Transcript – Episode 145

[Show music begins]

Rosie Morris: This is Episode 145 of Alohomora! for July 11, 2015.

[Show music continues]

Rosie: Hello everyone, and welcome to a brand new episode of Alohomora! My name is Rosie Morris.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Kristen Keys: And I’m Kristen Keys. And our special guest with us today is Ashley.

Ashley Craig: Hello.

Kristen: How long have you been a Harry Potter fan, Ashley?

Ashley: Since the second book Chamber of Secrets came out. I received it as a gift, and I had no idea that it was actually the second book in the series and so I tried to read it. I did not know what a Muggle was…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Ashley: … and decided, “This book is stupid, I quit.”

Kat: Ah, you pulled a Noah. You pulled a Noah. You read the second one first.

Ashley: Right.

Kristen: That is what I did.

Ashley: Luckily, a classmate noticed that I had the book, and he asked me what I thought of the first one, and I was like, “Oh. Okay, that makes more sense.”

[Everyone laughs]

Ashley: And it was love at first paragraph.

Kat: Aww.

Rosie: It is a very good first paragraph, so…

Ashley: It is.

Kat: It is indeed.

Kristen: Mhm, definitely.

Kat: And you are a Slytherin, yes?

Ashley: Yes. Proud Slytherin.

Kat: Wow.

Ashley: Well, I used to always say Slyther-dor, but I’m mostly Slytherin.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Awesome. Well, you’ve got a good chapter for today.

Ashley: I’m excited. Huge Snape fan.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Oh, boy. This will be interesting…

Ashley: [laughs] Yes, this will be interesting.

Rosie: And of course, that chapter today is Half-Blood Prince Chapter 27, “The Lightning-Struck Tower.” So please, make sure you have read that chapter before listening on. Otherwise, you will be completely confused and left behind because you won’t know anything about it! Because we haven’t read these books before.

Kat: Yeah, never.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kat: But as usual, before we get into this week’s discussion, we are going to go over some comments from last week’s chapter, which was Chapter 26 of Half-Blood Prince. Our first comment here comes from Gryffindora the Explorer.

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: Love that.

Kat: Very cute. It is a very good username. It says,

“I think it’s very interesting which Horcruxes Voldemort chooses to protect well. The ring, which he stole from his uncle, is very well protected. The locket, which once belonged to his mother, is also incredibly well protected. The diary is just given to Malfoy with, what seems, very little regard. The diadem is just kinda tossed into the room of requirement, and the cup is given to the Lestranges to keep in their Gringotts vault. None of these other Horcruxes is being protected by a spell Voldemort personally performed. I think this shows Voldemort definitely places more value on the locket and the ring. While the increased significance of the locket makes sense because of the connection to Slytherin, I think it[‘s] interesting that the ring is really only connected to his mother’s family. Even still, he places much more value on the ring than on the other Horcruxes. I wonder if the locket’s value is influenced by more than just the fact that it was Slytherin’s. Maybe he wanted to protect the only connection he has to his mother?”

So we had a big discussion last week – I think, yeah, I was the only one on last week – about the protections around the Horcruxes and how we thought this one seemed a little extravagant. It is behind a crevice and a wall and a lake and a thing with the potion and the Inferi and… so what do you guys think?

Rosie: Yeah, I think the locket is even more interesting because the place that he chooses to hide it is very… almost disconnected from the rest of his life. It is a connection to the Muggle orphanage, and to all of this life that he is so desperate to leave behind, and yet he has chosen this cave as the place to hide it. So it is turning his humble upbringing into the most extravagant of all things in a very Voldemort kind of way. But it does seem that he is putting so much effort into this one place that it must be somewhere of extreme significance to him, when we only really found out a tiny sliver of information of what happened that night – that trip to the cave. So maybe it is the first time that he really discovered he had powers, and that is why it is so significant? I don’t know. It seems to be a bit over the top compared to the others, but I do think that there is a connection to the Slytherin side of things that he values, in terms of the actual items. But yeah, I find the cave more interesting than the connection to the mother. [laughs]

Kat: I think it is funny that you mentioned that that is a part of his life that he is trying to leave behind, yet the locket is… he is so proud to be Slytherin.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: And it’s just funny that that’s the Horcrux he decides to hide there.

Rosie: It is like he is claiming the Muggle-ness… or he is overriding the Muggle-ness of the place with the ultimate Slytherin artifact.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, there was a discussion on the main site – I forget which user it was, I apologize – about how they thought that Voldemort made that cave, how it wasn’t there before. Maybe the crevice was there, and the little… I don’t know, antechamber, for lack of a better word, was there, and then he made the rest. So I thought that was pretty interesting.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: So our next comment here comes from Sectumseverus.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Very cute, very appropriate…

Rosie: Very good, yeah.

Kat: … for this chapter. [laughs] It says,

“I agree that no Horcrux could be summoned…”

So this was a discussion we had about, obviously, summoning the “Horcrux” in the middle of the lake. It says,

“I agree that no Horcrux could be summoned, but the locket in the basin was not a Horcrux, so surely it would be able to be summoned? I would argue that an anti-summoning charm could only be placed on the actual object, so surely Regulus would have had to have place[d] this charm – not Voldemort [-] and why would Regulus have done this?”

Kat: I thought that was a really interesting thought because…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: … it’s not a Horcrux in that basin.

Kristen: Yeah, it’s just a locket.

Kat: Yeah, I mean, obviously, the potion has an effect on it but, let’s pretend the potion’s not there.

Rosie: What wording does he use to try and summon it?

Kat and Kristen: “Accio, Horcrux!”

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Well, that wouldn’t work then if it’s not a Horcrux, would it?

Ashley: Exactly.

Kat: Right.

Ashley: And I think that’s what they were talking about on the last episode too.

Rosie: Yeah.

Ashley: Because he didn’t specifically say that. But I could agree with this comment because it’s just a locket.

Rosie: Yeah, but if he had said, “Accio, locket!” then it would have come to him. But he said, “Accio, Horcrux!” and then…

Kat: Right, but not with the potion there because the potion probably stops it from being…

Rosie: But it’s not a Horcrux. So if you say…

Kat: I know!

Rosie:“Accio, Horcrux!” and there’s no Horcrux…

Kat: Right!. I know! I know!

Rosie: … then it wouldn’t… nothing would happen.

Kat: Right. No, and I think…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I think that’s what the comment is saying, is the fact that the locket as not a Horcrux and that’s why it didn’t work. But yeah, I don’t know. I thought it was an interesting comment anyway.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: So our next comment here comes from PuffNProud. It is regarding the potion, the one we were just talking about, in the basin. It says,

“Did we ever consider another great potion maker to have made this potion? Just throwing it out there. And because I love Snape. Supporting argument would be that Snape could have made the potion not knowing what it would be used for, and at the time Snape would have been more than happy to be at the service of the Dark Lord. Counter argument would be that Voldemort could have certainly make the complex potion, as we know he concocted the potion that returned him to his body.”

Well, technically, didn’t Wormtail make that potion?

Kristen: Yes.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: So…

Rosie: It could have been Snape that made the potion but I guess it depends when the locket was put in the cave. Like, the original locket not, necessarily, the one that Regulus puts there.

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: So if it was… if the locket was put in the cave as soon as it was stolen, that would be quite early on in his career at Borgin and Burkes, wouldn’t it? Or as soon as he kind of knows where it is, he would steal it and then…

Kat: Well, that was… I mean, he stole the locket a few years out of Hogwarts.

Rosie: Yeah, so he would be…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Before he got most of his Death Eater-y friends. I don’t think that Snape was one of the first Death Eaters to sign up. He was a lot younger than Lucius and people, wasn’t he? So…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: I think that he would be…

Kat: And…

Rosie: … in a kind of second wave.

Kat: And what death was for the locket?

Rosie: The ring was his family.

Kat: Uh-huh. Was…

Rosie: Yeah, so his dad. Is the locket the one that was just like a random Muggle? That always kind of put me off because it was dumb? [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Because it was dumb!

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yeah, quite possibly. Somebody is screaming at us as they’re listening to this right now.

[Ashley laughs]

Kat: “Come on, guys!”

Ashley: Salazar Slytherin’s locket was from when Riddle murdered a Muggle tramp.

Rosie: Yes! See?

Kristen: Okay.

Rosie: A random Muggle!

Kristen: Great job, Rosie.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yeah, which is ridiculous…

Rosie: It’s just really annoying. [laughs]

Ashley: Yeah.

Kat: … considering…

Kristen: This one has the most protection. [laughs]

Rosie: Unless… so the Muggle tramp is that… has he got more significance than we know? Is it someone from the orphanage that he’s tracked down? Or is it something like that? because he grew up as a Muggle and…

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: … he hated the Muggle stuff and he hid it in a Muggle space that symbolizes his Muggle childhood So he’s killing a Muggle tramp…

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: … symbolizing his mother who was completely destitute when she abandoned him at the orphanage.

Kat: That’s what I’ve always thought.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: I always assumed that… I didn’t think about the orphanage connection, but I always assumed that it was a symbol of his mother.

Rosie: Which would make it slightly more okay.

Kat: I mean…

Rosie: Well, not okay but…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: … you know, significance.

Kristen: Yes.

Rosie: But it’s still…

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: … annoying to me. [laughs]

Ashley: Could it be the orphanage owner that…

Rosie: I don’t think she died of any kind of suspicious causes that we know of.

Kat: I feel like we might have heard about that, yeah.

Ashley: Okay, because I just kept thinking like, “Oh, okay. That would be kind of like… not your mother but the mother figure when you’re in an orphanage.” So…

Kat: Sure.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: Or maybe it was one of the kids that he tormented that day.

Kat: Perhaps.

Kristen: Mhm.

Ashley: True.

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: Who knows? [laughs]

Kat: So then, it’s not entirely plausible that Snape could have made it because the death was too early.

Rosie: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

Kristen: Yeah. [laughs]

Kat: Well, nice theory PuffNProud.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: You tried. Five points.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Ashley and Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: Well, it could’ve been later. Yeah, we don’t know when it was created. If he created the cup on Hepzibah’s death, and then left the locket around for a while, it just wouldn’t necessarily make sense. But then he could have also made the locket a lot earlier and then hidden it in the cave later on and included the potion then, so too much that we don’t know. Let’s ask Pottermore eventually.

[Kat sighs]

Rosie: More information, please, Jo. [laughs]

Ashley: You still get points because you love Snape.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Yes, well done, PuffNProud.

Kat and Kristen: Yes.

Kat: Very, very good.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: So that’s it for our comments that we’re going to read out on the show this week, but there were over 200 on the site.

