Transcript – Episode 52

[Show music begins]

Caleb Graves: This is Episode 52 of Alohomora! for October 12, 2013.

[Show music continues]

Caleb: Hey everyone, welcome to a special episode of Alohomora! I’m Caleb Graves.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris.

Laura Reilly: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. And we want to welcome everybody who is watching this live on Google Hangout. Obviously if you are listening to this two days from now, it is not live, but when we recorded it on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. it was live. So thank you everyone for joining us.

Caleb: Thanks!

Kat: Just want to let you know we are not going to take comments or anything on this show. This is basically just for you guys to get a behind-the-scenes look on how we record the podcasts.

Laura: Well, thank you everyone for joining, or if you are not, just listening regardless. Here’s a reminder to read Chapter 14, which is “The Unforgivable Curses,” in order to fully enjoy this episode.

Rosie: But, as usual, we start off with our discussion from last week’s episode, which was Chapter 13. So let’s get right in there, and the first comment comes from StoneHallows and it’s about Trelawney’s predictions, which we were discussing last week, and they say,

“I just had a crazy thought. We know that when Trelawney is talking about Harry’s birthday, we can assume she is actually sensing the bit of Voldemort’s soul latched onto Harry. Well, what if that is the case here as well? What if the little piece of soul, the Horcrux, the magical act that is supposed to make Voldemort immortal, is still fearing death? What if that is what Trelawney is talking about when she says that it ‘will come to pass’? She seems to get general sensings of things most of the time, and we only see definite, carved out predictions twice in the series. Even though that piece of soul is tiny, Voldemort feared death above everything else, and that fear would still be in that little soul. If that was so powerful that Trelawney picked up on it, she might think that it was coming from Harry. Not knowing what it was about, though, she would instead be her usual vague self.”

So the comment is saying that the little prediction that she says that Harry is worrying about something and it will come to pass soon, she’s saying that that is actually Trelawney picking up on Voldemort’s worries. What do you guys think about that?

Kat: I think that’s clever. I guess I wouldn’t have thought of it like that. What is his… what’s he worrying about though?

Rosie: Well, we were discussing that we didn’t really know what Harry was worrying about last week. So this is saying that Voldemort’s ultimate worry is that he’s afraid of death. So the comment here is trying to say that Trelawney is picking up on Voldemort’s fear of death and ultimately predicting that he will die at the end of the series.

Laura: I think in order to believe this… we have this discussion about whether or not she was picking up on his birthday, so I think you’d have to definitely agree that she was picking up on his birthday in order to then move to this statement. So last time I didn’t agree that she was picking up on that necessarily. So I think it’s a bit of a stretch just because you’re saying, “Oh, that thing you fear will come to pass.”

Rosie: It’s very vague.

Laura: Yeah, eventually everyone is going to die, so when is soon and when’s not soon? So I don’t know. I think it’s very clever. I don’t think I buy it, though.

Kat: I wonder if the fear is more something about the plan and if it’s not going to work instead of death over all.

Rosie: Yeah, because ultimately he never manages to kill Harry at the end of this book, which is what he was planning. So the plan does fail in some ways.

Kat: Right. I mean, that would make more sense, I think.

Rosie: What do you think?

Caleb: My thought is that we get such a distinct description of Trelawney when she is making a legit prediction to contrast her usual self, which I think we can almost always assume that it’s… well, I guess we can’t because Trelawney does predict the rabbit’s death accurately. So I guess she’s good sometimes.

Kat: [laughs] I mean, that’s true. If you call that accurate, yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Do you think the bigger part of Voldemort’s plan… which is the higher priority in that? Because you’re saying, oh, his plan to kill Harry. Do you think his bigger plan is to kill Harry? Or to rise?

Rosie: Priority number one would definitely be to get his body back, which he, obviously, does manage, but I think that closely linked to that is trying to kill Harry in that one go because if he managed to do both of those things at once, then he can take over the world a lot easier. And it’s the whole secret part of it as well. Doesn’t Dumbledore say at the end of the book that Harry escaping managed to foil him and that’s why he’s quiet and trying to sneak back in to the wizarding world rather than triumphantly saying, “I’m back! Be afraid!” But going back to Trelawney’s gift, the next comment is actually linked to this as well and it’s by HufflepuffSkein and it says,

“Also this got me thinking about Trelawney’s ‘gift’ or ‘sight’… Her accurate predictions only concern Harry, his VoldySoulBit, and V himself. Could it be possible that her gift is only reflective of future eventualities associated with their connection? Could her sight be intrinsically tied to the extreme magic that surrounds their connection, and somehow it is what inspires or engenders her predictions? We know of three predictions or visions that are at least accurate (even if she misinterprets them):

1. Voldemort and the child of parent who thrice defied him
2. The servant will rejoin his master… Wormtail
3. This latest premonition related to Harry’s VoldySoulBit”

Not entirely sure what they mean by this one, but yeah. [laughs]

“They all concern the circumstances of Harry and Voldemort’s connection and thus make me think that her gift is directly tied to it. Jumping a little farther down the rabbit hole, what if predictions, or the act of divination, can be affected by particularly significant future events… i.e., some cosmic/magic force compels the divination of potentially catastrophic or immensely impactful future events in the present through mediums like Trelawney? Not to suggest some divine force but just perhaps the energetic effect of such significant event as V’s attempt on Harry’s life, Lily’s powerful love magic, V’s rebirth, and their final battle, all coalesce as future eventualities to affect Trelawney in present visions?”

That was a long comment.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: To put this in a slightly easier way of perhaps understanding – which I think Kat will now get, but I’m not sure the others will because it’s a Doctor Who reference.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Think Bad Wolf, when in the end of the first series of the new series, Rose uses the words “Bad Wolf” to scatter through time and give her and the Doctor clues to a later eventuality. So this is saying that the massive magical event of Harry and Voldemort’s final battle – whatever – scattered itself through time, spiderwebs, and allowed Trelawney to pick up on these little events through her predictions.

Kat: I had to read this comment four times in order to understand it. I feel like it’s one of those massive ideas that…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: … we could probably talk about for four hours by itself, but I think the overall general concept of this I agree with. And it intrigues me, I think, to think about the fact that Trelawney is connected to Harry and Voldemort’s connection is super-interesting…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … and it makes sense to me. I’m not sure of the specifics, but I think that’s it. It makes sense.

Caleb: Yeah, I’d agree. I think Jo set up the story to leave plenty of room for that to be correct.

Rosie: I think it’s definitely really interesting though, to have one particular event that is the one thing that you can actually make predictions of as a medium is a really interesting idea.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: There’s some kind of fate aspect involved, which is important in the series.

Kat: It probably all started when she made the prophecy in the first place.

Caleb: Right, exactly.

Laura: Yeah. I think that’s probably safe to say.

Rosie: But do you think that’s where it started? Or just where she picked up on it? Because I think the comment’s saying that all of the predictions are linked in with this event rather than that first prediction being the event itself.

Kat: I’m not sure. It’s…

Rosie: Complicated.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: It’s incredibly complicated. I don’t know. I’ll have to think on that one more. We could have a whole show…

Laura: Stumped us.

