[Show music begins]
Michael Harle: This is Episode 87 of Alohomora! for June 7, 2014.
[Show music continues]
Michael: Hello listeners, and welcome to our global reread of the Harry Potter series. I’m Michael Harle.
Kat: I’m Kat Miller.
Laura: I’m Laura Reilly. And here today we have one of our favorites and one of your favorites on the forums, SaiyanGirl, known in the real world as Nindy. Welcome, Nindy.
Nindy Brouwers: Thanks.
Kat: Thank you for joining us.
Laura: Tell us where you’re from.
Nindy: I’m from the Netherlands. I’m studying psychology, and I’m in Slytherin, by the way.
Laura: Slytherin! Oh, we got…
Kat: Oh my God! We have it!
Michael: Oh my gosh. [laughs]
Kat: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Laura: That was… Kat’s excited.
Michael: It finally happened. Has that ever happened before?
Kat: Yes, twice.
Laura: It’s happened before, but rarely, because we rarely have that Slytherin.
Michael: [laughs] Pretty sure it’s the first time it happened since I’ve been on. It’s the first one for Order of the Phoenix.
Nindy: For sure.
Michael: Yes. Oh, good.
Kat: Oh, it’s so exciting!
Michael: We’re so well-rounded today, you guys.
Kat: You know what? I’m having the crappiest day and that made my day so much better.
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Kat: Just saying. No, I’m not being mean. I’m for real.
Michael: It’s perfect.
Laura: Nindy, we’re so happy that you’re here. You’ve been writing such fantastic comments. You’re one of the names that pops up all the time on our show. We have a few of you guys out there that are the regular commenters really since the beginning, so all of us are very excited to meet you over voice after reading you for so long.
[Kat and Nindy laugh]
Nindy: Well, I’m very excited to be here. I’ve been following you guys since the beginning, so it’s really cool to actually be on the show. And Order of the Phoenix is my favorite book, so I’m really happy.
Kat: All right. Good. Yeah, Laura, that was really funny. Meeting you after reading you for all this time. I don’t know, it was just…
Kat: It was very eloquent and funny. I enjoyed it.
Laura: Thanks, I try.
Michael: Nindy, are you following the Daily Prophet updates on Pottermore?
Nindy: Actually, I haven’t been on Pottermore for a bit, so I have to read up on them again.
Laura: That’s okay, I haven’t been on Pottermore either.
Michael: That’s good though, because then when you go you’re going to get a ton of new stuff to enjoy.
Laura: That’s what I do.
Nindy: I know, that’s always the good part.
Laura: Yeah, I just wait months and then I sit down and it’s like I’m reading a new Harry Potter book because I haven’t been on it for a year. [laughs]
Kat: I just did that the other day. I was really bored at work, and I was like, “Oh, I’m going to go back and start over on Pottermore.” So I went through the entire first book and got a hundred percent on everything. And I had so much fun! I just really like Pottermore.
Michael: That’s so fun! I was just wondering because I’ve been somewhat overeagerly just sitting at my computer being… I’m rooting for Japan for the cup.
Kat: They didn’t do very well in the Wizolympics.
Michael: [laughs] No, they didn’t. But Quidditch is their sport.
Kat: Oh, okay. So they just suck at everything else then, I guess.
Michael: [laughs] But speaking of Order of the Phoenix and moving on, we are looking at Chapter 10 today, “Luna Lovegood”. We want to remind you guys to make sure and read that before you listen to the show to get the most out of today’s episode.
Kat: But as usual, before we jump into today’s chapter we’re going to jump backwards and talk about last week’s chapter, which was Chapter 9, “The Woes of Mrs. Weasley.” We had so many comments, as always. You guys know how this goes. You guys are brilliant, you’re amazing, we love you. There’s 300 comments between the main site and the forums, no joke. I’m going to read three of them, so I would suggest very strongly that you go read the others for yourself because they’re amazing. But our first one here is from Elvis Gaunt. It says,
“After the book lists arrive, Fred and George say Dumbledore is finding it difficult to find a new DADA teacher and list the ways in which the previous four teachers have left. Shouldn’t they know what happened to the last six? In fact I would love to know what happened to every one of them since Voldemort put the curse on the post.”
And thegiantsquid has responded by saying,
“According the Wiki, Hepizbah Smith is killed by Voldemort around 1946. We know that ten years after this, Voldemort comes back to Hogwarts and asks again for the DADA job and is denied. That would be about 1956. So, according to this, the school should have lost about 35 DADA teachers before Quirrell even gets the job. Doesn’t it seem like that would be a big deal? Wouldn’t people be talking about that?”
Laura: Can I just say this is one of my biggest things? I don’t know if you guys have an answer that I’m just not thinking of, but always this has been one of my biggest issues – one of my main unanswered questions to me at least. I’ve just been like, what about all the other teachers? [laughs] Before Quirrell, that no one seems to care about?
Nindy: Rowling should put that on Pottermore – an entire list of everyone.
Kat: Oh. Did you hear that, Jo? Did you hear? Okay.
Michael: Thirty-five names, Jo. [laughs]
Kat: And how they either died or left the position. We’re just saying.
Laura: Is it really 1946, though? That long ago that Voldemort was kicking around as a kid?
Kat: I’m pretty sure. Yeah, that sounds about right because…
Laura: I’ve just totally never… I mean, it’s not… I never considered it.
Kat: Yeah, because the Chamber was… he opened the Chamber [in 1992]. It was fifty years before so that was ’42. So yeah, that’s about right.
Laura: Oh, yeah. No, I just never actually did the math. I was just like, yeah, fifty years ago. But I always forget that this takes place in the ’90s. I always just associate it with my own childhood, naturally.
Kat: Clearly Jo has never done the math either. And maybe that’s why wizards don’t do math, because Jo hates it… and is bad at it.
Laura: I mean, if there was a world I could go into that could care less about math, that might be the main reason I’d want to join the wizarding world. Number one, math. Number two, magic.
Michael: I think this is a great point, though. I actually think Rowling would probably revel in fleshing out that list of 35 individuals and their demises. That sounds like something she… in a way, I wonder if that’s something she doesn’t already have.
Kat: Oh, I’m sure it is.
Laura: It’s like And Then There Were None, with all the different ways. It would be a Ten Little Indians type thing. Yeah.
Michael: [laughs] See, and she loves Agatha Christie, so it’s perfect. And it’s actually… it is Harry who reviews what happens to the teachers in the book. Fred and George just mention it, but Harry’s the one who goes through them. So Fred and George probably do know what happened to the other teachers, but I feel like that’s a detail that if she were to go on that track, it would take the story so far off. That’s not necessarily an important detail, but it’s a fun one to know.
Kat: I hope she does put it on Pottermore. I think you’re right about that. She probably does know them all.
Michael: [laughs] She’s got lists for everything. She always has an answer. I mean, I feel like even if she were to make up an answer on the spot, it would be so convincing that everybody would just take it as canon.
Kat: Oh, absolutely!
Kat: I’ve often wondered, do you think she just… I mean, I know that she has notebooks and notebooks and stuff. Do you think she just has a room?
[Michael and Nindy laugh]
Kat: That’s weather and humidity controlled, that’s just Harry Potter notebooks? Can we go…
Michael: I don’t know. Judging by her… if her old website was any indication of her organization skills, no. [laughs]
Kat: Well, maybe it’s not organized. Maybe they’re just thrown in there.
Michael: It’d be a really scary room to venture in. It’d be like going into a room at Hogwarts, like wandering into the Room of Requirement but with Potter details all over the place.
Kat: I’m down.
Laura: That sounds miserable.
Kat: Yeah, that sounds awful.
Kat: Throw me in that room, please.
Kat: Lock me in it.
Kat: Just give me a light or something so I can read. Anyway, so our next comment comes from Cassandra1447. It says,
“Is Dumbledore too focused on Harry and the trio? Does he miss opportunities to encourage other students to develop into leaders and/or fighters against the Dark? For example, as far as we know, Dumbledore never takes any steps to help Neville grow into the heroic figure he becomes. He never tries to tap into Neville’s potential. In my opinion, giving Neville the prefect badge would have been at least as equally as good an idea as giving it to Ron.”
Kat: So this stemmed obviously from a huge discussion we had about Harry and Hermione’s reaction to Ron getting the Prefect badge.
Michael: Oh my gosh. That… [laughs]
Laura: I couldn’t fully agree more.
Laura: You all know I’m not a Dumbledore fan.