Kristen: Woo!

Ashley: Wow.

Kat: And holy cow, they were amazing. I wish we had time to read them all, but alas, we do not. So head over to, and definitely continue the discussion because we love… I mean, I always go back and read all the old ones. I love hearing what you guys think week to week to week, so you know what to do.

Kristen: And let’s get into our Podcast Question of the Week responses from last week, and here’s a reminder of what the question was. “We touched a bit at the beginning of this chapter on ancient magic, Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort, etc. I have long been curious as to how Dumbledore became the wizard that he was at the time of his death. He never ended up traveling and presumably didn’t do much with his life besides teach. Where did he learn this incredible magic? How does one become that type of wizard?” This first comment comes from Sian Zoe Dawson, and they say,

“Part of the way he became who he was was by observing other people. I think that you can learn a lot from observing your elders and peers, and by watching them and learning from them, […] this can help a young witch or wizard increase their powers and magical capability. I also think that Dumbledore’s power comes not only from observing, but also from experience, like what happened when his sister, Ariana, died. This might have nothing to do with that, but I think that some of Dumbledore’s magic is influenced by some of the things he says, and this doesn’t necessarily mean in the spells that he casts. What I mean by this is that magic is a great force and can be used and expressed in many ways, not only just by a wand, but also by some of the things we do or say in everyday life, which once again brings me back to my point with Ariana. Even though he tried to be the pacifist and stop the fighting, it didn’t work, and Ariana unfortunately ended up in the centre of things. This experience gave him wisdom, and wisdom is in my opinion a force of magic, which is as powerful as it is a knowledgeable thing. Wisdom helps Dumbledore grow (along with his magic), but unfortunately, both cannot save him from his inevitable end, which just goes to show that even though magic, wisdom and knowledge can help you get so far with some things, it could also be our downfall. I only say this because in some ways, as powerful as Dumbledore is, and as we discover, he is not as intelligent and powerful as we give him credit for. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he is not an intelligent being. He is, for he is rather good at detecting aspects of magic both inside the school and out; so apart from observing, there may be some things he learnt on his own and by using his own initiative in a way in which we don’t know of and have never known about.”


Rosie: Holy double negatives, Batman!

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Yes, okay.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Break it down for us, teacher Rosie. [laughs]

Rosie: [laughs] So Dumbledore gains wisdom through unfortunate events in his life such as the death of Ariana. He puts aside his ambition and thirst for knowledge and learns instead that experience is the most important thing and that learning from our mistakes is the only way to learn true knowledge. I think that’s what they’re trying to say.

Kat: Sure. I mean, knowledge, but that’s not magic.

Rosie: No, so… [laughs]

Kat: I mean, I agree, you have to learn from your mistakes and from your experiences and from your life, but…

Rosie: Yeah. And we know that Dumbledore was incredibly powerful even before Ariana died, as well…

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: … but I think that it does shape his magic. So the idea of the phoenix being his connected animal… his spirit animal, if you wish…

Ashley and Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: … it shows that Dumbledore rises from the deaths of his past.

Kat: Ooh.

Rosie: He puts aside his life of ambition from before his sister’s death, and before the whole stuff with Grindelwald, and all of that kind of thing, and he rises anew as a better person, supposedly. You know I have issues with Dumbledore, so whether that’s true or not is debatable.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: But yeah, so he learns from these mini deaths throughout his life and becomes more powerful in his understanding of the world, maybe.

Kristen: I like the part of observing other people and standing back because even with…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kristen: … but you’re a teacher so you understand; you have some of those kids who do stand back and observe and sometimes you don’t even know it, but sometimes they’re the brightest kids because they’ve just watched everything and observed what other people are doing. And even though they’re not the most talkative or anything like that, just by observing you can learn so much.

Rosie: Yeah. And I think it depends on… we have different learning styles and I’m sure that’s the same with magic as well. The fact the Neville flourishes once he’s been given that little bit of confidence, and he can actually do the things that he believes that he can do and becomes a greater wizard from it.

Kristen: Exactly.

Ashley: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah, so for Dumbledore it’s more of an intellectual thing. I don’t know; I have too many issues with Dumbledore to see him as truly compassionate by the end of this story, especially in this chapter, but I’ll get into that later on.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Ashley: I mean, yeah, I agree that he probably observed other people because if memory serves me correct, wasn’t it in, I think, Order of the Phoenix… I cannot remember the person’s name, sorry; but someone told Umbridge that they had sat through Dumbledore’s NEWTs and they saw him do things with a wand that she had never seen before in a hundred years.

Rosie: Yeah. And that’s before Ariana died, isn’t it?

Ashley: Right. So from a very young age, I’m sure he was observing other people, the company that he kept… he learned from that.

Rosie: Yeah. It’s interesting as well because this comment is all shaped toward Dumbledore’s downfall.

Ashley: Mhm.

Rosie: As if his intelligence should have prevented it, but as we see in this chapter – but we don’t necessarily understand in this chapter – by this point Dumbledore is seeking death. So it’s his intelligence that manages to work the situation into a method that actually kills him rather than a method that saves him. So it’s more proof of his intelligence than proof of his downfall. The moment where he really does has his downfall happened months ago by this point and is the moment where he lets greed override this wisdom that he has learnt. And it’s the moment where he almost forgets Ariana and forgets his loss. Even though it’s the Resurrection Stone that he actually tries on, it’s the fact that he wanted the Hallows that has clouded his judgement and clouded his intelligence. That is what ultimately was his downfall.

Kat: Wow, that’s heavy.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Great, let’s play an audioBoom.

Kristen: Okay.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yes, please.

Kristen: So this next comment is an audioBoom, so let’s take a listen, real quick.

[Audio]: Hello, Alohomora! podcast. My name is Eileen and in response to the Podcast Question of the Week for Episode 144, my simple answer is: Look at Hermione. To explain, she is in the same year as Harry and Ron yet knows way more magic than either of them. She took more classes but she is also always reading and anytime she encountered something she didn’t know, she ran off to the library. The first time we meet her on the Hogwarts Express, she confesses that she knows about Harry because she read about him in a lot of books. Hermione is always taking the initiative to better inform herself by reading and it is in this way that I propose that Hermione, and Dumbledore before her, got to be such clever and knowledgeable people. Thanks! Love the show.

Rosie: “Ah, but books and cleverness are not everything, Harry.” [laughs]

Kat: Yes, yes, yes, that is the one thing I thought when I was listening to that comment. I mean, I agree, Hermione is smart and she’s clever, but I don’t see her getting to this level of Dumbledore’s… the deep and dark – not even dark – but deep, ancient magic.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: I don’t see her ever crawling into that hole to try [to] figure it all out. I think that if you can’t figure it out in a book, Hermione probably won’t ever know it.

Rosie: And I don’t think she is seeking out that level of knowledge either.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: It strikes me as the difference between a PhD and a general degree. So Hermione is very happy to just learn about magic in a practical sense, so she’s learning anything that will be useful to her, she’s learning all about a craft that she doesn’t know existed, and all of that kind of thing, but she’s not really interested in harnessing the power of the ancient stuff. She’s interested in finding out about it as a historical thing, but she’s not necessarily interested in trying it out herself. Whereas Dumbledore sought it in an academic interest…

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: … way. So he wanted to experiment and understand the greatness of magic in a way that anyone who’s passionate about anything does. So David Attenborough knows a lot more about the natural world than anyone else. All of that kind of thing. He is the David Attenborough of magic to me.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: As you were saying that, I was wondering, do we think that Dumbledore started down this road… obviously, he was clever before and he was smart and all of that, but do you think he started down that road when he fell in with Grindelwald? And they started to explore other avenues and “Magic Is Might” and all of that? Do you think that he really went down that road at that point?

Rosie: I think it might’ve been something that drew them together. I’m not sure if it’s something that would’ve been sparked by Grindelwald. I think it’s more of a shared interest.

Kristen: Could be.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: Yeah, I don’t know. I could see exactly what Rosie said, but it could also be that yeah, Grindelwald was the one who really got him thinking about all that stuff.

Rosie: Yeah.

Ashley: Yeah, I think it maybe had to do a lot with the company that he kept. Grindelwald, Nicholas Flamel…

Rosie: That’s true, Flamel as well. Yeah.

Ashley: Yeah, people that he associated with. And then he was also constantly surrounded by various witches and wizards from all around the world being involved with the… what is it called? International Confederation of Wizards, or something like that?

Rosie: Yes. The Wizengamot and all that kind of stuff.

Kat and Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah, I guess it’s the culture. When you’re a rich person, you tend to hang out with a bunch of other…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … rich people.

Kristen: Right.

Rosie: They’re Oxbridge. They’re ivy league students, aren’t they? They’re that kind of thing. [laughs]

Ashley: Exactly.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: They are. Yeah. Fair enough.

Kristen: All right. Our next comment comes from SpinnersEnd. And they say,

“I think a great deal of Dumbledore’s talent is inherent. He’s smart and has a wealth of natural magic. And we see him seek out people who are his intellectual equal (though, admittedly, they are few and far between). I also think one of Dumbledore’s greatest is his ability to sympathize and empathize. I believe that gives him an ability to think through how things work and why they work the way they do. But most of all, I think Dumbledore’s greatest asset is his inquisitiveness. This means he reads, he asks questions and [he is] willing to test his theories, regardless of how certain he is of them.”

And this goes back to the previous comment as well.

Kat: Yeah. That’s a good wrap up of…

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: … everything we just discussed.

Kristen: Yeah. It’s true.

Rosie: And it’s the fact that he should have this greatest ability to empathize and sympathize, is the issue I have with later-Dumbledore, where this seems to go by the wayside. Because we’ve seen his amazing ability…

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: sympathize and empathize, and then with Harry, that is put to one side, it seems, in search of the greater good, blah, blah, blah. And that’s just…

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: … not what he should do for our hero.

Kristen: All right. And our last comment comes from Silverdoe25. And they say,

“Let’s not forget that the guy is over 100 years old. That is a long time for him to hone his magical skills. He may never have traveled the world with Doge, but in all of his years as Transfiguration professor with summers off, he could have easily traveled and continued his studies.”

Rosie: [laughs] Very true.

Kristen: I like that little comment in there. [laughs]

Kat: Here, here. Nice and snarky. Nice job.

Kristen: Mhm. Because everybody was talking about how he never had time to travel, and I’m like, “Umm, he’s been living a long time.”

[Kat, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: But it was definitely great to read everybody’s responses from last week’s question. Keep it up, guys.

