Transcript – Episode 30

[Show music plays]

Noah Fried: Hey, guys. Welcome to our live show of Alohomora! at MISTI-Con. Who’s excited for the show?

[Audience cheers]

Caleb Graves: Yeah!

Noah: Okay. If you guys could make as much noise as possible during the show to generate sound, that would be excellent.

Laura Reilly: [laughs] Oh, dear.

Noah: That’s great. So I’m Noah Fried.

Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.

Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Laura: So how is everyone enjoying MISTI-Con so far?

[Audience cheers]

Laura: We’re super excited to be here.

Caleb: What has been your favorite thing about MISTI-Con so far? Someone tell us.

Laura: Shout it out. Anybody.

Audience Member: The rock.

Caleb: The rock?

Laura: Wizard rock?

Audience Member: Yes.

Laura: Yeah, that was last night.

Caleb: Oh, okay. Yeah. Who else hit up wizard rock last night?

[Audience cheers]

Caleb: Awesome.

Noah: Who came out to Jeopardy?

Audience Member: Me!

[Caleb laughs]

Noah: That’s right.

Laura: Yeah, Caleb participated in Jeopardy. Got second place?

Kat: Second place.

Laura: Second place.

Caleb: I can live with it.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

[Audience applauds]

Kat: Yeah! So you guys may notice there’s an empty chair and we’re super excited to have a really special guest with us here today. You guys may know her from Doctor Who. She was in “The Snowmen” special and, of course, Harry Potter. She played young Lily. Ellie Darcey-Alden!

[Audience cheers]

Kat: Yay! Thanks for joining us! Good morning.

Caleb: And rocking the Alohomora! shirt too. Nice.

Laura: Looking great. [laughs]

Noah: Have you been enjoying MISTI-Con, Ellie?

Ellie Darcey-Alden: I love it so far. It’s been really excitable. I can’t wait.

Noah: Has there ever been an intensive Harry Potter experience like this that you’ve had before?

Ellie: I went to LeakyCon in 2011 in Orlando, but I love this. It’s such a nice environment and everyone is so kind and caring. It’s just brilliant.

Caleb: So for those of you who haven’t… how many of you guys have listened to our show before? Alohomora!?

Laura: Oh, wow.

Caleb: All right, so we have some listeners. How many of you guys this is your first Alohomora! experience? Awesome. That’s really exciting. So just to give you an idea for those of you who aren’t familiar, what we do on Alohomora! is we are doing a global re-read of the Harry Potter series. So we decided that now that the books and movies are over, we really needed something to bring back the magic of Harry Potter and we decided what better way than to go back through the books, now week by week. One chapter at a time to really dive back into the magic of Harry Potter. So right now, we are in Prisoner of Azkaban and we’re pretty close to wrapping Prisoner of Azkaban up. We’re just a little over one year of having our show together. So we’re really excited to continue that with you guys here today.

Laura: Yeah, so if you haven’t listened to the show before, like we said, we’re on Prisoner of Azkaban. So you can go listen to every episode we’ve discussed of Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and we’re up to Chapter 19 on Prisoner of Azkaban, which is “The Servant of Lord Voldemort” that we’ll be doing next week.

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: But right now, we’re going to keep it a bit more in general and the show talking about a few of the main topics that we’ve kind of determined from Prisoner of Azkaban.

Kat: Some of the theories that are really big on our forums that we just can’t take four hours and talk about on the show.

Laura: Right, yeah. [laughs]

Kat: So we’re going to talk about it here.

Laura: So that’s kind of the rundown of the show. We’re going to be talking about these topics. But a big thing we want you guys to be thinking of, you guys are welcome to come up to the mics and give comments if you have anything, but be thinking of “What If?” questions on the show – we feature a “What If?”, just any hypothetical question, be thinking of them because towards the end of the show we want to ask you guys…

Kat: Some good questions.

Laura: …to comment them.

Kat: Yeah. So should we jump right in?

Caleb: Yeah, let’s do it.

Kat: Okay, so the first topic we’re going to talk about is [pronounces with a hard “g”] Animagi.

Laura: Okay.

Kat: How do you guys say it?

Laura: This is the hot debate of [pronounces with a hard “g”] Animagi versus [pronounces with a soft “g”] Animagi. We’ve been fighting about it…

Kat: For days.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Audience Member: It’s Jim Dale versus Stephen Fry.

Laura: That’s what I said! Yeah, it’s the two audiobooks that are making everyone on the divide.

Kat: Right.

Laura: So we’re going to say… we determined [pronounces with a hard “g”] Animagi.

Kat: Animagi.

Caleb: Animagi.

Laura: All right.

Kat: Is that how you say it?

Ellie: [pronounces with a hard “g”] Animagi.

Kat: Animagi.

Laura: [laughs] Okay.

Kat: Okay, perfect.

Noah: First question: What would Dumbledore do if he found out that they were trying to become Animagi? And this refers to the original Marauders. So if you go back to the books, Lupin actually talks about how Dumbledore had no idea. But what if he secretly knew that this was happening at the time? What do you guys think?

Laura: Do you think that he truly had no idea? Or do you think that he because… I get the impression Dumbledore has a very soft spot for Lupin in that he was able to give him this solace and that how lonely Lupin was. I almost feel like he would kind of turn a blind eye towards his friends becoming Animagi, as a way to just make sure that Lupin had company.

Kat: Yeah, I agree.

Laura: I find it hard to believe that Dumbledore just didn’t know. At least to some capacity that something was happening.

Caleb: So that means Dumbledore is covering up for these underage, unregistered Animagi. And yeah, so… because this would not have been legal for them to be Animagi.

Kat: Well, he has no problem keeping secrets.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: We all know that.

Caleb: It’s just another way that Dumbledore is being a little shady out there.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: So…

Laura: Yeah, I also think that if that’s true that he didn’t kind of know… I would get the impression that Animagi, turning into one, is a rather dangerous process since you’re transforming yourself, transforming everything about you, into a different species. It might have been irresponsible. Unless… perhaps he truly didn’t know.

Caleb: Well, that makes me think that maybe Dumbledore even helped them and we know Dumbledore was a Transfiguration professor before he was Headmaster. So maybe he even helped them become…

Kat: That would have been overstepping some bounds.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: [laughs] For sure.

Laura: Yeah, I think… he turns a blind eye towards a lot of the stuff Harry does, even in condoning the time travel towards the end of Prisoner with Sirius and Buckbeak and everything. He kind of says it and then he’s like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” when they come back. So he tends to let people do things and just kind of be like, “I didn’t see it.”

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah. That kind of… we were talking about Animagi and Patronuses last night because obviously this book has a lot to do with those two things, and we realized that… I think we decided we had two characters who we know both things for…

Laura: Right.

Caleb: …and we know that Minerva McGonagall’s is a cat, for her Patronus and her Animagus form. And the same thing for James Potter. He has a stag both times. So we don’t know really any other characters for sure what their Patronus and their Animagus form is because obviously there are very few Animagi in the series. So we were thinking, would they always be the same for a person? If you were an Animagus, would your Animagus form and your Patronus form always be the same? So maybe this is a really great time for you guys in the audience to come share what you think.

Kat: Yeah, what would your Animagus be?

Noah: Does somebody want to come up to the microphone?

Laura: Feel free…

Kat: Yeah, go ahead.

Laura: Yeah, come up to this microphone over here.

Audience Member: Hi, I just wanted to say that I don’t think it’s true that it’s always the same because Snape’s was a doe and I don’t think he would have a doe Animagi… Animagus. Whatever.

[Audience Member and Kat laugh]

Audience Member: You got me all confused on how to pronounce it.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Kat: Sorry.

Audience Member: Yeah, and also about what you said, Dumbledore turning a blind eye, I don’t think he would have turned a completely blind eye because it is really dangerous. So I think he might have done what he did when Harry was going to the Mirror of Erised. He made himself invisible and watched in case something bad happened.

Kat: Oh.

Laura: Interesting.

Audience Member: And then he could have fixed it. Because he is the Transfiguration Master, so he could have done that. And I think my Patronus would be a black mamba snake.

Laura: Wow.

Kat: Wow.

Noah: Nice.

Laura: Pretty intense.

Kat: If you were an Animagi, would you turn into that as well?

Audience Member: Yeah, I think that probably it would.

Kat: Do you think so?

Audience Member: Yeah. Although my friend thinks I would be a panther. I don’t know why. [laughs]

Kat: Oh.

Caleb: So I’m going to give you a follow-up. I agree that Snape would probably not be a doe…

[Audio feedback occurs]

Laura: Oh, gosh.

Caleb: Lord.

Noah: We’re getting some weird feedback.

Caleb: So what do you think Snape’s Animagus form would be, if he was one?

Audience Member: Well, I mean a lot of people would say he might be a bat.

Caleb: Right.

Laura: That’s what I was thinking.

Audience Member: But I think he would… I was thinking he could be a lion because I feel like Snape probably could have gone to Gryffindor if he wasn’t so sneaky and I thought minds were kind of [unintelligible] and stuff like that. But I never… I’m just not sure. Yeah.

Caleb: That’s fair. Awesome, thanks.

Noah: So that’s interesting. So if Snape’s Patronus is a doe, that makes me think that are all Patronuses the opposite gender of what you are? Or does that mean that there’s something essentially feminine about Snape? I mean, we know that the doe…

Kat: Here we go.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Noah: Here we go, guys!

Caleb: Listeners will know this is that moment in the show.

Noah: We know that the doe refers to Lily, right? The fact that he loves Lily and that’s probably her because James’s is a stag. But are Patronuses kind of like… what’s that series? The Dark Materials series, you have the…

Caleb: Daemons.

Noah: Right, daemons are the opposite gender. So do we think that all Patronuses could be the opposite gender of the character? I don’t know.

Audience Member: Hate to poke a hole in this theory, but Harry’s is a stag. Stags are male, Harry is male. End of story, you got shut down.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: Well, fine then.

Caleb: Shut down!

Noah: Then why is…

Audience Member: Is Harry really a male?

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Right. Yes.

Caleb: Look what you have just started.

Kat: Yeah. Thanks, Keith.

Noah: Well, I have some theories about that, but I’m not going to get into that. But the fact that Snape’s is a doe, do we think that gender even comes into play, or is it really arbitrary?

Kat: Arbitrary.

Caleb: I don’t think it comes into play because you have a lot of animals that’s not set up like the deer, like you have a doe and a stag. Not all animals are set up to where you have a binary gender like that.

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Specifically in their name.