Laura: This… obviously this is the story so it’s not going to… for all we know Dumbledore is going off and being like, “Zachariah Smith, come for tea.”
[Kat and Michael laughs]
Laura: Obviously it’s not relevant to Harry’s story.
Michael: That sounds like a fan faction that Noah would really…
Laura: Exactly, exactly.
Kat Oh, it does.
Laura: So from a narrative standpoint, I fully understand why we don’t see that happen, Neville perhaps being an exception. That could have fit easily into the narrative, but at the same time, it almost makes me admire more the fact that Neville didn’t need that added guidance; he came into it himself. So he don’t need no Dumbledore.
Michael: The one prominent Dumbledore moment with Neville was of course in Sorcerer’s Stone when he awards him quite a few points to boost Gryffindor’s score. Of course that ends up being “for the greater good.”
Laura: Quite a few points? Those tuppance?
Michael: Yeah, ten. Compared to the… what was it, fifty he was giving out for everybody else?
Kat: Yeah, for a game of chess.
Kat: Far more important than being brave.
Laura: I’m not going to go back to how unfair that was.
Michael: Prioritizing. But yeah… no, I agree. I’m going to get more into this with some of the points I put in the chapter discussion but – and you guys did touch on this last week – I always… I still think to this day [that] Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, as far as we know, [are] perfectly good choices for prefects. But no.
Laura: Who haven’t got into any trouble.
Laura: The idea of prefect is not supposed to be whatever, Dumbledore pulling it out of his hat.
Laura: But it’s supposed to be the model for behavior. I’m sure that… think of Percy. He’s a Prefect, not because he’s a likable person, but because he’s the model of perfect behavior.
Laura: I’m sure there was students along the line in Percy’s year that had even more spirit or whatever, so I don’t know. Obviously Hermione deserves to be a prefect. She’s the model of perfect behavior pretty much, even if she has gotten herself into some situations.
Laura: Ron is not. He doesn’t turn in homework.
Laura: He doesn’t do his essays right or whatever. He’s constantly cheating or falling asleep or whatever.
Laura: Yeah, Dean Thomas, sure. Great student, give it to him.
Michael: Nindy, where do you fall on the Dumbledore debate?
Nindy: I actually completely agree with this and I actually posted about this on the forums as well. I thought Dean Thomas or Neville Longbottom both would be much better choices than either Ron or Harry.
Laura: Oh yeah, forget about it. Harry doesn’t even slightly deserve it.
Laura: That would prove to people that, “Oh, I guess I can just break every rule then.” Because that’s the point of being a prefect, being a role model.
Laura: So whatever.
Laura: From a narrative standpoint, okay.
Laura: But if we’re pretending this is real life, it’s just very silly decision making.
Laura: I’m clearly angry about this.
[Michael and Nindy laugh]
Laura: Let’s move on.
Kat: All right, so our last comment here comes from AccioPotassium! It says… it is again on the prefect thing but a little different. It says,
“The decision of making Ronald Weasley a prefect has always seemed to be rather odd to me because Ron has never shown any academic promise in his four years at Hogwarts, and he seems to get into trouble a great number of times during his academic career. Ron did have a few moments of excellence during his stay at Hogwarts, but these dangerous activities shouldn’t overrule his academic level. This year’s prefect decision makes me question the academic abilities of the other male Gryffindor students. Could the other Gryffindor students really be below Ron Weasley’s academic skill? Or is it his great chess playing ability [that] pushed Ron to second place?”
[Michael and Laura laugh]
Michael: There it is, Laura. Chess game. [laughs]
Kat: So obviously we just discussed everything in there, but I had to get it in because it was a nice, cheeky comment. So, so…
Nindy: I honestly think Dumbledore just felt sorry for the Weasley family and wanted to do something nice for them.
Laura: That’s very nice.
Michael: And didn’t Dumbledore see Ron looking into the Mirror of Erised in the first year? Because he said…
Nindy: That’s true
Michael: … he was around and he heard… if he was there that particular night, then he would have heard Ron say, “I’m Head Boy, and I’m Quidditch Captain,” etc, etc. So maybe he was like, “Throw you a bone. Here’s that.” I’m not saying it’s fair or justified, I’m just trying to think of… because we also find out later in Deathly Hallows of course that Dumbledore has always had a liking for Ron and wants to help him out a little bit, give him just a little push. He knows he needs it more than Hermione and Harry do.
Kat: Right. Which is why he gives him the Deluminator, right?
Michael: Yeah, exactly.
Laura: I certainly admire the fact that he gave it to Ron over Harry, but like I said…
Michael: I don’t, but… [laughs]
Laura: No, because exactly for that, “I’ll throw you a bone,” because Harry just straight up doesn’t deserve it. But neither does Ron. Neither of them do.
Laura: Like I said, my thesis of my argument is both of them do not deserve it; literally anyone else does. But between the two…
Michael: Clearly we are all going to be taking a visit to Dumbledore’s office to file our complaints [laughs] for prefect nominations.
Nindy: It’s probably all for the greater good.
Kat: That’s true.
Nindy: But if Ron’s happy, then Harry’s more likely to get through his journey okay.
Kat: I suppose that’s true, maybe.
Michael: So it’s really all for Harry. [laughs]
Laura: As all things are.
Kat: Isn’t it always?
Laura: How dare that be the case in a book about Harry Potter? [laughs]
Kat: Right, right. So true.
Laura: So also, moving on to even more of your responses, we’re going to go over the Podcast Question of the Week. And this question from last week was a billion-part question and you guys delivered on each one. Everyone structured their answers like A. B. C. D. I love it.
Laura: Exactly. So as a reminder, the question was, “So this is the chapter where Mad-Eye Moody confirms that yes, that is a boggart in the drawing room desk but what exactly does he see? What does the boggart look like? But wait, there’s more! Molly goes in there to try and get rid of the boggart and sees all of her dead children, husband, Harry, etc., and is really fretting over the impending war. What would Molly’s boggart be if the wizarding world wasn’t on the doorstep of a war?” Also, [laughs] if you want to go more in depth which we know you do…
Laura:… what would Mooder … Moody’s boggart be?
Kat: [laughs] What would Mooder’s… [laughs] sorry!
Laura: Assuming he has one.
Michael: Mooder’s Boggy. [laughs]
Kat: That was funny.
Laura: “What would Moody’s boggart be?” All right, so the way I went – I did this because there was a so many part question – is I divided the parts. So if you guys… if I’m reading your comment and you’re like, “But that’s not all of it!” [it’s] because you guys all wrote novels, which is great.
Laura: So I’m going to break them up a bit. So first, what does Moody see? WizardorWhat says,
“Moody’s power is to look through the wood of the cupboard, and at the boggart. But what’s to say that the boggart doesn’t know that it’s being looked at by Moody and assume an appropriate form? Boggarts appear to have some magic about them [that] enables them to assume the form of whoever is near/looking at them – it seems to me unlikely that this magic could be defeated by the wood in the cupboard doors. I therefore think that Moody will be seeing whatever it is he fears most, and realise that it’s a boggart. I think an analogy can be drawn here with quantum physics.”
Laura: I’m sure all of us are going to be experts on…
Michael: [laughs] Why, of course! Yes! Quantum physics.
Laura: … confirming that analogy, but I’ll continue. Okay,
“You can’t measure something without affecting it; in the same way, you can’t observe a boggart without its realizing and assuming an appropriately scary form.”
Laura: Okay. So yeah, basically Cliffs Notes of that is that the boggart can’t exist almost with… you can’t look at a boggart without it becoming a boggart. That’s the definition of it. It’s a whole… we’ll get into the whole psychological question there, but yeah, this person is assuming that Moody does have a boggart.
Michael: I agree. I agree because if he… I feel like because Moody is so steeped in Defense Against the Dark Arts business that if he actually could see a boggart for its true form, he would report that immediately and put it in all the books and all the news because he’d be like, [as Moody] “Everyone defend yourselves.” [laughs] So that’s… I don’t think he would keep that information to himself if he knew what a boggart looked like.
Kat: Yeah, but if no one else can see it but him, why does it matter if he tells people what it looks like?
Michael: I don’t know. Because it’s just a neat little factoid. I’m sure Lupin would be like, [as Lupin] “Hey Moody, seen any boggarts lately?”
Kat: I doubt… maybe. I don’t know. I actually… I disagree because this would assume that the boggart knows that Moody is looking at it.
Michael: Well then, that’s what the comment is saying though, right?
Laura: That the wood wouldn’t be enough to defeat that.
Michael: Yeah, that boggarts would know.
