they were witches from the congregation and that’s why they kind of came back as ghosts instead.

Rosie: Or even fear of the afterlife. I mean, if they were nuns and they have this religious belief, you could be afraid that that was wrong throughout your lifetime and…

Noah: Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Rosie: …your death would be the ultimate decision moment.

Kat: But isn’t part of your – quote, unquote – job as a nun is to believe in the afterlife?

Noah: You can believe in it, but that doesn’t mean that you have unfinished business with the real world.

Rosie: No, I mean, you can believe in it but have that kind of uncertainty within you and then that kind of builds up to the moment of fear that maybe you’ve devoted your entire life to something that might not necessarily be correct. At the point of death, you may choose not to find out the answer to that and to stay around instead.

Kat: Well, then I feel like they fail as nuns because I feel like they’re supposed to have this… what’s the word I’m looking for?

Rosie: Or ultimately, you could say that their unfinished business would be that they’ve devoted their entire life to their convent, to their practice of, kind of, devotion in that way. So, by becoming ghosts and having this unfinished business, they could be devoting their afterlife to the same practice. So, it’s the ultimate devotion by spending both time spans of life.

Kat: Wow. Okay, so they still carry out their nun-ish duties as ghosts, you’re saying.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Well, is it a secret continual duty or are they staying on earth because they… because all throughout their life they wanted that other life. They felt like they were missing out on…

Kat: Right.

Noah: …not being committed.

Kat: All of the above, perhaps. [laughs]

Rosie: Who knows. [laughs]

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Another paragraph in the ghosts section said:

“Ghosts can pass through solid objects without causing damage to themselves or the material, but create disturbances in water, fire, and air. The temperature drops in the immediate vicinity of a ghost, an effect intensified if many congregate in the same place. Their appearance can also turn flames blue. Should part or all of a ghost pass through a living creature, the latter will experience a freezing sensation as though they have been plunged into ice-cold water.”

So, I actually just caught that. So, was Myrtle in the bathroom? Was she in that toilet? Because the flames under the Polyjuice are blue. I’m just saying. [laughs] But my real question was, it made me think of the Mandrake Draught and Nick, so do you think that perhaps they have a tub full of Mandrake Draught and they kind of float Nick through it? Because he can affect the liquid, but the liquid can’t affect him. So…

Noah: I’m just thinking about how many Mandrakes were killed to make that bathtub.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: No, but really. What do you…

Noah: But in all seriousness, yeah, that seems right. Because if they can affect water in a way, and it seems like water has a… there’s some sort of crossover between ghost and real world dimensions so that would be the way it happens, you know?

Terrance: Mhm.

Noah: Or maybe a watery mist is spritzed on to him again. I can see that.

Kat: No, but that’s… see, that’s the liquid affecting Nick. I think he’d have to be floated through it somehow.

Noah: Right. Oh, he has to be… go through it so that it can…

Kat: Right, he has to affect the liquid, not the other way around.

Noah: Oh! Oh, I see what you’re saying.

Rosie: Where does it say that, sorry? They can create disturbances in water, fire, and air.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Where does it say that the water can’t affect?

Kat: I’m assuming that it can’t. [laughs] How’s that?

Rosie: [laughs] I think that there are kind of… they can go through solid objects fine. Nothing happens. But anything with a bit more kind of viscosity would kind of bend around them, I guess is what I’m thinking.

Terrance: I would… yeah.

Rosie: So, whether water was put on him or whether he goes through water, it will have the same effect.

Kat: I guess I was thinking kind of like the book when Myrtle… if you substitute the book for water and you throw water at her, it’s going to fly right…

Rosie: But the book is a solid object whereas water is liquid.

Kat: But it’s still solid.

Rosie: It’s liquid.

Noah: Are ghosts gases?

Terrance: Maybe… yeah. I mean, I’m thinking maybe it has… they could administer it as some kind of a mist.

Rosie: Yeah.

Terrance: That way whenever they float through they affect the mist, I think.

Noah: And by nature – by virtue – get affected.

Rosie: It’s like osmosis.

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Or ghostmosis.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Ghostmosis.

Noah: Sorry. [laughs]

Kat: Well, I mean…

Noah: That was… [unintelligible]

Kat: …that’s it. Unfortunately there wasn’t too much new info in the Pottermore stuff but what we did get was interesting, so…

Terrance: Yeah.

Rosie: Definitely.

Noah: Yeah, certainly. All right. So, now moving onto the podcast question of the week, guys?

Kat: Go for it.

Noah: Okay. [laughs] So, we talked a lot about the diary Horcrux and how it functions. And we didn’t really talk about this but it’s a lot like a Pensieve, right? You’re able to go in and see past memories. On so many levels, the diary seems very different from other Horcruxes that Voldemort has created when you think about them throughout the series, in that it can actually take Ginny’s soul into it at a certain point and then rebuild itself in a way or become a new soul. And it’s been proffered by people and the hosts that that was because Voldemort was way more connected to the diary. Or because it was his first Horcrux, there was more of him in it to begin with. So, our question to everybody is how is the diary Horcrux different from the other Horcruxes, if it is at all? Is it just because it had… was made in different circumstances? Or is it because it had more of Voldemort’s soul in it to begin with? Or maybe for another reason? Just… basically, so our question is, do you think the diary Horcrux is different from the other Horcruxes fundamentally or no? And we’ll read some of your responses on the next episode of Alohomora!.

