Transcript – Episode 173

[Show music begins]

Kat Miller: This is Episode 173 of Alohomora! for January 16, 2016.

[Show music continues]

Kat: Hello everyone and welcome back to Alohomora!,’s global reread of the Harry Potter series. I’m Kat Miller.

Alison Siggard: I’m Alison Siggard.

Kristen Keys: And I’m Kristen Keys. And today, we have our special guest, Karen. Why don’t you say hello to our listeners and a little bit about yourself.

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen. I have been a Harry Potter fan for many years, since I was pregnant with my first child, and he’s now fifteen. I can remember when you could order over Amazon, and I remember ordering books for both my kids born in the summer. And I was always worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish it before the kid arrived.

[Karen and Kat laugh]

Karen: And I’m a Gryffindor, and I have one Gryffleclaw and the other one is a Slytherin.

Kat: Wow.

Karen: So we’re kind of a mixed bag over here.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: That’s not so bad. How old are they now, your children?

Karen: They are eleven and fifteen.

Kat: Okay. So they’ve settled into their traits a little bit, then.

Karen: They really, really have, and it’s so interesting! I used to be like, how could anybody be a Slytherin? And I see those traits. There are good qualities in Slytherin, and I see them in my eleven-year-old. It’s really cool.

Kat: Yeah. There are definitely good traits in Slytherin. We’ve learned that over the years.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: And as I get older, I lean more toward the snakes myself.

Karen: Oh, really?! And I should have said too that my husband is also a Gryffindor.

Kat: Wow. Lots of Gryffindors in the family.

Karen: Yeah, yeah.

Kat: Is that Pottermore official or…

Karen: It is. Yes.

Kat: Oh, nice. Not that that means anything anymore, since the test is gone, unfortunately.

Karen: Is the test gone? Oh my gosh, that’s such a bummer.

Kat: Yeah, it’s gone. Yeah, it sucks.

Karen: Oh, sad.

Alison: We don’t like to talk about Pottermore anymore.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: No, we don’t. We used to love to. I mean, we still like to, but we don’t like to.

Alison: We try to forget what it is now and remember what it was.

Kat: Yeah.

Karen: Wow. All right. Well, I’m glad we got to it before the test went away, certainly.

Kat: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for joining us today.

Karen: Oh, you’re so welcome. I’m super excited.

Kat: You have a nice, sad chapter to discuss.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: And we do, speaking of that really sad chapter, want to remind you guys that this week we will be discussing Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23, which is “Malfoy Manor.” [pretends to cry] Okay, I’ve got to hold it together. So read that chapter, cry through it, before you listen to this episode for maximum enjoyment.

Kristen: But before we get into this week’s chapter, let’s review some comments from last week. Our first comment comes from SlytherinKnight, and they say,

“I loved the Hermione discussion in this episode; she is probably my favorite character in the series since she mirrors myself in real life (being a bookworm, loner). But I do think that J.K. Rowling did a bit of a disservice with Hermione’s characterization in this chapter (and these last two books). I love how J.K. Rowling made Hermione as the foil to Luna in the sense of Hermione being the character that doesn’t believe in these abstract, and perhaps crazy, theories. But I do think J.K. Rowling kept that feature of Hermione’s character going a bit too strong throughout the series, because you would think that as a Muggle-born, who has just been introduced to a whole new world of magical beings, and magic itself, you would be a bit more open-minded. You just found out that many of the mythical creatures and figures in history/fairy tales are actually real, shouldn’t that ‘force’ you to open your mind a bit? I’m not saying that Hermione has to believe them wholeheartedly, but you would think she would at least entertain the idea after seeing all the evidence of things like dragons, unicorns, and magic being real when they weren’t before. Just my thoughts, wondered if others thought about this as well?”

Kat: You know, I think that’s actually a really good point, and I thought about that when I was listening to last week’s episode. Hermione does seem a little bit shut off about the idea… even though she says, “Okay, maybe, possibly,” and even though it’s very clear that the Cloak exists.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: And she’s just trying so hard to deny that the others could possibly exist. I mean, SlytherinKnight is correct, I guess. Hermione is probably just a little too adament. Maybe she just doesn’t want to believe it.

Alison: See, I’m going to…

Kat: Because that’s another thing they have to go looking for.

Kristen: Yeah.

Alison: I’m going to disagree with you. Because I think this – especially this last example – is really just a case of Hermione’s limit and kind of feeding… not feeding, but showing itself as Hermione’s fear in the situation that they’ve gotten themselves into and that because she’s seen the things that were in her Muggle fairy tales, she can accept them. But these new things are a step beyond that, and I think she just doesn’t want to cross that line because she’s kind of afraid of what could happen there and what she doesn’t know. But I don’t think that’s a disservice to her character. I think that’s just part of her character growing, and eventually she comes around to it.

Kat: Yeah, I don’t necessarily think it’s a disservice to the character, but I definitely think that… I mean, if Hermione is just really scared of something and that’s why she doesn’t want to admit that it’s real, then that’s not really her not believing – it’s just her letting her fear take over. I think the fact that she knows the Cloak exists, she’s just being… she actually is being a little bit close-minded. And I think you’re probably right, Alison, that it’s probably the fear taking over. But I think maybe somewhere deep down, if that fear wasn’t there, Hermione would realize that this probably isn’t just a fairy tale, that it has foundation and truth.

Alison: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think that… yeah.

Karen: Is it a little bit of, oh my gosh, if these things can exist, what else can exist? Maybe?

Kat: Yeah, and I think that plays into her fear.

Karen: Yeah.

Alison: I definitely… yeah.

Kat: So I guess chalk it up to just being terrified.

Alison: Yeah.

[Karen and Kristen laugh]

Kat: Which is funny because that’s not necessarily in Hermione’s character either.

Karen: No.

Alison: Well, I think by this point… just so much has been going on by this point… and I mean, Hermione has always had to have someone to look up to, and at this point there’s no one else really left for that. Everyone that she’s looked up to is either not around right now or has died. She really doesn’t have anywhere to turn, and so I feel like she’s kind of closing in onto herself and folding into herself to just make it through and that’s where her fear comes in.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: She has to learn to believe in herself!

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Hermione. [laughs]

Karen: But maybe just everybody has their limit, and she’s approaching her limit.

Kristen: Because they’re already on one terrifying task.

Alison: Exactly.

Kristen: Imagine being on that one as well. [laughs]

Karen: Yeah, yeah.

Kat: Yeah. Fear is definitely ruling in that case, though, I would say.

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Kristen: All right, our next comment comes from Yas Queen! Hermione! and they say,

“Great episode! However, when Harry was wondering why the connection between Voldemort and himself had faded, I thought it was totally obvious why! I believe it’s a clue J.K. Rowling left for us to figure out that Harry himself is a Horcrux. The connection has been damaged because Ron just destroyed the Slytherin Locket Horcrux. It should have been a clue for Harry as well, but the incident occurring so close to his wand being destroyed confused him and made him focus on the link between the two wands.”

Karen: So it’s almost like they’re a group of radio stations and when one shorts out the other ones blur or something. [laughs] I know that sounds crazy, but I’m trying to imagine, why would the Horcruxes be connected? Is it like a soul thing?

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah. See, I’m not sure that I buy that because I feel like it’s mostly movie canon…

Alison: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say.

Kat: … the fact that Harry can feel the other Horcruxes, and I strongly believe that if you rip apart your soul, that part is gone.

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Kat: You can put it… I mean, Jo has said that you can put it back into yourself through this even more horrifying process than actually making a Horcrux, but I think that it’s disconnected, has nothing to do with that. It’s its own “living” entity…

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: … somewhere else. I think that it was just Harry, finally, learning to block it out.

Alison: Yeah, no, I feel like the best analogy for that would be flower bulbs – when you separate them to make new ones, like transplant things.

Karen: Yeah. I can picture that.

Kat: That is a good analogy. Claps, Alison.

Alison: Thanks.

Kat: Yeah, I do think it is quite coincidental, the timing, though. I can understand where this theory is coming from. I just don’t necessarily agree with it.

Alison: Yeah. And I feel like a lot of it… the idea comes from the movie when Voldemort starts feeling things getting destroyed and has those “Nyaaah!”… that scene.

[Everyone laughs]

Alison and Kat: “Nyaaah!”

Kristen: “My soul!”

Kat: Yeah, all those… all the yelling moments, yeah. Terrible. [laughs]

Kristen: Well, thank you everybody for writing in your comments. And if you would like to join in, there [are] tons more comments that I wish I could put on the show but some of them were just too long. Head over to our main site at and comment over there yourself.

Alison: And now we are going to move on to our Podcast Question of the Week responses from last week. And just to remind you, our question was a little bit of a fun one. And it was,

“Potterwatch represents an unusual instance in the wizarding world in which wizards have managed to successfully blend magic with electric-powered technology. We’re wondering how this is achieved to make things like Potterwatch and the Wizarding Wireless Network function. What kind of magic is involved? How do unique aspects of Potterwatch, like the password access, work? What other examples of Muggle technology have wizards managed to harness for themselves that might have led to their success with radio technology?”

And our first comment comes from Hufflepuffskein, who says,

“I always assumed that the Wizarding Wireless was not powered by electricity, but by magic. I thought that wizards just imitated what a radio would do by placing enchantments on the radio box itself. So I guess I never considered that when they turn the radio on that their magic is connecting with the electrical components of the radio. I just thought that they would use the box as a receptacle for the magic. In this way of thinking about it, you could put the same spells on a toaster and you would be able to tune to channels using the push lever or something. That makes me think that part of the magic placed on the box would be to imitate the actual functions of the radio such as tuning the dials like Ron does in the tent. So there would be an enchantment placed on the dials to ‘tune’ or attempt to receive a signal from the magic output provided by PotterWatch, etc. In this case, wizards wouldn’t need to ping off radio towers or erect their own because they are just broadcasting a magical signal that conceivably has an indefinite range or perhaps a range based on the skill of the wizard casting the ‘broad.’ Get it? Broadcasting… Wow. Anyway…”

Kat: [laughs] Okay, so I want a radio toaster, not that I have a toaster.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That seems fun. I don’t know; turns it into a little bit less of a uni-tasker. Anyway, I guess when I think about the radio, I personally think about Colin’s camera because that’s another thing that it didn’t necessarily have electricity, although even though most older cameras have a battery in them for the light meter and such. I still am not quite sure even how that works.

Alison: Magic.

Kat: Is it just magic, or is it magic with electricity? I’m not sure. I’m not convinced either way, to be honest.

Alison: I wonder if it’s some sort of… maybe at least in the camera’s case, it’s some sort of energy source. I don’t know about the radio, but I feel like the camera at least would be a little mechanical more than electric.

Kat: Yeah, especially the older cameras. They’re definitely more mechanical. Like I said, most only have a battery in them for the light meter.

Alison: Even radios. I mean, radio waves aren’t necessarily electrical. They’re just waves that exist, that have just been used to conduct sound across space.