Kat: But it’s not just the wood; it’s the ceiling and the floor.
Kat: And it’s the wall and all the wallpaper and whatever’s in the desk.
Laura: The wallpaper’s really what’s going to put it over the edge. [laughs]
Kat: Yeah, I know.
Kat: What I’m saying, it’s not just like Moody is standing outside the desk staring at it.
Kat: He’s literally two floors down.
Michael: But Moody’s got a very unique eye that not everybody has that can do that.
Laura: Which we don’t have a lot of information on, which is a whole other animal.
Michael: So Jo, give us some information on that eye on Pottermore. [laughs]
Laura: But to just go along with Kat’s train of thought, other people had other ideas, let’s just say. Basically I’m going to throw out a few things that were out there. A lot of people were leaning towards if Moody can truly see the Patronus in its natural form. It was kind of like this corporeal darkness, kind of like smoke. Someone likened it to Gastly the PokÈmon, if anyone knows, where it’s kind of like this purple cloud of evil smoke. [laughs]
Kat: Say, Nindy, can you fill in for Noah and say you know what that is?
Nindy: Yeah. [laughs]
Kat: Perfect, perfect. [laughs]
Laura: Cool. And I really liked this analogy, people. Has anyone ever seen, on the show right now, Spirited Away?
Michael: Yes, I love Spirited Away.
Laura: Yes, it’s amazing. So, people were likening it to the soot gremlins. They’re just around when people come there, and they all scatter and everything. So it was like… they were there.
Laura: And then someone else said, “Maybe the boggart was really harmless,” and that it’s a defense mechanism in the way that it’s like, “No, it’s scary!” Like a hedgehog, almost. And they actually said that it reminded them of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. That happy face, almost?
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Laura: Like, the dragon? I don’t know if I’d agree with that, but it’s a cute thought.
Michael: That’s an interesting theory that it’s just a defense mechanism because, as far as I recall, we don’t actually have any information of what a boggart would perhaps do if it completely took somebody down. Does it hurt them? Does it eat them? Does it just enjoy watching them be upset? What does it do?
Kat: Is that it?
Michael: Because we know, too, when the boggart turns into the Dementor for Harry, it always of comes toward him, and it has the effect of a Dementor, but as far as we know, it can’t actually suck his soul out because it doesn’t have that function, so…
Laura: So just to keep in the theme with Moody before I backtrack, we asked, “What would Moody’s boggart would look like?” if we assume that he is seeing a real boggart. Once again, sourcing the answers: People were thinking of a mass breakout of Azkaban, all of his hard work done for nothing, which is funny considering that’s what happens.
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Laura: Yeah, the Dark wizards taking over, the moral being that his work has been for nothing, but also losing his other eye, therefore being blind.
Michael: Oh! [laughs]
Laura: The person who took his eye, himself, we don’t really know that…
Kat: No, no, no. We know who took his eye.
Laura: Oh, we do? Oh, yeah, we do. You’re right.
Kat: Oh, wait. No. We know who took the big chunk out of his nose.
Laura: So that’s what I’m thinking of.
Kat: Right. Sorry.
Laura: And this is the thing I thought was most interesting because this was my thought originally: His fear would be a closed space, like a box, because that’s really the only thing that bested him last year. But the thing that’s intriguing there – haha – is a closed, empty dark space would be an empty desk.
Laura: Or a cupboard.
Kat: Oh! But then…
Laura: So he could be going through and looking at an empty thing and being like, “What if that’s…” You know what I’m saying?
Kat: What if he’s completely BSing that there’s something in there? No, obviously, that’s not true.
Michael: That’s so meta.
Kat: It is so meta.
Laura: I know. “Meta” is the word I was looking for.
Laura: But if we want to… do you want to get even more meta right now?
Michael: Yes, always.
Kat: Do it.
Laura: The “What does a boggart look like?” RuddyOwls says,
“What does the [b]oggart look like? I wonder if ‘What does a [b]oggart look like when no one is looking?’ is the sort of philosophical question in the magical world that the Ravenclaw door knocker would ask, […] similar to the [M]uggle question ‘If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?’ I’ll offer another one[:] What would the [b]oggart appear [like] if you weren’t scared of anything?”
Michael: Ooh. That…
Kat: Everybody is scared of something.
Michael: Kat, you’re the… ooh, that was a perfect – actually – answer for the Ravenclaw door. It would be like, “What would a boggart appear as if you are not scared of anything?” And Kat would just be like, “Everyone’s scared of something.” And the doorknocker would be like, “Okay!”
Kat: Well, it’s true.
Laura: You could be scared of being scared of something.
Kat: Yeah, what kind of…? I don’t know. Fear is motivator. So if you’re not afraid of anything then…
Laura: You’re blah.
Kat: You’re boring.
Kat: Man, I don’t know.
Michael: Must be hard to be you.
Kat: Not me. I’m terrified of plenty of things.
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Kat: I can assure you.
Laura: Yeah, so basically, we don’t really have an answer for that besides just making my head spin a bit. The tree question has actually always gotten me, too.
Kat: Yes, the tree definitely makes a sound, for the record.
Laura: Yeah, I know it does, but I can get…
Laura: There’s this great cartoon I keep referencing where it’s just this velociraptor who just goes like, “Graar” to another velociraptor, and then the velociraptor goes, “But why do we graar?”
Laura: It’s just them sitting them. It’s supposed to be the philosoraptor, but I don’t know. I’ve been saying… every time I’m confused for everything, I’ve just been going, “But why do we graar?”
Kat: That was… I feel like Noah is here with us today…
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Kat: … between that comment and Nindy. I don’t know. I just… I feel like he’s here. It’s very weird.
Kat: Not to compare you to Noah. I’m sorry.
Laura: That’s okay. It happens occasionally.
Kat: It does.
Laura: But to wrap things up with the question that was separate from the rest of the questions, “What would Molly see?”, I did not see one answer in all of you guys that said that she would see something [else] on any other day that wasn’t what she saw in this scenario because at the root of it, no matter what it is, she is afraid of her loved ones dying. So to put that on [unintelligible], AccioPotassium, again:
“I feel that Molly’s [b]oggart would be the same even if the war [weren’t] ahead of the Weasley family. In this series of novels, we see Molly deeply caring about the well[-]being of her children throughout their lives. From childhood, to adulthood she has always profoundly loved her children. We also should remember she has already lost family members before the second coming of the Dark Lord. I feel this question is rather naÔve because the thought of losing any one of her seven children would [easily be] one of the worst fears of any mother.”
Kat: Okay. Truth. However, why would she fear her children dying if there [weren’t] a war? Everybody dies.
Laura: Because I…
Kat: No, no, no, no. No.
Laura: My biggest fear is people dying, and I’m not in an epic battle.
Kat: Right, of course. But why is that what you would jump to? Why wouldn’t it be something more mundane like – Who is it [who] works with dragons? Charlie?
Kat: Charlie getting trampled by a dragon. Why would it be him dying as opposed to being stabbed with a dragon fang or something?
Laura: Because then she’d have to specifically… then that would be saying that she’s most afraid of Charlie dying. I fully disagree just because that’s myself. I am very, for lack of a better word, mother-like in the type of people that my friends and everything… even when people say, “Oh…” Yes, at the ridiculous root, my biggest fear is fish.
Laura: But if the boggart came there, the flopping fish would do [less] for me than it would having any one of my loved ones die. And it could be any scenario. It could be car accident, poisoning, choking on something… this is all I ever think about, so…
Michael: Now I’m…
Kat: Right, but she’s specifically thinking about them dying in a war.
Laura: Well, yeah, because that’s the…
Kat: Is that the thing?
Laura: Well, yeah, I think it could be… the war is the most imminent way they can die. If it [were]… if there [were] a drought she could be afraid that they’d die of thirst or something. I think it’s just… it needs to manifest its way into something, but I think the end thing… it would just be a pile of bodies then.
Michael: Well, and the most important thing as far as this goes, to me, is that they live in a world where magic can kill. Whether you’re in a war or not, magic can kill. And that’s what she’s envisioning, is she’s seeing her children… from what the description was in the book, I gathered that she was seeing all of them dead as victims of magic. And I would have to agree with AccioPotassium’s comment and with Laura just because I think to… my parents, who to this day… I am 25, but if I come home late, and I didn’t call them to let them know where I am, even if I was somewhere as mundane as the library, I will get home, and they will be like, “Don’t ever do that again. You call because we always worry.” And I’m like, “But it’s just down the street.” And they’re like, “No. Because you will understand this when you are a parent, and until then, you will never fully understand this.”