Kat: … just on this comment.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: We could. [laughs]

Kat: That was a really good comment.

Caleb: That’s what’s so awesome is people come up with these comments that we would have never thought of that could be…

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: … hour long discussions.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Several hours long.

Rosie: The whole point of Alohomora!

Laura: Keep having those discussions on the forums. It’s the place for it.

Kat: Yes, please.

Rosie: This next comment is actually also fairly intellectual, but it’s a really interesting one as well. Moving from Doctor Who to perhaps Game of Thrones, with “Winter is coming.”

Caleb: Yes!

Kat: Oh, good. You guys will finally get a reference. [laughs]

Rosie: [laughs] So,this is saying that… this is about the idea of the born into winter or summer child idea that we were saying Voldemort is winter and Harry is summer. So this is from jessfudd and it says,

“About the ‘born in winter’ thing, I know that it’s used literally in reference to the alignment of the planets, but if you think about the symbolic meaning of winter, Harry really was born at the coldest/lowest/deadest point in Voldemort’s reign of terror. It was his survival of the killing curse and subsequent ‘disappearance’ of Voldemort that marked the beginning of ‘spring’ (or rebirth) in the magical world. I think Trelawney stumbles onto lots of accurate predictions, but she has no control over or understanding of her gift. And I think J.K. uses her for exposition we don’t even know we’re getting. I love the cookie crumbs sprinkled throughout the series that only make sense on rereads. OGM for sure.”

Kat: OGM for sure!

Rosie: So, yeah. [laughs]

Kat: I mean, sorry, I had to do that.

Rosie: [laughs] So rather than talking about literal winter and summer here, we’re talking about winter, as in the dark time, as in Voldemort’s reign, and then summer and spring being the rebirth of the magical world in a peacetime in the middle.

Caleb: A Dream of Spring.

Rosie: Very nice idea.

Caleb: That’s the last title in the book Game of Thrones series. So had to throw it in there.

Kat: This is something again that I had never thought of and our listeners continually blow my mind. This thought just… this comment, it’s incredible.

Rosie: Okay, so moving on to the next one. We were discussing in last week’s podcast about the bad reputation that Slytherin gets in the books and the possibility of good Slytherins, and this is a comment from the aptly named SlytherinPrefect, and it says,

“As I Slytherin I love that people are recognizing the disservice that the house has been given in the books. I find it really interesting to look at Slytherins who are different from the stereotypical view. As mentioned, Narcissa largely fits into this category. However, I feel the most obvious example is actually her sister. Andromeda grew in the Black family with Bellatrix as a sister and yet she still followed her heart and married Ted. She helps the Order and raised Tonks who went on to become a successful Auror. We don’t really know a lot about Andromeda but it’s clear that she’s not your stereotypical Slytherin. Sirius also comments that she always treated him with respect and kindness, even when he was sorted in Gryffindor.”

Laura: So she was definitely in Slytherin?

Rosie: Yes, we know that she was definitely sorted…

Caleb: I was about to ask, do we know for sure Andromeda was in Slytherin?

Rosie: According to the Harry Potter Wiki, she was definitely sorted into Slytherin. She was actually blasted off the tapestry, wasn’t she? But I think Sirius says that that only happened when she married Ted.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: So she was still on there while she was at Hogwarts.

Kat: And I always seem to forget about Andromeda…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: … but that’s a really good example of…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … the Slytherin debate. And I agree. Not all Slytherins are bad people, as I’ve continually said about Draco. I don’t think he’s as bad as he comes off to be.

Rosie: I find Andromeda a really interesting character because she is so often overlooked by people, even though we do actually meet her within the books. And, speaking from a fan fiction perspective, she was a character who was explored quite a lot before we actually met her. And her physical resemblance to Bellatrix was really surprising when we actually got that snippet of information, when we saw her in the books. I never expected her to look almost like her twin, but Harry has such a strong reaction to… In most fanart that existed before that time, we had a really nice triplicate idea of the three sisters, where you had Narcissa who was blonde and kind of willowy; you had Bellatrix, who was the dark haired, kind of crazy-looking wildness; and then you had Andromeda, who was always – almost always – pictured as a redhead, and you had her kind of looking like… I guess like – again going back to Game of Thrones – like the Red Woman in Game of Thrones. I can’t remember her name right now; that’s really bad. So you had this kind of really nice image of all the three sisters being very individual but kind of tied together in this circle, I guess.

Kat: That would be incredible if there was a family who had three girls who was blonde, black, and a redhead.

Rosie: One each.

[Laura laughs]

Rosie: Complete the set. [laughs]

Kat: Right. That would be an incredible gene pool.

Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]

Kat: Just saying.

Rosie: But in the realms of fiction it’s more possible. [laughs]

Kat: No, absolutely. That’s absolutely true.

Rosie: Also with hair dye.

Caleb: We know that… or people… or I guess Harry Potter Wiki assumes that Andromeda is in Slytherin. They use the quote from Slughorn that’s… where he says, “The whole Black family had been in my House, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor.”

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: So using that to extrapolate that Andromeda, then, had to be in Slytherin.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Which is kind of an assumption, but I guess we’ll go with it.

Kat: Is she… I mean, she’s around the same age as Bella, right?

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: Hmm.

Kat: And Slughorn taught them?

Caleb: I would assume so.

Kat: For sure?

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: I would assume so, yeah.

Kat: Yeah, okay. All right, then that’s a pretty good assumption.

Rosie: I mean, Sirius is such a kind of key figure that he’s remarked on that he’s not actually in Slytherin, so if there was another one that wasn’t, you’d think it would be less remarkable on him, and also…

Kat: They’d say something.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Right.

Rosie: Okay. So we’ve got our final comment in this section. Again it’s from Hufflepuffskein, but I couldn’t leave it off because it’s a good one. And it’s about Jacob, who was our guest host two episodes ago, one of his comments again on Puppet Master Dumbledore. And it says,

“Also, when you all were discussing Jacob’s reaction to his own Podcast Question of the Week, you brought up the Dumbledore-as-puppet-master theory again. And this made me think that while the previous three books offer strong evidence for this theory, this book shows that Dumbledore’s plans begin to crash at his feet. Harry’s name coming out of the Goblet is the big signpost where we turn from Dumbledore as puppetmaster to events and circumstances beyond his control. And it is here where we begin to discover the impurities of the white Albus. Before he seems like this beacon of purity and constancy but in this book we begin to see his faults and his fears, the things he cannot control and the things that eventually kill him. We discover the nuance of Dumbledore and his puppeteering days seem to be numbered.”

Caleb: Wow.

Kat: I really enjoy that last sentence, I just wanted to say.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I think that this is partially true and partially not true, specifically because of one sentence that comes up in the chapter we’re going to be discussing later, so I’ll bring it up again when we get there. I don’t want to jump ahead too much.

Caleb: Hmm. Yeah, I think I know what you’re talking about. Yup.

Rosie: Hmm.

Kat: Yeah. I’m going to hold this one in the back of my head.