Karen: It’s like we’re harnessing… yeah.

Kat: But they’re broadcasted electronically.

Alison: True, so I wonder if there is just something that… I mean, like Bagman’s magical megaphone or things like that that can broadcast farther, so maybe there’s something along those lines that magically is able to shoot the sound out and it’s able to be picked up like this.

Kat: Maybe it’s like the Patronus thing where you can…

Alison: Oh, yeah.

Kat: … communicate but it’s just you use that to broadcast instead.

Alison: Maybe.

Karen: I get caught up with… I mean, it’s not so much about the radio waves and that kind of thing, but the things that we have in our Muggle world that… like Molly uses a stove, you know? They use things like colanders and stuff like that. And they’re not necessarily mechanical, even – I know a colander isn’t really mechanical – but how did they get those? [laughs] Do they go to the store? Like, where do they get stuff that we commonly have in our world?

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: They must go to the store because Arthur knows about things like plugs and stuff.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: I mean, “knows about them.”

Alison: There [are] people in Diagon Alley that sell…

Karen: Yeah.

Alison: There’s a Williams Sonoma in Diagon Alley. I don’t know.

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: There’s a fantasy Costco.

Kat: The Weasleys would not be shopping at Williams Sonoma. Let’s be real.

Alison: [laughs] True.

Kat: I guess the thing that gets me is when Ron is tuning the dials by tapping his wand.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: That baffles me. I really don’t know how that could possibly work.

Alison: That is our next comment, actually. Kind of addresses that.

Kat: Oh, okay.

Alison: And it’s from RoseLumos, who says,

“I’m not even sure how Muggle radio works, but I know each station gets a frequency to broadcast on (I listen to one on 97.9). Maybe the wizards take over a frequency like Muggles, but make it inaccessible to anyone not using a wizard radio. Potterwatch takes it one step above and makes the frequency unobtainable unless they have the password. So maybe Ron wasn’t fumbling with the stations to hear correctly – maybe there is a specific frequency that they always use that Ron just didn’t know. If anyone else tuned in (let’s say they always use 97.9) they would just hear silence or static.”

Kat: See, okay, the only problem with that is that why is Ron tapping it if it’s the same frequency every time? And why would there be passwords?

Kristen: Yeah, I thought it was a different frequency every single time.

Alison: I think that makes sense, but I think the password to get to a frequency or to be able to hear the frequency would kind of make sense.

Karen: That’s what I was just going to say, yeah, that you might know the frequency but you’d have to tap and try different passwords in order to… maybe it would time out or expire or something, and that’s one way that they keep non… people they don’t want to listen away.

Kat: Or maybe wizard radios just don’t run off frequencies at all.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Maybe it’s just… I don’t know. I just got this vision in my head of Pan Am television, how it’s just one station with different programs. So maybe it’s just a matter of tuning into the London station or the Scotland station or the Irish station… obviously I’m being broad here, but you know what I’m saying. It’s just one frequency, and you just have to find the program you want to listen to.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: And that’s what the password is all about.

Alison: Maybe, yeah.

Karen: I have to say, there are so many things that have come into my life since after reading Harry Potter. Like, I only got a smartphone a couple of years ago. The things you can do… my smartphone has a lava lamp app on it [laughs] and I just think it’s the coolest thing. It feels like magic to me.

Kat: Yeah.

Karen: You know?

Kat: Michael got one two weeks ago, so don’t feel bad.

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: That’s right, I heard that. Yeah.

Kat: Love you, Michael.

Karen: [laughs] Yeah, so if… there are so many things that feel like magic to me, and it’s interesting to see where these things cross over, from non-magical to magical. I was thinking too just something I think that, Kat, you just said made me think of when… you know how they can make Hogwarts look to Muggles like a trash heap or a place where they really, really don’t want to go. Maybe you can do something like that with the frequency as well.

Alison: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, with the static. It’s like making something Unplottable, but it’s making a sound Unplottable.

Karen: Exactly. Yeah.

Kat: That’s so weird.

Karen: [laughs] It’s cool!

Alison: Well, our last comment for these is from HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis, who says,

“One thing about the chances of catching the Potterwatch episode: They’ll send it on repeat after the initial broadcast, so that listeners have to know the frequency and the password to access it, but they don’t have to tune in at a specific time, because that would make it almost impossible to catch the episode if you don’t know at what time it will be on. Sending the audio out only once would greatly reduce the chance of getting caught by the Ministry, but almost nobody would be able to listen. That would be as counterproductive as if you’d be hosting the movie watch without telling anyone when.”

So that answers the question we had last week, of how are you supposed to know what time you’re supposed to try and tune in? And what if you miss it?

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: Didn’t Ron say that it was… I feel like he says that there’s a time that it happens.

Karen: I don’t remember.

Alison: I don’t think so. I don’t remember that being there. But I mean, I could look it up.

Kristen: I thought it was more of a hit or a miss thing.

Kat: It might be. I’m probably remembering incorrectly. That happens sometimes.

Kristen: No, no, you might be right. I don’t know.

Karen: Doesn’t he jump on at several different times? He’ll be like, “Oh, maybe it’s on now,” kind of a thing.

Alison: Yeah, well, they talk about how he’s constantly doing it, trying to get into it.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: Hmm. That’s true.

Kristen: But I guess maybe it’s on at different times to get more people engaged in it or whatever.

Alison: Yeah, to hear it.

Kristen: To listen, yeah. So that’s why you need to listen to the previous episode or whatever because when they say the password, maybe they hint at the time, too, or something.

Alison: Yeah. Or maybe this idea does work. I mean, that would make sense because then they’ll get more of an audience if people accidentally stumble upon it, and then they have less chance of getting caught if they don’t know if they’re actually live broadcasting or not.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: But you wouldn’t be able to stumble upon it because you need a password, and you have to be tapping the radio.

Alison: That’s true.

Kat: What if you know the password for the next one, you can tap the radio and be like, “Scrimgeour!” and then it just starts playing the next time they broadcast? Maybe that’s how it works.

Alison: Oh, yeah. Maybe.

Karen: That would be cool. That makes me think of the Deluminator; the way that the Deluminator works.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Karen: That’s cool.

Kat: A little bit, yeah. These are all really good questions for Jo. I know you’re listening, so you should just answer them.

Alison: Answer how technology works. And mechanical things.

Kat: I would tell you to answer them on Pottermore, but…

[Alison and Karen laugh]

Kat: Rest in peace.

Alison: And that then concludes our Podcast Question of the Week section. So thank you, everyone, for sending in your comments. There were a lot of really good ones. Head on over to our main site to check them out. And while you are on our main site, make sure you go check out our Patreon! We are on Patreon, and you can sponsor us and keep the show going and keep us reading out all of your amazing comments for as little as a dollar, and we can keep going and having great discussions.

Kat: Please, we’d really appreciate it. We’re super, super, super, super close to not only being done, but to announcing our plans – or lack thereof plans; I don’t want to give too much away – for the “end” of the podcast. So if you want us to keep going, then show us some love. Like Alison said, it’s as low as one dollar per month and it would be super helpful.

Karen: I just want to jump in and say that I’m becoming a Patreon supporter today.

Alison, Kat, and Kristen: Yay!

Kat: Thank you!

Karen: I’m very, very excited about it. Yeah, I went over there and I looked at the different levels and what they might need, and I remember thinking, “You know what, if a hundred people gave a dollar a month, it looks like you could fund everything that you want to fund!” I don’t know if that… maybe I was looking at it wrong, but that would be so cool to get that many people!

Kat: No, you’re absolutely right. That’s the beauty of Patreon.

Karen: Yeah. So everybody, do it! [laughs]

Kat: Karen, honorary sponsor right there.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Thanks for helping us out.

Karen: Yay!

Kat: All right, guys. Well, I guess it’s time for our chapter discussion.

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 23 intro begins]

Bellatrix: Chapter 23.

[Sound of chandelier twisting]

Bellatrix: “Malfoy Manor.”

[Sounds of glass crashing and people gasping]

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 23 intro ends]

Kat: In this chapter, the trio find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation when a gang of Snatchers show up in the woods because Harry, like a dumb-dumb…

[Alison laughs]

Kat: … went and said Lord Voldemort’s name. So along with Griphook and Dean Thomas, the trio is taken to Malfoy Manor where the plan is to call Lord Voldemort. Luckily, the Dark Lord, who we learn via Harry’s Horcrux visions, appears to be out of the country visiting Grindelwald in Nurmengard. Through a bit of torture, some bright blue eyes in a bit of broken mirror, and a not so exciting wand duel, the trio manage to escape with the help of Dobby, [voice cracking] the bravest little elf to ever live. [back to normal voice] Okay, so there’s quite a lot to discuss in this chapter. It’s actually one of the longest chapters in the book; I think it’s 31 pages, so yeah. Settle in, kids, it’s going to be long.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: All right, so before we even get to Malfoy Manor, the name of this chapter, we’re going to talk a little bit about where the trio actually get caught. They’re laying in the woods there and as I mentioned, Harry is a dumb-dumb and says, “Voldemort,” even though Ron told him about the taboo. I remember just yelling at Harry. I know that’s in the last chapter, but I’m so mad at him.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: So they’re there. And I feel like… I know this is movie canon where Scabior smells Hermione and is like, “Hmm, I vaguely remember you.”

Alison: Creepy. Creepy!

Kat: Yeah, it’s super creepy. But that’s movie canon; we’ll get to there in another week or so. But I like that Harry uses Dudley Dursley as his alias, and then Ron tries Stan Shunpike…

Alison: Vernon Dursley.

Karen: Or Vernon Dudley, right?

Alison: Yeah, Vernon Dudley, which is… of all people. Of all people. [laughs]

Kristen: All these magical people.

Kat: Yeah, I wondered why that name popped into his head first.

Alison: I wonder if it has something to do with [that] it sounds normal. It sounds so blah, that he’s hoping it’s so generic that they won’t pick up on anything.

Kat: You mean, it’s not Xenophilius Lovegood?

[Everyone laughs]

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Or Rufus Scrimgeour? Yeah, that’s true.

Karen: Well, I’ve read this chapter a dozen times now because I keep rereading the book, but every time I am always caught when one of the Snatchers says, “You know, I think there is a Dudley in…”

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: … wherever it is in the Ministry, and I’m just like, “Ooh, maybe, maybe!” [laughs] I always get fooled.

Kat: We wish. Harry wishes.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Kat: But no, it doesn’t work out like that. And so Ron, very brightly, tries to use Stan Shunpike, and they’re like, “Yeah, okay, right. We know who he is, you big liar.”

Alison: That is a pretty dumb one. [laughs]

Kat: So then he actually pulls out his real last name and uses Barty, which I thought was pretty funny.

Alison: Isn’t his mouth full of blood by then, so he’s trying to say Barny?

Karen: Yeah.

Alison: So he’s trying to use Harry’s alias from the wedding.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: Oh, that’s right. Barny. I just wrote Barty because when I looked at it and read my notes that’s what was in there, and I wasn’t reading the context. You’re right. Barny.

