Transcript – Episode 75

[Show music begins]

Eric Scull: This is Episode 75 of Alohomora! for March 22, 2014.

[Show music continues]

Eric: Hello, everybody, and welcome to Episode 75 of Alohomora! I’m Eric Scull.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Michael Harle: And I’m Michael Harle. And our guest today is Ameer Idreis. Ameer, say hi to everybody.

Ameer Idreis: Hi!

Kat: Hi!

Michael: And you’re an author, Ameer.

Ameer: Yes, I am.

Michael: That’s pretty cool. Can you tell us a little bit about the book that you’ve written?

Ameer: Yeah, so I’m the author of the Ewald series. It’s supposed to be a five-part series and I’m currently writing book three.

Eric: Wow.

Ameer: And [book] two has already been published, and it’s sort of like Harry Potter and Narnia. It’s kind of in-between.

Michael: Okay.

Kat: And how old are you?

Ameer: I’m in grade nine. I’m fourteen right now.

Michael: And you started writing when you were twelve, right?

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: Wow.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: That’s pretty amazing.

Ameer: Thanks.

Kat: Wow. That’s great.

Eric: Where can we find your book?

Ameer: Well, you can go to or

Eric: Okay.

Kat: Awesome.

Michael: It’d be great to have a writer’s perspective, too, today on the chapter that we’re examining.

Eric: Definitely.

Kat: It will. Absolutely.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: Tell us about your Potter story, like what House are you and your wand, all that jazz.

Ameer: Okay. Well, I actually don’t know my wand, but I am a very proud Ravenclaw.

Kat: All right. Caw!

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Sorry.

Eric: So the House Cup is Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff.

Michael: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: They do the House Cups at the end of every term and this episode is the end of a book, so it’s nice that we’re evenly matched.

Michael: And on Pottermore, they’re doing the House Cup pretty soon. Today, the day we’re recording, they’re actually celebrating Hufflepuff Pride.

Kat: That’s right.

Michael: So it’s all coming together, you guys.

Kat: Go Puffies! That’s my new nickname for you guys.

Eric: Puppies?

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I know. I’m brilliant. I’m just kidding. But of course, as always, we want to remind everybody listening that we’re going to analyze Chapter 37 of Goblet of Fire today, the very last chapter, which is oddly called “The Beginning.” So be sure to read the chapter before you listen to the episode for maximum enjoyment.

Michael: But before we begin “The Beginning,” we are going to go back one chapter, to Chapter 36, and look at the listener responses from “The Parting of the Ways,” and there were a lot of different conversation topics that came up from that episode that you guys analyzed, but the biggest one, probably, this week was about Dumbledore and Fawkes the phoenix, which, of course, in our last episode, we had a lot of discussion about that. On the main site, we had ArchdukeSeverus, Erin White, HedwigsTheme, HinkyPuff, Lalita W., Maureen, Mysterium Scriptor, SpectacularlyHypothetical, and Subjective Unicorn all participating on the main site in this topic, as well as HuffleclawRavenpuff, which is a perfect screen name for today…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: … and moderator KyKid on the forums discussing this topic, but I took responses today from AccioPotassium! Great username. The first one being,

“Dumbledore may have expected Harry to have the same phoenix feather core as Voldemort since the very beginning. This may explain why Garrick Ollivander gave the information about the phoenix wands to Dumbledore immediately after Harry left his shop. Could it be that Mr. Ollivander was under orders from Dumbledore to notify him at once if this event took place? This could also explain why Dumbledore knew about the effects of Priori Incantatem in such great detail in this chapter.”

So we had a lot of discussion last week about how much Dumbledore knew, and a lot of you guys went back and forth on if Dumbledore was aware of the Priori Incantantem when he gave Ollivander the two phoenix feathers or whether he had no idea what was going on. So I did want to review with you guys here on the podcast today what your thoughts on this are.

[Prolonged silence]

Michael: Here come the thoughts.

[Ameer and Michael laugh]

Eric: [singing] Here comes the thoughts, rolling on the thought train, coming into the station.

[Kat laughs]

Michael: Wow. Not all at once. Slow down, you guys. [laughs]

Eric: It’s possible that Dumbledore knew, I guess, to expect something. I’m still wondering exactly why there were two given. But definitely, if he didn’t know about Priori Incantantem before it happened with Harry and Voldemort getting the same wand core, I can see how it would happen afterwards, after Ollivander wrote him that letter, that he would start researching what that means.

Kat: Didn’t… isn’t it said that… or maybe I’m just making this up or whatever. Didn’t Priori Incantatem, however you say it, happen with Dumbledore and Grindelwald?

Michael: Oh, you mean during their final confrontation with Ariana?

Kat: Yeah, maybe that’s just fan fiction seeping into my brain, but I feel like I remember that.

Michael: I don’t think that was the case. I think their spells all just…

Eric: Yeah, I don’t think he had an instance of brother wands dueling.

Michael: No.

Eric: You had brothers dueling their wands between Dumbledore and Aberforth.

Kat: True.

Eric: But I don’t think anything mysterious happened.

Michael: Well, it’s…

Kat: I guess I’m thinking that Dumbledore knew about it, is I guess what I’m getting at. Because I don’t know, it’s Dumbledore.

Eric: Dumbledore, he makes a point to know quite a lot about quite a lot.

Kat: Right. Yeah, exactly. He’s a know-it-all.

Michael: So you think that when he gave Ollivander the feathers for the wands, he knew that something was going to be served? And because this… we have to consider that Voldemort got his wand about fifty, sixty years ago, prior to what’s happening in this book, about fifty years. So Lily and James and Harry don’t even exist yet, in the scheme of things.

Eric: Hmm.

Michael: But it’s so perfectly planned that people have argued that maybe Dumbledore did somehow do this intentionally.

Kat: Oh, how in the… no, I don’t think it…

[Michael laughs]

Kat: No. Uh-uh. Dumbledore knows a lot. He knows a lot. He’s a smart guy. But he’s not a Seer. How can he predict something fifty, forty years in the future? Come on.

Michael: Do you think there was another prediction by somebody, about some kind of prophecy or something?

Eric: [laughs] There are too many prophecies.

Michael: Maybe there was another prophecy.

Kat: Maybe, but I don’t know.

Michael: A pre-prophecy prophecy.

Eric: It’s possible that Dumbledore only acquired Fawkes after Voldemort rose into power and he wanted to better understand or wanted to get the phoenix that had… somehow. And Ollivander knew where to find him.

Kat: That I believe. That I believe.

Ameer: Yeah.

Eric: Hypothetically.

Michael: That Dumbledore acquired Fawkes after he gave the first tail feather?

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: [sing-song] The tail feather. [back to normal voice] Yeah. Yep.

Michael: [laughs] I could believe that.

Eric: It’s possible.

Michael: We also had a comment from nikigriff on the main site in relation to the issue that phoenixes are kind of rare and hard to acquire feathers from, and Fawkes seems to be an unusual case that Ollivander took two feathers from. And nikigriff suggested,

“Maybe once a phoenix has a burning and thus restarts their life again, the feathers shed from this new phoenix aren’t considered to be the same as the old phoenix. Thus, when Harry and Voldemort’s wands are said to be brothers, their feathers came from the same phoenix (Fawkes) and the same burning period.”

Eric and Kat: Ooh.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: I like that.

Michael: See, but doesn’t that kind of put a hole in the theory, then? Because Fawkes would have had a burning period way… that burning period would have happened with Voldemort’s tail feather way before…

Eric: Umm…

Kat: That doesn’t mean that Harry’s wand isn’t fifty years old.

Eric: Right.

Kat: They could have been made at the same time.

Eric: It was quite a way back in Ollivander’s library.

Michael: That’s true.

Eric: If you remember in the books, it’s like the last one that is tried.

Michael: Yeah. Well, and that’s actually why a lot of people on the main site were saying that Dumbledore wasn’t so in the know. Because Ollivander made Harry try a bunch of wands before…

Kat: Right.

Michael: … he actually had him try that particular wand.

Eric: Oh, right. So if he had said, “Well, why don’t you give it to Harry? Just play around. Just…”

Michael: [laughs] Yeah, yeah.

Eric: “Entertain me. Humor me.”

Kat: Yeah, I have a feeling that they were made at the same time and it was just by chance that Voldemort’s wand chose him, and then Harry with the prophecy was fated to get that wand. I just… I don’t think it was…

Eric: It’s interesting that Voldemort’s wand chose him. Because we think of a phoenix as being a good side object or good side creature, but Voldemort did experience a rebirth or was destined to experience rebirth.

Kat: Mhm.

Eric: Which is kind of in line with his wand core.

Kat: Very fitting.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: It’s a really interesting conversation. I enjoyed listening to that last week.

Michael: Yeah, no, and the fans, like I said, they really came through with a lot of great discussion topics. But that was really the big one that came through this week. But I wanted to do some shout-outs for the people and the topics that we couldn’t get to. On the main site: Bill White, Dan Sharp, DolphinPatronus, Elvis Gaunt, thegiantsquid, GobblingFire… that’s a new screen name. I haven’t seen that one.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yeah, that’s a new one.

Ameer: That’s good.

Michael: ifHedwigwasaPhoenix, PhoenixFeathered1, PixieDragon137, PumpkingFireSoul, and SilverDoe25 participated in the conversation. While on the forums: Bellamort, Lord_Trolldemort, StoneHallows, Saiyangirl, skgai…

Kat: skgai, whaddup! Sorry.

Michael: [laughs] … and Tweak6 were talking, and the topics that you guys covered were quite a broad range because that last chapter had so many different major discussion points. But the really great ones were some stuff about the Crouch family, the Dark Mark tattoo, which is I think a discussion that will never ever end.

Eric: Right.

Michael: Dumbledore’s actions, Fudge and the Dementor, the meaning behind the gleam of triumph the fabled gleam of triumph – the Marauder’s Map, how Polyjuice Potion works, the Priori Incantatum apparitions, Snape’s flinch, and Veritiserum and the Pensieve. If you want to join in any of those conversations – just because the episode is over does not mean you can’t participate in that – head over to the main site and the forums.

Kat: And we actually had a lot of Audioboos this week as well on some of those topics that Michael was talking about. So go to our Audioboo page, listen to them, and you can respond to that person with your voice. So it’s like, I don’t know, audio pen pals. It’s kind of fun.

Eric: And similarly, at the end of every episode, we come up with one of our Questions of the Week that relates to each of the chapters we delve through. Now it’s time to get to last week’s Question of the Week. The question – just recapping – was the following:

“Noting that Rita Skeeter was present during the entire debate in the hospital wing, if Hermione had not caught her, what actions would Rita have taken following the evening? What side of the story would she report to the wizarding world? Would she side with the Ministry, and continue to slander Dumbledore/Harry, or would she make the career-changing move to publish the story behind the return of Lord Voldemort, for top dollar sales? How would the wizarding world as a whole change from her actions?”