Rosie: It’s interesting, as well, that if Ariana died when he’d just taken his NEWTs and was just about to go on the grand tour, he would’ve been 17, 18, and now he’s over 100 and it’s still his greatest upset and when he drinks the potion, it’s still the thing that cuts him to the core.

Kat: Oh, but is it? I’m just kidding.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: But it was 83 years… Titanic moment. Never mind.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: Never seen it…

Kat: I got it. What? Wait, what?

Kristen: Never seen that movie.

Kat: Wow, not a Leo fangirl, huh?

Kristen: Ah, well… everybody ended up already telling me what it was all about and everything when they saw it, so I was like, “Why see it?”

Kat: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You didn’t know what Titanic was about?

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: No, I did, but… the whole love and…

Rosie: You say that, Kat, but there are students that literally think that Titanic is a movie and not an actual event, so…

Kat: Oh, God.

Rosie: … we’ve reached that stage of life.

Ashley: That’s sad.

Kat: Yeah, wow.

Rosie: Meanwhile, it is time to start our next chapter discussion.

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 27 intro begins]

Dumbledore: Severus…

Harry: Chapter 27.

Dumbledore: Severus, please…

Harry: “The Lightning-Struck Tower.”

Snape: Avada Kedavra!

[Sound of a spell being cast]

[Half-Blood Prince Chapter 27 intro ends]

Rosie: Okay, so here’s a quick summary of what’s going on in this chapter. So Harry and Dumbledore escape the cave and Harry actually succeeds in leading his first sidelong Apparition, bringing Dumbledore back to Hogsmeade. Dumbledore has actually regained most of his lucidity at this point, so he’s recovering a bit from the potion, but not his health and he is demanding that he is taken, or that Snape is fetched to him rather than going to Madame Pomfrey to be healed. At this point, we actually have Madame Rosmerta rush over to their aide but brings her own bad news, which is that the Dark Mark is blazing over the castle. Dumbledore then snaps into action, and Harry even remembers to use magic in times of trouble for the first time ever and summons some brooms, and they rush up to the castle to save the day. But can Harry trust Dumbledore to be the hero this time or is it just doomed to fail? It’s a bit of a depressing chapter, guys. Bear with me.

[Everyone laughs]

Ashley: Ten points to Gryffindor for Harry remembering to use magic.

Rosie: Indeed. It’s the first time.

Kat: I mean, but here’s the…

Kristen: Doesn’t Dumbledore bring it up first?

[Ashley laughs]

Kat: He does.

Rosie: Well, no, he says that Harry can do it, but Harry could easily just run off to the Three Broomsticks and look behind the bar to find the broomsticks. He remembers to use the magic all on his own.

Kat: I suppose.

Kristen: Gotcha, gotcha, okay.

Ashley: It’s like Hermione saying, “Oh, a fire, but I haven’t got any wood!”

Kat: Yeah.

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: It only took him seven years to realize he actually is a wizard.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Six, technically.

Rosie: Yes. Yeah. We’re almost at the end of the sixth year… never mind.

Kat: No, no, you’re right. Fine. Six and a half.

Rosie: So we are now into Hog’s Head and Dumbledore is certainly better than he was in the cave but definitely not healed. We see Rosmerta and it appears that she thinks they’ve kind of escaped the castle and Dumbledore resolves to save the school so even his worst memories that he’s just encountered again are kind of cast aside when the school’s safety is at risk. Do you guys think that he was aware of what was going to go down at the school while he was away or has this kind of caught him by surprise now that he’s back?

Kat: I think that the Death Eaters were a surprise to him because later in the chapter, he acts genuinely like, “Oh, wow. You actually got them into the school.” I think that that was a surprise to him. I think that heeding Harry’s warning, he probably did put extra protection on the castle that night. Basically, the entire Order is there, right? And I’m sure they’re not there on a regular basis. So I think he knew that something was going down, but since Snape was never really able to get it out of Draco exactly what he was doing, I think Dumbledore was a little bit surprised, caught off guard.

Rosie: Sure. But the Dark Mark seems to have made Dumbledore even more determined to get up to the castle and to find out what’s going on. As they fly over to the castle, he has this look on his face. We hear that Harry just completely feels fear and nothing else, but Dumbledore just seems… he’s the action hero at this moment. But it seems…

Kat: Focused.

Rosie: Yeah. He’s incredibly focused.

Ashley: Yeah, I love that description. “He was bent low over his broom, his long silver hair and beard flying behind him.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Ashley: Love that description.

Rosie: But it strikes me as, does he know that this is the night where he might die? He has been calling for Snape pretty much nonstop since he got there, and he seems to know that something is going to go down. And if he is this determined, it seems like there’s no holding back anymore. Do you think he knows what’s going on? I mean, we’ve got this description of him clutching at his chest with his blackened hand.

Kat: I think he was calling for Snape for an antidote to the potion or to help him in some way with the potion. I think he realized very quickly that he was probably going to die once Draco showed up at the top.

Rosie: Okay. We haven’t got there yet. Shh!

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Yeah. Well, I mean… no, no, I’m not jumping ahead. I just, you know…

Ashley: Spoilers.

Kat: … just saying… yeah, I’m sorry, guys.

Rosie: It’s all right, we’re almost there.

Kat: I suck at that. Also, I like how when they’re flying up there, it says that Dumbledore was speaking in another language…

Rosie: Yes.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: … to get in. I just keep thinking about how it’s probably Latin.

[Ashley and Kat laugh]

Kat: And they just don’t recognize Latin because they don’t learn Latin.

Ashley: Those foreign words. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, undoing all the enchantments and stuff. I thought that was awesome because here it is again – Dumbledore showing his insane memory of spells and his knowledge of just everything. It’s insane.

Rosie: And to be able to remember to take down the precautions as you fly up to the castle as well… I mean, Harry would completely forget that he put them up, and he would just fly right into them.

Ashley: [laughs] Exactly.

Kat: Yeah. Bounce off of them on his broom.

Rosie: Exactly.

Ashley: And that’s how Dumbledore dies.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Right.

Ashley: He just flies into it. [laughs]

Kat: Oh, boy.

Rosie: It’s not how he dies, however. They do make it to the Astronomy Tower, and Dumbledore gives extremely clear instructions to Harry. He is to fetch Severus to “[t]ell him what has happened and bring him to me. Do nothing else, speak to nobody else, and do not remove your cloak… You swore to obey me, Harry,” he says. It’s just chilling. Something bad is going to go down – we know it’s going to go down. We already have the Dark Mark outside, so it’s already happened technically, but…

Kristen: Yeah.

Rosie: … there’s no goodness in this situation. We’re not storming in, guns blazing, and thinking we’re about to save the day. We are walking into a death trap and we know that something bad is about to happen. We just don’t know what it is yet.

Kat: Yeah, we’re like the doe with the broken leg.

Rosie: Aww, yeah.

Kat: Limping along. Oh, I didn’t even think about the doe thing, but yeah.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, it’s just…

Rosie: You can’t use the phrase “a doe” and then not think of Harry Potter and Lily and all.

Kat: I know.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: That’s next book. [laughs]

Kat: It’s sad. But yeah, he definitely… I still think at this exact moment they get up there, I think all he is thinking about… sure, he’s thinking about the Dark Mark or whatever, but I honestly think he’s thinking about trying not to die from that potion.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: That’s the first thing on his mind.

Rosie: Do you think that potion was deadly?

Kat: Well, he says it wasn’t, but I imagine that it would eventually kill you. Or maybe it… what’s it called when vampires don’t have any blood?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Is that desiccation?

Rosie: Maybe, I don’t know. Is there an actual term for that? [laughs]

Kat: I don’t know, I don’t read a lot. I just know that it’s a thing.

Ashley: I just call it slowly withering away.

Kat: Cool. Well, I feel like it would be maybe like when a vampire has no blood to drink. They’re still alive because they can’t die. I mean, obviously Dumbledore can die, but he’s just there like… “Uuuuuuuh!”

Kristen: Deteriorating.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: So he might not die, but he won’t necessarily recover from it.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah, okay.

Kat: I think it’s meant to make him suffer.

Rosie: Yeah. It’s debilitating.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah. Exactly.

Rosie: So before Harry can carry out Dumbledore’s instructions, someone bursts in with the spell Expelliarmus, and we kind of go, “Harry, what’s going on?” Only it’s not Harry…

[Ashley, Kat, and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: … and Harry is frozen. It’s interesting because this is one of those parallels that keeps coming up, and we keep looking at the fact that both Tom [Riddle] and Harry were very similar, and Harry and Dumbledore have similarities, James and Severus have similarities, and all of that kind of stuff. But Draco actually has quite a lot of similarities with Harry as well, and this is one of them. It’s the spell that Harry learned and has saved himself many times with, but he learned it during the Duelling Club when he was battling Draco, and it seems to be the one spell that they actually learned – both of them – throughout the years…

[Ashley laughs]

Rosie: … and here he is, Draco using it against Dumbledore. And here is the moment where Draco wins the Elder Wand – not that we know that yet – but it is a key moment that is so underplayed in terms of its importance and significance in the next book. But it’s the moment where Harry freezes and thinks, “Hang on a second, that’s not what this spell does. I know that,” and discovers that it’s actually Dumbledore that has frozen him as he watches Dumbledore’s wand fly out of his hand. And it’s just such an important moment and so brilliantly written in terms of its confusion. Harry is genuinely not sure what’s going on until he can take stock of the fact that he is propped up against the wall like a statue and forced to watch the rest of the scene without being able to help.

Kat: And you don’t even think about the wand.

Rosie: No.

Kat: It’s shot, it’s gone. Gone. [makes whistle sound]

Rosie: Bye, wand.

Kat: You don’t even think about it. And we know… that’s how you win a wand from somebody.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: I’m pretty sure we’ve heard it at this point.

Rosie: You disarm them.

Kat: A few times, right? You disarm them, you win the wand. I mean, hello… it was right there in front of us the whole time.

[Rosie and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: So that’s also interesting in the fact that Draco uses Expelliarmus to win that wand. So ultimately, Harry manages to gain the Elder Wand through several moments of Expellarimus, his favorite spell…

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: … rather than… it’s meant to be the Death Wand.

Ashley: It pays off.

Rosie: This wand passes from hand to hand by killing its owner, but Harry ultimately saves the day…

Ashley: Yeah.

Kat: … because this wand is passed through disarming them, not through killing them.

Kat: Mhm. It’s funny, I was just thinking about the whole circle theory thing since we were just talking about Expelliarmus or whatever…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: And a few episodes ago, one of our guests – I apologize, I forget which – brought up the whole circle theory within a book.

Rosie: Okay.