Karen: I thought that was so funny. “Bardy, Bardy Weadley.”

Kat: Which is actually really smart because if the Death Eaters had caught anybody at the wedding, they might have asked who was there, and they could have said Barny Weasley.

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: I mean, they buy his, don’t they?

Alison: Yeah, and…

Karen: They do because they’re like, “Oh, yeah, he’s a Weasley.”

Kristen: There’s so freaking many of them.

Alison: Ron is slightly protected by using his real last name.

Kat: Slightly, even though they say, “Well, you’re a blood traitor even if you’re not a Mudblood.”

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Whoops. But then Hermione uses Penelope Clearwater, and hello, there’s a name drop we haven’t heard in five books.

[Everyone laughs]

Kristen: I know.

Alison: Really, though.

Kat: I was just like, “Hmm. Okay.”

Alison: I wonder why that’s who she thought of. Why that name? Did she just pull out any random name she could think of of a Hogwarts student?

Kat: I think because she knew that Penelope was older and that she was definitely half-blood. I feel like Hermione would know that about Penelope.

Alison: Hmm.

Kat: Because Penelope “dated” Percy, and I feel like Percy and Hermione have these moments where they study together and stuff.

[Karen and Kristen laugh]

Kat: This is just head canon. So I feel like she would know that.

Alison: That’s true. That’s a good point.

Kat: Yeah. So then there’s a great moment, which… I laughed so hard this time. I’ve never laughed before. The Snatchers find the sword, and Harry is like, “Oh, that’s my uncle’s. We borrowed it to cut firewood.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: And I just laughed so hard because it’s this gorgeous, fancy sword and they’re cutting firewood with it? I don’t know. I guess maybe that would work on somebody kind of stupid.

Alison: It sounds so much like the stereotypical super rich kid who has no idea what they’re doing if you throw them in a situation where everything is not handed to them. [laughs]

Kat: Yes. It also reminded me of, “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: He’s just trying to convince some stupid guy that that’s what this is. Don’t listen to me.

[Kristen laughs]

Karen: Yup.

Kat: So also, there’s a lot of things in here that, personally, if I were a Snatcher… I guess maybe I’m a bit smarter than the Snatchers.

Alison: Hope so.

Kat: Just going to give myself a little bit of credit. I would not believe at all the fact that it was an accident that they said Lord Voldemort’s name.

Alison: Oh, yeah. That is the worst thing they could have said.

Karen: Yeah.

Kristen: “I meant to say ‘You-Know-Who’ but ‘Voldemort’ slipped out.”

Kat: Right.

Alison: [laughs] Because that’s normal.

Kat: Whoopsie.

Karen: I wonder, what could they have said? What would… if they’d come up with another reason, what might it have been? Especially when it’s pointed out, “Oh, only Dumbledore’s Army, only people who are on Dumbledore’s side would use the word ‘Voldemort.'” I wonder, what could they have said?

Alison: “We were reading a book and we found something we couldn’t quite read, and so we were trying to sound it out and whoops!” I don’t know.

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: I love that one.

Kat: “We were just talking in French to each other, and I was telling him to fly away from death.”

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: Flight of death!

Kat: Exactly. I don’t know. It’s a bit ridiculous, yeah.

Alison: “We were practicing French.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: And guys, this list that they’re reading off of, that they’re looking at all the names, is that a Hogwarts students list? Is it the Mudblood Registry? What list is that?

Alison: Maybe it’s a combination.

Kat: It doesn’t really say, does it?

Kristen: I thought it was a Mudblood Registry.

Alison: I think it could be a combination because I’m sure by this point they’ve gone up to look at the magic quill and the book that lists all the Hogwarts students’ names, and then they probably just collected which ones are Mudbloods that haven’t registered or that are missing that aren’t at school and they’re trying to find out.

Kat: Okay, that are missing.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah, because they’re looking at the list for Vernon Dudley. Obviously, we know they’re not going to find that, but I was just curious. It seems like a pretty comprehensive list, the way they’re talking about it.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Alison: It’s kind of sinister that they have a list.

Kat: Yeah.

Alison: It’s a small enough group of people that they can have a list of people to check up against.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: By that point alone it makes sense that it’s some sort of combination list because if it was just students who hadn’t shown up at Hogwarts, it’d be pretty small. And Snatchers aren’t just after Hogwarts students; they’re after anybody, really. Right?

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Mhm. Do you guys have the same feeling that I do when I read the word “Mudblood” or try to say it, which is like, “Eugh”? Even after all this time, it’s been such a really good, useful tool for talking with the kids about racism or anything like that.

Kat: Mhm.

Karen: And it does, it gets me right in the gut; I hate reading it or saying it.

Kat: Yeah, I try not to say it, but what kind of show would we be if we didn’t?

[Alison laughs]

Karen: Yeah, I know, it’s not like I’m accusing you, “Oh, you shouldn’t say that on the show!” But it’s more like… I think it’s a really useful teaching tool because you can say… people have the same reaction to some pretty upsetting words in our culture that we probably won’t say on here.

Kat: No, definitely won’t say those words.

Karen: [laughs] As they do in that world with this word, and I’m fascinated by it. It’s been a really… it’s started some great discussions in our house, really.

Kat: Well, good. That’s important. Anything that gets kids talking, right?

Karen: Yeah. It’s something that I silently thank Jo for an awful lot.

Kat: So the trio is almost maybe possibly going to get away, and then whoops, there’s a picture of Hermione in the Daily Prophet, which, I mean, good for her, getting in the newspaper.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: But they recognize her and they say, “Uh oh, this is you.” And I’m wondering why Ron isn’t in there? I mean, probably the Spattergroit is part of it, but wouldn’t they still put a picture of Ron in there? Because… since he is Harry’s friend? I feel like if they’re putting pictures of Hermione in the Prophet

Kristen: But didn’t they go and check him out? And they said that he was sick with it?

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Yes, but I mean, personally, if I was looking for somebody, even if I thought they were potentially sick, I’d probably still put a picture.

Alison: But I think they know for sure that Hermione is with Harry, and they say, “Is known to be traveling with Harry Potter,” because of what happened at the Lovegoods’. But Ron was under the Invisibility Cloak, so they didn’t know he was there. So I wonder if that’s part of it, or…

Kristen: They’re just not that smart, so they’re just not going to think of it or whatever. They’re like, “Ehh, we’re pretty sure that’s him in the attic.”

Alison: Or maybe they couldn’t get a picture of Ron. [laughs]

Kat: Right. No, you’re right because I had forgot about the Invisibility Cloak bit. So they definitely at this point believe that Ron probably isn’t with them. That’s true. I forgot about that moment.

Alison: Where did they get Hermione’s picture, though, is what I want to know. Did they go…

Kristen: Yearbook.

Alison: [laughs] Yearbook. Did they go the Granger house, ransack their house, and take pictures of her or…

Kat: That’s one of the deleted scenes in Deathly Hallows – Part 1 that I actually believe probably happened.

Alison: Oh, that’s true. I forgot that’s there.

Kat: Yaxley going to the Grangers’ house.

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Alison: So maybe they couldn’t get a picture of Ron because the Weasleys are still around and would be like, “Uh, no?” But I don’t know. I wonder where they got that from.

Kat: Or Hermione’s bit truly just worked and they think that Ron is actually just at home sick.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Kat: So they’re going on and they’re talking about what they’re going to do with these, and they say, “Well, let’s call the Dark Lord,” and they’re like, “Whoops, actually, we can’t because I don’t have a Dark Mark.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Because Greyback sucks. So they decide that they’re going to take them to Malfoy Manor because Harry Potter alone – Harry and his wand – is a 200,000 Galleon prize. That’s kind of a lot, guys. Oh, I should have done the calculation…

Kristen: I’d turn them in.

[Alison and Karen laugh]

Karen: Definitely Undesirable Number One.

[Kat laughs]

Karen: Is there a calculator for finding out Galleons to…

Kat: Whoa, that is 2.14 million dollars.

Alison: Holy…

Kristen: Damn.

Karen: How are you finding that out?

Kat: There’s a Galleon calculator on the Harry Potter Lexicon.

Karen: Oh, that’s awesome.

Kat: Yeah, it’s pretty great.

Alison: That’s insane.

Kat: And it takes into account exchange rates and everything, even.

Karen: Wow. I love that.

Kat: But yeah, 2… oh, sorry, 2.014 million. Still. That’s a heck of a lot of money.

Alison: Wow. Harry, you’re worth a lot.

Kat: So I guess I’m with you, Kristen. I’m just kidding; I wouldn’t turn him in.

Kristen: No, I wouldn’t, either.

Kat: But I guess if I were a Snatcher, I would, obviously.

Karen: You can see their motivation.

Kat: I like that they say it’s for Harry and his wand. It made me laugh because, ha-ha-ha, it’s not his wand.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: But they don’t know that, because they’re dumb.

Alison: I wonder why he wants his wand. He’s just…

Kat: That’s what I was wondering.

Alison: … “Well, brother wand, I need it.” [laughs]

Kristen: Doesn’t he… don’t you think he wants it because…

Karen: Because he can’t destroy him due to that wand. So I could see why he wants it.

Kristen: Yeah, it’s like a super, special wand.

Kat: But is he going to use it?

Alison: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. [laughs]

Kat: Is he going to destroy it? What’s he going to do with it?

Karen: I would think he’d destroy it.

Kristen: I think he’d use it.

Kat: Oh!

Kristen: Using Harry’s own wand to kill Harry.

Karen: Hmm.

Alison: Ooh!

Karen: So would it work for him?

Kat: But would that work?

Karen: Yeah, because if he got it away… Voldemort would have to get it away from Harry in order for Voldemort to then be able to use it, right? Do you think Harry’s wand would turn on Harry?

Alison: I don’t know.

Kat: I don’t think so.

Kristen: Don’t know.

Karen: God, I hope not.

Kristen: It’s that shared phoenix feather.

Kat: It’s not going to work. He doesn’t understand that it’s because of the Horcrux thing and not the wand.

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: Yeah.

Karen: Yes.

Alison: That’s true.

Karen: Yup. Mhm.

Kat: But hmm, that would be interesting if he wanted to use it. I have a feeling that he wanted it to study it.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: And to try and figure out why it’s “unbeatable.”

Alison: Because I don’t think he knows about the twin cores. No, I guess he does at this point.

Kristen: And isn’t his wand destroyed?

Alison: No.

Kat: Yeah.

Kristen: So he can’t… oh, okay.

Alison: Is it?

Kat: Well, it got the big crack down it, didn’t it?

Kristen: Yeah, I thought so.

Kat: No, that wasn’t his wand; that was Lucius’s wand.

Alison: I think that’s… yeah.

Kristen: Oh, that’s right. Mhm.

Alison: I think his wand is fine.

Kristen: Okay.

Alison: Yeah, because he’ll use it later when he goes and breaks into Dumbledore’s tomb. Yes?