Laura: Yeah. We discussed on a previous episode the possibility of the Patronus being more of a representation of who you are at the time because we know that they can change – Tonks’s changed for Lupin and everything – but that the Animagus wouldn’t change. If something about you would change, you’d still be in that Animagus form.

Kat: That’s stuck forever, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. So we were discussing the possibility of the Patronus being how you’re portraying yourself at the time and the Animagus being your true essence. And then in some cases those might be the same thing. If people are truly being themselves, it might be the same thing. But if someone changes pretty drastically, their Patronus might reflect that.

Kat: Ellie, do you know what yours would be? Your Patronus or your Animagus form?

Ellie: I’m not sure about my Animagus form, but I think that I would probably stick with the silver doe because it’s sort of my inner personality, I guess. They can be quite fierce and out there, but then they’re also quite content and shy sometimes. I think I’d probably keep the silver doe for my Patronus, but I’m not sure about my Animagus. I’m really not because I have so many characteristics I could be any animal in the world.

Laura: I have another question for you. We were also discussing on an episode just how strange I found it that there’s so few registered Animagi. It seems like it’s such an awesome thing to be able to transform into an animal – all the different things you can do that humans can’t – but yet, all these powerful wizards don’t really do it. We only really know of McGonagall as a registered one.

Noah: But do they really?

Laura: Well, that’s what we said. There could be unregistered ones. But would you turn into an Animagus if you were a wizard? Do you see an appeal in it?

Ellie: I think that sometimes it’s a really good thing to get away with because if you need to sneak out of somewhere or go somewhere and you’re needed for capturing, then it’s a perfect opportunity. But it can also be really dangerous. I think Dumbledore was quite concerned when Lupin’s friends tried to turn into Animagi, but I think he did turn a blind eye because he knew that they were helping him in a way. So I think if I was given the opportunity, I might take it. But it’s also really dangerous, so I don’t think I would know what to do.

Laura: I just thought of the fact that Lupin had been struggling all year with telling Dumbledore that Sirius was an unregistered Animagus. So it makes me think, Lupin kind of genuinely believes that Dumbledore had no idea since he had been struggling with that conflict.

Kat: Right.

Laura: So yeah, I do think it’s a possibility that Dumbledore didn’t have an idea. I know that the Weasley twins joked that some of the more simple things and people – not as much attention is put towards them. Maybe Dumbledore didn’t necessarily think they were capable of it because we don’t really get the impression that they’re very studious or talented wizards until later.

Kat: Very true.

Caleb: So real quick, let’s say what our Patronus forms would be.

Laura: And Animagus?

Caleb: And Animagus.

Kat: I think both of mine would be a cat.

Noah: I mean, what do you guys think? Do you think the Patronus and Animagus forms are pretty much the same? Because we see this consistency throughout the books. “No, we don’t see this consistency throughout the books,” Rebecca is telling me.

Audience Member: No, no, it’s just that I can’t imagine Rita Skeeter’s Patronus being a bug.

Kat: [laughs] A bug. That’s so true. How effective would that be?

Laura: Picture that versus a Dementor.

Noah: I mean, you’d have to… it would kind of like shoot through the Dementor, but a bug isn’t going to really ward off a Dementor.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah.

Audience Member: Unless it’s a huge bug.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: [laughs] The cicadas.

Caleb: The cicadas are coming. [laughs]

Laura: The cicadas are coming.

Kat: I think both mine would be a cat. I just do.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: It fits me.

Noah: And your name.

Kat: Well no, just a coincidence. Yeah.

[Caleb and Laura laugh]

Laura: Noah, what’s yours?

Noah: I’d be a bunny rabbit.

Caleb: For both?

Noah: For both.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Yeah.

Laura: And Caleb and I are arguing because both of us want to be wolves.

Caleb: Well, I think actually mine would be different between the two. I feel like my Patronus is an Arctic wolf. I’ve always had that…

Laura: So have I! [laughs]

Caleb: …since I started reading Harry Potter, since we got to this book.

Noah: That’s very specific.

Caleb: Yeah, it is.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Caleb: So that’s how I know [from] Harry Potter that magic is real. But I actually think my Animagus form would be a falcon because I would want to fly.

Kat: That’s cool. It’s funny that you brought up Rita Skeeter because we were talking about what would happen if someone stepped on her. First, would they be punished?

Caleb: Celebration. [laughs]

Kat: Well, how would they be punished for that? Would they go to Azkaban? Because if they step on her and she’s dead, they’ve technically killed someone. Go ahead, what do you think?

Audience Member: Well, I was just going to say… if you think about it, Barty Crouch Jr. was able to be replaced by his mother because she died while under Polyjuice Potion, [and] she still looked like him. So I think if someone died in their Animagus form, then they might just stay dead in their Animagus form. I don’t think they would transform back into a human.

Caleb: So the question about that though is, after Barty’s mom died after the Polyjuice Potion wore off…

Audience Member: It doesn’t wear off if you’re dead.

Caleb: Say what?

Audience Member: It doesn’t wear off if you’re dead.

Caleb: Do we know that for sure?

[Two audience members argue about Dementors]

[Kat laughs]

Laura: Maybe it wasn’t… maybe she was buried before it wore off.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering. Let’s go dig her up.

Laura: [laughs] Oh, God.

Caleb: Let’s go find her. [laughs]

Kat: Oh, God. Let’s not go there. [laughs] Should we move on to time travel?

Laura: Do you want to read this comment?

Noah: Should we move on to time travel, or should we move back?

Caleb: Well, we have this comment from our forums. Do we want to read that?

Kat: Oh. Yeah, go ahead.

Caleb: So if you guys don’t know, we have a really awesome set of forums that you can discuss the show on. And we actually… every episode we pull a few comments from the forums, show what other people are thinking. And this one comes from a user whose username is Dream_Quaffle, and the comment says:

“There’s no way to know for sure since we never actually see a character die in their Animagus form. In Chapter 20 of PoA, Sirius tries to ward off Lupin the werewolf in his Animagus form and is forced to transform back into a human after he gets hurt. I don’t know if it’s easier to cope with pain in human form than it is when you are transformed into an animal, but I think it is most likely that if a person is badly injured then they would find it difficult to focus on anything else, including maintaining a state of transformation. Going along these lines, depending on how a person might be killed while they are in Animagus form, the pain of it might force them to transform back into a human and then die.”

Kat: So you think it’s a conscious effort – that’s what this person is saying – to stay in Animagus form?

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Also, obviously none of us knows what it feels like to be an animal and be injured. But depending on your form, if you were to get injured, perhaps it would affect you more as an animal if you’re smaller, if you have not as thick skin. Put it this way: Pettigrew is a rat, he’s much… he can get stepped on, essentially, and be hurt pretty badly. Versus a stag, which could still get hurt, but it takes a bit more effort or force. Maybe the pain of getting injured as an animal is more painful than a human, and that’s why they might choose to switch back.

Noah: Hey, what about even Sirius with the Dementors back? He was able to… his pain wasn’t so much as you recall because he was living in Azkaban as a dog for most of the time, and that’s how he was able to bear a lot of the sucky feelings that they were giving him.

Laura: Well no, he got injured by the werewolf. So it was physical injury.

Noah: Right, but I’m just talking in terms of… I wonder if you’re in Animagus form if pain itself is, as you’re saying, not as much because you are in an animal form versus a human form.

Laura: So you’re saying mental anguish because of the Dementors?

Noah: Maybe mental anguish is slightly less because you’re… I mean, it’s kind of tough if you’re an animal. You’re still really trying desperately to survive.

Laura: I’m pretty sure… I don’t know if this was on a… if we just decided this or if it was on Pottermore or something, but you maintain human thought. Which makes me feel like you have a human brain and thinking capacity that you don’t take on.

Noah: I feel like it’s the other way. I feel like you become kind of like a dog. Talia, do you want to come up to the mic so that your comment can be heard?

Audience Member: Well, actually on that subject, in Fantastic Beasts and Where to… no, it’s Quidditch Through the Ages, they’re talking about how people, before they had brooms, they couldn’t fly. Because even if they were transfigured into a bat, they wouldn’t have human thought, which they mention was different from the Animagus form where you do retain human thought. And that’s just sort of a side note in Quidditch Through the Ages, that it’s different from…

Noah: Oh.

Audience Member: When you’re transfigured into an animal, like when Malfoy is transfigured into a ferret, he had a ferret’s mindset because he might have some of his human thoughts but he was mostly a ferret. But when McGonagall turns into a cat, she can remember things. Like in Philosopher’s Stone, she’s sitting on that brick wall all day and she’s observing the Muggles, and she can see Dudley going down the street, and she understands that he’s screaming for sweets and stuff. So obviously you do retain human thought when…

Noah: You’re absolutely right. Yup.

Laura: We never really talked about the fact that Malfoy had been transformed into a ferret. It seems the spell Moody or Crouch does seems rather simple for how much he’s just transformed into a ferret. It seems kind of simple. How is that different from transforming into an Animagus?

Noah: So that means that Draco’s mind completely became a ferret mind in that instance and he really was a ferret. But Talia, you’re absolutely right. Give her a hand.

[Audience applauds]

Noah: I’m going to take a step back. Usually I go on tangents and my ideas are like, “It’s got to be this,” but you’re exactly right. But then I still feel the fact that Pettigrew was a rat for so long and Sirius was a dog for so long, I feel like in the books they each became kind of like that animal in a way. Especially when they were back into human form, it was like Pettigrew was kind of rat-ish. So it’s as if once you spend enough time in that form, your human mind becomes more animal. Talia, you’re great. Does anybody else from the audience have a thought?

Kat: Go ahead.

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Maggie. What I was thinking about was that it seemed like Animagi were like personalities specifically… I’ve been studying psychology, and the Patronuses were more like the specific traits that you had during life, which is why the Animagus would stay the same and the Patronus would be changing. So to continue on what we were talking about, the reason that someone would be more animal-like would be that their personality would be more fitting of the animal that they were in. And if they spend more time within that personality rather than developing human traits, they would become more basic and instinctual, I think.

Noah: And where does the human brain go? I mean, feasibly it’s the same-sized brain but shrunk so that it can fit into that animal body.

Audience Member: I think that has something to do with biology and genes. We all have all the animals in our genes, which sort of disproves one of your…

Noah: Wait, what do mean by that?

Audience Member: All of the genes… they’ve done this with chicken eggs, actually, where they’ve made chickens into dinosaurs and that means that all of the animals pretty much in the biological tree are in our genes. And so I think when a wizard turns into an Animagus, they are switching their genes to the specific animal that they are turning into, and depending on their personality, some genes are more accessible than others, which is how we get specific Animagi.