So we got a couple of comments here that I wanted to read on the show, and the first was from last week’s guest host, Kevin Bloomfield, who… there aren’t any rules, are there, against our previous guest hosts from writing in?

Michael: No.

Kat: No, of course not.

Michael: No, that’s even better. We love when our guests keep participating after the fact.

Eric: Exactly, so we encourage all of our guest hosts to do this. Kevin’s comment in response to our Podcast Question of the Week was,

“Rita Skeeter is at heart a conservative much like Fudge and accordingly would have toed the party line in regards to Voldemort returning was a hoax perpetrated by one Albus Dumbledore. She would have reported the events but in such a way that would presage the Daily Prophet‘s assault against Harry in book five. Additionally, we must remember she would have seen Sirius seemingly accepted by Dumbledore and would have shouted that to the high heavens. That in my opinion would have been the most lasting damage from the failure to capture her by Hermione. Dumbledore would be more discredited and the OotP would be slower to take form I bet as most people would think of Dumbledore as more than a harmless old man off his rocker to an aider and abetter of murderers and criminals.”

So Kevin points out the fact that Sirius Black is still a very taboo – in society – character, and that would be something that would further work in Rita’s favor to discredit Harry and Dumbledore.

Kat: But… yeah, there was a… yeah. Nope, that’s… I was just making sure the timeline was right…

Michael: Oh yeah, she would have seen Sirius pop up.

Kat: So… hmm.

Michael: Even if she hadn’t been caught – especially if she hadn’t been caught – she probably would have seen it.

Kat: Well, she did see it.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Because Hermione catches her at the bottom of the fifth paragraph from the end of the chapter.

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: And Sirius is already there, so she knows.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Wow, I hadn’t ever thought about the whole Sirius angle…

Michael: I know, because I think we were focusing more on the fact that Fudge is kind of the one who looks like a huge idiot in the scene because of how…

Kat: As usual.

Michael: As per usual, but especially in this scene more than any other. But I think, yeah, we completely spaced that Rita would probably see Sirius popping up and be like, “Now there’s a story. The rest of this conversation has been quite dull, and then Sirius Black popped up.” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. He still probably is one of those trump cards. But the second comment comes from Rose Lumos, who says,

“Rita Skeeter doesn’t care about reporting the truth or about political sides. All she cares about is fame and money. If she didn’t get caught by Hermione, I am sure that she would continue to write slanderous stories about Harry and Dumbledore. If she didn’t, she would be shunned from the Daily Prophet since, as we see in OotP, there are other writers who only write according to Fudge’s story. It’s like what was discussed in the show: there is a choice between what is easy and what is right. It would be right to tell the truth, but it would be so much easier to do the easy thing, which is to write what the public wants.

That being said, even when Rita does get blackmailed into writing Harry’s story later in OotP, even she is skeptical about what Harry is saying. She even hints that if she had free will she would go back to writing stories about Harry being a sad but disturbed orphan. You can see that it hurts her to write something that the public will disagree with. It mirrors our current world so well. Why should a major newspaper or cable news station report about wars in foreign countries when they can report about what Miley Cyrus wears and get more views?”

Kat: Okay, now there’s a reference I never thought would be on this show.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Miley Cyrus on Alohomora! Episode 75. This is the end times.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: Yes. Boom, the world has just exploded. Wow.

Eric: Yeah. So this comment in particular – and it was mirrored by several others – is basically kind of… they’re just saying that Rita is not going to have any change of heart or really seek the truth at all. What is right, what is easy, what is easy to continue going. And this was probably the larger-held view. It’s kind of just basing off the main site comments, and it’s unfortunate because I really believe the other. I believe that she would have done what was right, and some comments that would seem to support that, written much better than I could do, are the following. First one, and of two, is from Lord Trolldemort. Lord Trolldemort says,

“I’ll be entirely honest with you when I say that Rita Skeeter has a great deal to gain from reporting the truth in this instance. Imagine the absolute scandal [that] would follow the reveal that Lord Voldemort had returned, and not only that, but the Ministry of Magic absolutely refuses to recognize that truth. I would think that any reporter worth their salt would be itching to be the first to tap at that source of information if presented. It’s not even the fact that it would be the ‘morally correct’ action to take in this situation, but more so that it would gain her the most attention out of all the choices she could make in this situation.”

Kat: Uhh…

Eric: … now it’s getting away from what we were…

Michael: See, I kind of feel like this information… perhaps if Rita didn’t exactly report it immediately after… I feel like this would still be extremely valuable information for her, if not to report immediately, then perhaps somewhere down the line…

Kat: She’d hold it.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: You think she’d use it as a bargaining chip?

Ameer and Michael: Yeah.

Michael: I feel like this would be good blackmail material for her. [laughs] So… I mean, she’s never… the funny thing about Rita, that we’ve discussed before earlier on in the book, is that she never… other than her taking out her “revenge” on Hermione, she doesn’t really release things with much benefit to her, other than that she’s going to get a lot of readers, which… I’m assuming she gets paid per sale or something of the Prophet, but otherwise it’s not really like she has personal grudges with anybody. She doesn’t report on Harry because she has a grudge against him. She reports on him because he’s good news…

Eric: Hmm.

Michael: … so she wouldn’t… I don’t know how Rita would use this information to her advantage but I feel like she would at some point.

Kat: Yeah, she would put it in her pocket and hold onto it for a later time, probably.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Ameer, do you have any thoughts?

Ameer: Oh, well, yeah, I just think that she would try to get the most out of it, and she would publish it at the best time so she could earn the most money and… I don’t know. Yeah, I think that’s it.

Eric: Well, has Rita been the one who continues to publish on Bertha Jorkins and all the blunders of the Ministry throughout the year?

Michael: Oh, like the other ones that are…

Eric: Yeah, the previous that have been going on all year. Were they all Rita’s articles?

Michael: I think… I want to say they were.

Kat: I imagine.

Eric: Doesn’t Fudge at one point complain about Rita? He’s like, “Oh, yeah, she continues to ask about… continues to write stories about Bertha Jorkins, the press is…”

Kat: Probably.

Eric: So Rita’s not entirely on the side of the Ministry, as I believe others have attested.

Michael: I think actually, it’s… I believe it’s Crouch who grumbles about her, or Bagman, because like you said, Eric, she’s been poking around in the Games and Sports Department to find out what happened to Bertha.

Eric: Really! So an article on the rise of Lord Voldemort and the ineptitude of Mr. Fudge would be very much timely immediately because it’s come to a head and Voldemort is back, and this is all due to oversights from the Ministry. I don’t know, I think there’s an article that’s there to be written in the alternate universe of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but the final comment from our Podcast Question of the Week comes from Erin White who says,

“Rita would have done what’s best for Rita. Probably, breaking the story about Voldemort’s return and all the other juicy tidbits she learned during her stay on the windowsill would have taken her career to a new level and brought her much fame and fortune. Any positive effect on Harry’s reputation for believability would have been purely coincidental to her primary goal of selling the sensational details. I do think, however, that this would have caused her MUCH grief in the form of the MoM cracking down on her. She would have somehow been discredited, and possibly captured and sent to Azkaban. She was far better off having been captured by Hermione.”

Michael: Wow.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: I actually totally agree with that comment. That’s super true.

Michael: Yeah. I think… well, the other thing perhaps to keep in mind, that I guess we didn’t really take into consideration, is that Rita does write books.

Kat: Hmm. Right, that’s true.

Michael: So perhaps if the Ministry had booted her out… perhaps not so extreme as sending her to Azkaban, but at least if they had fired her from the Prophet, perhaps she would have just taken back to her book writing…

[Kat laughs]

Michael: … because, I mean, she could definitely make a book out of the information that she got.

Ameer: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, I mean…

Kat: Maybe she would write a tell-all about Sirius and call it “Seriously Sirius”.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, just as Erin brings up jail time for Rita, Rita could have really gone the way of the WikiLeaks founder gentleman as well…

Michael: Oho.

Eric: … for having to flee the country in publishing dangerous information directly from the inside so sensitive that the government has a backlash…

Kat: Mmm.

Eric: … and I didn’t think about that at all and I know that we hadn’t considered that implication when we asked the question last week, so it’s always exciting to see the different directions that the listeners take with our prompts. And as you did earlier, Michael, I’d like to shout-out to some of the other participants in the conversation, namely Silverdoe25, HallowsMaster97, HedwigsTheme, ArchdukeSeverus, LunasLovechild, ElvisGaunt, PixieDragon137, Maureen, and NikkiGriff. Thanks to everyone who does participate and please be encouraged that you can always revisit old Podcast Questions of the Week and continue the discussion going on our show.

Kat: We only have one more to go. One more Question for this book.

Eric: Oh, no, what’s it going to be? I hope it lives up to the hype.

Kat: I think it’s going to because right now, dun dun dun… I don’t know, I felt it needed that.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I think we should just keep that. Michael, you can just keep her “dun, dun, dun” in your audio clip.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Sure. It is time for the final chapter of Goblet of Fire.

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 37 intro begins]

Harry: Chapter 37.

Dumbledore: To Cedric Diggory!

Harry: “The Beginning.”

Students: To Cedric Diggory!

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 37 intro ends]

Kat: So here we are. It is the end of the year. Voldemort is back. Cedric is dead. Moody is not Moody; he’s Crouch. Holy crap, look at all the stuff that just happened! Wow.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: And here it is, the beginning of this chapter. You think it’s a month later, but guess what? It’s not a month later. It’s only a couple of days later. Anyway.

Eric: That was so confusing to me!

Kat: Me, too! I had to read it six times this time to be like, “Wait, is it a month? A week? A day?”

Eric: She’s just illustrating the fact that Harry, when looking back, thinks that it was a confusing time, right?

Kat: Yes, exactly.

Ameer: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. Because she says, “Even a month later, he wasn’t sure what had happened.”

Kat: Right.

Eric: And I was like, “Wow, there was still a month left of school?”

Kat: Which is funny… it’s not funny, but that’s incredibly common in traumatic situations that you kind of black out, you don’t really remember things, and stuff like that. That made me think, and this is jumping ahead a little bit in the chapter… because I’m sure we’re going to get a lot of comments on it…

Michael: Oh, yeah.

Kat: … this is obviously proof as to why Harry doesn’t see the Thestrals at the end of the chapter. The fact that he is incredibly traumatized, doesn’t remember things, all of that…

Eric: But does he not remember Cedric’s death? Because I really wanted to bring that up at the end of this chapter.

Kat: We can talk about it when we get there…

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: … but I’m going to fall back to this moment right now.

Eric: Save that discussion. But he’s traumatized and I just remember feeling sad for Harry and people who are around him and close to him really are trying to make it better.