Rosie: I think it’s a really interesting comment because I have so many issues with later Dumbledore. The idea of him as puppet-master is one of the main issues I had, so to have him being puppet-master in the first three books and then kind of losing that towards the end kind of goes against what I was previously thinking, so I might have to re-evaluate as I go back through the reread. [laughs] But I can definitely see that some aspects he’s losing control of, and I guess it’s what I worry about: whether he was still in control and knew that bad things were going on and just kind of lets them happen anyway.

Laura: Now I think we’re going to move to our Podcast Question of the Week responses, and our Podcast Question last week had to do with Mad-Eye Moody – since it was his chapter – and it was saying how based… the Mad-Eye Moody we see in Goblet of Fire, how much of it is Barty Crouch Jr. being himself and how much of it is him trying to act on Moody’s characteristics? This first comment comes from FeatherSickle7662:

“I honestly believe that Little Crouch studied Mad-Eye to a great extent to be able to impersonate him. He also had tons of information available to him since his father worked for the Ministry. I think about 95% of the book we see real characteristics of Mad-Eye just acted out by Little Crouch.”

I like this name we’re giving him. [laughs]

Caleb: “Little Crouch.”

Kat: “Little Crouch.”

Laura: [continues]

“The only instances where I see Little Crouch give away or drive away from Mad-Eye’s character is 1) when he removes Harry from the pitch after Voldemort’s very gross return and 2) when he turns Draco into a ferret. The first is obviously explained by Dumbledore in the book. The second, I think this was a lot to do with keeping Harry out of harms way to ensure Little Crouch’s Master’s return, but also a way of getting at Draco’s father for roaming free and denouncing Voldemort to the public to save his own behind. Unlike Mr. Malfoy, Little Crouch did not denounce his master and therefore feels justified in messing with his son for a little fun.”

Caleb: I really hope that Voldemort calls him “Little Crouch” also.

Kat: Little Crouch!

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: “Little Crouch, get over here.”

Kat: I love it. I love it.

Laura: Apart from Little Crouch, what do you guys think of that?

Kat: I want to believe that some of what we’re seeing is actually Barty Crouch Jr., and I would like to think it’s more than 95% fake. I want to be on the baddy side for some reason. I’m not sure why.

Laura: I’m on the opposite side, just because – I’ve mentioned this before – how much it bothers me that we like get attached to Mad-Eye and then it’s like, “Oh, JK, it’s not actually Mad-Eye.” So I would feel a lot better about myself if it was totally him, just not him.

Rosie: It’s interesting that the idea of Draco being turned into a ferret is an example of not Mad-Eye because I think that Mad-Eye probably does have that sense of humor and would be happy to do it. Probably not attacking a student. He would probably know not to do that, but McGonagall doesn’t seem surprised that he’s done it, just upset that he has. So I’m not sure how much of Little Crouch that shows.

Laura: Can we make that our episode title?

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Little Crouch.

Rosie: Why not?

Laura: Anyway.

Caleb: There it is.

Laura: So this next comment comes from DolphinPatronus… interesting. Okay,

“I think it is very plausible that Barty Jr. has been using his Invisibility Cloak for more than sneaking around the Quidditch World Cup. He very well could’ve managed to find a way to do some type of survailence (magical or otherwise) on Moody for any length of time once he shook off his father’s Imperius Curse. He likely had months to learn how to ‘become’ Moody. He is obviously a very intelligent skilled wizard (he did get 12 OWLs) and he can clearly act. So while we physically see Barty Jr. in his Polyjuice-induced disguise, I believe he most likely was able to perfect his Moody impersonation. How else would he be able to fool Dumbledore for so many months?”

He’s just an actor [who] had a dream gone wrong. He’s living out the role of a lifetime.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Is this how Eric is going to justify his defense of Barty Crouch Jr.?

[Laura laughs]

Kat: I think the problem with this comment is that doesn’t Moody see through invisibility cloaks?

Caleb: Yeah. I mean, yeah, he would.

Kat: Right. So I don’t think this is plausible.

Caleb: At least that part of it, but he could have thought of another way of doing surveillance.

Rosie: And you have to remember that Moody has all of those Dark Detectors as well…

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah. Good point.

Rosie: He would have recognized something.

Caleb: So we can just attribute it all to Little Crouch’s acting ability.

Laura: He gets the Tony.

Rosie: I think he would have known Moody from when he was younger as well. I think I said this last week, but he was the son of a Ministry official – he was working with Moody all the time – so I do think he would have had a great knowledge of how he acted before he went to Azkaban so he could just replicate that from his memory.

Caleb: All right. Well, now we’re going to move into our discussion of this week’s chapter.

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 14 intro begins]

Harry: Chapter 14.

Voldemort: Avada Kedavra!

[Whooshing sound of a curse shooting from a wand]

Harry: “The Unforgivable Curses.”

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 14 intro ends]

Caleb: At the beginning of this chapter, it makes note that not much has happened in the past couple of days. Harry mentions – or we get from the narrator’s perspective – that “Snape,” it says, “seemed to have attained new levels of vindictiveness over the summer.” So I was thinking about that. If there are any particular reasons why… I mean, Harry thinks that it’s probably because Moody has taken the Defense Against the Dark Arts job and again Snape has been left out. But do we really think that’s why he’s still upset? I mean, that’s happened a couple of years now. Is there something else that may have been propelling this intensity with Snape?

Kat: When does Dumbledore start searching for Horcruxes?

Rosie: Isn’t it not until the…

Kat: Fifth year?

Rosie: … snake attack on Mr. Weasley?

Kat: Right, okay. That’s what I thought. Okay.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Because I thought maybe it could be something…

Caleb: They’re starting to work together…

Kat: … like Snape, Dumbledore, Horcrux thing…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: So I think that’s the whole “in essence divided” conversation. I think that’s when he decided it actually was Horcruxes.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Okay.

Rosie: But I do think that by this point Moody has started searching Snape’s office, and I think he is keeping an eye on Snape already – or Crouch Jr., not Moody. But I think that he is already kind of at work and is undermining Snape’s…

Caleb: That makes sense because in the next couple of paragraphs we catch that Snape and Moody have this building animosity throughout the castle.

Rosie: Yup.

Laura: Yeah. I think also it’s a combination of Moody, and I don’t know if this is a movie-ism that I’m thinking of, just that he kind of senses Barty Crouch Jr. – he makes subtle references to Snape’s dark past, and I think that might put him on edge. If that’s a movie thing, then correct me. But also, Snape at this point probably knows that Karkaroff is on his way – or there or whatever. I can’t remember what point we’re at…

Caleb: Mhm.

Laura: And that’s another Death Eater buddy there to make things complicated, so…

Caleb: Homie showing up.

Kat: That’s true. I hadn’t thought about that Karkaroff aspect of it.

Caleb: Yeah. He’s got a lot of things going on.

Rosie: Also, you’ve got the Quidditch World Cup, the whole events there…

Caleb: Hmm.

Rosie: What does Snape think about those? He’s betrayed his master and his master betrayed him in killing his only love.

Kat: Imagine how amazing this story would be to hear from Snape’s point of view.

Rosie: Mhm.

Caleb: Yeah, that’d be awesome.

Kat: God, it’s like… that would just be… I think more than anybody, I want to hear that.

Rosie: I’ll try to dig out a couple of fan-fics for you, Kat.

Kat: That would be awesome!