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: Right.

Karen: Yup.

Kat: Right. No, you’re right. You’re right. So he probably wanted it to study it.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Or to figure out how to use it.

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: And he’s got Ollivander locked up in the basement, so he’s got some advice… a good advice giver there.

Kristen: [laughs] Yeah.

Kat: Yeah. Although admittedly not very good, but…

Karen: Hmm.

Kat: Yeah, so throughout this whole chapter, there’s this running theme of – as I mentioned in the summary there – Harry looking in with his little Horcrux visions to where Voldemort is. And so, it’s funny because finally Harry gets it right. He finally learns how to do Occlumency, sort of. I mean, he’s floating in and out of Voldemort’s mind this entire chapter. And at this part where they’re about to be taken away, he screams when Greyback is about to touch his scar to figure out if it’s Harry…

Alison: Mhm.

Kat: … because it’s really, really painful. And I guess I never thought about this before, but why is the scar painful? Is it the piece of Voldemort’s soul that’s in him that’s causing that physical pain? Or is it just because it’s taxing on the brain? What do you guys think?

Alison: I would say it’s almost like getting a headache. There’s something blocking Harry’s brain function. So I don’t know if it’s just the scar that hurts or if it’s just basically his whole head is hurting. But because he’s thinking about the scar and the scar is the connection to the Horcrux, which almost feels like a writing way of pointing to that on Jo’s part, yeah, I feel like it’s just… there’s something in his head that shouldn’t be there that’s stopping his normal brain function, and that causes pain.

Karen: And his head has already been… Hermione blew up his face, kind of.

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: She made it all swell up. And so maybe…

Kat: That’s true.

Karen: [laughs] I think that could hurt. Every time I would think of… when I was rereading this, I’m envisioning somebody going to taut… if my face was all stretched taut like that, God, that would… ugh! [laughs] But then, I don’t know. I kind of do think maybe it’s a Horcrux thing. I don’t know how it could be, but it feels like maybe.

Kat: I have a hard time believing that an errant bit of soul inside of you could cause that kind of pain, but I guess I’ve never experienced that.

Kristen: Wait, you haven’t?

Kat: I don’t know, have any of you?

[Everyone laughs]

Karen: Oh, daily.

Kat: No?

Kristen: That’s what I thought my migraines were.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: If there’s a listener out there who has had a spare bit of soul inside them and can comment on how it feels, let us know.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: So as I mentioned, throughout this whole chapter Harry is blocking his mind, but he goes in and out and he sees that Voldemort is in search of Grindelwald and the Elder Wand. And he really uses this opportunity throughout the chapter to actually find out where Lord Voldemort is and if they have time to escape once they actually get to Malfoy Manor. And there’s this part when they’re just pushed into the cellar and Harry hears Grindelwald say, “Kill me then, Voldemort, I welcome death! But my death will not bring you what you seek… There is so much you do not understand…” What is Grindelwald talking about? Hallows? Dumbledore? Love? Life? Pursuit of happiness? What do you guys think?

Alison: [laughs] Maybe a little bit of everything and also just the way the wand gets passed on. Because I think Grindelwald probably doesn’t know Dumbledore didn’t die still in control of the Elder Wand, right?

Kat: Right, I would assume so.

Alison: He probably thinks that the wand has no power anymore, that it’s died with Dumbledore the way that Dumbledore wanted it to. He spent how long rotting up in a tower? He doesn’t care but he also knows that it’s not going to do Voldemort any good either.

Kat: But I feel like Grindelwald… I don’t know how he would know this, but I feel like he would know that Dumbledore was murdered. He can’t just assume that Dumbledore is dead if he’s still alive.

Alison: Well…

Kristen: I feel like he would know Dumbledore is dead…

Alison: But not because…

Kristen: Of course Voldemort doesn’t know Dumbledore has the wand. So I think that’s what he’s laughing about.

Karen: I definitely think it’s a wand thing. It’s not a life, liberty, pursuit of happiness [thing].

[Alison and Kat laugh]

Karen: It’s got to do with this wand isn’t going to do what you want it to do, ha-ha-ha.

Kat: Hmm.

Alison: Yeah, and I feel like the general public’s knowledge of Dumbledore’s death… they have no clue that he was “murdered” because that’s a whole other situation.

Kat: You don’t think so?

Alison: Yes and no, but that’s another situation for later down the line when we get to that thing…

Kat: Okay, fair enough.

Alison: … of how much is that considered murder and how much of that is considered suicide. But yeah, I don’t know. I think he might think the power died with Dumbledore.

Kat: Well, there is another quote a little bit later on in the chapter where Grindelwald is still talking to Voldemort here and he says, “‘Kill me then,’ demanded the old man. ‘You will not win, you cannot win! That wand will never, ever be yours.'” And I guess that backs up some of the theories, but why could it never, ever be his? Does Grindelwald know something about the Elder Wand or the Hallows that we possibly don’t know?

Alison: Is it just an intimidation tactic where he’s trying to goad Voldemort on?

Kat: To make him angry?

Alison: Yeah, and to just sow a seed of doubt where he’s like: “It’s never going to be yours.” And then Voldemort gets mad and kills him, and in the back of his mind there’s always this idea of “Oh, Grindelwald thought it would never be mine…”

Karen: Is it a loyalty to Dumbledore thing? I feel like you guys talked just a couple of weeks ago about Grindelwald and that he really didn’t have… not respect, but he didn’t have the same feelings obviously for Dumbledore that Dumbledore did for him. But maybe it’s like, “I know this wizard and there’s no way that you’re going to… even in death you can’t get this wand from him.” I don’t know.

Alison: Maybe.

Kat: Mhm. I mean, that’s a very chivalrous thought to think that Grindelwald… maybe perhaps he doesn’t know that Dumbledore is dead, and he’s just trying to protect his old friend.

Karen: That’s how I read it.

Kat: That’s kind of sweet.

Karen: I know, that’s how I read it right from the beginning, right from the first time that I read it.

Kat: Really?

Alison: Well, Hermione says later – or maybe it’s earlier – that Grindelwald was repentant in Nurmengard.

Karen: Yes.

Alison: So maybe too this is him saying, “Look, I couldn’t win. There’s no way you’re going to win. I couldn’t hold onto the wand for very long, so you’ll never get it.” Maybe he’s kind of projecting himself onto Voldemort.

Kat: Mhm.

[Karen and Kristen laugh]

Kat: All that reflection time in Nurmengard has done him a little bit of good. Wow, I kind of like that. It’s like the softer side of Gellert Grindelwald.

Karen: [laughs] At home with Gellert Grindelwald.

Kat: Okay, so we will get to the Manor now. We’re there, we’re at the big giant house with the albino peacock. And the Snatchers take the trio there with Dean and Griphook, and I feel like there’s two other goblins, too.

Alison: No, they died.

Kat: Because I feel like there’s a group of people.

Kristen: Yeah, they died.

Alison: On Potterwatch they announced that they were killed.

Kristen: They passed.

Kat: That’s sad. RIP, goblins.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: Okay. So they get up there and there’s this cool transfigured enchanted gate, which I thought was really neat. Although I liked the way they did it in the movie, this would have been kind of fun.

Kristen: Oh, yeah.

Kat: So they bring them inside, they say, “We have Potter!” and they get inside and Narcissa’s the one who’s like “Hmm…” She’s a little bit ambivalent, so they say, “Let’s get Draco.” And they say, “Draco, is this Harry? Do you recognize him?” And at this point Harry’s face is all blown up like he’d been stung by a bee and he’s got his hair down to his shoulders, which we tend to forget, since the movie didn’t do that. We tend to forget that Harry basically looked like Snape at this point.

[Alison and Kristen laugh]

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: [laughs] That’s a thought!

Kat: Yeah, and Draco hesitates, and he says, “You know what, I’m not really sure. I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s Harry Potter.” And Lucius is like, “Come on, come on, this has to be Harry. You know it’s Harry, you know it’s Harry.” And Draco just continues to say, “I’m not sure. Maybe. I don’t know.” And it’s pretty clear at this point that there’s definitely a house-divided situation going on with the Malfoys. Because as I said, even Narcissa’s a little ambivalent until she sees Hermione. And it’s Hermione that makes her go, “Oh, yeah. That’s the girl from Madame Malkin’s.”

Alison: I definitely think this is hinting at what’s going to end up happening with Draco.

Kat: Redemption?

Alison: Draco is still thinking about [how] Dumbledore believes in him and… because that would have been the last time he saw Harry – on top of the tower. And so maybe that’s sunk in a little bit and he’s starting to think, “Well, if I can get away from being responsible for someone else’s death, maybe I can.”

Kristen: He’s in a house where Voldemort uses it as a base, so I’m sure he’s seen some creepiness and finally turned over a new leaf.

Karen: Do you think maybe he just doesn’t want Voldemort to win, that he’s just pissed off? [laughs] So he’s going to try and stop him if he can?

Kristen: I think he’s caring more because he has seen crazy stuff…

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: I’m sure that’s going on that he’s like, “Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t want to be a part of this. I don’t want to condemn another person.”

Karen: Mhm.

Alison: And maybe he is passively-aggressively fighting against Voldemort then by not being committed to it, and he doesn’t want to be under that shadow anymore.

Karen: I really wondered about this. Reading the chapter, I was like, why does he do this? And the other thing that I was thinking about was maybe he doesn’t know what’ll happen to his family once Potter is dead.

Alison: Oh.

Karen: Maybe he’s like, “Okay, it’s bad enough now. Will it get worse?”

Kat: I think about this part and then I think about the part later, which we’ll get to in a minute, but once they’re down in the dungeon, they send Draco down to get Griphook and he’s like, “Don’t try anything, or I’ll kill you!” And I’m like, really? Because obviously he’s proven that he does not have the cajones to do that.

Alison: Yeah, totally empty threat. He’s just trying to sound intimidating. He’s got nothing behind it.

Kat: Mhm. So then, speaking of having nothing behind it, we get to this line that Bellatrix says to Lucius when they’re talking about who’s going to call Voldemort. She says, “You lost your authority when you lost your wand, Lucius.” And I wondered, as the patriarch of the Malfoy household, is him being wandless kind of like… and there’s no real good analogy for this without it being totally sexist.

Alison: I was going to say, I can give you what Noah would probably say…

[Alison and Kristen laugh]

Kat: Yeah, let’s not go there.

Alison: [laughs] Let’s not go there. I think it is a power thing because a wand is a sign of a wizard’s power. To not have that, especially in a pure-blood house, makes you what? A Squib, a Muggle? You have nothing anymore.

Karen: Is it like that line from Spaceballs: “I see that your Schwartz is as big as mine”? [laughs] Is it like that?

Kat: I guess so, yeah. That’s a good analogy; that’s appropriate. So… all right, fine.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: I’ll just let it be.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: I don’t know. I find it to be a little sexist. It bothers me a little bit.