Kat: Yeah, absolutely. So of course, Cedric’s parents go through this “interview” with Harry, which… I found that to be the oddest word ever to use, but anyway… and they wouldn’t take the Triwizard Tournament winnings and I thought to myself, “Aww, even his parents are Hufflepuffs!”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: But maybe they’re just rich or it’s too much of a reminder of Cedric?

Eric: It’s a reminder.

Kat: You think so?

Eric: Well, they want to remember him as being triumphant and Cedric’s mom even says, “Well, he died winning and he can’t have suffered,” and that’s the kind of thing that matters to them. But I don’t think they would have wanted to essentially profit from their son’s victory or death.

Michael: Oh, yeah, no.

Kat: I guess I didn’t think of it as profiting from his death. I suppose that’s true.

Eric: Yeah, it’s like, “Your son is dead, here’s a thousand Galleons.”

Michael: Right, yeah. I think that’s it. Money is not going to bring your son back. That’s kind of the issue here.

Eric: The way that Cedric’s mom refuses it, though… and Cedric’s parents are very, very interesting. She says, basically, to Harry, to be sure to take care of himself and they kind of want him to survive and I may be reading into it a little bit but basically his continued survival is what furthers their… I don’t want to say “well-being” because they’re obviously still very injured… but they really want him to go on. They’re kind of for him now because of all that has happened and they want to see him be okay and succeed as well. They realize quite rightly that he is also this traumatized kid who dealt with this and so when they say to him, “Take care of yourself,” I was blown away by how mature and parental that seemed.

Kat: So they’ve definitely thrown away their “Potter Stinks” badges.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Well, Amos has. I don’t think Cedric’s mom had one. [laughs]

Eric: Cedric’s mom… my question – I guess, mostly, about his parents – is why we don’t see them again? Or if we do, and maybe I’ve forgotten it because Book 5 is huge…

Kat: Wait, I think we meet Amos again, don’t we?

Eric: We meet Amos again?

Kat: Not his mother, but I think we see Amos again somewhere.

Eric: I just always imagined them taking up arms as a result of… maybe they’re just not as competent as their son is, magically. Maybe they just raised a warrior who…

Kat: Who turned into a vampire.

[Ameer laughs]

Eric: Coincidence, yeah. But I really kind of expected to see them later in either the Order or the Battle or something like that… and it’s okay, they’re the grieving parents and they’re allowed to take a backseat. I’m not saying they should have fought in the final war, but there exists in a matter of pages quite a good characterization of these parents who feel like they would be supportive of Harry, and in the future books he needs all the support he can get.

Kat: It’s literally… they’re mentioned… it’s ten lines in the entire book.

Eric: Wow. I mean, that’s…

Kat: And yeah, we just had a five minute conversation about them so…

Michael: Well, the thing that I have to just say is that I feel it’s kind of sad that Mrs. Diggory doesn’t at least… I feel like I have to just give a shout-out to Mrs. Diggory. We don’t even get her first name and she’s such an awesome little ancillary, secondary character.

Eric: I bet it’s Cecilia.

Michael: Cecilia Diggory. [laughs]

Eric: They were fond of the “C-E-” names.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: That’s big.

Michael: But she’s a great little character for the moment that she has. I just remember rereading this section, and I always have felt that with reading this section, that she doesn’t say that much, but it’s such an emotional moment…

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: … and the choices she makes are just very kind. Like you said, Kat, very Hufflepuff. But very kind, very mature choices, especially in light of how her husband… how Amos was characterized earlier in the book.

Kat: Mmm. Yeah.

Michael: He’s not really a pleasant character. He’s kind of hard to tolerate.

Eric: Well, because he’s so supportive of his son and now that his son is gone, he’s broken. He doesn’t even speak in this…

Michael: Yeah, he doesn’t say anything.

Eric: … because he’s quiet and he’s crying. And it’s not… it’s pitiable…

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: … because he has lost his pride and joy.

Kat: Aww.

Michael: I like that because… I feel it is because of their past discussions that there’s that underlying reason why Harry and Amos don’t address each other either…

Eric: Mmm.

Michael: … is because they just… what could they say to each other really?

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: Right. “Sorry I was a bastard to you, but thanks for bringing my kid back.”

Michael: Right.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, Cedric’s mom really takes the lead here and does what needs to be done.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: And she notifies Harry that they don’t blame him, which is… honestly, that’s as big a relief as you can hope for.

Kat: As a good woman should.

Michael: So Rowling, if we could just get a first name for Mrs. Diggory. That’s all I want.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I think that’s a fair request.

Eric: Oh, and if you haven’t made it up yet, make it Cecilia.

Kat: Yeah, it’s a fair request.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: I’m sure that she knows Cedric’s mother’s name.

Eric: Yeah, I’m sure.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: But anyway, so…

Michael: Well, even if she did, it’s Cecilia now.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Right, right. According to us. Right.

Michael: Yes.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: That’ll be her name in quotes if she ever gives us the real name.

Michael: Yes.

Kat: Blank “Cecilia” Diggory.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Margaret “Cecilia” Diggory.

Michael: But her good friends from Hogwarts call her Cecilia.

Kat: No, they call her CeCe. Come on. Get it right.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: She was in Hogwarts in the ’70s when Simon and Garfunkel had that huge hit and so she renamed herself Cecilia.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Do you think wizards listen to Simon and Garfunkel?

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Wow, okay, wait…

Eric: I think everybody listens to Simon and Garfunkel!

Kat: Okay, wait. Let’s go back to the chapter with Harry here.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: Okay, so the following evening… I don’t know if that’s after the interview or after the Barty Crouch thing happened. I don’t really know. But anyway, so Harry and Ron… Harry and Ron. Hermione and Ron tell Harry that Dumbledore had spoken to the entire school at breakfast and basically requested that they just leave Harry alone. And I was like… really touched by that. That was my valley girl moment. I was really touched…

[Eric laughs]

Eric and Kat: [speaking like valley girls] I was like really touched by that.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: No, I just thought it was really nice of Dumbledore to express to the school, “Listen, Harry’s been through some real… ish here. Leave him alone. Don’t pull The Chamber of Secrets crap on this kid, okay?”

[Ameer and Michael laugh]

Kat: “Seriously.”

Eric: Which was mostly Hufflepuffs, too.

Kat: It was. Oh! There’s the coincidence, right? Anyway, so Mrs. Weasley comes… and I guess she had a meeting with Dumbledore and asks him if Harry can basically go straight to the Burrow after school and Dumbledore says, “No way.” And when Ron is retelling the story, Harry asks, “Why?” and she says… or Ron says that his mother said Dumbledore has got his reasons. And now I’m wondering… how much did Dumbledore tell Molly? Does she know about the blood protection?

Eric: Oh. Well, that would be Dumbledore’s answer… I don’t think Dumbledore’s answer to Molly would have been, “Well, I have a series of spies in the surrounding premises…”

[Ameer laughs]

Eric: “… and we are fully expecting to allow him to wallow in self-pity and guilt for the foreseeable future so you should just let me leave him there.” He definitely would have said words to the effect of, “He is safest there, I have made sure of it.”

Kat: You think he would be vague like that then and not tell her specifically.

Eric: Yeah, I think he would be vague.Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: Mmm.

Michael: I think he would probably be vague right now but I think everybody, including people like Molly, are going to get more information once the Order is back together. Now is perhaps not the time to start revealing certain important information. But once they regroup and have their fixed place where they can meet where they know is safe, perhaps then she’ll find out.

Kat: I buy that.

Ameer and Eric: Yeah.

Kat: Seems legitimate. And actually, right in this section here, too, there was a line that got me thinking about Deathly Hallows and how Ron gets so mad at Dumbledore and Ron says, “I suppose we’ve got to trust him, haven’t we?”

Michael: Mmm.

Kat: And it just made me immediately think about Deathly Hallows and how, I guess, how mad…

Michael: That’s a good point.

Kat: … how mad Ron gets at Dumbledore for…

[Ameer laughs]

Kat: … being a prat and not telling them everything that he should have. I don’t know. Then moving on on this page – I’m on page 718 in the US edition – one of my absolute favorite quotes in the entire chapter oddly comes from Hagrid, which is very rare.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: They’re all visiting him and he asks Harry, “You all right?” and Harry just says, “Yeah” and Hagrid’s like, “No, you’re not. Of course you’re not, but you will be.” And it’s just… aww. I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: That’s some positivity in Hagrid, I love it! I love it.

Eric: Yes.

Michael: No, and I think this is the thing that I think because we have… our discussion on Hagrid is usually so focused in on…

Kat: His alcoholism?

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Michael: Well, his alcoholism and his questionable teaching methods.

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: We do sometimes perhaps forget this aspect of Hagrid, which is being Harry’s friend.

Kat: Right.

Michael: And because really, I think the most we see of this from Hagrid is really in Sorcerer’s Stone when he first meets Harry and really introduces him to the world and, I feel, makes this bond with Harry that a lot of other characters don’t have with Harry. But this is one of those moments and it’s what, interestingly, the narration suggests that this is the thing that Harry’s been waiting to hear from somebody.

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: Hmm.

Michael: And nobody’s… everybody’s going for the, “You’ll be better in time,” and “But everything’s fine, we’re sad that you’re sad, but you’ll be fine.” And Hagrid’s just like, “No, life sucks right now.”

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: “I get it! Life is harsh, but eventually we will find a way to work through it.” And…

Eric: It’s really the optimism is probably because he’s going on a secret mission with his lady friend.

Kat: I mean, to look for dragons of all things, right?

Eric: For giants, you mean?

Kat: Yes. [laughs] Oh my God, giants. Yes, I meant giants.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: He’ll probably try [to] get a dragon or two, but Maxime will say that, “You can’t put it in the tent with us.”

Michael: Well, actually, Ameer the thing I wanted to ask you about this is because I was realizing since you’re 14 now, you just came into the world when Goblet of Fire did.

[Eric laughs]

Michael: Around the same time. And so I’m interested to hear just especially because of the writing in these… we’ve discussed on the… especially on the last episode and I think there’s a lot of it here as well, is the writing in these particular two chapters and our fans have said it too, is really a big peak of Rowling’s writing. And the way that she drops hints and the way she embeds clues of what’s going to come up in the rest of her series and I was just wondering what your thoughts were on that and perhaps how Rowling has inspired you in your writing?

Ameer: Yeah, definitely, I grew up… well, obviously I wasn’t reading it when I was two years old.

[Michael laughs]

Ameer: But when I was old enough to read the size of books, I immediately fell in love and it really gave me a new light of fantasy novels and just when I was growing up I used to like non-fiction novels more, but then I read the Harry Potter series and the Narnia books.

Michael: Mhm.