Michael: So I think I get what you’re saying, Kat, that it’s kind of, I guess, bizarre that we’re saying that… would Molly’s boggart look exactly the same? Would her children would be dying in this vision the exact same way? Maybe perhaps not. I don’t know. But I’m going with the tract that it would be very similar just because, like I said, they look like they’re all victims of magic in her boggart’s form, so…
Laura: I also… her fear could just be the fact that they’re in a war. It’s a fact, but at any given point it could be that her fear would be that children would die in war because has she has experienced that with her brothers…
Laura: … so the fact that there is a war happening, that obviously makes it worse. But let’s say that everything was totally peachy. That could still be her fear, that another war would erupt and that they would die because that’s what happened to her brothers.
Michael: Yeah, I think that’s a really important thing to remember, that actually, interestingly… I always find fascinating, especially about these chapters of the book, that we get mention of Gideon and Fabian, and they’re really not linked to Molly at all in the narration. We don’t find out… technically, I think Rowling revealed that in a few interviews around this time, but we don’t actually definitively find it, I think, out until Deathly Hallows right? When she gives Harry the watch. But so it’s interesting to me that that connection is never touched upon because it would seem to enhance Molly’s concerns or at least our understanding of them.
Kat: I just personally think that if there [weren’t] a war going on, she can still be concerned about her children, but I don’t think she’s going to be concerned about them dying. I think she’d be more concerned for their safety, not necessarily them kicking the bucket.
Nindy: Well, I don’t know.
Michael: I don’t know. I think…
Michael: Go ahead, Nindy.
Nindy: On… because when Voldemort hadn’t returned, yet, on
Kat: That’s true, but also, there was the stimulus or whatever of the stuff with the Death Eaters happening.
Laura: Well, at the root of it, safety… the reason why we try to be safe is to not die. That’s the root of safety.
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Laura: So if she wants them to be safe, she wants them to be safe so that…
Laura: … at the end of it they don’t die or come close to.
Michael: We know a lot of you listeners out there are parents. You guys got to weigh in on this for us in the comments because we would be fascinated to hear what you have to say.
Kat: And before we move on to our chapter this week, we want to take a moment to let you guys know about something really awesome that’s going on on MuggleNet right now. You can enter for chance to win a trip to Universal Orlando Resort and be among the first to explore the all-new […] Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. You can win a VIP trip for four to Universal Orlando Resort, home of the world’s two most amazing theme parks. Step into the magic and excitement of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and beginning summer 2014, explore Diagon Alley and Universal Studios Florida and travel from one land to the other with a park-to-park admission ticket on the Hogwarts Express. Plus, you can stay in the heart of it all at the new Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. It’s all at Universal Orlando Resort, the one place where you can vacation like you mean it. And guys, the grand prize? It’s legit. It’s a big deal. It’s round trip air fare to Orlando, ground transportation between the airport and the hotel, admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks, including early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the park is open, accomodations on site at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, tickets to the Blue Man Group, admission to Wet ‘n Wild Orlando water park, plus attendance at the VIP preview of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. And that is for the winner and three people, so four people total. That’s pretty amazing, so if you want to enter, it only runs through June 8. Today is the seventh – the day the episode releases is June 7 – so you have the rest of today and all day tomorrow to get your entries in. Go to mugglenet.com/universal-orlando-resort-sweepstakes. You can also find it all over our Twitter, all over our Facebook, our Tumblr, our Instagram, or just go to mugglenet.com, and there'[re] links all over the place. It’s pretty incredible. You guys should definitely go enter, and – this is a completely random bit – Caleb and I talked about this before. He and I are both going to be there, so if you’re a listener of the show, and you happen to win this, just by chance, we’ll take you out for a Butterbeer, so good luck!
Kat: Go enter. Yeah, I mean, it does not compare at all to winning this amazing prize, but I figure if the winner happened to hear about it on the show, then why the hell not, right?
Michael: Yeah, right? I ever-so-inappropriately saw it on the site, and I was like, “I want to enter.” Then I was like, “No, I work for MuggleNet, and I’m going anyway. That’s not nice.” [laughs] I’m not going to steal that prize from somebody. So y’all got to enter for me and go get that butterbeer. Well, you know who would love to go to Universal – Diagon Alley? Luna Lovegood.
[Kat, Laura, and Michael laugh]
[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 10 intro begins]
[Sound of train]
Neville: Chapter 10.
Luna: Wit beyond measure…
Neville: “Luna Lovegood.”
Luna: … is man’s greatest treasure.
[Sound of train whistling]
[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 10 intro ends]
Michael: So after a disturbing night of dreams full of metaphors and corridors, as well as a chaotic start to the day, Harry and his friends depart Grimmauld Place and make their way to King’s Cross station, though not in their usual way; Harry finds himself escorted on foot by Mrs. Weasley, a heavily altered Tonks, and Sirius in dog form. Upon arriving at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, an irate Moody meets the group and informs them that Order member Sturgis Podmore is in a heap of trouble for missing their rendezvous (though no one yet knows just how deep Podmore is in). Harry also learns that, for the first time, Ron and Hermione won’t be joining him for the full train ride [since] they are required to visit the prefect carriage. Left in Ginny’s care, Harry sits in what may just be the least cool compartment on the train, joined by fellow students Neville Longbottom and fourth year Ravenclaw Luna Lovegood, a dotty young lady who happens to be the daughter of the editor for The Quibbler, a bizarre tabloid publication that makes the craziest accusations, from Cornelius Fudge being a goblin killer to Sirius Black being a member of the Hobgoblins. Following a disastrous encounter with a Mimbulus Mimbletonia and an awkward visit from Cho Chang, Ron and Hermione rejoin the group with [the] unpleasant news that Malfoy has also been granted prefect status, and right on cue, Malfoy arrives to gloat as well as to imply that he may know more about that black dog back at the station than he should. But arriving in Hogsmeade, Harry continues to encounter surprise after surprise; there’s no Hagrid to be found (with Professor Grubbly-Plank ushering first years to the boats instead) and a group of horrifying winged horses, which it seems not everyone can see, are attached to the Hogwarts carriages. But it’s all right, according to Luna, because she can see them, too. What a comfort to Harry to know that he is, at the very least, just as sane as she is. So with that, we dive into Chapter 10, the… so we start… the point I want to start, because I want to… I don’t want to gloss too much on the fact that Sirius goes with them to the station. Because we know exactly what happens there unless any of you ladie disagree that that was completely irresponsible on Sirius’s part and screwed everybody over.
Nindy: It’s his last time out before dying.
Michael: [laughs] True.
Kat and Michael: Sad.
Michael: Very sad.
Laura: That’s nice to put it that way.
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Laura: Sorry, I never thought of it that way. Now I’m depressed.
Kat: Someone actually pointed out… when I was reading through comments before, somebody was like, “This book sucks. I hate this book. I can’t believe everybody likes it. Blah, blah, blah.” I don’t know. That was not meant to be mocking, sorry. Anyway, they said that…
Kat: They were like, “Sirius is basically a crap character,” and “Why do we care about his death?” And you know what? I didn’t cry when he died. Sorry. Not sad that Sirius is dead. I’m sad for Harry. Not sad Sirius is dead.
Michael: I will agree that I was shocked. I didn’t cry, but I was kind of shocked. I guess I was… I think I was just in a state of “Well, that was big” but no, I didn’t cry.
Nindy: I cried.
Laura: Sirius Black is my favorite character (besides the Weasley twins), so I’m going to respectfully disagree and say that I was sobbing.
Michael: So the Gryffindor and the Slytherin are sad. The Hufflepuff and the Ravenclaw are like, “Whatever.”
Kat and Michael: Eh. [laugh]
Laura: All three of my favorite quotes from the series are Sirius Black quotes, so… okay.
Michael: I do like Sirius.
Laura: We’ll get to that, I’m sure, later, but…
Kat: Yeah, we will.
Michael: I was just very disappointed in his actions in this particular instance because it does have consequences. But moving on, once we get to the station, the first thing I wanted to note… and there'[re] a few things actually in here [that] are similar to what we were talking about as far as Dumbledore’s prefect nominations, but the prefect carriage. So this is a pretty big effect that this has on Harry, and this is why I wanted to talk about this. When I read this section, and the fact that Ron and Hermione have to leave Harry, this seems like, pehaps, something that Dumbledore should have seen coming with this issue, is that Ron and Hermione are going to have to abandon Harry a lot and get perks over Harry. But as we know later in the series, Dumbledore says, [as Dumbledore] “Oh, well, I thought you had enough to be going on with, so that’s why I didn’t nominate you.” So this just seems like more hints that this is actually a bad decision. And yet, again, perhaps saying that maybe if Ron hadn’t been nominated – maybe Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom – so that Harry wouldn’t be completely alone… perhaps? Just my observation there.