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: No, it’s just… everybody knows I’m not on the “Snape is a hero” side but still, he comes up in like…

Rosie: This book in particular would be amazing.

Kat: … every single topic, Snape is there and I want to know his thoughts. I want to know more about him.

Caleb: Well, shortly after the Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons finally start for Gryffindor fourth years, and one of the first things Moody says when the lessons start is that they will not be needing books. Which immediately Ron gets very excited because he and books have a disagreement, it seems.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Moody also talks about how he got a letter from Lupin describing what they had studied the year before. While they seem pretty proficient in some things, particularly in creatures, they are very behind on curses, and Moody notes that he only has one year to get them up to speed. Already fulfilling the one-year stint of a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher which Ron hastily questions, and then Moody confims that only one year, then he’s back to retirement. So interesting [that] we get that right at the front of this book.

Rosie: Hmm.

Kat: Yeah, it seams like… we know that there’s a curse on the position, but it seems like this one’s obviously intentional. So can we say that this is because of the curse? I’m not quite sure we can.

Rosie: Maybe Dumbledore’s starting to get worried.

Kat: [laughs] Could be.

Rosie: So he’s literally saying, “I’ll hire you for a year but I’m scared for your life, so I’m not going to get you past…”

Kat: Right. “I’m going to let you go before anything happens to you.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: And I thought it was really nice that Lupin sent a letter. That was very considerate.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Aww, I feel like… I imagine him sitting there like…

Laura: Sitting in his lair.

Kat: … in his den house, which is what I picture. Everyone should listen to our Lupin episode because his story is tragic and awesome.

Caleb: So, so sad. But Moody says that he’s going to get them started on Dark curses, even though – illegal Dark curses, I should note – that is something that is supposed to be reserved until the sixth year. Do we think that this is a good call on the part of the Ministry? To keep things like this until students’ sixth year? Because, as we find out in this chapter, Dumbledore is on Moody’s side for doing this earlier.

Kat: That seems a little late to me. I was trying to think…

Caleb: Because if it’s in sixth year, then that would assume it would not show up on their OWLs.

Laura: But also remember…

Rosie: Yes, it’s NEWT level.

Laura: … that sixth… I mean, I don’t know how I feel because sixth year is only sixteen, and sixteen is – I feel like – the age where you’re getting mature things.

Caleb: Mhm.

Laura: We see them go through like, “Oh, they’re in their sixth year,” but it’s not like their sixth year of high school or something. They’re basically going through middle school or elementary school or whatever. Still through this, I don’t know. As much as it is useful – I think Moody proves that – I can almost understand the Ministry’s train of thought just because it is something so serious and I don’t know if a fourteen-year-old is going to be able to fully grasp the weight of it. But I think that is the Ministry’s thought process – not necessarily true, because I think Moody proves that it is useful.

Rosie: But consider the most serious spell that we see Harry using in sixth year, which is Sectumsempra. Which he knows… the writing beside it says “For enemies,” so he knows it’s going to be a spell that is attacking an enemy in the same way that a Killing Curse or something could be. He has no idea what it does and he uses it very irresponsibly, and Draco probably almost died because of it and would have died if Snape hadn’t been nearby. So even in sixth year he’s still too immature to use dangerous spells properly, so to give younger students the knowledge of these spells and how to use them is dangerous. What would Draco do if he knew how to use the Cruciatus Curse and it didn’t have the kind of regulations? He would go around…

Kat: See, but I think the opposite because I’m all for preventative measures, and I think that children are more curious about things they don’t know about than things they do know about. So I think that teaching them in a classroom setting where they learn the actual correct way… I mean, not that you want to teach them how to do these curses, but what I’m saying is [that] we have the DARE program growing up, and it teaches kids about drugs or whatever. Probably half of those kids are still going to go out and do drugs, but the ones [who] were properly taught about it will probably think about it before they do it. So I think that… what’s that little saying? “The more you know?” So…

Caleb: Yeah, that kind of leads into the next question. I mean, we know that this is Crouch Jr. making the choice. We don’t know if Moody would have made the choice to do the unforgivables for fourth years. But what do we think Crouch’s motivations are for wanting kids to be able to defend [themselves] against illegal curses? I mean, is it some exposure… kind of like what you’re alluding to, Kat – that if they’re seeing especially the Unforgivable Curses, does that decrease the likelihood of them being of that like mind? That “this is the route I should take” and then in some way lead them more to the Dark Lord.

Kat: I think “no.” I think that he’s showboating a little bit. I mean, obviously with the spiders and everything, but I think that it is mostly for Harry’s benefit in this scene at least. “Look at what happened to your parents. Here it is. This is how they died.”

Laura: I have to disagree a little bit in that I don’t think he’s doing it because “Oh, look at what your parents are.” I think he is fascinated while he’s doing this curse that’s killing this spider, being like, “I am standing in front of the only person [who]’s survived this.” I think that’s more his train of thought. Moreso than being like, “Oh, look. This is how your parents died, haha.” I think for him, he’s just fascinated while he’s teaching it. That’s all he can think right now is like, “This is how my master fell because this kid [who]’s sitting in front of me is the only person to have ever survived it.” I think that’s probably more his train of thought.

Kat: I agree. And I think that that goes hand in hand with the fact that he’s also… I think he’s also, like I said, doing it for Harry to be like, “Look at how easily your parents died.” I can’t believe that…

Rosie: See, I thought it was more calculated than that. The whole putting the Imperius Curse on them and seeing who can throw it off. I mean, he’s literally testing Harry’s abilities at that point and noting that Harry is able to throw it off.

Kat: Right. Yeah, I mean, that comes up in a later chapter, I think.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: And I was definitely going to mention that. I think that – not so much in this chapter but in a later chapter – he’s definitely trying to gauge Harry’s skill level for sure.

Caleb: That’s a good point.

Rosie: In that way, he’s also testing the other students around him. I mean, none of these students will end up in the tournament apart from Harry. But if he does it the same for older students… I mean, we see him using the Imperius Curse on Krum during the maze scene at the very end. So he’s kind of testing who is susceptible to all of these things, and I think he is scheming and working out [the] levels of all the kids he’s got under his control and how he can employ them to do his bidding in the future.

Kat: Yeah, I agree.

Caleb: One of the more funny things in this class setting is when Moody starts asking about the Unforgivable Curses, Ron is one of the first people to throw up his hand and gets called on to answer the Imperius Curse instead of Hermione. So the world kind of ends for a moment. Because Hermione is not the first to answer.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: But so Moody mentions… he talks about the Imperius Curse first and how it gave the Ministry a lot of trouble in years past because they didn’t know whether people were forced to act in whatever they were doing or if they were doing something [of] their [own] free will. And we know several Death Eaters – former Death Eaters – tried to defend themselves, either by saying they did it because they felt threatened, or we can expect they used the Imperius Curse. But this wouldn’t just be limited to Death Eaters. I mean, this could be a lot of people. So it made me think, “How do we think they may have done this?” – “they” being the Ministry. Through intensive questioning? Did they use Veritaserum? Which I think we can assume that there’s not a huge stock of that potion just used on everybody [who] pops up. So what kind of ways the Ministry would figure out someone’s true intentions.