Ameer: And I just fell in love with fiction, so it really helped me develop my own writing and it helped me understand what people my age…

Michael: Mhm.

Ameer: … like Harry’s character and like other characters in the novels, how they were developing and how they felt.

Michael: Hmm.

Ameer: So it just put in a new perspective on everything.

Michael: Yeah, well, and I think… I mean, these particular chapters, I think, really do highlight that transition for Harry as a character, from growing up through in his preteen years to his teenager years. So I would imagine for somebody who’s actually writing in that realm that these are a good model for that.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: And it’s funny because I noticed in this chapter that there’s a lot of – I know we talked about this several times before – the circle theory and how, even though this one’s the middle one, it has a lot of ties to Books 2 and 6.

Eric and Michael: Mhm.

Kat: And I found another one here. It’s again in this conversation with Hagrid and he says, [as Hagrid] “Might be able ter stop him.” [back to normal voice] Oh my God, I cannot do a Hagrid accent.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: Michael, would you read it for me?

Michael: Sure.

[Eric laughs]

Michael: [laughs] No problem. [as Hagrid] “Might be able to stop him before he gets a good hold. That’s Dumbledore’s plan anyway. Great man, Dumbledore, as long as we’ve got him, I’m not too worried.”

Kat: So obviously I thought about Half-Blood and poor Dumbledore has two years left.

Michael: Hmm.

Kat: That’s all.

Eric: Mark your calendars, everybody.

Kat: Mark ’em. Right now.

[Ameer and Michael laugh]

Michael: Ameer, now you said you have five books planned in your series, right?

Ameer: Yeah.

Michael: What book are you on now that you’re currently writing?

Ameer: I’m writing the third one, which is actually split in two parts, so the third one’s Part 1 and the fourth will be Part 2.

Michael: Oh, okay so…

Ameer: Yeah.

Michael: How do you… I know we’ve talked with Lev Grossman about this before, another author, about the difficulty of embedding clues and what not and his… we asked him how does he think of how Rowling does this and he said, “Oh, Rowling’s on a completely different planet from all the rest of us.”

[Eric laughs]

Michael: And he said that he actually works his mystery into his books as he’s writing them. Is that how you work your plots? Do you leave clues for your next book in the ones you’re currently writing? Or how does that work for you?

Ameer: Yeah, I just foreshadow from the first book about the second book. I don’t do what Rowling does in how she sets everything up so something in the fourth book foreshadows something in the sixth book. I don’t think that far ahead, which is great that she does. So I think she does it differently than most other authors, too.

Michael: Do you think you would ever try and take on a challenge like that, maybe? Because you’re quite young…

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: … for a writer. You’ve got a lot of time on your hands. You’ve got a lot of time ahead of you. Do you think you would ever take on a challenge like that?

Ameer: I could try, but probably not. I would never do it as good as she’s doing right now, so I don’t know.

Kat: Hey, never say never, man.

Ameer: Yeah, okay.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: You’re a Ravenclaw.

[Ameer laughs]

Michael: Yeah, that’s right.

Kat: Make us proud. All right, so moving on. After they all leave Hagrid’s hut, they go back up and it is time for the leaving feast. And this got me thinking because Harry’s talking about how the Hall is usually decorated with the winning house colors for the leaving feast and all this stuff and obviously this year is different anyway, just not considering the Voldemort-Cedric-Barty Crouch thing, but the fact that there was a Tri-Wizard Tournament and actually not a Quidditch tournament. What do we think would have happened on this night? What kind of ceremony would take place? What would there… the awarding of the cup, the winnings, all of that. What do we think would have happened? I got imagining, so…

Eric: It’s…

Michael: Well, I think it would have been some… I mean, we know that Fudge mentions that there was supposed to be a ceremony. So yeah, I think it would have been just something like a really big pomp and circumstance hoopla with lots of confetti and… but the one thing to note in that imaginary scenario is that the Hufflepuffs would have finally gotten the glory that they have been looking for for a very long time and there’s… I’ve seen this joke float around the Harry Potter fandom for years now since Goblet of Fire, that’s it’s no matter what Harry does, he always wins house points for Gryffindor. Cedric dies and they still can’t get the House Cup, like even honorary thing.

Eric: Wow.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: Aww!

Michael: I’d like to think that maybe there’s a shield somewhere in the trophy room in honor of Cedric or something?

Kat: Oh man, I hope so!

Michael: [laughs] Because he deserves it, but yeah, and I can see why, of course, I obviously know why they wouldn’t do that because it’s the same thing of trying to give Mrs. Diggory the money. It’s like it doesn’t make up for what happened.

Eric: Right.

Michael: But I don’t know. Perhaps… and I don’t think the Hufflepuffs would want that. I don’t think they would want to bank off of Cedric’s death as the reason why they would finally win a House Cup, but…

Eric: Hmm. Plus, if he really wanted glory, he should have come back as a ghost and they would forever glorify him.

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Eric: Moaning Myrtle’s got her own bathroom. I mean, that’s pretty good real estate if you think about it.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Yeah, but Cedric is too prideful. He’s too… I don’t know. He’s too Cedric to come back as a ghost.

Eric: Yeah. It’s sad to see that this closing ceremony is more subdued, like you said, Kat. But just like any other year, I always wonder what happens to the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen because we find out that… for instance, the OWLs – the O-W-Ls – were they sat this year by the fifth years? We don’t know.

Kat: That probably took place before the end of the Tournament.

Eric: Like in May, do you think?

Kat: Yeah. Well, the OWLs are usually the first week of June, so no, I guess…

Eric: It just seems like most of this stuff gets put off, like at the end of Book 1 when they’re like, “No exams need to be…”

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: Or was it Book 2?

Kat: All of the exams except…

Michael: That was Book 2.

Eric: All of the exams were cancelled…

Kat: … Book 5.

Eric: And it’s just like, “Wow!” So everybody’s… so I always wonder what happens to the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen who aren’t directly affected in the way that Harry is from being in his year. But in this case at least, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons are still here, so yes, I think there would have been a presentation ceremony and their continued presence in the school would have had more of a point to it. Right now, at this point, they’re just staying in it to stay in it. Even their headmaster is gone. Karkaroff left.

Kat: Right. Hmm.

Eric: So it…

Michael: And yet again, it…

Eric: … feels weird that they’re still here because there isn’t, as we find out, a big ceremony seeing them off. Or I’m not even sure… I mean, Dumbledore references them in his speech, but there’s no nod or “salute your foreign guests one last time…”

Kat: Now you’re getting ahead of us, man.

Eric: Yeah. Sorry.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: That’s okay.

Eric: You’re not saying, though, this ceremony really would have been so much more and that’s what I’m trying to say, which relates directly to your point that you just brought up.

Kat: But there is this one really nice moment where Dumbledore does a salute to Hagrid – to Hagrid? To Cedric!

Michael: That’s the second movie. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Right. That’s the second movie, right. “There’s no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid!”

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Sorry.

Michael: Slow clap.

Kat: Yeah.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: Okay, but no. He says that Cedric was the person who exemplified many of the qualities that distinguish Hufflepuff and he just raises a glass to him and I love that everybody stands up, even the bitchy-ass Slytherins.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: Excuse my language, but some of them are mean, okay? Some of them are mean. I just thought it was a really nice moment.

Michael: Well, that I thought was interesting in the respect that the Slytherins participate because then, Dumbledore turns to Harry and cheers to him as well.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: And the Slytherins don’t participate. At least, certain ones don’t participate.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: So… and I thought that was interesting because I just couldn’t imagine Malfoy saluting Cedric, so…

Kat: I mean, I don’t know. He was rooting. I mean, he was rooting for Krum, but I also think that… I think Malfoy can be a jerk, but I don’t think that he would have rooted against Cedric. He had nothing against the kid.

Michael: I don’t know. I just like… just considering how the Hufflepuffs are versus the… and I know we’ve talked about this before, is it really Gryffindor versus Slytherin? Because the Hufflepuffs almost seem like the opposite of the Slytherins in a lot of ways, quality-wise.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: But yeah. I personally was just surprised to think that the Slytherins – or at least, some of the Slytherins that we know of – would stand for Cedric, but… because I feel like if they…

Eric: This is the teacher, though. This is the headmaster saying, “You have to stand up and do this,” and notice how few of them salute Harry when he asks them. So that’s the thing is the first time, they’re like, “Yeah, we have to do this, whatever, because the professor commands it.” But when he asks them to salute Harry right after, Harry notices that most of them don’t at all.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: And he’s like, “What is this crap?” But they get away with it because Dumbledore is not looking at them.

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: So I think as the fact that they salute Cedric, we shouldn’t make too much out of it because they are just doing what they’re told, but when you get to salute Harry, which Dumbledore obviously backs Harry, but they don’t. That’s when they don’t and that shows their true character.

Michael: Yeah, perhaps.

Eric: They’re like, “Well, we did it once. We don’t have to do it again.”

Michael: [laughs] “We don’t have to do it again.” [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. And that all happens right after that moment when Dumbledore is like, “Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort.”

Eric: Ooh!

Kat: And it’s just like, boom! Giant bomb and I was thinking – and I’m just pretty much bringing this up to play devil’s advocate here because that’s what we do on this show – what is the reasoning behind telling them right now right at this moment beyond the fact of that they should know the truth? Why right now? Why this moment? Why at the feast? Is it necessary to just be completely blunt and totally honest and put it all out there? I’m curious if you guys have any ulterior views on this.

Michael: Well, I would say that it’s characteristic of Dumbledore to not just beat around the bush with the issues that he feels are important.

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: I don’t really think there is a way to ease in to saying that a student has been killed.

Eric: By the baddest guy ever.

Michael: Yeah. It’s not really…

Kat: [singing] Bad boys, bad boys. [back to normal voice] Sorry.

Michael: I mean, perhaps, Ameer, since you’re a writer, would you have approached writing that differently? Or do you think that that was the right choice based on how Rowling writes Dumbledore?

Ameer: I think that when I read that, it gave me chills because that was… it was a surprise, but I think that when you look at Dumbledore’s character, he doesn’t want to be… he doesn’t want… I don’t know. He wants to tell the truth as much as he can because some things he obviously can’t tell the students of Hogwarts, but I don’t think he wants to misguide them or – because obviously they’re going to be asking questions about how he died, so I think that he just wants to put that out there.

Michael: Yeah, no. I do agree with that is that it’s Dumbledore ensuring that he gets as much truth out there as possible, but also – and doesn’t waste time. And also doesn’t… I think, too, it’s important Dumbledore doesn’t feel the need to sugar coat things like this.

Eric: Right.

Michael: Because that’s what people like the Ministry do or the Daily Prophet.