Kat: So I’ve been looking at that, and the chapter that would match up with this one is Chapter 4, which is “Horace Slughorn.” So there’s a couple of things that match up. First off, the Dark Mark is in this chapter over…

Rosie: Over Slughorn’s house.

Kat: … over Slughorn’s house. Also, it’s the first time that Harry Apparates in that chapter with Dumbledore, and then in this chapter obviously, he takes Dumbledore with him.

Rosie: Too much genius!

Ashley: Nice.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: And there’s probably more if I had another hour to examine them all. There’s blood…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I don’t know.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: I mean, there is blood. Is it dragon blood?

Rosie: And Greyback, I think… do we hear about Greyback for the first time in that chapter as well, and he is in this one?

Kat: Maybe…

Rosie: I’m fairly sure that Slughorn and Dumbledore have a conversation about Greyback being involved.

Kat: They do talk about Death Eaters.

Rosie: Yeah. I don’t know, maybe not. But yeah, there’s too much genius, or just amazing coincidences in Jo’s writing.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: But yeah, this is a very important moment that is incredibly underplayed and very interesting. But we have an interesting situation going on. It is the moment in the movie where you expect the hero and the villain to have the monologues, and that is indeed what happens.

Kristen: Yes. [laughs]

Rosie: Only this time it’s an interesting duologue. So Dumbledore and Draco are both talking, and Dumbledore’s desperately trying to stall and save the day and find out what’s happening. It’s interesting because Harry is completely vindicated in this moment. He gets to know exactly what has been going on all year and that he was correct all year in thinking that Malfoy was scheming. And it makes me wonder if this whole scene was for Harry’s benefit. Is the whole conversation that Dumbledore’s setting up so that Harry knows that he was right, and he knows the background to the scene so he doesn’t feel like Draco was necessarily to blame almost? By understanding what he’s been through this year, it kind of makes him less of the villain.

Kat: It makes him pitiable is what it does.

Rosie: Yeah. It really does.

Kat: Pitiable… pitiful is probably the more correct word.

Rosie: And it’s interesting in terms of the writing as well. I picked out a few quotes such as, “as if Malfoy was showing him an ambitious homework project.” Dumbledore is kind of belittling him throughout this scene, and it really does just emphasize his youth and his innocence in his guilt, which is really odd. But yeah, Malfoy is desperate for approval, and Dumbledore is just completely shutting him down by giving him that approval, but doing it in such a way that is just sad.

Kat: Yeah, Draco is a complicated character. I’ve always really enjoyed talking about Draco, and I think that this is a great moment for him. As terrible of a moment as this is, I think it’s a really great moment for him because I think he’s learning a lot about himself, and this thing that he’s been working toward for the entire year… he’s standing in front of it. Dumbledore, wand aimed at him, and he’s going, “Holy crap. I’ve been working for this all year, and now what? Mom and Dad aren’t here to get me out of this horrible situation that I got myself into. Uh-huh. Now what do I do?” I think he’s internalizing, finally, and I think this is the moment where he starts to turn into the Draco we see in Deathly Hallows, so…

Rosie: And if there was any ever a moment that should have won awards in the movies, Tom’s portrayal of this scene and the Sectumsempra scene earlier on in the movie, just his complete deterioration throughout this movie was amazing, and I really wish this scene had been as full as it was in the book. I think it was heavily reduced in the film, and it robbed Tom of his awards, almost, but yeah, this whole scene is just heartbreaking, either in the book or the film, but let’s return to the book.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Dumbledore’s questions are actually half-goading, half-informative, so he is trying to find out what’s going on. He definitely asks questions that he needs to know the answers to: How did he get the Death Eaters into the Castle? All of these things. But at the same time, he’s will belittling Draco [with] every single question. He’s still almost leading him on, as if suggesting that he actually knows the answer, but he wants him to tell us because we don’t know as the reader, or Harry doesn’t know, and it’s goading Draco into boasting, and Dumbledore just stands there and smiles. He never tells Harry what he wants our needs to know, but he tells Draco that he knows absolutely everything. And it seems that he’s appealing to his humanity rather than protecting his feelings at this point. Which seems very dangerous to do when the guy has a wand pointed at you.

Kat: Yeah, but it was the only route Dumbledore had to take. He knew Draco wasn’t going to kill him. I mean, Draco doesn’t have it in him. He’s… I can’t think of a word that’s not offensive. He doesn’t have the cajones.

Rosie: He’s a good guy, really. [laughs]

Kristen: Yes, underneath it all.

Kat: I mean, I don’t agree with that, but…

Ashley: Oh, I do.

Rosie: He is a bully, but he’s not a murderer.

Kat: No. I completely agree.

Kristen: Yeah, it’s true.

Kat: Entirely true. Entirely true.

Rosie: And I think his bullying is more of a sign of his upbringing than it is of his personality, and I think that’s where… the only moment I really like in the epilogue is the look that passes between Draco and Harry. This idea that they’re still not over what’s happened, but there’s a begrudging acceptance of each other by then. And I think that starts in this scene, where they start to understand each other for the first time.

Kat: Yeah. Can you imagine? I’ve just always tried to put myself in Harry’s position in this chapter.

Rosie: Ooh, it’s horrible. [laughs]

Kristen: Oh, geez.

Kat: Being stuck up against the wall, being like, “Oh my God. I can’t do anything.” I would be internally screaming.

Rosie: And that’s the thing. It’s the ultimate torture, and it’s not Draco [who]’s done that, it’s not [one of] the Death Eaters [who] have done that, it’s Dumbledore. Dumbledore has set up this scene so that Harry can only be a spectator of his death. By this point, I really honestly think he knows he’s not going to leave this tower alive. And he’s left Harry there to watch it all happen. And it’s horrible.

Kristen: That’s sad.

Rosie: I have so many issues with Dumbledore. Why did you do this to my character? Oh no.

Kristen: He’s like, “I’m just going to let you stand here in the corner and have this internal panic attack.”

Kat: No, I mean, I don’t think it’s all that bad. I think that…

Kristen: I mean, he’s keeping him out of harm’s way.

Kat: I mean, I don’t even care about that. Harry could deal with Draco. Let’s be honest. He would just [Stun] him and run away.

Kristen: “Expelliarmus.”

Kat: I mean, he would have gotten the Elder Wand a lot sooner if he had done that.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: But no, I think that – Rosie touched on it – Dumbledore is doing this purely for Harry’s benefit. Harry didn’t have time to get away. He had no idea who was coming up there, and Dumbledore knows that Harry is the only person [who] can stop Voldemort. Period. So the only thing he could do was stop him from moving. And that’s what he did. Thank God he wasn’t just standing in the middle of the walkway on top of the tower with his hands in the air or something. And that he happened to be over near the wall. Just coincidence. But anyway. I think that Dumbledore is showing a bit of compassion here, and I think it is the best death that Dumbledore could have gotten.

Kristen: And he wanted Harry to hear what he had to say.

Rosie: But what is it that then is so important within this conversation? What does Harry need to hear from this conversation in order to progress the downfall of Voldemort? Is is that he needs to understand Draco and the lengths that the Death Eaters are going to just to protect themselves from Voldemort, or is it that he needs to understand… I honestly don’t know. What is it that he needs to hear in this conversation?

Kat: I think that he needs to let go of Draco being evil. And I think that’s the takeaway from this entire thing, is that Dumbledore, yes, he’s talking to Draco and getting information from him or whatever, but Harry is witnessing it is, and he’s realizing quickly that, sure, Draco was doing something all year, and this is what it is. Sure, he got Death Eaters into the Castle, but Draco is not evil.

Kristen: Snape is.

Rosie: We’ll get onto that in a second. [laughs]

Kat: We’ll get there. We will get there, but I think it was really important for Harry to see this moment and to let go of Malfoy, to just be like, “Oh, I don’t even need to worry about you anymore. You are…” still an offensive word that I can’t say.

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: I can obsess over something else now.

Kat: Yeah, exactly. I can move on from this.

Kristen: I can stop stalking him like I did throughout the whole entire book.

Rosie: But he wouldn’t have done that if anyone had just believed him.

Kristen: I know. [laughs]

Kat: That is true. But I still think he would have been… he might not have stopped him. No, I don’t know. I feel like Draco is a big in Harry’s ear. And even if Hermione had entertained the idea, I still think he would have been a little obsessed with it.

Rosie: Yeah. And it is interesting that Dumbledore points out that he has allowed Draco to do all of these terrible things all year because he knows that is actually protecting him. So in that sense, it does give Harry some sense of closure on why he was not believed this year, that Dumbledore did believe Harry, that he did know that Draco was doing these things, that Harry was correct, and that he was keeping an eye on things, but in order to keep Draco alive and to stop things progressing earlier on in the year, he was allowed to quietly go about his failing work, and it’s really only the success and the fact that Draco actually was clever that has surprised and caught him off guard.

Kat: As backassward as that is. “Sure, go ahead. Keep trying to kill me. I know I’m keeping you safe. It’s fine.”

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: And it’s interesting, then, that we get this idea of loyalty coming out in terms of Snape. Draco points out that Snape has been trying to help him all year, and Dumbledore says, “Actually, he was doing that on my orders,” and Draco goes, “Uhh, no, he wasn’t” in the way that kids just don’t understand the complexities about all this, but then the whole question of Snape’s loyalty is something so much bigger than this book. Even though the book is named after him! But we don’t know that yet. Yeah, it’s just… who[m] do we believe at this point? Do we think that Dumbledore has been duped, or do we think that Draco is actually the one [who] is confused? Who[m] is Snape looking out for, really?

Kristen: Fine, I’ll shoot in with “Snape is always out for himself.”

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: What do you say to that?

Ashley: That is true.

Kat: I remember reading the moment, and I think I’ve said this before on the show. I know we’re not there yet, but some of the deaths affected me. I was never one of those people [who] bawled their eyes out. I mean, I definitely had a tear for Dobby because that’s super sad because he’s innocent and all of these, but people in these novels… they make their own beds. So in this case, I remember thinking about this, and I was thinking, “Oh, Lord. Dumbledore… he’s not doing well. This potion… he’s so sick. Why is he calling Snape? Snape is just a jerk.” Since I’m not a Snape fan. He’s a great character, not a good guy. I just kept wondering, “Why is he calling Snape? Why is he calling Snape? Is it just for the potion?” And then we get to this moment where Draco is like, “He wants all the glory for himself!” I mean, maybe he does, but I always saw it as Snape doing just what he was doing: trying to get information out of Malfoy. I never was able to make a distinction as to [whom] that information was for because I think Snape is so good at hiding his true intentions.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Because who knows? I mean, even if he got something out of Draco, there’s no evidence to support that he would only tell Dumbledore what he got from Draco.