Alison: Yeah. I think it definitely has to… it is a little bit. Because Jo said wizarding society is behind a little bit in some ways, and pure-bloods especially seem to be more discriminatory against people. So to not have a wand, it debases him. It makes him a Muggle, basically.

Kat: “Less of a man.”

Alison: Exactly. And so, that puts Bellatrix on top because… well, I guess we don’t know who’s older, Bellatrix or Narcissa. But if it’s Bellatrix, that makes her the oldest, powerful person in this family, in this household, and so she’s in charge.

Kat: I feel like Narcissa is older.

Alison: Yeah, I don’t know. That may be some fan theory I read of what order the sisters are in.

Kat: I’m going to Wiki it while Karen says her point.

Karen: Well… [laughs] thank you. I was thinking about would it be different if it was a woman? So if Lucius was a woman and the head of Malfoy Manor… because it’s his, right? Malfoy Manor… Narcissa married into this rich family. Have I got that right?

Alison: Uh-huh.

Kat: Correct.

Karen: So say that the tables were turned and it was Narcissa who was on top in this house, and then Bella says to her, “You lost your authority when you lost your wand, Narcissa.” Would we take that the same way? In this… I don’t know, you can’t say sexist, I guess, if it’s a woman, but I actually thought when initially reading it that it wouldn’t matter if it were a man or a woman. You lose your power when you lose your wand because now you’re like a Muggle. Whoever you are.

Kristen: That’s how I played off this as well.

Karen: Yeah.

Kristen: That’s how I’ve always read into it.

Karen: Yeah, I never…

Kat: So it could have been anybody, even if it was Narcissa who was head of household. If this were a lesbian wizard couple…

Karen: Yeah, two women.

Kat: Witch couple, whatever. It’s whoever lost their wand.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: Okay.

Kristen: It just makes you… like Alison was saying, you’re more of a Muggle than a wizard.

Kat: Right.

Kristen: That’s how I see it as.

Kat: And Bellatrix is approximately four years older than Narcissa.

Alison: Okay. Where does Andromeda fall on that, then?

Kat: I don’t know. Hold on, I’ll go look again.

Karen: And so you were saying, does a powerful wand equal a powerful position? And I wondered, are there different… a powerful wand, do wands have different gradients of power? I don’t…

Kat: Yeah, definitely.

Karen: I mean, I don’t really know…

Kat: Depending on what they’re made of and the wizard and the core…

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: … and all of the above.

Kristen: Do you see how many Galleons Harry’s wand is? It’s pretty powerful.

[Alison and Karen laugh]

Karen: That’s true.

Kat: Yeah.

Kristen: Pretty powerful.

Kat: Yes, Andromeda’s in the middle. She’s [born in 1953].

Alison: That’s what I thought.

Kat: So Narcissa was born in 1951, Andromeda 1953, Bellatrix… I have it backwards. No, wait, I totally have it wrong.

Kristen: Okay.

Kat: Narcissa was born in ’51, Andromeda ’53, Bella ’55…

Alison: Okay. Wait, so Bellatrix is the youngest?

Kat: So Narcissa’s older.

Kristen: Okay.

Kat: Yes.

Alison: Weird.

Kristen: I thought so because she calls her Cissy. It just sounds like a…

Kat: Yeah, I don’t know why I had it…

Alison: It’s a nickname though, I feel.

Kat: Which makes sense.

Alison: Hmm, okay.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: So, speaking of Bellatrix, as we all know, she stops dead in her tracks when she sees the sword and says that if they call Voldemort now, they’re all going to perish. And I love this moment because I feel like it’s the one time where she kind of loses control of herself.

Alison and Kristen: Mhm.

Kate: And I think it’s great because it shows her… and I don’t want this to come across positively, but her passion…

Kristen: [laughs] Yeah.

Kat: … and just how much she truly believes in what she’s doing. But I wondered this time, why is the sword in her vault? What did Snape have to say to her to hide it there? I mean, is it there because Voldemort wants it for a future Horcrux?

Alison: Was it Snape, though?

Kat: Or does Voldemort not know that it’s in the vault?

Kristen: Does he even know about it?

Kat: I don’t know.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: That’s what I’m saying, I don’t…

Alison: Or was it Voldemort’s orders to Snape to put it in the vault? Or maybe that’s just what Snape said.

Kat: Right. I don’t know. But if Snape just said that, Bella doesn’t necessarily trust Snape. Maybe she does now that he’s killed Dumbledore…

Alison: Yeah, I was just saying she probably does now.

Karen: Later when… isn’t it true that Voldemort tortures Bellatrix because of this whole vault thing? Is it the vault thing, or is it the fact that they called him back for Harry Potter and then he didn’t get Harry Potter?

Alison: I think it’s the vault. I think it’s when that happens.

Karen: Yeah.

Alison: All the Malfoys get tortured.

Karen: Yeah.

Kristen: But there’s something else in the vault.

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Yeah, that’s right.

Kristen: It wasn’t because of the sword.

Karen: So he knows about the other thing. He doesn’t necessarily know about the sword.

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Voldemort, yeah.

Kristen: Yeah, I don’t think he knows about the sword…

Kat: Right.

Kristen: … and that it was in that vault.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: But he would know that it was at Hogwarts, he would know that it lived in the Headmaster’s office, and he appointed Snape headmaster.

Alison: Which is why I get the feeling that he told Snape to put it in the vault. And therefore they did that switch-a-roo where it was like, “We’re going to put the real one behind the portrait of Dumbledore, but here’s the fake one that we’re saying is real and we’re putting it in the vault.”

Kat: Okay. I could buy that.

Kristen: I don’t know. I don’t think he knows about it.

Kat: I feel like that would be… I mean, because there’s no other relic of Gryffindor’s around, right?

Alison and Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: And he wants that last Horcrux for when he kills Harry.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: All right. So they’re talking about the sword and Bellatrix is questioning Hermione about the sword. And I thought to myself… I know she mentions it and says, “Oh, did the goblin help you?” But how or why does Bellatrix think that a teenager, somebody “Mudblood” as Bellatrix continuously calls Hermione, could break into a Gringotts vault, especially one as old as hers? I don’t know, I feel that’s pretty impressive and I think Bellatrix is probably giving her a bit more credit than is due. Obviously we know that they break into a vault later, but…

Kristen: Maybe because she knows that Hermione is with Harry, and there’s this whole other side that’s willing to do anything to help out Harry Potter. So maybe they would help them in the vault.

Alison: And I think her surprise at her thought that a teenager could break into the vault is partially what’s making her so insane. She can’t believe that that could ever possibly happen.

Karen: The evidence is in front of her eyes, and she’s like, “Holy mackerel! I’m holding the sword and they had it, ergo, they must have broken into my vault.” Maybe it’s just a jump to a conclusion that she can’t help.

Kat: She’s assuming and you know what happens when you assume…

[Alison, Karen, and Kristen laugh]

Karen: Yup. Yeah.

Kat: That’s okay. It’s due for Bellatrix.

Karen: It is.

Kat: She’s due for one of those moments.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: So she’s really pissed off about the sword, cannot believe that it’s here, and she says, “Throw them all down in the dungeon, except for the Mudblood. I’m going to have a talk with her.” So the boys get down in the dungeon – of course we follow them, since this is Harry’s point of view – and we find Luna…

Alison and Kat: Yay!

Kat: Look, it’s Luna. We’ve been missing her, and here she is. Ollivander, too, has been captured for quite a long time. And it’s dark and Luna finally breaks them free. The Deluminator comes back, and Luna opens it to get a little bit of light down there, and there’s just balls of light floating around. And it occured to me that Ron stole that light from somewhere…

Alison: From the tent.

Karen: From the tent?

Kat: What do you mean, from the tent?

Alison: When they first hear people coming around the tent, he clicks it to turn the lights out real fast so that they can at least be in the dark.

Kat: Right.

Alison: So they came from the lights in the tent.

Kat: Okay. So do the things that he stole the light from, can those ever work again?

Karen: [laughs] That’s a really interesting question.

Alison: I think it would depend on what they were. Was it candlelight? What is giving the source of light? Because if it was candles, then you could always re-light them, I think.

Kat: Right.

Alison: But if it was like…

Kat: Not a lamp…

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Kerosene or something?

Alison: I mean, you could probably re-light that, too.

Karen: Mhm. Yeah. I had a thought about the Deluminator that I’m wondering what you guys think: Could it have gotten them out of there? You know how Ron, he gets…

Kat: The little ball of light goes into him?

Karen: Yeah. I actually, just before I got onto here, I went back and reread the part where he’s describing what it felt like. The ball of light goes inside of him and it’s hot, and then he knows all he has to do is Disapparate and show up wherever the Deluminator wanted him to go. And I was like, wouldn’t it be cool if they could each have a ball of light that would just take them somewhere and get them out of there?

Alison: Save Dobby?

Kat: That would make me so happy…

[Alison laughs]

Kat: … because then Dobby wouldn’t die.

Karen: Yes! [laughs] There would have been no need for Dobby.

Kat: Boo! I like that theory. Jo, rewrite the books.

[Alison, Karen, and Kristen laugh]

Kat: I want that to be a thing that happens.

Karen: Have Dobby back?

Kat: I want that to be a thing.

Karen: Hmm.

Kat: No, that’s a good thought. They can’t Apparate out of there, though.

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Oh! That’s a showstopper, isn’t it? You still have to Disapparate.

Kat: Yeah.

Karen: Dang it.

Kat: Which is a bummer. I agree. And Harry’s beginning to think that too, and he’s getting a little desperate, so he reaches for the little pouch that Hagrid gave him and he’s going through it: “Here’s the Snitch… nope, that can’t do anything.” He waves around the broken pieces of his phoenix wand…

Alison: Yeah. It’s so sad!

Kat: Which is a little pathetic – I feel bad for him – but no, nothing happens. But I did wonder, would Voldemort have wanted the pieces?

Alison: I don’t think so.

Kat: Or would he just, now that it’s broken, be like, “Oh, it’s broken…”?

Alison: Yeah. I don’t think he would have wanted them. I guess it would depend on what he was going to do with them.

Kat: Right, that’s true. Hang them on his wall, get them framed…

[Alison and Karen laugh]

Karen: Get them framed…

Kat: And then also, of course Harry pulls out the little broken piece of Sirius’s mirror, and he sees what he believes is Dumbledore’s eyes – it says, “a bright blue pair of eyes” – and he yells, “Help, help us! We’re stuck in Malfoy Manor! We’re in the basement, help us!” Basement, dungeon, you know what I mean. So then, this is a moment where they send Draco down and he’s like, “Don’t try anything or I’ll kill you!” Which, as we know, doesn’t really work. He goes back upstairs and poof! Dobby’s here to save the day.

Alison: Aww!