Eric: I think it’s part of… this has to be a situation that teachers feel what Dumbledore is going through because he knows that some of these kids are going home to families and parents who will never, ever, ever tell them that Voldemort is presumed to have come back. Parents won’t believe it. This is the last moment that he has control over what they hear and what they see and what they learn and I think it’s because of that that he says, “Well…” He tries to prevent them from ever having to be in a situation at home where they’re being kept in ignorance. That’s the further point about it all is that some of these parents we see want to take their kids out of Hogwarts later because of Dumbledore and all that stuff that he’s not being believed for, but he just wants it to be known even if their parents dismiss it, even if they come to believe that he’s crazy. He wants them to know it because he knows it to be true and as his last second of influence over the entire school is ticking away, he decides that that is something that needs to be told to them whether their parents are going to believe it, whether they believe it for much longer, he wants to have that effect. He wants to make use of his power in this moment, just to be able to inform them, and maybe it will save lives.

Kat: So he’s doing it a little bit also, like you said, for the effect.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: To make a dramatic statement.

Eric: I mean, he has a whole speech planned.

Kat: Mhm.

Eric: It’s all about international cooperation, but to me that falls on deaf ears. Yeah, it’s kind of his point if you want to analyze his speech about cooperating and all that stuff, but it’s really… I don’t think anybody there is getting that because everybody is still a little shell-shocked over Cedric.

Kat: Right. Yeah, and that was actually my next thing that I wanted to bring up, beside the fact that Dumbledore’s little speech to Harry basically made me tear up this time because it’s so genuine and so real, and I just love the amount of respect that he is showing to Harry there. It was just absolutely beautiful. But the parts where he mentions Beauxbatons – which I still really hate [the official pronounciation] for the record…

[Eric laughs]

Kat: … and Durmstrang about the whole magical understanding common interest and whatever, I’m wondering, does Dumbledore… because before it has been said that Voldemort’s reign was basically really only in the UK.

Eric: Mhm.

Kat: Am I not… am I correct in that?

Eric: Yeah, you are.

Kat: Like what is he expecting from them?

Michael: I think that’s just a kind of an alliance that he’s looking to make just for back-up.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: For like… remember the last year?

Michael: Yeah. No, it’s almost like what Dumbledore was saying to Fudge, “Reach out to the giants. Get rid of the Dementors.” It’s kind of another step in that – make friends with… make foreign relations, you know? It’s what actual people do in war.

Kat: And also, they went through this with them because they were there when Cedric died, so maybe this is him being like, “Hey listen.”

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: “You’re involved in this, too now, whether you want to be or not.”

Michael: Well, and I always thought it was funny that Rowling actually and specifically defines later on that Voldemort’s reign of terror was kind of confined to the UK.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: Because until she said it, I had always assumed that Voldemort was just kind of making a mess everywhere.

Eric: Mmm.

Michael: Not maybe perhaps overseas, but I thought he was going to greater Europe, but she said that was his…

Kat: Hitler-esque, I get it.

Michael: Yeah, exactly. And I thought that’s what he was doing during the books, but actually she said later on that that was his eventual goal: he was going to take over the UK first, then Europe. So I…

Eric: But that’s just it, though. The implication is that he didn’t stop with the UK because he found a nice chunk of land and he was like, “This is good enough for me.”

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: He was stopped before he could proceed, and so the idea then is he is going to want even more power than he had before and we have to do everything we can to stop that, so they want to keep him contained. So making friends with these other nations will allow them to maybe seal their borders to keep Voldemort’s influence and power contained.

Michael: Mhm. Yeah, and we know that Grindelwald obviously was originally not from the UK.

Eric: Yeah, and he also has a lot of ties because he was defeated in [1945], so you immediately think World War II.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Right, that’s true.

Eric: Like the wizarding end of World War II, which I don’t think was ever really satisfied in the books in favor of other plotlines.

Kat: Well, it has been talked about many a times that that war will be included in Fantastic Beasts, the movie…

Michael: Mmm. Mhm.

Eric: Interesting.

Kat: … seeing as it’s only twenty years after the beginning of when it supposedly starts.

Eric: Hmm…

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: So… there’s that, Jo. Wink wink. Hint hint.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: So this little bit at Hogwarts at the leaving feast ends up with… again, there’s so many really good quotes in this chapter and ones that I think were translated to the movie, but the movie is in another week or two, so we’ll talk about that…

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Michael: Yes, we will. [laughs]

Kat: I just want to read it because I really like the quote. So it says, “Remember Cedric. Remember if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good and kind and brave because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.” It’s just a very… I don’t know. It’s a good moment.

Eric: I don’t think there’s anything disengenuious with what Dumbledore is saying…

Kat: Me either.

Eric: Some would say he’s using the death of Cedric to promote his belief that Lord Voldemort has returned. But if you just take Dumbledore at face value and say that this is a guy who knows Lord Voldemort has returned, if you can agree that Lord Voldemort has returned, this is a very effective statement.

Kat: Mhm. It is.

Eric: And it has everything to do with innocent people dying, and this is the reality that we live in.

Michael: Oh, yeah. No, I think we know that Dumbledore… one of his top priorities is the safety of his students at his school. And something like this is such a horrendous thing to him, not only that this happened under his watch, but also that Voldemort was the one to commit it.

Kat: Oh my God, I know.

Michael: And then that Cedric was really… he had no defense. So yeah, I think everything Dumbledore is saying is… I don’t think he’s trying to use Cedric. I think he is giving as much respect to Cedric as he is alerting the public as to what has happened.

Kat: Yeah. So of course now, we head back up to Hogsmeade station, or I guess they are outside of Hogwarts waiting for the carriages or whatever, and Harry’s lamenting over the fact that he has to go back to Privet Drive. And I just kind of laughed like, if you don’t want to go back there, don’t think about it. Whatever, it’s Harry, he’s emo – which is okay. I’m going to defend the crap out of…

Michael: Because… [unintelligible] Yes.

Kat: … emo in the next book.

Eric: Oh, you better, because he talks about the flowers. He’s like, “I bet Privet Drive at this time has got some nice flowers going.”

Kat: “Hot and leafy, its flower beds a riot of color…”

Eric: Yes.

Kat: I know, it’s beautiful, and then he’s like, “Ugh, this sucks.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: “I’m in a flower bed, everything sucks.”

Kat: But it’s okay. He just saw Cedric die, so it’s cool. It’s all right, you can be…

Michael: Quick turnaround.

Kat: Like I said, I’m going to defend the crap out of his emotions and explosions.

Eric: You better.

Kat: You’ll see it. Anyway, so this next scene, the next page or two, is kind of the wrap-up of the characters for this book. So we see Fleur one more time, and we see Krum one more time, and there’s some great moments with “Oh, your English is very good already”…

[Eric laughs]

Kat: … and “Can I have your autograph?”

Michael: [laughs] Yeah, I love when Harry asks Krum, “Do you have a new headmaster yet?” And Krum’s like, “I don’t know.”

Kat: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And I was going to point that out, because really, Harry? Do you really think within a day they’re going to have a new headmaster?

Micheal: Yeah. [laughs]

Kat: “Duh, my name’s Harry Potter.” [laughs]

Eric: Well, I just think they should have a second in charge. Hogwarts does.

Michael: Yeah, it’s unfortunate that the students are just, “So, guess we got to…

Kat: Well…

Michael: …row our own way home.” [laughs]

Kat: It made me wonder about what’s happening back at Durmstrang. Maybe whoever is the second in command is in…

Eric: Command, yeah.

Kat: … at Durmstrang with students, but these twelve students, or whatever, are…

Michael: They’re just abandoned.

Kat: They’re kind of up the creek without a paddle.

Eric and Michael: Yeah.

Eric: Well, we found out that they didn’t row over the first time.

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Kat: That’s right.

Eric: They did all the work the first time, so they… it’s not like they’re missing him.

Kat: [as Krum] “He stayed in his cabin and let [us] do the vork.” [laughs]

Michael: Well, and from what we’ve learned recently on Pottermore, as little as it was about Durmstrang, we do know that it is an extremely corrupt school around this time.

Kat: Mmm… right.

Michael: So who knows? Karkaroff may not have had a second in charge just because he didn’t like the thought of somebody usurping him in any way, shape, or form.

Eric: [laughs] The students are ruling themselves.

Michael: I mean, it’s been implied that previous headmasters have actually killed people to get their position at…

Eric: Wow!

Michael: … Durmstrang, so…

Kat: That’s true.

Michael: [laughs] … it’s a pretty extreme place, so yeah. It kind of makes sense in light of the new information she’s given us.

Kat: Right. Thanks, Jo.

Michael: Yes, thank you.

Kat: Okay, so then here we go. We get the first actual mention where it specifically says “horseless carriages.” Yep, yep, we’re not going to touch that yet, we’ll get there in a minute. I’m just kidding, go ahead and talk about it. I know you wanted to talk about it, Eric, so…

Eric: Yes. So let’s start with a quote from the book, can we?

Kat: Absolutely.

Michael: Oh, please.

Eric: Okay, who’s got it?

[Ameer and Michael laugh]

Kat: Which quote do you want?

Eric: It’s the one where the horseless carriages are mentioned…

Kat: Okay, so…

Eric: It’s right before that, he’s finishing up a conversation… I think it’s Ron.

Kat: No, with Krum. So, this is… right before it says, “Krum had already started walking away when Ron burst out, ‘Can I have your autograph?'” Then it says, “Hermione turned away, smiling at the horseless carriages that were now trundling toward them up the drive, as Krum, looking surprised but gratified, signed a fragment of parchment for Ron.”

Eric: So Harry’s watching… this is from his perspective, even though it’s always third person. It’s from Harry’s perspective that he’s watching and Hermione’s watching Ron get his autograph from Krum, and Hermione looks away just as the horseless carriages… Harry is noticing the horseless carriages coming up. This shows that to Harry they are still horseless carriages at the end of Book 4 after Cedric has been killed. So the obvious question is, why did she wait until Book 5 to introduce Thestrals? Because the big… we know from interviews and all that that she’s… the reason that it’s a big deal to see the Thestrals is because you have to see death, and clearly he’d already done that this time. So is this a book mistake?

Kat: No, because she has said – and I firmly believe this because of the evidence I pointed out earlier in the chapter – that the death really has to sink in and you have to accept it. And Harry was too scattered at this moment and too… I don’t know, too… I’m not sure what the word is I’m trying to say. Just too “too.” Too…

Eric: It would be…

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Kat: He was just tutu.

Eric: There would be evidence in the text to support your claim. Scattered is the word that is absolutely used.

Kat: Scattered!

Eric: And who am I to argue with J.K. Rowling about it sinking in, but at what point has death sunk in, really? I mean, you can argue that there’s really not even that much time for Harry to reflect on Cedric’s death in the arc…

Kat: Right.

Eric: … a couple of months.