Ashley: That’s true.

Rosie: Yeah. I do think that at this point we’re supposed to believe Dumbledore over Draco.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: So this whole conversation has so belittled Draco that we’re supposed to picture him as the child and as the immature one and as the one that doesn’t really understand what’s going on. And Dumbledore’s collectedness and attitude where he’s like, “Oh…” It’s Game of Thrones: “Oh, you poor summer child.” All of that kind of thing.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: He is setting us up to believe that Snape is on Dumbledore’s side and that when he turns up, he will be the hero and everything will be okay, which is kind of reverse foreshadowing. So it’s setting us up to imagine that Snape will be the hero, and yeah, that everything will be okay, so that when it actually turns out that it’s the opposite, it’s even more shocking. And the fact that it’s happening in such close proximity to what we know will happen in a few moments, yeah, it just completely… okay, so the rug is currently being put underneath our feet in order for it to be pulled away. That’s what’s happening here.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah, exactly.

Ashley: Now, when you first read it, were you completely shocked that Snape was the one who carried it through?

Rosie: Yes.

Ashley: Okay.

Kat: Yeah, I was older, obviously, when this one came out…

Ashley: Mhm.

Kat: … and I remember sitting there, specifically. And in the American edition, you have to turn the page…

Rosie: Oh, God! [laughs]

Kristen: Yeah, yeah, you do.

[Ashley laughs]

Kat: It says, “Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore,” and then you’re like, “Oh, no.”

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: “Oh, no.” So you turn the page and then you’re like, “Uh, okay.” And I just remember demolishing the rest of the book.

[Ashley laughs]

Rosie: Yeah, I think this is the moment where people literally scream at the book and throw it out the window.

Ashley: Mhm.

Rosie: This is the moment in the whole book series that caught everyone out. Even though everyone had been so determined that Snape was the one that we had to question…

Kristen: Mhm, yeah.

Rosie: … and the one that he had to try and decide whether he was loyal or not, no one expected that he would kill Dumbledore. And that’s why it was such a big spoiler thing, wasn’t it? All the midnight release parties and the fact that people were shouting…

Kristen: Mhm. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Snape kills Dumbledore.”

Rosie: It wasn’t the fact that Dumbledore dies. It was, “Snape kills Dumbledore.”

Kristen: “Snape kills Dumbledore,” yeah.

Rosie: And that was the greatest shock.

Ashley: The whole time, I did not expect Draco to go through with it.

Kristen: Mhm.

Ashley: And as soon as Snape came out – you see him pop up – part of me starting thinking it will be him.

Rosie: Yeah.

Ashley: He will be the one to do it but there will be a legit reason. I just always had that feeling that he and Dumbledore had some sort of… before we found out about their discussion…

Rosie: The deal.

Ashley: Right, their deal. Part of me had… as soon as he came around the corner, I was like, “Okay, I think Snape will be the one to do it, but there will be a legit reason to.”

Kristen: See, mine probably was the same reason but I thought Snape had a deal with Voldemort and that’s why he was going to do it.

Ashley: Right.

Kristen: So I still thought… I was like, “Oh, he’s completely on the Dark side.”

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: This is nothing like, “Oh, I can see, this is where Snape… that’s why they called him,” and stuff like that. He’s going to be the one that kills him and he’s going to rise up with Voldemort and everything like that. So I never thought he was going to turn into a good guy, which I still don’t believe that happened.

[Kat and Rosie laughs]

Ashley: I think because I’ve always liked Snape so much, that I always felt that he would be… I mean, he’s both good and bad, in my opinion…

Kristen: Mhm, yeah.

Ashley: … but I think because I liked him from the beginning so much, that I felt, “Okay, he is on the good side.”

Kristen: Yeah, there’s got to be a reason why he did this.

Ashley: Exactly. He’s not that… I didn’t want to accept the fact that he could be completely evil.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I have a super valid question for you as, I think, one of the very first real Snape lovers we’ve had on here.

Ashley: [laughs] Oh, gosh.

Kat: Why?

[Ashley laughs]

Kat: Tell me, in as short as possible, what redeeming quality he has for you, at this point. At this point! Do not think about anything that comes after this because we’re here.

Kristen: You can’t say, “Hashtag always”; that’s out. That’s Book 7.

[Ashley and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Right, exactly.

Ashley: Oh, gosh…

Kat: I need to know why people have liked Snape before now. You said you’ve liked him since the first book.

Ashley: Yes.

Kat: Why? He’s a prat!

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: He’s greasy.

Ashley: Okay, for me, I’ve… I know, I know.

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: I’ve always have a fascination with the characters that everyone hates. The villains.

Kat: Ah.

Ashley: There’s just something about it that draws me to it, and so the minute we met Snape in the first book – yes, he is the biggest jerk in the world – but I immediately was like, “Okay, why is this character the way that he is?” And that’s what made me drawn to him so much. I want to know why he is the way that he is, even though he is a complete jerk. Yes, he is.

Kat: So you fell for…

Rosie: The malcontent.

Ashley and Kat: Yeah.

Kristen: Mhm.

Ashley: And then later on we find out that he… I just lost my… my mind just went blank. Wow.

Kat: If you were going to talk about Lily at all, it doesn’t matter because we’re not talking…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Ashley: No, no, no, no, no.

Kat: I was saying you can’t use that in your defense.

Kristen: Uh-uh. [laughs]

Ashley: No, I’m not using that in my defense at all.

Kat: Good. Because I’ll shut that down.

Ashley: Yeah. No, no, no, no. Don’t even get me started on that.

Rosie: I mean, if we look back through the books, he has always been protecting Harry.

Ashley: Yes.

Rosie: Even as he’s been bullying him, he has always been trying to save him right from that very first book. So he’s always been…

Ashley: Yes, like with the…

Kat: But we don’t know that. There’s only a couple times that… if you count up to this very chapter, there’s only two times where there’s evidence of him protecting Harry.

Ashley: Yeah.

Rosie: So we’ve got the broomsticks in the very first book, where it’s Quirrell that’s actually cursing him and Snape trying to save him?

Kristen: Mhm.

Ashley: Yes! That’s what it was!

Kat: One.

Rosie: What else have we got? So we’ve got the fact that he was protecting the Stone with the potions thing, along with the rest of the teachers.

Kat: That’s not directly protecting Harry.

Kristen: That’s not toward Harry.

Rosie: I know. But technically.

[Ashley and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: It’s technically proof that he’s a team player.

Kristen: Oh.

Rosie: Meh, I don’t know. [laughs]

Kat: I mean, he had to do that not to show his true colors.

Rosie: Anything in Chamber of Secrets?

Kristen: Alerting the Order. But in Book 5.

Rosie: Yeah, he’s part of the Order.

Ashley: Mhm.

Kristen: But still, he was an ass because he didn’t show any… [laughs]

Rosie: He’s mean to Sirius and we love Sirius…

Kat: Okay, so we have one moment. [laughs]

Kristen: Yeah, he didn’t show Harry that he recognized his secret code at all, even though he went and told the Order anyway.

Rosie: That’s true, but then that could just be because he knows that he had to keep it a secret from Umbridge.

Kat: Fine, two moments. You have two.

[Ashley and Rosie laugh]

Kristen: But see, I’m still mad at that moment! Still a dick move.

Rosie: Yeah, he could have made it easier.

Kristen: He could have… exactly.

Kat: He could have. He did at least pass on the message, so… fine.

Kristen and Rosie: Yes.

Kat: Like I said, you get a point for that, too.

Kristen: Okay.

[Ashley laughs]

Kristen: I don’t want any points for this man!

Rosie: Anyway, we are completely going off track.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Anyway…

Rosie: But how good is Jo’s writing, that she can create a character that is so ambiguous and yet still so real?

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: Anyone who is this unknowable should feel incomplete as a character, but he doesn’t. He is so fully formed and he’s such a strong character – even as we don’t know what’s going on – that it’s just amazing writing.

Ashley: I love it! Because you’ve got people like Lucius and Wormtail and those evil people, but you don’t…

Kristen: Do you love them as well?

Ashley: No. Oh, no, no, no.

Kristen: Okay. Just curious.

Kat: Oh, see, now you bring up Wormtail; I would argue that Wormtail is not evil.

Ashley: Oh, gosh.

Kristen: Ehh…

Ashley and Rosie: Hmm.

Kat: Just stupid.

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: He’s… I don’t know. I hear Wormtail, and I’m like, “He’s a follower.”

Rosie: He’s evil through weakness. Yeah.

Kat: Right, he’s weak. He’s not evil; he’s weak.

Ashley: He’s a follower.

Kat: Right, exactly. Anyway…

Ashley: Yes.

Rosie: That makes him bad, not evil, I guess. I don’t know.

Kat: Right, exactly.

Ashley: Yes, yes. No, but the point is that I read characters like that and I don’t care to know their backstory; what makes them the way they are because she didn’t write them that way. If that makes sense.

Rosie: Mhm. Yeah. Snape is the only one that has this ambiguity.

Ashley: Absolutely. And so just reading him, it makes me want to know more.

Rosie: Yeah.

Ashley: He is so complex. He is such a mystery. He is fascinating to me.

Kat: I do agree with that.

Ashley: And he does have some redeeming qualities. I think he does.

Kat: I disagree with that.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: But as it turns out, Snape is not the only double agent – possibly – in this book. And it turns out that Rosmerta has actually been kept under the Imperius Curse, probably since before Christmas.

Kat: How out in the blue was that?

Rosie: It was completely out of the blue.

Ashley: That was a big surprise.

Rosie: Here was the first tiny little rug being pulled from underneath of us. The fact that she was, at the beginning of this chapter as well… she is an interesting character because she is – again – so understated. So just like the wand it is something that we do not really notice. She is one of those background characters who is always around, we always get these little comments about her: the fact that Ron fancies her…

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: … and all of this kind of stuff going on. And yet here she is being actually quite important in the plot in a way that we did not expect. And she was the one that gave Katie the necklace. She is the one that sent the cursed mead up to Hogwarts – should be able to say that word. And she has been keeping in contact with Draco through Hermione’s coins. How sad is that? Draco’s ideas are all stolen from Hermione.

Kat: From Hermione.

Rosie: Her cleverness has actually been the downfall of this entire situation. Can we now say that Hermione killed Dumbledore?

[Ashley, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Well, no, I do not think I would make that leap but I do think that, obviously, Draco subconsciously thinks she is clever and smart.

Ashley: That’s why they are perfect for each other.