Noah: Please everybody, give her a hand. That was really cool.

[Audience applauds]

Caleb: I’m pretty sure we’ve just seen Charles Darwin rattling in his grave, though.

Noah: Ooh.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: So yeah, I think we should probably move on to time travel now, which is…

Laura: My least favorite. [laughs]

Caleb: …something that really has taken off in the forums. We have a huge discussion going on about time travel.

Kat: Oh, my goodness.

Laura: It makes my brain hurt so badly.

Caleb: Yeah…

Kat: It’s like twenty-two pages long. No joke.

Laura: And every comment is novel size and everyone keeps going on.

Caleb: Yeah, because obviously this book brings in this element of time travel. We see it happening throughout the series. We learn [later] that Hermione has being doing it the whole time, but then it plays a huge role in resolving the conflict in the book. You got something?

Noah: Yeah, so in terms of time travel, should I go into our theories? Okay, so when you think about time travel there are several science fiction and fantasy series that deal with it over the years. And there are certain… there are two dominant theories about it. So you either have multiple universe theory, which is that every single time time travel happens, in each moment a new universe is created, and therefore parallel timelines are created and are pre-existing in some sort of parallel landscape. Or you have the idea that there is merely one timeline, and every time you use a time travel device and you go back in time, you always would have done that. So say Harry goes back in time before he was born. It would just so work that in the single timeline, Harry was there in 1945 watching Grindelwald and Dumbledore fight or something and then was also born later, within the same timeline. So as you can imagine… I mean, that’s somewhat clear to me, but I’m sure that it’s still kind of iffy.

Laura: It’s the opposite of clear to me.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Noah: Opposite of clear to Laura. In terms of how this kind of time works in the Harry Potter series, I believe it’s the latter one. There’s no multiple universe. It’s that Ron…

Kat: Circular.

Noah: It’s the sort of circular theory that Harry and Hermione would have always gone back. And it’s kind of in this loop because it keeps happening over and over again within that time. How does that… so Ellie, you know a little bit about time because you were on Doctor Who.

Ellie: Mhm.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: What do you think about the time travel in Harry Potter versus Doctor Who?

Ellie: Doctor Who is quite different, I think, because you go back in time but they’ve never been to that place before. So the Doctor can go back in time to another universe where he has never visited. So he won’t see himself and have to worry [about] get[ting] caught.

Noah: Mhm.

Ellie: But in Harry Potter they are always worrying where they are at that point because they can’t be caught by them because then everything will go wrong. So I think it’s quite different in that point in a way, but it’s also really similar because sometimes they go back for fun – the Doctor – and then they end up getting in a big mess, and everything happens. But then in Harry Potter they go back for a specific reason: To get something accomplished.

Noah: That’s right.

Ellie: So I think it’s different, but then it’s similar in other ways.

Noah: And with time travel, if you do something, you change something, it’s going to have drastic potential consequences.

Laura: It’s like the butterfly effect.

Noah: Yes.

Kat: What would you guys do if you saw yourselves? Like on accident.

Noah: I’d kill him. I’d kill him in cold blood. That’s just me.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: You would not.

Laura: Well…

Caleb: I feel like I would have to have a conversation. I would have a lot of questions. I’d just want to talk.

Laura: I would just want to observe for a while my mannerisms, and just sit back and critique myself, “Oh, gosh.” Exactly what I love in the movie: Hermione where she says, “Does my hair really look like that from the back?”

Caleb: Oh, yeah. That was [unintelligible].

[Noah laughs]

Laura: That’s all I would be worrying about. But I think if I [were] a wizard and I saw myself in the time travel, I wouldn’t be like, “Oh, my God. What is this world?” I’d be like, “Why am I time traveling? What’s happening? What goes wrong?” I’d be less worried about just “Oh, my God; I’m time traveling,” and more worried about why [I’m] time traveling.

Kat: Especially if you knew…

Laura: It exists.

Kat: …that you were time traveling.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Like Hermione.

Kat: That that’s something that you do.

Caleb: So that actually… because Dumbledore gives them this warning to make sure they’re not seen because he talks about how wizards have gone insane doing it. But I kind of agree that since they’re wizards, that wouldn’t probably throw them off too much.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And I think that maybe Dumbledore is exaggerating the caution just so they don’t see themselves really so that they don’t mess up what needs to happen. I think he’s just sort of exaggerating that so they don’t screw up. Because his end goal is just them fixing the problem.

Kat: Right.

Laura: Well, if… I feel like if Hermione… I think Harry would have been a bit more freaked out, but… and also, he was more emotional with…

Caleb: That’s always true.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah. With the whole Pettigrew thing. But I think if Hermione had seen herself… obviously, she knows she’s an avid time traveler. I don’t think she would have been freaked out. But if you had seen yourself time traveling, and now you know obviously there’s an issue that [you’re] time traveling to fix, how could you then just go about the rest of whatever you were doing without freaking out like, “Is this what I’m doing wrong? Is this what I’m going to have to do?”

Noah: How could Dumbledore trust these thirteen-year-olds? I mean, they’re Harry and Hermione, but how could he trust them to actively do this? Or did he know from the start, when McGonagall gave Hermione the Time-Turner, that this was going to happen? Which is a thought that I didn’t have. We’ve kind of talked about this.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: But how… was Dumbledore too… was this too risky for Dumbledore here, or did he really trust them? Or did he generate this whole thing from the start?

Kat: Yeah, what’s his level of involvement?

Noah: What’s his level of involvement? I think we have a comment in the back if you could just come up.

Laura: If you’re ready to come up to the mic.

Caleb: Dumbledore, the ultimate puppet master.

Noah: Sorry, Talia.

Kat: A Ravenclaw, thank you very much. Welcome.

Noah: Please state your name into the microphone.

Kat: Let her get there first. [laughs]

Caleb: [laughs] Chill.

Audience Member: I’m Cassie.

Kat: Hi, Cassie!

Laura: Nice to meet you.

Audience Member: Or Moaning Myrtle, whatever. I think that Dumbledore isn’t necessarily all-knowing [but rather] just aware of all of the possibilities.

Noah: Mhm.

Audience Member: So when McGonagall gave Hermione the Time-Turner, he probably thought, “Hmm, this might be necessary later on.” I don’t think he knows, “Okay, something’s going to go wrong,” because if he did, why wouldn’t he just fix it from the get-go?

Caleb: Mhm.

Audience Member: I think he’s aware that there [are] a million possibilities of things that could happen, and he’s constantly aware of how it can be fixed. And if he had the choice, I’m sure he wouldn’t send thirteen-year-olds to do the job, but he knew that they could get it done, and he knew that it needed to be done. Therefore, he let it happen.

Kat: Really, though? Because, I mean, he sent Harry into the Chamber of Secrets.

Caleb: Well, it’s all for the greater good.

Noah: He sent Harry to die for Voldemort as a pig for slaughter. I mean, really…

Audience Member: But I think he knew…

Noah: …he has no compassion. That’s a lie.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Audience Member: Disagree.

Noah: Okay.

[Caleb laughs]

Audience Member: But I mean, I think he knew it needed to be done. I think he knew that the Horcrux was in Harry and that he could come out of it.

Kat: Sure.

Audience Member: So I think he’s not necessarily all-knowing, but he’s well aware of everything that’s going on around him.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Okay.

Laura: Do you think… we know Hermione meets with McGonagall in the beginning for the Time-Turner. How do you think McGonagall’s reaction was, since McGonagall is more straitlaced, which even though I think…

Caleb: Well, let’s chill. You better not insult McGonagall up here. I’m wearing her shirt, so…

Noah: Oh.

Laura: Oh, no, I love McGonagall. I’m saying, would she have been totally cool with Hermione doing this? I think she would be more concerned with the fact that even though she’s so responsible, this girl is still thirteen, being more of the stricter thing.

Noah: I don’t know. McGonagall is pretty trusting in powerful women, am I right?

Kat: I think she sees a lot of Hermione…

Caleb: Yeah, she sees a lot of herself…

Kat: In Hermione.

Caleb: Yeah, I agree.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: Ellie, how do you feel about Hermione?

Ellie: I think that McGonagall maybe had a discussion with Dumbledore first, and then obviously Dumbledore has full faith in Hermione and said, “She is trust[worthy].” And I think as soon as he knew that Sirius had broke[n] out of Azkaban, that he was going to be aiming at Harry, and he knew that there was a possibility that they would need the Time-Turner. I think that he said, “Yeah, go ahead,” and I think then McGonagall put all her faith in Hermione and said, “Right, here you go,” and then Hermione went off, but she had no idea what was coming, but I think Dumbledore and McGonagall maybe…

Noah: You think they knew that the later scene was going to happen, that Dumbledore knew all the way back?

Ellie: I think that Dumbledore might have had an idea because obviously Sirius was coming for Harry.

Noah: Mhm.

Ellie: So I think he might have had an idea that they would need it in some point to help save lives. So it could be a possibility, but I’m not sure, but I knew that he probably had all his faith in Hermione to give her the responsibility to take on the Time-Turner.

Noah: But I’ll ask you because that means that if Dumbledore knew from the beginning that something might happen, is there potentiality that he knew that Pettigrew…

Laura: Is that a word?

Noah: …was the actual one who blew himself up? Is that possible? And if Dumbledore knew that information, wouldn’t it have been Dumbledore’s responsibility to go to the Ministry of Magic to show that Pettigrew was actually the one who killed all those people and not Sirius? Or do you think he didn’t know about that until the end? I know this is kind of an obscure question.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Ellie: I think that maybe he didn’t know about Pettigrew, but he knew that maybe something suspicious was going on because it’s Hogwarts and normally something suspicious goes on.

Kat: [laughs] That’s so true.

Noah: If nothing suspicious is going on, it’s not a good year.

[Ellie laughs]

Laura: It’s too quiet.

Caleb: I just have to wonder because thinking about this… and I never really thought about this, but I feel like Dumbledore had to have had doubts about the story that everyone seems to accept – that Pettigrew was killed by Black, Black betrayed…

Kat: Sure.

Caleb: …the Potters. Dumbledore was very close to the Potters and Sirius Black, and I just don’t think that he was convinced that Sirius… that the story was what the Ministry was putting out there.

Noah: Mmm.

Laura: I think that’s evidenced by the fact that he so readily believes…

Kat: The trio, yeah.

Laura: …when Harry comes back, and he’s like, “Sirius is innocent!” or whatever, and he says, “Oh, save this innocent life.” He almost doesn’t question it any further. I don’t think he knew all along, but I think he had heavy suspicions and then trusts Harry enough to be like, “All right, my suspicions were correct.”