Kat: Which is why all those months alone over the summer are perfect time for him to reflect.

Eric: I don’t think he’s reflecting. He’s too busy being angry.

Kat: Oh my God, he’s bored out of his mind! He’s…

Eric: Yeah, but…

Kat: … laying in flower beds and stuff. He’s reflecting.

Eric: Yeah, but at what point does death really sink in to somebody where they begin seeing the… and what kind of stupid super power is that for Thestrals anyway?

Kat: His first dirty dream about Cedric is when it’s sunk in. No, I’m just kidding.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: He’s dreaming about Cedric, he’s dreaming about that night, he’s obviously internally processing it, and that’s when it happens. It has to happen over the summer.

Michael: I want to ask Ameer about this actually. Ameer, as a writer I wanted to ask, do you you think that this was an oopsies on Rowling’s part or do you that that she genuinely didn’t mean for Harry to see the Thestrals yet in canon? Or do you think that she did that because it wasn’t the right time to reveal the Thestrals?

Ameer: No, I think it’s that she didn’t want to reveal them yet. Or I think the point is over the summer he has time to let it to sink in. I don’t know… I think she didn’t want to introduce them and then bring that up before…

Michael: Yeah, before the…

Ameer: Yeah.

Eric: Then why bring them? She didn’t have to mention them at all. She could be like…

Kat: But that’s my point. If it wasn’t intentional, she wouldn’t have said “horseless carriages”. She would have just said “the trolleys” or “the carriages,” like she did earlier in the chapter.

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: “Horseless” was super, super, super super, super-intentional.

Eric: There’s almost no point though at the end of the book after what Harry has witnessed in saying that he’s not completely as bad in it as he could be. He’s not completely traumatized yet. He’s not been traumatized enough to see the Thestrals.

Kat: Ah… no, I think she’s just trying to convey the fact that this was a huge deal. Not only did he see Cedric die, he saw Voldemort come back to life, he saw Wormtail cut his hand off, he slit his wrist open, all these Death Eaters were there. It wasn’t just the one thing.

Eric: Any of that should have triggered the Thestrals.

Michael: No, I think this is… the way that you have to explain it is a mix of all the things that I mentioned. One, I do think narratively it was not the right time to introduce the Thestrals, especially because of their signifigance to Luna.

Kat: Right, I do agree with that.

Michael: That would have been a mistake narratively. But I do think the way that you have to explain it, the way in Rowling has, is that Harry hasn’t fully… it hasn’t “sunk in.” Harry hasn’t fully perceived, because – and I think I’ve seen this more through this read-through than any other – in these last two chapters the narration really pushes the importance, and Dumbledore really notes this importance most of all, that Harry has to have a full catharsis that he goes through about Cedric’s death before he can really fully process it and move on from it and learn from it.

Eric: You know, perhaps…

Michael: I don’t think Harry is there yet. I think that’s what Book 5 really is for, in a way.

Kat: Yes. [whispers] Yes.

Eric: Perhaps we’ll get more on the Thestrals in Book 5, but it doesn’t sit well with me how the Thestrals are these ugly, demon-like creatures.

Kat: But they’re not. They’re so cute.

Eric: No, they’re not. The movie goes very far to show how cute they are, I will agree with that. But in the books….

Michael: That’s if you get a little baby Thestral. [laughs]

Eric: In the books they’re terrifying. You’re not supposed to want to be able to see a Thestral. You’re sad you did. They’re death omens. Luna can see them ever since her mother died.

Kat: Oh, I don’t see them as death omens at all.

Eric: They’re very much death. A creature that can only be seen after you’ve seen death and had it sink in, its full effect…

Kat: That’s not a death omen.

Eric: That’s… they’re not good. They’re not light creatures. They’re not light aligned. You can just…

Michael: Well… no. I think the interesting thing about Thestrals is that because of their appearance – and the movie really does kind of take that a little farther because of the way that they had to introduce Luna and bond her to Harry in the film versus the book. But I think the point of the Thestrals is they are not what they appear to be.

Kat: Exactly!

Michael: The interesting thing about it, the interesting thing to note about the Thestrals in between Books 4 and 5 – and I only realized this recently because remembering when this book was published – but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hints at them. They’re on the very last page under winged horses, and they’re just name dropped. It literally just says, “The rare Thestral (black, possessed of the power of invisibility, and considered unlucky by many wizards).” And she even hints at the idea that these aren’t necessarily unlucky creatures but wizards misperceive them. And this is certainly not the first instance where we get imagery that is not really what it actually is.

Kat: Yeah, and we’ll have so much time to talk about that in the next book, but…

Michael: Yeah. But I think as far as this particular instance goes, the best explanation is that Book 5 is meant to be the place where Harry fully processes Cedric’s death and he’s not finished yet with that part of the journey.

Eric: I… yeah

Kat: Eric’s not buying it.

Eric: No, I buy it 100 percent that he… I just don’t think they should have been brought up in this book at all.

Kat: But they aren’t.

Eric: I think Harry…

[Kat laughs]

Eric: I think Harry should have been able to see the Thestrals if they came up to him. And I believe it was a book mistake that was later properly answered.

Kat: Hmm… Jo’s too smart for that.

Eric: No, it absolutely… because you can’t quantify. When’s the minute that you would start seeing a Thestral? Really, when is that one minute?

Kat: When you accept it emotionally.

Eric: There’s no one minute. That takes months, years, weeks.

Kat: Welcome to Book 5.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: No, it doesn’t do it for me that some people… if you put a hundred people in a room and kill somebody in front of all of them, they’ll all be able to see a Thestral at a different time.

Kat: Right.

Eric: Walking away.

Kat: Right.

Eric: Because they’ll all process it differently and at different moments.

Kat: Right.

Ameer: Yeah, I agree.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Right. I agree with that.

Michael: [laughs] Yeah, the funny thing is I’m not getting why you were upset with the book in that way. What is it that’s wrong to you about how it worked? Is it that you still think the Thestrals should have shown up in this book, but not been addressed?

Eric: No, no, no, no. Okay, let’s talk about the story. It makes sense that the Thestrals aren’t introduced until Book 5.

Michael: Yes.

Eric: They tie in with Luna, and obviously, there’s a lot more space at the beginning of the next book than there is at the end of this book.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: So I think the Thestrals being introduced in Book 5 have the rightful place in Book 5, especially because they’re part of the vehicle that takes you to the Ministry in the climax. They’re super all about Book 5. But the carriages shouldn’t be mentioned at all at the end of Book 4 because I think that Harry should be able to see the Thestrals right now. It’s a huge mistake that he hasn’t, that he can’t.

Michael: Well, and I mean even if she hadn’t mentioned them, people would ask that question anyway, don’t you think? It’s like if she hadn’t even mentioned the horseless carriages people would still be like, “Harry should have seen the Thestrals by this point!” Because the thing is, the first time Harry sees them…

Eric: It’s possible she could have had him walking down, or maybe he was just in a daze that he didn’t look. Because he’s dazed.

Michael: I don’t know. I do think that Kat is right that it’s the fact that he does see it and as far as how the story ended up panning out the way she wrote it. [it] is important as far as showing how developed his feelings are on the death in this particular book versus Order. So I don’t know. That’s a tough one since she, as you said, Eric, she hasn’t, and it’s almost impossible to quantify when you process it, that immediate moment.

Kat: So after Harry doesn’t see the Thestrals…

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: … we move on to the Hogwarts Express, and we are headed back to Muggle London, much to Harry’s dismay. And it mentions that Hedwig is dozing with her head under her wing, and Pigwidgeon is there, and why are the owls on the train? They can fly.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: And is there…? And then I started… Noah got in my head a little bit. Is there some sort of magical barrier that would keep them from getting back to Muggle London since they’re… do you have to enter it on the Hogwarts Express?

Michael: No.

Kat: If you’re a magical owl coming from Hogwarts? I don’t know.

Eric: No, because you can send an owl to London any day of the week.

Kat: Right. Right. So why are they on the train? Just let them fly. They’re birds.

Eric: They’re going to fly hundreds of miles? Not all the owls could do that. Pigwidgeon certainly couldn’t make the journey, so Pigwidgeon has to be allowed.

Kat: Oh. I mean, I suppose.

Michael: I feel like if you were… if Harry turned to Hedwig and said, “Fly home,” she would just give him those reproachful eyes she always does when she’s PO’d.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: Okay, fine.

Eric: They’re pets; they should be able to accompany their owners at all times.

Kat: Fine.

Eric: Yeah, maybe students care about their pets more than Harry cares about Hedwig.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: Maybe.

Michael: Well, also, imagine if a huge flock of pet owls came flying out.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I guess I wasn’t imagining it like that. I was just thinking… so do they have to corral the owls back into the owlery and then be like, “Okay, come sit in your cage for four days because I don’t want you to leave the grounds again in case we have to get on the Hogwarts Express before you come back.”

Eric: Just pick up your owl from the owlery, or it’ll become a school-owned owl.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: Oh, is that how it works? Okay, you’re going to donate the owl. Okay, fine.

Michael: I think… well, and the thing that we… I found especially when you read the behind-the-scenes stuff about how the owls were dealt with in the films…

Kat: They dumb.

Michael: … owls are not like Rowling writes them. At all. [laughs] They’re smart, but they’re one of the most… they are one of the hardest animals to train. And so this… I think the idea that the students have to go get their animals is… because wizards just have magical bonds with their pets.

Eric: Kind of like… I think we had talked about this before but kind of like the daemons in His Dark Materials.

Kat: Yeah, that’s true. True, true.

Michael: There’s kind of unspoken bonds between them that work that way.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: Which, I mean, should just tell them… never mind, I’ll drop it. Okay.

[Eric, Kat, and Michael laugh]

Kat: So moving on, we get to the big reveal of Rita Skeeter. Oh my God! She’s an unregistered [pronounces an-ih-MA-guhs] Animagus. [pronounces an-ih-MA-juhs] Animagus. [pronounces correctly as an-ih-MAY-guhs] Animagus. However you say it.

[Eric, Kat, and Michael laugh]

Kat: There’s a lot of pronunciation issues going on today. Anyway, so Hermione says that she figured it out because they were talking about the bugging, and he’s like, “Wait, wait, wait, not electronic bugs,” but she’s an unregistered… yeah, whatever, okay. So she says that Viktor pulled a beetle from her hair after the second task, and how did he not crush her?

[Ameer laughs]

Kat: That’s the first thing I thought of, is “Wait a minute, he’s this big, burly Quidditch player.”

Eric: That’s like saying, “Why didn’t he pull her hair out when he pulled the beetle out of her hair?”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I mean, he probably did. He probably did pull a hair or two out.

Michael: Well, not to go too deep into it, but…

Kat: Come on. Do it.

Michael: … going back to perhaps what we said about Thestrals and not being what they seem, we find out that Viktor is not as burly and tough as he seems.