Kat: I think they couldn’t use Veritaserum because if they did then they would find out that Malfoy is a Death Eater. I think it has to be more unreliable methods like Priori Incantatem and things like that – things that are more subjective and easier to hide.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s [what] I was thinking, and that if that’s true, that creates a very unstable and uncertain environment with this curse. Obviously, the Killing Curse has so much intense power and immediacy because it kills someone. But the long-term effects of the Imperius Curse are so… it unravels so many things because there’s no… I don’t think there really is that hard solution of how to figure out.

Kat: I mean… and again, that brings up the issues of using something like Veritaserum. Is that ethical or okay? Much like the Memory Charms on the Muggles. Is that an okay thing?

Rosie: But even if you use Veritaserum on someone who is under the Imperius Curse, would it actually show that they were under the Imperius Curse? Because if you give them Veritaserum and ask “Did you do this thing?” and they did, even if it wasn’t their idea, they’d have to say they did.

Caleb: Well, they’d have to reframe the question. They would have to ask something like, “Were you under the Imperius Curse?” which leads to… the fact is, “Do they even know that they are?”

Laura: Could you answer… all right, I’m going to run with what you said, Caleb. Hypothetically, let’s say if they didn’t know they were under the Imperius Curse, and then they were put under the Veritaserum and asked if they were. Could you answer something that you, yourself, didn’t know?

Caleb: Now that’s a good question.

Kat: I mean… does the Veritaserum… I mean, “How does that work?” I guess is the question. Is it reading your thoughts or is it reading your subconcious? What is it bringing out?

Caleb: That’s really tough. It actually made me think of… I know you started reading Divergent, Kat. I don’t know if any of you guys have.

Rosie: Not yet.

Caleb: But in Divergent they’re split up into factions, and one of the factions is called Candor, which is all based on honesty, and they have this method of… where they force people to tell the truth – the complete truth – because they value truth above all else. And it’s physically and psychologically impossible for anyone to lie or even to bend the truth. I mean, there’s a little bit of discrepancy there with the main character in one scene, but that’s what I think about here. I don’t think it would be physically possible for someone to lie or even bend the truth.

Rosie: I guess this is more for catching people who are lying about being under it. So it’s catching the Death Eaters who are saying that they were under the Imperius Curse rather than the people who actually are under the Imperius Curse, trying to make them see that they are Death Eaters. So I guess we are looking at it from the wrong angle here.

Rosie: Slightly.

Kat: That’s true. They would probably have to be accused or something of that nature.

Rosie: Saying, “Are you a Death Eater?” is more the…

Kat: That’s probably true. “Are you a Death Eater?” Right.

Rosie: I’ve wondered how they’ve never noticed the tattoos before. [laughs]

Kat: I mean, they are pretty obvious. But everybody wears long sleeves.

Caleb: That’s true.

Rosie: True.

Kat: I mean, I could have one on my arm for all you know.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: A side question to that is [that] we do see the Imperius Curse used quite a few times in the series, but we never get a for sure answer as to how it ends. Does it just fade away? I mean, we know know it’s used later in the series – when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are disguised in Gringotts and things like that – but I mean, what if someone does an Imperius Curse, and they leave that person forever? Does that just stay, or does it have a set time limit of how long it lasts?

Rosie: Can you do other magic at the same time? I guess you’d have to be able to if you were casting it on several people.

Kat: I think…

Rosie: I’ve always seen it like gollums, when you put the task in the gollum’s mouth, and it has to do that task and can’t be stopped. I’ve always seen the Imperius Curse as like that. So you use the Imperius Curse, set a task, and then that person has to do that thing.

Kat: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. I think it was more like depending on what you were going to have them do. If you told them to go sit in a corner and never leave, you could probably walk away and they would never leave that corner. But if it was…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: … giving them a task, like go find so and so, they would do that, and then I think it would be…

Laura: I think it might…

Kat: … over.

Laura: … have to do with the concentration level of the person putting the Imperius Curse, because just in how Moody says for all of these Unforgivable Curses that they require an intense level of concentration and him saying that, “You can all point Avada Kedavra at me, and I wouldn’t get as much as a nosebleed,”ù or something like that. I think in the same way when Harry Imperiu-rizes the goblin later…

Kat: Imperiused?

Laura: … he’s focused on it and he’s thinking about it and he actually does it. I think it wears off after a while just because the person that’s doing the cursing isn’t focused on it.

Rosie: Isn’t it the waterfall, is the thing that breaks it? So it would’ve lasted if they hadn’t gone through the waterfall.

Laura: Right.

Caleb: Oh, that’s true.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: That is what breaks it, so we don’t really know.

Laura: Yeah. But I think just like with any type of magic, that it has to have some kind of focus.

Caleb: So they move on from the Imperius Curse, and Neville answers the Cruciatus Curse and Hermione is devastated because she, once again, has been passed up to answer a question.

[Kat, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: But we obviously will find out later why it’s important that Neville answers that question. It’s not answered here. And, of course, Moody explains the curse. There’s not much to discuss really on that right now, but finally, he moves onto the Killing Curse, which Hermione finally gets her shining moment and answers. And I picked up that when Moody says that she has it right, it says he responds with, “a slight smile, twisting his lopsided mouth.”ù And I wonder if this is a little bit of Crouch Jr. peeking out, and he can’t quite help himself at the excitement of the thrill, talking about a curse that he obviously is very fond of.

Kat: I think so for sure. I think it’s one of those subtle clues.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: The OGM, as we’ve now shortened it to.

Caleb: Yeah, because when we don’t know it’s Crouch, we’re all just like, “Moody’s, like, one creepy, weird old dude who gets sick pleasure from talking about this stuff.”ù

[Kat, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: But when you know it’s Crouch, there’s obviously a deeper meaning.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: I think he’s really just genuinely impressed that Harry has survived it, as well. He has that curiosity, and that pride, I guess, in that he’s looking at Harry being a super powerful wizard. I’ve always seen Crouch as a power-hungry person, more than a good or bad person. Obviously, that does lead him to bad things. But I think he does have that genuine respect for the amazing magical skill of someone who’s managed to survive such a deadly curse.

Kat: So he’s in awe at this moment.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: That makes sense.

Caleb: And after the lesson, when they leave, they come across Neville, who is very upset, for obvious reasons. And before they can really deal with Neville, Moody comes along and takes Neville away to console him. And so, I think this is pretty clear, but do we think that Moody’s… Crouch’s actions, I should say, this early, are motivated by trying to give Harry his… his ultimate goal is to get Harry to the graveyard. So he’s getting close with Neville to help Harry to succeed in the tournament so that he can eventually get to that Portkey first to get to the graveyard.

Kat: Yes.

Rosie: He definitely gives him the book at this point…

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: … so that item is planted there at that point… planted.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Ha-ha, pun intended.