Kat: I actually really… I know I’ve said this before, that I think Harry has to go through everything that he goes through in this book in order to have the strength that he needed to carry on and finish everything, so I think, actually, him being alone more is helping his character. People may not like it because he’s emo, and he’s a little B, but I think it’s really super important that Ron isn’t with him for a lot of this book, to be honest.
Michael: See, I think that’s fascinating because… and maybe we can explore that a little more, but I’ve always been… the series pulls me in two ways about how to feel about Harry’s journey in that respect because we get a lot of scenes, yes, where Harry does have to be alone, do things on his own, and have his own courage and bravery to do what he needs to do. But at the same time we get a lot of scenes where Harry does try to go out on his own and Ron and Hermione stop him and say, [as Hermione] “You’re an idiot. Don’t go out on your own. We’re right here.” [back to normal voice] And so you get both sides from that. So I’m not really… while I kind of agree with you, Kat, that, yes, Harry does have to learn this. He already has this mentality in a way, too, doesn’t he?
Kat: Ah, hmm… yeah.
Kat: Yes and no. I feel like it’s different. I don’t know.
Michael: I just feel like Dumbledore is taking Ron and Hermione away for all the fun times, and they get to be together for the difficult times, but not the fun times.
Kat: Well, they’re forming their own relationship, aren’t they? It’s also important for them to have space away from Harry.
Michael: That’s true, I guess.
Kat: So that they can become whatever they’re going to be.
Michael: Hmm, I guess so.
Kat: To get to know each other not as Harry’s best friend…
Kat: … and Ron, or whoever you consider the best friend. I don’t know.
Michael: Mhm. Well, and along with Ron’s choices – being chosen as prefect – we find out later in the chapter, of course, that Malfoy has also been chosen as a prefect. Nindy, as the local Slytherin, would you care to weigh in on that choice by Dumbledore? [laughs]
Nindy: Well, the thing is that we don’t really know much about the other male Slytherins. Of course, we know Crabbe and Goyle, and that would be terrible choices…
Nindy: Just the lacking level of intellects. So if you compress it down then Malfoy would be the better choice. But honestly, I don’t know what other male options there are…
Michael: Would you be comfortable with Malfoy being your prefect for the year?
Nindy: [laughs] Definitely not.
Michael: [laughs] Okay. We have it straight from a Slytherin.
Laura: I have problems with this because… this is why… all right, I fully love the description that Slytherin has on, let’s say Pottermore…
Laura: … and that’s why I respect when people say, “Oh, they’re Slytherins.” And yeah, that’s very valid – the description – I can see why people would associate their personalities with it.
Laura: I dislike that Jo never once showed, in the series, an example of someone being all those things and not being a mean person. I’m not saying they don’t exist – that’s why I like when people say that they are Slytherins – because, cool, give a better name to the house.
Laura: If Jo can continually be like, “Yeah, no Slytherin’s great.” Why didn’t she ever show that? This would have been a good opportunity to be, “Look at this Slytherin who is cunning and blah, blah, blah, but follows the rules and is a good student and is still a good person and just has these characteristics.” Like I said, once again – narrative standpoint – I understand why Draco is a prefect and also because he probably does have perfect grades because, for whatever reason, everyone seems to…
Michael: [laughs] Keep passing him.
Laura: … give all the Slytherins all these points and it can’t be all Snape all the time giving them all these points.
Laura: So I don’t really know what the deal is, but… I don’t know.
Michael: Well, and I guess we can probably go off the assumption, too, that the heads of houses probably nominate to Dumbledore which students they think would be best. And I’m sure Snape would not hesitate to nominate Malfoy.
Laura: Why would McGonagall nominate Ron then?
Laura: Never. The answer is never.
Michael: Maybe… well, Dumbledore has final say. McGonagall probably was like, [as McGonagall] “How about Harry Potter and Dean Thomas?” [back to normal voice] and Dumbledore was like, [as Dumbledore] “Yeah, whatever.” [laughs]
Laura: [as Dumbeldore] “Dean Thomas? Who’s that?”
Kat: Right. He’s one of the two token black kids in the school.
Michael: So sad. But true. But also the other interesting thing in this moment, of course, is that Harry is left in the care – as I said before – of Ginny. And this is really one of the first, lengthier moments when Harry and Ginny are alone in the series together – aside from, of course, the Chamber of Secrets – but that’s a whole other matter. But what I thought was interesting about this, reading it through again and knowing what we know about where their relationship goes, I almost felt… because – and I’m voicing it as an opinion of the fandom that I do agree with – that the Ginny and Harry thing gets shoved onto us in Book 6. It comes like, “Bam. You must be invested in this relationship.” And, of course, Harry is more interested in Cho Chang at this point. But would you maybe agree or maybe can entertain the possibility that this could have been a chance for a more meaningful scene between Ginny and Harry?
Laura: Everything’s an opportunity for that.
Michael: Thank you, because I… what I really realized going through this passage is there are hints in other parts of the series about Ginny’s continued feelings towards Harry after Chamber of Secrets, but this is not one of them. She almost completely serves the purpose to introduce us to Luna. She really doesn’t do anything else aside from…
Nindy: I’m not sure I completely agree with that because…
Michael: Ooh. [laughs] Do tell.
Nindy: [laughs] Actually, when I was reading for this chapter and she has that whole scene with Neville and his Mimbulus Mimbletonia, and that whole squirting scenario, and Cho enters and it’s all really awkward because Harry’s just covered in Stinksap…
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Nindy: … but Ginny only clears the situation after Cho leaves. And I thought that was highly suspicious. She tries to help fade a lot of it, because I felt like there was enough time for her to use Scourgify earlier…
Nindy: … and she didn’t.
Michael: Yeah, I agree with that. Yeah. That’s interesting. That would be… because I guess we never see… the only other time I recall a noticeable amount of animosity between Ginny and Cho, especially Ginny towards Cho is when Cho offers to take Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room, and Ginny goes, “Nope, nope, nope!”[laughs]
Nindy: [laughs] I love that.
Michael: [laughs] “How about no? Luna can do that.”
Michael: That’s the only other instance and that one’s definitely more blatant, I would say, than this one.
Ninda: Yeah, definitely.
Michael: But that’s a good way of interpreting it. I just always was sad that we don’t really get, perhaps, anything more than that from this scene.
Nindy: True, but then again you have Neville and Luna there, both who are very awkward.
Michael: That’s true. [laughs] But I don’t know, I guess I get the sense that Ginny doesn’t care about that, you know what I mean?
Nindy: Yeah, true.
Michael: Because she’s the one who chooses to sit with them. So… but, speaking of the people that they choose to sit with, the big moment. One of my favorite moments of this book, we meet the – ever so beloved amongst the fandom – Luna Lovegood. Just to get a sense of Luna before we go on and analyze her further, this is the first impression we get of her, [in a British accent] “She had straggly, waist-length, dirty-blond hair, very pale eyebrows, and protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look. Harry knew at once why Neville had chosen to pass this compartment by. The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside down. Her eyes ranged over Neville and came to rest on Harry, and then she nodded.” So that’s our first impression of the lovely, Luna Lovegood. We have heard her mentioned once before, in passing, at the Quidditch World Cup, her family at least. But this is the first time we are meeting her. A few things about Luna, Rowling has always had quite a bit to say on Luna. Her first public thoughts on her were during the Royal Albert Hall interview in 2003, right after Order was published and she said, “I don’t know where she came from but I really like Luna. Really fun to write. She’s slightly out of step in many ways, but she’s the anti-Hermione. Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways and Luna is likely to believe ten impossible things before breakfast.” So before we go on to examine Luna’s moments in this chapter further, what are everybody’s feelings on Luna?
Kat: I love her.
Laura: She’s awesome.
Kat: She’s not my favorite character…
Kat: … but I do very much enjoy her. I like Luna. I like to… after her character, I’ve learned to bring a little more whimsy into my life.
Kat: I’m very clearly Type A. Let’s not joke about this.
Kat: But I try to be a little more flexible and I think that’s because of Luna, so…
Michael: Which is an interesting thing to say since you’re both in Ravenclaw.
Kat: Yeah, well.
Kat: I am Ravenclaw with a heavy Slytherin.