Rosie: Yes, so much fan fiction.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: So much stuff where Draco is just watching Hermione and never going to admit that he is in love with the nerd…

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: … and all of that kind of secret bad-boy stuff.

Ashley: I am obsessed with this.

Kat: Just thinking about the mead. I was just looking back in chapter four and they have a drink of mead in that chapter.

Rosie: There we go, Circle Theory at work.

Ashley: That is crazy.

Kat: Yep.

Rosie: There is some interesting language going on within this chapter as well. So we have these monologues going on – I keep calling them monologues because it is kind of that…

Kat: Information dump.

Rosie: Yes, so it is that trope of the monologue more than it is actually a physical monologue. They are having a conversation but it is the villain revealing all of his secrets, that kind of thing. And we actually hear the phrase that Draco was doing whatever he is doing as if compelled to keep talking, as if Dumbledore has given him Veritaserum at this moment. It seems to be there is some kind of release of information that is happening that Draco is not entirely in control over. So Dumbledore has these Jedi mind tricks going on and he does reveal that he stole all the ideas from Hermione, that the Dark Mark was actually a trap that he had set up with Rosmerta to lure them in and that when Rosmerta ran over to Harry and Dumbledore in Hogsmeade it was because Draco sent her there to try and get them back up to the castle as quickly as possible. It is very sad at this point, Dumbledore is trying to work out what is going on and Draco admits that someone is get. We do not get any more information, we do not know who it is. So the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach can happen right now that it could be anyone and Harry thinks, “Oh no, it could be Ron, it could Hermione.” It could be anyone that he loves.

Kat: Yes, he says, “It is one of your people.” I do not know who it is. “I stepped over the body.” Cold. It is cold.

Rosie: And it really just proves that Draco is completely out of options now. There is no turning back from this moment. Someone is dead. It is the final battle, almost, for Draco. It is either kill or be killed by Voldemort. And Dumbledore is just all sunshine and happiness, come over to the right side, Draco, we have cookies, whatever. It is interesting that he uses that phrase lots of times: “Come over to the right side.” He is determined to try and list Draco. It does make me wonder if this is the kind of conversation that Dumbledore had with Snape when Snape came to him with no other options. Snape begged Dumbledore to try [to] help out. He did not know what was going to happen when he sent the Dark Lord off after Lily. And it seems to me that they have a very similar desperation in this scene and Snape’s flashback scene, that I do not think we encounter until the next book.

Rosie: With no other options, Snape begs Dumbledore to try [to] help out. He didn’t know what was going to happen when he sent the Dark Lord after Lily and it seems to me that they have a very similar desperation in this scene and Snape’s flashback scene, which don’t I think we encounter until the next book but just the style of writing of the plaintiveness of their voices is very emotive to me. What do you guys think?

Kat: I agree and I’ve never thought about that before. I was thinking while you were talking about how Snape is trying to save somebody that he “loves.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: I use quotes because I don’t think he actually loved Lily but thinks he does. And then Draco is trying to also save somebody that he loves which is himself.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: And his mother. He does say that they were going to kill his whole family.

Kristen: Yes, kill his whole family.

Kat: Yes.

Rosie: He’s more afraid of his mother and his own death then just his own death…

Kat: Yes, I don’t think he’s concerned about his father.

Rosie: No.

Kat: At all.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Lucius… it’s his father’s fault that this is all happening and Draco knows that.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Okay, so the difference between Draco here and the Draco on the train at the start of this book is remarkable.

Kat: Mhm, true.

Rosie: When Harry had… circle theory! Ooh, sorry.

[Ashley, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: When Harry was under the invisibility cloak and could not move, and Draco was talking this has already happened in this book.

Kat: Oh, boy.

Kristen: Oh, yeah!

Ashley and Kat: Mhm.

Kristen: Yeah, that’s true.

Rosie: Draco was monologuing as the villain and was in complete control and was saying all these bad things that happened this year, and here all of these bad things have happened this year.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: And Harry is completely, he’s about to be broken in a completely different way but equally is Draco’s doing almost and it is, yeah, interesting that Draco has come so far and yet we are in that very same situation.

Kat: Hmm.

Rosie: God, Jo, you’re so good.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Ashley: She really is.

Rosie: So Draco is a success in actually going through all of his plan is almost too strong. Dumbledore is trying and trying, eating away in trying to bring him to the good side.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Draco has a moment where he’s like, “But hold on a second, I have succeeded. I’ve got you here, I’m on my own with you in the tower. I’m pointing a wand at you, you’re disarmed, I have backup running up the stairs towards me. But even then Dumbledore manages to almost talk him out of it, and his wand hand falls every so slightly.

Kristen: “Ever so slightly.”

Rosie: But then the Carrows and Greyback burst in.

Kat: So close.

Rosie: So close.

Kristen: I know, I was so hoping. I was like… I still like Draco.

Rosie: It’s interesting that, that one tiny moment of the wand falling redeems Draco as a character.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah, it does.

Ashley: Exactly.

Kat: Yes.

Rosie: And it’s such a small thing and it’s amazing that that can actually happen. So Draco is a kind of mini-villain of this book.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Which is interesting…

Kat: A little pocket version.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Yeah! We have all this grand villain in the first book, we have Voldemort even though he was on the back of Quirrell’s head, second book we had Voldemort even though he as a memory, third book we had the prisoner even though he wasn’t actually a villain, third book’s a bit different from the rest of them. It’s quite interesting that might be why it’s my favorite.

Kristen: Yep.

Rosie: Fourth book, again Voldemort, fifth book there is no major villain here. The villain is…

Kat: Harry.

Rosie: … put together through all of these little bits of memory. So it is technically still Voldemort but he is not the key problem here. And the mini-villain, the boss before the main boss, which is the next book, is Draco and to have this moment where we haven’t beaten the villain, we’re not succeeding in a fight against him but we have won him over through words and through emotion and through all of that kind of thing, proves that good triumphs over evil without having to necessarily resort to violence. But that only works insofar and only works for those who are determined to fight with violence walk in and that appears in the form of some of the worst Death Eaters that could possibly have walked in. So we have the Carrows who we have in the next book, very vindictive, very sadistic, and very horrible in their methods of torture and we have Greyback. And I don’t think… is he in the movie in this scene? Or do we not see him?

Kat: Yes, he is.

Rosie: He is, okay.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Yes, because it’s Bellatrix, Fenrir…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … and then the Carrows, although they’re not named, I don’t think. They’re in the background somewhere.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: Not yet, he’s not as prominent. So it’s interesting that it’s actually Greyback that does the most talking of the three of them in this book scene because it emphasizes the, I want to say, mindlessness of the violence that Draco has inflicted on the school. And it’s at this moment that Draco seems to realize it. So, Dumbledore says that he didn’t expect to see Greyback here, and that he wouldn’t have thought that Draco would invite him. And Draco says that he didn’t expect him to come along. He didn’t know he would be there. So it kind of shows that Draco is in too deep, and that he really has recognized that by this point.

Kat: Yeah, and even the quote, it says, “‘I didn’t,’ breathed Malfoy.'” So he was like, “I didn’t.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: He says it like he’s scared at this moment, and I do think you’re right. I think that he realizes… and like I said before, he’s been working towards this all year. But he never ever, ever thought about the consequences of his actions further than, “Oh my Lord, he’s going to kill me if I don’t do it.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: He didn’t think about anything past that, and it’s hitting him like a ton of bricks in this moment.

Rosie: Mhm. And he’s focused on the fact that it’s Dumbledore as well. It’s Voldemort telling Draco to kill Dumbledore, and to get to that point he has to take out the Order of the Phoenix by bringing in the Death Eaters. He has completely forgotten about the rest of the school. The rest of the school does not exist.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: We have got the Room of Requirement and the Astronomy Tower and the pathway in between, and that is the only thing that exists in this world in Draco’s head at the moment. And the fact that Greyback has now invaded that space has suddenly brought the rest of the world crashing back, and the fact that he has brought this child-murderer essentially into the school where his friends are has really shocked Draco and brought it home that he could be responsible for more than just Dumbledore’s death.

Kristen: Mhm. I like that part. Yeah, in the book where he’s like, “I didn’t know he was coming; I didn’t invite him,” that restored a little bit more faith back into Draco as well. Because he knew what this guy could do and he definitely did not want him to be a part, like you said, with all these kids and having more murders on his hands.

Rosie: He knew that there was a line that he shouldn’t cross, and he’s accidentally crossed it and he doesn’t know what to do now.

Kristen: Mhm. Yeah.

Kat: And it’s funny that only the year before… wasn’t it in Order of the Phoenix where he was bragging about knowing…?

Rosie: Yes! He knows Greyback. Yeah.

Ashley, Kat, and Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Boast away, Draco. Boast away, honey.

[Rosie laughs]

Ashley: Yeah, exactly.

Kristen: Bites you in the ass now.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Oh! Pun intended?

[Everyone laughs]

Ashley: Nice.

Rosie: We do know that the Order are still fighting, and we can hear them down in the corridor, and the fact that they’ve blocked the stairs is what they shout. We will obviously find out what’s happening outside of that hallway in a later chapter, but at this moment Snape suddenly arrives and bursts into the door and surveys the scene. And the first thing that happens is one of the Carrows fills him in on what’s going on. So it immediately seems that the Death Eaters think that Severus is on their side.

Kristen: Mhm.

Rosie: And that in itself for Harry must be really worrying because suddenly we’ve been asking for Snape this whole chapter – Dumbledore has constantly been asking for him. We’re suddenly in quite a bad situation. Dumbledore still seems to want Snape for some reason, so we think that he might help us. But the fact that the Death Eaters get in there first… we have this slight moment where, could this be the moment where Severus turns on the Death Eaters? Is he going to help us and end the scene? But then, following that tiny bit of speech, we get this line: “‘Severus…’ The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading.”

Kat: Oh!

Rosie: And we don’t know what it is that is frightening Harry. Is it a tone of fear or of desperation or of pain in Dumbledore’s voice? He doesn’t know. He can feel this sensation of terror, but he doesn’t quite know what it is about that pleading sound that is chilling him. And it’s just… we know that something bad is about to happen. I still don’t think that we expect it to be what it is, but suddenly, from what had seemed to be going our way when Draco was lowering the wand, we thought that things might be turning around, turning back to our favor. But now our great and powerful hero, our Merlin figure, the one that’s meant to be guiding our Harry as King Arthur or whatever… I’m going into too many metaphors today.

[Rosie and Kat laugh]

Rosie: He’s meant to be our savior, and now he is pleading and we don’t know why.