Caleb: And now it’s finally answered.

Laura: Because if anyone has to be angry toward Sirius – the Sirius that the public has concocted – it would be Harry.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: So if Harry is being like, “No, Sirius is innocent,” that means a lot coming from him.

Noah: Guys, I think Caleb is absolutely right. Dumbledore knew Sirius as a child…

Kat: Right.

Noah: …and maybe never believed it. What if Dumbledore helped get him into the castle?

Laura: No.

Caleb: It’s a little much.

Kat: I don’t think so, yeah. We actually got a Twitter question from Shuayb702. It says:

“Why didn’t Dumbledore use Legilimency on Sirius to ascertain the truth and use that to free him?”

And I think what we’re saying is that Dumbledore kind of knew already, right?

Caleb: Right. And Dumbledore wasn’t… yeah, because he didn’t have a trial with the way the Ministry was… had created this story. Dumbledore was not in a position where he could just go and use that. He still has a public figure to uphold, and he couldn’t just walk in and…

Laura: I also have a problem with – I can never pronounce this word – Legilimency…

Caleb and Kat: Legilimency.

Laura: …in a free will kind of aspect of not giving someone the choice to reveal that information about themselves, and you see obviously Snape abuses that power. It seems like Sirius does to a degree, too, but I don’t think Dumbledore really… I don’t know. But I wouldn’t abuse that power because it’s… people deserve to not have to share information, but…

Noah: I definitely agree with that, and there’s also the fact that I believe memories are alterable as has been prove[n] with Slughorn, so it’s possible that maybe you use Legilimency on a convict…

Caleb: Hmm.

Noah: …but something’s been… someone else has gotten there first…

Caleb: Especially…

Kat: Yeah, but Dumbledore knew it was altered, so I feel like they would know if it [were]…

Laura: And I think memories are different than thoughts.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Completely.

Laura: Like active thoughts because…

Noah: What if someone is under the Imperius Curse?

Kat: Ahh, interesting.

Laura: Hmm.

Kat: Silence. [laughs]

Caleb: So what are you suggesting? Dumbledore should have resorted to the Imperius Curse to figure it all out?

Noah: I’m saying Dumbledore has a pretty strong sense of character.

Laura: Well, what would the Imperius Curse have accomplished?

Caleb: I think more like Veritaserum than the Imperius Curse.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Well, here’s the thing: I think if you use the Imperius Curse on someone, what if their thoughts are very much aligned with the bad deed that they did because they had been controlled to do it, and therefore you use Legilimency? If they’ve been Imperiused before, it doesn’t matter what thoughts you read in the moment because they really shouldn’t be responsible for that act that they did.

Laura: All right, yeah. Well, yeah, I mean that’s why the Imperius Curse is illegal.

Kat: Illegal, yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Well, for many reasons. It’s also a free will thing that people can’t be held responsible for doing heinous things.

Noah: Yeah, I mean I think in general there’s so much stuff about morality and free will in the series. But I think Snape and Dumbledore have such a strong sense of character that they can just sort of do it on the fly just by looking at you, and that’s sort of the best way to do it as opposed to just grabbing them in a room and doing it, really going in with your wand in a more invasive…

Caleb: Mhm.

Noah: …way.

Laura: Mhm.

Caleb: We have this really funny Twitter question [laughs] from someone because we know that in the movie and the book they do it slightly different: In the movie, Hermione slaps him; in the movie, she punches him when they’re, I guess, about to go on the time travel…

Laura: Malfoy does, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, so when Hermione punches Malfoy in Prisoner of Azkaban

Noah: Great scene.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: …and the question was on Twitter, and this is from oogie0811:

“Did Malfoy reveal that he was slapped/punched by a girl, AKA Hermione?”

I don’t think that’d be something he’d be really willing to talk about.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: I mean, Crabbe and Goyle already witnessed it, so…

Laura: Well, now I’ve been saying this throughout all of our Prisoner discussion in regard to him and Buckbeak that… for how much Malfoy was tormenting Harry about the Dementors affecting him that it seemed like the logical thing for everyone to do would be to turn that right back around on Malfoy and be like…

Kat: Right.

Laura: …”Oh, you couldn’t… you’re crying over Buckbeak, and you got a scratch, and…”

Noah: Hmm.

Laura: But no one does that, that I almost… as much as I always say, “Oh, Draco wouldn’t want to tell anyone,” he did with Buckbeak. He didn’t seem to care about his own manly pride.

[Caleb laughs]

Laura: He doesn’t seem to have much. So it’s… I think he would just be like…

Kat: Not sure he’d brag about it, but yeah.

Laura: …”Look what she did to me.” Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: But I don’t know.

Noah: I mean, if you think about Draco I think it was a huge hit to his masculinity in a way, in a sense of he’s the main leader of the Goyle/Crabbe crew, and for someone like Hermione who is arguably second in command in the trio to punch him in the face, that totally took him down.

Kat: It always goes to gender issues with you, doesn’t it? Straight there.

Noah: It always goes to gender issues with me.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Oh, we’ve got some questions.

Noah: Do you guys both want to come up?

Audience Member: I just wanted to point out that I don’t think Hermione is really second in command in the trio because I think one of the good things about the trio is that they’re very inclusive. So even though Harry is undoubtedly the leader, he… I feel like they’re all sort of on equal ground a lot of the time. Because if you think about it, in Sorcerer’s Stone, when they’re figuring everything out, all of them have to work together to figure out… Harry couldn’t do it on his own. Whereas if Malfoy wants to do something, he doesn’t really need Crabbe and Goyle. All they do is follow him around. So I feel like…

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Right, and I don’t mean to put Hermione in a Crabbe and Goyle position…

Audience Member: [laughs] Yeah.

Caleb: Please don’t. [laughs]

Noah: All I’m saying is that – and just to be frank – I feel like Hermione is there at the end… do you remember in the Sorcerer’s Stone movie…

Audience Member: Mhm.

Noah: …when Ron sacrifices himself very nobly on the chess board…

Laura: Very dramatically. [laughs]

Noah: Very dramatically. And then Hermione tells Harry, “You know what? You have to go on and you have to do this,” sort of thing. And I think that moment… this is not canon, but I think it really kind of captures the sense of the trio. Harry is the one who has to go forth and do stuff.

Audience Member: Mhm.

Noah: And at the end of the day, as great as Hermione is, and she’s certainly… this isn’t about equality…

Audience Member: Mhm.

Noah: …she’s in this supporting role for Harry just as much as Ron is. I would say he’s a supporting role for Harry in different ways. So I’m aligning Ron and Hermione.

Audience Member: Mhm.

Noah: And not putting Hermione down, but Harry is this clear leader. He’s the one who’s actively… they’ve chosen him to do stuff, and inasmuch as Jo engages this hero story where it is a male, this is what mega-feminists would argue is engaging patriarchy, frankly, that it is the man who must go forth and do this thing, which many world organized stuff also has that at its core, which is the man does this. Which we should be skeptical of. Maybe. Yeah.

Laura: But I do think, as far as that goes, I see Ron as almost serving, whereas Hermione is able to serve a million different functions for Harry. Ron has come through a lot, but there have been very specific times he’s less useful in a general sense, [even though] he did the Wizard’s Chess, he destroyed the Horcrux, he achieved almost specific tasks that Harry obviously needed him [to do], and he obviously needed him for the moral support of just having a best friend. But yeah, Ron served very specific tasks when he’s almost… not less useful than Hermione but less frequently useful.

Noah: That’s absolutely true, but to that extent he’s lived in Harry’s shadow a bit for so long, and he’s has to struggle with that. What is that like for Ron as this total second hand…

Kat: Well, I mean, we go through that in the next book with him. So…

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, we’ll leave that.

Kat: …let’s hold off on that.

Noah: Do you have a thought?

Audience Member: Yes. I have a kind of silly theory about why Hermione has snapped so much.

Noah: I love silly theories. It’s totally…

Audience Member: Okay.

Kat: [laughs] He does. It’s true.

Caleb: Keynote.

Audience Member: Well, bare with me. She’s been time traveling every single day and so her body processes have sort of sped up, as well as she’s now a teenager. So, boys, I’m sorry, but do you think she might have had PMS during that moment?

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Ooh!

Caleb: Oh, here we go.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: I’m going to clock out on that one.

Audience Member: Sorry.

Noah: Well, have her body processes sped up? Or has she just been staying up many more hours in a day than they have? Because anyone would get tired from that.

Audience Member: Well, yes. Well, that leaves… well, she’s sort of been living three days in one. So yeah, she kind of has been living three times more than everybody else right now at her thirteen-year-old self. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Is PMS real? Or is it just an idea that becomes real because everyone buys into the social norm?

Laura: This is…

Audience Member: No, it’s real. [laughs]

Noah: Anyway!

Caleb: So I actually have a quick side note question that we come up to a lot in the show, thinking about Ron has very specific moments and Hermione is more helpful throughout the series, I think, in general. And there’s more collaboration, I think, between Hermione and Harry than any other combination of the three. So I want to know how many of you guys early in the series when you were reading, were Harry and Hermione shippers like I was. That few? Really? Come on! So you guys were Ron and Hermione from the start?

Laura: I wasn’t thinking about it enough when they were eleven. I didn’t start caring about shipping until they were old enough where that mattered, but it wasn’t like when they were in the early books…

Noah: Wait, we’ve got a lot of comments from the crowd right here. Please, somebody new, come up to the microphone. Tell us your thoughts on shipping, on the Harmony ship and…

Caleb: Harmony, ugh. It’s been…

Noah: That is the…

Caleb: …a minute since I’ve heard that. [laughs]

Noah: I mean, I think…

Laura: Yup.

Noah: I don’t know. I think it works.

Laura: Can we move on to Pottermore?

Noah: We’re going to move past Harmony? Ellie…

Caleb: It’s all right, my ship…

Noah: …do you have any fun ships? So shipping is the… I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term. It’s a fandom idea of these two characters who ought to get together. Are there any characters in the Harry Potter series that you want to see together?

Kat: Like Drarry, I think, which is what Draco and Harry…

Ellie: I think when Ron…

Noah: Ooh.

Caleb: We’re not going there.

Ellie: …first meets Hermione on the train, I think from then on, he’s always liked her and known that. And then, I think it breaks his heart when she returns, I think in the Chamber of Secrets, she comes back and her and Harry run and then embrace, and then she stands there, she goes to hug Ron and then she doesn’t and…

Caleb: Yeah.