Kat: It’s very true. I think I’m like, 49 percent Slytherin, 51 percent Ravenclaw.
Michael:[laughs] Nindy, what are your thoughts on Luna?
Nindy: I just really love her. She’s always thinking outside the box, and saying the most truthful things, which other people just don’t say.
Nindy: So it’s nice that she tends to voice awkward tensions and stuff. I love that.
Kat: Yeah, the honesty factor.
Kat: Honesty is a big thing for me, too, and that’s another reason I love her.
Michael: Laura, what do you think about her?
Laura: Yeah, it’s funny, I usually… when there’s a lot of hype around one of the characters… I’ve always tended to disagree, but… I don’t get obsessive over Luna like other people do, but I have absolutely nothing against her to say. She’s a good person, that’s what it comes down to.
Laura: She doesn’t really do anything wrong, ever…
Laura: … humanity-wise, so…
Laura: There’s really no reason to not like Luna, I don’t think. So yeah.
Michael: Well, I liked in Rowling’s summary, because this is a trait that we don’t get to… we forget about, perhaps because we don’t see it in the movie. But it is her initial animosity with Hermione, which of course happens right off the bat in this chapter when Hermione immediately puts her foot in her mouth…
Michael: … in regards to The Quibbler being a trashy tabloid and then Luna saying, in response that her father is the editor, of course. Bit of a shock there. And that push and pull between them continues, actually, for quite a bit of Order of the Phoenix, really until the end, so… And – like I said – we don’t really get to see that in the films, but I’d say that’s the one thing about Luna that I remember finding frustrating, as much as I loved her, because I love Hermione’s logic as much as I love Luna’s whimsy.
Michael: So they’re so at odds with each other. I was actually thinking, too – because I was trying to think about this realistically, because people love Luna so much – I was thinking, “If I were at Hogwarts and I bumped into Luna Lovegood, would I be able to make friends with her?” [laughs] Just because she does say the most horribly awkward things and I’ve known people who do that in real life.
Michael: Won’t name names, but I guess the difference between them and Luna that I realized, is that Luna has little nuggets of wisdom amongst her awkwardness. I don’t think everybody who’s so socially awkward is so lucky to have such little wisdom nuggets that they spout out like Luna does. Which is, I think, what really makes her likable.
Kat: Yeah, if every awkward person in the world had J.K. Rowling behind them, then it would be great.
[Laura and Michael laugh]
Kat: There would be no more awkwardness in the world, would there? Everybody would just be witty and amazing.
Michael: And wouldn’t that be nice? And speaking of wit and little nuggets of knowledge, I believe it’s the third line Luna spouts out – when Ginny says that Luna is in Ravenclaw – Luna, with just that as her prompt, says, [as Luna] “Wit beyond measure, is man’s greatest treasure.” [back to normal voice] No explanation. No follow-up on that quote. [laughs] But of course, we will find out that that is very important later. But I remember thinking when I first read that, just like Harry and Neville, “What the heck was that?”
Michael: Where did that come from? I didn’t… I don’t know if you guys caught that it was meant to relate to Ravenclaw. Because it seems so obvious now, looking back on that particular line. But yeah, I had no idea where that came from. But the other thing I wanted to discuss in terms of Luna and Ravenclaw is Luna’s place in Ravenclaw House. Kat, you might have something to say on this, seeing as you and Luna are on opposite Ravenclaw ends. But I wanted to quote specifically the Ravenclaw welcome speech from 1991 by Prefect Robert Hilliard over on Pottermore. Robert says, [in a British accent] “Another cool thing about Ravenclaw is that our people are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics. But geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk, and unlike some other houses we could mention, we think you’ve got the right to wear what you like, believe what you want, and say what you feel. We aren’t put off by people who march to a different tune; on the contrary, we value them! … We’ve got no problem if you want to spend your days and nights cracking eggs in a corner of the common room and writing down your predictions according to the way your yolks fall. In fact, you’ll probably find a few people to help you.”
Kat: So just a question about your… what do you mean by “on the opposite end of Ravenclaw House”? So… well, I also…
Michael: Well, as you said, you’re more the… you’ve got more of a mix of Slytherin in you…
Kat: I do.
Michael: … and you’ve got more of a type A…
Michael: … versus Luna, who is the… “believes ten impossible things before breakfast” is what we’re saying here.
Kat: Got it.
Michael: So what I’m interested in, because I remember finding this particular speech by Robert Hilliard fascinating because Luna seems to be considered an odd one out in her house as far as we are made aware, even though she perfectly fits the description. I just wanted to throw that out there and see if you have any thoughts about that.
Kat: We also don’t meet a whole crap load of Ravenclaws.
Nindy: No, we don’t.
Kat: We meet Cho, who is like, [imitates crying]…
Kat: … a crybaby the whole time, but she has legit things going on, but I also think that Cho does fit this too, because she’s popular, but she’s definitely quiet.
Kat: And all that. What other Ravenclaws do we meet?
Michael: Well, we’ve got Padma Patil, but we don’t know much about her.
Kat: Yeah, we barely meet her.
Laura: And the movie was like, “Let’s make her a Gryffindor for convenience.”
Kat: Yeah. And then…
Laura: Therefore, eliminating the theme with, “Twins can be different”…
Laura: … and it’s like, “Okay let’s put them in the same outfit, let’s have them say the same words at the same time and be in the same house.”
Kat: And then we have Flitwick, obviously.
Michael: Yes. Flitwick, and we … He’s a pretty good example of a…
Michael: I wouldn’t call him crazy eccentric, but he’s very pleasant and cheerful and friendly.
Kat: Right. And supposedly, Lockhart is a Ravenclaw.
Michael: Yeah. I think that was actually confirmed by Pottermore, wasn’t it?
Kat: I think so. Yeah. So that makes sense. If anybody’s eccentric and a little crazy…
Kat: … it’s Gilderoy.
Michael: It’s Lockhart. I just found it fascinating that we find out, of course, throughout the book, that Luna has… people steal her things, people make fun of her, people laugh at her, and we of course don’t really know her life in the Ravenclaw common room too well, but I imagine the only people who would have access to actually steal her things would be fellow Ravenclaws. So I just thought that was interesting that even Luna seems to be out there for her…
Kat: But that might not be true because it’s not like they have a password. They just have to answer a question. McGonagall gets into the room no problem.
Michael: That’s true, and the Hufflepuff common room, we know, is the only one that hasn’t been broken into.
Michael: So that is very possible. True that. Okay. Well, that was just my musings on Luna. See? Ravenclaw. [laughs]
Kat: You were ‘clawed!
Kat: You know, instead of “schooled”?
Michael: Yes. No, I got that. [laughs]
Kat: Oh. [laughs]
Michael: Another Ravenclaw trait: ruining the punch line of your joke. [laughs]
Kat: I literally do that all the time.
Kat: And I literally say “literally” wrong all the time.
Michael: [laughs] And, of course, the other thing we know about Luna is that she is the daughter of, we will later find out, Xenophilius Lovegood, but we do know the editor of The Quibbler. Those Quibbler articles are something else, aren’t they?
Kat: They are.
Michael: [laughs] Not really. I tried to analyze them because we… you know how we’ve really examined Trelawney and how her bogus predictions do end up coming true?
Michael: Okay. And the debate of whether she’s actually predicting things or not? I thought maybe The Quibbler might have some answers for us.
Kat: No luck?
Michael: [laughs] Nope. It’s probably because I’m not wearing my Spectrespecs.
Kat: Oh, probably.
Michael: But I did not find any hidden wisdom within them. Anybody find anything deep and meaningful in The Quibbler besides me?
Nindy: Nothing “deep and meaningful,” but Sirius will be singing at Christmas later on.
Michael: That’s true. Perhaps not at hobgoblin level.
[Laura, Michael, and Nindy laugh]
Nindy: No, I don’t think so.
Michael: [laughs] If he was singing a hobgoblin song, that would have been clever.
Nindy: I think it’s just a Christmas song.
Kat: Is there any… does the Doris Purkiss or whatever… did you look up the meaning of any of the words of where she lives? Maybe that is something?
Michael: No, I didn’t. I didn’t
Kat: I’m just reading too far into it.
Michael: Well, because I always… I guess I just dismissed because I assumed that some of these people that The Quibbler mentions may not even be people, so I don’t really know how far Xenophilius goes with his… and I’m also… I’m going under the assumption, and if you guys aren’t sure about this I’d love to hear, but is Xenophilius the only person writing articles for The Quibbler, or does he have a team?