Kat: We all cry a bit because we know what’s coming. But we’re all really happy because Dobby’s the best. And he takes Dean, Luna, and Ollivander to Shell Cottage, which occurred to me that it’s probably the furthest away place that Ron could possibly think of. Which I think is good, and also it just struck me – and since Noah brought this up before, I’ll bring this up – is he possibly dreaming about his little future? Because he spent time at Shell Cottage, and he saw what Bill and Fleur’s life was like, and I bet that he longs for that a little bit.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: And it probably made him think about, “Where could I take Hermione that’s safe and nice and somewhere that she’ll like?”

Alison: Well, yeah.

Kat: Shell Cottage.

Alison: Especially in this moment. He just wants to get her out of there and somewhere quiet [and] relaxing where she can heal at this point.

Kat: Romantic?

[Alison laughs]

Kat: Mhm. Yeah. [laughs] So you know of course in this moment Luna and Dean are like, “No, we don’t want to leave!” And I felt so proud of them.

Alison: It’s like Neville.

Kat: For their Dumbledore’s Army moment.

Alison: It’s like Neville in Book 5 where he’s like, “This is real and we want to help you fight the real fight.” It’s so nice.

Kristen: Dumbledore’s Army.

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: Yeah. True friends is what that is.

Karen: I love that.

Kat: Someone who’s going to stick around and help you, even when they could possibly die. Gryffindors…

Karen: Gryffindors.

Kat: … and a Ravenclaw.

Karen: Yup. Gryffinclaws.

Kat: So Dobby leaves with a nice loud crack and Lucius hears it, and he sends Wormtail downstairs of all people.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: And so, then it made me laugh because clearly Ron is really good at imitating voices.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: It made me think of later on when he speaks Parseltongue to get into the Chamber of Secrets.

Alison: So all you people who think Ron doesn’t contribute anything, look at this little hidden talent.

Kat: [laughs] Right. Yeah, Ron’s hidden talent. He’s also a voice actor.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: That’s… he helped train Michael.

Kristen: He’s the one who reads the audio books, didn’t you know?

Kat: Oh, man. That’s why they’re so good.

[Kristen laughs]

Kat: That’s funny. So then here we go. This is probably one of the most talked about – I don’t want to say controversial, but definitely debated and talked about mysteries in the Potter novels – the silver hand of Wormtail that tries to strangle Harry and eventually does actually kill Wormtail. So…

[Audio clip begins]

Michael: “You’re going to kill me?” Harry choked, attempting to prise off the metal fingers. “After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!”

The silver fingers slackened. Harry had not expected it: He wrenched himself free, astonished, keeping his hand over Wormtail’s mouth. He saw the ratlike man’s small watery eyes widen with fear and surprise: He seemed just as shocked as Harry at what his hand had done, at the tiny, merciful impulse it had betrayed, and he continued to struggle more powerfully, as though to undo that moment of weakness.

… Wandless, helpless, Pettigrew’s pupils dilated in terror. His eyes had slid from Harry’s face to something else. His own silver fingers were moving inexorably toward his own throat.


Without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it. The silver tool Voldemort had given his most cowardly servant had turned upon his disarmed and useless owner; Pettigrew was reaping his reward for his hesitation, his moment of pity; he was being strangled before their eyes.


Ron had released Wormtail too, and together he and Harry tried to pull the crushing metal fingers from around Wormtail’s throat, but it was no use. Pettigrew was turning blue.

“Relashio!” said Ron, pointing the wand at the silver hand, but nothing happened; Pettigrew dropped to his knees, and at the same moment, Hermione gave a dreadful scream from overhead. Wormtail’s eyes rolled upward in his purple face; he gave a last twitch, and was still.

[Audio clip ends]

Kristen: Crazy.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: So that whole scene, like I said, has been talked about a lot. So I did a bit of research and I was trying to look up theories, perhaps historical theories on silver hands. And first I want to clear this up: the Harry Potter Wiki says that the hand vanishes, and it definitely doesn’t vanish.

Alison: Oh, no.

Kat: I read the text four times to be sure.

Karen: Oh, really? So you read the text in here to be sure? Because I was like, where do they say that? It’s right in the book?

Alison: No, it’s not. It’s not there at all.

Karen: Huh.

Kat: It doesn’t vanish. But the Harry Potter Wiki says that it does.

Karen: Oh.

Kat: But it doesn’t. So I didn’t want anybody out there who believed the Wiki to continue to believe the Wiki. So… and then as far as historical references go to a silver hand or arm or anything like that, I actually couldn’t find anything. There was only one story from a book published in 1888 called “Otto of the Silver Hand.” And so it’s about this boy named Otto who grows up in a monastery. He is then taken by his father at the age of eleven. A man that his father had once quarreled with attacks the castle that they’re living in while the father is away and takes Otto captive. His captor says that he has taken an oath that no member of Otto’s family shall ever strike his family again and thus cuts off Otto’s right hand instead of killing him since he was so young. His father comes back to rescue him, kills the captor, and then also dies as well. Otto returns to the monastery where his hand of silver is given by the emperor. That’s it.

Alison: Huh.

Kristen: Hmm.

Kat: And then the story just goes on to say that Otto grows to be an old man and lives happily and reads a lot.

Kristen: Hmm.

[Karen laughs]

Kristen: Interesting.

Kat: So where does this silver hand idea come from? Because before Half-Blood Prince was released, many thought that Voldemort was actually going to kill Peter Pettigrew in Book 6 because they anticipated that he was a key factor in the downfall of Voldemort, and that he was basically a liability and that Voldemort would be rid of him ASAP, which kind of happens, but kind of doesn’t happen. So I’m just… this moment has always really baffled me, in how the whole life debt and everything works.

Alison: Are we sure that JKR hasn’t talked about this? Because I swear I read somewhere or saw somewhere where she explained that it was a sneaky thing to make sure Voldemort – or not Voldemort, sorry – from Voldemort to make sure Wormtail stayed in line because…

Kat: The only… I couldn’t find any comments from Jo, other than saying that Pettigrew’s hand would not kill Lupin.

Alison: It wasn’t on the old site? Or Pottermore?

Kat: I searched everywhere.

Alison: Where did I see that?

Kat: Pottermore has nothing on it. It’s funny because I swore that she had commented on it before.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: I couldn’t find a thing. Nothing.

Alison: That’s so weird because I’m sure I’ve read something somewhere that it’s because he hesitates, because he does… he knows he owes Harry. That’s established back in Book 3. Dumbledore is like…

Kat: [Book] 4. Oh, well, [Book] 3, I guess. But yeah.

Alison: Yeah, it’s in Book 3; that, “Wormtail owes you his life. That’s a big deal.” And so that because he hesitates and he has that thought of, “Oh, I’m in debt to him,” the hand takes him out because Voldemort doesn’t want him wavering anymore. But man, that’s really not anywhere? Did I make that up?

Kat: Not that I could find.

Karen: I don’t think so.

Kat: I mean, and I looked for a good… no, because I swear, Alison, I thought that there was a quote from it, too. To be fair, I couldn’t find any quotes from her old website, so it’s possible that it was there.

Alison: Oh, yeah.

Kat: But I searched for over a half hour.

Karen: And I feel like I’ve heard that, too, so you’re not making it up, I don’t think. I can’t say where I’ve heard it, I mean, but…

Kat: It’s very possible that it has been lost to her old website being deleted.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: And I just couldn’t find a record of it online. If somebody out there knows…

Alison: Wayback Machine!

Kat: I tried the Wayback Machine.

Alison: It didn’t work?

Kat: No.

Alison: Weird. Weird!

Kat: I mean, it could have been anywhere on that text site, but because there’s not links on the text site to get to other stuff…

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: I mean, there’s a couple, but it’s not enough.

Alison: That bothers me. I want that back. [laughs]

Kat: Me, too. I’m sure somebody out there will be able to find it. The listeners will come through. But it did make me think about the moment in Goblet of Fire when he gives the hand to Wormtail, where Voldemort says, “May your loyalty never waver again, Wormtail.” “No, my Lord. Never, my Lord.” And I feel like that was the Unbreakable Vow between Voldemort and that hand.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Kat: And I think, then, can we just assume that the life debt magic is akin to the love/protection magic of Lily Potter? Ancient but few people understand its true power?

Alison: Yeah, I would definitely say that. I would say, though, it’s a little bit of a darker… it has more of a darker ability than the love protection magic.

Kat: Oh, you don’t think that strangling yourself is fun?

Kristen: Super lovable!

[Alison laughs]

Kristen: I didn’t think so. [laughs]

Kat: And there are lots of essays and there’s so much information out there, and some people feel like Pettigrew is one of those characters who is just a victim. Throughout everything, he is a victim; a victim and he just is a product of his environment, and he actually doesn’t want to do all these nice things.

Alison and Kristen: No.

Alison: He makes choices.

Kat: Does Wormtail deserve this? Does he deserve this moment?

Alison: I think it’s a cruel…

Kristen: I mean, no one deserves to die, but…

Karen: God, that’s such an interesting question.

Kat: No one deserves to die?

Karen: Does he deserve it?

Alison: It’s a cruel way to go, but I think he dug his own grave. He made the choices that led him there, so…

Kristen: Yeah. No, definitely.

Kat: I’ll just play devil’s advocate and say, but didn’t he make some of the right choices?

Karen: Well, what were they? What were the right choices?

Kat: I don’t know. I’m just kidding. I don’t think that at all.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: There are just some people out there that do.

Alison: Yeah, no, I don’t know. I feel like he…

Kristen: It’s all about nature versus nurture.

Alison: … I just feel like he made the choices that led him to this moment, and it’s one of those things where there are consequences to everything, and you can’t get away from them.

Kristen: To all your actions. You make your own choices. Nobody else does.

Alison: Yes. Yeah. It’s simply just showing the consequences of choice.

Kat: Right.

Karen: Yeah, his fate was sealed when he said, “I’ll never waver again,” way back when.

Kat: Mhm.

Alison: Oh, his fate was sealed when he went over after Lily and James made him the Secret Keeper, I think.

Karen, Kat, and Kristen: Yeah, yeah.

Kat: A long time ago. But I mean, in this moment he is making the right choice. He hesitates and stops choking Harry.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Kat: And it kills him.

Alison: Yeah, because of everything he’s done before. Can’t get out of it.

Karen: I wanted to say just one thing before we leave the dungeon, which is that rereading it, the thing that was most moving to me about the dungeon scenes [was] Ron; just every once in a while you would just hear him scream, “Hermione!” and it was just so moving to me. I was like, “Oh my God!” I really felt that.

Alison: That causes me physical pain every single time I read it.

Karen: Yeah.

Alison: Because it’s just like… oh.

Kristen: He really does love her.

Karen: He loves her so much, yeah.

Alison: Even when Bellatrix grabs her and he’s like, “No, take me! Take me instead!” and I’m just like…

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: Which actually, he shouldn’t have done at all because that’s only going to make Bellatrix want Hermione more.

Alison: Yeah. But it’s interesting he’s being the knight again. It’s a parallel. He’s being the knight in the chess game again. He’s willing to sacrifice himself for people he cares about.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: It is. He definitely has value, that Ron Weasley.

Alison: Ron Weasley love.