Ellie: …just shakes his hand. I think Ron’s heartbroken then. I felt really sorry for him because I think he’s always liked her from then on and I think it was quite hard on him and Hermione broke his heart.

Noah: They were about your age now in that movie when they filmed that scene in Chamber of Secrets. They were your age.

Ellie: Really?

Noah: Well, yeah. Like twelve, thirteen.

Ellie: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Noah: It’s cool stuff.

Kat: [laughs] So should we move on to…

Caleb: Yeah, let’s move…

Kat: Part of the show we always do is a special feature and one of the things we decided to do with the show is we’re going to talk about the new Pottermore information because nobody has ever talked about that before. So today we’re going to talk about Hogwarts portraits.

Caleb: How do you guys feel about Pottermore in general?

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: It’s such a polarizing thing. How many of you guys are really already over it and angry about the…

Noah: Everybody give a hand for Pottermore!

[Some audience members laugh]

Laura: Silence.

Kat: Yay!

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: How many people are still big fans of it?

Audience Member: I like the information.

Kat: The information, okay. Yeah. [laughs]

Laura: That’s the thing. As much as I refuse to say I like Pottermore, because I don’t – I hate Pottermore – I like the new information and I just want it given to me in like… just like in the same way that I like JK Rowling’s writing and…

Kat: How about an encyclopedia? How about a clap for that?

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: Encyclopedia!

[Audience cheers]

Kat: Yeah! There we go.

Laura: So it’s nothing to say to Pottermore. It’s still JK Rowling’s telling them to appreciate…

Caleb: So when Rowling listens to this episode – as she listens to all of ours…

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: …she’ll hear all the fans clapping for the encyclopedia.

Noah: Not just the information, but there could be so many different special features that Pottermore could do.

Laura: Yeah, no…

Noah: More engagement, more interaction.

Caleb: Maybe a less frustrating Potions? If it’s an added Potion, that is.

Laura: Well, that’s the thing is…

Audience Member: Frustrating dueling!

Laura: I know! I will second that…

[Kat laughs]

Laura: …because when we are preparing for the show, we have to read up on the Pottermore things. I can never get past the game, so I can’t get…

Kat: I’m the only one that’s caught up.

Laura: I have to get the information from Kat because I’m stuck trying to get the Mandrakes or whatever.

Noah: You know what I want? I want them to simulate a Quidditch game, like that… for all the fans to just watch and somehow, all the houses somehow make the Quidditch teams win and play each other and everyone watches this great scene online.

Kat: You have a Pottermore comment?

Audience Member: Yes. I originally was a beta for Pottermore and I was all excited. And while it’s really just not as good as it could have been, like it was interesting seeing it advance and some of the things have changed. Like it became a lot more interactive, especially as the books went on. So they did take notice. However, it still got really boring after a while.

Kat: Yeah.

Audience Member: And all I just kept saying was, could I just get the information already? Why can’t I just download all of it now?

Noah: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, and that’s my problem with it, is if this is their job to make this whole interactive thing and they’re really only going to do it going through the books once, I think that there should have been something at every single scene. Not necessarily even just more information, but just something to do that isn’t just picking up a Chocolate Frog…

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: Right.

Laura: …that serves really no purpose.

Noah: Oh, yeah.

Kat: So has anyone not heard the new information on the portraits? A lot of hands just went up. [laughs] Okay.

Caleb: Yeah. So maybe…

Noah: Can we just cover it all? Can we just read it?

Kat: Should I just read the new information? Do you guys want to hear it?

Audience: Yes!

Noah: It’s new information, Kat. Of course they want to hear it.

Kat: It’s like five paragraphs. I’m not that good at reading in public. Okay. [laughs] All right, so it says:

“Hogwarts portraits are able to talk and move around from picture to picture. They behave like their subjects. However, the degree to which they can interact with the people looking at them depends not on the skill of the painter, but on the power of the witch or wizard painted.

When a magical portrait is taken, the witch or wizard artist will naturally use enchantments to ensure that the painting will be able to move in the usual way. The portrait will be able to use some of the subject’s favorite phrases and imitate their general demeanour. Thus, Sir Cadogan’s portrait is forever challenging people to a fight, falling off its horse, and behaving in a fairly unbalanced way, which is how the subject appeared to the poor wizard who had to paint him, while the portrait of the Fat Lady continues to indulge her love of good food, drink, and tip-top security long after her living model passed away.

However, neither of these portraits would be capable of having a particularly in-depth discussion about more complex aspects of their lives: they are literally and metaphorically two-dimensional. They are only representations of the living subjects as seen by the artist.

Some magical portraits are capable of considerably more interaction with the living world. Traditionally, a headmaster or headmistress is painted before their death. Once the portrait is completed, the headmaster or headmistress in question keeps it under lock and key, regularly visiting it in its cupboard (if so desired) to teach it to act and behave exactly like themselves, and imparting all kinds of useful memories and pieces of knowledge that may then be shared through the centuries with their successors in office.

The depth of knowledge and insight contained in some of the headmasters’ and headmistresses’ portraits is unknown to any but the incumbents of the office and the few students who have realized, over the centuries, that the portraits’ apparent sleepiness when visitors arrive in the office is not necessarily genuine.”

Laura: All right.

Caleb: So one thing I really love about that is, just listening to it again, it reminds me almost of presidents here in America, when they get their portraits done while they’re still in office.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Obviously, we know those don’t talk. Or do they?

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: What if? [laughs]

Kat: Right. [laughs]

Caleb: But I’m so glad she shared the information about the headmasters and headmistresses. I mean, that’s something we had talked about on the show for so long.

Kat: And we were dead on.

Caleb: And… yeah.

Kat: I’m just saying. [laughs]

Caleb: We were pretty accurate. Do you have a thought over there for us?

Kat: Yup.

Audience Member: Sorry I keep coming up here, but…

Kat: It’s okay! [laughs]

Noah: No, you’re great. You’re part of the show.

Audience Member: Well, the thing I was curious about that this didn’t answer was the fact that if you remember when Mr. Weasley was poisoned by Nagini, one of the headmasters portraits went to St. Mungo’s and obviously they have two portraits there. So were they both painted at the same time? Because she can go in either portrait. There’s not two.

Caleb: Hmm.

Audience Member: She’s either in one or she’s in the other. So I was wondering how that worked and that wasn’t answered and that disappointed me.

Noah: But then what about the fact that the Fat Lady, when she gets struck, she can move into another person’s…

Audience Member: Well, no…

Kat: I think she’s saying these are two portraits of the same person.

Caleb: This is… yeah.

Audience Member: They’re two portraits of the same person…

Caleb: Yeah.

Audience Member: …which is why they can travel from the Ministry of Magic to the Hogwarts professors… to Dumbledore’s office. And also, there’s another one that can travel from Dumbledore’s office to St. Mungo’s to warn them.

Noah: No, I hear you. I’m just saying that if the figures arguably in the paintings can travel to each other’s paintings anyway, why would these two paintings have had to be painted simultaneously for them to travel back there?

Kat: But then there would be two of her and not just one.

Laura: I think it’s… not that they were painted even simultaneously, but if they’re two different reflections… going either way, if it’s just the two-dimensional one, it could be two different artists’ interpretation of the person, and that’s now two different representations of that person. Or if they did the thing where they talk to the portrait and teach it about themselves, do they do that equally to the same portrait? It’s just comparing the two different representations of someone that was painted twice.

Kat: But that’s good to know. I like that the information tells us how Dumbledore put all of that into…

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: …his portrait for Snape. I mean, that answers that question.

Caleb: Yeah, because obviously, that last year of Dumbledore’s life, he knew he was dying.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: So he had the opportunity…

Kat: Exactly.

Caleb: …to impart a lot of knowledge.

Noah: But that’s… which is kind of weird in a way. So to what extent are these figures in the paintings conscious or consciously aware and can change their opinions, gather information? Are they sentient? So, Ellie, what do you think of the portrait world? So we have these vast theories of this idea of the figures in portraits existing like a parallel dimension…

Kat: A parallel dimension.

Noah: …or that is… I mean, they talk to each other. How real are these figures?

Ellie: I’m not really sure, but I think that with all the time that people have had, it depends how long they’ve known that they were going to pass. So with Dumbledore, he knew really early on that he was dying, so he had a lot of time to teach the portrait, I guess. But when the portrait is first…

Noah: Ooh, okay.

Ellie: …painted, I think they have no idea who they are, and they need to learn who they are, which I think that if any of the other portraits… if someone doesn’t know they’re dying, but they paint it and then they die, but they haven’t taught the portrait, how do they know… how does the portrait know how to act like that person?

Noah: You’re saying Dumbledore might have taught his own portrait?

Ellie: How to act like himself, so that he has maybe his own… the same knowledge as Dumbledore does. But how do other portraits know what knowledge that… or how to act like that person, when they might… when the actual person might not have known that they were going to die?

Kat: I think only the headmasters and headmistresses get theirs painted ahead of time. Right?

Laura: Yeah. And I…

Kat: That’s what I assume.

Noah: So Dumbledore implanted certain bits of information to…

Laura: And we…

Ellie: I guess.

Noah: As I said, that’s really cool. I like it a lot.

Laura: On the show, we… since I’ve come around, but… [laughs] everyone but me believed, obviously, that Dumbledore had spent a lot of time with his portrait. My original thought was that he didn’t…

<[Audience member sneezes]

Noah: Bless you.

Laura: …just because I saw that… my initial reaction towards that was a vanity thing, like someone wanting to spend all this time with their portrait so that they forever live on. And I never… Dumbledore never struck me as someone… yeah, [laughs] that would care, especially since he has so much more important things to do with the Horcruxes and everything in his final time. But my initial reaction was that he just wouldn’t care, like, “Who cares when I die? I die. And who cares about my portrait?” But I was yelled at by everyone and, including…

Caleb: I would care a lot about my portrait.

Noah: Can I just add, I’d want…

Laura: We’ll get there. [laughs] But…

Noah: I wish we all had portraits and we could talk to each other…

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: …and we were going different places.

Laura: But I’ve come around in that you guys… and all the commenters on the forums that were like, “Laura’s wrong!” [laughs] of it being a responsibility thing…

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: …rather than it being a matter of vanity.

Kat: Well, I think according to this information, JK is calling you wrong. So…

[Caleb and Laura laugh]

Caleb: Ultimate shutdown.

Kat: You have a comment?

Audience Member: Yes, and it’s about the different portraits, as well as it ties in with yours, Ellie, and I think that there’s one master portrait person for this big portrait world, but all the different representations sort of combine their knowledge, which is if a headmaster didn’t spend much time then they would get this information from the other portraits that got painted of.