Kat: [laughs] It’s probably just him.
Laura: I’m pretty sure it’s just him.
Michael: That’s what I thought. Because the only thing, interestingly, we’ve found about more about wizarding world publications, but mostly the Daily Prophet, and the only thing that was revealed about The Quibbler, was that it’s just a specialty publication and that doesn’t come out very often. Which, I guess, would makes sense if Xenophilius was the only one writing the articles.
Michael: I’d like to think Luna contributes too on occasion.
Kat: Probably every once in a while.
Michael: Or has an editorial or something.
Kat: The only thing that I could find… so I looked up Doris’s address is 18 Acanthia way…
Kat: I looked up “Acanthia” and it is a type of bed bug, so that clearly has…
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Kat: … many, many connections that we could talk about. No. Nothing.
Michael: Listeners, if you can…
Nindy: Maybe it’s…
Michael: Oh go ahead, Nindy.
Nindy: Maybe it has a secret connection to Rita since Rita will be writing for The Quibbler in the same book.
Kat: There you go. Boom!
Kat: There it is.
Michael: We just got Slytherined.
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Michael: That was… wow. Well listeners, if you can find anymore connections or deep meaningful things in The Quibbler put your spectrespecs on and stretch that out as far as you can because I would love to hear what you can come up with.
Michael: So then the other… so another point I wanted to bring up was actually what happens via the Mimbulus Mimbletonia. That horrible awful plant that in a somewhat adorable way Neville finds useful and meaningful, but of course Neville chooses the perfectly wrong, horrible moment to show it’s facts, and Harry is of course thoroughly embarrassed in front of Cho Chang. I think Nindy’s point was fantastic. That perhaps Ginny had ulterior motives during [laughs]…
Kat: That’s clever.
Michael: … during that scene. Speaking of Ginny and that spell, Ginny uses the spell Scourgify. Everybody, get out your copy of the Book of Spells…
Kat: Da da da da!
Michael: … because we’re going to learn how to cast Scourgify because it is, in fact, in Miranda Goshawk’s Book of Spells.
Michael: The Scourgify spell is a smooth sinuous movement, sort of like the letter “S.” Everybody, trace the letter “S.”
Kat: I was just doing it as you told me to, believe it or not!
Michael: [laughs] You are a Ravenclaw.
Kat: I know!
Michael: She’s already on it. So from the Book of Spells, our summary on this spell: “From pumpkin juice stains to gobits of frog guts to baked on dragon dung, a good Scouring Charm will vanish them all. If you were brought up in a wizarding family with house-elves, then you may feel that using your magic to clean up after yourself is in some way beneath you. But rest assured, the first time you need to get a Stinksap stain out of a school tie without your house-elf there to help you, you will be grateful you learned the Scouring Charm.”
Kat: Wow! That’s pretty…
Nindy: [unintelligible] stuff.
Kat: Hermione’s not going to like that.
Michael: No, right? Well, I liked that summary just because even then it indicts people who have been raised on house-elves and…
Michael: … don’t see the need for magic for more day to day things.
Michael: I thought that was a pretty clever little bit there on Miranda Goshawk’s part. But that is how we cast the Scourgify spell. It’s coming up a lot, actually, in this book.
Kat: It is.
Michael: That little cleaning spell. I don’t recall if it ends up begin used for anything drastically important like cleaning blood off of somebody or something like that, but it seems to pop in a lot because we know that Tonks uses it unsuccessfully a few chapters back. I’m going to assume that Molly taught this spell to Ginny because it seems like a spell that Harry should know. This is another one of those moments where I’m always surprised by the basic spells that Harry does not know because this is a domestic spell.
Kat: Yeah, they don’t learn these ever.
Michael: Do they not learn these at Hogwarts? Do they not teach them?
Kat and Nindy: I don’t think so.
Laura: I mean, I think they do. I just think we don’t see them because they can’t go through every lesson… think of how many times time passes in one sentence, like months. It’ll be like they’re in November, and then it’ll be like, “And then the first snowflake fell,” and it’s two months later.
Kat: Yeah, but it can’t be a class because what are they going to do? Have a final exam on cleaning?
Kat: Yeah, plus…
Laura: Scourgify. I mean, if they had a test on turning an animal into a goblet. This seems to have more practical application.
Kat: Maybe it’s just one of those things that they learn like when they have to vanish their potion at the end of class or stuff like that.
Laura: Yeah, I think it definitely has practical application. When they spill things or when they’re… there’s so many things. When their animal that just was turned into a goblet is scared that he was just a goblet and relieves himself a bit.
Michael: I wonder if there’s… maybe that’s what you get in first year charms or something like that. The basic, basic day to day stuff that really doesn’t take that long to learn or something like that.
Kat: Oh could be.
Nindy: I don’t know. I always had the feeling that they learned that from each other, from the kids who actually have been taught by wizarding families because Harry later on in the series actually reflects that it’s a serious lacking thing in his education. He actually doesn’t know any healing spells.
Nindy: So I always assumed it’s the same for cleaning, but it could just be me.
Michael: I guess what I want is a more thorough list of Hogwarts classes. I know Jo’s provided some information on that, but I want more of what’s required and more of what exactly is learned in these lessons. [laughs]
Kat: Basically, Jo, I know you’re listening, you need to just publish all your books. Publish them.
Michael: All the things.
Kat: Make them a thousand dollars a book. Guess what? We’ll still buy them. Publish whatever. Just put them out there, okay?
Michael: But a point I forgot to put down here that I did want to bring up – and this is, once again, in relation to Ron being a prefect – Malfoy shows up, and, of course, very pointedly says the word “dogged” as if to imply that he knows that Padfoot is Sirius and that that’s who showed up with Harry to Platform 9 3/4. And we know how Malfoy got that information. Via Peter Pettigrew, to Lucius Malfoy, eventually to Malfoy. But the funny thing about this moment is that Harry and Hermione immediately catch it. Guess who doesn’t? [laughs] Poor Ron just sits there and says, “Chuck us another chocolate frog,” [laughs] and has nothing to say on the matter. And this is not to say that Dumbledore didn’t have his reasons for choosing Ron, but I feel like this was one of those moments that Harry was reflecting on when he was angry that he didn’t get chosen.
Michael: He’s like, “Well, I didn’t get picked but Ron did?” This is one of those things where that occurs. So just wanted to bring that up in that respect. And then, of course, we get to Hogwarts. Hagrid is nowhere to be seen. That was a point that I think we brought up a few shows ago. I think, Laura, you were the one to mention it possibly? About the Order not actually informing Harry where Hagrid is? Or that he’s even…
Laura: That wasn’t me, but…
Michael: Was that not you?
Michael: But I thought that was a worthy thing to just restate again, that Harry doesn’t know where Hagrid is at all and that everybody is actually quite concerned about Hagrid’s disappearance. But it doesn’t seem like it would’ve been particularly harmful to tell Harry this information, does it? About the giants?
Kat: He just has a big mouth.
Michael: You think?
Laura: Yeah, I mean, everything they tell him, he tells the other two…
Michael: That’s true.
Laura: … and I trust maybe Harry and Hermione… I wouldn’t necessarily… I don’t know. I don’t trust all three of them.
[Michael and Nindy laugh]
Laura: All three of them are stupid. [laughs]
Michael: I don’t know.
Laura: They take matters into their own hands.
Michael: [laughs] That’s true. It just seems like this chapter… I noticed this chapter in particular seems to be the one where it’s just compounding on the misfortune for Harry and the shock value for him. He just doesn’t really seem to have his bearings this year at Hogwarts… which I guess, Kat, as you were saying earlier, in a way he kind of needs that?
Kat: He does.
Michael: But if this was all Dumbledore’s doing – and some of this does seem to be – it seems ill-planned on his part. And then of course, the last shocker – speaking of things that set Harry off – the Thestrals show up. I don’t want to go too much into that because we’ve already talked pretty much at length about Thestrals and our views on them, but I guess we could just go over, again, the Thestrals and what their effect is. The thing I will say is that – worthy of note – they were already mentioned before Order of the Phoenix. They were mentioned as a throwaway in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, under “Winged Horses,” and they were mentioned as “The rare Thestral (black, possessed of the power of invisibility, and considered unlucky by many wizards.)” So that’s all we had known about them before this book came out. Anybody have any thoughts on the Thestrals? First reactions? Shock?
Kat: I don’t remember where I read it – and I can’t remember who wrote it so I apologize – but somebody commented how hilarious they thought it was that Ron wasn’t at all concerned that he couldn’t see what Harry was talking about.