Rosie: [laughs] Sorry. But also, you have to remember that the thing that Barty Crouch went to Azkaban for was the torture of Neville’s parents.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: So to actually pinpoint Neville out in this very first scene that we see him as a teacher is kind of horrific. I said in my chapter summary on Facebook that I was worried what went down in that room. What is he actually doing with Neville at this moment? I hope he actually did have the nice, comforting chat with him, rather than cursed him and removed his memory or something, I don’t know. But it does ask questions. Neville does feel a lot better after this conversation, and it’s all because Moody or Crouch has praised him and his ability within Herbology and has passed on this information [to] Madam Sprout. So why is Moody or Crouch doing this, if he is… he’s responsible for this guy’s death… for his parents’, not his death… whatever, for his parents being cursed and being out of his life.

Laura: Goblet of Fire being my favorite book, and I’ve probably read it more than any of the other books, and I’ve seen the movie more than all the other movies, I’d never actually made the connection [laughs] that the person that was comforting Neville during this was the person that tortured… that’s the most obvious thing ever, and I just never… I was, because like I said, always so distracted by, “Oh, this is Moody,”ù I always forget that this is not Moody. Wow. Feeling kind of dumb.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Laura: But yeah.

Caleb: I think he gets some sort of sadistic pleasure out of the fact that he can manipulate the scenario like that. He thinks he is like king right now, the fact that he has like… not in a sincere way, consoling the son of the people he tortured to near-death, to mental instability. But he’s actually doing it to further his own goal. He… I feel like above all, actually, that Barty Crouch Jr. just loves being this manipulator and controlling all these… I mean, in a very different way than Dumbledore does. He gets a sick pleasure out of it.

Kat: I agree, he’s very much like the Joker…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: … in this sense, to bring up a Batman reference here, but very much the twister, the…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: What’s the word I’m looking for? The…

Rosie: Puppet master.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: So we have two puppet masters, and they’re just doing different plays. [laughs]

Kat: Yes.

Rosie: Poor Neville.

Caleb: Yeah, definitely. As you mentioned, Rosie, he does… Neville… after Ron and Harry get to their dormitory, they find Neville reading Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean, which he gets from Moody, and he talks about how he got that. And Harry and Ron go to start working on their Divination homework that they got earlier, and like good Gryffindors, they just start to make it up because there are better things to do. I totally get that.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: But it is kind of ironic because the things that they… I mean, we know that…

Rosie: I love this bit.

Caleb: We know that Jo does not do anything unintentionally. There is purpose to everything. So it’s ironic how real some of these made-up predictions actually are.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Because Harry says that he’ll be in danger of burns, which we know that happens because he’s getting ready to face a dragon.

Kat: Dragon. [laughs]

Caleb: And then it mentions a couple of other things that I legitimately can’t remember what they run into in this book to know how true or related to the truth they may be. But Ron makes up that he’ll develop a cough and he also mentions that he’ll lose treasured possessions. I can’t really remember.

Kat: What’s the timeline on this? This is really early in the year, right?

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Now this is before the Triwizard Tournament has even kicked off.

Rosie: This is still the first week of term because that’s their first class with Moody.

Caleb: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rosie: It’s the first Thursday, I think it is, of term.

Kat: Okay, because I was thinking about it, and I think one of the predictions is Harry… Ron suggests for Harry that he’s going to get stabbed in the back by a friend.

Caleb: Yes, yeah. That’s the other one.

Kat: But he says that on Wednesday that’s going to happen, so I was like, “Oh, is it actually that Wednesday?”ù but it’s clearly not.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Right.

Kat: But it would be really funny if, Halloween… yeah, it was Halloween when they picked the names out of the Goblet.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: If that was a Wednesday that year, I just think that would be…

Caleb: Because Ron would… that’s when Ron feels betrayed by Harry, yeah.

Kat: Exactly. Yeah, and Harry gets the proverbial stab in the back, I suppose.

Caleb: Yeah. So Harry notices that Fred and George… we get another instance of where the two are mysteriously working on things and we don’t really know what it was. I think it mentions Harry thinks that it might have to do with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, but it would assume that Lee Jordan would be involved too, if that was the case, so it rules that out. And then he picks up a quote from George, in which George says, “No, that sounds like we’re accusing him. Got to be careful.”ù So are they talking about still trying to get money from Bagman at this point?

Kat, Laura, and Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Okay, that’s what I thought.

Kat: Yeah, because they’re sending him the letters or whatever. Right?

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: They’re still being nice at this point. So they’re trying not to sound like they’re accusing him.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And then before… well, I guess Harry has to turn away because George or one of the twins – I can’t remember which one – catches…

Kat: It was George.

Caleb: Okay, yeah. George sees him looking over, and then they head up to bed. And then Hermione returns, and SPEW is born!

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: It is here. And it is here to stay for a while.

Kat: SPEW!

Caleb: So I totally forgot about this until I reread it, but obviously SPEW stands for the “Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.” But she originally says that she…

Rosie: The longer title.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: She says she wanted it to be called “Stop the Outrageous Abuse of Our Fellow Magical Creatures and Campaign for a Change in Their Legal Status.” So if you want to make an acronym of all the capitalized things she uses there, it sounds something like “SOAOFMCCCTLS.” And that’s what it would be.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Caleb: But, alas, she says it could not fit on the badge, so she shortened it to SPEW.

Kat: I love it. [laughs]

Caleb: That’s the title of the episode. “SOAOFMCCCTLS.”

Kat: It definitely is. That’s definitely the title of the episode. I love it.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: So she goes into her explanation of what SPEW is, and Ron, of course, combats her [laughs] and this quote, man, homeboy just does not say things right most of the time.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: He says, “But they like being enslaved!”

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Probably not the things we want to say out loud. Or even think, for that matter. But Hermione, of course, is not having it. She explains that the organization now has three people because Ron and Harry are going to join, of course.

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: That Ron is going to be the treasurer. Not sure why she thought that would be a good idea.

Laura: I loved that.

Caleb: But he’s going to be the one holding the money. And Harry is going to be the secretary, so Harry might want to start taking down some notes because this is their first official meeting.

[Kat laughs]

Laura: I love it so much.

Caleb: It’s so funny! Everything about this is hilarious.

Laura: I love the way she says it, “Harry, why aren’t you taking minutes?”ù [laughs] Get to it!

Caleb: Hello?

Kat: I think it would have been hilarious if before they cut to where Hedwig shows up, if he actually was reaching for a quill and some parchment. I think that would have been very funny.

Caleb: Oh yeah, because you know he would have. Harry doesn’t say no to Hermione.

Kat: No, definitely not.

Caleb: Yeah. But as you mentioned, they do get saved by Hedwig finally showing up. Harry earlier was wondering if Hedwig had gone astray and [was] never coming back. But finally the owl comes back, and it’s finally a note from Sirius, responding to Harry’s concern about the dream and his scar hurting and all that. And Sirius says that he is now traveling north because he has heard other strange rumors that are in some way related to what Harry told him. We have no idea what that is at this point. And that Dumbledore… the letter mentions that Dumbledore getting Mad-Eye to teach is more than just wanting him as a teacher, because Dumbledore is listening to… I can’t remember how. I need to look it up to see.

Kat: It says… I’ve left my iPad in the other room. It says something like, “If Dumbledore is starting to read the signs, as others are…”

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: This was the point that I wanted to bring up earlier.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s what I figured.