Kat: Yeah, and I think that’s what makes this moment so interesting, because the paragraph you talked about where Snape walks in…

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: It says, “[A]t that precise moment, the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy.” And it’s just… that is like a triumphant “Ba-ba-da-BAAA!”

Rosie: Yeah. Hero’s here, knight in shining armor…

Kat: “I’m going to save the day,” and then… you’re right. The fact that Amycus gets that word in first, you’re kind of like, “Oh… wait a second… no…”

Rosie: “What’s going on? What’s happening?” [laughs] Yeah.

Kat: It almost immediately flips it because you think Snape’s here… like you said, Dumbledore has been calling for him, “Get Severus. I need Severus. I need Severus.” And then it’s Amycus who speaks first and it kind of flips the coin over and you’re like, “Oh, but… wait a second… why are you talking to Snape? We know that he’s a double agent, but Snape’s not supposed to know that you’re there…”

Rosie and Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: And then it flips it back again when Dumbledore starts pleading and it just… ugh!

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Just the next couple of paragraphs where it’s like, “Snape said nothing, but walked forward and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way,” like, “Move it, child.”

Rosie and Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: “You don’t belong here. You shouldn’t have been here in the first place. GTFO. Stop.”

[Ashley, Kristen, and Rosie laugh]

Kat: And just, “You’re done.” And then it says, “The three Death Eaters fell back without a word. Even the werewolf seemed cowed.”

Rosie: Yeah. So we’ve wondered whether he was loyal, we’ve wondered whether he was a double agent. But here, he’s not only just playing for the other side, it’s the fact that he is superior…

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: … than these other figures who are the dangers. The fact that he is now more dangerous and he is in control of this situation, and Dumbledore is pleading and Harry is frightened…

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: It… oh… [laughs]

Kat: It’s very… these couple of paragraphs… and it’s really short. Snape is not… I mean, if you put the whole thing together, it’s two-thirds of a page – I was going to say three thirds, duh!

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: It’s like two-thirds of a page that Snape is in this chapter, and it’s powerful.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: It drips with hero complexes and duality.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: That’s not even quite the right word, but it just… even this time, I read it three or four times and I just flipped back and forth like, “good/bad, good/bad, good/bad…”

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Because he walks up to Dumbledore, he’s gazing at him, and you can almost picture him leaning over and giving him his hand.

Rosie: Yeah. We still don’t know what’s about to happen.

Kat: Right. That’s what I thought of when I read that. It says, “Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched into the harsh lines of his face.” So he’s gazing and he’s like, “Give me your hand.” But, “Nope. I hate you.” It’s tough. This is a tough two-thirds of a page.

Rosie: Yeah. And later, because we get to see this scene from… well, we don’t actually see this scene from another point of view, but we understand what’s led up to this scene from another point of view… it’s interesting that we return to these emotions and that we can understand them from Snape’s point of view in the next book. But we’re going to have to go through such a journey before we get there that it really… the time away from this allows us to come to terms with what happened before again it gets twisted. Jo is just a master at playing with emotions, and the fact that she can do so much in such a short about of time, like you were saying, Kat, is so impressive. And to me, this is the moment where Robert Galbraith is born. This is the moment where we understand that…

Kat: Oh.

Rosie: “Oh, okay, hang on a second. Jo is not only writing children’s or young adult books by this point, but she is [also] writing mysteries. She is writing…”

Kat: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: “… murders. She is writing about the complexity of the human condition, all of that kind of thing.” And this is the moment where, I think, Jo was likr, “Hang on a second. I could write other things and do it very successfully.” And yeah, this is a really interesting moment in terms of character for me.

Kat: There are probably comparisons between somebody and Cormoran Strike out there.

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Kat: There must be. I mean, there must be. The Hogwarts Professor talks… he’s been comparing the first Cormoran Strike novels with the Potter novels, and so far, he says that they match up. I haven’t read the arguments, so I wouldn’t know, but… I mean, I’m not quite ready for this chapter to end, but I feel like…

Rosie: It’s time?

Kat: … we should just get it over with and…

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: So we have, as you said, Snape’s look of revulsion and hatred. And then “Avada Kedavra.” Harry is completely unable to scream. He is still frozen in place, although by this point it’s probably not even because of Dumbledore’s spell. It’s just the shock and the fear of what’s happened that is keeping him unable to scream. As Dumbledore is blasted into the air, he hangs suspended for a moment and then falls over the battlements and out of sight.

Kat: Which is ridiculous, but I…

Kristen: Did he have to fall? [laughs]

Rosie: But it’s also interesting…

Kat: No, I mean, the whole pausing.

Rosie: Yeah. So when this book was released, the main point of discussion… well, there were two or three main points of discussion. Four points of discussion. Hang on. Okay, four points.

Kat: You mean after it was released, right?

Rosie: Yes.

Kat: After people read it, yeah.

Rosie: So it’s been released, everyone’s been reading it, and then they rush onto the Internet to discuss it. And this is my memory of what happened after the book was released.

Kat: Which is funny, because this was the first book that ever happened for.

Rosie: Yes, because it’s the… when…

Kat: Yeah, because I remember doing that. [laughs]

Rosie: Yes. Facebook and Twitter were starting up at that moment, and MuggleNet was at its prime, and we…

Kristen: I was going to say, I ran to MuggleNet. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah. We all had these spaces where we could actually go talk about it for the first time. And the four things we talked about were [1)] Who is RAB? [2)] What are the Horcruxes, and how do we find them? [3)] Is Snape loyal? Who is Snape? Why is he the Half-Blood Prince? What is his true loyalty? [4)] And how come, when Dumbledore was just hit with a simple Killing Curse, he was blasted into the air, hung suspended for a moment…

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Rosie: … and then fell over the battlements? Why did he not just drop down dead? That’s what we know of as the Killing Curse. When Cedric was killed by it, he fell immediately after a flash of green light. What we know of Lily’s death was that she was hit by a flash of green light, and then she was dead. That’s what we know of James’s death. That’s what we know of the Killing Curse apart from Harry…

Kat: Sirius.

Rosie: … everyone else… well, no. Yeah, Sirius was slightly different because he fell immediately into the veil. And he still just had a look of shock on his face, but we still think he was dead almost before he hit the Veil, whereas Dumbledore seems to have this moment of…

Kat: [sings] Aah!

Rosie: … almost like a release of power. He is such a powerful being that he can’t just be killed simply. All that power has to go somewhere, and this over-the-top, grand death was the result of that. And it’s still never been quite clear as to why his death happened in this over-the-top way.

Kat: What I always assumed it was is… so the actual line says, “For a split second, he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward.” So we’re getting this from Harry’s point of view, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: So let’s just pretend that you’re Harry, and you’re looking out at something, and somebody throws a ball directly down your line of vision. It’s going to look like it’s hanging there. Okay, and I always imagined that that was just the moment that, for Harry, it seemed as though time stopped because he was in complete and utter shock. And really, Dumbledore just, for some dumbass reason, was getting blasted backward.

Rosie: [laughs] But that’s the thing, yeah.

Kat: It looked like he was floating because Harry was…

Rosie: So the suspension thing is fine. We can understand that from Harry’s point of view. But Dumbledore should’ve just crumpled to the ground. He was propped up against a wall. There’s no reason for him to be blasted backward if it’s just a simple Killing Curse. Unless Snape has cast some… I don’t know.

Kristen: Or is it what he drank before?

Ashley: Or Dumbledore is not dead.

Rosie: Maybe.

Kristen: From the cave?

Kat: Maybe.

Kristen: Wrong chemicals mixing together.

Kat: I just remember spending hours at…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: … because the argument that they had…

Rosie: Does that still exist?

Kat: I don’t know. Somebody look. But the arguments that they had up there were ironclad. They were so good.

Rosie: That was a really good site.

Ashley: They were amazing.

Kat: They were so good, and I was so hardcore in that theory because I remember…

Rosie: It’s still alive!

Kat: It is still there?

Rosie: It now forwards to “Beyond Hogwarts,” and it’s got other discussions, but it’s got “Beyond Hogwarts Discussions: Dumbledore Is Not Dead. These pages were created by Harry Potter fans [to] cope with the shocking revelations in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Kat: So there you go.

Ashley: I’m telling you: Dumbledore is chilling on a beach somewhere.

Kat: So… but… I totally lost my train of thought.

Rosie: Sorry, but it’s still there.

Ashley: In his swim trunks and flip-flops.

Kat: I’m so excited that website still exists. I just… oh, I know what it was. Because then I remembered… I don’t know. Jo was halfway through writing Deathly Hallows, and I remember her saying, “Dumbledore is giving me trouble,” and I was like, [claps hands] “He’s alive. Yep. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.” But no. Sneaky Jo. I mean, we’ll get there, but yeah, that website kept me alive between those two books.

Rosie: And sadly, with Dumbledore’s death, that is the end of this chapter.

Kat: There was something else in the circle theory that I thought was really funny, so…

Rosie: Okay. Just to lighten it up a bit.

Kat: Sure. I believe it was when Half-Blood Prince came out that she did the reading at Radio City…

Rosie: Yes, yes it was.

Kat: … or the “Harry, Carrie & Garp” when she said Dumbledore is gay, correct?

Rosie: I believe so, yeah. 2006, right?

Kat: Yes. So Chapter 4, “Horace Slughorn,” is the one where we get the lovely moment about knitting patterns. Right? We get this lovely moment about knitting patterns.

Rosie: Oh, there’s something about socks in there…

Kat: “I do love knitting patterns.” Whatever. And then… and I’m not saying that that implies anything. It’s just, we know that that’s a quirky moment, maybe showing Dumbledore’s eccentricity. I don’t know. And then on page 589 of the US edition of, obviously, the chapter we just discussed, Malfoy is talking about all the ideas he got from Hermione, and he says, “I got the idea of poisoning the mead from the Mudblood Granger as well. I heard her talking in the library about Filch not recognizing potions.” And Dumbledore says, “Please do not use that offensive word in front of me.” And [it] says, “Mafoy gave a harsh laugh. ‘You care about me saying ‘Mudblood’ when I’m about to kill you?’ ‘Yes, I do,’ said Dumbledore.” And it just… for some reason, I read that today, and I immediately thought of that knitting patterns moment because I think that when Dumbledore, through Jo, came out as being gay, he became an unintentional poster child for tolerance and equality and loving everything about yourself, even the eccentricities. So when I read that today, I paused for a moment, and I chuckled to myself. I thought about the knitting patters, and I just remembered that moment. So I don’t know if they have anything to do with each other, but in my mind today, it did. It made me fondly think of Dumbledore, anyway. Yeah, with the sunblock on his nose, Hawaii-printed shorts on, yep.