Noah: Hmm. Good.

Audience Member: As well as with Phineas Nigellus, most of his portrait not in the office was a muddy canvas, as was explained, that talked even though he wasn’t there. So it was sort of like that there was only one, but they can travel between all the different portraits that they have more readily than in different portraits of…

Laura: Other people.

Audience Member: As part of the portrait world.

Kat: Right. Portrait world.

Laura: Right.

Kat: Parallel universe.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Absolutely.

Noah: But that’s a good point. They all talk to each other and there’s this whole collection of knowledge that all the portraits probably know, so they’re keeping up-to-date with all the world events as they go. Do we have another comment?

Audience Member: Yeah. Well, I… speaking of the headmaster portraits and teaching them about themselves and that sort of thing, I was just… I just had a wonderment about… not really a statement, but whether they’re capable of independent thought. If they’re taught all the memories and things that the headmaster himself or herself knows, but if someone were to ask them a question if they can only relate information that specifically they were taught and that they know, or if they can make their own conjectures about… something like that. If they have Dumbledore’s wisdom to be able to… if Dumbledore’s portrait would be able to come to the conclusions that Dumbledore would be able to come to just because… you know what I’m saying?

Kat: Yeah.

[Audience Member laughs]

Laura: I have a thought on that. At least when Dumbledore is talking to Harry at the end, he kind of gives him more advice rather than making… he’s not really making an analytical thing, like figuring something out, but he’s giving him advice. So I think that it kind of has to do with Dumbledore teaching him his own morals and values, and the same way everyone makes decisions, people make a decision based on their own beliefs and values and what they believe is morally right. So he kind of would instill those values in him, so the now portrait has said values and can create decisions based on that.

Kat: Yeah, I feel like what you asked is something we’ve talked about before, and I don’t think that they have independent thought but I know Noah does.

Caleb: I’m with Kat on this. I don’t think that they can learn. I don’t think they can…

Kat: Right. Learn anything past the information they already know.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: No, I agree with that. You don’t have to single me out.

Kat: Oh, you changed your mind?

Noah: Yeah, I did.

Kat: Oh.

Noah: I can change my mind.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: So if we were to paint portraits of each other – we talked about this last night – what would they be?

[Audience laughs]

Laura: All right, so…

Caleb: So I was thinking about what Noah’s portrait would look like, or what it would be doing rather.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: I think for the most part, there will… in the background there would definitely be a Desk!Pig going back and forth between the two forms.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Caleb: It starts as a desk, and then it moves to a pig, and back and forth. I don’t think the setting of the portrait is too important, but I think that what the portrait is doing… Noah is always just trying to grab the attention of anyone walking by to explain some important theory, try to get them on his side. Because even in death, Noah would want to just try to give them everything he’s got.

Noah: Actually, in death, I’d want to explain what was going on to the person. But maybe my portrait couldn’t really accurately explain that. And I would do… I would make Kat’s portrait and she would of course be surrounded by many fluffy animals.

[Audience and Caleb laugh]

Kat: That’s it? [laughs]

Noah: No, no.

Kat: Oh, okay.

Noah: A Harry Potter shrine with all things, and at the very top I’m thinking that character who plays… oh, if I get the actor’s name wrong it’ll just be terrible.

Caleb: Oh, dear.

Noah: Neville… what’s his name? Matthew Lewis.

Caleb and Kat: Matt Lewis.

Noah: You’d have Matt Lewis right up at the top in your painting. And you are…

Kat: [laughs] Why Matt Lewis?

Noah: Why Matt Lewis? Because you’ve confided to me in private that you think he’s pretty attractive.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Whoa!

Kat: Thanks, Noah!

Caleb: Let’s not pull personal moments out.

Laura: As far as her… what would her character… what would her traits be?

Noah: Besides just looking at…

Laura: Yelling at Noah’s portrait.

Noah: …Matt Lewis on top of the Harry Potter shrine.

Caleb: How would she interact with the people passing by?

Noah: Hmm. I mean, how does Kat… it would kind of be how Kat normally interacts. Kind of going around, looking and being very observing that she is.

Caleb: Like a cat!

Noah: Like a cat, yeah.

Kat: Ugh.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: All right, so I decided that I would do Laura’s portrait. And Laura, for those of you that don’t know, is very into journalism and wants to be a travel writer and work for National Geographic, so I see her… I feel like her portrait might be somewhere exotic, like in the desert or…

Caleb: Leave her in the desert.

[Caleb and Laura laugh]

Kat: …at the top of a mountain or something, and she would have backpacks…

Laura: I can dig it.

Kat: …and water bottles and notebooks and cameras, and…

Noah: Ooh, that’s good.

Kat: …she would just ask inquisitive questions to every person that walked by.

Laura: I can dig it.

Kat: You like it? It’s good?

Laura: I like it.

Kat: All right.

Noah: Ellie, your…

Laura: So… wait.

Noah: Oh, sorry, Laura.

Laura: No, Caleb. Well, Caleb kind of alluded to this as far as the teaching your portrait. Caleb would be sitting with his portrait…

Noah: Be gentle.

Laura: …teaching it for hours on a day, just everything, so just… yeah. What we were saying, the vanity aspect of it.

Caleb: Teaching them about what?

Laura: By yourself. Well… all right, Caleb would be saying… just eye-rolling the entire time. Every time the portrait… anyone walks by, is just eye-rolling [laughs] and going, “Ugh.” But… yeah. No, Caleb would be… hmm. He’s very into…

Kat: Irish pride.

Laura: Hmm? Yeah, Irish pride. The “Minerva is My Homegirl” t-shirt perpetually on.

[Kat laughs]

Laura: And I think Caleb is very into politics. Probably would be a politician one day. So I think in the same way the presidential portraits are made.

[Noah laughs]

Laura: Just in a very… in a suit…

Caleb: Suit on.

Kat: Very serious.

Laura: But perpetually eye-rolling.

Caleb: Yeah. That’s fair.

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: So now we want to… Ellie, we want to ask you, how would… if you got to describe and pick how JK Rowling’s portrait would be…

Kat: Ooh.

Caleb: …what do you think that would be like?

Ellie: I would paint her as a calm and elegant and… a person that whenever anyone walks past, she’ll always comfort them. She will always give help to anyone who needs it, to anyone who deserves it. And I think if I had to paint the picture, I think she would be sat at a traditional wooden desk…

Caleb: Hmm.

Ellie: …with a huge library behind her, with a pen and a pad in front of her, and just sat there thinking of what could happen next and using her surroundings to write and paint the picture, I guess.

Kat: Is she writing more Harry Potter?

[Caleb laughs]

Noah: Tell us.

Kat: No, like in her portrait, tell me that’s what she’s writing.

Noah: Oh.

Kat: Yes?

Ellie: Yeah, yeah.

Kat: Okay. Yay!

Ellie: She’ll write the ninth. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Yeah.

Caleb: I like it.

Kat: Perfect.

Noah: So, Ellie, actually think I asked you this at breakfast. If they did a Harry Potter movie revamp in thirty years, would you reprise the role of Lily Potter as an older…

Ellie: I think that would be a good idea.

[Caleb laughs]

Ellie: Since I played it when I was young, I could play it as the mum. I could be the big girl.

Noah: That would make sense!

Laura: That would be awesome.

Caleb: That would be perfect.

[Audience applauds]

Laura: Everybody agrees.

Noah: Would you guys see that movie?

Audience: Yeah!

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Keith would probably disagree and say “no more movies” though, right? [laughs]

Kat: No more movies.

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: So we got a lot… really quick, we just want to touch on the Marauder’s Map because we did get quite a bit of information on the new Pottermore stuff there.

Laura: The information it touched on was how Fred and George figured out the map, why it was created.

Kat: How it was created and all that.

Laura: How it was created.

Kat: Yeah, we just wanted to quickly touch on it. We got another Twitter comment from monykarules. No idea how to say that. It says:

“Why didn’t Professor Lupin see Harry and Hermione twice on the map when they were traveling back in time?”

Laura: Or would you… yeah.

Noah: So you’d see four different figures running around.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Two Harrys, two Hermiones.

Caleb: And then if he only saw two, which two did he see?

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Thoughts?

Kat: Anyone have any thoughts? Go ahead.

Audience Member: I would think that Lupin would be so distracted by seeing Pettigrew. If he’s distracted enough that he forgets that it’s a full moon and needs to take his Wolfsbane Potion, I don’t think he’d really be… he’d really notice the other Harry and Hermione because he’s so hooked on the fact that there’s a set of Harry and Hermione and Ron with Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black. And if he saw that, he’d probably be freaking out about that and not worrying about the other parts of the map because they’re not actually in the same place. They’re hiding out in the woods, which isn’t the Shrieking Shack, and then they’re hiding out in Hagrid’s hut. And I think that he wouldn’t be as distracted. I mean, he would be distracted by that and also that sort of ties in with what I wanted to say earlier, is that Dumbledore might… he knows. He was there when Buckbeak escaped, so he probably knows that Harry and Hermione went back in time, and he figured it out as soon as he figured out that Sirius was innocent that they would go back in time. So I don’t think he’s all-knowing. I think he just noticed what had already happened.

Kat: Observant.

Audience Member: Yeah.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Okay. Thank you.

Audience Member: Well, I was thinking earlier – we were talking about time travel – about how… you know how in the movies they have that gag where Ron is always like, “Were you here the whole time?” whenever Hermione is in a class and…

Noah: Comic relief character.

Audience Member: [laughs] But he doesn’t see her in the class, but she has taken the class, but if she had… whether she’s actually been in the class when he is. It just doesn’t really make any sense if there’s a different timeline for each class that she goes to and that she’s only present in one of those and then the other one she’s absent from the class and that Ron doesn’t see her in the class in that one. So if maybe… also in the map there’s only one map that has one of the people on it visible in one specific time…

Noah: Yup.

Audience Member: …and there’s another time with them on the map in the woods instead of in… you know, that kind of thing.

Laura: That’s interesting. Of the… going back to whether there’s…

Noah: Thank you.

Laura: …parallel things of… yeah, depending on in which timeline you’re looking at the map depends on where you’d be. But also you have to remember when we look at the Marauder’s Map, we’re always… or when we say “we,” I mean the characters, they’re looking for the integral people, like Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione. But there are all those extraneous people clouding up the map. For the thousands of whoever is there, it’s kind of frustrating. You can look, “Oh, is Dumbledore in his office?” Like, certain things. But as far as just looking around, you have all those students and their full names kind of…

Kat: Sure.

Laura: …moving and jumbling it up that it’s probably difficult to read.