Kat: I don’t think that he is, I think, was my point. And I think, very much like in… I can’t remember if this happens in the book – I know it happens in the movie – when McGonagall and Snape are all talking about, “Well, are we going to let him do this?” and Dumbledore is like, “Yes, I think we have to.”ù I think that that is part of this whole thing. He’s reading the signs. He knows that something is happening; he doesn’t quite know exactly what yet. So I think that he is still very much in control of the situation at this time, even if he’s unsure of what is going to happen.

Rosie: If he had managed to get the actual Moody, then yes, he would be in control. But I think he is being undermined, and a lot of things happen that I’m not entirely sure that he actually does find out about. So he still thinks he is in control, and he’s trying to keep control, but I don’t think he manages it in this book.

Kat: Yeah, I think the Mad-Eye thing… it is said that he didn’t know that. Right? That’s something that definitely got past him.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: The only time he suspected is when Moody took Harry away from the maze at the end, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Okay. So I think that is the one thing that got past him. I think pretty much everything else, the murmurs that Voldemort was doing whatever he was doing, I definitely think Dumbledore is aware of all of that, for sure.

Caleb: Then after the letter… now I’m trying to think of what it is. Oh, Harry gets really upset because he thinks that by telling Sirius all of this, he is bringing Sirius back into danger. Particularly of getting caught, because he’s obviously on the run right now. And so he heads up to bed without Ron and he lies awake thinking about this for a while, and the chapter closes with more than a hint that Neville is clearly not okay because it mentions that if Harry would have noticed that Neville wasn’t snoring as usual, he would have known that he was not the only one awake. So we know…

Kat: Right, if Harry wasn’t being so self-obsessed, right?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s fair.

Rosie: I just want to give him a hug!

Caleb: Which one?

Kat: Neville?

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Okay. Because Harry… Neville, okay. And that’s where the chapter ends.

Kat: I think this is a great chapter. I feel like there’s a lot of really…

Rosie: There’s so much important detail in it.

Kat: Yeah!

Caleb: That you don’t pick up until you reread.

Laura: It’s one of the last also… because this is probably… I mean, there [are] a lot of chapters before we get into the action, the heavy stuff with the Triwizard Tournament. And I almost forgot that until I went to go sit down and reread this. I’m like, “God, there is…” what chapter are we on? 14 or something?

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: Yeah, and we haven’t even gotten to the plot, really.

Rosie: It’s still the first week of school.


Caleb: [laughs] There’s a lot of set-up here.

Kat: It’s funny, if this was any of the first three books, we would be three quarters of the way done.


Laura: And this is the one that originally Warner Bros. was thinking of splitting into two, which I’m glad they didn’t.

Kat: All right, so we’re going to jump into this feature that we brought back, our special feature.

[Pottermore, In Depth intro begins]

Michael: Pottermore, In Depth.

[Sound of quill scratching]

Rita: Well, Harry, the Daily Prophet readers want to hear the in-depth scoop on you.

Harry: Umm, well, I, er…

Rita: Absolutely brilliant! Ignore the quill. Tell me more, Mr. Potter!

[Pottermore, In Depth intro ends]

Kat: And this week, again, we’re going to cover some of the new Pottermore information. This week we’re going to talk about the Floo Network. So there’s a lot of information in here. A lot of it is one singular story. Some of the information we already knew or could have hinted at. So I’m just going to quickly read through and summarize this. So she says that the Floo Network has been in use for centuries, and it is uncomfortable, as we see many times in the series. But unlike broomsticks, the Network can be used without fear of breaking the Statute of Secrecy. And secondly, unlike Apparition, there is little or no danger of serious injury, with the exception of splicing. What am I talking about? This is the Floo Network. [laughs]

Caleb: [laughs] Where are we?

Kat: I was thinking about splicing because I read “Apparition.”

Caleb: And you mean splinching, I think.

Kat: Yeah, whatever.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: Anyway… [laughs] and thirdly, obviously, the Floo Network can be used to transport children, [the] elderly, and the infirm. Which makes me wonder…

Caleb: Throw the granny in the fire!

Kat: Oh my God, with the owls!

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: No, but why couldn’t they have found a fireplace to use when Ron was all splinched, to travel?

Rosie: Because they were in a forest.

Kat: [laughs] I know, but they could have found one to use.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: They could have built one! They could have found some bricks and gotten to building a fireplace right there.

Kat: [laughs] Anyway, so she goes on to say that nearly every witch or wizard home is connected to the Floo Network. You can disconnect your fireplace by use of a simple spell, but reconnecting it requires permission of the Ministry of Magic because they do regulate the Floo service and help prevent Muggle fireplaces from being inadvertently joined up. Although, as we know, they can be temporarily connected to arrange for emergencies, such as when the Weasleys pick up Harry.

Rosie: To go to a sporting event.

Caleb: Yeah, emergency!

Kat: I mean, that’s such an emergency.

Caleb: Harry gets the special treatment, always.

Kat: It goes on to say that in addition to domestic fireplaces, there are over or around a thousand fireplaces across Britain connected to the Floo Network, including those at the Ministry, in various wizarding shops and inns. Again, as we see when Harry goes into Burgin and Borkes… Borgin and Burkes – I’m having a day – and the Leaky Cauldron. So the Floo Network is clearly just a UK thing.

Rosie: Not necessarily.

Kat: Do we think there [are] separate ones for different countries?

Rosie: Probably the equivalent of the tube network or a train network.

Kat: Oh, okay.

Rosie: So all of the ones in England are connected, and maybe you’ve got a Euro tunnel to France or whatever…

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: … and then you can go somewhere else. [laughs]

Kat: That would be incredible. Just say you had a fireplace, Rosie, and you could connect to Laura’s fireplace. I mean, that would be awesome. I mean, she’s still legitimately 22 hours from there, but yeah. Oh, but they probably have fireplaces there. Maybe they’re secretly connected! Anyway, okay, just mind wandering. Okay, it says that the fireplaces at Hogwarts are not generally connected, although there have been occasions, as we know, like with Umbridge, when one or more has been tampered with, often without the staff’s knowledge. So that makes me wonder… how do we find out that hers is connected? She brags about it, doesn’t she? That doesn’t make sense because Snape summons Lupin in his, right? “Lupin, I want a word.”ù

Rosie: Maybe it’s the general fireplaces, but like the ones in [the] teachers’ offices…

Kat: Or the Gryffindor common room?

Rosie: Yeah, because Sirius uses it to get to the Gryffindor common room.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Discrepancies.

Kat: I was going to say, is this a hole?

Rosie: It may be. [laughs]

Kat: Well, she is allowed to make mistakes.

Rosie: But it does say, “Not generally connected,” so it does mean that some of them are, just not all of them. And I guess there are going to be hundreds and thousands of fireplaces around that giant castle. So maybe it’s just the main ones.

Kat: Yeah, the offices and the common rooms, or something.

Rosie: But if you’re going to have a room that you can only get into via a portrait, it’s a bit bad to get it then connected to a major transportation network.

Kat: Maybe they can make it so that you’re only able to put heads through.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I don’t know, put limitations on it or something. Not sure.