Kat: He’s a good guy.

Karen: I’m a huge fan of Ron Weasley.

Kat: So they, with poor… I don’t know… what the hell is his name? Oh, Pettigrew.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: With Pettigrew dead, they take his wand and they run back up the stairs. So they’re out of the dungeon and Ron disarms Bellatrix. Okay, so we’re going to get into wands here a little bit because there’s a lot of wand swapping happening in this room. And we’ll get to the Elder Wand stuff a little bit later, but I wanted to talk about the mechanics of all this dueling and taking and all of that. So Ron disarms Bellatrix and wins her wand, yet Harry uses it. He is the one using it. So then Ron technically takes Wormtail’s wand, and thus is now the master of that wand, yes?

Alison: Yeah.

Karen: Yup.

Kat: Okay, so Ron has two wands right now, technically because he has Wormtail’s and he has Bellatrix’s. Okay? So then they’re forced to drop both wands when Bellatrix puts the knife up to Hermione’s throat, and Draco takes them. So is Draco the master of those wands now?

Alison: I wonder what the difference is between forcefully taking it and being forced to drop it. Like, how…

Kat: Right. Okay, so hold that thought then. So then later on, Draco has the three wands and Harry wrestles them out of his hands. Okay, [he] doesn’t use magic; just takes them from him. So he has Wormtail’s wand, Bellatrix’s wand, and Draco’s wand. He takes all of them from Draco. So with no use of magic whatsoever, he is now the master of those wands, one of them being Draco’s wand. Okay? So which wand is his? Is it all of them? Is it one of them? And also, it seems to me that you don’t actually have to use the wand to become the master of it, seeing as Draco never actually touches or uses the Elder Wand in any way, shape, or form.

Alison: This is why I’ve always had a problem with that, to be honest. Is it just like…

Kat: With what?

Alison: With the fact that Harry becomes the master of the Elder Wand. It just doesn’t make sense. How many wands can you be master of at one point in time? Can you only be master of one? Can you be master of however many you get? What is the limit on that?

Kat: Right, right.

Alison: How does taking Draco’s wand make him the master of a different wand? That doesn’t make sense to me unless it’s like collecting… I can’t even think of a good analogy. Like you disarm them with one thing and suddenly you own all of their stuff? I’m so confused about how that’s supposed to work.

Karen: I love this.

Kat: Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Karen: But I feel like this is where the whole… this point is what the whole thing turns on, and I just love it. I feel like it’s so… I don’t know, not so clear… I remember going back and reading this again and again and again, trying to figure out where does the switch happen, once I learned about the switch. And I really feel like you can be master of more than one wand. I think they’re all his, I really do. I think they’re all Harry’s. And in fact, I was thinking about this just a minute ago because when Hermione uses Bellatrix’s wand in the next, or couple of chapters hence, she’s like, “Ooh, I hate this wand. It doesn’t work for me.” And I think part of it is because – and maybe they even say this – she didn’t take it from Bellatrix, Harry did. Right? So this is one of the coolest things to me about the whole Harry Potter world, that Draco would never even touch that wand, yet he’s the master of it. And Dumbledore sort of knew that. He knew that was going to happen and he couldn’t see a way around it. So it kind of had to happen that way. I just love this. This to me is the most mind-blowing part of this whole book. [laughs] Right here in these words, “Harry wrestled the three wands away.”

Kristen: So I have a different… so I don’t think all three of them are his; I think Wormtail’s and Bellatrix’s are still Ron’s because those were just dropped and Draco picked them up. So then Draco has all three of them and Harry wrestled him, but the only one that he really took from Draco was Draco’s wand. And so in that he has Draco’s wand and the Elder Wand, but I still believe that Bellatrix’s wand and Wormtail’s are still Ron’s because he used magic. He disarmed them and took them.

Kat: He didn’t disarm Wormtail.

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: But I still think it’s Ron’s because he’s the one who took them from them, didn’t he?

Kat: Right, but then… but why would Ron have Wormtail’s wand and Draco not have the other two? Because technically, they did the exact same thing: Wormtail dropped it, Ron picked it up.

Alison: Well…

Kristen: No, but Ron and Harry just dropped the wands, and he went over and he picked them up; he didn’t force them.

Kat: Right, but Wormtail just dropped his wand, too.

Alison: Did he? Or did they jump him? Because that might be disarming if they attacked him rather than them voluntarily dropping the wands.

Kristen: Mhm. I think they… yeah. Because Harry and Ron, they voluntarily drop those wands. But yeah, I thought they wrestled it from Wormtail, then Harry goes and wrestles them from Draco. So even though it’s not actual magic, he is still defeating Draco by wrestling him and grabbing those wands. But I still don’t believe they’re all three his. I still think…

Karen: You mean loyal to him? That not all three are loyal?

Kristen: Yeah. I think only Draco’s would be loyal.

Alison: My question about that is, how does… the wand is sentient. How does “the wand chooses the wizard” come into this? Can they choose to go back to their original owner if, for example, when Harry…

Kristen: They don’t want to go back because they’ve just been defeated. [laughs]

Alison: But… [sighs]

Kristen: No, I don’t know.

Kat: Okay, so the text says… as far as Ron and Wormtail goes, the text says, “Then Harry and Ron launched themselves upon him. Ron seized Wormtail’s wand arm and forced it upwards. Harry slapped a hand to his mouth, muffling his voice.”

Alison: So yeah, so they…

Kat: Wait. “Wormtail’s wand emitted sparks; his silver hand closed around Harry’s throat.” It never says that they got the wand, that he dropped the wand, or anything. All it says later is that Ron picked up his wand.

Alison: But Ron was…

Kristen: But they still attacked him.

Alison: Maybe because… yeah, maybe because Ron was the one to grab his wand arm?

Kristen: Mhm.

Karen: Does anybody end up using Wormtail’s wand? Does Ron take it or something? I can’t remember what happens after they leave.

Kat: Yeah, they leave with all three wands.

Karen and Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: With Wormtail’s, Bella’s, and Draco’s.

Karen: Mhm.

Kristen: But they… I only see them ever use Bella’s and Draco’s, correct?

Karen: I remember that Harry chooses Draco’s because it felt friendliest or something of the ones left. [laughs]

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Kristen: So they don’t even use Wormtail’s. So maybe…

Kat: And then… well, Ron probably has Wormtail’s wand, I would imagine, rather than be without one.

Alison: Tucked away somewhere.

Kat: Because Hermione takes Bellatrix’s.

Kristen: Oh, he didn’t get his back.

Alison: But still, just… the idea of [the] wand choosing the wizard… this same kind of thing happens in Prisoner in the Shrieking Shack, right? Where people take their wands. But they still work for them for the rest of the few years, so did the wands just decide to go back to them?

Karen: Oh, that’s such a good point.

Kristen: They were given back.

Kat: Well, the only wand that gets taken in… right, the only wand that gets “taken” in Prisoner is when Harry takes the one out of Hermione’s pocket, but he’s only taking it to use it; he’s not taking it to take it.

Karen: Mhm.

Kat: So I feel like that’s a differentiation.

Alison: I guess you’re right that Lupin voluntarily gives them back, so that might be a different case. Okay.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Kristen: Yeah, he’s not taking them to take over them. But these ones they are because they need wands.

Alison: Okay. That makes more sense.

Kristen: I don’t know. Does it say later on that he has a problem with Draco’s wand?

Karen: No, he… it doesn’t. I think, in fact, it says he likes using it. It worked for him.

Kristen: Yeah.

Karen: Which, I think it kind of has to… in order for the Elder Wand to work for him, Draco’s wand has to work for him, I think, right?

Kristen: Yeah. Mhm. Yeah, so I guess the wrestling of no magic…

Kat: There has to be a line in the sand somewhere that denotes what is mastering a wand and what it simply using a wand.

Alison and Karen: Yeah.

Alison: And I don’t feel like that’s explained very clearly.

Karen: I think only Ollivander really would know. [laughs] I mean, maybe somebody who studies…

Kristen: I mean, all the spells that Harry is using now with Draco’s… I think it’s come to learn that it has a new master now.

Kat: See, I would be inclined to believe that only magic lets you master a wand, but that can’t be true because Harry doesn’t use magic to take Draco’s.

Karen: Yeah.

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: But in every other instance, I feel like that’s valid. It has to be magic in order to master a wand from somebody.

Karen: Hmm.

Kat: Like, Ron is most definitely the master of Bellatrix’s wand…

Karen: Ron.

Kat: … because he disarmed it from her.

Karen: Yeah.

Kat: That’s his wand.

Kristen: Yeah, I think so too. But I think Wormtail’s is his as well.

Kat: Okay. So I’ll throw another wrench into the cogs here: Does Narcissa lose mastership of her wand because Dobby takes it from her?

Alison: I…

Kat: Because he snaps his fingers [snaps fingers] and then it flies across the room.

Alison: I’m inclined to say no because…

Kat: Because he’s an elf?

Alison: Yes. And I feel wands are made specifically for witches and wizards to channel their magic. And House-elves, goblins don’t need those to channel their magic.

Kristen: I can still say he could be a master of it, although he might necessarily not use it. I mean, of course, he doesn’t but…

[Alison laughs]

Kristen: … if tables were turned and he lived, I think he could still be the master of it. But is he going to use it? Probably not because he’s got way better magic…

Karen: Already.

Kristen: … to use than that.

Karen: But would the wand care about that? Like would the wand say, “Okay, now I’m Dobby’s,” because he took it from her?

Kristen: Mhm.

Kat: I don’t know. That’s the question.

Karen: Yeah.

Kristen: I would say yes.

Karen: That Dobby would become the master of Narcissa’s wand?

Kristen: Mhm.

Karen: I think so too. But I also think that he’d be like, “Yeah, I don’t need this. I’m not going to use it.”

Kristen: Yeah. I’d say he’d be the master but be like, “F this. I’m just going to snap my fingers.”

Kat: Well, they definitely don’t pick it up because they don’t walk out of there with Narcissa’s wand.

Kristen: Oh yeah. See?

Karen: So I wonder when she goes to use it, is it going to work for her? Or is it going to be like, “Oh sorry, I’m Dobby’s”?

Kristen: Oh, so they didn’t take… no because he didn’t take it then. Okay, I take my statement back. I thought he… they ended up taking it too.

Alison: I wonder if that’s part of it; if deciding, “I’m taking this,” is part of what switches…

Kristen: Yeah.

Alison: … the loyalty. Or as if you just disarmed them and left it, then the wand would be like…

Kristen: Because there’s…

Alison: … “Oh, nevermind.” Like…

Kristen: When they’re practicing in the DA…

Alison: Yeah!

Kristen: … they’re disarming, learning all these things but they’re not taking it with them. Because Harry wrestles Draco’s wand and then takes it and uses it to better…

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: … he’s constantly using it and he is realized he has this wand and he’s like, “It’s my wand now.”

Alison: Yeah.

Kristen: Like, that is overtaking it and that’s becoming the master now because he’s saying it’s his wand.