Caleb: I think that touches on the level of inconsistencies for the Marauder’s Map throughout the series, that… and I think that’s something that Rowling has come back and said that it’s something she admittedly kind of dropped the ball on in some parts.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: But it is… and understandably so. It’s such a complex element to that universe.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Question for the general group here: If you are under the Invisibility Cloak, do you show up on the Marauder’s Map?

Audience: Yes.

Caleb: I think [unintelligible].

Noah: Is that confirmed?

Audience Member: Yes, that is confirmed.

Kat: Yes.

Audience Member: JK Rowling did say that, and I believe Lupin said that in the book actually, in the third or fourth one, because they talked about that. And as well as why Harry and Hermione wouldn’t show up twice, I believe that parts of the Forbidden Forest aren’t…

Kat: Aren’t on the map.

Audience Member: …on the map. I think that’s also been confirmed. So maybe they were just hiding when they were deep enough into the forest where they just didn’t show on the map at all.

Noah: Oh, so it just sort of made sense that they wouldn’t be seen, and… okay, so that kind of speaks to the magical universe theory that Dumbledore suspects that Harry and Hermione are… remember when we had Steve Vander Ark on our episode…

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: …and he suggested that the magical universe at Hogwarts kind of was going to show the right way? Or that there was some force in the Harry Potter series that is just going to make it okay so that Harry and Hermione were always hidden in some way on the map. Or maybe Lupin just wasn’t looking. Or it just works out that they wouldn’t show up just so that the time travel would work out okay for them.

Kat: Did anyone come up with a “What If?” question for us? Come up.

Caleb: Awesome.

Audience Member: Well, my… I’ve had… because I missed on the topic of shipping earlier, I kind of ship Harry and Luna, which everyone disagrees with me about.

Noah: Yes! Yes, that’s great. I ship them too.

Audience Member: [laughs] Cool! So my question was, what if Harry was with Luna instead of Ginny?

Caleb: Hmm.

Audience Member: Because…

Noah: What would their name be? Larry?

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: You were waiting for that one.

Audience Member: Actually, I wouldn’t call them Larry.

Noah: What would you call them?

Kat: Lunry?

Audience Member: No! I’d call them…

Caleb: Huna? [laughs]

Audience Member: …Huna. Yeah.

Kat: Huna? Huna. Okay.

Noah: Let’s see a general applause for Huna.

[Audience applauds]

Kat: Huna. [laughs] Okay.

Noah: Now let’s hear some applause for Larry.

[Audience applauds]

Kat: Yeah, yeah. [laughs]

Noah: All right, it’s kind of even.

Kat: They’re about the same, yeah.

Noah: Any Harry/Luna shippers on this panel?

Kat: No. Nope. Sorry.

Caleb: Sorry.

Ellie: I…

[Ellie and Kat laugh]

Ellie: I think they were because in the Order of the Phoenix I think they were too good of friends…

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Mhm.

Ellie: …that anything could have happened.

Caleb: Harry really sympathized with Luna and kind of…

Ellie: Yeah.

Caleb: …included her. And I think there was that friendship.

Noah: They have a rather intimate scene with the Thestral and the meat.

Laura: That’s only… yeah.

Kat: That’s in the movie.

Noah: In the movie.

Ellie: I think that him and Ginny have always kind of been distant but friends, and then towards the end of it – end of the series – that’s when they started getting closer. And I think it’s always been like that.

Caleb: Hmm.

Ellie: So I guess him and Luna were good friends rather than anything could have happened. So…

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: I mean, that’s kind of the consensus, and especially I think Jo herself would say that was the answer. But there are those who say why trust Jo on these matters? She only wrote the book.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Even… we have Irvin. He’s actually… today he is running around as Mrs. Black with the portrait, but he wrote an essay on our site about why Luna and Neville should have been together even though Jo has come out multiple times saying that they shouldn’t be. And I think he even…

Kat: Well, didn’t she say they had a fling?

Noah: She said that… right.

Laura: Yeah, no, that’s what I always say, is everyone at Hogwarts, they date once and then they get married. People are like, “Oh, Luna and Neville didn’t get together.” They didn’t get married. They could have dated.

Caleb: What would that date be like?

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: The most awkward date ever. [laughs]

Noah: But don’t the movies kind of set it up? Absolutely, towards the end?

Caleb: Well, the movies set up a lot of things that don’t happen in the books. [laughs] So…

Kat: It’s true.

Noah: Draco and Harry on that broom in the Room of Requirement?

Caleb: Whoa.

Kat: All right, Noah.

Noah: Anybody?

Kat: Do not go there.

Noah: Comment?

Audience Member: I just wanted to say one thing about the Harry/Luna thing, is because… well, I know a lot of people think that Harry should be with Ginny and that’s why, but one of my friends, when I told her that, she said Harry doesn’t have enough personality for Luna.

Caleb: Oh.

Audience: Oh.

Kat: So true.

[Audience Member laughs]

Kat: I’m with you on that one.

Audience Member: Yeah. She said that the only way that it was even possible was if Luna was with someone who wasn’t even in the books because she had too much personality for anyone in there. But she also doesn’t ship Harry and Ginny because she feels that Harry and Ginny don’t… I know they’re really meant for each other, and I can kind of accept it, but, at the same time, I feel like Ginny doesn’t have… I feel, even though Ginny is in more books, I think she and Luna actually have equal presence.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Thank you.

Laura: Does anyone else have any…

Caleb: “What If?”

Laura: …other “What If?” questions?

Audience Member: What if Snape were a girl and was just best friends with Lily instead of the nice guy that we all know and love…

[Caleb laughs]

Audience Member: …and was in love with Lily?

Kat: I just want to say, I don’t love Snape. I’m going to get some hate, and that’s okay.

Caleb: You’re about to get a lot of hate.

Noah: I don’t love Snape either. I think he’s cool…

Audience Member: What if Snape was a girl?

Caleb: Oh, man.

Laura: I’m not as drastic on what Kat’s stance is.

Kat: Right.

Laura: I do agree that Snape is kind of put on a bit of a pedestal…

Caleb: Snape is one of my favorite characters.

Laura: No, I do! I love him, but I don’t know. I’m not as much as… I’m not as drastic as Kat…

Kat: Sure.

Laura: …but leaning more towards…

Kat: But, Noah, I think that question was for you…

Caleb: You’re the gender…

Kat: …because that’s…

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: We’ll let you answer that one, buddy. [laughs]

Noah: Well, the thing is, Snape, he’s already kind of… the long hair is already there.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Would he look very much different?

Laura: God, I hope so.

Caleb: I would hope so.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: But Snape as a woman, he wouldn’t have the same issues with Harry, probably be Harry’s greatest support. But he’s sort of… not to say that if Snape was a woman, she couldn’t have equally fallen in love with Lily growing up, though that would have been much different reason why…

Laura: Sure.

Noah: …she would pick James, ultimately.

Caleb: Yup.

Kat: We’ll take one more “What If?”. No?

Laura: Got someone coming up.

Noah: What are you dressed as, by the way?

Audience Member: Mrs. Figg.

Noah: Mrs. Figg!

Kat: Nice! Love it.

Caleb: Perfect!

[Audience applauds and laughs]

Caleb: That’s wonderful.

Audience Member: Thank you. What if Snape hadn’t been bullied or been taken in by Lucius from the beginning? Would things have ended up very differently?

Caleb: Yeah, I think that’s an excellent question because that sort of set off his school culture. The way he went through school was because of that, bringing into that Slytherin crew. That would have changed a lot of things. I think he would have been closer with Lily the whole time, and that relationship would not have fallen out in the end.

Audience Member: What if he had been in Gryffindor?

Caleb: Yeah, I don’t think that…

Noah: What if Snape had been a Gryffindor, for the record.

Caleb: Yeah, I don’t think Snape would have ever been in Gryffindor, personally.

Kat: Agreed.

Caleb: I think his relationship with Lily would have… I still don’t… well, I don’t know.

Noah: Don’t they sort too early, as Dumbledore asked?

Caleb: I don’t know because I think that was the reason why Lily ultimately did not return his love, is because of the way he was with that Slytherin crew. So I think we would have had a very different outcome.

Laura: I think it’s also just a bit of friend zoning issue.

Caleb: But I don’t know if they would have been a friend zone if… I just … I think that it could have happened because she would have seen James more as that hoodlum that he was, picking on people. Whereas if Snape would have ever gone that way…

Noah: If Snape had been a Gryffindor, he could have been a Marauder.

Caleb: No.

Kate: No.

Audience Member: What if Snape were in Hufflepuff?

Noah: Ooh.

[Audience laughs]

Noah: Then he’d be…

Audience Member: I always thought that Snape should have been in Hufflepuff.

Caleb: I think that’s the last house that Snape would be in.

Audience Member: Because he’s such a sweet guy…

Kat: Disagree!

Audience Member: …and he’s not really, truly as sly as a Slytherin.

Noah: He’s… no, I don’t know.

Caleb: Hmm.

Audience Member: But he’s loyal to those that show him loyalty. And when you actually, it seems like, be his friend, he is very loyal to those, like the reason he is so loyal to Lily. So that’s why I think he’s a Hufflepuff.

Laura: I have to completely disagree.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: Just because… and I think, yeah, Kat would definitely agree. That’s the problem I have with Snape in this fandom. I love him as character. That doesn’t mean I love him as a guy.

Kat: Right.

Laura: I think that… and that’s why I say the same thing about Sirius. Sirius is my favorite character… I don’t… despite… he’s by no means perfect. I don’t think Snape is a sweet guy by any means. I think… and that’s been my frustration re-reading the series, it’s just all the stuff Snape does is just so much of a jerk move, even just as a teacher and everything, that I’m… he’s… there’s the big reveal at the end, but even… I would never… I don’t think he’s loyal. I think he’s… I don’t know.

Caleb: I think Snape is Slytherin, regardless. I think maybe Slytherins in the room can agree with this, that he could have shown either side of the Slytherin House. Had he not gone the, quote, “wrong way,” he could have shown the best that Slytherin could be.

Laura: Right. I love Snape, and I think he’s meant to be a Slytherin, and I don’t necessarily say that’s because he’s evil because I don’t think Slytherins necessarily are evil.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: We made that clear, there’s plenty of people that are Slytherins.

Noah: Slytherins can be brave too, right? Should a Slytherin be…

[Audience applauds]

Noah: Couldn’t a Slytherin be as brave as a Gryffindor?

Laura: Right, and also not every Gryffindor is brave. We see that in Pettigrew.

Noah: Yeah.