Kat: Harry was like, “Ron, don’t you see it?” He’s like, “What? I think you’re crazy. I don’t see what you see.” Why are you…
Laura: There’s never been a situation of that in the past where he could hear or see something and…
Michael: Yeah. [laughs]
Laura: “… Harry is just crazy.”
Kat: Right! Why isn’t Ron a little more concerned? I don’t know. Whoever pointed that out, that’s very true.
Michael: Thank you for pointing that out, whoever you are, because that’s an issue we continue to come up with pretty much every book past the first one.
Michael: It is pretty astonishing that people don’t believe Harry in these particular…
Kat: Right? Come on! It’s Harry freaking Potter!
Michael: [laughs] Well, I guess the most frustrating thing for me was I realized if Harry had just grabbed Ron’s hand and put it on the Thestral…
Kat: Mmm, that’s true. Ron would’ve flipped out.
Kat: Legitimately jumped out of his skin, I think.
Laura: I find it kind of unrealistic, and I must have said this previously because I think it often. No one would have just… did everyone enter the cart from the far right or left? No one walked head-on at it? It’s just…
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Kat: Oh yeah, what if run into it? Boom. Fall in the mud.
Michael: [laughs] I guess people just assume that they ran into something that ran off or something like that? I don’t even… I can’t even explain.
Laura: If I ran into something, I would repeatedly try to be like, “Did I just run into something?”
Laura: And continually… whatever.
Kat: But if you lived in a magical world, maybe you wouldn’t, though.
Michael: That’s what I was thinking. Yeah, if you’re in a place where magic is prominent and things like that perhaps do happen everyday?
Laura: No, I would… even if I was in a magical world and if there was something, my first thought would be, “Hey, who’s this person who’s using magic to not be found right now that I’m running into?”
Michael: That’s actually the perfect Gryffindor reaction.
Kat: It definitely is.
Laura: Aww, thanks.
Michael: [laughs] I’m distinctly picking out all of our house traits since there’s four of us.
Kat: It’s so exciting!
Laura: I’m using house traits. I have a house trait question for my Podcast Question of the Week.
Michael: Oh, perfect.
Michael: But of course, our last note on the chapter, as we know, is from the book. Luna does mention that Harry is in fact just as sane as she is. For she can see the Thestrals, too, which is a nice little way to leave it off as far as her character goes. I certainly know when I first read the book, I was like, “I hope we see a lot more of this girl.” Because that’s a lovely note to leave Harry on in the midst of his meltdown [laughs] is that his insanity is comparable to hers. But…
Laura: It also is great when you’re this far into a series and think of how many amazing characters she’s come up with at this point, and to keep up that momentum… at this point it’s kind of hard. Tonks is great; I love her. But that’s not a “Wow!” in the same way that Lupin is and whatnot. And this is really, to me, the last “Wow” with Luna.
Michael: For sure.
Laura: I mean, there’s great characters that are still introduced and whatnot, but Luna is the last big one.
Michael: Well, I think that’s definitely worth noting because Rowling considers her… she colloquially refers to them as “The Big Seven,” I believe…
Laura: Yeah, she does.
Michael: … and Luna is in that group.
Kat: Right, the two trios and then Draco.
Michael: Yes, yes. And out of all of them, she’s the only one who gets introduced so far into the series.
Michael: So that definitely does speak to her importance and power in the narration. So we’ll be checking in with Luna quite a bit more as things go on. But for now, we will leave her and Harry in the carriages.
Laura: And lastly, because this chapter is about Luna, Luna is not the only major Ravenclaw, but the most major Ravenclaw we see, and she’s the poster child of Ravenclaw. I guess – I especially want to hear from the Ravenclaws – is that a good thing? Those characteristics that Luna has: Are those Ravenclaw or does that paint a more eccentric picture of Ravenclaw than necessarily is true? I’m sure we’re going to get a big debate from everyone who feels very vehemently about their houses and whatnot. So have at it.
Kat: And so just to close this out, we want to thank Nindy so much for joining us. We hope that you had a good time discussing this and being our Slytherin. Thank you so much.
Nindy: Well, you’re welcome. I had a lot of fun, so thanks for having me.
Michael: It was perfect. She dug out Ginny’s Slytherin trait. [laughs]
Laura: Everyone has… and that’s another thing with the houses. It’s good because everyone… like you said, Kat, you’re 51% Ravenclaw and 49% Gryffindor. I mean… sorry, Slytherin. I’m largely Gryffindor but there’s a little bit of Hufflepuff in there, too. And you know what? There’s a little bit of everything in everyone. So thank you, yes, Nindy, for pointing that out; the Slytherin in Ginny because there’s Slytherin in everyone, there’s Gryffindor in everyone, there’s everything in everyone.
Michael: [laughs] And if you are like Nindy, and you have been hanging around our forum or our main site for a while and perhaps haven’t had the courage – the Gryffindor within you – to come on to the show and chat with us, now is the time to find your inner Gryffindor, as well as a microphone and some headphones because those are required for you to be on the show. To find out how you can be on the show, head over to our website and check out the “Be on the Show” page at alohomora.mugglenet.com. We would love to have you on.
Kat: That page is so aptly named. Just…
Michael: Aptly named? Oh, the “Be on the Show”…
Laura: What page?
Kat: The “Be on the Show” page.
Michael: Yeah, it’s to the point.
Kat: It is.
Laura: We thought a lot about that. We had a whole meeting deciding what do we call this show…
Kat: We did.
Laura: … where they find how they be on the show.
Kat: Right, right, exactly. No, I remember that.
Laura: And that’s what we come up with. That’s the fruits of our labor.
Kat: I remember that. Yeah.
Michael: It’s to the point.
Kat: Right. Anyway, in the meantime, if you want to stay in contact with with us, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, facebook.com/openthedumbledore, on Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast. Of course, our phone number; that’s 206-GO-ALBUS, 206-462-5287. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. Keep them coming; we love reading those. Our awesome Snapchat artist… Michael Platco! Wow!
Kat: I started to say Michael Harle, which is a problem and I had to switch my brain. Anyway, Snapchat: MN_Alohomora. And of course the Audioboo. All you need is an Internet connection and a microphone; it doesn’t matter where you live. You can record the message directly on alohomora.mugglenet.com. And keep them coming. We get a lot of them, guys, so just bear with us. We try to go through them as quickly as possible. But send in your questions for next week’s episode, too. We do like to hear your questions for the next week, as well as your reactions. So keep sending them in, and I promise we are listening to them, and we will get to them as soon as we can. I promise.
Laura: And always remember our store. Of course, we want to know what you guys want to see because if you tell us and we get a lot of response, we will get that to you. And big, exciting, we’ve got a sale!
Everyone: Sale! Sale!
Laura: Like the can-can sale for ShopRite. [sings the can-can]
Laura: Okay, anyway. So we are currently offering 15% off T-shirts through June 10 using the code “MYSHIRT2014,” all caps.
Laura: So take advantage of that and get your cool shirts for the summer and save money on them so that you can spend that money elsewhere.
[Laura, Michael, and Nindy laugh]
Laura: But you don’t need to spend money for our ringtones which are totally free. They’re available on our website and they’re super fun, so check them out.
Michael: Speaking of things we want in the store, I have to shout-out to Ellen Dawn on Twitter. She tweeted me a picture of a concept for a Lupin Love T-shirt.
Kat: Yeah, you know who made that?
Michael: Who made that?
Kat: Our amazing Snapchat artist, Michael Platco!
Michael: He didn’t tweet that at me! [laughs] I didn’t know he had made it. That was…
Kat: Yeah, he snapped it. Snapchat.
Michael: Oh, see, that’s why I don’t… I don’t have my phone of the future.
Michael: And because I don’t have a phone of the future, I can’t get the Alohomora! app. [laughs] But all of you who do have it can, just in case you were hoping to track the departure time for the Hogwarts Express. Our app doesn’t do that but it does a lot of other things. It does transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and more. It is available seemingly worldwide; prices vary depending on your location.
Kat: Yeah, get the app because you get to hear all the crap that gets cut out of the episode. And it’s usually a lot.
Michael: Yes. With that we are heading to Hogwarts in the horseless carriages, so we will say goodbye for now. I’m Michael Harle.
Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.
Kat: And I’m Kat Miller.
[Show music begins]
Kat: Thank you for listening to Episode 87 of Alohomora!
Michael: [as Luna] Open the Dumbledore. I hope there’s pudding behind it.
[Show music continues]