Ashley: He probably has some knitting patterns with him.

Kat: Maybe he does.

Rosie: Oh my God.

Ashley: I wanted to ask you guys a question about the moment that he dies: When you all read it, how did that make you feel? Because when I read it, I was just like, whatever. I didn’t care.

Kristen: I cried like a baby.

Ashley: I’m going to get so much hate for this.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, I’m sure there are people out there who feel the same.

Kristen: Yeah, that’s true.

Ashley: I read it and I was just like, “Okay, whatever. It’s about time.”

Kristen: I actually cried, and my brother came into the room to see what was the matter, and I was trying to tell him, but I was choking back tears because I was so upset that he died, and he was just like, “Okay, bye.” [laughs]

Ashley: That’s how I was with Sirius. I cried so bad.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kristen: Oh, I did at that too. [laughs]

Rosie: I cried…

Ashley: My grandma came in and she’s like, “What happened?” I’m like, “He died!”

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: And she’s like, “You’re such a nerd.”

Kristen: [laughs] Yeah, right? Like, “Okay, it’s a book.”

Ashley: Yeah. “Get over it.”

Rosie: I definitely cried with Sirius, and I cried with Dobby, and I cried with all of the deaths in the Final Battle.

Kristen: I didn’t cry at Dobby.

Rosie: I didn’t cry at Dumbledore. I think I was so mad with Snape and so kind of in that moment of tension that this wasn’t really the release. It’s an interesting moment because it does… that moment where he hangs suspended, it slows everything down and you expect it to be… there’s no real catharsis; there’s no real moment where you can let go of that emotion. If you’re already in that state where you’re about to cry, then you will probably cry at this moment, but I didn’t. I was so riled up by what was going on that I didn’t really have the sadness of that moment, probably until the wand bit in the movie, the equivalent bit of that in the book where… when Ginny comes and kind of comforts Harry, I think that was the moment where it really hit me. But the actual death itself? Yeah, I didn’t cry at that.

Kristen: I didn’t cry in the movie, but…

Kat: Yeah…

Rosie: But then I have issues with Dumbledore, so…

[Kristen and Rosie laugh]

Ashley: Yeah.

Kat: I was just…

Rosie: Let him die. Sorry, Kat.

Kat: It’s okay.

Ashley: Bye, Felicia.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: As I said before… I agree with what Rosie said. I feel like part of the reason I didn’t cry is because we were in the moment. It’s a very heated moment, and you’re flip-flopping back and forth, and it just happens and you move on. But again, as I stated before, really the only deaths that affected me… I didn’t cry for Sirius. As I said, I was just kind of like, “Eh, okay, fine. I don’t care.”

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: Oh, not Sirius.

Kat: I don’t recall the emotions I had when Fred died, so I can’t speak to that, but it’s more…

Kristen: Ugh, heartbreaking.

Kat: … the innocents that get me. And it’s the same in real life for me. It’s when I hear about puppies or cats…

Ashley: Yes.

Kat: … or children. It’s the, quote, “indefensible,” the innocents, that are just collateral damage that get me. Because you know what? Dumbledore knew what he was doing. It’s sad, it sucks, but you know what? He was, like, a hundred and fifty years old. He knew what he was doing.

Ashley: It happens.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: He was going to die. And you know what? Sirius, he was reckless. I’m not saying he deserved it, but he made bad choices. Like I said, I don’t remember…

Rosie: I always forget Mad-Eye’s death. Mad-Eye’s death is quite understated…

Ashley: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.

Rosie: … because that happens in an off-stage kind of way. That’s almost more shocking than Dumbledore’s death.

Kat: Yeah, you give me a Hedwig getting shot out from the sky…

Rosie: Yeah! That’s… yeah.

Ashley: Yes!

Kat: … in her cage and I will bawl like a child…

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: I am the same way.

Kat: … who just lost her lollipop. But yeah, it didn’t affect me at all. And I happen to… I have issues with Dumbledore too, but he’s one of my top ten characters. I really enjoy discussing him and reading about him and learning about him. So I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t cry.

Ashley: I mean, I was…

Kristen: I guess I’m the only sap.

[Rosie laughs]

Ashley: I was distraught when Snape died, but…

Kat: I mean, you were also how old, Kristen?

Kristen: When did this book come out?

Rosie: 2006? Yes? No.

Kristen: Oh, so I would have been 16.

Kat: Yeah, so it’s an impressionable age. There’s no reason you wouldn’t… I mean, I don’t think that had anything to do with it. Maybe you just…

Ashley: I don’t know, I just… I felt like he needed to die.

Kat: And I think that’s the thing. I think that’s the thing.

Rosie: 2005, not 2006. Fans are going to annoy me. [laughs] But yes.

Kristen: So 15. But still, it could have been… I was very mad at Snape as well, so it could have been angry tears. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I mean I think that – like you said, Ashley – it’s important that he die[d].

Ashley: Mhm.

Kat: And it’s the same for Hedwig, which is twenty million times sadder, just in my opinion.

Ashley: Oh, it was.

Kristen: Yeah, that was really sad. No, Hedwig…

Kat: It just…

Ashley: I was so mad at that.

Kat: And I’ve said this all along: It’s the same reason we had to go through Order of the Phoenix because damn it, Harry has to learn to do it on his own.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Boom. Done.

Ashley: Yes. That’s why I wanted Dumbledore to die.

Kat: Okay, I didn’t want him to die…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: … but I knew he was going to.

Ashley: I mean, okay…

Kristen: I still care about people’s lives here, so… [laughs] no, just kidding.

Kat: He needed to…

Rosie: This book was released ten years ago next week.

Ashley: Wow.

Kat: Oh, lord! Wow. God, we are falling right on the timeline for this book because Dumbledore died just a few days ago in the timeline of the novels.

Rosie: Yeah, that is quite scary. Now I’m sad!

Kristen: Ahh!

Ashley: Ah, whatever.

Kat: Sorry.

Kristen: I’m going to start crying again!

Kat: Yeah, sorry.

Rosie: Guys, Dumbledore is dead!

Ashley: Wow.

Kat: That is quite the chapter.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: And it is short!

Kristen: It is. It is very.

Kat: I read that so quick.

Rosie: But it is jam-packed with detail and it is quite roller-coastery. [laughs] It goes up and down and you’re never quite sure what is going on, despite its brevity there is so much in there that it sucks you in and spits you out the other side. And we’re so ready to chase down Snape at the end of this moment.

Kat: Mhm.

Kristen: Well, that was a riveting discussion, but let’s get into this week’s Podcast Question of the Week. In this chapter, Draco is alone, with Harry, with Dumbledore, ready to kill. Dumbledore is slowly convincing Draco to come to the light side, however, Death Eaters interrupt him and Snape shows up. If Snape had shown up first, would it have changed anything in the path of the story? Let us know what you think of this question over on our main page at I can’t wait to read what you guys have said.

Kat: And we want to thank you, Ashley, so much for joining us. Our little Snape lover.

[Kristen laughs]

Ashley: Thank you! It was an honor.

Kat: Good, we hope you had a good time.

Ashley: Loved it.

Kat: No other Snape lovers! I’m just saying. No, I’m kidding.

Rosie: [laughs] Anyone is welcome!

Ashley: Please let me come back for Snape’s death, that would be amazing.

Kat: Oh, do you know how many of you we have?

Rosie: There are so many people who want to be there for that one! [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, we’re going to have to work that one out somehow.

[Ashley laughs]

Rosie: But if you guys would like to be on the show, you can visit our “Be on the Show” page at All you need is a set of maybe Apple headphones or just anything with a good quality microphone and you’re all set – there is no other fancy equipment needed. While you’re there, you can also download a ringtone for free!

Kat: So you can jam out while you’re walking through the grocery store.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: What, nobody else does that?

Kristen: Nope. Nobody.

Kat: Okay, well, fine.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: If you want to keep in touch with us in the meantime, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, on Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast, our phone number is 206-GO-ALBUS (206-462-5287). You can always leave us a voicemail there, guys, about anything you want. Or you can send us an audioBoom, which is free – all you need is a microphone and an Internet connection. Go over to, in the right-hand bar there is a little green button that says “Leave us a hoot!” or “Send us a hoot!” Press it, record, keep it under 60 seconds, and you just might hear yourself on the show.

Rosie: And of course, our store is still open all hours, and you can find House shirts, Desk!Pig shirts, Mandrake Liberation Front, Minerva Is My Homegirl, and many, many more on there, so go and check them out to get all of your summer clothing needs.

Kat: Flip-flops! There are flip-flops.

Rosie: There are definitely flip-flops. [laughs]

Kat: Yep.

Kristen: And don’t forget to check out our smartphone app. It is available on this side of the pond and the other. Prices do vary, but you can find transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and much, much more.

[Show music begins]

Kristen: And we say goodbye to Dumbledore and this episode. I’m Kristen Keys.

Kat: I’m Kat Miller.

Rosie: And I’m Rosie Morris. Thank you for listening to Episode 145 of Alohomora!

[Show music stops]

Kat: Severus… please… open the Dumbledore. Avada Kedavra!

[Prolonged silence]

Kat: Open the – Avada Kedavra! – Dumbledore.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: I didn’t know what else to do.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: Closing the Dumbledore!

Kat: Was that too violent? Was that too violent?

Ashley: That terrified me.

[Kat laughs]

Kristen: If people are going to listen in their earbuds, they’re going to be like, “Ahh!”

Rosie: Yeah, that might be a bit too loud. You might want to try another one. [laughs]

Kat: Should I do it again?

Kristen: No, keep them on their toes.

Kat: Patrick always tells me I’m too loud.

[Kristen laughs]

Rosie: But I don’t think that… also, I don’t think that Snape was that violent in it. I think he was more begrudging. So say it in a low, evil voice rather than a shouty voice.

Kat: [whispers] Avada Kedavra.

[Kat and Kristen laugh]

Kat: Maybe I’ll do it in a pleady voice, like [whispering] “Open…” no, that’s sexual.

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: Yeah, I was going to say. Umm, this is not Fifty Shades of Grey.

Kat: Give me… I need a pleady voice. “Open the Dumbledore. Open the Dumbledore!”

Ashley: Fifty Shades of Snape.

[Rosie laughs]

Kristen: Open the Dumbledore!

Rosie: You need a “Severus… please… open the Dumbledore!”

Kristen: Open the Dumbledore!

Rosie: Avada Kedavra!

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Ooh, that’s a good one! I like that. Oh, man.

[Rosie laughs]