Rosie: But the whole point of Prisoner of Azkaban when they’re like, “How did Sirius Black get into the castle?” – if he can get his head through a fireplace, it’s not exactly hard. [laughs]

Kat: Maybe you can only leave Hogwarts by fireplace. Maybe you can’t come into Hogwarts by fireplace because of the protections around the castle. I don’t know, something to ponder, I suppose. So it goes on to say that, although generally reliable – the Floo Network – mistakes obviously can happen, as we know, when Harry sucks in the bit of ash and says “diagonally”…

Rosie: [as Harry] “Diagonally!”

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, instead of “Diagon Alley.” So then it goes into this amazing story, which I’m just going to kind of summarize here because I really want everybody to go to Pottermore and actually read it for yourself because one, I’m a really bad storyteller; and two, there is a clip of Jo actually talking about the story herself.

Caleb: Such an awesome new thing with Pottermore. I love it.

Kat: I know. This is the first moment that they’ve done it on, and they’re definitely going to continue to do it in the future. It is so awesome to click on that page and hear Jo talk about this stuff herself… excuse me, so I’m just going to summarize it. So the most notorious incident of “accidental misdirection,” as it is put in this clip, happened in 1855 when a woman named Violet Tillyman had a really bad row with her husband. [She] leapt into the living room fire crying and said that she [wanted] to go to her mother’s house. But she was sobbing and hiccuping – keep that in mind. So several weeks later, her husband was disconcerned about how dirty the house [had] become, and there were no clean pots and his socks needed washing… oh, somebody’s phone is ringing. That’s exciting. That’s the type of stuff that happens when we record, kids. And so he goes over to his mother-in-law’s house to get his wife back, and his mother-in-law [says], “I don’t know where she is. She’s not here.” So he puts up a poster campaign and writes to the Daily Prophet, and time goes by and nobody can find her. They have no idea where she went. People stopped using the Floo Network because they were so scared of getting lost. So I guess he goes on and lives a fairly boring life – it doesn’t really say much about that – but about twenty years later, after Albert – that’s the husband’s name – dies, Violet resurfaces. She comes out and she says that actually when she stepped into the fire that day and mumbled that she wanted to go to her mother’s house, the Floo Network thought that she said that she wanted to go to the house of Myron Otherhaus, a handsome wizard who lived in Bury St Edmunds. They fell in love and had been living together for the last twenty years with their seven children. So there it is, the end of my very bad story. Go listen to Jo tell it much better and more eloquently on Pottermore.

Caleb: It is a great story.

Kat: Just the fact that she’s written that story is kind of crazy.

Caleb: How many of these little stories does she have in her mind?

Laura: Do you think she just came up with it for Pottermore’s sake, or did she always have that?

Caleb and Kat: No.

Caleb: I think she had it.

Kat: Definitely. I’ve had nightmares about this happening – not legitimate sleeping nightmares, but I’ve thought about this before. She must have crazy security systems. Imagine if her house got broken into and this type of stuff was gone.

Caleb: Oh my God. [makes a knocking sound] Knocking on wood right now.

Kat: So there’s this little bit – you know how Jo always puts her own little notes in there – and it says that she came up with the name “Floo” from the flue that you find on a chimney, obviously. She goes on to say [not to] ask her what a flue is, because she couldn’t tell you – [laughs] which I find really funny. She said that she invented it because she needed a way for particularly young wizards and witches to travel around because she had created the Statute of Secrecy, which was very inconvenient.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: So immediately it made it difficult for them to travel around, especially long distances, by magical means. So she said that [she] thought that they needed something discrete and that’s how the Floo Network came about, and it was a way of moving from house to house without ever being seen by Muggles. She said it was also fun and comical to have it a little bit difficult to use so that you could easily make a mistake in where you ended up. So Jo’s showing her funny side again. Yeah, so that ends our special feature for this week.

Laura: So this week our Podcast Question of the Week this time deals with the Unforgivable Curses, because that’s what the chapter was about. So what we would like to know… very little information is known on the creation of the Unforgivable Curses. We have a little bit, but we want to know what the motivation was behind creating these curses. Who was the one that created them? And just what you think of it. Go a bit deeper into the history of what you think it is.

Rosie: Why were they originally used? What purpose [were they used] for?

Caleb: Yeah, the story of it.

Laura: Yeah, just give us what you think the story of the Unforgivable Curses are – more so than what the Wiki says.

Rosie: Well, thank you to everyone who’s actually watching us in our Google Hangout right now. For those of you listening on our podcast, you might have missed a few things that our Google Hangout viewers will have just seen. But our Google Hangout will actually be live on our YouTube channel, so you guys can go back and watch it again if you’d like to. But thank you very much for joining us, if you’ve managed to stick through the hour and a half that we’ve done this episode in. [laughs]

Laura: So if you would like to be on the show… right now this is one of our only all-host episodes that we’ve had in a while – usually we have a guest. So if you would like to be a guest on our show, head over to our website and check out the “Be on the Show” page at Please have the appropriate audio equipment so that you sound lovely. And in the meantime, subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes.

Kat: And if you want to just keep in touch with us in the meantime, you can catch us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, on Skype at 206-GO-ALBUS – that’s 206-462-5287. You can call on your cell phone too if you want, I suppose. And we also have this really awesome new feature called Audioboo. You can go directly on our website, and as long as you have a microphone on your computer, you just click a little button that says “Record” and you can send us a message. And we’ll play it on the show if we like it, much like we do our voicemails. That’s live, so go over and check it out now.

Caleb: Yeah, and don’t forget to check out our store, which has so many great things for you guys: things like T-shirts – including short and long-sleeved, because it’s starting to get pretty chilly out there – tote bags, sweatshirts, flip-flops, water bottles, travel mugs, and more coming soon.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Caleb: I just feel like I’m on a variety special or something.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: It’s not chilly enough to not have the flip-flops.

Kat: Right, that is true.

Laura: It will never be not the proper weather for the flip-flops.

Kat: Anybody who buys the flip-flops, we’ll send you a bonus gift incentive.

Caleb: We will?

Laura: Are you sure you want to… [unintelligible]

Rosie: [unintelligible]

Kat: It’ll be like a sticker or something, but worth it!

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: All right, Kat says it. Finally, there are ringtones. And where they can now see those on… there’s a link on the main page. Right, Kat?

Kat: There is, it’s in the menu. Yup.

Caleb: Check those out because they are ringtones from our theme song, which we all shimmy and dance to.

Rosie: But also under the “Podcast” tab on our main site, you can also find our app, which is hopefully seemingly available worldwide. We know that there are a couple of issues in some countries, I think particularly for Androids.

Laura: Italy.

Rosie: In Italy, sorry. We are working on it, hopefully. We’re trying our best to get it as worldwide as possible, but do check your local providers and hopefully you’ll be able to find it somewhere. In our app, you can find transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and much more. Prices do vary depending on the country obviously, but check it out because it’s definitely worth it.

Caleb: All right. Well, that’s going to do it for this special episode of Alohomora! Thanks for joining us on the Google Hangout or just listening to us the usual way.

[Show music begins]

Caleb: We appreciate you. I’m Caleb Graves.

Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris.

Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 52 of Alohomora!

Caleb: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Caleb: I cannot finish my promo if I keep getting interrupted! Finally…