Alison: I guess it’s got something to do with your intent in disarming then.

Kristen: Mhm.

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: No. Yeah. Or the finality of…

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: … the exchange. So if you disarm somebody and you leave it and walk away, they could pick that wand up and it still will be theirs. However, okay, so then if that’s true: say Draco disarms Dumbledore, the wand flies over the edge and, somehow, Dumbledore talks Draco into not killing him, Dumbledore goes to get his wand. Draco’s original intention was definitely to disarm and kill Dumbledore. But Dumbledore gets his wand back, is it still his or is it Draco’s?

Alison: I would think so because… oh crap, no.

Kat: The fact that… but, according to the rules…

Alison: Yeah.

Kat: … the Elder wand switches when somebody’s disarmed.

Karen: Yeah, I think Dumbledore would have to say, “Hey Draco, could you give me my wand back?” [laughs]

Alison: Hmm.

Karen: I was having this vision of Narcissa trying to use a wand that is loyal to Dobby. And because Dobby’s…

[Kat laughs]

Karen: … like he’s got almost a silly – I feel – sense of humor – so he’s got all the hat on his head and… she’d go to use it… she’d go – I don’t know – make it fold laundry and instead flowers would pop out of the wand or something…

[Alison laughs]

Karen: … because it’s Dobby’s personality using it now.

Kat: That’d be cute. That’s like a Fred and George wand.

[Alison laughs]

Karen: Yeah, yeah… [laughs] exactly.

Kat: So I’m curious to see what the listeners think about this because I feel…

Alison: Mhm.

Kat: … there are so many possibilities and we’re not sure exactly which one it is.

Alison: Yeah. Maybe someone can find [laughs] the thing we all either group hallucinated or actually used to be…

Kristen: Tweet to J.K. Rowling.

Alison: Bombard.

Kat: Yeah, right. If only it were that easy.

[Karen laughs]

Kat: So, before we get to the most dreaded moment of the entire novels – for me – there is a moment where Bellatix is talking to Griphook about the sword and he says, “Yes, yes, it’s a fake. Don’t worry, it’s fake. You know, it’s good.” And so Bellatrix goes, “Ah, thank God.” And they call Voldemort via their little Dark Mark and Harry can see that he is on his way so they know that they have to act fast. And then this is the moment where that whole, really terrible duel/taking of the wands happens. And then Dobby shows back up and he loosens “dut, dut, dut” the chandelier and drops it on them. And this whole exchange happens and he disarms Narcissa and, “How dare you defy your masters!” [laughs] The best line you know, “Dobby’s a free elf and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!” And I cry a little bit, a little bit. And then they all grab each other and Disapparate and Harry says to himself, as he’s thinking, it says that “Dobby’s hand jerked in his and he wondered whether the elf was trying to take charge to pull them in the right direction” but no, it’s because that’s when he got stabbed. Yes, it’s pretty sad so I cry a little bit more.

Alison: It’s sweet though that it says, “Harry squeezed his hand to let him know it was okay.”

Kat: Aww!

Karen: I know.

Kat: Don’t start. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it. So then they land and Harry just lets go of Dobby’s hand because he assumes that he’s fine and he’s helping Griphook lay down. And then he turns around and the line says, “Together, he and Harry looked down at the silver hilt of the knife protruding from the elf’s heaving chest.” And then I’m like heavy sigh and I’m sobbing, tears running down my face. And then, “The elf’s eyes found him and his lips trembled with the effort to form words. ‘Harry Potter.'” And then I’m just done. I remember specifically closing the book and I was done reading for that night. I was done.

Alison: It’s a very beautiful ending though, I realize reading it this time. She uses a lot of celestial imagery at this point where she talks about the stars glistening in the orb of his eyes.

Karen and Kristen: Yeah.

Alison: It’s very nice, but it’s very sad.

Kat: It’s really fast too. It’s like “boom, dead.” Instantaneous. And I know we’re going to talk about it in a week but this, I lose it every single time. I lose it. Done. Because for me, and I’m this way about animals and about children, it’s the innocence that just gets me. It’s cool that people are really sad that Sirius died but that didn’t affect me because he knew exactly what he was doing and what he was getting himself into and… this is the opposite.

Alison: I think the movie portrayal hits me harder than the book. The book is still super sad but there’s something about the movie where you just see it all and they are on that beach and it’s just actually there.

Kat: And you get the moment where he’s like, “Dobby is so happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter,” and I’m just like [pretends to cry] just sobbing.

Alison: I remember going to the Studio Tour and they have the…

Kat: The dead Dobby.

Karen: Yes?

Kat: Yes.

Alison: And I was just like this: “Why is this here? Why would you do this to me?”

Karen: It’s actually creepy.

Alison: It’s so sad.

Kat: It’s cruel and evil is what it is. It’s cruel and evil.

Karen: And you’re so attached to him.

Kat: I tried to find some information or quotes from Jo about Dobby and why she thought it was important that he died, but I started crying so I stopped.

Alison: There is one there and it’s one of the ones that has to do with innocence.

Kat: Oh yeah, I’m sure.

Alison: But I don’t remember exactly because she’s talked about, basically why each of the characters in this book dies. What is the thematic idea behind it. I don’t remember Dobby’s, though. Because Hedwig is his childhood and…

Karen: That one gets to me.

Alison: Yes. Lupin and Tonks are …

Karen: Hedwig’s death that was the worst.

Alison: Lupin and Tonks are children still become orphans. Fred is breaking families and stuff. Fred and Lupin and Tonks are the ones that I almost didn’t finish the book because of.

Kat: See, those didn’t bother me.

Alison: Oh, I almost did not finish the book. I was so upset.

Karen: I’ll still be like, “Fred, you had your whole life ahead of you.”

Kat: Yes.

Alison: But we’ll get there.

Kat: Well guys, on that incredibly sad note, wipe your tears, grab a tissue, and flip the page because we’re done with the chapter. Oh man, that’s rough. That is a rough moment. I don’t like it.

Karen: He was the bravest elf to ever live.

Kat: He really was the bravest elf to ever live. I mean, it’s true. And you know what? I’ve been to that beach…

Karen: Really?

Kat: … and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world that I’ve stepped foot on.

Alison: I want to go so bad.

Karen: Oh, wow.

Kat: Dobby is in a very nice place. We even found… this was when Alexandra who worked for MuggleNet and Caleb and I, we all went on a road trip. It was summer of 2013. We went to about fourteen different Harry Potter filming spots. And this beach is in the very furthest west coast of Wales. And we had planned to be there an hour and we were there for five. That is how beautiful it was. We found the exact little knoll that Dobby is buried on and we all took off our shoes. We didn’t have socks on – it was summer. And we made a little grave there and wrote in the sand, “Here lies Dobby. A free elf.”

Karen: Aww, that is wonderful.

Kat: Yeah. It was really sad. And very beautiful. And I’m crying all over again. I’m done. Alison, go to the Question of the Week.

Alison: Now that we’re all drying our tears, we’ll read the Podcast Question of the Week so you can stop thinking about the fact that Dobby is dead and move on to something else to think about. In this chapter, Bellatrix panics when she thinks the trio has broken into her vault at Gringotts. We speculated that Voldemort may have instructed Snape to put the sword into the vault and that his reasoning for this might be that he wants to make the last relic of a Hogwarts founder into his final Horcrux. But as Hermione tells us, the sword is impregnated with basilisk venom. Of course, basilisk venom destroys Horcruxes. Therefore, would you be able to make the sword into a Horcrux, or would this backfire on Voldemort? So let us know what you think would happen and leave a comment on our main site at

Kristen: And we would also like to thank our guest Karen for coming on the show today and giving us great notes and points to this chapter.

Karen: Oh, it was my pleasure. I just want to say that I can’t… I have a mystery tendon disorder. I’ve had this thing for four and a half years and it really limits what I can do with my hands and my arms and so I have not really been able to figure out a way to use the forums because my speech recognition software does not play nicely with the forums. And so I find myself every week basically talking to you guys through my phone, so it has been really nice to be able to really be here and talk to you guys for real. So thanks so much for having me on. It is a real thrill.

Alison: Of course.

Kat: Absolutely. You need to go to Coruscant and get one of those fake hands.

Karen: I do. I need… [laughs]

Kat: Anakin. Whichever one got his hand at Coruscant.

Karen: Yes. Definitely.

Kat: Cool. But thank you. We always appreciate hearing from listeners and you were very good. So thank you very much.

Karen: Thank you so much.

Alison: And if you would like to be on the show just like Karen, we do have a few spots available, so get on that really fast. And just go to our “Be on the Show” page at If you have a basic set of headphones with a microphone, you are all set. Nothing super fancy needed. And we look forward to hearing from you too.

Kat: In the meantime, if you just want to keep in touch with us, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, on Tumblr at, our Instagram @alohomoramn, and our website, of course,, and you can send us an Audioboom. It is free. All you need are an Internet connection and a microphone. Press the little green button and keep your message under sixty seconds, and you just might hear yourself on the show.

Alison: And while you’re on our main site, also check out our store. We sell stuff! [laughs] Because that is our new tagline for the store. So go check out all the new cool things we have. All different designs and all of your needs for your Alohomora! merchandise are all there.

Kristen: And don’t forget to download our free smartphone app. Just search Podcast Source in your phone’s app store.

Kat: And I just want to remind everybody of a couple of things. Patreon, if you want to become a sponsor, you can do that for as little as one dollar a month. You can head over to our main site for a link for that or you can got to And also, our movie watch.

Alison and Kristen: Woo-hoo!

Kat: We’re going to watch Deathly Hallows – Part 1 next Saturday. Guys, it is here already. January 23, starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. I want to remind everybody that you must have your own copy of Deathly Hallows – Part 1 in order to watch because we’re not legally able to stream the film. And then immediately following the movie watch, approximately 12:30, 12:45, 1:00 Eastern Time, we’re going to have a live call-in show where you can contact us on Skype or via our phone number, which is 206-GO-ALBUS – 206-462-5287 – and you can talk to us. And so we want to hear from you. So definitely please come and join us because that will be awesome. And then… wow. Then we won’t really have much left of Deathly Hallows. We’ll say goodbye to that book, but for now we’re going to say goodbye to this episode. Thanks again for joining us, guys. I am Kat Miller.

Alison: I’m Alison Siggard.

Kristen: And I’m Kristen Keys. Thank you for listening to Episode 173 of Alohomora!

Alison: Open the Dumbledore, and save Dobby!

[Alison and Kat pretend to cry]

[Show music plays]

Kat: Okay, guys. So before we start, I just need to say that I’m really not ready for this.

[Alison laughs]

Kat: I…

Kristen: It’s okay, I’m here.

Alison: We’re here. It’ll be okay.

Kat: I’m going to need the emotional support because you guys all know that this… Dobby is my favorite character, and I can’t… okay, I can’t even talk about it. We’re just going to start the discussion because I won’t make it through if I have to talk about it now. Okay, so…