Laura: The houses… it’s so difficult to just say Gryffindor is brave, Hufflepuff is nice, and everything.

Noah: I don’t think it’s…

Laura: People are a lot more dynamic than that.

Noah: I don’t think these are what they actually are. I think… this is my personal belief, is that…

Laura: It’s a reputation.

Noah: No, it’s what they most value. I think a Gryffindor most values courage. I think a Hufflepuff most values loyalty…

Laura: Okay. Yeah, that’s better.

Noah: …Slytherin most values ambition…

Kat: How do you feel about Snape, Ellie?

Noah: Yeah, as someone who is kind of close to both these characters?

[Kat laughs]

Ellie: I think that deep down in Snape he’s always been quite, I guess, loyal, and he can be kind. But he doesn’t know how to show it. So with Lily…

Noah: What did you pick James?

<[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Why did you pick James?

Kat: Let her finish. Go ahead, Ellie.

Ellie: Well, I think if he would have known how to show it, I think he would have been an amazing teacher. And I think that many of the students would have liked him, and right from the start he has always cared and looked over Harry, so…

Audience Member: Would Hufflepuff have brought that out then?

Noah: Would Hufflepuff have brought that out then?

Audience Member: Yes, whether he was in Slytherin.

Laura: I do agree that Slytherin, while I think it fits him, it’s not particularly a nurturing environment.

Kat: Listen, we could talk about Snape for years.

Noah: Now we’re getting into nature versus nurture here.

Laura: Yeah, I think we should…

Caleb: Yeah, we’re going to have to maybe take one last comment, and then we’re going to need to move on…

Laura: Yup.

Caleb: …to our last part. Our last comments.

Noah: Sure. Come up.

Kat: Go ahead.

Audience Member: I was just going to say that I think just in a general standpoint, as people or wizards or in general, there is good and bad in everyone, as Dumbledore talks about to Harry that when Harry is really worried, “What if I become evil? What if I become like the Dark Lord?” That there are parts of you that are like the Dark Lord. There’s parts in everyone that’s dark and there’s light in everyone, and I think with Snape, yeah, he has good qualities, everyone has good qualities, but – I mean, except for the Dark Lord, but that’s a totally different subject – everybody has good and bad in them, but that doesn’t mean, “Oh, he’s nice, so therefore he’s a Hufflepuff.”

Kat: Right.

Laura: Yeah, that’s what I… one of my favorite quotes from the entire series is from Sirius. He says, “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.” I think, yeah, that couldn’t be more true. I think you’re not defined by your house reputation.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: One comment about Voldemort before we move on, I know it’s… just one! Just one more. No one even comment. I just want to throw it out there.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Noah: I was talking to Sue over there, we were hanging out last night, and we were talking about… so Snape asks Voldemort, “Please spare Lily before you attempt to kill Harry,” right? And he gives Lily a choice. He listens to Snape and gives Lily a choice. That is the most… that means Voldemort has mercy, to some degree, for him to do that for Snape. He cared for Snape in that instant. So doesn’t that mean that in Voldemort’s heart in that moment he had a nugget of goodness in him?

Kat: No. He was going to win no matter what. If she chose to come to his side like he wanted or kill her.

Noah: But why’d he even listen to Snape? Why’d he do that? Why not just kill Lily and totally ignore Snape?

Kat: Because he wanted her on his side so bad that… yeah.

Audience Member: Do you really think that asking a mother to choose your own life or your child’s is really a choice?

Kat: Right, exactly.

Caleb: Mmm. Word.

Kat: Not a choice.

Laura: Yeah, it’s exactly…

Caleb: Spoken probably from a true mother.

Kat: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah!

[Audience applauds]

Noah: I was merely saying…

Caleb: On the eve of Mother’s Day.

Noah: I was merely saying that Voldemort didn’t need to give her the choice, and that…

Laura: All right. Well, no, it’s an awful thing to do, but we’re…

Caleb Yeah, we’re going to move on to our last couple of minutes.

Noah: Okay.

Kat: Yup. We’re just going to wrap it up with some quick questions, so we want to hear…

Caleb: [laughs] Not as deep and powerful.

Kat: No, just…

Laura: Just drop things out.

Kat: Yeah, just yell out answers.

Laura: Yes or no.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: They’re only yes or no questions, I believe.

Noah: Are Hufflepuffs truly always hungry?

Audience: Yes.

Kat: Yes.

Noah: Yell into the microphone.

Caleb: Since they live by the kitchens at Hogwarts.

[Kat laughs]

Laura: And we said the hungry, hungry Hufflepuffs.

Noah: Is it morally acceptable to kill Mandrakes?

Audience: No!

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Yes. I mean, no. Thank you.

Caleb: This is not a yes, Noah.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Noah: I meant yes to the no.

Caleb: No, the next one.

Noah: Is…

Caleb: How do… yeah, the next one is, how do Dementors breed?

Kat: That’s not a yes or no question, Noah!

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: That’s a heavy question.

Noah: That is a weird question to put in the yes or no section.

Caleb: Okay, so what’s…

Noah: Is the Desk!Pig alive?

Audience: No!

Kat: Wait…

Caleb: Would you eat it?

Kat: …do they know what the Desk!Pig is?

Laura: The Desk!Pig is…

Kat: Does anyone know what it is?

Audience: Yes!

Laura: All right, for those who don’t know, the Desk!Pig is our longest running thing. Back in the very beginning, McGonagall transforms a desk into a pig and then back into a desk, and it was a throwaway comment of, “Oh, would you be able to eat that desk?”

Noah: “Was it a real pig?”

Kat: We talked about it for twelve episodes.

Laura: And it’s turned into every episode.

Kat: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

Laura: So yeah, would you eat that desk?

Kat: So what would happen? Would it change back in your stomach? How would you digest it?

Laura: So we just … yeah.

Kat: So…

Noah: Would you eat it?

Audience: No!

Audience Member: I’m vegetarian!

Noah: You’re vegetarian. You’re Jewish?

[Audience laughs]

Noah: Exactly. Is the Monster Book of Monsters alive?

[Audience responds with yes and no]

Noah: Is Hogwarts alive? Because of magic and how it creates and makes things move, so is the entire thing alive?

Audience Member: Yes!

Noah: Okay.

Audience Member: Aren’t all of these “Is it alive?” questions?

[Audience laughs]

Kat: They are! [laughs]

Caleb: Thanks to our resident “Is it alive?”…

Kat: That’s Noah’s thing.

Laura: Noah contributed this part.

Noah: Is it alive?

Kat: [laughs] He did.

[Laura laughs]

Noah: Are Dementors alive?

Audience: Yes!

Audience Member: In a way.

Noah: In a way. Are wands alive?

[Audience responds with yes and no]

Caleb: They come from trees. Trees are living things.

Kat: That’s right.

Noah: And they talk to each other. You can argue that the core to wood is kind of like heart and soul, in a way, in the wand. And they’re multifaceted, they interact with the wand…

Audience Member: It’s metaphoric for life.

Noah: Oh, okay. [laughs]

Kat: There you go, metaphoric for life.

Audience Member: They aren’t sentient.

Noah: There aren’t sentient? I think they might be.

Audience Member: They are sentient a little bit as they pick the witch or wizard that chooses them, as well as – Harry’s wand is the most classic example – they do cast some spells on their own as well as they have big personalities depending on their core and wood, as explained by JK Rowling!

Noah: Yes, and as we’ve seen with the effects of Priori Incantatem, when in the seventh book, Harry’s wand responds to Voldemort’s wand, they can communicate with each other and act on their own and stuff. Wouldn’t that imply a certain degree of sentience?

Caleb: I think we have a question from someone from Beauxbatons over here.

Audience Member: No, it’s a comment.

Caleb: Oh, a comment.

Audience Member: Also, Mr. Ollivander says that veela hair makes the wand temperamental.

Noah: Where are you from?

Audience Member: France?

[Hosts laugh]

Caleb: Nice.

Laura: So I think…

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: That wraps up the “Is it alive?” questions.

Caleb: And wraps up…

Laura: The show.

Caleb: …the show. It is 10:30. So thank you all so much for coming out and listening to the show.

[Audience applauds and cheers]

Caleb: And hopefully those of you who are new to the show, you will start to listen. We’re on iTunes…

Audience Member: I love Alohomora!

Laura: Yeah, thank you so much. And also, yeah, if you want to check us out, you can find us at You can find us at Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, Facebook…

Kat: We have an app, too, for Android and iPhone…

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Kat: …all that.

Noah: We have t-shirts…

Kat: There’s a couple for sale upstairs.

Laura: And we have host shirts. Caleb’s the only one rocking his, but everyone but me has one. [laughs] Just because I’m new. So…

Kat: And you guys should stick around because – at what time, 10:45? – Joe and Ellie are going to be doing a Q and A in this room, so…

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: We want to…

Laura: Also, just a shout-out to… we have two other hosts on this show, Rosie Morris and Eric Scull, Eric Scull of MuggleCast. So they’re not here today, but yeah, on the show you can check them out, too. We’re all rotating hosts.

Kat: And we haven’t announced this yet on the show, but I figure we should…

Noah: What are you doing?

Kat:…announce it today.

Noah: Oh, no.

Kat: Yeah?

Caleb: Oh, I think I know what it is.

Noah: I don’t know if…

Kat: Okay. We’re super excited to announce that we’re going to be at both LeakyCons this summer. So if you’re going…

Caleb: Portland and London!

[Audience applauds]

Kat: …you should come back and check us out. Yeah.

Caleb: Let’s also just give another round of applause for Ellie for joining us.

Laura: Thank you so much.

Kat: Yes, thank you! Woo!

[Audience applauds and cheers]

Kat: It was great.

Caleb: All right!

Kat: Go ahead.

Laura: So I think that’s it.

Caleb: Thank you, guys.

Noah: I’m Noah Fried.

Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.

Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller.

[Show music begins]

Kat: Thank you!

Noah: For listening to this episode of Alohomora!

Audience: Yay!

Kat: Yay!

Noah: Open the Dumbledore!

Audience: Open the Dumbledore!

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Yeah!

[Show music continues]

Noah: A brief interruption, guys. We do need the mic to go around so that their voices can be picked up on the audio recording.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, if you guys have comments – yeah, please come up to this microphone just because we’re recording the show so that…

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: …our listeners can hear you guys.

Noah: So they might think we were talking to ghosts but we weren’t.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah.

Noah: We were talking to an audience of people.

Kat: Well, the ghost host is here.

Noah: The ghost host.

Laura: You guys don’t see him? [laughs]

Kat: You just can’t see him.