Kat: That’s true.

Michael: I [laughs] always pictured him very delicately pulling it out of Hermione’s hair…

[Eric laughs]

Michael: … and then just letting it fly away, so I imagine that he probably just pinched it.

Kat: Just maybe in an alternate universe he crushed her.

Eric: Beetles are pretty… I don’t know. I’m thinking of certain bugs. Certain bugs have really hard shells, though.

Kat: They have the exoskeleton, right, beetles?

Eric: Right, exoskeleton. So it’s on the outside.

Kat: Yeah, yeah. All right.

Eric: But I mean, she could be a titanium beetle.

Kat: Uhh, maybe.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Kat: But… and so it goes on, and they talk about all the times that they found beetles, and then they start talking about how Malfoy knew that she was an Animagus because he was talking to her in his hand. And do you think that – if this got out, if Hermione decided to reveal it – Malfoy could be convicted for obstructing justice?

Ameer and Eric: Yeah.

Kat: Azkaban, you think?

Eric: I mean, if…

Michael: No.

Eric: … you take any one of the ridiculous things that Harry is taken to court for or gotten in trouble for…

Kat: But that’s because he’s Harry Potter.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: But no, if you can take them and say, “This is just the opposite of favoritism.” If you were to hold Malfoy accountable for the same standards, yes, aiding and abetting a person who has broken the law is a punishable crime.

Kat: Yeah. I would agree with that.

Michael: I don’t know. Just because Malfoy is a minor, right? In the wizarding world?

Eric: Well, and his father would hear about this, and his father would…

Michael: Yes. Yes, he would.

Kat: Oh my God.

Eric: But really, the illegal part of it is that Rita hasn’t announced. She isn’t registered. That’s the illegal part.

Kat: Right. Right

Eric: So… but it’s kind of been key to her story writing this entire year and certainly in years previous. That’s why nobody could figure out quite how she was doing it. And so it’s nice to hear that this has been revealed, and it’s exciting that Hermione has captured her, but I keep thinking back to last week’s podcast question, and at first I thought it had been a month already in the jar, and I just think that there’s a lot of missed opportunity of Hermione capturing Rita and planning to not release for an entire year.

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: I think it’s a lot of missed opportunities because this is the time when the wizarding public needs to be informed about Voldemort. This is the time when she should be blackmailing Rita immediately and not later.

Kat: Well, and speaking of that Hermione keeping her in the jar for however long it was. This is one of those moments where we say, “Holy crap. Hermione is scary.”

Eric: [laughs] Yes.

Kat: The fact that she has her in a jar, with an Unbreakable Charm on it, lid closed.

Michael: Is there air?

Eric: Oh, I’m sure she’s got air.

Kat: I’m sure that there is. I’m like, “Hermione Granger, you scary, girl!”

[Eric laughs]

Michael: Hell hath no fury.

Kat: She is a reporter nabber. She’s just a mean girl.

Eric: Well, I think it said in the text that she’ll let her out when they get to London.

Kat: She does say that.

Eric: She’s far from being done with her, and so I think so much more could be done back to my point. Like with the Voldemort situation. Or right now, I think Hermione is scorned from all the stuff that’s happened, and she’s just so… this is the know-it-all side of Hermione. She’s feeling a lot of pride for having uncovered this secret and this mystery.

Kat: This is her Gryffindor moment.

Eric: You never see her gloating over discovering pipes in Year 2 with the Basilisk because she gets petrified, and that shuts her up pretty good. But I imagine it would had been the same thing. She is feeling very triumphant right now.

Kat: Right. I would agree.

Michael: And well, like you said, Eric, I always thought this, too. It’s almost like… as scary as it is what Hermione has done to Rita, I almost feel like she’s being pretty nice about it, actually. Like you said, it’s [as Hermione] “Oh, I’ll put her in the jar, then I’ll let her out in London, and then I told her, ‘You don’t write for a year, or you’ll be in trouble…'”

[Ameer and Kat laugh]

Michael: [as Hermione] “… and then maybe that’ll change her.” [back to normal voice] And I was like, “Oh, Hermione, you know better to know that a year of her not writing will not change Rita Skeeter.” I do think that’s funny that she actually was under the impression that a year without her quill could actually make Rita change.

Kat: It is a little naïve, isn’t it?

Michael: Yeah, I felt that that was unusually naïve for Hermione in this situation. And of course, we do see that she does take advantage of this situation later and definitely at a very opportune moment. But like you said, Eric, I do wonder if it wouldn’t have been wiser for Hermione to perhaps bank on this and get a little more out of it.

Eric: Well, you’re saying she’s so astute at the beginning of next year, with Umbridge’s speech, and she’s like, “The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts.” She has her finger on exactly what’s happening, and this would have been a better opportunity for Hermione, I think.

Michael: Yeah. Yeah.

Kat: But then we wouldn’t get that lovely article in the next one. Whatever, we’re jumping ahead.

Eric: It’s true, it’s true.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: So moving on here. So Draco comes in and gets his butt kicked because he’s kind of a D-bag. Not even going to talk about it because it’s pointless; it’s Draco. Anyway, so then, Fred and George come in after they have kicked the butt of Draco, Goyle, and Crabbe. And they ask them, well, “Who were you blackmailing?” And they reveal that it was Ludo Bagman because of the bet that they put on the Quidditch World Cup. And it’s revealed that he paid them in leprechaun gold, that he’s been ignoring their emails, dogding them…

Eric: Their emails?

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Ah! I said “emails”! [laughs] Look, I actually wrote “emails” in the doc.

Eric: He’s been ignoring their emails.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Eric: This proves that Fred and George are time travelers.

[Kat laughs]

Michael: Oh.

Eric: Which is how they figured out that Krum would catch the Snitch anyway.

Kat: Oh! Oh, it all reveals the…

Eric: That’s not answered. At all. They have this huge reveal about Ludo Bagman, and it’s great and all, but nobody presses the issue as to how the heck they knew that absurd result…

Kat: That’s true.

Eric: … would occur.

Kat: It’s because he was ignoring their emails.

[Ameer laughs]

Kat: Anyway, so then they go on to say that he refused because they’re too young to gamble.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: I was like, “You’re a…”

[Ameer laughs]

Eric: [in a British accent] “I could get you in trouble with your mother.”

[Ameer laughs]

Kat: Right. Jerk with a capital… other word.

Michael: “J.” [laughs]

Kat: So… and then they say that he actually was trying to make it back by betting against Harry against the goblins for the Triwizard Tournament, and I don’t know, he’s just kind of a jerk. And then I thought to myself, you know that moment in the movie – I think it’s Movie 5 – when Harry gets kicked out of Hogwarts, and Vernon is like, “Justice!”

Michael: Oh.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: I don’t know, I pictured that in that moment and then had a little cry over Richard Griffiths and then moved on.

Michael: [laughs] You had a lot of feels. [laughs]

Kat: I did have a lot of feels in that moment.

Michael: Well, and the thing that I like about the justice bit is quite satisfying, especially because we haven’t gotten a lot of that in this book. It’s a nice chapter for justice in a few ways, but I do also like the little hint drops about how goblin culture works.

Kat: Mmm, yep.

Michael: Because it’s a nice little bit that Ludo actually… going by his standard, he won the bet with the goblins because Harry won, but then the goblins are like, “No, you bet that he would win straight out, but Cedric tied with him. So give us our money.”

Kat: Sorry.

Michael: [laughs] And of course we’re going to see so many little technicalities like that in Deathly Hallows from the goblins. So it’s really well placed that she puts this here now so early. This is an early one on that front.

Eric: Introduces the goblins tactics.

Kat: #Genius.

Michael: Yeah. It’s another one of those things where it blows me away because it’s one of those Rowling moments where she didn’t have to do that, but she did, and it fleshes out the story, it fleshes out the world, and it does foretell things. and it’s just so carefully planned.

Kat: Yeah, it is. So after this little bit, everybody is exiting the Hogwarts Express because they are at King’s Cross and Harry stays back. He’s like, “Hey, Fred and George, hold up.” He’s like, “Here, I’m going to give you all my money because I’m kind of awesome.”

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And they’re like, “No, no, I can’t take this,” and he’s like, “Come on, take it! We’re going to need a laugh, so make us laugh because we love you guys.”

Eric: That was great reasoning from him.

Kat: Although he does have one incredibly odd request, which is “Buy Ron new dress robes.” Okay, how did that scene go? Okay, how did the buying of the dress robes go down?

Michael: Oh. [laughs]

Kat: I want to see this happen. Fred and George are like, “Hey man, let’s go shopping.”

[Eric laughs]

Kat: They’re like, “Let’s buy you some new dress robes,” and Ron’s like, “What?” I don’t know.

Eric: I imagine a montage to put on to the music of Tacos, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and they’re just waltzing…

[Ameer, Kat, and Michael laugh]

Eric: … around the high 5th Avenue shops in Diagon Alley. I imagine it would be like 5th Alley or something. [laughs]

Kat: Now you just made me think about Pretty Woman.

Eric: Yeah!

Kat: When they’re taunting Ron with the dress robes, and he goes to touch them, and they slap his hand.

[Ameer laughs]

Eric: Yeah, but this is something where Harry feels that Fred and George should be closer to Ron.

Kat: Yes, that is true.

Eric: This is why he says, “Tell him it’s from you.” Because they really give Ron a lot of crap, and Harry almost… it’s almost Harry’s way of giving money to his friend, too, because he didn’t give it Ron, he gave it to Fred and George, and so Ron is kind of getting gypped here in a way. It’s going to the Weasley family, but I thought it was important that Harry makes sure that Ron at least gets something out of the fact that he won. It’s almost as a thank you for being his closest friend. He’s like, “Give Ron new dress robes; he doesn’t deserve to be continually embarrassed.” Not that there are many opportunities to wear dress robes coming up.

Kat: Right, which is why I found it odd, but I like your reasoning.

Michael: Well, I was going to say, “With that, would it be fair to say that this is perhaps – because I know we said this with Hagrid and with Dumbledore – one of the chapters where everybody is at their best?” Just at their best humanity, at their best kindness?

Kat: I think it’s because everybody just knows that something awful just went down, and yeah, I tend to think… well, I know it. I know it’s a fact that after events – tragic events – people are nicer to each other. And just…

Michael: Because this… I mean, I’m glad you pointed that out, both of you, because that gesture on Harry’s part is really… it’s one of those – just like we said with Hagrid, where we harp on Hagrid’s bad qualities but you know he really is great at heart – we do also frequently harp on Harry’s constant stupidity.

Eric: Mhm.

Michael: But this particular moment is one of those moments where it’s just like, that’s the Harry Potter we know and love.

Eric: Mhm.