Rosie: Well, brilliant. Thank you very much, Terrance, for joining us. You were a great guest. I hope you enjoyed it.

Terrance: Oh, thanks a lot. It was a lot of fun, guys. Definitely a new kind of experience for me and just again thank you so much. I had a lot of fun.

Kat: Good. Yeah, we’re glad you were here. And if anyone listening wants to be on the show much like Terrance, you can… there’s several ways you can do that. The first is you can email a clip to alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. It should be of you picking apart the book just like we do because if we have you on the show we need to know that you can analyze, of course. And also you need to make sure that you have appropriate audio and recording equipment to send in your clip. And the other was is by submitting content on the Alohomora! website. As you’ve noticed, we read emails from there, we comment, we have conversations. So, if you’re on there all the time and you’re commenting we’re going to notice you and we’ll probably invite you on the show.

Noah: And you can also follow us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN. We love to interact with fans on Twitter and just read your immediate insights from the show. Yeah, it’s just such a great form to do it. You can also find us on Facebook,

Kat: And we want friends, not followers. I’m just saying.

[Terrance laughs]

Noah: Right.

Kat: We’re the opposite of Voldemort. [laughs]

Noah: And we can immediately update you when a new show is released. You can also follow us…

Rosie: Well, we do like followers on Twitter as well. [laughs]

Kat: Well, that’s true. We do. [laughs]

Rosie: We want friends and followers.

Kat: Right.

Noah: We’re not very picky.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: And you can also, I don’t know, follow or share with us on Tumblr, You can leave us voicemail messages at 206-GO-ALBUS or 206-462-5287. We really like to hear what you guys say directly through your voicemails and we’ll play them on the shows sometimes. We also have our personal website, You can find the forums there, you can find the submit form if you want to send us quibbles and artwork. And of course our email, alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com, for all of your messages. If you have any queries about the show, we’re happy to get back to you.

Rosie: And we also have our fantastic app which is available in the US for iPhone and Android, but in the UK it’s only for iPhone, I’m afraid. And that’s $1.99 or 99 pence, and there are transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and much, much more on the app. So, make sure you check it out.

Noah: And don’t forget, you can also subscribe to us on iTunes and leave us a review there because that’s where we get a big bulk of our listeners and it’s great. If you like the show, rate and review us and we’d love to read and get your feedback.

Kat: And just one more time, we want to remind you that we are now offering low bandwidth versions of the show. They’re exclusively on our archives at and they start with Episode 10 which is our first Chamber of Secrets episode. They are still currently not available on iTunes. They may be in the future, we’ll let you know if that changes, but head over to the website to download them directly to your computer.

Noah: Okay, I do believe now after a long episode that’s the end of the show.

[Show music begins]

Noah: I’m Noah Fried.

Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 16 of Alohomora!.

Noah: Open the Dumbledore!

Terrance: Oh, yeah!

[Show music continues]

Kat: She probably sings them love songs or something, okay? She loves those Mandrakes.

Terrance: I’m sure she does.

[Kat and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Oh, she loves them all right.

[Noah and Terrance laugh]

Noah: Anyway, I actually brought… I bring Mandrakes up in my chapter, so we can talk about that a little later.

Kat: Sure. Or not.

[Prolonged silence]

Terrance: …episodes at least fifteen to twenty times.

Noah: Oh!

Rosie: I’m recording again now.

Kat: Great.

Noah: Okay.

Rosie: Do you want to do another sync thing?

Kat: Yeah, let’s do another sync.

Noah: Good idea. One…

Kat: Same as before. Go ahead, Noah.

Noah: Clap on four.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Okay.

Noah: One, two, three.

[Everyone claps]

Kat: Oh, that was pretty good.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I think that’s probably good.

Noah: Okay.

Kat: Sorry, editors!

Rosie: Sorry about that. [laughs] Sorry about that, guys!

Noah: So, Rosie, do you want to respond to the unethical use of Mandrakes?

Kat: No. Let’s…

Rosie: Yes! I was yelling my head off over here, but you guys couldn’t hear me.

Kat: Oh, okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: Be just as passionate.

[Prolonged silence]

Noah: I was singing in my head.

Kat: I’m sure you were.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: As you can imagine. 238?

Kat: Mhm. This is the longest episode ever.

Rosie: It will be edited down. It’ll be fine.

Noah: Yeah, people like it.

Kat: I know.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: People like it. It’s good. It’s a good show. You all right, Terrance?

Rosie: Maybe we should only do one chapter. They’re kind of more packed than they used to be.

Kat: Oh, if we do that then I have to restructure everything. We have to do two.

Rosie: That’s true.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Fair enough.

Noah: Well, what if we do?

Kat: No.

Noah: What if we do some episodes with just one chapter?

Kat: No.

Noah: In the future.

Kat: Oh, for bigger…

Rosie: [unintelligible]

Kat: For bigger books, yeah. I definitely think…

Rosie: Because I think we found that last week as well. We skipped so much of the chapters last week, but it was already a two-hour episode at the end.

Kat: Right.

Noah: We could tell… and we’ll have so many more episodes. Okay, here it is.