Michael: The one who goes the extra mile. Doesn’t just give Fred and George the money but also says, “Also, look out for my best friend who is also your brother, and go have some brother time with him.”

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: [laughs] He’s a very perceptive young man, that Harry Potter.

Kat: I mean, sometimes. [laughs]

Michael: Well, in human matters. In matters of the heart.[laughs]

Kat: Right. Sure, sure, sure. So then there’s this cute moment. We’re in the very last chapter. I mean – the very last page of the book – and it’s when they’re saying goodbye and Hermione says, “Bye, Harry!” And then it goes on to say “She did something that she had never done before and kissed him on the cheek.”

Eric: Whoop, whoop!

[Ameer laughs]

Kat: And I thought, “Oh, our little Hermione is growing up.” And it’s obviously because she’s so much more comfortable with herself after she’s been snogging Viktor for the year, so…

Eric: Oh yeah. Kissing is old hat.

Ameer: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, it is to her now. I just thought it was a nice… I don’t know… gesture. I know, Harmony Shippers out there, I’m sorry. Never going to happen. But you know.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: No, I think you’re right though, Kat. It is due to this background stuff that’s been happening with her character.

Kat: Yeah. She’s grown up a lot this year, I think, emotionally.

Michael: Meanwhile, Ron is in the background leaning his cheek forward like, [in a British accent] “Kiss? Kiss goodbye? Kiss goodbye? My turn?”

[Ameer and Eric laugh]

Kat: Right. “One for me?” Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And so then the book ends with this lovely quote. It says, “There was no point worrying yet, he told himself, as he got into the back of the Dursleys’ car. As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come, and he would have to meet it when it did.”

Ameer: I thought that was a really good ending.

Kat: Yeah. Great ending.

Ameer: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah. No. I don’t really know how better that you could end this. I… it’s kind of funny because there’s a note of like, look at all you’ve done this year, Harry, and what you’ve been through. And yet again it’s like, “The Dursleys won’t care.” [laughs] “They’re just sad that I’m not dead.”

Ameer: Yeah.

Michael: But there’s nothing more she could say, I mean, especially with how much is going to be revealed soon enough. And this is what we are left with for how many years before we got Order? Was it two or three?

Kat: Three?

Michael: Yeah. Ameer, you didn’t have to experience that gap. [laughs]

Ameer: No.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Eric: Lucky you.

Kat: It’s funny because OrderOrder, I mean Goblet – was the first book that I read timely. I read the first three and then I read Goblet, so right off the bat I had this long wait, and I was like, ugh. I was really frustrated.

Eric: Mmm. Mhm.

Kat: I think I read the books about seven or ten times in that gap.

Ameer: Wow.

Kat: I read them kind of nonstop, so…

Michael: But with that, that is the conclusion of Goblet of Fire, you guys.

[Triumphant music plays]

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Can I just say, even though there’s a lot of misery and somebody has just died and it’s still kind of walking on eggshells, it’s just… so, guys, there is this remarkable triumphant fanfare music that plays when Jim Dale finishes – and epic – and it really just changed my whole mood on the matter for the positive.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Good. Well, I hope that the music played at the end of our discussion did that for everybody listening.

Eric: And now, let’s talk about death again.

Kat: Yay, death!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Yay!

Kat: Those are words I’ve never said in succession before.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And will never again.

Eric: Yay, death. Hmm. I bet George R.R. Martin says that a lot.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Valid point.

Michael: We can hear him here in Albuquerque.

Eric: As you may have heard before, we got into a little discussion about the Thestrals and whether or not it was a book mistake. Our Podcast Question of the Week comes directly from that discussion. It is as follows: in this last chapter, Harry peripherally notices the horseless carriages coming towards the students. Keeping in mind Jo’s own words on the matter, for which we will provide a link, do you agree or disagree that Harry should have been ready to see the Thestrals at the end of this book? Hasn’t Harry been through enough and come to enough of a realization of what has happened for the Thestrals to be visible to him now? Or, if Cedric’s death needs more time to sink in, at what point precisely would this have occurred for Harry? And please submit your answers to this burning question via the Alohomora! website. On our main page we have a post, which will go up, called “Podcast Question of the Week, Episode 75.”

Kat: You know what? Which is funny because I don’t think we’ve ever had a Question of the Week that bridges the two books as well as this one.

Eric: Well, it’s… and no chapter can really have a question that does that unless it’s the last chapter of a book.

Kat: Right. Well, right. Obviously that’s what I meant.

Eric: Yeah. So it’s…

Kat: Usually it closes out the book.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: Yeah, but I think we should be looking ahead and the book…

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: … the book is such the longest book that I think we can afford to have some of the discussion for it now instead of when we get into it.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: No man, I’m going to juice that book, milk the juice. Milk the juice, [laughs] milk the book.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I noticed you said yes to every episode in book 5.

Kat: I mean, if I could be? I would be. Just saying.

Michael: Yes, but…

Eric: Please send in your responses, we look forward to recapping these. What episode will these be recapped on?

Michael: Ooh, these are going to be recapped on our big book wrap episode. It’s time to tie up Goblet of Fire, everything we’ve learned from this book and our reflections on it, but we have a special announcement. For that episode, we have a very special guest. Kat, can I tell them who the special guest is, is that okay?

Kat: Hmm… yeah, sure.

Michael: [laughs] Do a little drum roll, you guys!

[Drum roll sound]

Michael: Kazu Kibuishi will be joining us for the international cover discussion. We always discuss the covers from all over the world of the Harry Potter books after we finish an episode. This will be the first time I get to be on that but more importantly, Kazu will be here. Very exciting.

Kat: And for those of them listening who don’t know who he is?

Michael: Yes, the illustrator of the new American editions of Harry Potter. The paperback re-release that just came out with all the beautiful new covers. And Kazu, of course, also does graphic novels of his own as well.

Eric: Mhm.

Kat: He does.

Michael: And as a follow-up to that, we all hope that you can join us for our movie discussion episode which will be taking place Saturday, March 29 at 10 a.m. Eastern. You must have your own copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on DVD, or Blu-ray if you’ve upgraded, because we can not actually show the film but we will be watching it together via chat. Afterwards we will be having a live show. And we do have a special guest, who may have participated in the Harry Potter film series, who will be joining us at some point during the film viewing, so we want to make sure as many of you can join us for that, please.

Kat: Yeah. It’s always a good time and as Michael teased, there may or may not be a special guest.

Eric: It’s me, guys. I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep this secret longer.

Kat: Ugh, Eric! Dammit, you spoil everything.

Michael: You’ve all been waiting to watch the Dumbledore rage moment with us.

Eric: Yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: We’ve talked about it too many times.

Michael: So you must join us. Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Kat: Ameer, will you be there?

Ameer: Yeah, I will.

Kat: Excellent. And Ameer, we do really want to thank you for coming on this episode with us, the last chapter of Goblet of Fire. You did great. I hope you had fun.

Ameer: Thanks for having me.

Kat: Yeah, absolutely. And remind everyone where they can get your book again.

Michael: Yeah.

Ameer: You can go on or

Kat: You want to spell that for them too?

Ameer: Sure, yeah. A-M-E-E-R-I-D-R-E-I-S dot com.

Kat: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us.

Ameer: Yeah, thanks.

Michael: And he has had reviews that have favorably compared his book to Harry Potter.

Eric: There you go.

Michael: So… you will probably enjoy it, listeners.

Kat: You win at life, Ameer!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: And to find out how you can be on the show, faithful listener, you must head over to our website, check out the “Be on the Show” page. And there is a note here promoting Macintosh…

Kat: [laughs] We get paid for that, Eric, say the name. Just kidding.

Eric: I do not know who put this in here, but apparently if you have a set of Apple headphones you’re all set; no fancy equipment needed. I don’t…

Kat: I think we’re just saying that you don’t need to have a special microphone or anything, just… If you have a microphone and a headset or headphones you’re good.

Eric: Hey, I hate to jump ahead here a little bit but honestly, if you guys need any practice, you can submit your audioboos and see if everything works through that.

Kat: Right, and that’s over at, right? Right. And, much like that Audioboo, if you want to get in contact with us, any time really, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast, and our phone number, which is 206-GO-ALBUS. That is also going to be the phone number for the live shows, so put that in your phones – 206-462-5287. In the meantime, subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. And don’t forget to follow us on Snapchat because there is going to be a lot of fun stuff coming up, so we are at mn_alohomora.

Michael: And while we’re waiting for the Hogwarts Express to pick us up from Hogsmeade station…

Kat: Toot toot.

Michael: … we need to visit the gift shop. Alohomora! has plenty of items for your needs including T-shirts, short and long sleeve as the weather changes across the country. Tote bags, sweatshirts, flip-flops, water bottles, travel mugs, and more coming soon. Definitely going to need those travel mugs on the Hogwarts Express. We have over 80 products to choose from, as well as ringtones that are free and available on the website, because now that we are exiting Hogwarts, your phones will now work.

Kat: Oh! I know now what I wanted to tell everybody. The forums for Order of the Phoenix, they’re now open. So go over; start submitting your topics. And that’s it.

Michael: Thestrals, Thestrals, Thestrals, Thestrals, Thestrals, Thestrals. [laughs]

Eric: I just thought of a perfect T-shirt, guys. How about this? “I’m with Thestral.” It’s a blank T-shirt.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: It just says, “I’m with Thestral.” There’s nothing… or “World’s Cutest Thestral,” and then it’s…

Kat: Oh my God! I do like that.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And then there’s no picture, is what you’re saying.

Eric: Yeah, there’s no picture. There’s supposed to be, have it be, like, a picture frame or something, and then nothing’s there.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That is pretty funny.

Eric: But, of course, we have the Alohomora! application; it’s another way to keep in touch and to be interactive and to see some more content from us that we put out. It is available seemingly worldwide, prices vary, for your Apple OS and Android devices. Go on that app; you can find transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and even more special content/Easter eggs that we provide on a weekly basis along with our shows. So just search for the application, and there’s more information on where you can find that on the Alohomora! website.

[Show music begins]

Eric: Well, guys, thank you for listening. I’m Eric Scull.

Michael: I’m Michael Harle.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 75 of Alohomora!

Michael: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Eric: Don’t blow your nose! All the good discussion points are up there.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: That’s pleasant and disgusting.

Eric: Oh my gosh. I’m just reading this tweet; Eric Faulkner on Twitter said,

“You’re actually going to do the entire Order of the Phoenix, not chicken out like MuggleCast did, right?”

Kat: You know what’s funny? Caleb texted that to me twenty minutes ago.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I want to defend MuggleCast, but…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … I’ll settle for actually just making it through the book on this show.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Okay, let’s talk about death. Yay, death!

Kat: Yay, death!

[Eric laughs]

Michael: Yay, death.

[Everyone laughs]